Welcome to my online blog for our Vineyard Life Journal!
This forum IS NOT for debate or to correct each other, but to share our insights and observations. (Actually, I will be keeping a pretty tight rein on the comments section, and I will have the ability to block trolls, spammers or those who just want to stir the pot.)
Before you comment or read what I have posted, read today’s passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… (If you read mine first, it may taint what you think.)
For more info, check out this link:
Introduction to Life Journal CLICK HERE.
Click here for today’s reading: Ezekiel 1, 2, 3; Revelation 2
Here is my SOAP for today, Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Ezekiel 1:1 “In my thirtieth year, in the fourth month on the fifth day, while I was among the exiles by the Kebar River, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.”
28 “This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.”
Ezekiel 2:3 “He said: “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day.”
Ezekiel 3:18 “When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.”
27 “But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you shall say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says.’ Whoever will listen let them listen, and whoever will refuse let them refuse; for they are a rebellious people.”
The letters to four of the seven the churches in Asia, Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos and Thyatira. (Revelation 3 records the remaining three letters to the churches in Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea). Each church is commended for what they are doing that is good or right, followed by words of condemnation (except for Smyrna) and related warning, an exhortation and a promise.
1-7 The church at Ephesus is commended for its steadfastness, especially against false apostles. But while standing for the truth, they had lost their first love. Exhorted to repent and be restored by doing the “first works”, they are warned that their “lampstand” would be removed if they did not repent.
8-11 The church at Smyrna is commended for being “rich” despite their tribulation and poverty. Unlike most churches, there are no words of condemnation directed toward it. While they would experience a little persecution, they are exhorted to remain faithful to death.
12-17 The church at Pergamos is also praised for its steadfastness, but faulted for allowing false teachers in their midst. The Lord threatens to come and fight with the sword of His mouth if there is no repentance.
18-29 The church at Thyatira is also commended, for their last works are more than their first. But they too have a false teacher and followers which jeopardize the condition of the church. Despite giving this “Jezebel” time to repent, she has not and so the Lord intends to make her and her followers an example before the other churches.
Ezekiel is really overwhelmed by the vision… and the Lord’s directive to him was pretty… straightforward. “When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.”
KEY: “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Ephesus: 7 “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”
Smyrna: 11 “The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.”
Pergamos: 17 “To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.”
Thyatira: 26 “To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— 27 that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’—just as I have received authority from my Father. 28 I will also give that one the morning star.”
Lord, give me ears to hear… what the Spirit is saying to the churches…