Christ's Letter to Thyatira

Letters from Christ  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  46:47
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Intro: Today we continue on our journey as we look at the seven cities and the seven churches that all received letters from Christ.

Background

The city’s name means “continual sacrifice”
South East of Pergamum
Founded as a military buffer city or watch tower on the road from the east heading towards Pergamum.
It was known for its fine metal work in Silver and brass/bronze.
It was also known for its coloured wool fabrics - especially purple.
Lydia, whom Paul lead to the Lord in Philippi was from this city. Acts 16:14-15
Strong trade guilds that were a mixture of trade unions and the mafia.

They held common meals. These would very often be held in a temple and even if not, they would begin and end with a formal sacrifice to the gods, and the meat eaten would be meat which had already been offered to idols. Further, it often happened that these communal meals were occasions of drunken revelry and slack morality.

Apollo (the sun god) was the Roman god worshiped, but each trade guild had assigned ways they were to worship and do their work. Tyrimnus was the locally favoured god by the guilds. The Oracle Sambathe was known as a fortune teller and was also based there.
It was the smallest of the 7 cities; and the most destroyed and rebuilt.
The modern city of Akhisar covers most of the site.
Thyatira received the longest letter of all the churches.

Christ Revealed

Revelation 2:18 NKJV
“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:
The Son of God -
only time this title is used in Revelation.
Conveys power and Authority
Eyes of fire 1.14
Conveys searching, penetrating, and all knowing
Sees right through evil hearts
Feet of brass 1.15
Immovable power, weight and judgement.
Think of feet like this stomping of the grapes of wrath.
Daniel 10:6 NKJV
His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.
Lastly, again it must be said that Christ knows what they have been up to.
Revelation 2:19 NKJV
“I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.

How They Pleased Christ

Revelation 2:19 NKJV
“I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.
This is a nice list!
Works = performance, acts or deeds that lead to positive results. How wonderful! To be known by all the things the church is doing to help give people a positive outcome!
love = agape, Christlike regard for others
Service = Diakonia, ministry towards others. This church had more than just their deacons serving the people.
Faith = gospel trusting, life changing conviction and belief.
Patience = hypomona, Steadfast endurance that faces the pressure and remains strong and committed.
More = Poly -They are getting more efficient and effective with their works as they go along. Christ uses the superlative form here to express His satisfaction with their works.
6 different areas this church pleased Christ!

How They Displeased Christ

Not everything was perfect. There was a problem that needed to be addressed. Christ could see a glaring problem!
Revelation 2:20 NKJV
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.

Who is Jezebel?

We don’t have to many details on a person named Jezebel that was a member of this church. However, most commentaries connect this reference to an Old Testament Queen in the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

wicked Queen Jezebel, wife of Ahab (1 Kings 16–2 Kings 10) She was a heathen woman, daughter of a priest of Baal; and she promoted Baal worship in Israel. She was guilty of whoredom and witchcraft (2 Kings 9:22) as well as idolatry, murder, deceit, and priestcraft.

Why is she a problem?

She tried to unite religion and government for all the wrong reasons. She wanted the government to control every aspect of how, when, and in what ways people worship. This is a horrible idea!
Compounding the problem is that there was NO repentance!
Revelation 2:21 NKJV
And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
She is so toxic to the church that she has to go. Christ gave her time to change her ways, but she remained stubbornly unwilling.
Romans 6:16 CSB
Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey—either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness?
Hosea 11:5 NKJV
“He shall not return to the land of Egypt; But the Assyrian shall be his king, Because they refused to repent.

The Church “To Do”List

Revelation 2:24–25 ESV
But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. Only hold fast what you have until I come.
Stay away, stand back from Jezebel!
It sounds like she is a teacher in the church, but her teaching should not be listened to or followed. If it is coming from government, follow God over government!
Stay innocent!
Satan is at work doing some things that we just don’t need to experience. Don’t do drugs to know how the druggy feels, don’t destroy your life and faith to gain understanding that you don’t need!
“Hold fast to what you have till Christ returns.”
Don’t go wandering off into some new things, exciting things, or fads within churches.

The Promise of Christ

Revelation 2:22–23 NKJV
Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. 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.
Jesus will deal with those who seek to harm His church and lead people away from God.
Even today people die who set their life to harm the church. It might not happen when we want it to, but Barb and I have seen it happen.
Revelation 2:26–29 NKJV
And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations— 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; and I will give him the morning star. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
Power over the nations
Christ says that those who overcome, He Himself will give a part of His millennial kingdom. Christ is King, but every government has many people in the government. The overcomers are to be those government workers.
The gift of Christ Himself
The overcomers will be given the “morning star.”
He will give of Himself!
Revelation 22:16 NKJV
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”
2 Peter 1:19 ESV
And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,
Christ’s church will be so closely identified with Him, that His light shines around us as though we are part of that light.
Remember, in the battle between light and darkness, light ALWAYS wins!
I also believe the overcomer will be able to hear the Spirit as He speaks to His church. v 29

Conclusion: The Lord knows what is going on and where we need to be as a church.

He knows those who would repent and those who refuse to repent.
He is not powerless! He can supply what we need to continue to make Him known and He can take out those who seek to do His church harm.
Q1. How would you say this church pleases Christ?
How should we be known for pleasing Christ?
Q2. Could we spot those who are trying to push the church to be what it should not be?
They may be inside or they may be outside the church.
Q3. Do we long for, and position ourselves ourselves to receive the gift of Christ Himself and to be able to hear what the Spirit is saying to His church?
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