Revelation 2:18-29 Exploring the Passage

Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download).

1. How does the Lord Jesus identify Himself to the church in Thyatira? See Revelation 2:18 (printed below)

To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: This is what the Son of God—he whose eyes are like a flame of fire and whose feet are like polished bronze—says (Revelation 2:18)

The Lord Jesus introduces Himself to this church as “the Son of God—he whose eyes are like a flame of fire and whose feet are like polished bronze.” Here the Lord Jesus vividly reveals His absolute purity, His abhorrence to even so much as look upon evil and immoral conduct (cp. Habakkuk 1:13a). Also, He emphasizes His divine ability to search out and consume all moral and spiritual impurity (note verse 23b).

2. What deeds did the Lord Jesus see being produced by this church? See Revelation 2:19 (printed below)

I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your present deeds are greater than your former ones. (Revelation 2:19)

The Lord proceeds to specify the deeds that He saw being produced by these Christian people. He begins by mentioning “your love;” genuine love for Christ was evident within this congregation, in contrast to the church of Ephesus who was reprimanded for having left her first love—her love for Christ (2:4). He goes on to mention “your faith;” this church had a vital, living faith; theirs was no dead orthodoxy, not merely a faith in correct doctrine, but a personal faith in Christ Himself that reflected itself in a sincere Christian life (cp. 2 Timothy 1:13). The Lord Jesus also makes mention of “your service” and “your perseverance;” they were standing firm, remaining steadfast in their commitment to Christ, despite the pressures and the costs.

3. What does the Lord Jesus have against this church? See Revelation 2:20 (printed below)

Nevertheless, I hold this against you: You are tolerating that woman Jezebel, the one who calls herself a prophetess. She teaches and seduces my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20)

The Lord Jesus protests against the church in Thyatira that they are tolerating “that woman Jezebel.” Present within the church was an influential woman whom the Lord symbolically calls “Jezebel,” identifying her with the evil queen of Israel. This woman called herself “a prophetess.” This false prophetess was very persuasive and influential in the church; the Lord accuses her of teaching and seducing “my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.” Here was a church whose otherwise exemplary Christian life was marred by the presence of immoral conduct, instigated by a woman who falsely claimed to be a prophet of God.

4. What does the Lord say He has done for this woman whom He calls “Jezebel?” See Revelation 2:21 (printed below)

I have given her time so that she might repent; but she is unwilling to repent of her immorality. (Revelation 2:21)

The Lord Jesus, in His mercy and compassion, has given “Jezebel” time to repent. How often Scripture speaks of the patience and long-suffering of God—and its intention of leading men to repentance (cp. 2 Peter 3:9). The Lord has given “Jezebel” the time and opportunity to repent, but she does not desire to repent of her fornication.

5. What will the Lord now proceed to do to “Jezebel?” What will happen to her followers? See Revelation 2:22-23 (printed below)

Listen; I will throw her into a bed of great tribulation, and also those who are committing adultery with her—unless they repent of her practices. (23) I will strike her children dead; then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches the hearts and minds, and I will give to each one of you what your deeds deserve. (Revelation 2:22-23)

In response to her obstinate refusal to repent, the Lord pronounces His righteous judgment against her: “I will throw her into a bed of great tribulation.” Note that the Lord warns of judgment not only against the false prophetess herself, but also against those who are “committing adultery with her.” Those within the church who continue to follow the teaching of “Jezebel” and refuse to heed the Lord’s call to repentance, are identified as “her children” (2:23) in distinction from “my servants” (2:20).