1. The New Testament contains
information (positive and negative) that was written "about" as well
as "to" various congregations in the first century.
2. By "rightly dividing"
this information we can know the Lord's will for His church today.
3. This lesson is a study of the
message that the Lord sent to the church in Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29). Discussion:
THE INTRODUCTION TO
A. (vs.18a) This message was
addressed to "the angel [messenger]
of the church in Thyatira."
B. (vs.18b) Although John recorded
this message, it was spoken by the Lord who described Himself as "the Son of God," having "eyes like unto a flame of fire,"
and having feet "like fine
1. This is how the Lord appeared in
John's vision (1:12-15).
2. The significance: Through His
divine power as the Son of God, the Lord sees with His eyes everything that
takes place in His church, and with His feet He will stamp out those things
that do not please Him.
COMMENDED THIS CHURCH
A. The Lord was able to commend this
church because He knew its works.
B. The Lord commended this church in
5 areas, including its "charity"
[love], its "service", its "faith", its "patience" [steadfastness],
and its "works."
C. The Lord further commended this
congregation because it had grown in these areas -- "the last to be more than the first."
ALSO REBUKED THIS
A. This church was being influenced
by a woman known as "Jezebel."
1. This woman:
a. called "herself a prophetess" [an inspired woman who spoke on
behalf of the Lord]
1) "Prophecy" was one of
the 9 spiritual gifts in the early church (1 Corinthians 12:10).
2) There were women in the early
church who prophesied (Acts 21:8-9).
3) Such women were to follow certain
a) They were to be silent in mixed
assemblies (1 Corinthians 14:32-34).
b) They were not to teach or usurp
authority over men (1 Timothy 2:12). b. taught the Lord's servants to
commit fornication and to eat food sacrificed to idols
c. would not repent, even though the
Lord gave her sufficient time to repent (vs.21).
B. The Lord rebuked the church for
allowing this woman to teach her doctrine.
URGED JEZEBEL'S FOLLOWERS
A. (vs.22) The Lord threatened to
afflict those who practiced the things she taught.
B. (vs.23) He threatened to destroy
her "children" [devoted
C. This punishment would serve as a
warning to other churches.
EXHORTED THE OTHER
CHRISTIANS IN THYATIRA
TO REMAIN FAITHFUL
A. Thankfully, there were some
members of the church in Thyatira who did not go along with Jezebel's teaching.
B. The Lord promised to bless those
who continued serving Him faithfully. Conclusion:
1. The Lord wants us to "hear" this message (vs.29).
2. He expects us to grow in areas
such as love, service, faith, patience, and good works.
3. He also expects us to avoid the
evil influence of people like Jezebel (1 Corinthians 15:33).
4. In restoring the Lord's church
today we must follow His guidelines concerning the roles of women.