The church in Thyatira:

Reveals who Jesus is:

“And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass.” (Revelations: 2:18).

Thyatira is a colony of Macedonia Greeks, situated between Sardis and Pergamos on the river Lycus; its inhabitants gained their living by traffic and the art of dyeing in purple. (Strong. 2001. # 2363).  Thyatira, is in modern Akhisar. Thyatira was a fortified city located forty miles southeast of Pergamum in a broad valley that leads to the Hermus River. It was near the border of the provinces Mysia and Lydia and was claimed by both. Lydia lived in Thyatira, which is the chief city of Macedonia. A colony of Macedonia Greeks, situated between Sardis and Pergamos on the river Lycus; its inhabitants gained their living by traffic and the art of dyeing in purple. This is in today’s Turkey. Lydia was a seller of purple and was a native of Thyatira but had moved to Philippi. Paul met her at worship and the Lord opened her heart as she heard the gospel (Acts 16:14).  Lydia was a seller of purple faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ given to her by Paul. (Holstein. 2014). Refusal to follow the rules of the city of Thyatira meant removal from the trade guilds, lack of employment, and that meant poverty. Christians who refused to honor pagan gods, eat meat sacrificed to an idol, and engage in sexual immorality jeopardized their material wealth. They were regarded as outcasts of the society.

The Son of God, Jesus, who has his eyes like unto a flame of fire is described through other Scripture. Exodus 3:2 tells us the angel of the LORD appeared unto Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush.  Acts 7:30 tells us; “And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.” Revelation 1:14 also describes Jesus as having “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire.” Then again in Revelation 19:12 “His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.”

The feet of Jesus is described as being like fine brass. Revelation 1:15 says; “And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.”

Jesus praises the church in Thyatira:

19 I know thy works that it is an act, deed, and thing done: the idea of working (Strong. 2001. # 2041).  , and charity [Of the love of men to men; esp. Christians towards Christians which is enjoined and prompted by their religion, whether the love be viewed as in the soul or expressed (Strong. 2001. # 26)], and service [the ministration of those who render to others the offices of Christian affection esp. those who help meet need by either collecting or distributing of charities] (Strong. 2001. # 1248), and faith [the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ (Strong. 2001. # 4102)], and thy patience [an enduring, sustaining, perseverance (Strong. 2001. # 5281)], and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. (Revelations: 2:19).

Jesus says that he knows the deeds of those in the church in Thyatira. Jesus is aware of the labors of love the believers in Thyatira have shown to God and to their neighbors. Their works included love and faith and service as well as endurance. The last works were greater than their first works. This would imply that their works of love, faith, service, and endurance were constantly increasing. (Revelations: 2:19).

 Jesus Rebuke and admonished the church of Thyatira:

20  “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” ((Revelations: 2:20).

The tolerating of Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, an impious and cruel queen who protected idolatry and persecuted the prophets, (Strong. 2001. # 2403) was held against the church in Thyatira. They suffered that is to allow one to do as he wishes, not to restrain, and to let alone (Strong. 2001. # 1439) Jezebel to gain a wicked influence and hold in the church in Thyatira. This influence was spreading like cancer so that in time the spiritual health of the congregation would be seriously jeopardized. The church at Thyatira tolerated deceptive teaching within their congregation. Jezebel urged Ahab to worship the pagan god Baal and the goddess Asherah, and to construct a temple and a sacred pole. Jezebel persuaded Israel to worship Baal, the god of fertility, and Asherah, the goddess of fertility. Under the pretense of religion, the people fell into the sin of sexual immorality with all its horrible consequences and into the sin of apostasy by eating food in pagan temples. (1 Kings 16:31–33).

21 “And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.” (Revelations: 2:21).

Jezebel is also the symbolic name of a woman who pretended to be a prophetess, and who, addicted to antinomianism (a person who maintains that Christians are freed from the moral law by virtue of grace as set forth in the gospel.), claimed Christian liberty of eating things sacrificed to idols. (Strong. 2001. # 2403). It is likely that the woman was a symbolic woman who was accepted within the fellowship of the church in Thyatira. This woman called herself a prophetess, she taught and seduce the Christians in the church in Thyatira to commit fornication, and eat things sacrificed unto idols. She was given time to repent but she refused to repent.

“Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” (Revelations: 2:22-23).

Jesus will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And Jesus will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he who searches the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. (Revelations: 2:22-23).

Jesus warns the church in Thyatira:

24  “But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. 25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.” (Revelations: 2:24-25).

Jesus now speaks to the faithful followers. The ones who had steadfastly rejected the teachings and the lifestyle of the prophetess Jezebel. Jezebel is a symbolic name and could also refer to the pastor of any church who are leading their congregation away from the Truth, the Word of God. The ones from the church who have not known the depths of satan. The ones who obeyed the teachings of the Scriptures and followed the example of Jesus. Upon them there will have none of the other burdens. They are encouraged to hold fast until Jesus returns.

The Promise Jesus made to those who overcomes:

 26 And he that overcometh [of Christians, that hold fast their faith even unto death against the power of their foes, and temptations and persecutions (Strong. 2001. # 1849)], and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power [the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises, the sign of regal authority, a crown (Strong. 2001. # 1849)] over the nations: [a multitude of individuals of the same nature or Paul uses the term for Gentile Christians (Strong. 2001. # 1484)]. (Revelations: 2:26)

Jesus promises and encourages those who overcome and who is faithful to the end in doing the works of Christ He will give authority over the nations. Jesus reminded His disciples just before he was crucified; “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (John 14:12). It is in doing the works of Jesus and doing the Will of the LORD God as it was revealed in His Word that will keep the works of Jesus until the end of time when Jesus will return. The promise of Jesus is: “I will give him authority over the nations.” The authority that Jesus gives to his followers is the same word used by Jesus before He ascended to heaven, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). Jesus rules this earth as King of kings and Lord of lords, for his name is known in every country of the world and his gospel is proclaimed in countless languages. The church in Thyatira, Jesus demands faith that would triumph of temptation, deceit and hatred.

27 And he shall rule [to rule, govern (Strong. 2001. # 4165)] them with a rod [when applied to kings; with a rod of iron, indicates the severest, most rigorous rule (Strong. 2001. # 4464)] of iron; as the vessels [Metaph. a man of quality, a chosen instrument “Vessel” was a common Greek metaphor for “body” since Greeks thought of souls living temporarily in bodies.   (Strong. 2001. # 4632)] of a potter shall they be broken to shivers [to put Satan under foot and (as a conqueror) trample on him; to break down, crush (Strong. 2001. # 4937)]: even as I received of my Father. (Revelations: 2:27)

Those forces who oppose the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be dealt hardships and troubles with the hard-as-iron rod in the hand of Christ. They will be dashed to pieces like pottery. It is with Christ the believers who overcomes will have the authority to rule, to discipline, and to judge.

28 “And I will give him the morning star.” (Revelations: 2:28).

This is the second part of the Promise from Jesus every overcomer will receive the morning star. Numbers 24:17, tells us Balaam prophesies, “A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel.” The symbol of the scepter led to that of the star, for both are symbols of royalty that the believer shares. The saints rule with Christ and shine brightly as morning stars.

29 “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”(Revelations: 2: 29)

Jesus repeats the encouragement to hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Those who have the faculty of perceiving with the mind, the faculty of understanding and knowing, let him hear and understand what is the Spirit said unto the churches.


Holstein, Joanne (2014, October) “Lydia a Seller of Purple:.” Becker Bible Studies Library. Retrieved from,.

Strong, James. (2001).The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Cite Article Source

MLA Style Citation:

Holstein, Joanne “The church in Thyatira:.” Becker Bible Studies Library June2015.<,>.

APA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2015, June) “The church in Thyatira:.” Becker Bible Studies Library. Retrieved from,.

Chicago Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2015) “The church in Thyatira:.” Becker Bible Studies Library (June),, (accessed).

Joanne Holstein is a Becker Bible Studies Teacher and Author of Guided Bible Studies for Hungry Christians. She is a graduate of Psychology/Christian and Bible Counseling with Liberty University. She is well-known as a counselor to Christian faithful who are struggling with tremendous burden in these difficult times. She is a leading authority on historical development of Christian churches and the practices and beliefs of world religions and cults.

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