Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Message To Thyatira

Revelation 2:18-29

“And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.” (Revelation 2:18-19)

To the pastor of the church in Thyatira, the Lord describes himself as the righteous Judge who sees and will not permit any deceit, and judges strictly according to the law.  He knows the religious devotion, their love and their efforts to serve him.  He knows the faith and patience to keep on regardless  of the trials, and he knows the effort to enlist others.  He knows that their efforts to enlist others are even greater than their efforts to draw close to God.  They are making a concerted effort to evangelize the world, but:
“Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” (Revelation 2:20)

Jzebel was the wicked wife of Ahab who tried to turn the Jews to worship of Baal, murdering many of God’s prophets in the process.  In their efforts to reach everyone, the church at Thyatira had allowed  teachers who didn’t believe in God, or who practiced various forms of idolatry.  In an effort to make their message more palatable to Native Americans, many churches on the reservations have begun sponsoring dance teams and having the medicine men teach their participants about tribal culture. 

To promote cultural understanding in other areas, churches have invited Islamic and Buddhist priests to come and teach their beliefs.  Almost every Christian college teaches psychology even though it is based almost completely on atheistic or humanistic teachings, and in spite of Jay Adam’s efforts in Competent To Counsel to show that psychology had nothing to offer Christians.  God was angry with the church at Thyatira that they were permitting such things.

“And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.  Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.  And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” (Revelation 2:21-23)

God gave the false teachers(Jezebel) the opportunity to repent and turn to God, but with the approval of the church, they had no reason to repent.  God says he would give them the opportunity to practice what they were teaching and that those who went along with it would experience great tribulation unless they repented and changed their actions.  The products of the false teaching, her children would be destroyed, so the churches know that God is the one who judges the the motives as well as the actions, rewarding everyone in accordance with what they have done. 

“But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.  But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.” (Revelation 2:24-25)

Even in a church which was allowing so much false doctrine to be taught, there were those who still were dedicated to God and had not gone along with what was happening or given up and let Satan lead them into sin.  God didn’t assign them to fix the problems in the church or go start another.  Instead he told them to hang onto what they had, not letting their beliefs be affected. 

“And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.  And I will give him the morning star.” (Revelation 2:26-28)

Those who stayed faithful, obeying God to end would have their place with the other saints, ruling over the world during the millennial age, and seeing the evil destroyed.  They will inherit the Jesus Christ, the morning star.

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 2:29)

This is the fourth time he has warned that anyone who hears the message should pay attention to what eh spirit said to the churches.  

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