Following Pergamos, which indicates an illegal marriage of the church to the world, comes Thyatira. Thyatira signifies the Roman Catholic Church, which is full of all kinds of corrupting leaven. The idols, the fornication, the evil teachings, and the practices of Jezebel are the leaven within the Roman Catholic Church. This is the evil woman in Matthew 13 who hid the leaven in three measures of meal. The Lord also issued a call to the overcomers within Thyatira. He called them to overcome the fornication, the evil teachings, and all the evil practices. The lighting of the candles, the burning of the incense, and the worshipping of all the idols in the Roman Catholic Church are a real blasphemy to the Lord. Some might say that they received help from the Roman Catholic Church and that there have been many dear believers within the Roman Catholic Church. No doubt the Roman Catholic Church is gilded and covered with many precious persons and precious things. However, this is for cheating people. This is a false front. The outside of the cup is covered with gold, pearls, and precious stones, but the inside of the cup is full of abominations (Rev. 17:4). We all must overcome the abominations—the idols, the spiritual fornication, and all kinds of leaven. We must hold to what the Lord has shown us. Eventually, the overcomers will rule over the nations during the millennium.
Not All Believers Being Overcomers
We must see that being a believer is not equal to being an overcomer. Some Christian teachers have taught that all the real believers in the Lord Jesus will reign as kings. Concerning this point, I prefer not to answer doctrinally, but experientially. I would like to ask them concerning their own situation. Do they have the appearance of kings? Is their daily life the living of kings? Have they been disciplined and trained, or are they loose and sloppy? Are they ready to be kings to reign with the Lord? I’m afraid when the Lord Jesus comes, they will say, "O Lord Jesus! I am not ready!"
If we would reign with the Lord Jesus as kings, we need to be trained and strictly disciplined by Him. The young man who will be the next King of England is daily and constantly under strict training and discipline. This training is so that he will be qualified to be the king. He is learning to look like a king, to talk like a king, and to behave like a king. How about yourself? Today you gossip, murmur, and are so loose. Are you ready to rule as a king? Are you qualified to be a king? By this we can see that just to be a believer is not sufficient to be an overcomer and to rule and reign with Christ. We must be trained and disciplined by the Lord. Otherwise, how can we rule over five cities or ten cities? (Luke 19:17, 19).
(The Kingdom, Chapter 46, by Witness Lee)