Esther 1:12: But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command delivered by the eunuchs. At this the king became enraged, and his anger burned within him.
Vashti fell because she refused to respond to the king’s call (Esther 1).
The bible says that the wife should submit to her own husband (Ephesians 5:22-33). The church has one Lord- Jesus, and she can only function fully as queen, reflecting the glory of the Christ, when she obeys the word. She will be made perfect by the washing of water by the word.
The church stands or falls on the words of Christ.
He sent his words to different churches through Apostle John in the book of Revelation (Revelation 2-3). Most of them were warned of the need to make a change and do the right thing. Jesus made several threats not empty threats against the seven churches. He told one, he was going to shut it down, remove her candle.
The churches, on hearing the words of Jesus were supposed to line up with it. The word x-rayed their situation, diagnosed their diseases and recommended solution. The fall from grace is imminent if the word of the king is ignored.
Ephesus: Leaving first love
What God wants is that we should grow in love for him, in expression of love for him and not fall behind. Therefore the church needs to check their love level to see it has gone down or not. Love is seen in passionate expression of devotion to God.
Jesus spoke of the love of many waxing cold (Matthew 24:12), and those are not unbelievers, but the believers. We are all at risk of falling into the situation that this church is in. We should not think that such thing is beyond us. Paul said that the one who thinks he stands should take heed lest he falls (1Corinthians 10:12).
Pergamum: Wrong doctrine
Jesus had problem with the wrong doctrines that this church was embracing. They were entertaining teachings and thoughts processes that were contrary to the truth of Christ. Believing in Jesus is not an end itself, it is the beginning of a process, where you pay attention to following the revelation of the truth from Christ. But the devil has his own variant of knowledge that he wants to shove down your throat and cause you to spit out. We need the Holy Spirit to help us sieve the shaft from the wheat (1John 2:18-23).
Here, the problem is fornication. Paul said that sin is unlike any other, and that all other sin is committed outside of the body while fornication is committed with the body. But in this church “Jezebel’s” force of seduction, and satanic control was allowed to fester in the midst of the congregation. She was allowed to manoeuvre her way to a prominent place, and was not confronted with the error of her ways.
You should not play with whatever smells like sexual immorality in any case. Joseph ran away from Potiphar’s wife who pressured him constantly for sex (Genesis 39:5-23). Your situation is not as bad as that, you are therefore expected to express the same grit of determination against sexual sin.
This church has a reputation with men different from what she has with God. It has a reputation for what he did in the past, but they probably have a signboard that said it is “All Is Well Church”, but God sees dead men bones, a grave yard, with his life not present at all.
Paul wrote that the one who has the label of being God’s should depart from iniquity (2Timothy 2:19). There was a lifelessness in that church that meant it is no longer making impact as it should. It is no longer being the light and the salt, but actually blending with the world (Matthew 5:13-16).
This church has a lack of watchfulness, she has been sucked into the worldly system in the name of being contemporary or socially sensitive.
So Jesus asked them to be watchful, and ensure that things do not get worse than it already is.
She needs to wake up, she needs to be alive to her responsibility and relationship with God. Alive to who she is, to her abilities, to her possibilities, to the changes she should bring to people’s life, to the power in which she should walk in, to the glory of God she should express.
The church is called to walk in all the purpose of God, in all the power of God. She is called to walk in the wisdom of God and not the wisdom of the world (James 3:13-17). She should be a place of purity.
This church has as a lot of things she needs to work on, she cannot continue to bear the name of the Lord without the lordship of Jesus manifesting through her.
The Laodicean church is lukewarm. There is a serious case of deception here with Jesus saying that they think they were well-clothed when they were naked, they thought they see well, but they were blind, they thought they are wealthy but they are spiritual paupers.
They measure themselves by their physical possession and attributes. They focus on what they have physically, to the neglect of their spiritual essence. They measure themselves against others by physical parameter and they judge themselves high.
They are so much earthly, they were of little heavenly use, so God said he will spew them out of his mouth.
They are not into sin, but they are also not into God. They are excessively materialistic. The litmus test for a Laodicean church is the elevation of mammon. They equate spirituality with how large their possession was. But Jesus said that the life of a man does not consist of the abundance of the things he possesses (Luke 12:15).
Jesus told each church, he who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the church. And they are called to repent. The greatest repentance is to start listening to the Holy Spirit, the one who is given to us to connect Jesus, whom we do not see physical, but is our king.
For the church there are things to overcome, and the church is not just about the group, but Jesus addresses individuals in the church, saying he who overcomes will be given this and that, will be given a new name, will be made a pillar.
So it is not just enough to be a Christian, we need to fight for the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Being a Christian is not an holiday, it is a calling, and it is hard work.
Five churches out of seven have some corrections to make. What about you? Do you have some corrections to make?
Though Vashti did not have a second chance, with Jesus, there is the call to repent and do the first works, there is the opportunity to retrace your steps, turn a new leaf. But we need the word of revelation coming to us. We may not see ourselves, so we need to be open to correction, we need to seek to know how God sees us at every point in time. We need the God to give us his spiritual mirror, which is the word (James 1:22-25).
But it is not all about correction, for two churches, Jesus gave words of affirmation. Listened out for that too.
- The Elders’ Rest (jonathanshradar.com)
- “Build only on a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, and on the Spirit He gives.” ~~Oswald Chambers (quotesthoughtsrandom.wordpress.com)
- Jesus Christ Was Conceived by the Holy Spirit, and Born of the Virgin Mary (mydelightandmycounsellors.wordpress.com)