Part 33, THYATIRA, SECTION 1

NOTE: If you do not intend to read all 4 parts of this segment do not read any of it. If you do read it you will understand why.

Archaeological evidence, an engraved stone cylinder, was found that said, at an undetermined date, a village on the site of Thyatira was named Semiramis. As stated before, pagan gods and goddesses were adopted from one culture to another and the adopting culture gave the idol a name in their own language.

Beginning at Babel we see that Semiramis, the Amazon, the wife of Nimrod, later became known as goddess Ishtar, then even later was worshipped as Isis the goddess of Egypt. (Isa. 14:12-14) Lucifer/Satan prophesied he would be like God. Has this lineage of false god worship that came straight from Babylonian idolatry to today, 6-11-15, culminated in ISIS?

As the Greek culture started to build up several hundred years BC Greek citizens were living in Asia several hundred years before Greece went on its world conquest under their King Alexander the Great and Thyatira was re-founded by the Greeks 300 years BC as an outpost fortress. Thyatira was different because the Greeks didn't locate the town on a rocky promontory with walls around it.

It stood in the middle of a valley on a very slight rise of ground. It was the same old story. Rome conquered the Greeks and took over Thyatira as their own fortress at the beginning of their occupation of Asia. To counter the vulnerability of its location the Romans stationed an elite guard of Roman soldiers there.

There is much information available concerning the Roman road system, this is only a brief overview. Roman roads were of several kinds, ranging from small local roads to broad long distance highways built to connect cities, major towns and military bases. These major roads were elevated, stone paved, cambered for drainage, were flanked by footpaths and drainage ditches and protected by culverts. Cambered for drainage means the road had a foundation of rough stones to let water drain through under the road surface and thus protect the road from sinking into the mud.

The Roman roads were laid along accurately surveyed courses, sometimes cut through hills and conducted over rivers and ravines on sturdy, well made bridges. Sections that crossed marshes were supported on strong, rafted logs or had stone piled foundations. At the height of Rome's power 29 great military highways radiated from Rome and the Empire's 113 provinces were interconnected by 372 large, well-constructed Roman roads. Any road that led to a city that was a worship center with a specific sized temple for the worship of the mythological goddess Roma was called a Royal Roman Road.

At the height of its power the Roman Empire boasted about 250,000 miles of road. About 50,500 miles of the roads, known as highways, were stone paved and the rest (secondary roads) were elevated, tamped, stone embedded dirt with drainage ditches, bridges and culverts to carry water away and protect the roads just like their major roads.

With the huge number of vassal tribes, states and nations under their control there was always some type of rebellion, large or small, going on and rapid Roman Legion troop movements were necessary. A Roman mail system throughout the Roman Empire was established and "emergency and first class mail" was delivered by mounted couriers much like the Pony Express system utilized on the American frontier. The roads were also used to transport every kind of goods and materials that were wanted or needed "someplace else".

Of course as fast as groups of scholars copied the works of the New Testament writers the books were rapidly sent by Christian couriers on the Roman road system to newly established churches throughout the Roman Empire.

A Roman road was used as a mail route that connected Laodicea in the south through Philadelphia in the north and on north through Sardis then Thyatira and on north to Pergamos. At Thyatira the road teed off west to connect to Smyrna on the seacoast which was a shipping entry point. The road then went further south to Ephesus. Today the Western Turkey city of Ak-Hissar with its population of 20,000 people of mostly Greek and Armenian extraction is located near the ruins of ancient Thyatira. A railroad generally follows the old Roman road system.

For his own reasons the Roman Emperor Vespasian decided to sponsor an economic boost in Thyatira and he promoted its location on the Roman road system, its nearness to a river, the easy access to the interior of Asia and the wide fertile valley where it was situated.

With 2 sources of travel for import and export, road and river, the protection of the Roman elite guard and the Roman genius for organization Thyatira boomed and became a headquarters for ancient craftsmen guilds such as metalworkers, tanners, weavers, robe makers, potters, coppersmiths, dyers and etc. As Thyatira boomed more and more people brought their occult, mythological gods and goddesses with them and they built temples dedicated to those deities. Thyatira was a wealthy, protected town filled with talented, religious people.

(Acts 16:1-15) Paul had met a half-Jew disciple named Timotheus (Timothy) and took Timothy with him on a preaching mission (V.5) to establish churches. (V.6-8) The Holy Spirit forbade Paul to preach in Asia and they came down to Troas. (V.9-12) While there Paul saw a vision that prompted him to go to Macedonia to preach the gospel. Paul, Timothy, the writer of Acts and their companions immediately left and eventually stopped in Philippi, a major city in that part of Macedonia which contained a colony of Jews and their synagogue.

(Rom. 1:16) True to God's command to offer the gospel to the Jews first they abode in Philippi while they went to the synagogue, converted Jews and founded a church in that city. It was God's tried and true recipe for planting churches. (V.13) On a certain Sabbath day the Apostles went out to a river where the idol worshippers (heathen) gathered to pray. (V.14-15 keyword: purple- identified as a bluish red dye from the "purple mussel") A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple (dye), who had heard Paul's preaching was there. She had become a believer and was baptized.

The Lord opened Lydia's heart and she wanted to follow the Christian way. With the wonderful, regenerated, generous heart of a new Christian Lydia constrained (compelled) the Apostles to stay with her. Lydia was in the business of selling goods dyed in the special Thyatira color of purple. In other words she could afford to support the Apostles for however long they stayed in Philippi planting a church. At Lydia's house is probably where Paul learned intimate details about the type of people in Thyatira. God does prepare His people AND:

(Acts 19:10) Paul had a familiarity with Thyatira when God would later send him on his missionary journey to plant the churches in Asia. A common type of worship in Thyatira was that the craftsmen made gods out of their craft. "Here's the proof my god is real, look at this copper ornament to goddess Roma he showed me how to make! Here's proof! Proof!" That is probably the idolatry from which, through Paul's preaching, God saved Lydia. It sounds like the world today, 6-11-15, people expend themselves worshipping their jobs and businesses and never come to the one true God for salvation.

The purple spoken of is now known as "Turkey red" and reports say it is dyed a brilliant red. Maybe it represents a scarlet obituary written in Christian blood so the Holy Bible would be handed on down to us.

John's Vision of Thyatira

(Rev. 2:18) "And unto the angel (messenger- pastor or leader) of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass." This is the only time in the Book of Revelation in which Jesus refers to Himself as the Son of God. (John 5:22) And all judgment is His.

Jesus' description of Himself is a description of judgment. His eyes are like unto a flame (flash, to blaze) of fire (lightening). Lightening is a fearful physical phenomena, man is afraid of lightening and we cannot control it (Job 38:4 & 25) yet God does control the lightening.

(Matt. 24:27) The second coming of Jesus will be like the lightening, no man can control it, it will be so fast no man can change anything about himself before the lightening is there upon him. It will be too late for sinners to repent. It will be too late to get saved. It will be too late for the lukewarm Christian to repent. (Matt. 24:37-42 & 1Thess. 4:13-18) It will be a worldwide judgment and true Christians that make up the true church shall be removed.

Jesus' "feet like fine brass" speaks of the prophesy in (Isa. 63:3-6) that He will tread in the anger of His vengeance at some future time. (Rev. 14:14-20) And that will happen when God gathers the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. The forces of antichrist will be brought to the great winepress of the wrath of God that will be trodden outside the city, the blood will pour out horse bridle deep for 200 miles. It will be a Judgment.

(Rev. 2:19) "I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first." This whole verse speaks about working to grow as a Christian. We will study this in detail when we get to (Rev. 2:26).

(Rev. 2:19 again) "I know thy works (acts, toil, deed), and charity (love, affection, benevolence), and service (attendance, aid, run errands, serve), and faith (Heb. 11:1 keywords: substance, evidence; both are words that establish proof of something), and thy patience (endurance, continuance, waiting), and thy works; and the last to be more than the first."

The words, "and the last to be more than the first", are saying these Christians have come from one place and gone to a closer place in their love, affection and benevolence (charity) relationship with Jesus. Works will be discussed below when we explore (Rev.2:26).

(Rev. 2:20-23) (V.20) Jezebel was obviously part the church at Thyatira because the faithful Christians were suffering ("sufferist" defined: permit, leave alone, let it be) in the same congregation with this Jezebel, and her fellow adulterers. (V.21) God had already given her space to repent and she would not. (V.22) The offer of repentance still stands but there is the threat of coming tribulation if they don't.

(V.23) The words; "And I will kill her children with death" shows us this Revelation Jezebel was the mother of false Christian teaching, physical fornication or spiritual fornication- idolatry or all three in order to produce children (people who believe her way). (2Cor. 11:13-15) Of course Satan was her glad helper. (Matt. 12:25 & Luke 5:22 knew their thoughts) Jesus searches every act and motive (John 12:48) and will reward each Christian according to their works.

HISTORY OF JEZEBEL

(Gen. 10:1-15) Noah was the father of Ham, Ham was the father of Canaan and (V.15) Canaan was the father of Sidon and Heth, Noah's great grandsons, (Gen. 10:16-19) who started their own families called Canaanites.

(Gen. 11:1-8). After the scattering and confounding of the languages at Babel (Gen. 10:16-20 esp. V.18 keyword: afterward) these families founded (Gen. 10:20) the Canaanite tribes after their tongues (languages) and as time went on their numbers grew and they became the Canaanite countries and nations. Those families who settled on the eastern Mediterranean Seacoast developed city states. The capitals of 2 of those city states were Tyre and Sidon. (Gen. 10:19) Sidon was given its name to honor their ancestor, Sidon, the grandson of Ham.

(Gen. 49:13) Due to the evolution of languages the Hebrews later called Sidon Zidon (1Ki. 16:31) and these seashore dwelling Canaanites were called Zidonians. Tyre and Zidon were located just on the border between Israel and what is now Lebanon. (1Chron. 22:1-8 esp. V.4) When King David was gathering materials for Solomon to build the house of the Lord God he obtained cedar from the "Zidonians and they of Tyre".

Over the centuries these 2 city states developed a thriving sea trade from which they grew rich. The Greeks named these sea people the Phoenicians (Canaanites) and they are still known by that name today. The Phoenicians invented an alphabet upon which many present day written languages are based.

The Phoenicians worshipped 17 major pagan gods, goddesses and a host of lesser entities of the imagination. Three of the main occult gods and goddesses they worshipped were Baal (also called Moloch, Baal-im and etc. in various cultural languages), who was their main god because they worshipped him as ruler of the universe and lord of the earth, Ashtoreth, (Semiramis, Nimrod's wife, the Amazon, later named Ashtarte and even later known as Ishtar) was worshipped as the Phoenician goddess of love and queen of heaven, and Baal at, the god of healing.

The Babylon effect was alive and well in the Canaanite Phoenicians. (1Ki. 16:31) Into this rich, lavish, idolatrous kingdom of the Zidonians a daughter was born to their King Ethbaal (a man of Baal) and he named her Jezebel.

The Hebrew word Iyzebel, pronounced ee-zeh-bel, (Jezebel) is defined as chaste. The Phoenician definition of Jezebel is where is my prince. (1Ki. 16:31 Zidonian)"Where is my prince" was a common Phoenician (Canaanite) chant when they were crying out to Baal to come from the underworld so they could worship him.

(Lev. 18:2-21) It is well documented the worshippers of the false god Baal burned child sacrifice, (1Ki. 18:28) mutilated themselves (Lev. 18:3 keyword: Canaan then V.21-26) and participated in all types of sexual acts in their orgies during their worship services. Yet, in their minds they kept themselves chaste for their ruler of the universe, lord of the earth, occult god Baal.

Can you see the Hebrew humor and sarcasm in their giving Jezebel a name that is defined as chaste? The Baal worshippers violated all of the Lord God Almighty's rules governing sex and marriage yet they were clean (chaste) in the eyes of their imagined god Baal. They were waiting for him pristine and pure (chaste); "where is my prince?" It's no wonder invisible Satan attended their services twisting, squirming, gyrating and cavorting frenziedly while they worshipped him!

It also has a sad sarcasm in fundamentalist Christian Church circles because it describes perfectly the apostate Christian teaching that after salvation the soul is clean of sin and it no longer matters what you do with your body which is sometimes stated as; "After you've sinned enough you are no benefit to God and He'll just take you on to heaven." Just like the Zidonians, these pristine and pure (chaste) Jezebels are waiting for their "imagined God". People don't like to hear it but Satan twists, squirms, gyrates and cavorts in a lot of Christian church services too! Because:

Some groups pervert God's Holy Word to justify sexual acts (Rom. 1:21-32 esp. V.26-27 keywords: against nature) which are unnatural and they found churches that attract like-minded people. At the judgment I seriously doubt if anyone will wave the rainbow flag and have the brash boldness to tell God Almighty He is homophobic and politically incorrect! Sometimes the Babylon effect is alive and well in the true Christian Church and the Babylon effect is always alive and well in the imagined Christian church of today, 6-11-15.

HISTORY OF AHAB

(Prov. 13:10 keywords: Only by pride cometh contention): (2Chron. 13:1 thru 15:19) The nation of Israel was divided with the 10 northern tribes calling themselves Israel and the 2 southern tribes, Judah and Benjamin, calling themselves Judah. Because of pride, sin and rebellion against God the proud 12 united tribes of Israel was but a shadow of what it had once been. "Divide, divide, divide!" (1Ki. 16:1-28) (V.1-7) Baasha was the King of Israel in the north, he led his people into sin and God killed him. (V.8-14) Baasha's son Elah reined 2 years and Zimri, commander of one half of Israel's army, killed Elah, took Elah's throne and made himself King of Israel (not Judah).

(V.15-20) King Zimri made Tirzah his capital city. The people resented the fact Zimri had murdered the real king and they elected Omri as their king. Omri must have been Zimri's second in command to have been made captain of the host and to be elected King of Israel. King Omri led the army to take revenge on King Zimri. After only 7 days King Omri and his army overran Tirzah but Zimri, the pretender king, committed suicide and avoided their vengeance.

"Divide, divide, divide!" (V. 21) The northern kingdom, Israel, divided again when half the people followed a man named Tibni and half followed Omri. Civil war! It was a confusing time (1Cor. 14:33) and "God is not the author of confusion." Man's pride and Satan's deception, seduction, suggesting and inspiration was tearing Israel apart. (V. 22) There was war again as blood kin fought and killed blood kin. Israel was fighting and killing itself. Sounds like a bunch of Protestants doesn't it?

(V.23-24) Omri prevailed, killed Tibni and Omri reigned as king of Israel for 12 years. Omri reigned from Tirzah 6 years then bought the hill named Samaria, built the city named Samaria and made it the capital of Israel. Satan danced through the agony, tears and blood and he mocked man and God because of man's false prayers God would not hear (Psa. 66:18) because man had regarded iniquity. Then Satan turned hot, expectant, observant, spiritual eyes toward Omri.

(V.25) "but Omri wrought evil in the eyes of The Lord, and did worse than all that were before him." BECAUSE: (V.26) Omri made Israel to sin and it provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities, idolatry, fornication and rebellion against God. (V.28) Omri died and Omri's son, Ahab, (father's brother) became the King of Israel.

(1Ki. 16:29-33) The definition of Ahab's name, father's brother, tells us much. Can you see: little Ahab listening open mouthed with wonder at his father's stories of war, sin and intrigue, Ahab was learning; Ahab at 10 years old reviewing the troops with his father, Ahab was learning; at 14, his father's little partner, becoming more involved with his father's daily life of perverted worship, leadership and sin, learning; "Men! He's more like my brother than my son!" Can you see Ahab at 20, his father's brother, totally immersed in his father's evil life, learning and learning and learning?

It is obvious Omri had been a leader of men all of Ahab's life as he worked his way up to commanding Israel's army (the host). He had to have been successful to have been promoted. Then Omri had become king and he had led all of Israel into sin for 12 more years and he taught Ahab how to lead Israel into sin. Ahab learned very well because (1Ki. 16:30) "And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him." Ahab outdid his father, Omri, who had sinned worse than any before him.

(1Ki. 16:31-33) Many times a treaty alliance is made between 2 countries and it is cemented with a marriage between 2 members of the "royal families" involved with the treaty. Maybe that's how Ahab met Jezebel. Maybe it was a trade envoy returning from the royal court of the Zidonians (Phoenicians - Canaanites); "I've got to have an audience with King Ahab. He'll never believe what a beautiful woman I've seen!" It could have even been a rumor that trickled through Ahab's royal court; "King Ethbaal of the Zidonians has the most beautiful daughter in the world."

(V.31) However it happened, Ahab met Jezebel, must have fallen desperately in love with her to do what he did and he married her. (V. 32-33) It was a marriage made in hell because Ahab built a house of Baal, Satan's representative, in Samaria, Israel's capital. Spiritually God's holy, chosen, apostate people had married Satan's people and they worshipped the Devil as one because of Ahab! Satan was delighted; "I've married God's apostate people (Jews) to those who worship me! They'll never go back to Him now!"

NOTE: There are 3 types of prophesy; #1) A spoken or written prophesy that foretells a future event or events. #2) An objective prophesy in which an object foretells a future event; (Judges 14:5-9) an example is the honey in the body of the lion Samson killed. (Rev. 5:5) Jesus is the lion of the tribe of Judah. Samson (the Jew) killed the Judaean lion (Jesus) and honey (salvation) was found in the lion which prophesied that; The Jews would kill Jesus and His death, burial and resurrection would bring salvation.

#3) A living or life lived prophesy; example: Moses leading Israel out of Egyptian bondage to the promised land where they will serve God is a living prophesy that Jesus through the Holy Spirit will lead people out of sin bondage to the Promised Land of salvation where they can serve God.

Ahab and Jezebel's marriage, their union, was a living prophecy. (Rev. 16:13-14) Ahab's kingship is a prophesy of the false prophet who will lead the apostate church to accept what Jezebel brings. (Rev. 17:5) Jezebel, the daughter of Baal, will bring various idol worshipping religions under the banner of; "There are many paths to God!". with their false, idol worshipping religions (Christless religions) that worship books, self, Satan, graven images, animals, dead un-resurrected prophets and gods of the imagination which she will unite with self worshipping governments of nations (a united world system) to bring to her marriage.

The union (marriage) of the spiritual Ahab and the spiritual Jezebel arranged by the false prophet will produce the army the beast (the living antichrist) will use to try to destroy Israel at Armageddon. (Rev. 13:1-8 esp. V.8 keywords: all that dwell upon the earth) The army of people will be led by the false prophet to worship the antichrist and both will be led (Eph. 6:11-12 & 2Thess. 2:7-10) by Satan, the devil, the anti-God spirit of iniquity.

(Rev. 2:22-23 keywords: great tribulation) The people of the united world system and the apostate segment of the church, (Dan. 9:25-27, Matt. 24:21-30 & Rev. 2:22 & 17:5) will be involved in the entire 7 years of the great tribulation that ends our present church age. End of Note.

(Rev. 2:24) "But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine (Nicolaitane teaching), and which have not known (to know absolutely) the depths (state of great knowledge and experience) of Satan, as they speak (declare); I will put upon you none other burden (weight, load)." Jesus is saying; You Christians who have not known or participated in the knowledge and experience of this satanic activity I will put no other load upon you. Implying; you've got all you can stand.

(2Tim. 3:16) God inspired Paul to write: (2Cor. 6:14-18) (V.14) "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (V.15) what concord (accordance- conforming with) hath Christ with Belial (an adjective describing Satan- worthless)? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (V.16) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."

(V.17) "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean (impure, lewd, demonic) thing; and I will receive you, (V.18) And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."

By the time of this, John's vision, Paul's writings had been in circulation about 40 years. Ancient Jewish documents tell us scribes were making copies as fast as they could and sending them to the new churches springing up all around the Mediterranean Sea. It is obvious these Christians could not serve God while they were shackled to Jezebel and her apostate (unclean) Christians. The obvious answer is the church had split and spiritual warfare between the apostate church and the true church had broken out as they spiritually struggled for the lost souls of the people in the Thyatira area. The occultist, idol worshipping pagans must have flocked to Jezebel's "church".

The above struggle is still a common struggle today in America and in the whole world between the true church and the apostate church. The true church holds out the blood stained, nail pierced hands of Jesus, His resurrection and His true word; (Matt. 11:29) "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." (Mark 13:13) "but he that shall endure to the end the same shall be saved." (John 12:48) "the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." (Rev. 3:21) "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I overcame and am set down with my Father in his throne."

(2Thess. 2:3-7 & 2Tim. 4:3-4) And the spiritually asleep, scripturally blind, apostate, prodigal, liberal church holds out its sin soiled hands speaking its own easy believism, political correctness accepting, ear tickling, men pleasing, apostate word from their pleasure seeking, money grubbing, scandalized lifestyle leaders (1Tim. 4:1-2) speaking their own conscience seared, hypocritical lies.

(Rev. 2:25) "But that which ye have already hold fast till I come." To hold fast until Jesus comes a Christian must (Matt. 24:9-13) Endure tribulation, persecution, false teaching and deception (Rev. 3:5, 12 & 21) and Overcome self's inclination to sin, Satan's deception and the sinful world's (people) beckoning to sin.

(Rev. 2:26) "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:" Here's how it starts.

What is SALVATION

Compare your salvation event to a car wreck. You crash into the guardrail trying to miss something in the road. Your car rolls a couple of times. When it comes to a stop you are stunned. Your thoughts start to clear; "I've wrecked. I'd better get out." You try to exit but your seat belt is jammed and you can't free yourself; "Good grief! Well somebody will come along in a minute and help me." Then a thought shoots a thrill of panic through you; "I hope it don't catch on fire!" A car stops, the driver gets out and starts toward you; "Help me, I'm trapped!"

There's a sullen "WHUMP" in the engine compartment! Both of you are frozen in place, then smoke starts coming out from under the hood, the other driver panics and runs. You start screaming. Other cars stop but the drivers are so afraid of an explosion they won't get near you. Things are happening so fast its hard to keep up. You feel the heat! The smoke is starting to choke you; "Help me! Help me!" But nobody can and you struggle so hard the jammed seatbelt abrades you until you are bleeding.

Even more people gather, their eyes are sympathetic as you look into them and some of them are even crying but they can't help. They are only a few feet away, just right over there, their eyes, their eyes are so sympathetic as they stare into your frantic, pleading eyes. But they can't help. "I'm going to die! I'M GOING TO DIE! I'M GOING TO BURN TO DEATH RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF YOU!" The fire is getting hotter. You scream and scream until the smoke chokes you. Hopelessness sets in. The screams are internal now, in your mind and they ring and ring. You have enough left to whisper; "Oh God, please help me!"

Life is so very, very precious and you start to cry. There's a Person (Jesus) you've heard about. People say He's kind, merciful, generous and good. Maybe you've even spoken to Him a time or two just to try to get acquainted with or to see if He is really real. That same Person has stopped at the scene of your wreck. (Psa. 34:18) You manage to choke out; "I'LL DO ANYTHING IF YOU'LL JUST SAVE ME!" He never hesitates, He dashes to your aid. Dimly you realize He must have faced death before because He is not afraid. You can see the compassion and mercy in His eyes and you can feel His astonishing love for you when He reaches into the fire for you.

(John 3:16) "Love is going to save me from the fire!" He frees you, extracts you from your death vehicle (your life) and drags you safely away from your wreck. It is an enchanted time. Its just you and your Saviour. You suddenly realize you love your Saviour; "He has given me a new life!" You know He loves you enough to save you but you don't personally know him a bit better than you did before your wreck and the time of your salvation.

This semi-Stranger had come to you in the time of your greatest need and helplessness, saved you from a fiery death and gave you a brand new life. Its the greatest gift you could ever receive because #1) you didn't have the power to save yourself, #2) you didn't have anything valuable enough to purchase your salvation from the fire #3) and nobody else could save you. "So why me, why did he save me?"

It was more personal than anything that had ever happened to you! You loved Him with all your heart. The Son of God had touched you. The Holy Spirit permanently entered your soul. You were as saved as you could ever be. BUT: You didn't know Jesus a bit better than you had before He saved you. How could something as intimate as salvation happen with a semi-Stranger?

BUT CHRISTIANS SIN

Personal experience: After my born again salvation experience and baptism I thought I was on easy street; "Wow its a done deal. I'm saved, I'm saved, I'm saved!" And I was. I was as saved as I could ever be. But I was ignorant about God and His ways. In reality you don't learn much from Sunday morning services. There simply isn't time. Before I got saved we didn't go to Bible study, that was for Christians and even Bible study learning is a slow, slow process due to time constraints.

I attended a small "up that dirt road right there, go 4 miles, its the little white church on the left, just across the creek." Even now, after 39 years, I have never participated in or even heard about an in depth class for new Christians nor have I ever heard any kind of teaching about our greatest enemy Satan.

I knew I was changed, I knew everything had changed because I knew my sins were forgiven, everything was sweeter, brighter, better, happier BUT there was a lot I didn't know. I'd heard the phrase "born again" BUT (John 3:3-8) I didn't really understand what it meant. (2Cor. 5:17) BUT, nobody had explained to me how I was "a new creature" in Christ. (Rom. 8:16-17) BUT, nobody explained I was a "joint heir with Jesus" to God's kingdom of heaven. Read this> (Rom. 8:6-15 esp. V.13 keyword: mortify- to kill) BUT, I didn't know anything about the Holy Spirit and how he would help me grow as a Christian. I had not yet realized I was "sort of" on my own or that I had a bad case of the BUTS!

The church was busy getting people saved and didn't have time to help people stay saved and that's wrong! For effect, when somebody gets saved that particular church has "spiritually given birth" through the Holy Spirit, by the blood of Jesus, as is written in God's word. (1Cor. 3:1 & 1Pet. 2:2 keyword: babes- baby) For effect, Jesus has given that particular church His precious, precious, brand new, baby Christian, regardless of age, to love, care for, clean up after, nurture and teach. SO YOU PASTORS TAKE TIME TO DO IT!

Laugh, cry, mock, whatever you want to do. Its just the way it was with me and my bad case of the BUTS. (John 10:10 & 1Pet. 5:8) BUT, nobody had told me the Devil would be after me to destroy and devour me like a hungry tomcat after a fledgling bird right out of its nest! I didn't know trouble was coming at me like a freight train! I was ignorant as a sack of potatoes, there were a lot of BUT'S that I didn't even recognize in my brand new Christian life!

There was a time of euphoria then I came down with a crash. A drunk man tried to run down my 6 year old son, Jimmie, with a farm tractor. He actually drove out in a small field on our property and hit the tree my son had ran to so he could find protection. I was filled with rage and went after him and he and I fought it out in a bloody, knockdown, drag out, fist fight in the road beside my house.

After that I took a long, hard look at myself; "Man, you are some kind of Christian! Why did I do that to him? Am I the same old me? What happened?" I was eaten up with guilt and I felt like I should go apologize to that man. I had emotions but no knowledge. I HAD NOT BEEN TAUGHT AND I DID NOT REALIZE the indwelling Holy Spirit was fighting against my normal human nature so I wouldn't throw away my salvation.

(Gal. 5:17) Within me was the war between the Holy Spirit and my humanly natural inclination that had punished the man who had so callously endangered my son. As days passed I felt more and more guilty even though I was praying and asking forgiveness. No relief!

Of course the devil was also right in it screaming in my soul; "You ain't no Christian! A real Christian wouldn't have done that! You didn't get saved in the first place." But, through the Holy Spirit's witness and my own first-hand experience I knew I had gotten saved and I knew I would have to go apologize for what I had done.

I was so ashamed I could die, but I went. I was humble but ready for and expecting more trouble when I got to his house. I did my apology, he accepted it, I told him about Jesus' and salvation and explained that I wasn't a very good Christian yet but I'd do better. I didn't realize I had covered a whole lot of scripture with those 4 words.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO Part 33, Section 2

CLICK HERE FOR TABLE OF CONTENTS