“But I have this against you…” Jesus (Rev. 2:20)
Welcome back in 2018! I hope you had a wonderful celebration of the Lord’s birth and a safe and happy New Years celebration. May you bear much fruit for the Lord in 2018; thereby, glorifying the Father.
We will now return to our study of the book of Jude. Before Christmas we had concluded our study of Jude’s description of false teachers. Now, we will look at our Lord’s reaction to these false teachers.
In the Book of Revelation, the apostle John records how the Lord Jesus appears to him and, among other things, gives him a message for seven churches in Asia Minor.
In the letter to the “angel” or messenger (pastor or elders) of the Thyatira church, the Lord Jesus identifies a false teacher tolerated by the church:
” ‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray, so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent; and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will cast her upon a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with pestilence; and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.'” Rev. 2: 20-23 NASB
In the letter to the Pergamum church, He identifies those who hold to false teaching:
” ‘But I have a few things against you, because you have there, some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit acts of immorality. Thus you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of my mouth.’ “. Rev. 2: 14-16 NASB
In the letter to the Ephesus church, He commends them because:
” ‘ …you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false. (2: 2) Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.’ ” (2:6 NASB)
In the letter to the Sardis church, sin had made such inroads into the church that He tells them
“…I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. Wake up…If therefore you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you.” (3: 1-3 NASB)
Paul says we were “dead” in our trespasses and sin before we were born again. I think this describes how far Sardis had backsliden in their Christian walk. If you looked at their deeds, they evidently were like the deeds of those who had no reverential awe of God, the ungodly. He tells them to “Wake up…”.
In the letter to the Laodicea church, they had reached such a state of deception, that He told them:
” ‘ I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot. So because year are lukewarm and neither hot or cold, I will spit you out of my mouth…(v 3: 15-16) Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent’ “. (3:19 NASB)
So we see that five of the seven churches had false teachers, had people in their congregation who believed false doctrine or were in a corrupt state brought on by error. We also know that Peter, John, and Paul warned about these false teachers that were deceiving the early church. Today, you only have to read your Bible and look at Christendom to realize that the false teachers are still hear today.
The next post will expand on the Lord’s comments to Thyatira and how this corresponds to what Jude has warned us about. In the mean time,
“keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 21).
Sanctifying grace and peace be upon you.