UNDERSTANDING THE KINGDOM OF GOD
December 30, 2001
CHAPTER TWO: THE CITY OF THYATIRA
This is a city located in the interior of what is today Turkey in the fertile plain on the Great Zab River. The city was originally called Pelopia and most likely founded by the Lydians. Around 290 B.C. it became a Macedonian colony and renamed Thyatira, and was a military stronghold after the break up of the Greek Empire. In 190 B.C. it became part of the kingdom of Pergamos, and when this kingdom was turned over to the Roman Empire, it became a Roman city of trade. The road from Pergamos to Laodicea went through Thyatira. Today the city is known as Ahkisar.
The city had an unusually large number of trade guilds (trade unions), including bronze smiths. The water in the city was extremely good for dyeing clothing material and it had a thriving Purple Cloth Company, of which Lydia was a sales representative working in the city of Philippi (Acts 16:12-14). Since the head gear, "fez," was worn by most of the men in the area, the Purple Cloth Company in Thyatira was prosperous. "Fezes" were to be as brilliant, in shades of purple and scarlet, as possible.
The god worshiped in this city was that of Apollo (the sun god) also known in that city as Tyrimnos. There was also a temple of Artemis, the goddess of wild animals, the hunt, vegetation and child birth. She was also known as Diana, worshiped in Ephesus. Artemis was the daughter of the god Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. Artemis or Diana was the inspiration of dances, where she danced with nymphs in mountains, forest and marshes. (This is where we got the word "nymphomania.")
At the time that the book of Revelation was given to the apostle John, temple prostitutes were common and part of the pagan rituals. This had crept into the church in Thyatira. It is also important to know that, at this time, the Christians did not have a central place of worship, but met in homes, and when the weather was warm, they congregated outside in meadows or at the rivers.
Verse 18: The description given by Jesus is repeated with what we read in chapter one, and we also find a similar description in Daniel 10:5-6.
Verse 19: The church was commended for its works, love and service, faith and patience, with emphasis on works.
Verse 20: But the church had not dealt with a woman prophetess, Jezebel.
Verse 21: The woman must have been part of the church and convicted by the Holy Spirit to repent. A reprobate mind was the result - Romans 1:21-32
Verse 22: This woman was leading a following, where she led them into sexual perversions as well as spiritual adultery. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12
Verse 23: The children or converts to this woman were to be killed by God. Before there is a physical death, there is spiritual death and we see this all around us, addiction of all types of drugs (including alcohol), the destruction of marriages and the early death of people who die in their sins. Exodus 20:1-5
Verse 24: To those who were not involved with this woman and her group, Jesus was not going to put anything else on them.
Verse 25: Hold fast until Jesus comes back - Ephesians 6:10-13
Verse 26: If we are faithful in this life, we shall be ruling with God in the next phase, when Jesus comes back. Revelation 20:1-4
Verse 27: Today men have a choice to obey or disobey. The day will come when Jesus shall rule them with the rod of iron. Revelation 19:15
Verse 28: Jesus is the Morning Star - Revelation 22:16
Verse 29: Do you have an ear with which to hear ? Matthew 13:13-23
Do you really have an ear with which to hear? To be continued . . . .
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