The Lord said some rather horrific things about the church at Thyatira. In fact, His words to this sinning church should strike fear in all of us who have leadership positions in our own church. Consider the following:
“Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works” (Revelation 2:20-23).
The Sin of Thyatira
So what was the sin of Thyatira? Was it Jezebel, or the teaching of Jezebel that led God’s people into sin? Or was it the sin itself? Was it the sexual immorality and idolatry the church freely embraced?
No, as sobering as it sounds, the sin in Thyatira was not Jezebel. It was the church, and the leadership of the church, that allowed the teaching of Jezebel into the church. They were asleep at the wheel. There was no watchman on the wall. No guard at the gate of the church. No protective shepherd watching over the sheep. Nothing.
So what does this say about our leadership today that allows all sorts of sin and false teaching into the church just to give the appearance of growth or vitality or acceptance by the culture? What does it say about the prosperity gospel or multi-campus mega-churches or rock concerts disguised as worship experiences? Where do we fit into all of this?
If you are concerned about how this letter to Thyatira applies to the church of today, then keep listening.
The following is a study on the Lord’s letter to the church at Thyatira in Revelation 2:18-29.
To download the slides for this message, click – HERE
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The word Pergamos comes from a combination of two Greek words that mean “mixed, objectionable” and “marriage.” Pergamos therefore means a “mixed marriage” that is “objectionable” to God. Prophetically, it represents the marriage of the church and state where the state elevates the church to a place of acceptance or political correctness at the expense of the church’s devotion to God.
Look at what the Lord had to say about this church:
“But I have a few things against you, because you have there (in the church) those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. Thus you also have those (in the church) who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate” – Revelation 2:14-15.
The Sin of Compromise
The church, although commended by Christ for the fact they have not denied His name under severe trials and suffering (Rev. 2:13), nevertheless dropped the ball and allowed those into the church who were heretics and sought to drive the believers away from God and into sin. And the church did nothing about it. Why? Because, like the church of today, they allowed themselves to compromise with the world and allow all sorts of worldliness into His church. And they also showed a glaring lack of discernment and church discipline.
Sadly, the same can be said of the church today. Which raises a couple of questions:
How should we, as His church, respond to compromise and worldliness in the church?
What can we do as a congregation to foster a spirit of holiness in our time together?
What can you, as a member of His body, do to present yourself before Him spotless?
What areas of your life need to be addressed?
And what are you prepared to do about it?
The following is a study on Jesus’ letter to the church at Pergamos, Revelation 2:12-17.
To download the slides for this message, click – HERE
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The following from Elevation Church and their pastor, Steven Furtick, is frightening. This is a page from the materials Elevation uses to teach their children. Note what it says at the bottom:
Elevation Church is built on the vision God gave pastor Steven. We will protect our unity in supporting his vision.
Question: Whose vision are we protecting? God’s or Steven’s? And what if Steven’s vision differs from God’s vision? Where does our allegiance lie? I understand that it’s Biblical to follow Steven as Steven follows Christ… but what if Steven stops following Christ? What do I do then?
According to what Elevation’s children are being taught, follow the man, follow Steven, support his vision.
Reminds me of the Wehrmacht Oath of Loyalty to Adolf Hitler, issued on August 2, 1934:
“I swear by God this sacred oath that to the Leader of the German empire and people, Adolf Hitler, supreme commander of the armed forces, I shall render unconditional obedience and that as a brave soldier I shall at all times be prepared to give my life for this oath.”
It could read:
“I swear by God this sacred oath that to the Leader of Elevation Church and its people, Steven Furtick, supreme pastor and visionary of our church, I shall render unconditional obedience and that as a brave church member shall at all times be prepared to give my life for this oath.”
But that’s another post for another day.
To the Church:
Please note, Christian musicians and entertainers who have a loud voice and a large platform are not theologians nor, for that matter, pastors, teachers or elders. They are, as stated, simply musicians and entertainers and not divinely inspired prophets of God. Trust me, after working for 10 years as a concert promoter for a Christian radio station in Charlotte, I know. Believe me, I know the spiritual shallowness of many Christian artists. The Christian music industry and the carnal, Laodicean church may view them as the Pied Piper for cultural relevance and moral tolerance and accommodation, but that does not make them spokesmen for God. Far from it.
Take for example Dan Haseltine, lead singer for Jars of Clay. In dealing with the issue of gay marriage he summed up his Biblical knowledge on the subject this way: “I don’t think Scripture ‘clearly’ states much of anything regarding morality.” Really? Are you serious, Dan? Have you ever read your Bible, Dan? Do you believe in absolute, finite truth, Dan? Or do you believe that whatever seem right to you… uh, well… must be right with God?
In fact, over the last couple of days Dan has come out in favor of homosexual marriage. “How?” you ask. Simply this. When you jettison the Word of God and replace it with your own mind, thoughts and feelings, then you become God over God’s Word and will believe and support anything your heart tells you is right. You become the moral absolute in your life. You become the final authority over what is right and wrong. You become the standard that God must adhere to. You, in effect, become God.
But remember this, Dan (and all others out there who claim to have the mind of Christ yet do not follow His commands), the Scripture has much to say about God’s view of your feelings and logic and opinions and of your heart. It says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). Did you get that, Dan. Your heart, as well as mine, is deceitful above all things, above everything, and is desperately, incredibly, unashamedly, incurably wicked. Dan, this is what the Lord says about your heart. So if your heart or mind or opinions don’t agree with the Word of God, the problem is with you, with your deceitful, wicked, Laodicean heart, and not with God.
After reading the following article, Dan, I would strongly suggest you drop to your knees and repent for elevating your sinful opinions and skeptic questions higher than the Word of God and then having the arrogant audacity to shake your fist in the face of God and proclaim them publically. And if I were you, I would repent ASAP. After all, I think you may have awakened the sleeping giant.
Sad day for you guys, Jars of Clay. Looks like another one bites the dust. Oh, remember Rob Bell? Didn’t think so.
Jars of Clay Frontman Comes Out in Support of Homosexual ‘Marriage’
In a series of assertive Tweets yesterday, Dan Haseltine of the popular band Jars of Clay took to his Twitter account and came out in support of homosexual ‘marriage,’ citing that he does not “particularly care about Scripture’s stance on what is ‘wrong.'”
Haseltine, who is the lead singer of Jars of Clay and whose band became famous for its Christian-themed music, posted to his Twitter account on Wednesday: “Not meaning to stir things up BUT… is there a non-speculative or non ‘slippery slope’ reason why gays shouldn’t marry? I don’t hear one.”
“I’m trying to make sense of the conservative argument. But it doesn’t hold up to basic scrutiny. Feels akin to women’s suffrage. I just don’t see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage. No societal breakdown, no war on traditional marriage. Anyone?” he went on to argue.
“I don’t think Scripture ‘clearly’ states much of anything regarding morality,” Haseltine stated.
You can read the entire article here. And, you can read a response to Dans’ views here.
The following is from RC Sproul, Jr. It is sobering picture of what is happening within the wide defines of Christianity regarding our relationship, acceptance and partnership with Catholics, Mormons, the Emerging Church, etc. Read and carefully consider the truth proclaimed.
Well Meaning Nazis
Do you think it possible that there were during World War II Nazi’s that were Christians? Do you think there were Nazi’s that were committed to the rule of law, even that hoped that the Allies would defeat Germany? Isn’t it likely that there were men in uniform, in the party, that found themselves there because of sundry social pressures, and not a small amount of confusion and ignorance about what Nazi’s believed? I would argue that such a truth is self-evident. Given the size of the party, given the confusion of the times, given the propaganda skill of the Nazi leadership there surely must have been at least one genuinely born again Christian that was a Nazi. And I think, had I been an Allied soldier during that time it would have been my duty to kill him. Why? Because he’s a Nazi, a servant and soldier of a regime that declared war against these United States.
If such a view shocks you, you might want to thank Rousseau. Rousseau was the great engine of romanticism, that worldview that drives us today to believe that forms, oaths, uniforms, formal loyalties mean nothing at all, that all that matters is the invisible recesses of our hearts. What a man feels is sacrosanct. What he says means nothing, except insofar as he is speaking about his feelings. Thus the Nazi can tell us, “I know I am dressed in a Nazi uniform. I know I have fought for the Nazi cause. I know I have sworn fealty to the Fuehrer. But I didn’t really know what I was doing. I didn’t really know what I was thinking. Besides, that was then, and this is now.”
Before I shoot the man, I would want to ask him one more question- “Do you disavow your loyalty to the Reich? Will you now take off that uniform? Will you come and join the Allies?” If so, what a cause for celebration. A brother has been rescued from an evil system. Kill the fatted calf, bring a robe and a ring. But what do I do if he replies, “Well, no. I was raised in the Nazi’s. And I happen to know there are a lot of people like me, people like you, who believe what we believe, in the Nazi’s. Why can’t we, Nazis and Allies, work together for the greater good?” What if he meant every word he was saying? He is speaking out of both sides of his mouth, and my duty is to believe the solemn oath, the uniform, the salute, not his self-report on his subjective feelings. One truth, the uniform, will get him shot. The other truth, his faith, will take him straight to heaven.
Of course this is all moot, because that war is over. But there are other uniforms, other loyalties, other solemn oaths. Rome solemnly and irrevocably asked, in the sixth session of the Council of Trent, during the counter-Reformation, that God would damn all those who say a man is justified by faith, apart from the works of the law. They have not changed that dogma, whether anyone inside the institution actually believes it or not. And when we enter the Roman fold we swear an oath to uphold and believe all Roman dogma. When we come to the mass we solemnly salute their system. When we receive her baptism we put on her uniform.
I am not, of course, equating Roman Catholicism with Nazism. The Nazi’s, after all, sent six million Jews to their deaths. Rome, on the other hand, has no concentration camps, no gas chambers. All she has is a false, damning gospel that sends billions to a lake of fire. That, not our feelings, not even our friendships, is what matters.