Revelation Chapter 2

Revelation Chapter 2

  • The first three churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos no longer exist

  • The last four: Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea still exist at Christ's coming

The Ancient Roman Empire (partial)

Augustus27 BC-AD 14The LORD Jesus Christ is born, lives, is crucified, fulfilled Micah 5:2 with tax, sending Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem-known for peace and road building
Nero (Paul beheaded)54-68
Vespasian (Flavian Dynasty)69-79
Titus (Flavian Dynasty)79-81
Domitian (Flavian Dynasty: John exiled to Patmos)81-96 A reign of terror and fiscal irresponsibility by a marginal warrior emperor
Nerva96-98Sadistic, cruel, paranoid, invented tortures. Killed by his own, new set of guards. His wife was in on the plot.
Trajan (Ignatius burned at the stake) 98-117
Antoninus Pius138-161
Marcus Aurelius (Polycarp martyred in Smyrna) 161-180
Diocletian303-313(worst emperor of all of them)


(Revelation 2:1)
Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

  • Jesus is in charge over the Church
  • Ephesus is in Turkey
  • Great on doctrine, lacked devotion
  • This is a famous church planted by the apostle Paul (Acts 19)
  • Second Largest City outside of Rome in the Empire
  • Worshiped Artemis (Diana), the Huntress
  • Population 100,000 to 500,000
  • White marble city
  • 20,000 seat stadium
  • Four pillars at the entrance, one for each gospel author (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). One pillar is left
  • Seaport between Asia and Europe
  • Gladiator graveyard there
  • Today, it is a city of ruins, which is its only tourist attraction today.
  • About 2,000 B.C. became a city
  • "Where east and west meet"
Tourist: "Not only did Ephesus cease to be an important city, it ceased to be a port! The silt from a local river pouring out over time has actually removed Ephesus a distance of 4-5 miles (according to our Turkish tour guide Fahmi) from the ocean. As my wife and I personally verified, the view from the ancient harbor of Ephesus to the actual ocean is a long one. Currently, Ephesus itself is now just a bunch of partially excavated ancient ruins with two large parking lots, some souvenir stands, and apparently one camel for tourists to take pictures of. It no longer has any prominence, other than biblical and historical."

Paul at Ephesus

(Acts 20:29-31)
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

(Acts 19:26)
Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:

  • Diana worship, idolatry
  • Temple of Diana was there
  • Demetrius the silversmith and goldsmith was upset with Paul there about his idol business (Acts 19), causing a riot of confusion, an uproar
  • Paul went here and told the disciples there about his future bondage in Rome by the Jews
  • Paul warned them there about the wolves not sparing the flock (Acts 20)
(Revelation 2:2)
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
  • Labor for God not unnoticed, and is mentioned twice
  • They did not tolerate evil
  • They had discernment
  • Left their first love
  • Jesus calls them back to repentance for a second chance
  • Jesus hates their deeds
  • From Nicolaus, Nicolaitans wanted the former life with the Christian walk

To Bear EVIL

BEAR, v.t. pret.bore; pp. born,borne. [L. fero, pario, porto. The primary sense is to throw out, to bring forth, or in general, to thrust or drive along. ]
  1. To support; to sustain; as, to bear a weight or burden.
  2. To carry; to convey; to support and remove from place to place; as, "they bear him upon the shoulder;", "the eagle beareth them on her wings."
  3. To wear; to bear as a mark of authority or distinction; as, to bear a sword, a badge, a name; to bear arms in a coat.
  4. To keep afloat; as, the water bears a ship.
  5. To support or sustain without sinking or yielding; to endure; as, a man can bear severe pain or calamity; or to sustain with proportionate strength, and without injury; as, a man may bear stronger food or drink.
  6. To entertain; to carry in the mind; as, to bear a great love for a friend; to bear inveterate hatred to gaming.
  7. To suffer; to undergo; as, to bear punishment.
  8. To suffer without resentment, or interference to prevent; to have patience; as, to bear neglect or indignities.
  9. To admit or be capable of; that is, to suffer or sustain without violence,injury,or change; as, to give words the most favorable interpretation they will bear.
  10. To bring forth or produce, as the fruit of plants, or the young of animals; as, to bear apples; to bear children.
  11. To give birth to, or be the native place of.
    Here dwelt the man divine whom Samos bore.
  12. To possess and use as power; to exercise; as, to bear sway.
  13. To gain or win.
    Some think to bear it by speaking a great word. [Not now used. The phrase now used is, to bear away.]
  14. To carry on, or maintain; to have; as, to bear a part in conversation.
  15. To show or exhibit; to relate; as, to bear testimony or witness. This seems to imply utterance, like the Latin fero, to relate or utter.
  16. To sustain the effect, or be answerable for; as, to bear the blame.
  17. To sustain, as expense; to supply the means of paying; as, to bear the charges, that is, to pay the expenses.
  18. To be the object of.
    Let me but bear your love, and I'll bear your cares.
  19. To behave; to act in any character; as,"hath he borne himself penitent?"
  20. To remove, or to endure the effects of; and hence to give satisfaction for.
    He shall bear their iniquities. Isa 53. Heb 9.
    To bear the infirmities of the weak, to bear one another's burdens, is to be charitable towards their faults, to sympathize with them, and to aid them in distress.
    To bear off, is to restrain; to keep from approach; and in seamanship, to remove to a distance; to keep clear from rubbing against any thing; as, to bear off a blow; to bear off a boat; also, to carry away; as, to bear off stolen goods.
    To bear down, is to impel or urge; to overthrow or crush by force; as, to bear down an enemy.
    To bear down upon, to press to overtake; to make all sail to come up with.
    To bear hard, is to press or urge.
    Cesar doth bear me hard.
    To bear on, is to press against; also to carry forward, to press, incite or animate.
    Confidence hath borne thee on.
    To bear through, is to conduct or manage; as,"to bear through the consulship." B.Jonson. Also, to maintain or support to the end; as, religion will bear us through the evils of life.
    To bear out, is to maintain and support to the end; to defend to the last.
    Company only can bear a man out in an ill thing.
    To bear up, to support; to keep from falling.
    Religious hope bears up the mind under sufferings.
    To bear up, to keep afloat.
    To bear a body. A color is said to bear a body in painting, when it is capable of being ground so fine, and mixed so entirely with the oil, as to seem only a very thick oil of the same color. To bear date, is to have the mark of time when written or executed; as, a letter or bond bears date, Jan.6,1811.
    To bear a price,is to have a certain price. In common mercantile language,it often signifies or implies, to bear a good or high price.
    To bear in hand, to amuse with false pretenses; to deceive.
    I believe this phrase is obsolete, or never used in America.
    To bear a hand, in seamanship, is to make haste, be quick.
BEAR, v.i. To suffer,as with pain.
But man is born to bear.
This is unusual in prose; and though admissible, is rendered intransitive, merely by the omission of pain, or other word expressive of evil
  1. To be patient; to endure.
    I cannot, cannot bear.
  2. To produce, as fruit; to be fruitful, in opposition to barrenness.
    This age to blossom, and the next to bear.
    Here fruit must be understood.
  3. To take effect; to succeed; as, to bring matters to bear.
  4. To act in any character.
    Instruct me how I may bear like a true friar.
  5. To be situated as to the point of compass, with respect to something else; as, the land bore E,N.E. from the ship.
  6. To bear away, in navigation, is to change the course of a ship, when close hauled, or sailing with a side wind, and make her run before the wind. To bear up, is used in a like sense, from the act of bearing up the helm to the windward. Hence, perhaps, in other cases, the expression may be used to denote tending or moving from.
  7. To bear down, is to drive or tend to; to approach with a fair wind; as, the fleet bore down upon the enemy.
  8. To bear in, is to run or tend towards; as, a ship bears in with the land; opposed to bear off, or keeping at a greater distance.
  9. To bear up, is to tend or move towards; as, to bear up to one another; also, to be supported; to have fortitude; to be firm; not to sink; as, to bear up under afflictions.
  10. To bear upon, or against, is to lean upon or against; to act on as weight or force, in any direction, as a column upon its base, or the sides of two inclining objects against each other.
  11. To bear against, to approach for attack or seizure; as, "a lion bears against his prey."
  12. To bear upon, to act upon; as, the artillery bore upon the center; or to be pointed or situated so as to affect; as, to bring or plant guns so as to bear upon a fort, or a ship.
  13. To bear with, to endure what is unpleasing; to be indulgent; to forbear to resent, oppose, or punish. Reason would I should bear with you. Acts 18. Shall not God avenge his elect, though he bear long with them? Luke 18.
(Revelation 2:3)
And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

  • This is the life of a Christian following Christ
  • Carried a load, was patient, worked, did not lose heart
(Revelation 2:4)
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
  • Putting Christ first is everything
  • Putting Christ in any other place than first is nothing
  • This is the first commandment
(Exodus 20:3)
Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

(Deuteronomy 6:5)
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

(Matthew 22:37-38)
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

(Revelation 2:5)
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
  • This is a call for a 180 degree turnaround
  • Often the discipling/learning/ministry we do when we first get saved is the most productive, meaningful, etc.
  • The choice is clear-repent, or the church is gone
(Revelation 2:6)
But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
  • Any churches which left Christ are no longer around today
  • First explanation: Nico=conquer + laitans=priestly order over laity, people
  • Second explanation: No way to know
  • Third explanation: Nicholas of Antioch, started a cult which taught that "One could indulge in sin in order to understand it." (J. Vernon McGee takes this one as best)
  • In any case, the Ephesian church rejected it
  • In the first explanation, this is certainly true. God does not want people lording over His sheep, as "spiritual leaders"
(Mark 9:35)
And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

(James 3:1)
My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

(Matthew 23:8)
But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

(Matthew 20:25-28)
But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

(Mark 9:34-37)
But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me.

(2 Corinthians 1:24)
Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.


(John 13:13-17)
Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

(Revelation 2:7)
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
  • Him that overcometh is a believer, and not all were/are believers, but there are always believers, wheat among weeds, a remnant who overcome
  • Notices Jesus is speaking to the churchES, not that church alone. That means us.
  • Reference to end of Revelation (22:2, 22:14)
  • The term "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." is the only one repeated for all seven churches/ages
  • The plural churches is also for all of the churches in that area, and all churches throughout history, and our time, our churches as well.
(Revelation 22:2)
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

SMYRNA: The Persecuted Church

Smyrna, today a city of 250,000 which the Turkish call Izmir, is full of life, brightness and activity. At John's time the city was well over 1,000 years old and its coins boasted that it was the first of Asia in beauty and size. It was already a city of 200,000 at the time of this letter. Smyrna has always been situated on productive trade routes and continues to be a major port today. This city, situated 35 miles north of Ephesus, is currently the southeastern headquarters of NATO. In this letter Christ encourages this church, Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. In 155, just about 60 years after this letter, the bishop of Smyrna, Polycarp, was martyred at the hands of the Romans. Surely the words of this letter were in Polycarp's mind as he made his bold witness for the Lord, for as a boy, Polycarp had studied at the feet of St. John. According to tradition, it was Polycarp who read this letter to the church at Smyrna when it arrived.

Much of this letter concerns itself with the cost of following Christ. Eleven cities had applied for the honor of building a new temple to honor and worship the Roman Emperor. Out of them Smyrna was chosen. The people considered it a great honor to receive permission to build one of the most splendid temples ever for the worship of the Emperor. As a key center of religious allegiance to Rome, Smyrna received both status and wealth. Out of gratitude to Rome, Smyrna's leaders began a persecution of local Christians. The Roman's greatest prize in these persecutions wasPolycarp, the leader of the great city's Christians.

The church there began as a product of St. Paul's preaching and continues strong to our own day. (Paul converted Polycarp's parents.) About half of the population is considered Christian even though the Muslims have dominated the area for over 1100 years -- a witness of the Lord's blessing of this church for which Christ had only praise in this letter in Revelation.

V. 9 Persecution for the faith had already begun but would be ended. Christ refers in v. 8 to His Resurrection as a comfort to those who shall lose all but Eternity with Christ and their own Resurrection at Christ's return. It was the Jews who would stir up the Roman authorities claiming that the Christians were against humanity and would not worship any Roman gods. These say they are Jews but are not, for being a descendant of Abraham is a spiritual and not a biological condition. (See Galatians 3;26-29 &18, Matthew 3:9, Romans 9:6-8.) In reality those who reject the Promise in Christ, no matter who their forefathers were, are the children of Satan and go to his synagogue (John 8:39-47). One of Satan's most effect tactics is to work under the guise of religion.

Here Polycarp was burned at the stake in 168 A.D. when he was 86 years old. He was converted in A.D. 82. Ignatos tells us that he was Bishop at Smyrna in 108 A.D. Turtullian tells us that he was ordained by John. Polycarp was urged to say "Caesar is Lord" but refused . He was brought to the stadium and the proconsul urged him saying "swear and I will set you at liberty, reproach Christ. Polycarp answered 86 years I have served him and he never did me any injury, how then can I blaspheme my Lord and Saviour." This church which was located 40 miles North West of Ephesus has been called the persecuted Church.

(Revelation 2:8)
And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
  • "The Martyr Church", 100-313 A.D., ending with Diocletian
  • "Was dead and is alive" is again a claim to deity, often overlooked or missed
  • God is the first and the last, and the One who was dead and is now alive
  • Wealthy city, even today
  • About 2,000 B.C. became a city
  • The name means also "suffering" and the word "myrrh" is in it
  • Myrrh is an herb that must be crushed to give off its scent
  • First place to accept Caesar worship, and it was compulsory
  • This would be a way to test your Christianity
  • Do not do this, burn at the stake
  • "City of Flowers", "City of Beauty"
  • It survives today as Ismir, in Turkey
  • Mostly bult by Alexander the last time
  • Former part of the Hittite nation
  • There are Christians there today, still under Muslim persecution
  • They had a temple of Zeus, one of Cybele (Diana), one Aphrodite, one of Apollo, and a temple dedicated to Aesculapius, the god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek religion.
  • Smyrna had a theatre, a stadium, music center, other amenities
  • It is still a wealthy city today
  • Polycarp, the bishop of Smyrna was martyred in the stadium, burned alive, 155 A.D.
  • His last words when asked to recant his faith were: "Eighty and six years have I now served Christ, and he has never done me the least wrong: How then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?"
  • Still in existence, like Philadelphia, uncondemned in this letter
  • Edict of Toleration by Constantine ended the persecution at this time in 313 A.D.
During the reign of Diocletian an edict was issued to exterminate Christianity from the earth. The fatal day was fixed for Feb. 23rd. A.D. 303. No distinction was made of age or sex; the name of Christian was so obnoxious to the pagans that all indiscriminately fell sacrifice to their opinions. Houses were set on fire with whole Christian families inside. Stones were fastened about their necks; and being tied together, they were driven into the sea. This persecution lasted for ten years. Racks, scourges, swords, daggers, crosses, poison, and famine were only part of the tortures against the Christians. Is it any wonder that Jesus exhorted his followers to be faithful unto death?

(Revelation 2:9)
I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
  • They did well as believers
  • They suffered for the cause of Christ
  • They lacked material possessions, were rich in Christ
  • There is poverty of the physical and riches of the spiritual
  • There is perceived poverty and real poverty
  • Interestingly enough, Ephesians 1 talks about our richness through our spiritual blessings
  • People do not realize that the enemy has a synagogue, a church, a pew next to you.
  • There are churches and were then which are so heretical, yet think of themselves as the only ones with the truth, the chosen people of God. Many are cults, today many also are into occultic practices, weird practices, rituals, legalism, denying the Deity of the LORD Jesus Christ
    • Legalism
    • Gnosticism
    • Caesar Worship (idolatry)
  • Today, we also have "Replacement Theology"......"who say they are Jews and are not-the cause of the Holocaust and anti-Semitism
(Ephesians 1:3)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

(Galatians 6:16)
And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.


(Romans 11:1-5)
I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

(Revelation 2:10)
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
  • Ten periods of persecution under ten wicked rulers
  • Notice who casts them into prison, ultimately
  • There is a special crown for martyrs, and they were faithful unto death.
  • What if God told us to be "faithful unto death"?
(James 1:12)
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

  1. Under Nero, A.D. 64-68 (Paul beheaded, Peter crucified upside down)
  2. Under Domitian, A.D. 95-96 (John exiled here)
  3. Under Trajan, A.D. 104-117 (Ignatious burned at the stake)
  4. Under Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, A.D. 161-180 (Polycarp martyred, gladiators)
  5. Under Severus, A.D. 192 (Irraneus)
  6. Under Maximus, A.D. 235( )
  7. Under Decius A.D. 249 ( )
  8. Under Valerian, A.D. 257 ( )
  9. Under Aurelian, A.D. 274 ( )
  10. Under Diocletian, A.D. 303-313 (worst of all, persecution specifically directed at Christians, killing 5,000,000 Christians)

Most of the Christians, through most of the last 2,000 years, through most of the world, have been persecuted. It is utter arrogance to think the American Christians will not be, even though we will not be going through the Great Tribulation.

(Revelation 2:11)
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
  • "He that overcometh" is a Christian
  • Born once, die twice
  • Born twice, die once (or is raptured!), no second death
  • This is one of the two churches that Jesus does not rebuke personally or "have anything against"
  • They also overcame doctrinal errors by being faithful Bereans


(Revelation 2:12)
And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
  • What is the sword?
  • Who is the author of that sword?
  • What is the significance of the two edges on the sword?
  • Per+Gamos, objectionable + marraige, objectionable marraiges
(Hebrews 4:12)
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

(Ephesians 6:17)
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

(Revelation 2:13)
I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
  • The enemy has a seat in this church, in the pew right next to the believers!
  • Tertullian says he was a dentist/doctor who was a Christian, would not back down put in a huge brass bowl, put the bowl into the fire and fried him in the fire.
  • The Greek name Antipas means - he is the enemy of all, in opposition to everyone
(Revelation 2:14)
But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
  • Numbers 22-23
  • Idolatry, things sacrificed unto idols, fornication, not things God likes to see in His people.
(Revelation 2:15)
So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
  • The doctrine and the deeds go hand in hand with anyone, as what a person believes determines what he does
(Revelation 2:16)
Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
  • The Word of God has a way of taking down false doctrines when used correctly
  • When used incorrectly, it has a way of taking down the person wielding that same sword
(Revelation 2:17)
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
  • We have two ears, so we can doubly listen to what God has to say
  • We have two eyes also, so we can read about what God wants us to do


(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
  • Apx. 590 A.D.-1517 A.D.
  • Romanism, the Dark Ages
  • It was inland from the sea (Macedonia, Turkey)
  • Very pretty place, like the rest of them
  • $pon$ored by Vespasian with lot$ of worker$
  • Built as a city for defense, originally by Lysimachus, then by Seleucus
  • The elite guard was there for Rome, and utterly destroyed, eventually
  • Very small amount of ruins there today, about one block long
  • Lydia, seller of purple (turkey red from a plant there) was from Thyatira
  • Apollo was worshiped there
  • Fire and brass=judgment, brass is produced in heat of fire
  • Tyrimnas, the tutelary god of Thyatira, represented with flaming rays and feet of burnished brass.
  • Son of God, not Son of man, Son of Mary
THYATIRA THYATI'RA (thi-a-ti'ra). A city in Asia Minor, the seat of one of the seven apocalyptic churches (Rev 1:11; 2:18). It was situated in the confines of Mysia and Ionia, a little S of the river Lycus and at the northern extremity of the valley between Mt. Tmolus and the southern ridge of Temnus. It was one of the many Macedonian colonies established in Asia Minor in the sequel of the destruction of the Persian Empire by Alexander.

The waters of Thyatira are said to be so well adapted for dyeing that in no place can the scarlet cloth out of which fezes are made be so brilliantly or so permanently dyed as here. So in the Acts Acts 16:14) Lydia, the first convert of Paul at Philippi, is mentioned as "a seller of purple fabrics" from Thyatira. The principal deity of the city was Apollo, worshiped as the sun-god under the surname Tyrimnas. He was no doubt introduced by the Macedonian colonists, for the name is Macedonian.

A priestess of Artemis is also mentioned in the inscriptions. The modern city of Akhisar, about 50,000 in population, marks the site of the ancient city in the territory that is now Anatolian Turkey. Nothing of the ancient city can be seen. Remains of a Byzantine church remind one that the gospel once came to this place. (From The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.)


(See LYDIA, the probable agent of carrying the gospel to her native town). Thyatira lay a little to the left of the road from Pergamos to Sardis (Strabo 13:4, who calls it "a Macedonian colony"); on the Lycus, a little to the S. of the Hyllus, at the N. end of the valley between Mount Tmolus and the southern ridge of Tetanus. Founded by Seleucus Nicator. On the confines of Mysia and Ionia. A corporate guild of dyers is mentioned in three inscriptions of the times of the Roman empire between Vespasian and Caracalla. To it probably belonged Lydia, the seller of purple (i.e. scarlet, for the ancients called many bright red colors "purple") stuffs (Acts 16:14). The waters are so suited for dyeing that nowhere is the scarlet of fezzes thought to be so brilliant and permanent as that made here. Modern Thyatira contains a population of 17,000. In Rev 2:18-25, "the Son of God who hath eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass," stands in contrast to the sun god.

Tyrimnas, the tutelary god of Thyatira, represented with flaming rays and feet of burnished brass. Christ commends Thyatira's works, charity, service, faith, and patience. Thyatira's "last works were more than the first," realizing 1 Thess 4:1, instead of retrograding from "first love and first works" as Ephesus (Rev 2:4-5); the converse of Matt 12:45; 2 Peter 2:20. Yet Thyatira "suffered that woman JEZEBEL (which see), which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce My servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols." Some self-styled prophetess, or collection of prophets (the feminine in Hebrew idiom expressing a multitude), closely attached to and influencing the Thyatira church and its presiding bishop or "angel" (the Alexandrinus and Vaticanus manuscripts read "thy wife" for "that woman") as Jezebel did her weak husband Ahab. The presiding angel ought to have exercised his authority over the prophetess or prophets so-called, who seduced many into the libertinism of the BALAAMITES and NICOLAITANS (sec) of Thyatira's more powerful neighbour Pergamos (Rev 2:6,14,16). The Lord encourages the faithful section at Thyatira. "Unto you omit `and' with the Alexandrinus and the Vaticanus manuscripts, the Sinaiticus manuscript reads: `among ') the rest in Thyatira I say, ... I will put upon you none other burden (save abstinence from and protestation against these abominations: this the seducers regarded as an intolerable burden, see Matt 11:30); but that which ye have hold fast until I come." A shrine outside Thyatira walls was sacred to the sibyl Sambatha, a Jewess or Chaldaean, in an enclosure called "the Chaldaean court."
(from Fausset's Bible Dictionary, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1998 by Biblesoft)


(thi-a-ti'-ra) (Thuateira): Thyatira was a wealthy town in the northern part of Lydia of the Roman province of Asia, on the river Lycus. It stood so near to the borders of Mysia, that some of the early writers have regarded it as belonging to that country. Its early history is not well known, for until it was refounded by Seleucus Nicator (301-281 BC) it was a small, insignificant town. It stood on none of the Greek trade routes, but upon the lesser road between Pergamos and Sardis, and derived its wealth from the Lycus valley in which it rapidly became a commercial center, but never a metropolis. The name "Thyatira" means "the castle of Thya." Other names which it has borne are Pelopia and Semiramis. Before the time of Nicator the place was regarded as a holy city, for there stood the temple of the ancient Lydian sun-god, Tyrimnos; about it games were held in his honor. Upon the early coins of Thyatira this Asiatic god is represented as a horseman, bearing a double-headed battle-ax, similar to those represented on the sculptures of the Hittites. A goddess associated with him was Boreatene, a deity of less importance. Another temple at Thyatira was dedicated to Sambethe, and at this shrine was a prophetess, by some supposed to represent the Jezebel of Rev 2:20, who uttered the sayings which this deity would impart to the worshipers.

Thyatira was specially noted for the trade guilds which were probably more completely organized there than in any other ancient city. Every artisan belonged to a guild, and every guild, which was an incorporated organization, possessed property in its own name, made contracts for great constructions, and wielded a wide influence. Powerful among them was the guild of coppersmiths; another was the guild of the dyers, who, it is believed, made use of the madder-root instead of shell-fish for making the purple dyestuffs. A member of this guild seems to have been Lydia of Thyatira, who, according to Acts 16:14, sold her dyes in Philippi. The color obtained by the use of this dye is now called Turkish red. The guilds were closely connected with the Asiatic religion of the place. Pagan feasts, with which immoral practices were associated, were held, and therefore the nature of the guilds was such that they were opposed to Christianity. According to Acts 19:10, Paul may have preached there while he was living at Ephesus, but this is uncertain; yet Christianity reached there at an early time. It was taught by many of the early church that no Christian might belong to one of the guilds, and thus the greatest opposition to Christianity was presented.

Thyatira is now represented by the modern town of Ak-Hissar on a branch line of the Manisa-Soma Railroad, and on the old Rom road 9 hours from Sardis. Ak-Hissar is Turkish for "white castle," and near the modern town may be seen the ruins of the castle from which the name was derived. The village is of considerable size; most of the houses are of mud, but several of the buildings erected by Caracalla are still standing, yet none of them are perfect. In the higher part of the town are the ruins of one of the pagan temples, and in the walls of the houses are broken columns and sarcophagi and inscribed stones. The population of 20,000 is largely Greek and Armenian, yet a few Jews live among them. Before the town is a large marsh, fever-laden, and especially unhealthful in the summer time, formed by the Lycus, which the Turks now call Geurdeuk Chai. The chief modern industry is rug-making.

E. J. BANKS (from International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Electronic Database Copyright (c)1996 by Biblesoft)


[thigh uh TIE ruh]-a city of the province of LYDIA in western Asia Minor (modern Turkey) situated on the road from Pergamos to Sardis. The city was on the southem bank of the Lycus River, a branch of the Hermus River.

Although never a large city, Thyatira was a thriving manufacturing and commercial center during New Testament times. Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of many trade guilds and unions here. Membership in these trade guilds, necessary for financial and social success, often involved pagan customs and practices such as superstitious worship, union feasts using food sacrificed to pagan gods, and loose sexual morality.

The Book of Revelation refers to a certain woman known as "Jezebel" who taught and beguiled the Christians at Thyatira to conform to the paganism and sexual immorality of their surroundings (Rev 1:11; 2:18-29). In the church in Thyatira, one of the "seven churches which are in Asia" (Rev 1:4), Jezebel's followers seem to have been a minority because the majority of Christians in this church are commended.

The apostle Paul's first convert in Europe was "a certain woman named LYDIA...a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira" (Acts 16:14). The modern name of Thyatira is Akhisar, which means "white castle."

(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

(Revelation 2:19)
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.
  • This is the works salvation of the Dark Ages
  • thy works.............and thy works............
  • Faith without works is dead, and works without faith is also dead
  1. . In a general sense, love, benevolence, good will; that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men to think favorably of their fellow men, and to do them good. In a theological sense, it includes supreme love to God, and universal good will to men. 1 Cor 8. Col 3. 1 Tim 1.
  2. In a more particular sense, love, kindness, affection, tenderness, springing from natural relations; as the charities of father, son and brother.
  3. Liberality to the poor, consisting in almsgiving or benefactions, or in gratuitous services to relieve them in distress.
  4. Alms; whatever is bestowed gratuitously on the poor for their relief.
  5. Liberality in gifts and services to promote public objects of utility, as to found and support bible societies, missionary societies, and others.
  6. Candor; liberality in judging of men and their actions; a disposition which inclines men to think and judge favorably, and to put the best construction on words and actions which the case will admit. The highest exercise of charity, is charity towards the uncharitable.
  7. Any act of kindness, or benevolence; as the charities of life.
  8. A charitable institution. Charity-school, is a school maintained by voluntary contributions for educating poor children.
(Revelation 2:20)
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.
  • It is rumored that there was a woman like this there, who was a prophetess, probably not even called Jezebel (a type, a figure, a symbol)
  • Married to Ahab, he was the wickedest king until that time
  • Worshiped Ashtaroth, Semiramus, sex goddess, with groves of trees planted in a circle. ("shady activity")
  • The Druze came from this religious group
  • The Druze religion has its roots in Ismailism, a religio-philosophical movement which founded the Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt in the tenth century. During the reign of al-Hakim (996 - 1021) the Druze creed came into being, blending Islamic monotheism with Greek philosophy and Hindu influences. Active proselytizing of the new creed was brief; since about 1050 the community has been closed to outsiders. The Messiah will be born to a man (they wear baggy pants), the priests only get to see the three "holy books" of the Druze.

    Worldwide there are probably about one million Druze living mainly in Syria and Lebanon, with 104,000 in Israel, including about 18,000 in the Golan (which came under Israeli rule in 1967) and several thousands who emigrated to Europe and North and South America.

    The Druze community in Israel has a special standing among the country's minority groups, and members of the community have attained high-level positions in the political, public and military spheres.
  • This is the Mystery Babylonian religion
  • Both spiritual (idolatry) and literal fornication happened under Jezebel. Spiritual fornication is in the O.T. throughout
  • Ashtaroth, called in Jeremiah 7, 40 the "Queen of Heaven"
  • It was also rumored that a woman started the church at Thyatira
  • Lydia the woman was one of the first converts there-could it be her?
  • If not Lydia, probably a woman leader, probably not even named Jezebel, but a type
  • Purple was the hot thing, from an herb, and a shell-fish Malux
  • Idolatry, as with the O.T. Jezebel, spread with the Roman Catholic Church throughout Europe
  • This is the time of the introduction of the worship of the Virgin and Child, the Mass for the dead, Indulgences, purgatory, rituals, popes, the Inquisition, departure from the Word
  • 1 Kings 21, Jezebel and Naboth, his vineyard-exact representation and pattern of the Inquisition (money, land)
(Acts 16:14)
And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.

(1 Kings 18:4)
For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)

(1 Kings 18:19)
Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table.

(1 Kings 19:1-2)
And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.

(1 Kings 19:2)
Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.

(Revelation 2:21)
And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
  • Grace extended and rejected is worse than no grace extended at all, and is not pleasing to God
  • The Roman System is still with us today, so obviously there was none then nor is there any repentance today
(Revelation 2:22)
Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
  • Many of the Catholic nations in Europe and th Americas because Communist, and this could also mean the Great Tribulation, chapters 17-19
  • This has to mean that the R.C.C. will go through the Tribulation (chapters 17-19, the harlot, Mystery Babylon)
(Revelation 2:23)
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.
  • The baptism of infants by the sprinkling of water will never save them
  • The offspring of these churches would die as well
REINS, n. plu. [L. ren, renes.]
1. The kidneys; the lower part of the back.
2. In Scripture, the inward parts; the heart, or seat of the affections and passions. Psa 73.

(Revelation 2:24)
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.
  • This doctrine above, this religion is from the enemy, the depths of satan"
  • There is a remnnat in this church, as is in others. This is "the rest of you".
  • The city and church had a brief period
  • It was filled with the serpent cult, called Ophi
(Revelation 2:25)
But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
  • This is very approppos for today even, and into the future, as this may be all we have left
(Revelation 2:26)
And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
  • This is the believer, the only one who overcometh"
  • Works is one thing. Works for Jezebel is another. "My works" is for Jesus Christ
  • There is a rule for believers coming, over areas, nations
(Revelation 2:27)
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.
  • We will reign as Christ reigns in our glorified bodies, with righteousness
(Revelation 2:28)
And I will give him the morning star.
  • The morning star is Jesus Christ and no one and nothing else
  • The verse in Isaiah 14:12 has been changed to mean that Jesus fell from Heaven, using that same exact term, "morning star"
(Revelation 22:16)
I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

(Isaiah 14:12)
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

(Isaiah 14:12 [NIV])
How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!

(Revelation 2:29)
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
  • Again, this is a general call to heed, to all of the churches, in all of the world, throughout all ages, until even today.
  • It was not heeded then
Revelation Chapter 3


Recent comments

Praesent malesuada turpis

Duis mi elit, aliquet id euismod egestas, venenatis sit amet lectus.

Nullam consequat mauris

Etiam porttitor metus ac est mattis luctus. Integer mi tortor, tempus eget.

Sed bibendum augue in

Curabitur ullamcorper ultricies nisi. Nam eget dui. Validate XHTML and CSS.

Aenean feugiat mattis

Sed ultricies erat nec leo semper nec sollicitudin odio accumsan.

Read more