18 ¶ And unto the Angel of the Church which is at Thyatira write, These things saith the Son of God, which hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet like fine brass.
19 I know thy works and thy love, and service and faith, and thy patience, and thy works, and that they are more at the last, than at the first.
20 Notwithstanding, I have a few things against thee, that thou sufferest the woman Jezebel which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to deceive my servants, to make them commit fornication and to eat meat 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 fornication with her, into great affliction, except they repent them of their works.
23 And I will kill her children with death, and all the Churches shall know that I am he which search the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according unto your works.
24 And unto you I say, the rest of them of Thyatira, As many as have not this learning, neither have known the deepness 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 For he that overcometh and keepeth my words unto the end, to him will I give power over nations.
27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and as the vessels of a potter, shall they be broken:
28 Even as I received of my Father, so will I give him the morning Star.
29 Let him that hath an ear, hear what the Spirit saith to the Churches.
I’ve tried to find solid information relating to the message to “the Angel of the church which is at Thyatira.” Please forgive any repetition of significant facts.
The letter to this assembly is the longest of the seven. In it, the Lord condemns a woman who claims to be a prophetess and whom He calls “Jezebel”. The original Jezebel was the foreign-born queen of the Northern Kingdom of Israel who destroyed the true prophets of the Lord, had Naboth denounced, condemned, and stoned, and was in the end herself destroyed. The name of Jezebel is forever linked with idolatry and murder.
“Jezebel has stamped her name on history as the representative of all that is designing, crafty, malicious, revengeful, and cruel. She is the first great instigator of persecution against the saints of God. . . passionate in her attachment to her heathen worship. . .”
The deadly alliance of Ahab and Jezebel
1 Kings 16
30 And Ahab the son of Omri did worse in the sight of the Lord than all that were before him. 31 For was it a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, except he took Jezebel also the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians to wife, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him? 32 Also he reared up an altar to Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. 33 And Ahab made a grove, and Ahab proceeded, and did provoke the Lord God of Israel more than all the kings of Israel that were before him. 34 In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his eldest son, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord which he spake by Joshua the son of Nun.
1 Kings 21
5 Then Jezebel his wife came unto him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad that thou eatest no bread? 6 And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money, or if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: but he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard. 7 Then Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? Up, eat bread, and be of good cheer, I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. . . 25 (But there was none like Ahab, who did sell himself to work wickedness, in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife provoked. 26 For he did exceeding abominably in following idols, according to all that the Amorites did, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel.)
Jezebel’s words were smooth, “Why is thy spirit so sad that thou eatest no bread?” But under her tongue was poison.
This was her justly deserved end:
2 Kings 9:30-37
30 And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window. 31 And as Jehu entered at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, which slew his master? 32 And he lift up his eyes to the window, and said, Who is on my side, who? Then two or three of her Eunuchs looked unto him. 33 And he said, Cast her down: and they cast her down, and he sprinkled of her blood upon the wall, and upon the horses, and he trode her under foot. 34 And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Visit now yonder cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a King’s daughter. 35 And they went to bury her, but they found no more of her, than the skull and the feet, and the palms of her hands. 36 Wherefore they came again and told him. And he said, This is the word of the Lord, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the field of Jezreel shall the dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel.37 And the carcass of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the ground in the field of Jezreel, so that none shall say, This is Jezebel.
Artist’s conception of a true prophet of the Lord, Elijah the Tishbite, whom Jezebel tried but failed to kill.
Study helps for the message to Thyatira
Halley’s Bible Handbook, Zondervan, 1965, p. 69
“Thyatira was a city in the province of Asia, on the boundary of Lydia and Mysia. Thyatira has no illustrious history, and is scarcely mentioned by ancient writers. Coinage suggests that, lying as it did on a great highway linking two river valleys, Thyatira was a garrison town over long centuries. . . The city was a center of commerce, and the records preserve references to more trade-guilds than those listed for any other Asian city. Lydia, whom Paul met in Philippi, was a Thyatiran seller of “turkey red,” the product of the madder root (Acts 16:14). It is curious to find another woman, nicknamed after the princess who sealed Ahab’s trading partnership with the Phoenicians, leading a party of compromise in the Thyatiran church (Revelation 2:20, 21). Necessity for guild membership in a trading community must have strengthened temptation to compromise. Thyatira played no significant role in the later history of the church.”
“. . . Even when the Lord knows the works of his people to be wrought in love, faith, zeal, and patience; yet if his eyes, which are as a flame of fire, observe them committing or allowing what is evil, he will rebuke, correct, or punish them . . .”
The Final Prophecy of Jesus:
An Introduction, Analysis, and Commentary on the Book of Revelation
Oral Edmond Collins
“26. To him who overcomes: as in each of the letters a promise is made to the overcomer. Here only, perhaps as a reflex on the preceding verse, it is expanded with an explanatory clause, and does my will to the end (cf. 1 John 5:4, 5). The promised reward follows in two parts: first, I will give authority over the nations . . . . The Savior quotes Psalm 2:9, which addresses the Messianic rule over the nations of the world.
Thou shalt crush them with a scepter of iron, and break them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. – Psalm 2:9
“The participation of the saints in the power of Christ’s throne is affirmed in the apocalyptic vision of Daniel 7:27: ‘Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High.’ The theme is reiterated in Revelation 5:10 and 20:4, 6. It is also found on the lips of Jesus in Matt. 19:28 and from the pen of Paul in 1 Cor. 6:2-3. 27. Christ’s use of Psa. 2:9 in Revelation 2:27 implies the authority ascribed to him in the Psalm is, as stated in Daniel, given also to the victorious saints. To rule with an iron scepter denotes absolute authority to enforce the law, such as must be ascribed to Christ and to those who rule with him. Also implied is a condition where there is a plurality of nations and where moral perfection has not yet been realized. The promise belongs to the millennial age following the ‘the end’ and the Second Advent mentioned in verses 25 and 26. . .
“28. The second reward promised to the overcomer is that Christ will also give him the morning star. The ‘morning star’ is identified in chapter 22:16 by Jesus, himself, where he says, ‘I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.’ The Scriptural use of the figure is anticipated by Balaam’s prophecy in Num. 24:17, ‘A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.’ . . . Here the Old Testament text, has historically found a measure of fulfillment in David, takes on Messianic significance from the Davidic Covenant which promised a Son who would come to rule perpetually on David’s throne (2 Sam. 7:12-17). So Jesus identifies Himself as ‘the Root and Offspring of David.’ The saint who is called upon to rule need not fear for Christ will be with him. Christ in his physical presence will personally be seated on his throne as king and His indwelling Spirit will fully empower those who assist Him in that (see 1 Cor. 6:2). For the Thyatiran who had not adequately disciplined ‘Jezebel’ and her followers, there was a certain irony in this promise of the iron scepter to the overcomers. It stands as a testimony to the grace of God as revealed in the Gospel as accomplished in the person of the messenger, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“Verse 24. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira. . . he addresses now all the members of the church who were not involved in the charges already made. He does not say how large a portion of the church had escaped the contaminating influence of those opinions, but to that portion, whether great or small, he addresses only words of exhortation and comfort.
“As many as have not this doctrine. To all who have not embraced it, or been contaminated with it. It may be presumed that there was a considerable portion of the church which had not.
“And which have not known the depths of Satan. The deep art and designs of Satan. Deep things are those which are hidden from view—as of things which are far under-ground; and hence the word is used to denote mysteries, or profound designs and purposes. The allusion here is not to any trials or sufferings that Satan might bring upon any one, or to any temptations of which he might be the author, but to his profound art in inculcating error and leading men astray. . .
“I will put upon you none other burden. That is, no other than that which you now experience from having these persons with you, and that which must attend the effort to purify the church. He had not approved their conduct for suffering these persons to remain in the church, and he threatens to punish all those who had become contaminated with these pernicious doctrines. He evidently designed to say that there was some token of his displeasure proper in the case, but he was not disposed to bring upon them any other expression of his displeasure than that which grew naturally and necessarily out of the fact that they had been tolerated among them, and those troubles and toils which must attend the effort to deliver the church from these errors. . . A kind Saviour says, that he would bring upon them no other, and no weightier burden, than must arise from his purpose to inflict appropriate vengeance on the guilty themselves. The trouble which would grow out of that would be a sufficient expression of his displeasure. This is, in fact, often now all that is necessary as a punishment on a church for harbouring the advocates of error and of sin. . .”
“Thyatira. . . stood on none of the Greek trade routes, but upon the lesser road between Pergamos and Sardis, and derived its wealth from the Lycus valley in which it rapidly became a commercial center, but never a metropolis. . . Other names which it has borne are Pelopia and Semiramis. Before the time of Nicator the place was regarded as a holy city, for there stood the temple of the ancient Lydian sun-god, Tyrimnos; about it games were held in his honor. . . Another temple at Thyatira was dedicated to Sambethe, and at this shrine was a prophetess, by some supposed to represent the Jezebel of Revelation 2:20, who uttered the sayings which this deity would impart to the worshippers.
“Thyatira was specially noted for the trade guilds. . . Every artisan belonged to a guild, and every guild, which was an incorporated organization, possessed property in its own name, made contracts for great constructions, and wielded a wide influence. . . The guilds were closely connected with the Asiatic religion of the place. Pagan feasts, with which immoral practices were associated, were held, and therefore the nature of the guilds was such that they were opposed to Christianity. According to Acts 19:10, Paul may have preached there while he was living at Ephesus, but this is uncertain; yet Christianity reached there at an early time. It was taught by many of the early church that no Christian might belong to one of the guilds, and thus the greatest opposition to Christianity was presented.”
E. J. Banks
Lydia was from Thyatira but came to the Lord in Phillipi!
“The ‘beloved disciple,’ was brother to James the Great. The churches of Smyrna, Pergamos, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, and Thyatira, were founded by him. From Ephesus he was ordered to be sent to Rome, where it is affirmed he was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil. He escaped by miracle, without injury. Domitian afterwards banished him to the Isle of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation. Nerva, the successor of Domitian, recalled him. He was the only apostle who escaped a violent death.”