Messianic Community in 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 known for its purple cloth that was purchased throughout the Roman empire by the wealthy.
The city was named after Semiramis, the Queen of Assyria. Semiramis was part of pagan fertility god-worship 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 represent Nimrod (Genesis 10:8-9). She was also called the Queen of Heaven. The pagan worship of these three-parts-of-a-trinity gods infiltrated Isra’el and was condemned by the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 8:14, Jeremiah 7:18).
“One of those listening [to Sha’ul each outside the city gate] 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).
God-fearers like Cornelius feared the God of Isra’el, gave generously to help the Jewish poor, and prayed regularly to God; however, they did not convert to Judaism (Acts 10:2). In the first-century, God-fearing gentiles became a significant part of the early community of Messianic believers. They gathered with the Jews in the synagogues to learn Torah, hosted post-Shabbat evening fellowships in their homes, and offered hospitality to traveling teachers (Acts 20:7-12). God-fearers eagerly accepted Yeshua as Messiah and received the Ruach haKodesh fulfilling the prophecy to Abraham that “all nations would be blessed through him” (Genesis 22:18).
A God-fearer named Lydia who sold purple cloth lived in Thyatira. When she heard Sha’ul preach a message of repentance, Elohim opened her heart. She was so full of joy that she invited Sha’ul and Silas to stay in her home.
“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 congregation in Thyatira. He reveals himself to this congregation as “the Son of God” with a very detailed description of his appearance. He has fiery eyes with which he searches hearts and minds and gives to each believer what they deserve. Each of us is accountable for everything we say and do. How we build on the foundation of the apostles and prophets will determine how we stand or fall in the “Day of Adonai” (1 Corinthians 3:13).
Yeshua’s feet are like burnished brass. Burnished brass is highly polished and shines brightly and lasts for a long time. Yeshua has walked through the refining fires of persecution and death and has come out alive and stronger. His burnished brass feet stood as the fourth person in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3:24-25). Just as he stood with them in the fire, he walks through all fires of persecution with his followers.
The Woman Jezebel
The congregation in Thyatira has love, faith, service, and perseverance. They continue to grow in their faith, and their works of righeousness increase as they mature. However, in spite of their faith, love, and service, they tolerate a woman called Jezebel. This woman masquerades as a servant of Elohim, but leads His people into sexual immorality and encourages them to eat food sacrificed to idols. Yeshua has dealt with Jezebel before and has given her time to repent. Because she has refused to repent, he will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit (spiritual) adultery with her will have great trouble.
The account of the Jezebel, whose name in Hebrew means ‘not exalted,’ is found in 1 Kings chapter 21. She was a Phoenician princess who worshiped Ba’al and his Canaanite consort Asherah or Ishtar. She married Ahab, the King over northern Isra’el, to make a political alliance. Jezebel, being a spiritually strong woman, convinces Ahab to tolerate her foreign gods. He immediately builds a temple for Ba’al in Samaria and erects an Asherah pole in Isra’el (1 Kings 16:32-33). For this grievous sin, Elohim sends a drought to the land which turned the people away from Him and encouraged Jezebel to separate further from the worship of Adonai. She took authority over her husband, the kingdom, and even its people.
An Israelite named Naboth had a vineyard next to King Ahab’s palace. When Naboth would not give Ahab his vineyard because it was his tribal property, Jezebel plotted to have Naboth killed. She invited him to a ‘fast’ and seated him as a guest of honor. She invited two other men who were directed to accuse Naboth of cursing Elohim and the king. Because of their lies, Naboth was taken outside and murdered. After his death, Jezebel told her husband to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard (1 Kings 21).
Jezebel brought 450 prophets of Ba’al and 400 prophets of Asherah from Phonecia to live in northern kingdom of Isra’el. While she murdered many of Isra’el’s prophets, one prophet, Eliyahu (Elijah), stood against her pagan practices. When Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is proven greater and more powerful than Ba’al on Mount Carmel, Eliyahu and Jezebel become enemies, and Jezebel seeks to kill him (1 Kings 18:20-40).
After king Ahab dies, Jehu is anointed by Eliyahu to confront Jezebel. With the help of her disgruntled servants, Jezebel is pushed out of a palace 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).
The woman, ‘Jezebel’ in Thyatira knows “Satan’s dark secrets.” This makes her not only a false prophetess, but a worker of the occult. Searching for ‘Satan’s dark secrets’ on the internet, links to the New Age Movement and Satan’s plan for a one-world religion top the list.
Yeshua calls this ‘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 as well as spiritually. The consequences of just tolerating this ‘Jezebel’ are severe: a bed of suffering, trouble, and dead children.
It is known that sexual immorality –– fornication, adultery, and homosexuality –– causes suffering physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Fornication spreads sexually transmitted diseases, and unplanned pregnancies result in the murder of millions of children. Adultery causes suffering in marriages between husbands and wives destroying families and splintering the lives of children. Homosexuality made AIDS a cultural disease causing the human body’s immune system to turn on itself causing incredible pain and suffering.
To be thrown onto a “bed of suffering” alludes to the “lake of fire that burns with sulfur” or the second death which symbolizes a complete spiritual death. Spiritual death is eternal without any hope of resurrection or restoration. It is the final judgment for the Adversary, the beast, the false prophet –– and Jezebel! (Revelation 29:9-10).
Fighting against the ‘spirit of Jezebel’ is oppressive because there is always the temptation to succumb; The Adversary is deceptively enticing. The spiritual battle is so fierce for the Messianic believers in Thyatira that Yeshua has nothing else for them to overcome. He only asks that they do not fall prey to this ‘Jezebel’s’ satanic secrets and to “hold fast to what you have until I come.”
Discerning true prophets of Elohim who proclaim the message of Yeshua and the coming Kingdom in the community of Thyratira from the satanic Jezebel is critical for spiritual survival. Those who overcome will receive authority to rule over the nations. Their authority will not come from a controlling ‘Jezebel spirit’, but from Yeshua. They will rule with an iron staff crushing the nations to pieces like pottery –– destroying Satan’s one world religious system.
Hebrew Word Pictures
Jezebel – Itzavel – איצבל
Alef – An Ox means ‘first’ and ‘strong.’
Yod – A Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’
Tzade – A Fishhook means ‘pull toward.’
Bet – A House means ‘house’ or ‘family.’
Lamed – A Shepherd’s Staff means ‘urge forward.’
The Hebrew Word Picture for Itzavel: the strong finished work that pulls toward the house, urging foward.
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 Hebrew word for ‘morning star’ in Isaiah is helel and means ‘shining one.’ The prophet Isaiah calls angelic being a “morning star, son of the dawn.” Before his fall from heaven, the ‘Shining One’ was one of the guarding k’ruvim (cherubim). He had a heavenly worship career playing drums and wind instruments around the throne of Elohim. Eventually the ‘son of dawn’ became so prideful that he sought a throne above yod-hey-vav-hey. The prophet Isaiah compares him to the King of Babylon who conquered nations, and describes how the ‘shining one’s’ brightness faded into the darkness of Sh’eol with his rebellion. In Isaiah there is no definite article in front of ‘morning star’ or ‘son of the dawn’ implying that this fallen angel is ‘a’ morning star among many, but not ‘the’ morning star.
Though both Yeshua and the Shining One are called ‘morning stars,’ they are not the same nor are they opposites. Though both are compared to lions, they exude different characteristics. The Shining Fallen One is compared to a roaring lion that seeks to devour Elohim’s people; Yeshua is compared to the regal and powerful Lion of Judah that fights to save His people. The Greek word for ‘morning star’ is aster and refers to a created star. The Shining Fallen One is just one of many created ‘morning stars’ while Yeshua is not a created being, but begotten of the Father. According to Revelation 22:15, Yeshua is The Bright Morning Star with the definite article.
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 as the first light in the sky –– when Yeshua appears “and the Morning Star rises in your heart” (2 Peter 1:19). Those in Thyatira who overcome ‘a morning star’ who espouses false teachings and moral compromise will be rewarded with The Morning Star –– Yeshua.
“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 he taught in parables was so that people could ‘look but not see, and listen but not understand’ the message of the Kingdom (Isaiah 6:9-10, Luke 8:10). Because he wanted his disciples to have a deeper understanding of the coming Kingdom, he explained the hidden meaning away from the crowds.
Yeshua spoke all of his parables before the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot when the ‘holy wind’ was poured out (Acts 2:2). With the arrival of the new covenant, men and women who obey the message of Yeshua are given new hearts and a renewed spirit. The Ruach haKodesh gives them “ears to hear what the Spirit is saying” so they can obey His voice.
Yeshua doesn’t want Thyatira to just ‘hear’ his message, but ‘listen’ to it. His message was to be heard through spiritual ears that were fine-tuned to his voice, the voice of the Shepherd (Psalm 95:7-8, John 10:27-28) His sheep were to ‘listen’ and ‘obey’ the message so they would be overcomers –– Isra’el –– and receive their eternal reward.
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
©2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved. No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.