And He Healed them all: The Link between Holiness & Healing VI.mp3
1 Peter 3:15
1 Cor. 6:12
2 Peter 2:17-22
1 John 5:4,5
Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26
To those who overcome…
Rev 2:18 And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write:
“These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet are like unto burnished brass:”
a. These things says the Son of God: Jesus first describes Himself with a title that emphasizes His deity. In Jewish thought, to be the son of a thing meant you had the nature of that thing. The sons of the sorceress (Isa._57:3) had the nature of the sorceress. The sons of thunder (Mark_3:17) had a nature like thunder. So the Son of God has the divine nature, the nature of God.
b. Who has eyes like a flame of fire: Jesus chooses this description of Himself from the presentation in Rev._1:14 to emphasize the idea that His eyes look with a penetrating judgment.
c. His feet like fine brass: Jesus chose this description of Himself from Rev._1:15 to emphasize His steadfastness, because brass was the strongest known metal in the ancient world, and feet like fine brass would be strong and unmovable.
Rev 2:19,20 “I know thy works, and thy love and faith and ministry and patience, and that thy last works are more than the first. But I have this against thee, that thou sufferest the woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess; and she teacheth and seduceth my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.”
The center of the corruption at the church at Thyatira is a woman Jesus calls Jezebel. This may not have been her literal name, but a “title” that clearly represents a self-styled prophetess within the church, after the pattern of Jezebel in the Old Testament (1 Kings 16-21 and 2 Kings_9:30-37).
The name Jezebel had a powerful association. If we called someone a “Judas” it represents betrayal or a “Thomas” would represent doubting. It’s also a strong thing to call this woman Jezebel. “She was one of the most evil characters of the Old Testament, who attempted to combine the worship of Israel with the worship of the idol Baal.” (Walvoord)
Who calls herself a prophetess: This Jezebel” at the church of Thyatira wasn’t really a prophetess, she only claimed to be one. Yet, it seems that the Christians there received her as a prophetess, and that’s why Jesus gives them this warning.
Jesus said this would happen in Matt._24:11: “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.” Those words were first spoken with a view to the end times, but there have always been those who call themselves prophets in the church, but are not.
Here, Jesus describes the specific sin of this woman “Jezebel.” Mainly, she was an immoral and ungodly influence on others, and led others into sin. Jezebel led others into immorality and idolatry.
The influence of the world on the purity of the church…
Because of the strong trade guilds in Thyatira, the sexual immorality and the eating of things sacrificed to idols was probably connected with the mandatory social occasions of the guilds. Perhaps a Christian was invited to the monthly meeting of the goldsmith’s guild, and the meeting was held at the temple of Apollo. “Jezebel” would allow or encourage the man to go – perhaps even using a “prophetic” word – and when the man went, he would fall into immorality and idolatry.
The draw to the guilds and their meetings was powerful. “In Thyatira no merchant or trader could hope to prosper or make money unless he was a member of his trade guild.” (Barclay) Nonetheless, Christians were expected to stand in the face of this kind of pressure. One ancient Christian named Tertullian wrote about Christians who made their living in trades connected to pagan idolatry. A painter might find work in pagan temples or a sculptor might be hired to make a statue of a pagan god. They would justify this by saying, “This is my living, and I must live.” Tertullian replied Vivere ergo habes? “Must you live?”
My servants: This shows how terrible Jezebel’s sin was. She corrupted the servants of Jesus, and they belong to Him. Jesus said, “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.” (Mark_9:42)
The depths of satan
Later in this letter, Jesus will also reveal a link to the work of Jezebel and false doctrine: this doctrine . . . the depths of Satan, as they say (Rev_2:24). It seems that this Jezebel led others in the church at Thyatira to discover depths of Satan.
In the days of the New Testament, many non-Christian said they knew the “deep things of Satan.” The ancient Christian writer Tertullian says that if you asked a Gnostic about their cosmic mysteries, they would furrow their brow and say, “it is deep.” It may be deep – but deep into a dangerous hole.
How could Christians ever fall for the depths of Satan? Perhaps the deceptive reasoning went this way: “To effectively confront Satan, you must enter his strongholds, and learn his depths in order to conquer him.” People use similar reasoning in misguided spiritual warfare today.
The worst thing about this was that this church was allowing this influence. On the outside, they were a model church, showing works, love, service, faith, and patience. Yet there was significant corruption inside the church. The sin of the church was that they allowed this corruption.
It wasn’t necessarily a large group following Jezebel. A little leaven affect a whole lump of dough, and a few in immorality and idolatry will corrupt the whole church – especially if they influence others the way this Jezebel did.
Rev 2:21 “And I gave her time that she should repent; and she wills not to repent of her fornication.”
Notice the gentleness and goodness of Christ over His church.
And I gave her time to repent . . . and she did not repent: Jesus’ greatest accusation is that this “Jezebel” did not repent. She apparently rejects the work of the Holy Spirit in her heart, calling her to repentance.
In these words we see both the mercy and judgment of our Lord. Time to repent shows mercy. God gives us time to repent, we should deal with others the same way. And she did not repent speaks to the judgment of God. God gives time to repent, but it is not an unlimited time. There is a time when God says, My Spirit shall not strive with man forever (Gen._6:3). This means that when God gives us time to repent, we must take advantage of that time.
That we should always be quick to respond to the promptings He gives is evident throughout His Word…
“Today is the day”…informs the writer of Hebrews
“Call upon Him while He is near.” The prophet Isaiah says.
Rev 2:22 “Behold, I cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of her works.”
I will cast her into a sickbed: Before Jesus tells the Christians in Thyatira what they must do, He first tells them what He will do. Jesus will chastise this Jezebel, and cast her into a sickbed, along with those who commit adultery with her.
The reference to adultery is important. It speaks of both literal, sexual adultery and spiritual adultery. When these Christians honored other gods, they were unfaithful to the Lord who saved them.
For this reason, the figure of a sickbed is fitting. They were guilty of adultery, both sexual and spiritual. It is as if Jesus says, “You love an unclean bed. Here, I will give you one, and cast you into a sickbed.”
What was the sickbed? It could simply be an image of affliction. Or, it could be literal sickness that Jesus would allow in the lives of Jezebel and her followers as chastisement. We know from passages such as 1 Cor._11:30 that God can use sickness as a way to chastise us when we are in sin.
Unless they repent of their deeds: Jesus reveals the purpose for this chastening. First, it is to draw them to repent of their deeds. They wouldn’t listen to Jesus before, so He has to speak “louder” through a sickbed. Second, it is to give an example of holiness to other churches: and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts.
Minds and hearts is literally “hearts and kidneys.” In the mind of the ancient Jews, the heart was the place of intellect, and the kidneys were the place of emotion. Jesus says, “I know your every thought and your every feeling.”
Rev. 2:23-25 “And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he that searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto each one of you according to your works. But to you I say, to the rest that are in Thyatira, as many as have not this teaching, who know not the deep things of Satan, as they are wont to say; I cast upon you none other burden. Nevertheless that which ye have, hold fast till I come.”
Hold fast what you have till I come: There were many faithful, uncompromising Christians in Thyatira. To them, Jesus simply says hold fast! They must not stop doing what is good. They must not become distracted or discouraged from what Jesus wants them to be and to do.
i. Jesus also tells them how long to hold fast: till I come. We are to “hang in there” and stand strong for Jesus until He comes. It’s only then that the battle will be over.
Rev. 2:26 “And he that overcometh, and he that keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give authority over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to shivers; as I also have received of my Father: and I will give him the morning star.”
He who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end: Even when there is the immoral and idolatrous influence of a Jezebel, Christians can overcome and keep Jesus’ works until the end. We must not become overly discouraged at immorality and idolatry around us, even among Christians. God’s work will still go on through His overcomers.
To the end is a common warning throughout the scriptures…
“And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” ~ Mark 13:13
“For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.” ~ Heb. 3:14
“And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” ~ Heb. 6:11-12
To him I will give power over the nations: Jesus promised that His people would reign with Him. Here, there is a special promise to those who overcome the threat of immorality and idolatry. To them, Jesus offers a share in His own kingdom.
He shall rule them with a rod of iron: This quotation from Psalm 2 speaks of the authority of the Messiah when He rules over the earth. In that day, righteousness will be enforced, and those who rebel against Jesus will be dashed to pieces like a clay pot hit with an iron bar. Jesus includes this here to give hope to the faithful Christians of Thyatira, who felt overwhelmed by the immorality and idolatry all around them. Jesus reminds them “You’re on My winning team.”
“The word for ‘rule’ (Gr. poimanei) means literally ‘to shepherd.’ Their rule will not be simply that of executing judgment, but also that of administering mercy and direction.” (Walvoord)
I will give him the morning star: Jesus offers them a reward greater than the kingdom. He offers them the reward of Himself, because He is the Morning Star (Rev._22:16).
Rev. 2:29 “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.”
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