This is the fourth blog in the series of the letters to the churches found in Revelation that the Lord has commissioned me to write. Of all the letters to these churches in Asia Minor this is perhaps the most damming. Hence we need to proceed to understand this message with utmost reverence for the Holy Spirit, our teacher.
Thyatira was the smallest of the seven cities, but the one that received the longest letter. It lay about 45 miles to the southeast of Pergamum and was famous for its textiles, especially the production of purple dye and its trade guilds. There were carpenters, dyers, sellers of goods, tent makers, etc. In the church at Philippi, which the Apostle Paul began, there was a woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, who came from Thyatira.
It was difficult to make a living as a Christian in Thyatira without belonging to the union. Therefore we need to keep this mind.
Jesus begins the letter by stating that his eyes are like blazing fires; hence he knows everything for nothing is hidden from his gaze; there are no secrets kept from Christ. Jesus is fully aware of their deeds of love and faith, their service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Those are related. Love leads to service; faith leads to perseverance. If you love God, you will serve his people.
But, But; there was a large Never-the-less; for despite their wonderful service of love and faith they tolerated the spirit of Jezebel! As you can expect there has been much written on this particular phrase; some being half-truths while others full of the power of God's word.
Let's be plain, this force that 'gate-crushes' into a church is not confined to gender or a certain period of time for such 'spirit' has been loosed on the people of God since the dawn of time.
The term as we will know is taken from Jezebel the wife of King Ahab, the idolatrous King of Israel who reigned approx. 874 to 853 BC. Jezebel was the daughter of the king of Sidon; enemies of Israel. She is particularly noted for having made the worship of the god Baal popular in Israel and who tormented the prophet Elijah. Since then she has been synonyms with one who corrupts Gods chosen.
As we know from Ephesians our struggle is not against flesh and blood but the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Hence this spirit of Jezebel will force its way into any Christian fellowship [by fellowship I mean a church, bible study, home group, men's/women's group etc. even CB] The spirit is characterized by Manipulating, Intimidating and Dominating, and like the wife Jezebel always attacks the 'man/woman' who is the God appointed leader of any group to cause dissension, confusion and the introduction of false doctrine/teaching. In effect it is a power struggle against Gods appointed and the forces of Satan.
The spirit of Jezebel will attempt to bewitch the people of God. In the church of Thyatira it was to partake in the adulterous abominations of the 'guild meetings/lunches' that were an essential aspect of employment in the town. For without being a member of the guild one could not ply their trade.
Today's false teaching of the jezebel spirit includes the following.
1/ There is no mention of the Cross in their teaching/preaching/blogging. Therefore it follows there is no teaching on Sin, Suffering and Sacrifice. Neither is there any mention of the need to be on the alert for error and the testing of the spirits, for all emanate from the same source, as love is of god.
2/ All their teaching/preaching/blogging centres on our needs and what we can receive from God that will benefit our glory, health, wealth and wisdom. The God of the bible is secondary to our standing. Hence the 'prosperity gospel' is from the 'ovens of hell.' So to is the 'wishy-washy' preaching that in reality is positive thinking.
3/ Much of their teaching/preaching/blogging touches on legalism/religion/rules that bind their hearers to themselves with chains of fear and bondage.
4/Any teaching/preaching/blogging that highlights the deep secrets of god, with the need to be initiated into a special society to understand these great truths is suspect and not to be trusted. Therefore I am against the recent wave of eschatological mysteries that are rolled out as the newly found truths that will stimulate our mind, not our spirits. Sadly in our 'soulish mind' we are tickled by great mystery plots and intrigue, for it appeals to our earthly nature. Hence the Jezebel spirit sucks in our 'soulish' thinking.
Any of the above is more than enough to have nothing to do with such a person. Therefore we need to be on the alert for our enemy; Satan is prowling round like a roaring lion ready to devour those who allow themselves to be enticed with the enemies' manipulative, intimidating and dominating ways.
We need to stand firm in the full armour of God and resit the devil with the sword of the rhema word on our lips. As for the Jezebel person and their followers, repentance is their only salvation; otherwise they will suffer something terrible.
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Excellent blog and all four of your points are spot on. I was going to say #2 stood out the most but as i read all 4 again ... the esoteric circles, legalism, lack of cross, etc. are right three too.
Thanks for wonderful research and work in presenting these truths.
You brought up some excellent points which we would do well to heed. I am going to add something else, if you don't mind, based on something my husband shared with me that happened yesterday. This past fall he has been assisting someone who is leading a small group in apologetics. Last night the leader was showing some video clips and one of the clips was of someone from an organization that my husband is familiar with. While what the person said in the clip was fine, my husband is familiar with the teachings of that particular group which raise a huge red flag. He shared what he knew with that person and suggested that he do a little research on his own before using that particular resource again. Well, my husband got a call today. The leader had taken his advice and done further research on that organization and decided it would be best to remove them as a resource.
The point I am trying to make is that we do need to be very careful. Often in the beginning the enemy will only give us a glimpse of a glimmer of truth, enough to get us to trust someone or something. Once we trust them, it is easier for them to introduce lies because our guard is down. The bottom line is we need to be careful. We need to ask God to help us be sensitive to that which is not true so that we will not be deceived.