Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Prophetic Times To The End - Rev 2:19-29


Revelation 2-part 3

Rev. 2:19 Our Lord expresses even though much was wrong in the church at Thyatira, there was much good also. Love led the list of virtues. Where love was waning in Ephesus, it was gaining in Thyatira. Their “service” (diakonian- meaning ministry). Their love in action toward those in need. Their “faith” (pistos-faithfulness, fidelity, loyalty). The saints were dependable, and reliable. Their “patience” (hupomone-to abide). We are to be able to abide in Christ under tribulation (endurance of suffering) [Ref. Rom. 12:12] for it is through trials that patience grows [Ref. James 1:3] and this is acceptable with God [Ref. 1Pet. 2:20]. Moreover, patience perfects Christian character [Ref. James1:4], so let us run the race with patience [Ref. Heb. 12:1]. Their “works” (ergon -meaning to work, to toil, and act; of deeds, and doing). Our Lord mentions twice the “works” of Thyatira a highly commendable quality of continued growth and development. Their last works were more than the first. We are to be known for our continued progress and increased usefulness, to be advancing steadily in our Christian course.

Rev. 2:20-23 Our Lords major condemnation concerned that woman Jezebel, who claimed to be a prophetess and taught believers to take part in the sexual immorality that accompanied pagan religion and to eat food sacrificed to idols. What was acceptable to that local society was abhorred by our Lord. Christ told us that the church at Ephesus would not tolerate evil but was waning in love. Thyatira was gaining in love but tolerated evil. These two extremes are with us today. They have never departed from the churches. Rome professes to teach with authority. She claims to be the only church that cannot error in matters pertaining to faith and morals. The average Roman Catholic knows next to nothing about the meaning of scripture. Taught to “hear mother church” Rome and ignorance, Rome and superstition, as history abundantly testifies, go together. Rome never does change, and will meet with divine judgment when the sovereign Head of the church returns at the Second Advent. Christ promised sudden and immediate judgment, called Rome’s sin adultery and promised that all who followed after Rome’s teaching would suffer intensely. Christ say’s I will strike her children dead, meaning that suffering would extend also to her followers. Only Christ knows as He is the only one who searches hearts and minds.

Rev. 2:24-25 Our Lord extends the words of encouragement to the godly remnant that existed in the church at Thyatira, implying that the rest of the church was apostate. Christ tells us we are not to hold to teachings of Rome. Therefore, we have not succumbed to Satan’s lies and distractions. Christ has one simple instruction “hold on to what you have until I come.” We have the true word of God to carry us through to the end.

Rev. 2:26-27 Our Lord promises overcomers (believers) who are faithful to keep His deeds that they will join Him in His millennial rule [Ref. Psa. 2:8-9; 2Tim. 2:12; Rev. 20:4-6]. “Rule” (poimanei” means to “Shepard,”) Indicating that they will not simply be administering justice but will also, like a shepherd using his rod, be dealing with his sheep and protecting them as well. Believers will have authority just as Christ does [Ref. 1 Cor.6:1-2; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 3:21; 20:3, 6]. Christ received this authority from His Father [Ref. John 5:22].

Rev. 2:28-29 Our Lord promises that, the faithful believers will receive the morning star, which appears just before dawn. Scripture tells us that Christ is the “Bright and Morning Star” [Rev. Rev. 22:16]. Christ’s coming for His Bride at the Rapture, is the hope of the church. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ [Ref. Tit. 2:13]. Our Lord closes with the familiar exhortation to hear what the Spirit says to the churches. We should note that this exhortation follows rather than precedes the promise to overcomers. We will see this in the next three letters as well. The Children of Jezebel (Rome) will not hear, but the true children of the Lord Jesus will hear, for the Holy Spirit opens the “blood-tipped ear.”