One of the Seven Churches of Asia, Thyatira signifies "sweet savor of labor" or "sacrifice of contrition." This church is the only one that is commended for an improvement in spiritual things, yet tolerated Jezebel. It was a city in the province of Asia, on the boundary of Lydia, and Mysia. It had no illustrious history and is scarcely mentioned by ancient writers. Located in a small outpost town of little importance, compared to the other 6 cities.

Thyatira was a garrison town, a center of commerce, and the records preserve references to more trade-guilds. Lydia, whom Paul met in Philippi, was a Thyratiran seller of "turkey red", the product of the madder-root. Necessity for guild membership in a trading community must have strengthened temptation to compromise.

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; 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. 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. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 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. 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. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 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. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 2:18-29

Jesus charges the church with tolerating the false prophetess Jezebel, even though it was a church of charitable works. A female oracle called the Sambathe presided over a lucrative fortune-telling business. The preoccupation with female religion may have been an influence on this church, as it allowed the corrupt ministry of Jezebel. Either there was a Jezebel in the church, or the Lord just likened her to the evil person Jezebel that lived in the time of Elijah.

The sun god Apollo Tyrimnaios was the tutelary divinity of this prosperous city and his worship was joined with that of the emperors, who were identified as Apollo incarnate and each, like him, the son of Zeus. Possibly this is why Christ is represented with the eyes like a flame of fire and feet like burnished bronze, as the Son of God. Thus the celestial Christ, the son of God, is set over against and above the emperor, who as the incarnate Apollo is the son of Zeus. The final promise to the Church of Thyatira was that Christ would give the conqueror, the martyr, the morning star which the faithful will see in the new age: a symbol of a new day. Peter mentioned the morning star arising in your hearts.
[298, 338, 339, 353, 359]

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