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Senior Pastor Phil Roland


Pastor Ray Scott


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Revelation 2:18-29



          Righteousness is a scarce trait of character among mainstream Americana. Like Thyatira, today's culture enjoys profanation and defiling themselves and see it as both normal and funny. They enjoy profaning what religious people see as holy. The shock factor becomes humorous to those with no absolutes. Today's popular idols have to do with money, sexuality, public acclaim and power.

          Righteousness is described in stark contrast in Holy Scripture.

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.     Matthew 6:33


          The only true righteousness is of God Himself. Those who attempt to embrace the Spirit of Righteousness will feel the fleshly tension of their own desire for passion and revenge vs. God’s Call for Righteousness and Obedience to Him.       

          There are so many ironies as you approach God and get closer and closer to Him. Look for. . .

Righteous in the mirror of self and you lose it;

Righteous in the sight of men and you aren't;

Righteousness in the sight of God and you are.

How do we become righteous?

Keeping God's law? Break a single rule and you break them all.

Observe the ethical standards of mankind and you fail.

Personal righteousness is a slippery thing, and self-righteousness is so easy to fall into. Our search ends up with the practical wisdom of James 1:27


   “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit

     orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted

     from the world.”


Pastor Phil   <><<



February 07, 2016,  Pastor Phil Roland

Sheepfold Ministries




Revelation 2:18-29

"Those who embrace the Spirit of Righteousness will feel the fleshly tension of their own desire for revenge and God’s Call for Righteousness and Obedience to Him.”            Pastor Phil <><<


 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”        Matt. 5:6


EPHESUS - The Spirit of First Love Poverty             

SMYRNA - The Spirit of Suffering   

PERGAMOS - The Spirit of Obedience       

THYATIRA - The Spirit of Righteousness

SARDIS - The Spirit of Mercy

PHILADELPHIA - The Spirit of Purity

LAODICEA - The Spirit of Completeness



19 I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.

          A. Righteousness is Equity of Character and Actions

                    1. Your Profession is consistent

                    2. You walk the talk

          B. Right Standing before God and Mankind

                    1. Are you kind of woman/man your dog thinks you are?

                    2. Are you consistent and trustworthy?

          C. RIGHTEOUSNESS is developing the character of Christ in you

                    1. Righteousness is knowing the connection between Sowing                                  and Reaping

                    2. What you sow is what you reap

                    3. There is no luck in human life, there is reaping/harvesting

                    4. We harvest the fruit if Righteousness



20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

          A. Jezebel - Wife of Ahab (BC 833)

                    1. First King of Israel to ally himself w/ungodliness

                    2. He marrying a heathen Phoenician princess.

          B. Jezabel was Designing, Crafty, malicious, revengeful and cruel

                    1. She maintained 450 prophets for the worship of Baal-Melkart



                    2. She also brought to Israel worship of Astarte

                    3. It was debased, sexual, sensual, disgusting idolatry

          C. She was the most evil of all the Bible's evil women

                    1. She was more evil than Delilah who seduced Sampson                               2. More evil than Potiphar's wife, tried to seduce Joseph

          D. Jezabel mingled Politics, Money, Sex and Idolatry

                    1. Seduced Israel into gross sin

                    2. She brought and supported 450 Prophets and Prophetesses

                    3. Built Pagan Temples and Altars to Baal and Astarte

                    4. Persecuted the Prophets of the Most High God

                    5. She was opposed by God's chosen prophet, Elijah

          E. Thyatiran Church “Tolerated” Jezabel’s Presence in Their Midst

                    1. Toleration was “Good for Business”

                    2. Compromise Symbolizes Apostasy (Falling Away)

          F. Thyatira is the spirit of complacent Christianity today

                    1. We tolerate the murder of babies

                    2. We compromise with unrighteousness to boost attendance

                    3. We don't want to rock anybody's boat

                    4. We hate the Law and its absolutes



25 But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations--

          A. Righteousness is God’s System of Balance in the World

                    1. We contrast World’s Evil With God’s Righteousness

                    2. Tension drives us to our Knees in Prayer

          B. Repay no one evil for evil - Romans 12:18-21

                    18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

            19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it

              is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.

            20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a

              drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."

            21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


                    1. Filled With This Spirit, We Will BE JESUS To Others

                    2. SUBMIT yourselves totally to God

                    3. REJOICE when you are persecuted

                    4. PRAY when you are troubled / disturbed

          C. Hunger and Thirst for God’s Righteousness in Your Heart and Life



    "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "That I will raise to David a     

      Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute

      judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, And

      Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE


          A. In Jesus is found Pure and Perfect Righteousness



                    1. In English Righteousness is translated from the Hebrew                                       word, “Tza-Dek”

                    2.  We long for His righteousness – Matthew 5:6

                       Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For

                             they shall be filled.”

                        3.  We Spiritually put Jesus on each day – Galatians 6:13-18

                       “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able

                            to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand

                            therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the

                            breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the

                            preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of

                            faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the

                            wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of

                            the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer

                            and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all

                            perseverance and supplication for all the saints;”

          B. Invite Him into your heart and begin to seek and find – Matt. 6:33

              "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these                              things shall be added to you.”

            C. He waits and knocks at your heart’s door – Rev. 3:20

             "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and

                 opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”


Closing Illustration: The Righteousness of a Dog

A Dog's Purpose

From a 4 year olds’ Perspective


          Being a veterinarian, I was called to examine a ten year old Irish wolfhound named, “Belker.” The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker and they were hoping for a miracle.

          I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for the four-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on.

Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.
The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion.

          We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up,

"I know why."

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me.  I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?"  The four-year-old continued,

"Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."    


THYATIRA, The Spirit of Righteousness

Revelation 2:18-29

18 "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, 'These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:
19 I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.
20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
24 Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden.
25 But hold fast what you have till I come.
26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations--
27 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels'-- as I also have received from My Father;
28 and I will give him the morning star.
29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." '






























A Study in Character

The Last Supper was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, a noted Italian artist. The time engaged for the mural’s  completion was seven years. The figures representing the twelve Apostles and Christ himself were painted from living persons. The life-model for the painting of the figure of Jesus was chosen first.

When it was decided that Da Vinci would paint this great picture, hundreds and hundreds of young men were carefully viewed, in an endeavor to find a face and personality exhibiting innocence and beauty, free from the scars and signs of dissipation caused by sin.

Finally, after weeks of laborious searching, a young man nineteen years of age, was selected as a model for the portrayal of Christ. For six months, Da Vinci worked on the reproduction of this leading character in his famous painting. During the next six years, Da Vinci continued his labors on this sublime work of art. One by one, fitting persons were chosen to represent each of the eleven Apostles; space being left for the painting of the figure representing Judas Iscariot, as the final task of this masterpiece. This was the Apostle, you remember, who betrayed his Lord for thirty pieces of silver, worth $16.96 in our present day currency.

For weeks, Da Vinci searched for a man with a hard callous face, with a countenance marked by scars of avarice, deceit, hypocrisy, and crime; a face that would delineate a character, who would betray his best friend. After many discouraging experiences, in searching for the type of person required to represent Judas, word came to Da Vinci that a man, whose appearance fully met his requirements, had been found in a dungeon in Rome, sentenced to die for a life of crime and murder.

Da Vinci made the trip to Rome at once, and this man was brought out from his imprisonment in the dungeon and led out into the light of the sun. There Da Vinci saw before him a dark, swarthy man; his long, shaggy and unkempt hair sprawled over his face, which betrayed a character of viciousness and complete ruin. At last, the famous painter had found the person he wanted to represent the character of Judas in his painting.

By special permission from the king, this prisoner was carried to Milan where the picture was being painted; and for months he sat before Da Vinci at appointed hours each day, as the gifted artist diligently continued his task of transmitting to his painting this base character in the picture representing the traitor and betrayer of our savior.  As he finished his last stroke, he turned to the guards and said,

"I have finished. You may take the prisoner away."





As the guards were leading their prisoner away, he suddenly broke loose from their control and rushed up to Da Vinci, crying as he did so,

"Oh, Da Vinci, look at me! Do you not know who I am?"

Da Vinci, with the trained eyes of a great character student, carefully scrutinized the man, upon whose face he had constantly gazed for six months and replied,

"No, I had never seen you in my life, until you were brought before me out of the dungeon in Rome."

Then, lifting his eyes toward heaven, the prisoner said,

"Oh, God, have I fallen so low?" Then turning toward the painter he cried,

Leonardo Da Vinci! Look at me again, for I am the same man you painted just seven years ago as the figure of Christ."

Many lessons can be learned from this true story of the painting of The Last Supper. This is a story of how we often perceive others - how easily we overlook the Christ within the people we meet, and judge by outward appearances. This also strongly teaches the lesson of the effects of substance abuse and addictions on the life of an individual. Here was a young man whose character was so pure and unspoiled by the sins of the world, that he presented a countenance of innocence and beauty fit to be used for the painting of a representation of Christ. But within seven years, following the path of addictive sin and a life of crime, he was changed into a perfect picture of the most traitorous character ever known in world history.