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Commentary and thoughts on Revelation 2:20

The commentaries I have been tossing out here, are the result of my interactions with a mix of men. Some come to Monday morning Bible study, a couple of others I have been introduced to at the various coffee shops we used to sit at.
Call me naive if you wish, but I really am an optimist, believing that other “Christians” would be interested in discussing scripture, or at a minimum, sharing what God has done their lives. One fellow in particular consistently interrupted the flow of conversation with a joke, a story, and a recap of his historical background as a pastor. We, for the longest time, tried to get him to stop with the interruptions, but he would not. The result, I left the group for about six months. (Sometimes you have to get your brain back.) When I was invited back to the group, I found that the trouble maker had taken my admonitions perhaps too seriously, because he appointed himself as the table pastor, thinking he has the authority to control our interactions in the public venues we sit at.
If you have the audacity to assume the position of leader, then you have a responsibility to keep your opinion, which is loaded with conjecture, to a minimum. A second aspect is that you should stick closely to God's word.
Here is a tip: The Word of God is almost self-explanatory; this is especially true when you do your homework, think like a Jew, and look for the patterns that initiate within the Old Testament.
Our little group, because the “leader” decided he wanted to, has taken us into the Churches of Revelation. That wouldn't be a problem if we hadn't just spent almost two years unsuccessfully hashing our way through the Revelation. Never-the-less, these forays always seem to give me fuel to work with. Jezebel is one of those, and we find her in Revelation 2:20.
Revelation 2:20 NIrV "But here is what I have against you. You put up with that woman Jezebel. She calls herself a prophet. With her teaching, she has led my servants into sexual sin. She has tricked them into eating food offered to statues of gods.
,(Look this up in 1Kings 21:7-17).
I will initiate the response with a bit of context. Ahab wanted the vineyard of Naboth, but the man would not sell, and this primed Ahab for his depression. Now read about his interaction with this deadly wife of his.
1 Kings 21:6 NIrV He answered her, "Because I spoke to Naboth from Jezreel. I said, 'Sell me your vineyard. Or, if you prefer, I'll give you another vineyard in its place.' But he said, 'I won't sell you my vineyard.'"
After hearing what her husband had to say, she responds with:
1Kings 21:7-17 NIrV His wife Jezebel said,
"Is this how the king of Israel acts?
Get up!
Eat something! Cheer up.
I'll get you the vineyard of Naboth from Jezreel."
(8) So she wrote some letters in Ahab's name. She stamped them with his seal. Then she sent them to the elders and nobles who lived in the city where Naboth lived. (9) In those letters she wrote, "Announce a day when people are supposed to go without eating. Have Naboth sit in an important place among the people. (10) But put two worthless and evil men in seats across from him. Have them witness to the fact that he has called down curses on God and the king. Then take him out of the city. Kill him by throwing stones at him." (11) So the elders and nobles who lived in that city did what Jezebel wanted. They did everything she directed in the letters she had written to them. (12) They announced a day of fasting. They had Naboth sit in an important place among the people. (13) Then two worthless and evil men came and sat across from him. They brought charges against Naboth in front of the people. The two men said, "Naboth has called down curses on God and the king." So they took him outside the city. They killed him by throwing stones at him. (14) Then they sent a message to Jezebel. They said, "Naboth is dead. We killed him by throwing stones at him." (15) Jezebel heard that Naboth had been killed. As soon as she heard it, she said to Ahab, "Get up. Take over the vineyard of Naboth from Jezreel. It's the one he wouldn't sell to you. He isn't alive anymore. He's dead." (16) Ahab heard that Naboth was dead. So he got up. He went down to take over Naboth's vineyard. (17) Then a message from the LORD came to Elijah, who was from Tishbe. It said,
I have a Question, and it's a huge one, what is Jezebel: is she representative of the historical person, a spirit, or the real thing?
  • It would not be logical to assume that this is the Jezebel that I showed you from 1Kings since Jezebel is long since dead.
  • It is also possible that there is a demon/fallen angel that carries the name Jezebel and has possessed this woman. Since spirit beings live forever then this thing that is controlling her could well be alive today in someone else. Jesus explained all this when he told the group following him, that when a demon is cast out, it seeks someplace to make its abode. Not finding a place it will attempt to return to its last home. Take the time to look this up for yourselves. You will find it in Matthew 12:43-45. (We too are spirit beings clothed in human bodies, and will, therefore, continue to exist/live forever with the person we choose to follow, whether it be Satan or Jehovah.)
  • Our third option is that this person is representative of things that Jezebel stood for (which was nothing good.)
What do we know about the historical Jezebel?
2 Kings 9:30 NIrV Jehu went to Jezreel. Jezebel heard about it. So she put makeup on her eyes and fixed her hair. She looked out of a window.
She had ordered Naboth to be killed. She did this through deceit, attributing her actions to her husband, and distributing the guilt among many. I suppose the alternate motive here would be an attempt to remove guilt from yourself. Does this sound more familiar if I include the name Benghazi? It should as Hillary Clinton, the then, Secretary of State, knowingly sacrificed good men so that she and our president's sins would not be found out and tied back to her.
2 Kings 9:22 NIrV When Joram saw Jehu he asked, "Have you come here in peace, Jehu?" "Your mother Jezebel worships statues of gods," Jehu replied. "She also worships evil powersThe evil things she does have spread everywhere. As long as all of that goes on, how can there be peace?"
  • Jezebel worships statues of gods,
  • She worships evil powers.
  • The evil things she does have spread everywhere.
Look once again at Revelation 2:20 where it says, “But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman, Jezebel,”
Tolerate? We tolerate uncomfortable shoes because we think they make us look better. Paul, in his letter to the Corinthian church, addressed a group of people who tolerated some open perversion within their body of believers.
1 Corinthians 5:2 NIrV And you are proud! Shouldn't you be filled with sadness instead? Shouldn't you have put the man who did that out of your church?
The obvious answer to Paul's question is, YES, they should have, and why? Because cancers, left to grow, will kill the body.
In continuing to find the nature, character, and identity of this "Jezebel," I continue.
1 Kings 18:19 NIrV "Now send for people from all over Israel. Tell them to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the 450 prophets of the god Baal. Also, bring the 400 prophets of the goddess Asherah. All of them eat at Jezebel's table."
We do not immediately perceive from Revelation 2:20 that "she" had a deep influence upon the church in Thyatira, but what we do understand is very blatant:
  • She has led my servants into sexual sin.
Since the marriage bed is blessed by God, there would be no sexual sin, unless you brought in outside perversion.
  • She teaches.
This implies teaching people within the church body, that it is okay to indulge in perversity - thinking that it played some role in worship. Ah, but of what?
  • And she has tricked them into eating food offered to statues of gods.
Let's create a scenario. Having been invited to a home, with the legitimate purpose of espousing the gospel more clearly. Dinner is served, whatever that looks like. You eat it and enjoy.
Having been to Tijuana Mexico on a "missionary" trip, we were escorted in Mexico by two pastors from the area. That evening they took us to a house with no doors and windows where we had the best tacos I can remember. I never asked what kind of meat they put in the tacos, or what the sanitary conditions were because I did not want to ruin the meal I was enjoying. And besides, the pastors were wholeheartedly eating their tacos.
Now back to this home we have been invited to. You might make a statement like, “this is delicious, how was it prepared so that I might make it also?” In many cases, you can go into a home where you are immediately confronted by Buddha statues, or the Indian god of war, Kali. I go to a Chinese, fast food restaurants and there is almost always a small cat-like god by the cash register and fruit is sitting there clearly offered up to this thing. The point being that the indulgences of others are not always so obvious. Having asked your host the question, they tell you that they are Muslims, and all their meats are Halal, offered up to Allah. (Take the time to look up what makes food Halal.)
Now, aware that you are eating meat specifically offered to some fallen demon angel named Allah, are you knowingly worshiping Allah in your participation? I presented this hypothetical question (Costco sells Halal certified meat in the deli department) to the men I sit with, just to hear what they would say. While some struggled with making a decision, another came back immediately with, I would eat and not feel guilty about any of it. He added, Paul gave us the freedom because all things are legal for us. I tossed in my thoughts, saying, I refuse to buy meats sacrificed to Allah, if for no other reason than to not support what they potentially do with that money.
Not everything is so black and white, is it?


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