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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

Letter to
The Church of Thyatira


< Revelation 2:18-29 >

"And to the angel 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. 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 also 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.'"



Exegesis

Verse 18: "And to the angel 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:'"

The wrongdoing of the Church of Thyatira was allowing the teachings of Jezebel into the church. Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab, brought idolatry to Israel and seduced its people to commit sexual immorality and eat the sacrificial offerings to idols. By the description of Jesus as having "eyes like a flame of fire," God is warning that He will rebuke and judge those who have wrong faith in His churches.


Verse 19: "I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first."

But at the same time, God said to His servant of the Church of Thyatira and its saints that their works were better now than before.


Verse 20: "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.

The problem for the Church of Thyatira was that it accepted the teachings of a false prophetess. By allowing a harlot, Jezebel-like false prophetess into the church and by following her teachings, the hearts of its saints ended up seeking after the lust of their flesh. As a result, God's fearful wrath was to be laid on them.

The true church of God does not call those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit as saints. Nor does it put people who have no Holy Spirit in their hearts in leadership positions of the church. Because those without the Holy Spirit seek after their flesh and the world instead of God, they can never be allowed and tolerated in the true church of God.


Verse 21: "And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent."

This tells us that those of the flesh who have not received the Holy Spirit cannot recognize and hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. This is why the false prophetess could not repent from her sexual immorality. As a result, she was struck by the sword of the Holy Spirit and became doomed both in the flesh and the spirit.

In the true church of God, only those who believe in the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit can be established as the servants of God. Those who do not believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit cannot, regardless of how excellent a pastor they might have been in this world, become the faithful leaders who lead God's children to Him. We must therefore discern the false prophets and drive them out of our churches. Only by doing so can the church of God survive all the trickeries of Satan and follow Him spiritually.


Verse 22: "Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds."

This passage tells us that if a servant of God does not discern and expose the liars, God Himself will find those who commit spiritual adultery and cast them into great tribulation. The saints and servants of God must realize that God Himself keeps His churches clean and leads them to the right path.

There is no room for false prophets in the true church of God. If there were false prophets, God Himself would find and judge them. When confusion is brought to the church of God by these false prophets, God will certainly punish them with great tribulations.


Verse 23: "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."

God casts out the false prophets from His church, so that everyone would know that He guards His own church. The saints will find out that God takes care of their church, and that He rewards their deeds of good faith.


Verse 24: "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."

This means that those who already have become the saints of God by believing in His gospel of the water and the Spirit must hold onto their faith until the end of the world. Those who believe in this gospel have no other way but to live their lives by uniting their hearts with the church and saints of God and defending their faith until the end. The true church of God must not only always preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit, but it must also expose the liars with the faith in this gospel.


Verse 25: "But hold fast what you have till I come."

Believers must never lose their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and hold onto it until the day of our Lord's return. There is great power and authority in their gospel of the water and the Spirit that are more than sufficient to overcome Satan. The saints can please God with this faith. If the saints live by their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit and remain within the true church of God, they can overcome and triumph even in the end times.


Verse 26: "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations-"

The saints can overcome all their enemies by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God has given to them. This battle of faith is a battle that always gives us victory. All the saints will thus fight against the Antichrist and be martyred in the end times, and as a result, they will be given the power to reign with the Lord.


Verse 27: "'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;"

The Lord will give the martyred saints His authority of kingship. Those who thus overcome will reign with a power that, as the passage describes, is as strong as a rod of iron that can dash to pieces the potter's vessels.


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Verse 28: "and I will give him the morning star."

Those who fight against the enemies by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit will be given the blessing of realizing the truth of the Word of God.


Verse 29: "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

All the saints can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit coming through the church of God, because the Spirit speaks to all the saints through the servants of God. The saints must recognize what they hear through God's church as His voice.

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