A MIND FOREVER VOYAGING THROUGH STRANGE SEAS OF THOUGHT, ALONE


This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.



The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

LETTERS TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES

What are your favorite books in the Bible?  I'm always fascinated asking people this question and to hear the answers.  I tend to love the 'J' books; Job, Jonah, John, James and Jude.  Yet not so much on the prophecy books, I don't know why, though I do enjoy Daniel, I have a hard time getting thru the rest of them and I am not a fan of all these people writing books trying to make what is obviously a prophecy about Israel and making it about New York or something.

And then there is Revelation.  People love Revelation, must be as many interpretations as people who read it.  Lots of guessing going on plus people tend to interpret based on their position on certain issues; believe in a pre tribulation rapture and you can read it into Revelation.  Believe in pre Wrath and it's there, believe in no rapture until the 7 years is done and it's there.  Now sometimes you have to re order the whole book to prove your point, like Jimmy DeYoung does.  Somehow I doubt God gave this to John, thinking we'd have to wait 2000 years or so for Jimmy to come along and put in it order so people could understand it.

My favorite part of Revelation are the letters to the seven churches, that part at the beginning most people fly right through after confirming that THEY are the church of Philadelphia and on to the rest.
I mean, who really thinks they belong to the church at Laodicea.  Problem is, most are, I think.

Now some people interpret the seven churches as some sort of evolutionary phase all denominations go through but that doesn't make a lot of sense.  Others think on any given Sunday, all seven are represented in any church, which is probably true to some extent.  And finally, these are the seven types of churches.  Maybe even we, as individuals, are all seven at times in our lives.

But the most important thing in each is the advice Jesus gives at the end of each letter!  Well, I think it is.

The church at Ephesus, which comes out pretty good on the report card.  Jesus is happy with the works of the church but at the same time admonishes them because they lost their first love; Him.  So focused on the works and the doctrine, they forgot the worship, spending time with God.  His advice, devotion comes before works, not afterwards.  Solomon sought wisdom over God, David sought fellowship with God.  The overcomer will eat from the tree of life in paradise with God.

The church at Smyrna is one of two churches where there is no bad mentioned.  Smyrna is the persecuted church.  Jesus is letting it know not to fear persecution, it is temporary.  Fear is the opposite of faith and he that overcometh need not fear a 2nd death.  I wonder how many churches right now in Africa, the middle east, Russia, China, South America fall under the Smyrna banner?

Interesting note: Polycarp was killed at Smyrna.  It is recorded his last words were "eighty-six years I served Him and He never did me wrong.  How can I blasphemy my King?  Bring on the flames".

The church at Pergamos probably resembles many churches in Europe and the US.  Pergamos is The City of the Serpent.  The church lives in Satan's throne and held fast to their belief in Jesus.  However, they allowed the pagan culture to infiltrate the church and it's practices.  And if they don't repent of these sins, Jesus will strike them down.  To the overcomer comes one of the mysteries: they will be given hidden manna, a white store, and new name written on the white stone that only they will know.
Interesting side note:  the Yule Log comes from here, and Yule in the chaldean means infant and the burning of a yule log symbolizes the burning of the infant.  Betcha didn't know that.

The letter to the church at Thyatira comes next.  Originally known as Semirama, the name of the wife of Nimrod, so you know this is not going to end well.  The problems with the church at Thyatira are many; it tolerates the woman Jezebel symbolically - sexual immorality, fornication, idolatry, etc etc etc. There are many that see this as the Catholic Church, but frankly I don't think there is enough room in the blog to list who this could be today, how many denominations today are ordaining gay and lesbian clergy for example?  Now here comes an interesting comment.  Jesus said those who follow Jezebel will go thru the tribulation unless they repent.  Those that will repent and follow Jesus' words will survive.  Interesting for the pretribulation crowd.

The church at Sardis, oh will you recognize this, is a very wealthy place.  All the money they need and more left over.  Style over substance.  Joel Osteen, Robert Schueler, and others - your table is ready.  Jesus' advice?  Repent or your end will come like a thief in the night!  And in later years, the enemy climbed the cliff side of Sardis in the night and took over the city while the people slept.  Didn't repent.  Same who think the Thyatira church is the catholic church believe the Sardis is the reformation church - think about it, look at how the Lutherans were asleep during the 1930s in Germany.

The church at Philadelphia, the good one, the one everyone thinks they belong to.  No wrongs, just a warning of keeping their faith when evil comes.  We wish.

And finally, Laodicea.  Neither hot nor cold, lukewarm.  Jesus will spit us out.  Jesus is outside this church.  All the trappings, none of the substance.  Going through the motions, think they are rich, think they are saved, and want for nothing.  The Apostate Church.

Where is your church?  Be honest.  Where are you.  Be honest.  Now do something about it.


Joy to the world the Savior reigns
Let men their songs employ
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love and wonders of His love
And wonders and wonders of His love