Revelation 2:18-29 Thyatira

Rev 2:18  And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; 

Rev 2:19  I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. 

Rev 2:20  Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 

Rev 2:21  And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 

Rev 2:22  Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 

Rev 2:23  And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. 

Rev 2:24  But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. 

Rev 2:25  But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. 

Rev 2:26  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 

Rev 2:27  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. 

Rev 2:28  And I will give him the morning star. 

Rev 2:29  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 

Verse 19 gives the impression that all is well with this church.  But we quickly find otherwise. First the commendation, or praise, then that which needs to be corrected because the Christ will not ignore the faults; a lesson which we all need to take careful note of. …Hello…

Like the saints in Pergamos, the believers tolerated sin in the church.  In Pergamos the false teachers were compared to Balaam and Balak. Here the false teacher is compared to Jezebel, the proponent of idolatry and immorality. Idolatry and immorality usually go together, and Jezebel personifies both (1st Kings 16:29-34; 21; 2nd Kings 9:30-37) The teaching was being spread that self-indulgence was better than self-discipline and more.

The story of Jezebel’s reign is the story of the quick corruption and utter downfall of the Kingdom of Israel.  Idol feasts were followed by “chambering and wantonness” and corruption spread rapidly among the youth of Israel.  In a like manner a love of talk about forbidden things was setting in, regard for the law was being weakened; audacity was taking the place of reason and conservatism.

Notice, however, the angel of this church is not charged with teaching this doctrine but with tolerating it. 

The church ruler seems to have had an inadequate sense of the authority of law.  Both he and the church are charged with neglect of duty. The woman called herself a “prophetess” and the thinking may have been “Who knows but that God may be speaking through her notwithstanding all that is suspicious in her teaching?”  even the “judge not” thing may have come into play.  The strong of Christian character may not be prone to succumbing but that does not negate their responsibility to their fellow believers in the Christ.

Not everybody in the fellowship was guilty of sin, and the Lord did not warn them.  Instead, He encouraged them to hold to the truth and be faithful.

The minister was not charged with sharing the doctrine but with tolerating it; both he and the church were charged with tolerating it and warned of their neglect of duty.  Doubtless, he bore with her because she was a woman.  The gracious tolerance of a strong man often takes this form. It is very hard for such a one to assert himself at all; most hard where self-assertion seems most easy.  Next the woman called herself a prophetess.  Here comes in regard for the freedom of prophecy; the very inspiration of the Church was a hindrance.  After all, who knows whether God is not speaking by her, notwithstanding all that is in suspicion in her teaching that was contrary to scripture.

The appeal to reality.  Nothing is more needed than occasional plain speech about the foulness which lurks in much that professes to be an enlarged spirituality.  They who encourage display of the peculiar charms of womanhood and seek to advance public causes by constant speech of things which nature and piety tell us should be held in strict reserve, degrade the women they supposedly seek to emancipate and brutalize the man. A corrupt doctrine will lead to a corrupt life.  Creed and conduct have vital connection with each other, a very vital connection indeed.

— The above is an excerpt from a forthcoming book by Pastor Ward Clinton. See some of my books here

Smyrna of Revelation

the Agora

Rev 2:8  And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; 

Rev 2:9  I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. 

Rev 2:10  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 

Rev 2:11  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. 

The church at Ephesus needed to be reminded that His watchful eye was upon them, to stimulate them to recall their first love, and to do their first works; but the church of Smyrna, which was more pure, and had yet to pass through fiery trials, needed most of all to dwell upon the unchangeableness of His power and love.

The name comes from “Myrrh,” which is a bitter herb, a suitable name for a church facing persecution.  Would the believers be fearful or faithful?  There were genuine Jewish Christians among them, and there were Jewish pretenders.  He knows who are the right-hearted, and He knows who are insincere.

Suffering can enrich us, even if we think we are poor; and what people think is wealth might turn out to be poverty (3:17).  Although materially poor, this church was spiritually wealthy because it truly had the Christ.  The Christ assures His people that He is intimately acquainted with every feature of their history.  “I know …” The “I know” of love is the smile of God.

The 10 days?  The grand principle is that there is a limit to the suffering of the Church and the saints.  The Christ soothes and emboldens His saints by the promise of infinite compensation.  He does not promise zero suffering in this life but He will not permit it to go beyond what we are capable of handling.  And the Christ will not only deliver His saints from the sphere of suffering; He will introduce them into the sphere of eternal rest and joy.

What difference does it make if people slander you so long as you have the Lord’s approval?

pastorwardclinton.com

Wake up

The Bible tells us in the last days “good will be called evil, and evil considered good”. I believe it is easy for everyone to realize after this election that we are in the last days. About the only good thing I can think of to say about satan and the Communist Democrats is that they are patient. We didn’t get to this point where America is teetering on total Destruction overnight. It has come about by slowly chipping away pieces of our constitution, it has come about by tearing out one page at a time of the Bible, like football one inch at a time until now they are at the goal line. The only truthful comment Joe Biden has ever made was , “there are dark days ahead for America”, and before you start blaming the Communist Democrats for the dismantling of our great nation let me say there is plenty of blame to go around. I’m especially disheartened and ashamed by Christians who voted Democrat you above all should have known better. Democrat have not tried to hide their evil and demonic agenda and yet you voted for them I personally believe when you stand before God you will answer for this. And for the rest of you ignorant Americans who care nothing for your country and you lazy bums who couldn’t even get off the couch to go vote you are just as guilty and in the near future are going to have to suffer but sadly so will the rest of us. It’s the children and the grandchildren my heart weeps for they will never know the liberty and the freedom that we have enjoyed In Our Lifetime. We had it all America and you gave it away shame shame shame on you. And do you really believe that God is going to step in and save us from this evil I don’t. We have pulled down statues of Christ and remove the Ten Commandments out of our federal buildings we have slaughtered millions of innocent babies we have embraced evil and denied God, I could be wrong but I think judgment is coming.

Pray America like you have never prayed before that the Democrats are not able to steal this election

pastorwardclinton.com

This is the day…

This is the day that the LORD has made.

Where I sit at the moment the skies are overcast and the sun seems to have risen recently even though it is not clearly visible.

About 1,930 years ago, on the first day of the week, it may have been a clear and cloudless sky but for the followers of Jesus of Nazareth it was a very gloomy day.  The One whom they had believed to be the promised Messiah had been seized, killed, and entombed.  All hope was gone.  Only doom and gloom lay before them.  Then the women came with a strange, very strange, story.  The Son is Risen!  Glory be to God; He is risen!

The folded napkin in the tomb says, “I’m not finished, I will be back.”

On the cross, Jesus had said, “It is finished,” not “I’m finished.”  It was a statement of victory, not defeat.

The Son has risen and it is a beautiful day, a good day to rejoice in the Lord, Jesus the Christ (Messiah).  Grey skies or blue, it is a beautiful day today because Messiah Jesus lives and the napkin is still folded.

Maranatha!