The Seven Churches of Revelation: Part Four (Thyatira)

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The Seven Churches of Revelation: Part Four {Thyatira} | A Virtuous Woman

The Seven Churches of Revelation, also known as the Seven Churches of Asia,  are seven major churches of Early Christianity.

In the book of Revelation, Jesus Christ instructed John to “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” Revelation 1:11

Each of these churches existed in Roman province of Asia at the time that John wrote the letters. However, these letters were not only written for each individual church, but they were written as letter to God’s people across the span of time. The messages found in these seven letters apply to Christians today as do all the other letters or books of the Bible. Furthermore, these seven letters have additional application to God’s church in seven different eras, beginning with apostolic days and ending with the return of Jesus Christ.

2 Timothy 3:16, 17 tells us: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

The Seven Churches of Revelation

I have a handy chart that you can print detailing the different aspects of The Seven Churches of Revelation.

The Church of Thyatira correlates to a time period of about one thousand years from the sixth through the fifteenth centuries. This is the longest time period of any of the seven churches. Otherwise known as the Dark Ages, this was a time of terrible and fearful apostacy. The church became corrupt and the Lord admonished the church for allowing false teachings to enter its doors. During the Dark Ages the Roman Catholic Church reigned over the people right up until the Reformation.

“Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols.” Revelation 2:20

If you’ll remember Jezebel was the wicked woman who killed the Lord’s prophets, led her husband into idolatry and even fed the prophets of Baal at her own table. She was very wicked and very powerful. She was the wife of King Ahab. She instituted an apostate system of religion and even had it enforced by state decree!

Here, Jesus is admonishing the church for tolerating “Jezebel,” saying the Jezebel calls herself a prophet, but was she really a prophet? No.

In the Bible our relationship with Jesus is symbolized by “marriage.” Jesus is our bridegroom and the church is His bride. If you were wondering what the passage above meant by “sexual immorality,” any unfaithfulness on the part of the church would be considered adultery or fornication.

The use of “woman” in prophecy always refers to a church. In this case, the apostate church. Jesus called the church into repentance, but unfortunately, the church continued to reject God’s Word and exalted the Pope in the place of Jesus.

Revelation 2:21 says, “I have given her time to repent of immorality, but she is unwilling.”

And then Jesus warned:

“So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.” Revelation 2:22,23

Who are her children? said it well:

The children who Jesus says He will kill are those who commit fornication with this apostate church, in open rebellion against the truth of God’s Word. Now there are and have been countless members of the Roman Catholic Church and Jesus isn’t saying that He is going to kill everyone who was and is a member of this apostate church. There are many who were living in complete ignorance and the truth had not been shown them. God will judge these people according to how they lived up to the light they had. The children who Jesus is talking about are those who, after the truth has been shown them, continue to reject the truth in rebellion against God and continue to follow Jezebel in apostasy. Then God’s mercy will come to an end for them and they will be killed. God’s mercy is conditional upon our repentance of our sinful ways and turning to the truth and living by it, through the power of Christ’s righteousness. God still has some of His people within the Roman Catholic Church and any other fallen church, which is why He is telling His people to COME OUT OF BABYLON. {emphasis mine}

However, Jesus followed this statement with good news: “Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so called deep secrets… To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations.” Revelation 2:24-26

At the end of the Dark Ages, there were people who rose up and cried out against the false teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. People like Martin Luther, John Wycliff, John Huss, and many others.

They insisted that God’s Word was the only infallible source of doctrine. Sola Scriptura!

Anyway, so what does all of this have to do with us, now, today? It’s important for us to search the Scriptures. We need to be diligent in studying God’s Word. We need to be like the Bereans!

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11

We need to overcome and do the Father’s will until the end.

Are you tolerating false teaching in the church? Are you searching the Scriptures to know the truth?

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