Back To Sermon Storehouse
Revelation: Thyatira: Wait For the Star
We have no knowledge of the origin of the church in this small city of Asia minor.
Lydia, a native of Thyatira, who was one of Paul's disciples
may have been involved in starting the church.
Thyatira was a small city, but it was an important trading point.
One of the chief Roman highways ran through it,
and this was a reason that it was visited by many people.
The same heresy, which was at Pergamum, was also at Thyatira,
but it seemed to be worse at Thyatira.
The population was largely pagan, therefore such heresy found fruitful ground.
His Identification, 2:18
In chapter 2 verse 18 Christ identifies Himself to the church as
"the Son of God, who hath his eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet are like unto burnished brass."
This describes Jesus as infallible (as God's Son), omniscient (piercing eyes like flames),
and strong (feet as brass refined in service); therefore the church must hear Him.
He has a perfect understanding of the conditions in the church,
and therefore, and is qualified to speak judgment.
His Commendation, 2:19
Jesus acknowledges their virtues as He commends them.
He also commends them for the progress they have made in their work.
- He knows their works and their services given to God.
- He knows of their love, which is the basis of their works.
- He knows of their faith -- their fidelity to their religion.
- He knows of their ministry, which pictures love in action.
- He knows of their ministry to those in need.
- He knows of their patience, and their ability to hold their own.
- He knows of their ability to maintain their peace under pressure.
He said, "Thy last works are more than the first."
This was a good church.
They have been carrying on with the regular work of the Lord faithfully and with patience and love.
They are "growing in grace" as they progress in their Christian walk.
If the letter closed here, this church would be considered ideal.
But the letter doesn't close here.
There are evils in their congregation, which must be condemned.
His Compliant and His Judgment, 2:20-23
His complaint is that the church's harboring one who is guilty of heresy and of spreading the heresy.
He said, "thou sufferest the woman Jezebel."
The church, the true church, is not guilty of the heresy, but they have condoned it.
In other words there were those who were faithful and true to Christ,
but they looked the other way at those members who were guilty of heresy.
There was a corrupt woman in the church teaching and claiming some special mystic revelation from God.
Verse 24 appears to suggest this.
This woman may have been named Jezebel,
but it is more likely that this name was assigned to her because of her character.
She is misleading Christians and seducing them to fornication.
This was either actual fornication growing out of the gnostic teachings
or spiritual fornication of breaking one's vows with God.
This reflection of an Old Testament idea, especially found in Hosea, appears to be the true case.
She will not be permitted to continue in her evil.
She is going to meet destruction, and so will her followers with her. (2:22-23)
This will come as the proof that God still has charge of His church and of the world
and still judges people according to their works. (2:23)
His Promise, 2:24-29
The Lord promises to those who overcome that He will not put upon them
any more spiritual obligations than they already have.
He also promises that they will have no additional duties to special Gnostic revelations. (2:24)
They are to be loyal and what he has already given. (2:25)
He promises to those who overcome will receive authority over the nations.
They will find themselves completely vindicated as Christians
before the people who are now persecuting them.
The picture of their ruling with rods of iron is symbolical of the certainty
of their vindication and triumph with Christ.
He also promises to give to the overcoming one the morning star --
His guidance and leadership in the dark hours of troubles and trials.
Anyone who has observed the brilliant beauty of the morning star in the dark hour
which precedes the dawn will understand the beauty of his promise.
He may often walk in darkness and in many perplexities, but the morning star will be given to guide him.
He must refuse the false leadership of gnosticism and wait for the star.
Adapted from the book, Worthy Is the Lamb, by Ray Summers