Posts Tagged ‘Sardis’

Revelation: The Seven Messianic Communities

Growing up near Philadelphia, I always believed the Congregation in Philadelphia was my church because God talked directly to me through the words to that church.  I hung on every sentence even though I was only ten years old and didn’t understand much of what I was reading.   I had no idea the churches were in Asia Minor or Africa or South America.  Philadelphia was my church. Several years ago, God allowed me to attend a Messianic congregation in Philadelphia on the Feast of Trumpets.  A desire of my heart was fulfilled and I cherished the whole experience – even being escorted to the front row with my entire family!

I also had no idea as a child each representation of Messiah, the condition of the congregation, the correction and the reward  had to do with the Jewish roots of Scripture. I didn’t know the only Scriptures the apostle John had were the Hebrew Scriptures and he was in process of writing the revelation.  Everything warning Yeshua gave the congregations can be found throughout the Old Testament, the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings.  Without using those Scriptures, it is easy to misinterpret John’s already confusion vision and the importance of the messages given to the angels who guarded the first century Messianic congregations in Asia Minor.

“This is the revelation which God gave to Yeshua the Messiah, so that he could show his servants what must happen very soon. He communicated it by sending his angel to his servant Yochanan, who bore witness to the Word of God and to the testimony of Yeshua the Messiah, as much as he saw. Blessed are the reader and hearers of the words of this prophecy, provided they obey the things written in it! For the time is near!” (Revelation 1:1-3). 

By the time Yeshua gave John this revelation, non-Jewish believers had joined the Jewish believers in the commonwealth of Isra’el.  These congregations lived a Biblically Jewish lifestyle that built upon the four requirements for leaving pagan religious systems outlined at the Council of Jerusalem and included learning Torah (Acts 15:19-21).  The messages from the Messiah 2000 years ago still have much to say to the Messianic communities that exist around the world today.

The Greeting and the Prophecy

The greeting is from John (Yochanan) written to the seven Messianic communities in Asia.  This is how he begins his letter after the revelation has been given him.  He describes Yahweh as the One who is, who was and who is coming; from the sevenfold Spirit before the throne.  He calls Yeshua the Messiah, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead and ruler of earth’s kings.    He describes Yeshua as the one who loves us and freed us from sin through the ‘cost of his blood.’  He calls the congregation of believers a priesthood in Yahweh’s kingdom where the glory and rulership are His forever.  With these specific descriptions and numerous witnesses, Yochanan making it clear that the revelation is not from him, but from Yeshua the Messiah and Yeshua’s Father.

“Look! He is coming with the clouds!  Every eye will see him, including those who pierced him; and all the tribes of the Land will mourn him. Yes! Amen!” (Revelation 1:7).

Yochanan quotes the prophet Zechariah’s vision of the return of Messiah.  He is giving the foundation for the vision, the events that surround his return including how the Tribes of Isra’el will mourn because they will finally recognize the one they pierced.

The Beginning and the End

“I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z,’” says Adonai, God of heaven’s armiesthe One who is, who was and who is coming” (Revelation 1:8).

“Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last, the Living One. I was dead, but look! — I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys to Death and Sh’ol” (Revelation 1:17-18). 

“Pay attention!” [says Yeshua,] “I am coming soon, and my rewards are with me to give to each person according to what he has done. 13 I am the ‘A’ and the ‘Z,’ the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:12). 

The vision begins with Yeshua saying he is the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the alef and the tau (A and the Z), the God of heaven’s armies, revealing himself to be the Commander in Chief who met with Joshua (Joshua 5:13-15).   He says he once was dead, but now is alive forever and ever.  He also holds the keys to Death and Sheol (Hades).  He concludes the end times vision with similar words in Revelation 22.

In Hebrew, the would not have been A and Z, but alef and tav, the first and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet.  John would have immediately understood the letters A and Z spoken by Yeshua as the alef and the tav.   These two letters are found interspersed throughout the Hebrew verses as את with no specific meaning attached to them.  Yeshua is revealing to Yochanan that he is the את, the shadow, meaning and visual representation of those two letters.

In Hebrew, letters have word pictures attached to them like Egyptian Hieroglyphics.  The letter alef has the word picture of an ‘ox’ and symbolizes ‘first’ and ‘strength.’  The letter tav has the word picutre of an ‘x’ and symbolizes a ‘sign’ or ‘covenant’.  Putting the letter together, the word picture is “I am the first strength, the sign of the covenant.”

This is the revelation which God gave to Yeshua the Messiah, so that he could show his servants what must happen very soon. He communicated it by sending his angel to his servant Yochanan, who bore witness to the Word of God and to the testimony of Yeshua the Messiah, as much as he saw.  Blessed are the reader and hearers of the words of this prophecy, provided they obey the things written in it! For the time is near!” (Revelation 1:1-3). 

Alone on an Island

I, Yochanan, am a brother of yours and a fellow-sharer in the suffering, kingship and perseverance that come from being united with Yeshua. I had been exiled to the island called Patmos for having proclaimed the message of God and borne witness to Yeshua. I came to be, in the Spirit, on the Day of the Lord; and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a trumpet, saying, “Write down what you see on a scroll, and send it to the seven Messianic communities — Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea!” (Revelation 1:9-11). 

Revelation begins with the Jewish apostle John (Yochanan) on an island called Patmos.  He had been exiled from Roman-controlled Palestine (Isra’el) because of his testimony to the Word of God and faith in Yeshua.  As he prepares to leave this world for the next, he is in the Spirit and has an encounter with Yeshua.  This encounter took him to the end times of this present world, the Millennial Kingdom, and into the new heavens and earth.  It must have been comforting for him prophecy being fulfilled.  It must have been an honor to be given the privilege of writing down the revelation of Messiah for those who would live in the ‘Day of the LORD.’

Yochanan was in the Spirit on the ‘Day of the LORD.’  This is generally interpreted to mean ‘the first day of the week or Sunday.  This cannot be the timing as Sunday worship still had not been instituted.  It became the new ‘sabbath’ day when Constantine merged pagan sun-god worship with his perception of Christianity.  Sunday worship was fully established by the Roman catholic church and has been embraced by every Christian denomination since that time.

Though Paul (Sha’ul) mentions the ‘first day of the week’ in several of his letters,  none of the verses ever suggest the Sabbath as created by God had been changed by Yeshua or the apostles.  In Acts 20:7, the meeting on the ‘first day of the week’ took place in evening as there were lamps lit.  The ‘first day of the week’ had begun at sunset after the Sabbath.  As was the custom after resting on the Sabbath, people would come together to share a meal or ‘break bread’ known as Motza’ei-Shabbat.  Sha’ul spoke quite late and Eutychus fell out of the window and died (Acts 20:9).  The other mention of the ‘first day of the week’ is found in 1 Corinthians 16:2 in reference to putting aside money on the ‘first day of the week’ so when Sha’ul came to speak a collection would not need to be taken.  Money was never dealt with on the Sabbath because there was to be ‘no buying or selling.’  The Jews did their financial activities after the Sabbath; not on the Sabbath.

There is no Biblical evidence the first century believers commemorated the Yeshua’s resurrection on the the ‘first day of the week.’  The resurrection was remembered on the ‘appointed time’ called Feast of Firstfruits celebrated after the Passover.  This is referenced by Sha’ul in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 when he says Yeshua is  the firstfruits of those raised from the dead.

If the ‘Day of the LORD’ was a specific day of the week, it would most likely have been the seventh-day Sabbath as Yeshua said he was “Lord of the Shabbat,” his Father’s holy day.  If  the “LORD’S Day” is the day of which Yeshua is Lord, then it would have to be the Biblical Sabbath.

The Day of the LORD

The ‘Day of the LORD’ is actually the time period from when God’s judgment of earth and mankind begins through the 1000-year Millennial Kingdom.   According to Peter, a day in God’s timing is like 1000 years so the ‘Day of the LORD’ would be a 1000-year period of time (2 Peter 3:8).

Several prophets describe this ‘Day’ quite clearly.  It is not a day of joy, a memorial to the resurrection of Messiah nor is it the time to wish someone a “Happy Lord’s Day” unless you are encouraging them to look  forward to a period of destruction unparalleled since the beginning of time and strengthening to endure patiently.   The “LORD’s Day” is the judgment day of the ‘I AM,’ Yahweh.

“Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty…. See, the day of the LORD is coming – a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger – to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it” (Isaiah 13:6, 9).

“For the day is near, the day of the LORD is near – a day of clouds, a time of doom for the nations” (Ezekiel 30:3).

“Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD!  Why do you long for the day of the LORD?  That day will be darkness, not light” (Amos 5:18).

“Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill.  Let all who live in the land tremple, for the day of the LORD is coming.  It is close at hand …” (Joel 2:1).

The Trumpet Blast

Shout out loud! Don’t hold back! Raise your voice like a shofar! Proclaim to my people what rebels they are, to the house of Ya‘akov their sins” (Isaiah 58:1). 

In the Spirit, Yochanan hears a voice like a trumpet (shofar) that tells him to write down everything he hears. In the ‘appointed times’ or mo’edim established by God, the next festival to be fulfilled by Yeshua is the Feast of Trumpets or Yom Teruah.

The Feast of Trumpets begins what is known as the ‘Days of Awe’ before the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur.  The ten ‘Days of Awe’ are a time of repentance and preparing oneself to stand before the throne of God when books are opened, every personal deed is revealed and final judgment is rendered.  Each of the messages include commendations, warnings and rewards. The voice of the shofar implies the messages are given on the Feast of Trumpets as Yeshua’s way to prepare his people spiritually for the coming ‘Days of Awe’  and impending Yom Kippur. 

“And I saw the dead, both great and small, standing in front of the throne. Books were opened; and another book was opened, the Book of Life; and the dead were judged from what was written in the books, according to what they had done” (Revelation 20:12).

Yeshua appears to Yochanan in his glorified body in the middle of seven menorahs.   He wears a robe down to his feet and a gold band around his chest.  His hair and head are as white as wool, his eyes like a fiery flame, his feet like burnished brass refined in a furnace. His voice sounds like rushing waters and is face is bright like the sun shining in full strength.

Yochanan had a normal human reaction to seeing the glorified Yeshua dressed in a robe and sash around his chest like a High Priest (Exodus 28).  He fell down at Yeshua’s feet like a dead man.  Yeshua tells him not to be afraid. If he was going to be afraid of seeing Yeshua, how could he show him everything that needed to be revealed in the heavens, on the earth and under the earth?

Revelation often instills fear in its readers because it has some disturbing and confusing imagery.  Yet, Yeshua does not want anyone to be afraid to read what Yochanan wrote.  He has already promised blessing for those who read the words, hear the words and obey them.

I turned around to see who was speaking to me; and when I had turned, I saw seven gold menorahs; and among the menorahs …. In his right hand he held seven stars, out of his mouth went a sharp double-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength” (Revelation 1:12,16).

Yeshua  holds seven stars in his right hand and out of his mouth comes a sharp double-edged sword. He explains the seven stars as the seven angels that guard and protect the Messianic communities.   The seven menorahs are the seven Messianic communities.  Each of them shines as a menorah; each of them has spiritual protection and guidance.   The seven messages are not written directly to the individual Messianic community, but to the angel or overseer of that congregation.  Seven is the number of completion symbolizing that the revelation will be and is complete.

Messianic Community in Ephesus

“To the angel of the Messianic Community in Ephesus, write: ‘Here is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven gold menorahs: “I know what you have been doing, how hard you have worked, how you have persevered, and how you can’t stand wicked people; so you tested those who call themselves emissaries but aren’t — and you found them to be liars. You are persevering, and you have suffered for my sake without growing weary. But I have this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Therefore, remember where you were before you fell, turn from this sin, and do what you used to do before. Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your menorah from its place — if you don’t turn from your sin! But you have this in your favor: you hate what the Nicolaitans do — I hate it too. Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities. To him winning the victory I will give the right to eat from the Tree of Life which is in God’s Gan-‘Eden'” (Revelation 2:1-7).

Yeshua begins with the Messianic Community in Ephesus. Ephesus was a Greek city known for its Temple to Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.  Acts 19 recounts Paul’s visit to Ephesus and his comments regarding the goddess Artemis and the fallen stone.  Within this city, there is great darkness so the light of Ephesus’ menorah is very important. 

Yeshua sends the first angel with a message for Ephesus.  He describes himself as the ‘one who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven gold menorahs.’  He holds the seven angels in his right hand releasing them to give messages to the seven congregations.   Yeshua, as the pure Menorah, walks among the menorahs of his people.  Without him, there is no true light in the darkness (John 1:9).

The menorah in the Tabernacle made of pure hammered gold.  No dimensions were given to Moshe as it was made in the image of the one in the heavenly Tabernacle that God showed him on the mountain.  It lit the Holy Place for the priests who ministered at the Altar of Incense and the Table of Presence.

The Messianic Jews and non-Jews in Ephesus work hard.  They persevere, they don’t grow weary.  They hate wickedness and those who lie.  Yet, they have one grievous sin; they lost their first love, Yeshua.  Though they may take care of the poor, the widow and the orphan, they no longer do it out of love for the ‘light of the world.’ Without love for Yeshua, their light is not dull, but darkness.

Sha’ul’s letter to the Ephesians is filled with hope and encouragement.  He writes about their inheritance and standing in the heavenly realm.  He explains how they have become part of the commonwealth of Isra’el and are being built into a holy, spiritual temple.  In his letter, he compares Messiah and the body of believers to a marriage relationship.   However, it is to the Ephesians that he writes their salvation is by grace through faith, not their works.

Yeshua sees their works, but not their love. If they don’t repent and return to loving him with all of their hearts, minds, and souls, their menorah will be removed.  Without his light, they won’t be a light to the dark city around them and their testimony of will be snuffed out.

They do hate the Nicolaitans which is in their favor.  In Greek, nico is ‘conquer,’ and laitan refers to ‘lay people,’ thus Nicolaitan means  ‘conquer the lay people.’   This implies there is a hierarchy in Ephesus of those who rule and those who submit.   Yeshua hates this hierarchy because he is to be the only Shepherd over his sheep, King over his kingdom, High Priest over his priesthood and the Bridegroom for his bride.  

The Roman catholic church perfectly exemplifies priests over the masses and the hierarchy of pastors over lay people.  ‘Conquering the people’ suggests that if a lay person reads their Bible and sees a Truth, then the  ‘conqueror’ quenches that Truth so he can keep control over the masses.  The thousands of people who warm auditorium chairs and no longer read the Scriptures and who depend on a pastor’s interpretation for the Word are evidence of a modern-Nicolaitan church culture.

For the overcomer Isra’el, there will be a reward when Yeshua returns.  They will be allowed to eat from the Tree of Life in the new heavens and new earth.  They will be allowed into the Garden of Eden and experience the total restoration of everything, including the eternal Sabbath (Revelation 22:14).  

Yeshua uses the word overcomer for the victor in a battle.  In Genesis, Jacob wrestles with an ‘angel of the LORD.’   The wrestling match appears to be between equals, but Jacob doesn’t give up.    The angel touches Jacob’s hip and dislocates it, but Jacob continues to wrestle the angel until daybreak when he requests a blessing.  “Then the man said, ‘From now on, you will no longer be called Jacob, but Isra’el, because you have struggled with God and men and have overcome” (Genesis 32:28, NIV).  In the eyes of Yeshua who was the ‘angel of the LORD,’ anyone who struggles spiritually with God and men and is victorious, is Isra’el.

In order to receive their reward, the believers in Ephesus must return to their first love so their menorah will not be removed leaving them to assimilate into the darkness of the world.

“How blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they have the right to eat from the Tree of Life and go through the gates into the city!” (Revelation 22:14).

Messianic Community in Smyrna

 “To the angel of the Messianic Community in Smyrna, write: ‘Here is the message from the First and the Last, who died and came alive again: “I know how you are suffering and how poor you are (though in fact you are rich!), and I know the insults of those who call themselves Jews but aren’t — on the contrary, they are a synagogue of the Adversary. Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. Look, the Adversary is going to have some of you thrown in prison, in order to put you to the test; and you will face an ordeal for ten days. Remain faithful, even to the point of death; and I will give you life as your crown. Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities. He who wins the victory will not be hurt at all by the second death”’ (Revelation 2:8-11).

The second angel is sent with a message from Yeshua to the congregation in Smyrna.  Smyrna was located on the Aegean coast of Anatolia where it could easily defend itself from an enemy attack.  It is known today as Izmir in modern-day Turkey.  Smyrna is the ancient Greek word for myrrh.  As an essential oil, it has healing qualities for the skin and used to anoint a body for burial.

Yeshua reveals himself to Smyrna as “the first and the last, who died and came alive again.”  With the ‘first and last’ reference, this congregation of Jews and non-Jews would have immediately understood that Yeshua is the את found between the lines in their Scriptures.   Because the believers in Smyrna are going to become martyrs, Yeshua encourages them in the hope that he died and came back to life (John 11:25).  The word ‘martyr’ in Greek means ‘witness.’  These believers are going to be ‘witnesses’ of Yeshua until they are killed.

The condition of the congregation in Smyrna is one of suffering and poverty.  They are insulted by those who call themselves Jews, but are not.  Yeshua calls these false Jews members of the synagogue of the Adversary.

A Jew is a descendant from the Tribe of Judah just as Yeshua was.  In the physical, blood lineage determines Jewish heritage. The term ‘Jew’ in a religious context, however, from Biblical times up to our modern era, became the common name for anyone who was circumcised and adhered to the practices of Judaism regardless of tribal affiliation or ethnicity.    In his letter to the Galatians,  Sha’ul refers to Jews as the ‘circumcision group’ and the gentiles as the ‘uncircumcision’ group – to describe those who were Jewish or non-Jewish in the Body of Messiah.

In Romans 2:27-29, Sha’ul defines the ‘true Jew.’  “For the real Jew is not merely Jewish outwardly: true circumcision is not only external and physical.  On the contrary, the real Jew is one inwardly; and true circumcision is of the heart, spiritual not literal; so that his praise comes not from other people but from God.”  This definition works for the individual in the ‘circumcision group’ who has faith in Messiah Yeshua as well as the individual in the ‘uncircumcision group.’  Both have circumcision of the heart and both praise the God of Isra’el together.

Using Sha’ul’s definition for Jew, there must be some individuals in Smyrna who are either not from the Tribe of Judah claiming they are, or teaching that non-Jewish believers must be circumcised to obey the commandments (Judaizing).  It could even be that there are gentile converts to Judaism insulting other gentile believers who refuse to convert to Judaism because of their faith in Messiah.  Whatever the scenario, Yeshua calls these men liars and the  ‘Synagogue of Satan.’  This is a harsh judgment because the testimony of Yeshua is Jew and non-Jew worshipping together  as ‘one new man.’  If these ‘liars’ in the synagogue wanted everyone to  convert to Judaism through rituals,  then the message of Yeshua for the nations would become perverted and lost.

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:10).

Yeshua has no corrections for Smyrna because he knows their fate.  They are going to suffer at the hands of the Adversary and be tested ‘for ten days.’  ‘Ten days’ could be a reference to the Ten Days of Awe following the Feast of Trumpets and the shofar blast.   The Days of Awe are to test the heart and mind of an individual to see if they are right with God and, Smyrna will be tested.  Or, Smyrna will be persecuted and face death at the hands of false Jews who are used by the Adversary, like the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:54-60).  Smyrna’s faithfulness through their time of testing will result in death, but they will receive the Crown of Life, promised to those who love God,  and the second death will not hurt them.

“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for testifying about Yeshua and proclaiming the Word of God, also those who had not worshipped the beast or its image and had not received the mark on their foreheads and on their hands.  They came to life and ruled with the Messiah for a thousand years…. This is the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy is anyone who has a part in the first resurrection; over him the second death has no power.  On the contrary, they will be cohanim (priests)  of God and of the Messiah, and they will rule with him for the thousand years” (Revelation 20:4-6).

Messianic Community in Pergamum

“To the angel of the Messianic Community in Pergamum, write: ‘Here is the message from the one who has the sharp double-edged sword:  “I know where you are living, there where the Adversary’s throne is. Yet you are holding onto my name. You did not deny trusting me even at the time when my faithful witness Antipas was put to death in your town, there where the Adversary lives. Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: you have some people who hold to the teaching of Bil‘am, who taught Balak to set a trap for the people of Isra’el, so that they would eat food that had been sacrificed to idols and commit sexual sin. Likewise, you too have people who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore, turn from these sins. Otherwise, I will come to you very soon and make war against them with the sword of my mouth.  Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities. To him winning the victory I will give some of the hidden man. I will also give him a white stone, on which is written a new name that nobody knows except the one receiving it'” (Revelation 2:12-17). 

The third angel sent by Yeshua has a message for Pergamum.  Pergamum was a city in ancient Greece located in Asia Minor some miles inland from the Aegean Sea.  This city had multiple shrines for the worship of Athena, Dionysus and Zeus.  The Great Altar of Zeus partially remains on the Acropolis; the other part is in the Pergamum museum in Germany.

Yeshua refers to himself in this message as the “one who has the sharp double-edged sword.”  The double-edged sword is a description of the Word of God that judges the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts (Hebrews 4:12).  Yeshua says the Adversarywho twists the Word of God and hates Isra’el and the Jewish people, has his throne in Pergamum.  This congregation’s battle is with the Adversary and his ability to twist the Word of God and lead the believers of Pergamum into deception and a hatred of God’s chosen people.     

The congregation in Pergamum is commended for holding onto Yeshua’s name.  Over the centuries, the Adversary has played a major role in changing the Hebrew name, Yeshua, into the Greek rendering, Jesus.  Using the Yeshua’s name set people free from demons and the worship of other gods, but it also brought the prospect of death.  This congregation watched a faithful man named Antipas die.  According to wikipedia,  Antipas was martyred in a bronze bull-shaped altar used for casting out demons.  The name of Yeshua would nullify this practice so holding onto his name held consequences.  

There are some believers in Pergamum who hold to the teachings of Baalam.  Balaam was a prophet who was hired to curse Isra’el.  On his way to meet Balak, the king of Moab, his donkey saw an ‘angel of the LORD’ and  went off the road, pushed Balaam’s legs into a rock wall, and then laid down. The ‘angel of the LORD,’ that frightened the donkey held a double-edged sword as a reminder for Balaam to only speak God’s words.  Though he tried to curse Isra’el several times, he could not curse those who God had blessed (Numbers 24:9).  Instead, he prophesied over Isra’el and then Balak.  It seems, however, from Yeshua’s words that once Balaam learned he could not curse Isra’el, he taught Balak how to entice them to sin. 

When missionaries from western nations take a blonde Jesus who doesn’t keep the Sabbath, doesn’t celebrate the Biblical holy days and eats all manner of unclean foods, they ‘entice Isra’el to sin.’  We recently received a letter asking us to support a young woman who wants to go into the mission field in Isra’el.   She needed to raise thousands of dollars to ‘take the love of Jesus’ to the Jewish people. However, she is steeped in anti-semitic doctrines and her message will only entice them to sin and deny the one who carries the ‘double-edge sword.’ 

The two-edged sword of Yeshua’s mouth will make war with those who curse Isra’el.  Baalam learned he could not curse the people who were blessed by God; Balak, too, saw that God’s chosen people could not be cursed.  Those who reject the eternal promises and prophecies in the Scriptures regarding the chosen people blame the Jews for everything from killing Jesus to whatever happens in the stock market.   Balak was warned by Baalam and the nations hostile to Isra’el today should heed that warning.  Isra’el is still God’s chosen nation, the Land is remains His and His Name continues to reside in the eternal city of Jerusalem.  Those who curse Isra’el will be cursed; those who bless Isra’el will be blessed.   

Believers in Pergamum who overcome the teachings of Baalam and Balak will receive hidden manna.  A jar of manna was kept in the Ark of the Covenant as evidence of God’s physical provision for the Israelites.  This manna is the spiritual direction found in God’s Word and needed to have victory over the enticing sins of the  Adversary.  Yeshua reveals himself to be the ‘hidden manna,’ the bread that came down from heaven (John 6:51).  

The overcomer Isra’el  in Pergamum will receive a white stone with a new name written on it, new name suggesting their adoption into the family of God is a complete.  A white stone was given to the victor of a race.  Believers in the Pergamum congregation were running a race and heading toward the finished line.  They are only hindered by the sins of Baalam and Balak which need to be removed in order to receive the white stone.  A white stone was also used as a banquet invitation for a special guest.  This white stone with a new name could be the invitation the overcomer  receives to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.  

Messianic Community in Thyatira

To the angel of the Messianic Community in Thyatira, write: ‘Here is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like a fiery flame and whose feet are like burnished brass: I know what you are doing, your love, trust, service and perseverance. And I know that you are doing more now than before.  But I have this against you: you continue to tolerate that Izevel woman, the one who claims to be a prophet, but is teaching and deceiving my servants to commit sexual sin and eat food that has been sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to turn from her sin, but she doesn’t want to repent of her immorality.  So I am throwing her into a sickbed; and those who commit adultery with her I am throwing into great trouble, unless they turn from the sins connected with what she does;  and I will strike her children dead! Then all the Messianic communities will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts, and that I will give to each of you what your deeds deserve.  But to the rest of you in Thyatira, to those who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some people call the ‘deep things’ of the Adversary, I say this: I am not loading you up with another burden;  only hold fast to what you have until I come.  To him who wins the victory and does what I want until the goal is reached, I will give him authority over the nations; he will rule them with a staff of iron and dash them to pieces like pottery,  just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star. Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities'” (Revelation 2:18-29).

Yeshua sends the fourth angel with a message for the congregation in Thyatira. This city was named after the Greek goddess Pelopia. It is located south of modern-day Istanbul (aka Constantinople named after Constantine).  A god-fearer named Lydia who sold purple cloth was from Thyatira.  When she heard Shau’ls  message of salvation, the LORD opened her heart.   She was so full of joy that she invited Sha’ul and Silas to her home (Acts 16:14-15).

Yeshua reveals himself to this congregation as ‘the Son of God’  with a very detailed description.  His  eyes are a fiery flame and his  feet are burnished brass.  With his fiery eyes, he searches minds and hearts and gives to each person what they deserve.  For those who don’t believe Yeshua will judge his followers, this message of fire and burnt brass is written to believers.   Everyone is accountable for everything said and done, and how we build on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.

“If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is because the Day [of the LORD] will bring it to light.  It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.  If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.  If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Corinthians 3:13).   

The congregation in Thyatira has love, faith, service and perseverance.  They continue to grow in their faith and their works increase as they mature.  However, they tolerate a woman known as Jezebel, a false prophetess,  who leads God’s people into sexual immorality and eating food sacrificed to idols.   Yeshua has dealt with her before and has given her time to repent, but she has refused.  He will throw her onto a sickbed and those who commit [spiritual] adultery with her will have great trouble.  He will even strike “her children dead!” 

The account of Jezebel is found in the Book of 1 Kings.  She married Ahab who was the King over northern Isra’el.  He was a weak man and Jezebel, being a very strong woman, took authority over her husband and the kingdom.  She did not love the God of Isra’el and she had no moral compass.  She had temples established in northern Isra’el to worship of Ba’al.  She had her husband steal Nahab’s vineyard and kill him.   She had many of Isra’el’s prophets murdered.  Only the prophet Elijah stood against her and the 450 prophets of Ba’al.  When  the God of Isra’el  is proven greater and more powerful than the Ba’als,  Elijah and Jezebel become enemies with Jezebel seeking Elijah’s death.  After King Ahab dies, Jehu is anointed by Elisha to overthrow the house of Ahab and confront Jezebel.  She eventually dies by falling from a balcony and her body is eaten by dogs.

Jezebel knows ‘Satan’s dark secrets.’ This makes her not only a false prophetess, but a worker of the occult.   She is also called an adulteress.  Those who follow her false prophecies and demonic teachings commit spiritual adultery with her and will suffer the consequences.  The children produced from the adulterous practices, whether physical or spiritual, will die.  The consequences of having any kind of relationship with Jezebel are severe: a bed of suffering, trouble and dead children.

Sexual immorality – fornication, adultery and homosexuality – causes suffering physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Fornication spreads sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies resulting in the abortion of  millions of children.   Adultery causes suffering in marriages destroying families and splintering the lives of children.  Homosexuality made AIDS a culture disease which causes incredible suffering within the human body.   To be thrown onto a bed of suffering alludes to the  ‘lake of fire that burns with sulfur’ which is the second death representing complete spiritual death.  Spiritual death is eternal without any hope of restoration.  It is the final judgment for the Adversary, the beast, the false prophet and Jezebel.

But fire came down from heaven and consumed them. The Adversary who had deceived them was hurled into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:9-10). 

Fighting against the spirit of Jezebel is oppressive and quite burdensome.  There is always the temptation to fall into spiritual adultery because the Adversary can be enticing.  The battle is so fierce for the believers in Thyatira that Yeshua adds nothing more for them to overcome.   He only asks that they do not fall prey to Jezebel’s satanic secrets and ‘hold fast to what you have until I come.’

Those who overcome – Isra’el – will receive authority to rule over the nations.  Their authority will not be usurped by a demonic spirit, but they will rule with an iron staff and crush the nations to pieces like pottery.  Their authority will not be readily accepted, but they will have victory because they overcame the ‘spirit of Jezebel.’

Yeshua will also give them the Morning Star.  This is the true word of prophecy.  Discerning true prophets of God who build up and encourage the congregation from false ones, like Jezebel, who destroy the congregation of Thyatira is essential.

“Yes, we have the prophetic Word made very certain. You will do well to pay attention to it as to a light shining in a dark, murky place, until the Day dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19)

Messianic Community in Sardis

“To the angel of the Messianic Community in Sardis, write: ‘Here is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars: “I know what you are doing — you have a reputation for being alive, but in fact you are dead! Wake up, and strengthen what remains, before it dies too! For I have found what you are doing incomplete in the sight of my God. So remember what you received and heard, and obey it, and turn from your sin! For if you don’t wake up, I will come like a thief; and you don’t know at what moment I will come upon you. Nevertheless, you do have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes; and they will walk with me, clothed in white, because they are worthy. He who wins the victory will, like them, be dressed in white clothing; and I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life; in fact, I will acknowledge him individually before my Father and before his angels. Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities'” (Revelation 3:1-6). 

This message of Yeshua is taken by the fifth angel to Sardis.  Sardis was an important city of the Persian Empire, modern-day Iraq.  It had a strong military presence and was located on the major highway leading from the interior of the Aegean coast to the plains of Mesopotamia.

Yeshua reveals himself to Sardis as the one who “has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars.”  He has already explained that the seven stars are the seven angels watching over the congregations. He uses these words to witness that he is the one giving the message, not the angel who is only the messenger.

The sevenfold Spirit of God is described by the prophet Isaiah, “But a branch will emerge from the trunk of Yishai [Jesse], a shoot will grow from his roots.  The Spirit of Adonai will rest on him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and power, the Spirit of knowledge and fearing Adonai – he will be inspired by fearing Adonai” (Isaiah 11:1-2).

The congregation in Sardis has a reputation of being alive, but is really dead.  Yeshua tells them to strengthen what little they still have or it will die too.  The Spirit of God gives life to the believer; thus it seems Sardis is missing the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) (John 6:63).

Yeshua emphatically tells Sardis to “Wake Up!”  These are shocking words to those who are asleep (Ephesians 5:14).  The Sardis congregation is sleep-walking and unaware of their complacency.  If they don’t WAKE UP,  Yeshua will come like a thief and they will miss the moment.

In Matthew 25 Yeshua tells the parable of the ten bridesmaids.  The bridegroom takes a long time to arrive and they all fall asleep.  Only five of them, when they hear the voice of the bridegroom, have oil in their lamps and go with him into the wedding banquet.  The other five are not ready, have to go buy more oil and are left outside when the bridegroom shuts the door.

Oil in this parable is symbolic of the Spirit of God.   All ten were bridesmaids, but for the five that did not have the Spirit’s oil,  Yeshua came like a thief in the night leaving them behind.

“Therefore keep watch because you do not know the day or the hour” (Matthew 25:13).

One Hebrew idiom for the Feast of Trumpets is ‘no one knows the day or the hour’ because the ‘appointed time’ fell on a new moon.  Only the high priest, after receiving the testimony of two witnesses, determined the exact moment the month and therefore the holy day would being.   At some future Feast of Trumpets, our Bridgegroom will have an angel sound the shofar to call his waiting and prepared Bride to himself (1 Thessalonians 5).  The warning for Sardis is to WAKE UP, trim the wicks MAKE SURE there is oil in their lamps!

The works of the people in Sardis are incomplete in God’s sight.  This is another inference these believers have lamps, but no oil; the Word, but no actions.  They have forgotten what they received and heard and no longer obey the gospel message. The result is spiritual complacency or deadness.  Yeshua compares their incomplete works to soiled clothing or spotted wedding gowns.

“So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this (new heaven and new earth), make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him” (2 Peter 3:14).

Many believers have become complacent because they have fallen into a great deception: they are no longer under the teachings of Torah, the instructions of God.  They have removed one-half of the Bible’s instructions  from their theology essentially leaving millions of sincere believers living in sin and disobedience.  This is the same as killing the message of life.

Sardis is to remember what they heard and obey it. If there were nothing to obey, no rules or Torah commands, then this would be a foolish correction from Yeshua.   Peter confirms the gospel is more than just a belief system, it’s about remembering, hearing, and obeying (1 Peter 4:17).  Even Yeshua says that in order to receive the Spirit of God, the Ruach HaKodesh, one must obey the commandments (John 14:15-16).

There are some followers of Messiah in Sardis who have not soiled their gowns. They will walk with him clothed in white because they are worthy of receiving such a reward.   Those who have victory over complacency will also receive white robes.  To everyone who overcomes, their name will never be blotted out of the Book of Life and they will be personally acknowledged by Yeshua before his Father.

Those in Sardis who have spotted gowns will be blotted out of the Book of Life.  They will spend eternity in the outer darkness away from the light of the New Jerusalem where there is weeping and gnashing of  teeth – the place of greatest regret.  Moses knew there was a Book of Life and was willing to take upon himself the sins of Isra’el as the intercessor for God’s people (Exodus 32:32).  What an amazing love for Isra’el!

Sardis was not a living part of the Body of Messiah in spite of its reputation.  It was dead and needed to WAKE UP or lose the eternal reward.  The overcomer – Isra’el –  will  stand before the throne of God on the final Day of Atonement when the books are opened to find his name written in the Book of Life.   Yeshua will call him or her by name and introduce them to his Father saying, “Well done good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21-24).

“I saw no Temple in the city … the gates will will never close, they stay open all day because night will not exist there, and the honor and splendor of the nations will be brought into it.  Nothing impure may enter it, nor anyone who does shameful things or lies; the only ones who may enter are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:22-27).

Messianic Congregation in Philadelphia

“To the angel of the Messianic Community in Philadelphia, write: ‘Here is the message of HaKadosh, the True One, the one who has the key of David, who, if he opens something, no one else can shut it, and if he closes something, no one else can open it.“I know what you are doing. Look, I have put in front of you an open door, and no one can shut it. I know that you have but little power, yet you have obeyed my message and have not disowned me. Here, I will give you some from the synagogue of the Adversary, those who call themselves Jews but aren’t — on the contrary, they are lying — see, I will cause them to come and prostrate themselves at your feet, and they will know that I have loved you. Because you did obey my message about persevering, I will keep you from the time of trial coming upon the whole world to put the people living on earth to the test. I am coming soon; hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown.  I will make him who wins the victory a pillar in the Temple of my God, and he will never leave it. Also I will write on him the name of my God and the name of my God’s city, the new Yerushalayim coming down out of heaven from my God, and my own new name. Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities'” (Revelation 3:7-13). 

Philadelphia was another city in Asia Minor also known as Alasehir.  It means the “City of Brotherly Love” and was  located in the Aegean region of Turkey.  The message the sixth angel brings to the congregation in Philadelphia is that Yeshua is the one with “the message of the HaKodesh [the Spirit], the True One, the one who has the key of David.” 

The prophet Isaiah refers to the key of David on Messiah’s shoulder, “I will place the key of David’s house on his [Yeshua’s] shoulder; no one will shut what he opens; no one will open what he shuts” (Isaiah 22:22).   Both Scriptures speak of a door that can only be opened and shut by the one who has the key of David.  Because he is the “root and offspring of David,” Yeshua is the one who holds the key.  What door does the key open?  The door to the eternal ‘house’ or Kingdom promised to King David.

To each of the congregations, Yeshua says, “Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities.”  This is an admonition to listen to the Ruach HaKodesh because his messages are spiritually discerned.  Only those who have been born of the Spirit have spiritual ears, but those ears must be fine-tuned to hear his voice.  Yeshua’s message to Philadelphia is from the Ruach HaKodesh, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17).  This implies the believers in Philadelphia have the Spirit of God and walk in that Spirit.  Unlike Sardis that is dead, Philadelphia is alive.

The believers in Philadelphia continue in their works despite having little power.  This cannot be referring to the Ruach HaKodesh which is all-powerful, but the power they seem to be having in the world as a witness.  They obey the gospel and have not disowned Yeshua.  Like Smyrna, they have to deal with those who call themselves Jews but are not.  These false Jews must be telling the believers in Philadelphia that Yeshua does not love them and have distorted the love of Messiah.  The city of brotherly love appears to have a love issue between brothers.   These ‘liars’ will, at some point in the future, prostrate themselves at the feet of the believers in Philadelphia admitting that Yeshua has loved them.

Within the theology of the Two-House movement  is the belief there are only two houses of Israel – those who are Jews and of the House of Judah and those who are of the House of Isra’el or Ephraimites.  The Ephraimites are considered ‘lost tribes’ scattered among the nations of the world who have suddenly come to understand their ‘Hebrew roots.’   They take on an exterior facade of being Jewish while at the same time separating themselves from ‘the Jews.’  They claim that because God divorced Judah, the Jews have lost their share in the Kingdom.  This teaching is anti-semitic at its core and creates a congregation of ‘false Jews’

Trusting in the work of Yeshua on the cross is the only way to be born again into the eternal Kingdom.  Only the Jewish Messiah has the keys to the door of that Kingdom.   No one in the Body of Messiah should ever separate from Yeshua’s brothers and sisters as it was through their lineage that Yeshua was born.

Perseverance through these trials will keep the congregation in Philadelphia from the time of trial coming on the whole earth.  How this will come to pass remains to be seen; however, these believers are going to be kept safe from the time of judgment, the Day of the LORD’s vengeance, because they have endured patiently.  With their little strength,  they keep the  commandments as the testimony of their faith in Yeshua (Revelation 12:17, 14:12).   Yeshua tells them to hold on to what they have so no one will take away their Crown of Righteousness, a sign of how they lived rightly before God in this world.

“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).

Philadelphia’s reward includes more than a crown of righteousness.  This congregation will become a pillar in the Temple of God, the Millennial Temple.   A pillar supports and adorns a building.  The congregation of Philadelphia will be given a prominent place in the Temple and they will never leave .  A pillar of fire hovered over the Tabernacle in the wilderness.  It embodied the glory of Yahweh.  To be a pillar in the Temple may imply that the congregation of Philadelphia will be the glory of Yeshua during his millennial reign.   Immortal and set apart men and women ruling and reigning with him in their glorified bodies as his royal priesthood.

“I will also write on him the name of my God and the name of my God’s city, the new Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from my God, and my own new name” (Revelation 3:12).

This is greatest reward given any of the seven congregations.  These believers are not just invited guests to a wedding feast; they are the honored, rewarded Bride of Messiah.   Yeshua’s  Bride will receive the family name, the name of Yahweh.  She will receive a new home, the New Jerusalem.  She will also receive a new name that is the name of her Bridegroom: King of kings and LORD of Lords.

Philadelphia represents the followers Yeshua who have prepared themselves to be the Bride of Messiah.  This congregation has grown into maturity and not faltered in her first love.  She has not soiled her clothes nor forgotten to obey the good news she has heard.   She has withstood the tests and trials and has not fallen into sexual immorality or eaten foods sacrificed to idols. She has not learned the deep secrets of the Adversary.  She has remained faithful and awake preparing for the return of her Bridegroom with oil in her lamp.   Though it takes almost all of her strength to endure patiently, she is welcomed into the Kingdom by Yeshua who holds the key to the House of David.  She is given the greatest of all rewards, a gown of fine linen that stands for her righteous living.

“Let us rejoice and be glad! Let us give him the glory! For the time has come for the wedding of the Lamb, and his Bride has prepared herself — fine linen, bright and clean has been given her to wear.” (“Fine linen” means the righteous deeds of God’s people.)” (Revelation 19:7-8).

Messianic Congregation of Laodicea

“To the angel of the Messianic Community in Laodicea, write: ‘Here is the message from the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the Ruler of God’s creation: “I know what you are doing: you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth! For you keep saying, ‘I am rich, I have gotten rich, I don’t need a thing!’ You don’t know that you are the one who is wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked!  My advice to you is to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich; and white clothing, so that you may be dressed and not have to be ashamed of your nakedness; and eyesalve to rub on your eyes, so that you may see. As for me, I rebuke and discipline everyone I love; so exert yourselves, and turn from your sins! Here, I’m standing at the door, knocking. If someone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he will eat with me. I will let him who wins the victory sit with me on my throne, just as I myself also won the victory and sat down with my Father on his throne. Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities'” (Revelation 3:14-22). 

Yeshua sends the seventh and final angel with a message for the congregation of Laodicea. This city was situated on the river Lycus in the Roman province of Asia.  Laodicea was also the meeting place for the Council of Laodicea about 360 C.E.  It was at this council when many anti-semitic doctrines were established for the church that remain part of  Christian theology today.

From the Council of Laodicea in 364 AD

“Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day.”

This statement by the Laodicean council directly contradicts the fourth commandment given by God in Exodus 20:8-10.  Judaizing has nothing to do with obeying God’s commandments.  It was the requirement that a gentile believer in Messiah needed to convert to Judaism through ritual circumcision in order to keep the Torah commands, especially the Feasts of the LORD.  Keeping the Sabbath has nothing to do with Judaism, but is an expression of faith in Yeshua through obedience to God’s commands.  This deliberate twisting of Judaizing has kept the church from the roots and blessings of a true Biblical faith.  It has also kept the church from provoking the Jewish people to jealousy so they can put their faith in their own Messiah for salvation.

The directive from Laodicea further states, “rather [they should] honour the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, rest then as Christians.”  From this addendum, it becomes obvious that those in Laodicea knew ‘The LORD’s Day’ was not the Sabbath.  They instilled the idea that ‘The LORD’s Day’ was the ‘first day of the week’ and to be honored apart from the Jewish Sabbath.   Those who gathered at this council obviously did not heed the warning given to Laodicea by Yeshua because their edicts created a lukewarm church.

Yeshua reveals himself to the congregation in Laodicea as “the Amen, the faithful and true witness, Ruler of God’s creation.” When considering the council of Laodicea’s decision and the Sabbath, a memorial to the creation, this is an important claim by Yeshua.  Being with God ‘in the beginning’, he is Ruler over creation no matter what any council declares.  Sabbath was and is central to the faith of the Jewish people and the Laodiceans wanted no part of it or what it represented.  They were not only ignorant and arrogant, but they brought anti-semitism into the Body of Messiah.   The decision at Laodicea nullified the commands of God.  They were not faithful or true to His Word.  Yeshua, as the Word of God,  is the faithful and true witness. He has the final say, the ‘Amen,’ and his final say was: ‘I am Lord of the Sabbath’ long before the Laodicean council.

The Laodicean congregation was so lukewarm that Yeshua wanted to vomit them out of  his mouth.   Many believers claim to be on fire for the LORD, but that doesn’t make them hot.  To be hot means to be close to the fire of Yahweh and His holiness.  To be hot means you are always seeking His presence, His ways, His Truth.   It is a hot fire that refines and transforms an individual’s spiritual life forever.  To be cold means to be far away from Yahweh and His presence.   Cold implies an indifference to His commands, precepts and statutes.  To be cold is to be a pagan from the nations, a foreigner, separated from God, His people, His teachings, “without God, without hope in this world” (Ephesians 2:16).   Lukewarm mixes the holy hotness of Yahweh and the profane coldness of the world.

The Laodicean congregation believed they were rich and had need of nothing, yet Yeshua saw them as poor, pitiful, blind and naked.   He tells them to buy gold refined by fire for true wealth.  He is telling these believers, they need a hot refining fire to remove the ugly dross and scum in their lives.   Sardis had soiled clothes, but Laodicea has no clothes. They believe they are clothed in the righteousness of Messiah, but will be ashamed when he sees their nakedness. Their manmade fig leaves do not cover their self-deception.  They also need eye salve because they are blind  to their detestable practices.  They have fallen into a great deception where the pure milk of the Word has been mixed with false god worship. They believe they are ‘on fire for the LORD’ while they commit spiritual adultery.

“I promised you to one husband, to Messiah, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.  But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Messiah.  For if someone comes to you and preaches a different Jesus other than the Yeshua we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough” (2 Corinthians 11:2-4).

The congregation of Laodicea is so complacent Yeshua tells them “exert yourselves and turn from your sins!” ‘Exert’ means to put forth some physical or mental action.  They do not need a message of ‘rest in me’; they need a  ‘put forth a little effort because you need to repent message.’   Yeshua loves this congregation which is why he is rebuking them in such a harsh way.  He is disciplining them so they will return to him.

Yeshua pleads with the Laodicean congregation.  He stands at the door knocking.  He wants someone to open the door so he can come in and eat with them.  If they open the door, there will be table fellowship and a Feast of the LORD.   In Hebrew, the number 4 is the letter dalet.  Dalet in Hebrew means ‘door.’   The fourth commandment is to remember the Sabbath day to keep it set apart.  One day a week, on the seventh day,  Yeshua wants to feast with those willing to open the door of Sabbath and return to his loving Father.   This is the same Sabbath day the Council of Laodicea decided was Judaizing!

The reward for the overcomer – Isra’el – is to sit with Yeshua on his throne.  The action of sitting after a victory is a symbol of rest and cessation of work.  This is the meaning of Sabbath – to cease work and rest.  When the Laodiceans open the door of the Sabbath, they will enter into an eternal vision.

“I warn everyone hearing the words of the prophecy in this book that if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues written in this book.  And if anyone takes anything away from the words in the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the Tree of Life and the holy city, as described in this book” (Revelation 22:18-19).

Who Am I?  Who are You?

Today I no longer live near the city of Philadelphia, but that congregation took hold of my heart over 50 years ago and has never let go.  I believe the reason is the key of David and knowing who holds the key of David.  Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah,  is the promised heir for the eternal Kingdom who desires a Bride who loves him, his name, his people, his culture and has a circumcised Jewish heart (Romans 2:28-29).  He wants a Bride who lives by his every Word and has prepared herself to rule and reign with Him in for all eternity.

It’s easy to embrace Philadelphia or even Smyrna because Yeshua has no corrections for them,  but we must as individuals consider the conditions of each congregation, their rebuke, their challenge and their reward.  None of us are in the same place spiritually and we need to be accountable to the words given to these seven congregations so we do not  lose our first love and our light to the world.  We need to be willing to embrace suffering because Yeshua sees it as great wealth.  We need to repent from sinning against God by breaking those commandments that we neglect.  We need to stop denying that we may have spots on our robes and purify ourselves.  We need to be watchful for pastors and teachers and false Messiahs who lead us away from the pure Word of God back into pagan worship practices inclusive of ‘unclean’ foods, idolatry, other gods and immoral sexual behavior.  We need to refine our spiritual discernment so we can fight against the secret ways of the Adversary and not be thrown into the lake of fire and eternal separation from God.   We need to earnestly consider those traditions and practices that profane the truth of God’s Word, traditions that make us lukewarm, blind, naked and pitiful and without a testimony in to the Jewish people.  We need to be challenged every day to  stay awake and prepare expectantly for the return of Yeshua, our Bridegroom so we can receive a crown of glory, a white linen garment, a new name and a new home in the New Jerusalem.

©2008 Tentstake Ministries