The Bridge Between God and Us

Wim Malgo (1922-1992)

An interpretation of the last book of the Bible. Part 30. Revelation 2:23-29.

The Lord, who has eyes like a flame of fire, says in the letter to Thyatira, “And all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins [minds] and hearts: and I will give unto every one according to your works” (Rev 2:23b).

It is noticeable that not only should the church at Thyatira recognize that the Lord searches minds and hearts, but also all churches. That includes us! We, as the Church of Jesus, should realize that His eyes are like a flame of fire, and that He explores our hearts and minds to know our deepest motivations.

But it is also a great consolation that the Lord doesn’t let the faithful out of His sight. The Christian Standard Bible says, “I say to the rest of you in Thyatira…” (v. 24). This remnant of the faithful in Thyatira hadn’t accepted Jezebel’s doctrine. That is why they are told, “…I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come” (Rev 2:24-25).

The Lord doesn’t place any other burden on the ones who hold fast to their first love for the Lord, and to holy single-mindedness in following Jesus—whoever doesn’t tolerate mixing. But He warns them very urgently not to let go of anything; not to let anything rob them of what they possess. For how long? Until Jesus comes again: “…he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end” (v. 26a).

What could prevent holding fast until the end? Unwillingness to repent. But the chance to radically change for the better is there! The first step toward true repentance (and averting judgment) is not to try to cover up sin that the Lord has revealed to us. We must instead agree with Him and confess it to Him.

The letter to Thyatira also includes the Lord’s urgent admonition at the end: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (v. 29). However, this admonition only comes after the promise to overcomers, in contrast with the order in the letters to the other churches.

The promise to overcomers, addressed to Thyatira, reads: “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 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. And I will give him the morning star” (vv. 26-28).

“He shall rule them with a rod of iron” reminds us of the child who will be caught up to God and will rule the Gentiles with a rod of iron (Rev 12). This power over the peoples was prophetically foreshadowed in the victories of Joshua, David, and Solomon. When Israel entered the land of Canaan, they gained power over the Gentiles through Joshua. In other words, his enemies became his subjects. The Lord had promised, “Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours” (Deut 11:24a). The Lord has promised future overcomers, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him” (2 Tim 2:12a). Even today, overcomers already have this judicial power over the peoples: they already have power over hostile forces, because Jesus is the Victor!

It should be noted that Revelation’s first four promises to overcomers have four stages, namely:

– The tree of life

– Eternal life; the first death no longer has any power

– Hidden manna

– Exercise of judicial power and government through Jesus’ victory

All of this is in Jesus alone, through Jesus alone, and with Jesus alone! While the progression of prophetic models in the Old Testament has now come to an end, the three promises to overcomers, given to the three remaining churches, speak of things that are still in the future. They indicate majestic events in world history that are yet to come.

All of the promises to overcomers, however, uniquely point to the indescribably glorious future that will be bestowed upon those who actually become overcomers through Jesus Christ. The fullness of this glory can hardly be described in words; as Paul says, “…Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Cor 2:9). So, it would be presumptuous to claim to be able to analyze these promises of future glory down to the last detail.

Each of the seven letters contains a promise for a specific overcomer, and yet all of these promises are made to all of God’s children who overcome. Every dark area in your life will be filled with an indescribable portion of glory in eternity, if you claim the victory of Jesus over it. Whoever victoriously fights the good fight of faith and overcomes through suffering, will also receive the corresponding reward of God’s unspeakable glory. “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor 4:17-18).

When we talk about overcoming, it’s ultimately about the bridge between our position before God and our condition in everyday life. In his first epistle, John says, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1 John 3:9). The new man in you, the reborn spirit, cannot sin; it is flawless. Romans 8:1 also testifies to this: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

That’s our fundamental position before God, and must be the state of our everyday life. In other words, we must overcome our flesh and blood, the sinful self, by the power of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We can do this if we consider ourselves “crucified with him” (Gal 2:19-20; Rom 6:6-8). Scripture says this about our condition: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).

We’ve gained a new position through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and so our condition must also be renewed. Every area of our life—character, thoughts, speech, actions—should be dominated by what has been made new in our life (2 Cor 5:17).

Midnight Call - 07/2022

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