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Summary: Thyatira was the least important. None the less, the church there received the longest of the letters in Revelation, undoubtedly because of the city’s large Christian population, and because the church there faced a problem that has troubled many churches

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MESSAGES TO THE SEVEN CHURCHES

Revelation 2:1- 3:22

Part 4

Thyatira – The Permissive Church

Revelation 2:18-29

Good News Christian Fellowship

August 27, 2006

BUCAS, Daraga albay

Introduction

A. Brief review on the messages to the Church at Smyrna, Ephesus, and Pergamum.

B. Today we come to the fourth of these churches, the church at Thyatira.

The Recipient (2:18a)

A. The Minister - "And unto the angel…” The minister is responsible for the church; therefore, the Lord addresses this letter to him. The minister is to proclaim the truth to the church that had become entrenched in the world.

B. The Church - “… of the Church in Thyatira”

1. Its Beginning.

The gospel probably reached Thyatira at the time of Paul’s third missionary journey, when Ephesus was the base of his missionary activities (Acts 19:10). He may not have visited it personally, however. Of all the seven cities, Thyatira was the least important. None the less, the church there received the longest of the letters in Revelation, undoubtedly because of the city’s large Christian population, and because the church there faced a problem that has troubled many churches through history--a strong internal movement advocating compromise with worldly interests (www.ourfatherlutheran.net/biblehomeland/sevenchurches/thyatira)

2. The Name . name means "a perfume;" "sacrifice of labor;" "odor of affliction." Modern Akhisar, Turkish for "white fortress" or “White Castle”

C. The City. Thyatira was a commercial center located inland, halfway between Pergamum and Smyrna (modern Izmir), The oldest information on the city is that it may have been one of several strongholds founded by Antiochus I (269-197 BC) controlling possible invasion routes from central Anatolia (the ancient name for Turkey). Despite its strategic importance, Thyatira lay on flat land and it had no acropolis from which to mount a defense in case of a prolonged attack.

Thyatira had no special religious significance. It was not a center for the worship of the Greek gods or the emperor. It did have a temple to Tyrimnos, its tutelary deity who, in Hellenistic times, became identified the Greek sun-god Helios (often confused with the god Apollo).

Thyatira was a city of craftsmen and merchants and the home of numerous trade guilds. First century coins attest to industries like cloth dyeing, garment-making, (www.ourfatherlutheran.net/biblehomeland/sevenchurches/thyatira)

The Author (2:18b) Note how Christ describes himself:

1. He declares that He is the Son of God. Here, He is stressing His Deity. There are those who teach that Christ is not the Son of God. They teach that Christ is a created being; a human being. However, in this verse Christ Himself stresses His Deity.

2. His eyes are like blazing fire - What does it means? It means Christ sees all. He sees what the Church is doing. He sees their licentious lifestyle. “Eyes that can pierce the facades, the disguises, the postures and pretensions of his people and get right to the heart of what they are doing.” (Ray C. Stedman)

Jeremiah 16:17, we read, “My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes.”

The reference to His eyes being “like blazing fire” and the brilliant reflections of His feet emphasize the indignation and righteous judgment of Christ. (John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Scripture Press, Wheaton, IL, 1983, 1985, electronic media.)

3. His feet are like burnished bronze – He rules all things and acts with absolute strength and perfect steadiness. His works of providence are deliberate and irrepressible. He rules and He judges. His feet will crush those who tolerate sin.

But there were some good things going on in this church. Our Lord tells us what they are.

The Commendation (2:19) The Church was a very active in all kinds of deeds for the Lord.

1. Works of love and faith – They show care and interest, concern and provision for the ministry of the Church. They have zeal for the works of the Lord. What a contrast to the church at Ephesus! Take note, the Church at Ephesus has sound doctrine but they forsake their “first love.” Their love for the works of the Lord had grown cold. They were not lukewarm, half-hearted religious , but faithful followers of Christ. Faithfulness is the one thing God requires of his people, and the one thing all his people give (I Corinthians 4:2)

2. Deeds of service and patient endurance - You keep at your work; you do not quit. So here was a church that had many people that loved God and served his people. They had faith in his word, and they patiently endured hardship. The church may have feel inadequacy and incapability, but they accept the challenge, believing God and going ahead and persevere. “Tribulation worketh patience” (Rom. 5:3).

3. Their works or ministry grows – The church grew and expanded. It reached out more and more. Their last works were better and more numerous than their first. Others had left their first love and lost their first zeal. Not these people!

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