Agonizomai: Rev 2:20 - Thyatira the Doctrinally Compromised Church<br>Infection of Compromise and Ecumenism

Friday, May 22, 2009

Rev 2:20 - Thyatira the Doctrinally Compromised Church
Infection of Compromise and Ecumenism
Rev 2:20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.

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The use of the name "Jezebel" is generally believed to be figurative. She is a woman with influence in the church who is of the same spirit as the ancient Jezebel, wife of Ahab, persecutor of the true prophets of God, corrupter of Israel with idolatry, supporter of false religion and murdering schemer par excellence. She was the poster girl for perdition.

One struggles to resist the idea that there is some reference here to women in general in positions of authority in the church. Nevertheless, of the very few women called "prophetess" in the whole counsel of scripture it is clear that only the two false prophetesses are mentioned without reference to their male spiritual heads (that is Naodiah in Ne 6:14 and Jezebel here). In every other instance, wherever a woman is depicted as a prophetess (whether on account of a song, like Miriam or something more substantial, like Deborah), her male spiritual head is always mentioned within the context.

This Jezebel of Revelation calls herself a prophetess, but she is not. Could it equally well have been an Ahab? I think not. A woman does not need to have an actual position of authority over a man in order to influence matters. A man is enslaved to whatever his heart cleaves to. If Christ - then Christ. If Satan, then Satan. And if an ungodly woman, then whatever influence the evil one may exert through her upon him. This was Ahab’s flaw. He was king of Israel, but he listened to his wicked wife. She exerted influence through his weakness of attraction to her. By this, he gave her authority over him. And by tolerating this latter Jezebel, the pastor of the Thyatiran church was giving her an authority she was not entitled to.

The fact that all scripture is God-breathed and that every jot and tittle has a reason for its existence determines the fact that God purposed to speak against this woman specifically. For this very purpose he raised her up. He did not raise up an Ahab for this situation, but a Jezebel. It’s hard to think of a better example of how an ungodly woman can wreak havoc when left unchecked. Or how ungodly feminism can sap the strength and light out of an unwatchful ministry or congregation. Women are not to have authority over men and men are not to permit it. It cuts both ways. People will do what people do, for we are all sinners - but God decreed an order in His church and it is this - that men must be in authority and must serve the women in love. Women must not be elders or pastors and they must not teach men.

Here it is doubtful if the attack of this Jezebel is as direct as an open play for power. She is more subtle. She exercises power through a combination of false claims to being “something”, by using a counterfeit gift to sway the weak and undiscerning, by preaching a compromised faith and a broad way theology that itself tolerates compromise with the world, and the relegation of clear Apostolic teaching. It is a "popular" way. It is classic subterfuge. It is textbook demonic infiltration. If persecution itself will not work then there is always seduction. Satan has no preference. What he cannot accomplish with the gallows and the whip he will accomplish with smooth words of compromise and the harlot’s kisses.


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