Peace and grace in the love of Jesus Christ. Good evening, let us listen to the Word of God. May the peace and grace from God be within us.
We are still learning Revelation 2-3
In the arrangement of the Tabernacle, these chapters refer to the seven blood sprinkles in front of the Ark of the Covenant
They also refer to the seven letters
to the seven churches of Gentiles, which is the last sanctification
that God does to the seven churches of Gentiles
(the seven churches at the end of time) to make them perfect like Jesus, and become the bride of Heaven who is ready to welcome His second coming in the glorious cloud and meet Him as the Bridegroom of Heaven forever and ever.
There are seven
that have the sprinkles of blood as follows.
CHURCH IN SMYRNARevelation 2:92:9 "I know your works, tribulation, and poverty(but you are rich); and I know the blasphemyof those who say they are Jewsand are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.The condition of the church in Smyrna
- The church in EPHESUS(Revelation 2:1-7) (it has been explained since General Service in Surabaya, July 27, 2014until General Service in Surabaya, September 7, 2014). The church in Ephesus has to return to the initial loveto be able to go back to the paradise.
- The church in SMYRNA(Revelation 2:8-11) (it has been explained since General Service in Surabaya, September 14, 2014).
was in tribulation, poverty, and facing the blasphemy by the synagogue of Satan, which means that they were in physical troubles
, but spiritually rich
The synagogue of Satan is those who confess as Jews but they are not, which also means those who call themselves as the sons of God but they blaspheme.
We compare the term 'spiritually rich
' in 2 Corinthians 8:2-5.8:2 that in a great trial of afflictionthe abundance of their joy and their deep povertyabounded in the riches of their liberality.8:3 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, 8:4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive[a] the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 8:5 And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.Being spiritually rich means being rich in liberality
The condition of the church in Smyrna was like the Macedonians who were poor and in a great trial of affliction, but they were spiritually rich, which means they could give
. 1 Timothy 6:17-196:17 Command those who are richin this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain richesbut in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.6:18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,6:19 storing up for themselves a good foundationfor the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
'not to be haughty
' describes that a rich man is conceited if he puts his hope on his wealth and not on God.
' means that wealth is not to be bragged, but to be enjoyed.
'rich in good works
' means being rich in liberality.Physically rich men
are warned to be also rich in liberality (to be spiritually rich) by being able to give
The church in Smyrna and Macedonia were poor but they were rich in liberality and they could give. Now, the rich men are also warned to be rich in liberality by being able to give.The conclusion
is being rich in liberality or being able to give
does not depend on our physical wealth, but rather on a holy heart
, which is not bound by the wealth of the earth.
If our heart is bound by the earthly wealth, we won't give although we are rich, and even more when we are poor.
If our heart is holy and set free from the earthly wealth, either we are rich or poor, we will be rich in liberality and we can give. BEING ABLE TO GIVE IS ENJOYING THE PHYSICAL WEALTH
We are happy when we give or receive. If our heart is sanctified, we will love it more when we give rather than when we receive
The moment when we give is the moment when we enjoy the physical wealth.
In verse 19, the phrase 'storing up
' means the ability to give
is equal to saving the wealth in Heaven
. The practices of being rich in liberality
(a form of a spiritual richness) are as follows.
- Giving for God's work.
That is by giving our time, power, thoughts, ability or talents, until we give our wealth, and we give to otherswho are in need.
'giving ability' is like the moment when the Israelites built the Tabernacle when they needed the experts in weaving or other things, they were not randomly picked.
This is what is called the offeringswhich is according to the willingness of the heart(it can't be bound nor pushed).
- Returning the tithes, which belong to God.
Offerings and tithes work together.
Tithesmust be according to the truth, which is a tenth of what we have received.
- 2 Corinthians 8:5
8:5 And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.
The third practice of being rich in liberality is giving our whole life to Godthrough worships to God. This is the peak.
The church in Smyrna were indeed in tribulation, poverty, and facing the blasphemy, but they were rich like the church in Macedonia, which were rich in liberality by giving for God's work and to others, returning the tithes, and being able to give the whole life to God through worships. Philippians 4:16-184:16 For even in Thessalonica you sentaid once and again for my necessities.4:17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruitthat abounds to your account.4:18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.
If we, as God's servant, can give
physically until the whole life to God, it is like giving a fruit to God
. We are not just leaves without any fruit like the fig tree. God was hungry but He saw the fig tree with a lot of leaves, which refers to a lot of ministries. As there were many leaves, some fruits were expected to be there, but when God was about to eat, not a single fruit was found, which means we force God to eat the leaves, we don't respect God. There are a lot of God's servants who don't bear fruits, one of them is the ability to give.
If God's servants can give physically even the whole life to God, feel more blessed to give than to receive, they have produced the fruits that please God
, a sweet-smelling aroma
in God's presence. This is the fruit that should be brought to God.God needs fruits, not leaves!
Let God work on our heart, because the foundation of giving is a holy heart.
This is a church that bears fruits and sweet-smelling aroma to God.
"We often say 'I will do it when I am rich'. If we only say 'I will do it when ... ', this is not right. We say 'I will do it if I get a raise on my salary' but there are another needs when it actually happens. If we say 'I will do it when ...", then it will never happen.If our heart is sanctified, we will be able to give, even we will be happier to give than to receive."
Let's pay attention to God's work and others who are in need.
"We also have the Pelita Emas foundation to help the widows and children in our church to study until the high school. Our fellowships also proves that we bear fruits. We can give both spiritually and physically, there are fruits and sweet-smelling aroma. Don't stop on having many leaves, but keep on working until we bear fruits. In the book of the Acts, such congregation have been in the spiritual revival to build the body of Christ and bear fruits for God.Luke 6:386:38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."God doesn't lie to us!
If we give, it will be given to us.
Giving is a thing that is measured by God and we will also get the measurement from God.
The previous verse is about judging. Beware!
Judging is also measured by God. Don't judge people because God will measure it!
Our worship is also measured by God and we will get the measurement from God.
'Give, and it will be given to you
if we are rich in liberality
, we bear fruits or sweet-smelling aroma, God will be merciful to givesomething to us
. God can't resist and will
give it to us.
If we are not fruitful, we get curses.The results
of bearing fruits are as follows.
- Philippians 4:19
4:19 And my God shall supplyall your needaccording to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
The first result is God shall supply all our needaccording to His mercy, riches in glory.
It means the following.
- God is able to nurtureus daily in this difficult and nearly impossible time.
The ability of a human is limited, that's why it is written 'according to His riches in glory'. If it is according to the riches of human, first we will get something, but then the giver is also in lack. However, God's riches are unlimited.
If we are facing a difficult or an almost impossible situation, give fruits and sweet-smelling aroma to God.
- God will give us a successful and beautiful future.
Whatever we need, we just have to bear fruits and sweet-smelling aroma to God and He will be merciful and provide for us.
- God's nurture and protectionuntil the age of antichrist when they reign over the earth for 3.5 years.
It is mentioned in Philippians 4:17, 'but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.'
It doesn't mean a lot of money, but 2 wings of an eaglethat can bring us away to the desert, far away from the eyes of the antichrist and we are nurtured and protected directly by God for 3.5 years through the Word and holy communion (the food of the eagles are carcasses).
- Ephesians 4:8-12
4:8 Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gavegiftsto men."
4:9 (Now this, "He ascended"--what does it mean but that He also first descendedinto the lower parts of the earth?
4:10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
4:12 for the equippingof the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
'He led captivity captive' means God sets us free from being captivated by sins.
The second result is Jesus died on the cross, rose and ascended to Heaven to give us the ministry and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, that we are used in the ministry of the building of the perfect body of Christ or the revival of the latter rain.
The ministry and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are inseparable.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are the miraculous abilities from the Holy Spirit that let us minister according to our positions.
For examplea shepherd has the gift of knowing the spirit. He can distinguish the true food from poisons that he is able to safely feed the church, without any speculations. If you don't know which one is poison and which one is the real food, never feed!
"This is why it is very risky if someone who is not a shepherd delivers the Word. If he doesn't have the gift of knowing the spirit, he can't distinguish the true food from poisons. If we say 'No, there are not a lot of differences', then it is the poison. No one uses a lot of poison. If there are two spoonfuls of rice and a plate of poison, we know directly that it is poisoned. If we have a plate of rice, there will be only a spoonful of poison so that it will be hidden. Don't be a fool and say 'It's not a problem, there's no big difference.' That is a poison! Don't gamble with it!
Why do all of us need to be used in the ministry of the building of the body of Christ, or being in the body?To bring us away from the building of the body of Babylon, the bride of antichrist which will perish).
There are only two spiritual buildings. If we are not in the building of Christ's body, we will be in the building of Babylon's body.
God has to die, rose, and ascend to Heaven because He doesn't want us, the saved ones, to enter the Babylon's body through evil and uncleanness.
This is God's gift to us. As long as there are fruits and sweet-smelling aroma, don't be doubtful because God will help us. Maybe God will let us be in lack, but it was only a test.
"I have experienced the lack of food and water. I couldn't even buy anything. Indeed I experienced those things, but it was not forever. God doesn't lie to us. God gave me a pair of shoes, they were 5 cm longer, but I wore it anyway. What else to do, those were the only ones I had. I hurt my feet because of the shoes, but it was okay since that was only a test to my following and submission to God. Once, He will equip and give us everything that we need and the position in the ministry. We are used in the building of the body of Christ.
1 Timothy 4:14 (an epistle of ordination)
4:14 Do not neglectthe gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecywith the laying on of the hands of the eldership.
'gift' refers to the gift and position.
How does God give us the position and gift?Through the opening of the Word and the laying on of the hands of the shepherd.
The opening of the Word is the thing that pushes us to do something to God.
For those who have receivedthe position and gifts (have been laid on of the hands of the shepherd), don't be negligent.
If we are negligent, we are cursed.
Being negligent means serving God without holiness, faithfulness, nor righteousness.
Let's minister in holiness and faithfulnessto the finish line, that is either death or God's second coming.
God's holy and faithful ministers are like the flame of fire.
1:7 And of the angels He says: "Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire."
7:9 "I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire;
'His throne was a fiery flame' means God's throneis like the flame of fire.
If we combine these two facts, God's holy and faithful ministers are like the flame of fire.
This is what we should represent every time we minister God, that is His throneso that we can feel His love, power, presence, and care, as well as the anointment of the Holy Spirit. The congregation can also feel it that no one will run away, but will be eager to be in the church and will always long for services. When there are problems, they will be eager to have services.
If we represent Satan's throne by ministering without faithfulness or holiness, then the congregation will be scattered, in suffering, and spiritually dry.
This is a serious responsibility, starting from the preacherto bring God's presence among us.
- Luke 11:13
11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father givethe Holy Spiritto those who ask Him!"
The third result is God will give the Holy Spiritto us.
Why do we need the Holy Spirit?
14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever--
14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
14:18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
Because without the Holy Spirit, however strong a God's servant is, he is only like an orphan. A spiritual orphan means as follows.
This is where God sees the usage of the Holy Spirit on us. Let's beg to God to pour the Holy Spirit upon us.
- Losing the status of God's son (having no father and mother) and becoming the child of Satan or anything else.
- Having no power nor hope for anyone, easily being discouraged and disappointed, especially when facing the tribulation. If he is in the condition like the church in Smyrna or Macedonia, he will run away.
- Not knowing his origin, nor his father and mother, like he had never been born. It means that he has not experienced the life renewal, but is still a carnal human with 18 carnal characteristics and marked with 666, as described in 2 Timothy 3:1-5.
The usages of the Holy Spiritsare as follows.
- The Holy Spirit gives us extra powerthat we are not disappointed nor discouraged and we do not leave God, but we are strong and of good courage in facing anything, and we keep on following and ministering Him until His second coming.
- Titus 3:5
3:5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,
'the washing of regeneration' refers to the water baptism.
The second usage of the Holy Spirit is that the Holy Spirit is able to renew usfrom the carnal human to a spiritual one like Jesus (a spiritual miracle), starting from being obedient(being able to say 'Abba, Father').
If we are not obedient, we will have the 18 carnal characteristics, the characters of Satan.
If we are obedient, we earn back the status of God's son.
If we have the spiritual miracles and the Holy Spirit has made us obedient as the children of God, the physical miracles will also happen and the impossible things will be possible.
There are a lot of miracles from being obedient.
Moses was only asked to stretch his hands when he faced the Red Sea and Pharaoh. It was an impossible thing.
However, since Moses was obedient, the East wind moved and the sea was divided, a physical miracle happened.
The important thing is to be obedient.
Being obedient is the proof that we have the Holy Spirit.
The youth, be obedient!And you will experience the physical miracles like when the Red Sea was divided.
Peter failed (he didn't catch any fish) and was naked. However, God asked him to spread the fishing net in the morning. This was an impossible thing, because it was in the morning and he was at the beach. It was impossible to catch a fish.
God also commanded "Draw some, and take it" at the wedding in Cana, and the water that was supposed to wash feet and hands turned into wine and there was happiness. A miracle happened.
When God comes for the second time, we will experience the last miracle. We will be as glorious as Him and we will become the Bride who will welcome Him in the glorious cloud. We will enter the supper of the Lamb, the one thousand years kingdom of peace (the future Paradise) and the New Jerusalem.
We are saving treasures in Heaven until we enter it
Now we are saving treasures and being rich in liberality. One day, not only our treasures are in heaven, but we ourselves will also enter and enjoy the wealth of Heaven forever and ever. The treasures in heaven are the things that we can enjoy
. The treasures we have on earth will last no longer than the age when the antichrist reigns for 3.5 years. If we have saved treasures in Heaven from now by being rich in liberality, we will enjoy it in Heaven forever and ever.
There are a lot of disturbances in the ministry and we need the Holy Spirit. Let's beg for the Holy Spirit this evening. Although we are in suffering like the church in Smyrna or Macedonia, keep on serving God!
Let the Holy Spirit be poured upon us. It is not a vanity to minister God until giving our lives to Him
God blesses us.