Thursday, April 28, 2016

True Pastors - Revelation 2:1

Today we begin in Revelation 2:1. Here we are introduced to the first of the seven churches where it says, “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;” This is the letter to the church of Ephesus. The word Ephesus means “desired one.” It represents the Apostolic Church of the first and second centuries.

Now again, remember that these churches represent a certain period in church history. Ephesus is the church of the 1st Century apostles; you and I are not living in this church, but in the age of the Laodicean church. We are the “last-days” church that is expecting the return of our Lord in Revelation 4:1.

Notice that this letter is addressed “Unto the angel..." Who is this angel? We are told who he is in 1:20 where it said, “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.” The angel is the pastor or messenger unto the church of Ephesus.

As we study further, we will find that every church, no matter how corrupt, has true pastors in them. God will not leave His sheep without true pastors to shepherd them. In addition to that, God will always protect his messengers. Notice that the verse says, “the seven stars (pastors or messengers) which thou sawest in my hand.” God protects those who faithfully serve and represent Him. I pity those who lift their hand against God’s servants. They are actually fighting against God Himself.

How many times have you heard someone speak evil against a pastor? Oh, I know that you hear it all of the time if you are involved in the life of a church. Those who do so are defying God and bringing judgment upon themselves. Some will say, “Well, you don’t know how bad our pastor is.” “You don’t know what he has done.” Let me ask you this, “Who made you judge and jury against God’s anointed?” God can “set up” and God can “put down” (Daniel 5:19). You just leave that responsibility to Him. He doesn’t need your help.

A prime example in the Bible that all of us would do well to follow is found in 1 Samuel 24 when David had the opportunity of a lifetime to end his years of running from King Saul. David and his men were hiding in the caves of En-gedi and King Saul decided that he had to use the bathroom in one of the caves. Guess which cave he chose? Yes, the very cave in which David and his men were hiding! It was then that David’s men encouraged him to take advantage of the opportunity to kill Saul. So David got close enough to Saul to cut off just a small piece of his robe. After Saul had left the cave, David fell under tremendous conviction that he had even thought enough of himself to reach out and touch the Lord’s anointed. He said in 1 Sam 24:10, “Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD's anointed.”

Yet today, how many people will reach out and touch or speak against “the LORD’s anointed” without even batting an eye. They are on dangerous ground and I would advise you to keep no company with them. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5:11-13, “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat…therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” That verse is telling you and I not to keep company with a “brother” that among other things is a railer. A railer is someone who runs his mouth and speaks evil of other people. You are to have no part with them. As a matter of fact, you should not even eat with them. Maybe that railer is you? I would encourage you to repent before your next meal lest those who eat with you be partakers of your sin.

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