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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

Pastors, Now is the Time to Stand Against Tyranny!

Pastors, Now is the Time to Stand Against Tyranny!

 There are tens of millions of evangelical Christians in the United States, and millions do not participate in politics even though the Bible says that the civil magistrate is a “minister of God” (Rom. 13:4). Millions of these Christians don’t participate in the political process because their pastors are either afraid to address political issues or they believe that Christians would not get mixed up in politics.

Either reason is contrary to the Bible and the history of this once-great nation. “To the pulpit, the PURITAN PULPIT, we owe the moral force which won our Independence,”John Wingate Thornton wrote in The Pulpit of the American Revolution. Too many Christians don’t believe or know this history.

Many Christians believe they can be neutral. But there is no neutrality. By not engaging culture at the political level, another worldview dominates and impacts all of us. We must then live under their standard, as we are doing today.

Founding American ministers of the gospel confronted the issues of their day by appealing to the people in terms of the Bible. The annual “Election Sermon” still “bears witness that our fathers ever began their civil year and its responsibilities with an appeal to Heaven, and recognized Christian morality as the only basis of good laws.”In addition, the clergy were often consulted by the civil authorities in the colonies, “and not infrequently the suggestions from the pulpit, on election days and other special occasions, were enacted into laws. The statute-book, the reflex of the age, shows this influence. The State was developed out of the Church.”

The diminishing light of civil liberty in this land is linked directly to the lack of preaching on it in today’s pulpits…

Read more at http://eaglerising.com/19467/pastors-now-is-the-time-to-stand-against-tyranny/#U7bD2r3TsM4cGgOI.99

The True Way to Paradise is via Messiah Jesus

“The Holy One Called Isa,” by Pastor Ward Clinton:

Injil Markus 3:1  And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.

3:2  And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.

3:3  And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.

3:4  And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.

3:5  And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

3:6  And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

This, 3:1-6, is a demonstration of the truth proclaimed in 2:28.  The Pharisees were plotting evil against Jesus while Jesus was ready to do good therefore it is obvious who was guilty of breaking the Sabbath although the people probably did not realize it at the time because of the erroneous teaching they had long listened to.  (What if Abu Bakr did not teach accurately?)  What if the one who compiled and created the Quran  was a friend of Iblis and the jinn and was sent to deceive and empower himself under the guise of preserving truth?  We are told he faithfully re-produced the accurate words but where is the proof?

3:7  But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea,

3:8  And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him.

The geographical list shows that people were traveling great distances, for that day and age, to see and hear the holy one from God.  Will that generation rise up and condemn this generation at the last day for its lack of effort to seek out and learn Isa’s teaching?  Many Muslims claim they respect and honor Isa but they are actually guilty of insulting Isa because they do not read or pay any attention to what he taught when he was healing and teaching the people.  Mohammad said the Injil is not corrupt.  The Quran says the Injil is not corrupt.  Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas said the Al-kitab (Holy Bible) is not corrupt.  Muhammad Abduh Sayyid Ahmad Khan (died 1905) said “As far as the text of the [Holy] Bible is concerned, it has not been altered.”  Furthermore, Muhammad Abduh said the “charge of corruption of the Biblical texts makes no sense at all.”  The problem with “the Al-kitab (Holy Bible) has been corrupted” argument is that those who make that claim are ignorant of first century history and/or the whole text of the Injil (New Testament portion of the Holy Bible).

It is not wise to insult Isa (Messiah Jesus as revealed by the Al kitab).  He has the words of life from the one true God.  It is true that many who claim to be his followers (Christians) are corrupt but that is because they do not truly follow his teaching as revealed in the Holy Bible but that is no excuse for not knowing and studying the words of Isa as preserved in the Injil.

The reason some of those who call themselves “Christian” don’t seem to know much about the Holy Bible or genuine Christianity is because they actually are not Christians as is evidenced by their lives.  Even amongst those who actually regularly attend a Bible-believing Church one must look carefully to see how their life matches up to the teaching  of Isa.  So how can one know?  First become familiar with the New Testament portion of the Holy Bible and then request, in prayer, to the one true God for assistance in knowing the truth; this is not done by using a memorized prayer.  He’s listening because He does care about you.  Because God cares about you, the Injil is not corrupt, it may be hard to understand, at first, but ask Him to help you and to direct you.  Ask the one true God to help you find real followers of Jesus because they are the ones who know the way to the true paradise.

The God of Father Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob Loves

An excerpt from “The Holy One Called Isa,” by Pastor Ward Clinton:

2:7  Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies?  Who can forgive sins but God only?

In Jewish theology even the Messiah could not forgive sins and they were sure that Jesus was committing shirk.  However if He really is who He claimed to be then disbelieving is the worst type of shirk of all.  Al-Masihu-Isa (Jesus) is kalimat Allah and wadjih (worthy of esteem in this world and the next) according to the Quran.

2:8  And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

2:9  Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

Since they believed that a person’s sins needed to be forgiven before they could be healed He has chosen to force them to engage their brains.  One purpose of the miracles was to testify to the people precisely who Jesus truly is.

2:10  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)

2:11  I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

2:12  And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

Jesus saw their faith, He may have smiled as he looked at a faith strong enough to overcome the obstacles and then He looked at the Scribes – the ones who should have had faith.  Now, in part, these fellows were doing their job; they were scrutinizing this itinerant Rabbi to make sure his teaching was okay.  But these were sitting there watching for what they considered to be the slightest mistake so they could blow it all out of proportion rather than allowing themselves to be moved by the working of God which was happening right before their very eyes.

The religious leadership made a connection between sin and disease, not entirely unfounded, but they were a bit misguided.  To them a sick man was a man who had sinned.  They had already heard Jesus preach; they had already seen Jesus heal.  Still they seemed quite unmoved.  Now Jesus won’t allow anyone to remain neutral towards Him.  He has decided to up the ante, therefore he said, “Child your sins are forgiven.”  He has just challenged them head on with that phrase.  They were of the belief that the sin had to be forgiven before one could be healed.  But anyone is capable of saying “your sins are forgiven” and how can it be proved whether the statement was effective or not?  Now on the other hand, to tell the man to get up and walk would demonstrate then and there the authority, effectiveness, and reliability of His word.  Therefore in the tenth verse Jesus lets them know they have to make a choice to either believe in Him or disbelieve.  He has hoisted these experts in the law on their own petard.  It is on their own traditions and stated beliefs this man could not be cured unless he was forgiven.  In effect Jesus has said, “you say I have no right to forgive sins?  You believe that if this man is sick, he is a sinner and cannot be cured until he is forgiven?  Okay, watch this!”  Jesus spoke the word and the man was cured, therefore he must be forgiven and Jesus’ claim to be able to forgive sin must be true.

Jesus probably left them in a baffled rage.  Here was something that had to be dealt with; if this were allowed to continue all their rules and regulations would be turned on their head; maybe even worse, proven to be completely out of step with their Holy Scripture.  So, with this incident, Jesus has signed His own death warrant and He is fully aware of it.  However He is also trying to correct their understanding of God.

They had the Torah (the uncorrupted holy word from the one true God), they knew that God will not let sinners remain unpunished, but they had forgotten that the Torah also showed them a God who desired to exercise mercy and forgiveness.  Remember the pouting prophet in the Old Testament who whined, “I didn’t want to warn those people because I knew You are a merciful God”?

Today, most seem to know that God forgives but they forget there are conditions that must be met… God is holy and just, as well as merciful and forgiving.  He calls us into a holy, loving relationship with Himself which requires that sin be shunned, not embraced with a “Oh well, I’m only human” shrug of the shoulders.

Pastors, Now is the Time to Stand Against Tyranny!

Pastors, Now is the Time to Stand Against Tyranny!

 There are tens of millions of evangelical Christians in the United States, and millions do not participate in politics even though the Bible says that the civil magistrate is a “minister of God” (Rom. 13:4). Millions of these Christians don’t participate in the political process because their pastors are either afraid to address political issues or they believe that Christians would not get mixed up in politics.

Either reason is contrary to the Bible and the history of this once-great nation. “To the pulpit, the PURITAN PULPIT, we owe the moral force which won our Independence,”John Wingate Thornton wrote in The Pulpit of the American Revolution. Too many Christians don’t believe or know this history.

Many Christians believe they can be neutral. But there is no neutrality. By not engaging culture at the political level, another worldview dominates and impacts all of us. We must then live under their standard, as we are doing today.

 

Founding American ministers of the gospel confronted the issues of their day by appealing to the people in terms of the Bible. The annual “Election Sermon” still “bears witness that our fathers ever began their civil year and its responsibilities with an appeal to Heaven, and recognized Christian morality as the only basis of good laws.”In addition, the clergy were often consulted by the civil authorities in the colonies, “and not infrequently the suggestions from the pulpit, on election days and other special occasions, were enacted into laws. The statute-book, the reflex of the age, shows this influence. The State was developed out of the Church.”

The diminishing light of civil liberty in this land is linked directly to the lack of preaching on it in today’s pulpits…

Read more at http://eaglerising.com/19467/pastors-now-is-the-time-to-stand-against-tyranny/#U7bD2r3TsM4cGgOI.99

A Great Awakening is Needed

last days

Our situation is not yet hopeless, but it is quickly approaching that point.

Oh?   I’m supposed to be preaching “Positive Mental Attitude”?

Funny…That is NOT what God told me to preach.  I was instructed, as was every other preacher who was actually commissioned by God, to preach His Scriptural truths, not what man wants to hear. (Unless that man actually desires to hear from God.)

If you do not like it, then you may call “1-800- TELL GOD” and see what that gets you.

(Be forewarned: you might not like His response, but He is God; you ain’t.)

J.C. Ryle listed seven characteristics of the messengers during the Great Awakening of the eighteenth century:

  1. They taught the supremacy of Holy Scripture.
  2. They preached the total corruption of human nature.
  3. They taught that Christ’s death upon the cross was the only satisfaction for man’s sin.
  4. They preached the doctrine of justification by faith.
  5. They taught the universal necessity of heart conversion and new creation by the Holy Spirit.
  6. They spoke of God’s eternal hatred against sin and of God’s love for sinners.
  7. They preached that there was an inseparable connection between true faith and personal holiness.  They never allowed for a moment that any church membership or religious profession was the least bit of proof of a man being a Christian if he lived an ungodly life.

These awakeners continually cried, “No fruit, no grace.”

We must learn that God is holy.  If we are to experience the manifest presence of God’s glory; we must repent.  When Isaiah saw the glory of God in the Temple, he was driven to brokenness, confession, and repentance.  Too many in the West desire to know the manifest love of God without the manifest holiness of God.  We have lost the message of true repentance.  Now the church in the West is the sleeping Giant.  Alarms have been sounded but there seems to be no great or even general awakening; if it doesn’t begin soon the giant may die in its sleep.

Let us pray

Satanic weapon

Pastor Ward Clinton

Pastors, Now is the Time to Stand Against Tyranny!

Pastors, Now is the Time to Stand Against Tyranny!

 There are tens of millions of evangelical Christians in the United States, and millions do not participate in politics even though the Bible says that the civil magistrate is a “minister of God” (Rom. 13:4). Millions of these Christians don’t participate in the political process because their pastors are either afraid to address political issues or they believe that Christians would not get mixed up in politics.

Either reason is contrary to the Bible and the history of this once-great nation. “To the pulpit, the PURITAN PULPIT, we owe the moral force which won our Independence,”John Wingate Thornton wrote in The Pulpit of the American Revolution. Too many Christians don’t believe or know this history.

Many Christians believe they can be neutral. But there is no neutrality. By not engaging culture at the political level, another worldview dominates and impacts all of us. We must then live under their standard, as we are doing today.

Founding American ministers of the gospel confronted the issues of their day by appealing to the people in terms of the Bible. The annual “Election Sermon” still “bears witness that our fathers ever began their civil year and its responsibilities with an appeal to Heaven, and recognized Christian morality as the only basis of good laws.”In addition, the clergy were often consulted by the civil authorities in the colonies, “and not infrequently the suggestions from the pulpit, on election days and other special occasions, were enacted into laws. The statute-book, the reflex of the age, shows this influence. The State was developed out of the Church.”

The diminishing light of civil liberty in this land is linked directly to the lack of preaching on it in today’s pulpits…

Read more at http://eaglerising.com/19467/pastors-now-is-the-time-to-stand-against-tyranny/#U7bD2r3TsM4cGgOI.99

Sibylline Oracles

There is the story of the Cumaean Sibyl who came to King Tarquin offering for sale nine books which she declared would be of great value to him in the government of Rome in that they held the destiny of the world.  She requested 300 pieces of gold which seemed an exorbitant price, and he would not buy them.  He did not recognize that she was a sibyl.  She left and in time she returned and offered him six books for the same price; 300 pieces of gold and again he refused.  She had also informed him at that time that she had burned three of the original nine.  After a time she returned, informed him that she had burned three more of them and 300 pieces of gold were required for the remaining three.  King Tarquin, the last of the Roman Kings was of a mind to forcefully expel her from his presence but his most trusted advisors prevailed upon him to purchase them lest she burn the remainder and in the off-chance that they were legit and contained that which she claimed.

Now, for us Christians, there is a moral to this story: The longer we refuse God’s overtures, the less these overtures contain, while the demand on us is still the same for the remainder.  Perhaps you are thinking, “C’mon, Pastor Ward, why are you bothering me with this old fable?”

Well, my reasoning goes a bit like this; have you ever stopped to wonder why the Romans treated the Jews a bit differently than most conquered people groups?  Well, it is a matter of record that after the King’s counselors studied the books and reported back to King Tarquin he offered the Cumaean Sibyl a very large sum of money if she would reproduce the other books, but she refused.  Those three books were venerated and studied carefully and kept in the Temple of Jove until its destruction by fire in 83 bc.  Those books had in them, among other things, a prophecy regarding the birth of Jesus The Christ.  Most of us Christians fail to realize that the Romans were expecting the arrival of The Messiah at about the time He did arrive.  Yes, I am trying to tell you the whole world was actually anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Holy one of God and yet the majority missed Him because He came God’s way, with God’s agenda, not ours.

It is not always easy to distinguish the truly pious from those who are destitute at the very core of the matter.  Then there is the illustration Jesus used regarding five who were wise and five who were foolish.  They all had lamps.  Outward form is one thing, inward life is quite another.

Every hour of the day and night there are souls going into eternity improperly prepared.  One lies at death’s door, he cannot get his light burning.  He comes up to the gate of heaven; he knocks, he cries:  “Let me in!”  He is not admitted.   He screams: “I want to see the bridegroom.”  The voices within say, “You cannot see the bridegroom, he is busy with His guests now.”  Pleads the man, “I must come in; my children are in there, my beloved mother is there.  I must come in.”  A voice from within says, “You refused the grace that would have brought you in where they are and now it is too late.”  The voice from within says to one outside, “You are twenty years too late;” to another, “You are a month too late;” to another, “You are a minute too late.”  As the outer darkness engulfs them, the mob outside takes up the anguished lament, “Too late, too late.”

pc vs morals

    The wise went wholly prepared.  The unwise probably didn’t want to seem to be too fanatical.  He who has the most religion has none to spare.  God calls everyone of us to be fully prepared by being completely consecrated Christians in this life.

The person who truly understands that he is an eternal being living a temporary human existence is the one who most understands his need to be fully prepared for when the transition from this world to the next is to take place.

— Pastor Ward Clinton

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