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The Corrupt Church - Church at Thyatira - Part 1

Discerning The Times / Brian Thomas
The Truth Network Radio
June 15, 2024 1:00 pm

The Corrupt Church - Church at Thyatira - Part 1

Discerning The Times / Brian Thomas

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June 15, 2024 1:00 pm

Join us this week for a verse by verse study of the Church at Thyatira, also known as the Corrupt Church of Revelation 2:18-29. 

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Blessings to Israel presents Discerning the Times, a program committed to encouraging you to view current events through the lens of the Bible. Now in honor of the one and only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, please join us for today's program. Welcome to Discerning the Times.

My name is Brian Thomas. Such a blessing to be with you once again this week. We're going to continue our look at the letters to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation. Today, we're looking at the church at Thyatira.

So I'm being joined by co-host Dr. Bruce Logan, who I will bring in shortly. But before I do, I want to remind you that your eternal state is far more important than your current state. If you have never received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do so today. Otherwise, if you leave this side of life without having received him, you will spend eternity in the lake of fire separated from God. So will you please give your heart to Jesus on today?

All right, Doc. Well, we're going to continue looking at the letters to the seven churches, looking today at the corrupt church, which unfortunately there is no shortage of corrupt churches when we look around at our nation and even in the world today. But good to be with you once again this week. Likewise, and it's a pleasure to be back on with you. And I'm again looking forward to continuing this series.

You know, I've been very, very appreciative of just being able to share this information with the listening audience. And I can't wait to dig into and unpack this letter to the church of Thyatira. Yeah, so it's interesting when we look at these letters as to why Jesus chose these seven churches in the area that was called Asia Minor during that time.

Today is present day Turkey. But as we're going through, we're unpacking what Jesus had to say to those churches and the message that it has even for us today. So to our listening audience, turn your Bibles to Revelation Chapter number two. And as we have encouraged you in past weeks, grabbed a writing utensil, something to take notes because we're going to just walk through the scriptures and see what the Lord has to say. Verse by verse, line by line, precept upon precept. So if you go to Revelation Chapter number two, beginning with verse 18, our text reads and to the angel of the church in Thyatira.

Right. These things, says the son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire and his feet like fine brass. As we go on to verse number 19, I know your works, love, service, faith in your patience and ask 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. So all right, Doc, Jesus is saying a lot to this church here at Thyatira.

So let's go back up to verse number 18. What do you have there as far as what Jesus is saying to this church at Thyatira? Well, first of all, I just want to point out that Thyatira was one of three churches of the seven that received what we call a mixed report, a combination of commendation and condemnation. That includes Ephesus, Pergamum and Thyatira.

They they had what we call a mixed report. And interestingly, the city of Thyatira, which is only about 45 miles southeast of Pergamum, is actually the smallest. As far as the geographic aspect, there were the smallest of the seven churches. But interestingly, the letter to Thyatira was the longest letter of all the seven churches. And I thought that was kind of interesting. It was a very wealthy city and it was known for the production of some brilliant color dyes.

And it was interesting because these dyes, in order to manufacture these dyes, it was a chemical that came from snails that they were able to take from snails and be able to manufacture this these colored dyes of purple and so forth. And it's interestingly because one of Paul's earlier converts, a woman by the name of Lydia, and her story can be found in Acts chapter 16 verses 13 through 15. The Bible says that when she came to Paul when they were visiting or ministering in Philippi, that Lydia came and became acquainted and joined up with the group.

And she said that she was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira. That's in Acts chapter 16 verse 14 and said that she also worshiped God and the Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. So that's kind of an interesting connection there between the book of Acts and also what we have here in the book of Revelation. Yeah, and you're so right in what really jumps out at it jumps out at me and that that verse 16 verse 18, I should say that description of Jesus, it says the Son of God who has eyes like a flame of fire, his feet like fine brass. Now, that's not that docile Jesus that we often are used to see in the depictions of in drawings and paintings, but Jesus is coming back.

And when he comes back, he's going to have that look to him because he's coming back with judgment in his eyes. And he's coming not only for those who have not only for the world who has rejected him, but even for those who who say they are of the church. And that's the key thing who say they are the church, but yet they're not truly following him. And that is the reason for these these letters that he's given to these churches. And he's warning this church here at Thyatira that there is a wrathful judgment that is coming. And one of the things we'll see as we continue to go forward with this church is because they are allowing false teaching. And we are very big on that here with with this podcast is that we we put a lot of emphasis on the truth, the truth of Jesus Christ. And false teaching is out there.

It has and it does mislead many. And I think about when I played basketball back in school and I had a coach and when he saw something on our team that was not good for the team, you know, you would see in his eyes and you would hear it in his voice that wrath. And when you heard and saw that you knew that something bad was coming. And so Jesus is coming to judge the paganism that many have brought into the church.

And as I said, we sadly see that still happening even today. Yeah, I would also like to point out because that's very powerful what you just said. And then I want to also point out just to reiterate a point that you made, because if you notice that in the beginning of verse 18 and how you pointed out so well that Jesus gave a description of himself. And one of the things I always like to emphasize when we do the various churches that each of these letters opens up with the salutation where Jesus actually gives a physical description of himself that was originally given in chapter one of the book of Revelation. And as you pointed out, if you look at the scripture, I mean the description that was given and if you look at Revelation chapter one verses 14 through 15, you can see that he gives this exact same description of himself.

And then verse 14 in Revelation chapter one, his head and his hair were like wool as white as snow and his eyes were as a flame of fire and his feet were unto him, a fine brass, and as they burned the first as I'm sorry as if they burned in a furnace and his face as the sound of many waters. That's Revelation chapter one verses 14 through 15. Now, interestingly, in this particular verse, this is the only time in the entirety of the book of Revelation where Jesus is referred to as the son of God. In this particular verse to the church of Thyatira, and I believe there's a specific reason for that that hopefully we'll get to during the course of this broadcast, but I just wanted to point that out. That's the only instance in which the son of God or Jesus referring to himself as the son of God. And it's also interesting too, and that is this letter is a letter that's addressed by the Lord himself. In other words, it was not transmitted via the Holy Spirit to the human agent, but it was actually transmitted by Jesus Christ himself. And it was directed specifically to the angel of the various churches. In this particular instance, the letter is from the Lord himself, directed specifically to the angel or the messenger or the pastor of the church of Thyatira. And these things says the son of God. So here is Jesus.

Think about it. Jesus himself is speaking directly or writing or having John write directly to the messenger or the angel of the church of Thyatira, giving him this specific message. Yeah, those are great observations. And then in verse 19, he says, I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience.

And as for your works, the last are more than the first. And what jumps out at me when I see this is when we look at works, of course, there's a place for works in our faith. But unfortunately, there are a lot of people that seem to think they can do works in order to earn favor from God or earn salvation. And we can't do that. We've talked about that numerous times in the past, that there is only one way to salvation. And and that is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. We can't work our way in. But with that said, once we get saved, yes, we are supposed to work.

We're not supposed to sit on our hands. And what we found is when you look throughout our nation, a lot of hospitals are named after churches and nuns and priests because of the fact that they were doing good works. And that is very good. But Jesus has something to say as far as what what what are these things come in terms of priority. So what do you have for verse 19? Well, first of all, just to piggyback on what you just said, just kind of a side note that, you know, this this idea about salvation by works and or or or grace through faith. And the truth of it is salvation is, in fact, a grace through faith, not of works.

It is the gift of God that any man should boast. However, there's a part two to that that oftentimes goes unnoticed, is that although salvation is by grace through faith, we're going to be rewarded according to the works done in our body. So that's a clear distinction that we need to kind of like keep out there and kind of understand as believers. But again, also in this particular instance, in the Church of Thyatira, you know, as I mentioned earlier, they received a good report and it started out saying that they had a heart for service. If you just, you know, just kind of summarize the verse and said they had a basically they had a heart for service, as you pointed out, they had a heart for doing good works, for serving. And notice it says that the latter was more than the first, meaning they also display great faith and patience, which means that their faith and patience, Jesus said, was even greater than their heart for service and good works. Think about that. And so and so I thought that was very powerful. So they so they had this great faith and patience.

And and you would think that, you know, that's that's enough to get me in. Right. Right. But Jesus have Jesus have more to say. The letter didn't end right there.

That's right. Didn't end right there. He had more to say. So let's go on to see what Jesus is saying next in verse 20. Nevertheless, I have a few things against you.

Now, let me pause right there for a minute. So can you imagine reading this letter where Jesus is saying, OK, I know your works, your love, your service, your faith, your patience. I'm sure they were probably feeling pretty good.

They probably had their chest sticking out. But then Jesus says, OK, 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. Now, we know this reference to Jezebel Jezebel. She came on the scene back in the Old Testament and she brought paganism into the land of Israel. She perverted the nation. Jesus is making a tie back to that time period with what he is saying to this church here.

Right. He's basically using an allusion to the Jezebel of the Old Testament, who was the evil Phoenician queen of the Old Testament, who was the evil wife of King Ahab. And so, you know, that's a very familiar with a story for, you know, most people they're familiar with when they hear the Jezebel name.

You know, you kind of like know who they're referencing. So in this particular letter to the Church of Thyatira and it was not talking about the actual Jezebel from the Old Testament, but it was allusion to an individual who existed in the church at Thyatira that and here's the thing that you want to really want to pay attention to. If you if you listen to this broadcast, if you have your Bibles open, you want to underline this or highlight this.

It says you allow. In other words, speaking to the pastor and the presbyter or the overseer of the church, you you allow this kind of have an indication that you know that this is wrong. You know that this is what she is doing, but you are allowing it. You're tolerating it. And and you're tolerating that woman, Jezebel, who then again catch this calls herself a prophetess.

Right. And we could probably do a whole episode just on that verse right there. Because there are so many people, so many women that are calling and I'm not disparaging, you know. So if you if you're out there, don't get offended.

I'm just I'm saying that there we have to be able to test the spirit. And there are so many individuals who, you know, who have these large following who call themselves prophetesses. And and some of us can be familiar with the names. I'm not going to name names. But some of us who's listening to this can probably name some names and know who I'm referring to or know some of the names who I'm referring to.

But this is a very big problem. But going back to the church in Thyatira, the pastor of the church was allowing this woman, whoever, whatever her real name was, to pervert the men of the church to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And the pastor tolerated that. That mean to tolerate. I mean, to give the impression that he that he like I was saying, he knew that this was wrong, but he allow it to be done anyway. That's that's powerful. I mean, that is really powerful, Doc. And I think about a lot of things that we see in churches today.

And I know some people may say, well, you guys are being hypercritical and all that. But no, we're just simply repeating the words that Jesus said. And I see a lot today where there are people that are in church and they are worship leaders and they are shacking up. They're not married, but they're living with the boyfriend or girlfriend. The pastor knows about it, but yet he allows them to still get up there because, well, they have a great singing voice.

He thinks they'll they'll continue to draw people in. And to your point, yes, there are a lot out there where you see pastors that allow these women. And I'm glad that you emphasize how Jesus says here. He says who calls herself a prophetess, not others calling her a prophetess, but she is herself a self-proclaimed prophetess. And I'm leery today. Whenever I see people, I meet people in ministry and they are really emphasizing their title of being a prophet and a prophetess. That's a red flag for me.

I started, you know, my wheels start turning. And again, he's he's really reprimanding. And as you said, it's an allusion to Jezebel back in the Old Testament. And this kind of stuff is so pervasive in churches today, but it was a false teaching that was brought in. And it reminds me of Matthew Chapter 13, verse 33. Matthew Chapter 13, verse 33, which talks about this this parable concerning a woman who took leaven, which is a symbol of sin, and hid it in three measures of meal. And the Bible says until it worked all the way through the dough. So you can take a little bit of sin.

And you may think is not not that much, but it's like that leaven. And before you know it, it has worked its way all the way through your church. And what you end up with is a church that's standing on false teachings and false doctrines. And we see Jesus is reprimanding again this this church for that very thing. In verse 21, he goes on to say, and I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality and she did not repent.

Amen. And let me just point out one more thing. I just I don't want to let this one part go, because if you remember, I mentioned earlier that the that was the only time that the that Jesus was referred to a reference as the son of God in the Book of Revelations. And there was a tie into that. There was something that was also going on in in the city of Thyatira, which I think may have had a connection between this Jezebel and and something else that was happening. And what I'm referring to, as we mentioned in the at the beginning, that they they were famous for this production of dyes. And and if you were a merchant in the city of Thyatira and as well as several other cities in Asia Minor, this was the thing that you had to be a part of a trade deal. And and and as to be a member of one of these trade deals, it involved, of course, being a certified emperor worship or or idol worshiper. You had to like be a car carrying, so to speak, idol worshiper.

And what what what the problem was is that that if you were a merchant, let's say, for an example, in order to in order to be able to make a living, to be able to provide for your family, you needed to be a part of one of these guilds. And in order to be a part of one of these guilds, you have to give yourself over to the worship of their of their idol gods. And in particular, in Thyatira, their their their keynote God was Apollo.

And this is very interesting. Of course, you had emperor worship, you know, so you had to really do both. But but but you had emperor worship and then you had to worship the god Apollo. Now, it's interesting because Apollo was was thought of to be the son of Zeus. And and Zeus was like the main deity among the Greeks. He was he was the he was like the God of God King Zeus. And so Apollo was the son of Zeus. And it's interesting because Jesus let everybody know who the real son of God is. So which is why I believe that he referenced himself to the Thyatirans as the son of God.

So I just wanted to point that out. But another thing, too, is that it could very well be is that because they're there, a worship to Apollo involved a lot of sexual immorality. It could have been that this self-proclaimed prophetess was encouraging men of the church or merchants in the church to, you know, go ahead. It ain't going to be wrong.

Go ahead and worship Apollo and have sex with the prostitutes and commit all of these sexual sins. Because, you know, you got to be able to provide for your family. Right. That's just like a theory of mine that I believe what was going on. But but I believe that that's supported, that it had something to do with it.

And so I just wanted to find that interesting. In other words, it had a lot in common with a previous church of compromise. You know, in order to in order to gain over here, you have to compromise a little bit over here. And it is just something that as believers we have to guard ourselves against.

We have to guard ourselves against compromise in any way, shape or form. And in getting back to verse 21, it says, And I gave her whoever this woman Jezebel is, God had gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality. And the Bible says here, verse 21, that she did not.

Yeah. Powerful words. Very powerful words. And we're going to pick up next week with verse 22 and 23, which I will read them, because I just want you to be thinking on these verses as we come back, because we've seen this church and Jesus has this to say to them. And he says, because you suffer is that woman that who calls herself a prophet is Jezebel. Here is what Jesus says is going to be the repercussion for this. He says, 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. So, Doc, as we wrap things up, that's that should be a stern warning to two churches today. And especially as you pointed out, pastors who are allowing things to go on in the church that are not right to allow this corruption. And as we look around, we see things in the church today, as we've talked in previous weeks. Black Lives Matter banners hanging in the church and endorsement of abortion, endorsement of same sex marriage, all things that the Bible forbids. God gives a stern warning.

And when I say God, Jesus Christ is God, God the Son. He's given a stern warning as to what is going to be the consequence of that type of behavior. So what are your closing thoughts as we wrap things up for this week?

Absolutely. And verse 22, I mean, I'm sorry, verse 23. That point that you made is very powerful, which is that he who searches the minds and the hearts.

And that is the thing that I would just close with that in this particular episode. He who searches the minds and the hearts. I mean, he know that there's nothing that we can hide from him.

There's no amount of physical activity that we can do that can match what our true heart, our true intentions, our true motivations from God. He knows our thoughts. And as I used to I used to hear the saying in the churches years ago, he knows what we think before we even think it. You know, he knows our hearts. He knows our mind. He knows our motivation. There's nothing that we can hide from him in that regards.

And I just think that I just want to just close this episode out by just pointing that out. And I notice, again, that's kind of what we mentioned earlier. And then I will give to each one of you according to your words, which again gives again or rather gives credence to something we talked about earlier. The fact that we are we are saved by grace through faith. But in terms of eternity, we will be rewarded according to our works, according to the deeds done in our body.

And I just think that that's something that needs to place more emphasis needs to be placed on. Amen to that, brother. Amen.

Because you're right. There are a lot of people that they get saved, they accept Christ, and then they just sit on the hands and say, OK, I'm just going to wait until the end comes. But no, if you want rewards in eternity, you need to get out there and get busy. And the motivation, of course, should not be just for rewards. The motivation is because we want to please our Lord.

But in doing that, he's in a byproduct of it as well. I'm going to give you rewards for doing so. So that's a great note to end on. So we're going to pause there for this week, but we'll pick back up next time with this church at Thyatira, the corrupt church. So please come back and join us next week as we continue to discern the times by viewing life through the lens of the Bible. Until then, remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Bless God's great nation of Israel to the only wise God. And be glory through Jesus Christ forever.

Amen. Thank you for tuning in to Discerning the Times. Please come back and join us next week as we continue to encourage you to view current events through the lens of the Bible. Until next time, remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Bless God's great nation of Israel and seek first the Kingdom of God. Discerning the Times is presented by Blessings to Israel.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-15 12:09:53 / 2024-06-15 12:20:45 / 11

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