These Things Saith He – Thyatira Overview

18 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;

19 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.

20 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.

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 adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

23 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.

24 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.

25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

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

27 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.

28 And I will give him the morning star.

29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

There seems to be a lot going on here within the spirit of the church of Thyatira. On a positive note, there is mention of love, service, patience, and works. However, this church has some critical flaws. These flaws are encompassed in the idea of a Jezebel figure.

What does it say about this figure? This is a female figure. This figure claims to speak for God. This figure teaches her followers to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols.

There are a few ways we might look at this.

First, there is the idea of the female figure of Jezebel. How might we interpret this?

We can begin by going back to the story of Jezebel in 1 Kings. Jezebel was the wife of Ahab, a king of Israel. She led the people of Israel into worship of Baal and Asherah. She then persecuted the prophets of God who tried to lead the people of Israel away from idolatry.

Is the Jezebel mentioned in the letter to the church of Thyatira a parallel to this figure? It would seem so given the charges against her.

Is this going to be an individual, who like Jezebel, rises to power and misleads Christians? It could be; therefore this might be something worth remembering in the future.

We could consider this in terms of false religious leaders in general. There are those who want to gather a massive following of people who look to them as some great spiritual leader and mouthpiece of God. This can lead to a kind of spiritual adultery if the followers join themselves with such people instead of waiting on the Lord, Jesus.

We could consider this in terms of a destructive female influence in the church. There are many women leaders in the church who have overly softened the judgment of God, as women sometimes tend to do. This can lead to acceptance of sin or a thin commitment to the faith.

We could consider this in terms of a general acceptance of sin by the church. There are some who take the grace and forgiveness of God to an extreme that makes sin permissible. There are some who take sin off the books entirely, calling things that were once sin righteous and going so far as to praise the sinner.  Sinners are also welcome as leaders within the church, and proudly so. When sin is made permissible, it is akin to spiritual fornication with Satan and idolatry.

We could consider this in terms of a church that embraces forms of spirituality that are not of God. When we replace the things of the Spirit with ideas from other religions, we are committing a form of spiritual fornication.

These ideas can also be found in more nuanced ways within any church that uses love, forgiveness, and grace as a copout for living in sin.

Many like say that Jesus loves us just as we are, and there is no reason to be anything better. The notion that we are sinners in need of a savior is lost in many churches. They only want a soft, good-times message that makes everyone feel loved and accepted.

It is good to show love and patience. It is not good to forego the need for sound judgement that knows what sin is and requires repentance from the sinner.

There are churches that never preach the cross. Instead, they encourage people to embrace their inner light, so called, stating that we all have God in us. We only need to unlock our potential. The sacrifice of Jesus is replaced by a form of self-worship and a false sense of power and connection with the “universe” instead of our Creator.

In any case, whether we are dealing with a single, corrupt female leader or the acceptance and praise of sin and false spirituality in the church in more general terms, we are told that those who follow such as these will be killed if they do not repent.

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 adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

23 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 follow the ways of Jezebel are made to join in with her in great tribulation. What does this mean? All the church will go through tribulation. What makes this tribulation different? Perhaps the difference is that this church does not think that they will see any trouble. After-all, God is love and He accepts our wickedness and there is no judgment, wrath, or even chastisement to fear (in their mind).

The Spirit is reinforcing the notion that those who embrace sin and worship of false leaders and false gods are going to go through trouble. Those who are faithful to Jesus will go through trouble too, as we read about in the letter to the Church of Smyrna. However, there is peace during trouble for those who are faithful to the Lord. For those who are not, the trouble will most likely be unbearable and death is the result: both death in body and death of the soul, pending any mercy of God.

Jesus tests our hearts by the Holy Spirit. “His eyes are as a flame of fire,” which means His gaze can see all things, test all things, reveal all things, and cleanse us of our sin. “His feet are like fine brass,” which means He cannot be moved. His authority is sound and so are His judgements. What He calls sin is sin. What He calls righteous is righteous. We cannot change His judgements and those who do are in danger of judgment.

It also does not matter how much “love, service, patience, and works” we have if our hearts are far from God. For example, we might be loving towards sinners in our actions and patience with them. However, if we do not love the truth and call sin out for what it is, then our love is not the kind of love that Jesus would have us show, and the works we do in the name of love are corrupt. We will receive according to these works—and not grace—because we took the grace of God for granted and made sin acceptable.

24 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.

25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

What is the doctrine that Thyatira holds? How is it that Thyatira knows the “depths of Satan?” This “doctrine of the Nicolaitans” might take on a clearer meaning in the future, but for now it is the opinion of the author of “These Things Saith He” that this doctrine encompasses any teaching that embraces worldly Christianity. This church seems to be the embodiment of this idea on many levels, and in being such a church, they are also intimately connected with Satan. They have committed adultery with him in going after the things of the world and not the things of God through Jesus Christ.

Here we see a point of light in the patience and mercy of God. There are some within Thyatira who do not embrace the doctrines of this church and He tells them to hold on to what they have until He comes.

He states that he will “put upon you no other burden.” What does this mean? Perhaps it is burden enough to renounce the ways of this church and stay faithful to Jesus. Perhaps they have some problems in their walk, but if they hold onto the faith they have, He will show them mercy. This could also be stated as a contrast to the burden of the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. Jesus states, “my burden is light.” Keeping His ways are not burdensome, but the ways of Satan are a heavy load to bear.

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

27 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.

28 And I will give him the morning star.

29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

It is interesting that Jesus mentions His iron rule. This makes sense as a contrast to a church that is overly soft and permissive of sin. If we keep the works of Jesus, then we continue to call sin out for what it is and we continue to esteem His teachings as righteous. We also have faith in Jesus to work all good things in us so that we can do His will. We also understand that any good thing in us is by His power, so there is no reason to exalt leaders among us or esteem ourselves too highly.

He will “give the morning star” to those that overcome. Jesus is called the morning star. Satan also calls himself the morning star, and this church follows Satan to a great degree. The light of Satan is darkness and deception, but in Jesus we have the Light of Life. We will inherit Him by the Holy Spirit in us and when Jesus returns to overthrow the one whose light is darkness.

We will discuss in greater detail what it means to overcome the ways of Thyatira in the next chapter.

PREVIOUS CHAPTER: These Things Saith He – Scripture for Pergamos

NEXT:  These Things Saith He – Overcoming Thyatira

All Current “These Things Saith He” Drafts

The above is the draft version of a chapter to a book I plan to write and publish in a manner that is free of charge to the public.

I wrote in These Things Saith He: Contents that I will publish the drafts here first and offer opportunity for others to share their thoughts before the final work is completed.

I’m open to and greatly value the insight, experiences, and thoughts of my Christian brethren because we are a body knit together in Christ that is meant to work together without over reliance on our leaders. I am not your leader, but I do try to be faithful to what I have received to the best of my ability, and I look to Jesus for gracious judgment of my service and the service of all who truly love Him.

One thought on “These Things Saith He – Thyatira Overview

  1. Hi Amanda,

    Thanks again for all your studies Amanda, it’s awesome you continue in your faith and studies, the Lord is So Good!

    Verses 26 and 27 I never really took literally as a blessing for those who continue to the end and overcome. It is Quite a promise, very amazing. These verses promises seem to have an actual fulfillment in revelation 12. This is only recently, in my walk with the Lord, been seen as I see it now. The Lord never ceases to amaze me.

    Thank you Amanda,

    Take care Love,

    Katie

    Liked by 1 person

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