Smyrna of Revelation

the Agora

Rev 2:8  And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; 

Rev 2:9  I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. 

Rev 2:10  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 

Rev 2:11  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. 

The church at Ephesus needed to be reminded that His watchful eye was upon them, to stimulate them to recall their first love, and to do their first works; but the church of Smyrna, which was more pure, and had yet to pass through fiery trials, needed most of all to dwell upon the unchangeableness of His power and love.

The name comes from “Myrrh,” which is a bitter herb, a suitable name for a church facing persecution.  Would the believers be fearful or faithful?  There were genuine Jewish Christians among them, and there were Jewish pretenders.  He knows who are the right-hearted, and He knows who are insincere.

Suffering can enrich us, even if we think we are poor; and what people think is wealth might turn out to be poverty (3:17).  Although materially poor, this church was spiritually wealthy because it truly had the Christ.  The Christ assures His people that He is intimately acquainted with every feature of their history.  “I know …” The “I know” of love is the smile of God.

The 10 days?  The grand principle is that there is a limit to the suffering of the Church and the saints.  The Christ soothes and emboldens His saints by the promise of infinite compensation.  He does not promise zero suffering in this life but He will not permit it to go beyond what we are capable of handling.  And the Christ will not only deliver His saints from the sphere of suffering; He will introduce them into the sphere of eternal rest and joy.

What difference does it make if people slander you so long as you have the Lord’s approval?

pastorwardclinton.com

Revelation 2:1-7

Rev 2:1  Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; 

Rev 2:2  I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: 

Rev 2:3  And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. 

Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. 

Rev 2:5  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 

Rev 2:6  But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 

Rev 2:7  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. 

pastorwardclinton.com

Ephesus is the type of a strenuous Church. There is something singularly masculine in the first part of the description. “I know thy works”—that is, thine achievements; not thy desires and purposes and aspirations, not even thy doings, but thy deeds. This Church in its severe self-discipline affords a welcome contrast to the easily-excited populace amid whom they lived, rushing confusedly into the theatre and shouting for two hours, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians.” The patience of the Church is twice mentioned; the second time it is patience not as a feature of the workman, but the patience of him who can suffer, and suffer in silence. And this virtue has a threefold delineation—patience, endurance, fortitude. “Thou hast patience, and thou didst bear for My name’s sake, and thou hast not grown weary.” There is another mark of the masculine character in Ephesus, a noble intolerance of evil—“thou canst not bear bad men.” And with this intolerance is the power to discriminate character, the clear judgment which cannot be deceived—“thou didst try them which call themselves apostles, and they are not, and didst find them false.” There is no surer mark of a masculine nature than this keen insight into pretentiousness, and fidelity of rebuke. There is so much good in this church that we are surprised to discover that they had left (not lost) their first love.  The honeymoon was over (Jer 2:2).  No amount of separation, sacrifice, or service can make up for your lack of love for the Lord.

It is love in its largest sense which the Church once had and now has lost; the love of God animating piety undoubtedly, but no less certainly the love of men making service sweet. Nor is it the feeling alone which has changed, it is not that love as a sentiment is lost; but love in its far reach has gone, kindliness and tender consideration and disregard of self, the grace that suffers long and is kind, that beareth all things, hopeth all things, believeth all things. The toilsomeness, the endurance, the stern self-judgment, the keen discrimination of character, are obvious; but the spirit that rises above toil or sweetens toil, the grace to woo and wed, has fled. We can understand the history only too well. Life has many sore trials, none sorer than this—that virtues which are unexercised die out, and that the circumstances which call for some virtues and give occasion for their development seem to doom others to extinction. The Christian character cannot live by severity alone. There were two demands which the Church at Ephesus had forgotten—the demand for completeness of Christian character, never more urgent than when the times are making us one-sided; the demand of God Himself for the heart. There must be impulse in His people if they are to continue His people; there must be love in all who, not contented with doing “their works,” desire to do the work of God.

The warning of the fifth verse must have been very surprising to the angel of the Ephesian Church. The Church seemed to be so efficient. Its works had been so hard, and yet they had been done. Its achieve-merits were patent. Especially its service in the cause of truth was conspicuous; the Church had not lost its zeal, its candour, its piercing vision. Ephesus warns us against the perils of the Puritan temper; it warns us also against the stoical temper, with its tendency to a not ignoble cynicism, of which some of our gravest leaders in literature have been the exponents. Puritanism plus love ham accomplished great things, and will do yet more; for a masculine tenderness is God’s noblest gift to men. But Puritanism, when the first love is lost, drags on a sorrowful existence, uninfluential and unhappy; its only hope being the capacity for repentance, which, God be praised, has never failed it. Perhaps the most solemn part of the message is that in which the Lord Himself declares—“I am coming; I will shake thy candlestick out of its place.” The Lord can do without our achievements, but not without love. He can supply gifts unendingly, can make the feeble as David; but if love be wanting He will shake the noblest into destruction, and remove them out of the way. There is one striking word immediately following this warning, a word of commendation; it is the only one of the messages in which a word of commendation does come in after the warning has been uttered, and it is a commendation of feeling. “But this thou hast, that thou hatest,” etc. Hatred is hardly the feeling we should have expected to be commended: but it is feeling, and any feeling is better than apathy or stolidity. Where men can feel hatred, other feeling may come; love may come where men have not reduced themselves to machines like an “Ebenezer Scrooge”.

The word “Nicolaitans” means “conquer the people.”  Apparently, a group in the church lorded it over the people and promoted a separation of “clergy” and “laity” (see Matt 21:20-27; 22:1-12) The priest hood was set up by God, but its purpose is not to “lord it over” the people but to serve and produce high quality disciples of the Christ.  Some of the priests and pastors started out good but lost their way somewhere along the pathway.  Ephesus had too little of what so many have too much of—sensibility, passiveness, willingness to receive, to be made something of, to be quiet and let the Blessed One save them who had long been striving, and of late so ineffectually, to serve Him. Good as strenuousness is—and of human virtues it is among the chief—even better is the responsive spirit. Why was the one we call St Paul given a vision when none of the other priests, as far as we know, in his day given one?  Much of the reason likely had to do with his sincerity and earnestness to do the will of God coupled with a responsive spirit that none but God was able to see during the time when he was a persecutor of those called Christians.

— A preview from my forthcoming book on the Revelation of Jesus the Christ. – pastorwardclinton.com

The Queen of the U.S.

NEWT GINGRICH, EX-SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:

Newt Gingrich, a Republican, served in the House from Georgia from 1978 and as House Minority Whip in 1989. He was Speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999. During that time he never made use of military aircraft.

NOW, Talk about vain arrogance!!!

THE QUEEN OF THE UNITED STATES

Nancy Pelosi, Democrat from California, current Speaker of the House. The Pentagon provides the House speaker with an Air Force plane large enough to accommodate her staff, family, supporters, and members of the California delegation when she travels around the country. But, Pelosi wanted routine access to a larger plane. It includes 42 business class seats, a fully-enclosed state room, an entertainment center, a private bed, a state-of-the-art communications system, and a crew of 16. Pelosi wanted “carte blanche for an aircraft any time,” including weekend trips home to San Francisco. Pretty nice but very expensive perk! Her Air Force C-32 costs approximately $15,000 an hour or approximately $300,000 per trip home.

And she has the guts to confront the Big Three CEOs for flying their corporate jets to Washington! YOU THINK SHE, ALONG WITH A HUSBAND WORTH AN ESTIMATED BILLION DOLLARS, WOULD LEASE OR BUY AND FLY THEIR OWN PLANE, OR FLY FIRST CLASS ON COMMERCIAL AIRLINES LIKE OTHER RICH PEOPLE. NANCY PELOSI FACTS:

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s home district includes San Francisco. Star-Kist Tuna’s headquarters are in San Francisco, Pelosi’s home district. Star-Kist is owned by Del Monte Foods and is a major contributor to Pelosi. Star-Kist is the major employer in American Samoa employing 75% of the Samoan workforce.

Paul Pelosi, Nancy’s husband, owns $17 million dollars of Star-Kist stock. In January 2007 when the minimum wage was increased from $5.15 to $7.25, Pelosi had American Samoa exempted from the increase so Del Monte would not have to pay the higher wage. This would make Del Monte products less expensive than their competition’s.

Last week when the huge bailout bill was passed, Pelosi added an earmark to the final bill adding $33 million dollars for an ‘economic development credit in American Samoa .’

Pelosi has called the Bush Administration “CORRUPT” !!

How do you spell “HYPOCRISY” ??

EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD GET THIS E-MAIL. IT SHOULD BE ENOUGH TO MAKE ALL OF US ANGRY ENOUGH TO THROW THEM ALL OUT ON THEIR BEHINDS.

Rain and 2nd Chronicles 7:14

It is not raining where I am today, the 27th of August, as the sun rises and it is looking exceptionally nice.  It is not that it was all that spectacular but more of a matter being so nice to see after a week or two of rainy days.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the rain as well as the sunshine but too much of either becomes a bit disturbing.

I lived in the Philippines for awhile and went through monsoon seasons and did not find that to be disturbing at all.  When in Guam, we had wet season and dry season, which I have to admit I preferred wet season over heavy monsoon.  However, those seasons are like summer and winter on the mainland of the U.S.

Returning to where I currently live, we had an unusually long dry spell which has been followed up by a long wet spell.  My little pond completely dried up.  I learned that I had bass and catfish as well as lots of brim.  I toyed with the idea of renting an excavator to essentially dredge the dried out pond out a little and put some of the fertile silt in my garden area since it had pretty much “given up the ghost” as well due to the drought.  Then the rain started.  The first few days it was all around me but not getting closer than a mile or two away.

Now I had already been thinking of 2nd Chronicles 7:14 back when my fish were dying, and the water was approaching “all gone” as my late wife would have put it.  I had already been thinking about the somewhat different than normal weather patterns being reported all across the nation.  I had already been thinking and praying for a “Great Awakening” to take place in our nation on the scale of the one which was instrumental in bringing the Unites States of America into existence.  With the kakistocracy in Washington, D.C. it is no surprise that such is not yet happening nor is it a surprise that the “woke” ones are embracing the Climate Change mantra instead of acknowledging that God just might be trying to get their attention and especially the attention of those who are “awake.”   After all, 2nd Chronicles 7:13-14 is addressed to the awake ones and calls us to a specified action.

My pond overfloweth:

Yes, the rain came, and it has been raining and raining … and raining.  I stopped singing “Showers of Blessing” a week ago.  I’m not complaining, and I do believe I am blessed, but I am carefully revisiting 2nd Chronicles 7:14 and making sure I am aligning myself with His call to action.  Due, in part to Genesis 8:22 and Psalm 74, I do not fall for the Climate Change Hoax that is being perpetrated on us by the leftists.  I know Who created the climate and His promises regarding it and the instructions to His people.  Therefore, as I ponder 2nd Chronicles 7:13-14, I recognize that unusual weather patterns may very well be warning signals from Our Father in Heaven because we have strayed from His paths and He still loves us and wants to do something special through us, His awake ones.

2Ch 7:13  If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; 

14  If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 

The Corrupt Ones

pastorwardclinton.com

We can no longer ignore the corruption in DC; if we don’t push back and do our part to clean up the mess it will soon be too late.

An FBI official says that they don’t want to influence an election as they did in 2016 with HRC conducting government business on an illegal unsecured server by refusing to do anything. Yet, they pursued the Russian Collusion Delusion and supported other attacks on Trump leading to impeachment attempts. They have pretty much ignored the Biden laptop scheme and reveal nothing of what they’re doing. They attempt to label parents concerned about what their children are being taught as terrorists.
Over 1 12 years after Trump left office and mere months before the midterm elections, they raid Trumps home with questionable tactics.
But they don’t want their tactics to influence elections. Yeah right; nope, I ain’t buying that bridge.