Don’t you just love the promises of God? We all do. Even non-believers will often quote the Scripture promises and not realize that the hope they speak of is not theirs if they do not believe in the One who is our hope, the One who created the universe, the One who created man, the One who chose a people for Himself to be His witnesses throughout the earth, the One who sent His only begotten Son to become our sin and pay our penalty through death on a cross, the One who raised His Son from the grave to reign eternally!
Abba Father, I must stop and thank You for Your amazing love! Thank You for Your Word that teaches us that You desire none to perish but all to find eternal life through Jesus Christ our risen Lord! May the Holy Spirit move in power through this devotional as we look at the Church of Sardis and the seriousness of their plight. I am overwhelmed by Your tender heart for all to be saved. Thank You that You not only warn of the sin that encompasses them, You clearly state the consequences of their disobedience. May each of us have ears to hear what the Spirit says as we meet with You in our time this week. This I pray in the blessed name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, amen!
We can walk into any bookstore, card shop or even pharmacy today and see books being sold proclaiming the promises of God. How often, or have you ever, seen books written on the discipline of God or on His curses for disobedience? Sadly, even the “church” has fallen into the way of the world and only promote portions of the Word. Bare with me a minute as I give an illustration that will, hopefully, illuminate the point. Let’s take a walk through a clothing store. We pick and choose the colors and styles we like. We make a purchase and take the clothes home and hang them in the closet. Each day we make a decision which articles of clothing we will wear that day. A year down the road we may take an inventory of our closet and we have found that there are some things there that we never wore, we just decided we didn’t like the way it looked or the color, or the way it fit, etc. Are you getting the picture? This is pretty much what people do with the Scriptures. They pick and choose what they like and leave the rest on the shelf. Unfortunately, many church pastors do the same thing. They justify their actions saying they are “seeker sensitive” they want everyone to feel comfortable. The Word of God should make you uncomfortable! Why do I say that? The Word of God shows us the path to change, to righteousness, to sanctification, to surrender, to love for others as Christ loves His bride!
Let’s look at a couple of Scriptures that many of the pastors today will not preach because they make people feel uncomfortable. "And He (THE HOLY SPIRIT) , when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment;” (John 16:8) Without the conviction the Holy Spirit brings to your heart and soul you would have no concern about eternal things and especially what is waiting for you without having received Jesus’ sacrifice for you sins. “And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15) Is it worth making someone uncomfortable to save them from being thrown into the Lake of Fire? “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14 emphasis mine)
Has your pastor warned you that all true believers will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ, where our Lord desires to reward us with crowns because of our faithfulness to Him living the surrendered life? “For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)
What a joy that will be for our Lord! And what even greater joy there will be when we worship Him and cast those crowns back at His feet! Notice that verse 15 talks about believers who will not receive any rewards because they only believed in Him and never grew in the mercy and grace of our Lord. They received Him as Savior but never allowed Him to be Lord of their lives! “If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:15)
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;” (2 Timothy 3:16 emphasis mine) We need ALL of God’s Word in order to walk uprightly in obedient love with the Lord. It is dangerous to us physically and spiritually when we decide to only teach one aspect of Scripture and leave the rest on the table. It’s like having a compass but ignoring three of the directions and only following one direction, it will not lead you to the destination you desired. Disobedience to God’s Word will also lead you to a destination you did not choose.
As I read over the words to our next church I could feel in my spirit the heart of God, His love and desire that they choose life. It broke my heart because this church’s deeds are common today. The complacency of this church not only is heartbreaking but it puts great fear in my heart for those who are in this state. If they do not wake up their name will be erased from the Book of Life! All individuals who have been born on this earth are in the Book of the Living, (Psalm 69:28). As they die and have not believed in the true God, God the Son, they will have their name expunged from the book. What is left over is the Lamb’s Book of Life. Those whose names were erased and are not found in the Lamb’s Book of Life will stand before the Great White Throne to be judged. The Lord Jesus will say to each one “your name is not found in the Lamb’s Book of Life”. There was no moment of repentance and came to receive the Lord’s sacrifice. They will be cast into the Lake of Fire. Wake up! This is serious! We are talking about where we will spend eternity!
After having written a great majority of this devotional I felt as if I was to stop and listen as the Lord took me on a journey. So that is what I have been doing. An interesting thing happened yesterday morning. A sleepiness came over me that I could not shake. That is not entirely unusual for me as I have been dealing with fatigue and the doctor’s cannot find a cause for it. I finally decided I needed to go recline in my rocker. As I did so I realized that God was showing me the condition of His church. They are spiritually asleep. They have left themselves defenseless against the enemy. My prayer is that if you are reading this devotion you are not one of the spiritually asleep and will share this with others who may be. They may not embrace your gift to them at the moment but you will have sown the seed and, hopefully, someone will water it and bring it to life, even if it isn’t you.
Jesus doesn’t address the wealth of this city or the plight of the people who were seen as opponents to the idol worship. Many scholars believe these believers were intimidated by the merchants who controlled the economy and workplaces so they were trying to “fit in” and not cause those in the congregation hardship by losing their jobs. As I’ve been asking the Lord regarding this and reading Scripture I realized Jesus has addressed this in some of the other churches. But if we truly understand our position in Christ, are we to shrink back and try to become invisible? Are we to try and look like the world? NO!
Fear paralyzes us and hinders the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives until eventually we have hardened our hearts to His voice entirely. This was the sin in this church, they didn’t allow the power of the Holy Spirit to keep them alive! “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31) “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hands; yes, confirm the work of our hands.” (Psalm 90:17) They have forgotten their position in Christ!
These believers forgot the words of our Lord and chose the easy path which leads to destruction rather than the narrow path. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.” (Matthew 7:13) They chose the path of less resistance and therefore never grew in the mercy and grace of our Lord! These words from the psalmist were never true for this group, “For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined.” (Psalm 66:10 emphasis mine) Have you allowed the Lord’s refining fire to shape your walk with Him? “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.’” (Revelation 3:1) Jesus begins with reminding those in this body of believers that He has all authority and angelic hosts are assigned to watch over their congregations and, therefore, He has witnesses attesting to their deeds. We again see the use of “seven” twice in this passage. He is reminding all of us that seven signifies holiness. We, true believers, have been set apart for the will of God, we have willingly consecrated our lives to Him and we strive to live a life reflecting the holiness and goodness of God. “but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.’” (1 Peter 1:15-16) “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14 emphasis mine)
The seven stars represent angels who are sent to administer justice. “for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8 emphasis mine) “It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” (Hebrews 12:7-11 emphasis mine)
‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.’ Wow! If anyone has a spiritual ear this will knock the wind right out of their lungs! This church was superficial, there was no intimacy with the Lord, the Holy Spirit was bound and the worship was not for the heart of God but for the people! They looked good, they smelled good to the world around them, but to God they were a stench! They were a church of works.
So much comes to mind as I think about the words of Jesus in this statement. Let’s begin with something that He stated in the Gospel of John. “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” (John 3:19-21) Jesus is warning this church so that they can repent and turn to the light. He doesn’t want them to stand before The Great White Throne which is the Judgment Seat for non-believers. These believers had heard the truth and apparently began the journey on the right path. ‘Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.’ (Revelation 3:2 emphasis mine) When Jesus tells us to “wake up” it is not a suggestion, it is an alarm! Wake up means to be watchful and alert, give strict attention to lest some destructive calamity overtake you.
I can’t help but be reminded of the ten virgins waiting for the Bridegroom. Five were in right alignment and prepared to meet their Bridegroom but five were foolish and not prepared. Just because they were in the company of some true believers was not going to be enough to save them, nor were their past works enough. "Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, `Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, `Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the prudent answered, `No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.' And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, `Lord, lord, open up for us.' But he answered, `Truly I say to you, I do not know you.' Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:1-13 emphasis mine)
Fast forward to what today should more accurately called “the social gospel”. There is a fine line as to what is of God and what is of man. A church or ministry will “serve” the community by doing good deeds and they say they are doing the Lord’s work. The Epistle of James addresses faith without works and faith by works. “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?” (James 2:14-20) However, James continues with the example of Abraham. “Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God.” (James 2:21-23 emphasis mine) Many ministries today are much like the Church of Sardis. They are great at the works part but have fallen short in faith. Just as faith without works is dead, works without faith is only a work and not counted as righteousness for eternity.
“Strengthen the things that remain” tells us that there still is an ember, which can ignite a forest fire. I am reminded of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Church of Thessalonica. “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-24) Take a few minutes and allow the Holy Spirit to speak into your life here. I am overwhelmed, again, as I read these words. These words should be so ingrained into our spirits in our walk with the Lord, yet how easily we forget! Father, forgive us for our forgetfulness! May these words bring life into our spiritual lives that would bring glory and honor to Your name, amen!
When the Spirit tells us to strengthen that which remains, it is time for a spiritual inventory. Go into our prayer closets, turn off the phones, televisions, radios, computers, tablets or any other thing that may distract us, and pray and wait. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6) Pour out your heart to God. Yes, He already knows where you are weak and what struggles you are going through, but He wants you to admit to them, to understand the hindrances that are in your life, repent and turn them over to Him, and to trust Him. The Lord gave us the Holy Spirit to be His power in our lives. Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.'” (Zechariah 4:6 emphasis mine)
Each one of us was born a sinner, or as King David so eloquently wrote, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” (Psalm 51:5) Even though we are created by God we are not saved when born, we were sinners and remain sinners until we ask Jesus into our hearts and repent of our sins. That begins our walk with the Lord and it continues to deepen with intimacy as we surrender our wills to Him and allow Him to transform us according to His power! When we are in Christ the power of the Holy Spirit flows mightily through us and accomplishes the will of God and He is glorified! This church did not have the Holy Spirit. Just as a person who has died physically cannot produce good fruit, a person who is spiritually dead can’t produce spiritual fruit. A spiritually dead person can do good works such as feeding the poor, taking care of the widows and orphans, setting up programs to educate children, etc. but none of these things can produce spiritual fruit.
‘for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.’ “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” (Jude 1:3) When Jesus commands us to make sure our deeds are “completed” in the sight of God, He is not suggesting that you or I have the right to decide what the dividing line is that would make those deeds complete. There is a standard and we must search out that standard in the Scriptures and be faithful to bring it to pass.
The Holy Spirit was very specific in the use of words in both the Greek and Hebrew languages. I felt the nudge in my spirit to see what the word “completed” meant in this verse. Completed means to fulfill according to God’s will as made known in the Law, the Torah! It is to be obeyed as it was given and also for God’s promises which were given through the prophets to be fulfilled! Now we see the connection between God’s promises and God’s laws! Neither stands alone, they are connected and cannot be separated! “But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.” (2 Thessalonians 3:13) “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” (Galatians 6:9) “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12 emphasis mine) “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14) “in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:8) “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12) “Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13-19 emphasis mine)
‘So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.’ (Revelation 3:3) Do you hear the Lord’s love? Yes, He is giving them a strong warning but He also is never condemning. He reminds them that they heard the message and responded and were alive! But somewhere along the way they let the light of Christ die out in their hearts. But there is still a short time to repent and return to their first love! You may want to go back and read over the Scriptures written above dealing with the Lord’s desire and our proper response if we are to experience eternal life.
“Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.’ If there are any reading this devotional, or if you know someone, who questions the authenticity of the Holy Spirit’s writing of the Scriptures, this is certainly a good example that proves the work of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul was not one of the twelve disciples who walked with Jesus during His ministry on earth. However, after Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus he was taken up to the third heaven and taught by the Lord Himself! “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows—was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.” (2 Corinthians 12:2-4) Some things the Lord taught Paul were to be shared so that the Holy Spirit could draw them into the Lord’s presence for salvation. However, there was much the Lord showed him that he was not allowed to share. Why would God do that? Paul needed to reconcile the teachings he had learned as a Pharisee and the teachings of Jesus. Paul was also called “to suffer much” for the Lord. But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” (Acts 9:15-16) Paul was such an effective teacher because he had a single vision...HEAVEN! He clearly understood that this earth was not his home! He met the Lord of lords and King of kings and nothing was going to stand in his way of following the Lord wherever He led him!
We also need to remember that after Paul’s conversion he did not go to Jerusalem to learn from the apostles. Paul’s preaching could only come from the Holy Spirit. “And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
The Apostle Paul wrote these words to the church in Thessalonica, “For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.” (1 Thessalonians 5:2) “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10) Listen to the words of our Lord while on earth, “Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap;” (Luke 21:34) “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.” (Matthew 24:42-44) “You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.” (Luke 12:40)
Remember Jesus’ words to the five virgins who were unprepared while waiting for His return? “And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ “But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:10-13 emphasis mine) "And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.” (Matthew 24:31)
This concept of “being taken up” (rapture) was not a new thought that was only recorded in the New Testament. Here are a few from the Old Testament. “Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! “ (Psalm 2:12) No one knows when but soon to the Lord may seem like forever to us, “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night.” (Psalms 90:4) “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.” (2 Peter 3:8) “Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. ‘They will be Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.’” (Malachi 3:16-17 emphasis mine) “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” (Daniel 12:1-3 emphasis mine)
I can’t help being reminded of these precious words from Psalm 1 which gives me clear understanding of how to stand uprightly in the Lord. “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:1-3)
“But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. `He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” (Revelation 3:4-5) Praise the Lord! While God does bring His wrath upon masses because of disobedience, when it comes to eternal life, He judges each of us separately according to our deeds. He has a few here who have not strayed from being intimate with Him and walking uprightly. They have not joined the rest of the congregation in walking in their own earthly power and wisdom. This should bring conviction on us if we have succumbed to following man instead of God. Need scriptural proof? “Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. ‘They will be Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.’” (Malachi 3:16-17 emphasis mine) “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15) "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” (John 17:16-17) “He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” (Revelation 3:5) “I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.” (Revelation 3:18) “And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.” (Revelation 6:11) “It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” (Revelation 19:8)
“...and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” The book of life will separate the believers from the non-believers when we stand before the Lord. “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15) “and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.” (Revelation 21:27)
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3:6) And, again, the Lord closes with the same warning to us. We are responsible for what we do with the Word of the Lord we have heard. What are you going to do with this Word? If we are looking to the false prophets today to give us a “word from the Lord” we will be unprepared for the Lord’s return. The only “Word” is the Scripture, from Genesis through Revelation. “I the Lord have spoken it; it shall come to pass and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I relent; according to your ways and according to your doings shall they judge and punish you, says the Lord God.” (Ezekiel 24:14) "Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, `My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure'; “ (Isaiah 46:9-10) “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
I leave you with one last word for this week, “Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55:6)
Abba Father, this indeed is a sobering Word today and one that pierces my heart as I know it pierces Yours! These believers were once alive and now they are dead! They have ceased to drink of Your living water! You gave the prophet Jeremiah warnings for Your people that are timeless warnings for each and every one of us that need to be heeded! “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:13) “O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You will be put to shame. Those who turn away on earth will be written down, Because they have forsaken the fountain of living water, even the LORD.” (Jeremiah 17:13) How much more so today as the pastors have embraced a deceptive message and apostasy is being taught in our churches and in our schools? Lord, You stated that the days would need to be cut short because even the elect would be deceived.! Prepare our hearts Lord as we face the spiritual battle each and every day. Teach us, Lord, to effectively use the sword of the spirit to touch others with Your love, to snatch them from the burning flames that the enemy has lead them into! May we remember each day to put on the helmet of salvation to protect our thoughts that we might not become filled with the hatred that is in the world. May we, instead, pray for those who persecute us and hate us because of Your name! We may not have tomorrow so I pray for ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to each of us today as we humbly submit of lives to the way of the Lord. Thank You that in my weakness Your strength upholds me and encompasses me in Your love! You are my everything! I love You, Lord with all of my heart. All this I pray in the blessed name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Amen.