Thyatira symbolizes the condition of Christianity from AD538 – AD1565. Tradition replaced the Bible, a human priesthood and sacred relics replaced Christ’s priesthood, and works were regarded as the means of salvation. Those who didn’t accept the corrupting influences were persecuted or even killed. For centuries, the church found refuge in the wilderness areas (Rev 12:6, 13, 14).
- Thyatira had no political or cultural significance in ancient history and the church was obscure. In order to run a business or have a job, people in the Roman Empire had to belong to trade guilds. Thyatira was especially noted for enforcing this. Members had to attend the guild festivals and participate in temple rituals, which often inluded immoral activities. Those who didn’t comply faced exclusion from the guilds and economic sanctions.
- For Christians at this time, this meant choosing between total compromise and total exclusion for the sake of the gospel.
- Like the church in Pergamum, Thyatira was pushed to compromises with the pagan environment. Jezebel is used here to represent spiritual immorality because she led Israel into apostasy. Those who compromised the truth and adopted “unclean” pagan ideas and practices were committing spiritual adultery with her.
Source reference: SDA 1Q19 Quarterly