Post details: What The Spirit Says And The Open Door


Permalink 12:08:29 pm, Categories: GraceHead teaching, By Pam, 1328 words   English (US)

What The Spirit Says And The Open Door

Church is messy business but no matter how we try, Christians can't escape the church. The moment we are saved and enter into Christ, we are a part of the universal church. We are a part of the body and sadly, most of us have poor body image. The church frustrates us and many Christians are leaving the traditional church, but where two or more are gathered together in His Name, there Christ is too, and a new church has formed. On and on and around and around we go as we search for the perfect fellowship, church the way it ought to be. Maybe the solution is as near as our own hearts.


Jesus too was dissatisfied with the church and left seven warnings for very specific problems that all churches are prone to. These are found in chapters 2&3 in the book of Revelation.

The church in Ephesus was a good church in its discernment of false teaching and faithfulness to good works. They were reprimanded by Jesus for leaving their first love, Jesus. They had forgotten why they were doing what they were doing and were self-sufficient Chrisitans. A church that has forgotten Jesus is a miserable church to be in. Self-sufficient Chrisitans are judgmental Christians, and who needs that? Most of us would pat each other on the back for leaving such a church but Jesus doesn't say to flee this church. Rather He says, "To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God."

The church in Smyrna was a church under persecution, persecution by the Jews. None of us want to suffer and I'm afraid, that most chubby, soft, American Christians wouldn't hang around a church whose members were being crated off to prison. However, Jesus didn't advise these Christians to flee from this church. He advised, "Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death."

The church in Pergamaum was surrounded by those who worship Satan. One of their members was even martyred by these Satan worshipers. However, there were some in the church who compromised with the pagan practices around them and caused weaker Christians to stumble and commit sexual immorality and follow their lustful desires. Jesus admonishes those doing so to repent but he does not admonish the faithful to leave. He leaves them with the following instruction, "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it."

The church in Thyatira was what many today would call a liberal church. They were taught by a woman, Jezebel, who called herself a prophetess and misled people into believing that sexual immorality wasn't important. Jesus is very plain in what He intends to dish out to this woman but He still does not admonish the true believers to go find another church. This is His instruction, "Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan's so called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): Only hold on to what you have until I come. To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations--" He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery"--just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

The Sardis church was a sleepy church. They had a good reputation and obviously were relying upon their reputation and not upon Jesus for they were a dead church. It is miserable to be a Chrisitan on fire for the Lord in a sleepy, dead church and Jesus is sharp in His warning to those who are slumbering but this is what He says to those who are awake, "Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my father and his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

All of the aforementioned churches are places miserable for anyone who is truly in love with Jesus Christ. They are not faithful to Him, they don't represent Him properly, they worship what is evil, and are indifferent to the calling of Jesus Christ. Yet, Jesus never tells those who are faithful to go and look for a better church or form a new one in response to their misery. The over-riding message is hold on, overcome. The verse which states, "Don't be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good." is a good mission statement for the believing church goer.

Jesus also speaks of one perfect church. The church that all of us who truly love Jesus would like to belong to, the Chruch of Philadelphia. This church is not a strong church yet they've kept Jesus' words and have nerve denied His name. Jesus says to this church, "I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars--I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Nver again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, then new Jerusalem, which coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

The Chruch of Philadelphia, the church of brotherly love, is the only church that does not bring to mind a present earthly example. Not in the organized sense, but if I apply it as an overview of the other warnings it is clear to me that the Chruch of Philadelphia is made up of those who have patiently endured and have over come the evil that makes up the other churches. This passage is an encouragement to all who truly love Jesus and find themselves miserable in church. It is also the key that will enable us to endure where ever we find ourselves placed in fellowship. That key is in its name, brotherly love. No mater how wrong our particular church is we can remain right by loving the people with whom we find ourselves in fellowship. We can choose to love them with the love that Jesus has given us. Love covers a multitude of sins and it is through the power of Jesus love that we can patiently endure, all the while, keeping our eyes on that open door.

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Comment from: dorsey [Visitor] ·
You meant two or more, right?
Permalink 09/15/06 @ 13:31
Comment from: Pam [Member]
Yeah, if that's what the Bible says. I don't know why I remember it as three. It goes to show that human memory tends to follow its own path. It is always the scripture that I'm confident that I know that often surprises me by how I've twisted it to my own thinking. I'm glad your checking up on me. These are the words of Pam and not God.

Permalink 09/15/06 @ 13:36
Comment from: Pam [Member]
p.s. Error duly noted and corrected.:0)

Permalink 09/15/06 @ 13:40
Comment from: lisa [Member]
I'm guessing that the word 'church' here is translated as local assemblies? Made up of folks who are indwelt with Christ, and some who are not in Christ?

I guess, and mind you--this is just me--I've been gone from those type of assemblies for so long, I don't even try to categorize them. I have oftened wondered what it would be like to attend a face to face fellowship. Even if I lived in Texas, I wonder if I'd go every Sunday to the assembly I listen to via the internet? I honestly don't know. I do know this, though... that since leaving the local assemblies, I don't see people as a labeled denomination, because I can't tell you which assembly they attended (The old church was involved in various good charitable works around the community, as were the other churches, and it got to be common practice to work with "The Baptists" this Sunday, but next month, "We and the Methodists" would be working the jail ministry or something. Now? They're just people.
Like you mentioned, where two or more are gathered in His name.
Interesting topic, for sure.
Permalink 09/16/06 @ 00:48

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