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Revelation Commentary – the Seven Churches – Part II

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People who don’t know Jesus are able to discern from a distance what “Jesus” is all about by observing the corporate behavior of those organizations that claim to represent Jesus! Paul is clear. No weasel words. There’s a high standard that goes with being called “a Christian” and those who refuse to meet that standard must be cut off.

 

Truth is, there’s a standard of conduct that goes with every profession – whether it is a politician, medical doctor, airline pilot, lawyer, teacher or a fast food worker. Everyone in business protects and exalts the perception of their products. Paul’s statement reveals a simple truth:

 

One cannot love the things that pagans do and call himself a Christian.

 

The Christian church must not allow people to worship with them who willingly and willfully discredit the gospel of Jesus. Thirty years after Paul told the church of Corinth to expel those who were sexually immoral, Jesus made the same statement to the church at Thyatira:

 

Revelation 2:20   Nevertheless, I have this against you: You toleratethat woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.

 

Revelation 2:21   I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling.”

 

There are no weasel words here. Jezebel had been given the time and opportunity to repent and she refused… So, Jesus said, “I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery (along) with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways.”

 

If a person continues to behave in a sexually immoral way after being confronted with their sin, their sexual immorality becomes defiant and defiance leads to the unpardonable sin. Everyone that burns in hell will do so because they committed the unpardonable sin. The coming lake of fire is dedicated to the defiant. The influence of defiance will permeate a whole congregation  - just as yeast permeates a whole bunch of dough.

 

And an attitude of defiance can fill a whole church! We know that defiance is the most grievous sin of all sins in God’s sight. It is unforgivable. Do you remember these texts?

 

Exodus 12:19   For seven days no yeast is to be found in your houses. And whosoever eats anything with yeast in it (during the Feast of Unleavened Bread) must be cut off from the community of Israel, whether he is an alien or native-born.”

 

Exodus 30:37  Do not make any incense with this formula for yourselves; consider it holy to the Lord.

 

Exodus 30:38   Whoever makes any like it to enjoy its fragrance must be cut off from his people.”

 

Exodus 31:14   “’Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from his people.

 

Exodus 31:15   For in six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death.”

 

Leviticus 20:10   “’If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife – with the wife of his neighbor – both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.”

 

Many people read these texts and argue that the God of the Old Testament was stern and harsh whereas Jesus was forgiving and tolerate. They use these texts, especially the one concerning the Sabbath death penalty as evidence that this law was done away with at the cross.

 

They argue that if you insist on keeping the Sabbath, then you have to insist on killing those who work on Sabbath. This line of reasoning shows no understanding of God or His ways. God explicitly forbid Israel from sexual immorality, the eating of anything with yeast during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the manufacture of the incense used in the temple and from working on His holy Sabbath day when He required the elders of Israel, who lived in a theocracy, to put offenders to death because of defiance.

 

Defiance was the issue. No King can tolerate defiance for if he does, he cannot remain King. Does God demand that defiant people be put to death because He is arbitrary and threatened with their defiance! No. Of course not. God’s laws are not righteous because He says so. They are righteous because they have been demonstrated to be so.

 

The point here is that God responds to defiance with death for the benefit of His household. This is why the wicked will be burned up at the end of the 1,000 years. Every wicked person that will burn – will burn because of defiance.

 

If we defiantly continue in sin – sexual immorality, greed, idolatry, slander, etc., we become slaves of Satan and if slaves of the devil are tolerated in church, the whole church will eventually fail under the dominion.

 

Leviticus 20:4   If the people of the community close their eyeswhen that man gives one of his children to Molech and they fail to put him to death, 

 

Leviticus 20:5   I will set my face against that man and his family and will cut off from their people both him and all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molech.”

 

I call this process the corporate effect: (Goats misleading the sheep…)

 

John 8:34   Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to (that) sin.

 

John 8:35   Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.

 

John 8:36   So if the Son sets you free (from slavery), you will be free indeed (as sons).

 

Throughout the Old Testament, Israel’s history is one of repetitious apostasy…   And in most cases, Israel’s tolerance for sexual immorality was the leading precursor to its apostasy. This is why God demanded that sexually immoral people were to be cutoff from the camp and put to death! (Leviticus 18:29; 20:10)

 

This is the same principle that Paul advocated when he insisted that anyone who refuses to repent of sexual immorality must be expelled from church and Jesus affirmed this principle when He condemned the church at Thyatira. Fortunately, everyone had not yet fallen under Jezebel’s influence when Jesus gave this message.

 

Revelation 2:24   Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you):

 

Revelation 2:25   Only hold on to what you have until I come.

 

Then Jesus added:

 

“To him that overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations. He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery’   Just as I have received authority from My Father. I will also give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

 

These words mean the following:

 

Overcoming sin is not only possible; it is necessary – through heart-felt sorrow and repentance. When we respond to the influence of the Holy Spirit, we receive divine power from the Holy Spirit to overcome sin! (Romans 6)

 

People who endure and fight the fight of faith to the very end will be given great authority and power as Jesus has been given great authority and power! On the day that Adam and Eve sinned, and Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. The Father accepted and made this promise to Jesus.

 

Psalm 2:7   I will proclaim the decree of the Lord; He said unto me, “You are my Son (subject); today I have become your Father.

 

Psalm 2:8   Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.

 

Psalm 2:9   You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

 

Psalm 2:10   Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.

 

Psalm 2:11   Serve the Lord with fear and trembling.

 

Psalm 2:12   Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flair up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”    

 

On that day that Adam and Eve sinned, Jesus willingly became subject to the will of the Father. Because Jesus was willing to die in our place, the Father was willing to give Earth and everything in it to Jesus.

 

Remember the prayer of Jesus?

 

John 17:6   “I have revealed to you those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.”

 

Psalm 2:8   Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.

 

Psalm 2:9   You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

 

Jesus extends the promise given to Him to those who overcome the world as He overcame the world!

 

Revelation 2:26   To him that overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations –

 

Revelation 2:27  “He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery’ – just as I have received authority from my Father.”

 

What does this mean?

 

The saints will sit in judgment with Jesus and decide the fate of the wicked. The saints will determine the amount of restitution each wicked person must pay. (1 Corinthians 6:1-3; Revelation 20:4)

 

Keep in mind, the saints will not determine whether a person is saved or lost. No! The saints will determine the amount of suffering required to meet God’s standard of justice. How marvelous. Many martyrs will sit in judgment and sentence their attacker. Many slaves and poor people will sit in judgment and judge those who robbed them of fair wages and took advantage of them.

 

Ah, the victims of sin will become more than conquerors in the end! They will judge the wicked for God has decreed this and it will surely take place. One last point, Jesus said that every over comer will be given “the Morning Star.” 


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