We were introduced to the Church of Thyatira last week. We take up the study again in Rev.2:20.
We are introduced to a woman called Jezebel - who is this Jezebel?
The very name Jezebel is associated with evil. In the Old Testament we find a woman named Jezebel. She was the notorious daughter of Ethbal, the Pagan King of Sidon. His subjects in Tyre and Sidon were Baal worshippers.
Jezebel married Israel's wicked King Ahab. She brought her pagan priests with her to Samaria and proceeded to introduce worship of Baal and Asheroth to Israel. She built pagan temples and set up groves in the hills, where Baal worship could be carried on. The worship of Baal was centered around immorality.
As we come to our text, the Old Testament Jezebel was dead a thousand years,but the demons that controlled her were now working in the new Jezebel of Thyatira. This new Jezebel was polluting the church with moral and doctrinal impurities. She propigated her evil teachings with little or no opposition from the church.
No doubt she taught some truth along with her error, false teaching is always salted with truth. Vance Havner said, "we once had a clock that didn't run, but even it was right twice a day".
The greater sin was found in the true believers that tolerated Jezebel to continue in the church.
Jezebel was responsible for two evils in the Church of Thyatira.
FIRST, "to seduce my servants to commit fornication". That probably has a double application, referring to physical sexual fornication. PHYSICAL fornication is departing from loyalty to the one to whom you are committed. SPIRITUAL fornication is departing from the worship of God to something else that takes his place.
This is prophetic of what happened to the church by in large, in the ERA after 596 AD. That is the ERA when the Roman Catholic Church came into existence, so we equate Thyatira with Rome.
It was during those years that the Vandals and the Goths overran Europe and brought their idolatrous pagan worship with them. The church in the spirit of compromise, seeking to win these pagans to profession of Faith in Christ, adopted part of their pagan idolatrous religion. The result was that the church became partly Christian, partly Judaistic, and partly Pagan.
If you go to St. Peters Basillica in Rome today, you will see statues of pagan gods such a Zeus. The Catholic Church, even in recent years, has compromised with pagan religions, supposedly to win them to Catholicism.
It was during this time that the Roman doctrine of tran-substantiation was introduced. Tran-substantiation teaches that the bread and the wine of the communion table actually becomes the flesh of Christ and the blood of Christ. This is alleged to happen the moment the symbol goes into the mouth.
In other words, every time a person takes the Lord's Supper, Christ is sacrificed again. This clearly says that Christ's sacrifice on Calvary was not sufficient to atone for sin, He must be sacrificed again and again. This is an error which totally robs the gospel of its power to save. Any Catholic who accepts the teachings of Rome cannot be saved|
Do you see the significance of Christ's Words, "to teach and seduce my servants----to eat things offered to idols"
How could these things happen in the Church of Thyatira? They simply allowed a woman's experience to take precidence over the Word of God. Even today, the Pope is considered infallable and what he says takes precidence over the scriptures.
There is a parallel between the fourth church, Thyatira, and the fourth parable of Math.13: NEXT WEEK we will deal with this parallel.