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John Brown :: Revelation 2:18-29

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Revelation 2:18-29

A liar is hard not to believe when he says nice things about you. (So it is when people speak of the Lord, even if it is lies)

It is easier to believe a lie that one has heard a thousand times than to believe a fact that is unpopular!

I. INTRODUCTION

A. 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, (Antichrist) whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth (Jesus), that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (NKJV)

1. Lehman Strauss called the church in Pergamos, "The Church Infiltrated!"

2. The church in Thyatira would have to be labeled "The Adulterous Church!"

a) Throughout the Bible physical adultery is symbolic of spiritual adultery!

b) It represents the the ultimate betrayal of the Lord!

c) The "organized" church of Thyatira had betrayed Jesus and all that He stood for and taken on another lover!

d) And in the process, many had fallen under the lies and delusions being taught from the pulpit.

e) Keep in mind, there is always a "remnant", those who didn't buy into it.

f) But, they were in the minority!!

It's like the two women having lunch in a fashionable restaurant in London simply talking about their husbands. They decided to show each other photographs and realized they were married to the same husband!

Jesus put it another way in Matthew 6:24 " No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (NKJV)

II. THE CHURCH AT THYATIRA

A. Thyatira, like Pergamos was known for it's commerce!

1. There was no place in the world that could dye cloth the color of purple quite like Thyatira.

a) It was from Thyatira that Lydia came, "the seller of purple" spoken of in Acts 16:14.

b) She was in the town of Philippi (in Macedonia) doing business when she heard the Gospel from Paul for the first time!

(1) Many believe it was through her that the church was started in Thyatira.

III. TEXT

A. Verse 18

1. Notice how the Lord addresses Himself:

a) As we have noted, to each church He addresses Himself in a different manner!

(1) To the church that has lost her first love (Ephesus), he identified Himself as the One in charge of all the churches!

(2) To the "suffering and persecuted church" in Smyrna, he identified Himself as the conqueror of death!

(3) To the "infiltrated church" in Pergamos he addressed Himself as THE WORD OF GOD by which all things must line up.

(4) And here, to the "adulterous church" he addresses Himself as "THE SON OF GOD"

(a) It is by the way, the only place in Revelation that He does so.

(b) Lehman Strauss says that he believes that this church prophetically represents a time from approximately 600 A.D. to 1500 A.D.

(c) A time we refer to as The Dark Ages!

(i) It was a time when the church in Rome took the Bible away from the people and said only they could interpret it!

(ii) It was a time when the "mother of God" and the "queen of heaven" was exhalted above Jesus!

(iii) It was a time when the church was telling the people that they must pray to a woman to get to God!

(iv) Is it any wonder that the Lord would address Himself as Deity?

(v) At a time when HE was being denigrated it was important for this church to know who He was!!

B. Verse 18 "...who has eyes like a flame of fire."

1. There is nothing more piercing and thorough than fire.

a) It consumes everything that opposes it!

(1) Likewise, Jesus doesn't miss anything!

(2) Nothing can be hidden from the Lord.

(3) 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work. 14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. (NIV)

C. Verse 18 "...His feet are like fine brass:"

1. Brass throughout scripture represents judgment!

a) He sees all that is going on in this church, and it will be judged accordingly!

b) We now enjoy a period of God's grace, but sin must be judged.

(1) For the Christian it was "judged" at the cross.

(2) For the unrepented, they must stand before God!

D. Verse 19

1. The Lord was aware of the good as well as the not so good.

2. As far as their works was concerned, they were going for it!

a) Unlike many who start with great gusto only to end up making excuses, this church was increasing in the area of works and good deeds!

b) But, all their good deeds couldn't make up for wrong doctrine!

E. Verse 20

1. The church in Ephesus was lacking in love but would not tolerate evil.

2. This church has love (at least for fellow man), but they have allowed the evil to have a pulpit!

a) 2Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? (NKJV)

b) The two extreem churches exist today!

(1) One is so legalistic there is no room for the Holy Spirit.

(2) And the other is so liberal they stand for nothing!

3. The Jezebel of old was the epitome of whoredom!

a) She introduced Baal worship to the children of Israel and caused mass spiritual adultery as well as sexual immorality.

b) Dr. Barnhouse said this, "every sanctuary in a sacred wood was at the same time an asylum of debauchery and adultery, institutions of male and female sexual practices. The priests of Ball were wicked sex perverts."

c) This "Jezebel" in the church of Thyatira claimed to be a prophetess of the Lord!

(1) Therefore she was given a "pulpit" from which to propagate her seductions.

(a) One of the last acts of the Jezebel of old was to paint her face in an attempt to conceal her identity!

(2) This Jezebel had convinced the people (since she was a prophetess and therefore infallible) that the Lord approved of the sexual perversion and pagan practices of the day!

(3) No doubt some of her teachings had an element of truth, but had the effect of leading people away from the Lord.

(a) Vance Havner once said "that he used to have an old clock around the house that was completely broken, but that it was right at least 2 times a day!"

d) We must never compromise who God is in an effort to please people!

(1) Even if it is for good humanitarian reasons!

F. Verse 21

1. Although John doesn't tell us how, the Lord had confronted this "prophetess" with her sin.

a) She was not merely a "misguided" soul who really intended to do the right thing!

b) SHE KNEW SHE WAS WRONG AND CONTINUED TO PERVERT THE TRUTH!

(1) Therefore the only remedy to a lack of repentance must be JUDGMENT!

G. Verse 22

1. I like the way the NIV puts this verse Revelation 2:22 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. (NIV)

2. The bed of suffering is the great tribulation!

3. The adulterous churches who allow the propagation of lies because it is popular will go through the tribulation!

a) Matthew 7:21-23 " Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' (NKJV)

H. Verse 23

1. The children my refer to the illegitimate offspring of this sexual chaos, but it definitely applies to the "spiritual children" produced by the lies and deception.

a) Notice that the Lord "will give to each one.. according to their own works."

b) He is always fair and just. He will judge only those who made a willful choice to follow the lies, and reject the TRUTH!

I. Verse 24

1. This verse refers to the "remnant" the true believers of Jesus as "THE SON OF GOD".

2. They had rejected the "deep things of satan".

3. So the Lord said He would put no other burden on them except to "hold fast what you have till I come." Verse 25

J. Verse 26-27

1. These verses refer to the millennial kingdom in which we shall reign with the Lord on the earth.

a) 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?... 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels?...(NKJV)

K. Verse 28

1. Revelation 22:16 "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star." (NKJV)

a) Jesus promises Himself to those who overcome!

b) He that is eternal and perpetual

L. Verse 29

IV. CONCLUSION

A. Have we let anything come between us and the Lord?

B. Are there any Jezebels in our lives, telling us lies and perverting the Bible?

If you tell a big enough lie and tell it often enough, many will believe it.--E.C. McKenzie

Some people remember a lie for ten years but forget the truth in ten minutes.-- E.C. McKenzie

C. If so, remember the Lord had given room for repentance!

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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