Friday, December 25, 2009

Adored By Social Outcasts

One late evening, a little over 2015 years ago, a man named Joseph and his young wife named Mary arrived in Bethlehem only to discover that there were no rooms at the local inn. Imagine the frightening situation they faced since Mary, who was expecting a child, probably had been experiencing birth pains for the last 10 miles of their 80 mile journey. Now that they had finally reached their destination they were told that the only place the inn keeper had to offer for their comfort was an animal shelter.

This was not exactly the place Joseph expected he and his wife to be spending the night when they reached their destination. Imagine the stench from the animals and the flies that buzzed around them. Even considering the archaic way children entered the world back then, this was not the way Mary and Joseph had envisioned their first child being born. It would not be long after Joseph made Mary comfortable that the time for the child to be born had arrived. Soon Mary's screams from the pain of childbirth would break the silence of the night as their first Son entered the world. With only the animals to greet the newborn, it would not be long before some very unsavory individuals would stop to greet the new parents and their child. They were shepherds who had been tending their flocks when an Angel visited and told them that a child had been,
....For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." Luke 2:12-13

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nine Reasons Santa Must Be A Conservative Republican

Back in May I wrote an article that asked the questioned, "Was Jesus A Socialist?" As I wrote in the article it is my understanding of the Scriptures, and of God's many rules and regulations to the Israelites, that Jesus was a capitalist. Thus I believe if He were walking among us and actually voting in our elections today, He would most certainly be a conservative capitalist. Now we find ourselves at the doorstep of Christmas and unfortunately more children have probably heard of Santa than have heard of Jesus. So in the spirit of the season, and just so I can be fair and equitable with my political opinions, I have decided to share what I think of Santa's political persuasion.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hated For My Names Sake

"They will hate you for My sake".This is what Jesus said would happen to those who follow Him.
"Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved."Matthew 24:9-13
Up until recent times, most Christians in America could not imagine living in a country where such things would happen in their lifetime. Who would ever imagine a time when Christians would be hated and people would betray their faith for the false prophets? I can't help but think of folks who grew up in the Bible belt or of the Laura Ingalls-type pioneers of the 19th century prairie days. Did they ever come close to imagining what that kind of world would be like? And yet here we are, actually living in such times.

"You will be hated by all nations because of me," Jesus said. It's not just imaginary anymore, because since the House of Representatives passed the so-called "Hate Crimes Bill", it is just a matter of time before Christians are persecuted for quoting Scripture from the Bible.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

From Genesis to Revelation in One Year

I have been asked by numerous individuals as to how I manage to get through the Bible in one years time. It is a task I attempt to undertake every year, and I must admit that often times I find myself bunching up a few books around the end of the year to accomplish my task. There are many schedules put out every January by various Christian Churches and organizations that will guide you in accomplishing such an endeavor. I am sure those who attend church regularly will find that their Church offers a schedule every December. 

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The First Thanksgiving, A Lesson For Obama

When a ship called the Mayflower set sail for the Americas on August 1, 1620, no one would have thought that a historical lesson in politics would be learned by those who gave up everything for a chance at a new life in a new world. 102 passengers set sail with William Bradford that day and once they were on the high seas they all signed an agreement. This agreement, or contract if you may, established what was to be a just and equal law for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. What the settlers signed was a contract we now recognize as the Mayflower Compact. It was a mutual agreement that was entered into by the settlers and their merchant-sponsors back in London England.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Which Jesus Do You Follow and Serve?

Christians need to realize that being a true Christian does not mean you are to be proud and boastful. It does not mean that you will be blessed with money and riches as the prosperity pimps like T.D. Jakes, Kenneth Hagin, Joyce Meyer, Paul Crouch and others preach.

No, true Christianity is a call to be imitators of Christ, not seekers of worldly goods. After all, what did Christ do? Did he go around town riding in style? No. Did he have tons of money? No. What did He do? He gave his own life to Save ours. Yet so many Christians walk around not helping others, not acknowledging others hardships or pain. All they do is show off their possessions and status in society while telling you, "I'll pray for you". The teachings of Christ call us to a life of action, not self-interest and Christian passivity.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

No Evolution in 58 Million Years

by Chuck Ness

Well it seems like those who continue to cling to the few remaining threads of hope that Darwin was right, have another problem with Darwin's theory of evolution. From the evidence accumulated by the University of Florida there seems to be the exact same families of plants around today as there was 58 million years ago. That is the what the evidence points to from a press release from the university that stated, “Plant fossils give first real picture of earliest Neotropical rain forests,”

With the evidence uncovered from the Columbian Forests we can now say for certain that the Young Earth Creationists, like myself are not grabbing at straws of faith. It is getting pretty scary for the evolutionist minded scientists who are at the mercy of such groups like the Institute for Creation Research who are celebrating this find as confirming not just a the young earth model but also the global flood mentioned in Genesis.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Democrats Hired GangBangers to GOTV for Corzine

by Chuck Ness

 If you are the Democrat party of New Jersey and it looks like you may lose the Governor’s office to a 500 pound fat guy (Jon Corzine’s words, not mine), what do you do? After all, even the “Great One”, Obama himself, could not seem to turn the tide that was ready to hit them from the Republican Party and it’s candidate, Christie. Well, I have documented story after story about the intimidation tactics used by the left in this country, but what the Democrats did in this election has even left some liberals scratching their heads.

Imagine you are an off duty New Jersey police officer relaxing at home, when you look out your window and see several known criminals. Then you look a bit closer and you realize that one of them is a man you arrested several weeks ago and the other man has just been released from prison. Oh yea, the man just released from prison was there for murdering a fellow police officer. Now as if that is not worrisome enough for you, you then find out that the men have been employed by the the Democratic Party for get out the vote (GOTV) operations.
Check out this interview with another Morris Township resident who also witnessed the gangbangers going door to door, but is afraid to be identified. Can you really blame him for being afraid, the cemeteries across America are filled with dead innocent citizens who crossed these kinds of thugs and paid with their lives.
That is what happened this past Sunday in the Township of Morris New Jersey, and the gangsters even had a list of voters names, addresses, and their phone numbers. The officer states that he heard the men discussing that he was a police officer and that they now know where he lived. When confronted by the off duty officer, the men took off, so he then contacted the local police who caught up with them and about a dozen other men a few blocks away. All the men questioned by the police were well known criminals, and when asked what they were doing in the neighborhood, their answer was, 
We were contacted by the Democrat Party to help them get out the vote for Jon Corzine.”
Now, in case you think that this is a bad idea that will not happen again and has never happened before, this is not the first time it has not happened. Back in 2006 the Democratic State Committee lost $5,000 to $6,000 from a check fraud scheme. At the time, the state Democrat party Chairman, “Joseph Cryan”, said that the checks were copied from payments sent out to people hired as part time GOTV activists for the 2006 elections. Now for the kicker, members of the “Bloods” street gang took paychecks they were given to them for GOTV work they did and using laptop computers and digital cameras to create fake checks. After a three year investigation dubbed, “Operation Bloodbank”, 33 members of the Blood gang were arrested for faking nearly 200 payroll checks totaling over $654,000 over a two year period.

So what’s the moral of the story? Well in today’s America you must remember that when it comes to the Democrat party that, gangsters, thugs, and terrorists are just misunderstood people who are just trying to live in a cruel world controlled by a bunch of right wing capitalist pigs. The real danger to America is those evil right wingers like the ones at Chico’s Tea Party Rally this past summer.  The picture below is the people who are dangerous to America, not the thugs the DNC uses to get out the vote.  After all these people are just trying to stop the “Chosen One” from implementing the change that will save this country from the evil capitalists who have ruined America.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lifted, Like A Snake In The Desert

Have you ever given it much though about the phrase, “Lift Christ up with Praise”? Quite often you will here a pastor use this phrase as he instructs you to give glory to God though His Son. But have you ever really consider what the phrase means to you and and the significance of it? Give me a moment of your time and allow me to introduce you to something very few Christians have actually ever considered when hearing this phrase, “Lift Christ up with Praise”.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Multimedia message

Greg William, my dear brother in Christ who works at CVS Drug Store in the pharmacy department. Greg is an active evangelist who spends many hours learning the Lords Word and spreading the Gospel with anyone he feels the Lord has led an opening to, which is everyone...LOL

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Windchime Ministery Attendees

Windchime church members, small crowd today. They had a walk-a-thon yesterday, so many members were too tired to attend church.
This is from June 2008, and most of the women that attend were present. I took this picture for my Church bulletin board. The top picture is from this past Sunday on Oct 11. I took it because I have a gentleman who has been attending for the past couple of months. He is only the second man to attend on a regular basis, in the five years I have been doing the sermons at Windchime. The last gentleman, Harvey, is now battling ilnesses and does not attend very often, so keep him in your prayers.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

In The Begining God Created

(I would like to give special thanks to Hanna for the artwork used in my article.)

There is a disturbing trend that has taken hold of the modern day Christian community, and it is my opinion that this trend is causing a schism as big as the one that was addressed at the Council of Nicea over the Trinity. Now this is not a debate for those who have no faith in Christ, for what accord has Christ with Belial? 

No, this is strictly a debate for those who profess Christ as their Lord and Savior. Unfortunately, those who attempt to address the problem are usually labeled as rabble-rousers who only wish to spread discontent within the ranks of Christendom. This trend I speak of, is the compromising of the Word with the idea of evolution known as theistic evolution or Old Earth Creationism. I say “compromise”, because in the 150 years since Darwin offered his theory of evolution, the only side in the argument that has offered to compromise its position has been the Christian side. I have yet to see the evolutionary camp temper it's teachings to include God anywhere in the equation of creation.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Clarion Call of the Great Commission - Part II

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."Matthew 28:19-20
The last words Jesus spoke to His disciples before He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father would become the clarion call for thousands of Christians missionaries throughout the years. Many, like Stephen, would die a martyr’s death while others would work in obscurity never to be remembered but by Christ Himself. Regardless of their success, they would all follow in the footsteps of the greatest missionary of them all; like Paul of Tarsus they would spread the gospel to the four corners of the world. Last week I touched on the missionary movements of Asia and Africa, today I will attempt to do justice to the missionaries that spread the gospel to the Indians of the American West and the jungles of South America. 

From the days of Columbus and Cortez, the Roman Catholic Church has dominated the missionary movements of South America, but they never made headway with the Indian tribes in the Jungles and for the most part they never really tried. When the Protestants began sending missionaries to South and Central America, they stayed away from evangelizing to the masses in the cities because of the dominant Catholic faith. Most Protestants missionaries felt that converting a Catholic was tantamount to calling them non-Christian, so most of their missionary work was done mainly with the native Indians in the inland parts of the continent. This is largely the reason that the Catholic Church is still so dominant throughout South America. However, there have been success stories among the protestant missionaries laboring in the jungles and mountains of the continent. One of these great success stories was with the Waodani Indians that lived in the deep heart of the jungles of Ecuador. A great movie, “End Of The Spear” is a true testament about this tribes conversion and how God takes the evil of men and turns it into good.
Probably the largest influence the Protestants were able to exert in South America came about from James Thomson and the British Foreign Bible Society that was able to distribute Spanish Bibles in Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, and Chile. Through most of the twentieth century the Scottish Presbyterians and the London Missionary Society worked in obscurity, but by the 1980s their work began to show fruit as the Protestant faiths began gaining ground throughout South and Central America. There has also been many souls won for Christ by the Protestant missionaries in the last 50 years with the many Indian tribes who still live like their ancestors did thousands of years ago.
It has been said that the American foreign missionary movement is in many ways an extension of the frontier parson of the expanding American West. After all, before Americans sent many missionaries overseas they were busy sending them west to tame and civilize the mountain men, cowboys, and Indians. In Kansas alone there were over 30 missionaries working with the settlers and the natives to bring God to the plains. The first of many was Thomas Johnson and his wife Sarah, a Methodist Missionary who established the first Shawnee and Delaware tribal school in the Territory of Kansas. Like other missionaries of the plains, Thomas and his wife would minister to thousands of Indians and even settlers who came through on their way west when Gold was discovered in California.
With the discovery of Gold thousands of young men headed out to make their fortunes, and it only made sense that ministers and missionaries would follow suit. Instead of looking for gold and wealth, these men were like the circuit riders and the frontier pastors who had been migrating west for decades and they brought their treasure with them. Bringing the gospel of Christ to California, these ministers wanted to make sure that Christianity became firmly established in the hearts and minds of the many who headed west. Such men as Joseph A. Benton, William Pond, James Woods, and even Darius Stokes, a leading black minister of the African Methodist Episcopal church, all came to California with hopes of spreading Christianity and civilization to the far reaches of the American continent. After a few years in California, Woods would tell friends and relatives back East,
“Unparalleled in the history of the world is the march of progress in California . . . . Instead of being a remote, and almost unknown, and uncared for portion of the globe, with but a few scattering and degenerate sons of Spain, a few enterprising adventurers, and a few tribes of wretchedly degraded Indians, it now in the short space of two years has become a central spot of earth, where almost all nations of the world have their representatives congregated.”
Throughout history Christians have had to rely upon private donations from Christians like myself and others to spread the word. But considering Christ called all of us to be involved in spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth the donations are minuscule in comparison to the rewards. Through the years, the many different missionary groups realized they needed to work closer together, rather than against each other, so they have put their minor differences aside for the good of the movement. More and more, denominations have begun sharing expenses and facilities in order to reach the needy, establish schools and hospitals, and improve the living standards of the locals. It is worth adding that in many of the areas women would be the largest contingent of volunteers while helping in all areas including preaching the word.

As an aside I must also make the point that, by having more freedom to be in charge then they would back home, many women would return with a desire to be more involved in more areas like they were in the mission fields. This experience of greater equality would help contribute in small ways to the women’s suffrage movement in America when the returned home.
We can busy ourselves with all the knowledge of the theology of Christ and the history of how we got where we are until we are blue in the face. And I firmly believe that we are called by our Lord to do so, to supplement our diet with meat, so that we may be forever prepared to help others grow in truth and knowledge. However, we are ultimately called to spread the word to those in the dark, and it is those in the missionary field who do battle on the front lines from the concrete jungles of the big cities to the jungles of Africa, Asia and South America.

The great evangelist, Johnathan Edwards, never let his listeners forget what was promised in Habakkuk 2:14 that the knowledge of the Lord would fill the earth like the waters of the sea. He knew that when the gospel of Christ was spread to all corners of the world, to all men of all races and nationalities, that Christ would then return. Other than Jesus when he met the woman at the well and the townspeople of Sychar believed, Phillip had the first missionary success when he went to Samaria. Acts 8:5-8 Now, only Christ knows what area will be the last to be reached by the gospel.
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."Matthew 28:19-20
I pray that those who have ears to hear, will hear what the Spirit says to the churches, and call upon His name. Amen

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Clarion Call of the Great Commission - Part I

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

These were the last words Jesus spoke to His disciples before He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. While it would eventually take the stoning of Stephen to actually force His followers to obey His commandment, many Christians would answer the clarion call of the great commission to leave home, friends, and family to spread the gospel to the gentiles of the world. It is no coincidence that the standard bearer that missionaries have used throughout the years has been Paul of Tarsus, who was present when Stephen was stoned. By being the example of what it means to follow the “Great Commission”, Paul would take the gospel to the Gentiles of the Roman Empire, and eventually share the gospel with Nero himself. For the next couple of centuries men like Polycarp, Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Tertullian would continue where Paul and the other disciples left off until 314 BC when Constantine would embrace Christianity and make it the favored religion of the empire.
While there were men like St. Patrick and Columba who would win Ireland and Scotland to Christianity through their missionary work, it would not be until the 14th and 15th centuries that the great commission would again be followed with such fervor. That is when the Franciscans and Dominicans, who had ministered to the poor and helped nurse a population ravaged by the Black Death, began spreading the Gospel to the barbarians of Brazil, Mexico and the islands of the Caribbean. Soon followers of Loyola like Xavier and Ricci would start Jesuit missions in the Asian countries like Japan, China, and the Philippines. When the Spanish Armada (Spanish account, and the English account), was defeated by Queen Elizabeth's smaller and faster ships in 1588, the Roman Catholic Church lost its ability to control the missionary movements to the new lands of the West and eventually to the East as well.

With the Brittish and Danish empires expanding their influence on the high seas, they would begin new colonies in the West that open the door for Protestant churches to fulfill their call to the “great commission”. By the late 1700 when the 13 colonies were being converted from English rule to Independent rule, a shoemaker was being converted to Christianity in England. William Carey always had a fondness for the voyages of James Cook, Columbus, and Vasco da Gama and the lands they discovered so he was a natural for God to use in his plan to spread the gospel to the uncivilized heathens of the world. Convinced by his friend, and fellow preacher Andrew Fuller, that man had a responsibility to spread the gospel, Carey began a group with him and some colleagues that they would call the Baptist Missionary Society.
Carey headed to India with a strong desire to reach souls and share the Lords gospel to fulfill his calling to the 'great commission”. By using the business model of the big trading companies like the East India Company, he set up a missionary movement that earned souls like a business earned profits. The Lord blesses us all with gifts, and one of William’s gifts was his ability to learn foreign languages. When he was younger he taught himself to read Latin and Greek, when he reached India he took that gift and taught himself to speak and write Bengali. He would eventually translate the Bible into 40 languages and dialects along with beginning several schools that helped many locals to become evangelizers to their own people. By the time he died in 1834, Carry had done in Calcutta from Serampore what Paul had done in Antioch and Ephesus from Corinth and Rome. As the news of his success reached England and America, Christians began taking note of their calling to the “great commission” and William Carey would became known as the father of the modern missionary movement.
Two American Christians to take notice of the calling were a young man and his bride of seven days, Adoniram and Ann Haseltine Judson. In 1812 these newlyweds traveled to Burma. Unfortunately numerous problems would lead to Ann’s death at the young age of 36 while Adoniram would endure imprisonment and bad health. In time Adoniram translated the Bible into Burmese. His Burmese English dictionary helped many in generations to come. His greatest accomplishment was with the Karen tribe that, thanks to his work, can claim over 100,000 professing Christians to this day. The Judsons opened the door for American missions that in time would be the largest contributor to missions around the world.
While it took men like Carey, Judson and even Hudson Taylor to open the orient to Protestant missions, an explorer by the name of David Livingstone went to the sore of the world and found the heart of Africa. Livingstone believed it was his duty as a Christian to free Africa from the need of selling their brethren into slavery. Livingstone believed that with the spread of Christianity and Western values the African people would see the evil of slavery. Along with better agriculture techniques and the discovery of precious resources and the use of other natural resources he hoped to help the continent move towards different types of commercial trade. For thirty years Livingstone opened up the heart of the Dark Continent and made it real and human to the world. Because of his work and exploration by others that followed every country in Europe would eventually send missionaries to spread the gospel to the "Dark Continent". By 1914 almost every town or colony had a Christian mission that nursed the sick, fed the poor, taught the gospel, and schooled the children. By 1950 the continent of Africa was the fastest growing Christian continent in the world, with 70% of all Africans claiming Christianity as their religion of faith.
During the Cold War and the division of Eastern and Western Europe, the Soviet Union began supporting rebels and setting up communist and other totalitarian type governments that left many parts of Africa devastated. In the process many once thriving missionaries have been either burned to the ground or confiscated by the local warlords who have replaced democratically elected leaders. In the place of Christian missionaries, Islam has filled the void as the children are not schooled, the sick die and the poor get poorer. Even the slave trade that such men as Livingston and Wilberforce, spent their lives trying to end, has again become a profitable business with Muslim Nations like Sudan selling Africans into slavery to Muslim countries. A continent that could boast of a higher Christian faith than some Western societies in the 1950’s is once again, the sore of the world. There are a still many missionaries in Africa, but not nearly like there were 50 years ago. As the economies around the world continue to suffer under the burden of Socialism, church caufers will continue to suffer huge losses in revenue. This loss will further hurt the Africa mission movement because America sends the vast majority of missionaries around the world. With less money and more interference from the unfriendly governments the obstacles will continue to seem overwhelming for missionaries already on shoestring budgets. The evil one may try to stop Christians from fulfilling the “Great Commission”, but the Lord is a Good Shepherd and His lambs will be found.
I pray that those who have ears to hear, will hear what the Spirit says to the churches, and call upon His name. Amen

Monday, September 21, 2009

Video Proof, Women Use More Words

Check out this video and see if you agree with me, that women are born using more words than men.

by Chuck Ness

This video reminds me of a joke I heard about a husband who was looking through the paper when he came upon a study that said women use more words than men?

Well there was a married man who read in a magazine that, "Men use about 7000 words per day, but women use 20,000". Excited to prove to his wife that he had been right all along when he accused her of talking too much, he showed her the study results. The wife thought for a while, then finally she said to her husband,

"It's because we have to repeat everything we say."

The husband looked at her quizzically and replied,


Now isn't that just like a typical response a man gives his wife? I must admit that I do that quite often to my wife. Well we have all heard of the studies that concluded women us more words per day then men. Yea, yea, I know about the study that was done between 1998 and 2004 by the "British National Corpus" that concluded men and women speak about the same amount of words in a day. My only problem with their study is that they did it on College students. Show me a college student that doesn't talk a lot, regardless of gender. Oh, here a link to the study I mentioned that I disagree with. You need to register and sign over your freedom if you want to read the study, I did and I read the study so I know why I disagree with it. (just kidding about the loss of your freedom, but you do need to register if you want to read the study)

Anyway, my point isn't to debate the accuracy of the BNC's study so much as I wanted to bring to the table the evidence I found that ends all debate upon which gender uses more words. This study proves that women not only use more words than men do, but that they were also born using more words than men. Unfortunately for men however, it also proves that fathers train their daughters from an early age to accept the fact that us men will shine you ladies on regardless of what you say.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Last Church is Lukewarm (Laodicea)

Founded around 255 BC and named after his wife Laodice by the Seleucid King Antiochus II, this city was located about 100 miles directly east of the first church mentioned by Christ, "Ephesus". Situated on one of the great Asian trade routs, Laodicea became prosperous because of its garment industry which used a black wool that had a soft texture like silk and could be found only in the Lycus Valley. However, it was also known for a medical school that grew out if it’s temple worship of the Phrygian god Men Karou, located 13 miles west of Laodicea.
Its most famous medicines were ointments made from spice; "nard" for the ears and an eye salve made from alum called "Phrygian powder". This eye salve was actually a powder made by crushing Phrygian stones and forming it into tablets. Believed to be a cure for weak eyes this medication was sold throughout the Asian and the Mediterranean lands. All of these aspects of its economy led Laodicea to becoming a leading banking center. Due to the frequent earthquakes in the area, their financial success in banking meant they did not need to depend upon any aid from Rome to rebuild. Laodicea was thus a kind of Bank of America, Wal-Mart and Mayo Clinic all rolled into one
In this letter, Christ introduces Himself to the Laodicean church as "the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation" (Rev 3:14). By introducing Himself as a faithful and true witness, Christ presented them with a sharp contrast to their own inactivity in witnessing and serving. Upon reading the letter, they would have been convicted by its description of their faith. Christ likened it to being lukewarm, an obvious reference to their tepid drinking water supplied from a distant thermal springs in Hierapolis (Rev 3:15-16). They also would have found it ironic that He called them "poor and naked and blind" (Rev 3:17). An obvious reference to their banking, clothing, and eye salve industries that enriched them to the point of being able to turn down Rome’s financial help in times of need. They needed no one and obviously they acted in such a way when it came to their walk with Christ.

The Laodiceans wore black garments with pride, but Christ advised the Christians of this city to buy from Him "white garments" of purity and righteousness. Although they were renowned for having an expertise in medical treatments for the eyes, they were unaware of their spiritual blindness. Jesus appeals to them to buy salve from him for better spiritual vision. Christ also tells them to zealously seek out His forgiveness and stop being indifferent. In his commentary on Revelation, Robert Thomas puts it so eloquently that I would like to borrow the following quote:
"Let my strong criticisms of you open your eyes at once to the need of repentance and also to the fact that it is really love on My part that prompts Me to reprove and chastise you. A realization of My loving concern, as well a your own desperate condition, should bring a resolute change of purpose and kindle within you a warm fervor of devotion that will dispense with lukewarmness".
Robert Thomas
The Laodiceans are asked to let Christ in because He stands at the door knocking and only they can open the door for Him to dine with them at His throne in the presence of His Father.
The name Laodicea means "Rule of the people", and like the democratic systems of our present age, the church of Laodicea represents the end times. A time when men rule and governments listen to them, but we are also getting closer yet to the end of the last period of time. In the last 50 years there have been scholars who have predicted that the Western style capitalist democracies would be replaced by socialist democracies. They have pointed out that these socialist governments would become more totalitarian as the people became more dependent upon them. The theory being, that while a capitalist society would raise the level of prosperity for all, the people themselves would in turn demand more from the government while moving farther away from God.
Like the wealthy and independent Laodiceans, who allowed their wealth and prosperity to turn them into lukewarm worshipers of Christ, so to are the citizens of the Western world. Throughout history, the warning from Christ that "it is easier for a camel to go through and eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven" has proved to be so true. It was after all, just a matter of time before our wealth and prosperity would begin to cloud our spiritual walk as it did the Laodiceans. That sense of self reliance and a lukewarm approach towards the one and only true God allows the enemy to sneak in and steel our crown. So as we look at the letter to the lukewarm Laodiceans, it is my prayer that Christians around the world would hear the knock at the door, see the obvious signs of the times we live in, and repent.
I pray that those who have ears to hear, will hear what the Spirit says to the churches, and call upon His name.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Who is What in the Creation/Evolution Debate

At a site called Exploring Constitutional Conflicts, I found this description of for each choice in the poll. After some feedback, I have realized how inaccurate my poll is in the questioning, but it it was it is and now that it is in progress I cannot change the wording. I do realize that I should have had an "Other" for a choice and usually I do, but I forgot and maybe I should have had two or three more distinct answers for those who do not quite fit the ones I have. For anyone still taking the poll, I only ask that you chose a category that best fits you and maybe leave a comment for me if you would like to give me more information that would help in the future when i take such a poll. Well, here are the descriptions for the poll art hand.

Who is What in the Creation/Evolution Debate
A creationist is a person who rejects the theory of evolution and believes instead that the each species on earth was put here by a Divine Being. A Creationist might accept "micro-evolution" (changes in the form of a species over time based on natural selection), but rejects the notion that one species can-- over time-- become another species.
A young earth creationist believes that the earth is nowhere near the 4.6 billion or so years old that most scientists estimate, but is instead closer to 6,000 or so years old, based on the assumption the Genesis contains a complete listing of the generations from Adam and Eve to historical times.
An ID proponent might or might not reject the theory of evolution. At a minimum, the ID proponent rejects that evolution is randomly driven or, more generally, the notion that natural law and chance alone can explain the diversity of life on earth. Instead, the ID proponent argues--often from statistics--that the diversity of life is the result of a purposeful scheme of some higher power (who may or may not be the God of the Bible).
An evolutionist accepts the Darwinian argument that natural selection and environmental factors combine to explain the diversity of life we see on earth. An evolutionist may or may not believe that evolution is the way in which a Divine Being has chosen to work in the world. Evolutionists divide into various camps, including PUNCTUALISTS (who believe that evolution usually occurs sporadically, in relatively short bursts, as the result of major environmental change) and GRADUALISTS (who are more inclined to believe that evolution occurs more evenly, over longer periods of time). The PUNCTUALISTS seem now to be winning the argument.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Philadelphia, The Faithful Church

Known as the “City of Brotherly love”, this earthquake prone city was the home of this faithful church. Founded by the Pergamon King Attalos II, for his brother Eumenes, this city often changed its name during various times of its history, depending upon what ruler the inhabitants wanted to honor. The name Philadelphia was a reflection of the love and commitment that Attalus II showed to his elder brother Eumenes who ruled throughout Lydia before him. Thus, the “City of Brotherly Love”. Attalos wanted his new city to be a center for the Greco- Roman civilization, this way he could spread the Greek Culture and language toward the east. This made the city of Philadelphia a mission of sorts for evangelizing this new culture. As the last city to fall to the Turks in 1392, Philadelphia’s resistance was haled as an island of Christianity in the sea of Turkish domination. 

According to tradition it is believed that the church was either established by Lucius, a relative of Paul, or by Demetrius, who was sent by the Apostle John. Because Christ was the center of this church, it had an open door to God, and this door was Christ John 10:7 & 1 Timothy 2:5.The church was very active in evangelizing because God had created opportunities for witnessing, outreach, and missions. When a church is faithful, true, and holy, God opens doors Acts 14:27. The more we remain beside Jesus Christ, and the more faithful we are to follow His truth, the more doors will open for us.
Many have wondered what the characteristics of a Philadelphian Christian are. The primary answer would be a Christian who bears the Fruits of the Spirit Galatians, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This type of a Christian reads and meditates upon God's Word daily, thus allowing His wisdom and love to be firmly planted in the mind and heart. This allows the Holy Spirit to work through him. James described this as receiving with meekness the Word of God.
"Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls." James 1:21
The characteristics of a Christian who bears the Fruits of the Spirit, has the type of traits we should all strive to achieve. However, even if we ever reach that point in our walk with Christ, we may not know ourselves that we have achieved that goal. The reason we would not know is because of our humility. Humility is one of the traits of the Philadelphian Christian, humility to the point of indifference towards ones own accomplishments. The other traits are as follows;
Trustworthiness, This Christian is faithful to his calling, even in times of trouble, persecution, and hardship, and he will not depart the calling, but can be trusted in his obedience to the Word.
Loyalty, This Christian is not just loyal to God and His Word, but he is loyal to his fellow Christians who know they can depend upon him to do that which is right.
Helpfulness, This Christian provides assistance to those in need, and they are a useful member in society, that is as long as the tasks they perform for society do not conflict with the laws of God. They will also display a work ethic that is usually one of the best an employer could ask for.
Friendliness, This Philadelphian Christian is friendly to the brethren, and even to those who persecute them by speaking evil or belittling them. This is a very difficult thing to do, and the only way to accomplish it is by being filled with the Holy Spirit to the extent that agape love flows through them to those who persecute and spitefully use them
Courteousness, One who is graciously considerate towards of feelings of others. This Christian does not fly off the handle and verbally abuse others, nor do they hurt the feelings of others through prideful and arrogant actions. A Philadelphian Christian is polite and tactful in their dealings with others, and it shows in their good manners.
Kindness, This person is generous, warm-hearted, charitable, and has legitimate sympathy and understanding for the feelings of others. They are tolerant and patient in the face of provocation from others and are not easily provoked. They are not only decent towards people, but also humane and considerate when dealing with animals.
Obedience, Philadelphian Christians are obedient to God and to those whom God has placed in authority over them. They follow the laws of man and will be seen as a law-abiding citizen. The only time a Philadelphian Christians would rebel against the authorities above them, would be when the orders go against the laws of God.
Cheerfulness, Even in the face of adversity, these Christians are at peace with God because they are filled with the Holy Spirit. They exhibit the joy and pleasure of knowing that they belong to God, regardless of what may happen to them in the World, because they know that one day they will be with God and all suffering, pain, and sorrow will be over.
Thriftiness, These Christians are wise with that which God has entrusted to them. They are also industrious in their work while being very prudent and wise in the way they spend their money.
Bravery, The Philadelphian Christian possesses the kind of courage, boldness and valor that is not the pretentious bravery known as bravado, but instead, this Christian is one who would willingly put their life on the line to save another, and they would be embarrassed by any attention that they may receive for doing so.
Cleanliness, These Philadelphian Christians are free from the stain of sin, and their life is free of addictions and crime. This Philadelphian Christian is not just clean on the inside, but they keep himself clean on the outside.
Reverence, These individuals show deep respect, love, and veneration toward God. You will not catch them slipping and using the Lord's name in vain, because these Christians have a healthy dose of fear and reverence for the Creator of the universe.

In Proverbs 22:1, Solomon tells us that a good name is to be chosen rather than great riches. A man's worth is usually judged by his character and his character is judged by the life he has lived. In His closing remarks to this church, Christ promises that those who overcome and persevered will have three names written on them.
And I will write on him the name of My God, which means that on this pillar, God will write His very own name. The believer persevered for this name. He went through trial for that name so God will write His own name on this pillar.
2.) The second name will be the name of
the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. Chapters 21 & 22 of Revelation gives a brilliant, and striking description of the "New Jerusalem." This is the place of wonderful fellowship with God. To people living in an earthquake zone, this would have been a picture of stability as apposed to destruction and decay, because all Christians will eternally fellowship with God.
3.) Christ says the last shall be
His new name that is written on the believer. No one knows that name yet but in Revelation 19:12 it says that when Jesus appears, He will come with that new name. Just as the followers of Christ are now identified by His name, thus we are called Acts 11:26 Christians, we will then be recognized by His new name, and that name will be written on us.
Like Smyrna, Philadelphia is the only other city of the seven that still has a remnant of Christians left, most likely due to their faithfulness to the Gospel. And although both churches were poor, weak, and suffering from the Jewish persecution, they were full of life and vigor. Just as the city was loyal to the Roman Empire, these Christians stayed loyal to their faith in Christ. Of all the churches John wrote to, Philadelphia’s prosperity lasted the longest, probably as a direct result of God blessing them for their faith in Him. A close look at the message of Revelation 3:10 "I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world”, is believed to refer to a global crisis in the future that Jesus promises to “keep” the church “from” suffering in. Jesus encourages them to “hold fast” and preserver so that no one takes their crown from them. shows what many scholars believe alludes to the rapture of the church before the tribulation that is to come. The phrase “
Like Philadelphia’s history of being a mission for the Greco-Roman culture, this church represents the age of the “Great Awakening” and “Worldwide Missions Movement” started by such notables as evangelical preachers Wesley, Whitefield, Edwards, and missionaries Carey, Judson and Livingstone. Last week I wrote about the church of Sardis and how dead it was. Well, as dead as the Sardis Christians were in their spiritual walk, so was the church of Philadelphia on fire for God, winning souls and teaching the Word with love. The church with "little strength" is now a pillar of strength possessing honor forever in the very presence of God. Every Christian who accepts the finished work of the One who suffered and died on the cross, has eternal life, not temporal life, and that Life is in Christ Jesus.
I pray that those who have ears to hear, will hear the voice of the Lord and call upon His name. Amen

Friday, September 11, 2009

Murder Of A Pro-Life Activist Over An Abortion Sign

In this September 2000 photo, James Pouillon holds one
of the posters he uses to protest abortion in Owosso.

"I'm trying to do for the babies what the Lord did for me," said Jim Pouillon, of Owosso in 2000. "My Bible said we are supposed to be like Jesus." Pouillon was gunned down Friday while protesting abortion in front of Owosso High School. On Sept 11, 2009, his murderer drove off leaving James laying on the grass near his portable oxygen tank and a large poster of a baby with the word "Life."

Time and time again, we are confronted by the harsh reality that one person’s opinion can sometimes cause another person to go to the extreme in making their argument. In the past we have been barraged with the stories of abortion clinic doctors being shot by a Pro-Life supporter. The MSM will go to extreme lengths to equate all pro-life protesters as extremists who need to be stopped. There are even laws in place that have gone so far as to violate the first amendment rights of those who protest by picketing against abortion clinics.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Christ's Message to Sardis, The Dead Church

The fifth church mentioned in John’s message was probably the oldest settlement in Asia Minor. Archeological evidence shows that Sardis was probably first inhabited shortly after the confusion of languages and the subsequent dispersion of the people (Gen 11:5-7). As the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, Sardis was one of the greatest cities of the ancient world. In the 6th century BC it was ruled by a king named Croesus, some believe he was the infamous King Midas of legends of old, and probably the wealthiest man since King Solomon. Like Bill Gates the name Croesus’s, or Midas, became a proverb of sorts for wealth and luxury thanks to the gold and silver panned from the Pactalus River. The abundance of electrum, a gold and silver alloy, allowed the Lydians to be the first society in history to mint coins. By fixing a guarantied value to their coins, the Lydian currency became acceptable for tender in trade throughout the known world.

Sardis, the Lydian Capital, was protected by a fortress built about 1500 feet above the plain on a ridge of the 5800-foot high Mount Tmolus. The precipice was so difficult to reach that it was considered virtually impregnable, so the cliff side of the city was never defended against a military assault. The people of Sardis believed that no army on earth could capture their city. Thus they lived with a smug sense of pride, having confidence in their riches and impregnable fortress. However, like the Titanic that was thought to be unsinkable, Sardis was actually vulnerable and was captured, shocking the ancient world by its defeat. Not once but twice in its history, a band of brave soldiers climbed up the sides of the cliff and entered an unwatched gate. After each disaster the city recovered, but like most people who fail to learn from their history they slipped back into a false sense of security.
Christ used this fact of their history to point out the complacent spirit in the church. When a church begins to love its systems more than it loves Jesus, when it’s more concerned with material things than spiritual things, and when their past history and glory is what they worship, they start to die from within. One of the differences between the message to Sardis and the messages to the other churches, is they were not recognized for any struggles. The church in Sardis was so devoid of life that it actually had no struggles going on within it. There are no Jewish accusers of this church even though it had a large Jewish community with one of the largest synagogues in the Asian Province. They ignored the church, or perhaps did not even know of its existence. There were no false apostles or any of the domineering Nicolaitans who needed to be guarded against and there were no female seducers, as at Thyatira. There was nothing, nada, zip, and that was the ministry of the church at Sardis. It was dead!
Some may have been professing Christians, engaged in religious activities but never truly trusting in Jesus Christ. More than likely, however, they were carnal believers who had made a good start, but had failed to move on, to grow and experience true spirituality. They were active, engaged in works, but temporally dead, out of fellowship with Christ.(Eph 5:14-18) Many Christians today in America fit the description of the Sardis church members, they believe they are saved because they associate themselves with a Christian church. However as James would say, “You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith.” (James 2:18) The point is that while we are saved by faith and not works, our lack of works shows how little faith we really have. Thus we could be in jeopardy of losing our faith if we do not diligently do the works as Christ said,

"But why do you call Me "Lord, Lord,' and not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great." (Luke 6:46-49)

Jesus wanted them to be watchful lest they suffer the same fate as the city had to outside attacks, an obvious warning from the city’s historic problem of not being on guard. (Rev 3:3)
They are also told of a few good followers who have not soiled their garments and will one day be clothed in white. (Rev 3:5) Sardis was devoted to the worship of the mother-goddess Cybele and no temple worshiper was allowed to approach the temple of the gods with soiled or unclean garments. A white and clean robe was required to approach its so-called gods. So the reference to the white robe would make the reader think of purity and acceptance by God. To the allegorist Sardis represents the age of the reformation from Luther to Wesley, approximately 1517-1793. The reformation revealed the wrongs of the church for many followers, but that awakening also showed how little the sheep cared.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Duggers and Overpopulation

The news is out that Jim Bob and Michelle Dugger are having another child, their 19th. Yes you read correctly, 19 children and their oldest son's wife is expecting their first child. Let us all pray that he follows in his parents footsteps, by having as many children and being as prosperous as his parents. I have heard many people ask the question, "Are they keeping up the household without being on the government dole?" The answer to that question would be that they have never received a dime of taxpayer's money. That is not how they operate. In fact the Duggers run a their own ,business which teaches people how to budget and save by buying only what you can afford among other businesses they own and operate. They built their own home themselves, and had it paid for before it was finished. Right about now many liberals are screaming that the world is already overpopulated and this couple are just adding to the problem. Overpopulated? Is it really?

When it comes to having children, most Christians understand that the Lord opens and closes a woman's womb, and it has been that way from the beginning of time. However, mankind has tried to control that which God said is in His control. The first commandment given to man was, “Be fruitful and multiply Gen 1:22”, and He re-iterated that command again after the Flood when he told Noah, “Be fruitful and multiply Gen 9:7”. Try as I may, I have yet to find any passages where God rescinded that command. What He does tell us, is that if we put our faith in Him, He will supply our needs. Something the Duggers have proved time and time again.

However, the world we live in today is dominated by societies that worship the creation over the creator, and thus we hear the constant complaints from the "World is Overpopulated" crowd. Even in the church you will find that many Christians have very little faith in God's ability to supply their needs.

The average family in America has two point five children that consists of one boy and one girl and the statistics do not differ in the families that frequent church. Even in the families that diligently attend church more than once a week reflect the national average of 2.5 children per household. For over 40 years Americans have been bombarded with the idea that humans will overpopulate the planet if we do not limit the number of children being born every year. We have been told time and time again that if we do not control the number of humans who live on this planet that,

it will be done for us by nature, brutally, without pity, and it will leave a ravaged world.” World Population Awareness Nobel Laureate Dr. Henry W. Kendall

As of 2 September 2009, the Earth's population is estimated by the United States Census Bureau to be 6.781 billion. That is a lot of people, and the earth worshipers believe that number is way too high for the planet to properly sustain life. Sadly, very few people realize how preposterous the idea of mankind overpopulating the earth really is. If you take into consideration the latest figures that shows the average human family contains a Mother a Father and 2.5 children, than you will be surprised to learn that the world's population would fit comfortably inside the borders of the country of Australia.

By calculating the number of acres just in Australia alone, you may be shocked at how very unpopulated the earth really is. There are 1,899,461,760 acres of land in the continent of Australia. At 43,560 square feet per acre, that means there is a grand total of 82,740,554,265,600 square feet in Australia. Now, consider that the latest figures for the estimated size of an average family lot with a 2,200 square foot house in the year 2010 will be 11,870 square feet. Now if we calculate the size of the average human family which is 4.5 humans, you will see that every family could actually have a house with a lot size of 54,908 square feet, which is about 4½ times the size that your local city planning commission will allow you to have. That my friends, would leave the rest of the world for food production and other raw material collection.

Now these numbers get even better when you factor in the new technology we have that would allow for super high density populations, such as 1000+ unit apartment complexes. Then when you take into account the portion of the world's population that is under the age of 18. You could probably give a couple acres to each family of the entire world and comfortably fit them all in Australia. Also, Australia is the smallest continent on the planet, whereas Asia has 477,820,303,488,000 sq/ft and Africa has 32,554,273,973,760 sq/ft. Finally, if you took the amount of habitable land in the world 1,449,676,800,000,000 sq/ft and divided it by the world's population, you could theoretically give each person, regardless of age, 213,785 square feet of land, which would be about 4.9 acres per person.

No my friends, this planet is a very, very long way from being overpopulated. As a matter of fact, we could use more Christian families like the Duggers, who decided to follow God's first commandment by being fruitful and multiplying.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thyatira, The Corrupt Church

Of the seven churches addressed by John, the fourth church, Thyatira, is the smallest yet it received the longest message. (Rev 2:18-29) This corrupt church was located 42 miles inland from the Aegean Sea in an alluvial plain between the Hermus and Calcius rivers . There were no natural geographical formations like steep mountains or deep rivers to provide it with a good base from which to defend its position. Its sole purpose was to act as the first line of defense in front of a hostile advancing army and to hinder their movement while the kingdom's main forces were mustered deeper behind the battlefront.

The history of thyatira consists of being controlled by the leading powers of the time, whether it was Alexander’s Greece, the Pergamon Kingdom, Antiochene empire, or the Roman Empire. Because it was so easily overrun, for most of it's history it remained a relatively small city compared to that of Ephesus and Pergamum. However, after Rome introduced Pax Romana, it settled into becoming a fairly peacefull city that boasted more trade guilds than in any other Asian city of its time. From excavated coins it is evident that guilds of carpenters, tent makers, bakers, bronze smiths, wool workers, potters, linen weavers, tanners and the famous dyers of purple were all active in the city. Lydia the seller of purple was from this city (Act 16:14). We do not know if this church was founded by Lydia or not, but it did grow in time to be a very wealthy church. Unfortunately it probably grew wealthy because of its members compromising their values by listening to the advice of a certain prophetess.

As in the rest of the Asian province, guilds, or trade unions, would often hold banquets for its members. These banquets included the eating of food offered to idols and the participation in immoral sexual acts. Coming to Christ meant the loss of their livelihood and financial resources for the Church if they abstained from the communal feasts. However, participation would be tantamount to renouncing the very faith they had come to accept, thus denying the One who suffered and died for them. A prophetess named Jezebel, managed to work out a theology that allowed them to compromise their faith in Christ with continued participation in the local trade unions, and that meant continued financial prosperity and material wealth.
In the Old Testament, Jezebel was the wife of King Ahab, who became a puppet in her hands for working all wickedness in the sight of Jehovah (1Kings 21:25). She established the Phoenician idolatry on a grand scale at her husband's court, maintaining at her table 450 prophets of Baal and 400 of Astarte (1Kings 16:31-32, 1Kings 18:19, 1Kings 18:13). Since that time, the name Jezebel has been known in history as the representative of all that is designing, crafty, malicious, revengeful, cruel, and immoral. We do not know if this prophetess’s real name was Jezebel or if Christ used the name as a description for the type of woman she was. What we do know is that this Jezebel was very influential in leading members of the church into immoral practices with the above mentioned guilds for various pagan gods.
When people deliberately reject the Lord's authority, He is no longer their God. The result is that they must find another god, for it is impossible for the human spirit to live without something to live for. That is the very root of what a god is. That which you worship and live for, that which makes living worthwhile to you, becomes your god. It could be the god of entertainment, like sports, video games, and television, or the god of sexual pleasure, the god of money and wealth, or even the god of ambition that one worships trying to attain fame and fortune. The point is, wherever or whatever you direct your strongest energy towards, that will become the place of greatest temptation in this regard. It would be wise to remember, that the beast you feed will be the one that grows the strongest in your life. In Thyatira, accept for a few faithful, the members of the church were more interested in keeping their jobs than following the true God's commandments. And so, their jobs and their status became their god, while Jezebel was the person Christ pointed to as the reason for their stumbling due to her actions and refusal to repent.
I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. (Rev 2:21-23)
Because Jezebel did not repent of her evils, Christ warns of a certain punishment for her by using a strong Hebraic term that means to “kill” with a most sure and awful form of death. There is also a punishment for those who either commit sins with her, or are led into the same kind of lifestyle if they refuse to repent. As for the words “children” used in verse 23, there is a debate as to whether the words are to be taken literally or figuratively. The word itself could be interpreted either way and there is nothing in the context, nor in the original language, that can be correctly determined. I must also point out that there is precedence to show that other passages in the Scriptures have both literal and figurative meaning, a prime example would be these letters to the seven churches.
Now if the word “children” is to be taken literally, it is in accordance with what is often threatened in the Scriptures, that children shall be visited with calamity for the sin's of their parents. This is not to say that I believe in generational curses, but the very actions of parents do affect the lives of their children. Children of alcoholic or drug addicted parents would be an excellent example of this, because it is not uncommon for whole families to suffer from a parent's neglect due to their addictions. The other side of this debate comes from the understanding that the use of the word “children” is to be taken figuratively. Children would refer to those who have been so infected by Jezebel's doctrines that they would themselves be propagators of this false teaching that has so infected this church. An example would be the way false denominations have begun from the teachings of just a few, or even one misguided individual like the Mormon's Joseph Smith, or Arianism which denies the doctrine of the trinity, this heresy was first propagated by Arius in the 4th century. As for the reference of the word “death”, it alludes to a judgment so severe that it would serve as a stern warning to other churches to beware of such practices.
Prophetically, Thyatira represents the church age from about the 6th to the 16th century, a thousand years that I like to refer to as the "The Devil's Millennium”. It was a time when the church became corrupt by combining pagan rites and Christian teaching. Many heathen rituals were introduced into the churches that in time were accepted as being Biblical. These practices included the worshiping of images, the selling of indulgences to buy ones way out of hell, and various other practices of the priests which were unknown to the early church but gained approval during the devil's millennium. In time it became difficult to distinguish the clergy from the corrupt monarchs, as political power by religious authorities was widely sought. Like the church of Thyatira this age was truly corrupt and dark, as the Light did not burn very bright. Thus we have the term that aptly describes this time, at least the first 500 years or so, as the “Dark Ages”.
The range of praise regarding Thyatira’s spiritual status was perhaps the widest given to any of the seven churches, and it is also the only church that is said to have improved its spiritual condition. However, all the good works were being overshadowed by their inability to smell the stench coming from the practices of those who were corupting it from within. So while Christ did give praise for their love, faith, service, and perseverance, because they did not repent He eventually removed their lampstand. This was a warning Christ gave to the church of Ephesus if they did not return to their first love (Rev 2:5). Now all that remains of this once busy and wealthy church, is stone and dust to mark the place where it once existed. Christians must understand that we can either become corrupt like the Thyatirans or stand fast against the evils and temptations of the world. Ultimately though, the life we live in the world is but a proving ground, and we will be tested daily so that on judgement day we can stand before Christ and hear the words every Christian looks forward to, “Well done good and faithful servant, you may enter my rest”. For those of us who do overcome, we will have it accounted to us for righteousness and receive the Morning Star, Christ Himself. (Rev 22:16)
I pray that those who have ears to hear, will hear His voice and call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.