Verse 24: In unmistakable terms Jesus says His warning is not directed at the entire church. Enough of them had fallen into deception to warrant these words, but enough had avoided it that their faithfulness must also be acknowledged. He describes them as
the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching
and says to them
I place no other burden on you. Yet, even in His commendation there is a reminder that they have not escaped without responsibility. They too deserve His rebuke because they have failed to discipline the prophetess and her followers. The elders among them should have confronted the problem and removed the offenders from fellowship if they refused to repent.
Verse 24 (continued): Then Jesus makes a very revealing remark. He describes the teaching of the unfaithful group as the deep things of Satan, as they call them
, meaning that at the root of their rebellion was pride. Undoubtedly, they must have called their doctrine the deep things of God implying that they based their actions on an understanding of the Bible that went far deeper into its real meaning than the one held by everyone else in the church. In their opinion what they were doing wasnt disobedience but actually an exercise of mature faith that went far beyond the shallow rules being followed by others in the church. We have no way of knowing exactly what it was they taught, but it might have been an exaggerated form of Pauls argument that a person with a strong conscience could do things a person with a weak conscience could not (1Co 8:4-7). Paul originally made this observation hoping to restore harmony in a matter that was dividing the Corinthian church.
Verse 24 (continued): Paul admitted that some in Corinth were overly sensitive about meat sold in the market place if it had come from animals which had been butchered after being sacrificed in pagan ceremonies. He said that some, probably those who were newly converted out of paganism, were still afraid to eat that type of meat because in their minds the meat itself continued to be infused with the dark spiritual energy of the pagan ritual. For them, eating that meat was to worship that god again because in the past eating from the sacrificial animal was an expression of worship (1Co 8:7). Paul says to those without such fears that they still ought to forego eating such meat whenever they were in a situation where someone would be troubled by it (1Co 8:8-13). He acknowledges they were correct to assume that pagan gods werent really gods at all (1Co 8:4-6) and therefore the meat itself could be eaten with a clear conscience by those who saw it as just plain meat given by the true God as food for us (1Co 10:25, 26). Apparently, he even permitted believers to take part in non-religious community activities which were held on temple grounds (1Co 8:10), so long as their presence there did not cause converts (or weaker believers) to become confused about spiritual boundaries and return to old religious practices (1Co 8:10-13). However, in no way did he allow believers to take part in the ceremonial worship meals that regularly took place in pagan temples (1Co 10:19-22). This, he said, would be to eat at the table of demons. And this was also the behavior condemned by the Jerusalem Council (Ac 15:19, 20, 28, 29).
Verse 24 (continued): It wouldnt be hard to imagine someone taking Pauls words and expanding them too far inferring that Paul would have agreed that a believer who had a mature level of faith could participate in pagan rituals as long as they kept in mind the deeper truth that pagan gods werent really gods at all because there is only one true God. If this was the deeper truth being taught by the prophetess in Thyatira, she and her followers missed Pauls blunt condemnation of actually partaking in temple rituals which he stated in the same Corinthian letter (1Co 10:19-21). Its difficult even to guess at what deeper truth allowed them to participate in temple prostitution, but Jesus gives His assessment of its source when He calls their teaching the deep things of Satan. He says the devil inspired them, not God. And they took root in hearts because of pride, not faith.
Verse 25: The faithful in Thyatira receive here a great compliment from Jesus. He says, other than their failure to discipline the unruly group (v 24) He wants them to keep doing what they have been doing (v 19). They are given no other warning or correction, only an encouragement to hold fast to their true doctrine and godly behavior until I come, meaning both the rapidly approaching moment of discipline their church was to soon experience (vs 21-23) as well as the end of the age (v 26) when He will physically return in power. Obviously, no one in Thyatira lived long enough to see His return, but to them, as to us today, that moment was constantly anticipated even if its timing remained unknown. They understood from His words that they were to endure to the end (v 26) whether that meant their own death or His return.
Revelation 2:26, 27
Verses 26, 27: Those who overcome and continue living obedient lives will find themselves someday rewarded by the glorious Person who is depicted in Psalm 2. That psalm describes the moment when God gives His Messiah (His Anointed) full political control over all the nations of the earth. Surprisingly, the psalm explains, there will be widespread rebellion against Messiahs authority, but the Father will grant His Son authority to destroy all opposition. He says to Messiah, whom He calls His Son (vs 7, 12), Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as your inheritance
You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware (Ps 2:8, 9). And then to those rebellious nations He warns, Do homage (lit: kiss) the Son that He not become angry
Revelation 2:26, 27
Verses 26, 27 (continued): The Father makes this promise of authority over the nations in Psalm 2, but now we hear the Son of God (Rev 2:18) making exactly the same promise to His followers in Thyatira. He says to them,
to him (who overcomes) I will give authority over the nations
as I also have received authority from My Father
. Clearly, He intends to govern the earth during the Millennial Age (Rev 20:1-4) using His followers as His deputies. If there were any doubt as to the meaning of His words here, He will remove it shortly in 3:21 where He promises that overcomers will sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. This promise to include us in His future governance is also in keeping with His words to His disciples in Matthew 19:28 where He told them,
you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel (1Co 6:2, 3; 2Ti 2:12).