What makes the seven letters to the churches special is that they were dictated by the Lord Jesus Himself. It was a privilege to preach through all seven letters from October 27-December 8, 2019. What I have attempted to do here is not a formal exposition of the text. I have tried to simply summarize the text, its theology, and its application as an aid to study and meditation. I pray that you, dear reader, find it helpful as you ponder the text.
Revelation 2:18 - “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:”
Summary: Jesus tells John the apostle to write to the messenger of the church in Thyatira and identify Him as the Son of God with eyes like a flame of fire and feet like burnished bronze.
Theology: Jesus is the Son of God. As God’s Son, Jesus has eyes like a flame of fire that search the minds and hearts of all people and feet like burnished bronze that judge those who do iniquity.
Application: Let us reverence the Son of God whose eyes search the minds and hearts and whose feet come quickly in judgment upon those practicing iniquity. May our feet be ever treading the paths of righteousness that His shield may be around us and His eyes and feet working against our enemies.
Revelation 2:19 – “‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.”
Summary: Jesus tells church in Thyatira that He knows their deeds: their love, faith, service, and perseverance; and He knows that their deeds of late are greater than their deeds at first.
Theology: Jesus desires the deeds of His churches (love, faith, service, and perseverance) to be greater than previous.
Application: May our love, faith, service, and perseverance be greater each day, so that the Lord will never have cause to point out to us the decline of these deeds.
Revelation 2:20 – “But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.”
Summary: Jesus tells the church of Thyatira that He holds against them their toleration of the woman Jezebel, a self-proclaimed prophetess who was teaching and leading the believer astray into deeds of immorality and idolatry.
Theology: Jesus does not desire His church to tolerate any self-proclaimed prophet or teacher, for such will inevitably lead His bondservants astray into deeds of immorality and idolatry.
Application: Let us beware lest we tolerate in any form (social media, television, radio, books, articles, etc.) false teachers and prophets who think themselves something they are not and lead the sheep into immorality and idolatry.
Revelation 2:21 – “I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality.”
Summary: Jesus tells the church of Thyatira that He had given Jezebel time to repent, but she was not willing to repent of her immorality.
Theology: Jesus is patient with false teachers in order that they might repent of their immoralities.
Application: Let us in the same way be patient toward false teachers, preaching the true gospel and calling them to repent; let us not tolerate their teaching in the church, but plead with them to turn from their evil ways.
Revelation 2:22 – “Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds.”
Summary: Jesus tells the church of Thyatira that He is going to throw Jezebel on a bed for judgment and those who follow her immoralities into great tribulation; but they still had a chance to repent.
Theology: Jesus will judge false teachers and throw their unrepentant followers into great tribulation.
Application: Let us warn those who follow false teachers of the strict judgment that will come upon teachers (Jas 3:1) and the myriad of warnings about what false teachers will experience (e.g. Matt 17:2). May we patiently labor in the preaching of the truth to those who are under the spell of false teachers, that we might snatch them out of the fire.
Revelation 2:23 – “And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.”
Summary: Jesus tells the church of Thyatira that He will kill Jezebel’s followers with pestilence, resulting in all the churches knowing that He is the one who searches the minds and hearts to give to each individual person according to their deeds.
Theology: Jesus will cast the followers of false teachers into great tribulation so that they will be killed with pestilence. By this He will cause all the churches to know that He is the one who searches the minds of hearts of all people to give to them according to their deeds.
Application: Let us beware the coming wrath of Jesus when He returns to gather His church in the Rapture. While He tenderly gathers His sheep into the fold to weather the cataclysm, He will cast out the wolves into the great tribulation to be killed by pestilence. Thus, we will know in that day that He is indeed the one who searches the minds and hearts of all people to give them according to their deeds.
Revelation 2:24 – “But I say to you, the rest who are in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not known the deep things of Satan, as they call them—I place no other burden on you.”
Summary: Jesus tells the rest of those in the church of Thyatira, who did not hold this teaching or know the deep things of Satan (as the teaching was called), that He had no other burden to place on them.
Theology: Jesus does not place any heavy burdens upon those who trust in Him and cling to truth.
Application: How light is the yoke of the Savior. His commandments are not burdensome to obey, because we love Him so. Let us simply trust in Him and cling to His truth. Let us know His Word so that we will not be pulled aside to the left or to the right.
Revelation 2:25 – “Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come.”
Summary: Jesus tells the rest of those in the church of Thyatira to hold fast what they have until His Coming.
Theology: Jesus will return at any moment, and desires to find His church holding fast what they have when He comes.
Application: Let us hold fast to what we have, so that we will not shrink back in shame at His Coming.
Revelation 2:26 – “He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations;”
Summary: Jesus tells the church of Thyatira that those who overcome and keep His deeds until the end will receive from Him authority over the nations.
Theology: Jesus will give believers authority over the nations in the Kingdom.
Application: Let us hold fast until the end, overcoming the temptations of the devil to fall away from the faith. Let us cling faithfully to the truth, overcoming the wiles of false teachers who vomit error everywhere. May we cling to the hope of ruling with authority over the nations under the Lord Jesus.
Revelation 2:27 – “and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father;”
Summary: Jesus tells the church of Thyatira that those who overcome and keep His deeds until the end will rule the nations with a rod of iron, smashing them like pottery, just like the authority that Jesus received from His Father (cf. Psa 2:8-9)
Theology: Jesus will give believers the authority to rule the nations with a rod of iron in the Kingdom.
Application: Let us ever meditate on what it means to be “in Christ,” marveling at the fact that whatever happens to Jesus happens to us and whatever is given to Jesus is given to us. Wonder of wonders. Grace upon grace. What an amazing salvation we have been given by a Father who has lavished His love upon us.
Revelation 2:28 – “and I will give him the morning star.”
Summary: Jesus tells the church of Thyatira that those who overcome and keep His deeds until the end will receive from Him the morning star, Jesus Himself (cf. Rev 22:16).
Theology: Jesus will give Himself in His fullness to believers that they may enjoy Him forever.
Application: Let us look forward to full fellowship with Christ Himself.
Revelation 2:29 – “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’”
Summary: Jesus tells all those who have spiritual ears to heed what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
Theology: Jesus desires believers to heed the words of this letter.
Application: Let us heed the words of this letter, being on guard for the subtle tricks of the devil.