Revelation 2:18-19: The Address to the Church in Thyatira

Revelation 2:18‑29  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 11
Can it be questioned that in this address we have a forecast of the condition of the professing church in medieval times? The Lord is presented as the Son of God with eyes like unto a flame of fire, discerning all evil, and with feet like fine brass, prepared to act against the evil.
The Lord's words indicate that at this period the professing church had two outstanding marks. Firstly, on the part of many there was great devotedness expressed by their works, love, faith, service, and endurance. Does not history confirm the Lord's words, for we know that in spite of much ignorance and superstition there were, during the Middle Ages, a great number of individuals marked by personal devotedness, unsparing self-denial, and patient suffering for Christ's sake.
Secondly, in spite of this devotedness on the part of individuals, the Lord's words indicate that at this period the professing church reached “the depths of Satan.” For then it was there came to the fore that fearful system known as the Papacy, and symbolized by “that woman Jezebel.” In this system we see the exaltation of the flesh, for this woman “calleth herself a prophetess.” The church takes the place of a teacher to enunciate doctrine, leading to an unholy alliance with the world, and the setting up of a system of idolatry in the worship of images and saints. Here we see a great advance on the evil in Pergamos. There the church was settling down under the patronage of the world where Satan is enthroned. In Thyatira we see that the outcome of dwelling in the world is that the professing church seeks to exalt itself by ruling over the world and pandering to its lusts. The outcome of this fearful system is a generation within the professing church that comes under the sentence of death, and the searching judgments of the Lord, according to their works.
Nevertheless, in the presence of this corrupting system of evil the Lord had a remnant, who were personally free from its teaching, and strangers to the depths of Satan into which it had fallen. Such were not to look for any repentance or reformation in this awful system, but to hold fast to the truth they had until the Lord comes. Then they will have their reward. Having refused to reign in the world during the absence of Christ, they will rule in power over the nations in the day of His glory. In the meantime the overcomer will know Christ as the Morning Star—the One who lives for His people in all their trials, before the day dawns when He will come forth as the Sun of righteousness.