To those who overcome in the church in Thyatira the Lord promises to give them authority over the nations to shepherd them, and to give them the morning star (Rev. 2:26-28); the way for us to overcome is to be watchful and ready for the Lord’s return so that we may receive the reward of enjoying Him in a fresh way as the morning star.
The church in Thyatira is the apostate church, the church completely apart from the Lord, who thinks she can speak and teach, who allows Jezebel to teach, and who has the deep things of Satan in it – this is the Roman Catholic Church.
To such a church the Lord comes as the One who has eyes like a flame of fire and feet like shining bronze; He comes as the One who searches the heart and who judges anything that He exposes under His light.
Our Christ is the Son of God – He is the expression of God, the issue or coming out of God, and He is also the Christ, the One anointed and appointed by God to carry out His commission and accomplish His purpose.
When we believe in Christ as the Son of God, we have life in His name (John 20:31). However, the Catholic church denies the Lord’s name, considers Mary (the Lord’s biological mother) higher than the Lord, and says that Jesus is the Son of Mary; to such a church the Lord emphasizes that He is the Son of God, and He has eyes like a flame of fire and feet like shining brass.
The Lord is the One who searches the inward parts and the hearts; He knows what is in our heart, and when we open to Him to shine in us through His living word, we are being purified, cleansed, and reconstituted with Him for the building up of the church.
May we allow the Lord to judge anything in us that is not according to His standard, and may He have a way to purify our heart, clear our view, and make us a pure church, without spot or wrinkles, as He washes us in His word.
May we be those who aspire to be overcomers in this dark evil age by seeking to gain the Lord as the bright morning star. Oh, may the Lord make us those who are watchful and being prepared for the Lord’s return, so that He may take us as His overcomers as He secretly appears to His loving seekers as the bright morning star!
The Overcomers in Thyatira receive Authority over the Nations to Shepherd them
In Rev. 2:26-28 we have the Lord’s promise to the ones who overcome in Thyatira, that is, those who overcome in Catholicism. The rest in Thyatira, the ones who overcome, do not have Jezebel’s teaching (Rev. 2:24), have not known the deep things o Satan, hold fast the Lord’s testimony until He comes (v. 25), and keep the Lord’s works until the end (v. 26).
The Lord’s works referred to in v. 26 refer to the things that the Lord has accomplished and He is doing, such as His incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, intercession, etc; the overcomers keep the Lord’s works and refuse the works of the apostate church under the influence of Satan.
The overcomers will receive from the Lord authority over the nations – this is a prize to the overcomers, to reign with Christ over the nations in the millennial kingdom (Rev. 20:4, 6). But those who do not answer His call to be overcomers in the degraded Christianity will not participate in the reign of the millennial kingdom.
In Psa. 2:9 we see that God gave Christ authority to rule over the nations, and in Rev. 2:27 Christ gives the same authority to His overcomers; those who overcome will become the same as Christ, ruling with Him over the nations in the millennial kingdom.
How do the overcomers rule? They rule by being a shepherd: they will shepherd the nations with an iron rod. May we be those today who reject any teaching of the apostate Catholic church, seek not to know or be snared into the deep things of Satan taught by her, and hold fast the Lord’s testimony until He comes, and keep the Lord’s works until the end.
May we be those who treasure the Lord’s works – all the processes He went through and all that He has done, is doing, and will do, as revealed in the Bible – so that we may be found worthy to be the overcomers, those who participate in His ruling.
In this present evil and dark age the Lord seek some on whom He doesn’t put any other burden but to keep His works, hold fast His testimony, and enjoy Him in all that He has done and is doing; to such ones, He will give to rule with Him – just as the Father gave Him to rule with Him.
In order for us to rule over the nations when the Lord returns and in the millennial kingdom, today we need to seek to be the Lord’s overcomers, having a deep aspiration in us to be those who overcome in this dark age for the Lord’s interest.
Lord Jesus, we aspire to be Your overcomers in this dark age, those who keep Your works until the end and hold fast Your testimony until You come. Grant us the grace to overcome for You today so that, when You return, You would give us to rule with You by shepherding the nations with an iron rod. Save us from being defeated believers, those who go along with the trend of degradation in the church today. Make us Your overcomers, Lord, those who will rule with You over the nations in the millennial kingdom!
Being Watchful and Waiting for the Lord’s Return to Gain Him as the Morning Star
To those who overcome in the church in Thyatira the Lord promises to give the morning star (Rev. 2:28). The way for us to overcome today, in an age of pitch darkness, is to experience Christ as the morning star.
The Bible begins with the type of Christ as the light (Gen. 1:3) and ends with Him as the bright morning star (Rev. 22:16). He is also the star out of Jacob (Num. 24:17), and the star at His birth led the wise men to find Him (Matt. 2:7, 9-10).
The morning star is a special star: it appears only briefly in the darkest hour, after midnight and prior to dawn; it is the brightest star appearing before the dawn breaks, and when it disappears, the dawn breaks. This indicates that Christ will appear as the bright morning star in the darkest time, prior to the close oft his age.
His appearing as the morning star (Rev. 2:28) and His appearing as the Sun of righteousness (Mal. 4:2) will not be at the same time. The former occurs before dawn, and the latter occurs after the dawning of the day. As the Sun of righteousness after the dawning of the day, He will appear publicly to all the people on the earth. As the bright morning star before the dawning of the day, He will appear privately to the overcomers who are watching, preparing, and waiting for Him. While people are sleeping soundly in the night, He will secretly give Himself as the morning star to those who love Him and who watch and wait for Him (Rev. 2:28), that they may have the priority to taste the freshness of His presence at His coming back after a long absence. Witness Lee, The Conclusion of the New Testament, p. 4190
When Christ comes to establish His kingdom, He will come as the sun of righteousness – and everyone will see the sun; but before He comes openly as the sun, He will come secretly in His secret parousia / presence, as the morning star.
As the bright morning Star, Christ will appear privately to the overcomers, to those who are watching, preparing, and waiting for Him.
Do we still wait for the Lord’s return, or do we just live a day-to-day church life without expecting the Lord’s coming? Are we living in a condition of waiting, expecting, and preparing ourselves for the Lord’s coming back? Or are we entrenched, planted, and rooted on this earth?
To those who are waiting for Him, the Lord will secretly give Himself as the morning star; we need to be those who love Him and wait for Him so that we may enjoy the freshness of His presence at His coming back. Today we need to be those who earnestly seek the Lord, yearning to have His fresh presence, so that we may have a foretaste of His return.
May the Lord’s word here in Rev. 2:28 encourage us to earnestly seek the Lord’s presence and be watchful so that we may be able to stand before Him in the secret part of His coming (Luke 21:36; Matt. 24:43).
The Lord will return as a thief to steal those who are waiting for Him, those who are precious in His sight by loving Him and preparing themselves for Him. May we aspire to gain Christ as the morning star and not just as the sun of righteousness – may we aspire to be the overcomers receiving the earliest prize, Christ as the morning star at the Lord’s return.
As the age today is growing darker and darker, we need to enjoy and experience Christ as the bright morning star shining in our hearts, and we need to aspire to be His overcomers by preparing for His return.
May we be those who, like M. E. Barber, seek to see the Lord as we turn the corner – He is returning soon, and we are eagerly waiting for His return. May we be those watchful and ready so that we may be able to stand before Him in the secret part of His coming and enjoy Him as the bright morning star.
Lord Jesus, we want to be watchful and ready for Your return so that we may gain You as the bright morning star, the reward given to Your overcomers. We love You, Lord, and we are preparing ourselves for Your return, eagerly waiting for Your second coming. We don’t want to merely live a routine church life but live in a condition of expectancy, waiting, preparing ourselves for Your coming. We want to be watchful and ready for Your return so that we may stand before You in the secret part of Your coming and be rewarded by You with the morning star!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Minoru C. for this week, and portions from, The Conclusion of the New Testament, pp. 4190-4191 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Returning to the Orthodoxy of the Church (2016 fall ITERO), msg. 5 (week 5), The Church in Thyatira.
- Hymns on this topic:
# The deeds of “Jezebel” desert, / That she may rule the earth with might; / Defiling deadness overcome / To be arrayed in “garments white.” (Hymns #822)
# Christ will be the morning star to those eagerly waiting, / Watching for Him everyday in darkness for His rising. / It’s dark and most are sleeping; I rise for Your appearing. / Reward me every morning; I want Your gentle shining. (Song on the Lord’s return)
# Thou also art the Morning Star / To us as a reward; / While still ‘tis dark it shines with light / To those who love the Lord. / Lord, help us e’er to love Thy light / And see things from afar; / And look for Thee in watch and prayer / As for the Morning Star. (Hymns #200)
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