Seven Churches – Revelation Chapter 1:5c Commentary

Seven Churches – Revelation Chapter 1:5c

Revelation 1:5c Unto Him that …. washed us from our sins in His own Blood.

The Greek word translated as “washed” is the word luo. It means to loosen, unbind, to set free, release from bonds, to loose one who is bound, to dissolve, to loose any person tied or fastened.

Jesus has set us free from our sins by His Blood. His Blood breaks off every fetter and delivers us from the power of sin. The Blood of Jesus gives us the power to crucify sin in our own lives.

If you are struggling with any sin or addiction, and you are bound, be encouraged by this verse which says that Jesus washed (loosed) [past tense – He already loosed us] from our sins in His own Blood. There is tremendous power in the Blood of Jesus when it’s applied to your life.

How is the Blood of Jesus applied to your life? By faith.

It begins with accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. If you would like to receive salvation, just pray:

Dear Lord Jesus,

I receive you as my Lord and Savior. Come into my heart. Wash me from all my sins and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I believe that You died and rose again. Help me become the person you created me to be. Thank You for saving me today. Thank You for eternal life.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

For a list of posts that deal with the power of the Blood of Jesus, please see:

Pt. 1: A Cleansed Conscience by the Blood of Jesu…

Pt. 2: A Cleansed Conscience by the Blood of Jesu…

Pt. 3: A Cleansed Conscience by the Blood of Jes…

Pt. 4: A Cleansed Conscience by the Blood of Jes…

Pt. 5: A Cleansed Conscience by the Blood of Jesu…

Pt. 6: A Cleansed Conscience by the Blood of Jesu…

Pt. 1: Garden to Garden – Good Friday Service Note…

Pt. 2: The Blood Cleanses Every Part of Man – Good…

Pt. 3: Plead the Blood – Good Friday Service Notes…

Pt. 4: New Identity – Good Friday Service Notes

Pt. 5: Liquid Love – Good Friday Service Notes

Pt. 1: Not Guilty Because of the Blood – Easter Se…

Pt. 2: Not Guilty Because of the Blood – Easter Se…

The Gift of Salvation, Plus Many More Gifts God Has For You!

The Gifts God Has For You

Christmas is a time of giving. We give gifts to express our love and appreciation. Children, and adults alike, enjoy receiving gifts.

Children are filled with so much excitement at the anticipation of Christmas Day and can hardly wait to open their presents. Their faces light up with joy when they receive the toy or bicycle they wanted so very much.

First John 3:1 says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.”

Galations 4:6-7 states: “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba Father. Wherefore, thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

Matthew 7:11 tells us that in the same way that parents enjoy giving good gifts to their children (though they be evil compared to God’s goodness), then how much more does the Father delight in giving good gifts to those who ask Him.

Every good and perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of Lights, with whom is no variableness or shadow of turning (James 1:17).

The Lord has many good gifts to give to us. All we have to do is just receive by faith and thank Him. His gifts are so many, but include:

 

  • Salvation and Eternal Life
  • Heaven
  • Forgiveness
  • The Holy Spirit
  • Health and Healing
  • Abundant Life
  • Wealth and Prosperity
  • Peace of Mind
  • Love and Joy
  • Family, Friends and Children
  • God’s Anointing and Presence
  • Favor of God
  • Gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12
  • The Desires of Your Heart
  • Reconciliation in Family Relationships
  • Every Blessing From Heaven

 

All these gifts are for you with your name on it!

You Can Receive Salvation

In John 10:10, Jesus said that the thief (Satan) comes only for to kill, steal and destroy. But He (Jesus) has come to give us life, and life more abundantly, to the full, until it overflows.

The best gift that anyone could ever receive is salvation and eternal life. Romans 6:23 (KJV) says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Through Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross and His resurrection, anyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.

Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV) says, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

In Revelation 3:20, Jesus is knocking on the doors of our hearts. If we will open the door, He will come and sup with us and us with Him.

The Lord is knocking on the door of your heart right now just waiting for you to let Him come in. If you do not know Jesus as your personal Savior, you can be saved right now. You can pray your own prayer from your heart, or you can pray this simple prayer. Just say:

“Dear Jesus,

I acknowledge that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that You rose from the dead. I accept You into my heart as my Lord and Savior. I repent of my sins. Forgive me and wash me clean by Your Blood. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for writing my name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I want to serve You all the days of my life. Help me to become the person You want me to be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

If you prayed this prayer for the first time, where is Jesus right now? Do you feel His presence in your heart?

You are now a child of God and are accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6).

I would encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church to help you grow in your newfound faith. I would also encourage you to be water baptized as a declaration that you are now following Jesus.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all (2 Corinthians 13:14 NKJV).

May you have a joyful and peaceful Christmas season!

Kathleen Riley

Pt. 1 – The Christmas Story (The Stage Was Set)

The Stage Was Set

The key themes of the Christmas Story are:

  • Joy
  • Redemption and Salvation
  • God is faithful to fulfill His promises
  • Fear not
  • Nothing is impossible with God
  • God speaks to us in dreams; listen to Him

God has a perfect season and timing for everything in our lives.

“For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.  Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry” (Habakkuk 2:3 NKJV).

God’s Word is filled with precious promises.  Have you asked the Lord to do something specific in your life and you know deep in your heart that He said “yes” and made a promise to you that He would do it?

He may have quickened a Scripture that pertains to your situation or maybe He dropped a promise into your heart. Perhaps a prophetic message was spoken over you and it bore witness in your spirit that it was of God, and was a confirmation of what the Lord had been speaking to your heart.

What is your circumstance?  What are you believing God for?

When God first promises something to us there is the feeling of being overjoyed and a sense of expectancy.  It seems like the promise will come to pass right away.  In some cases it does, but in most instances a period of time elapses between the moment the promise is first given and the time it comes to fulfillment.

Many times months and years go by and the promise still has not happened.  Have you ever experienced that feeling of disappointment that just when it seemed like the promise was finally going to come to pass, there was a sudden turn in the road?

Proverbs 13:12 (NKJV) says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”

The devil uses these opportune times in our lives to taunt us with words like: “It will never happen” … “Did God really say that?” … “It’s too late for you”.

God’s delay in answering prayer does not necessarily mean denial.  God’s promises are “Yes” and “Amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20).  Though the promise tarry it will surely come to pass and not prove false.  God wants us to have faith and to trust him.

Psalms 145:13 (NIV) tells us:  “The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV) says, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”

Even in the timing of the birth of Christ, the Messianic promises had been spoken hundreds and thousands of years before Christ became flesh.

Why did God wait so long to send His Son?  The answer:  Because the stage had to be fully set first.

In looking back on history, God waited until certain things were in place before sending Jesus to earth.  For instance, roads had been built by the Romans.  The Romans ruled much of the known world during that time, and they had built wide highways and roads going every direction from Rome to the Middle East, Africa, Far East and European countries.  Because the roads were built, travel to almost any destination was possible.

Besides roads for land travel, there were technological advances in sea travel with ships to transport people to almost any coastal destination, including the isles of the sea.

Jesus said to make disciples of every nation, and with access to land and sea travel, it was now possible for His disciples to fulfill Jesus’ commission and to spread the Gospel to every nation in the known world.

Another important factor which set the stage for the coming of Christ is that during that time in history, Greek was the universal language.

While every country and region spoke their own native tongue, all nations also spoke Greek.  The New Testament was written in Greek so that everyone could understand the Gospel.  Business and foreign relations with other countries was possible since everyone understood the language.

Unlike centuries prior, most people in the known world were able to read and write in Greek.  Most street signs were written in Greek, as well as public announcements from the Romans.  With everyone knowing Greek, and most people able to read and write in Greek, communication was possible so that the Gospel could spread to the ends of the earth.

The political climate was ripe for the Messiah to come.  There had been Jewish revolts taking place, the most notorious being the Maccabean revolts.  There was conflict over Judaism and Hellenism.  The Seleucid Empire persecuted the traditional Jews and tried to eradicate their religion and religious practices altogether.

The lifestyle of the Greco-Roman world was incompatible with that of the Jews.  Because the Greco-Roman influence was so heavy, the younger generation of Jews began to adopt many of the ways of the pagan culture and abandon Judaism.

The revolts were also to rebel against Roman rule over their country Israel, and the heavy taxation.  Israel had been an independent nation, having had possessed the land thousands of years before.  Now their nation was being taken over by Roman rule.  There was tremendous upheaval and unrest.

Roman soldiers could be very brutal with citizens and everyday life posed many dangers.

A forerunner was needed to “prepare the way of the Lord” (Luke 3:4, Isaiah 40:3-5, Malachi 4:5-6).  He was born six months prior to Jesus’ birth.

The fullness of time had come for the Messiah to come to earth and the stage was completely set in place.

In our own lives, sometimes the promises of God are not fulfilled until the stage has been set in place.  The Lord takes us through a period of preparation.  He is at work behind the scenes getting everything ready.  When it is God’s timing, things begin to fall into place.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”

Pt. 6 – A Cleansed Conscience by the Blood of Jesus (Power in the Blood of Jesus)

Pt. 6 – A Cleansed Conscience by the Blood of Jesus (Power in the Blood of Jesus) and Prayer of repentance for any involvement in witchcraft and/or the occult

The Blood of Jesus is SO powerful:

  • Salvation and eternal life through Jesus’ Blood
  • Our conscience cleansed by His Blood
  • Guilt removed by His Blood
  • Freedom and deliverance through His Blood
  • The chains and fetters that have kept you bound are broken through His Blood
  • Addictions are broken through His Blood
  • Healing for the physical body is through His Blood
  • Healing for the broken heart is through His Blood
  • Healing for the mind is through His Blood
  • Your past is forgotten through His Blood
  • You are a brand new creature in Christ Jesus through His Blood
  • There is transforming power in His Blood
  • There is protection in His Blood
  • There is provision in His Blood
  • There is peace and joy in His Blood
  • Power to overcome Satan through His Blood (the devil is under your feet)
  • Authority to cast out demons through His Blood and Name, and the Power of the Holy Ghost
  • There is strength and power to live a victorious life without falling in His Blood
  • Everything you need is found in His Blood

Salvation Prayer

Dear Lord Jesus,

I receive and accept You as my Lord and Savior.  I confess that You are Lord and I believe that You rose from the dead (Romans 10:10). I invite You to come into my heart.  Please forgive me of all my sins.  Wash me in the Blood of the Lamb.  Cleanse my conscience and remove all past guilt by Your Blood.

Write my name in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  Fill me with the presence of Your Holy Spirit.  Help me to become the person you created me to be.  I want to serve You all the days of my life. Thank You for saving me right now.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

If you prayed this prayer, where is Jesus right now?

Do you feel His Presence in your heart?

I would encourage you to get involved in a good Bible-believing church to get grounded in the Word and to hear the preaching of the Word so that your faith is built up.  In-person fellowship, corporate worship and prayer with the saints is important for your spiritual walk and edification.

A Prayer for Those Who Are or Have Been Involved in any form of witchcraft or the occult:

Dear Lord Jesus,

I kneel down before You at the Cross right now.  I confess that I have sinned against the Body and the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ by being involved in witchcraft and the occult both knowingly and unknowingly.

I repent for (and name specific things you are/were involved in).

I am so sorry for what I did and for the doors that I allowed in my life to be open when getting involved in the first place.  Please forgive me.  Please wash me in Your Blood.  Purify and purge me, and I shall be clean.  You said in Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Make me as white as snow Lord.

Cleanse my conscience and remove all past guilt by Your Blood.

Lord, I cut myself off from You (the Vine) when I got involved in witchcraft and the occult, and am guilty of idolatry and spiritual adultery.  I repent Jesus and come back to You.  Lord, I want to be reconnected to You. You are the Vine and the root of the tree.  I am the branch.  I need You.  I want You. You are my life and my Source.

May I again feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life.  I need Your Spirit more than anything else in this world!  I am desperate for You and for Your Presence in my life.  Restore to me the joy of my salvation.

Set me free from all demonic spirits that I invited into my life through involvement in the occult and witchcraft.  I want to be set free.  I want to live for You Jesus.  I want to be an overcomer. Thank You for showing me Your grace and forgiveness, and thank You for setting me free.  I receive Your mercy and forgiveness.

Thank You that Your mercy for me extends higher than the highest heaven, and goes down to the lowest part of Sheol.

Psalms 86:13  For great is Thy mercy toward me: and Thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.

Psalms 108:4  For Your mercy and unfailing love is higher than the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

Your Blood goes to the highest heaven (You sprinkled Your Blood on the Mercy Seat in Heaven for eternal atonement of my sins). And your Blood reaches to the lowest valley. You went to hell for me so that I don’t have to go there. Thank You for Your Blood which has saved me, forgiven me and set me free.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Daily meditate on and confess Scriptures on the Blood of Christ, on being set free, on the Armor of God, on healing and deliverance.

Don’t ever touch or dabble with witchcraft or the occult again for as long as you live!  It’s very dangerous … like standing on the edge of a cliff that drops off into hell.  It’s like playing with fire.  The Lord isn’t playing games.  Once you repent, don’t ever touch it again!

Renounce the witchcraft and occult.  Totally forsake it.  Destroy all paraphenalia associated with it.

Ask the Lord to supernaturally close the ports that were opened for demons to have access to you.

Disconnect yourself from relationships where others are involved in witchcraft and the occult. Sever ties with those associations and follow the Lord.

The Lord loves you so very much!!!

Pt. 5 – A Cleansed Conscience by the Blood of Jesus (Cleansed by Water Baptism)

In Part 3, I discussed Point 1—Being sprinkled with the Blood of Jesus.

In Part 4, we talked about Point 2—Being sprinkled with the water of the Word.

In Part 5, we will focus on Point 3 below—which is being cleansed by the waters of baptism.

The positive news about a bad conscience, and past guilt, is that our conscience can be purged. The cleansing of the conscience takes place by:

  1. Being sprinkled with the Blood of Jesus
  2. Being sprinkled with the water of the Word
  3. The waters of baptism

Water of Sprinkling Through Water Baptism

The ashes of the red heifer mixed with water is called “the water of sprinkling”.

This phrase, “water of sprinkling”, is also used to be talking about water baptism. It speaks of your sins and your past being washed away by water. 1 Peter 3:21 says, “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Acts 22:16 says, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

In the Old Testament, water baptism was through sprinkling. In the New Testament, we see by many examples, including Jesus’ baptism, that it was done through total immersion into water. This represents that the old carnal man dies and is buried with Christ into the water, and then rises up to a brand new life in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:4 says, “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

Acts 2:38 says, Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

It’s not a baptismal formula that matters the most. i.e., whether you say “In the Name of Jesus” or “In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”. Both are Scriptural.

What matters the most is have you had a transformation of heart? Are your sins washed by the Blood of Jesus? Have you truly repented of your former life apart from Christ? Are you born again? I didn’t ask if you have religion, but do you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord?

Religion is a system of doctrines (some of which are man-made and some are doctrines of demons), rituals, laws, is based on works, a system of certain beliefs. Religion always puts God in a box and limits what God “does or doesn’t do”. Religion does not change the heart of man.

Relationship with Jesus means just that. It means to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him. We take the limits off of God and let Him be God in our lives. While works are important (because if you love someone you will want to please that person and care not to offend that person), salvation is based not on our own works of righteousness (we can’t earn our way) but is based on God’s grace.

It’s good to have strong foundational teachings (which include doctrines), but always keep in mind that no denomination has the full revelation of every single doctrine in the Bible. We are always learning new things in the Word of God. The primary thing to all agree on is that salvation is through Jesus Christ, and we are saved by the Blood of Jesus. Relationship with Jesus WILL transform your heart (a degree at a time, for a lifetime). It’s an on-going eternal relationship!

Water baptism, alone, can’t save you, apart from faith in Christ. Kenneth E. Hagin Sr. was water baptized in the Baptist church and died at 14 and went to hell, because although he was baptized and was a member of the church, he didn’t know Jesus as his personal Savior. He didn’t have a relationship with Jesus … he just had religion.

When he called on the Name of the Lord and accepted Jesus into his heart as his Savior and Lord, and his sins were cleansed by Jesus’ Blood, he died again and this time went to heaven. He came back and God miraculously brought him off his deathbed (he had an incurable blood disease and heart condition) and he preached the Gospel until his 80’s.

Water baptism is supposed to be a public declaration of the inward work Christ has already done, and is doing, in your heart. Physical water alone can’t wash away sin (because sin is a heart issue), but water baptism is a representation of your sins being washed away. The Blood of Jesus, and the Word of God is what transforms the heart of man.

I invite anyone who would like to receive salvation, or re-dedicate their lives to Christ, to come to the Cross and to pray this prayer with me:

Dear Lord Jesus,

I receive and accept You as my Lord and Savior. I confess that You are Lord and I believe that You rose from the dead (Romans 10:10). I invite You to come into my heart. Please forgive me of all my sins. Wash me in the Blood of the Lamb. Cleanse my conscience and remove all past guilt by Your Blood. Change my heart Lord.

Write my name in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Fill me with the Presence of Your Holy Spirit. Help me to become the person you created me to be. I want to serve You all the days of my life. Thank You for saving me right now.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

If you prayed this prayer, where is Jesus right now?

Do you feel His Presence in your heart?

The proof that you are born again and a son/daughter of God is that you will feel the presence of the Holy Spirit dwelling on the inside of you. It’s a peaceful, joyful, bubbly presence. It feels like a cleansing took place in your heart. You are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and He now lives in your heart.

Pt. 2 – A Cleansed Conscience by the Blood of Jesus (Conditions of the Conscience)

The Bible has much to say about our conscience. The Word of God addresses the various conditions of the human conscience:

Positive

  • A good conscience towards God – Acts 23:1
  • A conscience void of offense towards God and man – Acts 24:16
  • A good conscience, a pure heart, and sincere faith – 1 Timothy 1:5,19
  • A good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly – Hebrews 13:18
  • A good conscience, that if anyone speaks evil of you, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ – 1 Peter 3:16
  • Our conscience bearing witness between right and wrong – Romans 2:15
  • Our conscience bearing witness in the Holy Ghost – Romans 9:1
  • Keeping hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience – 1 Timothy 3:9
  • Keeping a clean conscience by obeying the law and doing what is right – Romans 13:5
  • Having a tender conscience in regards to personal convictions – 1 Corinthians 8:7-12; 1 Corinthians 10:25-29
  • Having a clean conscience because of knowing that you conducted yourself in sincerity, purity of heart, motives and deeds – 2 Corinthians 1:12
  • Pure conscience – 2 Timothy 1:3
  • Water Baptism that depicts that you are turning to Christ and asking Him to cleanse your conscience from sin – 1 Peter 3:21

Negative

  • Evil conscience – Hebrews 10:22 (KJV, NKJV, AMP, NASB)
  • Guilty conscience – Hebrews 10:22 (AMP, NIV, NLT)
  • Defiled conscience – Titus 1:15 (KJV, NKJV, AMP, NASB)
  • Corrupted conscience – Titus 1:15 (NIV, NLT)
  • Polluted conscience – Titus 1:15 (AMP)
  • Conscience filled with dead works – Hebrews 9:14 (KJV, NKJV, AMP, NASB)
  • Conscience filled with sinful deeds – Hebrews 9:14 (NLT)
  • Seared over conscience. The picture here is of a hot iron that sears over and hardens, cauterizes, seals shut, deadens or permanently imprints something (like cattle that are branded) – 1 Timothy 4:2. When a person has a seared over conscience, that usually means that they have violated and overridden their conscience so many times that after a while their conscience is no longer a safe guide. They no longer feel remorse for their actions. They don’t care anymore between what is right and what is wrong. Things they do that are wrong doesn’t bother them anymore.

The Blood of Jesus has the power to break open a seered over conscience, and cause the conscience to become tender and sensitive again.

Other Things About the Conscience

  • We are convicted by our own conscience (if our conscience is not seered over and is a safe guide where we bear witness on the inside between right and wrong) – John 8:9
  • The Old Testament gifts and sacrifices offered were not able to perfectly (completely, fully) make clear the worshipper’s conscience. Only the Blood of Jesus can perfectly (completely, fully) clear our conscience – Hebrews 9:9; Hebrews 10:1-10

The Blood of Jesus:

  • Purges the conscience – Hebrews 9:14 (KJV)
  • Purifies the conscience – Hebrews 9:14 (AMP, NLT)
  • Cleanses the conscience – Hebrews 9:14 (NKJV, NIV, NASB)
  • Jesus’ Blood sprinkles our heart from an evil or guilty conscience – Hebrews 10:22.

The sprinkling of blood in the Old Testament was for the purpose of purification. The priests themselves, and their clothing, was sprinkled with blood, the altar was sprinkled with blood, the Mercy Seat was sprinkled with blood, the utensils were sprinkled with blood. Almost everything was sprinkled with blood for purging and purification.

Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Can a Christian Go To Outer Darkness (a section of hell)?

A Christian’s salvation is eternally secure as long as he or she does the will of the Father and lives in holiness, and bears good fruit in their lives.

Matthew 7:21 says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

Hebrews 12:14 says, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”

Some Christians have forfeited their eternal security in heaven by living a lifestyle of disobedience and lawlessness. Some examples include:

  1. Not walking in love; hatred; prejudice; murder; malice
  2. Abuse of any kind, and causing strife and discord
  3. Bitterness (which defiles many) and unforgiveness
  4. Any form of witchcraft, sorcery, horoscopes, etc.
  5. Any form of sexual immorality, including porn addiction
  6. Embezzlement, stealing, corruption, lying, deceit
  7. Pastors and leaders leading the flock astray through their teachings or being bad examples
  8. Demonstrating irreverence (through words and deeds) to the Holy Spirit and His Anointing and Anointed Ones
  9. Pride and rebellion
  10. Lifestyle of drunkenness, gambling, carousing, vices

The Lord said in His Word that those who practice such things cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God has a two-fold definition: 1. God’s system of doing things 2. Heaven.

Revelation 22:14-15 talks about those who will want to get into heaven, but the gates will be closed for them and they won’t be able to enter in.

Revelation 22:14-15 says, “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

Galatians 5:19-25 gives examples of the works of the flesh, and then says that they which live in such a way cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Then it lists the fruits of the Spirit, and encourages us as Believers to walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 5:19-26

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,

21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

The thing that the majority of Christians struggle with is offense. People hurt you and did you wrong. Then it leads to anger, resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness.

In Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus tells us the story of the man who had an enormous debt and could not pay it back. He was facing prison time if he didn’t pay back the debt, and his children taken as slaves. He begged for mercy and the creditor had pity for him and canceled the debt owed.

However, there was a person who owed this man (who was forgiven of much) a very small debt and had no way to pay it off. The man who was forgiven of much had no mercy on the man who owed him a small debt and had the person put in prison. When the creditor found out about this man’s hypocrisy, he was filled with wrath. He had the man put in prison and turned over to the torturers.

When we fail to forgive others, then God cannot forgive us. And we need forgiveness in order to enter into Heaven, because we as Believers miss the mark quite often and need God’s grace. There are many Christians in Outer Darkness (a section of hell) today that are there due to unforgiveness and hatred.

The torturers speak of demons tormenting people. Usually offense is the door in which demons enter people’s lives to torment them. Also, every time people view internet porn, it releases scores of hideous demons into their lives and home, and these demons wreak havoc.

Strife in the household, church or work environment is another way demons wreak havoc, and the sheep are scattered.

In the Apostle John’s writings, his three key words he uses the most often are: LOVE, LIFE and LIGHT. These words are interconnected. If you walk in one, you will walk in all three.

John says that if we claim to love God, yet hate our brother, then we lie and the truth is not in us. He also says that those who do not walk in love are in the darkness, and cannot inherit eternal life. On earth, they are living in spiritual darkness, but in eternity the darkness is literal, and it is the blackest pitch darkness there is.

For years I struggled with offense, anger, bitterness and unforgiveness towards a family member who had abused me for around 21 years – primarily verbal abuse and fits of rage directed against me. God gave me warnings through dreams that I was in trouble and headed for Outer Darkness in hell if I died at that time.

I had to turn the pain over to the Lord, and ask Him to put love in my heart and help me to forgive. For me, it’s been a process of healing that has taken many years. When people hurt me, I tend to internalize it, and I’m learning how to let go and turn people over to the Lord.

If you have a root of bitterness in your heart, the Word says it defiles people. However, the Holy Spirit can remove all bitterness from your soul and fill you with His love and compassion. No one is worth going to hell over. Let go of the offense. If not for their sake, do it to make sure you go to Heaven someday.

Years ago I heard the true story of the pastor in Africa who had gotten in an argument with his wife one morning, and then later on that day was killed in a car crash.

He talked about how he went to hell for 2 or 3 days. He saw fellow pastors there, and was shocked because he thought they were in heaven. One was there for stealing the tithes and offerings, and embezzlement. Others were there for adultery, not walking in love, failing to teach people the whole counsel of God and for other reasons. This pastor was there for being abusive to his wife.

After he was in hell for 2 or 3 days, he was transferred to heaven, and shared how glorious it was.

Meanwhile, after he was killed his wife held on to the Scripture in Hebrews 11:35 that says that women received their dead raised to life again. She, along with others, prayed and believed that he would come back to life. His body was even partially embalmed.

Where they live, there was a Rinehard Bonnke meeting going on. They took his body to the meeting, believing that he would be raised to life. They took him in the casket to the basement while the meetings were in session. His wife and brothers in the Lord were interceding for his rising from the dead. He did come back to life. And now he shares his testimony and warns Christians, and especially pastors and leaders, of the reality of hell if you don’t walk in holiness. Pastors, teachers and leaders are held in stricter judgment than others in the Body of Christ.

In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus tells us the parable of the children of the kingdom. (The children of the kingdom are referring to Believers in Christ.) Some were cast into outer darkness and everlasting fire, while others received their reward and were granted to enter into Heaven. Jesus said that if you did it (ministered to) the least of these His brethren, you’ve done it unto Him. So therefore, there is a correlation between our works to help others, and receiving eternal life. We are not saved by works, but created UNTO good works (Ephesians 2:10).

In the parables right before this one in Matthew 25:1-30, are the five wise virgins and the five foolish virgins. A virgin speaks of the Body of Christ, chaste like a virgin awaiting her bridegroom. Five of them made it into heaven, and five were turned away because when the Bridegroom came, they were unprepared.

Then there is the parable of servants given talents. All of the servants, except for one, invested their talents and had more to present at the end of their lives. They heard the words from Jesus: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. You were made ruler over a few things, now you will be ruler over many things.”

A talent refers to something we are capable of doing, a natural gifting God gives to us. He wants us to develop and use our gifts, and to end up at the end of our lives with even more gifts.

This one servant was given one talent, but he was afraid and buried it in the ground. When the Master came, he gave the talent back to the Master, but he had done nothing with his talent, nor had he invested it. He could of at least put it into a savings account to earn interest. This servant was called an unprofitable servant, and his talent was taken from him and given to the one who had ten talents, plus he was cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

These are strong words Jesus spoke, but they are eternal realities.

John 15 talks about abiding in the Vine. Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches. If we abide in Him, and He abides in us, then we will bear much fruit. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. We can live fruitful lives if we will abide in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Also, abide in the Word of God, which renews the mind, transforms the soul, fills the hungry soul, and is like medicine.

Back to the subject of love, John said in 1 John 3:14-15:

“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”

It’s time to take an inventory of our soul. We need to ask God to highlight to us if there is any iniquity in our lives, so that we can have an opportunity to repent of it while we still have time on this earth.

Just pray this simple prayer, and begin to seek God with all of your heart.

“Dear Father God,

I come to Your Throne in the Name of Jesus. Show me if there is sin and iniquity in my life, and give me the grace to repent of it and forsake it. I am aware of this sin in my life _______ (and tell it to God what the sin is), and I need Your help to overcome it. I want to live for You. I want to spend eternity with You and my loved ones in Heaven. I want to get right with You. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and forgive every sin. Wash me clean by Your Blood. I receive your forgiveness. Fill me with Your love and grace, and empower me to forgive others who have hurt me. I give You my whole heart. Sweet Holy Spirit, please fill me afresh with Your Presence. I need You in my life like never before.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen”