Friday, December 14, 2007

IS THERE A TRIBE OF JOSEPH? (and why does it matter?)

New Revelation Study Posted:
Revelation 7:8 IS THERE A TRIBE OF JOSEPH? (and why does it matter?)
http://the-bookofrevelation.blogspot.com/2007/12/revelation-78-tribe-of-joseph.html

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Allow Yourselves To Be Defrauded

The same generation of church-goers whose clarion call is Don't Judge! is the same generation that will bring lawsuit against fellow-church members in a heartbeat.

I am referencing an article published in the October 10, 2007 Church Report about a pastor who punished church members who questioned his authority and who stole church money in order to give his daughter a lavish wedding reception.

Whether he was guilty or not, taking a sinful, money-embezzling pastor before unbelieving, secular courts is definitely in defiance of scripture which clearly instructs not to—to the point of allowing ourselves to be defrauded instead (1 Corinthians 6:1-8).

Of course this same scripture also instructs Christians and church leadership to deal with such a situation—looking at the facts and rendering a judgment—not to sweep it under the rug and move on without missing a beat.

Bringing a lawsuit into the mix made everyone involved wrong.

The church leadership should have stepped in and followed biblical protocol in the situation, which is laid out for us in very clear step by step detail, and gotten rid of that pastor—if indeed he was on a power trip and guilty of greed and theft.

Everyone involved in that debacle needs to repent--the thieving pastor (who needs to be replaced), the church members who brought the lawsuit, and the church leaders who refused to exercise church discipline in the situation (who need to be replaced as well).

But then, the sinful practice of incorporating churches often ensconces—permanently—ungodly leadership, and renders the possibility of having any sort of truly biblical leadership—which includes church discipline—for all practical purposes, impossible.

Monday, October 8, 2007

How Do We Touch the "Hem of His Garment?"

I just received an email in which a cough remedy was touted as guaranteed to work, every time. The person who wrote the email said, "I can't wait to get another cough so I can try this!"

I was at the gym the other day, and overheard one woman talking to another as they were working out. The woman was explaining that because her doctor forbidden her to do a certain exercise, she could not do it.

I was at church Sunday and the preacher was asked to pray for a sick person. He prayed with the disclaimer that he was urging them to go see a physician as well. He was praising physicians as being great--that God gave us physicians, but of course, he added, God was better.

This kind of stuff grieves me to the core.

  • When we can't wait to get another cough so we can try a home remedy, what does that say about what we think of God's ability to heal us? He is certainly not first choice is he?
  • Why don't we obey God as well as we obey physicians? When we turn physicians into our gods. We get only what they can give.
  • That preacher had to add that disclaimer because he runs to a physician every time he gets sick himself.
I am not hammering on folks just to be mean-spirited. God's people are in a death-grip of infirmity. Look around. Many will struggle with infirmity indefinitely. And what's worse, they expect to...

...in spite of the fact that in their refusal to turn to God first for relief in their infirmity, they whore after televangelists who tell them that God will honor their "faith offering" by healing them or giving them whatever it is they need or are lusting after.

The only thing televangelists have that anyone wants is money! Your money. They don't have divine health themselves. They all seek to physicians.

Send the televangelist money, then run to doctor and give him money as well. It's become a vicious cycle hasn't it? Spend all your living on physicians and insurance supplements, and then turn around and send a "faith gift." Where's the faith in that??

I cannot even begin guess at the numbers of retiree's who have gone to work at some menial job because they "needed the benefits."

What about God's benefits? He tells us he has them. But trust me. We will never fully reap them if televangelists are our idols, physicians are our gods and our Creator is our last resort-when-all-else-fails- last-ditch-effort.

Spirits of infirmity are real. They are non-benevolent, personal beings--devils--dedicated to destroying us through infirmity. How do you think they accomplish that task? If a person is afflicted with a spirit of infirmity, no physician will ever be able to make that person better. Spirits of infirmity are real. They are non-benevolent, personal beings--devils--dedicated to destroying us through infirmity. How do you think they accomplish that task?

If a person is afflicted with a spirit of infirmity, no physician will ever be able to make that person better. It will be one thing after another, after another, after another, so on and on and on….

Good people are often afflicted by spirits of infirmity. We have biblical examples of this. But the biblical example also makes it quite clear that God is willing and able to deliver from spirits of infirmity.

One woman got sick and tired of spending all her living on physicians. She suffered from their treatments, and because of those treatments actually became worse. She finally came to the realization that they would never make her better.

There are two things we can learn from the woman with the spirit of infirmity: 1.) The Bible does not say she had a spirit of infirmity because of sin. 2.) She had lost faith in physicians.

That was a good thing. For only then did she put all her eggs in Jesus' basket and risked trusting him--and he did not let her down. Now, we do not discourage faith, but this is not a prescription for divine healing, so please do not say that Hungry Hearts Ministries is prescribing  a medical boycott. We are not. We are simply commenting on the situation of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus' garment. To seek physicians or not is always a deeply personal decision based on the individual lifestyle choices of autonomous adults. Look at it this way. If an atheist chooses to live life naturally, accepting their lifespan without prolonging it through medical treatment, no one would fault them. The attitude would be live and let live. People make living wills all the time, and indeed are encouraged to. So no one has the right to persecute competent adults regardless of which choice they make.

We read about what the woman who touched the hem of Jesus' garment did. We preach about what she did, talk about what she did, and sing about what she did. I dare say just about all of us, at one time or another, have heard someone say or sing, "If I could but touch the hem of his garment..."

But how many of us are willing to do that?

Touching the hem of his garment is not something we can do if we consider it only one option out of many. We only touch the hem of his garment when we know that he is our only hope--whether or not we are currently seeing a physician for the ailment.

 We are not saying that God will not show us mercy even in our stubborn faithlessness. There are too many accounts of that happening to deny that he does that. But wouldn’t it be better to simply repent of our faithlessness? The Bible tells us that whatever is not faith is sin.

We are not advising anyone to stop seeing their physician. We cannot do that. But we do know that Jesus is the answer.

Visit our main website at http://hungryheartsministries.com/id154.html

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Who is the "Devil" of the Prophetic Movement?

"We are best known for being a faith that is "against" everything. This has been an effective way the non-believing world has found to intimidate Believers into silence and keep them out of the marketplace. Sadly it has worked!"

The above quote is taken from a Bill Keller "Live Prayer" broadcast in which he referenced his recent televised interview with a Strip Club Owner and a Radical Muslim. Unfortunately, even professing Bible believing Christians use identical methods for intimidating other Bible believing Christians into not standing up for what the Word of God says.

One Christian recently emailed me stating concerns about a "prophet" and a "dreamer" who had been invited to speak at her church. She had misgivings about this person's ministry and had asked her pastor if he had checked him out thoroughly before inviting him to speak.

The pastor had not and was not the least bit interested in doing so.

Another church member, the one who was responsible for the invitation to begin with (who had recommended this dreamer to the pastor), viciously attacked the Christian who questioned the invitation by telling her that, in simply questioning this "prophet's" credibility she was guilty of "killing the prophets."

That is directly in line with the method used by all leaders of the Prophetic movement (and quite a common term by the way). Shame and ridicule are routinely heaped on Bible believing Christians who gauge the things they see and hear by the word of God.

And it is working!

More and more Christians are either falling for the lie or allowing themselves to be shamed into a deadly silence while these evil dreamers, who are falling into the ditch themselves, take their happily ignorant followers along with them.

This practice of ridiculing those who stand for absolutes is a method that has been successfully used by brainwashers for centuries. It has a name. It is called Dialectics. Dialectic is the theoretical foundation of Marxism . Regular folks know it better as "group think." Yep, the stuff "Big Brother" is made of. It is the practice of pitting the group against the one. It is also where the concept of "there are no absolutes, everything is relative" came from--which our children are programmed to believe from the earliest grades in our public schools.

Bill Hamon, the father of the Prophetic Movement, is a master at using dialectics, as is Rick Joyner , along with every other cult leader (the Prophetic Movement is one of the fastest growing cults in the church today). And their followers also seem to master the skill with amazing speed. They have to, or they would not be permitted to spew their poison so freely in Bible believing Christian congregations.

They are bullies, and a huge segment of the Body of Christ either agrees with them or is intimidated by them. These bullies really do not care which the case may be. Opposition is effectively silenced either way.

I cannot remember who it was who said you can have a successful movement without a God, but you cannot have a successful movement without a devil. Well how true that is! And the devil of the Prophetic movement is the Bible believing sector of the Body of Christ--those who judge all things by the scriptures and the scriptures alone.

Since we are called prophet killers (i.e., devils) whether we speak or whether we remain silent, let us not be dumb dogs who cannot bark. Let's earn that title, and speak up!

You can read more about the prophetic movement and their unscriptural practices and teachings in the book Apostles Prophets and the Coming NEW AGE. The book can be purchased at printing cost only or downloaded free at www.Lulu.com/JocelynAndersen .

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Malfunction Junction

For those of you who have not received any posts from this blog for a week or two. It was because Feedburner went on the blitz. However, it looks as if it may be working again. We had made a decision just before Feedburner malfunctioned to hold onto our Constant Contact account for at least one more month. It looks like that was a good decision. So Hungry Hearts Updates will still be delivered from time to time via that method. In the meantime, subscribing to this blog via email will keep you updated on a regular basis. Thank for subscribing to our blog.

Butch & Jocelyn

Saturday, September 15, 2007

In Case of Technical Difficulties With the Main Website

In Case of Technical Difficulties With the Main Website

If http://www.hungryheartsministries.com/ ever appears to be neglected, updates will be found here. I logged into the sitebuilder recently to update the main website and was unable to. Thank God, the problem was corrected very quickly, but it drove home to me the need to have an alternative way to let folks know what is going on with the site in case something like that every happens again.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Hook, Line and Sinker

What if a baby formula company announced they had created a baby formula that smelled better, tasted better, and came in a variety of flavors guaranteed to appeal your baby?

What if it was discovered that, in order to make this formula more palatable, critical, life giving nutrients had been deleted and replaced with useless, even harmful ingredients--yet the formula company continues to claim that the most important thing about the formula is that it tastes good? Don't worry, they say, that your baby will be malnourished and not develop properly on this good-tasting formula. Don't worry that your baby may even die. The most important thing to focus on, they insist, is that your baby will like this formula.

This is the bill of goods being sold to Christians today concerning Bible versions. And it seems they are swallowing it--hook, line and sinker.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Wrath to Come 12:12 Revelation

Revelation 12:12: The Wrath to Come

Woe to the inhabiters of the earth andof the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

The wrath the inhabitants of the earth will be subjected to during The Great Tribulation will come from more than one source.

In Revelation chapter six, we see a reference to the “wrath of the Lamb.”

In Revelation chapter fourteen, we see a reference to the “wrath of God.”

In addition to these things, each of which in and of themselves, are legitimate things to fear and avoid at all costs, in Revelation 12:12, we see the inhabiters of the earth and sea informed that these woes will be compounded by the fact that the wrath of Satan will be added into the mix.

John the Baptist was prophet who had real insight into, and understanding of, the Old Testament prophecies concerning the events of the “wrath to come.” He understood the almost absolute devastation of the earth and human population it would cause. We see that in Matthew chapter 3 verse 7.

Paul understood these things as well and, in 1 Thessalonians 1:10, was praising God that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, not only to saves our souls from hell but also to delivers us from the “wrath to come.”

There is no doubt that Paul and John the Baptist were both referencing the events that are described so vividly in The Revelation.

Jesus confirms this in his statement seen in Luke 21:34-36 where he emphatically gives warning to “…pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Jesus said again, in The Revelation chapter 3 that he would keep those who keep his word from (out of) the hour of temptation (trial) that was coming upon all the world.

Don’t wait, if you know all is not well with your soul, make it right. Turn to Jesus who is reaching out to you. Repent of the unbelief that will steal your soul for eternity. Romans 10:9-10 & 13 promises salvation to all who call upon the name of the Lord believing that Jesus Christ is his risen son.

2 Corinthians 6:2 says now is the accepted time, now is day of salvation.

Acts 2:38 says:.
Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Do Not Take Away Even One Word...Revelation 22:19

22:19 Revelation

If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

This is a verse that warns believers to be very careful about which Bible translation they choose to read. This is a verse that lets us know how very important it is to get educated in this area.

This is a sobering verse that should be taken with all seriousness.

Because of what this verse says, we can rest assured that the 4th century authors of the corrupt Egyptian Minority Texts are roasting right now. We can rest assured that the authors of the 19th century Hort Westcott Greek New Testament, which is based entirely on the Egyptian Minority Texts, are tormented in the same flame described in Luke Chapter 16.

In fact, we have in this verse, Revelation 22:19, an absolute promise that anyone who participates in translating a Bible version which corrupts even one word of The Revelation, has had his or her name taken away from the Book of Life.

How many well known and highly respected Christian leaders today who, indicating their approval, have allowed their names to be printed in the forward of some of the most corrupted Bible versions we have seen to date? These men and women obviously have no fear of God, or respect for his Word.

The Revelation is contained in the New Testament, doesn’t it make sense that we should be very careful about trusting any and every “Modern” version that rolls off the presses?

The New Testament of King James Version is translated from source material that can be traced back to the apostles. It is absolutely reliable. Don’t ever listen to anyone who says differently. It is not true that the Received Text it is translated from is “riddled with errors,” as is falsely stated in the preface of many Bible versions.

The subject of Bible Versions has been research extensively and a book written entitled Bible Version Debate: Why? (link in sidebar). The book is free to download.

The Wedding Supper of the Lamb - Revelation 19:7-9

Revelation 19:7-9

Let us rejoice and be glad and give honor to him, for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. And he saith unto me, write, blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, these are the true sayings of God.

The book of Revelation is a future book, and from chapter 4 on, it is written specifically to those who will be living during the times of The Beginning of Sorrows and The Great Tribulation. At this writing, there is still time to accept the marriage proposal and attend the wedding as the Bride! Missing the wedding could prove to be fatal. Missing the reception (marriage supper) will definitely be fatal.

The message in Revelation 19:7-9 is two-fold. We see the Lamb’s wife who has already made herself ready. And we see a reference to those who are invited to the Marriage Supper.

The wedding takes place in Heaven. The reception takes place on earth.

We know this because see the Lamb’s wife coming out of Heaven with Jesus. In verse :8 she is arrayed in fine linen. Compare that with verse :14 which portrays the armies of Heaven leaving Heaven with Jesus on their way to the battle of Armageddon (see the rest of the chapter). They are arrayed in fine linen. It is obvious the Lamb’s wife is included in the armies of Heaven, and will participate in the battle of Armageddon.

The marriage takes place in Heaven. But when did the Lamb’s wife arrive in Heaven? A couple of passages answer that question for us:
· 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 tells of the dead being raised and the living “caught up.” This clearly depicts what is known as the “Rapture.”
· Revelation 4 & 5 corresponds to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and show the church, those who belong to Christ in this present age of grace as being in Heaven prior to the events of both the Beginning of Sorrows and The Great Tribulation.
· Revelation 11 shows the 2 witnesses who will prophesy during the 1260 days of Jacob’s Trouble.
· Revelation 14 reveals the 144,000 who are sealed with a mark of God’s protection before The Great Tribulation begins and are caught up at some point before the physical return of Christ.

The marriage supper (the reception) takes place on earth—after both the battle of Armageddon and the Judgment of the Nations is completed. Those invited to the reception are a completely different group than those who came out of Heaven with Christ, and comprise those who did not accept the original marriage proposal but endured to the end of The Great Tribulation. They missed the wedding altogether, but survived The Great Tribulation and survived the Judgment of the Nations (which immediately follows the battle of Armageddon).

As the scriptures say… blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb…

Scripture references and further study on this subject can be found at the following websites:
http://hungryheartsministries.com/id3.html Biblical Prophecy Study Center
http://Lulu.com/JocelynAndersen

Four Angels Four Winds - Revelation 7:1-3

Revelation 7:1-3

Four Angels – Four Corners – Four Winds

In Revelation 7:1-3, we see the earth sitting on the brink of devastating judgment. There are four angels stationed at the four corners of the earth holding the four winds of the earth. Currently, as concerning the future of this earth, the angels stationed at the four corners of the earth in Revelation 7:1-3, are given tremendous destructive power that will be violently unleashed as soon as the servants of God, 144,000 Jews, are sealed in their foreheads.

These angels are being instructed, by an angel who has the seal of the Living God, not to hurt the earth, sea or trees until the servants of God have been sealed in their foreheads.

Are the angels holding the four winds Holy Angels? Or are they evil angels?

We know from scripture that God is in control of all powers, even Satan’s, and there is scriptural evidence that He does use evil angels to accomplish His purposes. Also, the scriptures do refer to Satan as the prince of the powers of the air. And it is air (wind) that these angels hold in their power.

Think about the consequences of destroying angels that hold power over the wind and the sea: hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, fierce thunder storms, tsunamis… just for starters.

There is a parallel to Revelation 7:1-3 In Ezekiel 9:1-11. In Ezekiel we see a city sitting on the brink of judgment. We see angels with slaughter weapons in their hands. We also see an angel, clothed in linen, with an inkhorn in his hand.

The angel with the inkhorn is commanded to set a mark [of protection] in the foreheads of all the servants of God in the city (them that sigh and cry over the sin surrounding them).

After the righteous are sealed, the destroying angels did their work. They acted upon the direct command of God. But were they Satan’s angels? Or were they Holy angels?

The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse--Revelation 6

Revelation Chapter 6

There is a side by side, parallel chart comparing Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:4-22/Luke 21:25-26 (otherwise known as The Olivet Discourse) with Revelation Chapter 6 located at:
http://hungryheartsministries.com/id459.html . These passages are all describing the same time period:

There is an obvious correlation between Revelation 6 with Matthew 24:4-8, and Jesus’ clear statement with what he described as The Beginning of Sorrows. It is revealed in scripture that The Beginning of Sorrows does not commence until this present age of grace is consummated at the resurrection / rapture of those who are in Christ.

The Beginning of Sorrows is the first 3 ½ years of Daniel’s 70th week and immediately precedes the last 3 ½ years of “the week” which is The Time of Jacob’s Trouble. For details on these things, see the Revelation Plus group archives and also the Free downloadable book, Redemption: Bible Prophecy Simplified—link in sidebar (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, 1 Thessalonians 5:20, 2 Thessalonians 2:8, Revelation 4:1, Daniel 9:24-27).

The Revelation is a chronological book. The Church is not seen on earth, at all, after chapter 3. But it is seen in Heaven (Revelation 4:1-4, 5:8-14, 7:9, 14:4).

The Beginning of Sorrows is ushered in by the four horsemen of the apocalypse after the church is caught up and is the official beginning of Daniel’s 70th week.

When Will We Rule & Reign With Christ? Revelation 5:9-10

Revelation 5:9-10

In Revelation chapter 5 verses 9-10 we are presented with a group of blood bought, resurrected and raptured saints.

We know they have already been raised/caught up because we see them in Heaven, before the throne of God wearing crowns of gold (Revelation 4:4). They have already been raised, judged and rewarded.

The chronology of The Revelation is clear that these things occur before any seals of judgment are opened and loosed on the earth initiating The Beginning of Sorrows and The Great Tribulation.

These redeemed people are praising the Lamb for two things. They are praising him for redeeming them with his blood, and they are praising him because they are looking forward to reigning on the earth with him.

Jesus, the only Christ, is God of gods, Lord of lords, and King of kings. And he will have the last word. He that sits in the Heavens shall laugh. The Lord shall have his enemies in derision, and Jesus will establish a kingdom that will have no end. But he is not reigning on this earth just yet. With all the filth and unrighteousness we see around us, it is a gross insult to him to even suggest that he is. It goes without speaking that those who belong to him are not reigning yet either, nor will they until Heaven opens and Christ returns visibly and physically to this earth with all his saints.

Those who teach that mere mortal men will be instrumental in “ushering in” the Kingdom of Christ by bringing about conditions on earth which will “release” Christ from Heaven are liars. If they do not repent, they will find themselves turned over to the lie and being thrown into the lake of fire. If those who follow them do not repent, they are in serious danger of sharing that same fate (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12kjv).

In Revelation 5:9-10 we see two things quite clearly. We see the pre-tribulational resurrection of the dead in Christ and the pre-tribulational rapture of the ekklesia—the called out [out of] assembly (i.e., the Church). We also see that any ruling and reigning that will be done, is still a future event and will not take place until after The Great Tribulation is concluded. We know this because Christ will not return to earth with his resurrected and raptured saints until the battle of Armageddon concludes The Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Revelation 19).

Pray That Ye May Escape....Revelation 5:1-5

Revelation 5:1-5

And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Who is worthy to open the book of judgment and to loose the seals of judgment?

Just as surely as there is a book of life, there is a book of judgment. And just as surely as that book of life will be opened, so will the book of judgment be opened.

Before Christ can establish his kingdom in righteousness, sin on earth must be judged.

And when the book of judgment is opened, and the seals decreeing the judgments are broken, sudden destruction will descend upon the ensnared people of the earth and, with the exception of the few who are protected by the seal of God during this time, there will be no escape from these judgments.

But who is worthy to open the book and to loose the seals decreeing the righteous judgments of God upon a rebellious race of humans and upon an earth corrupted by sin?

Is any angel in heaven worthy to open a book and loose seals which will bring devastating judgments upon a God rejecting race? No, not even one. No angel ever became a man. No angel was ever born in sin and required to strive against sin as a human being. No angel could ever cleanse the sin of man and offer a way for him to be pardoned and attain eternal life. How could an angel do such a thing when angels are beings who cannot shed their blood and die for sin—much less triumph over sin by rising from the dead? Therefore, no angel is worthy open the book or look upon it. The option is not even offered to them.

What about man? Can a man be found who is worthy to open the book and break the seals which decree the judgments? Can a man be found who is worthy to even look upon the book?

In all of recorded history, only one can be found—only one man born without the taint and automatic death sentence passed upon all of Adam’s race.

Only one man can be found who kept himself sinless while enduring every temptation known to man. This man said I will take the punishment for the sins of all men. I will empower mankind to be saved from the taint of sin that now resides in the world and to rise above it. I will make it possible for all men to be able to stand in the presence of God. This man gave his life so all men could live. This man rose from the dead so that sin and death can one day be abolished forever.

This man, Jesus Christ, the lion who is a lamb, is worthy to judge those who reject the way of escape he so freely offers to all who will come to him, now, in the time of favor. But those who reject him during this present time of favor, and are alive when Jesus comes to raise the dead and catch up the living who belong to him, will find themselves utterly ensnared and trapped on earth during the time of the judgments contained within the seven seals of the book that is held in the right hand of him who sits upon the throne.

Jesus Christ is not only worthy to open the book and loose the seals, but he will open the book and loose the seals. And his message to all can be found in the 21st chapter of the book of Luke in the 34th through 36th verses:

“…take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

When We Do Right--But We're Not Right - Revelation 2:1-6

02:1-6 Revelation-Ephesus

When We Do Right but We’re Not Right

Verse one of Revelation Chapter two makes it clear that Jesus is speaking to the angel, or the messenger (many believe to be the pastor, and I tend to agree) of the church at Ephesus. This letter was written to a specific person. It was delivered and read to the church. It was not written to a spirit being such as a holy angel from Heaven.

The seven stars we see in this verse are defined in chapter 1 verse 20 as being the angels (messengers) of the seven churches, and the seven candlesticks are the seven churches themselves.

In verse 2, Jesus has some words of praise for this pastor. He acknowledges the hard work this pastor is doing. He acknowledged the perseverance of this person. The pastor had some very praiseworthy things to his credit.

Jesus saw fit to praise the fact that this man did not fall for every wind of doctrine—or new “move of God” by following false apostles, but rather that he tested those who claimed apostleship but in reality were not. This pastor had no problems exposing these liars.

Let me say here that I am not necessarily in agreement with the position that each of the seven churches in The Revelation parallel the church at different points in history. Profane history always validates Biblical history and Biblical prophecy, but should never be used to interpret scripture. The opposite is true, though, scripture can always be used to interpret history. History never has, and never will, contradict scripture.

The seven churches in The Revelation were literal churches that had issues relevant to the church as a whole at that time as well as throughout all history, at any given time.

Today, due to the ease of mass communication through media and technology, and accelerated demonic spiritual activity, we are faced with a proliferation of false apostles that would have sent the pastor at Ephesus into orbit. The numbers are staggering. But the problem of false apostles has been with the church from the beginning. Peter addressed the issue great detail, as did John and Jude.

In verse three of Revelation chapter two, Jesus continues to praise this pastor’s work, his patience, his perseverance for the name of Jesus. There is no doubt that this man contended faithfully for the faith—with accuracy—else the praise would not be there.

Nevertheless, in verse four we see Jesus throwing a big “BUT” in there. In essence, this is what we hear Jesus saying, “In most everything, dear pastor, you are doing great! But we have a problem—a BIG one.”

The man had good works, He was a hard worker. He persevered and did not falter with discouragement in spite of the fact that he lived in an incredibly sinful city. He boldly contended for the faith testing those who made claims to apostleship—then exposed them publicly for the liars they were. Jesus found all of this very praiseworthy. But all of this was apparently not enough for this pastor’s ministry, and his entire church, not to be threatened. We see that in verse five where Jesus threatens to remove not only him but also his church out of his place.

This is a very serious consequence.

The Revelation is a prophecy—all of it. And I believe that one of the reasons it begins with an overview of the church is because the issues the early church dealt with would be accelerated as the end of the age drew near. The church today faces everything the early church faced and to a greater degree. Scripture declares this to be so.

What was this, apparently “good” pastor’s problem—a problem so serious that Jesus threatened to remove not only his personal ministry but also his church (candlestick) out of its place? The Bible says we are the light of the world. That is only because Jesus dwells in us and we are to reflect his light. Our Candlestick is intended to be seen. It is intended to be a beacon of safety in a dark and very dangerous world.

The pastor of the church in Ephesus had a serious “heart” problem that no amount of “good work” could cure. He had left his first love. He was “doing” all the right things it seemed. And no doubt he started off right—the praise he received from the Lord verifies that—but somewhere along the way his motivations had shifted. What caused this shift? Scripture does not say. All it says is that this pastor had left his first love.

His relationship with Jesus had shifted from a relationship of love, loyalty and commitment, to one of simply compliance.

David understood the subtleties of this issue. He defined it in Psalm 51 when he said, “for thou desirest not sacrifice (i.e., compliance to your law); else I would give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”

Serving God is always a heart thing. It is a love thing. Hating sin always begins with us—with being sorry for our own sin. This pastor at Ephesus was contending for the faith, he could not bear those who were evil. He was working hard and exposing the false apostles among them. This was a good thing. But he was also attempting to remove splinters from the eyes of others while he had a huge log in his own. And Jesus bluntly told him to get his heart right or else….

How many of us have experienced a motivational shift in our relationship and service to the Lord? We started out absolutely in love with Jesus, and our relationship with him was a joy, our work for him was a labor of love. But somewhere along the way something changed?

What could have caused the change? Fear? Do we now work hard “for Jesus” because we are afraid we will lose God’s approval, our salvation or our “ministry” if we do not?

Have we focused so much on “building a ministry” that the thing no longer belongs to God—is no longer a service to God, but the ownership of it has shifted and it now owns us instead, and our lives are spent doing what needs to be done in order to make sure “the ministry” survives? Jesus said, “You have left your first love.”

Do we give tithes and offerings because the Bible tells us too, but are resentful when we give the money? God doesn’t need our money, nor does he simply want our compliance. He wants our hearts. God loves a cheerful giver.

Could lust or ambition for power, money or some spiritual experience have caused a “shift?”

Issues of the heart, and our love relationship with our Savior, are so important to him, that he sees it as the utter rejection that it is when our affection cools and our faithfulness and loyalty shifts. When that happens, we begin to cheat on God. We begin to commit adultery. We take a lover while lying to our spouse. The Bible says our maker is our husband. We lie to our spouse, to ourselves, and to everyone else involved about where our true affections lie.

Jesus says to remember from where we have fallen from. He commands us to repent and do our first works over, or else he will come quickly and remove our candlestick (remember, Revelation 1:20 defines the candlestick as one of the seven churches). When a pastor or minister leaves his first love, it not only has a detrimental affect on him personally, but also on those who follow him. Jesus said so when he said, “The blind lead the blind and they both fall into the pit.”

Pastors, we need to take care that we do not become pied pipers, because that is exactly what happens when our motivations shift and we leave our first love—Jesus removes us, and often, we take the majority of our followers along with us.

The Lord's Day Revelation 1:10

Revelation 1:10

“I was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day…”

John was in exile on the Isle of Patmos, and he was in the spirit on the “Lord’s Day.” Exactly what day is that?

Some will say the “Lord’s Day” is the first day of the week—Sunday. Others insist it is the seventh day of the week—Saturday.

What do the scriptures have to say?

That the Church, as early as the days of the apostles, worshipped on the first day of the week (which they called "The Lord's Day") is indesputable.

Acts 20:7 they gathered, had communion and preached on the first day of the week. In 1 Corinthians 16:2 we see them gathering and taking up offerings on the
first day of the week.

These things are still done when we gather together for corporate worship. The scriptures show the first Christians gathering on the first day of the week.

Revelation 1:10 The first day of the week became the "Lord's Day" because that is the day Jesus, The Lord of the Sabbatah, rose from the dead, and the Body of Christ began honoring that day immediately—not, as some so loudly claim, in the fourth century when Christianity became the official religion of Rome.

However, there were disputations about it even then, and Paul assured everyone that which-ever day they preferred to honor was OK—Romans 14:5—as every day should be holy unto the Lord.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In Case of Technical Difficulties With the Main Website

If http://www.hungryheartsministries.com/ ever appears to be neglected, updates will be found here. I logged into the sitebuilder the other day to update the main website and was unable to. Thank God, the problem was corrected very quickly, but it drove home to me the need to have an alternative way to let folks know what is going on with the site in case something like that every happens again.
Jocelyn