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Revelation 2:18-28 Thyatira

Revelation 2:18-28 Thyatira
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Message to Thyatira

From Pergamum, northernmost of the seven cities, the Roman road curved east then southeast to Thyatira, approximately forty miles away. Thyatira was located in a long north-south valley connecting the valleys of the Caicus and Hermus rivers. Unlike Smyrna or Pergamum, Thyatira was built in relatively flat country and lacked an acropolis. Its lack of natural fortifications would play a significant role in its history. (MacArthur,  New Testament Commentary: Revelation 1-11. [Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1999], 97)

See ( Map A ) for the location of Thyatira, used by permission from Free Bible Images.

Revelation 2

18. And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write:

Characteristic (Easley, Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. [Nashville: B&H, 1998], 40)

This is the longest letter to the seven churches.

Each church as an angel – the pastor or other spiritual leader. (Easley, 54)

“The church at Thyatira is representative of Romanism, which takes us into the Dark Ages from A.D. 590 to approximately A.D. 1000. It was a dark period.” (McGee, 909)

Acts 16:14 tells us that Lydia who was Paul’s first convert in Europe came from Thyatira.

The Son of God

Being called The Son of God shows the deity of Jesus.

This is the only time in Revelation that Jesus is called The Son of God.

One of the gods worshipped here was Apollo who was the sun god.

Who has eyes like a flame of fire

He sees all. There is nothing that escapes Him.

Remember when you did something wrong and your mother just stared at you?

Her eyes were piercing, looking deep into your soul.

This is how Jesus will look at us.

His feet are like burnished bronze

His purity and holiness will judge each of us.

He has the strength and authority to rule.

Judgement on sinners.

See also Revelation 1:15

The members of the church in Thyatira faced:

  1. The predicament of choosing socializing with the towns people.
  2. Which included eating meat sacrificed to idols
  3. Sexual immorality or
  4. Losing their jobs and not being able to feed their family.

Compliment (Easley, 40)

19. I know your deeds

Jesus did compliment the church at Thyatira on their deeds:

  1. Love
    a. Jesus did not compliment the Ephesian church on love
  2. Faith
  3. Service
  4. Perseverance

Faith and love go together.

Service and perseverance also go together.

Your deeds of late are greater than at first.

Their faith had increased making them stronger in love.

Does your faith increase with love?

Galatians 5:19-21 are deeds of the flesh

Galatians 5:22-26 show the Gifts of the Spirit

Criticism (Easley, 40)

20. But I have this against you

Criticism Christ has is severe. (Easley, 40)

But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel

Read about Jezebel in 1 Kings 16:31 to 21:25 and 2 Kings 9 where Jezebel is killed.


  • Calls herself a prophetess
    • Violated the biblical teaching that women are not to be teachers or preachers in the church (1 Timothy 2:12) (MacArthur, 100)
  • She teaches and leads My bond-servants astray
    • So that they commit acts of immorality
    • Eat things sacrificed to idols. 

The original Jezebel lived during the days that the Northern Kingdom flourished under her husband Ahab (first half of the ninth century B.C.) She was a Phoenician princess, daughter of King Ethbaal of Tyre and Sidon, and passionately committed to the gods of her childhood, Tyrian Baaal and his consort Ashera. She dominated her husband in religious matters. Her great opponent was Elijah, who triumphed over the priests of Baal at Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:17-40). After Ahab’s death, she wielded great power as the queen mother. Her violent death was God’s verdict on her life (2 Kings 9:30-37).

Because of her vicious rejection of Yahweh, Israel’s true God, her name became a byword for evil and religious apostasy. The only time Jezebel’s name appears in the New Testament is Revelation 2:20, where it is the code name for a false prophetess. (Easley, 40)

Read what Paul told us in Acts 20:29-30

Jezebel told those in the church that it did not matter if they sinned!  Matthew 18:6

It did not matter if they committed acts of immorality.     1 Corinthians 6:15:20 Romans 6:1-3

Or ate food that had been sacrificed to idols.     1 Corinthians 10:21 Acts 15:29

21. I gave her time to repent

Jesus gave Jezebel time to repent.

Jesus is giving you time to repent. Or do you love darkness more? John 3:19

She does not want to repent of her immorality

Are you ready to repent?

Are you unwilling to repent like Jezebel?

Do not wait until it is too late.

22. She did not repent. Jesus told her, “Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness”.

The words “of sickness” are not in the original Greek. (MacArthur, 102)

“It is more likely that the bed refers to death and hell—the ultimate resting place for those who refuse to repent.” (MacArthur, 102)

She will take those who commit adultery with her to their judgement, also.

They are going with her into great tribulation here meaning great pain or difficulty.

What is the cure?      unless they repent of her deeds

Command (Easley, 41)

23. And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.

24. But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them—I place no other burden on you.

25. Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come.

Three kinds of people in the church. (Easley, 41)

  1. Those who commit adultery with her.
    1. Some members followed her teachings.
    2. Intense suffering unless they repent.
    3. Jesus meant for discipline to restore them.
  2. Her children.
    1. Those who participated in her teachings.
    2. I will kill her children with pestilence.
    3. Repent or I will strike her children dead. (NIV)
  3. But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira.
    1. Who do not hold this teaching.
    2. Who have not known the deep things of Satan.
    3. I place no other burden on you.
    4. Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come.

Jesus is telling all believers to hold fast until I come.

After Jesus kills her children with pestilence

The children of Jezebel.

Then all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts

Jesus knows what our thoughts are and what is in our hearts.

Then He will give to each one of you according to your deeds.

Are you ready? Are you a child of Jezebel?

If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, then you must hold fast until He comes.

Romans 10:8-10

Commitment (Easley, 42)

26. He who overcomes

The overcomers are those who hold fast to the teaching of Jesus and do not participate in fleshy things.

All we must do is to keep the deeds of Jesus until the end.

These are opposite the deeds of Jezebel.

“We overcome by faith and not by effort.” (McGee, 911)

To him I will give authority over the nations;

Nations here refers to Gentiles.

27. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron,

“Christ will delegate authority to them.” (MacArthur, 105)

As the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces

‘You shall [a]break them with a [b]rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like [c]earthenware.’” Psalm 2:9

a. Psalm 2:9 Another reading is rule
b. Psalm 2:9 Or scepter or staff
c. Psalm 2:9 Lit potter’s ware

28. and I will give him the morning star.

In Revelation 22:16 Jesus calls Himself the bright morning star.

“So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1:19

Jesus will be in our hearts! Praise the Lord!

29. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

The church needs to listen to the warning of this message.

Listen to it.

( Chart A ) is a Summary of the Churches in Revelation 2

( Chart B ) is a Summary of the Churches in Revelation 3

( Chart C ) Messages to the Seven Churches Revelation 2 and 3

In this article Scripture quotations taken from the NASB1995. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation.

Easley, Kendell H., Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. Nashville: B&H, 1998
MacArthur, John. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 1-11. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1999
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume V. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983

Revelation 2:12-17 Pergamum                                               Revelation 3:1-6 Sadis

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Chart B