'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'"Revelation 3:22(NASB)
Not only were Christ's seven letters to the churches in Revelation written to a specific congregation of believers, but each letter has remained relevant for generations of Christians and remains equally relevant today. Indeed, a blessing has been promised to all who read and take to heart the things that are written in these seven epistles... and we would do well to carefully read, mark, learn, inwardly digest, apply, and take to heart, all that the Spirit is telling us in this important prophetic book.
In each letter, believers are called to hear what the Holy Spirit says to the churches. Generations of Christians have been encouraged to pay heed to the promptings of God's voice and to listen to what the Spirit says to them - both as individuals and collectively.
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches," are the repetitive words that ring out like the tolling of a great cautionary bell. This warning rings out its solemn message loud and clear...He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches... He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says... He who has an ear... let him hear.
The Ephesian church is called to remember the early days of their faith in Christ. They are urged to repent of the way they had walked away from their first love Who gave His life as a ransom for many. They are called to repent of their sins and return to a faith that is uncompromised. They are urged to hear the Spirit's warning, repent, and return to a life on fire for Christ, walking in spirit and truth.
The Church of Smyrna is forewarned that they will suffer much persecution for the sake of Christ and are encouraged to be faithful... to the point of death. This little group of persecuted Christians are called to hear what the Spirit's says... and be willing to give their lives for their Saviour Who died in our place so that we might live.
The Christians at Pergamon are warned that they have bought into false doctrine... been enticed away from the truth by false teachers and followed the immoral practices of false prophets like Balaam, a man involved in idolatry, sexual immorality, and double-mindedness. They are accused of following a group called the Nicolaitans who are not only linked to legalistic or libertarian practices, but are often involved in an unbiblical, hierarchal, institutional type of religion, rather than the biblical priesthood of all believers who are united together in Christ, the Head.
The idolatrous church at Thyatira, the dead Christians in Sardis, and the tiny church at Philadelphia who were witnessing revival in their ranks, were all called to task, to a greater or lesser degree, about the importance of turning from evil, putting Christ first, and listening carefully to what the Spirit of God was saying. And the carnal, compromised church of the Laodiceans, who are neither hot nor cold... but who are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, are similarly challenged, "he who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
These important seven letters were written for believers down through the ages, including Christians of our own age and generation - and we are called to listen to the leading and guiding voice of the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God Who challenges each one of us to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil, as outlined in Scripture.
First, we are called to overcome the WORLD. But who is able to overcome the world? Well, we are told in the Word of God that it is the man who has faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, and that He is the one who overcame the world.
We are called to overcome the FLESH. And how do we overcome the flesh? Again, we are told in the Bible that it is not by trying hard to be good. It is not by doing good works of the flesh. We overcome the flesh by walking in the spirit. We are to live our lives in spirit and truth. We walk in spirit and truth by abiding in Christ. "Walk in the spirit and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh," the Scriptures say, for it is by the leading, guidance, and power of the indwelling Spirit that we are enabled to abide in Christ and live for Him - as we put to death the deeds of the flesh.
We are to overcome the DEVIL. And how do we overcome the devil? We are told in the scriptures to resist the devil and he will flee from us. We are never told to rebuke the devil or stamp on his head as some like to teach, but we are to resist Him through the correct use of the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. We resist the devil by clothing ourselves in the armour of God - by covering ourselves with Christ's righteousness, Christ's truth, Christ's Salvation, and Spirit-guided prayer.
Day by day, may we listen to all that the Spirit of truth says to us through the Word of God. May we abide in Christ and study to show ourselves approved unto God, not by means of our own righteousness, but by faith in the only begotten Son of God Who died for us so that in Him we might live.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the Word of God and the indwelling Spirit of truth. I pray that by faith I may hear all that the Spirit has to say to the churches and apply all that I hear in my own life, to Your praise and glory. Keep me from spiritual adultery, false teachings, and anything else that might cause me to compromise my faith in Christ Jesus my Lord Who died for me so that by faith in Him I might overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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