King's Business - 1948-01

Third in a Series of Articles on the Churches of Revelation

By Rev. G. Coleman Luck, Th.D.* I N Revelation 2:18-29, the fourth of the letters written to “ the seven churches which are in Asia,” is recorded the epistle to the church in Thyatira. Like the other six, it is rich in practical application, in addition to its prophetic im­ port as a part of the inspired preview of church history found in Revelation 2 and 3. The Address (Rev. 2:18) “ And unto the angel o f the church in Thyatira write.” Of these seven cities of Asia Minor, Thyatira was the smallest; nevertheless, it was quite a wealthy town, lo­ cated on the Lycus River. It is o f interest to note that Thya­ tira was the home town of Lydia, the first convert o f the Apostle Paul in Europe (Acts 16:14). There is no record of the origin of the church at Thyatira. It is pleasant to con­ jecture that Lydia, after her conversion, may have returned home from Philippi for the express purpose of winning her loved ones and friends to Christ, and that this church first came into being through her personal work. It may be that other converts carried the gospel there during Paul’s ministry at Ephesus (Acts 19:10). Description of the Lord (2:18) These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass.” The Lord Jesus, the author of the epistle, is described in this threefold way in a manner befitting the condition of the church. He is called the Son of God, the title that has particular reference to His deity and pre-eminence. Some of the members of this church were giving the pre-eminence to a wicked woman, Jezebel, which place belonged to Christ alone (Col. 1:18). Not even the godliest of human teachers, much less corrupt, wicked leaders, are entitled to this rating (1 Cor. 1:12, 13). It is Christ whose eyes are “ like unto a flame of fire.” Since the greater part of our knowledge is gained through the eye- gate, the eye is related to discernment. Fire is often used with reference to judgment. Sometimes it may seem that the Lord is careless about evil in the church, but we may be sure that it is of concern to Him, and that His piercing eye is quick to detect that which is not right. His feet "are “ like fine brass.” “ Brass speaks of divine judg­ ment, as in the brazen altar, and self-judgment, as in the laver of brass” (Scofield). The feet as well as the eyes some­ times symbolize judgment (Isa. 63:3). Despite the best-laid plans o f men to conceal their corrupt doings, our Lord clearly sees evil, both in the church and in the world, and in due time He will exercise judgment upon it. Commendation of Good Works (2:19) As usual, our Lord first itemizes the good works of the church. Although He must, correct evil, He recognizes and ap­ preciates the good things which are done in His -name, and out of love for Him. He commends the church of Thyatira for its love, service, faith, and patience. In this church as a whole there was a real love for Him. This is the most im­ portant thing. Love “ shall cover the multitude of sins” (1 Pet. 4 :8 ). Errors of judgment can be forgiven if the heart is right. From love naturally flows service. If you love someone, you will want to serve that one. The love for Christ in the hearts * Dr. Luck, who is a Presbyterian clergyman, is now engaged in a teaching ministry at the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Illinois. T H E K I N G ' S B U S I N E S S


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