Traditionally this month is the season where many believers set-up their Churches with decorations that celebrate Christmas—the Birth of Jesus Christ. Some Churches begin to practice role playing to articulate the Nativity Scene to all who will be invited to attend. Flyers are made, Web-based communications go out with invites, and the whole Church is thrilled to be a part of such an historical event; A lot of planning and energy goes into this event more than other events that is celebrated through- out the year. Nevertheless, as important as Christmas (The Birth of Jesus Christ is) we must not lose sight of the times in which we live. Tradition will never over-ride the spiritual realities that we must face as we approach the End-Times.
As warm and happy the season of Christmas may bring to us who are celebrating with very little hassle or pain in the comfort of a happy home. We are aware that others are not so fortunate to experience a traditional white Christmas with all the trimmings and gifts. Outreaches, gifts and support that are aimed at helping those in need are wonderful and we thank God for allowing us to help those who look for our genuine love and support.
Hi Faith-writers, I’m grateful for another opportunity to share the Word of God with you. This message is designed to challenge the 7 Pastors as Jesus spoke to the Leaders in the Book of Revelation chapters 2 and 3. The aim is to reconsider the areas in question that Jesus made mention to those Leaders way-back-when, and then dig out what applies to us today. In my last article, the Spirit of God lead me to write about “The Lifestyles of the 7 Churches”, as I was writing the Lord granted me revelation toward the next article which HE desires for me to write primarily about the Leaders (Pastors) and what should they do in regards to the spiritual insight Jesus wanted them to have.
How is Jesus revealing HIMSELF to them?
The first thing that was brought to my attention which I never heard preached is the Revelatory Factor. The Revelatory Factor is the way Jesus presented HIMSELF to each Church before HE went on to reveal the good works they did and the issues they needed to fix to be in right standings with God. For example;
1. To the Loveless Church—the Church of Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7 NKJV)
Jesus said, 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 golden lamp-stands: (verse 1)
As we take a closer look at this one verse we see so many things;
A) Each Pastor is described by Jesus as an angel (that’s warming to hear what He thinks about His appointed under-shepherds).
B) He holds the 7 stars (Pastors) in His right hand.
C) He walks in the midst of the golden lamp-stands (He walks among the Pastors and Church congregation). A Lamp-stand could be the Pastor or the Church group as a whole shining the light of the Glory of God to a dark world (See Matthew 5:14-16 NKJV).
D) Jesus is revealing HIMSELF to this particular Pastor a Dimension of who He is at the very moment in their time that has a clear and practical application to what He is doing today around the world as He walks in the midst of all the Churches around the world who are truly worshipping HIM.
Teachers Note: Jesus revealed HIMSELF to each Church in a different manner. The Truth we must draw from this teaching is what HE’S currently revealing HIMSELF to us as Pastors and Leaders today. Yes, we have study Bibles and we read or studied the names, titles and character of Jesus. The lamb of God, the Lily in the Valley, the Rose of Sharon, the Great I AM, and the Bread of Life just to name a few…However, when we re-read Revelation chapters 2 and 3, we must pay close attention to how Jesus revealed HIMSELF to each Church. Why is that Manuel?
Because despite what the congregation was doing whether it was good or bad, Jesus wants to give the Pastors the benefit of the doubt that despite how the Church is operating He is there and aware of it and is willing to join the Pastor to assist him to overcome. Jesus sees the good in us in the future that we cannot see ourselves. The Pastor is not alone, Jesus is walking in the midst of the 7 Churches and HE has the 7 stars (Pastors) in HIS right hand. Man that is AWESOME revelation here brother. Jesus knows the challenges Pastors face day-in and day-out. Jesus is not about crushing you further HE’S about building HIS Kingdom on earth and preparing it to meet HIM in the air.
Jesus mentioned 5 things that the Church of Ephesus practiced that HE appreciates; (1) They work hard; (2) they have patience; (3) they resist sin; (4) they carefully examine ministers to see if they are genuinely anointed by God; and (5) they endure hardships without becoming weary. These are some great Christian qualities that all believers should develop over-time in their Christian walk. However, the issue they struggled with now is the lack of Love they once had.
Love should always be the key element to doing all the right things in the Kingdom of God on earth, because in the struggle to teach sound doctrine and have moral and doctrinal purity we may lose that loving spirit to Love someone into the Kingdom and to restore backslidden believers. We may push people out of church if we fail to Love them with the patience that needed to restore them back again to true worship. Jesus is tell this Church and all Churches today that we must do all of the above to be in right standings with Him.
2. The Persecuted Church—the Church of Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11 NKJV)
Jesus revealed Himself to this Church differently than the Church of Ephesus. Jesus said, these things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: (Revelation 2:8 NKJV)
Jesus had to reassure these believers that despite the persecution and martyrdom that they will be experiencing because of their faith in Him. They should not fear those things they are about to suffer. Jesus said be faithful until death and He will give them a crown of life (Rev. 2:10 NKJV)
The practical application here is that we need to live in a way that will glorify God until death.
The Teachers Note: Again we read about a different set of circumstances that this Church is experiencing so based on their situation Jesus ministers to them in a different manner. This is when Wisdom is to be applied as a Pastor of this kind of Church. Any Pastor that’s appointed to this kind of Church should teach about the topics of Faith and Resurrection Power that’s available in the Kingdom of God. Jesus introduced Himself as the First and the Last, who was dead and came to Life. This encouraging message is the main theme of their experiences. So they need to hear that kind of message over and over. In the Gospels Jesus had told His disciples 3 times that He must be arrested tortured and killed then He will rise again the third day. Jesus conditioned Himself to accept the plan of God for His life to go through the crucifixion and death, so that He can experience the Promised Resurrection. There are Pastors who are in third world countries who must preach and teach similar messages of hope in the Resurrection.
3. The Compromising Church—the Church of Pergamos (Revelation 2:12-17 NKJV)
Jesus told this Church, these things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword: (Rev.2:12 NKJV). Jesus made clear to this Pastor that there’s false teachings being shared at the Church and the Pastor is to do something about it. Or else Jesus will come with a sword of His mouth and fight against those in the Church who insist on teaching that false doctrine.
It’s not clear how Jesus would do this—He may show up Himself and strongly deal with them or send some kind of judgment to straighten them out.
However, the only way we can avoid false doctrine is to study ourselves diligently (See 2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV). Don’t think that your Bible College gave you all the info you need to be an effective Pastor, we still must continue to study for a life-time to get the full scope of any topic that must be carefully taught and preached.
The beauty of the challenge is that we are not alone we have the Holy Spirit who will teach us all things. The reason I’m being used so much to teach online is because the Holy Spirit tells me what to teach. Yes, I study but with Him (Jesus) and the Teacher the Holy Spirit brings Scripture alive to me. Even when I use concordances and dictionaries the Holy Spirit will tell me not to use that but to use a certain verse that clearly presents the point and makes it’s easier to understand. And many more things HE will teach us to share with the Church.
The Point of this Teaching
The entire scope of this teaching is to realize how Jesus desires to be intimately involved in every aspect of the Church and the functions that take place. So whether it’s sound doctrine, right living or being aware of the errors that the Church is currently committing. We must be mindful that the chief is Jesus not your organization or denomination. Being bold you (Pastor) need to hear from Jesus yourself to pin-point what is wrong with your Church and what needs to be corrected. So begin to consider how Jesus dealt with these 7 Churches because there is a guarantee that the Church congregation is practicing some good things and some bad things it’s your job to fix it with Jesus’ instructions of how too! Trust me it will be easier to do it Jesus’ way than to continue suffering being a fruitless Pastor. We will speak about the other 4 Churches in the next article God willing, in Jesus’ name, Amen.