October 5, 2020 on 5:23 pm | In REVELATION FOR BEGINNERS | Comments Off on

Thyatira

Eyes like fire; feet like brass. What do these two elements represent? You can find an explanation of them as they appear in chapter 1 at the beginning of this website/blog listed under the dates of June 09 and November 09. These two characteristics of Jesus presented as shown in these two symbols, were chosen by Jesus to portray His character as meeting the particular needs of this individual congregation. The congregation would recognize themselves in the description that goes with them. But besides that, this congregation would also be symbolic of the Christian church during a certain era of church history. Historicist interpreters suggest the dates of 538 A.D. to 1565 A. D. It could symbolize the apostasy of the medieval church as well as the progress of the reformation. The actual dates are not critical to understanding this passage but do help place this church symbolically in the right relationship to the other of the seven churches. So the first application is for the named church itself. The second is to see its symbolic place in history. The third is to see what spiritual lessons we can learn for ourselves living in the tail end of earth’s history.

The picture is a mixed bag. We have seen before that both the fire eyes and brass feet can be seen as both good news and mercy as well as justice and judgment. Jesus sees both good and bad. As with most of the seven churches, He begins with the positive. He commends them for their works, love, service, faith, and patience. Sounds pretty good, but there is more. He also censures them for allowing “Jezebel” to seduce His people with immorality and idolatry. God says he was patient (fortunately for us!) and gave her time to repent, but she didn’t.

Now, who was Jezebel? This is why the Old Testament is so important in interpreting the book of Revelation. We discover there that Jezebel was the wife of King Ahab of Israel. Her father was king of Tyre and Sidon (after murdering his brother to get him out of the way of his ambitions). Jezebel brought her heathen religion with her and influenced Ahab to go along with her. Unfortunately the entire nation allowed her to seduce them into idolatry in clear violation of the first of the 10 commandments. Along with it came the immorality, in violation of the 7th commandment. It seems that when the devil finds something that works pretty well for him, he keeps using it through the centuries. Immorality and idolatry (not just bowing to statues but anything that takes the place of God in our lives or that becomes more a priority than He is) are still effective tools Satan uses. He knows which buttons to push!

And what about the eyes like fire and feet like brass? We have previously seen in chapter 1 that these symbols can represent both mercy and justice (judgment). Apparently there is both concern and hope for this church. It is noteworthy that every church listed in chapters 2 & 3 is offered hope in overcoming problems through the promises, no matter how bad the problems. So there is hope for us as well.
Jezebel’s children (followers of her philosophy) don’t fare too well in the long term, but God has special blessings for His followers. And as the text says, “let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Jesus, the morning star (ch. 22:16) will be their special reward as they will be able to be with Him throughout eternity.

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