Sunday Service | Mt. Zion Church | 4 November 2018| Church in Thyatira | 7 End-Times Churches Series | Revelation 2:18-29
The book of Revelation is about prophecy of the end times, about things which must shortly take place. God said, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” Rev.1:1-3. The book of Revelation was opened with the greeting to the 7 churches which are in Asia. The most important concern for believers is not about the geographical location of those 7 churches but more about the message, the warning, and also the promises that given to them. God said that John must write in a book about everything that he saw in that heavenly vision and send it to the 7 churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea Rev.1:11. Simply we can say that those 7 churches represents the various condition of the body of Christ in this world, specially in this last days.
In chapter 1, Christ introduce Himself as someone with full authority and ready to execute the judgment and punishment because the time is already at end. John saw Jesus clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And all that vision made John fell at his feet as dead Rev.1:12-20. John was very surprised since the appearance of Jesus Christ was totally different compared to His first coming born as baby in the manger at Bethlehem. Yet He is the same Jesus, He is who lives and was dead and now alive forevermore. In that vision John can learn that there will be no more delay as Jesus come with full authority to finish everything. And Jesus wanted that His appearance declared to all 7 churches, so they can be more serious and watchful since everything that John saw will shortly take place. The fourth message was given to church in Thyatira as below.
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.”’ Revelations 2:8-11 NKJV
1: APPEARANCE OF CHRIST
Jesus introduced Himself as He who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass. The eyes of the Lord always behold and test the sons of men, He observes everyone on earth and examine them Ps.11:4. For those who fear Him, His eyes will be ready to deliver their soul from death and to keep them alive in famine Ps.33:18-19. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. But for those who do evil, the face of the Lord is against them, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth Ps.34:15-16. When Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, offered unauthorized fire (profane fire, strange fire) before the Lord, contrary to His command, suddenly fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord Lev.10:1-2. The Lord’s eyes like a flame of fire, the very active fire, and not as a smoking flax. Our God is a consuming fire Heb.12:29. Therefore, apostle Peter taught us to be always in holy conduct and godliness 2Pet.3:12.
His feet like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace. The original word of ‘fine brass’ only occurred 2 times in New Testament, and we can find both in book of Revelation! That word was a compound word of ‘brass’ and ‘frankincense’, and in the implied mean of whiteness or brilliancy. The feet of Jesus are shining so bright and very pure. Feet always represents how people walk and Jesus gave us an example how we must walk in purity and in holiness. God said, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’ Isa.52:7.” Let’s make our journey be the beautiful one, just like how Jesus already showed to us during His life upon the earth as a human being.
2: THE GOOD AND THE BAD
Actually, there was such good things from Thyatira. Jesus acknowledged their works, love, service, faith, and also their patience. Even Jesus appreciated their works as they had more at the last than the first! In opposite of the church of Ephesus who lack behind from their first love, this church even had more compared to the beginning. The progression is always good to have and also good to be witnessed by others. Somehow, God was very angry with this church as they ALLOW ‘the Jezebel’ to teach and seduce people there! That was definitely not the same Jezebel from the past, but it represented the same mistakes and also destruction that was happened by Jezebel.
Jezebel was a very bad history to the kingdom of Israel! She was the daughter of king of the Sidonians, and she brought Ahab, the king of Israel, to served Baal and worshiped him 1Ki.16:31. There were so many mistakes and destructions happened at that day. Jezebel also massacred the prophets of the Lord 1Ki.18:4. Jezebel was also very intimidating, so that even Elijah, the one who was caught up to heaven at the end of his life, became trembled and went away for his life, asking for his death, because the intimidation from Jezebel 1Ki.19:2-4! Jezebel was really a wonder woman in evil things!
Church in Thyatira was rebuked because they allowed the wrong things, even the most destructive one, to be there! Why? Because she introduced herself as a prophetess, but she was a false prophetess indeed! The issue about the false Christ, the false miracles, and also the false prophet was repeated several times in the book of Revelation, so we can be more aware about the tricky challenge in the end times. We must not easily accept those who call themselves as a prophet. God teach us to always test all things and hold fast what is good 1Th.5:21. Apostle John wrote: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world 1Jh.4:1.” Whenever sins occur, the destruction will always follow Ec.9:18. If the wrong thing was allowed within the church, lot of people will be impacted. If sins were allowed to enter any believer’s life, other sins will follow. All believers must be very careful and very selective, always abide in God alone, so we will be able to discern the false from the true one.
God always give anyone time to repent, but when someone doesn’t favour it, God will bring the disaster and punishment upon them. God said, “I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.” The ‘great tribulation’ represents the days of antichrist for 42 months, or 3 years and a half, when the antichrist will trample on the holy city Rev.11:2, while those who already prepared and living a holy life already caught up in the rapture 1Cor.15:51-52.
The attitude of repentance is the most important thing that all believers should have to avoid that great tribulation. We may stumble in many ways. No one is perfect at this moment. Rather than try to justify ourselves, we must develop the attitude of repentance. Repentance is not only one-off event in our life when we accept Jesus as the only Saviour for us. Repentance is an on-going attitude as Holy Spirit will guide us into ALL truth Jh.16:13. As soon as we are rebuked for something, we must repent, otherwise, we will grieve the Holy Spirit Eph.4:30. The attitude of repentance will involve all fruit of the Holy Spirit. We must be humble enough, so we can acknowledge our wrong doing and then make a sincere apology. Repentance always means stop doing the wrong one and turn back to the right one!
For the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have the doctrine of Jezebel, who have not known the depths of Satan, God will put on them no other burden, only hold fast what they have till He comes. Become faithful until the end is the next thing that we must have as believer.
3: THE PROMISE
For those who overcomes and keeps God’s works until the end, God will give power over the nations! Literally, this is about the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. The overcomers will rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels. “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years Rev.20:6.” However, the power of nations is promised from the day of Abram. God changed his name from Abram to Abraham, for God had made him a father of many nations Gen.17:5. Prophet Isaiah wrote: “But you shall be named the priests of the Lord, they shall call you the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory, you shall boast Is.61:6.” This promise then being fulfilled when the Holy Spirit poured out upon believers who waited in the upper room of Jerusalem. At the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit made the believers able to power the nations, they declared the wonderful works of God Ac.2:11. They be a witness in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth Ac.1:8. The power over the nations will be happen upon the life of believers who want to be led by the Holy Spirit. God will bring us to reach the nations, from the day of Pentecost until the Millennial Kingdom of Christ.
The morning star represents Jesus Himself Rev.22:16. For those who overcome everything, Jesus will give Himself to believers. As the tribes of Levites do not receive any inheritance in Canaan, so do all believers will have Christ as their portion and inheritance Num.18:20. Let’s hear what the Spirit already said to the churches and obey it. Let’s keep praying and be watchful all the time since the second coming of Christ is approaching. Let’s live in the power over the nations that God already gave for us in the Holy Spirit. AMEN.Tags: rev2, thyatira