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To the Church in Thyatira

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
November 10, 2020 7:00 am

To the Church in Thyatira

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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November 10, 2020 7:00 am

Jesus has a way with words. He calls a spade a spade. And in the letter to Thyatira, he calls a Jezebel a Jezebel. This Jezebel is a false prophet in the church whos telling everyone they can have their every material and sensual desire, and keep their Christian faith as well.

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Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet Ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce for more information please contact us by calling toll-free one 804 88 18 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study our preparing you to think and act biblically. Most historians of the early church would say that the worst thing that happened that would during the first millennium was the acceptance of the church by the Roman Empire in the days of Constantine the persecution under Nero or commission are Julian or any of the other trials that came into the church in the early days rather time when the church became popular that happened the cutting age edge of the Christian witness was lost. Church leaders began to seek the world's honor and comfort and power came from secular positions.

Values were inverted luxury was sought morals relax and believers began to match the acceptance that they had received from the world by their grateful acceptance of it. We might think that was the first time anything like that.

It happened in the church when we read Christ letter to the church.

If I am tyrant which we come. Now we find that a very similar message of accommodation had been preached in those early days and was being preached in that city. This is the longest of the seven letters has 12 verses in contrast with only seven parenthesis, Forfar, Smyrna six for Pergamum search for Sardis heaven for Philadelphia 94 Laodicea from the things we find here. We've already come across the false teachings of viral tyrant were close to those in Pergamum they were called the teachings of Baylon teachings of the Nicollet with the situation and via attire was worse in Pergamum and false teachings or presence but they weren't endorsed we find when we read this letter is via attire they were tolerated, meaning that they had been accepted as a valid expression of Christian faith, at least by the majority of those who claim to be believers words problem wasn't merely the presence of false teaching that encourage compromise with the world. It was a compromise with the false teaching itself by those who still live should've stood against it. And there's this difference to open Pergamum.

Jesus calls on the church to repent actually do that here because she knows that the chief among these false teachers is utterly unrepentant so in place of repentance. What we find is a warning is coming very soon to execute judgment on the church judgment that will involve sickness and even death. For some new think a little bit about the church was the least important of the cities to which Jesus addresses these letters was about 45 miles east of Pergamum along Valley.

The first historical mention this from 290 BC where it's referred to as a military center. It was somewhat of an outpost to guard the city of Pergamum itself, which was far more important and remain sell. The city had no special religious importance.

He had no famous temples there like those in Ephesus are Pergamum was this about it. It was on a major trade route from the 80s the attic to Byzantium and it meant that much of the commerce from the East ran through this valley and through the city, which of course made it prosperous by attire manufactured and traded and items made of wool, linen guide material leather work bronze on the middle about the city is that it had more trade guilds than any other city about which we have information or trade guilds or associations for bakers workers of Braun's clothiers, cobblers, weavers, tanners, dyers of cloth, makers of pottery slave dealers. These were like trade unions but they were far more important than in ancient times, and trade unions are today, a sort of formed brotherhood. People belong to them. Each one had its to the A daughter goddess in order to participate in the Guild. One had to participate in worship of that patron deity from small point of contact with Ira tyrant from another book of the New Testament is the book of acts. Paul arrived in Philippi on the second missionary journey were told that his first convert there was a woman via Tyrone. She was a dealer in purple cloth that died made the clock purple was extracted from a root that grew in abundance in the neighborhood of fire attire, so she had fallen into that particular business you may have been the one that founded the church in dire attire after having been converted by policy return there will be don't know that that's not the way it happened. The church was probably evangelized. The city was evangelized by believers during Paul's journey in Ephesus and some of these other churches were now each of these letters begins with the self-description of Jesus drawn from the vision that we find in chapter 1, and these apply to the church and what Jesus wants to say with it. Here Jesus is described as the son of God. This is the only occurrence of that phrase in Revelation is used throughout the New Testament to ascribe deity to Jesus but here John is probably thinking of Psalm two where Jesus is introduced as the sun and that is more than evident because later on in this letter. Jesus himself quotes from Psalm to verse 12. Kiss the son, must he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all take refuge in him and having quoted from the salon. There is this warning of judgment will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery. We have the tone set the tone of judgment is carried out by the other descriptive elements of referred to Jesus Christ. He has eyes like blazing fire in his feet are like burnished bronze that comes from chapter 1 well.

Later on I like blazing fire.

Explain because they refer to him who searches the hearts of the minds uses the all seeing one is the omniscient one because he is God. As far as the feet of burnished bronze or concern how they convey an image of judgment. These are the feet with which he is going to tread out the great winepress of God's wrath we would ask the question what does this all seeing, all-knowing, terrifying, utterly perceptive judge. CMC looks at the church via Tyrone expected in view of those images what he sees.

First of all is the sin of the judgment, but surprisingly, he talks about are things that actually merit his praise or commendation church environment. Ira, first of all is commended for his good deeds. Six. Things are all tied together the word and but they probably are joined in this way that deeds discover this described everything that follows and then they sort of our an explanation of what that means. Verse probably go something like this. I know your deeds, that is your love and faith, your service and perseverance in doing more now than you did it the first squad quite a cause for praise is much in their praise for their lot.

That was one thing that was lacking in Ephesus.

Many good deeds were faithful all that but they left their first love. This church is commended for its love Ephesus was strong for his faith. This church is commended for its faith is well service hasn't been mentioned yet this church is praise for that and then perseverance is present in Ephesus and Pergamum urged on all the churches but there is a church that seems to about exactly that these things go together.

Of course love leads to service and faith leads to perseverance. What's unique in this description is praiseworthy commendation of the church is that these four important aspects of a balanced Christian life are said to of been increasing in the church and fire attire of the believers. There were doing more now than I have been doing at the first means that the church wasn't static. It was a growing church.

It was a thriving church that we say well what would be nice to be part of a church like that, you might say well I think I am. I come here in the Sunday morning I can't get in. That's obviously growing. Yes, it's mandatory but yet is to this church that Jesus speaks some of his harshest words as his eyes pierced of a hollow core that had been hidden by the cyber show of piety and church growth is a great reminder to us. You of all kinds of growth you can be involved in all kinds of good deeds and yet be hollow with the court, we have to ask ourselves is that the case we actually merit Christ's words of judgment was the problem. The problem was that the church was tolerating a dangerous false teacher call that woman Jezebel, when asked was that a specific person in the church.

She seems to of been the previous letter. Jesus warned against those who hold to the teachings of Bae alum and those who hold the teachings of the Laodiceans, but mean that Baylon was an actual character in the church. Somebody called Laodicea or Nicollet have to he's talking about people who hold to the teachings but here he seems to be speaking to a specific person and how it might be that he is using that in the figurative way.

John sometimes does that you have female figures later on in the book stand for world systems or philosophy could be doing that here, but he doesn't seem to be doing that were prophetesses of the early church. Anna was one Philip the evangelist had four daughters or prophetesses are all highly commended as Jezebel seems to of been a real person and she was creating a problem.

She was an historical figure 2 is the name comes from the Old Testament. So when this prophetess churches: Jezebel's way of saying that you had the characteristics of the Old Testament figure she was doing what that Old Testament figure adopt means that it's worth looking to the Old Testament to see what's involved and here's the story. The kingdom of Israel divided him to after the death of Solomon.

The commercial Alliance that Solomon had established with the Phoenician cities of Tyre and Sidon was broken and the benefit of that past of the northern kingdom of Israel, which was closer geographically in the South lost the advantage of that association. Phoenician ships dominated trade throughout the Mediterranean Sea and beyond the so joining with Tyre and Sidon meant trade and important riches for Israel. One problem with that. The Phoenicians worship bail and Bales female counterpart start a was an Asian form of the regard as Aphrodite or venous now Ahab was one of the most prominent of the northern kings erased along rained a long time and he worked hard to cement his alliance with Felicia which he did, primarily by marrying Jezebel a Phoenician princess father was F bail King of Sidon, priest of Astarte was a brilliant move for Rahab trade certainly increase greatly.

We learned that from the minor prophets kingdom thrive during those days I became rich.

The rich became rich.

Usually the case of the poor became poor.

Amos writes about it.

But when the Phoenician trade came the Phoenician God's Jezebel persuaded Ahab to build the temple bail this capital city of Samaria. She imported 450 prophets of bail and an additional 400 prophets of Astarte and then she killed off all the prophets of Jehovah she could find bail worship flourished and worship of Astarte through many hundreds, maybe thousands to the hilltop shrines was the situation that was challenged by Elijah and that dramatic scene on Mount Carmel Elijah challenge the prophets of bail to construct an older but a sacrifice upon it, and then pray to their God to send down fire to consume the sacrifice they pray they prayed all day long. They dance frantically. They cut themselves with knives with a course, nothing happened than when they were all exhausted from failed. Elijah had them pour water over his older sacrifice. Not only was everything soaked with water, even in the trench around the altar. He prayed instantly, God sent down fire that consumes not only the sacrifice with the with the stones with even evaporating the water in the ditch is a great great victory. Yes, people said they saw that the Lord he is God. Lord is God, but what was involved when Elijah called for choosing God rather than Bailey was just posing a theological question it was imposing an economic question as well.

They going to depend on the trade of bail to sustain themselves or were they willing to let that go in order to follow after God.

He and Blake Locke wrote about this thing a break with bailment a break with jazz Jezebel break with Jezebel meant a break with Tyre entire without much inconvenience could strangle the economic life of Israel and undoubtedly did converted merchants home from Carmel and surveyed rich carpets which would never be replaced. Impact warehouses shelves with empty of the Bales from Tyre and would never be filled again. Joyce was actually Joyce economic depression hard times which prove that the rains came immediately afterwards, because God doesn't let his people starve.

He cares for them doesn't necessarily give them material prosperity. And he didn't. In that case reminded awesome following God quite often means breaking with the world breaking with the world usually means losing the economic and other favors of the world brings you think how plausible the arguments are for doing something else and apparently biblical. After all, this prophetess Sophia Tyra was a prophetess of bail Astarte.

She was known as a Christian teacher she would've made. I suppose biblical arguments sake Christian arguments suggest a number of them. I said when I was talking to the children and on stills earlier never heard a sermon in which you got all the arguments for the wrong thing is I don't know terms aren't supposed to do that just was to get arguments for the right thing. The arguments for the wrong thing.

How about first Corinthians 8 for their Paul to discuss the question of eating meat that had been offered to idols he had counseled that if a Christian can eat with a pure conscience he should be free to do so because quoting me know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. Idols have no real existence. So to say painting and idle things couldn't possibly be wrong or harm anyone. Presumably that's the kind of thing. The prophetess talked about Matthew 2221 Jesus was asked.

Their mother was right to pay taxes to Caesar or not. You know how he answered he said give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's well world ruled by Caesar. Caesar required honoring the form of libations or offerings before his statute wouldn't it be right to give it my kind of honor. After all, God sets up princes on place Caesar in that position would not be right to honor him in the way that he requires about Romans 13 one. Here Paul discusses the relationship of Christians to the states and the argued the government's been established by God. He said everyone must submit to the governing authorities granted in the end, echoing Jesus I suppose if you owe taxes, pay taxes of revenue than revenue. If respect and respective honor, honor seating with the non-throughout these Asian churches with the prophet by attire of appeal to Paul's teaching and report of her position.

Or how about first Corinthians 5 verses nine through 11 are Paulus giving advice about associating with non-Christian sees counsel the Christians shouldn't associate with sexually immoral Christians. But then he had qualified himself. I am vague not all meaning the people of this world are immoral or the greedier swindlers or volunteers. In that case, you have to leave the world's woman by attire would've argued wasn't only permissible, but it was necessary to join the Guild said by attire and if that involve participating in the worship of their deities will also be what harm could be done by attire was a close knit community if he wanted to survive in terms of your business or earn a living.

You had to do that.

I'm strangely modern and very very reasonable. Plus we get swept away thinking along that line.

Let's remember, throughout church history, especially in the early days it was the strong consistent teaching of the leaders of the church that a Christian can never compromise with idolatry or pagan standards in order to get Byron a living is a great issue in the days of Tertullian when Christian came to a month on occasion, complaining that he had to compromise in order to keep his job, he said. After all, I have to live. Tertullian replied do you do the early Christians knew neither obeying the state getting along or sharing in the life of those around us justifies doing wrong and that is precisely the prophetess of fire.

Tyra and her followers were abdicating my dad many abdicating today. Maybe you been saying that yourself in your own heart in order to justify something you know is not all right listen when Paul argued that it was permissible to eat meat that had been offered to idols.

He didn't say is right to do it in a pagan temple as part of a pagan worship service only if it wasn't a real issue involved when Jesus told us to get to Caesar what is Caesar's a limited that requirement by adding and to God what is God's Caesar require something that is due to God alone. We must disobey Caesar be faithful the master Paul argued the necessity of Christians submitting to the governing authorities. It was on the basis of the state's rightful exercise of power, not its abuse of power by requiring idolatrous worship which it has no right to do when Paul wrote that Christians should not utterly dissociate from those who are immoral or the greedy and swindlers are idolaters. He did it in a chapter in which he demands the expulsion of an immoral Christians from church fellowship. Very interesting reference in the midst of this letter to Satan's so-called deep secrets you find it in verse 24 might mean that this false teacher was arguing that in order to understand Satan you have to get to know is why you need to participate in sin a little bit understand the enemy could perhaps have meant that it is more likely that these teachings were actually being presented as the deep things of God in the Jesus as being sarcastic here when he calls in the deep things of Satan, he saying these things that are being put forward the unit was sound Christian teaching. After all, only reasonable biblical ways of approaching secular life are actually demonic because, however, modern or plausible effort to compromise with the world standards may be the source of the temptation is actually to be found in Satan's way.

John Stott them. Passage is God's purpose to make us holy Satan is resolved. Frustrated, he is seeking ceaselessly both to entice individual Christian believers into sin and to insinuate evil into the churches where he cannot muzzle the church is witnessed by persecution from without any results of the subtle assault of pollution from within the dragons to be spell are still the harlot, Babylon with her charms of the beast from the sea cannot crush the church by force of the beast from the earth silenced the testimony of Christians by the errors of his false call then the Babylonian harlot's binary and jewels and pearls may seduce them in her golden cup poison them with its impure abominations such as the Dragon's file strategy by retirement. That's why Jesus judgment so harsh. This is not simply an error. This is a devilish error in strategy so judgment is pronounced. If this prophetess was an actual woman in the sickness is probably an actual sickness when it says that her children will suffer doesn't mean the literal offspring, but it means those who have followed her teaching with Jesus is saying is going to destroy the heresy and those who embrace recently's doing.

Of course, is because as righteous as well is a gracious God, we come to the end of the letter refined, but there were some Tyra Tyra didn't hold to these evil teachings of the words was a remnant always is. And Jesus has a word for them simply this hold fast hold on until I come. Jesus is not going to impose any other burden on them. That is an obvious reference to the degree of the Jerusalem Council, which you have in acts 15.

The issue there had been to what extent Jewish laws should be imposed on Gentile converts and the decision was not to impose the Jewish laws on them, except for these obvious requirements. Quote you are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. That was exactly the issue via Tyra Jesus judgment with the same, namely the answer to the world.

Seductions is not a new set of regulations but a simple continuation and what we have been given in the way that is been set before us live free in Christ, but don't compromise with the idolatry of the sexual morality of the surrounding culture that has encouragement for them. He says that if these believers and via Tyra overcome by obeying Jesus and doing his will to the end that we made to rule with Jesus Christ. Just the way it's prophesied in Psalm two he will rule with an iron scepter. He will dash them to pieces like pottery going to rule with Christ because nobody in Christ that they will share in his triumph and in his government of the nations is racist. You will overcome. You will stand for him against the Lord of this world the very last promise is that those who overcome will be given the morning Star. That image has been interpreted in a variety of ways as you can imagine, but this is one case where Revelation itself gives the meaning Jesus identifies himself as the bright morning star.

In Revelation 2216 using an image probably drawn from Numbers 24, which predicts start arising out of Jacob will crush God's enemies start as the Messiah here supplied to the same syllable already been promised a rule with Christ, on the basis of Psalm two.

In other words, the point of the quotation and the images the same.

We are going to reign with him. If we stand with him and we refuse to compromise with the world a culture witnessing that way.

Many entire Tyra Lem the path to survival dimension victory was the path of compromise. They wanted to maintain that prosperous trade with Phoenicia to prosper in Asia.

Just a question where are Tyra and Sidon today. They have been swept away my history wiped off the map, the conquests of Alexander the great. Where is the trade of a show that is gone to those who held on Christ to refuse to compromise or not gone there with him. I reign with him and continue to reign 1 Take Her Pl. with them. Letter says to you has an ear, and hear what the Spirit says to the churches sprayer. Father, we thank you for these letters speak not merely to others but to us it was grace to hear and obey Jesus and you are listening to the Bible study hours with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals.

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