Week of January 23, 2022 

SERIES: Revelation: A Message to the Churches    

TITLE: Week #3: To the Church at Thyatira (and us)  

Revelation 2:18-29

Message Preview

What a great first couple of weeks we’ve had in our study, Revelation: A Message to the Churches. Pastor Brian continues this series Sunday looking at the letter to the church at Thyatira (and us). Here is a preview of the message.  


  1. Revelation contains 7 letters to 7 real churches in biblical, Roman Asia Minor. These were received around 95 AD. 
  2. They are apocalyptic. There is a local meaning and a futuristic trajectory. 
  3. This letter is to the church at Thyatira, but it is also for us. 
  4. A church who loves really well but has bad doctrine will compromise the way of Jesus. Our works that come from our doctrine matter. 
  5. Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” 
  6. 5 times the word “works” is used in the letter to Thyatira. It is wrought with works. 

Geography / History / Context 

  1. Postal Route: Thyatira is on the road from Pergamum to Sardis along the Lychus River Valley.
  2. Economy – they are blue collar to use our terminology. Not impoverished but not overly wealthy. Known for purple dye now called “Turkish Red.”
  3. Biblical history: Paul met a woman in Philippi named Lydia.
    1. Acts 16:14-15 ESV “One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.”
  4. Religion: Thyatira was known for worship of Apollo. The Patron God of Thyatira is Apollo – god of sun and light and son of Zeus. Apollo’s twin sister is Artemis. They merged Apollo worship with Emperor worship and claimed the emperor was “Apollo incarnate” the son of God.
  5. Trade Guilds: An organized network associated with a specific trade. These guilds served social functions, civil functions, and religious functions. (i.e., bronze worker, leather worker, linen, potters, builders)
    1. Guilds owned property, negotiated business contracts, and had a wide and strong influence throughout Roman Asia minor. This was strongest in Thyatira.  
    2. Entrance to the guilds requires dabbling in Roman paganism at a minimum. They hosted pagan feasts. They reclined on couches eating food sacrificed to idols (patron gods and goddesses) and they committed acts of sexual immorality.
    3. Acts 15: Jerusalem Council – Christians were to eat no food sacrificed to idols and no sexual immorality was permitted. 

The Letter to the Church at Thyatira 

  1. Statement of Revelation/Introduction (Rev. 2:18) 
    1. The words of the “Son of God”
      1. This is the only time this title used in Revelation. It is directly in the face of “Apollo incarnate”
    2. Eyes like flames of fire – I see through you. 
    3. Feet like burnished bronze – Strength and splendor.
      1. “With such eyes the Son of God can see into the most distant and darkest places and with such feet he can stamp out all opposition to his rule.” (Batcher and Hatton)
      2. Daniel 10:6 ESV “His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lighting, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his worlds like a multitude.”
    4. “I know your works…”
  2. Statement of Commendation/Affirmation (Rev. 2:19) 
    1. Love and faith – your motive is right!
    2. Service and patient endurance. 
      1. Your later works exceed your first. This indicates growth and influence. They are serving like crazy for the love of God and people. 
  3. Statement of Criticism (Rev. 2:20-23)
    1. Tolerate the woman “Jezebel” – Metaphor (OT prophetess of Baal) used to describe a false teacher who taught servants of Jesus at Thyatira to practice sexual immorality and eat food sacrificed to idols.
      1. The indication is the teacher is telling people in the church it’s fine to participate in the guild feasts if that’s what it takes to make ends meet. (i.e., bronze smith with a wife and two kids) 
      2. Jesus expects us not to participate and instead pray “Give us this day our daily bread.”
    2. I will judge her and her followers (sickness, tribulation, death). 
      1. Observe the heart of Jesus in giving the false teacher time to repent (vs. 21). 
    3. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart and I will give according to your works.  
    4. Great love and bad doctrine don’t work for the church of Jesus. Bad doctrine always leads to compromise.
    5. The sin of the church at Thyatira is the sin of tolerance. 
    6. Today, the only universally recognized sin in our culture is “intolerance.” 
      1. Question: What false teaching do we tolerate as the church of Jesus Christ in America leading to actions, behaviors, rhetoric, and deeds that Jesus can’t tolerate? 
        1. False teaching related to sexuality and identity. 
          1. Affirming churches – we can love people, but we can’t affirm lifestyle choices that run contrary to the scripture in the church.
        2. False teaching related to nationalism. 
          1. God and Country churches – we can love our country but we can’t love it so much that we try to make the Kingdom of God work for it. We are just one nation among many. Our focus is King Jesus and His Kingdom. May his Kingdom come and his will be done in our country as it is in heaven – whatever that means. 
        3. False teaching related to Humanism.
          1. Self-oriented churches – comes in many forms. Individualism, success, place in society, health and wealth. The church of Jesus does not revolve around you or me. Instead, it is for the King and we are his servants. The church is a blessing to us but not designed with me at the center. Its mission is primary b/c it’s Jesus’s mission. The church that worships self, worships Satan.
      2. False teaching/doctrine always bears satanic fruit.
    7. The judgment of works is not about justification. We all fail that test. This is about the peace and reward of walking in the works God prepared for you in advance.
      1. Jeremiah 17:10 ESV “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
      2. Matthew 16:27 ESV “For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.
      3. Romans 2:6 ESV “He will render each one according to his works.”
  4. Statement of Command/Imperatives (Rev. 2:24-25) 
    1. To those of you who have not bought into the false teaching – hold fast (no other burden). 
  5. Statement of Promise (Rev. 2:26-29)
    1. Conquering – keeping my works to the end. (Ephesians 2:10) 
    2. Authority over the nations. (More on this later in our Revelation study) 
    3. The morning star – Jesus is the morning star (Rev. 22:16) 

Our Response

  1. How has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. 
  2. Do our doctrine/teachings and our deeds matter? 
  3. What false teaching has crept into the church today? What false teaching has crept into your heart? How are we compromising? 


Let’s begin our time together sharing God moments and prayer requests: 

  1. What are the “God moments” from these past few weeks?  How have you seen God at work that is unmistakably Him? 
    1. How has He been working not just in your life personally, but in the lives of your family (spouse, kids, grandkids)? 
  2. How did God speak to you through His Word this past week? 
    1. How are you hearing and obeying? 
  3. How can we specifically pray for you and others this week? 

Pray as a group – thanking God for how He is at work and asking Him to answer the requests that were mentioned. 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Ask and discuss questions from the list below.

Q: Read Revelation 2:18. How does Jesus introduce himself to the church? What is the meaning of this and its significance to them and to us today? 

Q: What does Jesus praise and commend the church for? 

Q: What does Jesus critique about the church at Thyatira? 

Q: Do our doctrines (beliefs), teachings, and actions as believers and the church matter? Why or why not? 

Q: What false teachings are confronting us and are at risk of creeping into our lives and the church today?  

Q: How can we maintain an accurate view of how sin might be creeping into our lives and not just focus on another’s sin? Why is this important? 

Q: How are we temped to compromise or tolerate sin in order to “get along”? 

Q: What command does Jesus give to the church at Thyatira in Rev. 2:24-25?

Q: What can we as individuals and as a church do to keep from embracing and believing false teachings like these?  

Q: What promise does Jesus give to the church at Thyatira? 


Our doctrines, teachings, and actions matter. False teaching and bad doctrine will always bring bad fruit in and through our lives. Followers of Jesus must hold fast to what is true and live out this truth in our lives. 

Let’s discuss a few more questions as we end out time and look to living out what God has spoken to us this week. 

  1. What did you hear? 
    1. What is your one “take-away” from this week? How did God speak specifically to you through this week’s passage and study? 
  2. What do you think? 
    1. How did this passage and study affirm, challenge, or change the way you think about God and the truths shared? 
  3. What will you do? 
    1. What is your next step? How will you take the truth of God’s Word and apply it to your life this week?   

Close your session in prayer. 


  • Revelation 2:18-29, Acts 16:14-15, Daniel 10:6, Jeremiah 17:10, Matthew 16:27, Romans 2:6


  • Current Series: Revelation – A Message to the Churches 
    • January 16th: Smyrna: Persecution Comes (Revelation 2:8-11)
    • January 23rd: Thyatira: Pressure to Conform (Revelation 2:18-29)
    • January 30th: Laodocea: Loving Rebuke (Revelation 3:14-22)
  • Next Series: 
    • Revelation – A New Exodus (Begins February 6th)
    • Revelation – The Restoration of all Things (Begins March 27th