"Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan's so-called deep secrets, 'I will not impose any other burden on you, except to hold on to what you have until I come.' To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations - that one 'will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery' - just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give that one the morning star. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches." (Revelation 2.23-29)✞
Jesus in Revelation knew Satan's deep secret as well as the intentions of the Thyatira people for he searches their hearts and minds. The phrase "Satan's deep secrets" in this reference to Thyatira has two possible meanings. It is either that false teachings are being advocated by heretics, or that secret insight by so-called believers is guaranteed to promote deeper spiritual life. We are warned elsewhere that we need to hold tightly to the basics of our Christian faith and view with caution any new teaching that turns us away from the Bible, belief in our Lord and Savior and the confession of our faith.✞
The Greek term used for the "Satan's deep secrets" means literally, "the deep things of Satan" which may have been a scathing reference to the perverse teaching of the Nicolaitans Sect also called "Nicolaism." We are told that we cannot hide from Christ for he searches both our hearts and minds and still he loves us. The sins we try to hide from God need to be confessed to him. The phrase "her children" used of "Jezebel" describes those who are led astray into pagan immorality and worship. Their punishment is absolute.✞
Another interesting translation of this Revelation phrase, "Searches hearts and minds" in the Authorized Version is "searches reigns and hearts." "Reigns" are literally "kidneys," which are regarded by the ancients as the seat of the emotions. The point is that God searches every emotion and thought and all are open to God's gaze. No one can deceive the Risen Christ. "Satan's deep secrets" are known to God, "who searched our whole beings." God knows us, our feelings and intentions. Our God searches the innermost thoughts of our minds and the most tender feelings of our hearts.✞
At the end of the book of Revelation in Revelation 22.16, Jesus called himself the "bright morning star." We read, "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." The "you" in the phrase, "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you" is plural in the Greek of this passage. Jesus is speaking not to one but a multitude of people. When life comes to an end, those who possess Christ will never lose him again. The promise in Daniel 12.3 is, "those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever." "Wise" refers to one "who imparts wisdom." Therefore the bright morning star and his glory will come to all those who are righteous and help others to walk in the paths of righteousness.✞
Jesus Christ promises Christians authority over nations whom he will make their heritage. Those who endure will also be given the bright morning star. To those who are faithful, Christ makes a twofold promise. To the one who "is victorious" or "overcomes," and remains faithful until the end, they will rule over Christ's enemies and reign with Jesus as he judges evil. The person who "does my will," says Jesus, is the one "who keeps my works." Christ is given authority over the nations according to Psalm 2.7b-9 where "He (Almighty God) said to me, 'You are my son; today I have become your father. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron, you will dash them to pieces like pottery." Where the Psalmist says, "You will break them with a rod of iron" this might equally mean, "will rule them with an iron scepter."✞
In Jewish belief, the end times look towards a conquering Messiah who would destroy the heathen and extend the rule of Israel to the ends of the earth. But Revelation 2 has also been one of the great missionary inspirations for the Christian Church. Many a missionary claims the promise, "Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage." The second part of this verse is the promise of "the bright morning star." It has been taken as a promise of the first resurrection. As "the bright morning star" rises after the night, so the Christian will rise in resurrection after the night of death.✞
The concept of brightness in the "the Bright Morning Star" reflects the word "phosphorus" a chemical element with the symbol "P." The Greek god "Phosphorus" is also said to shine brightly and is named after this. The first form of phosphorous was produced in 1669 AD and emitted a faint glow when exposed to oxygen - hence the name "light-bearer" referring to the "Bright Morning Star." Phosphorous is highly reactive and glows after illumination which we call "phosphorescence." Interestingly, "Lucifer" which is another name for Satan is also called the "Morning Star" before his fall from grace. The Latin "Lucifer" means "bearer of light." Other references to the "Morning Star" appear elsewhere in Scripture. In 2 Peter 1.19, it appears to describe the sudden revelation of Christ in a person's life. It reads, "We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts." Each Christian needs to allow the morning star to rise and shine in their hearts!✞
The "morning star" is also one of the names given to a combination of the planet Venus with Mercury when they appear in the east before sunrise. "Venus" is also named the "Evening Star". It is as though Mercury is heralding the glory of Venus when it comes in the morning. "Venus" is described as the "bright morning star" like the bright star system "Sirius" which is one of Earth's nearest neighbors and appears as it's brightest in the night sky. The name "Sirius" comes from the Greek meaning "glowing" and it is named "the dog star" from its place in the constellation "Canis Major" or "Greater Dog." Many Christians believe that Lucifer is Satan's name as a senior angel before his disobedience and fall from grace in Heaven. Jesus takes over the title of the once preeminent angel Lucifer. Finally, in history, the "Morning Star Ceremony," is sadly the name of the ritual ceremony including the human sacrifice of a young girl performed by the Skidi band of the Pawnee tribe in North America in the 19th century. The last known sacrifice was of a 14-year-old Oglala Lakota girl named Haxti, on April 22, 1838! This was a pagan blood ceremony and a shame to this day on the First Nations peoples. The Morning Star Ceremony has since been eradicated from tribal ceremonies as far as we know.✞
The Holy Spirit says that the Christ, the bright morning star, will come to those who overcome and will give them victory over death. Christ himself is called "the bright morning star." A morning star appears just before dawn when the night is coldest and darkest. When the world is at its bleakest point, the bright morning star bursts on to the scene, exposing evil with his light of truth and bringing his promised reward. We find a similar reference to the Morning Star in Revelation 22.16, "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."There is also an interesting reference in Daniel 12.3 "Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever." "Those who are wise" may also be translated "those who impart wisdom" The Christian who perseveres in The Faith will also share in Christ's messianic authority and resurrection victory over death, symbolized by the "Christ morning star."
"He's the lily of the valley,
He's the bright and morning star,
He's the fairest of ten thousand,
everybody ought to know."
We pray that Jesus, the morning star, will come to us at our bleakest moments as the old Christian chorus says!✞