Summary to here: In the past Satan had spiritually done a magnificent job in helping mankind spiritually corrupt himself by his physical acts and his emotional search for spiritual fulfillment. He had helped man institute the method of murder to achieve man's perceived needs (Parts 4, 5 & 6). He had helped man institute idolatry and the beginnings of the Babylonian worship system (Parts 11 & 12). He had helped bring about tribalism and racism (Parts 13 & 14) and they would go hand in hand with man's idolatry.
God had instituted a covenant with Abraham (Isa. 54:5 & Jer.3:12-14) that was actually a marriage covenant between God and the nation of Israel (God's spiritual wife) which Abraham's progeny would found and develop several generations later. (Parts 21, 23 & 24) Israel had worshipped the one true God (monotheism) instead of many idolatrous gods (polytheism). Through Israel God had challenged Satan's spiritual, idolatrous stranglehold on mankind.
God had delivered Israel, the nation without a homeland, from bondage in Egypt. God gave Israel the Promised Land of Canaan and ruled them through judges and prophets until they rebelled and wanted a king so they would be like the idolatrous nations around them. Israel's 2nd king, King David, had almost fulfilled the conquest of the promised land God had given to Israel to colonize after He had freed them from their bondage in Egypt.
It was the glory days of Israel and David had left a rich, feared, powerful nation to his son Solomon. (1Ki. 10:14-29) After all of Solomon's financial excesses, (1Ki. 11:1-13) his violations and disregard of God's commandments concerning the heathen women of other nations and finally Solomon's idolatry (1Ki. 11:28 thru 12:20) Israel had started into a decline under the leadership of Solomon's son Rehoboam.
The rot and decline continued under the leadership of a succession of weak, divisive kings until, on the world stage of nations and populations, Israel was but a pinprick in numbers and geographic size. (1Ki. 11:29-38 & 2Ki. 17:1-23) As God had said by the mouth of the prophet Ahijah; Ten tribes disappeared in the Assyrian dispersal (Diaspora) because the Assyrians would not let the Jews settle in large groups but spread them out all over the Assyrian empire in their conquered ancient Middle East nations where they were eventually assimilated into whatever culture they found themselves in.
(1Ki. 11:32) "But he shall have one tribe for my servant David's sake (Judah) and for Jerusalem's sake (Benjamin), the city which I have chosen out of all of Israel." After the 10 tribes had been taken by the Assyrians the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were all that was left of Israel. (Josh. 18:11-20) Jerusalem was located in the tribe of Benjamin's land allotment and their tiny kingdom was known as Judah.
(2Ki. 24:1-20 esp. V.14) Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians conquered Judah, took the royalty, intelligentsia, craftsmen and military leadership into captivity and left the "poorest sort of people in the land." Judah was left without religious leaders, teachers, craftsmen and military capability (Dan. 9:2) for seventy years. That's how Daniel got to Babylon. (Ezra 1:1-8) Cyrus the king of Persia returned the Jews to Jerusalem.
Satan had instigated physical wars between his idolatrous nations and Israel and he also instigated spiritual war to seduce Israel into idolatry (Parts 15 thru 23). Rome finally destroyed Israel between 70 and 126 AD, removed the name Judaea from its maps and replaced it with the name Palestinia (Part 1). (Ezek. 36:16-20) Satan had eventually divided the whole nation of Israel into destroying itself through disobedience to God's laws.
But, just before Rome destroyed Israel the hidden side of God's covenant with Abraham was fulfilled.
There had been a future, hidden side to Abraham's covenant that blindsided Satan to the fact Israel the nation would give birth to God's own Son, Jesus Christ, who would found a spiritual church in which people of any race or creed could individually enter into a spiritual, born again covenant with God through the shed blood of Jesus and become a member of God's physical church on earth.
(John 3:22-36 esp. V.29) That church would be scripturally called the Bride of Christ (only betrothed, not yet married) until (Rev. 19:7) the marriage takes place in heaven. (Parts 24, 25 & 26). End of summary. From this point on we will look at the method Satan spiritually used.
(Eccl. 1:9) "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun."
Satan had learned his lessons well; "I can divide and conquer. I divided Eve from Adam and conquered both when they listened to my words instead of God's words, I thus divided them from God and they died. I divided Cain and Able through men's emotions (jealousy) and Cain murdered Able. Then I divided Cain and Seth and conquered Seth's descendants when they blindly worshipped me through idolatry, mind altering drugs, fornication and abomination sex and they all died in the flood except Noah and his family" (Part 10).
(1Ki. 11:1-40 esp. V.1-8 & 31) "I divided King Solomon from God when Solomon worshipped me through the idols offered him by his multitude of wives. (1Ki. 12:1-33 esp. V.20) Then I divided Israel through the pride and greed of Solomon's son Rehoboam. The northern 10 tribes chose Jeroboam as king and called themselves Israel. (V.28) I helped them go into idolatry and finally my people, the Assyrians, took them and they disappeared as a national race of people in the Assyrian captivity."
(Matt. 23:23-39 esp. V.33 keyword: serpents) "I divided Judah from God when I helped Judah turn Moses' Law into an idol through which they worshipped me. Well Judah (Israel) lasted long enough for Jesus to found his kingdom within the hearts of men then I finished dividing Judah from God and destroyed Judah with my Romans. I will spiritually divide, and divide, and divide that new church until it is a mockery unto the whole world."
"Agghhhhh! I hate that @*&#*% Apostle Paul! (2Cor. 2:11) He knew me better than any of them because he and I have fought many battles. Yes, he won through Jesus but I know how to still Paul's mighty voice. After all, I lead the Roman Emperor Nero like a dog on a leash." Nero beheaded the apostle Paul in 68 CE. (1Cor. 1:10-13 & 3:1-4 esp. V.3 keywords: DIVISIONS, YE ARE YET CARNAL) He told the new church how I would attack them."
(Eph. 2:1-22) "He told them to never return to what they used to be when they served me, he told them what their freedom from me cost, he told them what they had become and where they were going. (Eph. 6:10-18) He even told them exactly how to defeat me."
"BUT THEY WON'T! I will use their pride, ignorance, stupidity and arrogance to develop (Gal. 5:20-21) their hatred, variance, wrath, strife, heresies, envy, (Col. 3:5-9) fornication, inordinate affection, covetousness, anger, wrath, malice and blasphemy to divide them into their own little self defensive groups! People, through their pride, always want power, prestige and wealth. (Col. 3:5 keyword: covetousness) They want to possess more and more, and bigger and better possessions and the latest new thing. Lots of Christians are lazy; they would rather be entertained than study the Bible and pray! I will blind them that God said their wanting is covetousness which is idolatry."
"When I get done with them they will want possessions and entertainment more than they want to work for God. They will argue more than agree. They will commit blasphemy more than brotherhood. They will commit heresy more than honesty. They will lie more than love. They will have malice more than mercy. (John 15:11-14 esp. V.14 keyword: friends) They will commit fraud more than friendship. I was Lucifer (brightness of morning) from the beginning. (2Cor. 11:14) I will make my light so bright they will not realize they are walking in my darkness!"
SATAN'S NEW PLAN TO SEDUCE THE EARLY CHURCH
(2Cor. 11:14-15) "And no marvel; (wonder, by implication to admire) for Satan himself is transformed (to disguise) into an angel (messenger) of light (to show, make known, speak, illuminator). Therefore it is no great (mighty) thing if his ministers (teacher, deacon, pastor) also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness (innocent, holy, right); whose end (termination) shall be according to their works (toil, deeds)." Remember? A serpent is a master of camouflage!
The above scripture is so serious and important we need to explore it thoroughly. No changing or juggling of the scripture is intended but for clarification the scripture will be written again below using the underlined definitions in place of the words defined.
(2Cor. 11:14-15 with definitions) And no wonder for Satan himself is disguised as a messenger to make known, speak, show and illuminate. Therefore it is no mighty thing if his teachers, deacons, and pastors also be disguised as the teachers, deacons and pastors of innocence, holiness and righteousness; whose termination shall be according to their toil and deeds.
THE EARLY CHURCH
Before we do an in depth examination of the 7 churches in the first 3 chapters of the Book of Revelation it is necessary #1) to examine each church's basic spiritual need #2) and what Jesus says about His identity in relation to these 7 churches. You will see their needs and Jesus' identity is a common factor in the life of every Christian and in every church (Rev. 1:19) in the past, present and future; even you, even your church. The past because these churches had been established in the past, the present because they are there and the future because it is to US and OUR CHURCH wherever we are.
THE REVELATION TO JOHN (The Apocalypse): Apocalypse means an unveiling or revealing but is commonly and erroneously used to express a time of catastrophic destruction). (Jer. 30:7, Dan. 12:1-4 and Matt. 24:21) The tribulation is "a time of trouble such as was not since the beginning of the world" and the Apocalypse is the unveiling of that trouble. But just like #1) Noah (Part 10) and #2) Lot (Part 22), #3) the born again, Jesus loving, faithful, obedient Christians (1Thess. 4:13-18) will escape.
Again: (Rev. 1:1) Jesus said these "things must shortly come to pass;" As the present day world and church, 2015 CE, come to mirror the events in these 7 letters (1Thess. 4:13-18) Jesus will rescue his people for the 3rd time just like He did the 1st time with Noah by the ark, the 2nd time with Lot by calling them out of Sodom and He will rescue His people the 3rd time (Rev. 20:10-15) then God's plan for this present church age will be complete. Three, God's number of completion!
(Rev. 1:4) These 7 churches are in the Roman Province called Asia on the Roman maps. They are located on ancient Roman roads in what is present day Turkey. The message is from Jesus; "him which is and which was and which is to come; (past, present and future) and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;".
At this time, to avoid confusion, (Rev. 1:4, 3:1, 4:5 & 5:6 keywords: seven Spirits) we must clarify the identity of the seven Spirits. There is only one Holy Spirit. As is shown below the seven churches of Revelation had specific needs and the Holy Spirit is capable of meeting every need, at any time, in any situation, of any Christian, any group of Christians and any Church. This scripture "the seven Spirits of God" identifies the complete capabilities, authority and power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said; (John 14:15-23) (V.17) "Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." (V.23) "If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." (Rom. 8:6-17 esp. V.9) "Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his." SO:
(Rev. 1:4 keyword: seven Spirits) We know there is only one Spirit (1John 5:7) and He is the 3rd person of the triune Godhead, the Father, the Word (Jesus) and the Holy Ghost (Spirit) and they are one (Col. 2:8-9) and in Jesus dwelleth (to house permanently) all the Godhead bodily (physically). (Phil. 1:19) The Spirit of Christ, (Rom. 8:2) the Spirit of life, (Matt. 3:16) the Spirit of God, (Rom. 8:26-27) the Spirit, (John 14:17) the Spirit of truth, (John 14:26) the Comforter, (1Cor. 6:19) the Holy Ghost (Luke 11:13) and the Holy Spirit are interchangeable names and are defined as (Psa. 78:41 keywords: Holy One), Holy One is an identity so the Holy Spirit is God’s soul. BECAUSE:
(John 14:23 & 1John 5:7 keywords: The Father (God), the Word (Jesus) and the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit): and these three are one). (1John 5:7 keyword: Word) and (John 1:1-4 & 1John 1:1-4 keyword: Word). Jesus is the living Word of God. (1Tim. 3:16 keywords: God was manifest in the flesh) (John 14:6-10) Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father and Jesus said; (V.9) "Have I been so long time with you and yet hast thou not known me, Philip?" The Holy Spirit is Jesus/God in their essence of Spiritual manifestation. Some people define God's existence as the triune (consisting of three in one) Godhead.
A more complete identification of the Holy Spirit is given further down the text in this article. If that one is not sufficient please see the commentary The Holy Spirit & You commentary on this website, scroll the menu to the article Who is the Holy Spirit and it will answer any lingering questions you may have. God Bless You.
THE SPIRITUAL NEEDS OF THE SEVEN CHURCHES
(John 16:13 keywords: Spirit of truth) Sometimes Spirit refers to the Holy Spirit's work. These seven churches each had a glaring spiritual need and the Holy Spirit was there to work among them and fill their need (Mark 12:30 key: love is a choice) if they wanted their need filled. "(Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13 & 22) "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." The Holy Spirit (one) can, will and would fill all their, and our, spiritual needs if they, and we, love God enough to desire to serve God according to God's Holy Word (the Bible).
Ephesus (Rev. 2:5) needs (Rom. 12:2 & Titus 3:5) a renewing Spirit,
Smyrna (Rev. 2:10) needs (2Cor. 6:2 & Heb. 2:18) a succoring (aid, relieve, help) Spirit,
Pergamos (Rev. 2:16) needs (1Cor. 6:18 & 10:14, 1 Tim. 6:3-11 and 2Tim. 2:22 keyword in all: flee) a warning Spirit,
Thyatira (Rev. 2:24-26) needs (2Cor 12:9 & 1Pet 5:10) a strengthening Spirit,
Sardis (Rev. 3:5) needs (John 16:33 & Rom. 3:4) an overcoming Spirit,
Philadelphia (Rev. 3:10) needs (John 17:15, 1Cor. 15:2 & Eph. 4:3) a keeping Spirit
and the Laodiceans (Rev. 3:18) need (John 14:26, Acts 20:27 & Heb. 6:17) a counseling Spirit.
As you can see at any time from the beginning of the church until the church is removed these "works of the Holy Spirit" given above apply to the needs of an individual Christian or any number of Christians, any congregation, any number of congregations, a part of a denomination or a whole denomination whenever necessary if they will listen ("ears to hear"). That tells us these 7 churches are representative of the entire Christian experience during (Rev. 1:19) the past, present and future.
JESUS' IDENTITY TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES
We can also see Jesus' divine identity that applies to all churches and individual Christians for the past, present and future in Jesus' self descriptive statements in the first paragraph of each of the 7 messages to the 7 churches below. It is not scriptural that God writes letters to angels (messengers) so these letters must be to the pastors or bishops (messengers) of the respective churches and of course they are supposed to be shared with the members of all the churches.
Ephesus: (Rev. 2:1) "saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;" Jesus is holding the 7 stars (messengers) in his right hand and walking in the midst of the 7 golden candlesticks (illuminators) (Rev. 1:20) which are the churches (Matt. 5:14) because they are supposed to be holders of the light of Christ.
(Eph. 2:8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:" FAITH GIVER! GRACE APPLIER! PRESENCE! INVOLVEMENT! POWER!
Smyrna: (Rev. 2:8) "saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;" (John 11:25) "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:" (Luke 1:78 & John 8:12 keywords: shall have the light of life) LIGHT GIVER! SALVATION GIVER! SACRIFICE! RESURRECTION! (Rev. 21:1 thru 22:5) ETERNAL LIFE GIVER.
Pergamos: (Rev. 2:12) "saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges" (Eph. 6:17) "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Heb. 4:12) "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (soul)." (John 12:48) Jesus said; "the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." (John 1:1-5 & 1John 1-3) Jesus is the living Word of God (Matt 9:4) and Jesus even knows our thoughts. SOUL READER! JUDGE OF BELIEVERS!
THYATIRA: (Rev. 2:18) "saith the Son of God, who hath eyes like unto a flame (to flash or flame, a blaze) of fire (lightening), and his feet are like fine (refined) brass (an alloy)." This is Jesus' true, glorious appearance sometimes called His Shekinah glory. And it is also symbolic (Rom. 5:8-9 & 1John 4:8-10 keywords: God is love) in that Jesus' eyes denote His blazing love (Luke 5:34-35 & Rev. 19:7) for His Bride (the true Christians in His church).
It is a perfect physical description of an emotional state. Have you ever noticed the burning, absolute concentration in the loving, protective eyes of a Bridegroom when he looks at His bride? LOVE! PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP! KINDNESS! PROTECTION! (Luke 12:32) GENEROSITY! (Deut. 4:24 & 5:9) JEALOUSY!
Fine brass is brass that has been refined by fire until it is pure. Brass is an alloy (commonly called a substitutional alloy, a mixture of copper and zinc). (1Tim. 3:16) The great mystery of godliness is that Jesus was God manifested in the flesh as God's Son, born of a virgin, reared as a child, (Luke 2:44-48) learned the scriptures, (John 3:2) was considered a rabbi with special, awe inspiring, God given powers (Eph. 1:7 & 1John 1:7 thru 2:2) and He let His blood be shed through which we must be cleansed of our sins to become redeemed to God. REDEEMER!
Rabbinic Law in ancient Israel taught that a father should teach his son the Torah and the father's trade. (Matt. 13:55) Jesus' step-father, Joseph, was a carpenter (a builder) (Mark 6:3) and Jesus was a carpenter. (Luke 2:49) Jesus was also learning the building trade from His heavenly Father (John 14:2) because Jesus has gone to prepare a place for His people (Rom. 8:13-17 esp. V.17 keywords: heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ) and Jesus is presently spiritually building (Heb. 2:9-11 keyword: brethren) a forever family to be glorified with Him. ELDER BOTHER! BUILDER OF OUR FOREVER!
Please forgive me for the briefness of the above paragraph. Jesus did so many other things in His three and one half year ministry (John 21:25) "I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written." The point of Jesus' fine brass (alloy) feet is that He was alloyed as God-man and man-God and refined in the fire of the physical life He led. That was necessary because God had created man, man had fallen from grace, became of a carnal nature and God had not experienced that.
(James 1:13) God is too holy to be tempted with evil, He simply could not experience it. The only way God could understand the feeling of temptation was to live in a man's body with its hormones, desires, imagination, longing, (Luke 13:34) feelings of defeat and etc. (Heb. 4:14-16) Jesus was tempted in all points just like we are! Jesus did not sin but He surely understands how hard it is for us to resist sin in the carnal weakness of our humanity. UNDERSTANDING! TENDER PITY! SYMPATHY! LONGSUFFERING! PROPITIATION FOR OUR SINS! MERCY! GRACE! ACVOCATE! HIGH PRIEST OF THE CHURCH!
SARDIS: (Rev. 3:1) "Saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars;" (Col. 2:9) Jesus is bluntly saying; "In me dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Here are seven messages to your seven stars (pastors or bishops), heed them and all will be well with thee. Remember the beginning!" (Gen. 17:1) I am the ALMIGHTY GOD! (Ex. 3:14) I AM! (Mal. 3:6) UNCHANGING!
PHILADELPHIA: (Rev. 3:7) "saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that #1) openeth, and no man shutteth; #2) and shutteth, and no man openeth;" Jesus is holy (pure, blameless, consecrated), He is true (not concealing) and He has the key (operates a lock) of David. Jesus is holy and thus His word is true (John 12:48) and the unsaved will be judged by Jesus' words in the last day (Rev. 20:10-15) in front of God's great white throne. TRUTH! HOLINESS! JUDGE OF UNBELIEVERS!
(Rom. 1:3 keywords: seed of David--physically through Mary who was related to David by bloodline) The key of David is that Jesus, a blood kin relative to David, is spiritually the last born Son of King David, (Rev. 22:16 keywords: the offspring of David) and thus the rightful heir to the throne of physical Israel (2Sam. 7:16-18 keywords: thy throne) as had been prophesied to David by Nathan the prophet.
(Ezek. 37:19-22) God promised He would return the children of Israel to their own land, (Isa. 66:8 keywords: at once) God said He would restore the nation in a day, "at once". He did and we are currently, 3-13-15, watching the Jews come home. (2Thess. 1:6-10, Heb. 10:29-31 & Rev. 19:11 thru 20:15) The physical war between God and Satan started with Israel and it will end with Israel being victorious through Jesus (David's seed). RESTORER! KING OF THE JEWS! (Isa. 66:6 keyword: recompense) AVENGER! VICTORY!
(Rev. 3:7 separated into 2 parts) Jesus said; #1) "he that openeth, and no man shutteth;" (John 10:28-30) No man can pluck Jesus' Christians out of His hand. KEEPER! SAFETY!
#2) "shutteth and no man openeth." (Matt. 13:18-23 esp. V.19, 21 & 22 key: all these received the seed which is V.19 the word of the kingdom) BUT three out of these four types didn't love Jesus enough to remain faithful. Another example: (Rom. 1:7 keyword: saints then 18-28 esp. V.21 keywords: when they knew God) These Christians in Rome conducted themselves according to their values and they didn't love Jesus enough to remain faithful! (V.28) Jesus shut the door!
(Rev. 3:5) Why did Jesus reserve the right to remove some Christian's name from the book of life? (John 14:15, 21 & 23) Jesus said three times; "If ye love me keep my commandments." (Matt. 6:19-21, 15:9 & 22:37) Any Christian can leave Jesus' hand and pursue what he loves more than Jesus. Jesus will not force someone to love Him. What would be the benefit and reward for such a one sided love? The idea is ridiculous!
(Rev. 3:15-16 keyword: lukewarm) Why did Jesus say some church people's lack of love for Him causes Him to have projectile vomiting (spue)? Is He going to puke them up on some back corner of heaven where they will fester like some angry, all the way to the bone, throbbing bed sore? Don't be ridiculous! Jesus shut the door!
(Heb. 6:4-6) Why did the Holy Spirit direct the writer to write if a person who was once enlightened, tasted of the heavenly gift and were partakers of the Holy Ghost if they shall fall away it is impossible to renew them again to repentance? It is because you can backslide all the way to hell! (2Cor. 11:13-15 keyword: Satan- angel of light) When you get into that once in grace always in grace regardless of sin teaching run from it like it is poison because (6:12 keyword: darkness) the serpent's darkness is the origin of it! (Heb. 4:12 keywords: discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart) "shutteth and no man openeth." DISCERNER OF HEARTS (SOULS)! EVALUATOR! DOORKEEPER! JUSTICE!
LAODICEANS: (Rev. 3:14) "saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;" Amen defined means surely. (Heb. 13:5) Jesus is faithful because He said; "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." You can see exactly how faithful Jesus is in that He still walked among the seven golden candlesticks in spite of all their failures and sin. FAITHFULNESS! ETERNAL LIFE! (Rev. 3:14 again, keywords: the beginning of the creation of God) CREATOR! AMEN!
(Rom. 1:20) The Godhead (Supreme Divinity) is one who is composed of three who are totally and completely one in identity, thought, power, purpose and will. God’s presentation of Himself to man is (Gen. 1:1-31) #1 God-spirit-life itself/Creator, (John 4:29-42) #2 Jesus-body/Saviour and (John 14:15-23) #3 Holy Spirit-soul/Comforter. (Col. 2:8-9) In Jesus dwells all the Godhead bodily. (Col. 1:13-17 esp. V.15) Jesus is the image (representation) of the invisible God. (Gen. 1:26) When God said; “Let US make man in our image” God’s body, soul, and spirit was the pattern and man, made in God’s image, (1Thess. 5:23) is also body, soul and spirit.
WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT
In the last paragraph of each message to each of the 7 churches contains the words "He that hath an ear, let him hear (understand) what the Spirit saith unto the churches.". 1st part: "He that hath an ear" signifies that a person must have a desire for and put forth the effort to understand God's word. Christians prove to God their desire and effort by (Phil. 4:6) prayer, (1Tim. 2:5 & Rom. 6:16-18) the study of God's word (Luke 6:46) and obedience to God's word.
(Luke 6:46) Jesus said; "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (John 14:15, 21 & 23) Jesus said 3 times; "If ye love me keep my commandments." 2nd part: "Let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." signifies the word is available and the Holy Spirit, is willing to help a person understand if they love Jesus enough to want to learn about God (John 15:14 keyword: friends) and to try to build a relationship with Him.
We must explore the Holy' Spirit's work in each Christian's life from before their salvation to the end of their life to understand the depth of the meaning of the Holy Spirit's work Jesus is referring to in the ending paragraphs of these 7 churches ("He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches). SO:
It was the last supper and Jesus spoke a long tender discourse instructing the disciples about many things. It wouldn't be very long before they would leave to go to the garden of Gethsemane (John 14:15-16) and for the 1st time Jesus said; "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (V.16) Then He told them He would pray the Father and he (the Father) would give them another Comforter (another of the same essence as Jesus). Jesus was their Comforter at that time.
(John 14:17) Jesus identified the Comforter as the Spirit of truth, the world couldn't receive, see, or identify. But, the disciples would know the Spirit of truth because he would dwell with them, then Jesus clarified His statement that the Spirit of truth "shall be in you".
(John 14: 18-21) (V.18) Jesus said; "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." (V.19) Jesus predicted his own death and promised them eternal life with him. #1) (V.20) "At that day (Pentecost) ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." (V.21) For the 2nd time Jesus said; "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me:" Jesus then said God would love them and Jesus Himself would love them and that He would manifest (to exhibit, disclose, show, apparent in self) Himself to them.
(John 14:22-23) The other Judas wanted to know how Jesus could manifest Himself to them but the world could not see Him. For the 3rd time Jesus said; "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father (God) will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." (John 14:26) Then Jesus identified the Comforter as the Holy Ghost (the Holy Spirit) and #2) he would teach them all things and bring everything Jesus said into their remembrance. (2Tim. 3:16 keywords: All scripture is given by inspiration of God) They would write Jesus' words down.
#1) (John 14:20) Jesus promise was fulfilled (Acts 2:1-4) when the Holy Ghost came into the disciples (learners, pupils) on the day of Pentecost, in the upper room, there in Jerusalem, Israel and that's when they became true apostles (set apart, sent out, ambassadors of the Gospel, commissioners of Christ with miraculous powers) and the world would never be the same again. #2) (John 14:26) Jesus' promise was fulfilled (2Tim. 3:16) because they wrote the New Testament scriptures through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (another of the same essence as Jesus) (John 12:48) and all the people in the world will be judged by Jesus' words.
WHO ARE YOU
(1Thess. 5:23) Man is composed of body, (the physical structure) spirit (the vital principal of the body; it is commonly call the spark of life, it has nothing to do with physical breathing, it is the essence of life from God) and soul, (mind, me, person, self, heart) in God’s image. (Psa. 22:26 & Matt. 25:46) God has already given all people eternal life. God set the knowledge of eternity in our hearts. Example: To test that knowledge just imagine yourself dead; there is your body right in front of you but it is you doing the looking! Now imagine yourself not existing; you simply cannot do it.
(2Cor. 4:16) You, the temporary outward man, contain all your sensory organs, brain and body systems. You the outward man with your finger prints, DNA, retinal scan, hair, eyes and skin color, body structure and facial features are uniquely you. You, the eternal inward man, are the supernatural, eternal you (SOUL) and there are three parts. You, the inward man, with your #1 personality, #2 God place and #3 conscience are uniquely you. You, the eternal inward man, live in your temporary physical body, the temporary outward man, in a span of time commonly called lifetime.
(Luke 16:19-30 esp. V.22 keywords: Abraham's bosom and V.25 keyword: comforted) Two men died and their physical bodies with their hearts, lungs and brains were buried and they would rot in the ground; just like people do today. Their souls, the eternal inward men, went on to their eternal destination. The message is that you have eternal life, you will always be you, and your eternal destination is the only thing in question. Where will you go? Lazarus' soul went to a place called Abraham's bosom (defined: paradise) where he was comforted (consolation) where there are only good things to feel and think SO Lazarus had the same sensory abilities as the rich man.
The rich man's soul went to hell and you can see his soul, without his physical body, had all the physical sensations and emotional attributes he had had when he was in his body with its heart, brain, skin and etc. (V.23) He could see, feel torment, (V.24) talk, taste (tongue), feel pain- the sense of touch, cry, beg, (V. 25-26) hear, (V.27) understand, pray, (V.28) had memory, could reason, experience love, feel concern (V.29-30) and conduct a reasoned discussion. Remember all the people you've heard about who have had an out of body experience? Were they messengers? Where will you go? For more in depth information about self see the 1st SELF segment in The Holy Spirit and You commentary.
ALSO: God has taken this writer to go and see beyond. If you wish to read about it click on the commentary The Holy Spirit & You on this website, scroll the menu to the two-article series I Have Experienced Christian Physical Death and read them.The Holy Spirit will verify it is true because the event is based on scripture.
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND SALVATION
(Acts 4:8-12 esp. V.8) Jesus is the only name under heaven given among men whereby men can be saved. AND: (John 6:44) No man can come to Jesus except God draws (to coil, to wrap, to drag toward) him by the Holy Spirit (John 12:32) just like Jesus said He would. (Titus 3:5) We are saved through the washing (Jesus' blood) and renewing (spiritually born again) of the Holy Spirit.
(John 6:44 & 12:32) It is obvious a person cannot (Luke 19:10) get saved from being lost without the drawing from God through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit uses the message of the cross because salvation is possible only through the blood of Jesus which is the only thing that will cleanse sinful man of his sin. (Heb. 9:22-28) "Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin."
Trying to explain the wondrous glory and "touch", the drawing of God, with mere words is impossible. All the words in the world cannot describe it. Even those of us who have experienced it cannot explain it, we can only describe what happened to us when it happened. If you wish to read my own personal, first-hand account of God's drawing me you can read about it in the segment About the Writer.
Its rather easy to write down the mechanics of God's drawing through the Holy Spirit because they are given in scripture. But it is impossible to describe what emotionally happens in the soul of an individual when he is introduced to and gets wrapped up in the indescribably glorious, perfect personality of his Creator, the God of all glory, and realizes he is a lost in darkness, sin drenched, devil blinded slave to pride in self. You can talk to a thousand people who truly are Christians and each story will be a bit different but they will always contain these three essential elements of God's drawing.
(Luke 5:32) A calling, which is an invitation from the Holy Spirit to stop living a life of sin and stop being lost. He will open your understanding and you will see your need for something more in your life and nothing will ever completely fill that need but the presence of God. It is a loving, tender, kindly invitation to come on back home to God where you will be loved, appreciated and belong to God's forever family.
Luke 10:21-22) A revealing: The Holy Spirit reveals to you that you are a helpless, hopeless sinner, that you are lost, that you, precious you, will really die and that hell is a terrible reality. The Holy Spirit reveals God's beautiful, kindly, loving and forgiving nature, the reality and goodness of His grace and that salvation is possible for you.
(John 16:8) A reproving: The Holy Spirit awakens your deeply hidden awareness of guilt, that you are destitute and have nothing valuable enough with which to purchase salvation, you can't be good enough to deserve salvation and you can't do any works to make God owe you salvation. He convicts you of your lost, sinful condition; that you are terribly vulnerable; that the devil is really using you and mocking you, and that the world is really a taking place and by its temptations it is attempting to take away your shot at eternal life with God in paradise.
Each human is different and the Holy Spirit tailors the drawing to fit the individual person because He intimately knows and completely understands each individual's personality but the method never varies from His established procedure given in His scripture. Because of His intimate knowledge of the individual He mixes them together and applies them in varying degrees that exactly fits the individual.
(Eph. 2:8-9) "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
When the Holy Spirit starts drawing you, (James 4:8) if you follow His drawing by listening to preaching, reading the Bible, reading published information such as the commentary Breath of Life on this website and draw closer to God He will draw closer to you, (Eph. 2:8-9) and the Holy Spirit increases your faith in the reality of God and your situation by His calling, revealing and reproving until a time comes for you to decide if you do or don't want salvation. Plainly put, each person will face God's judgment in this life or after you die.
You can be judged and found guilty in this life and Jesus' blood will set you free at no cost when (Psa. 34:18 keywords: broken heart and a contrite spirit= sorrow for your sin) you admit your guilt, (2Pet. 3:9 keywords: come to repentance= to change directions) you repent and (Psa. 119:10, 58 & 45 keywords: whole heart= "Oh God! I want You more than anything, I'll do anything if You'll just save me!") you request salvation.
OR: You can refuse God's judgment in this life (offer of free salvation) and (John 5:29 & Rev. 20:10-15 esp. V.11) face your judgment before God's great white throne, your name won't be written in Jesus' book of life and (V.10 & 15) you will burn for ever and ever.
(Titus 3:5) "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost (Spirit);" Only God's mercy can save you. The washing of regeneration is a spiritual rebirth (born again) and the renewing is a spiritual renovation through the Holy Spirit. (1Cor. 5:17-18) You are a new creature (creation) in Christ (Rom. 8:13-16) and through the Holy Spirit you are adopted into the family of God and are a child of God. Your sin burden from being lost is gone, a beautiful happiness will fill you (2Cor. 1:22) because the Holy Spirit is within you (John 14:17) just like Jesus promised.