Revelation 2:18-29
The Church at Thyatira
 
(Rev 2:18 KJV)
And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

Here John begins the letter to Thyatira by stating that Jesus is the Son of God and brings in the description of one who is the judge. The eyes of flaming fire are eyes which have the ability to judge.
(1 Cor 3:13 KJV) Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. The Lord Jesus will be the Judge at the last day and each person’s works will be tested through the fires of judgment which are represented by the flaming eyes of the Lord Jesus. John also reminds the Thyatira church that the Lord’s feet are like fine brass which represents Him going through the fires of Judgment on Calvary for His Elect.

(Rev 2:19 KJV)
I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

Here the Lord Jesus assures these Christians that He is fully aware of the works which they are doing in His name. He also assures them that he is fully cognizant of their charity. The word “charity” in the Greek is the word for “love.” Then He tells them He knows of their service. The word “service” carries with it the meaning of “ministering.” They also ministered and loved in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ. These Christians were showing much faith in their lives and work. Then He tells them He fully knows of their patience. The word “patience” carries with it the meaning of “endurance.” Their witness for the Lord Jesus Christ would bring persecution but they have endured well. Then the Lord mentions works again but this time in a different context. He mentions that their works have become increased in contrast to the Ephesian church whose works waned from the beginning (Rev. 2:5). He commends them for their works of love increasing instead of decreasing which happens to the majority of churches. The church at Thyatira increased in their faithful witness.

(Rev 2:20 KJV)
Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

Now the Lord Jesus Christ brings to their attention the things which are causing the church to become weak. Then the name Jezebel is introduced into the text as one who was causing the people of God to seduce the Christians and compromise their church by mixing the true Christianity with false religion.

(1 Ki 16:31-33 KJV) And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. {32} And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. {33} And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him.

In 1 Kings 16:31 and following we are introduced to King Ahab and his wife Jezebel. Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal II who was king of the Sidonians. When she came into power, her husband had made an altar to Baal and worshipped that false god. The allusion in Revelation 2:20 to the Jezebel of Israel tells us that they were permitting an unsaved woman to teach and that teaching had seduced many in that church. The word “seduced” carries with it the meaning of “lead astray, delude, or mislead.” Whatever this woman was teaching was misleading the Christians to commit spiritual fornication and maybe sexual fornication too. Whatever her teachings were, they were definitely of a false religion and had no business inside of the church. She was also in violation of God’s rules about women teaching in a church.
(1 Tim 2:11-12 KJV) Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. {12} But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. We see the same thing in modern churches where women are now teaching in churches and even large crowds. Women like Joyce Meyer, Marilyn Hickey, Gloria Copeland and others in the charismatic movement are teaching and leading people astray with their emotion and prosperity based gospels. These would not exist if men would not attend their meetings in droves. (Isa 3:12 KJV) As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths. The problem in Thyatira was the church was permitting this woman to teach and obviously no one had opposed her teachings.

(Rev 2:21 KJV)
And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

The word “space” carries with it the meaning of “time.” The Lord had given this woman time to repent of her pernicious teachings. The word “fornication” is the Greek word “porneia” where we get the English word “pornography.” However, with all false teachers they refuse to repent of their evil teachings as was the case with this woman. The church could have stopped her but they did not. She was probably titillating the flesh of her hearers with her false teaching. The word titillate carries with it the meaning of “to stimulate by means of tickling.”
(2 Tim 4:3 KJV) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; False teachers always speak with authority and this is how they always gain a following.

(Rev 2:22 KJV)
Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

(Ezek 23:11 KJV) And when her sister Aholibah saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she, and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms. (Ezek 23:17 KJV) And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoredom, and she was polluted with them, and her mind was alienated from them.

In Ezekiel 23:11-17, we read that Aholibah (Judah and Benjamin) had seen the wickedness which the northern ten tribes had partaken in plus they also saw that the Lord had punished them by sending them into the Assyrians as punishment for their idolatry. This punishment did not even phase Judah and Benjamin because they did not mend their ways. So the Lord had sent the Babylonians to take Judah captive for seventy years. In Ezekiel 23:17, the Bible tells us that the Babylonians came to Judah in the bed of love. In other words, they came to them as a husband comes to a wife or a wife comes to a husband in the bedroom. It is the height of intimacy but the Babylonians were not showing real love but had seduced Judah with their false religion and caused them to commit whoredom which resulted in their punishment.

God is basically saying the same thing to the Thyatira church that He is going to cast her into a bed and those who commit spiritual fornication with her will go into great tribulation. Those who followed her pernicious teachings would suffer great affliction and distress in their lives. It is like Christians today who follow the false teachings of any false teacher. They become very spiritually dry and their spiritual life comes apart by being in great affliction. It is not beyond the means of God to remove a person’s material goods or even loved ones to get the attention of the one who has slunk into spiritual fornication. However, God is also telling them that they could avoid this if they repent and turn from those false teachings. This is why He sent the Prophets to Judah to try and get them to turn from their spiritual harlotry. This is why He sent this letter to Thyatira to get them to repent of the same type of evil.

(Rev 2:23 KJV)
And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

Those who continue to follow the false teachings of Jezebel are like children following their parents. Here God warns that those who are following false doctrines are giving evidence that they are unsaved and they will face judgment at the last day and will be sent to hell in the second death. This admonition that God will kill the false followers will give evidence to all the churches that He knows the innermost beliefs of all people. The reins and heart is a figure of speech which represent the innermost being of a person. This means that no one can escape the knowledge of God concerning them. God knows who His true children are and also who the false Christians are. The result is that God is going to recompense to everyone according to their works. Those who followed the works of spiritual fornication will be judged and sent to hell. Those who are saved will go immediately into the presence of the Lord.

(Rev 2:24 KJV)
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.

Now the Lord turns to the rest of the true Christians in the church who have not followed the teachings of Jezebel.
(Rom 11:33 KJV) O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! The true believers have experienced the wisdom and knowledge of God which are so deep that they are unsearchable. The true Christian will not experience those deep things of Satan which are those false teachings and false religions which cause people to descend into the deep things of Satan. The deep things of Satan consist of hatred, lies, deceit, and finally judgment and a casting into the lake of fire. This is why the true Christian does not experience these deep things of Satan because of their salvation. The shallow things of Satan are the lies that sin and false teachings are fine but underneath those lies is the reality of eternal damnation. Then the Lord Jesus states that He is not going to place any other burdens on them. The ridding of these false teachers must come first to clean out the church and return it fully to the teachings of Christ.

(Rev 2:25 KJV)
But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

In the commendation of this church the Lord Jesus Christ had assured them He knew of their works, charity, patience, and service. Here He is telling them that they need to cling to what they are doing. Christ knows that this church still has much life and He is telling them to deny the false teachings and even expel them and to hold on to the teachings which build up the church. He tells them to continue to be faithful until He returns. For a church to remain faithful in subsequent generations, it is necessary for each generation to chose faithful men to carry on the teachings to the next generation. Paul taught this principle to Timothy.
(2 Tim 2:2 KJV) And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. It is a principle which must be instilled in every church or that church will cease to exist as a faithful church. It only takes one generation for a church to go apostate and to be removed from the living churches of Christ.

(Rev 2:26 KJV)
And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

The word “overcometh” is in the present tense which means that the believer does not overcome once but that victory in Christ is an ongoing scenario. Those who overcome are also those who will continue to do the works of the Lord. Those works of the Lord are to be done unto the end. Now two ends are in view here. The first end is the life of the believer. When they complete all the works that the Lord has prepared for them, He will call them home. The second end which is in view, is the end of the world. Once the church completes the task of evangelism, then the final scenario with the loosing of Satan will take place and then comes the end of the world. The word “end” in the Greek carries with it the meaning of “completion, result, or conclusion.” Those who truly persevere until the end will be given power (authority) over the nations. Since we are co-heirs with Christ, if we suffer with Him we will also reign with Him.
(2 Tim 2:12 KJV) If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: Rev. 2:26 gives us the insight that Christ has begun to fulfill the promise of Psalm 2 concerning the ruling of the nations.

(Rev 2:27 KJV)
And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

(Psa 2:7-9 KJV) I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. {8} Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. {9} Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

This section of Revelation is a fulfillment of Psalm 2 where the Lord Jesus Christ was given the heathen for His inheritance. When the Lord Jesus Christ went to the cross, He not only bought the salvation for the Elect within Israel, but He purchased the salvation of millions of Gentiles out of all the nations of the world.
(Luke 20:17-18 KJV) And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? {18} Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. Here is a scenario given us that those who fall upon the stone, who is the Lord Jesus, shall be broken. That brokenness is not one of fatality but one of salvation. They will be stripped of their worldly pride and arrogance and will become humble in the service of the Lord. Those who remain unsaved, the chief cornerstone will fall on them and grind them to powder, that is, they shall be judged and cast into eternal Hell. The words “broken to shivers” means “broken in pieces.” The rod of iron will be the Gospel. Those who oppose the Gospel and follow Satan will suffer the consequences of eternal judgment. As the potter’s vessels can be broken, the unsaved will also be broken in like manner.

(Rev 2:28 KJV)
And I will give him the morning star.

Those who become saved will have the Lord Jesus Christ for eternity.
(Rev 22:16 KJV) I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. For Jesus is the Morning Star and He will give Himself and of Himself to those enduring believers throughout all eternity.

(Rev 2:29 KJV)
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Only those who are saved will understand this because they are the only ones who have a spiritual ear to hear spiritual things.
(Luke 24:45 KJV) Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, This truth is taught in the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. They did not understand what had transpired in Jerusalem and they did not even know who was having dinner with them until Jesus opened their spiritual understanding. This is why those who are unsaved cannot see the spiritual truths in the Bible and only use it as a moral teaching. Those saved in the churches will understand what is being taught by the Spirit.
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