February 23 2022
Today, Wednesday February 23
Thyatira, the Corrupted Church Revelation 2:18-21 "And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, 'These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.”
If Ephesus can be pictured as the careless church, Smyrna as the crowned church, Pergamos as the compromising church, then Thyatira could be called the corrupted church. The longest message was sent to the church in the smallest city! Thyatira was a military town as well as a commercial center with many trade guilds. Wherever guilds were found, idolatry and immorality—the two great enemies of the early church—were almost always present too.
The city boasted a special temple to Apollo, the "sun god," which explains why the Lord introduced Himself as "the Son of God" (the only time in Revelation this title is used). John had to deliver a message of severe warning and judgment to this congregation, which explains the description of the Lord's eyes “like a flame of fire and His feet like fine brass.” When you see fire in someone’s eyes you know they are upset about something! Brass always speaks of judgment in the Bible.
The Lord first had words of approval for this church as He did for the others. The believers in Thyatira had a serving membership! They were involved in sacrificial ministry for the sake of others. What's more, their works were increasing and characterized by faith, love, and patience; so the church was not guilty of mere "religious activity."
It is interesting to contrast the churches at Ephesus and Thyatira. The Ephesian church was weakening in its love, yet faithful to judge false teachers; while the people in the assembly at Thyatira were growing in their love, but too tolerant of false doctrine. Both extremes must be avoided in the church. "Speaking the truth in love" is the biblical balance (Eph. 4:15). Unloving orthodoxy and loving compromise are both hateful to God.
But the Lord also had words of admonition for the church. The Lord found much to expose and condemn in the assembly at Thyatira. No amount of loving and sacrificial works can compensate for tolerance of evil. The church was permitting a false prophetess to influence the people and lead them into compromise. It is not likely that this woman was actually called "Jezebel," since such an infamous name would not be given to a child. The name is symbolic: Jezebel was the idolatrous queen who enticed Israel to add Baal worship to their religious ceremonies (see 1 Kings 16-19).
The seductive teaching of Jezebel was similar to the "doctrine of Balaam" that the Lord condemned in the church of Pergamos (Rev. 2:14). She taught believers how to compromise with the Roman religion and the practices of the guilds, so that Christians would not lose their jobs or their lives.
Not only was the church at Thyatira tolerant of evil, but it was proud and unwilling to repent. How sad! But I’m afraid that this is condition of many of our churches in America today! The two sins of sexual immorality and idol worship plague Israel throughout the Old Testament! And they appear to continue to plague our churches today!
It could be that time is running out for the church to repent today! Please join me in praying for our churches and its pastors and leaders today! Jesus still wants His church to be holy and pure!