These things saith the Son of God - See the notes on Revelation 1:14-15; (note).
And unto the angel of the church - See the notes on Revelation 1:20.
These things saith the Son of God - This is the first time, in these epistles, that the name of the speaker is referred to. In each other instance there is merely some attribute of the Saviour mentioned. Perhaps the severity of the rebuke contemplated here made it proper that there should be a more impressive reference to the authority of the speaker; and hence he is introduced as the “Son of God.” It is not a reference to him as the “Son of man “the common appellation which he gave to himself when on earth - for that might have suggested his humanity only, and would not have conveyed the same impression in regard to his authority; but it is to himself as sustaining the rank, and having the authority, of the Son of God - one who, therefore, has a right to speak, and a right to demand that what he says shall be heard.
Who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire - Compare the notes on Revelation 1:14. Before the glance of his eye all is light, and nothing can be concealed from his view. Nothing would be better suited to inspire awe then, as nothing should be now, than such a reference to the Son of God as being able to penetrate the secret recesses of the heart.
And his feet are like fine brass - See the notes on Revelation 1:15. Perhaps indicative of majesty and glory as he walked in the midst of the churches.
If the period covered by the Pergamos church has been correctly located, terminating with the setting up of the papacy, A. D. 538, the most natural division to be assigned to the church of Thyatira would be the time of the continuance of this blasphemous power, through the 1260 years of its supremacy, or from A. D. 538 to A. D. 1798.DAR 358.5
Thyatira signifies âsweet savor of labor,â or âsacrifice of contrition.â This would well describe the state of the church of Jesus Christ during the long period of papal triumph and persecution. This age of such dreadful tribulation upon the church as never was (Matthew 24:21), improved the religious condition of believers. Hence they receive for their works, charity, service, faith, and patience, the commendation of Him whose eyes are as a flame of fire. And works are then again mentioned, as though worthy of a double commendation. And the last were more than the first. There had been an improvement in their condition, a growth in grace, an increase in all these elements of Christianity. This church is the only one that is commended for an improvement in spiritual things. But as in the church of Pergamos unfavorable circumstances were no apology for false doctrines in the church, so in this church, no amount of labor, charity, service, faith, or patience could compensate for a like sin. A rebuke is therefore given them for suffering in their midst âDAR 359.1
That Woman Jezebel. â As in the preceding church Antipas denoted, not an individual, but a class of persons, so, doubtless, Jezebel is here to be understood in the same sense. Watsonâs Bible Dictionary says, âThe name of Jezebel is used proverbially. Revelation 2:20.â William Miller, Lectures, p. 142, speaks as follows: âDAR 359.2
âJezebel is a figurative name, alluding to Ahabâs wife, who slew the prophets of the Lord, led her husband into idolatry, and fed the prophets of Baal at her own table. A more striking figure could not have been used to denote the papal abominations. (See 1 Kings, chapters 18, 19, and 21.) It is very evident from history, as well as from this verse, that the church of Christ did suffer some of the papal monks to preach and teach among them. (See the âHistory of the Waldenses.â)âDAR 359.3
The Comprehensive Commentary has the following remark upon verse 23: âChildren are spoken of, which confirms the idea that a sect and its proselytes are meant.â The judgments here threatened against this woman are in harmony with the threatenings in other parts of this book against the Romish Church under the symbol of a corrupt woman, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. (See chapters 17-19.) The death which is threatened is doubtless the second death, at the end of the one thousand years of Revelation 20, when the righteous retribution from the Searcher of âthe reins and heartsâ of all men will be given. And further, the declaration, âI will give unto every one of you according to your works,â is proof that the address to this church looks forward prophetically to the final reward or punishment of all accountable beings.DAR 360.1
And All the Churches Shall Know, etc. â It has been argued from this expression that these churches could not denote seven successive periods of the gospel age, but must exist contemporaneously, as otherwise all the churches could not know that Christ was the searcher of the reins and hearts from seeing his judgments upon Jezebel and her children. But when is it that all the churches are to know this? â It is when these children are punished with death. And if this is at the time when the second death is inflicted upon all the wicked, then, indeed, will âall the churches,â as they behold the infliction of the judgment, know that no secret thing, no evil thought or purpose of the heart, has escaped the knowledge of Him, who, with eyes like flames of fire, searches the hearts and reins of men.DAR 360.2
I Will Lay upon You None Other Burden. â A respite promised the church, if we rightly apprehend, from the burden so long her portion, â the weight of papal oppression. It cannot be applied to the reception of new truths; for truth is not a burden to any accountable being. But the days of tribulation that came upon that church, were to be shortened for the electâs sake. Matthew 24:22. âThey shall be holpen,â says the prophet, âwith a little help.â Daniel 11:34. âAnd the earth helped the woman,â says John. Revelation 12:16.DAR 360.3
Hold Fast till I Come. â These are the words of the âSon of God,â and bring to our view an unconditional coming. To the churches of Ephesus and Pergamos, certain comings were threatened on conditions: âRepent, or else I will come unto thee,â etc., implying visitations of judgment. But here a coming of a different nature altogether is brought to view. It is not a threatening of punishment. It is suspended upon no conditions. It is set before the believer as a matter of hope, and can refer to no other event but the future second advent of the Lord in glory, when the Christianâs trials will cease, and his efforts in the race for life, and his warfare for a crown of righteousness, will be rewarded with everlasting success.DAR 361.1
This church brings us down to the time when the more immediate signs of the soon-coming advent began to be fulfilled. In 1780, eighteen years before the close of this period, the predicted signs in the sun and moon were fulfilled. (See chapter 6:12.) And in reference to these signs the Saviour said: âAnd when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.â In the history of this church we reach a point when the end is drawing so near that the attention of the people could properly be called more particularly to that event. All along Christ has said to his followers, âOccupy till I come.â Luke 19:13. Now he says, âHold fast till I come.âDAR 361.2
Till the End. â The end of the Christian age. âHe that shall endure to the end,â says Christ, âthe same shall be saved.â Matthew 24:13. Is not here a like promise to those who keep Christâs works, do the things he has enjoined, keep the faith of Jesus? Chapter 14:12.DAR 361.3
Power over the Nations. â In this world the wicked bear rule, and the servants of Christ are of no esteem. But the time is coming when righteousness will be in the ascendancy; when all ungodliness will be seen in its true light, and be at a heavy discount; and when the scepter of power will be in the hands of the people of God. This promise will be explained by the following facts and scriptures: (1) The nations are to be given by the Father into the hands of Christ, to be ruled with a rod of iron, and dashed in pieces like a potterâs vessel (Psalms 2:8, 9); (2) Associated with Christ when he thus enters upon his own work of power and judgment, are to be his saints (Revelation 3:21); (3) They are to reign with him in this capacity for one thousand years (chapter 20:4); (4) During this period, the degree of judgment upon wicked men and evil angels is determined (1 Corinthians 6:2, 3); (5) At the end of the one thousand years, they have the honor of sharing with Christ in the execution of the sentence written. Psalms 149:9.DAR 361.4
The Morning Star. â Christ says, in chapter 22:16, that he is himself the morning star. The morning star is the immediate forerunner of the day. What is here called the morning star, is called the day star in 2 Peter 1:19, where it is associated with the dawn of the day. âUntil the day dawn, and the day star arise.â During the saintsâ weary night of watching, they have the word of God to shed its needful light upon their path. But when the day star shall arise in their hearts, or the morning star be given to the overcomers, they will be taken into so close a relationship to Christ that their hearts will be fully illuminated with his Spirit, and they will walk in his light. Then they will no longer need the sure word of prophecy, which now shines as a light in a dark place. Hasten on, O glorious hour, when the light of heavenâs bright day shall rise upon the pathway of the little flock, and beams of glory from the eternal world shall gild their banners!DAR 362.1
So will it be with the remnant people of God who are scattered—some in the mountain fastnesses, some exiled, some pursued, some persecuted. When the voice of God is heard and the brightness of the glory is revealed, when the trial is over, the dross removed, they know they are in the presence of One who has redeemed them by His own blood. Just what Christ was to John in his exile He will be to His people who are made to feel the hand of oppression for the faith and testimony of Jesus Christ.... These were driven by the storm and tempest of persecution to the crevices of the rocks, but were hiding in the Rock of Ages; and in the fastnesses of the mountains, in the caves and dens of the earth, the Saviour reveals His presence and His glory. Yet a little while, and He that is to come will come and will not tarry. His eyes as a flame of fire penetrate into the fast-closed dungeons and hunt out the hidden ones, for their names are written in the Lamb's book of life. These eyes of the Saviour are above us, around us, noting every difficulty, discerning every danger; and there is no place where His eyes cannot penetrate, no sorrows and sufferings of His people where the sympathy of Christ does not reach.... TMK 360.3Read in context »