John must have been puzzled. Exiled to the lonely island of Patmos, he has just begun to receive what will become known as the most elevated vision of things to come given to any per-son in the history of planet earth.
The vision begins with a resurrected, immortal Jesus of Nazareth dictating seven letters for delivery to the pastors of seven churches that existed during the latter half of the ﬁrst century. With eyes of ﬂames like ﬁre and feet like bronze that glows in a furnace, the God-man—who once was dead and now is alive forevermore—is ill.
Call the dictated letter eschatological symbolism if you will. Label it literary allegory. Or classify it as apocalyptic literature inﬂuenced by Jewish visions of the end of the world from the time between the Old and New Testaments. You can even think of the story as mere literary license.
It really doesn’t matter what name we use to describe the event, because the reality of the letter to the church of Laodicea is that Jesus is sick of lukewarm Christianity. He is about to vomit, writes the Apostle John in Revelation 3:14-17 (ISV v2.0):
To the messenger of the church in Laodicea, write: The Amen, the witness who is faithful and true, the originator of God’s creation, says this: I know your actions, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were cold or hot. Since you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I am going to spit you out of my mouth. You say, “I am rich. I have become wealthy. I don’t need anything.” Yet you don’t realize that you are miserable, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.
Bluntly speaking, Jesus of Nazareth is sick of useless Christian lifestyles. But he doesn’t leave the Laodicean pastor with-out a solution to the problem:
Therefore, I advise you to buy from me gold puriﬁed in ﬁre so you may be rich, white clothes to wear so your shameful nakedness won’t show, and ointment to put on your eyes so you may see.
I correct and discipline those whom I love, so be serious and repent! Look! I am standing at the door and knocking. If any-one listens to my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he will eat with me.
To the one who conquers [overcomes] I will give a place to sit with me on my throne, just as I have conquered [overcome] and have sat down with my Father on his throne.
Let everyone listen to what the Spirit says to the churches.
Revelation 3:18-22 (ISV v2.0)
The United States of America and the world in which it exists is entering the most terrifying time in history. The economies of virtually every nation on earth are collapsing.
Unwise American politicians are creating dollars out of thin air, voting into existence more than a trillion dollars merely by agreeing to loan them to businesses that would otherwise have been reorganized through the discipline of the bankruptcy courts and free enterprise business realities.
Meanwhile, the whole Western world that only six months ago was saying, “I am rich. I have become wealthy. I don’t need anything,” is now about to ﬁnd out from personal experience what it will mean to hear the third horseman of the Apocalypse cry out, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, or three quarts of barley for a denarius” (Revelation 6:6, ISV v2.0).
All of this trouble has been allowed by a God who loves us and who corrects and disciplines those whom He loves. And that’s why Chuck and Nancy Missler’s new book, The Kingdom, Power and Glory, is going to be your road map through the times of trouble that are about to reﬁne God’s children and judge all of God’s enemies. God’s people need to read this book, from cover to cover. And then read it again. And tell all of their friends, family, and acquaintances about what is contained therein, for the time is at hand.
The counsel contained in this remarkable volume will ex-plain what the life of faith is intended by its Author to lead to, which is divinely ordered preparation for rulership in the coming Kingdom. For those who are in the midst of that certain and inevitable God-ordained discomfort called adversity, The Kingdom, Power and Glory is just what you’ll need to make sense out of a world turned upside down.
With respect to Christ’s call to embrace our God-ordained adversity as a means to be trained on how to rule for eternity, may all of the readers of The Kingdom, Power and Glory learn to be ﬁrmly entrenched “overcomers” who have no need of exhortation. May we not be the cowardly ones who bury their talents in the ground, wrongly convinced that the God whom we serve reaps where He doesn’t sow.
Meanwhile, the ancient words of a centuries-old poem haunt me. They’re carved in a gothic, medieval alphabet on a towering, ornate cathedral door right in the heart of a small town in Germany. From the looks of that door, the words carved therein date back to the days of Martin Luther. For all I know, Dr. Luther read them one day, and maybe the message contained in that poem started him on his spiritual journey that eventually led him to re¬form ﬁrst his own life, and then the Church of 16th-century Germany. Translated into modern English, the words take the form of a frightening poem. No. Surely I misspoke. It’s a terrifying poem. Here is what the poem says:
You call me eternal, then do not seek me.
You call me fair, then do not love me.
You call me gracious, then do not trust me.
You call me just, then do not fear me.
You call me life, then do not choose me.
You call me light, then do not see me.
You call me Lord, then do not respect me.
You call me Master, then do not obey me.
You call me merciful, then do not thank me.
You call me mighty, then do not honor me.
You call me noble, then do not serve me.
You call me rich, then do not ask me.
You call me Savior, then do not praise me.
You call me shepherd, then do not follow me.
You call me Way, then do not walk with me.
You call me wise, then do not heed me.
You call me Son of God, then do not worship me.
When I [sentence] you, then do not blame me.
May all of the readers of Chuck and Nancy Missler’s The Kingdom, Power and Glory heed the warnings of this poem, embracing that necessary virtue we call spiritual bankruptcy, which is that certain, mandatory, and abject condition of total poverty of spirit and soul that marks the beginning of true Christian maturity and ﬁtness for service in eternity.
May we all allow God to carry us on to maturity and ﬁtness for ruling as kings and queens in the coming Kingdom as we rightly respond to the circumstances and adversities of this present life.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Romans 8:18 (ISV)
[The above Foreword to The Kingdom, Power & Glory book was written by William P. Welty, Ph.D., Executive Director of The ISV Foundation, translators of the Holy Bible: International Standard Version.]
We believe that most Christians who get to heaven will be seriously disappointed. If this shocks you, then our new book is for you.
We have been serious students of the Bible for more than ﬁve decades of our marriage, and God has blessed us with numerous mentoring relationships with many of the great people of faith of our time. We have come to the sobering assessment, however, that the “Body of Christ” ostensibly isn’t really producing the results we should expect. Consider the following:
• The divorce rate among Christians is no better than that of the secular world.
• Too many high-proﬁle leaders appear to stumble with dis turbing regularity.
• There are too few examples of those who really “walk the talk.”
People are weary of hearing extraordinary claims from ordinary lives. Contemporary Christianity, thy name is compromise!
Despite the fact that we have always presumed a “high view” of inspiration, and have generally followed a very literal hermeneutic, we have been shocked to discover how many ways we have failed to appreciate the practical day-to-day need to become “overcomers” and to pursue requisite diligence regarding our inheritance.
The emphasis on what Dietrich Bonhoeffer dubbed “cheap grace”—as it is widely taught today—has disseminated a casualness toward our commitments to our Savior, enjoying the security of our “get-out-of-hell-free card” with no real awareness of the coming events and how they will involve us after the Harpazo—the Rapture—and with little concern over the likelihood of intense disappointment when we do “get to heaven”!
We hope this study will prompt a serious reexamination of the explicit promises and imperatives of our Savior, and that it might facilitate the revival among Christians that we all so desperately desire.
We know that much of what we will be sharing in this book will be quite controversial for many, and we again appeal to our trademark disclaimer: “Receive the Word with all openness of mind, yet search the Scriptures to prove whether these things be so!” (Acts 17:11).
And let us also remember: “He that answereth a matter be-fore he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him” (Proverbs 18:13).
In His Grip,
Chuck & Nancy Missler