Revelation 2:18 Index
"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;"
Research Material

GREETING: Salutation to the church - "And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write" (KC 50)

IDENTIFICATION: Presents an aspect of Jesus' life that will be an encouragement to the church. "...These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;" (KC 50)

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:

  • ...was the smallest and weakest of the seven cities, yet it was promised the irresistible power of the rod of iron. But the same evil practices taught in "the doctrine of Balaam" (Revelation 2:14), which were accepted by a few in Pergamum, were countenanced in the leadership of the church in Thyatira. Quite possible this danger to the church involved not only a spiritual compromise with paganism but also the literal question of Christians' attending actual feasts, such as the trade-quild banquets with their idolatrous aspects and their probable tendencies to immorality. Certain it is that such problems had been real in Paul's day (Acts 15:20; I Corinthians 8; I Corinthians 10:20-28), and that the trade guilds, so necessary to the prosperity of the Christian craftsmen, were particularly numerous and important in Thyatira. (Froom 93)
  • The meaning of the word Thyatira is uncertain. Some have suggested that it means "sweet savor of labour," as used in the sacrificial offering, representing the sacrifice they made in Revelation 2:19. However, the word "Thyatira" is made up from two Greek words thy, meaning "sacrifice," and tereo, meaning "to keep." In that case, it would mean "keep the sacrifice." (KC 51)
  • The content of the letter of Thyatira reveals Jezebel, who taught Israel to sacrifice to the false god, Baal. This led to the confrontation between the prophet Elijah and the priests of Baal on Mount Carmel. (KC 51)
  • The point of the letter is that Thyatira must keep the true sacrifice, the one offered by Elijah on Mount Carmel, and which has now been offered in our behalf in the person of Jesus Christ. Christ puts no other burden upon this church beyond keeping the true sacrifice. The benefits of this are now being offered in the heavenly sanctuary by Jesus, the Son of God and also our High Priest. (KC 51)
  • We know very little historically about this church, which incidentally receives more counsel from God than any of the others. This ancient city began as a Macedonian colony founded by Alexander the Great. Today it lies buried beneath the contemporary city of Akhisat, know for its rug-making industry. (KC 51)
  • Acts 16:14 gives us an insight concerning the city of Thyatira: "And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul." (KC 51)
  • Purple was a difficult color to obtain. For a long time it was made from a few drops of dye taken from shellfish. However, Thyatira had developed a purple dye from the madder root and became famous for its dye industry. (KC 51)
  • The church of Thyatira was the middle church of the seven mentioned in Revelation. It represented the period of time between 538 A.D. to 1798 A.D., a period of history referred to as the Dark Ages, Middle Ages, or the time of Papal Supremacy. The term "Dark Ages" was originally intended to denote the entire period between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance; the term "Middle Ages" has a similar motivation, implying an intermediate period between Classical antiquity and the Modern era. (KC 52)
  • In Bible prophecy, a woman is used to represent a church, and in this church, Jezebel is given a time to repent. (Revelation 2:20-23).
  • In Christ's description of this church, he mentions the "depths of Satan." (Revelation 2:24). During the Dark Ages the few Bibles that were available were chained to library walls. They were written in Latin so most of the people could not read them. Superstition and fear was what most of the people knew concerning God. It was not until the Reformation began in the 1500's that the light of a new day began to dawn. (KC 52)

"...unto the angel..." (Revelation 1:20)

"...of the church of Thyatira..."

  • The origin and meaning of this name are uncertain. Some have suggested that Thyatira means "sweet savor of labor," perhaps on the basis of the "works" of the church set forth in Revelation 2:19. Although less notable than the other six cities, ancient Thyatira was nevertheless distinguished by the number and variety of trades and crafts that flourished there. Apparently, prominent among these was that of the dyeing of cloth (Acts 16:14). The Christians of Thyatira doubtless found employment largely in the local crafts. (7BC 750)
  • As applied to Christian history appropriate to the experience of the church during the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages proved to be a time of surpassing difficulty for those who truly loved and served God, and the Thyatira period of church history may well be called the Age of Adversity. Because of persecution the flame of truth flickered and nearly went out. (7BC 750)
  • Trends that began in earlier periods became dominant during the Dark Ages. The Scriptures not being available to the ordinary Christian, tradition was exalted in their place. Works came to be considered a means of attaining salvation. A false and human priesthood obscured the true and divine priesthood of Jesus Christ. (Daniel 7). The Reformation consisted essentially in a revival and restoration of the great truths of the gospel. It proclaimed that men are saved only by faith in Christ, that their only standard of faith and practice is Scripture, and that every man may appear on his own behalf before the great High Priest, Jesus Christ, without a human intercessor. (7BC 750)

"...These things saith the Son of God..." (Luke 1:35; John 1:14)

  • This title, like those that introduce the messages to the other churches, is drawn from the description of the glorified Christ in Revelation 1:13 (Revelation 2:1). Here the definite article is used, thus specifically identifying the Author of the message as the second person of the Godhead (Revelation 1:13). (7BC 750)

"...who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire..." (Revelation 1:14)

  • To each church was given the assurance that the risen Savior who walked among the seven churches in Revelation 1:13 was there to minister in their behalf. The eyes like fire was Christ's penetrating look at a church that had departed from following His word and represented His power to cleanse. (KC 52)

"...his feet are like fine brass;" (Revelation 1:15)

  • His feet of brass was the stability of the eternal God. (KC 52)