I mentioned recently that I am taking some time away to sort out a problem I ran into when working on “These Things Saith He.” I am working on it, though, the demands of this life are weighing me down to a despairing degree. I am taking some steps to help carry it all better, Lord willing, with His help.
The trouble began as a very simple mistake; it was more like missing information. The Lord is still working, and I have to do some revising to the existing chapters before I can move on to writing new chapters.
One thing I find very interesting, and I want to quickly share, is an idea that we see in Revelation concerning the Great Whore of Mystery Babylon and the judgement of God against her.
It states, “reward her even as she rewarded you.”
That theme is shown within the rebuked churches of Revelation Chapters 2-3.
I made the mistake of stating that all but two churches were warned with having their “candlestick removed out of its place.” Actually, that specific warning was only given to Ephesus. In the end, we can imply that outcome to the 5 because only 2 are remaining in Chapter 11. That is not an incorrect assumption.
However, forgetting that each church has it’s own, personalized rebuke does not well-represent the judgment of Christ to these churches. So, instead of painting with a broad brush, I need to make some changes. I also had to take a close look at the other two, just to be certain that they were not in-fact rebuked, just to make sure I had not misunderstood that as well. I don’t think so, but one small mistake has a way of making me question many things.
Anyhow, back to “reward her even as she rewarded you.” I have a point here that I’m getting at.
To Ephesus, the church above all other churches (in their estimation), full of pride and self-righteous indignation: I will remove your candlestick out of it’s place, says the Lord.
To Pergamos, the church that misuses the word of God and therewith causes the faith of many to fail: I will fight against you with the sword of my mouth, says the Lord.
To Thyatira, who misuses the love of Jesus, turning His love into the corrupt love of man and of this world; whose women have softened the judgment of God and the Christian life into something self-serving and impotent: I will cast all who commit adultery with her into great tribulation and I will kill her children with death, says the Lord.
To Sardis, who neglects the Holy Spirit and seeks to walk after the corrupt spirits of this world instead of walking in newness by the power of the Spirit of God: Since you do not walk with me, I will come upon you like a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come. However, there are a few names who have not defiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy, says the Lord.
To Laodicea, who covets riches and is therewith content and zealous to pursue, but is not zealous of the things of the Kingdom of God: I will spew you out of my mouth, because you think you are rich and in need of nothing and do not realize that you are poor, bloody, blind, and naked. Buy of me gold tried in fire and be rich, be clothed with white raiment, anoint your eyes and see. As many as I love I rebuke and chasten, so be zealous and repent. I stand at the door and knock, and I will come in and sup with those who open to me, says the Lord.
We get some general ideas by studying the letters to the churches, and they are worth considering as one who is given by Jesus and His Holy Spirit to “hear” what is being said to these churches. However, there is an over-arching idea also: “reward her even as she rewarded you.”
We are not to repay evil for evil. Turn the other cheek, as Jesus teaches. In so doing, Jesus will look the other way from our sins. However, He will repay those who carry His name yet do not keep His ways—or with a sincere heart strive to grow in that direction. He knows our frame. Yet, as those who are sincere and zealous for our Lord, Jesus, let us consider.
Mercy for the merciful.
Plagues to those who are for plagues. Famine to those who are for famine. Death to those who are for death.
He will avenge, and to think that we can carry His name but do the work of the enemy at the same time without care or repentance is foolishness. Those who do will be “removed out of their place” but there is more to it.
Our God will judge and He is a just judge. He is also a merciful judge, so we hope in mercy. However, we also respect Him knowing that we are not entitled to mercy or any good thing. It is the Great Whore who is entitled and assumes that she can use the sacrifice of Jesus to serve sin and Satan freely without consequence. We who love Jesus and are truly called, chosen, and faithful will strive to overcome in all things that keep us from living as one who will live forever in His Kingdom, lest we be cast out and there is, as Jesus said, “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” It is no light matter. We Westerners would do well to remember.