The family of God is a community of children, sons and daughters, and fathers and mothers. The dynamic of the family of God is one of innocence, empowerment, and maturity. We must all maintain the innocence of children while finding the grace of God to overcome in all things that we might also become examples of maturity and stability in the family of God that inspires others. We must overcome everything that resists our intimacy with God in Christ. We must overcome every fear of death with a demonstration of faith towards God in all things. We must also overcome every stronghold of the flesh with a testimony of God working in our lives. A fourth area of overcoming is seen in our ability to walk in submission to life that we might bring the authority of life that comes by the Spirit of Counsel in Christ. This aspect of overcoming can be seen in the letter to the church of Thyatira.
Revelation 2:18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: 19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. 20 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. 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. 23 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. 24 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. 25 But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations— 27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—as I also have received from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star. 29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
The Church of Thyatira corresponds to the church throughout history and it is filled with language foreshadowed in the Israelite monarchy and the Davidic Covenant. Jesus is referred to as “the Son of God” – the greater David (Ps.2:7; 89:19-37; Jer. 30:9; Ezek. 34:23, 24; 37:24-28; Hos.3:5; Acts 2:24-36; 13:22, 23). This is a testimony of God’s authority in the earth. Authority gives life, while a grasping for power alone will always produce death or some measure of dysfunction. I believe that the aspect of Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Counsel empowers us to become expressions of God’s life-giving authority with a ministry of laying on of hands to give life to the world, thus destroying the power of darkness in the world by Christ’s ministry of light. We must all grow in the of living for the sake of others. This is a testimony of true authority.
The name Thyatira means “sacrifice” or “labor of love”. It also means “a perfume”, or “sacrifice of labor”. These are terms revealing attributes of serving with authority. These are attributes of a counseling ministry under the administration of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Counsel in our lives. The implication here is that of the Spirit of Counsel and the ministry of God as light and love. Jesus, as the “Son of God”, has “eyes like a flame of fire, and feet like fine brass”. Because we have been judged in Christ, we can now do the life-giving works of Christ that bring life to others. All life comes from authority. God wants us to all know one Father in heaven through His life giving Spirit of Council. He is the source of all authority in heaven and earth. His Spirit of Council restores our ability to rule in life. Our inheritance from our heavenly Father grants us authority in the earth to bring Christ’s healing through the “laying on of our hands” with the testimony of His light (Heb. 6:2).
We will be tempted to bow to the darkness of the world in a quest for power. We do this when we seek to live for ourselves rather than the wellbeing of others. In this letter the woman Jezebel is mentioned in reference to the apostasy of God’s people in the past (1 Kin. 16:29-34; 21:25, 26).” Jezebel is an uncovered woman who seeks her own desires and rejects the life-giving authority of Christ. It is said that she will, “beguile My servants to commit sexual immorality”. The exegetical, syntactical, and principle of application seen in this letter depicts a temptation to compromise in grasping for power and reject authority as is the power of darkness in this world. It is a temptation to live for our own agendas rather than living to give life to others.
Exegetically the term ‘sexual immorality’ refers to the fornication of apostate Israel (Rev. 17:5, 16; 19:2). This was prophetically foreseen in the days of Israel’s compromise, after the death of King David and the divided kingdoms of Judah and Israel. Israel became depicted as the unfaithful seed of the queen mother Jezebel. This letter reveals “great tribulation was for those who commit adultery with Jezebel”. When we disconnect from the authority of life we find ourselves in a place of great dysfunction.
He who overcomes is given “power to rule over the nations”. This was the testimony of King David. Jesus as the greater David has been given “authority over the nations” (2 Sam. 7:19-29; 8:1-14; Ps. 18:37-50; Ps. 89:27-29; Jer. 33:17; Dan. 7:14). Christ’s grace of the Spirit of Counsel and of knowing one Father of all was syntactically proclaimed in David’s Psalms of Christ’s dominion (Ps. 2:8, 9; 22:27-31; 46:4, 10; 47:1-3; 65:2; Ps. 66:4; 68:31, 32; 72; 86:9; 102:15-22; 138:4, 5; 145:10, 11).
In Christ we are to find the overcoming grace of the Spirit of Counsel that empowers us to overcome our selfish ways with the life-giving character of God’s true authority. He who overcomes is given the morning star. The government that rules in that day is by the Spirit of Counsel in Christ (Isa. 9:6, 7). This is the kingdom prevail of Christ under the authority of God the Father in heaven (Isa. 60:12). Every New Covenant believer has the ability to bring light into the darkness (Isa. 9:6, 7; Acts 26:15-18; Ps. 2:8, 9; Ps. 22:27-31; Rom. 13:12; Eph. 5:8; 1 Thes. 5:5; Mt. 5:14). We do this when we live for the wellbeing of others and for the generations beyond our own lives. We have been empowered by the Spirit of Council to do works prepared for us in Christ (Eph. 2:10). We are in submission one to another that we might lay the hands of Christ upon a needy world (Heb. 6:2). The curse of human dominance is replaced with the dominion of life in Christ. Christ Jesus in His headship is joined with Christ’s body to bring His kingdom rule of life to the nations of the world! We must all find God’s grace to overcome every temptation to go our own way in insubordination to God’s authority. Embracing a self-gratifying power will cause us to fall short of living to give life to others in this world. Maturing sons and daughters in Christ seek to overcome by living under authority as people who labor to give life to others in this world.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson