Things That Are, Part 2

Have you ever stood before a judge in a court of law? If you have you know his word is the final word. But unlike our fair and just Judge, the world’s judges have limited knowledge and understanding of any given situation.

This post follows our journey with John witnessing Jesus among the first four churches. He speaks to the way things are as we continue with the last three. Remember as we continue,

Jesus is he that –

“holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;” Revelation 2: 1

The seven stars being his messengers and the seven golden candlesticks representing the seven churches. Each church receives a commendation, a reprimand, a reward, or a judgment from the risen Christ. The Lord God gave this authority to him and Jesus is introduced to the church at Sardis as –

“he that hath the seven Spirits of God,

and the seven stars…”

Revelation 3:1

Jesus embodies the seven Spirits of God – the fulness of God.

“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;” Colossians 1:19.

The fulness is identified in Isaiah 11:2.

  1. “And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
  2. the spirit of wisdom
  3. and understanding,
  4. the spirit of counsel
  5. and might,
  6. the spirit of knowledge
  7. and of the fear of the LORD;”

His qualifications speak to his authority and ability to judge justly. He –

“shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD:

and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes,

neither reprove after the hearing of his ears …

And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins,

and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.”

Isaiah 11:3,5

Jesus’s strength as a judge dwells in his understanding and his righteousness. He is not ruled by emotions but faithfulness.

Jesus instructs the dying church of Sardis to find mercy and not judgment when He says,

“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain…

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard,

and hold fast, and repent…Revelation 3:2,3

And to those who “have not defiled their garments,”  He shows himself faithful when He says,

“they shall walk with me in white for they are worthy…

and I will not blot out their name out of the book of life,

but I will confess his name before my Father,

and before his angels.” Revelation 3:4,5

To the church of Philadelphia living among a culture surrounded by false religion Jesus offers hope.

“These things saith he that is holy, he that is true,

HE THAT HATH THE KEY OF DAVID,

HE THAT OPENETH, AND NO MAN SHUTTETH;

AND SHUTTETH, AND NO MAN OPENETH:” Revelation 3:7

Hope lies in knowing the one who is holy and true.

“And we know that the Son of God is come,

and hath given us an understanding,

that we may know him that is true,

and we are in him that is true,

even in his Son Jesus Christ.

This is the true God, and eternal life.”

1 John 5:20.

When living among a world filled with human philosophies and worldly wisdom, followers become a minority. Our strength may seem small. This is when we realize we need the  one who holds the key of David and has the strength to open and shut all doors. He opens the door of truth and closes those of untruth. Ours is to follow and  keep “the word of my patience.”  For Jesus is the one holding all the keys – all authority. He has given those keys into our hands.

“And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven:

and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven:

and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19

In an instant our little strength becomes great strength found in the Lord. Because we are keepers of his word, He promises us –

“I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation,

which shall come upon all the world,

to try them that dwell upon the earth.”

Revelation 3:10

It is fitting the last church we visit is the one Jesus reveals himself as –

“the Amen,

the faithful and true witness,

the beginning of the creation of God.”

Revelation 3:14

Jesus is the way it is as seen in his faithfulness to fulfill all God purposed. He is the true witness of God’s glory.

“Father, the hour is come:

glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

As thou hast given him power over all flesh,

that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

And his is life eternal,

that they might know thee the only true God,

and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

I have glorified thee on the earth:

I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”

John 17:1-4.

The church at Laodicea had forgotten all they had came at Jesus’s hand. They needed Jesus to fulfill God’s purpose in them but had lost sight of the truth. Yet, He had not forgotten them.

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:

be zealous therefore, and repent.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:

if any man hear my voice, and open the door,

I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

Revelation 3:19,20.

When the Lord rebukes and chastens remember He love you. It’s only when left without discipline we learn we are not loved. Chastening knocks at the door of repentance waiting for us to open and enjoy fellowship with our Lord.

These seven letters were sent to the churches in Asia. They are the things which are left for the church today – of which all who follow Jesus are a part.

The things that are:

  • Jesus is the full revelation of God – Hear him.
  • He desires mercy rather than judgment – repent.
  • He holds all the keys of the kingdom – find strength in him.
  • He is the Amen fulfilling all God’s purpose – Know him and know life.
  • He has supplied all our need – open the door of your heart and receive his love.

Reflecting on this post and the first post, “Things that are”, which church do you resonate with most?

Next we will delve into “the things which shall be hereafter.”  Until then may you walk in the strength of the Lord.

Things Which Are

“Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;” Revelation 1:19

white ceramic mug on white paper
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I glanced at my cousin. He glanced at me. We were caught and we knew it. High school government class ran high speed through the shortened summer school session. One requirement included attending two city council meetings and writing an essay on them. We decided each of us would attend one and share our notes. It wasn’t really cheating was it? I would write my essay from my notes and he would write his essay from my notes. The problem arose when his essay mirrored mine. Now we had to stand before the teacher and confess our sin. That’s as close as I ever came to being called to the principal’s office. I never wanted to experience the fear or shame again.

In chapters two and three of Revelation John takes us to the Principal’s office to hear Jesus speaking to the seven churches. In this visit we learn more about the Principal than the churches. We learn how He sees his church then and now.

He is  –

“I am Alpha and Omega,

the first and the last…

Revelation 1:11

He holds –

“the seven stars in his right hand,

who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;”

Revelation 2: 1

Jesus’s word is the first word and the last. There is no arguing with this Principal. He has all authority as He holds the seven stars – his messengers to the church – in his right hand. When he says the church has left its first love and needs to repent, he has the authority to back it up.

For He is –

“One Lord … which is the head, even Christ …

And he is the head of the body, the church:

who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead;

that in all things he might have the preeminence.”

(Ephesians 4:5,15; Colossians 1:18)

He delegated authority to his servants for the building up of the church but each serve under His authority. He is ever among his church never forsaking her to the whims of others. He walks among us.

He is here today.

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name,

there am I in the midst of them.”

Matthew 18:20.

Each of the seven letters to the churches includes the phrase, “I know thy works”. Because Jesus’s death and resurrection give him preeminence over all things he has the authority to judge our works, commend our works, correct our works, and call us to repentance or reward. In all he gives opportunity for mercy.

He continues to plead today –

“ He that hath an ear, let him hear,

what the Spirit says unto the churches.”

(Revelation 2:7,11,17,29; 3:6,13,22)

To the faithful church enduring persecution, Jesus is –

“the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive …” Rev. 2:8

“ These things have I spoken unto you

that in me ye might have peace.

In the world ye shall have tribulation:

but be of good cheer;

I have overcome the world …

But now is Christ risen from the dead,

and become the firstfruits of them that slept …

Death is swallowed up in victory…

thanks be to God,

which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

(John 16:33; 1 Corinthians 15:20,54,57)

Jesus’s victory over death is the persecuted church’s victory. A crown of life awaits those tested who aced the test with their faithfulness. May we remember to pray for the persecuted church of today. It could be us.

As we eavesdrop on Jesus’s meeting with the church at Pergamos, he reminds us he is the one –

“which hath the sharp sword with two edges;”

Revelation 2:12

His sword is the word of his mouth.

“out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword …

Repent;

or else I will come unto thee quickly,

and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.”

( Rev.1:16;2:16)

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper

than any twoedged sword,

piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,

and of the joints and marrow,

and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12

Christ’s words divide between truth and error in his church. No argument stands before him.

“They are of the world:

therefore speak they of the world,

and the world heareth them.

We are of God:

he that knoweth God heareth us;

he that is not of God

heareth not us.

Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”

1John 4:5,6

Forsake the spirit of error. Follow truth or be found of –

“the Son of God,

who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire,

and his feet are like fine brass.”

Revelation 2:18

Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

“a bright cloud overshadowed them:

and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said,

This is my beloved Son,

in whom I am well pleased;

hear ye him.”

Matthew 17:5

Nothing is hidden from him. His judgments are righteous.

“For there is nothing covered,

that shall not be revealed;

neither hid, that shall not be known.”

Luke 12:2

“I can of mine own self do nothing:

as I hear, I judge:

and my judgment, is just:

because I seek not mine own will,

 but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”

John 5:30

He has been tried and found faithful. He came through the refiner’s fire.

“Therefore thus saith the Lord God,

Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone,

a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation:

he that believeth shall not make haste …

And being found in fashion as a man,

he humbled himself,

and became obedient unto death,

even the death of the cross …

But as he which hath called you is holy,

so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.”

(Isaiah 28:16; Philippians 2:8; 1 Peter 1:15)

Not only has the church of Jesus Christ been found teaching false doctrine but adopting it as a lifestyle of immorality. Yet, there are still –

“as many as have not this doctrine,

and which have not known the depths of Satan,

as they speak;

I will put upon you none other burden.

But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.”

Revelation 2:24,25

As we leave the Principal’s office today let’s keep in mind we have –

  • One Lord … even Christ
  • He walks among us
  • He knows our works whether they be of truth and love or of error
  • He is our victory over trials
  • His word knows the heart and soul of his church and each member
  • Nothing is hidden from his eyes
  • He is our tried and true foundation
  • If we are found in error  –  repent
  • If we are found in truth – cling to Jesus until he returns

We have one more day to hear what the Spirit has to say to the churches as three more are called into his presence. I hope you will join us.

Does it bring you encouragement or concern to know Christ is walking among his church today?