Date written: May 1st, 2005
Scripture ref: Revelation 2:18-29
TITLE: Asian Churches - Thyatira
PROPOSITION: In this lesson we will look at the Asian church of Thyatira. We will note that Jesus knows: 1) The state of the church, 2) Those who are unfaithful, 3) Those who are faithful.
Objectives: Each should be able to discuss the situation in the church at Thyatira.
Aim: That each would be more familiar with the lessons from this church.
1. Read: Revelation 2:18-29
2. About the Text:
1) There is only one reference outside of the book of Revelation to Thyatira.
2) It is the city from which Lydia came (Acts 16:14).
3) There is not much history on this city from ancient times.
4) It was founded by the Lydians and used in the 3rd century B.C. as a defensive position for other cities.
5) It was known for its famous dyes and its trade guilds.
6) It is known to Christians as the place of the woman Jezebel.
7) This is the longest of these letters.
3. Description of Jesus.
1) Eyes like flame of fire.
b. Knows the heart of men. Compare Revelation 2:23
2) Feet like burnished brass.
a. He sets the standard.
b. His steps are solid.
4. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: Jesus knows . . .
I. The State of the Church.
1. What did Jesus know about her state?
1) Her Works – This was said regarding all of the churches in Revelation 2,3.
a. Each church has work to do.
b. Her work is to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10).
2) Her Love – Without love the church profits nothing (1 Cor.13:1-3)
3) Her Faith – This is the only way the church can please God (Hebrews 11:6).
4) Her Ministry/Service – The word "ministry" may refer to benevolence (see Acts 6:1).
5) Her Patience – No church could exist without patience (2 Peter 1:6 – Christian Graces).
6) These were things necessary for the ongoing work of the church and so Jesus commends them.
2. Her last works are more than her first.
1) This statement indicates that the church had grown.
2) Her works in the present are more numerable than when she first started out.
3) In this regard, she was not unlike many churches today.
4) The church is to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus – 2 Peter 3:18
II. Those who are unfaithful.
1. Who they are.
1) The Lord knows who the unfaithful are in the church.
a. Each congregation of the Lord has both faithful and unfaithful.
b. We must be faithful because we are but stewards of the Lord's possessions. (it is required in stewards 1 Corinthians 4:2).
2) The Lord expects the church to withdraw fellowship from those who are unfaithful.
a. 1 Corinthians 5 – we are to have no company with them.
b. Romans 16:17 – we are to mark them.
c. 2 Thessalonians 3:6 – withdraw from those that walk disorderly.
d. The church at Thyatira "suffered" (tolerated) them.
e. They were wrong in so doing.
f. Jesus expected them to cease doing so.
3) In the church at Thyatira it was Jezebel and her followers that were unfaithful.
a. We don't know if her name was Jezebel or not – likely not.
b. She is called this to bring to our remembrance the Jezebel in the O.T., Ahab's wife.
c. Jezebel was a ring leader of evil things.
d. She called herself a prophetess.
e. And she had many followers in the church here.
2. What their works are.
1) The Lord knows the works of the unrighteous.
a. They will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9).
b. He will execute judgment against the ungodly (Jude 1:15).
2) She was guilty of seducing Christians to evil.
a. She was doing Satan's work – James 1:13-15 "Let no man say . . ."
b. We can know that she didn't love them. 1 John 2:10 states "He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him."
3) She taught that it was OK for Christians to . . .
a. Commit fornication. We must "flee fornication" (1 Corinthians 6:18).
b. Eat things sacrificed to idols. We cannot afford to fellowship unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11).
c. Similar things were happening in Pergamos (Revelation 2:14).
d. These teachings were evil.
e. The church must staunchly oppose immorality in her members.
4) The Lord gave her space to repent, but she did not.
a. All have been so given that opportunity (Acts 17:30, 2 Peter 3:9).
b. We must do works suitable for repentance (Acts 26:20).
c. If we fail to repent, only we will be to blame.
3. How to reward them.
1) They would be rewarded according to their works (Revelation 20:13).
2) Jezebel and her followers would be cast into a bed of tribulation unless they repented.
a. Galatians 6:7 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
b. Hosea 8:7 – Sow to the wind and reap the whirlwind.
3) Jesus would kill her children with death.
a. Likely this doesn't refer to her literal children.
b. Could be those who were her followers.
c. Could be the works that she was doing.
d. Could be her influence.
e. Whatever this was, this action would be evident to all.
f. Her punishment would prove that Jesus knew the hearts and minds of men.
4) Jesus knows all men's hearts.
a. Hebrews 4:12,13
b. John 2:25 "And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man."
III. Those who are faithful.
1. Who they are.
1) Jesus knew there were some that did not accept Jezebel.
2) They were the ones who did not adhere to her doctrine.
3) They were the ones who didn't "know the depths of Satan."
4) It is good to be ignorant about some things!
5) Some people say, "How can you condemn it if you've never tried it?"
6) We can know some things are wrong simply because God's word says they are wrong.
2. What they were commanded to do.
1) They were to "hold fast" to what they already had till Jesus came.
2) This means to hang on and not let go no matter what.
3) 1 Corinthians 15:2 – we are saved by the gospel IF we hold fast the words.
4) 1 Thess.5:21 – we are to hold fast to that which is good.
3. How to reward them.
1) Jesus would give them power over the nations – we have power through the gospel (Romans 1:16).
2) They shall rule them as with a rod of iron – the wicked will be punished (2 Thess.1:8,9).
3) They will be given the morning star – Jesus is the morning star (Revelation 22:16).
1. The Lord knows . . .
1) The state of the church.
2) The faithful
3) The unfaithful.
2. Let us resolve to be faithful and to keep the church pure as well.