God has made both heaven and hell increasingly real to us in the past few years. He has made hell more real to us than we ever desired it to be, the realization of the torment people are experiencing there now, with no hope, no way out, and no end, and how more and more people are going there every day ~ to the point where we’ve felt such urgency that we’ve had moments of temptation to fulfill the John the Baptist call a bit more literally by beginning to cry out in the streets (without the camel’s hair garments and locusts). Obviously we submit all to the Lord, not wanting to go forth in the arm of the flesh, but to channel the urgency He is birthing in us into the divine strategies which only He can give for accomplishing His will. So we pray that all the urgency that is possible to convey in words, can come through this message to encourage all to truly know Jesus as Lord and Savior and follow Him. We pray all will walk every day in transparency before Him, sincerely allowing Him to examine our hearts, minds, and lives, to point out every way that is offensive to Him and help us uproot and purge those things from our lives. We should remember that Jesus told the majority of the churches in Revelation that He had something against them (Revelation 2-3). His words stand in stark contrast to the types of “God doesn’t have anything against you” messages we hear preached to masses worldwide today. Again, the infiltration of counterfeit grace/lawlessness has caused many to prophesy, “Peace, peace” to many when there is no peace.
As mentioned in previous notes, this is not referring to mistakes we still make and repent of (turn from) as we walk in the light of truth with the Lord, wholeheartedly seeking to follow His will. This is referring to sins we continue to tolerate and permit, walking according to the flesh instead of the Spirit habitually in any area ~ sins that have become a way of life. As some of the churches in Revelation discovered, these were not even sins they were necessarily aware of (losing their first love for the Lord, lukewarmness, and tolerating teaching that promoted sin, in addition to those who were living in willful sin).
For this reason we should all be allowing the Lord to search us and give us this same type of reality check regarding how He sees us and where we truly stand with Him. Though it’s heartbreaking when He reveals He has something against us, we can know He does so because He deeply loves us and that He is with us and in us to give us the grace/power to change. How much better it is to allow Him to unveil the things that are hard to face now while there’s still time to repent and bring our lives in line with His will again, than to persist in a condition of spiritual blindness, deceived about our true condition until it is too late. The promises in Revelation are for overcomers. God’s divine power has already given us EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness; He has provided all we need to overcome by the power of His blood, Name, Word, and Spirit. After I posted the note earlier this year talking about the Biblical significance of the number 13, the Lord showed me that 13 also has a special significance in Jewish culture as the year in which children transition into adulthood. It is an age associated with maturity which marks a turning point in one’s life. The child turns from childish ways to a life of increased responsibility and accountability, which also results in increased rights. As many may know, 13 is also associated with the chapter of God’s love in Scripture (I Corinthians 13, which also has 13 verses). So we pray this will be a year for the church to reach full maturity in the love of God, that the mature sons and daughters of the King may be revealed (Romans 8:18-25, I John). We pray all will truly walk in the light of truth with Him, turn from all sin His light reveals, live under His Lordship in every area of our lives, continually grow in the fruit of His character, and lay hold of all God has purchased and provided for us through Jesus.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. II Peter 1:3-11
Although the Lord has said He is watching over His word of judgment against our nation, He has also given us Jeremiah 18 again. Though it still speaks of judgment, it also says that when He has announced He is going to uproot what He planted and tear down what He built (which is what He told us about our nation), that if the people repent, He will turn from His plan. So we continue to pray that the church/nation will respond now to this message He is trumpeting in time so that destruction may be turned back. We pray that all do our part to repent and turn others to repentance, but that we are also fully prepared in the event that these things happen as He has said. We received another confirmation last night of His judgment bringing terror and destruction for one group, and protection under the shelter of His presence for another group (those truly in Christ). Though He often seems to be speaking to us in terms of being protected through (in the midst of) what is coming (like Noah, the Israelites in Goshen, and Philadelphia in Revelation), that does not diminish the fact that He is also still speaking about His soon return and His admonition to all to be ready to stand before Him. He has repeatedly encouraged us to live in such a way that our lives count as nothing to us except that we could finish our race and complete the task He has given us (like Paul). This is our cry! We pray each and every one will faithfully finish their course and be able to hear Him say, “Well done!”
Copyright © Laura Jewell Tyree
Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. II Peter 3
Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”’ Revelation 2:10b-11