Church of the Laodiceans – Part One Bible Study

PODCAST – A Bible Study on the Church of the Laodiceans – Part One. (Revelation 3:14-22)

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Persecution Post – Testimony

Persecution Post

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…”
Acts 1:8a

Prior to her Christian husband being released from prison in Iran, Mahir (not real name), feared that she might be arrested too. So she seriously prayed, “Dear Lord, I am not ready to go to a solitary confinement because of my Christian faith. It is such a closed and dirty environment. As you know I was born and brought up in a wealthy family and had a comfortable life. Please don’t test me beyond my ability.” She told God she would not be able to handle being arrested and mentioned her fear that she might give the names of all believers in the house churches to the police or even deny Jesus.

Three days later, the secret police knocked at her door. She said to God, “I have already asked you not to put me in this temptation. So whatever happens, it is not my fault. Because I had already told you that I am not a strong person and can’t stand against these security people and can’t tolerate persecution.”

She said, “The police blindfolded me and took me to the solitary confinement. I was scared to death and felt sick as the place was very smelly.” They put her in a cell and a few hours later brought her in for interrogation. She added, “I sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit very strongly. And I felt that God’s peace came down on me and my fear went away.”

When Mahir stood before the high official, she courageously testified of her Christian faith. “It is an honour for me to talk to people about Jesus. I will be very happy to talk to you about Jesus and salvation too. Like all other people and Muslims, you also need Jesus in your life. Without Jesus a person does not have any peace and life is hopeless and without any purpose. Jesus laid his life down for you too so that you can have salvation and will not perish.” The official responded in anger, “Do you know what the consequence of all this will be for you? You can’t evangelize me. It will cost you a heavy price.”

On the third night the official came to her cell. Mahir was frightened fearing that he came to abuse her sexually or to beat her up. But the official told her, “Don’t be afraid of me. I need your prayers. When you shared about Jesus with me, it had such a powerful impact on my life. I need to be saved. I need Jesus in my life. I believe God has sent you to come to this prison so that you can share about salvation with me. I am now completely aware of the fact that without Jesus I will be a miserable and hopeless person and I will perish. Please pray for me that I can be set free from this hell I live in.”

Mahir had the chance to share about Jesus for three hours with him and at the end he repented of his sins and committed his life to Jesus. The official testified that for the first time he experienced the real peace and love of God in his life.

Mahir and her husband were both released from prison and are in touch with this official and his wife secretly. The wife of the official has committed her life to the Lord too.

Thought for Today – Words

Thought for Today

Words

“So then death worketh in us,
but life in you”
2 Corinthians 4:12

Words are simply containers; in themselves they have little worth. We use them to convey our thoughts, desires, feelings and the chit-chat of everyday interaction. Words in the Christian culture are multiplied in our technological world of books, sermons, podcasts and social media, yet we do not see a corresponding growth and depth of character in the reality of Christ! There must come a realization that in the clutter of words there is a missing ingredient perpetuating this crisis. We must hear in our spirit this one significant truth:

“For the kingdom of God is not in word,
but in power.”
1 Corinthians 4:20

Let this sink into the very core of our hearts. “The Kingdom of God is not in word.” There are many who are mere purveyors or merchants of words, ideas and concepts. It is a dealing with information which may tickle the intellect of men and women but never reaches the heart. These words contain no fire, no pulse of the living God. Words with fire bring conviction and produce change. As long as we are content with words without fire, sermons which produce no change and breathe no conviction and meetings in which people leave with the same outlook as when they came we will go no further in our walk with God.

Jesus is God’s Word

Jesus is not only the thought of God, He is the Power, the Substance and the verity of God the Father. The fullness of the Godhead dwelt and revealed itself in His full purity of life, love and wisdom. The words of an individual can only convey what is IN the individual. Where there is no spark there is no fire. When there is no identification of the vessel with the cross there can be no power of the life of Christ. The Gospel is more than words; it is the very communication of the life and power of God.

“For our gospel came not unto you in word only,
but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost,
and in much assurance;
as ye know what manner of men
we were among you for your sake”
1 Thessalonians 1:5

There was a connection between the ministration of the word and the manner of life of those who spoke the word. We cannot communicate something that is not within us. Fire is the result of touching, tasting and abiding in Him who is a consuming fire. Individuals who have no fire cannot give it to others. We must realize that mere words (even the scriptures) when ministered apart from the Spirit are cold and lack His power to convict, to inflame, to bring warmth and the light of change into the lives of those to whom we speak.

Each Sabbath in Israel the words of the prophets were read, but because there was no living ministration of those words they did not “hear” the voices of the prophets crying out concerning Christ!

“For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers,
because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets
which are read every sabbath day,
they have fulfilled them in condemning him”
Acts 13:27

Jesus said His Words are “spirit and they are life” and to whatever measure we are in Him will it be so of us. It is this relationship which brings vitality and life to the words we speak. The ministration of His Life can only be found in corresponding measure to the depth of His rule and His love within us.

Lord save us from being merchants of words and make us instruments of your life and wonder. Keep calling us to deeper places of abiding, beholding and eating of You so that we will convey You and not just empty words about you.

“Where the word of a king is,
there is power…”
Ecclesiastes 8:4

The power of our words will be found in our submission to the King of kings. There is no other remedy for our condition. To bear the Word of the King one must be ruled by Him. Obedience to Him is the vital element to speaking His Word and it is only then we will see change in the world around us. Obedience is not something we can learn from classes, books or sermons; it is by the actual operation of the faith of the Son of God ruling and reigning within our own heart. No one else can walk this out for us; it is as personal as our relationship with Him.

“For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ,
but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches
deceive the hearts of the simple”
Romans 16:18

Fair speeches and good words are plenty in our day but words ministered without the impetus for men and women to walk and live in them leads to deception.

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves”
James 1:22

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Get Thee Up –

Thought for Today

Get Thee Up

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings,
get thee up into the high mountain”
Isaiah 40:9

In God’s Word there is ever the call to His people to arise to the heights and wonders of His being. Here the prophet tells God’s people to get up into the high places that they might behold their God. The verses preceding this declare…

“The voice said, Cry. And he said,
What shall I cry?
All flesh is grass,
and all the goodliness thereof
is as the flower of the field:
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it:
surely the people is grass.
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
but the word of our God shall stand for ever”
Isaiah 40:6-8

These are the good tidings; the pride and strength of man shall not prevail but His Word will stand forever! It is in light of this knowledge that we are called to arise, no longer in the strength of men, but in the power of God. It is time to climb the mountain and behold Him from a new perspective. We, who are withering grass and fading flowers, will find that our hope and our strength is in God alone and will be able to declare to others “Behold your God!”

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings,
get thee up into the high mountain;
O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings,
lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up,
be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah,
Behold your God!”

Isaiah 40:9

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info