We Need the Truth (Revelation 2:18-29) - October 6th 2013

    Many fly the flag of tolerance in today’s world, just as some did in the church in Thyatira. This small city was located on the road from Pergamum to Sardis in the Lycus River Valley. The city was established to slow military advances moving toward Pergamum. Over time, trade unions dominated the culture.

    18 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 whose feet are like burnished bronze.
    John attributed to our Lord the ability to search hearts and minds (2:23).
    Eyes of blazing fire speaks of judgment and omniscience. The feet like burnished bronze speak of holiness. The Lord said 19 I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.
    God possessed penetrating knowledge of the very good way many in the church were living out their faith.

    1. What you say and do is important.
    20 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.
    Toleration overlooks differences. In every relationship some differences must be overlooked. However, in Thyatira some of the things being overlooked regarding God’s truth led to compromises that could not be tolerated.
    A woman labeled Jezebel (probably not her name) yielded to no authority but her own. She raised the question, “Who says your interpretation of God is right?”

    The historical Jezebel lived in 900 BCE (1 Kings 16—2 Kings 9). She encouraged the acceptance of false beliefs and pagan practices. Years later, the Christians in Thyatira faced the temptation to compromise their faith in Jesus by worshiping the gods of the trade guilds/unions. For a person to have a job in one of these guilds, that person was required to worship the god of the guild.

    Today many families exert pressure on Christian family members seeking participation in ancestor worship. Christians do not practice ancestor worship. As Christians remember our ancestors we seek to honor them with good and godly lives.
    21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 
    22 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. 
    Whether from fear of rejection or the search for meaning or lust, the rebellious actions would bring consequences. 
    23 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.
    Fortunately, many in the church had rejected Jezebel’s ways.
    24 Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who …have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets.

    2. What you believe does matter.
    Practice discernment. Trace your beliefs to what God has taught. Be careful of interpretations driven by cultural pressures.
    24 Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching…25 Only hold on to what you have until I come.

    Paul addressed these same issues when he wrote this is my prayer: That your love may abound more and more in the knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ… (Philippians 1:9, 10)
     Hold on to your faith and let the Spirit of God shape your character.
    26 To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations. 27“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.
    If you follow God’s truth, you will not face destruction. In fact, you will see the light. 28 I will also give him the morning star.     
    29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

    The New International Version is the Bible translation used in this study.