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The Adulterous (Corrupt) Church (Revelation 2:18-29)

Sermon on 06 September 2020 by Ps Justin


This is the fourth part of the church series. In the first part, we had talked about the loveless church of Ephesus (Rev 2:1-7), which had forsaken their first love, the love of Christ. In the second instalment, we talked about the persecuted church of Smyrna (Rev 2:8-11) and the church of Philadelphia (Rev 3:7), which endured trial and tribulation, holding fast onto Christ. In the third instalment, we talked about the worldly church of Pergamos (Rev 2:12-17), which was compromised.

Today, we talk about the church of Thyatira, known as the adulterous, or corrupt, church (Rev 2:18-29).

As a reminder, here are the three instructions to ensure our attitude is right when we approach the book of Revelation:

1) The book is about the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:1). Only God can unveil His truth to us and not man.

2) This book is given to His servants (Revelation 1:1). It is meant only for servants of God, to the willing-hearted.

3) This book is given for us to obey (Revelation 1:3). Obedience is an act of humility. God will teach the humble. There are two indispensable qualities we must have if we want understanding of His word: (i) fear of the Lord (Psalm 25:14); and (ii) humility (Psalm 25:9).


“And to the angel of the church of Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: - Revelation 2:18

His eyes are like a flame of fire - He will see our innermost thoughts. Our Lord does not look at the exterior. He searches our hearts and tests our minds. He will give according to the fruit of our deeds. His feet being like fine brass represents His judgment on sin. God hates sin and He punishes sin severely.

“I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. - Revelation 2:19

Our Lord Jesus Christ will always exalt us. We need to imitate Him – we need to encourage one another. Repentance is turning away from sin and going back to God. We have to work hard to make the U-turn, doing things befitting that repentance.

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. - Revelation 2:20

Jezebel was the wife of the wicked king Ahab (1 King 16:31) and his wickedness was influenced by his wife. Jezebel has a spirit of control. Revelation 2:20 does not refer to the physical woman but is referring to the spirit of control. If someone calls themselves a prophet, run away. There is a difference between prophecy and being a prophet (Ephesians 4:11). Some are prophets, some are evangelists, some are pastors and some are teachers. We are all called to prophesize but not all are prophets.

And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. - Revelation 2:21

The mercy of God is not without limit. If a person continuously sins, being a hypocrite, and does not repent, this person will be judged.

Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. - Revelation 2:22

This verse is talking about spiritual adultery. The church of Thyatira was taught that repentance was not necessary. In today’s world, one erroneous teaching is the hyper-grace doctrine. Hyper-grace is a teaching that excludes repentance. It teaches that the power of the blood of Jesus Christ has washed us clean once and for all, and that we do not need to repent or have confession of sin. This teaching is wrong.

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 2:23

Jesus said again and again that He searches the minds and hearts (Jeremiah 17:10).

“Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. - Revelation 2:24

If we hold on to His teaching, we will know the truth and the truth shall set us free (John 8:31-32). We will no longer be a slave to sin. Therefore, do not believe in false doctrine.

Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. - 2 Corinthians 3:17

But hold fast what you have till I come. - Revelation 2:25

Jesus is telling the church of Thyatira to hold fast to the true grace of God.

By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand. - 1 Peter 5:12

And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations -

- Revelation 2:26

It is about overcoming temptation. Then we can have victory over sin. We must overcome temptation AND obey Him.

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathise with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. - Hebrews 4:15

‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like to potter’s vessels’ – as I also have received from My Father; - Revelation 2:27

We are to feed and nourish even those who are against us.

For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. - John 17:2

And I will give him the morning star. - Revelation 2:28

Jesus is the morning star.

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning star.” - Revelation 22:16

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” - Revelation 2:29


Listen to what the Spirit says. This is the invitation that the Lord Jesus Christ gave to the seven churches and to the whole world.

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