Revelation 2 – Letter to Thyatira


Continuing on with the letters to the churches…

Description of Jesus:

18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:

The Good:

19 ‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.

The Bad:

20 ‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

21 ‘I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality.

The Consequences:

22 ‘Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.

23 ‘And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.

The Promise:

24 ‘But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them-I place no other burden on you.

25 ‘Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come.

26 ‘He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS;

27 AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority 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.’

http://www.biblestudytools.com/nas/revelation/2.html

This letter contains some pretty heavy messages.

To the church, Jesus knows their deeds.  He knows what they are doing, what they believe, what is in their very hearts.  He knows that through persecutions and trials they have grown in their faith and their ministering.  They are growing and maturing.

I looked up Jezebel in the NT Greek Lexicon  http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/nas/iezabel.html  and it said that Jezebel was a symbolic name of  a woman who pretended to be a prophetess, and who, addicted to antinomianism, claimed Christian liberty of eating things sacrificed to idols.

Okay, so I’m not that smart and of course had to go look up the word “antinomianism”.

1. Christianity The doctrine or belief that the Gospel frees Christians from required obedience to any law, whether scriptural, civil, or moral, and that salvation is attained solely through faith and the gift of divine grace.
2. The belief that moral laws are relative in meaning and application as opposed to fixed or universal.
So someone who is “addicted to antinomianism” has a severe problem of wanting to do things their own way, instead of God’s way, falling back on salvation by faith as a “Get out of Hell free card”.  But this is not a game to be playing.  We are servants of Christ, bought for a price, and as such, we are subject to His laws.
While Jesus did say that nothing that goes into the mouth defiles a person, only what comes out of the mouth can do that; it was also said to love your neighbor as yourself and not to put stumbling blocks in front of them.  Tricking someone who believes it’s wrong to eat meat sacrificed to idols, is definitely a stumbling block.  Leading and tempting others into sexual immorality is a stumbling block.
So while not everyone in Thyatira followed these false teachings, they did tolerate them.
Jesus gave her time to repent but she did not want to turn away from her sins.
The consequences are harsh:

22 ‘Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.

23 ‘And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.

“Bed of sickness” would be an image of a stretcher or a gurney.  Those who “commit adultery”…adultery here means idolatry and eating meat sacrificed to idols.  “Great tribulation” doesn’t necessarily mean THE great tribulation that is to come.  It does mean a harsher period of trials though.

“kill” =

 Definition
  1. to kill in any way whatever
    1. to destroy, to allow to perish
  2. metaph. to extinguish, abolish
    1. to inflict mortal death
    2. to deprive of spiritual life and procure eternal misery in hell
Jesus isn’t necessarily saying He personally is going to take their lives.  He may be saying that He will allow them to perish as a result of her actions, through pestilence.
1. A usually fatal epidemic disease, especially bubonic plague.
2. A pernicious, evil influence or agent.
Jesus is the Judge.  He will give to each one of us according to our deeds.  He knows our hearts and He knows humans and He understands us.
So the church in Thyatira had some problems being too tolerant.
In your own church or group of believers, do you have some that are too tolerant?
In this day and age, especially in the US, we are bombarded with being politically correct in all things, even faith.  Do you find yourself “compromising” God’s Words in order not to offend others?  Do you “tone down” God’s Word so that others won’t feel uncomfortable?  Do you find yourself censoring your comments when you are around those who might disagree?
Speaking of “Jezebel”, have you ever twisted God’s Word so that it gave you permission to do something you knew was wrong?  Do you find yourself latching onto one verse and using it as justification for something while ignoring 10 other verses that might convict you?
And more relevant still…do you know someone like this and tolerate them?  Do you sit back and remain silent while watching someone do these things, rather than providing correction?  Do you still remain silent when you watch others being led astray?
Are you a “Jezebel” or someone led astray by a “Jezebel”?
If so, repent!  Turn away from the sin and turn back to Jesus.  He will forgive you of your sins.
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