The Seven Churches

The Church of Thyatira

The city of Thyatira was located in between the cities of Pergamos and Sardis. It was known for its guilds of potters, tanners, weaves, dyers (especially purple, Acts 16:14), and robe makers. The meaning of Thyatira is not quite known. Some believe it comes from the Greek work thea meaning “a female deity or goddess.” Others believe it comes from the word thuo, meaning “to sacrifice.” In my opinion, “dominating female” is the best definition based on John’s mention of Jezebel:

Revelation 2:20 – ‘But I have against the a few things: That thou dost suffer the woman Jezebel, who is calling herself a prophetess, to teach, and to lead astray, my servants to commit whoredom, and she did not reform; (YLT)

1 Kings 16:30-32 – and Ahab son of Omri doth the evil thing in the eyes of Jehovah above all who [are] before him. And it cometh to pass – hath it been light his walking in the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat? – then he taketh a wife, Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Zidonians, and goeth and serveth Baal, and boweth himself to it, and raiseth up an altar for Baal, in the house of the Baal, that he built in Samaria; (YLT)

As you can see in Kings, Jezebel married Israeli king Ahab. However, Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal, who was not only a high priest of the false god Baal, but he also overthrew king Pheles of Tyre. Symbolically, this makes Ethbaal and the city of Tyre the antichrist of that time. Ahab’s marriage to Jezebel was a political marriage in order to strengthen his kingdom. This is similar to when Roman law was combined with Christian law in 529. It was a political marriage to gain power. Although Ahab was king, Jezebel was the one in charge. 1 Kings says that Ahab allowed Jezebel to erect a statue of Baal for worship. Jezebel even killed the true followers of Christ:

1 Kings 18:4 – While Jezebel was killing off the LORD’s prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied them with food and water. (NIV)

It got so bad, that Elijah had to prove the true power of God on Mount Carmel in the famous bull sacrifice challenge. The 450 prophets of Baal prayed all day, but Baal did not answer. Elijah prayed once, and instantly God answered with fire to the bull. (1 Kings 18)

The Medieval Inquisition

Part of the Thyatira age includes the Medieval Inquisition. In 1231, Pope Gregory IX released his Papal Bull Excommunicamus. The Excommunicamus established inquisitorial courts that combated “heresy.” Any Christian activities or beliefs that do not agree with the doctrine of the Catholic Church was labeled as heresy. Penalties for these acts included imprisonment, excommunication, and even execution by means of burning at the state. It got even worse with Pope Innocent IV. In 1252, Pope Innocent IV decreed that the Inquisitors were above civil law and gave them sanction to use torture. He later decreed that all civil rulers and all commoners must assist the work of the Inquisition or face excommunication. The corrupt marriage between the Church and State gave the Church such great power, that the law could no longer be upheld. Note that this is similar to Jezebel killing of the true followers of Christ in 1 Kings. It was not until the Protestant Reformation that this persecution stopped, thus ending the Thyatira age.

The Authority of the Overcomers

The letter to the church of Thyatira ends with this statement:

Revelation 2:26-29 – and he who is overcoming, and who is keeping unto the end of my works, I will give to him authority over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron – as the vessels of the potter they shall be broken – as I also have received from my Father; and I will give him the morning star. He who is having an ear – let him hear what the Spirit saith to the assemblies. (YLT)

The overcomers will also have authority on earth given to them by God. People that try to challenge this authority will fail. This passage also mentioned the “morning star.” 2 Peter 1:19 says that Jesus is the morning star. Jesus is also the messenger with the knowledge of God. Therefore, the overcomers will be like God’s messengers, with the full knowledge of God’s will.

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