Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Advent and Apocalypse: The Church at Thyatira

And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding 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. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak ; I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers : even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

It's very tempting to make correspondences between modern public figures and the folk mentioned in the Revelation, particularly if we treat the book as the chronicle of the events to come. We may readily see Jezebels in the Church - indeed with all the changes that have been implemented in Church Doctrine recently, it's quite clear that such Jezebels exist. The Thyatiran Jezebel was obviously a woman hence the allusion to the idolatrous and scheming queen of I (or III) Kings xvi-xxi. Does it necessarily follow that the Jezebels of the modern church have to be female? And who are the Jezebels?

Christ makes it perfectly clear to the Church that anyone who tries to water down the Christian faith with the atheistic practices of an ambient society is not to be tolerated. The Church has to say NO loudly and make a clear disassociation from those who think that the Doctrine of Christ is compatible with a fallen world. It is God and God alone who will punish all who lead people astray from the Way of Salvation according to how they do so. Only Christ has the authority to do so because He and He alone has eyes that search the soul and He and He alone stands firmly and immovably.

The interesting thing is that Christ knows that His Church is going from strength to strength. We are building upon firm foundations and it is only these voices of synchretism which are causing a deviation from where we should be. If we polish our foundations, our feet will shine like brass. If we look into the eyes of Christ, our eyes will burn too and we will be able to see as He sees and bear the authority that He wants to share with us. In following Christ faithfully, we gain the sign of the coming light -Christ Himself.

Teach us, Almighty Father, to conform to Thy ways and thus cleanse our souls. Grant us, we beseech Thee, the grace to tolerate no deviation from Thy Way and to practice the doctrine of Thy Love that Thy Church may reflect the light of Her Saviour and draw the nations to Thy Holy and Charitable Presence. We make our prayer through the same Way, even Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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