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Thyatira (Reading Revelation- 11)

Shawn Boonstra

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There have been times in this planet's history when being a Christian might just cost you your life. There are still places where that's true. Just witness the persecutions some Christians face in the more radical corners of the Middle East.

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Shawn Boonstra

Speaker/Director for the Voice of Prophecy media ministry.

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Recorded

  • January 2, 2016
    11:30 AM
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There have been times in this planet's history. When being a Christian. Might just cost you your life. Now there are still places where that's true. Just. Witness the persecution some Christians face in the more radical corners of the Middle East. But today we're going to look at a particularly embarrassing chapter. Of Christian history. When Christians actually persecuted. Each other and we'll see what God has to say about that. Welcome back to reading. Revelation a special series we're doing here at The Voice a prophecy designed to take you through the whole book of Revelation. And give you some of the tools you need to understand this mysterious book for yourself. I'm your host. Xan bone strength the truth is I don't think the Book of Revelation is all that mysterious at all. I mean. Sure there are parts of it you have to work on before you can understand and I don't claim to have all the answers. But I have discovered one essential key that makes the book. As easy to read. As any other book of the Bible. Now. If you want to know what that key is it's really pretty simple. All you have to do is read the whole Bible. You don't know what you're thinking the whole Bible that's a lot of work. Mud Yes it. Yes. But tell me what else in life is worth having that comes easy. And believe me reading the whole Bible is well worth the effort. This is actually what made a believer. Out of me. And when I came face to face with what it says in this book. In the Book of Revelation. I was left with no choice but to believe. It was obvious that God is quite real. Now. The reason you have to read the whole Bible. To understand Revelation. Is the fact that roughly two thirds of the language. In Revelation. Has been. Borrowed from other parts of the Bible. And the Old Testament in particular. What we have in Revelation is not just a random collection of abstract symbols. Almost every simple. Every concept can be found in other parts of the Bible. And when you go back and find those other parts. Usually explains what the symbol means. So for example. When you get a little bit of time try comparing Daniel Chapter seven. With Revelation Chapter thirteen. And you'll see that. John didn't just pull the stuff out of his hat he's using the same symbols. The same language as Daniel. And when we eventually get to. Chapter thirteen in this series I'll show you how easy that passage can be to understand. But today we're in Revelation. Two and we're looking at the seven messages that Jesus gives to seven churches in Asia Minor. And we're on. Number four the message to the church of Tyra. So let's dig right into it now starting in verse eighteen. And to the angel of the church and tie a tire right. These things. Says the Son of God who has eyes like a flame of fire. And his feet. Like fine brass. Now. This is the fourth time. The Jesus introduces himself to one of the churches. And as we've noticed in our previous studies for each church. He uses. Some of the language from Revelation Chapter one. And in every case. The description of Jesus. Is perfectly suited to the church he's addressing both. The literal church back in the first century. And the prophetic period. The Church points to. At some point in the future. Now if all of this is coming as a surprise to you haven't heard the stuff before you might want to go back and get the previous episode so you can catch up. You can find them at V.O.P. dot com. But generally speaking what you're going to find is that the seven churches. Each represent a period of history. Between the first century. And the second coming of Christ the whole thing. Is a prophecy. Now we've already moved through the first three periods down past the so-called conversion. Of the Emperor Constantine. And now we're moving into the middle ages. Or maybe it would be more accurate to describe it as the Dark Ages. When we look at the church of Pergamos the last time we met. We discovered that it foreshadowed this tragic time when. Pagan philosophy and political intrigue started to make its way into the Christian church. We discovered the letter was an honest assessment of the problems the church would face. And the letter meant that God knew. Well ahead of time. That Christianity would face some really serious challenges today. Historians look back and shake their heads at the atrocities committed in the name of Christ. During the Dark Ages. And they shake their heads. As if our bad behavior is a big surprise. Now of course. What happened should be a cause for embarrassment. But it shouldn't be a surprise because God. Actually predicted it. And if you read through the rest of Revelation in the Book of Daniel guilt us Gover that he actually predicted it. With a stunning. Amount of detail. Our sins. May have broken the heart of God. But they didn't surprise him because he knew the truth about sinful human nature. And he knew there were dark forces that were trying to throw the whole Christian. Enterprise. Off the rails. So now we have a message from Jesus Christ. To the church of Tyra. And Jesus introduces himself as the one who has. Flaming eyes and. Feet of brass. You and I might refer to the Dark Ages. But the lights for God. Have always been on. He's always been able to see the truth. Not only does God. See everything. He also throws light on the situation at the same time. He adds his own illumination and he tells us what's really going on. What happens in the dark. Happens in broad daylight as far as God is concerned. What happens in secret. May as well beyond C.N.N. because God doesn't miss a thing. God the sun has ice a fire. The both see the truth and light it up so everybody else can see it too. And the message to the Church of the Dark Ages is pretty obvious. You and I might have run secret torture chambers. We might have held secret trials for. So-called heretics. But none of what we did in dark places. Was secret to God. He saw every bit of injustice he saw every lie we told. And he saw every helpless victim. That we committed to the flames. Nothing. We did. Was hidden from God God's eyes are wide open. And if you read through the Scriptures you'll find a number of occasions where it says God opens. Our eyes to. He both see and. Illuminates. But you also notice that Jesus has feet made of. Fine brass. Now. The interesting thing about brass. Is that. It's a combination. You get. Brass by mixing. Copper and zinc. It's got two natures. Blended into one. And if you think about it that's a perfect description of Jesus he has two natures blended into one person. The Bible teaches that Jesus is fully God. But at the same time fully human. He is God in human flesh and. Interesting Lee enough. This is the only place in the seven letters. Were Jesus describes himself as the Son of God. He might be fully human but in this case. He. Underlines. His Divine authority. Now. Feet. In the ancient world were a symbol of ownership. If you could step on something it's because you owned it. Back in Genesis thirteen God says to Abraham hey go for a walk and. Everything your feet touch will become your property. Now. This whole. Planet. Is Christ's. Property. You and I gave it away when we surrendered our dominion in the Garden of Eden but Jesus. The last atom. Won our planet back through his perfect life. Is ministry. His death. And his resurrection. The planet. Belongs to him. And he's laid claim to it. But he hasn't quite taken full possession of it. And that's because he's waiting for the judgment. To be finished. If you go back and read the seventh chapter of Daniel you can see this clearly. First the judgment sets. And then. The Son of Man is given a kingdom that last forever. So when Jesus. Finally returns in Zechariah chapter fourteen after all the phases of judgment are finished. That's when his feet finally touched the ground and he takes possession of the planet. For ever. Now I know some of you will want more detail on how all those last day events take place but. Just be patient with me it'll all come out as we work our way through the Book of Revelation. Right now what I really want you to notice is the way the Bible emphasizes Jesus' feet. It might just be Jesus' way of reminding the fire Tyra Christians. That he not only sees everything and knows everything he owns it. All too. Now I am. Way past due for a break. But don't abandon me because we are about to dive into the heart of this letter and. I don't think you're going to want to miss this. Hello. I'm Gene Boone. Do you feel as if you have more questions than answers in your life. Like where is God When people suffer. Or can I find real happiness. And is there any hope for our chaotic world. Are you searching for answers to these and other of life's biggest questions. Well the discover by the guides. Will help you find the answers that you're looking for Visit us at Bible studies dot com. Or give us a call at eight eight eight. Four five six seven nine three three. For your FREE. Discover Bible guides. You can choose to study in the format that's most convenient for you. You me there do the lessons completely on line. Or have the mail to write to your home. Post options are completely free of charge. Visit Bible study stop come. And begin your journey today. To discover answers to life's deepest questions. You are listening to the voice of prophecy. My name is Sean bones try me your host. And right now we are about to start reading. Jesus' message to the church of Tyra. And this letter is a little bit longer than the first three so we might not have time to examine every little detail. But here we go now picking up in verse nineteen Jesus says. I know your works. Love. Service. Faith. And your patients. And as for your works the last. Are more than the first. So we get an acknowledgment that. Even in the heart of the Dark Ages. Got still has faith will believe and history tells us that is absolutely correct. There has never been a time in history when God did not have faithful. Bible believing Christians living somewhere on the planet. Keeping the flames of the gospel. Alive. And if you want to really good example you might want to pick up a fairy old book by a guy by the name of J.E. Wiley. It's called. History of the wall densities. And I just went and checked online and you can get reprints of this. To this day I think there's even a Kindle edition for less than a dollar. It's well worth reading. God has always had faithful people. Now we move into verse twenty though were mentions his deep concern for the church. Listen to this. Nevertheless I have a few things. Against you because you allow that woman Jessop who calls herself a prophetess. To teach. And seduce my servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things. Sacrificed to idols. Now remember that all through the Bible. And the Old Testament in particular. Sexual immorality and adultery. Are used as a metaphor. To describe turning away from God. And during the Dark Ages. Christians were guilty of all sorts of horrific atrocities. And I've already mentioned some of those so I won't be labor the point. Except to say that what we did. Was no better than the stuff the ancient Israelites did shortly before the Babylonian captivity. According to the Old Testament prophets the nation of Israel. Compromise so badly that they even offered their children as human sacrifices. Now. I seriously doubt they went from faith or worship to placing their children in the arms of the idol Molech. Overnight that it happen that quickly. That kind of compromise tends to build over a number of generations. One generation compromises a little bit. The next generation compromises. A little bit more. And down the road. The church does. Unthinkable things. And they still defend what they're doing is the will of God. You know you might remember one occasion when Jesus warns his disciples in John sixteen. That the time would come that whoever kills them would think they were offering God. Service. You see when Christianity goes bad it doesn't happen. Because people are just rejecting God out right. The it usually happens because of. Little self-serving compromises that build up over time. And eventually many people are shocked to discover that biblical Christianity actually disagrees with what they thought Christianity was. Now. Just before we leave verse twenty let me talk about Jesse bell for just a moment. And really this is information that you ought to tuck away for further use because it'll become a lot more obvious when we get into Revelation Chapter twelve. But for right now here's what I want you to notice. Back in Elijah's day. The king of Israel a guy by the name of a Hab married a pagan queen named. Jessop and of course. That was completely against God's council. It was an illicit marriage. A compromise between the faith of God and. Outright paganism. Of course as you may know that didn't end well for a have. Instead of his pagan wife jazz a belt turning her heart toward God. They have ended up turning against God. That that should serve as a warning for Christians who are tempted to become equally yoked. You have no idea how many people have come to me saying. OK. Look I know he's not a believer. But I think God put that man in my life to win him to Christ. OK. I'll give you that that might be true. But I'll tell you this God didn't put you in that man's life. To marry him. The Bible is crystal clear. Do not marry unbelievers. And God won't change his mind about that. Now if you happen to find yourself in that situation. Unequally yoked you can still take heart. God knows what you're dealing with. But if you're at the point right now where you're contemplating marrying an unbeliever. Just stop and go back and read the story of a happy you are risking. Way too much. And he way. Jazz a bill. Was a wicked pagan queen whose influence over Israel was undeniable. As you read through the story you discover that the nation of Israel actually came to the point where they had hundreds of priests. Leading out. In Bale. Worship and Bale was a Canaanite Idol. Ahab the king. Actually built a shrine to bale. So the prophet Elijah declares that God is going to send a drought on the land. And then God sends Elijah into hiding because of course Jesse Bell wants him dead. Now here's the really interesting part. And we'll look at this again another day. But. Elijah in that story goes into hiding for three and a half years. In the Hebrew calendar that would have been one thousand two hundred sixty days because they had a three hundred sixty day year. The prophet of God. Went hiding. There's a drought in the land and the royal family wants the prophet. Dead. Now when you compare that story to Revelation twelve. It becomes obvious that Elijah is a key to understanding. This whole book. Let's just listen to this language this is Revelation twelve thirteen. Now when the dragon. That's the devil. When the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth he persecuted the woman. That's a symbol for God's people who gave birth to the male child. What it's saying is that. The devil goes after the church that had waited all those centuries for Messiah to come. Revelation twelve rather fourteen. But the woman was given two wings of a great. He call that she might fly into the wilderness to a place where she is nursed for a time. Times and half a time from the presence of the serpent. A time times and half a time is just three and a half years. The Book of Revelation predicted that. After Jesus went back to heaven the devil would turn his anger against the Christian church. And the church would have to hide in the wilderness for three and a half prophetic years or one thousand two hundred sixty days. Now that just happens to be the exact length of the Dark Ages. From the moment we officially made the church a political entity. To the moment that system came to a grinding halt. In the late eighteenth century. And we don't really have time for that today but when we get a little further in our study. I'll show you exactly what happened. And I think you'll be stunned by the intricate detail that God gives us centuries in advance. If you go through revelation. And the book of Daniel. You'll find the same time period mentioned. AGAIN And AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN. Sometimes it's. Three and a half years sometimes it's one thousand two hundred sixty days sometimes it's forty two months. But it's always the same amount of time. And it describes a long period of time when the church is actually corrupt and faithful believers have to watch their backs. But really the point for now. Is Jessop Oh God predicted a time when the church would blend itself with non-Christian. Pagan ideas. Just like they have marrying. Jessa bill. And God. Predicted that Christianity would go off the rails. This is pointing forward to that. Time. Now we have got to take another quick break and we still have about eight verses to look at so don't go away. I'll be right back. Hello. I'm Do you feel as if your life has lost its meaning. Just moving from one task to another without any answers to the really important questions in life. Like is it possible to have a fresh start and to find real happiness. Well the Discover Bible guides will help you find the answers that you are looking for to this send to all of life's big questions. Visit us at Bible study start com or give us a call at eight eight eight. Four five six seven nine three three. For your free to scupper Bible guides. You can choose to study in the format. That's most convenient for you. You may either do the lessons completely. On line or have them mailed right to your home. Both options are completely free of charge. And there's that Bible studies dot com and begin your journey today. To discover answers to life's deepest questions. OK We are back from the break. And we've really got to get moving if I want to cover this whole letter. So let's look at Revelation two twenty one. It says. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality. And she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sick bed. And those who commit adultery with her into Great Tribulation. Unless they repent of their deeds. So here you have more language describing the spiritual adultery of the Christian church during the Dark Ages. Verse twenty three. I will kill her children with death. And all the churches shall know that I am he who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you. According to your works. Now there's a really mysterious reference. I will kill her children. Was deaf. And the Old Testament. The whole family eventually died. But historically speaking it also fits the Middle Ages. The church itself had gone off the rails we were doing horrible things. And suddenly from about the fourteenth century to the eighteenth century Europe fell on really tough times. We had the pneumonic plague. And then the black plague. Were the most conservative estimate puts the death toll. At twenty five million. And that might not have been a matter of God bringing disease on the western world as a kind of punishment. Even though I'm not willing to rule that out. But it might also be a matter of people. Rejecting God. And reaping the natural consequences of a world without God. Either way. History. Matches the prophecy. Verse twenty four. Now to you I say. And to the rest and Tyra. As many as do not have this doctrine in who have not known the depths of Satan as they say. I will put on you. No other bird. But hold fast. What you have. Till I come. Now I want you to notice. Again. That God has faithful people. Even in the midst of the Dark Ages. During this time of. Horrible apostasy. There have always been godly people. There will always be godly people. Sometimes there are a very small minority like in the days of Noah. Or the days of. Abraham. But they've always been there. Sometimes that little minority pays with its life like Abel. But God always has a remnant. That's an important word in the Book of Revelation. God always has a remnant. A group of people who will not compromise. Verse twenty six. And He who overcomes. And keeps my works until the end to him. I will give power over the nations. In other words if you stick with Jesus you will survive the end of this world. When all the nations of this planet are swept aside. When God finally eradicates corrupt human governments and replaces them with the kingdom of Christ. You will be there. And Revelation twenty says that you get to live and reign with Jesus. Really that's an unbelievable thought. You and I are sinners. And we deserve nothing but the wages of sin. And yet still because God loves us. So deeply. He offers us his kingdom come. Rule with me God says. Now verse twenty seven. He shall rule them with a rod of iron. They should be dashed to pieces like the Potter's vessels. As I also have received from my father. Now if you go back to the Book of Daniel and reach Chapter two you'll find this language matches that chapter. Exactly. In Daniel to the kingdoms of the world are finally crushed to powder. And then replaced by a great stone which represents the kingdom of Christ. That stone fills the whole earth. You know the amazing thing about that particular prophecy back in Daniel too. If you read through it you discover that. This is almost finished we're almost there. You and I are living at the very end of it. And that makes me think that one of these days we should probably go through Daniel two on the show as well. Today we need to stay focused on this letter here. To the church of Tara let's look at verse twenty eight. Knowing. Near the end in the kingdom of Christ replaces all the kingdoms of this earth. Verse twenty eight. And I will give him. The morning star. He who has an ear. Let him hear what the Spirit says. To the churches. You know historically speaking. There were people during the middle ages who started to stand up against widespread apostasy. There were people who identified the corruption in the Christian church. And actually called for change. Yet people like. Why cliff and Haas driving people back to the faith. Of the Bible. You had Martin Luther. Nailing his theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg. One by one these lights. Started going on all over Europe well before the close of the prophetic dark ages. Before the one thousand two hundred sixty years were actually. Over in the letter to thigh a Tyra. Jesus is acknowledging that. Genuine Christians were up against some really tough times. And before he closes the letter he makes a promise. This isn't going to last forever. You will receive. The morning star. Now historically. Christians have understood this to be a reference to the beginning of. Change to the beginning of the Reformation. It's not by accident. That we still call men like John why cliff. The morning star. Of the Reformation. We think of him as the keeping of God's promise. The morning star you see comes over the horizon during the darkest part of the night just before. Morning breaks it's a clear and vibrant signal that the long night. Is nearly finished. You know if you go back and look at Revelation Chapter one you'll see. The angels of the seven churches are also called Stars. Angels are stars. It's often used as a symbol for people in authority. For people whose official job it is to spread the gospel. Sometimes the Bible uses stars to represent literal. Heavenly angels. Like a dozen Job thirty eight where it says. The morning star sang together. When God created the world. But you'll notice the human leaders of the seven churches are also called. Angels. The Greek word is Aguilar such just means. MESSENGER. And one sense. Angelus can be human messengers. Or they might be heavenly angels as well. An angel might be a heavenly being or. A human being. It's just a messenger. And messengers who are proclaiming and celebrating the goodness of God. Are represented as. Stars in Daniel Chapter twelve The Bible. Says that one day God will make his faithful people shine like the stars for ever and ever. Those who dedicated their lives to sharing the gospel of Christ. Will be stars. In God's Kingdom. For all eternity. But you know the ultimate Morning Star. Is none other than Jesus himself. The Bible calls him. The day Star. He calls him the star that came out of Jacob. Second Peter one says that Jesus is the morning star that arises in our hearts. Because of all the messengers that show this world the absolute goodness of God. There is nobody who compares to the Son of God. And here in this letter. In the depths of apostasy during the Dark Ages. During a time when. Being an actual Biblical Christian was really difficult. Jesus says Hang in there. Because I'm going to give you the Morning Star. The ultimate reward for the believer. Is Jesus himself. The Book of Revelation says that one day God is going to wipe away every tear. And Jesus will literally twelve with us forever. The whole the tabernacle of God is with men it says in Revelation twenty one verse three. And he will dwell with them. And they shall be his people. There will be no more death no more sorrow. No more pain. Write this down God tells John these words are true and faithful. Now. I don't know about you but I have found very little in this world. That is true and faithful. Human government. It's always going to let you down. Family and friends tragically. They'll they'll let you down too even people at church. Will let you down because they're human. But the Bright and Morning Star. He will never do that. He knows what you've been living through. Jesus sees with eyes of fire that illuminate your situation. At his feet of brass tell us that he can identify with. What it means to be human. You can trust him with your life. You can trust him with your future. He gets it you understand. And you can throw yourself on him. And she says Promise. Is spectacular. His whole kingdom. And in there he says. Don't give up. Coming sir. My name is Sean. You've been listening to the voice of prophecy. I'm. Do you feel as if you have more questions than answers in your life. Are you searching for answers to some of life's biggest questions. While the Discover Bible guides can help you find the answers your looking for Visit us at Bible studies dot com or call us at eight eight zero four five six seven nine three three or you're free to scupper Bible guides. Visit Bible study stuck on. And begin your journey today. To discover answers to life's. Deepest questions.

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