'Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come.Revelation 2:25(NASB)
From the very beginning of the Christian Church, false teachers have abounded, and deceitful doctrines of demons have tortured and twisted the good news of the gospel, blinding the eyes of the unsaved and causing many believers to be led astray.
The serious problem of twisting God's word and causing many to stray from the truth and adopt another gospel, can clearly be seen in the challenging letters Christ delivers to the seven churches, through his servant, John.. in Revelation chapters 2 and 3.
The letter to the church in Thyatira is no exception and despite being commended for their love, faith, service and perseverance, church members are fiercely rebuked for permitting sexual immorality to infiltrate the body of Christ, admonished for embracing other pagan practices and challenged to change their ways.
Years earlier, Paul had warned that after his death, savage wolves would enter the Church and they would not spare the flock, and in the book of Revelation, John confirms this as a reality. He even named a particular culprit who was corrupting the congregation at Thyatira. Her name was 'Jezebel' - a self-appointed prophetess, whose actions were reminiscent of the wicked wife of king Ahab, who corrupted the children of Israel with her satanic practices and worship of Baal.
The Jezebel spirit identified in Thyatira is a narcissistic spirit of control with links to the occult and the deep things of Satan. Those who fall under the influence of this evil, egocentric and controlling spirit, become obsessed with plummeting the deep spiritual depth of the evil one. They foolishly open their minds to dark forces and often consider themselves to be the chosen or enlightened ones!
Those that fall prey to the ungodly teaching of the Jezebel spirit are those who seek spiritual enlightenment apart from God and crave eternal life without believing on Christ's sacrificial death. They consider themselves superior to the rest of earth's population and are ever learning some new 'mystical' spirituality, while never coming to the truth of the gospel.
The letter to the Church at Thyatira followed a similar pattern to most of the other churches... commendation of any good work, followed by the condemnation of any ungodly customs they had embraced.. before exhorting the whole church towards improving their ways with a promise of reward for those that have ears to hear Christ's urgent call... and listen to all that the Spirit is saying to the churches.
It is to the godly remnant who are ready to hear and obey the Spirit's voice, that Christ addresses when He exhorts them.. "nevertheless, HOLD FAST to what you have. Hold fast until I come." The little remnant at Thyatira who refused to go the way of Jezebel, were instructed to do nothing more than to hold fast to what they had - to hold on to their faith, until the return of Christ for His church.
The warning to this church is increasingly relevant in today's society, where a desire for deep, mystical spirituality, combined with the ungodly spirit of control is increasing in every area of our current culture, and in many churches, as men crave satanically inspirited understanding.. which is drawn from a wrong cistern.
A promise was given to the faithful little remnant in Thyatira, who listened to His voice, obeyed His instruction and held on to what they had.. "to the one who overcomes... I will give His power over the nations. He shall rule them with a rod of iron, and they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessel, as I also have received from My Father."
That promise is still open today to all the faithful of God, who hold on to what we have - until Christ's returns for His Church, when He comes in the clouds and takes us to be with Himself, forever.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the letters to the seven Churches in the book of Revelation and for the encouragement and warnings we gain from reading them and putting them into practice. I pray I would not be influenced by any enticing teacher of a false doctrine and I ask for discernment to recognise and reject any unscriptural thing that tries to seep into the Body of Christ. Expose those who are deliberately enticing Your people into a trap, through a spirit of control or an over-zealous lust for the dark spirituality, that comes from the evil one. Guard my heart and nourish my soul I pray, and may I hold fast to the truth of the gospel I love, 'til Jesus comes - in Whose lovely name I pray, AMEN.