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Jezebel in the New Testement

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by time like this, May 5, 2003.

  1. time like this

    time like this New Member

    Apr 9, 2003
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    Rev 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou suffereth that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetes, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
    This verse became a hot topic of debate in my bible study class.

    1st. Is it a real person or a system of beleive steming from Jezebel from the Old Testement.

    2nd. Where they committing physical or spiritual fornication.

    3rd. Some said a woman couldn't be a prophet.

    4th. Some stated that the Christians where taking part in the state authorised pagan celebrations to other gods, and this was the sacrifices they ate of.

    Any comments on this will be taken to heart.

  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry <b>Moderator</b>
    Site Supporter

    May 4, 2001
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    But who was Jezebel in Thyatira? Jezebel was most likely a real woman, probably of another name, who was exerting great influence on some in the church. Let me set the background of Thyatria briefly. Thyatira was a city with a great number of trade guilds. They would be similar to, but not identical by any means, to trade associations today. For instance, labor unions would be a sort of trade guild; the NADA, AMA, and similar groups would be trade guilds. In Thyatira, it was almost mandatory to participate in them if you were going to be able to make a living. The problem for believers came because of the nature of these trade guilds. They involved feasts of worship to pagan gods and these feasts involved immorality. The pressure was tremendous on believers. “To what extent can we participate in these guilds without compromising?”

    Enter Jezebel, the one who called herself a prophetess, claiming to have some special revelation from God on that matter. She had the answer: – “Since an idol has no real existence (cf 1 Cor 8:4), you need not hesitate to go along with the simple requirements of the trade guild and participate in a common meal dedicated to some idol” (Thomas). It probably extended to the teaching that since they were believers, the things of the flesh can’t defile the spirit. No matter what sin you participated in, it was only fleshly, not spiritual. Such sin could not affect your spirit. Therefore you could participate in it with peace of mind. They even called it the “deep things of Satan.” Apparently they taught that these “deep things of Satan” were not defiling to the truly spiritual man. In fact, you can participate in them to demonstrate the reality of power of the Spirit over the power of sin.

    As they call them – the heretics in Thyatira; They called them the deep things of Satan. It may have been the idea that the truly experience the grace of God, one must enter into the stronghold of Satan and learn the limits of his power by emerging victorious (Mounce). They said that “one must know them, realize what they are by experience and experiment. This justified their fornication, adultery, and eating at idol feasts. They looked down upon the innocent Christians who refused to experiment and refrained from these things. These superior heretics claimed that they killed the flesh by indulging the flesh, claimed to plunge into filth to prove that it could not harm them, that they innocent Christians were only weak and afraid when they refused to do the same” (Lenksi).

    This could be an actual claim of the Jezebelites: “a Christian should fully know ‘the deep things of Satan’ in the sense that he ventures into Satan’s strongholds to demonstrate the powerlessness of the enemy over him, or else to learn the real nature of sin in this firsthand way” (Thomas). Probably among those who said that believers cannot sin (1 John 1:10). Perhaps similar to those who Corinth who claimed that physical things did not affect the spiritual relationship. “A gnostically influenced Christian could well boast about knowing the deep things of Satan, because his ‘knowledge’ told him that such things were unreal and harmless (cf. 1 Cor 8:1-4) or because he was so sure of his sinlessness (cf 1 John 1:8-9; 3:9) that he felt himself to be immune, i.e., beyond good and evil … The heretics rejoiced in their freedom in the Spirit to explore the sphere of Satan’s rule” (Thomas).

    It reflects the callousness of the heart in that they could participate in these ungodly things without a hint of remorse or conviction.

    “The chief hold, after all, of false religion, is the liberty it gives to the lusts which the heart loves. Repentance, which is God’s way out, the human heart hates” (Newell).