The Message to Thyatira Is Different (Churches 5)

As mentioned earlier, the churches of Revelation as a whole exhibit spiritual decline. That is also clearly manifested within the messages to Ephesus, Pergamum and Sardis. Ephesus has left its first love (Rev 2:4). Pergamum is in the process of compromise away from the faithfulness of Smyrna. Sardis is a church that still has a great name, but the reality is now far from its reputation (Rev 3:1-4).

The message to Thyatira goes against the grain of the other messages in several ways. First of all, it is twice as long as the other six messages, a full twelve verses in contrast to the four to nine verses of the other messages (average length is six and a half verses). This doubling of length is fitting to Thyatira’s role at the center of the chiasm.

Second, it is the only church whose faithful members merit the title of “remnant” (the “rest” [Greek: loipois] in Thyatira– Rev 2:24, KJV). The remnant of Thyatira are the faithful ones who are not following after “Jezebel.” This faithful remnant is encouraged to hold fast until Jesus comes.

Third, Thyatira is the only church that as a whole is described as improving spiritually. Jesus says that their “latter works exceed the first” (Rev 2:19, ESV). This encouragement is offered before any mention of a faithful remnant (2:24). While all the other churches are either in decline or holding steady, Thyatira was already improving when Jesus came to deliver His message to the church. Placed at the center of the chiasm of the seven churches, this positive message means that all the churches are capable of the changes Jesus calls them to. While Satan accuses in order to discourage and distract, Jesus and the Holy Spirit rebukes in order to encourage and to heal.

2 thoughts on “The Message to Thyatira Is Different (Churches 5)

  1. byron wells

    with the references to remanent and the obvious judgment language used throught this message to the church at Thyiatira. with the chiastic structure and the important message being at the center could there be some merit to this being the last day church and not laodicea?

    Reply

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