The tolerant church.
To the Angel of the church inThyatira write: The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. (Rev. 1:14-15)
I know your works.
Things they were commended for:
- Their Love
- Their Faith,
- Their Service
- Their Patient Endurance
- Their latter works exceed the first (opposite of the Church in Ephesus)
- You tolerated that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.
Jezebel (whether the original who married Ahab, or the spirit of her, or another Jezebel, we do not know) was given time to repent of her sexual immorality (Rev 2:21), but she REFUSED. Here I wonder why Christ has already mentioned the sin of sexual immorality twice? Three things will happen concerning this refusal:
- Jezebel will be thrown unto a sickbed. She will cease from a role of importance, and like the first Jezebel will be no more.
- Those that have fallen for her false teaching will be given time to repent, but will experience great tribulation.
- Her children (those who proclaim her teaching as correct) will be struck dead.
Christ says, "all churches will know that I AM HE, WHO SEARCHES MIND AND HEART (1 Chron. 28:9) AND I WILL GIVE TO EACH OF YOU ACCORDING TO YOUR WORKS." Just as God throughout the Old Testament, especially in Ezekial says "Then they will know that I am the LORD." Christ is saying this here. Then they will know who he is, when he does what he has said he will do. This is not something that might happen, it will happen.
There was a remnant though. In verse 24 Christ speaks to the rest who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call "the deep things of Satan". To those he says he does not lay on them any other burden. He says "only hold fast what you have until I come." This speaks of persevering. Again STANDING FIRM IN THE TRUTH. Even against opposition that will make you out to be mean, cold hearted, intolerant, bigots. Family and friends may not understand why you can think such things, why you can be so closed minded. But Christ calls up to be set apart. He calls us to speak truth. Yes of course in love, but that love does not mean we except sin that will destroy the people we are called to love.
Another question to think about. How scary is the statement "the deep things of Satan"?! Doesn't if just make you wonder how far the depravity can go? How deep and sinister the king of this world is and what he will used to try and destroy those who will fall for his lies! Please remember anyone who may be reading this who does not know Christ ~ Satan is not out to show you a good time, to let you live your live for yourself, NO he wants to destroy you, he wants to keep you from finding the freedom in Christ. There are many who think that in following Christ there is bondage, but the TRUE bondage is in allowing Satan freedom to destroy you body and soul.
The one who conquers (overcomes, over powers, triumphs) and keeps my works until the end (persevering) to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself (Christ) have received authority from my Father (God) (notice Christ calls him his father here, Christ was not just a prophet, but the True Son of God, as he mentioned in his description). And I (Christ) will give him the Morning Star (Christ himself).
How glorious is that! Instead of bondage, destruction and eternal damnation, we get authority, rule, and to top it all off CHRIST HIMSELF!
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches!