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PART 5 FEB 7 AUDIO-VIDEO  2 18-29  “CHURCH OF THYATIRA”

 

As we look at these 7 letters in the book of Revelation, it is helpful to remember 2 things.

  • First, they are a picture of seven kinds of churches that you find in any age. 
  • Every church in the world today will fall into one or more of these categories. 
  • Second, is the prophetic nature of these letters to the 7 Churches in Asia. 
  • They are a preview of the entire age of the church, falling into seven periods, from the first coming of our Lord to his second appearing.

 

As I study these 7 churches of Revelations…I Experience 2 things:  I’m Encouraged to Stand Firm!  And I am Blessed as I Consider the HOPE that I Have in Christ Alone!

  • These Words of Jesus…are Hard Truth!   My desire is that We Will See God’s Encouragement and the Blessings He has in store as We Hold Fast Until We See Him!
  • Let’s turn to Revelation 2: 18-29 to hear what Jesus said to the Church of Thyatira:

 

Rev 2: 18-29:  “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: “These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19 I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.  20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.  24 Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, 25 except to hold on to what you have until I come.’ 26 To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations— 27 that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’—just as I have received authority from my Father. 28 I will also give that one the morning star. 29 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches”.

 

Verse 18:  Introduces Christ as, “The Son of God”, whose Eyes are like unto a “Flame of Fire” and His Feet are like “Fine Brass”.  Our Lord’s first words to this church Indicate Both Judgment and Approval.

  • In Revelation 1: 14-15 a similar description is given where Christ is pictured as the “Righteous Judge who, Knowing All Thing’s, Can Search Out All Evil.
  • Christ’s Righteous Judgment deals with All who fail to measure up to His Perfection! 
  • “Eye’s as a Flaming Fire” speaks of Burning Indignation and Purifying Judgment.
  • “Feet like “Fine Brass” refers to Christ’s Glory and that He is a Glorious Judge!

 

KEY:  Too often We Only see Jesus as a God of Love, Christ is a God of Love, We Experience Victorious Christian Living When We See Him as the Perfect Judge! Christ is 100% Love and He is 100% Just!

 

Vs 19:“Christ’s Commendation to the Church” I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.  

  • Christ commends the Church of Thyatira for their Love, Faith, Service & Perseverance.
  • Note: Thyatira is the First of the Four Churches to be Commended for Their Love And that the Church of Thyatira is Doing More than They Did at First.

 

There were some good things going on in this church. Our Lord tells us what they are.

  • “I know your deeds [works], your love & faith, your service & your perseverance.” 
  • If You have Faith You’ll Persevere; You Understand that God is in Control & things Will Work Out According to His Purpose. You Keep at Your Work; You Do Not Quit.
  • Here was a Church that had many People that Loved God and Served His People.
  • They had Faith in His Word, and They Persevered. They helped many, and they kept it up. As Others then Got Involved, the Church Grew
  • So the Deeds and Works, of the Church were Far More when this Letter was Written than When it First Began.

If you and I had been there at Thyatira, We Probably would have been Greatly Impressed by this Church.  It was a busy, bustling, active church with some wonderful people in it who obviously manifested love and faith And Concern and Care for Others. 

  • It must have been a very attractive church. But Now the Blazing Eyes and the Burning Feet Go into Action. We begin to learn deeper facts about the church. 
  • Our Lord says:  the Church is Guilty of a Terrible Sin! 

 

“An Indictment of Spiritual Wickedness” Vs 20-23 “Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.  I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.  I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.”

  • They Tolerated the woman Jezebel.  She called herself a Prophet, but her teachings Mislead the People into Sexual Immorality and the Eating of Food Sacrificed to Idols.

 

In 1 Kings, Jezebel the wife of Ahab, King of Israel, was one of the Most Evil Characters of the Old Testament…She Attempted to Combine the Worship of Israel with the Pagan Worship of Idol Baal.

  • Jezebel is the image of one who Confesses Christ…Yet Embraces Non-Truth with the “Intent” to Stamp Out “True Worship” and “Obedience” to God!
  • Jezebel Urged the Christians to Continue Pagan Worship of Idols just like the Unbelievers in the City.
  • The Pagan Worship…Not Only Meant Eating Food Sacrificed to Idols…But, also Taking Part in the “Immorality” which Characterized the Worship of Idols. REMEMBER>>>When You Start this Process of Compromise…It Leads To Heresy!  
  • And there is No End to what a Person can do to Pervert Christianity! 

 

Perversion comes when the Church Follows the Ways of the World Instead of Obeying God’s Commands and Following His Principles.  

  • The Jezebel in Thyatira had a similar influence upon the Church.  She broke down all boundaries of moral separation from the wicked world.
  • Verse 21:  Says she was given time to Repent…But She Wouldn’t!   SO…In Vs 22-23  a terrible Judgment is pronounced upon Jezebel and All who share in her evil ways.   
  • Verse 23 makes it Clear that even though God is a God of Love…He Will NOT Tolerate Compromise, Sin and Rebellion against His Word!  

 

Interesting: Though we find the word “Fornication” used several times throughout the book of Revelation; Here is the Only Place that the Word “Adultery” is Used. As The “Violation of a Marriage Vow”!

  • Those in Thyatira who had Sinned with Jezebel had Not Only Violated the Moral Law of God…But Also, They had Sinned Against their “Covenant Relationship” with the Lord!
  • Our “Covenant Relationship” with the Lord {Commitment to God} “Binds” Us to “Inward Purity” as well as “Outward Piety”!

 

Additional Thoughts on the Heart of Jezebel in the Church: Those who Dare Corrupt the Purity of the Truth of God and Spoil the Worship of the Lord through Idolatrous and Heathen Practices Will Not Go UnpunishedUnless they Repent!

  • In the Middle ages We Saw the Corruption of Truth as the World Quit Embracing God’s Word as Literal Truth, and embraced “Allegorical” teachings (a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one).

 

They Combined Christianity with Pagan Philosophy and Heathen Religious Rites.

  • This led to Spiritual Darkness and Depravity in the Church, which Removes All Boundaries of Moral Accountability!   If it Felt Good…Do It!
  • Here it led to Preoccupation and Participation in Idol Worship and Eating things offered to idols as they Departed from Scriptural Doctrine and the Finished Work of Christ!  

Verses 24-25: “24 Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets, ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, 25 except to hold on to what you have until I come.”

  • This is the first time a select group has been singled out as being the continuing “True Testimony of Christ”!   {Those that did Not follow Jezebel’s teachings}
  • I like the Phrase, “Hold on to what you Have until I come”  Here, for the first time in these letters, our Lord lays special stress on His coming…What an Encouragement for them and for Us today! 

 

Notice the phrase “The Deep Things of Satan.”  When a Church Drifts in these Areas of “Moral Standards” it Almost Invariably Involves the Rise of Mystic Rites and Rituals. 

  • People love to feel they are being let into special, secret things.

 

You find these Mystic Cults Arising in Many of the Movements of Our Day

  • The New Age Movement, for instance, intrigues people with revelations of powerful spirit beings who can impart information that ordinary people do not have. 
  • These are what Jesus calls “the deep things of Satan.” In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he speaks of the “deep things of God,” (1 Corinthians 2:10).

 

God has Good Things for those who seek Him…However…Whenever God has something good…Satan IMITATES It.  These Dark and Hidden Matters are Satan’s Imitation of the Wonderfully Deep Truths in the Word of God. 

 

To those who Refuse these, Jesus says, “Hold Fast what You Have.” Do Not Let it Go. Do Not Accept these Degrading Moral Standards. It may be Difficult to Live for Christ in a Worldly Church, But Hang ON! 

  • Do Not go along with Sexual Immorality. Do Not Accept the idea that Adultery is Only a Minor Sin. Jesus says Hold On, Until I Come.” 

 

Vs 26: “To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations, ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter; He will dash them to pieces like pottery’ –just as I have received authority from my Father”. 

God tells us in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things”.

  • We are Given Great Hope…Even in an Age of Apostasy in the Church…Those of Us who Seek the Truth will Find Him and He Will Give Us the Power to Overcome and Hold Fast!   

 

1 Cor.15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

 

Verses 26-29: “To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations 27 that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’ just as I have received authority from my Father. 28 I will also give that one the morning star. 29 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches”.

  • This quotation from Psalm 2:9 is a reference to the rule of Christ in the earthly kingdom that we call “The Millennium.”

 

It is a Promise of Reigning with Christ, Not in the New Heavens and the New Earth…But in a Period Marked by the type of Rule found in this Quotation The Millennial Reign of Christ: Jesus says, “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” 

 

That means with some degree of stern judgment. “He will dash them to pieces like potter’s vessels” (Ps 2:9)The Combines of Evil will be Broken Up in that Day.

 

The reference is not about the new heavens and the new earth (because nothing evil ever enters there) Rather to the “Millennial Kingdom”. The Earthly Kingdom where the Saints Will Share a Reign with Christ. 

 

The Millennium is a time when “Righteousness Reigns” on Earth…Jesus rules over the earth and judges among people…because sin is present and death as well.

  • The new heavens and the new earth reflect a condition where “righteousness dwells”.
  • Nothing shall enter there except that which is righteous and pure and good.

 

Now our Lord becomes even more specific. “I will also give him the morning star.” (Rev 2:28)

  • This is a Beautiful symbol…And I Really want You to Get this…To See the morning star, you have to get up while it is still dark. 

 

In the Old Testament book of Malachi 4:2, there is a great prediction by the prophet that the “Sun of Righteousness will arise with healing in his wings”Meaning that the Lord Jesus will Return in Power and Great Glory. 

 

He will be like the sun appearing in the darkness of this world’s night.  But before the sun rises, the morning star appears. In Revelation 22:16, Jesus says of himself: “I am the bright and morning star.” 

 

So what He is saying here is that there Will be an Appearing of Himself for His Own before He Comes in Power and Glory, Visible to the World. 

  • In other words it is a Promise of the Rapture of the Church, the first such Promise in the Book of Revelation. 
  • He will appear for his own, for those belonging to him, who are true Christians, who have been held and kept by the Spirit of God from the evils of the society around. 

It is not that they cannot, and do not at times, fall, but they invariably stop, repent, and turn back to God. This is the Sign that One’s Faith is Real. 

 

Someone has said, “If your faith fizzles before you finish, it is because it was faulty from the first!” True faith holds on to the end. 

 

Finally, the Lord says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 2:29)

  • Not just to the Church of Thyatira…But to “all” the churches. 

 

These Promises and Warnings are Needed in Our Individual Lives, No Matter What Our Local Church May be Like. 

  • The Spirit said to Ephesus “Do not let your Love for Jesus grow cold,” (Rev 2:1-7). 
  • And to Smyrna He says, “Do not Fear the Persecution of the world,” (Rev 2:8-11).
  • To Pergamum He says, “Trust the Word of God to keep you Strong and Faithful,” (Rev 2:12-17). 
  • To Thyatira He says, “Avoid both Sexual and Spiritual Adultery. Keep your Moral Standards Clear.” 

 

He Challenges Us with Hard Truth Because He Loves Us and Wants Us to Experience His PowerHis Presence and His Victory each Day and then to Enjoy Him for Eternity!

 

POINT: HOLD FAST TO GODS TRUTH AND YOU’LL EXPERIENCE HIS POWER, HIS PRESENCE AND HIS VICTORY TODAY AND THROUGHOUT ETERNITY!

 

If there is an area in Your Life that You do Not want to Surrender to God…That Thing that You Just Don’t want to Let Go…My Encouragement to You is This…Don’t let that thing keep you from Experiencing Gods Presence… His Power…And the Victory that He wants You to Have each Day!