Summary: Thyatira - Jezebel in the Church (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Reading: Revelation chapter 2 verses 18-29:


• There was a minister out taking a walk on a beautiful street.

• He noticed a small boy attempting to ring the doorbell on the porch of a house.

• The boy was short and the doorbell was higher than usual.

• The boy could not quite reach it.

• The minister stepped up to the porch beside the boy and reached up;

• And aggressively rang the doorbell for the boy.


• ‘NOW’, the boy said, ‘WE RUN LIKE CRAZY’!

• Things are not always as they appear;

• That was certainly true for the Church at Thyatira.

(A). Background:

Thyatira is the fourth of 7 churches mentioned in these opening chapters of Revelation:

• It’s worth noting that this is the longest letter and yet it’s addressed to the church;

• That was considered the least important city of the seven.


• Biggest Church in the world is in South Korea (1 million people),

• Seoul, the capital, contained 11 of the world's 12 largest Christian congregations

• 1 in every 3 people in South Korea are evangelical Christians!

• Question: How did it start?

• Answer: A couple of hundred years a go;

• The Queen of Korea lost her little child by death,

• A slave girl in the palace told her of heaven where the child had gone,

• And the Saviour who would take her there.

• Thus the Gospel was first introduced to Korea by a little captive maid.

• What we think as of being insignificant;

• God often values and uses for his glory!

• So to this is the longest letter and yet it’s addressed to the church;

• That was considered the least important city of the seven.

(1). Geographically.

• If you were to look Thyatira up on a historical map;

• You would notice that it is located about sixty Kilometres southeast of Pergamum

• Which you looked at last week.

• There were no real distinguishing features about the city of Thyatira.

• It was not situated on a harbour like Ephesus or Smyrna,

• It was not on at prominent hill like Pergamum.

• In fact it was in the middle of a valley.

• Although it was situated well away from the Mediterranean Sea;

• It was on the road which connected the cities of Pergamum and Sardis.

• This was the road that the Imperial Post travelled;

• And so while it may not have been a large city it was a thriving city.


• It was the ‘Watford Gap’ of its day or the ‘Crewe’ of its day.

• Not so much famous for itself,

• It was somewhere you passed through on the way to somewhere else.

• And so it was well known as a ‘pass through’ place.

Strategically the importance of Thyatira:

• Was that it was the gateway to Pergamum;

• Which was the Capital of the Roman Province of Asia Minor.

• And so there was an armed garrison placed in the city to protect the capital.

• However Thyatira wasn’t capable of a sustained defence because it lay in the middle of an open valley.

• Ill: So the very best that Thyatira could hope for was to be a speed bump;

• That would slow an advancing army down until Pergamum could prepare a defence.

(2). Commercially:

• Because of its location along trade routes,

• Thyatira became a prosperous commercial centre.

• Thyatira was a city full of merchants and manufacturing.

• Some of those major trades are mentioned; e.g. bronze and pottery workers.


In verse 27 we are told:

• “He will rule them with an iron sceptre;

• He will dash them to pieces like pottery”.

• One of the jobs of the potters assistant;

• Was to smash the pottery with an iron rod.

• This was not blatant vandalism;

• He was to smash any pot that was not perfect. Any pot that was flawed, sub-standard.

• It was not to be traded or passed on (no second shops in those days);

• If it was faulty it was destroyed to save the name and reputation of the potter.

• That is what it means to ‘Rule with a rod of iron’;

• It means to break up everything that is not right.


• Archaeological discoveries have revealed;

• That the city had a large number of trade guilds,

• Which were the early equivalent of trade-unions,

• And so it could be said that Thyatira was a union town, a closed shop.

• That meant that no one was allowed to practice any trade;

• Unless he or she was a member of the local guild of that trade

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