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Monday: Christ’s Message to Thyatira — 15 Comments

  1. The usual historical application of this message is to the church during the dark ages, where spirituality became eclipsed by political religion. Religious observance was enforced by law resulting in persecution and punishment of those who were in descent. The real sin of the church during this period was not so much in what they believed but the way they enforced that belief.

    There is some tough language in this message and reading it through this morning I thought that the takeaway message for me was to ensure that my spirituality is personal, a relationship between God and me, and not something that is dictated externally.

    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. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. Rev 2:24,25

    Amen!(30)
  2. Their Glowing Praise
    (Revelation 2:19)
    We begin reading with Revelation 2:18-19. "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: 'I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first."

    Just as He has begun the commendation in each letter so far, so Christ begins again, "I know your works." What kind of works were these in Thyatira? There are four different things in which they are praised. The first is their love in view of the situation at Ephesus, we can understand how much of a compliment this was. At that very fundamental church, love was waning. But in the church at Thyatira, love was gaining. This is the greatest of all Christian virtues, according to the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 13:13). It heads the list of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). And it was found in this church. There was no coldness nor indifference here. There was no lethargy nor complacency here. There was no disunity nor disharmony in this church. They had love--love for the Lord and love for one another.

    And their love led to a second commendable characteristic: their labor. "I know your service," says the Lord. This is not the word for hard work or strenuous toll we saw in the letter to Ephesus. This is the word diakonos from which we get our word deacon. It means to serve or to minister. Here is something we evangelical churches need to develop: a desire and a willingness to serve, to minister to the needs of one another and to the needs of the community in which we labor. There's a tone of sacrifice in this kind of service. It's a desire to help others, to befriend them, to render them some kindness. It goes beyond the mechanical "work for the sake of work" that we found in Ephesus. It supersedes the cold complacent attitude that does a job because of obligation or duty that is so common among God's people. It removes all grudging service and all griping in fulfilling ones duties, and adds to our work. The refreshing and satisfying element of concern for others, the tender touch of loving kindness. Listen, these people had something for which the Lord could praise them.

    But love and labor were not the only strong points of the Thyatiran Christians. They were characterized by loyalty. The word faith in this instance should probably be rendered faithfulness. There were very few fickle and faithless saints in Thyatira. They were not occasional and spasmodic in their attendance, nor undependable in carrying out their responsibilities. You could count on them. They were right there where they were supposed to be, doing just what they were supposed to do, regularly. Great buildings are not built with defective, irregular, second-rate building materials. Neither are great churches built by irregular, undependable, second-rate Christians, who come and go as they please. God gives us folks who are here, willing to do whatever needs to be done, whenever the doors are open. That's the kind of church they had at Thyatira--the people were loyal.

    The last part of this commendation points out that they were longsuffering. They had patient endurance, even when their faith was tested. They knew how to bear hardship for their Lord without griping and complaining. This is the same compliment Christ gave to the Ephesian Church. It doesn't seem as though there was as much persecution against the church as a whole in this city as in some of the others, but those who stood true to the Lord had their share, and they bore it patiently..

    There was love, labor, loyalty, and longsuffering, and they were growing. "I know your works," says the Lord, "and the last are more than the first." Now there is a real compliment. I know so many Christians who begin strong. They start with a mighty blast off, and then they promptly fizzle out. The going gets a little tough, a few sacrifices are called for, the week-in and week-out grind begins to get both burdensome and monotonous, and before you know it their seat is empty, their job is resigned, or their love grows cold. Not the believers in Thyatira. Things were getting better there. They were loving each other more, serving each other more sacrificially, showing more faithfulness and patience with every passing day. This is a glowing note of praise for some well-deserving Christians, a commendation which could not be given to every Christian church today.

    Amen!(30)
  3. Chruch of Thyatira
    Character magnified in God - eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass
    Eyes that can penetrate into the heart of humanity
    Feet solid not to be wavered between doctrinal fallacy
    Proverbs 4:27 27Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
    God's Mercy - Repent of your sin
    Endurance - hold fast, overcome, keep my word
    Reward - I will give the morning star
    Isaiah 14:12
    How you have fallen from heaven, O Morning Star, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the ground, O destroyer of nations.

    How often Christ compares our restoration as equal with him
    Revelation 22:16
    "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star."

    Amen!(5)
  4. Words that caught my attention *you allow/tolerate*, *teaches*, *doctrine* to me the message to the leaders and those who have great love, service and patience is they are too tolerant of those who are practicing and promoting false doctrine. Question is how to remedy the situation? With force? Expose the error and give them time to repent and if they don't repent excommunicate? How much is the responsibility of the church and how much should be left to Jesus to carry out his threat after all he is the one who searches minds and hearts?

    Amen!(8)
    • What is Paul's instructions of how to deal with people like Jezebel in Thyatira?
      See EMTV version of Eph 5
      Eph 5:5-13 For this you know, that no fornicator, or unclean person, nor covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be participants with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light-- 9 for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth, 10 proving what is well-pleasing to the Lord. 11 And have no partnership with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather *expose* them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things being done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.
      But KJV puts it this way:
      Eph 5:10-11  Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.  11  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather *reprove* them.

      The word translated by EMTV in Eph 5:11 as *expose* according to Strongs (see below) could also be translated convict, convince, rebuke or reprove. Jesus uses convict -Joh 16:8  And when that One comes, He will *convict* the world concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment. and Paul uses it as follows:
      1Ti 5:20  Those who sin, *rebuke* before all, so that the rest also may fear.
      Tit 1:9  holding fast the faithful Word according to the doctrine, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and to *convict* the gainsayers.
      Which word do you think Jesus would use in his message to Thyatira, which word do you think we should use in this day and age?

      elegchō
      el-eng'-kho
      Of uncertain affinity; to confute, admonish: - convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, reprove.

      Amen!(3)
    • What has Jesus taught us to do? How did Paul define it in his pastoral instructions to Timothy and Titus, and by his own example?

      In is clear that the church is held responsible for what it allows through willful ignorance or lack of faithfulness to follow the Lamb wherever He leads. We see from history that unrighteousness, if tolerated, will eventually exert power and enforce it's dogma. Yet we are to remain faithful if we would receive the blessings promised by the Lord. Being faithful requires us to not remain silent in a crisis. The Lord is shown as being aware of everything, and as having been purified through suffering Himself by remaining faithful to His Father's will.

      Amen!(2)
  5. I understand this message GOD send to Thyatira is the message we in today's world applys too. we are just as guilty today as they were.

    Amen!(1)
  6. I find this phrase from today's study rather interesting:

    "During this time, the danger to God’s people did not come from outside the church but from within. Tradition replaced the Bible, a human priesthood and sacred relics replaced Christ’s priesthood, and works were regarded as the means of salvation."

    Thyatria lived a literal oxymoron living in love, faith, service, and patience ("that your latter works exceed the first") on one hand, while on the other hand compromising with the ways of the world.

    The troubles in Thyatira, are rather common in today's churches too. Possibly we live in blind-spot or maybe it is deliberate, but a lot of times we find ourselves clung on traditions that boost no benefit to our Christian journey; to our salvation; or even towards exalting God. Many times such traditions are only beneficial for posturing or have surpassed their desired objectives. Many times we accept the norms of society, to avoid being deemed as rebellious, but to what extent? These are the times where we say that "the conditions forced us into the situation". Today, the church finds itself compromising to be relevant in the society, changing its ways and values just to fit into the tradition of the day (everybody is doing it anyhow).

    In an actual sense, traditions were intended to point us towards God and provide order. However, we have allowed our zeal and self-love to push us towards self-exaltation, contaminating the purity of the mission and blending it with our own kind of tradition inclined on the ways of the world (tolerating the woman "Jezebel"). Maybe we tell ourselves that it is not so since we have nothing as extreme as sexual immorality, but what do we idolize today? Do we idolize the self, our successes, our charismatic/animatic preacher or our humongous church building? Or, do we glorify God? I remember a discussion in the Bible that Jesus had with the Pharisees, that went like this:

    {Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, 'Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.' He answered and said to them, 'Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, 'Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God" then he need not honor his father or mother.' Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
    " These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
    And honor Me with their lips,
    But their heart is far from Me.
    And in vain they worship Me,

    Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men."} - Matthew 15:1-9

    Maybe it's time to rethink our lives in the church today. We should be grounded in the faith at all times or else we find ourselves described like Demas (4 Timothy 4:10) "because he loved this world.."

    Amen!(6)
    • Stanley, I think Jesus divides the people in Thyatira into groups - some are good and others follow Jezebel - you seemed to have mixed them all into one group?

      Amen!(1)
      • True, Shirley! My view was more towards the ending phrase in the author's comment, but yes Thyatira has two groups in focus. God bless you!

        Amen!(1)
  7. What are the lessons for us today from Thyatira?
    • God is working through Jesus to heal all who trust Him, but God has been misrepresented in Christianity to be like Baal
    • We are to reject this false version of God and stay true to Jesus and we will receive His indwelling and transforming presence

    What does the name Jezebel refer to in this prophecy? Jezebel was queen of Baal worship, and who was Baal?
    • Son of El
    • God of weather, rain, lightning which refreshed the earth and brought the harvest
    • Fought against the leviathan the great serpent
    • Fought against Mot the God of death and in this battle dies and rises again to bring life to the land

    So what was wrong with Baal worship? Baal required appeasement, a blood payment in order to appease anger and bring blessings.

    Baal became:
    • Zeus to the Greeks
    • Jupiter to the Romans
    • Thor to the Norse
    • Jesus Christ to Christians who worship an angry god that requires the blood of a human sacrifice to propitiate his wrath

    Thus the prophecy to Thyatira that during the Middle and Dark Ages the view that God functions like Baal would take root. And that lie has yet to be confronted, rejected, and eliminated from Christianity in order to complete the Reformation.

    Amen!(3)
  8. I see Baal featuring high at the time of Jezebel .It was a religious coup, Jehovah was replaced by Baal, and the replacement so appealed to the minds of God's people that they had tough time deciding who is the real God. The issue was decided on who is in charge of weather.

    Throughout the Bible, God challenges all other coup religions on the issue of creation, a past tense deal, done, settled and stamped in a particular day-the Sabbath day.

    Jezebel brings in a religion which is so attractive to human minds, it appeals, it rewards the senses and feeds on our self centeredness. She pulls out the mark of God's challenge and the people loose orientation.

    We are only self as we remember the Mark in its spirit/principle, the Sabbath spirit.

    Amen!(1)
  9. Amazing lesson this morning on the church at Thyatira. It would seem that this church is the complete opposite of the church at Ephesus. Ephesus kept evil people from getting in and withstood the false teachings from the false apostles, yet they ceased from being loving, caring and compassionate towards others. They lost their first love. However, a Thyatira was a loving, caring and compassionate church, helping others and accepting others, but also allowing false doctrines to penetrate the church and ultimately allowing evil into the church.

    Amen!(3)
  10. The counter reformation fulfilled verse 21, as well as the continued practices today. Verse 23 echoes “the conclusion of the whole matter” defined by Solomon in Eccl 12, which should help us realize what the world needs to hear from God’s faithful messengers at this late hour. Don’t we see this further indicated in the first angel of Rev 24? Jesus, at His coming, can only receive “all them which are sanctified” “by grace through faith”. His promise to “he that overcomes” is exceeding great and precious” to all who have been victims during the long reign of this “abomination of desolation” set up by the enemies of Christ.

    Amen!(0)

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