THE MASTER’S VESSEL MINISTRIES, HOUSTON, TEXAS
Preacher: Pastor Uche Emenike
Topic: The Messages to the churches
Text: Revelations 1:9-11; 2:1-7
Letter to Thyatira
- This is a letter to a church tolerating idolatry and in early stages of apostasy.
- Thyatira was a small town about forty eight miles southeast of Pergamum. It was established as a Macedonian colony by Alexander the Great after the destruction of the Persian Empire. It was a trade city known for its manufacture of purple dye. Note that it was mentioned in Acts 16:14-15 when Lydia, a seller of purple cloth was converted at the preaching of Paul, the apostle.
- We have no evangelistic effort recorded in the bible targeted at the people of Thyatira; therefore we make the assumption that Lydia, the convert, took her testimony back home and brought the gospel to her city.
- The lesson here is that you may be the only light people may have and see. Your testimony must be strong and you must not be ashamed of the gospel.
- Jesus’ description here is significant to the message that He wants to send to this church. His eyes are like a flame of fire. He penetrates and searches the deeper recesses of the hearts of men. He knows their thoughts and nothing is hidden from Him. He is able to uncover all evil as can be seen from what is happening with this church. His feet like fine brass signify that He acts with perfect strength and steadiness. His description here portrays righteous indignation at a church that was departing from a true worship of God into falsehood.
- In v. 19, He commends the church for her works, love, service, faith, and patience, and even the fact that there is an increase in the quality of her work and service. Every church, and indeed individuals, must have these virtues.
- In v. 20, the church is condemned for tolerating a woman in her midst whose teachings and influence as a spokesperson for God is causing God’s people to commit sexual immorality and eating things sacrificed to idols. In many cultures, taking part in fornication and other types of sexual immorality is a central part of idol worship. She sought to take down the moral boundaries of separation between the church and the world.
- Why is this woman called Jezebel? Perhaps it is because she is acting like the Jezebel of the Old Testament that, together with her husband, Ahab, sought to combine the worship of God with that of Baal, and ultimately replace the worship of God with the worship of Baal.
- When a church sleeps, doctrines that oppose the truth of scripture tend to creep in. Never in our wildest imaginations did we think that the church today would be debating whether the practice of homosexuality is a sin and whether those that practice it should be called believers in Christ. The church has authority to censure and excommunicate whoever is involved in such evil doctrine. This church failed in her duty and the Lord was furious at her.
- Likewise, the story of this church reveals how Christians that are not rooted in the word of God can easily be influenced by a new doctrine. Today, believers are more interested in music than in the written word. They prefer entertainment to prayer and fellowship. Any wonder why we are losing our youth who go to college empty in their spirit and ultimately jettison the faith when new interests come in.
- To make matters worse, this woman tested the patience of God. Though she was given time to repent, she was obstinate in her ways. Judgment is bound to happen.
- In v.22, the word, adultery, is used to indicate a violation of the marriage vow that indicated the covenant relationship that the church had with God and which was now being sinned against.
- In v. 23, Jezebel’s children will be killed both now and in the second death. It will be done in such a manner that, according to Walvoord, the church would have no doubt about Christ’s ability to search people’s innermost beings and deliver the appropriate judgment for sin. God is jealous of the purity of His word and of His people. Corruption of them will be met with swift justice. Beware!
- Unfortunately, this warning to Thyatira foreshadowed what was going to happen in the Middle Ages when the worship of God became combined with paganism that idols in the form of religious statues of dead saints were introduced in the church.
- In v. 24-25, the godly remnant is admonished to stand strong as they await the promised return of the Lord. The godly remnant is those that do not heed this doctrine of Jezebel who have not dabbled into the deed mysteries and practices of the satanic kingdom as seen in the occult.
- In vs. 26-29, Christ promises the overcomers – that is you and me – positions of authority and rule. This is in direct reference to the millennial reign of Christ. We shall be participants sharing in His rule. We shall judge, give direction, and administer mercy to those who will exist in the millennium. Let this be an encouragement to you.
- The Morning Star here refers to Christ – see Rev. 22:16. This is His role as the One who will rapture His church before the dark hours of the tribulation set in. those dark hours, however, will usher in the new dawn of the millennium. Jesus is our inheritance.