Can We Hear?

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 2:29 NKJV)

This admonition is repeated seven times in this Revelation to John by Holy Spirit–and if we believe that seven is the symbolic representation of completion, it is a finished work–the Revelation–and we must hear in order to get ready for His return.

Why do we need to hear? Because in the revealed work–we are reminded of the seven types of churches–their character traits, their strengths and their weaknesses. Regardless of what denomination we proclaim to have an affiliation with, we all fit into one of these types that persist. God knows from the beginning to the end, what we will do and when we will hear and change, which is why is mercy and compassion is so important to us–He gives us room to repent and turn to Him, time after time, but there will come a day, when we will no longer have time to change, so we must make that change–now!

Throughout this book, we are reminded of all these things that the prophets (and all who God used) have said and as Solomon reminds us Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the sun.God has used people, those chosen by Him to remind mankind throughout our history to choose to do right–His right–and forsake all those things that do not honor Him.

Some of us–as in times past–have selective hearing. We have read The Word, we have heard The Word, and many know when Holy Spirit speaks, but yet we do not hear and obey. When we selectively choose which parts of the message we will hear, we put ourselves into position to miss God and eventually, we will enticed to believe that other spirit, rather than Holy Spirit because that other spirit–manipulates and deceives and tries to make things “sound” like God when they are not.

Engage in conversation with The Lord today and hear what Holy Spirit has to say about everything around us and when you hear–obey for “obedience is better than sacrifice.”

Going to church–a good thing when The Word is being taught–does not mean a person has a relationship with God. Memorizing scripture–though a good thing–does not mean we have a relationship with God. We need to know what He said, believe that He is and will be, and obey His commands to love. When we do this, we establish a right relationship with Him and then we can praise Him no matter what happens in our lives because we know–in the end, we win!

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Way of Faith Revealed!

“But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ. Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed.” (Galatians 3:22,23 NLT)

If we never read what the Scriptures say, we will never know what they declare. “For all have sinned and fallen short…” and this is why we need to receive the work on the cross, through Jesus Christ, by faith–the way of redemption!

There are some who believe it is our works that matter more than our faith. They did not read what the Scriptures declared: “Faith, without works, is dead.” It is because of our faith in Jesus Christ that we are able to do good works--seeking His direction so He gets the glory and not us.

I have often had people say, through the auspices of social media, that they did not believe in God and they thought helping people was simply a way of life. They thought my profession of faith was a waste of time. What they did not know was that I have worked tirelessly, helping others, even when I was in need for myself and my children. It didn’t matter. My love for Jesus and knowing that I had to share the love He gives me, was important enough for me to do for others, before considering myself. And because He loves and honors the works of my hands, my needs have always been met through one avenue or another. God always puts us on someone’s heart, who is willing to hear Him, to meet a need.

However, if we have not faith in the work on the cross, we negate God’s love for us, and we miss hearing what He has to say so we can be a benefit to others (not seeking our own glory or patting ourselves on the back). It is because of His love for me that He was raised on that cross and suffered the indignities of those who had no faith, that I can stay in faith–in Him–always knowing that nothing I ever need, will be withheld from Him. Glory Hallelujah! That’s faith, revealed!

Whatever the scriptures declare, I can declare with confidence because my faith in Him, is immoveable, nothing wavering, even when I cannot see what He is doing, I know He is working things out for my good!

The Promise of Authority!

“To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end, To them I will give authority over all the nations.” (Revelation 2:26 NLT)

While in the spirit, John received the messages from Jesus to share with the churches–specifically named then–but to include all that exist, now!

With this particular segment, many have erroneously concluded and proclaimed that “Jezebel was a harlot” and in doing so, made every female who wore make-up or attempted to “look better” feel inferior when attending church. What must be understood is that “Jezebel” is a spirit of manipulation and deception. This spirit then can and does inhabit both male and female and it has nothing to do with what person does to “look better” but everything to do with their seductive, manipulative  attitudes.

Why then does Jesus call this spirit–she? This is a reminder of who she was and what she did as recorded in the Old Testament. She manipulated her husband, sought to kill Elijah (I Kings) who killed the false prophets that she had established to deceive the people and was later killed because she would not repent, and scorned God. The dogs licked her blood against the wall in Jezreel.

Are there not still false prophets–people who are intentionally deceiving the nations and manipulating God’s Truth, encouraging others to live in opposition to God’s Word? Yes, there are and God’s response is that He will cut them off so that not one–not even the descendants of such behavior–shall live.

All who have an ear to hear what the Spirit of The Lord says, hear and obey! Repent and turn from wickedness!

But for those who remain faithful to God, victorious in obedience, to them will He give authority over nations! Hallelujah! This is the promise of authority that we can look forward to receiving when we “stay in The Word” and faithful in our obedience to Him, not man! What a mighty God we serve!

Are We Listening?

Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7 NLT)

To whom is John referring? Certainly he is not referring to those who have “physical ears” because just about everyone has physical ears, but he said, “anyone” with ears. The anyone he references is those who have “spiritual ears” so they can hear what the Spirit of God is saying. If one does not have access to Holy Spirit living within, they will not have spiritual discernment to understand those things that occur in the spirit realm.

For those who do have Holy Spirit living within, the message then, is for them. They must listen and understand what He is saying to the churches (every body of Believers).

For those who disparage God’s Word–they do so out a lack of knowledge. They are ignorant to how God operates and so naturally, they tend to denigrate anyone who claims to know and understand His Word. Ignorance–of anything–will always lead to doubt and scorn. Until these people are ready to acknowledge God, His Word is not meant for them, but for those who already profess knowledge of His Word and relationship with Him. This is why, He tells John that the church at Ephesus needs to repent and “turn back to Him” because they no longer love Him or one another. Are we yet, the Ephesus Church–no longer loving God and one another?

This turning back to God is a theme repeated throughout Old Testament scriptures and is still relevant today. The Word going forth from many is that it is time for us to “return to God and His ways” for surely His ways are better than ours. Whenever we “attempt to live” without Godly direction, we miss the mark and chaos ensues.

We have missed the mark and chaos is reigning throughout the land--in America, and across every body of water–unrest resides in the hearts of people and destruction becomes inevitable.

Are we listening to Holy Spirit? Is His message getting through to us? Are we ready to repent and turn back to God so we can be victorious in all things?

If we, as Believers, refuse to listen to Holy Spirit, how can we expect the unbelieving to hear us? Is our message the same as God’s message or are we creating our own to draw people to us, instead of Him?

Believers must hear Holy Spirit and do what He says if we ever expect to see peace and love in the land. We must do things God’s Way and be quick to tell those who do not understand God that we “agree with God” and lead by example–all to come to know Jesus!

Are we listening?

Straight From The Throne!

“Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”

What happened during this conversation with Jesus? The disciples finally got it–they understood that Jesus came–straight from the throne of God!

Have we figured it out, yet? Do we “know” or are we still debating amongst ourselves who Jesus is?

If we are still debating who Jesus is, perhaps we need to take another stroll through John’s perspective of who Jesus is. I would encourage everyone to re-read the entire Gospel, but if you’re short of time–seek The Lord and at least read this chapter–the entire chapter.

I believe that one of the reasons people have a problem understanding the three distinctive roles of God is because they failed to see Jesus in this Gospel. In this Gospel, we become personally acquainted with Him; He speaks to our hearts and shatters the blinders that keeps us from seeing fully, who He is. In order for us to truly see Him, we must open our hearts and spiritual understanding and He will reveal Himself to all who are willing to receive.

Are you willing to receive Truth–straight from the Throne?

The Word of God contains all we will ever need to know and if we need to seek understanding of The Word, we should seek Him and His wisdom and He will give us all we need to understand Him and how He wants us to live. Relationship2

Father, in the name of Jesus, we ask You to help us today. Help us to open our hearts to You so we will hear You when You speak and know that it is You speaking to us. Help us to see through the bitterness that prevails over the hearts of many who have been hurt by religion and religious people. Open our spiritual eyes–no longer blinded to Truth–and cut away all the doubt in our hearts so we can fully receive the indwelling of Holy Spirit as our guide, counselor, and comforter for the rest of our days. Create in us the boldness needed to direct those who doubt–straight to You, and encourage them to learn at The Throne of Grace and Mercy. Help us to understand there is no need for us to ask questions of anyone other than You because You have all the answers. All this we ask and thank You for giving in His Name, the name that is above all names, Jesus! Amen!

When He Returns!

“Let the one who is doing harm continue to do harm; let the one who is vile continue to be vile; let the one who is righteous continue to live righteously; let the one who is holy continue to be holy.” “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.” (Revelation 22:11,12 NLT)

Although many people are fearful of the message found in John’s message about what was revealed to him, we all need to take note and heed what he says.

In verse 10, the angel speaking to John and giving him instruction warned him not to “seal the prophetic words written in this book for the time is near when Jesus will return.” Now, looking at what is said–“let them continue…” we see the warning that for those who are doing wrong–they will get their just reward and for those who are doing what is right–they will also get their just reward.  But we must understand, that God does not think people cannot change, but if we continue doing wrong until the time He returns after hearing the Truth, we have no hope for heaven.

I certainly do not consider myself to be a doomsday preacher, but I caution everyone who reads and knows the truth–to pay attention to the signs of the time. There is so much hatred in the land that defies the love of God that it is hard to imagine He will not do something drastic soon. We cannot claim to love God and hate people! We can claim to abhor wrong-doing and share the Good News with others in order to see them have an opportunity to get living right for God before He returns, if they refuse to listen–their blood is on their hands, not ours. But if we don’t warn them, then their blood is on our hands.

I refuse to be caught not having done what I was instructed to do when He returns. So whether people want to hear or not–I preach the Gospel. Whether they want to read it or not–I’ll continue to write commentaries on The Word with the goal of seeing all people loving God and reserving their place in heaven. When He returns–I will have no fear of what my reward will be, but a longing to receive it–my just reward for my deeds. This is not to say that I’m perfect, but I try always to live according to those things He has spoken to my heart and are aligned with His Word.

When He returns–what will your reward be?

Love Corrects and Disciplines!

“I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.” (Revelation 3:19 NLT).

In John’s vision and conversation with Jesus, we see just how much we are loved–because when we are loved–correction and discipline are part of the process. And at the of this letter, we are reminded that those “who have ears to hear, must hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.”

One of the reasons that most people get “twisted and bent out of shape” when they hear people talk about the bible or see what someone says about it is because they do not understand–The Word is written for the benefit of believers–not the unbelieving because they won’t believe it anyway!

If a person has no relationship with God, proclaims not to believe in God, then why would they think God’s Word has anything to do with them? It doesn’t, until they reach a point of “belief and relationship.”

With that understanding, The Word is written to believers for believers–let’s look at the warnings directed at the sinner. A person cannot be a sinner unless they have first believed God and turned away. If they have never believed God, they are simply –the “ungodly” and although God addresses the fate of the ungodly, they are not the sinners He references.

There are two things I wish to clarify today and I anticipate disagreement so I welcome comments–as always. Those two things are mistakes and sin and the difference. I know some people in leadership positions in churches teach that mistakes are sin, but there is no biblical basis for this type of teaching.

First of all, a mistake is something that is done–unintentionally–it is not planned and neither is the outcome anticipated. On top of that–the words mistake and mistakes are not included in the Kings James Version, but some will argue differently.  A misspelled word, or spilled salt, lost items–those are mistakes–not acts committed intentionally.

Sin, on the other hand, is an intentional act, deliberately thought with an anticipated outcome. There are far too many “sins” for me to elaborate on them on all in this commentary, but suffice it to say that, no one ever “unintentionally” took off their clothes, and entered into sexual activity outside of marriage. Plans to sin–whether is is illicit sex, or a criminal act–are a deliberate act--intentionally implemented.

When I omit words in my commentaries, I have made a mistake.  It was not intentional, but impaired vision is sometimes a problem; especially for those who are aging.

When a person drives a vehicle–impaired–by drugs or alcohol–and someone is killed–that is an intentional act and the outcome can be anticipated. That is not a mistake unless the person is devoid of understanding of how alcohol and drugs impair perception and ability to think clearly. A vehicle–in the hands of an impaired driver– is a lethal weapon and the impaired driver is the trigger used to commit the crime.

Who we love–we correct and chastise–hopefully before their actions warrant a more severe outcome–like a felony conviction or worse–their own demise.

“Those who have an ear to hear and eyes to see and a heart to understand” hear and think before doing anything that would cause the deaths of others. “Doing all things in the name of love” so we might have peaceable lives and no regrets!”

 

 

Read, Expect, Pray!

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” (James 1:19 NLT).

Cancelled Funeral

For the next three days, I have scheduled a commentary on a recent event in which a pastor has been “demonized” because of a decision to cancel a funeral in Florida. The deceased–it was discovered–was a gay man, married to another man–which is opposition to the church’s beliefs and policies and that information was withheld from the pastor when they originally agreed to allow the funeral to be held in the church. Don’t judge a matter so quickly that you forget to get all the information! An opinion–without facts to support or document–is just that, an opinion and we all have one. However, in order to not promote ignorance of the role of the church and its leadership, I encourage everyone who usually reads my blog posts to read them in their entirety, expect to have feelings ignited, but pray before you determine anything about me or what I’ve said.  Meditate on The Word, Seek God, and know Truth from Him–not me.

If you feel as though I’m ranting, you’re probably right–but ranting with the intent to inform and negate all the negativity about pastors who actually attempt to do the right thing according to The Word of God, not political correctness or the influence of those who choose to live ungodly lives.

Just as I am encouraging pastors to stand firm in their belief in The Word and to live according to it, I am standing firm in the belief in The Word and in how God wants me to live. If anyone wants to live contrary to The Word–that’s their business and they will have to deal with the consequences–as will I. However, I will not compromise my beliefs simply to make others “feel” better about themselves. I am not a doormat and I will not act like one when it comes to standing on The Word.

Here’s a newsflash–God is not interested in our “feelings;” He’s interested in whether or not we’re living according to His Word and no one, absolutely no one can convince me to live contrary to God’s Word. Living for Him–is a choice–like everything else we do and I choose Jesus over all the “warm fuzzies” from being politically correct by people who don’t know God.

If there are some who think I’m wrong–they’re entitled to think whatever they wish–I’ll await God’s judgment for being on His side rather than theirs!

Love to love you–but I’ll stand firm on The Word!

And What Are You?

“Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Revelation 21:7,8 NIV).

Are you victorious? That is–you have victory in all situations through Jesus Christ–because He is the greater One in you. Or do you fall into the second category–the cowardly, unbelieving…?

Only you can determine what your end will be. Are you victorious or cowardly and unbelieving? Only you–not me, not God, only you can determine what and who you are.

If you’re not sure, now would be a good time to get into The Word (any good translation will do), meditate, reflect, and open your heart to receive the best God has for you. A relationship with Him is better than relationship with any “religious affiliation” or religion. It is having that relationship with Him, that assures reception of all His many benefits. Do it now–and know who you are and what your end will be!

There’s Something About Prophecy!

There’s something about prophecy, especially from a biblical perspective which makes me wonder why people do not pay attention.

Throughout the bible, we are told of coming events–with such detailed accuracy that we could not possibly mistake what we are told. From the prophets in the Old Testament through Jesus and John, all the consequences of sin and disobedience are detailed and even though like then–people didn’t believe what was told to them–events came to pass just like they were told.

If we look back at what Jesus said would happen and understand what John tells us in Revelation, we would have no need to wonder why the relentless weather patterns are what they are. And still we do not change our behavior. The mockers are still mocking God’s Word and other believers; believers are selectively choosing what and who to believe, and the unsaved masses are still waiting for those of us who know God and have a relationship with Him to share the good news with them.

Some years ago, while watching the news and unfolding current events, I believe the Lord spoke to my heart and unveiled a prophetic event, which can be seen coming to pass right now. While I do not claim to be a prophet, I do hear and obey God and I know when He is speaking versus the enemy trying to influence my thoughts. Those thoughts about what is happening now and what will happen by 2020 are written in my book, Turning Force, available on Amazon and Smashwords. I know, like many people who lived before me, there are those who will not take heed to what is said and will scoff at the contents. We won’t know until 2020 how accurate the prophecy will be, but much can be seen right now. People will have to read it for themselves to determine the final outcome. I won’t tell all that was shown to me.

While they are scoffing at the words of one who hears God and obeys, they might want to remember all of those things that were prophesied about the Children of Israel–the good and the bad when they disobeyed–and know that God is not mocked. What He says will come to pass, will come–on His time-table–not ours. A prophetic word is usually given to allow people time to change their ways–it’s a heads-up warning. When people do not change their course of action, God will honor His Word, no matter who gives it.

Perhaps, it is time for all of us to re-visit the prophecies given in the Bible and align them with the events we have seen with our own eyes throughout history and see what we must do. God is still using people to warn us about events. I’m not referencing those who deliberately lie–the doomsday prophets who trick people into doing all manner of foolish things. Their lies are eventually exposed every time they open their mouths. We know who they are–they made the headlines and then simply disappeared from the public after repeated humiliation when their lies were exposed.

A true prophecy will not deter from anything God has already said.

When the end comes–we will have no need to store and hoard anything–it will be the end.

If we have not already determined where we will spend eternity–today would be a good day to do so. According to God’s Word, not mine–we must make a decision to choose Jesus and make heaven our home for eternity.

Repent from sins (according to God’s definition of sin, not mine or anyone else’s), Accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, today and love Him enough to live for Him, since He loved us enough to die for us. If you do this–heaven will be yours for all eternity.