A. We are body, soul, and spirit
1. Our body or flesh is about pleasure
2. Our soul (will, emotions, intellect) is about happiness (self-defined and influenced by the environment, circumstances, external influences
3. Our Spirit (if we have the Holy Spirit) is about joy
B. Nehemiah 8:10 The Joy of the Lord is our strength is about Joy that is of God
C. Source of God’s Joy
1. Eccl 2: 26: God gives wisdom and knowledge along with Joy
2. John 15: 9-11 and 17: 13: Jesus gives us his Joy to make our joy complete or full.
3. Gal 5: 22 fruit of spirit includes joy; Acts 13: 52 fill with Holy Spirit and Joy
D. ask Jesus for the joy (John 16: 24)
II. Use Joy in trials and tribulations
A. James 1: 2-3: count it all joy when testing of our faith for it will produce patience
B. Luke 6: 20-23: Understand that we are blessed when poor; hungry; weeping; reviled and hated because God promises are there
1. Understanding and believing God is in control in these trials
2. We can respond with rejoicing and leaping for joy
C. Acts 5: 41: apostles judged, thrown in jail, commanded not to teach Jesus, and beaten…yet they rejoiced because they were counted worthy to suffer shame for Jesus’ namesake.
D. Hab 3: 17-18: Even when circumstances are dire, use Joy
1. Decide to rejoice
2. Focus on God and the God of our salvation for joy
E. sorrow turned into joy (John 16: 20)
III. Exceeding Great Inexpressible Joy
A. 1 Peter 4: 12-13
1. firey trial: should not surprise us nor should we feel it uncalled for
2. partake in Christ’s sufferings is a reason to joy
3. His glory revealed as we complete suffering trial
4. glad with exceeding joy
B. 1 Peter 1: 6
1. when we stop to recall that God the Father and Lord Jesus Christ placed us with living hope (vs 3) and incorruptible inheritance (vs4) and kept by the power of God (vs5) we greatly rejoice (leap for joy)
2. greatly rejoice while in our various trials
C. 1 Peter 1: 8
1. even when we can’t see Jesus in our situation (though he promises to never leave nor forsake us), we believe
2. we rejoice with joy inexpressible
D. Psalms 68: 3 levels of joy
1. let the righteous be glad (realize their joy)
2. let the righteous rejoice before God (express their joy)
3. let the righteous rejoice exceedingly (uncontained overflowing joy that affects our soul and our body)
E. Psalms 16: 11 there is a fulness of joy – in God’s presence
IV. Strength of God’s Joy
A. we get it from the Father (along with wisdom and knowledge) and the Son (along with abiding in His love) and the Spirit (along with power)
B. we choose, as Habbakuk did, to joy
C. we anticipate our joy to grow from realization to expression to over the top
D. Power of the Holy Spirit with over the Joy (Romans 15: 13)
1. God of hope
2. Fill us with ALL (levels and from all sources) of JOY and peace
3. we believe we will abound in hope
4. we believe this will be with the power of the Holy Spirit
E. Amplified Bible:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises
F. Use joy as a tactical weapon in your spiritual battles and your trials
I. Revelations 12: 11
A. One of three weapons for us to overcome the enemy
1. Blood of the Lamb
2. Word of OUR TESTIMONY
3. Not loving OUR lives unto death
B. A testimony is the equivalent of evidence – to affirm, support, prove
1. a means for us to rise above influences of our past
2. also to rise above our fears
3. provide hope because of what we know God can do
4. remind us what God has done and is capable of doing
5. along with not loving our lives to the death, testimony put to death the past (2 Cor 5: 17)
6. remind us that we are coming out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9)
7. MOST IMPORTANT: to declare the Goodness of God
C. Testimony is not to promote us, what we did, who we are, our ministry.
D. Testimony need not be spectacular, need not be long, need not be historically detailed
E. 1 John 1: 1 in regards to our GOD – what we heard; what we saw; what we understood/comprehended; what we physically experienced
II. Testimony can be worship
A. Psalms 105
1. verse 1 …make known His deeds among the peoples
2. verse 2 …talk about His wondrous works
3. verse 5 …remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and judgement of His mouth
B. Psalms 66: 16
1. come hear (those who fear God) — this is to believers
2. I will declare what He as done for my soul
3. testimony to encourage fellow believers who fear our God
C. Psalms 40: 1-3, 5
1. verses 1-3 …is a testimony by David: David cried out to God, knowing God would hear, so David waited: God got David out of the pit and onto solid ground and ordered David’s steps; caused David to sing a new song, a declaration of what God has done lately, to praise God
2. verse 3 …David’s intent of giving this testimony is so many will see it and fear and trust in the Lord
3. verse 5 …God’s wonderful works and thoughst to us are too many to recount every one.
III.. Even Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon thought it would be good to declare the signs and wonders (including Nebuchadnezzar receiving much deserved chastening from God) the Most High God worked in Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 4: 2)
A. This entire chapter tells the prophetic dream of Nebuchadnezzar; its interpretation by Daniel of judgement on Nebuchadnezzar; and the fullfillment of this prophetic dream that resulted in Nebuchadnezzar recognizing the Most High God.
B. Nebuchadnezzar chose to give this testimony; one that did NOT promote him but humbled him to recognize and praise our God
IV. Woman at the well – John 4: 27 —
A. Woman’s encounter with Jesus moved her from religious and habitual behavior to realizing who Jesus is
B. She goes tell the men that Jesus knew what she was and did
C. She invites the men to come see this Jesus, could He be the Christ? (verse 29)
D. Many believed because of her testimony (verse 39)
V. Evidence for believers and unbelievers 1 John 1: 1-3
A. verse 1 …about the Word of Life (Jesus) what we heard, saw, comprehended/understood, and experienced in the flesh
B. verse 2 …declare the eternal life
C. verse 3 …we declare to you
1. to bring you in fellowship with us
2. our fellowship is with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ
3. in other words, the word of our testimony is to bring you into communion with our God with whom we are in communion
VI. Word of our testimony
A. for warfare to set us and others free
B. for warfare while weary
C. for warfare through worship
D. for warfare for evangelism
E. for warfare be in communion of our Father God
VII. Something Beautiful by Bill and Gloria Gaither
A.Something beautiful, something good…alll my confusion, He understood.
All I had to offer Him was brokeness and strife,
But He made something beautiful of my life.
B. If there ever were dreams
That were lofty and noble
They were my dreams at the start
And hope for life’s best were the hopes
That I harbor down deep in my heart
But my dreams turned to ashes
And my castles all crumbled, my fortune turned to loss
So I wrapped it all in the rags of life
And laid it at the cross.
I. Psalms 105: 1-5
A. These are imperative sentences
1. Commands, demands, directive
2. Unless identifed, the commands are directed at the reader/hearer – that be us
3. As we shall see, each of these are givings ways to worship and praise our GOD
B. Psalms = Praise
1. Lyrical and melodic
2. Expressions of emotions; actions of body
3. Hebrew ‘mizmor’ means with pluck of string is translated psalms
C. Beneficial commands
1. When you don’t feel like praising
2. When your environment is difficult
3. When alone and distracted
4. When emotioally or mentally distracted
5. When you want to focus on God and His presence
D. A way we can give our Father the glory for His wisdom, power, goodness, and faithfulness,
II. Dissecting the commands – since these are commands, perhaps we should look more closely at each with the intent to understand so that we can obey the command
A. OH – many ways to speak this word with feeling and emotion.
1. Speak it aloud as you would state it with the statement ‘Give thanks to the LORD’
2. Sometimes to worship, you merely need to remember how you stated the ‘Oh’
3 Give Him thanks for where you are at this moment
1. upon His Name
2. What Name for God comes to your mind at this moment.
3. Speak out that name, calling Him by that name, trying to understand what that name means to you right now
C. Make Known to others
1. Recall something God has done and tell someone.
2. What a neat way to praise someone when you tell others what that someone has done, especially for your benefit.
1. to Him….not for us…not the song we want to hear but one we want Him to hear
2. Sing psalms (praises)
1. to other, though this works well to talk to ourselves.
2. Implication here is that this is vocal, aloud, not merely think about it
3. Talk not about what you want or what is wrong, but talk about things He has done that makes you wonder…like how he turned back the shadow on sundial for Hezekiah or met a need you didn’t even realize you had.
F. Glory – exult, feel and show jubilation
1. Get your body involved with a leap, a skip, a whoop with arm raised
2. This is in response to you knowing His identity revealed in His name
3. Imagine the lame begger healed by Jesus as he leaped giving praise to God
G. Those of you who seek the LORD, Let your hearts rejoice
1. Often we don’t realize that we must let our hearts rejoice
2. Understand we don’t let our hearts rejoice because of fear, unforgiveness in our heart, jealousy, lust and many other wickedness of heart
3. If we are seekers of the LORD, we need to learn to Let our Hearts Rejoice
H. And speaking of seekers, we need to Seek
1. Picture a young child who suddenly desires a parent.
a. Child’s heart (emotion, desire) is for parent
b. Child’s mind is focused on single task, find parent
c. Child’s body is put into motion to move to find parent
d. Child uses eyes and hears to search for parent
e. Generally, Child will try to return to last place that the Child remembers being with parent
2. To seek, we need to
a. know whom it is we seek
b. desire and focus
c. put our flesh in motion
d. use our senses to aid us
e. recall last place we were aware of God (prayer, worship, Scripture, fellowship)
3. Seek the Lord and His strength (Eph 3: 16)
4. Seek His face
a. Here face represents both His presence and His attentiveness
b. Like a child that cups your face to be sure you are looking at her
c. Evermore, implies a continued action, rather than a one time event.
1. This is a deliberate choice – decide to remember and then do it
2. Three things to remember
a. His Marvelous Works which He has done – for you directly or indirectly; many things recorded in the bible are marvelous indeed. You can tie this back to making it know among people (verse 1)
b. His Wonders – try to remember the things about Him or His actions that make you wonder. Talk about them aloud (even if only to yourself) verse 2
c.Judgement of His mouth – while we often think of judgements as being against us, He has much more judgements in our favor. He counts our faith in Him unto righteousness; He gives rest to those who labor and come to Him; He gives peace and abundant life. Don’t you remember?
III. Doing these commands places our worship and praise on our Father, our LORD, our Savior, our Redeemer, our Healer, our Righteousness, our Peace, our Strength, our Hope and Comfort…
IV We do this because we are the offspring of Abraham, we are the manipulative sinner whose debts were paid by Jesus before we knew Him, we are the chosen (verse 5)
V. Having done all these steps, how now would you say OH?
I. Offense, in a biblical sense, is a stumbling block, an hinderance, interference, opposition, in the way.
A. Speaking in terms of believers getting in the way of God
B. Can be seen as an adversary or opposition to God’s will
C. Not talking about the heathen or unbeliever or enemy of God
II. Solomon became an offense
A. What do we think about when we think about King Solomon?
1. David’s son and choice for his throne;
2. God visited twice, and first time offered Solomon anything
3. Solomon asked and received wisdom from God
4. Author of a psalms; most of Proverbs; Ecclesiastes; Song of Solomon
5. Built first Temple
6. Blessed and anointed by God
B. In Deut 17, God instructs Israel on requirements for their kings
1. Not to multiply the number of horses nor go to Egypt for horses
2. Not to multiply number of wives
3. Keep and read daily the word of God
C. Solomon failed to keep all 3 (1 King 10: 28 – 11: 10)
D. 1 Kings 11: married foreign wives from people God told Israelites to avoid; loved those wives; they turned his heart from the Lord to foreign gods
E. Got in way of God keeping the nation Israel as a single country
F. Opposed God by building temples for foreign gods
G. Contributed to shortcomings of his son, Rehoboam as king.
III. Interesting that Solomon wrote several verses of wisdom that address the very problem of being an offense to God
A. God made man righteous (upright, virtuous) but man sought out schemes, devious paths (Eccl 7: 28)
B. There is a way that seems right to a man, but it leads to death (Prov 14: 12)
C. The way of a fool is right in the fool’s eyes (Prov 12: 15)
D. Out of the heart comes the issues of life (Prov 4: 23) and with diligence, keep your heart
IV. In Matt 16, we find Peter being an offense to God
A. We learn in verses 16-19, that Peter has a revelation from the Father, receives praise from Jesus, and is blessed by Jesus.
B. Yet, when Jesus reveals God’s plan for His suffering, death, and resurrection, Peter rebukes Jesus (verses 21-22)
C. Jesus ‘s response (verses 23-28)
1. Get behind me satan (one who opposes, obstructs, interferes)
2. Not mindful of God; mindful of the things of man
3. fail to deny self (verse 24)
4. desire is to save your life/lifestyle (verse 25)
V. Many times, the words ‘heart’ and ‘mind’ are used in scriptures to refer to the inner self, the emotions or the rationale of man, i.e. soul
A. Soul (or mind of carnal man) is emnity (hostile opposition) with God (Rom 8:6-7; James 4:4)
B. Cares of the world choke the Word of God in our hearts, preventing it from being fruitful (Matt 13: 22)
C. Out of heart comes what defiles us (Mark 7: 20-23)
D. Out of our hearts springs issues of life (Prov 4: 23)
E. Our soulish response to the blessings, anointings, revelations, intimacy of God often serves to oppose or be an offense to God.
VI. So we could be an offense to God, even when (or especially after) we have had a revelation or blessing or anointing from God, if we fail to be diligent keeping our heart/mind (soul)
A. Take heed to yourself, less your heart be weighed down …cares of this life (Luke 21: 34)
B. Prov 4: 23 keep your heart with all diligence
C. Renew your mind (Rom 12: 2)
D. Set your mind on things above (Col 3: 2)
1. Be anxious for nothing (Phil 4: 6)
2. through prayer, supplications, thanksgiving commune with God
3. focus on the true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, (Phil 4: 8)
4. meditate on that part that has virute, is praiseworthy
E. understand the will of God (Eph 5: 17)
I. Do we enjoy God?
Jonathan Edwards wrote: “The enjoyment of God is the only
happiness with which our soulds can be satisfied. To go to heaven,
fully to enjoy God is infinitely better than the most pleasant
accomodations here. Fathers and Mothers, husbands, wives, children,
or the company of earthly friends are but shadows; Gos is the
substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These
are but streams, but God is the ocean.”
II. What do we mean by enjoy?
A. Enjoy means to take pleasure in, find satisfaction with, feel or perceive pleasure with possession of . . . God
B. Enjoy origin in old French word meaning to rejoice, take delight. This word is in 2 parts: en = make and joir = joy. The idea is something or someone makes joy for us.
C. An incredible way to view God…that HE makes us joyful…thus we enjoy God.
III. So why do people not enjoy God?
A. They don’t know the Lord – Sons of Eli (1 Sam 2: 12) did not enjoy God
B. They don’t prepare their heart to seek God – Solomon’s son, Rehoboam (2 Chr 12: 14)
C. They worship the creation rather than creator (Rom 1: 20), exchanging truth for lies
D. They worship God as world worships their gods (Deut 12: 4, 31)
E. They are religious about where and how to worship – woman at the well (John 4: 20, 22)
F. Going through the motions, lost awe of God – (Matt 15: 7-8) and learning fear of God from commandments of man. God finds this disgusting; says that He hates it – (Amos 5: 21-27)
IV. How to enjoy God?
A. Worship Father in Spirit and in Truth (John 4: 23-24) knowing that the Father is looking for us
B. Joy from God
1. Fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22)
2. Jesus’ joy to make our joy complete (John 15: 11)
3. God gives Joy to those good in His sight (Eccl 2: 26)
C. God my exceeding Joy (Psalms 43: 4)
1. El Simchah Giyli [joyful joy]
2. God of our exceeding joy
D. Greek alliomenoi – exceeding joy – idea that something gives us so much joy that we cannot contain it, we have to express it, we overflow with joy. The idea of jumping in celebration
1. 1 Peter 1: 6 – greatly Rejoice
2. 1 Peter 1: 8 – Joy inexpressible
3. 1 Peter 4: 13 – glad with exceeding Joy
E. Rejoice or Delight or enjoy God: Phil 4: 4
F. When you realize who is God to you, knowing who God is, that God’s presence is with you – does it not give you Joy…enough that you have to express it? REJOICE; EXCEEDING GREAT JOY!
V. Enjoying God is a choice and should not be dictated by circumstance (Hab 3: 17-18)
Oh that you would look for occassion to simply enjoy God
We don’t know God as He wants us to know Him. He is more than what we knew about Him when we first had an encounter with Him. He is more than an encounter; more than an experience; more than an anointing; more than a ministry; more than what we know about Him today. We need to be about Getting to Know our God!
A. Getting is in the present tense, a process of acquiring or achieve that is not completed
B. God wants to reveal Himself to us, becoming more intimate the more we seek Him
C. Job realized this after claiming what he knew about God in his ordeal (Job 42: 5), and Paul, zealous for God and educated about God learned that he did not know God when knocked off his horse (Acts 9: 5)
D. In ministering, do we use testimony of others to demonstrate a character of God or one of our own? In some instances He becomes the Lord, some else’s God, and not our God. Saul, in his prideful disobedience was chasten by God through Samuel. Suddenly, to Saul, God became Samuel’s God rather than Saul’s. (1 Sam 15: 30)
E. Moses spoke to God in burning bush; experienced the power of God; was a vessel of God for deliverance of His people; spoke to God face to face; and yet wanted more of God (Exod 33:18).
F. Should we be any less in our desire to know God
G. Many times God reveals a new identity to us in our times of trials; could we be missing this opportunity.
A. God reveals more about Himself to us when He sees we need it
B. Exod 6: 2-3: God was El Shaddai (Almighty God) to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob but YHWH to Moses
C. Acts 9: 4-5: Jesus reveals Himself to Saul as Saul was kicking against will of God
D. Throughout the Bible we can find situations where God’s identity is revealed to man. In our testimonies, does it include times when God was our Jehovah Shalom or Jehovah Rapha or Jehovah Tsedkenu or El Saddai or Elohim?
GOD will do it.
As an illustration, let us peruse Genesis. Keep in mind that Genesis is a narrative book, with a narrator talking to us, sometimes quoting people and God, and other times relating to us the situations. Moses, to whom God revealed Himself as I AM that I AM and YHWH, is the author, ie narrator, of the first 5 books of our Old Testament. Translators have tried to communicate the God’s name (YHWH or Jehovah), written in capital letters (LORD or GOD) to distinguish this from titles or identity (Adonai – Lord) or (Elohyim – God)
A. Genesis 1: God is Elohyim (which is plural of Elah or El) supporting God as FAther, Son, and Spirit. Here Elohyim is the Always existing God of creation.
B. Genesis 2: As God works to establish man and a relationship with man, He is YHWH God or Jehovah Elohyim
C. Genesis 3: Our LORD God, Jehovah Elohyim, is referred to as only Elohyim by the serpent.
D. Genesis 4: Eve attribute her first child, Cain, as from YHWH; yet, when Seth is born, she calls HIM, only Elohyim. At the end of the chapter, though, man seeks YHWH.
E. Genesis 5 & 6: Enoch and Noah walk with Elohyim
F. Genesis 7: 16: Noah obeyed Elohyim but it was YHWH that closed them up in the ark
G. Genesis 14: 18: Melchezidek exposes God as El Elyon – God most high; the supremecy of our God
H. Genesis 15: 2, 8: Adonai, a title of respect or honor (not unlike our reference to a judge as ‘your honor’) that is used for both man (Sarah used it for Abraham Gen 18: 12) and for God. When used for God, most often in combination with YHWH (Lord GOD – Adonai Jehovah).
I. Genesis 16: 13: Hagar, pregnant with Ishmael, flees the harsh treatment of Sarai. No evidence that she sought or even knew the God of her Master, Abraham. Yet, God comes and speaks to her about her situation. He is El Roi (the God who sees – in our situation or trial when we don’t even seek Him)
J. Genesis 17: 1: God introduces Himself as El Shaddai (see II.B. above) or God Almighty. It is worth noting the Shaddai is of feminine gender referring to the many breasted God, as in the ultimate nurturer who sees and understands need and is also capable of meeting those needs in a timely fashion
K. Genesis 18: 25: Abraham is negotiating for sparing of Lot’s life as God is in route to destroy Sodom and Gomorrha. He recognizes that God has the ultimate decision and refers to God as the Judge (Shaphat
L. Genesis 21: 33: Abraham and Abimelek make peace at Beersheba and Abrahm calls God El Olam (Everlasting God)
M. Genesis 22: 14: God provides the sacrifice to take Isaac’s place on the altar. God is Jehovah Jireh (YHWH provideth)
N. Genesis 31: 13: God informs Jacob that He is the God of the house of God (Bethel) that Jacob named for the presence of the Lord was there.
O. Genesis 49: 24: Jacob is blessing all his children; he comes to Joseph and explains that Joseph will be strong, but the strength will be from the Mighty One (Abir); who is also the shepherd (Ra ah) and the stone or rock (Eben).
A. in your life and in mine
B. through your testimony and through mine
C. In our current situation
D. Andre Crouch wrote song ‘Through it All,’ where through it all, I’ve learned to trust in God, to depend upon the Lord. The third verse is relevant for us today.
I thank God for the mountains; I thank Him for the valleys;
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I never had a problem, I’d never know my God could solve them,
I’d never know what faith in God can do.
E. Do not miss what God is revealing about Himself to you today…keep Getting to Know our God
I. Sometimes we have lost the awe and appreciation of Jesus’ sufferings because we have seen the movies; participated in the pageants and plays; heard the sermons; taught the lessons; and read the scriptures. Further, it is easy, after a long walk with God and involvement in ministry, to seek the new and ignore or forget the basics.
A. Jesus faced Travail in the spirit; Torment in the soul; and Trauma to the flesh
B. Less we let another holy week pass with indifference, I thought it would be good to spend a few moments revisiting Jesus Christ’s Suffering
1. To perhaps renew our appreciation
2. To perhaps cause us to delve into a passage
3. To refresh our memory of the scriptures apart from movies and plays.
II. Let us begin with Isaiah 52: 14; 53: 2-9
A. Visage & form marred more than any man
B. Despised and rejected by man and we did not esteem Him
C. We reckoned Him stricken and afflicted, as if He deserved it
D. Yet, HE has borne our griefs; carried our sorrows; was smitten by God; wounded for our transgressions; crushed for our iniquities; chastised for our peace; LORD laid our iniquity upon HIM; was imprisoned and judged to be cut off from the living.
E. These He did without opening His mouth; like a lamb led to slaughter
Revelation 2 (NKJV)
The Loveless Church
1 “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.” ’
The Persecuted Church
8 “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write,
‘These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:
9 “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich);
and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not,
but are a synagogue of Satan.
10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer.
Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested,
and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death,
and I will give you the crown of life.
11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” ’
The Compromising Church
12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write,
‘These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:
13 “I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is.
And you hold fast to My name, and
did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr,
who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there
those who hold the doctrine of Balaam,
who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel,
to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.
15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat.
And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written
which no one knows except him who receives it.” ’
The Corrupt Church
18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,
‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire,
and His feet like fine brass:
19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience;
and as for your works, the last are more than the first.
]20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you,
because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess,
to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality
and eat things sacrificed to idols.
21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her
into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know
that I am He who searches the minds and hearts.
And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
25 But hold fast what you have till I come.
26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—
as I also have received from My Father;
28 and I will give him the morning star.
29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
Revelation 3 (NJKV)
The Dead Church
1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write,
‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars:
“I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.
2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die,
for I have not found your works perfect before God.
3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent.
Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief,
and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.
4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments;
and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.
5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments,
and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life;
but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
The Faithful Church
7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,
‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who
opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:
8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it;
for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.
9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not,
but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet,
and to know that I have loved you.
10 Because you have kept My command to persevere,
I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world,
to test those who dwell on the earth.
11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God,
and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God
and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven
from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
The Lukewarm Church
14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness,
the Beginning of the creation of God:
15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.
16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,
I will vomit you out of My mouth.
17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—
and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich;
and white garments, that you may be clothed,
that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed;
and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door,
I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne,
as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ ”
4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come,
and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,
12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me.
And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
13 and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man,
clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.
16 He had in His right hand seven stars,
out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword,
and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.