Dear Church

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“he who hath an ear let him hear”

Revelation 1:9-11 KJV
9  I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10  I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11  Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_of_Patmos “Early tradition says that John was banished to Patmos by the Roman authorities. This tradition is credible because banishment was a common punishment used during the Imperial period for a number of offenses. Among such offenses were the practices of magic and astrology. Prophecy was viewed by the Romans as belonging to the same category, whether Pagan, Jewish, or Christian. Prophecy with political implications, like that expressed by John in the book of Revelation, would have been perceived as a threat to Roman political power and order. Three of the islands in the Sporades were places where political offenders were banished. (Pliny, Natural History 4.69–70; Tacitus, Annals 4.30)[13]”

Place, The Isle of Patmos, an island off of the coast of Greece where the Romans would put criminals as a jail.

The man, The Apostle John, was sent to the island for the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is John who writes that which is given to him by the resurrected Christ of things to come, the last days.  The Book which we know as, Revelation.

The speaker, The Lord Jesus Christ as we read in the first chapter of The Book of Revelation.

11  Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

There is a debate among the theologians around the world as to what period of time is Revelation speaking of, past, present, or sometime in the future.  This writer believes that some is of John’s present time, and also prophecy concerning the last days before the return of Christ Jesus.

For the next several writings I would like to focus on the seven letters to the seven churches.  I believe that within these letters are messages for the Church in this modern age.  Yes, the churches that are mentioned are in the period of time that John lived in.  Warnings that need to be heeded so that the Church and the Body of Christ can survive in the turbulent times ahead, which this write feels we are at the precipice.

It is my objective to present to the reader an indepth study of the last days and how we must prepare as we face tribulation.

These letters are those those who have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying.

John 16:13-15 KJV
13  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
15  All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

So, with this question I finish, Are you listening?

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Pure Joy – Conclusion – Regrets

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1 Corinthians 15:9 MSG
9  It was fitting that I bring up the rear. I don’t deserve to be included in that inner circle, as you well know, having spent all those early years trying my best to stamp God’s church right out of existence.

Philippians 3:13-14 KJV
13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

When I was younger, late teens early twenties, I probably never thought about the term ‘regrets’.

Now that I have more years behind me than that which is in front of me, I can say, ‘regrets I’ve had a few’.  However, dwelling on should’ve, could’ve, would’ve, leaves me in a state of just spinning wheels.  Someone once said, ‘you can’t move forward if you are always looking in the rear view mirror’.

The Apostle Paul, formerly Saul of Tarsus, was one who had many regrets. It was him that gave consent for the stoning of Stephen.

Acts 7:54-60 KJV
54  When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.
55  But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56  And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
57  Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
58  And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.
59  And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
60  And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Acts 8:1-3 KJV
1  And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
2  And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
3  As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

Yes, the Apostle had much to feel regret about.  I believe this is why he wrote in his letter to the church in Corinth.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 KJV
7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

I can imagine that in his mind he could hear the screams of those Christians who he had part in their deaths.  Christ gave him the tool to battle this, ‘grace‘.

The apostle Paul gave us insight on how to fight this battle while in his letter to the Philippians.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 KJV
7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

We cannot escape the trials and tribulations while in the flesh on this earth, but we can have pure joy in our spirit that keeps us moving forward.  Yes, we will have our moments of sadness, grief, even anger, yet none of these things can keep us down.

We can know ‘pure joy’ for the Scripture is true, “the joy of the Lord is my strength”!

Nehemiah 8:10(d) …for the joy of the LORD is your strength.