Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Letter to the Congregation at Thyratira

The letter to the church at Thyratira is the longest, with the longest rebuke.  Another long post.

What has happened in Pergamos is now full-blown.  It represents the dark and middle ages (approx 600 to 1500), and is what happened when Catholicism became the government.

Thyratira means daughter or it can also mean continual sacrifice.  The previous name of the city was Semiramis – the queen of heaven – the original pagan goddess. 

Here is the letter:

“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,
‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: 19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. 20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
24 “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. 25 But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—
27 ‘ He shall rule them with a rod of iron;
They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—

as I also have received from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star.
29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

This letter begins with a description of the Son of God:  Eyes – like fire.  Feet – fine brass (which doesn’t melt in fire).  This letter is about judgement.  One thing to note:  this church did have some good things said about it, unlike the one to follow.  The church at Thyratira was credited for their love, service, faith patience, and works, which were increasing. 

Thyratira was known for its dyes – purple and scarlet. Tuck that piece of information away for now.

This was a terrible time in church history.  It happened because someone tolerated Jezebel.  There is a spirit of Jezebel which was operating in Thyratira, and they were allowing it to happen. 

Here's the first part of the story:

1 Kings 16
Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him. 31 And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him. 32 Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. 33 And Ahab made a wooden image. Ahab did more to provoke the LORD God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him.

It is Jezebel behind the scene who was running the show.  She came from Phoenicia, which means land of purple – the dye that made it famous. . In Revelation 17, we read about a harlot who is also dressed in purple and scarlet.  Jezebel was the daughter of the king of Phoenicia, and a Baal worshipper  (Baal represents the head honcho of many little gods).  The mother of Baal is Asherah (or Ishtar, or Oestre, or Semiramis – same thing).  This marriage between Ahab and Jezebel was to produce a trade alliance between Israel (Northern kingdom) and Phonecia.

Israel was mixing its holy calling with paganism by forming an alliance with the northern country.   The time of Jezebel was the darkest in Israel, and this letter represents darkest in church history.  Jezzy also killed the prophets (1 Kings 18:13)  She was stopping the Word of God.  And she was murdering, and Ahab allowed it, just as the church in the middle ages was allowing it.

The next part of the story is the account of Elijah on Mt. Carmel, the challenge between Elijah and the prophets of Baal.  He made fun of them, they cut themselves and bleed on the altar.  Then Elijah threw water on it.  Verse 21 – And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.  Just like in Thyratira, there was a mixture going on between worship of God and paganism, and they were not choosing.   Elijah called on the Lord, who sent down fire and burned up everything.  He killed all the false prophets and there was revival in Israel. 

Jezebel’s other great sin was in 1 Kings 21 – the vineyard sin.  Ahab wanted to buy Naboth’s vineyard and was told no.  Jezebel plotted to get it for him and usurps the king’s leadership.  She hires two witnesses to testify against him falsely and had him murdered.   In verse 23, God told Ahab that Jezebel was going to get eaten by dogs.  She did.  Read 2 Kings 9 - it's pretty gross.  She was trampled and then eaten by dogs – destroyed like dung, so that none can make a shrine for her. 

Ahab was rotten because he was urged on by his wife.  Believe it or not, Ahab actually repented – so God relented and said that He would visit the judgement on Ahab’s son instead of Ahab.

The vineyard account tells of Jezebel murdering to get land and possessions.   The church of 500 – 1500 murdered and murdered to get land, possessions, and power.

In the late 300s, Emperor Theodosius made church membership mandatory.  The church was made into the image of the Roman Empire and took a nosedive into 1000 years of papal abominations.  It featured outward ceremony and splendor, just like the heathen temples.  In 395, the empire was split into East and West.  Pope Leo I in 440 proclaimed himself Lord of the whole church and exclusive papal authority.  Resistance to his authority meant a "road to hell" and the death penalty for those who disagreed. 

In 742, Charlemagne helped the popes to become world powers.

The “midnight of the dark ages” was full of bribery, simony (the purchase of church office or pardons with money), corruption, fornication, murder, etc.  Here is a sad and horrible list of examples - by no means exhaustive - from 900 to 1500: 
  • Pope Innocent declared the doctrine of transubstantiation, ordered two crusades, papal infallibility, condemned the Magna Carta, forbade reading of the bible, and instituted the Inquisition, among other things.
  • John the 23rd was a fornicator, he bought the papal office, and openly denied life after death. 
  • Paul II sanctioned the Spanish Inquisition, and he also made the declaration that money would deliver souls from purgatory. 
  • Leo X regarded the papal office purely as a source of money.  Under him, Rome massacred multitudes during the Reformation.
  • Overall, the church killed more people than the Holocaust did.

Hitler justified his Final Solution by pointing out that the church had oppressed the Jews for centuries.  More than 100 anti-semitic documents were published by the Catholic church.  Hitler was a Catholic in good standing and had hoped at one time to become a priest.  As a child, he attended a Benedictine monastary for a year.  The abbott was involved in the occult and Hitler first encountered the ancient Hindu swastika there. 

The “ratlines’ of the catholic church helped WW2 war criminals - like the SS - escape. 

There exist today many false teachings.  You may not agree with me on this, especially if you are a Catholic, and it is not my purpose to offend.  (I was one until about age 21).  If you believe some of these things, I hope you will prayerfully consider why.
  • Infant baptism wipes original sin away and now one can earn one’s way to heaven,
  • ,Grace is not available directly by God but through sacraments, Jesus, and finally through Mary, and the worship of images. 
  • Rome says there is power in statues and relics to work miracles, and as such they are devoutly worshipped from the pope on down
  • Mandatory celibacy of priests
  • Mary remaining a virgin her entire life in spite of the scriptures that speak about the siblings of Jesus,
  • confession to a priest instead of directly to Jesus,
  • Existence of purgatory prior to heaven so that the priest can control the people and make money through indulgences. 
  • Transubstantiation - the literal eating of the body and blood of Christ through the daily repeating of the sacrifice, and worshipping the wafer -  the idea that every time they have communion, they are crucifying the Lord all over again.  Remember the second meaning of Thyratira – continual sacrifice? But Jesus was crucified once and for all. 
  • Mariolatry – salvation depends on favor from and intercession by Mary – goddess worship.  Modern popes call her “the queen of heaven.”  Where have we heard that before?  Go check out the words of Jeremiah 7 and Jeremiah 44.

In Revelation, there are tough warnings of intense suffering for those of mixed religion, unless they repent.  God is not happy and he will destroy those responsible and strike dead their offspring (future generations). 

Verse 28 offers the overcomers the gift of the morning star – contrasting sun worship.  It comes up before the sun.  Jesus is the Morning Star.

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