The Church Ruled and Ruling
Jesus speaks strongly to the church in Thyatira. There is a blemish on its life, and, unless they deal with the matter themselves, he will come in fierce to deal with it Himself. The blemish is the toleration of a problem that should have no toleration. It dreadfully pollutes what is in many ways an otherwise admirable and praiseworthy congregation. They are growing and maturing in faith, hope, love and service. They haven’t simply marked time, but the gospel has produced fruit that is ‘worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him’ (Col. 1:10.)
The problem is the unchallenged presence of a false prophetess among them who is spreading a teaching that has no place in God’s holy church – a teaching that leads her disciples to think there is no problem with sexual immorality or with the melding of Christian and pagan worship. Jesus has given her time to repent – but she has no will to do so. Jesus will deal with her and her devoted followers strongly. Her disciples are warned that they must repent – or they too will have trouble with Him.
By this all the churches will know the truth about Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God -given all the authority of His Father. He has eyes like flames of fire – full of insight, seeing even what is hidden away under pious coverings. He has feet of bronze – he will crush Satan and evil under His feet into fine powder till nothing remains. Jesus searches heart and mind – he knows what we really think and desire, and rewards each accordingly. He will rule the church from without, when the church will not be ruled from within by the Spirit of holiness the Lord pours out upon it. (See 1 Cor. 5:9-13; 6:3)
The ‘Jezebel’ and her followers at Thyatira were among those who went on sinning deliberately. The problem at Thyatira was they continue to tolerate it – preferring an uneasy truce rather than the pain of holy dealings. In effect the false ones were trampling on the Son of God and profaning his blood shed for redemption and forgiveness and outraging the Spirit of God (Heb. 10:26-31.) What awaits them is the fearful judgment of God. For the Thyatira church which has stood uneasily quiet there is the call to bite the bullet, to stand apart, to hold fast to Christ and to have nothing to do with this destructive error.
The church ruled by Jesus Christ must rule and govern its life. That is the preliminary to our reward of ruling nations and judging angels, even as Jesus himself so rules and judges. To rule our life is to inherit the morning star, Jesus Christ himself.
Next week: Revelation 3:1-6