WALKING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES

 
 
TUESDAY TEACHINGS
 
 

 

TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH

Changes God requires in His church today in order to produce the perfected 'bride of Christ'

 

 

INTRODUCTION

We start our look at the problems that so quickly developed in the 7 churches of Revelation.

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

CHURCH
CHURCH
CHURCH GOVERNMENT

 

The full background to this teaching is available online at this link
DEFINITIONS (For serious students only)

 

 

Online links to scriptures (New International Version [NIV] unless otherwise stated) are shown in blue

 

3. FROM KINGS TO KINGDOM continued THE EARLY CHURCH - RELATIONSHIPS THE CHURCHES OF REVELATION

 

The New Testament was written during the 1st century AD.

During much of this time, in many places, the church was under persecution and often forced to operate underground, as indeed the majority of the Chinese church has to today.

However, from reading about the 7 churches of Revelation, it is obvious that many of the problems that beset the church today had already developed, even in the relatively few years that had elapsed after the death of Jesus. The length of time depends upon whether you believe Revelation was written before AD70 or 95-6AD.
 

 

 

If we also believe that John was dictating the words of Jesus (and in my online Bible they are printed in red as being personal quotations), it is obvious that Jesus was generally not happy with the direction most of the churches were taking. While He was generally gracious to pay a compliment first, He then made directional comments and warnings before finishing with a positive statement confirming the future blessing of those who obeyed Him. The amazing depth of these progressive promises is explained in the free download REVELATION’S REVELATION found here. FREE DOWNLOAD

We will now start looking at the 7 churches, starting with the 5 that were roundly criticised and later the 2 that were complimented.
 

 

THE CHURCH IN EPHESUS

 

He praised the people for their perseverance and endurance of hardships. Surely they must be hard out for God then? But no! Let's look at what Jesus said next.

4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5 Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. (Revelation2:4-5)

Wow! Harsh words! The lampstand is symbolic of the 7 candled or lamped Minora that was found in the Holy Place in the Tabernacle of Moses. The lampstand speaks of spiritual gifts that God gives to His people through the Holy Spirit. (See the teaching A REVELATION OF....... THE AMAZING TABERNACLE OF MOSES FREE DOWNLOAD)
 

 

 

So the Lord, as with all these churches, was not threatening to remove the people's salvation, but rather, the withdrawing the power of Holy Spirit anointing from them.

I want to clarify a point. My motive in writing this series is not to denigrate the church as some think. In modern idiom, 'to throw out the baby with the bath water'! No. My heart's desire is to see the church come into the fullness of what God has for it. To replace the dirty bathwater with pure clean, living water, so that the baby may grow and mature into a church whose light will truly shine in a world that is getting darker by the day. A renewed church, operating in the will of the Father through the power and instruction of the Holy Spirit, taking the message of salvation through Jesus to the whole world. For this to happen, change is required.
 

 

 

Here in Ephesus, the people who started out loving the Lord wholeheartedly had, through persecution and hardship become strivers, not in God's power, but in their own. Today we admire people living in places of hardship and persecution, yet where they do not lose their faith in spite of the mistreatment they receive.

The people of Ephesus had changed focus from God to survival, one based on their own strength rather than the power of God. While this is highly understandable from a human perspective, it is not God's way. We can appear to be doing great things, yet if they are in our own strength, they are not great in God's sight.
 

 

 

If we don't do things the Lord's way rather than our own, He will remove the full power of Holy Spirit anointing from us. 

 

THE CHURCH IN PERGAMUN

 

After complimenting them for staying faithful under persecution, Jesus had this to say;

14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15 Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. (Revelation 2:14-15)
 

 

 

This describes a most interesting situation, where even a church that withstands persecution, can still go astray.

Jesus chides the people for going back to Old Testament ways. And not just the 'good' ways, but the bad, that of being misled by the false prophet Balaam and of the Nicoliatans, whose teaching was similar.

Balaam was hired by Balak, the Moabite king, (symbolic of the world) to curse the Israelites. Balaam was an interesting man who heard from God yet loved the pleasures of the world more. God told him not to do Balak's will. Balaam had a huge internal battle before finally compromising and setting off on his donkey. We all know that God tried to reach him again through his uncooperative, 4 legged transportation!

In his general letter, Simon Peter succinctly described prophets, both then and now who, like Balaam, succumb to greed.
 

 

2 Peter 2:12-16

 

 

And described their fate! 

 

2 Peter 2:17-22

 

 

Prophets are NOT TO ACCEPT MONEY OR GIFTS for the use of their prophetic gift, for the gift is not their own, but belongs to God! Inevitably they will lead people into sin, either physical or spiritual adultery.

Prophets beware!
 

 

2 Peter 2:2

 

 

People beware!

We must be very careful to be discerning and not follow prophets who use God's gift to acquire the pleasures of this world.
 

 

NEXT WEEK: TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH: 3. FROM KINGS TO KINGDOM continues

 

... as we look at the churches of Thyratira and Sardis.

 

 

A NOTE FROM DAVID

 

'Girls, gold and glory', the perennial downfalls of men!

As they tripped up men in the early church, so they continue to do so today.

"Lord, save us from ourselves."

Extra-Biblical Historical Evidence for the LIFE, DEATH, and RESURRECTION of JESUS

ANCIENT NON-CHRISTIAN SOURCES

Emporer Hadrian (117-138 AD), in a letter to Minucius Fundanus, the Asian proconsul:

"I do not wish, therefore, that the matter should be passed by without examination, so that these men may neither be harassed, nor opportunity of malicious proceedings be offered to informers. If, therefore, the provincials can clearly evince their charges against the Christians, so as to answer before the tribunal, let them pursue this course only, but not by mere petitions, and mere outcries against the Christians. For it is far more proper, if anyone would bring an accusation, that you should examine it." Hadrian further explained that if Christians were found guilty they should be judged "according to the heinousness of the crime." If the accusers were only slandering the believers, then those who inaccurately made the charges were to be punished.

The Jewish Talmud, compiled between 70 and 200 AD:

"On the eve of the Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, 'He is going forth to be stoned because he has practised sorcery and enticed Israel to apostacy. Anyone who can say anything in his favour, let him come forward and plead on his behalf.' But since nothing was brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the Passover."

[Another early reference in the Talmud speaks of five of Jesus's disciples and recounts their standing before judges who make individual decisions about each one, deciding that they should be executed. However, no actual deaths are recorded.]
 

 

So until next week.......
MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD!

His servant and yours

Learn more about us at...

www.wwj.org.nz/about.php

 

 

Previous parts of this Series (When applicable) are available to be read at:
www.wwj.org.nz/tuesday-teachings

 

 

 

A DAVID'S DOODLING

89. Holiness is not found in sexual abstinence but rather in sexual purity. Abstinence is tough, purity even tougher.

David Tait         

 

 

 

Earlier Series of "Tuesday Teachings" can be read at:
www.wwj.org.nz/tuesday-teachings

 

 

Check out the WWJ website for….

More David's Doodlings: www.wwj.org.nz/dd.php
Laughing at Ourselves: http://www.wwj.org.nz/laugh.php
A look at some of lifes curious questions: http://www.wwj.org.nz/why.php
Everything you ever wanted to know about....: http://www.wwj.org.nz/exex.php
Life's a Laugh: http://www.wwj.org.nz/lifelaugh.php

 

 

SUBSCRIPTION MANAGEMENT

General Enquiries and Comments tt@wwj.org.nz.
To subscribe yourself please email tteach-on@wwj.org.nz.
To unsubscribe yourself please email tteach-off@wwj.org.nz.

 

© Walking With Jesus Ministries Charitable Trust:
As this material is freely received, use is freely given, indeed encouraged, for non-commercial purposes.
Acknowledgement of the source is always appreciated.