26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
28 And I will give him the morning star.
29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. – Revelation 2:26-29
The problems within the church of Thyatira seem to be summarized as an over-softening of the judgment of God. This is made possible when corrupt leaders who claim to speak for God (as seen in Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess) fail to lead people in the ways of Jesus Christ. Instead, they lead people in the ways of this world, thereby encouraging a kind of fornication with the world.
We cannot love the world and love God at the same time. One will win eventually, and if we keep the true sayings of God as taught to us by the Son, Jesus Christ and the apostles, we will find that our love of this world dies as a love for what is true and good is made alive by the Spirit of God within us.
If we love Jesus sincerely and do not allow corrupt teachings and teachers lead us away from Him, then He will show us what He expects from us as Christians.
Jesus had a lot to say and He is still speaking to us today by the Holy Spirit. Within the teaching of Jesus as found in the parables and other scriptures, we can see that Jesus expects those who follow Him to live a life that is set apart from this world.
We are to respect the calling that we have in Christ by taking the sacrifice that was made on our behalf seriously, knowing that we are paid for with a most precious price and this means we are to serve God and not the world.
Before Jesus, we were slaves to this world and we had no choice but to obey the deceitfulness and destruction of sin. Now freed and forgiven by the blood of the Lamb of God, we are given the righteousness of Christ so that we can approach God for grace and mercy—unashamed and uninhibited.
However, if we draw near to God through Jesus, we will find that we are approaching the judgment of God—not the judgment of wrath—but the judgment of mercy that reveals the error of our ways and provides a truth that can set us free.
We are made free so that we can live and teach the good things of God that we receive through Jesus. We are made free so that we can love one another and build one another up in the things of God. We are not made free so that we can serve sin, serve ourselves, and make ourselves prosperous in the things of this world.
The process of growing in Christ is an on-going, lifelong pursuit for the Christian. There is always going to be one more thing that we lack. There is going to be some sin that creeps in or that we did not see before. There is going to be some service to be done, some sacrifice to be made, and some strengthening of character as Jesus works in us by His Spirit.
This is the work of the Lord, Jesus in us that is made possible by the Holy Spirit that dwells the believer. As we get to know God through the Word of God and continued relationship with Jesus, we will see how we are to live. We will repent of our sins. We will find forgiveness and we will rest in faith knowing that the Lord is working and making us into a son of God. We fight sin and we do not yield. We will keep His works because He makes us to do so.
We cannot perform enough righteous works to save ourselves. However, once we accept the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins, we should expect to see the fruits of our faith that make us into servants of Jesus and adopted sons of God in the making.
These works will never say that sin is acceptable.
These works will not love the world.
There is a kind of “love” that pervades many within Christianity, and this is the “love” of the world and of sin. It is tempting for many to assume that love requires us to accept all things, tolerate all things, and never speak about sin—especially the sins that the world wants to re-write as righteous.
We cannot be “reeds shaken with the wind.” We must stand firm in the things of God that were given to us by Jesus Christ. He calls us to love, but His love is not the love of this world because this world leads to sin and sin leads to death.
It is not love to leave a sinner blind to their sin.
We cannot soften the judgments of God.
Jesus shed His blood to forgive us, and this is a beautiful thing. It is true that we who put our faith in Him are forgiven of sin. However, there is a temptation for many to use this forgiveness as a free pass to live sinfully. There is a temptation to look at the love of God and forget the wrath of God that is coming for the disobedient.
Judgement is given to the Son, but all who took His blood upon themselves will have to stand before the Son and give an account of what they did with the forgiveness He died to purchase for us. Jesus stated that many would be rejected because they were disrespectful, wicked and slothful, without mercy, and lovers of sin and of this world.
Jesus is merciful and patient with us and He is faithful to save every soul that the Father has given Him. However, it is also true that many do not have real faith. Real faith will cause us to believe in Jesus—not just the facts of who He is or that He died and now lives—but faith in what He stands for, what He expects from us, and faith to know that when He returns to judge the world, many will be cast out because they did not take the calling seriously.
Teachings that make light of the calling of a Christian are hated by God. We must overcome any teaching that leads a Christian towards a love of this world and not a love of Jesus and what He is truly about.
We must overcome the temptation to look at ourselves and others a good people who are worthy of acceptance based on their kind deeds or acceptance of sinners. We must overcome the temptation to call good evil and evil good in attempts to be pleasing to the whims of the time.
We must overcome by stating that what God says is sin is in-fact sin, no matter what the world says. We must overcome by seeking Jesus who will break us and remake us in His image so that we can keep His words and do them.
We cannot expect to rule with Him if we cannot first submit to His judgement. We must be tamed by Him first and ruled by Him first, and this requires us to “love not our lives unto the death.” When Jesus returns, we will rule with Him—and His rule calls sin out for what it is and leads the world in the righteous way.
We are not fit for that kingdom if we love wickedness and sin, if we corrupt the judgement of God, and if we make ourselves a friend and lover of the world and of Satan.
Jesus is The Morning Star. Satan calls himself that also and as Paul the apostle wrote, his ministers transform themselves into ministers of righteousness. However, their righteousness is not the righteousness of God, but that of the world.
The Church of Thyatira is a lover of Satan and a fornicator with him and doubtless they will welcome the false Christ with open arms.
We do not fully know what form the beast and false prophet will take, but those who are faithful to Jesus will know that this false god is not their God. It is fair to assume that a true understanding of what is right and what is wrong will have a role to play. Satan can only do what Satan does. He kills, steals, destroys. He is a liar and the father of it.
If we overcome in Jesus, we will receive Him. He will come to us by the Spirit of God in us and the “day star rises in our hearts.” He will come to us after the seventh trumpet also to overthrow the beast, false prophet, and Great Whore. He will raise the dead in Christ and those who remain are transfigured into spiritual bodies. Those who are His will rule with He who is the True Morning Star—and this will be a rule of righteousness.
Knowing all of this, let us find renewed appreciation for the sacrifice of Jesus and renewed respect. We will face the Son one day. How will that meeting go?
Let us get to know His ways, seek Him in faith, and trust in His work in us that makes us fit for Him and His Kingdom. Let us not take it lightly. Let us not love the world. He died to save us from it so that we can live forever with Him.
PREVIOUS CHAPTER: These Things Saith He –Thyatira Overview
NEXT: These Things Saith He – Scripture for Thyatira
The above is the draft version of a chapter to a book I plan to write and publish in a manner that is free of charge to the public.
I wrote in These Things Saith He: Contents that I will publish the drafts here first and offer opportunity for others to share their thoughts before the final work is completed.
I’m open to and greatly value the insight, experiences, and thoughts of my Christian brethren because we are a body knit together in Christ that is meant to work together without over reliance on our leaders. I am not your leader, but I do try to be faithful to what I have received to the best of my ability, and I look to Jesus for gracious judgment of my service and the service of all who truly love Him.