Read verses 19-20
Q: What are the different aspects of the “good news” in v.19?
- “I know your deeds…”
- “I know…your love…”
- “I know…your faith…”
- “I know…your perseverance…”
- “I know….that your deeds of late are greater than at first”.
Application: It is possible that even in churches with serious issues permeating throughout that there are still members who are excelling at the things which qualify them as authentic Christians?
Q: What is the “bad news”?
A: “…you tolerate the woman Jezebel…” (v.20)
Point: The word “tolerate” is rarely used in Scripture because it carries with it the meaning to compromise in a way that allows biblically ill behavior.
19For you, being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly. 20For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face.
2 Corinthians 11:19-20
Q: What is significant about using the term “tolerate”?
A: In Pergamum it was said, “…some…hold the teaching of Balaam”, (Rev. 2:14) but here it not an issue of endorsing and following someone and their false teaching, but tolerating it—allowing it to continue unchallenged even though you don’t believe it.
Application: Remember this the next time someone says you are wrong to speak out against a false teacher or movement because they believe them to be a Christian, something so scripturally askew that Christ says it should not be tolerated by true Christians in good standing with Him.
Q: Who was the original Jezebel and what are the qualities that defined her?
A: As originally recorded in the books of 1 & 2 Kings, she was an unbelieving daughter of a Gentile king married to Ahab, then ruler of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. To her is attributed the introduction of Ba’al worship into Israel, which again fits very well with the character of “feminine oppression”.
Q: How was this false worship incorporated into the very fabric of Israel?
A: This was not merely bringing in a false god to compete with the True God of Israel, but was incorporated into Hebrew worship with a false priesthood, false temples, and false practices which all used the terminology and outward appearances of Judaism.
Point: What is taking place in Thyatira is an attempt to look, sound, and feel like Christianity so it will be accepted and eventually replace the authentic.
Q: How does Ba’al worship parallel what is taking place in Thyatira?
A: The Hebrew word for “Ba’al” means “husband” or “master”, and Israel was supposed to be exclusively faithful to Yahweh her Husband and Master. (Is. 54:5; Jer. 31:32; Eze. 16:32; Hos. 2:7) This is also true of the Church, often referred to as His woman.
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
Point: The spirit of Jezebel embodies the attempt to seduce God’s woman into unfaithfulness to another.
Q: How do we know for sure whom Jezebel is targeting to this end?
A: “…she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols”. (v.20)
Q: What is the second charge levied against Jezebel?
A: She “calls herself a prophetess”. (v.20)
Q: To what is her false prophecies directly tied?
A: Her teaching. (v.20) False prophecies and false teaching are two sides of the same coin—where one is present the other inevitably follows.
Application: The faithful may not be following false influences in the Church, but neither are they to tolerate them.