REVELATION 2 PART 3 Bible Truth is buried
We update studies as the Lord Jesus leads us. You can find the latest update of this study at ChurchAges.net
The third church age changed the Word of God. The Light went out. Bible Truth was buried in the dark and dirty Dark Ages.
- Christ and the church are both like seeds
- This utterly corrupt age was the longest church age
- The church must be obedient servants
- Church systems are not able to repent and change
- Two fearful deaths await the false church
- When all seems lost then we must hang on
- The Millennium will be very strict
Christ and the church are both like seeds
JOHN 12:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
A seed has to fall into the ground and die. It must be buried in the dirt. Then, after a certain period, it will germinate and green leaves will appear above the ground as the miracle of a resurrection occurs. The seed that is dead and buried suddenly raises up a new life.
The world has had some great religious reformers like Muhammed and Buddah. They attracted great followings and these followers were seeking the resurrection unto eternal life. But when the great man died, then he stayed dead. Death is the final enemy as it is the barrier that we humans cannot cross and return from in a body that cannot die.
If the religious leader could not resurrect himself, then there is no hope that his followers could be resurrected.
In Eden, Adam and his bride got off to a perfect start. They each had a portion of the eternal life of God’s Spirit flowing through their veins. They had no blood.
I CORINTHIANS 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;
This perfection was destroyed when the woman was deceived and she chose to believe that it was possible to change God’s Word. God said that they would surely die. The serpent said that they would NOT surely die. And so, Eve brought death into the world because God’s Spirit left her and God had to fill her veins with blood.
God's Spirit will never co-exist with unbelief or any criticism or contradiction or change of God's Word. God's Word must be the Absolute of Truth if it is to last for eternity.
The smallest speck of doubt wrecks everything.
Blood is the only liquid that can contain human life.
LEVITICUS 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood:
But human blood cannot sustain life for one thousand years. Methuselah lived longest when he reached 969 years old.
We live in “time”, with a maximum limit of one thousand years.
GENESIS 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Sin will make us die in one day.
But God's day is one thousand years.
II PETER 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Born in sin we cannot live for 1000 years.
When the Millennium is over, the Bride will have lived for 1000 years in their immortal bodies. That is the proof that they are free from the curse of sin and will be able to live for eternity which is outside of time and thus never ends.
“Time” is our enemy. For the first thirty years or so we grow stronger but after that, time tends to make us age with negative effects.
We need a Saviour Who can free us from “time”. Only then will our physical bodies be free from death.
But no religious leader has ever managed to do that.
The birth and death of Jesus were two events that changed the world forever. Jesus was born of a virgin. He was born outside of sex.
I CORINTHIANS 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Adam started as a perfect man, but he fell. Do not look for perfection in a human.
Jesus was the next perfect Man. He is called the last Adam because He is the last perfect Man. There will never be another perfect man born of a woman.
When Jesus died, He did the impossible. On the third day He rose from the dead in a perfect Body that was free from death, time, and space. Jesus cannot age. He cannot die. In His glorified Body He is eternal. He is not limited to earth. He could appear in a room where the door was closed. He just ascended effortlessly away from earth into Heaven.
For the first and only time, a religious Leader had defeated death and time as proof that He had conquered sin.
As a result, Jesus alone is the true Head of the church.
But He had paid an awful price to defeat death, hell, and the grave.
This utterly corrupt age was the longest church age
The fourth church age lasted from AD 606 to 1520, about 900 relentless years.
This is a rebuke to our modern day Christians who serve God for a while and then give up when things keep going wrong.
To a church that had sunk into corruption and unbelief, the fiery eyes of Jesus indicated His hatred of sin.
REVELATION 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
The angel or messenger to this fourth church age was Columba who was Irish. From AD 563, he operated from the island of Iona off the coast of Scotland. He converted most of pagan Scotland and Northern England. His ministry was so powerful and shed so much light that the Dark Ages could only start in AD 606 after Columba had died in AD 597.
Around AD 634 Columba’s followers built an Abbey (monastery) on the Island of Lindisfarne as their Gospel influence spread through Northumbria. But in AD 663 the king of Northumbria chose the Catholic religion of his wife at a meeting called the Synod of Whitby. The Abbey of Whitby was ruled by a woman Hilda. Thus, two women caused the Roman Catholics to take over England.
(Thyatira can mean a Dominating Woman).
The Roman Catholic church ruled England, Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa in the Dark Ages.
In those days, the king of Northumbria had the authority to choose the religion of his people. Columba’s followers were forced to withdraw to Iona. By AD 666, the Dark Ages really descended over England and Europe.
REVELATION 1:15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace;
His brass feet symbolized sin that had been judged. He had walked through the fires of hell to carry our sins from the cross and dump them on the Devil. He had paid a terrible price and His brass feet would be reminder of the price that He had to pay for our sins.
Now the Christian church in the Dark Ages was sinking right back into the depths of sin, corruption, and unbelief. The fire and the brass of judgement showed the anger of the Lord towards this awful age of darkness and cruelty.
A great mystery is that the church is the body of Christ.
I CORINTHIANS 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
Like a seed, the church that died after the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 had to be buried in the cold, dark, and dirty Dark Ages of unbelief. The non-Trinitarian Ostrogoths were destroyed in AD 553 after an Italian war of about 20 years that was unbelievably vicious and destructive. In the ruined landscape of Italy and the darkness that fell over Europe, there was no opposition to Trinity anymore. The Pope then had about 1000 years to destroy truth and spread Trinity and other errors, until Martin Luther revolted in 1520. Thus Trinity became well established in people's minds.
In 1520, Jesus did an exceptional miracle. After truth was buried in the darkness of unbelief for these endless centuries of death and horror, suddenly the truth began to resurrect from the dead Dark Ages. Martin Luther restored salvation by grace through faith. The green leaves represented the reformers who began to restore the Bible beliefs. There were still many of the lost Bible mysteries that they did not understand, but they had made a brave start.
The church, as the body of Christ, that died after the Council of Nicaea and was buried under the deadly power of the Roman Catholic church, suddenly resurrected back to life by starting to believe the Scriptures.
During the Dark Ages of the fourth church age, tens of millions of believers were killed by the Roman Catholic church. Small groups, like the Waldenses, often had to hide in remote wilderness places like the remote valleys of the Alps.
Others like the Albigenses lived peacefully in southern France but were wiped out in a brutal 20-year crusade that the Pope organized.
It was the harshest and most brutal of times for true believers. The Roman Catholic church killed, maimed, and tortured people who disagreed with them. Yet these believers survived in spite of being in the toughest of circumstances.
The church must be obedient servants
REVELATION 2:19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
Faith is the basis for salvation, not works.
But good works come out of a saved life as fruit unto the Lord. In these darkest of days, their good works shone like a light. They honoured God with their good works as they continually returned cursing with blessing which testified that there was a new Spirit within them.
“Works and charity and service”.
Charity is love. Love is placed between “works” and “service”.
If we do not love what we do then God does not recognize our service.
Our works must be based on a love of God’s Word because only when we do God’s Will does our service benefit His Kingdom. Service implies that we are servants to others. Jesus knelt as a Servant at the feet of His disciples when He washed their feet.
We only find ourselves when we serve others.
He that is greatest of all is servant of all.
At the end, we will all long to hear God recommend us as good servants.
MATTHEW 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant:
Because we do not fully understand God’s Will we do not properly serve God. We must keep on searching the Scriptures to better know what God wants us to believe and do. We are easily distracted and influenced by other people’s issues and find ourselves in a spiritual dead end.
LUKE 17:10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
Unprofitable. We actually do more harm than good.
We may think that we are wonderful but God does not think so.
REVELATION 2:19 I know thy works, … and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
This was the darkest and the most vicious period of church history. Certain Popes lived in unimaginably depraved lifestyles. Cruelty and death were rampant. This was an age when the light glowed ever so faintly. Yet the good works of the few true believers increased as time went on.
An amazing truth emerges. When conditions really deteriorate then the true believer serves God with far more zeal.
When the going gets tough then the tough get going.
The word “Thyatira” can also mean “Continual Sacrifice”. The true believers offered their lives and labours as a continual sacrifice to the Will of God.
God alone knew what He was achieving in those awful Dark Ages. The true church fully trusted Him as they worked and were murdered for hundreds of years but they never thought of giving up. Their reward was in the next life.
AN EXPOSITION OF THE SEVEN CHURCH AGES CHAPTER 6
Surely these Thyatirean saints were the cream of the crop, full of the Holy Ghost and faith, created unto good works, showing forth His praise, holding not their lives dear unto themselves, but gladly giving their all as a sweet sacrifice unto the Lord.
REVELATION 2:19 I know thy …. faith, and thy patience,
“Patience” is a victory over circumstances that tested your faith.
It takes tribulation to develop patience.
Patience must have her perfect work to perfect us.
ROMANS 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
JAMES 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Waiting on God takes faith in order for us to know His Will.
Waiting for God takes patience. God moves in His time, not our time.
We must first wait on God to learn and discover what He wants done.That takes hard work.
Then, what is also hard, we must wait for God to start moving. It is no good moving in our own strength if God is not yet moving.
This process develops our character which is hammered out on the anvil of difficulty and defeat.
All these Dark Ages saints wanted out of life was just to be of service to God. They served God lovingly and faithfully as they were led like lambs to the slaughter.
REVELATION 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
Jezebel was a dominating woman who represented the Roman Catholic church that dominated Europe in the Dark Ages.
The true Bride made a big mistake when they copied any of the beliefs or traditions of the Roman Catholic church. The teachings of any official church is what we have to escape from.
Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal, a priest of Astarte. He became king of Sidon by murdering the previous king. Ahab, king of the 10 tribes of Israel, married Jezebel as a political move to strengthen his kingdom.
At the AD 325 Council of Nicaea, the church had married with the politics of the Emperor Constantine, to secure the political backing of the state which made the church stronger.
Fornication means idol worship. An illegal union. As if the church can make up their own doctrines.
Church systems are not able to repent and change
REVELATION 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
The only Head of the church is the Word of God. Jesus is the Word of God.
The church spiritually is a woman.
AN EXPOSITION OF THE SEVEN CHURCH AGES CHAPTER 6
If she [the church] rejects the Word and takes any other headship , she is an adultress.
Spiritual fornication is when a church messes around with man-made ideas.
They sold indulgences as if that could forgive sins.
They invented purgatory where you could get out early if you paid enough.
The Bible was banned. They wanted to arrest Columba in Ireland because he had “illegally” copied out the four Gospels. He had to go into exile to the island of Iona.
This terrible age of merciless killing, obscene sinfulness, and superstitious unbelief dragged on for about 900 years. That was plenty of time for the Roman Catholic church to decide to start correcting their mistakes. But they showed no desire to do so.
Human domination and false doctrine produced the Roman Catholic church organization that maintains its errors over the ages. Her deadly religious and financial strength enable her to dominate the church members.
MARK 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Everything we do for God that is not Scriptural is a waste of time. The commandments of man are futile. Only what is written in Scripture counts.
REVELATION 2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
The bed is the 3.5 years of great Tribulation. That is when the Roman Catholic church meets her final fate. Together with the foolish virgins who are not Roman Catholics but are fooled by Roman Catholic doctrines and traditions.
We have to repent of our unbelief and get out of all the flawed churches.
Two fearful deaths await the false church
REVELATION 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
Killing her children with death refers to the second death, the Lake of Fire.
The organized churches will take their people to their physical deaths in the 3.5 years of great Tribulation and after that into their spiritual deaths in the Lake of Fire. An awful journey.
REVELATION 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Reins guide a horse. Our thoughts are guided by our motives. God looks at our motives before He even gets concerned with our words and our actions.
We can only serve God when our motives are based on a love of God’s Word and our deepest desire is to understand the revealed Word of God. We see Christ as the revealed Word today, and that must always be first and foremost in our minds. The love of Scripture must be our most intense pursuit.
REVELATION 2:24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
“But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira.
“You” and “the rest”. God is clearly speaking to two groups in the church.
The true believers are “you” and they know the depths of God. The make-believers and unbelievers are the rest who know the depths of Satan. The true and the false vine are intertwining their branches in the church. They are scattered abroad across the nations but their doctrines oppose each other. It is a continual spiritual conflict.
AN EXPOSITION OF THE SEVEN CHURCH AGES CHAPTER 6
Now according to these verses, when a man experiences the depth of God in his life, it is an actual personal experience of the Spirit of God indwelling him, and his mind is illuminated by the wisdom and knowledge of God through the Word. But the depth of Satan will be in that he will attempt to destroy this. He will as always attempt to make a substitute for this reality of God. How will he do it? He will take away the knowledge of the truth of God--destroy the Word by putting forth his own, "Yea hath God said?"
He will then substitute the personal Christ in our spirits.
He will do it, as he caused Israel to do the same; by a human being reigning as king instead of God.
The born-again experience will be rejected in favor of church joining.
The depths of Satan had been entered into in that age. And the fruit of that depth of Satan which are lies, murders and horrible crimes came forth from it.
AN EXPOSITION OF THE SEVEN CHURCH AGES CHAPTER 6
The word for burden is weight or pressure. The pressure of the Dark Ages was either bend, or be broken. Bow or die. It was the inquisition, the power of the empire backing up Satanic worship. Be organized or pay with your life. Each age had its pressures. For example a great burden of the last age is the pressure of riches, soft living and nervous tensions in a complex age that we seem unfitted to live in. This fourth age seems to have had a clear cut burden. It was to defy Rome, stand up for the Word even unto death.
REVELATION 2:25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
There was hardly any truth left so the survivors of this terrible age just had to hold on. Truth had been steadily lost after the death of the apostles during the first four church ages since the inspiring start of the church under the guidance of the apostles.
EVIL means that they were moving away from the New Testament beliefs of the early church.
When all seems lost then we must hang on
The true believers must just hang on.
Martin Luther was going to cause a massive shock to the ruling Roman Catholic church. But, until he came on the scene, there would be no major changes. Consequently, the true saints must hold on with what they had.
The true believers had laboured for about 900 years, by far the longest church age. Yet their hopes had been knocked down by the relentless cruelty of this exceedingly long age. The change would not come in their age. They just had to patiently endure.
The next church age would see a dramatic change. But it would come in God’s good time, just like a germinating seed takes its own good time before it produces the first leaves.
REVELATION 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
The nations that survive Armageddon will basically be people from heathen nations that never heard the Gospel. They will go into the thousand-year Kingdom of Peace where they will be very strictly ruled. There will be zero tolerance for sin.
AN EXPOSITION OF THE SEVEN CHURCH AGES CHAPTER 6
It is very evident from the remarks of the Spirit on works that the Lord is trying to get His own to see His opinion of righteous works. Four times He mentions works. And now He says, that he who keeps doing His works faithfully until the end will be given power over nations, and will be a strong, capable, unbending ruler who can cope so powerfully with any situation, that even the most desperate enemy will be broken if need be. His demonstration of rule by power will be like unto the very Son's. This is very amazing.
The Millennium will be very strict
REVELATION 2:27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
By the end of this incredibly long and corrupt age, everybody was sick of sin. Especially God.
When the thousand year Kingdom of Peace, often called the Millennium, is set up with the Bride ruling the Earth with Jesus, there will be no compromise with sin. Anything sinful will be smashed to smithereens. The saints that endured the depraved reality of the Dark Ages and its fearful slaughters will be especially vigilant to destroy anything sinful. They had endured the horror of sin for far too long. They will not allow any root of sinfulness to grow in their new Kingdom. Sin may start small but these saints had seen the Depths of Satan into which small sins had grown.
They will never allow that to happen again.
Satan had hammered them hard in the Dark Ages, so they will hammer sin hard in the future Millennium. They will protect the truth of God with great vigilance.
REVELATION 2:28 And I will give him the morning star.
Jesus is the morning star.
REVELATION 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches.
I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
THYATIREAN CHURCH AGE - CHURCH AGE BOOK CPT.6
He is telling them that the Chief Star, even Jesus, Who dwelleth in Light unto which no man can approach, will in the future kingdom illuminate them by His own personal presence. He will not be using the stars (messengers) to give light in darkness any longer. It will be Jesus, Himself, speaking to them face to face as He shares His kingdom with them.
It is the morning star that is visible when the light of the sun commences to shine. When our Sun, (Jesus) comes, there will be no further need of messengers; He will bring us His message of cheer Himself; and as He rules His kingdom, and we live in His presence, the light of the Word will become brighter and brighter in our perfect day.
What else could we desire above Jesus Himself? Is He not everything, even Perfect Everything?
Today, Jesus is the revealed Word of God.
If we know the truth we will return to the beliefs of the first church age.
REVELATION 2:29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
THYATIREAN CHURCH AGE - CHURCH AGE BOOK CPT.6
He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches. Amen. Even so, Lord God, by Thy Spirit, let us hear Thy truth.
Always the same command. Hear the revealed Word of God.
The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to bring us back to Scripture.
JOHN 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:
for he shall not speak of himself;
The Holy Spirit only uplifts Christ, not any man.
The biggest mistake that Christians make is to think that they have to self-elevate themselves as important in some way.