It takes a lot of courage to admit, that the church as we know it, is not where it once was. I don’t know what is going on in other parts of the world; I can only speak from what we observe here. There is a common thread that is weaving its way through what many more are saying here now. And it’s this.
The Spirit, is beginning to reveal to people, things we saw before in the Word, but did not fully understand. It’s always been about timing. There are those who’ve been hungry and have studied for years; and the Spirit taught much. Yet more, is being revealed.
“Remember” . . Jesus said to this church, look back. Look at what you had, where you were, and where you are now. He said to see, where you have fallen from, (Revelation 2:5). We had gone much higher, in the things of the Spirit. We were encouraged, to seek Gifts, and to demonstrate them.
The Saints, had a big say, on how the church was run; all of us, had much more humility. There was a balanced diet; the Holy Ghost, moved mightily, in different ways. Touching Jesus, and loving Him, was our greatest desire and focus. We all were encouraged to be led by the Spirit, and to discern both good, and bad.
There is a part of this letter, that stood out to me today. Jesus said, “I know thy works, labor and patience. And how you cannot bear them which are evil,” Revelation 2:2a. But it was the next few words, that rocked be back; I never had really understood what it was saying. “and thou hast tried, them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them, liars,” Revelation 2:2b. One translation said, “you have tested, and critically appraised them; and they are impostors”.
I feel led to stop and say, just because there are many who claim to be something they are not, and they are prophesying their own vision, does not mean we should withdraw from the divine order God set in the church.
These people, who are the church, had a lot right. But obviously, Jesus had something against them. “Thou hast left thy first love,” Revelation 2:4.
Today, there are many of us, who do not know for sure, what our first love even was. I heard it said in another way. “You have abandoned the love you had at first. You have deserted Me; your first love.” I could scream and cry right now. How, could we do that? How could all of these other things, become more important than Him? Look back, before we seek to defend the place we say we are in today. Where are we now, compared to the early church.
The first thing Jesus told this church to do, was, “Remember”.
The second thing He told them to do, was “Repent”.
Looking back, displeases a lot of people. We don’t live in the past, but the Lord said, you have fallen a long way, from where you were. We won’t repent, it we don’t see that.
The third thing, puzzles some of us. After we repent, “Do the first works.”
Another scholar wrote, “Do the works you did previously; when first you knew the Lord.” And like it or not, the last words of this message was, “or else.”
I weep over this. Holy Spirit, reveal to us, what you are saying to the church. In the words of an old song: “Lord, take me back, to where I first believed.”
~ Robert Blackburn