Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 19, 1964

The Church At Thyatira

Donald Townsley

Rev. 2:18 - 29


1. It is an odd fact that the longest of the letters to the seven churches was written to the church in the smallest and least important of the seven towns.

2. The name Thyatira emerged in history in 290 B. C. as the name of a military center.

3. The supreme importance of Thyatira was that it was the gateway to Pergamos, the capital city of Asia.

4. Thyatira was not a center of special religious importance.

(1) It was not a special center of Caesar worship.

5. Thyatira was a great commercial center.

(1) The roads which passed through its valley brought the trade of half the world to its doors.

(2) A great center of wool trade and of the dyeing industry.

(3) It was from Thyatira that Lydia, the seller of Purple came. Acts 16:14.

(4) Purple dye was extremely expensive.

6. Thyatira possessed more trade guilds than any other town of its size in Asia.

(1) It would seem that the danger which threatened the church at Thyatira was the direct result of the powerful existence of these trade guilds.

(2) No merchant or trader could hope to prosper and and to make money unless he was a member of his trade guild.

(3) If a trader refused to join his trade guild, he would be in much the same position as a working man would be today if he refused to join his trade union.

7. But, we may well ask why should a Christian of Thyatira not join such a trade guild?

(1) The social activities of these trade guilds were intimately bound up with the worship of the heathen gods.

(2) These trade guilds had common meals together.

(3) The meal would begin and end with a cup of wine poured out as a libation and an offering to the gods.

(4) Such a meal would almost certainly follow a sacrifice.

(5) At these social activities drunkenness and fornication were the accepted things.

8. There was a very real problem here that faced the Christians of Thyatira.

(1) They had to decide whether to make money or serve Christ.

9. It seemed this woman Jezebel was teaching Christians it was all right to be a member of these trade guilds.

I. Description Of The Speaker: V 18

1. "The son of God."

(1) The gift of God. John 3:16

(2) God's Spokesman. Heb. 1:1-2

(3) The way to the Father. John 14:6

(4) Man's saviour. Matt. 1:21 2. "Eyes like a flame of fire."

(1) Eyes all-penetrating.

(2) The all-wise inspector. Heb. 4:13 3. His feet are like fine brass."

(1) Strong and durable.

(2) Able to tread under foot all evil his eyes may discover.

II. The Church Commended: V 19

1. "I know thy works."

2. Charity or love . . . Love is the fountain from which flows true activities. Gal. 5:6, I Cor. 13 3. Service-most probably the work of benevolence.

4. Faith-fidelity, faithfulness.

5. Patience-perseverance under all circumstances. I Cor. 15:58; Heb. 10:36 6. A growth in works-"The last to be more than the first." I Pet. 2:2; II Cor. 4:16.

III. What Is Wrong With The Church: V 20

1. A sinner is tolerated, Jezebel. (Jezebel is a symbolic name)

(1) A character like Jezebel of the Old Testament, the wife of Ahab.

(2) They should have withdrawn from her. I Cor. 5:1-13; II Thess. 3:6 2. Jezebel called herself a prophetess.

(1) She was a false teacher.

(2) She taught it was right to:

A. Commit fornication.

B. To eat things sacrificed unto idols.

(3) This doctrine was the depths of Satan." V ,24 3. Divine grace extended. V 21

IV. A Threat. V 22-23

1. "I will cast her into a bed."

(1) Afflict or punish.

(2) Also those who have followed her false teaching. (Matt. 15:14)

2. "I will kill her children with death." (1) Her followers will be destroyed, 3. "Will give unto every one of you according to your works." II Cor. 5:10

V. The Church Encouraged: V 24-29

1. "The rest."

(1) The ones who had not gone along with JEZEBEL'S teaching.

2. "I will put upon you none other burden."

(1) Than the one of getting rid of the Jezebelites.

3. "Hold fast till I come." V 25 4. A two-fold promise . . . 26-28

5. The admonition to hear. V 29