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Home » SIH Lesson Themes » Doctrinal » Revelation 2:18-29:“Christ’s Letter To The Church At Thyatira”

Revelation 2:18-29:“Christ’s Letter To The Church At Thyatira”

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SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

 

The Letter To Thyatira…

Rev 2:18-29 KJV

(18)  And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;
(19)  I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
(20)  Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
(21)  And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
(22)  Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
(23)  And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
(24)  But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
(25)  But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
(26)  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
(27)  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
(28)  And I will give him the morning star.
(29)  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

 

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

From our previous lesson, we saw a very basic summary of the contents of these letters include:

Church Location Name Meaning Areas of Faithfulness Areas of Unfaithfulness Possible Punishment Reward To Overcomers (proof of genuine salvation)
Ephesus Desired or Allowed Many areas of faithful outward service.  Hate doctrine of Nicolaitanes. Left first love (Christ)Service not motivated by love for Christ. Removal of candlestick (church no longer enjoying fellowship w God) Eat of Tree of Life in Paradise
Smyrna Myrrh Spiritually rich N/A N/A Not hurt by second death
Pergamos Fortified Tower Faithfulness in face of persecution Allowing doctrine of Balaam andNicolaitans(physical and spiritual fornication) Will war against those who hold false teaching Be given hidden manna and white stone with new name
Thyatira Sacrifice, Offering, Corpse Works of love, service, faith, patience False Prophetess in midst. (sexual immorality and idol worship) Sickness, tribulation and death upon her and her followers. Be given power over the nations
Sardis Depart, Escape, Exit A few faithful areas of service remain. A few faithful members remain. Testimony that they are spiritually alive but really dead.  Their works not “perfect” before God. Will come upon them as a thief (implied removing anything of value leaving spiritually destitute) White garments.  Name not blotted out of book, confess his name before the Father
Philadelphia Love Of The Brethren Kept Word not denied name of Christ. Persevered in trials N/A N/A Permanent pillar in temple of God.  Name of God and New Jerusalem upon them. New name given to them
Laodicea Judgment Of The People N/A Lukewarm service.  Blinded to their spiritual destitution. Spew out of Lord’s mouth. Rebuking and chastening from Lord. Sit with Christ in throne.

Beginning in chapter 2 through chapter 3, John writes personalized messages to the 7 churches.  Each message contains four basic parts:

  1. Description of Christ
  2. Commendation for faithfulness and consequences
  3. Exposing unfaithfulness and consequences
  4. Promise to Overcomers

The first of these personalized messages is written to the church at Pergamos.
1. Description of Christ (v 18)
2. Commendation for faithfulness and consequences (v 19)
3. Exposing unfaithfulness and consequences (v 23-25)
4. Promise to Overcomers (v 26-29)

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Revelation 2: – 

(18)  And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; 

The Lord, through the Apostle John, now addresses the church that was located in Thyatria.  Thyatira was a center for the manufacture of many goods.  Some of the goods manufactured here included wool and linen clothing, dyes, pottery, bronze and leather goods, and baked foods. Because of all this manufacturing activity there was great opportunity for its citizens become financially wealthy and self-reliant.  Due to all of this Thyatira became known as a prosperous city that attracted many individuals in search of the riches of this world.

 

These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

In this description of Christ, we can see a main focus on:

  1. the Son of God – As the Son of God, He possessed great authority to judge others.
  2. His eyes like unto a flame of fire – Christ’s knowledge of all things (omniscience).
  3. his feet like brass – the perfect judgment He executes based upon His comprehensive knowledge.

What a blessing it is for each of us to understand these truths about Christ.  We should never allow concerns about His “fairness” or His “severity in judgment” to concern us.

Christ will, always, treat every human being fairly and justly.  He will always either withhold judgment that is deserved (His mercy and grace based upon His work on the cross) or He will always give that which is deserved (His justice).  He will NEVER judge more harshly than deserved, He will NEVER meet out a punishment more severe than the infraction demands.

He truly judges with His “eyes illuminated” enabling Him to see all the relevant information needed to make a perfect decision on the judgment that is meted out as He tramples upon His enemies.

 

(19)  I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

Just as in the other letters, Christ now encourages the church by speaking well of them for their service to Him:

  1. works – the effort they took to accomplish the tasks He had given to them.
  2. charity – their self-sacrificial love that motivated their service
  3. service – their effort to minister to others needs as an act of obedience to Christ
  4. faith – their reliance upon Him as they served
  5. patience – their willingness to bear up under the pressures of service, not caving in to the pressures
  6. works – their spiritual growth as they served in greater ways now than when they first began to serve.

 

(20)  Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

Jesus now begins to explain the areas where they have failed in their service.  They were allowing “that woman Jezebel”, a false prophetess, to spread doctrinal error and lead God’s people into sinful acts.  This was due to either a spirit of compromise (knowing that she was a false teacher and allowed her to continue) or a spirit of gullibility (not understanding that she was teaching falsely but believed she was actually the prophetess of God).

There is much that can be said about the name “Jezebel”:

1.  Some believe that this was her literal name given to her by her parents.

2.  Others suggest that this woman was given this name by Christ to link her to the OT character Jezebel (1 Kings 18:-21:). 1Ki 21:25 reminds us of the work of this wicked woman… “But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.”    

Just as the NT Jezebel was seducing others to commit idolatry and related sinful acts and turn from the Lord, so too, the OT woman was a horrible influence in the life of her husband, leading him into idolatry and opposition to Jehovah

3.  Others believe that Christ gave her this name to reveal something of her character, apart from the OT woman. There are MANY different ideas as to the meaning of her name. The best I understand, if it has Hebrew origins, it means “to be cast down” or “to be demoted”, or “to not be exalted”.  If this is so, it is teaching us of her end.  Although she claimed to be a prophetess of God, on judgment day she will not be honored by God but disowned, demoted and put to shame.

However, the most interesting view that I read was that there are scholars (cited by John Gill) who believe “Jezebel” comes from an Arabic word “Zebel” which meant dung. This would make perfect sense considering her teachings and works were simply “dung” in the eyes of the Lord and her end would be rejection by God much like a dunghill that laid outside a city.  (An interesting note…. The OT Jezebel’s end was as “dung” (2 Kings 9:37)

My personal belief is that all of these reasons for this woman’s name to be Jezebel could easily be true.  Our Lord, who is sovereign, controlled the name of this NT woman.  Perhaps, He allowed her parents to give her this name to link her to both the OT woman and the meaning of her name.

Her work caused men to fall into the sin of idolatry which included acts of fornication (acts of sexual or spiritual uncleanness) and eating idolatrous meat.

 

(21)  And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

(22)  Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

(23)  And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

The Lord graciously gives time for Jezebel to turn from her wicked ways, but she refused.  Therefore the judgment of the Lord would fall upon her.

The Lord’s judgment would be based upon her wicked acts (symbolized by being judged in the same bed in which she committed the sins).  Their (her and those with her) only hope of escaping judgment was to repent of their sins.  She would be judged by placing her in the midst of overwhelming pressure and those who followed her false teachings and practices would be killed and face eternal death.

The Lord’s judgment would prove to the churches that He is the One that knew all things, even the thoughts and intents of the heart and that He would then “follow up” by dealing with each sin appropriately.

 

(24)  But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
(25)  But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

The Lord now addresses those who have remained faithful to Him by not following after the teachings of Jezebel.  He describes those who have followed the idolatrous teaching as knowing the “depths of Satan”.  Folks, the worship of other gods is the lowest possible act of blasphemy against the Lord.   For a person to place their allegiance upon other gods, serving them, worshipping them and sacrificing for them is the most horrible of events that find their origin in Satan.

Those who have remained faithful to the Lord in the face of this blasphemous teaching are called upon to not forsake the truths they possess but use all their strength to protect them.

 

(26)  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end,

The Lord now addresses those who will be victorious and faithful to the Lord until the end.

 

to him will I give power over the nations:
(27)  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
(28)  And I will give him the morning star.

The Lord promises to bless the victorious ones by:

  1. power over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. – they will receive authority to rule over the lost.  This authority will involve them judging the lost and taking part in their destruction at His second coming. (1 Corinthians 6:2-3, Rev 19:11-21).  This authority will be delegated to the Lord’s people by Christ, who originally was given this authority by the Father.  (Luke 22:29)
  1. And I will give him the morning star. The “morning star” is a title taken by Christ Himself, “I Jesus… am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. (Rev 22:16)  To give the faithful saints of Thyatira “the bright and morning star” is to say that the saints will be given Christ throughout eternity.

How will this take place?  In at least two ways:  they will enjoy His person being in His presence, they will enjoy learning more about Him as they are taught throughout eternity.  This is how He will give Himself to His chosen people to enjoy throughout eternity.

(29)  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Once again, the Lord is stressing that this message was meant only for those who were truly saved members of the church. It was meant for those who had ears that were opened (by the gracious intervention of the Lord) to receive and understand the truths of His Word.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this passage of Scripture we see several truths about Christ presented.  He knows everything there is to know about  us.  Our outward actions and our inward desires and motives.  Based upon His Omniscience, He judges all mankind justly. When we consider Him as the All-knowing Just Judge over all mankind, it helps us to understand that He deserves to be given all of our worship, adoration, and service.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Folks, do we see our need to discern teachers of truth from teachers of error?  Do we see the need to expose and refrain ourselves from anyone who teaches error?  We all understand that our Lord is the Ultimate, Just, Judge that knows all things.  As such, we must make sure we are not partaking in the deeds of those who oppose Christ.  When we, knowingly, receive false teaching into our lives and follow its dictates, we are setting ourselves up to share in the judgment that awaits those who would lead us astray.

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

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5 Comments

  1. Terry says:

    Thanks so much for this post Rob

  2. Shofar says:

    Very good study, Pastor Rob. There are many Jezebels in the church today masquerading as prophetic voices of God. So sad, so much deception. ~Liz

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