THE CHURCH WITH THE ROTTEN CENTER (Thyatira)
Revelation 2:18-29 (NKJV)
The Corrupt Church
18 “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: 19 “I know your works, love, service, faith and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.
20 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. 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
24 “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. 25 But hold fast what you have till I come.
26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
27 ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’ — as I also have received from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star.
29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
An apple with a worm, or food that has rotted. This church was like this. It looked pleasing on the exterior, but at it’s heart it was wormy, rotten and festering with evil. The city of Thyatira is the least known of all the cities, yet it received the longest letter. However there are four things for which it was famous :
1. A military city – A buffer city, Ceasars elite guard was stationed there.
2. An industrial city – Ill. Lydia (purple cloth merchant – dyes and water).
3. A trade guild city – Ill. Each guild had it’s own patron god.
4. An occult city – An occult temple presided over by a female sorceress. This church represents the time period of 590 A.D. – 1517 A.D.
Jesus comes to this church as the Son of God. The one with authority to deal with them, John 5:22.
Jesus also comes with flaming eyes: He sees all they do and all they are, Heb. 4:13.
Feet of Brass: Jesus has come to judge, 1 Pet. 4:17.
Let’s join Jesus as He comes to the church with a rotten center.
I. v.19 HE COMES WITH JOY
(Ill. A Working church – Working churches are the Lord’s delight).
A. They Are Active In Their Works –
1. Works – Our calling card!
2. Love – The only valid motive for works.
3. Service – Ministry
4. Faith – Works born out of conviction.
5. Patience – Endurance in the work.
6. Works are good, but there is a danger of trusting them and not Jesus. (Illustration – Worship always come before works – Jesus says to come before we go!)
B. They Are Advancing In Their Works –
1. Development and Progress – (Ill. No room for laziness)
2. Our works need to be growing. A lack of growth in our works, indicates a lack of growth in our spiritual development. 2 Pet. 3:18.
3. Have you plateaued? (Ill. Heb. 10:23-25)
II. v.20-23 HE COMES IN JUDGMENT
(Ill. Possibly founded by a woman – Lydia, Acts 16:14-40) (But, certainly floundering because of a woman (Jezebel)!)
(Ill. Thank God for our ladies! Ill. A blessing or a curse!)
Leaders are extremely important to the testimony of the church!
Jesus comes to judge this church because:
A. v.20 A HERESY IS CONDONED –
1. Jezebel – Introduced Baal worship to Israel. A worship filled with sexual perversion and idolatry. (Sin – Immorality and idolatry!)
2. Jezebelism – We must become like the world to win the world! Make sin not so sinful. (Attempts to adopt and incorporate worldliness into the church and it’s worship.)
3. Sin must never be condoned in the church! 2 Thess. 3:6; Rom. 16:17.
4. This church has the attitude that DOCTRINE is not important. IT IS VITAL!!
(Ill. Doctrines introduced during this period – Papalcy elevated, Dogma and ritual given equal weight with Scripture, Mariolatry, Purgatory, Mass, Mass for dead, etc.)
(Ill. Thyatira = Continual Sacrifice!)
(Ill. Our modern day – People are still twisting the truth and getting by with it! Dangerous trend).
(Ill. Buffer city – torn down and rebuilt – cults must constantly change their doctrine – But the TRUTH never changes!)
(Ill. Ecumenical movement is dangerous! – 2 Cor. 6:14-18).
B. v.21 A HERESY IS CONTINUING –
1. This woman misunderstood the goodness of God – Rom. 2:4
2. People still do this. But, God will not tolerate sin among His people – Rev 3:19
3. Sin must be repented of!
C. v.22-23 THIS HERESY IS CONDEMNED –
1. This church will enter the tribulation. (Ill. Church will go on!)
2. The young will suffer. They suffer the most in a worldly church! They don’t have a chance against heresy in the church.
3. Judgment will be according to each man’s works – God is fair!
III. v.24-29 HE COMES WITH JUSTICE
(Just as He will punish the guilty, He will reward the faithful!)
A. v.24-25 RECOGNIZE THE FAITHFUL –
1. The rest are addressed – That faithful remnant, they are in every church. (Illustration – Elijah 1 Kings 19:18)
2. None other burden – They are to continue in their calling. Witness.
3. Not all will repent, but only a few are needed to bring results!
4. Hold fast – Stay true to the things of God, they will see you home.
B. v.26-29 REWARD THE FAITHFUL
1. Will share in Christ’s authority – Will rule in the millenium – 1 Cor. 6:2
2. Will be given the Morning Star – Rev. 22:3-4; 16.
a. When we have Jesus, we have it all! Rom. 8:17.
b. Jesus Christ will be our greatest reward! Remain faithful, hold fast, stay true to the Word (BIBLE) and the Lord will bless us… Beyond our wildest dreams.
Lesson learned :
4. Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29): Resist false teaching.
Further Studies :
Our focus should be on what message God is giving us through the seven churches in the Book of Revelation :
The MESSAGE of the Seven Churches were :
Summary of the LESSONS we can learn from the instruction God gave each church:
- 1. Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7): Don’t lose your love for God’s truth or His people.
- 2. Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11): Remain faithful in the face of tribulation and poverty.
- 3. Pergamos (Revelation 2:12-17): Resist Satan’s influence, even to death, if necessary.
- 4. Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29): Resist false teaching.
- 5. Sardis (Revelation 3:1-6): Remain zealous and pure in conduct.
- 6. Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13): Persevere and walk through the doors God opens.
- 7. Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22): Don’t become lukewarm about God’s way of life.