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You learned from the last story that Churches are lampstands that hold up the Light of the Glory of God. And you learned that Jesus, the Son of Man, walks among the lampstands. That means He lives and moves among those who have fallen on their face like John and have seen with Heaven-Eyes the Anointed One of God.
Remember how Jesus told Peter that the Church would be built on the solid rock foundation of Seeing the Anointed One of God through the Father’s eyes, rather than through our own imaginations or self-serving ideas.
There’s no real and lasting relationship with God and others in His Family if it isn’t built upon this Rock of Revelation of Jesus. We have to have a real connection with Heaven — or it’s not real Christianity, right?
Okay. I reminded you of all of that so that as you hear these Messages to the Churches, you’ll notice that this “walking among the lampstands” means that God is HELPING them in their daily Life together.
He starts out each message with a reminder of WHO exactly is talking to them. Do your parents ever do that? Like, “This is your Dad talking, the one who took you to the baseball game.” Or, “This is your Mom, the one who makes your dinner.”
He also encourages them in the things they’re doing right. Like, “Good job, buddy. Keep it up.” And He scolds them and wants them to shape up and change when they’re doing wrong. Like, “You better cut it out, little lady, or you’ll be in trouble.”
And He tells each of them what their rewards will be if they do shape up, and what their discipline will be if they don’t.
So I want you to listen closely for those things when He’s talking to them.
He said to John,
“Write this to the messenger of the Church in Ephesus:
These are the words of Him who holds the seven stars in His hand and walks among the lampstands.
I know the things you’ve done, your hard work and your determination to keep at it. I know that you cannot stand wicked people, that you’ve tested those who pretend to be leaders, and have found them NOT. You have not slowed down or quit even though you have endured hard stuff for Me. You have not grown tired.
But there is something that is not right… Remember how much you loved Me at first? You’ve lost that love. Repent/turn around and do the things you did at first. If you don’t, I will come and take away your lampstand.
But one thing you’ve got right: you hate the practice of the Nicolaitans, those who boss over the people and live indulgently. I hate that too.
Now Listen Up: To the one who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the Tree of Life, which is in the paradise of God.
“Write this to the messenger of the Church in Smyrna:
These are the words of Him who is the First and the Last, the A and the Z, who died and came to life again.
I know your owies and how poor you are — yet you are really rich! I know about those who say they are God’s children, but haven’t cut themselves off from their flesh at all. I know how they slander and badmouth you. They are pretenders. It’s satan’s religious club they really belong to.
Don’t be afraid of what you’re about to suffer. It’s true that satan will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will hurt for a little bit. But be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you Life, Life, Life as your victor’s crown.
Now Listen Up: The one who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death (that’s the forever death).
“Write this to the messenger of the Church in Pergamum:
These are the words of Him who has the sharp, two-sided sword.
I know you live in the world, where satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to My name. You did not turn your back on Me.
But you do something that is not okay with Me. There are some among you who are like Balaam. Remember him? Letting God’s People be led into sin and compromise so that he could have money for himself…
You also have people around who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans — those indulgent, controlling, blind guides. Repent! Turn around. Otherwise, I will soon come to you and fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
Now Listen Up: To the one who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, a name that only they will know.
“Write this to the messenger of the Church in Thyatira:
These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like glowing metal.
I know all you do, your love and faith, your serving and your never giving up, and that you are now doing more than you did in the beginning. Good job.
But you do something that is not okay with Me. You put up with that woman who calls herself a prophet, but who acts like Jezebel! And you know that is NOT pretty to Me. She misleads My servants into terrible sin. I’ve given her time to repent and change, but she won’t. So I will punish her and all who sin with her unless they change. Then all the Churches will know that I am the one who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to what you do.
And I say to the rest of you there, those who don’t follow that Jezebel’s teaching and nonsense: ‘Hold on to what you have until I get there.’
Now Listen Up: To the one who overcomes and does what I want to the very end, I will give authority over the nations just as I have received authority from My Father. And I will also give that one the morning star.
“Write this to the messenger of the Church in Sardis:
These are the words of Him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.
I know what you do; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what you still have before it dies! I have found you leaving things unfinished. Remember what you have been given and what you’ve heard; hold on to it with all your heart, and repent.
Yet there are a few of you who have not stained your clothes with sin. They‘ll walk with Me, dressed in white, for they are worthy.
Now Listen Up: The one who overcomes will get white clothes. I will never erase their name from the Book of Life, but will say ‘I know them’ to My Father and to His angels.
“Write this to the messenger of the Church in Philly:
These are the words of Him who is Holy and True, who holds the key of David. What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open.
I know your deeds, and I have put in front of you an open door that no one can shut. I know you have little strength, but you have carefully obeyed Me and are not afraid to stand up and say you believe Me. Thank you.
I will make those who are part of satan’s religious club, those who claim to be God’s children even though they aren’t anything but lying pretenders — I will make them fall down at your feet and admit that I have loved you.
Since you have kept My command to be patient, I will protect you from some tough times that are about to happen. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.
Now Listen Up: The one who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of My God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them God’s name, God’s City name (the new Jerusalem), and My new name.
“Write this to the messenger of the Church in Laodicea:
These are the words of the Amen (the YES, the one who makes it all so), the faithful and true Seer-and-Sayer, the Ruler of God’s creation.
I know your actions, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! Because since you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to vomit you out of My mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have so much good stuff and don’t need a thing.’ But you don’t realize that you are actually miserable, wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. You’re a mess!
Buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so that you can become rich; and buy white clothes to wear, so that you can cover your shameful nakedness; and buy cream to put on your eyes, so that you can see.
Those I love… I correct and discipline. So be serious about this and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with Me.
Now Listen Up: To the one who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne.
“If you have ears, listen oh so carefully to what My Spirit is saying to the Churches.”
Does that make you want to be someone who overcomes? Who perseveres and doesn’t quit no matter what? Me too.