All posts by Kennedy Brown

The Naked Men Dream

Preparing our homes for end time events
Janelle Wiseman Brown
October 2015
Revised July 21, 2020, 7/25/21


The year was in the late 1990s. My husband and I had gone to bed, both reading our respective books. He turned his light off around 11 p.m., and I continued to read until 3 a.m. I was engrossed in a Christian message, when suddenly Kennedy awoke and very uncharacteristically addressed me in an authoritative, grumpy tone, “Janelle Brown, it is 3 a.m. Close that book and go to sleep.”
I am not accustomed to this tone from my normally kind and easy-going husband! I was immediately aggravated, and without a word, closed the book, switched off my light and went to sleep. I became downright angry, but not a word did I utter. However, I DID mutter in my thoughts.One hour later I abruptly awoke with a disturbing dream:
The Dream
I was talking on the phone with my friend and prayer partner, Pam. I was standing in our front bathroom in front of the mirror, telling her of my day when I heard a sound in the hall. I looked through the open doorway, and there stood two college-age men, casually walking down my hallway without a stitch of clothes on I wasn’t shocked, embarrassed or afraid but told Pam to wait as I attended to these “guests.”
Through the phone, she could hear me say, “Yes, what did you want?” Neither of the guys said anything, but winked knowingly at each other. Later, I understood they were smirking at my lack of discernment. I pleasantly offered, “Oh, I know what you want. You want to take a shower. Well, we have two bathrooms. Here is a towel for each of you. The other bathroom is down the hall to your right, and sir, you can use this shower here.” The guys said nothing but, unseen by me, continued to enjoy my naivete, as they each located their shower.
In the bathroom, where I was phoning, there was a clear window in the shower stall. I looked out the window and saw Kennedy playing football with some college-age guys in our front yard. He spotted me and would have had to look beyond the naked man getting situated in the shower.
However, he did nothing except smile and wave to me, obviously not being alerted to the danger of the naked man in the shower.
Suddenly the reality of my danger flooded in. These men were going to rape me. I signaled frantically to Kennedy for help, but he nonchalantly waved and went on playing football. I panicked, but I still had Pam waiting on the phone, so I called out to her to phone the police. I know she heard me because I could hear her breathing, but she did not answer. I put the phone down, as the rapist advanced toward me, this time with no pretense that he was just looking for a shower. I knew there was no help from my husband or my best friend.

What are you trying to tell me, Lord?
I awoke in a sweat. “Lord, I can’t believe I didn’t have a clue to the reality of danger. I surely wouldn’t do that in real life would I? I mean, wouldn’t You warn me, or wouldn’t just my common sense warn me?”
I listened intently and heard the question, “How did you go to sleep an hour ago?” I thought, “Well, Lord, my husband told me to stop reading, and I did—immediately.” There was silence from Heaven, as God waited for me to tell the full story. I stammered, “Well, it’s true that I turned my back on my husband, and it’s true that I was angry with the way he spoke to me, as if I were a child. What do You mean by asking me this?”In HIs kind, Fatherly voice, Abba Father went on, “Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it unto Me. You see, when you turned your back on your husband, you also turned your heart away from him. When you did it to him, you also did it to Me.”

He let that sink in before He continued. “Where do you think your discernment comes from, Janelle? It comes from ME. You get revelation, and you think it is YOUR insight, but it comes from ME. When you make a good choice, you don’t see that it came from ME, but the knowledge of the right direction comes from ME. But If you close your heart to another, especially your husband, you shut off your source of discernment. Fortunately for you, I have covered you all these years when you have closed your heart to this one and that one, and I still let you have enough connection with Me through the Blood Covenant that you can exercise good discernment much of the time. But the time is coming that you must have KEEN and dependable discernment in order to be safe. The scenario that took place here in your bedroom tonight is My kind instruction to pull you back from the dangerous practice of closing your heart down in an effort to protect yourself from either hurt or to avoid submitting to another. THIS IS A DANGEROUS HABIT, AND IT HAPPENS AUTOMATICALLY IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE, WHEN YOU ARE OFFENDED, ANGRY OR AFRAID. This has been your lifelong strategy of self-protection. When you let these negative emotions rule you and shut out another, you shut Me out instead! And to make it worse, this is an open invitation to the enemy to come into your inner sanctum, where he seeks to rape, kill and destroy.”

The goodness of God led me to repentance
By now, I am hyperventilating, begging God to forgive me. “I didn’t know. I didn’t know this, God. I mean, I knew the anger was wrong, but I had no idea how serious this is and how it works inside of me. I just thought it was one of those things that husbands and wives periodically go through, even though they love each other and are deeply committed to each other. I had no idea it had this much of an impact on my relationship with You, Father.”

Just then Kennedy stirred in his sleep, and I woke him up, telling him what had just happened. He was sobered to the core. Both of us repented to each other and to God for the practice of closing down to each other out of anger or even just irritation. I felt totally restored to Kennedy and to the Father, but we committed that night (now some 20 years ago) that we would not let the sun go down on our wrath, without specifically and determinedly opening up our heart to one another when we were offended.

Had we not made this a serious commitment, many offenses would have slipped by, hidden under the carpet, all adding up to more and more hindrances to our intimacy with each other and with our Lord. Sometimes, I admit neither of us want to make up, and embarrassing though it is. we would rather stew in our fury, self-pity, self-righteousness or just plain aggravation. And then God reminds me of the approaching rapist. It just is not worth it to enjoy feeling the power of anger at the expense of losing your connection to the great power of God, especially as the dark days ahead loom even closer.

A Word of Caution
A word of caution to you who have been in damaging relationships, where you have had to separate yourself from certain people. If this is your story, then by all means seek help in getting healed and delivered of your wounds and your contribution to the rift. Don’t imagine that you have not contributed at least some to the problem. When the other parties are so obviously at fault, you usually cannot see your part in it. However, God didn’t make a mistake when He included Matthew 5: 25-26 in the Bible:
25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny Matthew 5:25-26 (NKJV)

Why would God ask us to agree with our adversary, the devil? Especially since our adversary is called the Father of Lies and hates God’s children. The answer is connected to God’s assurance that our Heavenly Father turns all of Satan’s evil plans for our good (Romans 8:28) Satan can only attack us where he has legal access. The term “adversary” means our “opponent at law.“ This is a huge subject, essentially, Satan exploits when the ecclesia (the church or God’s called out ones.) does not study nor honor God’s law. It puts God’s representatives at a great disadvantage when they discount Jesus’ specific declaration in Matthew 5:18, “Not one jot or tittle of the Law shall pass away until all is fulfilled.”

It is beyond the scope of this article to teach the depths of its impact, but if you ask God to reveal what legal access our adversary can still use against you, you will have your prayer agenda outlined and after satisfying God with the resolution, you can remove that legal access from Satan’s arsenal of weapons against you through your repentance and using your authority of the Blood Covenant. consider this a big plus in being set apart as a holy vessel for God’s use. Many times I have experienced a happy ending when conflict in our home dissolved after either my husband or I bit the humility bullet and began to agree with our adversary, even though usually both of us had good cause to charge the other as the guilty party. An example of the miracles that appear when Matthew 5:25-26 is practiced is found in the YouTube teachings of Jackie Hanselman (God’s Foundation Builders International). The appropriate video title will soon be forthcoming, as Jackie’s true story of agreeing with her adversary quickly changed her life and destiny. Her teaching on this concept is a good read from the chapter in her book entitled “Silencing the Accuser”. Her book is on kindle.

If you have closed down your heart to protect yourself, you will want the full assurance that you have also reopened your heart to God and have the power of God’s Holy Spirit to open back emotionally to those. who have wounded you. However, this doesn’t mean that you must maintain an ongoing, close relationship with them, especially if it’s not safe. In those cases, His grace will help you open up to the person(s) without re-establishing the relationship, but it starts with your seeking help, so that opening up can be done safely when monitored by someone you trust. If you do not receive God’s empowering, healing love in your heart first, then any attempt at forgiveness or reconciliation will be more on the surface than deep in the heart.
In assessing your current conflict with another, it may not seem you have done anything wrong, but it is better to humble yourself before God’s kind assessment of the whole situation, than to assume you are totally the injured party, with no responsibility whatsoever to take in the dispute. In my forthcoming book (Chasing Strange Birds from your Family Tree), I will offer some astounding testimonies of people who have “eaten humble pie,” and at least asked God for His bigger picture of the whole event. They were shocked to learn of some serious flaws of their own and their generational line, which fed the fuel to the flames. However, God will help you take this humble position with no feeling of condemnation from God or from the one who heard their prayer of confession! It is quite an amazing example of grace.

Wrapping it up…
The Naked Men Dream taught us the danger of keeping self-pity, self righteousness, anger, fear, or any of the negative emotions.hidden and swept under the carpet. The cost of our closing down to others is just too great. And, on the other hand, there is great benefit in running to the Lord and letting Him heal our hurting heart, so that we can open back up to others and have restored fellowship with God.

Suggested action:
1. Meditate on John 20:21 ff. This talks about remitting and retaining one’s sins. Consider the meanings of “retaining” for example: Here is just one: “getting stuck to.”
Ask God to show you how you are glued to some of the people whom you charged as guilty and never released them from their judgments. How do you like spending your life remaining stuck to these people (spiritually speaking if not in actual life!)

2. Since you probably aren’t the first person in your family line who has used this self-protection strategy, take the time to ask the Lord where in your bloodline would be the most grievous seeds sown that passed down to you..
Read Leviticus 26: 40-43 and stand in (Ezekiel 22: 30) for all ancestors God shows you. If you get sketchy info about ancestors, just offer a general repentance and extend forgiveness to every person who is in your bloodline. Monitor your spirit to see what God is doing with your prayer and stay tuned how He uses it in the future.

More scriptures for meditation
Matthew 7:1-5 warns you that if you harshly judge and criticize another, you can expect to receive the same kind of treatment some time in the future. Make a list of the kind of events/people who will be showing up on your doorstep. (See Heb 12:15 and a companion scripture in Deuteronomy 29:18 for how a root of bitterness springs up and defiles many — all along the family line!)

Matthew 12:34 says that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Write down some of the words you will probably hear coming from your lips that mirror your past or present heart attitude toward someone who has offended you. Now imagine posting those words in a public setting. Do you really want those words known far and wide?
John 7:24 says we are no longer to judge by mere surface appearances only, but instead to make righteous judgments. After you vent your hurt feelings and rage to God, then ask Him for His opinion on this person (righteous judgment), and see if it isn’t easier to open up your heart again when you understand the bigger picture from God’s perspective.

Janelle Wiseman Brown, October 2015, Revised July 21, 2020, Copyrights 2015 -2021
2429 Lawndale Drive
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home and cell 662-255-0555
Please obtain authorʼs permission before using this material in any written or recorded format or in any internet posting.
To see the further application to the larger message of reconciliation among the Body of Messiah (Body of Christ), request from the author, “Ascending to the Glory, Excerpt of the first three chapters,” written in a format easy to use as a base for interactive small study group.

Feast of Trumpets 2020

Feast of Trumpets commences at sundown Friday, September 18, 2020.

Following is an excerpt from chapter 6 of my forthcoming book, “Escaping the Sunday Church.”

Feasts of Trumpets, Day of Atonement and Booths
I trust you can agree with my thinking on the pattern God is prophetically following in the events the feasts have predicted. The revelation of His plan for the ultimate enjoyment of His creation lies within the mystery of the last three feasts. The Messianic (and I’m talking to me too) must press into the understanding and observance of these ordained, holy times.
As with the first four feasts, each of the last three of the seven annual feasts has been given meaningful prophetic interpretation. Here again, to gain understanding of their purpose and celebration, submerge yourself in the Word. Engage your personal, reborn spirit in seeking understanding. Let your mind take a break until your spirit is inspired.
The following is not intended to instruct you, but is a brief insight into my spirit’s time spent in the Word.
Judaism celebrates the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah in Hebrew) as Rosh HaShanah or New Year. We celebrate it in our family as Feast of Trumpets—a day for observing the shout-worthy blessing of our relationship with Messiah, the Father and the Spirit.
As with the other feasts, Trumpets is determined by God’s lunar calendar—the first day of the seventh lunar month following the month in which Passover falls.
This first month is referred to as Abib or Aviv in the book of Exodus. It’s name was changed to Nisan apparently during the Babylonian captivity of the Southern Kingdom. I’m not sure why.
Historically the first day of a lunar month is determined to be the day the moon’s crescent is at all visible. Some Messianics use only this method to determine the first day of a new month. I personally believe God has no problem with our having figured out how to forecast the moon phase.
It may seem like I have taken the proverbial rabbit trail in all my moon talk. The reason I spent your time reading the moon information is so I could make a prophetic point. Since Trumpets falls on the first day of the lunar month if you were watching for the first hint of moon crescent it could sort of sneak up on you. By the time you spotted it, the day may be pretty well in progress. That’s why
1 Thes 5:2, and especially 2 Peter 3:10, speaks of a “thief in the night. ” It is said to refer to the Feast of Trumpets as the day of the Messiah’s return—He will come at a unpredictable, predictable time!
That makes it easier to be jubilant with blowing of trumpets in announcement of Messiah’s return. And the possibility of that soon return gives emphasis to the celebration of the Feast of Trumpets.

Apostle Paul and the Law

Apostle Paul and the Law

“I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.” Acts 24:14b (NKJV)

The above quote is Apostle Paul’s own words before he left Israel for his final journey to Rome and his eventual death. It would seem to me all of his statements in his various letters should be interpreted in the light of this confession. Paul was neither teaching nor implying that grace replaced the Law.

In my opinion, grace and the sacrificially shed blood of Messiah made provision for the keeping of the Law—of God’s standard of righteousness. Paul does establish that keeping the Law does not earn salvation, but it is the door opener to blessing. Keeping the law is not a substitute for faith in the work of Messiah Yeshua on the cross, but a consequence of it.

Yeshua is the Living Word, the Logos. He is God as well as man. He in effect being God gave the law to Moses and the people gathered at Mt Sinai. During His earthly ministry as a man He amplified and emphasized the law. He never diminished or railed against the word He brought on Sinai. He only spoke against the abuse and manipulation of the word by the religious leaders of the day, or of any day. He proclaimed the consequence for those who taught against the word in Matthew 5:17-20 (NKJV) “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Yeshua came to confirm the prophets and the law. Fulfill does not imply either the words spoken by the prophets or the truth of the law is now of no consequence, that would be to destroy. The prophets and the law has even more significance because Yeshua has come as prophesied by the prophets and the law, in effect validating them.

Apostle Paul, being educated as a Rabbi, was all too familiar with the abuse of the law being made by the spiritual rulers of the day. He saw the fallacy of the pharisaic teaching that by scrupulously following the letter of the law was somehow pleasing to God and would gain eternal reward. As Yeshua taught, Paul taught, that Spirit-empowered keeping of the law was what mattered and pleased God; that could only be done through a personal relationship, a born again experience, with the Lawgiver.


The Subtleties of Heresy

The Subtleties of Heresy

I had not considered specific heresies which might be in today’s ecclesia until participating in intercession with World for Jesus Ministries conference call May 24, 2020.

The intercession consisted of repentance for the ecclesia’s failure to keep the fourth Commandment—remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.

This failure could well be an example of a Nicolaitan heresy (1) that is being harbored and proclaimed by most of today’s ecclesia. It has been a heresy perpetuated through anti Semitic prejudice since at least the third century of the church. Why the Lord has tolerated a blatant violation of His word, I do not know.

It is my opinion that both Islam and Christianity by arbitrarily choosing a weekly holy day, other than the fourth commandment Saturday sabbath has an anti Semitic genesis. This prejudice is well documented by recorded history of both faiths.
By the time of Emperor Constantine and the Council of Nicaea in 325AD it seems much of the Christian Church’s doctrine is motivated by a “Christ killer” mentality. To me this is totally contrary to Paul the Apostle’s teaching in Romans (2) and Ephesians (3) where he speaks of the grafted-in, one new man being neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female. To create a distinction between Israelite (Jew) and Christian creates a “people” God never intended to define as His chosen. The distinction has failed to be made over the millennia between native born and grafted-in. The Church has opted to believe it supersedes God’s definition of chosen, replacing it.

It seems an oxymoron for the Catholic Church to claim Peter the Apostle as the rock upon which it is founded. Peter’s letters are addressed to Jewish believers in Messiah and amplify the definition of the “chosen people of God”. This broadened definition is really not new, but more of an understanding of what God had been defining as His chosen all along—one law for the native born and the believing gentile. Ex 12:49 The difference being the native born, by Messiah’s earthly time had become a broken off branch through disregard for the heart of God’s instruction in favor of man’s interpretation. Yeshua was often pointing out this distinction to the religious leadership of His day.

Peter was acknowledging in his letter the encompassing definition of priest—every believer, whether Jew or gentile, who professed faith in Messiah—sent by God for underlining the definition of His chosen.1 Peter 2:9

God has not abandoned His priestly call on the Levite (4). He has, however, through the faith of His elect in the shed blood sacrifice of Yeshua, made manifest His desire for the encompassing definition of priesthood expressed at Mt Sinai. Ex 19:6 (5)
Let our eyes be opened to the subtleties of heresy embraced by the ecclesia. Then through intercession personally repent for our personal accepting and harboring of heresy. Finally, we must stand in the gap (6) before Father that His chosen repent where they have failed to perceive their identity and calling, embracing heresies contrary to God’s word.

KB 5/27/20

1 See The Tribulation and Intercessory Prayer
2 Rom 11:11-24
3 Eph 2:11-19
4 Exodus 40:15 (NKJV)
5 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (in Hebrew “goy”—people including gentiles)
6 Ezek 22:30

The Tribulation and Intercessory Prayer

The Tribulation and Intercessory Prayer

The coronavirus has raised questions as to whether this is the beginning of the tribulation, the last seven years before the return of Messiah. I have been asking the Lord what and how to pray about this scenario—seeking His face and the guidance of His Spirit. I felt He told me to look at the book of Revelation as a model for intercession.

As with the prophecies of the old testament prophets, it seems to me it is not the sin of the lost that precipitates God’s judgment, but rather it is the sin of God’s chosen, we believers, that will precipitate His judgment.

Could it be the book of Revelation in its recording of the conditions existing in the seven churches provides a checklist of the spiritual condition of God’s children, we believers, which in the aggregate, if not repented of, will produce the tribulation described in such detail in the succeeding chapters of the book?

Again, as with the prophets, God sets forth the sin of His children, which if not repented of and turned from will produce the litany of judgments which will befall the world in the seven years of tribulation. We are told judgment begins first with the household of God. (1 Peter 4:17). This household I believe is at the crossroad of God’s Kingdom plan. His Kingdom is coming on earth, one way or another. The Gates of Eden will be reopened.

It seems to me the thinking has been that the tribulation comes because of the sin of the unregenerate and that all the believers are generally spared. If that were so, history seems to record much worse times of evil among the unregenerate in the world than at present and tribulation was not triggered. The question is, has the sin of God’s children reached the tipping point? And that possibility, I believe, should be the heartbeat of intercession today.

Let’s then look at the sin which God has seen as being so sufficiently rampant in His believers that He is ready to pull the plug on His efforts to see His creation, His chosen, bring forth His Kingdom on earth, hence the tribulation.

Let me say at this point, I think the use of the term “church” in the translations of the New Testament is unfortunate. The Greek word generally translated as church is “ecclesia” which refers to a collection of individuals. We confuse the definition today with the structure, organization and hierarchy of “church.” To get the full impact of Messiah’s response to each church—He is really speaking to each believer, individually, and collectively in that particular assembly (ecclesia) of believers.

You can read what is written to each “church” on your own, I have generally used the New King James Version as my text.

To Ephesus. The first believers to receive the call to repentance were doing Kingdom work in their soulish strength, but had let idols into their spiritual life which vied for place with their relationship with God. Revelation 2:4-5: “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.” God wants relationship. Works apart from relationship are wood, hay, stubble. If my works, even for Kingdom purposes, come out of my strength, my financial ability, my self-reliance—I have raised up idols.

The lampstand is not the building, it is God’s light around which the Ephesians have gathered in community. The angel who has been assigned to this community is, in my opinion, not the pastor. The pastor quite likely is complicit in the sin of this assembly. The angel is a heavenly messenger who has not been heard by those he is shepherding. If the assembly loses its lampstand, its light, the angel quite likely leaves. If the angel leaves, the assembly has lost the covering of God’s appointed spiritual connection to His Spirit. The assembly, at the least, goes deaf in one ear.

History does not clearly reveal what false doctrine the Nicolaitans at Ephesus had embraced (verse 6). I would not be surprised if this isn’t intentional. This would let Nicolaitans be a metaphor for whatever heresy is at any time not being exposed in the assembly, but is being tolerated and harbored.

A caveat here: the correction of the heresy must be directed by the Lord. He is long suffering and warns against harshly judging and calling one “raca.” It is amazing to me that many believers will stoutly proclaim the law no longer applies, yet are often quick and ruthless in arbitrarily applying it against a fellow believer. Unless we connect with our personal, human spirit to God’s Spirit for guidance and direction we will act amiss.

Since the Ephesus assembly is mentioned first, it seems likely this is the most common and most dangerous condition God finds among His people.

To Smyrna. This is a hard set of facts to read and then try to apply a standard of acceptable faith. The description of the conditions at Smyrna reminds me of today’s persecuted church in Asia and Africa, and manifesting in Europe and here in the United States. Though the believers in Smyrna were a minority and in economic poverty, and persecuted by the majority of unbelievers around them, the Smyrna believers are told to keep faithful, to not despair for they have a hope and a promise—they are rich in faith. Smyrna is the polar opposite of Ephesus in the conditions they find themselves, yet their conditions do not excuse them from God’s standard of conduct, even in the face of an unjust death. How did the devil gain the right to use the unbelieving majority to persecute these believers? Were their eyes closed by their circumstances so that they did not see their sin? Was part of their sin a failure to respond to the early signs of persecution? Where has this sin resulted in the conditions in the political climate of today’s ecclesia?

If you agree with me that Messiah used the cumulative spiritual condition of the seven churches to form the agenda in His call for the repentance by His chosen, what then? Then, if faithfully responded to, the seven years of tribulation could, I believe, be forestalled. There will be tribulation in the process, but not the seven years of tribulation of Revelation. The suffering saints at Smyrna must examine their hearts and souls. This thought all the more challenges me to soberly open up to Holy Spirit inspection and helps define an intercessory agenda.

In the end, Smyrna receives a comforting, encouraging word from Messiah as to the final reward for faithfulness when all of the odds of this world seem against you: “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” I believe that faithfulness calls for self examination and repentance. This too, must be Spirit led. Our hearts are deceitfully wicked (Jer 17:9) and trusting in the arm of the flesh is not easy to discern—those works look really good.

Turning to the Pergamos ecclesia, Messiah says it has shown exemplary faithfulness, but they were now harboring those preaching an ungodly, perverted doctrine which would eventually affect the entire body. Think of the sexual deviation so prevalent today. To what extent does that unscriptural condition receive harbor by believers? How is it we have let political decisions be made so that portions of God’s word have become “hate speech?”

To further support my premise of the convicting message of the prophecy of Revelation, I quote chapter 2:16–”Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.”

To Thyatira. Another body of believers who are doing many good works. But, as with Ephesus and Pergamos, are charged with harboring, giving cover to and failing to correct, either an actual woman or more probably a satanic spirit that is loose among the believers. Messiah even promises tribulation as the consequence of unrepented, sinful behavior. Yeshua tells us that it is He who searches the minds (thoughts) and hearts (spirit self)—we cannot hide behind our words.

Harboring, I suspect, is the deceptive sin of the ecclesia that must be discerned, repented of and turned from. Those in sin are called out of their sin. Those not in sin, but failing to deal with the sin in their midst are told to overcome, to get the victory, take some action. If they do, they are qualifying themselves for greater rule in the millennium. As well as pulling their brothers and sisters back into a saving relationship with Messiah.

To Sardis. The NKJV headnotes say, “The dead church.” I would say potentially dead. It seems the ecclesia in Sardis have become preoccupied with things other than God’s Kingdom. There are two words, one in verse two, the other in verse three which let me draw this conclusion: perfect and watch. “Perfect” in the Greek is not perfect, as without fault, but more falling below potential, below the potential of the gifting of the believers. “Watch” in verse three better translates to the idea of being vigilant, keeping awake.

The Sardinians then, were, in my opinion, like much of today’s ecclesia—too involved in the secular and falling far below their spiritually equipped potential in the things of God. They are failing in their vigilance to protect the religious heritage which the founders of the United States sought so diligently to establish—maybe, today’s ecclesia is not dead, but certainly dying.

To Philadelphia. Works open doors. But works are not of our decision, of our design as apparently were those of the Sardinians. Our works must be His, Spirit directed through our individual spirit, as apparently were the works of the Philadelphia ecclesia.

We are told we are not in a works relationship with Yeshua and our salvation, yet to this ecclesia Messiah recognizes their spirit-led works and rewards them with an open door to intimacy with Himself, plus an exemption from “the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

The intimacy with Messiah involves His personal involvement in our eternal life—favor in the Kingdom, a name change as Abraham and Jacob received, emphasized identification with Father in the heavenly Jerusalem.

The reward for faithful, Spirit-led work in bringing forth the Kingdom should consume each believer in the time allotted in this earthly life.

To Laodicea. Shock and awe: “I will vomit you out of My mouth.”
Complacency and self satisfaction reign in this ecclesia—self is the idol which so repulses Messiah. Is this not the ultimate deception of harboring? I’m sure the Laodiceans in their works were scrupulous to keep the law—with great self righteousness, probably tithing mint and cumin as well. (Matt 23:23)

Messiah really seems to have a heart and a hope for this ecclesia. He is calling on them to repent and upon their repentance He offers the promise of the intimacy of dining together. He even offers to invite them to share His throne next to Father’s throne. But He is not forcing them—He stands at the door ready to enter when they repent—opening the door.

It is the idolatry of their possessions, their self sufficiency that Yeshua is trying to shake loose—be zealous and repent. Don’t think only of yourself, the goal is bringing forth the Kingdom. Zealous has the idea of becoming enthusiastic, getting excited, grabbing the opportunity—Messiah wants them to break out of their complacency. It seems to me it is the same today, especially in the United States,
I believe the word to the seven ecclesia and to every believer today is summed up by Messiah seven times—“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” The promise for those who hear and do is summed up in Rev 2:11–”He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” (Rev 20:14)

That the seven ecclesia did in fact hear, repent and turn from their sin is demonstrated by history—the foretold tribulation did not occur. We can safely assume there has been a hearing and obeying over the intervening nearly two millennia that has been sufficient to forestall tribulation. The question is will the hearing and obeying prevail today? Hence, the work and goal of today’s intercessor.

A study of the seven ecclesia and a resulting Spirit-led self examination and repentance will equip us for the intercessory role required to turn back the seemingly overwhelming tide of the enemy. We must each become God’s gap filler. (Ez 22:30)

If the tribulation comes, we, as believers, have failed God in the bringing forth of His Kingdom. We are not called to prepare for tribulation, but to be holy as He is holy and actively engage in the role He has given each of us in the bringing forth of His Kingdom on earth. Ironically, this is the best way to prepare, personally, for tribulation. Repentance and intercession are integral parts of our role and identity as believers. Should this pandemic be the beginning of sorrows, there is no better preparation than self-examination, repentance and intercession.
KB 4/28/20