Thyatira proves the adage that the most difficult problems we face are the ones we inherit. Prophetically Thyatira reflects that period of church history which develops after the wholesale sell out to paganism by the Emperor Constantine. From the practices of paganism amongst others comes the:
- Error of the Altar - inferring that the work of Jesus on cross is not yet finished nor sufficient
- Error of the Priesthood - inferring that the work of the Holy Spirit as our intercessor is not sufficient
- Error of our view of God - confusing the identity and supremacy of the one true God of heaven with many false Gods.
It was the first of these errors which prevailed at Thyatira. Here was a church trying their level best to work their way to heaven (2:19) and still with a sympathy for the altar, any altar (2:20).
For the first and only time in these 7 letters to the churches, the church is dominated by the feminine; by Jezebel. Reflecting back on church history, we see at this point in time the development of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy with the unbiblical elevation of Mary and the development of an ideology totally at odds with her biblical place as the earthly mother of Jesus. By 1954 and the papal bull of Pope Pius XII, in Ad Caeli Reginum, Mary is elevated to the "Queen of heaven"; an ancient pagan title for Astarte and she is assigned a form of Divinity seated "at the right hand of God" (point 16); a place reserved for Christ (cf. Psalm 110). It is asserted in the papal bull that "heaven and earth are filled with the sanctity of thy glory" a blasphemous theft of the Divine glory from Psa72:19 and Habbakuk. Borrowing from the pagan myths of Semiramis and Tammuz; Isis and Horus, the edict conflates Mary as not only the mother of Jesus but also the bride of her Son! The crowning absurdity to the apostate view of Mary comes with the assertion in point 37 that Mary, usurping the place of the Holy Spirit (Heb 9:14) "freely offered Him for us" and thus "assisted in our redemption". Here is the period of church history corresponding to the error of the false revelation of Jezebel.
Jezebel needs to be faced, not an easy task. For recovery to come they must:
- Take Christ Seriously as Lord and judge with his eyes as flames of fire and feet of brass
- See Christ uniquely as "The Son of God" - His Glory He will not share with another
- Be satisfied with Christ completely - rest in His finished work
From a series of bible teaching messages preached in New Cumnock, as part of our exposition of the book of Revelation
Grace in Christ
Dr J Stewart Gillespie