The letter to Thyatira is the longest of the seven letters. Let's kick things off with a theological word definition. This will play a key role in helping us understand Thyatira.
The word is antinomian. It means:
The view that Christians are released by grace from the obligation of observing the moral law.
In 1643 the Church of England condemned antinomianism, stating "no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the command-ments which are called moral. By the moral law, we understand all the Ten Commandments taken to their full extent." Further, The Westminster Confession, foundational to Presbyterianism, holds that "the moral law contained in the Ten Commandments does forever bind all…to the obedience thereof." Let's all park that little history lesson in the back of our wee little brains.
Now for geography. Here's a picture to give some sense of the geography of Thyatira:
Thyatira was a prosperous center for manufacturing and marketing. Its most prominent claim to fame was a much sought after purple dye. Lydia was an entrepreneur and seller of cloth made from this dye. She was originally from Thyatira. She was the first convert on European soil. In fact, Paul established the Philippian church with the help and faithfulness of Lydia. Records specifically note that Thyatira teemed with woolworkers, linen-workers, makers of outer garments, dyers, leather-workers, tanners, potters, bakers, slave-dealers and bronze-smiths.