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The Church at Thyatira - The Book of Revelation
Week 34, 2016
This week we will begin our study of the church at Thyatira. Please take a moment to read through the Lord’s message to this church as recorded in:
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:
"I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first.
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.
And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
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.
"Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden.
But hold fast what you have till I come.
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” (NKJV).
Historians have viewed 323 A.D. to 538 A.D. (approximately) as the period of the Pergamos church and the setting up of the Bishop of Rome as the pope, or head of the church. The period of the prophetic church at Thyatira is considered to be from 538–1798 A.D. These dates were picked because of imperial decrees issued at these times. The first one to establish the papacy was issued by Constantine and the second one to end it was issued by Napoleon.
This is drawing from the historical view of the Book of Revelation, the generally accepted view of Protestants until the 1844 Advent Movement. Teachers in this movement were the first to teach that Revelation was futuristic—that everything in it was about the end of the age. This, of course, is contradicted in the beginning of John’s vision when he was told that he would be shown the things that would “shortly come to pass.”
As we have covered and will see in more detail, what John was shown did immediately begin to unfold, and it has continued to unfold exactly as he was shown right up until this time. As we see this, we can know with more certainty what has happened, what is happening, and what we can expect to happen. This is obviously the reason this vision was given.
It seems a remarkable coincidence that exactly 1,260 years was the period of time that the papacy had an imperial decree from the head of the Roman Empire and the decree’s removal by one who claimed the head of the Holy Roman Empire. This is a noteworthy number in Revelation, as we will see.
Thyatira means “sacrifice of contrition.” This period is not called the “Dark Ages” without reason. It was the time of the greatest tribulation of true believers since the first century and the release of the most diabolical, antichrist doctrines and practices by the institutional church that had married the powers of this age.
It is not enjoyable to study this period, but it is necessary. This is where two paths, the one to salvation and the other to damnation, are made crystal clear. It is also where many of the traps that Christians continue to fall into today are exposed, as well as the consequences of falling into them. However, when you see this darkness, it only makes the light that much brighter and our salvation in Christ more wonderful. It is a hard journey, but well worth it.
next week 35