Today’s Reading: Revelation 2:18-29
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Key Verse: Revelation 2:28-29
…and I will give him the morning star.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Jesus describes Himself as “The Bright and Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16). He is, Himself, the most precious Gift. He gives Himself to those who overcome and those who keep His works until the end (2:26). As we have noted throughout this entire two-year journey through the Bible, God uses repetition for strong emphasis! He says, “Hear what the Spirit says to the churches!” “Listen!” “Pay close attention!” All who are consistent in reading God’s Word daily, and who have spiritual ears, are indeed hearing “what the Spirit says.”
Jesus is described (2:18) as having “eyes like a flaming fire” (He sees into our innermost hearts and knows our thoughts), and “Feet like fine brass” (we walk with Him and together we crush Satan under our feet…Romans 16:17-20).
Jezebel (2:20-23), probably not her real name, is the big problem in the Thyatira church. Jesus chose to name her by the name of the most wicked woman in the Old Testament. She manipulated some of the believers by her domineering personality and her claims to be a prophetess (nothing wrong with being a prophetess as were the four daughters of Philip the Evangelist – Acts 21:8-9). Satan beguiled this woman and she gave out false and destructive teachings. Jesus said that she would “teach and beguile my people to commit sexual immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols” (2:20b). The Angel (messenger or pastor) was not charged with any of Jezebel’s evil teachings and deeds, but for tolerating her and for failure to exercise his God-given authority. To be fair, Jezebel may not have been a member of the congregation which Jesus addressed. She may have been someone from the outside trying to draw the believers out of the church and into an independent group. The Apostle wrote to a young pastor some excellent teaching concerning all who are called of God to lead Jesus’ Church. This may be a good time to read again 1 Timothy chapters 3 & 4.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I pray for grace to “hold fast” (as in fastened securely), and as You said, Jesus, “Keep my works until the end.” I pray most earnestly for the gift of “discerning of Spirits” (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). I believe that if this gift had been operating in the church in Thyatira, Jezebel could not have beguiled some believers, and the Pastor would not have tolerated her. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS
In the course of doing my best to help Canada retain the traditional meaning of the word “marriage,” I met a Bishop at a conference on marriage in Toronto. With tears in his eyes he told me that he had written letters to all the priests in his diocese, which they were to read, but most of them refused to read his letter to their parishioners. We wept together and I found myself praying in the Name of the One who said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” I put my arm around his shoulders and prayed for authority to be restored to the God-called leaders in Jesus’ Church. I think that if I had met the Pastor of the Thyatira church, I may have done the same. I believe that most congregations want pastors that are strong, wise, and who do not tolerate manipulative personalities who would try to draw people after themselves. I’ve not been a local church pastor since November, 1971. Since that time I’ve had the privilege of ministering in a great many churches of various denominations, and I have an observation I’d like to share. Church members thrive and feel safe when they are convinced that they have a pastor who genuinely cares about them, who exercises gentle authority, and who, himself, submits to the authorities God has placed in senior leadership.
Yours for the protection and guidance of a thorough study of God’s Word day after day, and with the wise guidance and knowledge of a pastor that God has called into ministry,