Morning Bible Study
– Have you been baptized? Celebration of
changed lives. Spanish Fellowship
cooking main dish for potluck. Bounce
house & water slide for the kids.
apostle has been exiled to the island of Patmos where he is given a “Revelation” by Jesus Christ
John sees a vision of Jesus walking among lampstands. We’ve seen this as a
picture of Jesus acting as a priest,
and every day the priests would go into the Holy Place to clean, refill, and
relight the lamps in the Temple.
The churches are the lamps. The cleaning and refilling of the lamps are
what is taking place as Jesus writes seven letters to seven churches.
:18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the
Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:
– Thuateira – “daughter”
Play Map to
We’ve been following John’s letters as he was exiled on Patmos. He’s
written to the churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, and Pergamos. Now we add the city of Thyatira.
Today the city Akhisar is located on top of ancient Thyatira. Population of 100,000. In ancient days, Thyatira was the smallest of
the seven cities mentioned in Revelation.
Thyatira was a city located on the Lycus River at the intersection of the trade
routes between the cities of Pergamos to the west and Sardis to the south.
The city was known
for its merchants and for the dyeing of cloth, and most famous for its purple cloth.
When Paul first arrived in Philippi (Acts 16), he went to a prayer place and met a gal named
(Ac 16:14 NKJV) Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the
city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the
things spoken by Paul.
Some have suggested that the Thyatira church may have been started by
Lydia, this merchant woman. The good
thing that may have been started by a woman now risks being destroyed by a
:18 who has eyes
like a flame of fire
Jesus describes Himself
as “the Son of God”, as the one with burning eyes, and the one with brass feet.
All these are
images of judgment.
This is His description of Himself to a church that is in big trouble.
:19 “I know your
works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are
more than the first.
:19 the last are
more than the first
Jesus mentions a lot of good things that He sees in this church.
Not only does this church have good works, but their works are getting
better and better over time.
I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who
calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual
immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
:20 you allow
– eao – permit, let; to allow one to
do as he wishes
This church may have been known for having done very good things, but that
doesn’t get them off the hook for one particular thing that needs to change.
They had a toleration of evil inside their church that needed to change.
– Iezabel – “Baal exalts”, “Baal is
husband to”, “unchaste”
It may be that this was the actual woman’s name.
It’s more likely that Jesus is giving this woman a symbolic name to make
the reader think of another more famous woman named Jezebel.
She was the
wife of King Ahab, making her a Queen of Israel. She was not Jewish, but was Phoenician.
She brought the
worship of Baal and Asherah into northern kingdom of Israel.
responsible for the murder of the prophets of Yahweh and tried to have Elijah
the prophet killed.
husband wanted a neighbor’s vineyard, she manufactured a way to have the
neighbor killed and the land given to her husband.
She outlived her husband but met her end when Jehu overthrew her son’s
government. Her death gives us another
hint to her character.
(2 Ki 9:30 The Message) When Jezebel heard that Jehu had arrived in Jezreel, she made
herself up—put on eyeshadow and arranged her hair—and posed seductively at the
was a seductress. She had seduced Israel
into worshipping false gods. In the end
she was a pitiful
old woman dressing up to seduce the new king.
Jehu had her thrown out the window where she died and was
eaten by dogs.
Jezebel is a picture of idolatry, deception, and seduction.
:20 calls herself
In the church, a prophet/prophetess is a person who speaks for God. It’s not just about telling the future,
though God may at times talk about the future.
It’s about having a word from God for someone.
We are a church that believes that God still gives spiritual gifts,
including gifts like tongues and prophecy.
We believe that God still speaks through people today.
But there are two
problems that can arise from considering that God speaks through people.
1. The Head Trip
It is a pretty serious thing to think that the words that a person is
speaking to you are words coming directly from God.
God speaks with authority, and if God speaks to you, you
better pay attention. Even more
important, you better do whatever God might be saying to you. If God is speaking through a person, you
ought to do what they say.
you are a person through whom God has ever spoken, it’s a pretty amazing
thing to think that God is actually using you.
And it can go to your head in a second and start making you think that
you’re something pretty special.
2. Stupid Sheep
The parallel problem is that sometimes we as Christians act like stupid
sheep. We follow anybody. We are way too gullible.
Car Prank” clip.
If somebody tells
us that God is speaking through them, we start nodding our heads, get a glazed
look in our eyes, and start muttering, “Yes, Master …”
God tells us that we are responsible to “test” the prophets.
(1 Jn 4:1 NKJV) Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits,
whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the
Some people are out to deceive you.
Some people get caught in the authority/head trip thing.
Others mean well but are simply not speaking for God.
You and I are
responsible to God to get out our “test kit” (our Bible) and test things, comparing what people say
to the Bible.
That includes the things that I say.
:20 to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat
things sacrificed to idols.
:20 to commit
sexual immorality – porneuo –
unlawful sexual intercourse
We talked last week about how wrong sex outside of marriage was. This word can also be used in a spiritual
sense, with the idea of leading someone astray from the worship of God into
Jesus is writing these letters to the church, the “Bride of Christ”. When a church goes astray from the “Groom”,
it is committing a form of “immorality”.
This may refer to either spiritual or literal physical immorality.
Wickedness at church
We may not want to face it, but the truth is that there are times in
history where there has been great wickedness in the church.
The very people that God wants to represent Him to the world have done some
of the most horrible things.
It’s not uncommon for unbelievers to ridicule Christianity and point to
some of these wicked things.
Middle Ages, we think about the Crusades – European “Christian” armies sent out
to recapture the Holy Land from the infidel Muslims. Killing in the name of God as well as some
pretty bad immorality didn’t exactly leave a good name for Christianity.
The “House of Borgia”
was a European family that became prominent during the time of the Renaissance
(1400-1500). Several popes came from
this family. The wickedness that came
from the pope at that time was incredible – adultery, murder, bribery, you name
it from the pope!
In our modern
times we all shudder at the scandals and abuse that have come out of the
Catholic Church. And it’s not just the
Catholic Church that has lurid sex scandals.
Though Jesus intended that the church be pure, good, and a light to this
dark world – sometimes the church has people who have manipulated and twisted
the church and left a dark stain.
:21 And I gave
her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
:21 I gave her time
It seems that this sin has gone on for some time. He’s given them enough time.
Listen to the warnings
When God brings judgment on our sin, He gives us a warning first.
Sometimes we don’t pay too much attention to warnings, perhaps because we
are faced with so many stupid warnings … like …
“Do not allow
children to play in the dishwasher”
A warning on an
electric router made for carpenters cautions, “This product not intended for
use as a dental drill.”
A CD player
carries this unusual warning: “Do not use the Ultradisc2000 as a projectile in
So when God
warns us about things like sexual immorality, are these just more “stupid
Let’s say you’re having health problems, the doctor gives you some tests,
and tells you that you are at risk for a heart attack.
Do you take your doctor seriously?
The Great Physician is telling some of you that your spiritual heart is at
Pay attention beloved.
God is serious.
:22 Indeed I will
cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great
tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
– kline – a small bed, a couch
I think that when people want to do the wrong thing and they push and push
and resist all warnings, that God will let them do what they’re going to do.
She wants to seduce others, so God is going to throw her onto a bed that
will lead to judgment.
This could be
talking about that coming seven year period we call the “Tribulation” when the
antichrist rules and the world is judged by God.
This could be
talking about a time of great difficulty.
:23 I will kill her
children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches
the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your
:23 all the
churches shall know
The judgment would come in such a way that the other churches would watch
and realize that Jesus means business.
From time to time you will hear of some church that’s involved in a
scandal. And judgment comes. Preachers are sent to jail. People are sentenced to prison.
It makes me tremble when these things happen. It’s a warning for all of us.
Judgment will come
If you are bent on continuing in your sin, God will let you.
And your sin will one day bring you down.
Jezebel has been given time to repent and she has refused.
Her rebellion will end up in tragedy and will bring down
those who are caught with her.
Sometimes we fool ourselves and think that God doesn’t see or care what I
am doing. Think again.
Ezekiel was a prophet during the time when the nation of Judah was finally
judged by God for their great wickedness and carried off to Babylon. Just prior to this judgment, God gave Ezekiel
a vision of the secret lives of Judah’s leaders, things done right in the very
Temple of Jerusalem.
(Eze 8:10–12 NKJV) —10 So I
went in and saw, and there—every sort of creeping thing, abominable beasts, and
all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed all around on the walls. 11 And there stood before
them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, and in their midst stood
Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan. Each man had a censer in his hand, and a thick
cloud of incense went up. 12
Then He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the
house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For they
say, ‘The Lord does not see us,
the Lord has forsaken the land.’
Every time I read this I think about the kinds of things
that are portrayed on the walls of our minds.
I think about the kinds of things we allow into our lives that pollute
us and grieve the heart of God.
God does see what we do. God does
care about what we do.
Judgment may not come today. It may
not come tomorrow. But it will come.
is a way out – turn around.
:24 “Now to you
I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who
have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other
:24 to you I say
– Jesus has addressed this letter to the “angel” of the church of Thyatira,
meaning probably the pastor of the church.
Jesus knows that this pastor as well as others in this church were not
caught up with the wickedness of Jezebel.
They are not going to be judged for what this woman has been doing.
Keep in mind that when wickedness is uncovered in a church, it doesn’t mean
that everybody in the church is wicked.
:25 But hold
fast what you have till I come.
:25 hold fast
– krateo – to have power; to hold; to
hold fast, i.e. not discard or let go
What do they “hold fast”?
(Re 2:19 NKJV) “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and
as for your works, the last are more than the first.
:26 And he who
overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the
:26 keeps My works
We get confused about our salvation and works.
Some people think we are saved because we do good things. Not so.
We are saved by
believing in Jesus. Jesus is the one who made
heaven possible when He died on the cross to pay for our sins. All we have to do is believe in order to
receive God’s forgiveness.
But once we believe, things ought to change in our lives. Our lives ought to start reflecting Jesus.
(Eph 2:8–10 NLT) —8 God
saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this;
it is a gift from God. 9
Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of
us can boast about it. 10
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so
we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
God has saved us so that we can do good works. Our good works reflect the fact that we
believe in Jesus.
lives ought to start producing good works.
That never ends. We
ought to still keep producing good works.
: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;
:27 He shall rule
There will be a day when Jesus
comes back and HE will be the one to conquer the nations, not the Crusaders.
When He comes
back, we will rule alongside of Him. He
will share His authority with us (Rev.
:28 and I will
give him the morning star.
:28 morning star
the east, just before sunrise, you can see the planet Venus. It is referred to as the “morning star”.
It’s a reminder that the sun is about to come up. The night is almost over.
It’s a symbol
Peter uses this
language to describe the hope that comes from God’s Word:
(2 Pe 1:19
And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a
light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star
rises in your hearts;
this name to Himself.
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I
am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
This is part of our reward for hanging on - hope. We have Jesus.
:29 “He who has an
ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
Do you have an ear?
What has the Spirit been saying to the churches?
Ephesus: Get back to your first love
Smyrna: He sees your trouble
Pergamos: Don’t compromise
Thyatira: Repent and keep doing good