Thursday, August 27, 2015

Recap of Revelation to Understand the Letter to Thyatira - Part 21



Today we begin our study into the fourth church in the Book of Revelation, the church of Thyatira, pronounce (thigh - a - tie - ra), who had lost their vision of who Jesus Christ was, they were so accustomed to bringing into their worship the human and pagan side of things, they viewed various gods, like Apollo, who had the eyes like a flame of fire, or even other Greek gods, Helios for example, with feet of fiery brass. Jesus comes on the scene and just lays it out for them about who He is! I am the Son of God, I have the eyes of fire, I have the feet of brass, and He straightens out their theology in seconds.

If this is your first time, finding this study today, I welcome you. We are going through the Book of Revelation, chapter by chapter and verse by verse. Sometimes even word by word. We are certainly going through the letters of the seven churches of the Book of Revelation, and that Jesus wrote after his great ascension back into heaven. We remember when He ascended among the disciples in Acts, Chapter 1, when He ascended back up to heaven in glory, and there the messengers that stood there in white, be it, as angels or two men in white apparel as it says in the Bible, heavenly manifestations no doubt as they stood there and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." ~ Acts 1:10.

After Jesus ascended into heaven, He wrote as it were, seven letters, to these churches in Asia Minor, and they were dispatched as it were in Revelation 1 via an angel to John the apostle. John writes it down by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and these letters are sent out to all seven churches of Asia, but we need to remember to keep this truth in mind, there were many more than 7 churches in Asia Minor, that is today modern Turkey. But those seven cities or seven churches located in those seven cities, created almost an elongated circle, and each of those seven churches had a condition which they lived in and certain doctrines that they either fought against or allowed into the churches that were false, and they put up with sin, in their culture, in their age, in one degree or another. But the truth is, they all belonged to the family of Jesus Christ. The important thing to keep in mind is not all of those people in those churches, were Christians, just like every church that claims to know Christ. Not everyone that attends church is a Christian. You know that, that's just the way it is.

Sitting in a garage doesn't make you a car, just as sitting in church doesn't make you a Christian! You can't just go to church for six months and say "I am Christian." They try to fit in because their morality or behavior does go along with that of the world, they love the safety the church provides because they offer an October 31st celebration that is family friendly and safe for their children, rather than go into the world and experience those things; it's a great way to celebrate the Christmas season rather than getting caught up in the things of the world; they are not exactly comfortable inside the church but they are certainly not comfortable outside the church; there's a sense of morality they enjoy; they enjoy a sense of belonging but outside of that it doesn't go any further. There is no deep or committed entering into the things of God as God has declared or Christ has invited.

We see today the church of Thyatira, it was in a very dangerous place, by the way, the place that we are going to in this study today, this is important because the church of Thyatira not only existed back in that day, but also in the church chronologically but in the hearts of people today who claimed to know Christ. The letters to these churches are not only contemporary, but so contemporary that we might find ourselves guilty of some of the things that Jesus indites them upon. So this is a very challenging portion of Scripture. Why is this important? Because you and I make up a church.

Are we going to be a loving church? Are we going to be a church that is effective? Are we going to be a church that is benevolent to the needs of the people? Are we going to be a church that is faithful to the Word of God even if it involves persecution like the Church of Smyrna? Are we going to be involved and committed to the Bible for what it says for remember the Bible does not contain the Word of God, the Bible IS the Word of God! That the Scripture is not only endorsed by God, but is breathed by God. The Bible was NOT written by men, the Scriptures say that the Bible, by the Holy Spirit possessed these men and wrote the very Word of God, Himself! The Holy Spirit is the author of Scripture, used in the various eye witness accounts if it were, of its authors and writers of these 66 books.

By way of review, I want to point out the thrust in light of where we are going. In Chapter 1, remember this, by the end of Chapter 1 from the beginning to the end in just those few verses, we came to the conclusion at the end of Chapter 1 this is what we found out about the Revelation of Jesus Christ:

That is He is Jesus.
That He is the Christ.
He is the Faithful Witness. He is exclusive, not one of many. He is the ONLY one!
He is the First Begotten of the Dead. He is the first one to be resurrected from the dead to never die again.
He is the Prince of the Kings of the Earth. He is the governor and judge over all the judicial systems.
He is the One who has loved us and washed us from our sins with His own blood.
He is the One who comes with the clouds. 
He is the One who was pierced for us.
He is the Alpha and the Omega.
He is the Beginning and the End.
He is the First and the Last.
He is the Lord.
He is the Almighty God.
He is the Son of Man.
He is He that liveth and and was dead and is alive forever more.

The great testimony of who Jesus Christ is. It's enough to blow your mind. 

And now as we have been studying Chapter 2, we see that for each church, for each of its particular reasons have been in need of hearing again exactly what they and every believer in Jesus Christ was in need of...a Jesus Christ who is exactly as the Word of God has revealed Him to be. In each of the letters written to each of the seven churches of Asia Minor, John is given a list of key descriptions of Jesus Christ!

Revelation 1:10-16 ~ "On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said, "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea" I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone "like a son of man, " dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like woo, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance."(NIV).

People may mock and reject Him, but it is Jesus Christ who is enthroned in heaven and it is that same Jesus Christ who is coming again in great glory and power and all the angels worship Him. Each one of these attributes of Jesus Christ does and will apply to their lives as well as ours. We now see what Jesus writes to those who are mating, blending or joining itself with the world. It has let down its guard concerning the Bible, and it has allowed the world to come in, and form much of its existence.

Revelation 2:18-29 ~ "To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and who feet are like burnished bronze. I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have learned Satan's so-called deep secrets ( I will not impose any other burden on you): Only hold on to what you have until I come. To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations - "He will rule them with an iron scepter: he will dash them to pieces like pottery" - just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." (NIV).

We are going to look at three very important things you should note, we are going to get through most of the first two points to spend more time on the third and final point of this letter, because we find it is most applicable to our age but throughout the ages. Jesus is going to cut to the heart of the matter in this letter and we need to understand are we going to receive this truth or leave here today rejecting it. I want to issue this warning today and a plea to just hang on. I pray here today, God please give them ears to hear what the Spirit is saying today! The danger here today is that you might misinterpret that what you are reading today is my opinion. My direction and opinion will have no help for your direction into eternity, it's what you study in the Bible, taking God at His Word, and so I am bringing this to your attention first.

In verses 18 and 19 today, we need to ask ourselves today, what kind of church are you? People don't like when you make these things personal. People don't like when they are included in this message today. It must be God talking to you, because no one emailed me and asked me to address you here today. The truth is that the Bible does apply to you and I personally. He's s personal Savior who personally gave Himself to You on the cross, that you and I might enjoy a personal Savior and enjoy heaven with Him and fellowship with one another.

So regarding what kind of church are we, number (1), when God is an actual reality to us. When God is real to us, than tradition, than mindless acts, go out the door. We want to know what we believe and why we believe and how we can tell others about it We want to know how we can live what we are reading. I don't want to pick up this Bible and read something that isn't true. I want to know that if I pick up a Bible and go to the outermost parts world or to the hospital down the street, and pray for somebody that God might raise them up from their bed and heal them completely or a heart might be changed right on the street and they come to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. If this is not the truth, then what are we doing? Jesus is real and He is going to address the Church in Thyatira, and He challenges them directly:

Revelation 2:18-19 ~ "To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and who feet are like burnished bronze. I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first."

This is nothing new to you if you have been a part of this study from the beginning. He has already said this in the beginning of Chapter 1, He has said, I have eyes like a flame of fire, I have feet like brass, and you already know what that means. In Chapter 1, He gives a list of these things and by the way, He rementions those things and how they apply to each church and where they are at in life. He mentions to the church in Thyatira, I am the Son of God, I have eyes like blazing fire, I have feet like burnished brass. I know your works and He gives 4 wonderful things regarding His reality and who He is, He says, I know your works, your love and faith, your service and your perseverance. He says in regards to their works, "you are progressing onward." This is a good thing. 

In the back of your Bible you should have several pages of maps, and one of those maps will show you the location of these seven churches of Asia Minor or Turkey. We started in Ephesus and we move north to Smyrna, then further north still to Pergamum, and now we go south easterly to Thyatira, more inland from the Mediterranean Sea, we are now beginning to head south!



When Jesus says He is the Son of God, He brings direct conflict to the gods that are worshiped in Thyatira. Why? I love how Jesus does this. Remember how the Church of Smyrna was under attack for persecution and would give their life for their faith? What did Jesus say to them by way of encouragement? "I am the First and the Last, I am the One who lived, and died, and rose again. I am the One! Why did He say that? Because remember they were going to suffer death, that there is no greater word to say to someone, like Jesus did, "that I lived, I died, and I rose again. Church of Smyrna you are going to go through this persecution, don't worry, you are going to live again. "

He says something new to us regarding Thyatira, He says, "I am the Son of God. " That's a powerful thing, you want to know why? The church of ancient history lost sight of the fact, that Jesus was THE SON OF GOD. The One and Only Mediator between heaven and earth. Christ Jesus.

Jesus said it, "I AM the Son of God!" It's a powerful and prophetic statement and it's sad it doesn't carry the punch and power for us in the west as it does for those living in the Middle East. When Jesus says I am the Son of God, the Middle Eastern cultures shudder when they hear that because it is such a profound declaration because what it means is to the Middle Eastern thinking and culture in the context in which it was given, Jesus is saying, I am the physical manifestation before you of God, my Father. He is 100% equal to the Father. The Middle Easterns understand this, Judaism condemns this thought even though the Old Testament Scriptures taught in Proverbs 30:4 that "God has a Son." Islam in all around the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem it says "that God is not begotten nor does God have a son." Isn't that interesting? Even though the Bible in the Old and New Testament says Jesus is the Son of God!

Tomorrow we will learn a bit more about what it was like in the city of Thyatira and what it was like to live there. Hope you will join me tomorrow!

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