Revelation 2:23-24

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Revelation 2:23-24
Thyatira has been a church that has really pushed the boundaries of what shouldn’t be in church. The liberal freedom of allowing improper leadership had caused a great poison to seep into the veins of this church, and it had become corrupted unknowingly.
It is one thing when an individual or congregation knows they have a problem and are trying to address it, but it is an entirely different thing, that when an individual or church has a problem and they accept it as being okay.
Sin within the church is never okay. We as a church and as an individual should never think that it is okay to allow sin to rule in our life. Yet, just like Thyatira, we hand the keys over and allow it to take us places that God never wanted us to go.
And because of this refusal to turn to God and worship Him according to His word, there is a situation that now must be dealt with. Who is it that is going to deal with it? Well, the answer is our Lord, Jesus Christ. The Lord is patient and longsuffering, giving us opportunity to address the problem ourselves, but when we fail to do anything about the problem, that is when Christ will step in and handle it firsthand.
Look with me, as the Lord is sharing with this congregation and the churches of Asia, his words of judgment and future rule.

Verse 23

“And I will kill her children with death”
· Now, we see that those who gave in to this woman’s teaching, had children as well. This is most likely referring to spiritual children that came out of this false teaching. We refer back to verse 22.
· Jezebel of the Old Testament was a fiendish woman who persuaded people with her brand of religion. In fact, the children of her husband, King Ahab, were some of her faithful servants. They bought in to her lies and served her as a minister.
· However, after the death of Ahab and Jezebel, God used Jehu to deliver swift judgment upon this devious people. The scripture tells us in 2 Kings 10:6-7 that the seventy sons of Ahab were beheaded.
· In like manner, we find here in Revelation that the spiritual children of this wicked woman who is preaching her pseudo-Christianity, will meet a similar fate.
· False teaching, misdirected worship, re-writing the scripture are things that God hates and will not allow. Yet, many individuals snub their noses at God and try to change the message of Christ into more of a Zen-like belief, instead of the saving grace in which it is.
· Well, there is a punishment for those who refuse to turn to the true God of the Bible, and the punishment is severe. It is death.
· This warning that was given to this congregation, was not an empty threat, it was a serious issue that must be dealt with. The false teaching that this woman was doing had corrupted many people and now they were believing in this Christian-like religion, but it was mingled with the pagan faiths of the day.
· Her teachings of fornication and idol worship being acceptable in the Christian faith, had violated the very Word of God. And many people were enjoying this compromising faith. In all actuality, the church of Thyatira was probably a fast-growing church, because it gave the open pass to do what you want.
· Well the final warning to this church, was that God was going to kill of the children of Jezebel. This heresy would not continue in the House of the Lord, he would eliminate any remaining offspring of this teaching.
· People often think that the God of the Old Testament is a different God in the New Testament. And while we see more of God’s nature in the New Testament, the fact remains, that God is the same in both Testaments. Sin must be dealt with, in one of two ways. Either at the cross of Calvary where Jesus paid the price with His life, or with a person giving their life into eternal punishment.
“And all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts:”
· Now, people may think that God is unfair in making such a proclamation. That perhaps some of these people were led astray and didn’t know any better. But this will not be a valid argument when it comes to God.
· The scripture tells us that searches the reins and hearts. Now the King James doesn’t do us much favor here using this terminology, but what it is actually saying is that God will search our minds and our hearts.
o Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
o Ps 26:2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; Try my reins and my heart.
· Listen, God knows us better than we know ourselves. And there will be no one with excuse.
· So, the Lord is addressing the church of Thyatira, but in this statement is speaking to all the churches. It is just like when we discipline our children. One may have done wrong, and they are punished for it, and the others who see the punishment, we warn them and say, if you don’t want it too, you better not do what they have done.
· So, God is bringing disciplinary judgment but it is also exemplary.
· We must remember, that we will not be able to keep anything from God, what is in our hearts and in our minds will be revealed to Him. He will know the true you.
“And I will give unto every one according to your works”
· Now, in this portion of the passage, we find that Christ will give according to their works. Here was a church that had a mixed congregation. Not everyone in this church was a hypocrite who was really just a pagan in disguise. There were some in this congregation who were really followers of Christ.
· We must remember that we will be judged according to our works. Now for the unbeliever, when they are judged, they will find that their works fall short when measured against the requirements of a perfect and Holy God.
· As a believer, when we are judged according to our works, it will be a judgment for rewards. What you do in this life will be tried in the fire and what remains will rewarded to the believer.
· Biblical faith is to bring forth fruit, and this is an indication of true faith.
· The Lord who knows perfectly all that we do. the underlying motives and causes of our actions, their ultimate outcome, influence, and effect, is the only one able to give perfect judgment.[] Hannah proclaimed it in her remarkable prayer of thanksgiving, “The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed” (1 Sam. 2:3). Thus it was with Belshazzar. Daniel told this arrogant king, “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting” (Dan. 5:27).[1]

Verse 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.
· Now as we look into this next verse, here was a church that had some severe issues; however, not all who were in this church were practicing and giving into this erroneous teaching. Here were people in this church that still kept the faith.
· So, the Lord is now addressing the rest of the church.
· The Jezebelism, had corrupted the church, but it had not conquered the church. Thank goodness, that many remained true to the Word of God.
· Notice the depths that some in this church had descended into, the scripture says the depths of Satan.
· I want you to know, that when you start messing around with sin, that it leads to greater sin. When a person starts fooling around with spiritualism and occultism, it leads to deeper depths that the Bible describes as the depths of Satan.
· People today are digging a hole so deep into this way of belief, that they have become blind to the light. They no longer see the truth and have given themselves over to the doctrine of devils. Just like a mole as it tunnels through the earth, not being able to see, a person who plays and toys with spiritism, astrology, mysticism, and all the others beliefs of the world, will find themselves in a pit so far gone, that they will never resurface.
· Praise the Lord, here in this church, where corruption had led many away, there were some who remained true to the Lord. And in this, they were given a promise by God. That the Lord would not put any other burden on them.
· This is to say, that when the Lord began to bring judgment onto this church, that those who remained true to the Word of God would not have the punishment for those who refused to repent, placed on them.
· In a sense, this is what we see in some churches today, a group that begins to err and get away from the Word of God, to promote their ideals of how church should be, and then a group that holds true to the Holy Scripture.
· In today’s life, we would just split the church and form a new church down the road, but that doesn’t appear to happen here. They stuck together with their faults, and hopefully some of these people saw the error of their way and returned back to the Lord.
· Now, when you go to Turkey today, you will not find the church of Thyatira, what remains of the church has now given itself over to Islam. Truly, the church had fallen away, with corruption and lies.
[1] Phillips, J. (2009). Exploring Revelation: An Expository Commentary (Re 2:22–23). Kregel; WORDsearch Corp.
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