“These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:
I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.
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. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 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 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.
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. But hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations — ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’ – as I have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” – Revelation 2:18-29
Jesus introduces this letter as the Son of God with eyes like flames of fire and feet like fine brass. He has walked through the fires of testing for us and He has eyes that burn away all flesh and deception to see us as we really are. And He is the Son of God. Thyatira had those who were giving place to idols, partaking of their deception. Jesus is declaring ‘from the beginning there is only one true God and He is His Son.’ He alone will ride out of heaven on a white horse and bring judgment to the wicked. Many today, who claim to be Christians, are saying our God is the same God as the Muslims follow. To them Jesus is saying He alone is the Son of God and he who denies the Son does not have the Father either! The so-called “Chrislam” being taught is a false doctrine! Muslims deny that Jesus is the Son of God.
“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father:(but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” – 1 John 2:22,23
The church in Thyatira had many good qualities and works, and their works were increasing. But, they had the cart before the horse, so to speak. Right relationship with the Son and Father will lead to good works, but good works alone can never lead to right relationship with the Son and the Father. Jesus told a story that has always put the fear of God into me –
“Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” – Matthew 7:21-23
Who then can be saved? Those who are not lawless and obey Him. God told King Saul, through Samuel, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.”
While Thyatira was doing many good things, they were allowing disobedience to God’s word in their midst. They were allowing women to usurp the authority God placed in men. The Apostle Paul said to not allow women to teach men.
“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” – 1 Timothy 2:12
Why? Is it because women cannot be as spiritual as men or as able to teach? No! It is because God set up the order of authority and it is not up to man to change it. Can women be prophetesses? Yes, many have, but they were all under proper authority. Jezebel was not, and it led to her deception. This opened the door to sexual immorality and compromise with idolatry. Jesus will judge such actions, even in the church, with sickness and death. He cannot allow lawlessness to corrupt His bride to be. Lawlessness can be the result of willful disobedience, as it was with Adam, or the result of deception, as it was with Eve, but it’s consequence is always death. The modern teaching of feminism has allowed women pastors in much of the church today but, this will only lead to further deception and lawlessness in the church. How can such churches expect God’s supernatural blessings when they openly disobey His order of authority? They cannot, therefor they settle for dead religion instead of living faith.
Some in the church of Thyatira did not practice these sins and Jesus encourages them to continue faithfully. In most churches today, there are probably true believers mixed in with the apostate. Jesus knows those that are His. The time of separation in the church is coming soon. Persecution and tribulation are going to do God’s work of purifying His Body.
“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” – Matt. 24:12
Lawlessness hinders us from obeying the commands of Jesus, which causes the love of Christ to grow cold. Persecution will cause those who are lawless to compromise with the world, denying Christ, and eventually these so-called Christians will turn on the true believers and deny them. This happened in the New Testament and it is happening even now in various parts of the world, and it will happen here as well.
At the end of John’s revelation, he was given this message –
“He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”– Revelation 22:11
In other words, make your choice. If you want to be unjust, go on and be more unjust; if you want to be filthy, go on and be more filthy. You don’t have long. But, if you want to be righteous, go on and be more righteous; and if you want to holy, go on and be more holy.
Some preach that grace covers it all, so don’t be judgmental! It is true that if we repent, Jesus is faithful and just to forgive our sin. But, that does not mean we can be forgiven and then go right back to our sin! Peter says those who have escaped the pollution’s of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then fall back into them are worse off than they were before they repented. He says they are like a dog returning to his own vomit.
“While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollution’s of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” – 2 Peter 2:19-22
We would all be wise in this current season of political elections to judge according to these standards. Many of the candidates claim to be Christian but, actions speak louder than words! Do they lie to please people? Do they swear and use profanity? Do they run businesses that promote godliness or worldliness? Do they promote government as the savior of men rather than God (in other words welfare)? Do they support things God calls abominable? If they do these kinds of things and we are not disturbed – then we will deserve whom we get for leaders!
That is why Jesus says, “he who overcomes and keeps My works to the end” will receive My blessing. He gives us a great gift – the fear of the Lord. He begins by saying He has eyes of fire, in other words, nothing is hidden from Him! Also, He encourages us, with Him in our lives; we too can walk through the fires that only serve to purify us.
I pray we will all be warned by this letter. As we are faithful to meet with Jesus in prayer and in His word, we will be delivered from the deception that is increasing all around us. Keep your heart pure and be zealous for the purity of His word in your life and in the church if you want to escape the great trial that is coming.