The Church in Thyatira (Part 5)

Are you able to receive counsel from someone going through personal relational issues? Today I counselled a man who said another person had counselled him regarding personal issues he was having, yet this counselor himself is struggling with immense relational problems. How can this be? How can the one in darkness help another in darkness? How can the blind lead the blind? How can the one who rebels against the Lord help him who also rebels against the Lord? Remember these letters in Revelation 2 and 3 are addressed to the pastors. It seems as though the pastor of the Church at Thyatira has been pretty faithful, yet, together with the Church leaders, struggled to remove the Jezebel Cult and her teaching from the Church. There is no real difference between my opening illustration and the situation in Thyatira. How could the pastor help the flock when he could not help himself? Yet let me add quickly, this pastor did keep the faithful in Christ faithful and the Jezebel problem is still our problem today. It is puzzling how one can as a spiritual leader live with one foot in heaven and the other in the world, using gospel flavored talk to convince people he is walking in the Truth yet in fact is walking in darkness. Praise the Lord the pastor at Thyatira was not like this.

4) Now the Lord Jesus addresses the pastor and his faithful flock.

Rev 2:24 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).

The “rest of you” are those who have not been seduced by the Jezebel Cult. They did not visit the pagan temples for feasts where food was sacrificed to an “idol god” which was a blatant rejection of the True God … and the festivities progressed to sexual perversion and sexual immorality which they avoided. They were Gospel people and true to the Lord. The Jezebel false teaching had not seduced them into learning the so called “deep secrets of satan”. This so called prophetess said she received her access to the deep things of God through the Holy Spirit … yet her teaching was not inspired by heaven. It was inspired by hell. The result was that Jezebel and her disciples had consciences that were emancipated from all Gospel ethics, morality and holiness. What she taught as the deep secrets of God was actually the deep secrets of satan. The faithful in Jesus in the Church never permitted this cult’s teaching to influence them.

[1] This is the reason the Lord Jesus says

Rev 2:24 (I will not impose any other burden on you). 25 Only hold on to what you have until I come.

The only thing our Lord requires of the pastor and the faithful in the church is that they …

(a) Remain faithful to the Gospel; love the Lord and remain true to the Scriptures.

(b) Hold onto Biblical Doctrine … especially the Second Coming of Jesus. The Jezebel Cult and their teaching taught that Jesus would not be returning and that there would be no final judgment so they could live as they pleased … doing all the sensual hedonistic living they desired. Yet these saints of God believed Jesus would return and they lived in the light of the Second Coming. All the Lord Jesus wanted them to do was persevere in the Gospel with eyes fixed upon Him. We know He did not come in their time and He has not come yet … but He will because that is the promise of the Bible. This is the hope of the Church. This is why we persevere. This is what the gospel leads to … the Bridegroom will come and collect His Bride when He comes in judgment. This is why Paul, guided by the Spirit says

Col 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

His Second coming might be in our time … but if it’s not, it will be when we die for then we will be with Him in Glory. This is the one thing we need to do … hang onto Jesus irrespective what might come our way.

(2) Look at what overcomers do

Rev 2:26 To him who overcomes and does my will to the end.

(a) They stand fast till the end. Their relationship with Jesus is not temporal or opportunistic. They run the race marked out for them. For us to overcome we need to as well. (b) They do God’s will till the end. What is the will of God? It is the whole of Scripture. What is Scripture? It is the message of the Lord Jesus Christ … in other words it is the “Works of Christ”. For us, doing God’s will means “doing the Works of Christ”.

(c) They do both until the end. The “end” is important. Where the end will come when Jesus comes, it certainly means till the end of our pilgrimage on this planet!

(3) Look at the overcomers reward.

Rev 2:26 … I will give authority over the nations— 27 ‘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.

The Bible says we will reign with Jesus … this reign is not futuristic but present. Our Lord’s salvific reign for His people is best explained in

Rev 5:9 And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

The purpose of purchase (salvation) is to reign. How do we reign? By living the gospel through teaching, demonstrating and modeling. We expose sin; we teach truth; we teach against heresy, we call people to Jesus and we pursue holiness.

(4) Although the morning star in Babylon and Rome was Venus, Jesus is the Morning Star in Revelation 22:16 … but … chapter 1:20 tells us that Jesus holds the Seven Stars in his hand.

Rev 2:28 I will also give him the morning star. Jesus holds His people in His hands. What an assurance for overcomers. Can you resist? 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Lord, thank You for Your promise. Amen.

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