Hello everyone and welcome to my seven part study series on the seven churches of Revelations.
If you have been following along with this study series thus far, then at this point you probably have a good understanding of the flow of things. So just like our other posts, we will look at the Identification, the Message, and the Prophetic Outcome of this letter. But first, lets get a little back ground of the Church at Thyatira. Take a look at this quote from the Walnut Creek Church:
Thyatira was a wealthy town in the northern part of Lydia of the Roman province of Asia, on the river Lycus. It stood so near to the borders of Mysia, that some of the early writers have regarded it as belonging to that country. Its early history is not well known, for until it was refounded by Seleucus Nicator (301-281 B.C.) it was a small, insignificant town. It stood on none of the Greek trade routes, but upon the lesser road between Pergamos and Sardis, and derived its wealth from the Lycus valley in which it rapidly became a commercial center, but never a metropolis. The name “Thyatira” means “the castle of Thya.” Other names which it has borne are Pelopia and Semiramis. Before the time of Nicator the place was regarded as a holy city, for there stood the temple of the ancient Lydian sun-god, Tyrimnos; about it games were held in his honor. Upon the early coins of Thyatira this Asiatic god is represented as a horseman, bearing a double-headed battle-ax, similar to those represented on the sculptures of the Hittites. A goddess associated with him was Boreatene, a deity of less importance. Another temple at Thyatira was dedicated to Sambethe, and at this shrine was a prophetess, by some supposed to represent the Jezebel of Revelation 2:20, who uttered the sayings which this deity would impart to the worshippers.HISTORY OF THE CHURCH AT THYATIRA – Walnut Creek Church
Now lets look at the Identification of this Letter:
Like all the previous letters, this letter begins with the message “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira.”
In this letter, Jesus uses a very direct way of identifying Himself: “The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and feet like burnished bronze.” Not only does Jesus make the claim that He is the Son of God, He also describes some of His appearance (eyes like fire and feet like bronze).
There are two other places in scripture where we see this description of the appearance of Christ. The first is in Revelation 1:13 – Revelation 1:15 where Jesus presents Himself to the apostle John. Next is all the way back to the book of Daniel (Daniel 10:5 – Daniel 10:6), where Jesus appeared to the prophet in a vision to give him a prophetic message of the coming events. In both accounts, Jesus was described the same way by two people who lived roughly 600 years apart.
*Note: This is also further evidence that Jesus was very active in the Old Testament.
Next lets look at the Message to the Church:
Like most of the other letters, Jesus starts off by acknowledging the churches good deeds, but then quickly rebukes them in the following message. The good deeds Jesus points out here are that the churches love, faith, and perseverance had grown even stronger that when they first believed (Rev 2:19). If you remember back to the church at Ephesus, Jesus rebukes this church for “leaving their first love (Rev 2:4),” which meant they had grown weaker over time. Thyatira on the other hand had grown in their love for Christ.
The rebuke of this church though was significant. In the church there was a women Jezebel (may or may not be the actual name) who claimed to be a prophet and was spreading a false doctrine in the church (Rev 2:20). Some of these teachings were to commit acts of immorality and break certain Jewish law. These doctrines were such that in Rev 2:24 they were even described as “things of Satan.”
The term Jezebel takes us back to the book of 1 Kings, where King Ahab of Israel (who was the worst king of all of Israel) married a women named Jezebel who served and promoted the worship of the pagan god Baal (1 Kings 16:31). The similarities between the two are quite interesting and possibly why Jesus called this women in Thyatira Jezebel as a reference to the Jezebel in the time of the Kings of Israel.
The rebuke here calls for repentance for anyone who was lead astray and followed these false teachings, so that they would not have to encounter great tribulation (Rev 2:22).
The message here for the body of Christ today, is to stay alert and informed so that we will not be lead astray due to false teachings and doctrines. But to trust in the true word of God, and therefore grow in our faith in Him who provides us the true word. And not only that, but He calls for us to “hold on to what we have securely” until His return (Rev 2:25), which is an absolute.
Last we will look at the Prophetic Outcome of this letter:
Jesus ends this message with the same phrase as all the other letters, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches“. In the Prelude to this study, I explain the significance of this phrase and how it applies to the rest of the book of Revelations.
Jesus then ends the letter saying “To him who overcomes” and “I will give authority over the nations (Rev 2:26).”
An overcomer are those of us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as our savior (1 John 5:4-1 John 5:5) so Jesus here is speaking directly to His Church. And by giving us authority over the nations, this will be fulfilled during Christ millennial reign on earth, where Jesus will give His Church authority over the nations to judge and rule with alongside Him (Rev 20:6).
This concludes Part 4 of my seven part study series “The Seven Churches of Revelations.” In my next study of this series, we will look at and break down the letter given to the church of Sardis.
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And always remember, why is it important to study Bible prophecy? Because never have we been closer than today..