A quick apology. Some of you were looking for this yesterday. Life happens, no good excuse. Sorry for the delay. Thank you all for following along with me in Revelation. It is proving to be an exciting journey as I am learning some deep truths every week. I hope you all feel the same. Without any further delay. Here we go.
The Reader continued. It seemed cold to continue, as you are still reeling with emotions from thinking about your friend Antipas, martyred Bishop of Pergamum. But, It is only right that the reader continues. Why? Because we needed to understand the sharp contrast we live in. People want a shade of gray but our new world under persecution is very black and white. By reading the next part in this order we understand the necessity of staying true to our Lord. There is no middle ground.
The reader continued:
18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze.
19 “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate 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. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. 24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. 25 Only hold fast what you have until I come. 26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27 and he will rule[c] them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (Revelation 2:18-29).’
As he said the words, Thyatira you thought of all of the problems they have had. You thought, “Man we will be here all day.” But, the letter to them strangely summed up the main thing. Many of us in our church have spent some time in Thyatira trying to help them, they needed some doctrinal help. You thought of the woman we all know and how she has preached a new doctrine there. One where idols are being sacrificed to. There is a sexual perversion to this doctrine. She is sleeping with many partners and encouraging this with others as well. Many have referred to much of what is thought and practiced there as the deep things of Satan.
Now Jesus is referring to this practice, but most importantly we all know the woman’s name and it isn’t Jezebel. Jezebel is the name of the wicked queen of Israel during the life of Elijah the prophet. She worshipped a false god Baal, she was wicked and evil to the core. Jesus didn’t call this woman in Thyatira by her real name. He is calling her Jezebel! Not only that if she doesn’t repent, she will die. Her children will die. There is a dire warning to other followers. This is serious. But, you know the people there, and this temptation is strong. She seems to have a spiritual authority over people that doesn’t make sense. People coming out of idolatrous pagan practices take comfort in her teaching, similar to that of the Nicolatians in Pergamum.
It seems that this is so serious that these things will probably come to pass. You know this Jezebel and you don’t understand what would make her repent. If she doesn’t you can say that even if Jesus wrote her a letter and threatened to kill her children she wouldn’t repent. We will see what she does, won’t we?
This bondage is so great that Jesus didn’t want them to focus on anything else. He didn’t want them to focus on anything but dealing with this sexual issue, this idolatrous issue.
When sexual sin enters the church it is scary and dangerous. Many are blinded to it. Many don’t understand the depth of the covenant between a man and a woman as God designed it to represent the relationship between Christ and His church. Outside of one man and one woman anything else is a perversion. John used to talk about how intensely this was talked about at the Jerusalem counsel. Then he would laugh and say, “It was the only thing we could agree on for days.”
There were times in the early days here with Paul, that he did nothing but talk about sexual unions with us. We needed rescued from the sexual perversions of the Artemis cult. In Corinth the male cult prostitutes had their time and are still around, but the church there has been able to distance it’s self from it. But, from time to time it makes its way back in.
Christ is who gives sex meaning. It is He who gives worship meaning. It is He who gives life meaning. You thought, we need to pray for this church and for the first time you thought you needed to pray for this woman Jezebel. Christ, still offers grace, even after all the ways she is violating the church and how He has been hurt by her. But, at the end of the day, Christ still pursues her. What a savior? Imagine He offers grace to someone leading a sexual idolatrous rebellion against Him. I guess it is true what Paul said, that even while we were enemies of Christ, He died for us.
You understand what it is like to be blinded by idols. You get it. You have been caught up in it before. You understand. For the first time ever you began to forgive Jezebel and started to pray for this church. Jesus only wants them to stand strong, to stay pure, to be pure. He just wants them to love Him and worship Him only. That is what He desires. He wants it for their own good, and ours. Amen.
See you next week.
Jerusalem Counsel is found in Acts 15
Christ died for us while were still his enemy is found in Romans 5:10
This Was Continued From:
This Continues To:
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