Sunday, May 25, 2014


A Verse by Verse Study
My own personal journey
"A journey of studying what’s revealed to me!"

Jesus, His Outline for the Church, Your Outline for the Church


REVELATION 2 “To the angel of the church of Ephesus write,
‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”

Did you know that if you are a saved, born again Christian who calls Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior, you are not alone!  You are part of the church.  Jesus addressed seven churches in the book of Revelation.  We KNOW there were more than seven churches.  We also KNOW that there is a church today called the Body of Christ.  For further study look up the phrase body of Christ or Christ’s body.  We are called to be in fellowship with one another.  We aren’t called to stand alone but to be a part of the Body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12: 20-27 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

Now you weren’t alive when the letters were written to the churches but as I have said before, those letters were distributed among the body of Christ and by the councils of wise scholars were included by divine plan in the Canon of Scripture.  This Word is for you!  Everything in the book of Revelation is for you individually and for the body of Christ at large and in whole.
You can find in each passage, as Jesus addresses each church there is an outline.  We can look at this outline and locate ourselves.  The Word says in Hebrews 4:12-13 that the Word of God can locate us in our spiritual condition. The Word of God can locate our hearts.  Read the outline to each church and locate yourself!  Then ask the Holy Spirit to change you where you need to change, to root out anything that doesn’t belong.  Repent if necessary, be encouraged when appropriate and carry on in his strength.  We must be strong in the Lord and the power of his might if we are to be effective in his body!

Hebrews 4: 12  For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Each church will be addressed with the following outline:

As Jesus addresses Ephesus, where there truly was a church, a group of people, a part of the Body of Christ who referred to themselves as Christians.

a.      Good works, labor and patience
b.      Can’t bear evil
c.       Labored for his name’s sake without becoming weary
d.      Able to spot false apostles by testing them.


3.      HE WARNS
a.      Remember from where you are fallen.
b.      Repent and do the first works or else…
c.      Without repentance he will remove their lampstand.
d.      Listen and pay attention to what the Spirit of God says.

a.      Overcomers will get to eat from the tree of life which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.

This was a church, a Christian Church, but they were chilling and drying up.  They had lost their first love, yet they still did good deeds.  Remember in the beginning when the Holy Spirit was first poured out, everyone was excited about Jesus. They loved him and wanted to fellowship and fell his presence.  They came together for prayer and fasting and things shook.  Miracles happened as the Good News was spread.  Was it that way with me? Was it that way with you?  Is it still that way?  If we are not on fire for God with a passion for him as our first love, we might find ourselves located in the letter to the church at Ephesus.
Notice that he even acknowledged they were able to spot false apostles.  There are many that take pride in trying to knock down every preacher they can.  Being able to spot false prophets and apostles without being on fire for and deeply in love with Jesus may locate you in the book of Ephesus.  Some find themselves critical of many without even asking themselves “Am I what I once was or should be in my relationship with Christ?”  “Have I grown cold about the things of God?”  However, Jesus commended their ability to spot false apostles.  Discernment is important and there will always be false prophets.  The Devil will always be sending in his anti-christ spirit to try to disrupt and divide the body of Christ.  If we were all full of the Spirit and able to discern there would be no problem.  We’d spot false prophets but be so full of love for Christ, we wouldn’t spend more time tearing down false prophets than we did in fellowship, prayer and fasting.
His warning was to repent.  His warning was to fall in love with Jesus all over again.  At the time of the letter they still had a lampstand in the presence of God.  It had not been removed, however Jesus warned them that the chilling wouldn’t stop without repentance.  The fire would go out.  They would fall completely out of love and become just a religious group of people with no life and only good works.  They would think they were a Christian Church but their lampstand would be removed, making them not stand in the presence of the living God!

Don’t let the fact that we don’t see him walking on earth personally cause us to grow cold.  Be on fire. Be filled with his presence.  Spend time with him daily.  Tell others about him.  This is how the fire is spread and this is how the fire keeps burning. Be in love with Jesus who is loveable. Don’t be a cold, spiritually dying Christian. 
Be encouraged to stay lit.  Be encouraged to fall in love again.  Be encouraged to  keep the fire burning and be assured of the promise to eat from the tree of life in the paradise of God.

There will be many that think they are going to the paradise of God but will find they let their lamps go out.  Just look at the ten virgins parable:

Matthew 25:1-13

New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

25 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

Did I recently hear that the Pope said Jesus wasn’t coming back? I’m not sure if I heard that or not but there have been reports of many saying Jesus isn’t coming back.  Maybe that was the problem with the church at Ephesus. Maybe they were growing cold because Jesus didn’t come back in their timing? Maybe he became just a figurehead.  I don’t know.
I do know in the parable, Jesus return is likened to a wedding when the bride goes out to meet her groom, hearing of his return but she isn’t ready. Five have no light.  Five miss the wedding.  This is only a parable. It’s a picture of a wedding and one of the parties doesn’t attend.   For that person it’s as if the wedding never took place.
Shall we instead choose to stay lit and attend the wedding, sit down to a feast and eat from the tree of life in the paradise of God?

Lisa Kimbrell Hutchinson
aka Joyreaper

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