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finally driven out from among men, and in the next age of the church had to flee into the wilderness. All this happened in the kingdom of Rome, “where satan dwelleth.”
“But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols and to commit fornication.” The world have always been endeavoring to draw the church of Christ into fellowship with them, and to a mixed communion of idolatry, as Balaam taught Balack to draw the children of Israel from their God and his commands, by mixing with the Jews in their worship, and at the same time by degrees introduce their priests, their altars and idol worship into their camp. In Constantine's day this mode of warfare was introduced with great success by Pagan worshipers, so that in little more than two centuries the greater part of the professed Christian church became the image of the beast of which we are now speaking, (viz.) Pagan Rome. Here, then, we see the rise of Papacy on the downfall of Pagan Rome. Whosoever will take the pains of comparing the Pagan manner of worship, forms and ceremonies with Papacy, cannot help being forcibly struck with the similarity of the two. One deified their departed heroes and poets, the other her departed saints and votaries. The one consulted her oracles and priests for laws and instructions, the other her popes and cardinals: The one had her altars, images and statues, the other her chapels, pictures and crosses. Both had them erected in every public place for the multitude to fall before and worship. Both had their holy fire, holy water, and both claimed to perform miracles; the one by the response of her wooden oracles, and the other by her carnal priesthood. Here, then, we see how the church in the fourth and fifth century was led over the stumbling block of Paganism, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication.
“ So also hast thou them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.” This doctrine was promulgated in the fourth century. See the church history and our former observations.
Repent or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.' Again the Lord calls for repentance, and threatens the judgments
too, had many of their brethren to sustain while combatting these errors against the power of this beast. They did much service in holding up the hands of their pious teachers and pastors who were not led away by this wicked one. How much faith, too, must they have been in possession of to have withstood the power of their councils, the excommunications of the Pope, and a majority of their brethren who had fell into Papal errors. How much“ patience,” to have remained unwavering amidst persecution when driven from their homes, their country and friends, into the wilderness, where God prepared a place for her. And how much more necessary were their last works to support each other in exile, poverty, and distress, the natural
consequence of being driven from among men. But these things were so according to the best account we can obtain of those times.
20, “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 to idols.” In this verse we have strong testimony that the exposition we have given of the seven churches is correct. For no character given the woman Jezebel will apply so exactly as the woman setting on the scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, “having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication."
Jezebel is a figurative name, alluding to Ahab's wife who slew the prophets of the Lord, led her husband into idolatry, and fed the prophets of Baal at her own table. A more striking figure could not have been used to describe the Papal abomination. See I. Kings, xviii. xix. xxi. chapters. It is very evident from history as well as from this verse in Revelations that the church of Christ did suffer some of the papal monks to preach and teach among them. See the history of the Waldenses.
21, " And I gave her space to repent of her fornication, and she repented not.” 22, “ Behold I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.” 23, “ 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.?! We cannot be mistaken in the character given to this mystical Jezebel when we compare the des
scription here used and the judgments threatened, with other passages of like import in Revelations, where mystical Babylon is described and threatened. See Rev. ix. 20, 21, “ And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues, yet repented not of the works of their hands that they should not worship devils and idols of gold and silver, and brass and stone and of wood, which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”
If these last texts mean anti-Christ, of which I believe none have any doubt, that is, no commentator that I have been able to consult, then it is equally evident that this woman called Jezebel, in this prophecy of the church in Thyatira, means the same; and the conclusion is strong that the Thyatira church represents the churches in some age of anti-Christ, and the prophecy contained in the verses we have already quoted are the judgments God has and will pour out on that great city that rules over the kings of the earth and has for ages past trodden the church under foot and contaminated the people of God by her seductions, sorceries and fornications.
24, “ 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.” 25, “ But that which ye have already, hold fast till I come.” In these verses the church which have not fellowshiped the anti-christian doctrine, and have not followed the practices of the satanic blasphemies of their abominations, are here promised to experience no other persecution except what they may experience from this beast or woman Jezebel, which is another proof of this being anti-Christ: for the church in Thyatıra has long been extinct, if there ever was such a church, and was when the man of sin was revealed, and yet they are promised to have none other burden until he come, as it is more than implied; and this power is to stand until he
For Paul says, “ Whom he shall consume with the spirit of his mouth and destroy with the brightness of his coming.” This is Daniel's fourth kingdom which was to be broken without hand, and to be carried away like the chaff of the summer threshing floor before the wind, that no place be found for it. **26, “And he that overcometh and keepeth my works