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Summary: The 4th church of Revelation

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INTRO: Remember the book by Frank Peretti, "This Present Darkness" about the battle between good and evil. How these demons were going to take over a town and how they waged war and used people to do their biding.

-It’s amazing how the devil uses different tactics to try to bring down or wage war against the Christians, his arch enemy.

Review:

Ephesus - Devil used diversionary tactics to get us involved in other things where we get so busy we make no difference.

Smyrna - Devil used frontal assault, persecution, bring hardship to Christians.

Pergamum -Devil will wine and dine you. He will seduce you into compromising.

Today: Thyaiirg - Devil’s most effective weapon where he infiltrates the church of God. Look at different types of Christians: Busy, suffering, compromising.

-Today look at naive Christian.

Frank Peretti describes this in his book, "This Present Darkness." Jesus describes this in his letter to the church in Thyatira.

TITLE: The Enemy From Within

TEXT: Rev. 2:18-29

2 Cor. 2:11 - "In order that Satan might not outwit us for we are not unaware of his schemes."

I. Background - 4th church longest letter written to the seven churches. Interesting it was the smallest church of the seven.

A. Common town - the cities that we have previously looked at were big strong commercial centers, important political areas.

-This town of Thyatira was just a wide spot in the road or a greasy spot on the map. Like Gnaw Bone, Gobler Nob, Turkey Creek, Possum Trot, Lead Better, Poe Dunk, Gasville, Weiner, Weed Patch, Broken Bow, Cocoanut, Holy Hill, Blacky, Sweet Grass, Wounded Knee, Dinwiddy, Bar Nunn, Sweet Water (little known town spread around the U.S. when passing through, we wonder what it would be like to live here).

1. Thyatira - was one just like these known for nothing, just a small spot on the road, not a strong economic center, political center, military town.

-Had small garrison of soldiers to be used like a tripwire for the capital of Pergamum. If every attack they would warn the capital. Give capital time to prepare for the attack.

2. Small town, small church - notice the letter is the longest says something about the Lord. That He cares just as much for one soul as He does 1,000.

a. Scholars - say 80% churches around the world are 200 or less. The average size is 70 people.

-Sometimes churches get down on themselves or get intimidated by larger ones because they appear more successful by the world’s standards. I would say to those that struggle with this. Judge success by spiritual standards, "that is - are you obedient to God’s small quiet voice and doing your part." Size and prominence is not as important to Christ as it is to us. Lord’s more concerned about their spirit.

B. Description Christ:

1)Eyes like blazing fire - meaning His anger against sin and His penetraiting eyes that see everything.

2) Brazen feet - speaks of the immovable power.

-The beginning of this message isn’t starting out too good.

Mom/Dad calling you in because you did something and they give you the stare and they won’t move until you discuss the problem.

-This is what’s happening in Thyatira. Lord wants to discuss something.

C. Message - starts out with good things.

1. Their growing (v. 19 Read) - Doing more than at first. They were accomplishing things - their love, service, and perseverance.

-They were taking some steps forward, going in the right direction but they needed to watch out for the stairs ahead.

-These stairs were the false teachers.

IL Learning How To Recognize a False Teacher and What to Do With Them. A. Deceptive - v. 20 (Read) she misleads my servants by her teaching. who: My servants, represents Christians or followers of Christ.

1. Who is doing this - Jezebel, was this a literal name of someone who actually leading people astray in church of Thyatira named Jezebel. Or was it a reference to someone who had traits and qualities of the Jezebel in OT. Scholars believe it’s the latter (reference to the OT reference Jezebel).

-Scholars say ideas and philosophies all had surfaced by the 3rd century. The wrong teaching today came out of the first 3 centuries.

2. Jezebel - wife of King Ahab, a prophetess, a female prophet (this was not bad) Some may not believe.

OT and NT there are prophetesses: Miriam - Ex. 15:20; Deborah - Ju. 4:4; Huldah - Zk. 22:14; Anna - Lk 2:36; virgin daughters of Phillip - Acts 21:9.

-She brought her own gods when she married Ahab, King Israel.

A. Against Mosaic Law - Israelite to marry Canaanite people. It was precisely this type of disregard for doing the right thing that Characterizes Jezebel.

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