4thyatira_phillips - Avondale church of Christ

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The Letter to the
Church at Thyatira
Revelation 2:18-29
The City of Thyatira
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Historically it was of no great importance.
It was on the great trade rout from
Pergamos (once the capital of Asia) to the
south-east.
Apollo was the principal deity, being
worshiped as a sun god.
According to Acts 16:14 it is the home of
Lydia, the seller of purple who was
converted by Paul.
The Letter to Thyatira
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Address: To the Angel of the church in Thyatira
Speaker:
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The Son of God:
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Who has eyes like a flame of fire.
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Thyatira was the only church to whom this description is
given.
It is a statement of His authority and supremacy.
“Son” was a statement of equality, not of subordination as
some would claim.
Some speculation about the meaning of this description.
But its meaning will be made clear in the letter.
His feet like fine brass.
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Some uncertainty as to this meaning.
Brass or bronze hooves were used to illustrate strength to
trample enemies in Micah 4:13.
In this letter Jesus will execute such judgment upon those
who do not repent in vs. 22-23.
What Was Right With the
Church
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Works:
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Love:
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They were active, doing the works Christ had given them
to do as the church.
They were even growing in these works “the last are more
than the first” (vs. 19).
All churches should strive to grow this way (1 Thess. 4:1).
Love is a necessary characteristic of God’s people.
Without it we cannot be God’s people (1 John 4:8).
Service:
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Their love was not in word only, but in deed (1 John 3:18).
They did service for one another, cared for one another,
ministered to one another, just as we all should do.
What Was Right With the
Church
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Faith:
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They had faith in Christ.
In a city where the principle deity was a false god they
kept their faith in the one true God and in the Savior,
Jesus Christ.
Patience:
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Their faith was combined with patience.
For any Christian to keep their faith they need patience as
they face ridicule and persecution from those who are in
the world.
It is evident that this church had patience by the fact that
it continued to good, in spite of the challenges (1 Thess.
3:13).
What Was Wrong With the
Church
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In spite of their good qualities, there was
something very wrong in this congregation.
You allow:
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There was sin among only some of the members
of this church.
But all were in danger because the congregation
as a whole ALLOWED those members to remain
in their sins!
Leaders in the church be impressed: Though sin
may take place individually, if the members as a
collective do not strive to cast out that sin then
the body as a whole is in danger! (Josh.7:10ff;
Ezek. 3:16-19; 1 Cor. 5:1-2, 5-6).
What Was Wrong With the
Church
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That woman Jezebel:
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Compared to Jezebel, wife of Ahab, who brought
false gods from her home and cause many in
Israel to commit spiritual adultery (1 Kg.16:31;
18:4).
May be one woman who claimed that she spoke
from God, may be an influence amongst them.
Regardless, the point is expressed very clearly,
there can be no doubt.
There was some person or persons causing the
people of God to compromise and mix with the
idolatrous worship going on in that city (vs. 20).
What Was Wrong With the
Church
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To teach and seduce my servants.
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Regardless of a person’s background or claims
of authority, the members of the church must
examine all doctrine that is taught (1 Thess.
5:21).
If anything is taught that is contrary to the word
of God is must be stopped (Tit. 1:11).
But this woman was allowed to continue her
teaching! Will we?
What Was Wrong With the
Church
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Sexual immorality.
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She used her claim as a “prophetess” to swayed members
to commit sexual immorality in accord with idolatrous
worship.
Will we follow someone’s teaching, simply because they
teach what we want?
Or will we seek the truth and reject all else?
Eat things sacrificed to idols.
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Food, it and of itself, is harmless (1 Cor. 8:4, 10).
But when we eat things sacrificed to idols we have
fellowship with such, and we show the world our
acceptance of those idols (1 Cor. 10:19-21).
Warning
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I gave her time, but she did not repent.
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I will cast her into a sickbed.
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In spite of her sinfulness and error we see the patience of
God.
He does not wish any to perish. Even false teachers are
allowed time to repent (Tit. 3:10).
But God’s patience will only last so long.
As one on her death bed.
Literally, tribulation as punishment.
Those who commit adultery with her.
Just as when the blind lead the blind, they all fall into the
pit.
Unless they repent.
Warning
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I will kill her children with death.
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God’s anger at those who had succumbed to her
influence was so great that He would cause them
to perish.
Her children were those who followed her.
The result:
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All the churches would know that Christ
searches the minds and hearts: “eyes like flame
of fire.”
We may be able to convince ourselves that what
we are doing is right—self-justification.
But Christ knows our hearts; our motivations.
Judgment will be rendered accordingly.
Exhortation
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To the Rest:
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To those who have not followed after the woman Jezebel.
“Hold fast what you have.”
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As seen, the congregation was doing great things.
But the sin that existed among them threatened to ruin it
all.
Therefore they are exhorted to get rid of the sin from
among them and hold fast to the good things which they
had.
All of God’s people must not grow weary in doing good,
but hold fast with patience and endurance.
Reward
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Power over the nations: Ps. 2:8-9
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Echoes Old Testament language.
Christ is reigning now in heaven, He has power
over all nations.
When Christ rules His people rule.
But they rule through conduct, influence, and
victory over sin.
The word of God is like an unbending rod of
iron.
Morning star: may refer to the glory of
Christ at His coming (Rev. 22:16), or the
light we receive when we obey the gospel
(2Pet. 1:19).
Final Admonition
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He who has an ear to hear, let him
hear.
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Christ speaks to all men, but only those
who are willing to hear will benefit from
it.
The rewards promised by Christ are
offered only to those who are willing,
those who take heed to the things
spoken.
Are you willing to hear?
An Urgent Lesson For
Today
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Even in their abundance of good qualities,
many stood condemned because they
tolerated sin and error.
What was the point Jesus was making to
this church? STOP TOLERATING ERROR!
If members are sinning or if people are
teaching error it is up to those who see it to
stop it dead in its tracks, lest they all be
condemned.
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