Eyes of Blazing Fire

The church of Ephesus historically represents the apostolic church: orthodox and discerning, but cold and sterile.  Smyrna was the persecuted church which remained faithful.  The assembly at Pergamos was the compromising church; outwardly they gave the appearance of fidelity, but inwardly capitulated to the pressures and the temptations of their culture.  The church at Thyatira historically represents the pagan church of the dark ages.  This assembly embraced heretical teaching and searched out evil to its depths.

Geographically and politically, Thyatira was insignificant and obscure.  It was located in a valley between Pergamos and Sardis and had no natural defense against attack from an enemy.  The city was pagan, but there were no significant temples there.  Commercially, it could boast of several trade guilds, such as wool, leather, garments, purple dye, bronze, and slave trading.  Every guild associated itself with a pagan deity, making business and religion bedfellows.

Thyatira was condemned, with a view toward correction, for committing spiritual adultery.  They mingled pagan rituals into their worship and practices.  Inevitably, idolatry will always lead to various forms of indulgence and even to immorality.  Bad belief produces bad behavior, as freedom in Christ is exploited for self.  The image of Christ with eyes of flaming fire and feet like furnace-fired bronze speaks to the penetrating and determined judgment on this assembly.

To those in this local body who remained strong in love, faith, service, and patience, Christ would give Himself more intimately as the “morning star” rising daily in their lives to guide and to comfort.  He would also give them authority and influence over the nations.


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