Revelation Chapter 2 – Thyatira

Messianic Community of Thyatira

Thyatira, another ancient city of Asia Minor, was situated about 50 miles from the Aegean Sea south of Istanbul and east of Athens.

The city was named after Semiramis, the Queen of Assyria. Semiramis was part of pagan fertility traditions who was both Nimrod’s wife and Tammuz’ mother. She was worshiped as the “mother of god” because she gave birth to all gods that represented Nimrod. She was also known as the Queen of Heaven. The pagan worship of these three gods infiltrated Isra’el and was condemned by the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

“Kush fathered Nimrod, who was the first powerful ruler on earth. He was a mighty hunter before Adonai — this is why people say, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before Adona” (Genesis 10:8-9).

“He brought me to the entrance of the north gate to Adonai’s house; and there before me were women weeping for Tammuz” (Ezekiel 8:14)

“The children gather the wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and, just to provoke me, they pour out drink offerings to other gods!” (Jeremiah 7:18).

God-Fearers

A “God-fearer” named Lydia who sold purple cloth was from Thyatira.  When she heard Shau’ls  message of Yeshua, Elohim opened her heart.   She was so full of joy that she invited Sha’ul and Silas to her home.

“One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in fine purple cloth. She was already a “God-fearer,” and the Lord opened up her heart to respond to what Sha’ul was saying. After she and the members of her household had been immersed, she gave us this invitation: “If you consider me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay in my house.” And she insisted till we went” (Acts 16:14-15).

Like Lydia, Cornelius was called a God-fearer” who “gave generously to help the Jewish poor and prayed regularly to God” (Acts 10:2). Though neither were Jewish by birth, they honored the Elohim of Isra’el by supporting the Jewish people.

“There was a man in Caesarea named Cornelius, a Roman army officer in what was called the Italian Regiment. He was a devout man, a “God-fearer,” as was his whole household; he gave generously to help the Jewish poor and prayed regularly to God” (Acts 10:1-2).  

God-fearers in the first century attended synagogue, but did not fully embrace Torah. Non-Jewish God-fearers became a significant part of the early community of believers. They hosted home fellowships and offered respite to traveling teachers. They eagerly accepted Yeshua as Messiah and received the Ruach haKodesh (the Holy Spirit) fulfilling the prophecy to Abraham that “all nations would be blessed through him” (Genesis 22:18).

“To the angel of the Messianic Community in Thyatira, write: ‘Here is the message from the Son of God, whose eyes are like a fiery flame and whose feet are like burnished brass: I know what you are doing, your love, trust, service and perseverance. And I know that you are doing more now than before. But I have this against you: you continue to tolerate that Izevel woman, the one who claims to be a prophet, but is teaching and deceiving my servants to commit sexual sin and eat food that has been sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to turn from her sin, but she doesn’t want to repent of her immorality. So I am throwing her into a sickbed; and those who commit adultery with her I am throwing into great trouble, unless they turn from the sins connected with what she does; and I will strike her children dead! Then all the Messianic communities will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts, and that I will give to each of you what your deeds deserve. But to the rest of you in Thyatira, to those who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some people call the ‘deep things’ of the Adversary, I say this: I am not loading you up with another burden; only hold fast to what you have until I come. To him who wins the victory and does what I want until the goal is reached, I will give him authority over the nations; he will rule them with a staff of iron and dash them to pieces like pottery, just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star. Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities'” (Revelation 2:18-29).

Yeshua sends a fourth messenger to the community in Thyatira. He reveals himself to this congregation as ‘the Son of God’  with a very detailed description of his glory.   With his fiery eyes, he searches minds and hearts and gives to each believer what they deserve.  Each of us is accountable for everything we say and do, as well as how we build on the foundation of the apostles and prophets will determine how we stand for fall in the Day of the Lord.

“If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is because the Day [of the LORD] will bring it to light.  It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.  If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.  If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Corinthians 3:13). 

Yeshua’s feet are like burnished brass. Burnished brass is a highly polished brass that shines brightly and lasts longer than unpolished brass. This is evidence that he has walked through the refining fires of persecution and has come out stronger. As I contemplated in Revelation chapter 1, his burnished brass feet remind me of Yeshua being the fourth person in the fiery furnace in Babylon. As he took the heat for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, he will walk through all the fires of persecution with us.

Jezebel: The Spiritual Adulteress

The congregation in Thyatira has love, faith, service and perseverance.  They continue to grow in their faith and their works increase as they mature.  However, they tolerate a woman known as Jezebel, who masquerades as a servant of Elohim, but leads His people into sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.   Yeshua has dealt with her before and has given her time to repent of her apostasy, but she has refused. Consequently, he will throw her onto a sickbed and those who commit [spiritual] adultery with her will have great trouble.  He will strike “her children dead!” 

The account of the Jezebel whose name in Hebrew means ‘not exalted,’ is found in the Book of 1 Kings.  She was a Phoenician princess who worshipped Ba’al and his Canaanite consort Asherah. She married Ahab who was the King over northern Isra’el as a political alliance.  Jezebel, being a very strong woman, convinces him to tolerate her foreign gods which he does and immediately builds a temple for Ba’al and erects an Asherah pole.For this sin, Elohim sent the land a drought which turned the people away from Him. This only encouraged her to separate further from the worship of ‘one Elohim’ and she took authority over her husband, the kingdom and its people.

“He erected an altar for Ba‘al in the house of Ba‘al, which he had built in Shomron. Ach’av also set up the asherah; indeed, Ach’av did more to anger Adonai the God of Isra’el, than all the kings of Isra’el preceding him” (1 Kings 16:32-33).  

An Israelite named Nahab had a vineyard that was next to King Ahab’s palace. When Nahab would not give King Ahab his vineyard because it was his ancestral property, Jezebel plotted to have Nahab killed. He was invited to a ‘fast’ and seated as an honored guest. However, two men were also invited who were directed by Jezebel to accuse him of cursing Elohim and the king. Because of their lying statements, Nahab was taken outside and stoned to death. After his murder, Jezebel told her husband to take possession of Nahab’s vineyard (1 Kings 21).

Jezebel had temples built in northern Isra’el for the worship of Ba’al. She brought 450 prophets of Ba’al and 400 prophets of Asherah from Phonecia to live in the northern kingdom. She had many of Isra’el’s prophets murdered.   Only the prophet Eliyahu (Elijah) stood against her pagan practices. When  Elohim is proven greater and more powerful than Ba’al on Mount Carmel,  Eliyahu and Jezebel become enemies and Jezebel seeks his life (1 Kings 18:20-40).

After King Ahab’s death, Yehu is anointed by Eliyahu to overthrow the house of Ahab and confront the wicked Jezebel.  With the help of some servants she is pushed out of a window and dies in the street. As prophesied by Eliyahu, her body is eaten by wild dogs and the only remains found for burial were her skull, feet and hands (2 Kings 9:30-37).

According to Yeshua, the ‘woman Jezebel’ in Thyatira knows ‘Satan’s dark secrets.’ This makes her not only a false prophetess, but a worker of the occult. When I searched for ‘satan’s dark secrets’ on the internet, I found nothing but links to the New Age Movement and Satan’s plan for a one-world religion.

Yeshua calls Jezebel an adulteress.  Those who follow her false gods and demonic teachings commit spiritual adultery with her. The children produced from these adulterous practices will die physically and spiritually. The consequences just tolerating Jezebel are severe: a bed of suffering, trouble and dead children.

Sexual immorality – fornication, adultery and homosexuality – causes suffering physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Fornication spreads sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies resulting in the abortion of  millions of children.   Adultery causes suffering in marriages between husband and wives destroying families and splintering the lives of children.  Homosexuality made AIDS a cultural disease which causes incredible suffering within the human body.

To be thrown onto a bed of suffering alludes to the  ‘lake of fire that burns with sulfur’ which is the second death signifying complete spiritual death.   Spiritual death is eternal without any hope of restoration.  It is the final judgment for the Adversary, the beast, the false prophet, and Jezebel!

“But fire came down from heaven and consumed them. The Adversary who had deceived them was hurled into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:9-10). 

Fighting against the spirit of Jezebel is oppressive.  There is always the temptation to succumb because the Adversary can be deceptively enticing.  The battle is so fierce for the believers in Thyatira that Yeshua adds nothing more for them to overcome.   He only asks that they do not fall prey to Jezebel’s satanic secrets and “hold fast to what you have until I come.

Discerning true prophets of Elohim who proclaim the message of Yeshua in the community of Thyratira from ‘the deceptive Jezebel’ is critical for spiritual survival. Those who overcome the ‘Jezebel ‘will receive authority to rule over the nations.  Their authority will not come from a controlling spirit, but from Yeshua. Their power will come from the Spirit of Elohim and they will rule with an iron staff. They will crush the nations to pieces like pottery – destroying Satan’s one world religious system.

Hebrew Word Pictures

Jezebel – איצבל – Itzavel

Alef is an ‘ox’ and means ‘first, strength’

Yod is a ‘closed hand’ and means ‘finished work’

Tzade is a ‘fishhook’ and means ‘to hunt or capture’

Bet is a ‘house’ and means ‘family’

Lamed is a ‘cattle prod’ and means ‘push by prodding’

Itzavel – The strong finished work hunts or captures family by pushing and prodding

The Morning Star

Lucifer is called ‘morning star,’ son of the dawn because before his fall from heaven, he was one of the arch-angels. He had a heavenly musical career playing the lyre. The Hebrew word for ‘morning star’ in Isaiah is helel and means ‘shining one.’ Eventually Lucifer, whose name means ‘light-bearer,’ becomes so prideful in his position that he seeks have a throne above Elohim. The prophet Isaiah compares him to the King of Babylon who becomes a conqueror of nations. Isaiah also describes how Lucifer’s brightness in the heavenly realm fades into the darkness of Sh’eol with his disobedience. It is interesting that in Isaiah there is no definite article in front of ‘morning star’ or ‘son of the dawn.’ This means that Lucifer may be ‘a’ morning star, but not ‘the’ morning star.

“How did you come to fall from the heavens, morning star, son of the dawn? How did you come to be cut to the ground, conqueror of nations?” (Isaiah 14:12).

THE Morning Star will be given to the overcomer in Thyatira. According to Revelation 22:15 is Yeshua is ‘THE’ Bright Morning Star with the definite article. The Greek for ‘morning star’ is aster and is similar to the Hebrew helel but does not hold the same meaning. More specifically, aster refers to a created ‘star.’

Though both Yeshua and Lucifer are called ‘morning stars,’ they are not the same ‘morning star.’ For example, though they are both compared to lions, they are different ‘lions.’ While Lucifer is compared to a roaring lion that seeks to devour people, Yeshua is compared to the regal and powerful lion, the Lion of Judah, that will fight to save his people. Using the same type of comparison, Lucifer is just one of many created ‘morning stars’ while Yeshua is not a created ‘morning star,’ but the begotten of the Father ‘Morning Star,’ the very great reward promised to our Father of faith, Abram.

According to Kefa (Peter), the prophetic Word of Messiah is like a light shining in the dark. It is important to pay attention to prophecies until they come to pass or the first light in the sky before sunrise of ‘the Day’ when Yeshua appears “and the Morning Star rises in your heart” (2 Peter 1:19). Those in Thyatira who overcome ‘a’ morning star will be rewarded ‘THE’ Morning Star of Yeshua himself.

“After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; your exceedingly great reward” (Genesis 15:1 NASB, OJB).

Those [in Thyatira] who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit, Ruach haKodesh [the holy wind] is saying to the Messianic community ….”

Yeshua uses these same words in the gospels when he speaks in parables, however, he doesn’t include the words, “what the Spirit says to the communities.’  One reason that he taught in parables was so the people could “look but not see, and listen but not understand” the message of the Kingdom (Luke 8:10).  Because his disciples were given deeper understanding to the coming Kingdom, he would explain their ‘secret’ meaning to them away from the crowds.

Another reason may be that the parables all occurred before the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot when the ‘holy wind’ was poured out and the new covenant was instituted (Acts 2:2).  With the new covenant, men and women who believed the message of Yeshua are given new hearts of flesh and a renewed spirit – neshama.  The Ruach haKodesh within would compel them obey his Torah (Ezekiel 36:24-27). His Ruach would give them “ears to hear what the Spirit was saying” so they could His voice.

Yeshua doesn’t want this community to just ‘hear’ the message, but to ‘listen’ to it.  His message was to be ‘heard’ through spiritual ears that were fine-tuned to his voice, the voice of the Shepherd.  His sheep were to ‘listen’ to the message and ‘obey’ what he instructed in order to be an overcomer – Isra’el – and receive an eternal reward.  

For he is our God, and we are the people in his pasture, the sheep in his care. If only today you would listen to his voice … “(Psalm 95:7-8).

“My sheep listen to my voice, I recognize them, they follow me, and I give them eternal life. They will absolutely never be destroyed, and no one will snatch them from my hands” (John 10:27-28). 

“In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says, ‘You will keep on hearing but never understand, and keep on seeing but never perceive, because the heart of this people has become dull — with their ears they barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, so as not to see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and do t’shuvah [repent and turn from sin], so that I could heal them.’

But you [Thyatira], how blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear!” (Isaiah 6:9-10, Matthew 13:14-16). 

Revelation 3 – Messianic Congregation of Sardis

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