“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent.” Jesus Rev. 3:19 NASB
“…but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness.” Hebrews 12: 10 NASB
Welcome back as we continue our study of the Book of Jude in the New Testament. We are reviewing what the Lord is doing in the Thyatira church (Rev. 2:18-29) which has been deceived by a false prophetess named Jezebel. Our opening scriptures give us two reasons why the Lord disciplines His children, first because He loves us and, secondly, because it makes us share in His holiness. As we will see, He is going to discipline His mislead bond-servants in Thyatira. They needed to quickly repent of their involvement in immorality and idolatry.
Now we come to the false prophetess, Jezebel’s, payday. She is going to receive from the hand of the Lord what she has sowed. He is going to protect His Bride from this ambassador of satan.
Notice first, though, the mercy of our Lord. Even in His wrath, He is merciful to this person:
” ‘And I gave her time to repent…’ ” Lord Jesus, Rev 2:21
” ‘…and she does not want to repent of her immorality.’ ” Lord Jesus, Rev 2:21
I believe this person was not a born again person who had been deceived, but was a false brethren who had “crept in unnoticed” as Jude warned. I like to believe that if she had been indwelled by the Holy Spirit, she would have repented.
Because she would not repent, wrath has come. Lord Jesus said:
” ‘ 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…” Rev 2:22-23
Her sin of immorality was carried out in a bed and there, she would experience judgement, “great tribulation”. As far as “killing her children with pestilence”, all the commentaries I reviewed said these were her followers. Just as Timothy and Onesimus are described as Paul’s children in the faith, she had “children” in her idolatrous faith. Some thought “death” referred to the “second death” at the great white throne judgment where people are cast in the lake of fire. But if pestilence is the correct word, that speaks of death associated with earthly disease. Since the believers that had been misled by her, were technically her “children” also, it must have applied to them also, IF THEY DID NOT REPENT.
The phrase, “…and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation…”, includes the Lord’s misled bond-servants. “Adultery” speaks of the spiritual adultery like the nation of Israel committed by going after other gods. Of course, it may speak of physical adultery also.
Here are Christians who are participating in immorality and idolatry. And they are about to experience “great tribulation unless they repent of her deeds.” They needed to quickly “change their mind” resulting in righteous behavior or suffer the wrath of God.
Paul has warned us in Ephesians 5:5-6
“For this know with certainty, that no immoral, or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. (Emphasis mine)
Paul says almost the exact same thing in Colossians 3:5-6. Notice also the following statement that Moses made to the children of Israel concerning the dangers of going after other gods:
“And it shall come about that as the Lord delighted over you to prosper you, and multiply you, so the Lord will delight over you to make you perish and destroy you; and you shall be torn from the land where you are entering to possess it.” Deuteronomy 28: 63
Moses was warning Israel that this is what would happen to them if they went after other gods and forsook their Savior. This is what we see happening in Thyatira to the misled New Testament believers, if they do not repent. As Paul said in I Cor. 10:20 they were sharing in demons, by eating food sacrificed to demons (an idol) and participating in fornication, adultery, and other sexual vices. And the Lord hated it. And He still hates it today.
Dear Reader, as Paul exhorted us, do not let anyone deceive you with “empty words”. There are many “empty words” being spoken today by people who claim to be believers. Paul told Timothy to watch out for those who did not advocate “sound words”, which are “those of the Lord Jesus Christ and with the doctrine conforming to godliness” (I Timothy 6:3) So called “spiritual truths” that do not conform the saints to Christ likeness are “empty words”.
The Lord Jesus said all the churches would realize the following when they heard what He said and did in the Thyatira church situation. You and I are to realize this.
” ‘ …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.” Lord Jesus, Rev.2:23
May the eyes of our heart be open and illuminated by His Holy Spirit concerning what is hidden in our hearts and minds! Thank you for your time.
“Little children, guard yourselves from idols. Apostle John, I John 5:21