“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:
 ‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.
 ‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
 ‘I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality.
 ‘Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.
 ‘And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.
 ‘But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them I place no other burden on you.
 ‘Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come.
 ‘He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations;
 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father;
 and I will give him the morning star.
 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
In our Christian life the present is always more important than the past.
Even though you did well in the past, if you are not doing so now you may even lose the rewards that you had piled up in the past. It will also affect your salvation.
The church in Thyatira was like this.
Surely they were praised for their deeds of late which were greater than at first. But they tolerated the woman Jezebel who called herself a prophetess, and they committed great sins in the sight of God by participating in her sinful acts.
Even though the Lord gave time to repent, she didn’t repent. Then the Lord gives a ward of fearful warning, saying, “Unless they repent of her deeds, I will throw them into great tribulation, kill her children with pestilence.”
Then He says, “All the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” It is the proclamation of God’s strict justice.
Like this, God is the God of justice who repays according to the deeds in justice. But at the same time, He is the God of love who patiently endures a long time.
2 Peter 3:8-9 says, “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
God endures a thousand years like one day, and He wishes for all to come to repentance and salvation.
Such a Lord is speaking words of encouragement to the church in Thyatira that will not repent.
In the verse 24, the Lord says, “But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them I place no other burden on you.”
Here, ‘the rest who do not hold this teaching’ refers to the new believers who don’t live by the word of God yet.
They diligently listen to the word of God, but yet they don’t have faith strong enough to keep the word.
Even though the Lord enlightens them through the word of God so they can realize and understand, because they don’t have strong enough faith yet, they don’t receive it.
Now, the Lord says that they have not known the deep things of Satan. Here, the ‘deep things of Satan’ refers to the deep realm of spirit.
All countries have laws and regulations. So long as they keep them, they are fine. But if they don’t know them, they may break them and they will be punished.
The same applies to the spiritual realm. If you don’t the law of God, you may fall into Satan’s temptation and break the law of God.
As for the price, you will be punished. However, even though you commit sin, depending on what level of faith you are in, the punishment will be different.
For example, when both a beginner in faith and a man in the 3rd level of faith break the Lord’s Day, the gravity of their sin is different.
When a man of faith judges others and gossips, it’s completely different from that of a new believer who doesn’t know the truth yet.
A man of faith surely knows that it’s a great sin to judge and gossip about others; in such a situation it is he himself who becomes a judge. But he still commits such a sin, then he will be all the more harshly accused by Satan.
Likewise, the spiritual realm has various depths, and depending of the depth, the work of Satan also varies.
But new believers don’t know about such a deep realm of spirit. That’s why the Lord says that they don’t know the deep things of Satan.
Dear brothers and sisters.
Everyone has different measures of faith. You can give counsel to others who are at the levels that you have already experienced and by-passed.
But you can’t do so with the levels that you haven’t experienced and passed.
You may give someone advice with some knowledge, but it cannot be complete. It will not be proper spiritual counseling.
Fleshly speaking, a person who is fluent in speaking English can teach and evaluate others at a lower level of competency in English.
He can measure the competency level of others. He can point what their problem is and how it can be corrected.
But if someone who is poor at English tries to teach or evaluate others who are better than he with his theoretical knowledge, it’s not right.
Of course, in some sport games like golf, there is a chance that a coach may instruct a player even though the coach is not better than the player.
It is common sense even in the fleshly world that a skillful person teaches others who are not as skillful yet.
It’s even more so in the spiritual world. Just as written in Matthew 10:24, which reads, “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master,” it’s a fact that only a more spiritually advanced person can teach others.
In the spiritual realm, you must experience a level to know what it really is.
Knowing about the taste of a fruit just by hearing about it and knowing about the taste by actually eating it makes a big difference. Likewise, even if you may have knowledge about the deep spiritual realm and the higher levels of faith, we cannot say that you actually know it.
If you are confused about the things at the level you’ve reached and if you try to teach others what you know as mere knowledge, then you will become arrogant; the authority of the word will surely not follow.
But being in a position to be taught, even if it’s a word coming from a little child, as long as it’s the word of God and the truth, you must receive it with ‘Amen’ and practice it.
The members of the church in Thyatira were at the lower level of faith; they didn’t know the deep things of Satan, and their spiritual eyes were not open yet. They heard the word, but they couldn’t digest it. They didn’t have strength to practice it.
That’s why they still loved the world even though they professed they loved God. They didn’t lay aside the old self, but still compromised with the darkness.
When we compare it to the stages of a man’s physical growth, they were like a baby who still is fed milk or porridge. That’s why the Lord says, “I place no other burden on you.”
It would be a non-sense to ask someone who is at a lower level of faith to do something that only a man at a much high level of faith is able to do.
That’s why the Lord says to the church in Thyatira, “Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come.”
The Lord doesn’t ask them to reach a deeper spiritual level such as being sanctified and receiving power. He tells them to hold fast onto what they have now ? the current level of faith ? so that they can reach salvation.
Therefore, the bible says to those who have faith of a child, “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able.”
Then, do you think it’s OK to hold fast to what you have until the Lord comes back when you hear this word?
You must not misunderstand it that you can just maintain the current level.
If you become lazy and think, “It’s fine now. I’ll take a rest,” it will be like stop rowing a boat that is going up-stream in a river.
The boat will be pushed back downstream because of the current.
Moreover, a day during these days is completely different from a day of 5 or 10 years ago.
Everyday is surely important in Christ. However, being lazy in your believing life in these days is totally different from being lazy in the past.
For instance, when you study for an exam, wasting a day without studying when there are a couple of months left until the exam and wasting a day when a there are only a couple of days left is completely different.
When the flow of the whole spirit is as rapid as today, if you have a lazy thought of maintaining just the current level in your believing life, you must know that it will result in terrible dramatic retrogression.
Therefore, you must save time all the more, and live a fervent believing life so that your deeds of late are greater than at first.
Now, let’s take a look at the word of promise that the Lord gives to the church in Thyatira.
The Lord says in the verse 26, “He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations.”
First, ‘He who overcomes’ refers to defeating the untruth, evil, and darkness by keeping and living by the Word of God.
It’s eventually defeating the enemy devil and Satan, the ruler of the world.
Its overcoming evil with good; overcoming sin and temptation of the world with the Word of God and doing the righteousness by the Word.
The life of overcoming is to keep the Word of God, which is the truth, to cast off the things of darkness, and to live in the light.
Next, what are ‘My deeds’ in “he who keeps My deeds until the end?”
What Jesus did on this earth was only doing the deeds of goodness and saving souls.
He only obeyed the word of Father God, and He did only the deeds that glorified God.
Therefore, keeping the Lord’s deeds is just as the Lord did by obeying the Word of God, pleasing God, giving glory to God, and expanding the kingdom of God by saving souls.
Not just in the knowledge, but actually putting the knowledge into practice; that is what is meant by ‘keeping His deeds’.
The Lords says, “to him I will give authority over the nations.”
Then, what is the ‘authority over the nations’?
It is to rule over the enemy devil and Satan which has the authority to rule the nations of this earth.
Dear brothers and sisters.
After God created the heaven and the earth and the first man Adam, God gave Adam the authority to rule the nations.
That’s why man is called the lord of creation.
But Adam was tempted by Satan to disobey God, and the authority was handed over to the enemy devil and Satan.
We can find it in Luke 4:5-7.
It says, “And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.””
The devil showed Jesus all the nations, and said, “I will give You all this domain and its glory.”
And the devil added that it was all his to be handed over as he desired.
In other words, the authority over the nations was originally someone else’s, but it was handed over to the devil. If the devil wishes, it can give it to Jesus.
Therefore, right now, the enemy devil has the authority to rule over the nations.
Of course, this authority is allowed only for the time being, that is for the time of human cultivation. It cannot be applied to those of you who believe in the Lord and become the children of God.
Those who belong to the world before they believe in the Lord are all under the authority of the devil, and they become the children of the devil in sin.
But Jesus came to this earth. He was crucified on the cross and He shed all His blood. When He resurrected on the third day of His burial, He broke the authority of death. He saved us from the authority of the devil.
Just as John 1:12 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,” since those who accept Jesus Christ as savior receive the right to become children of God, they are anointed as children of God and are set free from the devil.
And since they become the children of God, they no longer befriend the darkness that is under the authority of the enemy devil and Satan, but live by the Word of God in the truth that belongs to the light.
This is to overcome and to keep the deeds of the Lord, as I just explained.
But the devil don’t sit back and leave you alone.
The devil, by any means necessary, tries to hinder you from living in the truth so that you will fall into the world again.
The devil plants doubt in you so that you cannot have faith. It makes you love the world more than God. It hinders
you in may ways.
But once you drive the devil away and live by the word, then you will be able to defeat the devil more and more.
And finally you will rule the devil that has the authority over the nations.
Thus, if you rule the devil that has the authority over nations, then you will eventually have the authority to rule the nations.
And the more completely you live by the word, the more power and authority you will be given from heaven. Then you will easily rule over the enemy devil and Satan, the ruler of the world.
Once you live by the word completely, cast off every form of evil, and reach sanctification, no evil man will touch you.
1 John 5:18 says, “We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.”
That’s because the darkness cannot to anything harm to the light.
On the contrary, those who are defeated in the battle against the ruler of the darkness will still live under the authority of the devil.
Especially, if they follow the acts of Nicolaitans, Balaam, or Jezebel, they will become slaves to the enemy devil and Satan. They will become the prey of the devil and Satan.
And they will face the fearful judgment. It is the what the Lord says in the verse 27.
The Lord says, “and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father.”
Here, a rod of iron refers to an iron stick or an iron rod. If you break pottery with such an iron stick, the pottery will be broken to pieces.
Therefore, “he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces” means the authority of God who judges. The vessels of the potter refer to human beings.
Originally, the first man that God created was a living spirit a noble being.
He was a spiritual being resembling the image of God.
But the spirit died because of sin, and he became a man of flesh under the control of the soul; he became nothing more than the vessel of pottery.
Therefore, ‘breaking the vessels of potter’ means breaking those who don’t live by the word of God; in other words those who value nothing.
Those who only listen to the word of God which is truth, but don’t practice it, cannot become the children of God. They remain the children of the enemy devil and Satan. That’s why they will be broken to pieces like the vessels of pottery which are useless.
Therefore, I hope that you will become a precious vessel that holds the word of God which is the truth in your heart.
Just as written in John 12:48, which reads “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day,” God will judge by the word He spoke on the Last Day.
Those who don’t receive and put God’s word, which is the truth, in their hearts will be judged according to the word of God.
But those who put the word of God in their heart, overcome, and keep the deeds of the Lord will receive the authority of the light that breaks the authority of the enemy devil and Satan, just as the Lord says, “as I also have received authority from My Father.”
The Lord also says to them, “and I will give him the morning star.”
The morning star is the brightest of all stars; it is the star that is most loved and recognized by people.
But the morning star in this verse refers to the Lord.
In Revelation 22:16, the Lord says, “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
Therefore, “Giving him the morning star” means, just as God loves and recognizes the Lord, He will recognize as a son and love those who overcome and keep the deeds of the Lord. He will recognize as a son and love those who live by the word and defeat Satan.
When you believe in the Lord, cast off every form of evil, and diligently live by the word of the Lord then your character will resemble the Lord’s and you will become a man of spirit.
Then, you become holy and perfect just like Jesus Christ, the son of God, and you will be recognized as a son of God.
But no matter how many times you profess that you believe in the Lord, if you don’t live by the word of God and lose to the devil, you will not be given the morning star.
You won’t be recognized as a child of God, and eventually cannot be saved.
All this word is what the Holy Spirit says who is one with God to those who have spiritual ears. It will be precisely fulfilled without any error.
In the next lecture, we will look into the more deep spiritual meaning in the word that the Lord gave to the church in Thyatira.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
The church in Thyatira was praised for their deeds, faith, service, and perseverance; their deeds of late were greater than at first.
But it should not be outward-only keeping deeds of the flesh.
Even though you are faithful and doing your best in a fleshly manner, if you don’t circumcise your heart, your fleshly faithfulness will be useless.
The church in Thyatira had this fleshly fervor and faithfulness. But since they didn’t try hard to circumcise their hearts, they were tempted by a false prophetess like Jezebel and left the truth.
The Lord gave them chances to repent, but they didn’t repent so that they couldn’t but face a great tribulation.
But the Lord didn’t say that He would bring great tribulation and plagues unless they repent to those new believers who didn’t know the deep things of the spiritual world.
The Lord was speaking to those who had lived a believing life for awhile, knew the truth and the spiritual realm, and tried to be diligent and faithful. The Lord told them to repent and turn back who didn’t circumcise their hearts, but fell into temptation and were going to the way of destruction.
How sorry it is if they cannot reach salvation even though they knew the truth and the spiritual realm, and lived a long believing life!
Even though some of the members of the church in Thyatira repented, turned back, and became people who overcame, they could receive only the promise of salvation.
They lost the reward that they piled up in the past. They became those who should be thankful for barely reaching salvation.
None of you must be in this position.
Dear brothers and sisters.
In the words that the Lord gives to the seven churches, there are important details which are necessary to those who are living in the last days to check their faith and to prepare for the coming of the Lord.
Knowing the reason why the churches were praised is important. However, when you listen to these messages, you must understand what it is that they were rebuked or admonished for, and look back on yourself.
Of course, the words that you can use to check yourself will be continually preached. But I urge you to become a man who will receive only the praise after you listen to the words that were given to the seven churches.
I also hope that your deeds of late will be greater than at first everyday.
May you become remembered, loved, and recognized by God who will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it’s good or evil, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray!