Faith, Revelation Series

Revelation (series)—See: Who Sees Us?

@JeanneTakenaka +Jeanne Takenaka

I didn’t set out to write a series based on Revelation 2-3. As I began reading the book of Revelation during my quiet times, I wanted to find truths written to the churches that apply for my life. What came from that desire to find one thing in each letter . . . is this series.

The churches to whom John wrote dealt with many of the same issues we face in an increasingly godless culture. Just as the early churches made choices about whether they would live for Jesus or themselves, so too, do we. 

We have the gift of being able to look at back at their strengths and weaknesses and learn from them.

This isn’t an in-depth theological rendering of these letters. Rather, each post reflects what God has taught me through studying both the letters and the churches. As we walk through Revelation two and three over the next seven weeks, I hope you’ll be encouraged and share your thoughts here! Past posts can be found here: Revelation Series 


Have you ever felt small, insignificant? If you’ve read enough of my blogposts, you know this is a struggle I’ve grappled with over many years.

That sense of, no matter what I do that is good, helpful, significant, worthy of notice, it’s not enough to actually get noticed.

The question becomes, who am I seeking to be noticed by?

The truth is, God sees.

He sees the things I do—both positive and negative. And He sees the heart motives that drive the actions. He knows me inside and out.

Thyatira was the smallest of the seven churches Jesus wrote to. One thing that stood out as I read Jesus’ words to this church is that, after He describes Himself to them, the first thing He says is, “I know your deeds . . .”

Jesus saw the love they shared for each other. He knew their good deeds, their perseverance, their patience. And He praised them.

Though the church had a lot of good going on, there were problems too. How like today’s churches! We’re an imperfect body of believers.

On the outside, this church looked like they had it all together. On the inside corruption corroded the integrity of the body. There was a woman (or perhaps a group of women, scholars aren’t certain) who proclaimed herself to be a prophetess.

And the believers in the church accepted this title for her. Jesus calls her Jezebel, associating her with the Jezebel of the Old Testament.

Jezebel’s false teachings encouraged believers to engage in eating food offered to idols and sexual immorality. These teachings lured believers into a place of compromise and sin.

Today we aren’t as concerned with eating food sacrificed to idols, but idol worship is still rampant. We don’t worship Diana or Ares or Zeus.

We worship money, power, prestige, and other worldly values.

We sacrifice time and relationships to attain status and the notice of the “important people.” To gain acceptance and satisfaction.

We sell ourselves out for the hope of the world’s accolades. Most of us don’t move in “world-shakers” realms. But we do move within the sphere of influence God has placed us.

What are our aspirations within this group of people?

Jesus knew His people would live among those who worshiped idols. Those who were powerful. He knew the believers of Thyatira lived among the business-savvy of their day.

The thing He held against the people of this church was that they did nothing to stop this “prophetess” from proclaiming her false doctrine. Instead, they tolerated her teachings.

They may not have been permitted to take legal action in their society. But they could have taken action within the church and excommunicate her.

This challenges me. It’s easy to live with my eyes focused in on my small world—my family, and those in my inner-circle.

I might hear those who teach doctrines that don’t align with God’s word. My solution is simple: stay away from them.

Is this enough? 

After reading God’s words to Thyatira, I realize that my responsibility is more than avoidance. No, I may not be able to stop people from teaching things that contradict God’s word.

But, I can pray for those who hear the words. I can pray for opportunities to share God’s truth with some who may be confused.

I need to know God’s word well enough to be able to share its truth when people speak lies to me, or to those around me.

I must be willing to face conflict to uphold God’s truth.

It’s all a little—no, a lot—scary to me. I don’t like conflict. Just sayin’.

As I consider Jesus’ words to Thyatira, there’s comfort in knowing Jesus sees His followers. He knows them—heart, mind, soul, and spirit. 

He sees the things we do that are good. He knows the things we do that compromise His word. And Jesus calls us to live holy—whole-ly—before Him. 

May we have hearts that want God to show us when we are doing something wrong, believing something inaccurate. Having a heart open to Him will be a safeguard to falling into believing false teaching.

What about you? What do you do when you hear false teaching espoused and lifted up? How do you live holy?

Click to Tweet: Though the church had a lot of good going on, there were problems too.

I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkup, Jennifer Dukes Lee, and Holley Gerth

17 thoughts on “Revelation (series)—See: Who Sees Us?”

  1. This is such a challenge! I agree, it’s easier to stay quiet and avoid conflict, but there is definitely a time to speak up.


  2. This series is really hitting me in a place where I need to dig deeper. My first reaction is avoidance. It’s easier and in my mind protects me from confrontation or difficult conversations. God doesn’t call us to avoidance. He calls us to walk into a challenge knowing He is right there. He also asks us to share the Gospel with others.

    I don’t know why I always think someone is more qualified or better equipped than me. I need to be an example and show others how important God is to me. I’m praying I find that place of trust more often and when a challenge arises, I walk right into it


    1. Mary, my first reaction is avoidance, too. I do NOT like conflict. But, God doesn’t promise us a life free of confrontation, does He? May we grow in grace and confidence to face confrontation with His words and perspective when He calls us to it. And yes, God does call us to share His gospel. It’s funny how He gives us opportunities to share because for reasons we may not know, He’s deemed us as the best person to share the gospel with the person before us. May we both find that place of trust and be bold and gracious in sharing. I so appreciate your honesty and your thoughts here!


  3. Thank you for this thought-provoking series, Jeanne. Avoidance is the easier way for me, too. But as you write here – “I must be willing to face conflict to uphold God’s truth.” So true. I’m often so guilty of avoiding conflict. But sometimes my heart smites me when I keep silent when it concerns God’s Truth and His glory. Love and hugs to you!


    1. Trudy, I confess. Too often, I’ve taken the avoidance route too. We do need to be willing to wade into confrontation and truth-speaking when God calls us to, don’t we? May we have discernment to know when to keep silent and when to speak up. Sending you hugs back, friend!

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  4. It’s like you wrote this just to me. I often feel small and I don’t speak up. I run away from conflict. It isn’t enough though. Great words!


    1. Aww, Sarah, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve felt insignificant and haven’t spoken up. Here’s to growing in confidence in God and trusting Him to give us the words when we need them!


  5. I’m finding encouragement and grace in resting in the grace and beauty of small blessings. They always said that the best things come in small packages, right?



  6. I’m in a study currently it asks us to pray for God to show us how we can be an ambassador for Christ daily. Not participating in false teachings is helpful to show how we live for Christ, yet we could also speak the truth too. That’s more the challenging part for me. Trusting that it is through His power and strength within me helps get me out of my own way and understanding that through practice we can get better at sharing our stories and His truths. So important to be gentle with ourselves, and to let go of our own agendas (to speak well, be liked, not judged) as God does the transforming!


    1. Lynn, it is important to speak the truth, isn’t it? That’s the more challenging part for me too. Something about having to put voice to my beliefs and to uphold the standards in the Bible, while knowing some will oppose God’s words—and mine—tempts me to stay silent.

      Yes, we must trust God’s power and strength in us if we are to share His truth honestly and graciously. I enjoy hearing what you’re learning. Sounds like a great class!


  7. That’s good. Some incredible people I look up to have memorized a lot of God’s Word. That is one of my largest goals. To have memorized a lot of the New Testament. When I do hear something that sounds good but doesn’t line up with the scripture, I will kindly and politely call it out. Specifically one-on-one.

    Another thing that I find that many Christians worship is the symbols and types of worship settings in church. That can become quite scary too when the things of Christianity can be worshiped. Very challenging idea from the church of Thyatira.


  8. Jeanne,
    That’s a tough one – especially when you hear false teaching in church. I believe we do need to stand up for God’s Truth, but it’s in how we do it. Judgment and accusation usually isn’t the best approach. It is hard to be brave and approach another believer whom you think is not quite hitting the mark in what they are saying. Lots of thoughts to ponder….very thought provoking post.
    Bev xx


    1. Hey Bev, it IS a tough one. You’re right. There may (will?) be times when we need to confront false teaching, but it’s the manner in which we do it that God looks at. I often think about Prov 15:1–A gentle answer turns away wrath. Giving that gentle answer won’t always change another’s mind, but it will usually shut down arguments and anger. God looks at our hearts first, doesn’t He? Thank you for sharing your thoughts here!


  9. My reactions vary so much to false teachings, Jeanne. But I think more than anything, it drives me to get my Bible out and dig through the truth even more. I want to know that I know that I know. You know?! ❤


    1. Yes, Shelli. I find that I want/need to verify things I hear that ping a red flag in my spirit. It’s always good to line up the words of man with the Word of God and see if they run straight or if man’s words run crooked compared to God’s. I know, I know! 😉

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