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The Corrupt Church
"And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,
The Church of Thyatira represents a period of time from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1520, though many believe that this church exists today.
'These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass.
Of all the descriptions Jesus introduces Himself with, this is the only time He identifies Himself as the "Son of God". If He calls Himself the Son of anything throughout the Book of Revelation, He will usually refer to Himself as the "Son of Man".
The attributes of fire and brass are of course judgment. His identifier here is important as only God could come in true judgment to this, or any other church.
"I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.
Although Jesus will bring a strong word of condemnation to the Church of Thyatira, He first brings a great word of commendation. So far, we have heard Jesus compliment these first four churches for their works, however Thyatira is especially noted for her good works! Jesus recognizes this church for it's last works as if the church's good works got better and better in the end.
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.
You may recall from the Old Testament account, the most wicked and ungodly woman in all of Israel's history!
— chaste, the daughter of Ethbaal, the king of the Zidonians, and the wife of Ahab, the king of Israel (1 Kings 16:31). This was the "first time that a king of Israel had allied himself by marriage with a heathen princess; and the alliance was in this case of a peculiarly disastrous kind. Jezebel has stamped her name on history as the representative of all that is designing, crafty, malicious, revengeful, and cruel. She is the first great instigator of persecution against the saints of God. Guided by no principle, restrained by no fear of either God or man, passionate in her attachment to her heathen worship, she spared no pains to maintain idolatry around her in all its splendor. Four hundred and fifty prophets ministered under her care to Baal, besides four hundred prophets of the groves [R.V., 'prophets of the Asherah'], which ate at her table (1 Kings 18:19). The idolatry, too, was of the most debased and sensual kind." Her conduct was in many respects very disastrous to the kingdom both of Israel and Judah (21). At length she came to an untimely end. As Jehu rode into the gates of Jezreel, she looked out at the window of the palace, and said, "Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?" He looked up and called to her chamberlains, who instantly threw her from the window, so that she was dashed in pieces on the street, and his horses trod her under their feet. She was immediately consumed by the dogs of the street (2 Kings 9:7-37), according to the word of Elijah the Tishbite (1 Kings 21:19).
Her name afterwards came to be used as the synonym for a wicked woman (Revelation 2:20).
It may be noted that she is said to have been the grand-aunt of Dido, the founder of Carthage.
(from Easton's Bible Dictionary, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)
Very likely the Church of Thyatira was influenced by women who led the church into idolatry and immorality the way Jezebel seduced the Old Testament Jews into the same.
And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
Our God is a patient, long suffering God! He gave the Church of Thyatira almost 1000 years to change her wicked ways! Even today, He waits patiently, with outstretched arms for His idolatrous children to repent and turn back to Him!
How it must break God’s heart that His children refuse to turn away from their self-destructive ways. I wonder if we as Christians have made it a more uninviting proposition to turn away from idolatry and immorality if we who are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, have chased away the lost through a ministry of hate. God has called us to love one another, yet we sometimes spend more energy judging the lost. Have we forgotten that it is God's job to judge and our job to love people into the kingdom!
Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
I have to wonder, how much do you want to test the patience and love of a God who has already demonstrated more grace than every man, woman or child put together could or would exhibit if the tables were turned?
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
We can only reject Him so much before it won't matter anymore....
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.
It would seem too many who have commented on this verse that the children, the next generation have not yet repented of the sins of "Jezebel"! The Church of Thyatira was only about 40 years old when John wrote this letter, so he would have seen a second generation of unrepentant idolatry and immorality. There is another perspective that reveals a deeper level of consequence for these unfortunate children relative to Jesus' word that He will kill her children with death.
I know a woman whose drug addiction is so much apart of who she is, that even her children do not take priority over the drug. In Galatians 5:19-21, Paul delivers up a list of the "works of the flesh", or the things which God hates. One of the works listed is "sorcery". The Greek word, pharmakeia is where we get the English word, pharmacy.In this context; it refers to mood- and mind-altering drugs, as well as the occult, witchcraft, and magic. A drug addiction that is so powerful that even children lose their importance is in fact, sorcery! When the drug or any other bondage is the most important thing in life, it is idolatry. The woman of which I speak had her first child taken from her due to her lifestyle of drug addiction. Some years later she became pregnant a second time, and again her child was taken. This time, her child was taken by the hospital staff at the time of the child's birth. She then found herself pregnant a third time, and there is no indication that she will change her lifestyle of drug use. Her second child was born a "drug baby" and had to suffer a withdrawal process from the drugs so worshiped by his mother, and will likely be adversely affected by the drugs he was born addicted to for the rest of his life. Her third child may very well endure a similar fate!
In this perspective, you might say that the children born out of this type of idolatry and immorality are suffering a kind of generational slow death as a result.
"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
The good news is that life does not have to remain in this way. In my work, I have seen individuals who, through their relationship with Jesus Christ, have broken the "Jezebel" lifestyle and have been set free! Another woman I know suffered a life of drug addiction. Her children were taken from her and it appeared that her bondage, as well as her children's suffering would never end! At their lowest point, she and her husband committed their lives to Jesus Christ! The cycle was broken! Today they live a wonderful life as parents and grandparents! Indeed, the spirit of Jezebel can be exorcised from even the most destructive and self-destructive life!
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Thank you Jesus for Your incredible forgiveness and unconditional love!!
"Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have these doctrines, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden.
The "Rest of Thyatira probably refers to all of the faithful of the church. Sadly this would refer to a lesser percentage of the whole.
Matt 7:13-14 ”Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Those that embraced the "Depths of Satan" would include so many then and today that, just like those of pre-Gnostic teaching, feel free to embrace the practice of evil in the body with no harm to the spirit. I can't help but recall Jesus' words as He confronted His disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane the night of His arrest...
Matt 26:40-41 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, "What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
For those that are faithful to the teachings of Jesus, He will bring about divine protection and will not allow any other burdens to be placed upon you.
but hold fast what you have till I come.
"Till I come"...a good indication that this church not only exists today, but remains until Jesus’ second coming. This is the first mention in these letters of His promise to return!
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;
This promise refers to the time of the millennial kingdom when Jesus will literally rule with an iron scepter and protect His sheep with an indefeasible power of divine protection! He also promises that we will rule and reign with Him!!
Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! The second death has no power over these, but they will be priests of God and the Messiah, and they will reign with Him for 1,000 years.
To be an over-comer is simply to believe and receive Jesus as you personal Lord and Savior!! Won't you consider Him today?
...and I will give him the morning star.
Malachi 4:2 refers to Jesus as the "Sun of Righteousness"! 2Peter 1:19 declares that the "Morning Star" has risen in our hearts, and Jesus refers of Himself as the "Bright and Morning Star"!
"I, Jesus, have sent My angel to attest these things to you for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright Morning Star .
Can there be any doubt of His promise?
29 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
How tuned in to His Word are you? Are you hearing what your itching ears want to hear, or what your spiritual ears need to hear? Are you hearing Jesus or Satan?
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