Фиатирский период церкви (кн.)
THE THYATIREAN CHURCH AGERevelation 2:18-29
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;
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.
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.
And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
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.
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 that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
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.
And I will give him the morning star.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Historically, the city of Thyatira was the least noteworthy of all the seven cities of the Revelation. It was situated on the confines of Mysia and Ionia. It was surrounded by many rivers, but they were full of leeches. Its most commendable feature was that it was well off financially due to the corporate guilds of potters, tanners, weavers, dyers, robe makers, etc. It was from this city that Lydia, the seller of purple, came. She was Paul's first European convert.
Now the reason that the Spirit chose this city as the one already containing the spiritual elements for the fourth age was because of its religion. The major religion of Thyatira was the worship of Apollo Tyrimnaios which was joined with the emperor worship cult. Apollo was the sun god, and the next in power to his father, Zeus. He was known as the 'averter of evil'; he presided over religious law and expiation (means of atonement, making amends for wrong-doing or guilt). Plato said of him, "He explains to men the institution of temples, sacrifices and services to deities, besides rites connected with death and after life." He communicated his knowledge of 'the future' and his 'father's will' to men through the prophets and oracles. In Thyatira this ritual was conducted by a prophetess who sat on a tripod chair and delivered the messages while entranced.
The hold of this religion was remarkable. Its formidable power did not lie exclusively in the realm of mystery, but lay in the fact no one could belong to the guilds which offered the people their living unless they belonged to the temple worship of Apollo. Anyone who refused to join in the idolatrous feasts and licentious orgies was barred from these first century unions. In order to be a part of the social and commercial life one had to be a practising pagan idolater.
It is most worthy of note that the very name Thyatira means, "Dominating Female." Thus this age is characterized by a dominant force, a force that ruthlessly invades all, conquers all and despotically controls. Now a dominating female is the greatest curse in the world. The wisest man the world ever saw was Solomon, and he said, "I applied my heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness; and I find more BITTER THAN DEATH THE WOMAN, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the SINNER shall be taken by her. Behold, this I have found, saith the preacher, counting one by one to find out the account; which yet my soul seeketh, but I find not. One man amongst a thousand have I found; but a woman among all those have I not found." Ecclesiastes 7:25-28. Paul said, "I suffer not a woman to teach or to USURP authority." From the Garden of Eden onward, woman has constantly and successfully tried to take control over the man, and right today it is a woman's world with the goddess of America being a naked female. As the female idol falling out of the skies (remember her arms were iron bars) characterized the first or Ephesian Age, so her power has grown until she has gained absolute authority, such authority being usurped by her iron disposition.
Now a woman is not meant to have an iron disposition. She is, according to the Holy Scripture, to be submissive to the male. That is commanded of her. Woman who is truly female, all female, will be of that disposition. Not a door mat. No real male makes a female a door mat. But she will want to be under authority and not rule over the male, for he is the head of the house. If she breaks that image that God made for her, she is perverted. Any male that lets the woman take authority has also broken that image and he is perverted. That is why a woman CANNOT WEAR THAT WHICH PERTAINETH TO A MAN OR CUT HER HAIR. She is never to wear garments that pertain to a male or cut her hair. When she does she is intruding into the male domain taking authority and perverting herself. And when a woman invades the pulpit which it is COMMANDED SHE MUST NOT DO, she shows what spirit she is of. Being a dominating female is antichrist and the seeds of the Roman Catholic Church are in her though she may deny this ever so vehemently. But when it COMES TO THE WORD, Let God be true and every man's word a lie. Amen.
Let us go back to the beginning. In the original physical creation as we know it today, God made everything in pairs, male and female. There were two chickens - rooster and hen. There were two cattle, the cow and the bull. And right down the line. But when it came to man, there was only one. They were not a pair. Adam had been made in the image of God. He was a son of God. As a son of God he could not be tempted and fall. That would be impossible. So God took a by-product of man to cause the fall. Woman never stepped fresh from the hand of God as a true product of God. She was produced from man. And when God caused her to be brought forth from man she was vastly different from the other females He had created. She was able to be seduced. No other female in creation can be immoral; but the human female may be touched at almost any time. And that weakness in her allowed Satan to seduce her by way of the serpent, and has brought the woman to very peculiar position before God and His Word. She is the type of all things vulgar, foul and loathsome on the one hand, and on the other hand she is the type of all things clean and beautiful, and holy as the receptacle of the Spirit and blessings of God. On the one hand she is called the whore who is drunk with the wine of her fornications. On the other she is called the Bride of Christ. On one hand she is called Mystery Babylon, the abomination before God; and on the other hand she is called New Jerusalem, our mother. On the one hand she is so foul and wicked and lewd that she is summarily cast into the lake of fire as the only fit place for her; and on the other hand she is exalted to heaven, sharing the very throne of God as the only place befitting such a queen.
And in this Thyatirean Church age she is a DOMINATING FEMALE. She is Mystery Babylon. She is the great whore. She is Jezebel the false prophetess. WHY? Because the true female is submissive to God. Christ is her head. She has no word but His, no thoughts but His, no leadership but His. But what about this church? She has cast out the Word, destroyed the Bibles and worthy essays of the godly. She has slain those who would preach the truth. She has taken over kings, princes and nations - controls armies and insists that she is the true body of Christ and that her popes are the vicars of Christ. She is entirely seduced by the devil until she in turn has become the seducer of others. She is the bride of Satan and has produced his bastard-child religions.
All through the Dark Ages she has dominated. For over nine hundred years she plundered and destroyed. She killed the arts, destroyed the sciences, produced nothing but death until the light of the Truth was almost entirely gone and only the barest sliver of light remained. The oil and the wine had almost ceased to flow; but though she dominated the world kingdoms and demanded that all men find their citizenship in her, there was a little group who belonged to God and their citizenship was in heaven, and them she could not destroy. God kept His little flock; they could not be destroyed. This Church of Rome was as heathen and wicked as Queen Athalia who tried to destroy all the royal seed and almost succeeded, but GOD PRESERVED ONE, and of him there came more of the faithful. So God preserved a little flock in that long dark night and of their truth there finally arose a Luther.
Anyone who knows anything at all about the Roman Catholic Church and its form of worship can tell why this city of Thyatira was chosen by the Spirit to represent the church in the Dark Ages. There it is, right before our eyes.
The Thyatirean Age lasted the longest of them all, about 900 years, from 606 to 1520.
The church had long been split into two groups, Western and Eastern. Every now and then a reformer would arise in either or both divisions and for awhile lead some segment of the church into a deeper relationship with God. Such a man in the West was Francis of Assisi. Truly successful for a time, his work was finally put under by the hierarchy of Rome. Peter Waldo of Lyons, a merchant who renounced his secular life, became very active in serving the Lord and drew many unto Him; but he was thwarted in his work and excommunicated by the pope. Neither the Western or the Eastern groups had within them a man who could possibly be the messenger to this age when examined in the light of Scripture. However, there were two men in the British Isles, whose ministry in Word and deed could stand the test of truth. They were Saint Patrick and Saint Columba. It was to Saint Columba that the lot of being the messenger fell.
Though the messenger to the Thyatirean Age was Saint Columba, I want to dwell a little on the life of Saint Patrick as an example to us and also to give the lie to Rome's claim that Saint Patrick was any more one of her than was Joan of Arc. Patrick was born to the sister of Saint Martin in the little town of Bonavern on the banks of the river Clyde. One day while playing on the shoreline with his two sisters, pirates approached and kidnapped all three. Where the sisters went, no one knows, but Patrick (his name was Succat) was sold to a chieftain in Northern Ireland. His duty was to tend to the swine. To do this he trained dogs. So well trained were his dogs that many people came from far and near to buy them. In his loneliness he turned to God and was saved. Then came the urgent desire to escape and return home to his parents. He formed a plan that put his ability as a trainer to great use. He taught the dogs to lie on him and cover his body carefully and not move until commanded. Thus one day when his owner sold several dogs, Patrick commanded the dogs, except the leader of the pack, to get into the boat. The leader of the pack to which he then gave a secret signal ran off and refused to come aboard. While the master and the buyer attempted to get the dog, Patrick got into the boat and signaled the dogs to cover him. Then with a whistle he brought the leader of the pack into the boat and on top of him. Since Patrick was no where to be seen the buyer put up sail and moved out to sea. After making sure that the captain was too far out to turn back, Patrick gave another signal to the dogs which caused them to riot. Then he came forth and told the captain that unless he would put him ashore at his home he would command the dogs to keep rioting, and he would take over the ship. However, the captain was a Christian, and when he heard the boy's story he gladly put him ashore at his home. There Patrick went to Bible school and returned to Ireland where by the Word and power of God in many signs and wonders he won thousands to the Lord. At no time did he ever go to Rome nor at any time was he commissioned by Rome. The truth of the matter is that when Rome finally gained a foothold on the island and when they saw the time was opportune, they killed over 100,000 Christians who had over the years grown out of the original group that had come to the Lord under Saint Patrick.
About 60 years after the death of Saint Patrick, Columba was born in County Donegal, North Ireland, to the royal family of Fergus. He became a brilliant, consecrated scholar, committing to memory most of the Scripture. God called him in an audible voice to be a missionary. After he had heard the voice of God, nothing could stop him, and his miraculous ministry has caused many historians to acclaim him next to the apostles. So great was his ministry with the supernatural signs following that some (especially students in Rome) have thought the accounts were exaggerated.
In one of his missionary journeys, as he approached a walled city, he found the gates barred against him. He lifted his voice in prayer that God might intervene and allow him access to the people in order to preach. But as he prayed the court magicians began to harass him with loud noises. He then began to sing a psalm. As he sang, God so increased the volume of his voice that he drowned out the cries of the heathen. Suddenly the gates burst open of their own accord. He entered in and preached the Gospel, winning many to the Lord.
On another occasion when he was also shut out from a village, as he turned away to depart, the son of the chief suddenly became violently ill, even unto death. Saint Columba was quickly sought after and recalled. When he prayed the prayer of faith the boy was instantly healed. The village was then opened to evangelization by the Gospel.
The pure Gospel that was preached by Columba and his fellow workers spread over the whole of Scotland, turning it to God. It also overflowed into Ireland and over Northern Europe. His means of spreading the Gospel was one wherein perhaps twelve men under a leader would go into a new area and literally build a Gospel - centered town. Amongst these twelve men would be carpenters, teachers, preachers, etc., all wonderfully versed in the Word and holy living. This little colony was enclosed by a wall. Soon this enclosure would be surrounded by students and their families in their own homes, learning the Word and preparing to go out and serve the Lord as missionaries, leaders, and preachers. The men were free to marry though many did not, in order to serve God the better. They remained free from state help, and thereby steered clear of politics. Instead of ever attacking other religions they taught the truth for they believed that the truth was weapon enough to accomplish the ends that God had in mind for them. They were absolutely independent of Rome.
Saint Columba was the founder of a great Bible school on the island of Hy (off the S.W. coast of Scotland). When he went there the island was so barren and rocky that it could not bear enough food for them all. But Columba planted seed with one hand while he held the other aloft in prayer. Today the island is one of the most fertile in the world. From this Bible-centered island went forth mighty scholars endowed with wisdom and the power of God.
When I read the history of this great servant of God and the wonderful work he did, it saddened my heart to find that the papal power, lusting to bring all men into its grasp, came and eventually defiled these mission fields and destroyed the truth as it was taught by Columba.
Revelation 2:18, "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 revelation of Godhead to the Thyatirean Age is that Jesus is the Son of God. Once in the days of His flesh He was known as the Son of Man. But henceforth we know Him no more after the flesh. He is no longer the Son of Man, the Great Prophet, Who in Himself gathered together all prophecies. The Only Begotten is back in the bosom of the Father. Now we know Him after the power of the resurrection. He is risen and has taken unto Himself His mighty power and is above all and over all to the praise of His own glory. His glory will He not share with another. His leadership over the church He will not surrender to any man.
He looks down upon Thyatira, and here He sees in that city and in that fourth age the honor which belongs to Him alone, bestowed upon another. His eyes blaze with the fire of wrath and judgment as He sees Apollo revered as the Son of God, when He alone is the Only Begotten of the Father. How awful must be His judgment upon the religion of the Thyatirean Age wherein the church members like the pagan worshippers of the son of god (Apollo the son of Zeus), elevate a human ruler to adoration, backed by the power of the state. For that is exactly what He saw. The Roman Catholic Church, fully immersed in idol worship based upon the rites of the sun god (Apollo) had elevated a man to actual deity (pope) through the marriage of the church to the state. For Thomas Aquinas and Alverus Pelagius formulated and stated that: "The Pope seems to those who view him with the spiritual eye, to be, not a man but a God. There are no bounds to his authority. He can declare to be right what he will and can take away from any their rights as he sees fit. To doubt this universal power leads to being shut out from salvation. The great enemies of the church are the heretics who will not wear the yoke of true obedience."
"There is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (the Son of God.)" I Timothy 2:5. But the pope of Rome has changed the Word. He made it, "one mediator between God and man (not men)". So now he mediates between the mediator and men. But there is no other mediator save the Son. The pope pronounces salvation through the church of Rome. But there is no salvation except through the Son of God. No wonder the eyes blaze in fiery judgment. No wonder the feet are like fine brass as He stands ready to trample into powder and dust the wicked kingdoms of this world. Thank God for those strong feet of brass. They have passed through the judgment for us. They are now our foundation for what He gained is ours. We stand identified in Him, Jesus the Son of God.
It was in this age that we witness the rise of Mohammedanism that denied the Son of God and determined death upon all who called themselves Christians.
It was also in this age that the false church defied the first commandment of Almighty God and launched swiftly into breaking the second commandment for it put its pope in the place of Jesus Christ and established and enforced idol worship to such an extent that it meant death to those who refused the icons a place within the church. Under Empress Theodora, alone, from 842 to 867 over 100,000 saints were killed because they reputed the images of no value.
Surely this age must repent or lose all. There stands the Lord of glory, God very God - His Word cast aside, His person rejected, but human hands and human hearts cannot depose Him. Let them deny Him, He remaineth faithful. "Fear not little flock; it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. And when I come with feet of brass and flaming eyes I will recompense; judgment is mine, I will repay," saith the Lord.
Revelation 2:19, "I know thy works, and love, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first."
Here again we find the same introductory remarks, "I know thy works." The Son of God, Himself, said, "Believe Me for the very works' sake." He put an emphasis on His own works while on earth. The works that He did were ordained of God to inspire faith in Him. It was a great part of His ministry. His Holy Spirit in the apostle Paul said, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10. These works were to inspire faith in Him as they would show forth that relationship to Him that Paul described as "created in Him".
Now works will never take the place of faith in God for our salvation. But works will show forth our faith already placed in Him. Good works won't save you, but they will come forth out of a saved life as fruit unto the Lord. I believe in good works. Even if a man is not saved, he ought to do good works and do the best he can. What is horrible in the sight of God is for men to do evil works and then say that they are doing the will of the Lord. That is what the bishops and popes and the hierarchy of Rome were doing. They were killing, maiming, and doing all manner of evil in the Name of the Lord. They lived out lives exactly opposite to what the Word teaches. In that evil day those true believers shone like a light in a dark place as they continually did good; for they returned cursing with blessing, and did the truth to honor God even though many died for it.
In this verse He is commending His children because they were living changed lives. Their works testified to a new Spirit within. Men saw their good works and glorified God. Yes sir, if you are a Christian you are going to do what is right. Your works will show that your heart is right. And it won't be something that you put on, for you will do His will when no one but God sees you, and you will do His will even if it costs you your life.
"I know your love, service, faith and patience." You will note that their love is placed between 'works' and 'service.' And that is the right place for it, because without love our works are not accepted before God and neither is our service. Paul speaking to the Corinthians said, "Without love, I am nothing, and whatever I do is without profit unless it is done in love." Now you can see right here that these believers weren't in that Nicolaitane class that did works as a means of salvation or to be admired by men. They did their works out of the love of God that was shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost. That love in their hearts was God's love for His own. Jesus said, "By this shall all men know that you are MY disciples, that you have love one for another." The pagans who saw the lives of the early Christians said, "Behold how they love each other". John said "Everyone that loveth is born of God." I John 4:7.
I want to give a warning right here. It says concerning the last days that because of abounding iniquity the love of many will wax cold. In the Laodicean, or last age, self love, and love for material things will take the place of the true love of God. We need to guard against the power of sin in these last days. So many are getting so hard because they haven't realized the effect of this last day spirit. It is time to draw nigh to God and let him fill our lives with His love, or we will feel the coldness of the last day church, and reject the truth of God which alone is able to help us.
In those dark and dreadful years the true vine held its love for God and love of the brethren. God commended them for it.
"I know your service." Jesus said, "He that is greatest of all is servant to all." A wise man commented on that saying. Here is what he said, "Only history will prove the truth of that dictum." That man was right. All the truly great men of history have been servants. They who demanded to be served; they who oppressed; they who sought to always be at the head, have gone down in shame. Even the very rich are condemned by God when they have not used their wealth right. But look into history and you will find that the truly great were those who served others. History can never acclaim those for whom much was done, but it will forever praise those who did much for others. Now let us apply that to ourselves. Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, so we are to follow that example. See Him as He bows Himself over the feet of the apostles and washes their tired and dirty feet. He said, "You don't know now what I am doing, but you will know hereafter. But what you see me doing, you ought also to do." He became a servant in order that God could elevate Him to the highest heights. And one day in the judgment of the saints we are going to hear Him say, " Well done, good and faithful SERVANT, enter thou into the joy of the Lord." It is hard to be always a servant. But those who spend and are spent for others will one day be seated with Him in His throne. It will be worth it all, then. "Let us labor for the Master, from the dawn till setting sun, Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care, And when all of life is over and our work on earth is done, And the roll is called up yonder I will be there."
"I know your faith." Now he does not say here as He did to the church in Pergamos, "you hold MY faith". He is not talking about His faith now, but He is commending them for their faithfulness. And as He does He also mentions their 'patience.' Now faithfulness and patience go together. In fact patience is the outcome of faithfulness, for it says in James 1:3, "The trying of your faith worketh patience." There is absolutely no other way in which to gain patience. It has to come by the trial of our faith. Romans 5:3, "Tribulation worketh patience." How highly God regards this outworking of our patience is seen in James 1:4, "But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire lacking nothing." God's will for us is Perfection. And that perfection is patience - waiting on God and waiting for God. This is the process of character development. How highly God has commended these saints of the Dark Ages. Patient as lambs led to the slaughter, lovingly, faithfully they served God. That is all they wanted out of life, just service to their Lord. How great was to be their reward.
"I know thy works; and the last to be more than the first." This is certainly remarkable. As the darkness of the age increased; as the honor roll of the martyrs grew lengthier day by day, they worked all the harder, they served all the more, and their faith increased. How tragic it was that in the Ephesian Age love waned. And truly nothing is said of the increased labor of love in the other ages; but in this age, in the darkest of all ages, they served Him even more. What a lesson that is. There is no ceasing of this gracious service of love unto the Lord, but rather an increasing of it. That is the secret. Let the enemy attempt to thwart our service to the Lord - our reply is increased service. When the faint are crying in fear, that is the time to shout the victory.
"I know thy works, and the last to be more than the first." Now as we have already said, this age is called the Dark Ages because it was indeed the darkest period of all history. It was the age of Pope Innocent III who claimed that he was the "vicar of Christ - supreme sovereign over the church and the world," who instituted the INQUISITION which under his direction shed more blood than at any other time except in the Reformation. It was the age of Pornocracy, the rule of harlots. Sagarius III had a mistress and "filled the papal choir with paramours and bastard sons and turned the papal palace into a den of robbers." Anastasius III was smothered to death by Marozia who was mistress to Sagarius. John XI was Marozia's illegitimate son. John XII was the grandson of Marozia and he "violated widows and virgins and was killed while in the act of adultery by the woman's enraged husband." It was the age of Papal Schism for two lines of popes (one ruling from Avignon and the other from Rome) cursed and fought each other. These popes were not only guilty of immoral sex acts (fathering scores of illegitimate children, committing sodomy etc.) but were guilty of selling priestly offices to the highest bidders.
It was the age when the light glowed ever so faintly, yet the few believers labored more fervently as the darkness increased until toward the end of the age many arose attempting reforms. Their labors were so fervent that they paved the way for the oncoming reformation. Therefore as the Word says concerning that age, "your last (end of the age) works are more than the first".
The word, Thyatira, has various meanings amongst which is "Continual Sacrifice". By many this is believed to be a prophecy concerning the use of the Mass which is a continual presentation of the sacrifice of Christ. That is an excellent thought, but it might also mean the continual sacrifice in lives and labors of the true believers of the Lord.
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 2:20, Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest (tolerate) that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols."
Now with this verse I want you to drop down to verse 23 and see the proof of a great truth I have been bringing to your attention all along. "And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts." I have been saying right along that there are actually two churches, though the Spirit speaks to both of them in each age, as though they were but one. Here it is plainly stated that there are churches, and it states just as plainly that some of those churches most evidently do NOT know that He is the One Who searcheth the reins and the hearts. He is going to prove to them that is so. Now then, what churches will be those that do not know this truth? Of course it is the false vine group because the true believers certainly know that judgment begins at the house of God, and they being God-fearing, judge themselves that they be not judged.
Now why does God call these churches His churches even though they are the false vine? The truth of the matter is that they are Christians. But they are not Christians of the Spirit. They are Christians of the flesh. They are bearing the Name in vain. Mark 7:7, "Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." But indeed they are Christians for what else could they be? A Mohammedan is a Mohammedan. That is his religion no matter how he lives it because he subscribes in theory to what the Koran teaches. In the same way a Christian is a Christian as long as he subscribes to the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, born of a virgin, was crucified and died and rose again, that He is the Saviour of mankind, etc. (In fact, in the Laodicean Age there will be those who call themselves Christians because they subscribe to the fine qualities of Jesus, while reserving to themselves the right to deny His Deity. Christian Scientists have done that already as well as multitudes who preach a Social Gospel). He is a nominal Christian and belongs to the church. But He is not a TRUE or Spiritual believer. That kind of a believer is one who has been baptized into the body of Christ and is a member of Him. But nonetheless, it is in God's order that the tares grow up with the wheat and they are not to be uprooted. That is the command of God. Their day for binding and burning is coming; but not yet.
So the Spirit is speaking to this mixed group. On the one hand He is praising, and on the other He is rebuking. He has told what is right with the true believer. Now He warns what the false vine must do if it is to stand justified before the Lord.
THAT WOMAN JEZEBEL
The apostle James showed us the course that sin takes. James 1:14-15, "But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death." Now that is a picture of exactly what is happening in the church ages. As sin started in nothing but a feeling, so the death to the church started with the simple, little noticed deeds of the Nicolaitanes. From the deeds it went to a doctrine. From the doctrine it embraced the power of the state and the introduction of paganism. Now in this age it goes to its own prophetess (teacher) and so it travels on until it will find itself in the lake of fire, for that is exactly where it is going to end up, in the second death.
Now the whole cry of God against this fourth age is found in His denunciation of this prophetess, Jezebel. And to understand exactly why He denounces her so, we will have to look up her history in the Bible and when we find what she did back there, we will know what is going on at this time.
The first and very important thing that we learn about Jezebel is that she is NOT a daughter of Abraham, nor is her induction into the tribes of Israel one of spiritual admission as was that of Ruth, the Moabitess. No sir. This woman was the daughter of Ethbaal, king of Sidon (I Kings 16:31), who was the priest unto Astarte. He had gained the throne by murdering his predecessor, Pheles. So we see right away that she was the daughter of a murderer. (This certainly reminds us of Cain.) And the way she became a part of Israel was not through the spiritual channels that God had ordained for Gentile admission; but she came in by MARRIAGE to Ahab, the king of the ten tribes of Israel. Now this union as we have seen was not Spiritual; it was political. And so this woman who was steeped in idolatry did not have the least desire to become a worshipper of the One True God, but rather she came with the avowed intentions of turning Israel away from the Lord. Now Israel (the ten tribes) had already known what it was to worship the golden calves, but as yet they were not sold out to idolatry, for God was worshipped and the law of Moses was acknowledged. But from the time of Ahab's marriage to Jezebel, idolatry progressed in a deadly fashion. It was when this woman became a priestess in the temples that she erected to Astarte (Venus) and Baal (sun god) that Israel came to the crisis point of her life.
With this in mind we can now begin to see what the Spirit of God is setting forth in this Thyatirean Age. Here it is.
Ahab married Jezebel and he did it as a political maneuver to strengthen his kingdom and secure it. That is exactly what the church did when it married under Constantine. They both got together for political reasons, though they put a spiritual air to it. Now no one can convince me that Constantine was a Christian. He was a pagan with what looked like Christian trappings. He painted white crosses on the soldiers' shields. He was the originator of the Knights of Columbus. He put a cross on the steeple of Saint Sophia's thereby starting a tradition.
It was Constantine's idea to get everyone together, the pagans, nominal Christians and true Christians. And for awhile it looked as if he would succeed for the real believers came along to see if they could bring back the ones that had drifted away from the Word. When they saw that they couldn't bring them back into the truth, they were forced to break away from the body political. Then when they did, they were called heretics and persecuted.
Let me say right here that we have the very same thing going on right now. The people are all coming together. They are writing a Bible that will suit everyone whether it be a Jew, Catholic or Protestant. They have their own Nicene Council but they call it the Ecumenical Council. And do you know whom all these organizations fight? They fight the true Pentecostals. I don't mean the organization called Pentecostal. I mean the ones who are Pentecostal because they are filled with the Holy Ghost and have the signs and gifts in their midst because they walk in truth.
When Ahab married Jezebel for political reasons he sold his birthright. You join up with an organization and you sell your birthright, brother, whether you want to believe it or not. Every Protestant group that ever came out and then went back sold their birthright, and when you sell your birthright, you're just like Esau - you can cry and repent all you want, but it won't do you any good. There is only one thing you can do and that is, "Come out of her, my people, and stop partaking of her sins!" Now if you don't think I am right, just answer this one question. Can any man living tell me what church or what move of God ever had revival and came back after she went into organization and became a denomination? Read your histories. You can't find one - not even one.
It was the midnight hour for Israel when she joined with the world and left the Spiritual for the political. It was the midnight hour at Nicaea when the church did the same thing. It is the midnight hour now that the churches are coming together.
Now when Ahab married Jezebel he allowed her to take the state money and erect two huge houses of worship of Astarte and Baal. The one that was erected for Baal was big enough for all Israel to come and worship thereat. And when Constantine and the church married he gave the church buildings, and set up altars and images, and organized the hierarchy that had already been shaping up.
When Jezebel got the power of the state behind her she forced her religion on the people and killed the prophets and priests of God. It got so bad that Elijah, the messenger to his day, thought he was the only one left; but God had 7000 more that hadn't bowed the knee to Baal. And right now out there amongst those denominations of Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, etc., there are some that will come out and come back to God. I want you to know I am not, now, and never have been against the people. It is the denomination - the system of organization that I am against. I have to be against it for God hates it.
Now just let us stop a minute here and rehearse what we brought out about the worship in Thyatira. I said that they worshipped Apollo (who was the sun god) along with the emperor. Now this Apollo was called the 'averter of evil.' He turned evil away from people. He blessed them and was a real god to them. He was supposed to teach the people. He explained about worship, and temple rites, services to gods, about sacrifices and death and life after death. The way he did this was through a prophetess who sat entranced upon a tripod chair. My! Do you see it? Here is that prophetess called Jezebel and she is teaching the people. And her teaching is seducing the servants of God and causing them to commit fornication. Now fornication means 'idol worship.' That is what its spiritual meaning is. It is an illegal union. Ahab's union and Constantine's union were both illegal. Both committed spiritual fornication. Every fornicator will wind up in the lake of fire. God said so.
Now then, the teaching of the Catholic Church (the church is female, it is a woman) denies the Word of God. The pope who is literally Apollo in a modern version has taught the people to join themselves to idols. The Roman Church has now become a false prophetess to the people because she has taken away the Word of the Lord from the people and given her own ideas as to what constitutes forgiveness of sins, what brings the blessings of God; and the priests have gone so far as to state categorically that they have power not only in life but in death. They teach on their own that there is a purgatory, but you can't find that in the Word. They teach that prayers and masses and money will get you out of purgatory and into heaven. The whole system that is based upon its teaching is false. It does not lie on the sure foundation of the revelation of God in His Word but lies on the shifting, sinking, sands of its own diabolical untruths.
The church went right from organization to denomination and hence to false teaching. That is right. The Roman Catholics don't believe that God is in His Word. No sir. If they did they would have to repent and back up, but they say God is in His church. That would make the Bible the history of the Catholic Church. That isn't so. Look what they did to water baptism alone. They took it away from being Christian Baptism and made it a pagan one of titles. Let me tell you about an experience I had with a Catholic priest. A girl that I had baptized at one time turned Catholic, so the priest wanted to interview me about her. He asked what kind of baptism she had. I told him I baptized her in Christian Baptism which is the only kind there was to my knowledge. I had buried her in water in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The priest remarked to me that at one time the Catholic Church did that. Right away I asked him when the Catholic Church did that, for I have read their histories and I could not find what he said. He told me that it was found in the Bible, and that Jesus had organized the Catholic Church. I asked him if he thought Peter was really the first pope. He emphatically said that Peter was. I asked him if the masses were said in Latin in order to insure that they were correct and would never change. He said that was true. I told him that I thought they had wandered a long way from what they had in the beginning, I let him know that if the Catholic Church really believed the Book of Acts, then I was on old fashioned Catholic. He told me that the Bible was the record of the Catholic Church and that God was in the church. I disagreed with him for God is in His Word. Let God be true but every man a liar. If you take away or add to that Book, God has promised that He will add plagues to those who add and take away their part from the Book of Life if they dare to subtract from it. Revelation 22:18,19.
Let me just show how the Roman Catholic Church believes that God is in the church instead of the Word. Here is an excerpt from the diary of Pope John the 23rd. "My experience during these three years as Pope, since 'in fear and trembling' I accepted this service in pure obedience to the Lord's Will, conveyed to me through the Sacred College of Cardinals in conclave, bears witness to this maxim and is a moving and lasting reason for me to be true to it; absolute trust in God, in all that concerns the present, and perfect tranquillity as regards the future." This pope states that God spoke through the church revealing His will. How false. God is in His Word and speaks by the Word revealing His will. He also stated that he placed absolute trust in the word of men and thereby obeyed it with tranquillity. It sounds so beautiful but it is so false. Just like the perversion in the Garden of Eden.
Now let us get over here in Revelation 17 and see this woman, the church, who is living on false prophecies and not the Word of God. In verse 1 God calls her the great whore. Why is she a whore? Because she is in idolatry. She has caught the people up into the same thing. What' s the cure for idolatry? The Word of God. So this woman is a whore because she has left the Word. There she is sitting upon many waters, which means multitudes of people. This surely has to be the false church because the church of God is small - few there be that find it.
Notice what she is like in the eyes of God, no matter how wonderful she looks to people and how philosophical she sounds. She is filthy drunk on her fornications. Now she was drunk with the blood of the martyrs. Just like Jezebel who killed the prophets and priests and destroyed the people of God who would not bow down and worship Baal. And that is exactly what the Catholic Church did. They killed those that would not bow down to the popish rule. Those who wanted the Word of God instead of the words of men were put to death, usually by cruel methods. But this church that dealt in death was dead herself and didn't know it. There was no life in her and no signs ever followed her.
SPACE TO REPENT
Revelation 2:21; "And I gave her space to repent of her fornications; and she repented not." Do you know that this church was actually more wicked than Ahab? Do you know that he repented for awhile and walked softly before God? You can't say that of the Roman Catholic Church. No sir. She has never repented but has stubbornly destroyed any and all who tried to help her repent. That is history. Now God kept raising up not only the messengers to each age but He raised up some wonderful helpers for those messengers. He gave every age some wonderful men of God and they did everything they could to bring the church back to God. God certainly gave her opportunity and help to repent. Did she ever repent and show she did by her fruits? No sir. She never has and she never will. She is drunk. She has lost her senses in spiritual things.
Now don't be confused and start thinking that the Church of Rome has repented of her slaughter of the saints because she is attempting to unite with the Protestants by making her creeds to line up with Protestant Creeds. Not once has she ever apologized and said she was wrong for her mass murders. And she won't either. And no matter how mellow and sweet she appears at this particular time, she will yet rise up to kill, for murder lies in her evil and unrepentant heart.
SENTENCE AGAINST THE HARLOT PASSED
Revelation 2:22-23, "Behold I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 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 everyone of you according to your works."
What? This woman has children? And she a whore? If that is the case that she had children by her whoredoms then she must be burnt with fire as the Word has said. That is exactly true. That is her end for she will burn with fire. Her end is the lake of fire. But stop and think about these children for a moment. A woman is the one out of whom the children come. It is evident that this woman had children that came out of her but they did the same thing she did. Show me one church that ever came out of organization that didn't go right back into it. There isn't one. Not one. The Lutherans came out and then organized right back and today they are hand in glove with this ecumenical move. The Methodists came out and they organized right back. The Pentecostals came out and they organized right back. There is going to be another coming out, and praise God they won't organize back because they know the truth. That group will be the bride of the last day.
Now it said here that this whore had children. Now what were they? They were daughters, for they were churches just like her. Now here is a very interesting point. Jezebel and Ahab had a daughter. That daughter married Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat and in II Kings 8:18 it says that "Jehoram walked in the ways of his father-in-law." He went right into idolatry by this marriage. He brought God-fearing and God- worshipping Judah into idolatry. That is exactly what all these daughter churches have done, even as I have pointed out to you. They start in the truth and marry into organization and leave the Word for tradition, creeds etc. Now let me get this across. In Hebrews 13:7 it says, "Obey them which have the rule over you who have spoken unto you the Word of God." It is the Word that rules us, not men. Now a man as a husband is head of the woman. He rules her. But the church is a woman, too, and her ruler is the Word. Jesus is the Word. If she rejects the Word and takes any other headship she is an adulteress. Now you name me one church that hasn't given up the Word for traditions and creeds. They are all adulteresses - like mother, like daughter.
What will be the punishment of the harlot and her children? Well, it is going to be twofold. First He said, "I will cast her into a bed." According to the last part of verse 22 it will be a bed of tribulation, or the great tribulation. That is exactly what Jesus said in Matthew 25:1-13. There were ten virgins. Five were wise and five were foolish. The five wise had oil (the Holy Spirit) but the other five did not. When the cry went up, "Behold the Bridegroom cometh," the five foolish had to run seeking oil while the five wise virgins went in to the marriage. The five that remained outside were left to the great tribulation. That is what will happen to all who do not go up in the rapture. That is what will come upon the harlot and her daughters. Secondly, it says that he will kill them with death or as a literal translation says, "Let them be put to death with death." This is a strange saying. We might say, "let a man be put to death by hanging, or by electrocution or some other way." But this says, "Let them be put to death by death." Death itself is the cause of their death. Now I want you to see this clearly so I will take our illustration again of the daughter of Jezebel marrying into the house of Judah and thereby bringing it right into idolatry and causing God to deliver Judah to death. That is what Balaam did, too. So here was Jezebel with her paganism. Over there is Judah properly worshipping God and living under the Word. So Jezebel marries her daughter to Jehoram. The minute that happens, Jehoram causes the people to become idolaters. The minute that marriage took place Judah was dead. Spiritual death came in. The minute the first church of Rome organized, it died. The minute that the Lutherans organized, death came in and they died. The Pentecostals came along last and they organized. The Spirit left, though they don't believe it. But He did. That marriage brought death. Then the light of Oneness of the Godhead came. They organized and they died too. Then after the fire of God fell on the Ohio River in 1933 a healing revival swept the world, but it never came through any organization. God went outside the Pentecostal groups, outside of organization, and what He is going to do in the future is going to be outside organization, too. God can't work through the dead. He can only work through the LIVING members. Those living members are outside of Babylon.
So you see, "Death" or "Organization" came, and the church died, or to make it plainer death became a resident wherein shortly before only LIFE reigned. As the original Eve brought death to mankind so now organization has brought death, for organization is the product of the double corrupters, Nicolaitanism and Balaamism, propagated by the prophetess Jezebel. Now Eve should have been burned along with the serpent for their awful deed. But Adam intervened, taking her quickly to himself so that she was saved. But when this Satanic religion has gone the full course of the ages, there will be no one to intervene, and she will be burned with her seducer, for the whore and her children and the anti- christ and Satan will all find their places in the lake of fire.
Right here I will be getting ahead of myself and maybe I ought to reserve this for the message on the last age, but it seems just right to put it in now because it deals so clearly with organization and what is going to happen through it. And I want to warn you. Revelation 13:1-18, "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion; and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred three score and six."
This chapter shows the power of the Roman Catholic Church and what she will do through organization. Remember this is the false vine. Let it name the Name of the Lord, it does so only in a lie. Its headship is not of the Lord but of Satan. It finally ends up completely identified with the beast. The whore riding on the scarlet beast distinctly shows her power is the god of force (Satan) and not our God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
In verse 17, it emphatically shows that she will gain absolute control of the commerce of the earth, for no man can buy or sell apart from her. This is borne out in Revelation 18:9-17 which shows her involvement with kings, princes, merchants, all of whom have to do with Rome and commerce.
In Revelation 13:14, we learn that the beast spreads his influence through the image which was built for him. The image that is made is a world-wide ecumenical council, wherein all the organized churches will get together with the Roman Catholics (they are doing it even now.) It is quite possible this union will come in order to stop the power of communism. But since communism like Nebuchadnezzar has been raised up to burn the flesh of the harlot, Rome will be overcome and destroyed. Take note that everywhere the Romish church went, communism followed. It has to be that way. And let me warn you now, don't get thinking communism is your only enemy. No sir. It is the Catholic Church also, and even more so.
Now let us read Revelation 13:1-4, and compare this with Revelation 12:1-5. Revelation 13:1-4, "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion; and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him? Revelation 12:1-5, "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and it cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne." Satan and his Satanic religion are in both of these beasts. In Revelation 14, the beast that was wounded unto death but lived again is imperial pagan Rome that fell to the onslaught of the barbarians and thereby lost her temporal power. But she regained it in papal Rome. Do you see it? The nation that ruled by crushing all and which became the strongest empire ever known, was finally wounded to death. Her power was gone physically as to control by armies etc. But under Constantine she came back to life, for papal Rome has infiltrated the whole world, and her power is absolute. She uses kings and merchants and in her deadly religious and financial strength she is governing as the goddess of this present age. She is also the dragon that stood waiting to devour the man child. Herod tried to kill the Lord Jesus and failed. Later Jesus was crucified by Roman soldiers, but now is caught up to the throne.
Now along with what I have just said, recall the vision of Daniel. The last part of the image, the last world power was in the feet. That was iron and clay. See the iron is the Roman Empire. But now it is no longer solid iron. Clay is mixed in it. Yet it is there and running world affairs in both the democratic nations and the more despotic ones. The Romish church is in every nation. It is mixed up in it all.
Let me give you a little something on the iron and clay. Remember when Khrushchev beat his shoe on the desk at the U.N.? Well, there were five eastern nations there and five western. Khrushchev spoke for the East and President Eisenhower for the West. In Russian, Khrushchev is clay and Eisenhower means iron. The two main leaders of the world, the two big toes of the feet of iron and clay, were side by side. We are in the end of it all.
In verse 4 it asks, "Who is able to make war with the beast?" Now there are at present some great names in the world. There are some mighty nations, but right now Rome is calling the tune. The pope is in the driver's seat. And his power is going to increase. No one can war against him.
Verse 6 "And he opened his mouth in blasphemy." (Teaching for doctrine the commandments of men, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasure, having a form of godliness and denying the power thereof.) He blasphemed the Name of God - changing that Name to titles and refusing to do otherwise.
Verse 7 "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints." Persecution - death to the true believer and all in the Name of the Lord in order that the Name of God be blasphemed, even as it is in Russia, because of what the Catholic religion did there.
Verse 8, "And all that dwell upon the earth (all whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world) shall worship him."
Thank God the sheep will not worship him. Everyone but the very elect will be deceived. But they will not be deceived. For they hear the Shepherd's voice and they follow Him.
Now then, see this, what we have been trying to show you. This seed of death that started in the first age - this seed of organization, has finally grown into the tree in which every foul bird is lodged. In spite of her claims that she is the giver of life, she is the giver of death. Her fruit is DEATH. They that partake of her are dead. This mighty world church system that fools the world that in her is physical and spiritual salvation deceives and destroys the multitudes. But not only is she death personified, but this dead carrion creature will be itself put to death with death which is the lake of fire. Oh, that men would perceive what their end will be by remaining in her. "Come out of her, for why will ye die?"
A FINAL WARNING
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."
God looketh on the heart. That has never changed. Neither will it ever change. Here, as through all the ages there are two groups, both proclaiming their revelation from God and their relationship to God. "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them which are His." II Timothy 2:19. "The Lord searcheth the reins." The word 'search' means to 'track' or 'follow up.' God tracks down our thoughts (reins); He knows what is in our hearts. He sees our works which are a definite manifestation of what lies within us. It is out of the heart that proceeds either righteousness or wickedness. Our motives, our purposes - all are known unto Him as He watches every action. And every action, every word shall be brought into judgment when the accounting for our lives is given. There was no fear of God before the false vine and dearly shall they pay. Let all who name His Name, so live as becometh saints. We might fool the people but we will never fool the Lord.
THE PROMISE IN THOSE DARK DAYS
Revelation 2:24-25. "But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depth of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come." Now before we go into the promise let me show again that the church as spoken of by the Spirit in this book has two vines whose inter-winding branches compose it. "But I say unto you, and unto the rest in Thyatira as many as have not this doctrine." There it is. He is speaking to the two groups. One has the doctrine, another has not. There they are, scattered abroad across the nations with each one's doctrine opposing the other. One is of God, knowing His depths, the other of Satan, knowing the depths of Satan.
"I will put upon you none other burden." 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.
"They have not known the depths of Satan." It seems that this verse has been left out by the commentators for they were not able to figure out what doctrine or what experiences are meant by this phrase. Actually it is simple to know what is meant. Let us first know what the depth of God is, and the opposite will be true for the depth of Satan. In Ephesians 3:16-19. "That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." 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.
Revelation 2:26-29. "And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 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. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."
"He that overcometh and keepeth My works to the end." 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. But let us look at this promise in the light of the age. Powerful Rome with state backing, employing kings and armies and legislators, breaks and grinds all before it. She has killed millions and hungers to kill millions more who will not bow to her. She intolerantly sets up kings or brings them low whenever she can. Yea, her interference has actually caused nations to fall because she has determined to destroy the elect of God. Her works are the works of the devil, for she murders and lies as did he. But there is coming a day wherein the Lord is going to say, "Bring these Mine enemies before Me and slay them." Then shall the righteous be with their Lord when His righteous indignation will fall upon the blasphemers. The righteous coming with Him in glory, shall destroy those who destroyed the earth and made havoc of the saints of God. This was the age of turning the cheek, of terrible distress; but a day is coming when truth shall prevail and who shall stand in its fire and be safe? Only the redeemed of the Lord.
"And I will give him the morning star." According to Revelation 22:16, and II Peter 1:19, Jesus is the Morning Star. "I am the root and offspring of David, the bright and morning star." "Until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." The Spirit is, therefore, making a promise to the elect of the Dark Ages relative to Himself and then in the ages to come.
As we have already stated, Jesus identifies Himself with the messengers of each age. They receive from Him the revelation on the Word for each period. This Word revelation brings the elect of God out of the world and into full union with Jesus Christ. These messengers are called stars because they shine with a borrowed or reflected light of the Son, even Jesus. They are also called stars because they are 'holders of light' at night. Thus in the darkness of sin, they bring the light of God to His people.
This is the Dark Ages. It is especially dark for the Word of the Lord is almost entirely hidden from the people. Knowledge of the Most High has almost ceased. Death has overcome vast numbers of the believers until their ranks are decimated. The things of God are at the lowest ebb to this date, and it seemed that Satan would surely conquer God's people.
If ever a people needed a promise embracing the land where there is no night, it was the people of the Dark Ages. And that is why the Spirit is promising them the morning star. 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?
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.