Jesus Message to the Church – Thyatira
We have been going through a series on the seven churches in Revelation. Revelation 2-3 are letters of Jesus to seven churches in Asia Minor (Turkey). Jesus told the apostle John to write on a scroll what he saw and send it to those seven churches. We have covered thus far, Ephesus, Smyrna, and Pergamum; today we will look at the church in Thyatira.
Thyatira is mentioned in Acts 16:11-15 While Paul visited the city of Philippi there was a woman there named Lydia from the city of Thyatira.
It was a very small city, but a busy commercial center. It was on a major road of the Roman Empire, and because of this, many trade unions had settled in this city. This city was known for its trade unions. It was hard to get a job in this city for a Christian unless you belonged to the union.
Read text. Rev.2:18-29
Title of Christ: The Son of God. This are the words of the Son of God; whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. This is how John saw Jesus in his vision Rev.1:13-15
Son of man (1:13) and Son of God (2:18) refers to the same person, Jesus.
Commendation (v.19) Jesus knows what goes on in the church. “I know your deeds, your love and faith, service and perseverance. You are doing more than you did at first.(your works exceed your first) (Ephesus did better at first and Jesus told them to do what they did at first). The church at Thyatira was doing better now than what they did at first.
Concerns: (20) Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess.
Tolerate: to leave alone or permit.
This woman’s teaching was misleading God’s people into committing sexual immorality and idolatry.
Jezebel in the Old Testament was the wife of King Ahab, king of Judah; she tried to get rid of all the prophets of the LORD; Elijah ran away from this woman (I kings 19:1-3). She was bad news and the one responsible for introducing in Israel the worship of Baal and Ashtoreth fertility gods. (1 Kings 16:30-33).
In Thyatira there was a Jezebel-type woman leading God’s people away from the Lord.
Her teaching misleads: (misleading, leading astray, deceiving) my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. (v.20)
Jesus is not happy because the church tolerates this false teaching. Jesus is intolerant of false teaching and he expects his church to be as well. Anything that leads people away from God, you should not tolerate or accept. He told the church I have this against you, you tolerate (permit this false teacher Jezebel to lead my people way from me).
Repent (v,21) God always gives people the chance and opportunity to repent (change their ways). I have given her time to repent or her immorality, but she is unwilling.
When people refuse repentance, then God brings judgment and punishment. This false prophetess refused to repent.
– intense suffering for her and those who followed her teaching (v.22)
– death for her children (the offspring of this false teaching Jesus would put an end to them)
Repentance is the only thing that would keep this from happening.
The churches will know who I am. V.23
In the Old Testament when God poured out judgment on people, he did it so that they will know who he is. (Ez.6:10) Here Jesus said after he poured out judgment on the false teacher and her followers that all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds. He repays people according to their actions. (v.23). They will know he is the judge who searches heart and mind.
Exhortation: to those who remained true to Christ in the church. They didn’t follow her teaching and didn’t learn the so called “Satan’s deep secret” (deep things of Satan)
“I will not impose any other burden on you.”
Hold on to what you have until I come. (Hold on to love, faith, service, perseverance, your good deeds) Hold on to that until the end.
Promise for the overcomer: (v.26-29)
– authority over the nations (Jesus will share his authority of ruling the nations with those who overcome. Jesus will one day rule the nations and his peo ple with him) “He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery.” Rev.12:5
– The morning star: Jesus is called the Bright morning star Rev.22:16. Scripture teaches us that if we partake of Christ suffering here on earth, we will also partake in his glory. Christ will share his splendor, his glory with those who overcome. Rom. 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Whoever has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches!
What is the Spirit saying to the churches today? What does Jesus expect of his church?
– Jesus expects a loving church, strong in faith and service, one that endures and perseveres in trials.
– Jesus expect his church to be intolerant of false teachings or practices. Christ does not tolerate false teachings, and neither should his people.
– Jesus expects his church to hold fast to him until the end.
Only those who overcome will share with Christ in his glory. Church, there will be lots of things we still have to overcome: persecution, cultural system, government, false teachings, trials, etc. as we wait for our master to come and reward our faithfulness to him.