Message Begins at 25:16
The Bride's Malignant Tumor
An Exposition of Revelation #6
The Church at Thyatira (Thoo-at-i-ra)
Once Upon a Time, In a Land Far Far Away
There was a bride named Israel. And that Bride was married to a great husband: His name was called the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. She was impoverished and enslaved before she met her husband. The cattle on a thousand hills belonged to him. He was out of her league. But he married her anyway. Then he showed her her new home that extended from the Cedars of Lebanon to the Mountains of Beersheba. His main stipulation was this: love me as I have loved you and this land will be yours as much as it is mine. And for a while the relationship was great.
But then the bride developed a malignant tumor. His name was Ahab. And that malignant tumor was a specific type of cancer: he was torn between to lovers. Contrary to advice from numerous prophetic doctors, he became a closet Mormon and married the king of Sidon’s daughter, Jezebel. And because he did, a land of truth became of deception. A land of virtue became one of vice. A land of love for neighbor became a land of civil war. And a land of plow shares became a land of the sword. All of this happened because Ahab and his citizens of a Holy Land abdicated their responsibility to be the voice of the people of God in their world. Instead of influencing the nations, they became led by them. And, consequently, God removed their lampstand and replaced it with the church.
But the same malignant tumor appeared again in a different covenant at the church of Thyatira; where Jezebel and the Devil were up to their old tricks. Of all of the churches that describe the current evangelical experience of ours in our great nation, it is the church of Thyatira: a church torn between two lovers. A bride with a malignant tumor.
(1) The Problem: People of God were torn between two lovers (19-20).
What One Lover Produced (19)
(1) Knew how to love each other
(2) Knew how to demonstrate that love to each other;
(3) And they were found by the Lord Jesus himself to be doing more than they did at first;
(4) Opposite of the Church in Ephesus; The Highest Accommodations in these letters;
**God sees the good in His Bride; it doesn’t go unnoticed.
What The Other Lover Produced (20) –
(1) usurpation of spiritual authority;
(2) covert deception
(3) Under the cloak of Christianity
(4) Satanic Imitation
(5) Leads to Immorality and Betrayal of Conscience and Righteousness
Victory and Imitation Are At War
(1) God is a Trinity (Revelation: God; Christ; His Bride)
(2) Satan (Dragon) is a False One (Revelation: Beast; False Prophet; Harlot)
(3) God’s Purpose (Thy Kingdom Come; Thy Son is a Prophet; Priest and King; Thy Bride is Holy and Victorious)
(4) Satan’s Purpose (Political Kingdom’s Persecute – Rome (Smyrna; Philadelphia); False Prophets Arise – Balaamites, Nicolitians (Pergamum) – Jezebel Seduces the Bride by Deception (Thyatira)
*The Beast, False Prophet and Harlot are not just figures that will rise in the future; but represent powers and forces of evil that have always been and will be until they are finally judged.
(2) The Manifestation: In the daily places where they earned money to live (18; 27)
The Blazing Fire, Bronze, and Iron City (18)
(1) Thyatira wasn’t a very large town; but it was a blue collar town;
(2) Lydia, convert was there; who was a dealer and maker of purple dye;
(3) Trade Guilds and living went together. If you were going to eat in Thyatira and pay your mortgage, you had to work. To work as a craftsman, you had to be a part of a guild. To be a part of a guild you had to do what they did: participate in immorality and the meals that came after it.
(4) Money controlled religion instead of God himself.
How the Spirit of Jezebel Works
(1) Jezebel’s call was to say it’s ok to practice that if that’s what you have to do to survive.
(2) Interesting isn’t it: Don’t see her direct harlotry; we only see her directing other people to commit it.
(3) It's deceptively subtile and sounds religious. But it's an imitation
(3) The Consequence: They became naive, undiscerning and inappropriately tolerant (20)
How We Tolerate the Spirit of Jezebel in Our World:
(1) Naïve – we lack the experience and the wisdom to know the real thing from it’s cheap imitation;
(2) Undiscerning – lacking judgment; we can't see spiritual issues because we lack the wisdom or concern to see them
(3) Inappropriately Tolerant – we lack the courage to speak to an issue in order to redeem a bad situation because we don’t want to appear unloving.
(4) The Solution: Return their Morningstars to their appropriate places (28)
(1) Lucifer called the Morning Star;
(2) Appears as Dragon in Revelation and thrown into lake of fire;
(3) Before he’s thrown into the lake of fire in the future, thrown him down in your life.
(1) Morning Star – Real thing;
(2) And a morning star at night means that daybreak is imminent.