Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Revelation 2:18-29 -- Message to Thyatira

LINK: Revelation 2:18-29

BACKGROUND 


Thyatira was 40 miles southeast of Pergamum and a much smaller city. It was a "working man's" town with many trade guilds for cloth, dyes (especially purple), and pottery. Paul's first convert in Philippi, the merchant Lydia, was from Thyatira (Acts 16:14). 


Thyatira was also home to a temple for Apollo, the sun god. This is why Jesus introduced Himself as the "Son of God" (The only time this is done in Revelation).  Jesus' description of the blazing eyes and burnished bronze (alloy of different metals that was brilliant when polished) feet may be in contrast to this sun god. It also matched the severe warning He gave the church.


He commended them for many things. Unlike the Ephesians, they were doing more and not less; but they were rebuked for permitting the influence of a "Jezebel" in the church who was teaching that sexual immorality and eating sacrificial food was acceptable. It was a symbolic connection with the  idolatrous queen who enticed Israel into Baal worship (1 Kings 16-19). 


The unrepentant false prophetess and her followers would be judged. Those who did not follow her and the deep things of Satan ("the evil designs and workings of Satan") were to not let go of the true faith. 


The overcomer, who does God's will to His coming, will have rule over the enemies of Christ and reign with Him as He judged evil. Psalm 2:8, 9; Isaiah 30:14; Jeremiah 19:11; 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3; Revelation 12:5: 19:15; and 20:3, 4 are great cross-references regarding the judgment. The overcomer would also be given the morning star. Christ is referred to as the morning star in 2:28; 22:16, and 2 Peter 1:10. A morning star appears right before dawn when the night is coldest and darkest. Jesus will dawn in His S
econd Coming when the world is darkest. His light will expose the darkness, and it will have to flee. Come, Lord Jesus!

REFLECTION 
As you review these first four messages to the churches, you can see the dangers that still exist for the people of God. Like Ephesus, we can be zealous and orthodox, but at the same time lose our devotion to Christ. Or, like Thyatira, our love can be increasing yet lacking in the kind of discernment that is necessary to keep the church pure (see Phil. 1:9–11). Like Pergamos and Thyatira, we may be so tolerant of evil that we grieve the Lord and invite His judgment. 
(Bible Exposition Commentary: Volume 2, Revelation 2:24-29, p. 575-576)
APPLICATION 

Do you see yourself falling for any of these dangers? 


PRAYER


Lord, help us to be steadfast and discerning in our faith. Amen. 
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