… I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. (Rev 2:20 KJV)
Those who study the Bible know that the church at Thyatira had some good qualities, but like many modern churches, it taught doctrines other than the doctrines of God. This study in the Bible begins with Jesus. He condemned the religious people of His day because they taught the precepts of men as though they were the commandments of God. Thyatira was guilty in this way, except that the precepts being taught there were not moral precepts: they were lewd, social gospel precepts that brought them into severe disfavor with God. Also differing from the religious establishment of Jesus’ day, the precepts in Thyatira were taught by a person, Jezebel, who presented immorality (rather than morality) as the pathway to God.
A Primer on Jezebel
As a metaphor for the quintessential evil woman, Jezebel represents extreme evil in every aspect of life. A study in the Bible of her ways would suggest that would be a Democrat were she alive today. She stands for the ultimate in abomination and perversion. Study the Bible and learn that Jezebel was born in a foreign country and had no allegiance to the people she afflicted with her evil. She was the daughter of the Sidonian king, and married Ahab who was known as a wicked king in Israel whose evil surpassed all the evil kings that went before him. Because she thought him insufficiently wicked, Jezebel prodded Ahab to work even more evil in the land.
Like every Democrat, killing babies was important to Jezebel: she served Baal. Also like a Democrat, Jezebel promoted fornication, adultery, and every conceivable form of perversion among the people. Like a Democrat she blended her perversion with religion, while using religion to destroy all that is good and right.
Our study in the Bible reveals that Jezebel regarded the people of God as the problem in the land, not the solution. She exterminated the prophets and threatened those who dared associate themselves with God. If you remember, Obadiah hid 100 prophets of God in two caves and was fearful when Elijah sent him to Ahab with a message.
Jezebel used liars to falsely accuse Naboth before the people. Like modern Americans, the people believed the Democrat lies without any consideration, and were used by Jezebel to destroy a good and noble man.
Even after God used Elijah to prove the emptiness of her false religion, Jezebel refused to repent and – unlike Ahab who humbled himself in the end – defied God and all that is decent and right up until the end of her life.
Application: A lecture on tolerance
After her death before Elisha in the book of 2 Kings, Jezebel disappears from the Biblical record until she resurfaces in the Church in Revelation chapter two. Israel in the Old Testament, being God’s chosen people, is a picture of the New Testament church. Just as Israel was afflicted by Jezebel, so are Christians today. As revealed to us in our text, the same flaw that kept Israel under the tyranny of Jezebel is the same one that keeps the United States of America under the tyranny of Barry Soetoro and the Democrat Party. It also is the same flaw that brings the church of Thyatira into disfavor with God: tolerance.
The forces of the world have conditioned us to think of tolerance as a good thing. In fact, a study of the Bible confirms that a certain amount of tolerance is good: God is tolerant. Study the Bible: have you never read the question God asks of the unrepentant in Romans chapter two?
…despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Contrary to the world’s representation of God, tolerance is the name of the game. Without it, we would all be annihilated by God before the close of the day.
Conservative views condemned
Here notice the need to mention that God’s tolerance and modern day political and religious conservatism are largely incompatible. People who trumpet personal responsibility and the “You made your bed, now lie in it” mentality share the characteristics of Jezebel. Study of the Bible shows that she was the one who tried to make Israel a non-prophet organization, right? We in America are proving what we already knew: political, social, and religious intolerance comes from the Devil’s crowd (aka Democrats, et al). It should never characterize God’s people, although it often does to our shame.
Limits to tolerance
Tolerance does not limit responsibility however. The church at Thyatira apparently was afraid of being labeled as “intolerant” and through that fear brought destruction upon many of its members. God gave Jezebel plenty of time to repent in the Old Testament: she never repented. In our text, God reports that He gave Jezebel time to repent: she never repented. God’s tolerance eventually runs out, and He faults the Church because it foolishly continued tolerating Jezebel.
Note that God did not fault the church for tolerating Jezebel and her doctrine within the outside society. He did not condemn it for failing to take a strong political stance against the perversion of that day. The truth in the Word is that God faulted the church at Thyatira for what it tolerated within the church.
The Doctrine of Jezebel
As Jezebel taught within the church, she instilled doctrine into its members. She had a systematic study of the Bible that set forth her beliefs in the name of God with false authority (she called herself a prophetess) and thereby brought corruption among a people from whom God expects holiness.
We already knew that the doctrine of Jezebel included:
- Illegitimate authority
- The service of Baal
- Violent opposition to God’s anointed ones
Add to her doctrine the information from our text:
- Sexual perversion
- Offense (Acts 15:29; 1 Corinthians chapter eight)
The same reckless tolerance that has landed Americans in the grip of tyranny and destruction has put the welfare of the people in the church at Thyatira at risk. They are destined to be destroyed along with Jezebel, unless they repent (again we see the tolerance of God).
We can apply the truth in the Word from Thyatira to any church: wicked people can establish themselves as though they were Godly teachers and thereby pervert the ways of God. Jezebel has no business on the membership role or in a position of leadership in the church. Pay attention to who is teaching and what they are teaching, else many lives may be destroyed and the work of God hindered. A church is better to be criticized for supposed intolerance than to fall into judgement for its irresponsible conduct.
Personally, the beliefs of every believer should be examined and contrasted with truth in the Word. Those who kill babies, defy God’s ministers, promote sexual perversion, and thrive by offending God’s people are not followers of God. Even if a prominent person in the church commends these things to you, beware: they teach the doctrine of Jezebel, not the doctrine of God. If you have followed after her doctrine, repent now, before the tolerance of God runs out.