Study Lesson 4
A So-Called Corrupt Church
A Promise Of A Millennial Reign
Scripture To Consider:
“And to the angel [messenger] of the church in Thyatira write, ‘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.’” Revelation 2.18-19
Something To Consider:
The major portion of this book of Revelation is mostly describing future end time events. But in the beginning of these seven letters as discussed earlier, Jesus described certain characteristics of Himself. Here in the letter to Thyatira Jesus revealed Himself in the following terms; “The Son of God who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass.”
John the Baptist in the early ministry of Jesus in Matthew chapter 3 described Jesus in these terms as he spoke to the people who had been coming to him to be baptized; “I [John the Baptist] indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I. He [Jesus] will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Fire in the bible represents judgment! Therefore, John the Baptist continued his message of Jesus in verse 12 of Matthew chapter 3, by stating; “His [Jesus’] winnowing [separating] fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat [true present tense believers in Jesus] into the barn [place of eternal reward]; but He will burn up the chaff [those who have refused to believe Him and His Word] with unquenchable fire.”
And though Jesus reminded the church at Thyatira that He is a God of judgment, He also reminded them He knows firsthand of their works, love, service, faith, and patience. Jesus is about judgment when judgment is called for, but He is also about mercy, and His mercy is new every morning until that dreaded moment when the need for judgment arrives. As revealed in our next Scripture to consider, there is always an end to God’s mercy if His mercy is not accepted.
More Scripture To Consider:
“Nevertheless I [Jesus] 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.” Revelation 2.20-23
Something Else To Consider:
According to Jesus, allowing evil to continue without confronting that evil with the truth of God’s Word is in essence approving of the evil we allow. Also, according to Jesus, allowing evil to continue in our midst may lead us and others into spiritual seduction and becoming guilty of immorality and possibly adultery if we follow in the footsteps of the evil being allowed. And according to Jesus, the only sure remedy is true repentance!
Jesus pointed His finger of judgment in the direction of a false prophetess named Jezebel. It is ironic that the name Jezebel actually means chaste, as in pure or virgin-like. And yet, nothing could be further from the truth concerning this Jezebel. The Old Testament revealed another Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, king of Israel in approx. 883 B.C. The Jezebel of the Old Testament was guilty of financially and physically supporting 850 false prophets of Baal and Astarte. Because of this Jezebel and many were led into sin and eternal destruction.
As in both cases of these two Jezebel’s, Jesus gave them time to repent of their sexual immorality, but they did not repent. Jesus has also given billions of individuals down through the centuries ample time to repent of their sin and of their allowing and or approving of others sin. And many if not most have gone to their grave without repenting. Three times in this letter to the church of Thyatira Jesus pleads with them to repent of their evil and sinful deeds. Finally, Jesus declared, “And I will give to each one of you according to your works.” Therefore, proving the Word of God to be right in our reaping what we have sown!
More Scripture To Consider:
“Now to you I [Jesus] 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 [endure to the end] what you have till I come.”
“And he [or she] who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end [endures to the end], to him [or her] 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 also have received from My Father; and I will give him [or her] the morning star.” Revelation 2.24-28
Something More To Consider:
According to Jesus, teaching anything in opposition to the written and preserved Word of God is teaching false doctrine. And according to Jesus, there is always in every generation, a remnant of His faithful servants who refuse to be directed or misdirected by false doctrine and the teaching of satanic ordained and man approved evil traditions. To those who remain in opposition to false teachings, Jesus commands them to hold fast to the truth of God’s Word until He, Jesus, comes again at the end of this age.
Jesus promised all those who overcome the evil opposition of Satan, man, and the flesh, and Antichrist, and who keep Christ’s righteous works and words unto the end of their lives or the end of this age; that He, Jesus, will give them the power and the authority to rule over the nations. I firmly believe this is a reference to true saints ruling and reigning with Jesus in the future millennial kingdom that is to be established by God in the not-so-distant future.
But, are we overcoming sin and the opposition to the truth of God’s Word? Are we overcoming the evil of false doctrines and false traditions and those who insidiously teach false doctrines and false traditions? And finally, are we keeping or obeying the words and works of Jesus Christ? If we are not, we will not rule and reign with Him in His millennial kingdom! If not, we will suffer the righteous wrath and deserved judgment of an Almighty God!
A Few Final Words:
“He [or she] who has an ear, let him [or her] hear what the Spirit says [is saying] to the churches.” Revelation 2.29
Does it appear that the majority of Christendom is listening to what the Spirit of God is saying? I wish I could honestly answer that question with a resounding yes. We must be reminded of the words of Jesus from Matthew chapter 7, speaking of the warnings associated with entering into the kingdom of heaven or not. “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.”
Jesus continued in verse 14 of Matthew chapter 7, by announcing; “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” In every generation there is always the many and the few. The many go about their lives as if there is no eternity to gain or to lose. And the few faithful enduring to the end true Christians who willfully observe all things Jesus taught, look steadfastly towards eternity. Which is the case with us? Of which state have we as individuals entered into? Our answer makes all the difference as to our eternal exit from this earth!
Therefore, let us not be found by Jesus clinging to a corrupt church or following after corrupt false religious leaders espousing corrupt false doctrines! If we do, we may be forced to hear Jesus proclaim, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” And yet, the opposite is true as we live lives in accordance to God’s Word and Christ’s conditional commands. And if so, we will hear Jesus instruct us by His stating, “Enter into the joy of your Lord!”