Sunday, 17 February 2019

We Must Overcome

Scripture:  Revelations 3 v 5: "He that overcometh the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels."
Revelations 2 v 7: "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."
Revelations 2 v 24 - 26: "But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
 25  But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
 26  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:"

While he was on Patmos in exile, the Apostle John had a powerful encounter with the resurrected Jesus, who revealed many things to him.  Jesus also dictated letters to him to be sent to the seven churches in the cities of Asia Minor.

In these letters, found in Revelations 2 and 3, Jesus shows where these churches have been severely compromised, and His judgment upon them.  He exhorts the people to overcome these setbacks with promises of great rewards if they do.

The Body of Christ is an invisible spiritual entity consisting of those overcomers who refuse to submit to negative influences in the church, right up to this present time.  The enemy of our souls sowed his tares among the wheat very early on.

We need to recheck our foundation and what has been built upon it so that when God's judgment begins at the house of the Lord we are not found wanting.  Are we true to the doctrine of Jesus Christ or have we veered off track and blindly followed men or women into wrong teachings.  Like Jim Jones and 900 dead believers who were dead wrong.

Jesus warned that in these last days many false Christ's will arise.  The tragedy of David Koresh and his followers who also tragically sacrificed themselves for a madman.  Today we have Todd Bentley reviving the Toronto Blessing or Catch the Fire laughter phenomenon.  It is a false revival bringing much hurt to those who believe it.

This is what true revival looks like.  Joel 2 v 17: "Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?"

Revivals through the ages come when the Holy Spirit is poured out and He brings very heavy conviction of sin upon the believers and unbelievers alike.  People weep for days to burden their souls before God.  They cannot eat or sleep.  The Toronto revival is manic laughter that continues for hours on end with people making animal sounds, slithering and hissing like snakes, roaring like lions, howling like wolves.  This is not the work of God nor a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.  Millions are deceived by it.

Revelations 3 v 15: "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
 16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
 17  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:"

This is the judgment of God on many churches today.  We have to change our attitudes and rediscover the essential Christian life which is walking in holiness, faithfulness and truth.

Revelations 3 v 18 - 21: "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
 19  As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
 20  Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
 21  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."

Gold tried in the fire is spiritual wisdom and experience of a life that is pure.  The fire removes the dross or impurities from the gold, or the wisdom, and indicates that we will go through trials that will increase our faith and knowledge.

White raiment is a covering of righteousness so our naked love of the world and fleshly living does not shame us.  We need to live separate from the world - the system that is controlled by Satan filled with every distraction that keeps our focus off Jesus.

Laodicea was famous for its eyesalve, and Jesus plays on words to explain how they need it to remove spiritual blindness, so they can see the dangers of the life lived without Him.  We need this spiritual eyesalve today to recognise the signs of the end times all around us: lawlessness, anarchy, corruption in governments, weather out of control, volcanoes, earthquakes, people displaced by war migrating in their millions, plagues, drought, floods, famine, crime, financial distress etc.

We need this eyesalve to open our eyes to spiritual wickedness inside the Church.  Jesus Christ was enraged by the money lenders trading on the steps of the Temple in Jerusalem.  What will He do to those churches who have ATM's inside the Church?  Or those ministries that squeezing every cent out of their congregations to enrich the pastor for his luxurious lifestyle?  Or Toronto Blessing with Angel Emma and her gold dust and gold tooth fillings?

These signs reveal the nature of Antichrist who is rapidly rising.  The man of sin and perdition, the ultimate dictator, the destroyer of everything good.  His reign of terror has been building since he was defeated by the death of Jesus.  He could no longer remain hidden controlling the unsaved from behind the scenes.  He has to manifest on his way to the lake of fire.

The unknown thing is how many human souls can he take with him to that fire.  Before the victory of the Cross he had nearly all of them.  If he had known what the death of Jesus would accomplish, it would never have happened.  Now he has to use every con to keep those sinners from learning their ultimate fate.

Jesus is standing at the door of every heart of every person ever born.  He is knocking at those doors and calling our names.  If we hear and open our heart to Him He will come in.  He will sup with us and nourish us with His word and love.

So we need to overcome the fears, worries, problems, crises of this world.  If Jesus who created everything we can see in the Heavens and on Earth, lives within us, He will control everything in our lives.  I can testify that He is able, willing and faithful to do more than we ask or think to keep us safe.

However, those who do not overcome sin and evil, will be blotted out of the Lamb's Book of Life and miss the Rapture. They will have no safety net, no armour, no answered prayers.  They will have to face the Great Tribulation of a world gone mad.  Once the Christians are removed, the Wrath of the Lamb begins.  Satan knows he has but a short time left and he will try to tear this planet apart.

So make sure your life is truly right and your sins are cleansed away by the Blood of Jesus.  Know the truth and the truth shall set us free.  When Jesus is in our hearts we have a heavenly tracking device and homing signal.  Living right keeps that signal strong and active, falling back into the world causes the battery to fail.  

Prayer: Father God, we want to be sure we have overcome every obstacle to eternal life.  We don't want any errors to blind us to this reality.  Show us today what needs to change so we are not found wanting on the day You call us home.  It's not enough to just claim salvation it has to be a vibrant, visible banner for all to see.  Help us to shine our light into the darkness to give everyone a chance to know You.  In Jesus' name. Amen.