He Has The Key

Thursday, August 22, 2013, 5:00 a.m. – I woke with the song “Sweet Hour of Prayer” playing in my mind. I knew that meant that I was to get up and pray, so I did. I prayed for my family members. I prayed for salvation or for spiritual renewal for specific individuals, and for other specific requests. And, I prayed for people outside our family, too, who are in need of healing or encouragement. And, then I prayed for myself. I read Rev. 3:7-13 (ESV):

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.

“‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
The Church

There is a distinction to be made between the institutional church and the church, the body of Christ. One is an institution of humankind, in a yoked relationship with and under the authority of the government, a corporation (business) of man; marketed much in the same ways as any other business is marketed, and run governmentally like a business, too. In the USA, this government is under the leadership and authority of Satan. I believe that with all my heart! Research will bear that out if you take the time to prayerfully do the homework.

The institutional church is not only incorporated under the authority of the government, thus the government taking the place as the head of the church in place of Jesus Christ, but they, for the most part, are also followers of human leaders, and of humanistic teaching, marketing plans, and techniques; and they are very entertainment focused and use worldly methods to reach worldly people for a worldly church. Thus, most of them dilute the truth of the gospel to make it more comfortable and more appealing to the world so that the world will keep coming back to their meetings and will feel at home there. What is wrong when the sinful world feels at home in our churches?

The true church, nonetheless, may exist within the institutional church, but human businesses called “churches” are not to be confused with the true body of Christ. They are not one and the same. We don’t “go” to church. We are the church. The “sanctuary” inside a building is not the sanctuary of God. Our hearts are his sanctuary. The building called a church is not the house of God, and when we enter into that building made by human hands, we are not entering into God’s house nor are we necessarily coming into his presence any more than what we had before we entered, if we truly know him as Lord and Savior of our lives, because he should be dwelling within us. We the people of God are thus God’s house. So, when the true church comes together, they can meet anyplace and at any time. The early church met daily from house to house and in the temple courts.

Liars and Deceivers

So, if someone flees the institutional church (conceptually – in principle - or in actuality) in favor of meeting only with the true church, the body of Christ, we should not judge them, because this does not mean they have left God. In fact, it most likely means they have drawn even closer to God and have sought him out for refuge in the face of much worldliness and evil existing now within a vast majority of today’s institutional church. These who have fled to take hold of their Lord, who have committed themselves to truth, faithfulness, obedience, surrender, and service under the call and direction of Jesus Christ and his Spirit are to be commended for their faith. They have seen the enemy enter into the institution of church, they know what he looks like, and they have been resisting him and his influences in the power and strength of the Lord Jesus for some time now.

So, how does the enemy look? He (or she) is someone who is being ruled and controlled by this sinful world; who feels self-powered and confident; who is selling (pitching) lies and deceptions; who is two-faced, i.e. who gives one appearance but is something else just the opposite; whose character is twisted, warped, off-course (deviated), misleading, and altered; who pulverizes (destroys; damages; corrodes) the pure word of truth to his own advantage, i.e. he talks right over it; who is uncouth, foulmouthed, vulgar, crude, indecent, morally offensive and earthly; and/or who gives a sugar-sweet performance with all smiles and happiness on the outside, i.e. this person can be very charming and convincing.

Nonetheless, he (or she) is a liar and a deceiver, saying one thing but hiding the truth so no one will know. But God knows, and if we pray for discerning spirits, he will help us to recognize these liars and deceivers among us, too, in government and in the church. And, we should not give in to them for a moment. We should not enable them to continue, and we should expose all that is false so that others do not fall into the trap of the enemy. And, we should give them no leeway in our own lives to follow after their lies.

You have Kept My Word

Yet, we cannot do this in our own strength and will power, though. We must take refuge in the Lord Jesus in his place of holiness, repentance, renewal, cleansing, healing, truth, and righteousness. And, he will give us all we need to resist the devil (our true enemy) and to fight off his attacks of lies and deceptions by daily putting on the armor of God with which to fight off his wicked schemes. We need to pray for much discernment, too, so that we recognize these wolves in sheep’s clothing who disguise themselves as true followers of Jesus Christ when they are not. And, we must patiently endure all ridicule, rejection, persecution, chastisements, betrayals and hatred of the enemy, for truly our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of evil all around us (See Eph. 6).

Nothing is going to happen to us but what God allows it and he allows it for a purpose, and he will give us all we need to daily combat those enemy forces coming against as we daily take refuge in our Lord and we put on his full armor. He has opened the door to salvation to anyone who will enter through the door (Jesus Christ) by faith, which involves turning from our sins, dying with Christ to our old ways of living by the flesh, and being transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God as he cleanses us from all sin; and it involves putting on our new lives in Jesus Christ and walking in his Spirit daily, listening to what he teaches us and obeying his commands (See Lu. 9:23-25; Eph. 4:17-24; Ro. 6; 1 John; Gal. 2:20; et al). It also means keeping (obeying) his word and not denying his name by anything we do or believe or follow after, including by not following after the clever lies of humans but exposing the lies, and by always telling the truth, even if we get rejected in return.

The New Jerusalem

One day that door to heaven (salvation) will be shut and there will be no more entry. What that means for Christ’s true followers who have overcome the enemy of their souls is that we will receive our eternal reward in heaven, and we will no longer have to fight off Satan’s lies, deceptions or temptations coming against our souls. We will truly be free! Amen!

Yet, what that means for those who choose to walk in the ways of the world, and to follow after the lies of Satan, is that one day that door will be shut and there will be no more opportunities. So, make sure today that you are walking in true faith and fellowship with our Lord, that you are resisting the enemy of your souls, that you are not buying into his clever lies and deceptions, but that you are remaining true to Jesus Christ, faithful in all things, keeping (obeying) his word, and not denying his character in our lives by the choices we make each and every day, though not one of us will ever do this perfectly. Yet, lack of perfection should never be an excuse for continued willful sin. Let us all be among those who remain faithful to Jesus Christ, who obey his word, and who do not deny his name.

Fully Surrendered / Alfred C. Snead / George C. Stebbins

Fully surrendered—Lord, I would be,
Fully surrendered, dear Lord, to Thee.
All on the altar laid,
Surrender fully made,
Thou hast my ransom paid;
I yield to Thee.

Fully surrendered—life, time, and all,
All Thou hast given me held at Thy call.
Speak but the word to me,
Gladly I'll follow Thee,
Now and eternally
Obey my Lord.

Fully surrendered—silver and gold,
His, who hath given me riches untold.
All, all belong to Thee,
For Thou didst purchase me,
Thine evermore to be,
Jesus, my Lord.

Fully surrendered—Lord, I am Thine;
Fully surrendered, Savior divine!
Live Thou Thy life in me;
All fullness dwells in Thee;
Not I, but Christ in me,
Christ all in all.