The night that Jesus was about to be betrayed and preparing to go the cross, He was troubled. In the Garden of Gethsemane He went to pray to the Father and He asked the apostles to keep watch. You likely know the story that they fell asleep three times. Consistently the Lord repeats Himself in threes when He really wants to make a point. The fact that Peter fell asleep three times and then denied Christ three times and was asked by Jesus, do you love me? three times sends a strong message in preparation for Peter as the rock of the early foundation of the Church.
Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, “What? Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. “Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
Matthew 16:18 says “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Often times verse 19 gets missed in getting the whole picture of the power and authority that Jesus was giving to Peter and Jesus Christ’s leaders today. 19 “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
The lessons Peter was learning were a sifting of the enemy and used to humble Peter to recognize he could not accomplish his calling as Peter the rock if he didn’t have a wake up call to what it meant to follow Jesus. More importantly in the big scheme of things, was the willingness Peter needed to have to build the early foundation. He needed to understand (1) the schemes of satan, (2) the value of prophecy being fulfilled and he needed to have a (3) huge burden for the lambs and sheep.
I can only imagine that Jesus was thinking I wish I didn’t have to go to this extent to undo the damage of Lucifer, who lost his angelic title as the “light bearer” and became satan, the great deceiver of the nations and the deceiver of Israel. However, can you imagine how it must have felt for a Sovereign God to watch His chosen become completely blinded by satan the author of paganism, evil, idolatry and deception. When I try to my get small human mind around this I can’t even handle it, but I get a sense that if it were me or you, we would be infuriated with wrath. When I think of how blind my own children are and watch the enemy toy with them constantly it infuriates me. So it was with God. This is really the story of the Old Testament and the New Covenant through Jesus Christ.
As Jesus knew the only way for the prophecy to be fulfilled was to go to the cross and take upon Himself the wrath of God, which was the cup He was referring to when He said to the Father, but if there’s any other way, then let this cup pass. He knew there was no other way. Jesus had to die by the hands of the Jews to fulfill prophecy and He had to rise again to confirm His Messianic authority.
The Church That Fell Asleep
In Revelation Ch 2 and 3 there is a message to the Churches from Christ that basically puts the errors of the church into 7 different categories of the things Christ Himself has against the Church. I am going to start teaching about these various character flaws in the Church. Even though theses were messages that John was taking to certain churches, they are prophetic. For this blog I want to talk about the Church that has fallen asleep.
“To the angela of the church in Sardis write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven spiritsb of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. 3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
4Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. 6Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
If I take what Jesus is saying to heart, and I do, I believe right now He is preparing to to be the Sovereign Judge of the Church. He said above ” what you have received and heard, hold it fast and repent” and also I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God”. In the Garden Jesus said, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation”.
I want to remind you of what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane because Peter and the two brothers fell asleep. I believe Jesus spoke directly to Peter letting him know He was accountable for the other two. He was also establishing Peter’s leadership role.
Also, he refers to this Church as falling asleep and not knowing when Jesus will come like a thief. When He comes to this Church he will say “your deeds were unfinished in the sight of my God because you fell asleep.”
Sometimes it can seem like Scripture is contradicting itself and that’s because we don’t study it enough or investigate further. The Bible is a Book of Miracles and Miracle Workers. It’s a story of prophets, disciples, kings, judges, apostles and disciples that overcame evil through God the Father and Jesus the Son. It is a prophetic book and that’s why we need the Holy Spirit to teach us and help us understand.
The Bible says, in Jeremiah 11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
So if we are not finding the above Scripture to be true in our life, perhaps we have fallen asleep. If that is the case, the only reason we don’t see the plan or the good is because we have fallen asleep and this is another open doorway of the enemy.
Everything the Lord has against the Church is caused by a spiritual tactic of the enemy. Everything. I say that because I know God is good and His plans are good and dark spiritual forces are used to do evil. Anything that goes against God’s plan is evil at work in our lives. With free choice, we often give the right-of-way to the enemy and we are not using the keys to the kingdom of heaven, but rather opening doorways into the kingdom of darkness. The keys to the kingdom teach us how to be OVERCOMERS with authority while we’re here battling. This word “authority” is extremely important to learn to live by as a Christian because the enemy will steal authority where you will allow him to all day long.
12 In those days when you pray, I will listen.13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”He says, 11 I have “plans for good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope”. He refers to in those days, that time is NOW. He is referring to end times. God is listening He is not being silent like He was 2400 years ago. It’s a great time to talk to God. But, let’s not forget verse 13, “If you look for me WHOLEHEARTEDLY, you will find me.
So stay awake, repent, get back on the horse, talk to God and open your eyes bigger because God’s eyes are scouring the earth to find worthy souls. And satan and his kingdom, they are seeking vulnerable ones. Who can be more vulnerable than someone who is asleep.
Obviously the Lord has a lot of deeds for us to do and we want to accomplish those deeds and not waste time on the ones outside of His will. We must rise with authority.
As much as I have had my fill of satan and all his demonic forces, we cannot be blind anymore because the time is too short. It is not possible to love a Christ without believing that we have an enemy. That is a Church that is asleep and many will come to know that satan does exist perhaps after it’s too late if we don’t start growing up, spiritually speaking. The statistics for Christians who do not believe in satan or hell are tremendous. They are completely and blindly missing the mark.
I write this blog today because the visions that the Lord is showing me have changed in the last few years and even more dramatically in recent months so I know the spiritual season is changing. The Sovereign God and the Judge of the Churches is coming sooner than we think. Last week as I was praying and asking Jesus to show me His face, this is the face He showed me below:
Revelation 1:13-16-And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
I have never seen this particular face of Jesus until now. Help me wake up the church. The Judge is coming. Please pass this blog on by liking it or tweeting it out.