Revelation 2:21-25

Audio Links

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Video Links


A very simple question which, if occasionally asked, will help to keep us properly focused is: to whom is this prophecy addressed? The answer to that question is: this prophecy is addressed to the angels of the seven churches of Asia (Rev 1:4). The angel which is the object of our study today will serve to demonstrate this Truth:

Rev 2:18  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; 

Then at the conclusion of the admonition to each and every church, we are told:

Rev 2:29  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

So whenever we see any pronoun like ‘thee’ or ‘thou,’ ye or you anywhere in this prophecy of what the spirit is saying, if that pronoun is not referring to Christ Himself, then it is addressed to the angel of each and every church. So we could inject the words: you, the angel of  Thyatira, “have suffered that woman Jezebel to teach and to seduce my servants…” If we do this, our perception of  the object and purpose of this entire prophecy will be that much clearer.  
Finally, if we constantly remind ourselves of who these “seven angels” are, then we will never forget that these seven angels are, “He that hath an ear,” and he who is admonished to “read, hear, and keep the things written therein.”

Rev 1:3  Blessed [ is] he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time [ is] at hand.

In other words, all of these words are addressed to each of us, if we have been given ears to hear what the spirit says to the churches.
Last week we saw that the angel of the church of Thyatira within us, is a very works- oriented spirit, who has not yet entered into Christ’s rest. Here is part of what we covered last week:

Rev 2:19 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.
Rev 2:20 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.

While being so concerned with doing good works, the angel of the church of Thyatira is very unconcerned about doctrine. This angel is so wrapped up in doing good works that it fails to notice that it is actually facilitating the doctrines of Jezebel and allowing heresies of all sorts to be taught and to seduce us, the children of God, to commit spiritual fornication and spiritual adultery. Instead of being nourished by God’s Word, the angel of the church of Thyatira is spiritually nourished on those false doctrines of Jezebel. Like the angel of the church of Pergamos, the angel of the church of  Thyatira is far more concerned with unity than it is with purity.  Remember, these words are addressed to the angels of the churches. Jezebel and her doctrines cause “the angel of the church of Thyatira” within us, to commit spiritual fornication and spiritual adultery by placing unity over purity. This week we will see how the spirit deals with the doctrines of Jezebel, and how the spirit deals with all these false doctrines within us:

Rev 2:21 And I gave her [ Jezebel] space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
Rev 2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great
tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

When we come to see that we are spiritually in bed with Jezebel, we then realize that we have been committing spiritual fornication, and spiritual adultery. We have been believing the lies and false doctrines of Jezebel instead of going to the Word of God and seeing what is really the Truth. At this point judgment begins and we begin to come out of Babylon and we begin to search the scriptures, and to try the spirit of Jezebel, the doctrines of Balaam, and the deeds of the Nicolaitans. But Jezebel is loath to give up her hold on the angel of the church of Thyatira. “I gave her space to repent of her fornication and she repented not.” While Jezebel still retains her hold upon us turning the grace of God into spiritual lasciviousness and teaching us that unity is more important than spiritual purity, we will experience “great tribulation, except we repent of our spiritually adulterous deeds… This generation will not pass till this [ great tribulation] is fulfilled.”

Mat 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Mat 24:22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
Rev 2:22  Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

There are not two “great tribulations.”  “The time was at hand to read, hear and keep the things written… to the angel of the church in Thyatira” here in Rev 2, and Christ tells us the exact same thing in Mat 24 when He says “these things are all even at the doors… this generation will not pass away till all these things be fulfilled.”

Mat 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, [ even] at the doors.
Mat 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

All of Christ’s words are “is, was and will be” words which “shall not pass away”.
Is all or any of this accomplished in a ten- second sinner’s prayer? Absolutely not! Coming out of Babylon continues as we decrease and Christ increases throughout our lives. We have all “committed adultery with Jezebel,” and we all must “decrease as He increases. We must all enter into the kingdom of God through much tribulation,” and we must all “endure to the end.” Getting that woman Jezebel out of our spiritual house is not an instantaneous event, but it is a present and ongoing experience in the lives of the angels of the seven churches and in the lives of those who have ears to hear what the spirit says to the seven angels of those seven churches. It is an ongoing experience for all who are given eyes to see what they are to “read, hear and keep of what is written therein.”

Joh 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all [ men] for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
Act 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, [ and] exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Jezebel was the outwardly legal, yet spiritually illegal, wife of King Ahab of Israel. Jezebel was the daughter of a Zidonian king, whose God was Ashtarte, and Jezebel was bent on destroying all the prophets of God in Israel.

1Ki 16:31  And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him.
1Ki 18:4  For it was [ so], when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)

It is through the spiritual fornication, through the spiritual adultery and through being in bed with the doctrines of Jezebel, that we too, “cut off the prophets of the Lord” and refuse to hear their words. It is the doctrines of Balaam and Jezebel which bring the “great tribulation” upon us and which, in turn bring us all into the darkest days of our lives:

Mat 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

Only then, when we are at our very lowest point in life, when “the sun is darkened and the moon is giving no light,” does the Son of man appear as a thief in the night, burning out of us all the tares and the wood, hay and stubble of our lives and all the false doctrines of Balaam and Jezebel, which have been guiding our lives. Our lives are “the tribes of the earth.” Our bodies are “the earth,” and it is “the earth” which needs to hear “the word of the Lord,” but refuses to do so until we see the sign of His coming “in heaven,” the heaven of our hearts and minds.

Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Mat 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer [ is] nigh:
Mat 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Mat 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Jer 22:29  O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.

As we “read, hear and keep the things which are written… to the angel of the church of Thyatira… the tribes of the earth mourn,” as they face “the great and terrible day of the Lord, being killed with death in bed with Jezebel.” When we are dragged to see and hear what is our sad and dark spiritual condition, we then go through “great tribulation” in “this generation,” and it is at this point that “judgment must begin at the house of God.” It is at this point we begin to “come out of Babylon” and we begin to “search the scriptures” and we begin to “try the spirits” of fornication and adultery in the bed of Jezebel. It is at this point that we try the spirits of the doctrines of Balaam and the deeds of the Nicolaitans.
Balaam taught Israel to commit fornication within the camp of Israel, but Jezebel is more insidious and is married to the king himself, and has virtually taken control of the kingdom of God within us through her spiritual fornications and adulteries; meaning through all of the false doctrines to which we have subscribed while in our blinded, Babylonian condition of total apostasy.
Again, none of this is accomplished in a ten- second sinner’s prayer. We have all “committed adultery with Jezebel” for a very long time before we were given eyes to see that we really have “suffered 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.” Christ tells us “blessed are your eyes for you see” (Mat 13:16). Yet it will be a lifetime of overcoming and enduring to the end, before we will ever be past the need to struggle against all the false doctrines which are now  that woman Jezebel within that Babylon out of which we as the repentant angel of the church in Thyatira,. are yet coming.
This is the product of that blessing of Mat 13:16:

Mat 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Mat 10:35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
Mat 10:36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
Mat 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Ours is a calling of separation, and rejection,  and loneliness. It is right here in this same chapter:

Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men] for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

It is in Genesis:

Gen 49:26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

… and it is also in Timothy:

2Ti 1:15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

… and the disciple is not above his master:

Mat 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

Rev 2:23  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.

Surely these are not words which apply to us as the repentant angel of the church at Thyatira! After all, isn’t that the deal; that if we repent, then we won’t be thrown into a bed with Jezebel and be killed with death, as her children? If you believe that is what is being said here, then you are still afflicted with one of Jezebel’s doctrines which teach that Christ died for you so that you do not have to die. It is called “the doctrine of the substitutionary death of Christ.” That false and damning doctrine is alive and well in Babylon, but it is being burned out of the repentant angel of the church of Thyatira.
The answer to both of these questions Isa 1) Yes, these words do apply to us, and 2) Yes, we must be “killed with death and come to know that Christ is He which searches the reins and hearts and gives to us all according to our works.” Remember verse three of chapter one. We are to “keep the things written therein.” Christ did not die so we could avoid death. Christ died for us so He could live His life of “dying daily” within us. Here are His own words on the false doctrine of “the substitutionary death of Christ.”

Joh 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
Mat 10:21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against [ their] parents, and cause them to be put to death.
Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

It is not our faith alone which is so precious in the sight of God, but it is rather “the trial of our faith… tried with fire.” That is what the angel of the church of Thyatira learns when he comes to know that Christ “searches the reins and hearts and gives to every one of us according to our works.”

1Pe 1:7  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Now we come to our last two verses for today’s study:

Rev 2:24 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.
Rev 2:25 But that which ye have [ already] hold fast till I come.

It is verses like this which make us have to go back to Rev1:3 so often:

Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Our natural man demands, ‘Well, do we have this doctrine or do we not?’ To which the answer is and will always be, “you and I and the rest in Thyatira have had this lascivious, spiritually fornicating and adulterating doctrine, and when we come to see its damnable fruits we become those who ‘have not this doctrine, and have not known the depths of Satan as we speak’.” “Have not known” does not mean that we have never been “the chief of sinners,” because we all have been just that. What it does mean is that we have overcome the depths of Satan as we spoke, and we have kept the sayings of this book and lived by every word of God, including the repenting before our candlestick is removed. In like manner the beast causes every man small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in his right hand and in his forehead:

Rev 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

This “all” is thrice qualified, “small and great, rich and poor, free and bond.” and yet we are told:

Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [ I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Well, had all men “small and great, rich and poor, free and bond,” received his mark, or had they not? Here is the answer to this quandary:

Rev 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

These are those who overcame the mark with which every beast is marked. Having overcome that beastly mark entitles them to say that they  had not worshiped the beast nor received his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands.”
So it is also with those who “have not known the depth of Satan as they spoke.” We have all been in bed with the lascivious doctrine that it is better to be united in a lie than to be divided by the Truth. That is the very essence of politics, whether ecclesiastical or secular politics, and it is the broad way which attracts the masses and which leads to destruction. When we repent of that damnable doctrine of Jezebel, we can then say we have not known those depths of Satan, and have not received his mark in our hands or our foreheads. What is even better is we can also honestly say that we have indeed “kept the things written therein and lived by every word that has proceeded out of the mouth of God.”

Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Rev 1:3 Blessed [ is] he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time [ is] at hand.

I will put upon you none other burden.

For all who know that they will indeed keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book, all the things written therein, this is a very comforting statement which bears witness to another very comforting verse of God’s Word. While our trials always seem like the worst that anyone has ever endured, this is the truth of the matter, along with a very comforting promise:

Psa 103:14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we [ are] dust.
1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [ is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [ it].
Rev 2:25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

Which is just another way of saying:

Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all [ men] for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
Heb 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1Pe 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
1Pe 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

There is yet a consummation and a “redemption of the purchased possession.”

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also [ trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Conclusion

We have seen that that woman Jezebel has seduced us to believe all of her false doctrines. We have also seen that when we were confronted with those false doctrines, that instead of repenting, we have all been guilty of refusing to repent, thus bring upon ourselves “great tribulation,” followed by a time of total spiritual darkness.

Rev 2:21 And I gave her [ Jezebel] space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
Rev 2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great
tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

We have seen that this part of our walk is addressed to the angel of the church of Thyatira within us. We have seen that we are “the earth” upon whom “all these things will come… in this generation.”
We have seen that it is expedient that we all must die in order to gain life. Only then are we able to acknowledge that all of these things are of Christ, who is “searching the reins and hearts;” Not for His benefit, but for ours.

Rev 2:23 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.

We have seen that we all first, by God’s design, willingly accept the seductive doctrines of Jezebel and the depths of Satan before we are given the strength, grace and the knowledge of God’s Word, to “know not that doctrine.”  The we saw that God has promised that “He will not allow us to be tempted above what we are able to bear:”

Rev 2:24 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.
Rev 2:25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [ it].

We saw that this admonition to “hold fast that you have till I come” is nothing less than Christ’s promise to be with us to the end:

Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Next week, Lord willing, we will finish with the blessing promised to the angel of the church of Thyatira if he repents and overcomes. We will learn then, what it means to rule the nations with a rod of iron, and we will learn what we have when we are given “the morning star.”

Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Rev 2:27 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.
Rev 2:28 And I will give him the morning star.
Rev 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Other related posts