Jesus: The Judge of the Church That Tolerates the Spirit of Jezebel, Part 1 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #320)
A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”
In our series of homilies from the book of Ephesians, we focused on reviving Christian families. Now, I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages from the book of Revelation, specifically targeted at reviving the church. If our country is to be awakened, the family and the church must be revived first.
TEXT: Revelation 2:18-21:
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.
A.W. Tozer said, “The basic trouble with the church today is her unworthy concept of God. Our religion is weak because our concept of God is weak. Christianity at any given time is strong or weak depending on her concept of God.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “The world boasts its atomic power; some cults boast their satanic power; but where are those who boast Holy Ghost power?”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “In Ireland, the impact of revival on the churches was so great that bishops of the Church of Ireland described it as “a second reformation.” At Dublin, evangelicals from various denominations gathered regularly for “the breaking of bread.” This was the beginning of the Christian Brethren denomination, which divided not long after its founding. John Nelson Darby became the leader of the “Closed Brethren,” and George Mueller led the “Open Brethren.””
In this passage, we come to the longest of Jesus’ letters to the churches. It is addressed to the church of Thyatira. Regarding the background of this church and the city that it was situated in, Warren Wiersbe states, “The longest message was sent to the church in the smallest city! Thyatira was a military town as well as a commercial center with many trade guilds. Wherever guilds were found, idolatry and immorality—the two great enemies of the early church—were almost always present too.”
Dr. John Walvoord’s commentary on Revelation states: “Thyatira was a small, thriving town located about forty miles southeast of Pergamum. The city had been established as a Macedonian colony by Alexander the Great after the destruction of the Persian empire. Located in a rich agricultural area, Thyatira was famous for the manufacture of purple dye, and numerous references are found in secular literature of the period to the trade guilds that manufactured cloth. This is reflected in the only other biblical mention of Thyatira — the conversion of a woman named Lydia, ‘a seller of purple goods’ who was converted under the preaching of Paul. Since there is no record in Scripture of any evangelistic effort in Thyatira, it may be that the gospel was first brought to the city through the testimony of Lydia. Though Lydia was probably deceased by this time, Christ directed the longest of the seven letters to this small Christian church that may have been the fruit of her witness. But all was not well in Thyatira and this is one of Christ’s most severe letters.”
Christ opens this letter in thunderous fashion, introducing Himself as the “Son of God”, the only time in the book of Revelation where this title is used. It is used here perhaps as an allusion to Thyatira’s temple to Apollo, who was, in Greek mythology, the son of the chief pagan god Zeus. Because Thyatira was an important trade center, merchant guilds were established in the town. Christians could not participate in these guilds unless they declared allegiance to Caesar and went along with pagan worship and pagan sacrifices. The temptation to at least not object to the worship of other gods was always present for Christians in business during that time. But Christ makes clear that He is the only “son of God” who would not stand by as worship and allegiance due to Him was given to another.
Warren Wiersbe said, “It is interesting to contrast the churches at Ephesus and Thyatira. The Ephesian church was weakening in its love, yet faithful to judge false teachers; while the people in the assembly at Thyatira were growing in their love, but too tolerant of false doctrine. Both extremes must be avoided in the church. “Speaking the truth in love” is the biblical balance. Unloving orthodoxy and loving compromise are both hateful to God.”
Further, Jesus tells John to write that this letter is coming from He “who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet like fine brass.” Jesus’ fiery eyes are symbolic of penetrating judgment. The church cannot hide their sin from the Lord. He sees all, and He will judge accordingly. The “fine brass” of Jesus’ feet are symbolic of purity and steadfastness. Brass was the strongest known metal in the ancient world, and “fine brass” was highly refined and purified in fire. This brass symbolizes Jesus’ holy and steadfast nature. He demands that His people strive to be pure, holy, and faithful even as He is. When that does not happen, the Lord will judge His people, and He has quite the judgment in store for this church which tolerates the teaching of Jezebel.
Christopher Miner wrote:
Broken, humbled to the dust
By Thy wrath and judgment just,
Let my contrite heart rejoice,
And in gladness hear Thy voice;
From my sins, O hide Thy face,
Blot them out in boundless grace.
Gracious God, my heart renew,
Make my spirit right and true.
Cast me not away from Thee,
Let Thy Spirit dwell in me;
Thy salvation’s joy impart,
Steadfast make my willing heart.
Sinners then shall learn from me,
And return, O God, to Thee
Savior all my guilt remove,
And my tongue shall sing Thy love
Touch my silent lips, O Lord,
And my mouth shall praise accord
Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, please keep in mind that the Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” First, understand, that you are a sinner and that the wages of sin is death and Hell. But God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for your sins. He was buried, and He rose from the dead by the power of God so that you can be saved from death and Hell. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.