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Lesson #09

RETURN TO SYLLABUS

REVELATION 2:18-29
LESSON #09
THE PAGAN CHURCH – THYATIRA

  • MEMORY VERSE: REV 2:26
  • READ REV 2:18-29 THYATIRA
    • BACKGROUND:
      • THE NAME, THYATIRA, MEANS = “CONTINUAL SACRIFICE”.
    • THE ECONOMIC SIGNIFICANCE:
      • THYATIRA WAS A SMALL FRONTIER CITY HAVING AN IMPORTANT LOCATION ON THE ROMAN ROAD SYSTEM THAT CONNECTED WITH MORE IMPORTANT CITIES. BECAUSE THIS CITY WAS NOT SIGNIFICANTLY IMPORTANT TO ROME IN ITSELF, IT HAD NO PROBLEM WITH EMPEROR WORSHIP.
      • THYATIRA WAS AN IMPORTANT MANUFACTURING CENTER, NOTED FOR THE DYING OF FABRICS AND FOR GARMENT MAKING.
        • REMEMBER LYDIA IN ACTS 16:14. SHE HAD A BUSINESS IN FABRIC DYES.
      • THYATIRA WAS KNOWN FOR ITS POTTERY AND BRASS WORKING.
      • TRADE GUILDS WERE STRONG HERE
        • TRADE GUILDS NOT ONLY CONTROLLED BUSINESS, BUT EACH TRADE GUILD HAD ITS OWN GODS AND WERE INVOLVED IN PAGAN RELIGIOUS WORSHIP AND IN IMMORALITY.
          • IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO CONDUCT BUSINESS WITHOUT BELONGING TO A TRADE GUILD.
    • THE RELIGIOUS SIGNIFICANCE:
      • CHRISTIANITY:
        • IN MACEDONIA, LYDIA MET PAUL, AND WAS CONVERTED TO CHRIST. IT IS POSSIBLE SHE TRAVELED MUCH IN HER CLOTH BUSINESS AND HAD A HOME IN MACEDONIA AS WELL AS IN THYATIRA. SHE POSSIBLY TOOK THE GOSPEL TO THYATIRA WITH HER
      • THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH
        • NOTHING IS KNOWN ABOUT THE CHURCH EXCEPT WHAT WE SEE HERE IN REV 2.
    • THE CITY OF THYATIRA TODAY:
      • THIS CHURCH CEASED TO EXIST BY THE END OF THE 2ND CENTURY.
    • THE PROPHETIC HISTORICAL PERIOD:
      • THE PAGAN CHURCH 606 – 1500 AD
        • THIS PERIOD OF TIME COVERS THE DARK AGES OR THE MIDDLE AGES.
          • MYSTICAL PIETY AND MONASTICISM FLOURISHED TO OFFSET THE MARRIAGE OF THE CHURCH WITH THE WORLD, BUT THIS WAS THE WRONG DIRECTION (SEE COL 2).
        • THE RISE AND IMPORTANCE OF THE POPE REPLACED THE FADING SECULAR GOVERNMENT OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH BECAME A “SPIRITUAL” EMPIRE ON EARTH. THE CHURCH GAINED THE WORLD BUT LOST ITS SOUL.
  • THE MESSAGE TO THIS CHURCH:
    • CHRIST REVEALED: (18)
      • THE ILLUSTRATION IS OF CHRIST AS JUDGE.
        • “EYES LIKE A FLAME OF FIRE” = DISCERNMENT, PERCEPTION –(SEE VS 23)
        • “FEET LIKE FINE BRONZE” = ALL POWERFUL IN JUDGMENT.
          • BRONZE SYMBOLICALLY MEANS = TESTING. CHRIST TESTS THE WORKS OF MAN.
            • NOTICE THAT THE REFERENCE TO BRONZE IS AN ILLUSION TO THE BRASS WORKING INDUSTRY OF THYATIRA.
    • THE COMMENDATION: (19)
      • CHRIST PRAISES THIS CHURCH FOR WORKS, LOVE, SERVICE (MINISTRY), FAITH, PATIENCE.
        • “LAST TO BE MORE THAN THE FIRST” = WORKS THAT CAME FROM LOVE CONTRASTED TO THE CHURCH IN EPHESUS THAT HAD SOUND DOCTRINE BUT NOT LOVE. THIS CHURCH HAS LOVE BUT NOT SOUND DOCTRINE.
          • THIS IS THE ONLY CHURCH THAT CHRIST GIVES PRAISES FOR ITS LOVE.
            • ITS LOVE BECAME PART OF THE PROBLEM. THE CONGREGATION LOVED SO MUCH THAT THEY TOLERATED SIN AND FAILED TO EXERCISE CHURCH DISCIPLINE.
          • SERVICE (MINISTRY)
            • VOLUNTARY SERVICE FOCUSED ON THE NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE…A DIRECT REPERCUSSION OF THEIR LOVE.
          • FAITH/FAITHFULNESS
            • THEY HAD THE CONTENT OF FAITH AND THE FAITHFULNESS TO THAT CONTENT.
          • PATIENCE
            • THE CHARACTERISTIC OF BEARING UP UNDER A HEAVY LOAD.
        • THE CORRECTION: (20-23)
          • THIS CHURCH ALLOWED JEZEBEL TO TEACH COMPROMISE AND IMMORALITY.
            • REMEMBER THE NAME OF THE CHURCH MEANS “CONTINUAL SACRIFICE”, SO THEY EVIDENTLY DID NOT ACCEPT THE FINISHED WORK OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS, BUT THOUGHT THEY NEEDED OTHER GODS AND RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS.
          • BACKGROUND ON JEZEBEL:
            • JEZEBEL WAS THE DAUGHTER OF A PRIEST KING OF TYRE WHO MARRIED KING AHAB, AN ISRAELITE, TO RATIFY AN ALLIANCE BETWEEN TYRE AND ISRAEL. IT WAS A POLITICAL MARRIAGE.
            • A PAGAN COMPROMISE 880 BC
              • PROVISION WAS MADE FOR HER TO WORSHIP BAAL IN SAMARIA.
                • READ 1KIN 16:31-33
              • SHE HAD A STRONG, DOMINEERING, FORCEFUL CHARACTER. SHE WAS FANATICALLY DEVOTED TO BAAL AND INSISTED HER GOD HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS WITH ISRAEL’S GOD. THIS CAUSED THE DEATH OF MANY TRUE PROPHETS OF GOD.
                • SHE CAME IN CONFLICT WITH ELIJAH, A PROPHET OF GOD.
            • THE JEZEBEL IN THE THYATIRA CHURCH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN AN ACTUAL NAME OF A PERSON. MOST LIKELY IT IS A SYMBOLIC NAME FOR A REAL PERSON OR A GROUP OF PEOPLE WITH THE SAME CHARACTERISTICS AS THE OLD TESTAMENT JEZEBEL.
            • GOD EXTENDS GRACE TO THE JEZEBEL OF THYATIRA TO REPENT (21), BUT SHE WILL NOT. THIS INDICATES THAT SHE KNEW WHAT SHE DID WAS WRONG. SHE WAS NOT DECEIVED, BUT HAD EVIL INTENT. THERE WAS PROBABLY AN EVIL DEMON SPIRIT BEHIND THE SCENE THAT WAS PROBABLY TIED TO THE TRADE GUILDS.
              • THIS ASPECT IS REMINISCENT OF THE ORDER OF THE MASONS THAT BEGAN AS A TRADE GUILD.
            • SHE KNEW SHE WAS INVOLVED WITH “DEPTHS OF SATAN” = OCCULT PRACTICES. (24)
              • WITHOUT REPENTANCE, JUDGMENT WILL COME UPON HER AND THOSE WHO COMMIT “ADULTERY” WITH HER. (22) THE REFERENCE IS PRIMARILY TO SPIRITUAL ADULTERY THOUGH IMMORALITY COULD ALSO BE INVOLVED.
                • CAST INTO BED = THE CONSEQUENCES OF HER SIN.
                  • “BED” = SICKBED.
                  • PERHAPS SEXUAL DISEASES AS A RESULT OF IMMORALITY.
                  • PERHAPS THE BED IS SYMBOLICALLY THE TRIBULATION PERIOD = WHILE EACH CHURCH REPRESENTS A SPECIFIC ERA IN CHURCH HISTORY WE SEE THAT THIS CHURCH TYPE AS WELL AS ALL THE OTHERS WILL EXIST UP TO THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH. THOSE PEOPLE IN THIS CHURCH WHO DO NOT REPENT WILL LIVE THROUGH THE TRIBULATION PERIOD.
                • “KILL HER CHILDREN WITH DEATH”.
                  • THIS PHRASE PROBABLY REFERS TO THE 2ND DEATH. JEZEBEL HAD A HORRIBLE PHYSICAL DEATH SO PERHAPS HER DEATH IS AN INDICATION OF A HORRIBLE SPIRITUAL DEATH FOR THOSE WHOM SHE CONVERTS – (SEE 2KIN 9:30-37)
                • CHRIST REMINDS US OF HIS DISCERNING JUDGMENT
    • THE COUNSEL: (25)
      • HOLD FAST WHAT THEY HAVE AND DO NOT FALL FOR THE DECEPTION OF JEZEBEL.
    • THE CHALLENGE: (26-27)
      • CHRIST WILL GIVE BELIEVERS POWER (AUTHORITY) OVER THE NATIONS DURING THE MILLENNIUM.
        • PSA 2:9 IS QUOTED IN REV 2:27.
      • CHRIST SHALL “RULE” THEM = TO SHEPHERD.
        • NOTICE THE REFERENCE TO POTTERY HERE IN REV 2:27 THAT ALLUDES TO ONE OF THE CITY’S TOP INDUSTRIES.
      • CHRIST WILL GIVE THE BELIEVER THE “MORNING STAR” = THE MORNING STAR IS SEEN BEFORE SUNRISE AT THE DARKEST HOUR BEFORE DAWN.
        • CHRIST IS THE LIGHT IN THE DARKEST HOUR OF THE TRIBULATION PERIOD JUST BEFORE THE DAWNING OF THE KINGDOM.
          • SOME TRANSLATORS SAY “GIVEN THE PLACE OF THE MORNING STAR”.
            • READ ISA 14:12 (VARIOUS TRANSLATIONS) AND REV 22:16
              • LUCIFER IS CALLED THE MORNING STAR AS WELL AS JESUS CHRIST.
                • THE TITLE “MORNING STAR” WAS A PLACE THAT LUCIFER ATTEMPTED TO GAIN BUT WAS TRIUMPHED OVER BY CHRIST WHO IS THE TRUE MORNING STAR. THAT POSITION WILL BE GIVEN TO BELIEVERS TO RULE AND REIGN WITH CHRIST IN THE MILLENNIUM.
                  • READ 2PET 1:19 DAN 12:3
    • THE GENERAL CHARACTER OF THE CHURCH:
      • TOLERATED EVIL
    • THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CHURCH AND A KINGDOM PARABLE:
      • THE PARABLE OF THE LEAVEN MAT 13:33
        • SIN, FALSE TEACHINGS, AND FALSE DOCTRINE WILL PERMEATE THE CHURCH DURING THE CHURCH AGE. THEY WILL PERMEATE AND POLLUTE FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.
          • DISCUSSION: HOW DO YOU THINK THIS PARABLE APPLIES TO YOUR CHURCH?
  • APPLICATION:
    • HOW TO BE AN OVERCOMER: #4 GROW SPIRITUALLY
      • SO AS TO HAVE AN ABILITY TO DISCERN AND AVOID FALSE DOCTRINE, WE NEED TO STUDY AND TO KNOW THE TRUTH VERY WELL.
    • REVIEW:
      • TITLES OF CHRIST IN CHAPTER 2:
        • HE WHO HOLDS THE 7 STARS (REV 2:1)
        • HE WHO HAS THE SHARP TWO-EDGED SWORD (REV 2:12)
        • THE SON OF GOD (REV 2:18)
          • THIS IS ONLY PLACE IN REVELATION THAT THIS TITLE OCCURS. THIS IS VERY INTERESTING SINCE JOHN USED THE TITLE SO MUCH IN HIS GOSPEL.
        • HE WHO HAS EYES LIKE A FLAME OF FIRE AND FEET LIKE FINE BRASS (REV 2:18)

      HOMEWORK
      REVELATION 3:1-6
      THIS IS A SELF-STUDY. PLEASE DO NOT SEND HOMEWORK ANSWERS TO THE TEACHER FOR CORRECTION

  • APPLICATION FOR REV 2:18-29
    • THINK ABOUT YOUR OWN CHURCH AND DECIDE IF YOUR CHURCH FITS ANY OF THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CHURCHES WE STUDIED IN CHAPTER 2. PRAY FOR YOUR CHURCH.
    • THINK ABOUT YOUR OWN SPIRITUAL WALK WITH THE LORD. DOES YOUR SPIRITUAL WALK FIT ANY OF THE CHARACTERISTICS STUDIED IN CHAPTER 2? IF SO, AND THOSE CHARACTERISTICS NEED CHANGING, WHAT CAN YOU DO TO CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE?
  • PREPARATION FOR REV 3:1-6
    • READ REVELATION 3:1-6
      • WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE PHRASE IN VERSE 5, “I WILL NOT BLOT HIS NAME OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE”?
      • WHAT IS THE GENERAL CHARACTERISTIC OF THIS CHURCH?
  • MEMORY VERSE: PSA 69:28

 

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About Joyce

Joyce
I came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in 1963 giving my heart to Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching the Word of God since 1964, Usually two to three adult classes a week.

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