We are continuing our series entitled: “What Would Jesus Say?” It’s a study of Jesus’ words to the seven churches in Asia in the first 3 chapters of Revelation. Are these words just for the benefit of the churches as they were 2000 years ago? Of course not, they have universal application, not only to the condition of the churches then, but to us today as well.
Today we're moving on to Thyatira. It's the fourth church that Jesus deals with out of the seven churches. I had mentioned that He identifies Himself differently to all of these churches and in so doing you get a hint as to what He's going to be correcting the church for.
So, in this church Jesus describes Himself by a characteristic that we saw back in Revelation ch 1. His eyes are a flame of fire, we said that indicated His passion. Jesus has a passion for purity in worship in His church. The enemy is always on the lookout to steal and kill but Jesus wants us to be passionate to identify destructive forces from within.
Revelation 2: 18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: 19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. 20 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.
Jesus commends the church for some things….for their works, like He had done to the previous churches; for their love, their service, their patience and even says to them that their works are increasing. You're a church on the move, you're doing better now than you had in the past but danger is lurking around the corner. Because you tolerate or permit “Jezebel” to do some things in the church. Was this a real woman? Well apparently, …but the name Jezebel was not her real name. I'm convinced of that because there is a deeper meaning here.
Jesus is saying this woman is controlled by a demonic spirit similar to Jezebel who lived a thousand years before the writing of this letter.
Now we use that name Jezebel to refer to a person who is immoral and unrestrained. Her name is Phoenician in origin…it means “daughter of Baal “, she may have been a high priestess in that occultish religion. She married Ahab to bring together an alliance with the Sidonians/Israel, and she brought with her gods, namely Baal.
So, this woman, Jezebel…is representative of a demonic spirit that was in the Thyatira church and is even alive in our churches today. A spirit (in a man or woman)that is destructive, that has a desire to manipulate and to control…and if it is not stopped it will wreak havoc and destroy the church of God.
And Jesus is saying that you need to take authority over it…. that left to itself it will destroy the church. But if it's rooted out, the church will thrive and grow.
Join us in person on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. or via livestream by going to https://www.firstbaptistsudbury.com and clicking on livestream for “Vines to Vegetables.”