The Seven Spirits

David Bast

Read: Revelation 3:1; 4:1-11 The words of him who has the seven spirits of God. (3:1) In the book of Revelation, seven is the number of fullness or completeness. When Revelation speaks of the seven spirits of God as here (or in 4:5 or 1:4), it doesn’t mean that God has seven different spirits or that the Holy Spirit has somehow multiplied. It’s simply a reference to the Holy Spirit in all his fullness. Throughout his earthly life, Jesus was …

The Morning Star

David Bast

Read: Revelation 2:26-29; Psalm 2 And I will give him the morning star. (Rev. 2:28) Before we leave Thyatira, give a last thought to Jezebel, because what’s said about her is remarkably relevant to our church situation today. Jezebel called herself a prophetess, meaning she claimed the inspiration and authority of the Spirit for her teaching. That teaching urged the Christians of Thyatira to join in what their society approved. It probably went something like this: “You don’t have to …

Thyatira: Hold Fast

David Bast

Read: Revelation 2:18-25 Hold fast what you have until I come. (v. 25) Thyatira didn’t have great cultural importance, like Ephesus; it wasn’t a significant religious center, like Pergamum; it didn’t occupy a strategic site, like Laodicea. All Thyatira had was trade. The business of Thyatira was business. But that presented a problem for the church there. Working in business meant belonging to the trade guilds, quasi-religious organizations that controlled all employment. Their gatherings involved sacrifices to the gods, with …

Eyes like Flame

David Bast

Read: Revelation 2:18; Matthew 17:1-8 . . . the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire. (Rev. 2:18) When I was a pastor, my church had to fill out an annual report to our classis. In Reformed churches, the classis is the local assembly to which each congregation is accountable. So the classis needed to know what was going on with our church: how we were doing, whether we needed help—or perhaps correction. Jesus didn’t need …

A White Stone

David Bast

Read: Revelation 2:17; Isaiah 43:1-7 I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it. (Rev. 2:17) My older sister told me that my parents thought about naming me James. It’s weird to think that I might have gone through life as Jimmy rather than Dave. Dave is my name, it’s who I am. This version of me is flawed—don’t I know it! But the …

Pergamum: Where Satan Has His Throne

David Bast

Read: Revelation 2:13-16 I know where you dwell. (v. 13) On the acropolis of ancient Pergamum stood the magnificent Temple of Zeus. Alongside it was another temple dedicated to Caesar—the first-ever building formally built for the worship of the Roman emperor. That hill and its temples dominated the skyline of Pergamum; you couldn’t escape the sight of it. Wherever you went, a sort of visual propaganda proclaimed: “Rome rules! Caesar is Lord!” It was as if Satan had settled in …