Letters to the churches the fourth, Thyatira.
Revelation 2 verse 18 to 29;
At the time of John’s writing of Revelation, the city of Thyatira was entering it’s greatest season of prosperity. it was a Roman outpost. It served it purpose of protecting the Roman empire from forces from the north. The various businesses were divided into guides, that all had their own god. In order for anyone to do business in the city, they had to go through a guild. So before a business was allowed to operate, they would have to perform the worship customs of the god of that guild.
If we were to go to a Thyatira style church, it would be hard to suspect anything was wrong. Jesus even praises the church for their love and faith and ministry. They were being a local church community everyday of the week, something was going on. That is Revelation in itself, a community minded everyday of the week.
That was the good the be said, but if we look a little deeper at the Thyatira church, we find a bad center inside. The best way to describe it, they were wicked, where as the Pergamum church was on the brink of embracing the world, Thyatira was entwined in it.
The church had a problem with a woman in the church, who should have been removed, but was let stay. In verse 20, Jesus calls her Jezebel, this was probably not her real mane but a reference to a wicked queen in the Old testament, who practiced the immoral worship of the Canaanite god Baal. Jesus goes on to say she was luring genuine followers, into sexual immorality.. This woman was bring idolatry, into the church and they were eating food that had been offered to false gods, and the dinners that were being put on were nothing more than opportunities for sexual sin.
Jesus paid the price to deliver us all from bondage, and these types of practices were putting the followers too close to the pagan life, they were set free from.
A third problem Jesus accuses the woman of was, she called herself a prophet and told the church that God had given her special information nobody else had. God is no respecter of persons, He loves us equally, he does not reveal special things to people that people can’t find out for themselves. So the church had become more cultist by listening to a persuasive leader and less centered on the Word of God.
Jesus steps in to deal with the problems the church is facing. A church that tolerates sin, and that refuse to deal with it, will find them selves under judgement where Jesus Himself will stand against them All people can do in that situation is repent and pray and God will deliver them, but if they do not repent of their wrong doings, it is better for the one who do repent to leave a church like this than face the consequences they will face without repentance..
An iron rod is mentioned,, which mostly refers to a shepherd crook with a metal tip. While the Shepherd is a gentle leader, He maintains ultimate control over His followers and nothing is hid from Him.
Also mentioned is The Morning star, a reward given to the faithful followers by Jesus, and refers to the power of the new Resurrection Life that Our Lord and Our Friend had shown when He rose from the dead.
The theme of Revelation is about overcoming and standing firm in the Power of The Resurrection Life Jesus won for us on the cross. So stand firm in all He has promised
O F J.