Revelation Lectures(22)

Revelation Lectures

Revelation 3:1-6

[1] “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.
[2] ‘Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.
[3] ‘So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.
[4] ‘But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.
[5] ‘He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
[6] ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

The church in Sardis was told by the Lord that they had a name that they were alive, but that they were dead.

In other words, they appeared alive; they came to church and lived diligent believing lives, but they were no better than dead.

God searches the heart of people. No matter how good they appear outwardly, as long as they don’t change their heart and mind, even if they go to church, their faith cannot be called alive.

Through the seven Spirits, the Lord measures each individual’s faith in every detail. That’s why the Lord can make a judgment even without the slightest error.

And He can also make a decision whether He will give answer or not based upon the measures of the seven Spirits

The seven Spirits observe the fields and then comprehensively measure the aspects that comprised the whole meaning of “faith”. Therefore, you should always look back and check your faith in each of the fields.

I’ll continue to explain the seven Spirits.

By the way, don’t misunderstand that the actual number of the Spirits is seven when I say “the seven Spirits.”

There is not a first Spirit, a second Spirit, a third, and so on.

The number seven means being ‘complete and perfect,’ and it implies the perfection of God. The seven Spirits represent the heart of God.

When inspecting and supervising everything, the Spirits do it completely and perfectly without making even the slightest error or mistake. That’s why the Bible says “the seven Spirits.”

And I explained that the seven Spirits are like a scale that measures (merit for giving) answers to requests in prayer.

In order to make a decision on giving an answer or not, the seven Spirits measure the seven fields.

Of course, the seven spirits measure everything; the heart, mind, and behavior. But the aspects measured can be categorized into seven fields.

They are faith, prayer, joy, thankfulness, keeping the commandments, faithfulness, and love. Faith and prayer were explained in the last lecture. And I will continue to explain the rest of them.

The third measure of the seven Spirits I’ll discuss is ‘Joy.”

Dear brothers and sisters.

‘Joy’ is one of the most significant evidences possessed by saved children of God.

They are saved from hell which is the eternal death. They are given eternal life and the eternal life in heaven. What word is it in the world that can express their joy?

Before they met God they lived a life that is full of tears, sorrows, pain, worries, and death. They lived lives without joy. But after they became saved children of God, they are living lives with hope for heaven in the love and grace of God. It’s natural that they are full of joy.

Some may say that they were happy even before they met God, but I’d like to ask them whether their joy was true.

You were delighted only when there was something joyful. But it was joy that could disappear whenever the situation changed.

And it was joy that disappeared when you were faced with hardships and difficulties.

There was joyfulness when things were in accordance with your heart and life benefited you. But, that joy was conditional, and it would change depending on any given situation.

But the spiritual joy in the Lord is rejoicing always, regardless of the situation or conditions.

It is joy that comes from the depth of your heart because you re assured of having been given an eternal life that you would not exchange for anything, and also because you are full of hope for eternity.

Of course you may mourn spiritually from time to time for the souls and for the kingdom and righteousness of God, but that joy that is from the depth of your heart never disappears.

Just as the members of the early church died with joy in martyrdom as they became prey to lions, it is joy that is a sign of saved children of God, and a scent by which to distinguish Christians.

In addition, joy is a proof that you have faith.

Since you have firm faith in God, and believe that He will give you answers, you can rejoice regardless of any given situation in reality.

Those with the faith that is worthy of receiving answers from God, look different when they come to me to receive my prayer.

No matter how hard or difficult their problem is, their faces are not full of worries or anxieties. They come with bright faces that have not their joy.

Since they believe that their problems will be solved by receiving prayer by faith, they have joy from the bottom of their heart.

And they surely testify later that they’ve received answers.

However, among those who are thought to have faith, there are some who lost the spiritual joy.

They may smile outwardly, but it is not truly from the depth of their heart.

That’s because their love and fervor for God disappears and their faith cools down, or they don’t pursue the things of the Spirit, but befriend the world and build a wall of sin between God and them. When this happens then their spiritual joy is also gone.

They seem to have faith, and they are given a leader’s duty. But when they pray, the answer is delayed for a long period of time.

They didn’t pass when the seven Spirits measured them, since they didn’t have the fruit of joy in accordance with the level of their faith.

Dear brothers and sisters.

Joy comes from peace.

When you are in peace with Father God, with your neighbors, and with your self, the Holy Spirit in you gives you peace, and naturally the joy continues to come out.

At least if you make peace with Father God, in other words, if you don’t have a wall of sin before God, the joy in your heart will not disappear.

Please look back on yourself now. If there is no joy in your heart, or if your joy is gradually disappearing, you must check whether you are building a wall of sin between God and you.

If there is, then I hope that you will destroy it as soon as possible so that you can recover your lost joy.

If you recover your joy during this 7 Week Special Prayer Meeting, you will surely receive answers to your desires and prayers.

Fourthly, the seven Spirits measure thankfulness.

Along with joy, thankfulness is another fruit that is the evidence of having become a child of God.

As long as you have even the slightest faith, you will make a confession of thanks in any given circumstance.

You cannot but be thankful when you remember you’ve received the grace of salvation.

You were originally destined to suffer forever in hell, but you are given an eternal life by the Lord’s grace of redemption forever in heaven. How can you not be thankful?

More over, our God of love has become your Father, and He is guiding every footstep in your life. If you can believe it, you will be thankful in any situation.

If you’re a saved child of God, you must be thankful even if there’s no apparent reason for thanksgiving. But, in the course of your believing life, your faith has grown up, and the reasons for thanksgiving have been increased, and you must be more thankful.

If you are thankful only when there is something you can be thankful for in your life, but you speak in words of complaint or have a begrudging attitude when you are in a difficult situation, you are far from having faith.

Even if there is problem right before your eyes, when you believe in God and give prayer in thanks, God will hear your prayer of thanks, and work for the good, and allow you to yield good fruit.

After I accepted the Lord Jesus, the thankfulness in my heart has never disappeared for the last 34 years.

Even when I was physically poor and lived a tough life, or even when I was passing through the various trials that cannot be easily be overcome by the ability of a man, my heart was increasingly thankful.

Whenever I gave out the fragrance of thanksgiving from my thankful heart, God was pleased with me, and gave me answers to whatever I prayed.

Therefore, please rely on God’s word that can be found in Philippians 4:6, which reads, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God,” and live a life that is full of thankfulness

He who can please God by giving thanks in everything regardless of conditions and situations is wise and blessed to the point that he can bring down the reasons for thanksgiving.

The fifth of the measures of the seven Spirits measure is adherence to the Ten Commandments.

In the Bible, there are orders such as do it, don’t do it, keep it, and throw it away.

Among them, the Ten Commandments are a summary of all the commandments of the Bible.

Therefore, if you pass the evaluation when the seven Spirits measure the adherance to these Ten Commandments, you will be given answers quickly.

Even though you call yourself a child of God, if you don’t live by His word and commit sin like any other sinners, and stand against the will of God, then God cannot give you answers.

By the way, the fact that you keep the Commandments is the proof that you love God.

1 John 5:3 says, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.”

Even in a fleshly sense, you will try to do whatever for the one you truly love.

In a spiritual sense as well, if you truly believe and love God, you will gladly keep God’s commandments. Especially you will always bear the Ten Commandments in your mind and keep them.

Even if you keep the Commandments, the important thing is with what kind of heart you keep the commandments

When a new comer or a new believer keeps the commandments, God acknowledges it as faith. But if the believers who have been Christians for a long time keep them reluctantly or only according to the situation, then they cannot be said to keep the commandments, and it’s not true love.

Just as His commandments are not burdensome, if they truly love God, they will keep the commandments without being burdened. They will not keep them forcibly.

When they keep them with joy in a bright heart, then it is the truth.

Regarding offerings, 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

No matter how much offering you give to God, if you do it grudgingly or under compulsion, how can your offering become a soothing aroma to God?

Just as 1 Thessalonians says in 2:8, “Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us,” people even sacrifice their lives for the loved ones.

Then, how can we not take pleasure in keeping the commandments of God if we truly love Father God?

Therefore I urge you in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, to take pleasure in living by His word, and keeping His commandments because you truly love God.

When you keep His commandments like this, it’s the evidence that proves you’re God’s child who trusts and loves God, and through the measure of the seven Spirits, you’ll be given answers quickly.

Sixthly, the seven Spirits measure faithfulness.

The seven Spirits measure how faithful you are to your duty as a servant of God, an elder, a senior deaconess, or a deacon.

They also measure how much you value your duty as a group leader, a cell leader, or any given position, and how faithful you are.

However, if you’re faithful only to God-given duties, then it cannot be called perfect faithfulness.

You must be faithful not only to the duty given in your church, but you must be also faithful at your place of work and in your home. Then it can be called perfect faithfulness.

As a husband, a wife, a child, or a parent, you must be faithful in the truth to any duty you are given.

When you have to choose either a work of the Lord or of the world, of course you will choose the work of the Lord if you have faith. But it doesn’t mean that you can neglect your duty in the world.

Ultimately, you must not become biased or show partiality. For the glory of God, you must be faithful to any given duty in the truth.

Among those who come to receive my prayer, there are some who have either a serious problem in business or a serious disease, even though they are a high ranked church worker and they have been Christians for a long time.

They usually confess that they used to be faithful to their duties with fervor in the past, but that somehow they started to neglect their duties at some point.

Because they became mentally absorbed in their worldly business; because they compromised with the world; because of family persecution; or because of many other reasons, their faithfulness cooled down.

You must also remember that perfect faithfulness never changes.

You’re faithful when you’re full of grace, but if you’re not faithful, or if your fervor cools down when you’re not of grace, then you cannot pass the measure of the seven Spirits.

And the most important thing in faithfulness is that you must be spiritually faithful.

It must not just be outwardly displayed faithfulness, it must be spiritual faithfulness along with the circumcision of your heart.

The greater your faith becomes, and the more years you live as a Christian, your latter deeds must be greater than at first. But, the Father God does not want just the deeds of outwardly displayed faithfulness.

What He truly wants is spiritual faithfulness from the depth of your heart. He wants a holy and sanctified child who spiritually resembles Father God.

Don’t you think That if what God wants was just faithful deeds, then there are already many heavenly hosts and angels that can be faithful who are near Him,?

For example, don’t you think it’s totally a totally different reason why those who are on your payroll may serve you well, and the reason that your children serve you from the bottom of their hearts?

Likewise, in order to give perfect faithfulness before God, your heart must resemble that of the Lord, and you must be faithful to the point of sacrificing your life with the heart that you truly love God.

Lastly, the seven Spirits measure love.

Love is like a band that totally binds all the previous six into completeness, and it is the ultimate reason we are cultivated in this earth.

The reason God created the first man Adam and cultivate human beings in this earth is that God wants to get true children with whom He can share true love forever.

Therefore, no matter how much you pray, how fervently you are faithful, or how much work you do for God, all these things can be truly meaningful when you do it with the heart of love for God and brothers.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 says, “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”

The Lord also completed the law with love, and He said that among faith, hope, and love, the greatest is love.

Therefore, you must have faith, pray, rejoice, give thanks, keep the commandments, and be faithful to God; and you must do all these with love.

Just as Matthew 22:37 says, “And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,'” if you love God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, you will pass in all fields the seven Spirits measure.

Dear brothers and sisters.

Our believing life starts with faith.

That’s because we can rejoice, we can give thanks, we can pray, we can keep the commandments, and we can be faithful only when we have faith.

When we practice all these by faith, we can change as children of God.

That’s why the first thing that the seven Spirits measure is faith.

But even if you have all these along with faith, without love, they are all useless. That’s why measure of love is determined last.

Let’s say, someone seemed to be faithful to his given duty, but when something was not in accordance with his ideas, he stopped working. Then, it proves that he didn’t do it with love.

Also, even though someone seems to pray fervently for the kingdom of God, if she doesn’t love a sister, but rather envies her and hates her, then her prayer was not from love.

Even though someone is faithful as a church worker or leader, if he gossips about others’ transgressions, and judges or condemns them, then his faithfulness is not from love.

Therefore, only when you have accomplished love, you can say you’ve accomplished it all. It’s then that you can please God by resembling His heart, and receive answers quickly.

Dear brothers and sisters.

If we compare the seven Spirits to an electric appliance, the fields they measure correspond to the parts of the appliance.

Just as the appliance will not work if any of the parts are missing, if you fall short of anything that the seven Spirits measure, you won’t be given answers.

Now, can you check your faith through these messages taken by the seven Spirits?

Are you certain that what you have prayed and desired during the 7 Week Special Prayer Meeting will be answered?

Chances are that even new believers testify that they receive answers for whatever they pray.

On the other hand, let’s say that there is a church worker who is in a teaching position who receives delayed answers.

Now even though the teacher may have great faith, is more faithful, and prays more, the answers still come slowly.

It means that God uses a different scale applied to the measures of the seven Spirits and that scale is according to each person’s respective level of faith.

Even though someone is a novice believer, if he is full of the Spirit and fist love, they pray more than their measure of faith. They are more faithful, they are filled with more joy, and they give more thanks. That’s why they can easily satisfy the condition of the seven Spirits.

They do much more than what their level of faith can do, and because of that, they can easily receive answers to their prayers.

Say, a six year old boy wanted to help his mom, and so he cleaned the house and washed the dishes. Then, how pleased will his mother be?

If he comes to his mom saying, “I love you, mom,” then his mother will be so much delighted.

Even though he didn’t clean the house like a grown-up can do, because such is his heart and deed, his mother will do something that can please his son.

However, when a 20 year old son helped his mother do something, it’s different from what a 6 year old son did.

Even though he did a better job than the 6 year old son, his mother would expect a certain level of work that is in accordance with his age, and she would also want to see whether her son did it with all his heart, mind, and strength.

Likewise, the greater his faith, his position, and his duty, the more he must give to God.

In all the fields that the seven Spirits measure, he must live a believing life according to his measure of faith.

Then, he can experience works of God as great as his measure of faith, and he can give glory to God.

By the way, I told you that even at the same level of faith, depending on the seriousness of your problem, the standard to receive an answer to the problem also changes.

For instance, if you pray for a huge problem, you must show as much faith as the problem, and pass the high standard.

You must show much stronger faith than usual, and you must rejoice, give thanks, and pray all that much more than usual.

I hope that you can realize all these things and find the key for you to learn how to receive answers to your prayers and desires.

And I also hope that you can pass all the measure of the seven Spirits by filling in anything that you are short of among the fields that the seven Spirits measure.

May you come close to the level of perfectness more and more, and eventually reach the blessed level that you receive an answer even when you just think about it, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray!

Amen

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