18a) And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write
- Church tradition says that Thyatira means "odor of affliction," possibly originating from "thymiaterion, which is a censor used to burn incense, and the Greek root word "thuo," which means sacrifice.
Description of Christ
18b) These things says the Son of God
- The Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).
- Thyatira is under the burden of the "works of the devil."
18c) who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass
- The Lord's piercing gaze relates to judgment and His displeasure with sin (Revelation 1:14).
- Bronze is also associated with judgment and purification from sin and shows that the Lord is not pleased with the congregation at Thyatira (Revelation 1:15).
What is known / Praise
19) I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.
- The "first work" is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength (Revelation 2:4-5).
- Apparently the congregation at Thyatira had put more emphasis on their love and works toward others, allowing it to encroach on their devotion to the Lord, but they were not rebuked for leaving their "first love" like the church of Ephesus (Revelation 2:4).
20a) Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel
- Jezebel was a woman in the church working in the "spirit of Jezebel."
- Jezebel led the northern kingdom of Israel into sin through Baal worship, a cult involving sexual immorality and idol worship, which is harlotry and witchcraft (2 Kings 9:22).
20b) who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
- Those called a "prophetess" in Scripture were godly women, who were given messages from the Lord in the same way as the men called prophets.
- It appears that this woman Jezebel had come into the Church under the guise of a prophetess, but used witchcraft to lead astray some of the Lord's servants, or believers (Revelation 1:1), into sexual sin and idolatry, which was the "doctrine of Balaam" (Revelation 2:14).
21) And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
- The woman Jezebel remained rebellious and unrepentant in her sexual immorality which was a physical manifestation of spiritual harlotry.
22a) Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed
- This phrase in the Greek was a figure of speech commonly used that meant "to make one sick."
22b) and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation
- This period of "great tribulation" is not speaking of the last half of the Tribulation described in Matthew 24:21 and Revelation 7:14, but was a time of punishment through sickness for Jezebel and those that committed adultery with her.
22c) unless they repent of their deeds.
- Sexual immoral believers at Thyatira could have also been spared "great tribulation" and suffering if they had repented of their sin with Jezebel, like King Ahab (1 Kings 21:25-29).
23a) I will kill her children with death
- Any children conceived in sin by Jezebel at Thyatira, were going to die because of her sin.
- Though not every child born out of a sexually immoral relationship dies, God may choose to take the life of the child to punish the parent's sin like King David who lost the child born out of his adulterous relationship.
23b) and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts.
- The Lord would punish as an example and warning to all the churches of what would happen if they lived in unrepentant sin.
- The Lord addressed Himself to the church at Thyatira as "the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire." (Revelation 2:18), which relate to His judgment and displeasure with sin (Revelation 1:14).
- Searching the minds and hearts of men is to look at their motive (Jeremiah 17:10).
23c) And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
- God will judge the works of everyone, both good and bad (Romans 2:4-11).
- Believers in the Tribulation will be rewarded when Jesus returns to set up His Kingdom on Earth (Matthew 16:24-27).
24a) Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira
- The Lord gives counsel to both the angel and "the rest" of the congregation in Thyatira. This may support the argument that the angels of the churches are men (Revelation 1:20).
24b) as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan
- The opposite of the "depths of Satan" would be the "deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:7).
- The Holy Spirit reveals the "deep things of God." Conversely, the "depths of Satan" would be revealed through his demonic devices, in the same way he gives "forbidden knowledge" to those in the Babylonian pagan worship (Revelation 2:17).
- Jezebel taught the false doctrine of Balaam (Revelation 2:14), which encouraged the sinful activities of sexual immorality and eating food sacrificed to idols. Her rebellion and refusal to repent, was a form of witchcraft, powerful enough to entice believers at Thyatira to follow her false doctrine.
24c) as they say, I will put on you no other burden.
- A "burden" is the expectation to follow certain items from the Law of Moses.
- The Law of Moses was a "burden" that was impossible to follow completely. However, that does not mean that there are not items from the Law that Christians would do well to take heed to, as indicated by the apostles (Acts 15:29).
- If we follow the Lord's commandments to love Him and our neighbor (Mark 12:30-31), staying away from idolatry and sexual immorality is not a "burden" anyway (1 John 5:1-3).
25) But hold fast what you have till I come.
- While most of the letter to Thyatira was a rebuke from the Lord, Jesus did praise the church encouraging them to "hold fast," or work to maintain the positives things they had - their works, love, service, faith and patience (Revelation 2:19).
Promise to overcomers
26) And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations
- Overcomers are those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 5:4-5).
- As the Lord is faithful in His promises, we should strive to be faithful and diligent in doing His works, until death, or the rapture (Ephesians 2:10).
- Those who overcome will receive the promise to reign with Christ over the nations in the Millennium, as "kings and priests" (Revelation 1:6).
27) 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels'- as I also have received from My Father
- The Father bestows power to the Son to rule over the nations with a rod of iron (Psalms 2:7-9).
- To rule with a rod of iron means that the Lord's rule will be just and punishment will be swift and harsh. Iron symbolizes strength that has the power to destroy (Daniel 2:40).
- Archeology has shown us that a guild of potters also established a trade in Thyatira.
- A potter can mold a pot while it is still clay, but when the clay has hardened, the potter has the prerogative to destroy it if not pleased with it (Isaiah 45:9).
- Those who live in the Millennium will either be molded by the Lord willingly, or be "dashed to pieces," if their hearts are against Him.
28) and I will give him the morning star.
- The morning star appears during the darkest hour of the night, before the day dawns (2 Peter 1:17-19).
- Overcomers can have confidence in the promises given by the Lord. They are to watch for Him as they would the morning star in the dark of the night (Psalms 130:6).
- As the morning star appears in the darkest hour of the night, the Lord will return in the darkest moment of human history, at the end of the Tribulation (Mark 13:24-26).
Call to hear
29) "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
- The Lord directs the call in the messages to the churches to each believer within each congregation, who have spiritual ears attuned to listen to what the Holy Spirit is trying to teach about the "mysteries of the kingdom."
Summary and Theme
- Neglect of "first works" leads to sin.
Prophetic Church Age Type
- The Pagan Church - 606AD to the rapture
* Note: I will continue to add notes to this study guide every
few weeks as I cover the material in the Bible study I teach *
Unless Jesus Does First