The Book of Revelation, Chapters 1-3
February 27 – March 5, 2022
Thyatira – Sacrifice of Contrition (A.D. 538–1798)
“And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; ‘These things saith the Son of God, who hath His eyes like unto a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass.’ ” Revelation 2:18
Study Help: The Great Controversy, 61–78; Maranatha, 175
“The 1260 years of papal supremacy began in A.D. 538, and would therefore terminate in 1798.” The Great Controversy, 266
1 THE SON OF GOD
1.a. How did Jesus identify Himself to the church of Thyatira? Revelation 2:18
1.b. What unmistakable evidence do we have that Jesus Christ is God, and is to be worshiped? John 1:1–4, 14, 20:28; Hebrews 1:5, 6, 8; John 20:28; Matthew 28:16–20
1.c. In contrast, what was foretold in prophecy concerning the “son of perdition”? 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4
Note: “The apostle Paul, in his second letter to the Thessalonians, foretold the great apostasy which would result in the establishment of the papal power. … Even at that early date he saw, creeping into the church, errors that would prepare the way for the development of the papacy.” The Great Controversy, 49
“The ‘man of sin,’ which is also styled the ‘mystery of iniquity,’ ‘the son of perdition,’ and ‘that wicked,’ represents the papacy, which, as foretold in prophecy, was to maintain its supremacy for 1260 years. This period ended in 1798.” Ibid., 356
2 COMMENDATION AND REBUKE
2.a. What positive characteristics of the church existed even under persecution? Revelation 2:19
Note: “Notwithstanding all the persecution of the saints, living witnesses for God’s truth were raised up on every hand. Angels of the Lord were doing the work committed to their trust. They were searching in the darkest places and selecting out of the darkness men who were honest in heart.” Early Writings, 222
2.b. What false worship was introduced into the Christian church? Revelation 2:20
Note: “All false worship is spiritual adultery. The second precept, which forbids false worship, is also a command to worship God, and Him only serve. The Lord is a jealous God. He will not be trifled with. He has spoken concerning the manner in which He should be worshiped. He has a hatred of idolatry; for its influence is corrupting.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1106
“The man of sin was to arise, and do his work of exaltation and blasphemy, before the brethren could look for the coming of Christ. That great event was to be preceded by a falling away. There would be revealed a form of antichrist, and the leaven of apostasy was to work with increasing power to the end of time.” The Review and Herald, July 31, 1888
2.c. What were the works of Jezebel? 1 Kings 16:31; 18:4; 21:5–14
Note: “I was carried back to the time of Ahab. God would have been with Ahab if he had walked in the counsel of heaven. But Ahab did not do this. He married a woman given to idolatry. Jezebel had more power over the king than God had. She led him into idolatry, and with him the people.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, 1033
“Jezebel then decided, as she could not make Elijah feel her murderous power, that she would be revenged by destroying the prophets of God in Israel. No one who professed to be a prophet of God should live.” The Review and Herald, September 23, 1873
3 MOTHER AND DAUGHTERS
3.a. The “woman Jezebel” is represented in chapter 17 as Babylon the great. Explain what made her drunk. Revelation 17:3–6
Note: “In the thirteenth century was established that most terrible of all the engines of the papacy—the Inquisition. The prince of darkness wrought with the leaders of the papal hierarchy. In their secret councils Satan and his angels controlled the minds of evil men, while unseen in the midst stood an angel of God, taking the fearful record of their iniquitous decrees and writing the history of deeds too horrible to appear to human eyes. ‘Babylon the great’ was ‘drunken with the blood of the saints.’ The mangled forms of millions of martyrs cried to God for vengeance upon that apostate power.” The Great Controversy, 59, 60
3.b. What are the characteristics of spiritual Jezebel, “Babylon the great,” and who are her daughters? Ezekiel 16:44
Note: “Babylon is said to be ‘the mother of harlots.’ By her daughters must be symbolized churches that cling to her doctrines and traditions, and follow her example of sacrificing the truth and the approval of God, in order to form an unlawful alliance with the world. The message of Revelation 14, announcing the fall of Babylon must apply to religious bodies that were once pure and have become corrupt. Since this message follows the warning of the judgment, it must be given in the last days; therefore it cannot refer to the Roman Church alone, for that church has been in a fallen condition for many centuries. … ‘Thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown’ (Ezekiel 16:14, 15).” The Great Controversy, 382, 383
“In Revelation 17 Babylon is represented as a woman, a figure which is used in the Scriptures as the symbol of a church. A virtuous woman represents a pure church, a vile woman an apostate church. Babylon is said to be a harlot; and the prophet beheld her drunken with the blood of saints and martyrs. The Babylon thus described represents Rome, that apostate church which has so cruelly persecuted the followers of Christ. But Babylon the harlot is the mother of daughters who follow her example of corruption.” The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 4, 233
4 A TIME OF TRIBULATION
4.a. What did Christ predict about that terrible time of persecution, and what hope was given to the believers? Matthew 24:21, 22
Note: “Amid the gloom that settled upon the earth during the long period of papal supremacy, the light of truth could not be wholly extinguished. In every age there were witnesses for God—men who cherished faith in Christ as the only mediator between God and man, who held the Bible as the only rule of life, and who hallowed the true Sabbath.” The Great Controversy, 61
“In the Saviour’s conversation with His disciples upon Olivet, after describing the long period of trial for the church—the 1260 years of papal persecution, concerning which He had promised that the tribulation should be shortened—He thus mentioned certain events to precede His coming, and fixed the time when the first of these should be witnessed: ‘In those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light.’ Mark 13:24. The 1260 days, or years, terminated in 1798. A quarter of a century earlier, persecution had almost wholly ceased.” Ibid., 306
4.b. What words of the apostle Paul were fulfilled by the faithful Waldenses? 2 Timothy 2:19
Note: “But of those who resisted the encroachments of the papal power, the Waldenses stood foremost. In the very land where popery had fixed its seat, there its falsehood and corruption were most steadfastly resisted. For centuries the churches of Piedmont maintained their independence; but the time came at last when Rome insisted upon their submission. After ineffectual struggles against her tyranny, the leaders of these churches reluctantly acknowledged the supremacy of the power to which the whole world seemed to pay homage. There were some, however, who refused to yield to the authority of pope or prelate. They were determined to maintain their allegiance to God and to preserve the purity and simplicity of their faith. A separation took place. Those who adhered to the ancient faith now withdrew; some, forsaking their native Alps, raised the banner of truth in foreign lands; others retreated to the secluded glens and rocky fastnesses of the mountains, and there preserved their freedom to worship God.” The Great Controversy, 64
5 THE OVERCOMERS OF THYATIRA
5.a. Because of the fierce persecution during the period of Thyatira, what assurance was given to the faithful? Revelation 2:24, 25
Note: “While, under the pressure of long-continued persecution, some compromised their faith, little by little yielding its distinctive principles, others held fast the truth. Through ages of darkness and apostasy there were Waldenses who denied the supremacy of Rome, who rejected image worship as idolatry, and who kept the true Sabbath. Under the fiercest tempests of opposition they maintained their faith. Though gashed by the Savoyard spear, and scorched by the Romish fagot, they stood unflinchingly for God’s word and His honor.” The Great Controversy, 65
5.b. What wonderful promise was given to the church that remained faithful in the time of the Dark Ages? Revelation 2:26–29
Note: “Except among the Waldenses, the word of God had for ages been locked up in languages known only to the learned; but the time had come for the Scriptures to be translated and given to the people of different lands in their native tongue. The world had passed its midnight. The hours of darkness were wearing away, and in many lands appeared tokens of the coming dawn.
“In the fourteenth century arose in England the ‘morning star of the Reformation.’ John Wycliffe was the herald of reform, not for England alone, but for all Christendom. The great protest against Rome which it was permitted him to utter was never to be silenced.” The Great Controversy, 79, 80
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 Who has attempted to take the place of Christ?
2 What errors crept into the church of Thyatira?
3 Who are the daughters of Babylon?
4 What are the results of tribulation on the church?
5 What is promised to those who overcome tribulation?
Copyright 2000, Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24019-5048, U.S.A.