The CCN Daily Worship.
Gooooooooooooooooooooood morning brethren, peace unto you and the grace of our lord Jesus be with you. May the Almighty God of hosts stay ever with you this morning and thank you, for joining us here at ‘The Church of the Christian Nation’ for worship and praise. Let us begin as is our tradition every day here at the Nation, by reading from the word of God. Amen………….. By Pastor Don Roy Hemingway.
The Gospel according to….
Revelation 2. 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
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:
2 I know thy works and thy labor and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them that are evil; and how thou hast tried them that say they are apostles and are not, and hast found them liars;
3 and hast borne, and hast patience, and for My name’s sake hast labored and hast not fainted.
4 Nevertheless, I have something against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the works as at first; or else I will come unto thee quickly and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, unless thou repent.
6 But this thou hast: that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
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.’
8 “And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘These things saith the First and the Last, who was dead and is alive:
9 I know thy works and tribulation and poverty (but thou art rich), and I know the blasphemy of them that say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
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.
11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. He that overcometh shall not be hurt by the second death.’
12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write: ‘These things saith He that hath the sharp sword with two edges:
13 I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is; and that thou holdest fast My name and hast not denied My faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
15 So thou also hast them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
16 Repent, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
17 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 hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it.’
18 “And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘These things saith the Son of God, who hath His eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass:
19 I know thy works, and charity and service, and faith and thy patience, and thy works, and the last to be more than the first.
20 Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess,to teach and to seduce My servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication, and she repented not.
22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
23 And I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He that searcheth the reins and hearts; and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine and who have not known the depths of Satan (as they say) I will put upon you no other burden.
25 But that which ye have already, hold fast till I come.
26 And he that overcometh and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations,
27 and “he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers,” even as I have received from My Father.
28 And I will give him the morning star.
29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches!’
‘O’ Lord our God, we know that we are your children, and in this certainty we gather in your presence as a community. Grant us your Spirit, the Spirit who works in us and frees us from the many evils that still torment us. Be with us and let the power of your great grace and mercy be in our hearts so that we may gain the victory and lead joyful lives on earth in spite of our many shortcomings, blunders, and sins. For your grace is great, much greater than all our failings. You are our God and Father, and we want to keep our consciences clear today and always abiding in your grace. In Jesus we pray. Amen.
Lesson of the Day.
(10) Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
First, He encourages, “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer.” He does not say He will take away the suffering, tacitly acknowledging that they will suffer. He is admonishing them to reorient their focus so that they fear Him rather than their circumstances. Revelation 21:8 says that the fearful and the unbelieving will go into the Lake of Fire, and this happens because they fear the wrong things. Thus, they have no part with God.
In many ways, what Revelation 2:10 describes is entirely foreign to us, yet many passages warn us that God’s people will face tribulation. Peter writes, “Do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (I Peter 4:12). We are so unaccustomed to persecution that we do indeed think it strange, but Paul tells Timothy, “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (II Timothy 3:12).
Jesus warns us that we will be hated by all for His name’s sake (Matthew 10:22), even delivered up to tribulation and death (Matthew 24:9). He prophesies that the time will come when whoever kills God’s people will think he does God a service (John 16:2). John 16:33 is both cautionary and encouraging: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
In Revelation 2:10, Jesus says that the Devil is about to throw some of them into prison to test them. A test perpetrated by Satan may not make much sense to men. It may not be over anything as dramatic as keeping the Sabbath or holy days or refusing the Mark of the Beast. It could simply be that, because the society has become so litigious and the civil law so overbearing, these saints become entangled without actually having done anything wrong. Nevertheless, as a test of their faith, God will allow Satan to jail them, for whatever reason—legitimate or not. God does this so that He and they know where their convictions stand—to see if they will compromise to ease their captivity, to see if they will remain faithful to God and His truth, and to see if they will trust Him even in tough times. It is during tumultuous times like the present that a person’s character is revealed.
However, God is also merciful, telling Smyrna that its tribulation will be of limited duration. The church there can expect persecution and tribulation, but God has set limits on it, just as He did for Job (Job 2:6). He will not allow His saints to be tempted—proved, tried—beyond what they can bear (I Corinthians 10:13).
“Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life,” He says to conclude Revelation 2:10. Because this follows right on the heels of the Devil throwing some of them into prison, it almost sounds as if they will be in prison for ten days and then die, but it need not mean this at all. His exhortation to be faithful until death is universal, not just applicable for those thrown into prison. Whether we, like the apostle John, are allowed to die a natural death at an advanced age or, like Stephen, suffer martyrdom shortly after conversion, the command is the same: We must be faithful to our last breath. We cannot rest on the fact that we were faithful last year or last decade. Our faithfulness should be strong right to the finish line.
If we maintain our faithfulness, Christ gives us a crown of life. He similarly admonishes the church at Philadelphia to “hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown” (Revelation 3:11). Paul calls it an “imperishable crown” (I Corinthians 9:25) and a “crown of righteousness” given “to all those who have loved and yearned for and welcomed His appearing (His return)” (II Timothy 4:8, Amplified Bible). James adds, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12,English Standard Version).
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious unto you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
May God bless you all and ‘The Church of the Christian Nation’, Amen.
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