For my good people of The Way Church this will be a review, well it will be a review if you come to church on Wednesday Night. If you don't come to church on Wednesday Night the first thing this will do is spark a very good discussion on why don't we go to church on Wednesday Night? After you wrestle through those issues then we can get to the main part of the blog and that will be studying the churches in Revelation.
Revelation Chapters 2 and 3
Three Applications of Revelation Chapter 2 and 3
1. Practical Application: A message to named churches located in Asia.
2. Perennial Application: The Church Age reflects the message to the churches.
3. Personal Application: In every church there are individuals who represent each of these churches.
Revelation 2: 1-7
“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: 2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. 6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’
your works, your labor, your endurance, you do not tolerate evil, you tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, you found them to be liars, you tolerated many things because of my name, you have not grown weary, you hate the Nicolatians.
I have this against you… you have left your first love. The fix… remember how far you have fallen, repent, and do the works you did at first. The Bible says that there is an or else to this command from Jesus. Repent or else He will come to you and He will remove your lampstand from its place. Let him who has an ear, hear. May we hear and understand what Jesus teaching.
If God looked at you and your church's work, labor and endurance would He say that these were good. The church is composed of many individuals striving to walk in a manner worthy of the calling. Collectively they make -up a body of Christ that to is striving to walk in a manner worthy of the calling. Are your works reflective of the blood of Jesus and His cleansing power. Don't fly right past that and answer that question with a quick yea sure what's next. That is a serious question and one that must be thoughtfully examined. 1 Corinthians 11:31 tells us, "
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. Spend some time evaluating what you do and how you do it. It is ok if it is not pretty. Jesus can make it pretty all you have to do is ask Him for His help. Be strong and courageous! Get busy about the kingdom work, stay focused on Him, get you eyes off the mirror and on Jesus so you can walk and talk and your life reflect Him.
Brother Big Daddy
As we begin a study of the churches in revelation I would like for us to take a close look at chapter one of revelation before we begin our study. Here we examine John's vision of seeing Jesus Christ in all of His glory. Let us remember that John was trying to explain things that were far more beautiful and powerful than He had ever seen. He could only use mere earthly examples to explain the majesty of what his eyes were seeing. I would encourage you right now just pause, pray and read Revelation chapter 1. Do not go any further in this study until you can read chapter 1.
Revelation is a book of prophecy. It is the revelation of Jesus Christ. Please understand that John may have authored the book, but the book opens with a very clear announcement that it is the revelation of Jesus Christ. It was given to Him from the Father and given to His apostle John through His angel. John then recorded all that He witnessed for us as we study and learn what Jesus has for us. It is a prophetic book. It absolutely tells of future events, but it does far more than that, it reveals Jesus Christ and all His glory. We see in verse one that it is a revelation of Jesus Christ, 1The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. The Greek word here for revelation is apokalypsis it is where we get the word apocalypse. We so often think of it as the end of time because this book does speak of the end of time; however, it actually means a complete uncovering or unveiling. So basically Revelation is a complete unveiling of Jesus Christ. The book of Revelation is a prophetic book, but it is also a picture book. John is writing to us and describing what he saw. He paints a picture of the overwhelming things that he saw in heaven. Finally, it is a book that is very beneficial for us to read. The Word of God is very clear in verse 3, Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.
Blessed are those who read, hear and keep the words written in Revelation. Jesus says you are blessed if you read, hear and do. Please be careful when you say you will not read this book because it is scary or it is hard to understand or difficult to grasp. The Word of God says blessed is he who reads it, so read it, blessed is he who hears it, so read it out loud, listen to it on Blue Letter Bible, finally blessed is he who adheres to what he reads, so do what it says.
John addresses the seven churches beginning in verse 4 with a greeting of grace and peace from Him who was, who is and who is coming, this would be God the Father. Grace and peace from the seven Spirits who are before the throne, and from Jesus Christ. Basically John says here, grace and peace from the trinity. Read Chapter one of Revelation three times today and tonight. We will finish Chapter one tomorrow.
Reaching for Him,
Brother Big Daddy
Of late the topic of unspoken prayer requests have come up, is it biblical? Are we in danger of agreeing in cooperate prayer over something that is not of God? Should we practice this? Well it is time for me to weigh in on the subject. First, I am ecstatic that we are discussing how we should pray and seeking scriptures regarding such issues. According to scripture iron sharpens iron and therefore we grow when we seek and share. I have not found in the Bible where unspoken prayer request is practiced; however, I do not believe that it is a forbidden. I do believe there is some responsibility on the person praying to place the situation directly in God's hands and pray for God's will to be done. We as the body of Christ would not want to be praying for something that is not of God. For example, let us say someone asks for an unspoken prayer request and it is in regards to a relationship. Let us say the relationship is sinful and the request will result in the person continuing in sin. If we blindly pray for the request, we are cooperatively praying for sinful activity. However, I think this can be handled in how we pray for the unspoken prayer request. Obviously, how we pray is important or Jesus would not have said in Matthew 6:9, "In this manner, therefore, pray:..." We can very powerfully pray for someone in the above situation by simply praying for God's will to be done in their life. If it is a sinful relationship, obviously it will be outside the will of God and thus our prayers will be according to the will of God and will not be agreeing with the unspoken request.
1 John 5:14-15 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
If we ask according to His will He hears us. I believe that if we pray that God's will be done in a situation that God will hear us and will work in the lives of our brothers and sisters. If they are asking something outside of the will of God and we pray the will of God be done in their life we are actually not agreeing with them in prayer we are praying the opposite. If they are praying for something that is in the will of God then we are agreeing with them in prayer but not because of their wishes and desires but because of God's will.
So we certainly should be purposeful when we pray over unspoken prayer request and make sure we are praying that God's will be done. I will accept unspoken prayer request and I will pray with all my heart that God's will be done in the lives of those requesting such prayers.
I would add that I understand that there are times when certain details and information just cannot be shared openly, but there is a need to be prayed for and a desire to be washed in prayer by our brothers and sisters in Christ. However, please understand the importance of you being specific and open with God regarding your needs and desires. We all need a group of prayer warriors that we trust and love and know that we can share with them and they will pray and seek God with us. Identify those individuals in your life and pray with them as well. Be open and specific as you seek their partnership in prayer. I believe that both prayers are important and both can be edifying in your walk with Christ.
James 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
The effective, fervent pray of a righteous man avails much, identify that group in your life and pray with them and allow God to work in and through His soldiers to accomplish much in your life.
Reaching fro Him,
1 John 2:1-6
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. 3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
First of all I want us to see something here that is very important, the blood of Jesus is powerful enough to save the wretched man that I am. That same blood and love is powerful enough to forgive me today as His child when I stumble. Please pay attention to verse 5, whoever keeps His Word the love of God is perfected in Him. You see the fact that Jesus Christ pulled me from the bondage of this world will drive me to live according to His Word, if I surrender to it and thus the love He showed will be perfected and it will come alive.
1 John 1:8
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
I think it is important here for us to understand the we will have a battle with sin until Jesus Christ returns. I did not say we would have to always lose the battle I just said we would battle. John tells us here that if we say we do not sin we make Him a liar. May you and I it never do this.
What I want to ask you is when do you pray about your sin? At church during altar time? At night when you go to bed? In the morning when you arise? At lunch during your quiet time? All of these are great times to pray for forgiveness, and victory and the strength to conquer your sins. I want to give you another time to do pray and pray with every thing you have in you. I want to give you a time when you may not have the courage or the desire to pray for victory over sin, pray as the temptation approaches. Every single time you are tempted pray right at that moment. Pray before you enter the temptation full throttle. For example, if you are struggling with alcohol and you are placed in a situation where alcohol is present, begin praying immediately for Jesus to protect you and to keep you from this sin. Pray it without ceasing and search for a way out. Yes there will be a way out. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
There is a way of escape and we must pray at the moment the temptation approaches for God's protection and victory. Do it immediately, do it with confidence. Jesus will protect you and He will give you strength to overcome but you must you absolutely must call on Him.
So as you go through this week and sin approaches, at the very moment you recognize the smallest possibility to sin pray and ask Jesus to empower victory in your life. Pray for protection through this fight and ask Jesus to reveal to you the escape route. It goes without saying but I will say it anyway...take the escape route, quickly and boldly.
Reaching for Him,
Brother Big Daddy
Let me encourage you to watch this video, you may have to copy and paste it into the url if it is not active or you can simply go to our website www.thewaychurchal.com and scroll to the bottom. I know most of you have watched it, but watch it again. At the end of the Blog I have put a salvation plan to this WAR CRY, RAK CHAZAK! Learn it. You will need it! God is going to open doors of opportunity for many of you to witness and lead someone to Christ, here is your guide, learn it. No it is not optional. Yes you will be tested on the material, and yes it is going in the grade book. You never know when the test will come, will you be ready?
John 6:44 New King James Version (NKJV)
44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
I really enjoyed last nights service and thought everything went great. The testimonies were awesome and Jesus met with us. However, I did not include this scripture last night and I definitely intended to. For some reason Jesus want you to get it this morning so here it is. You see God draws us to Him. We know this is true we see the gripping of the pews, the fighting back with every ounce of our being when He is drawing us. The fight not to surrender, not to surrender to what? The draw of our Heavenly Father. We discussed last night that it is not us who invites Jesus into our lives, it is God who draws us into His. So not only does He loves us so much that He sent His son to this earth, not only did He take the penalty for our sins and was beaten and crucified on a cross, not only did He conquerer the grave and defeat death, He also draws us to Him for salvation. He draws us to Him for a place of surrender. An opportunity we have to die to ourselves and surrender our lives into His hands. Jesus draws us to a moment when we say I no longer want control of my life, I am willing to surrender my life to Jesus. We proclaim to Jesus with all our heart You are my Lord and then an amazing thing happens, He becomes Lord of our life. At that moment salvation is real and we are a new creature, empowered by the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, leading, guiding and directing our lives. That is what a Lord does, He leads, He guides, He directs, He provides, He protects. He is Lord, we are servants. We don't direct Him, He directs us.
Road to Salvation A Call to Live
Realize first and foremost that God is drawing you to
Him. (John 6:44)
Admit that you have sinned against God. (Romans 3:23)
Know your condition. (Romans 6:23)
Change your direction. (Acts 3:19)
Hear His Word and Believe. (John 3:16)
All of Him none of you. (Galatians 2:20)
Zone in on His calling. (Romans 10:9-10)
Ask for forgiveness. (1 John 1:19)
Know that Jesus Christ will be your Lord and Savior. (1 Corinthians 8:6)
44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 Corinthians 8:6
6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.
Reaching for Him,
Brother Big Daddy
What is your purpose for attending church? Do you go for the fellowship? Do you go out of duty? Do you go because your wife says you will go? Do you go because your parents leave you no choice? Do you go because you always have? Do you go because it is still politically correct to attend church in the area in which you live? Do you attend because you like the music? Do you attend because you like the preacher? Do you attend because you like the Sunday school teacher? Do you attend because you want to protect your reputation? Do you attend so you can get some help? Do you attend because your friends do? Do you attend because you just feel like you need to? Do you attend to learn about Jesus? Obviously, this list can go on and on. It can lead you down many paths and everyone's individual reason can and probably is a little different.
I want you to think about what Jesus said about the House of God. Matthew 21:13 states, "And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”"
John 4:23 states, "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him."
Hebrews 10:25 states, "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching."
So hear it is, we should attend church because our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ said that we must. We should not forsake the assembling together; therefore, we should be in church. His House should be a House of Prayer. We should come and be in communication with Jesus. It certainly is not the only place you can talk with Jesus, but it must be a place that you talk with Him. It should be a place of worship. If you are not worshipping Him in spirit and in truth then you are not experiencing the joy that is available to you as you walk with Jesus. Worship starts long before you get to church and has lasting effects all week.
You see if you come to church for the right reasons, 1) to show your heavenly Father you love Him by walking in obedience to His Word 2) to communicate with Jesus, 3) to worship, then your fellowship will be great. You will be discipled and will be able to disciple others. You will pray like you never prayed before. You will hear God's Word spoken and preached in such a way that it will change who you are and how you live. You will weather the storms, you will help set the captives free. You will run and not grow weary. You will serve and not be burdened. You will find rest and you will find strength. You will be strong and courageous. You will walk through the shadow of the valley of death, but you will fear no evil. You will walk in a manner worthy of the calling. You will seek and you will find. You will hear His voice and He will know your name. You will slay the giants and you will tear down the walls. You will lead people to the promise land and you will minister to the weak and heavy laden. You will produce fruit and you will harvest the fields. You will plant seeds and you will feed the sheep. Simply put you will follow Jesus Christ. Step in obedience today, Pray today and Worship today. Great things await!!!
Brother Big Daddy
So how would you describe your church? How would a first time visitor describe your church? What is the function of your church? These are questions we must answer as we labor in, attend and worship in the church house that Christ Jesus has placed us. There are a couple of things I think all church members and/or regular attenders should consider as they walk as children of the Most High. First lets us make sure we understand the definition of regular attender. The true meaning for the term regular attender, (I would refer to the Greek here but I don't know the Greek here so I will just stick to the basics), is someone who attends regularly. Unbelievable but true. No really if you are a member of a church or a regular attender it should be something pretty major to keep you from church. Did you know that you could schedule a vacation to leave on Sunday after church and come back Saturday. I know it is unbelievable, but I hear that there are people who actually do this very thing. Hey if you guys have attended my church you know I don't harp on you about not being in church every time the door is open; however, it is important. Your attendance is necessary for the spiritual growth of the church and yourself. I know the old saying, 'I do not have to attend church to be saved?' Yeah but you do have to do what Jesus Christ said when you are saved and He said do not forsake the assembling together (Hebrews 10:25). So where is your free pass? Better yet from whom did you get it? Look, when you belong to a church family, you are a part of a team. Your presence is not only desired but it is needed. Quit making excuses for not being there, quit allowing everything to push you away and simply make going to church, you guessed it, nonnegotiable. When this happens the team begins to hit on all cylinders and great and mighty things happen. If the question, 'are we going to church today' is asked in your house on Sunday, then something is very wrong. Are we breathing?
Anyway I am getting off on a tangent cause this blog is not even about church attendance, it is about the presence of the church. Is the church a place where hurting people go to feel the love of Christ Jesus? Is the church the place that hurting people go to have their needs met spiritually and physically? You see there are hurting people in the world that have not grown up in church and they may not know all the details of proper church attendance; their church behavior may not be exactly what you are looking for. They may not dress like you, talk like you or even think like you, but you know what, they are in church like you. And you may very well be the glimmering light in the visit, the hope that springs up, and provides an avenue to Jesus Christ. Yes, you really might be the only Jesus they have seen. You have to look past your ideas of what they should wear, how they should talk, and how they should believe, and you must see them as Jesus sees them. You must love them as Jesus Christ has instructed us to do, Mark 12:31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no other commandment greater than these.” When we do this we see them as Jesus sees them, in need of His love. It does not matter what they wear, how they talk, what they believe when they come into your church, my question will always be how do the believe when they leave. Let the love of Jesus flow through you and your church to others. The rest of the week we will be talking about church, church attendance and your role in the church. Thicken up your skin and take a look in the mirror and come to grips with the man or women looking back.
Reaching for Him,
Brother Big Daddy