Discover the Book - May 29, 2009


Thyatira - The Corrupt Church


Jesus gets personal in this 4th letter

Revelation 2:18-29  "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.

*       21 “And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.

*       22 “Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.

*       23 “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.

*       24 “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.

*       25 “But hold fast what you have till I come.

*       26 “And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—

*       27 ‘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;

*       28 “and I will give him the morning star. 29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’

Have you ever discovered Jesus challenging you to have him as all you really FEAR?  The fear of the Lord is a big concept in the Word of God. No less than thirty times God commends reverential awe that leads to loving obedience.

Fearing the Lord is Reverent, Awesome Love

“The fear of the Lord” does not suggest that God’s children live in an atmosphere of terror, “for God hath not given us the spirit of fear” (2 Tim. 1:7). More accurately, it indicates that we as God’s children reverence the Lord so much we will not deliberately disobey Him or try His patience.

Fearing the lord has eternal results: Psalm 19:9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;

The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

Fearing the lord gives eternal wisdom: Psalm 111:10  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.

Fearing the lord reflects the eternal character of Christ: Isaiah 11:2-3 The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. 3 His delight is in the fear of the Lord, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;

Fearing the lord produces eternal riches: Isaiah 33:6 Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, And the strength of salvation; The fear of the Lord is His treasure.

Fearing the lord multiplies Christ's church: Acts 9:31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

Fearing the lord leads to personal holiness: 2 Corinthians 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

A teen once demonstrated this heart attitude as his friends suggested that they go to a certain restaurant for a good time.  “I’d rather go home, my parents don’t approve of that place.”  “Afraid your father will hurt you?” one of the girls asked sarcastically.  “No,” he replied, “I’m not afraid my father will hurt me, but I am afraid I might hurt him.”

He understood the principle that a true child of God, who has experienced the love of God, has no desire to sin against that love. 

Fearing the Lord Is Not an Option

Clearly, the fear of God is not optional: “Live in the fear of the Lord always” (Prov. 23:17); “fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28); “in all things obey . . . fearing the Lord” (Col. 3:22). Fearing God has both positive and negative elements. In a positive way, every true believer has reverential fear of God-an awesome awareness of His power, His holiness, and His glory. Proper worship always includes that kind of fear of the Lord.

The negative aspect of the fear of God has to do with dread and terror. Even believers should have a measure of that kind of fear, which acts as a protection from sinning.

*       The writer of Proverbs observed, “By the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil” (16:6).

*       For the very reason they are God’s children, believers are subject to His chastisement (see Heb. 12:5-11).

*       Sometimes His dealing with disobedient believers can be severe, as with Ananias and Sapphira, who lost their lives for lying to the Holy Spirit. God used that punishment to produce godly fear and obedience within the early church (see Acts 5:1-11).

*       Some of the believers in the church at Corinth also died or became ill by the direct infliction of God’s chastisement for their sin (1 Cor. 11:30).

Now to Revelation 2:18.  We are at the fourth stop of a seven city tour that gives us the church in prophetic perspective.

Each letter emphasizes why we must fear him

1.   Ephesus:  REMEMBER JESUS IS JEALOUS FOR YOUR LOVE! Lay hold of first love for Christ.

2.   Smyrna:  HOPE IS JESUS THROUGH LIFE UNTIL THE  END! Trust Christ through suffering.

3.   Pergamum:  REST IN THE SECURITY THAT COMES FROM CLINGING ONLY TO JESUS! Conform to Christ not the world.

4.   Thyatira: fear THE CHASTENING LOVE OF JESUS.  He won’t tolerate sin in the church.

Part One: Meet the Assembly Living in Hard Times

v. 18a

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