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;
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.
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.
21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
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.
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.
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.
25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
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.
28 And I will give him the morning star.
29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
This letter stands at the “centre” of the seven letters, and it is the most severe of the letters. How does the Holy Spirit instruct us through this letter of old?
- Jezebels in our midst? The church at Thyatira was not alone in succumbing to secularisation and erroneous teachings (compare Pergamos), but it surpasses all churches in having a leader called Jezebel [v.20]. Jezebel was King Ahab’s queen, who brought Israel into its darkest years with her idolatry and apostasy [1 Kings 16:30-33]. Imagine the state of decay and the extent of apostasy in the church, which its leader was called “Jezebel”!
Do you pray for your church leaders? We live in a day when error confronts the church, and when secularisation is creeping into it from all quarters. Our leaders need your prayers to remain alert, and to shepherd God’s church with the Word of His Grace [Acts 20:32], so that the church continues to remain faithful and pure in two decades’ time when your generation takes over the oversight of His church!
- Decibels in our ears? If we could hear these words being proclaimed to us, we would probably be deafened. But are they merely words of rebuke and judgment? “Except they repent of their deeds” – these are gracious words of warning, offering its hearers the precious opportunity to turn away from their apostasy and to turn back to their Lord. This is much like parents who reprimand their children, not to destroy them, but to alarm them of the grave danger they are in, desperately seeking to alert them to stop and reconsider their actions.
This is the grace of the gospel. If you are wallowing in sin and obstinately refusing to obey His Word which you know to be true, do not reject these harsh words from our Lord. Remember that these are words uttered to you out of His Love, aimed at rousing your conscience, and stirring you up to turn towards Him. Heed Christ’s words of grace today.
“But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.”
Combined B-P Conference (2019) Devotional by Rev William Yap