The Church at Thyatira, Part 5 of 6 (series: Lessons on Revelations)
by John Lowe
26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
The works of Christ are in contrast to the works of Jezebel. The works of Christ are wrought by the Holy Spirit. We overcome by faith and not by effort.
It is clearly taught in verse 26 that it is not enough to deny Jezebel, and refuse to fellowship with her and her works, doctrines, and dogmas—but that we should go further: “he that keepeth my works unto the end.” That is the person (the overcomer10) who will be crowned. That is the person who will have “power over the nations,” and who will reign and rule with Jesus . . . some over five cities, some over 10 cities. Certainly, the true doctrine of the difference in rewards is taught here. All will be rewarded—but each one will receive the reward for his own labors. The reward for their perseverance, though, will be authority in Jesus’ name. Earlier, Christ had given this promise concerning those who obey to the very end: “those who endure to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13, NLT). The “end” refers to Christ’s second coming.
Again we see that it is Jesus—not Mary, not the pope, not the priest, not the pastor, not the evangelist. I have just as much respect for the popery of Rome as I have for popery as practiced in the Protestant denominations of the land. You need not travel to Rome to find a pope. We have popes in some of the Protestant churches in the United States. Some preachers dare not preach anything that is not sanctioned by the church bosses in many of the big denominations of our land. When I refer to “popery” I am not only speaking of Rome—I’m also talking about religious dictators in any religion, regardless of the brand name stamped on the group.
It has always been the ambition of Rome to rule the world—politically and religiously. That ambition will be realized for a short season, but her reign will be brief. The very instruments of Rome’s tyranny will become the means of her destruction. Study carefully Revelation 17:16, 17.
The authority of the saints over the nations here on this earth will occur during the Millennium. Jesus will sit on the throne of David, and we will reign with Him for a period of one thousand glorious years. The overcomer shall rule and reign over the angry and rebellious nations with a rod of iron. Their stubborn will shall be broken, their pride shall be humbled, and their glory shall be brought to the dust of the earth. All nations and all people will know that God is God, and that God places in power and authority whom He will. One day all will accept the eternal truth that God is sovereign. I am looking forward to that glorious day when evil will be put down forever and righteousness will rule forever.
27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
This is a reference to the millennial reign of Christ in which believers are to share. Greater than the privilege of ruling for Christ will be the unhindered enjoyment of His fellowship. The verb translated “rule” means shepherd.
The promised authority over all the nations fulfills Psalm 2, a messianic psalm describing how God will hand the nations of the world over to Christ: “Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the ends of the earth as your possession. You will break them with an iron rod and smashed them like clay pots” (Psalm 2:8-9, NLT). The “iron rod” probably refers to a shepherd’s staff with a metal tip. While a shepherd is a gentle leader, he maintains ultimate control over his flock. During the millennial kingdom, Christ will enforce His will and protect His sheep with His iron scepter from any who would seek to harm them (Psalm 2:9). This image coupled with the image of the clay jars broken into pieces implies judgment. This may mean that the authority given to the faithful will be participating in Jesus’ final judgment. This warning
was being given to the cults. Believers dare not take a light view of heresy, because heresies will destroy people for eternity. Those who stay true, however, will rule with Christ. This promise must have been a great encouragement to the believers in Thyatira who were facing difficulties because of their faith in Christ.
Notice the last words in verse 27: “. . . even as I received of my Father.” It is very interesting to note that the grant of authority and power over the nations is given to Christ, for Him to give to whomever He pleases. God’s people shall be so closely identified with Christ that He will “belong” to them—read all of the second Psalm. But this authority to reign with Him will be given only to the overcomer.
Tough ends and one
28 And I will give him the morning star.
Not only will the Son of God give to the overcomer the authority to rule and reign over the nations, but a greater richer promise is made to the overcomer . . . “I will give him the morning star,” a promise that God’s people shall be so closely identified with Christ that He will “belong” to them—they will have a personal interest in Christ Himself—also a reward given to the faithful BY Jesus, the power of a new life, the resurrection life that Christ had shown when he rose from the dead. Christ is the Bright and “Morning Star” (see Revelation 22:161
). Christ will appear as the “Morning Star” to rapture His church to heaven before He appears as the Son of Righteousness to reign over the earth (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Malachi 4:2). Thus the overcomer is promised a part in the Rapture. He does not earn this by his works, but his works demonstrate the reality of his faith. Christ’s coming for his own at the Rapture is the hope of the church. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). In the natural world, a “morning star” appears just before dawn, when the night is its coldest and darkest. When the world is at its bleakest point, Christ will burst onto the scene, exposing evil with his light of truth and bringing his promised reward. The morning star may also picture the authority given to the saints because of their faithfulness (see Numbers 24:17).
Hear these precious words: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory” (Romans 8:14-17).
The Lord promises the “overcomer” power in heaven. He says, “And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Heaven itself owns the authority of the man who stands for God. Joseph’s family had to learn that the 12 stars and the 12 sheaves would bow down before Joseph. The “morning star,” of course, is none other than the Lord Jesus Himself. Possessing Him, we possess all.
Here Paul reveals to us, through the Spirit, that we are the sons of God the Father, we are the children of God, we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ . . . that is, “if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be glorified together.” If we suffer with Jesus—if we overcome, if we “bear the cross,” we will “share the crown.” But if we deny the cross we will be ashamed at His coming. Read Revelation 2:28, 22:16, and Malachi 4:2, and compare these verses. It will bless your heart.
The compromising people in Thyatira were following “the depths of Satan,” which would lead to darkness and death. Jezebel, herself, would end her life on a bed of sickness. God’s overcomers, on the other hand, would share the “Morning Star!”