Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Deep Secrets of Satan

Revelation opens with a message to seven churches. The fourth church, the one in the center, is Thyatira. Thyatira's position in the seven indicates that God's message to her is heart and soul of his message to all the churches.

The church at Thyatira is in trouble. They have "tolerated the woman, Jezebel, who call herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols" (Rev. 2:20). The Holy Spirit threatens them with severe judgment if they do not repent and concludes by identifying Jezebel with "the deep things of Satan" (Vs 24).

The passage is a metaphor that points back to Israel's ancient history. Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, seventh king of Israel, was notoriously wicked. She was not a Jew. She grew up a worshipper of Baal. She embodied several profound corruptions.

First, she overthrew God's creation order. She dominated her husband, Ahab. She was the first feminist in biblical history.

Second, she introduced Israel to Baal worship. The adherents of Baal worshiped with sexual immorality. They worshiped with ritual cult prostitution in temples consecrated to Baal. He also encouraged sexual perversion. Baal encouraged sex role confusion. Males acted feminine and females masculine. Baal worship also involved infanticide, the offering of infants as living sacrifices.

Western culture looks like ancient Israel during the days of Jezebel. The same deceiving spirits have reappeared in more sophisticated, modern guise.  With Satan's "deep secrets" he is destroying first the family, then the church, and last the culture that leans on the church for strength and stability. The legitimization of homosexuality, the abuses of feminism, the divorce culture, transgender confusion, and the promotion of abortion all point to the sins of Jezebel and the god she worshiped, what Revelation calls the "deep secrets of Satan."

How should we respond? With repentance. God judged Jezebel  with violence. In fulfillment of prophecy she was thrown from an upper story window and eaten by dogs. All of her descendants were put to the sword. This should motivate us to repent of our sins, the sins of our fathers, and the sins of our culture. Turn from the "deep secrets of Satan," recognize their destructive nature, and put your hope in the living God.

6 comments:

  1. Bill... How old is Revelations? I grow more and more interested in researching when the New Testament was written. I also want to point out that while your intentions might be good, this quote is particularly troubling to me.

    -The legitimization of homosexuality, the abuses of feminism, the divorce culture, transgender confusion, and the promotion of abortion all point to the sins of Jezebel and the god she worshiped, what Revelation calls the "deep secrets of Satan." -

    What are we to make of this?

    I won't bore you with how in human civilization, for many years there remains a deep seated fear of women being independent by mainstream cultures. We know this is a man's world. Abortion also is a touchy topic, so an understanding may be maintained there. Something can even be said for divorce and the breakdown of the economically essential family unit. There are no easily discerned right or wrong answers to what should be done for these problems because it is too complex to morally generalize whether someone is right or wrong for, say divorce, in extenuating circumstances (abusive husband, children endangered). My immediate thought after reading this blog post was how can people be so pleasant to speak to and promote such indirect hate? I refer to the mention of the legitimacy of homosexuality and "transgender confusion." In an ideal world of god-fearing people what would be expected to do? Jail them? Kill them? Thankfully, today in many institutions of higher education, we are taught the results of research on human chemicals in the body, which determine, more than people could ever imagine, whether we identify as a male or female. Likewise for same-sex attraction. People always initially get it wrong. In matters of genetics and biological function, we cannot control how we turn out. A woman can have as much choice over being gay as I do over the size of my forehead, lips, nostrils, or the pigmentation of my skin. Even the type of women I find attractive. People do not just decide what type of women or friends they will be attracted to as a matter of policy.

    If I were to discuss the problems of this type of thinking I would need to write an entire book; so I will pose the question I have every time I encounter this.
    Bill,
    Why do smart people in the 21st century promote such ancient hatred??

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous: Thanks anonymous for your comments. I wished you had the courage to give us a name. You assume that the social sciences are the main arbiter of what is true and what is not. That faith Christians do not share. Our confidence is in scripture. Our hope is that God has revealed himself to us, a person and corresponding truths which we could no know nothing about but for his kindness and grace. My comments proceeded from faith in that revelation. It sounds like you have placed your faith elsewhere. I respect your views and thank you for sharing them with us.

    ReplyDelete
  3. After reading this I look at Islam more differently than I did before, and I am a God fearing Christian. It is up to us to convince our brothers and sisters to turn away from those things mentioned here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Anonymous: Quran 8:12

    "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"

    Not much room for disagreement there.

    God lets you deceide (free will) what to believe and choose.

    Unless I missed it I don't believe the New Testament tell me to cut your head off.

    ReplyDelete
  5. we saw what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah, our God is is a caring GOD and also a jealous one, so is better to love God than to rebel against him.

    ReplyDelete
  6. john was in a vison with god at his back and we were on our knees.when we pray what is happening in heaven is happening on earth.lets just pray that we are doing the same as heaven is doing.keep your focus on the word and not fight.just say glory to the lamb of god.

    ReplyDelete