24, 2007

First Love

Kathleen Maples

Rev 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; Rev 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

The angel of the church is the messenger, the one who gets the word from the Lord to carry. It can be a literal angel, but it normally refers to the pastor of the church, the one responsible for the sheep.
Rev 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Notice, He says He has got the churches in His right hand, and they are candlesticks-lights of the world and He walks in the midst of them-that sounds present tense, He continually walks in the midst of His church. That causes a fear to stir in my heart. Does it ever cross your mind when you enter His house that you are entering the House of the Most High God, who is so holy if He let us see Him as He is we would drop dead? He is so powerful if He yelled at us we would die? We could not take it if He raised His voice at us. He exercises so much restraint when dealing with His children and with His creation. If He didn't, we wouldn't be here. But what is He saying here to the church at Ephesus? Ephesus means "desirable, permitted". I'm paraphrasing here, but if you dig into the original Greek in these words, this is what He's saying: He says I know everything you're doing, and how you toil, even in trouble and weariness, even in pain, and how you endure, waiting, hoping, and you can not endure and will not receive them which are evil. You have examined them and tested, scrutinized them which say they are sent by Me with their miraculous powers, and you have found them to be liars. You have carried a load, and you have had waited, and endured with hope all because My character, and authority, My Name means something to you. You have worked hard, and you are weary, but you have not given up and quit. I know all these things about you. But there is a problem, and I have to deal with it, He says. In doing all these things for the sake of My Name, you have gotten so busy, you have forsaken ME, you have left Me alone, laid ME aside in favor of working for ME rather than getting involved WITH me. Remember and realize you've been driven off course, and without spending time in My presence, you will become inefficient, and fail, you'll fall away. You'll lose. Repent and come back to ME or I'll take away the Light. He MUST be the SOURCE of everything we do. If He isn't the Source of what we do, then we are being dishonest when we use His Name and attach it to what we are doing. If what we are doing for Him doesn't flow out of His life in us, out of communion with Him, then how can He say I am directing you and I can put my seal of approval on what you are doing? He says he that hath an ear (he that understands what the Spirit is saying) to him that conquers and prevails, gets the victory, he or she gets to eat of the tree of life.

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

We are told we can't be hearers only but we must be doers of the Word. To hear it is not to be justified, but to hear it, to violently embrace it as a life preserver and believe it, to do it, justifies you. Oh what a tragic day when those who think they know Him, who have read His Word, went to church, knew His will, and did what they thought was good in their own sight, and to stand before Him and find out what they did they were not called to do. They did it without Him. They had spent no time learning Him, communing with Him. They always had to be doing something, and never found time to get still before Him and get to know HIM. How else could He look at them with a grieved heart and say I never knew you, depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Think about that. Those who are doing works, even good works, in His name, but don't take time to get to know HIM do iniquity. How is that possible? The only answer I can think of is because they haven't taken time to get to know HIM personally, they will inevitably misrepresent Him. To know HIM is to fear Him and to love Him, to realize how small and totally helpless we are without Him. To accept that we are nothing without Him and can't manage our own lives, our own steps, or direct anything without His leadership-His Sovereign and unchallenged Lordship.
Luk 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

He says if you come to Him and hear His Word, but don't do it, you are like someone building on sand, and when the storm comes, when the spirit of the world pulls at you, trying to draw you away, when the adversary comes against you with lies, when your own flesh rises up against the life of Christ, and your carnal mind rebels, or when problems of life arise, and the storms come, your house (we are the temple of the Holy Ghost) will fall immediately and be greatly ruined. BUT if we come to HIM (that is so important-don't skip over that-we have to come to HIM, not to a preacher, or evangelist, or anyone else, not to a man's book about Him, but directly to HIM) and hear HIS Word, and do it, then His Word in us will hold us up when the enemy strikes, when our flesh or mind rebels at what is right, we will have the power of that Word in us to secure and deliver us-remember, He watches over His Word to perform it. He magnified His Word above His Name (Psa_138:8) If His Name is Holy and Reverend, how much more is His Word? Should not His Word have the place of pre-eminence among us all at every service in the House of God? Should not every thing lead up to that consecrated time when the Word of God is preached and taught with purity and anointing? That is what we need in this day and age we live in. The same Word that holds this planet in place is what will hold us up when the flood of the enemy comes rushing in. When the doctor calls and says it's bad news, when they call and say junior's been in an accident, when they call and say they don't need you on the job anymore, gotta let you go. Whatever comes the Word of God in you will hold you up and see you through-because HE said It would. What are we doing for the Lord? Are we busy working for Him, but too busy to spend time with Him? God help us to get back to HIM. Nothing is as important as

knowing HIM for ourselves. Nothing, saints. If He is our Treasure, that's where our heart will be. That's where we'll want to be. It's where we need to be, and hopefully long to be. It's something we all need to ask ourselves. When He walks among us in His House, what does He see in our hearts? What does He hear going through our minds? Does He see anything of Himself when He looks on us? Have we acknowledged HIM when we come into His House or have we ignored Him in favor of talking to each other when we could just as easily with a little self control talk to each other after church or on the phone, right? When we come into His House should we not give HIM our full and undivided attention and take authority over everything that would hinder that and cast it down as vain imaginations? If we love Him like we say we do, why do we not come into His House and welcome His presence among us, acknowledge Him first and foremost, and yield completely to Him? He did not criticize the church first, He told her He knew all the good things she'd been doing, and why, because He knew she cared about His name, about Him. But she had neglected Him personally. And remember, saints, He calls that iniquity. To act in His name, without having spent any time getting to know Him, is iniquity. How can represent someone you don't know? He loves us so much, He gives us hope, and help, if we will just repent and return.
Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Let us seek Him while He may be found and get to know Him. He's waiting. He's worthy. He's our Beloved, isn't He?

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