Revelation 2:18 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;

19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

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.

21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

22 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.

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.

26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

28 And I will give him the morning star.

29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.


MEMORY VERSE: Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. —Matthew 7:15-16


CENTRAL THOUGHT: The church at Thyatira was commended for its service of charity, faith, and patience; but chastised for allowing a false prophetess who seduced people to immorality and communion with idols to remain in the congregation. Jesus promised swift judgment unless there was repentance, and spiritual authority, power and light to those who overcame.




Revelation 2:18: “Son of God”: here only in Revelation is this phrase used; all other places have “Son of Man.” The meaning seems to point to the authority and sovereignty, the righteous sternness; as also portrayed by His physical description. This name, along with the thought of the rod of iron breaking in pieces, comes from Psalm 2. “Flame of fire”: Thyatira was a Macedonian colony which worshipped Apollo, the sun god, whom they named Tyrimnas, and whose image was brilliantly decorated. Possibly this description—also, the reference to “the morning star”— was used because of their worship of that god. “Fine brass”: burnished bronze; from a compound word with meanings of the bronze or copper used to make money or musical instruments, combined with a certain yellow colored frankincense, implying a brilliance that was fiery and metallic. Combined with the phrase “as if they burned in a furnace” from Revelation 1:15, the term could also be pointing to the offering up of the saints as a sweet-smelling sacrifice upon the altar of suffering and persecution, with Jesus right in the furnace beside them, giving them courage, strength and stability.

Revelation 2:19 “The last to be more than the first”: Some translations say, “And (I know) thy works which are last (to be) more in number than the first,” meaning that, unlike Ephesus, which had gone backwards, these at Thyatira were going forward, or doing better than before. “The two Churches are in some respects the exact opposite one of the other. In Ephesus there is much zeal for orthodoxy, but little love; in Thyatira there is much love, but a carelessness about false doctrine” (Pulpit Commentary).

Revelation 2:20 “That woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess”: A Jezebel in character, (similar to the reference to Balaam) who was to Thyatira as the Old Testament queen was to her husband Ahab. “For letting her alone, for being timid, paying too much deference to her spiritual pretensions, for failing to see and to show that the so-called ‘deep things’ of these teachers were depths of Satan, the chief minister is rebuked. A large number of respectable critics regard Jezebel as a name applied to a faction, not as belonging to an individual. It seems best to view the name as symbolical, always remembering that the Jezebel spirit of proud, self-constituted authority, vaunting claims of superior holiness, or higher knowledge, linked with a disregard of—and perhaps a proud contempt for—‘legalism,’ and followed by open immorality, has again and again run riot in the churches of God” (Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers). We may also consider this opinion: “Some have supposed that this appellation designated a number or class of people teaching these doctrines; but the manner in which “her children,” or disciples, are spoken of would seem rather to point out a particular woman—one who was a leader and the chief instrument of mischief” (The Revelation Explained). Revelation 2:21 “I will cast her into a bed”: bring her down into a bed of sickness and pain for a chastisement.




Thyatira was a river city of commerce located between Pergamos and Sardis, a little off of the main road which connected those two cities. Lydia, the seller of purple cloth who Paul met in the Macedonian city of Philippi, was a native of Thyatira (Acts 16:14). She may have been named for her country, Lydia, the Macedonian colony founded by Alexander the Great, to which Thyatira belonged, and inscriptions found there suggest there was a guild or corporation of purple dyers, a trade for which Lydian women were noted. It may have been she who spread the gospel here after being converted at Philippi.

The false prophetess has been speculated to be the wife of the leading minister there in Thyatira, and as such, held great influence over the church. Whether or not this is true, or whether she was some other woman of influence, or whether Jezebel represents a symbolical false religious force, in practice and doctrine similar to the Gnostics; in any of these scenarios the emphasis is placed on the responsibility of the minister and the congregation to not allow this wicked influence any place; any voice; any esteem. Because it had been allowed, judgment was pronounced. He pointed out that He had already been forbearing and merciful and given space for repentance, but none was forthcoming, so he reiterated his warnings and prepared for purging.

However, there were some there who had obviously disapproved and would have nothing to do with this false ministry. As the deception had given place to gross immorality and feasting with idolaters, these kept themselves free and pure from loose living. They, being faithful in the little things, were to be made ruler over all. What all did this mean? And what was the morning star to be given them?

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck



  1. Commended: For what things did the Thyatirean church receive praise from Jesus?
  2. Known: The verse from Matthew lets us know how we might discern false teachers: By_____________ ___________.
  3. Judged: Explain what was to happen to “Jezebel” and her “children.”
  4. Spared: Jesus said He would put on the faithful ones no other burden because they had not known the ________ of _________.
  5. Awarded: Describe what was promised to the overcomers. To what Old Testament scriptures are they referring, and what do you think they mean?




To the “him that overcometh” phrase in this place, I note that He adds, “And keepeth my works unto the end.” There seems to be more emphasis on “works” in the message to Thyatira. He had also said “I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” And the now familiar, “I know thy works.” To add emphasis to this, His “eyes like unto a flame of fire” and He “searcheth the reins and hearts” are also mentioned. Could He be emphasizing this because the tendency in the human heart to gloss over blatant transgressions and heresies for the sake of “not offending” or “showing love?” Overcoming this common human fault would take extreme carefulness to make sure our works were pure and our hearts were totally honest before God; and courage to confront even those we love with the truth.

In this way, we need divine power over the nations. We need rule over our own spirits. We need divine authority and the backing of God’s Word in what we say or do. He has promised this to the missionary to foreign lands combating the darkness and error ruling heathen tribes for centuries; or confronting confusion resulting from false prophets; or prevailing over curses and threats placed upon the gospel worker from angry and superstitious medicine men; or conquering the enemy back on the home front working to afflict, deceive and enslave the missionary’s own family.

The morning star. Is He saying, “I give you Myself?” Because later in chapter 22 He is called the “bright and morning star.” Although some may disagree, that is enough meaning for me at this point! To have Him personally revealed to me deep in the midst of the battle; to personally experience His presence so real and unmistakable—there could be no greater gift!

It could also mean—to overcome timidity, fear and slothfulness; to open up and admit failures and weaknesses and be healed of them. To work out the issues honestly and in carefulness and the fear of God—and have God give me the promise of hope: “Here’s the morning star, the bright harbinger of dawn and approaching deliverance and victory! I am coming to save you! Be faithful! The morning approaches, you who weep through the night!”

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




Thyatira, along with other congregations, had commendable areas but also had areas of real lack and need that were throwing things out of balance. The definition of balance is stability produced by even distribution of weight on each side; mental or emotional steadiness; to bring into harmony or proportion. A good balance should not be underestimated in our Christian life.

Wrestlers often try to throw off their opponent or catch them off balance. If you lose balance, your opponent definitely will have the advantage and you are very likely to be looking up from the ground. Have you been there spiritually? We can all probably relate to a tire that has gotten out of balance. The car shakes and shakes and makes you think it is on the verge of totally falling apart.

Spiritual failures are many times the result of being out of balance and there are shaking consequences that affect families and congregations. I remember a portion of a message in which Bro. Mart Samons stated, “If the devil can’t pull you back into the world, he will try to push you to extremes in religion.” Satan knows that if he can get you out of balance he will have an advantage.

Some personalities, like Peter, tend to pendulum extremes. At first one extreme— “Thou shalt never wash my feet”—swinging past to the other extreme—“Not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.” There are machines that spin tires and that can detect where a counterweight needs to be added. The Holy Spirit also has a keen sense of detection and can give us a good spouse to help balance us out. The Holy Spirit also has access to numerous weights that he can bring into our lives to give us the balance we so desperately need.

—Bro. Bob Wilson