Holiness Is Staying Scriptural
"He who has My commandments and keeps them . . . loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."
-John 14:21, emphasis added
What did the visiting Christ say that He had against the church at Thyatira? He said that there was toleration of evil in the assembly. Does that mean we shouldn't bring the lost to church? No, bring them--just don't start parading them as saints, redeemed ones, and part of the body of Christ. What was the evil? They allowed a disobedient and sinful woman to teach them: "I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and [seduce] My servants" (Revelation 2:20). Who was Jezebel? She may have been the wife of a pastor or a powerful false teacher who was leading the church astray.
There is a heritage of women who have educated generations of young people. They have a gender specific role in the church, as they have in the family. However, they are not to be the primary teacher or leader of a church. This is normal-the world is abnormal. God said women are not to teach the church (1 Timothy 2:12), but they may teach in the church. Women are not less or inferior; God simply gave women a specific role that is subordinate. Jesus is subordinate to God the Father; the church is subordinate to Jesus Christ; men are subordinate to the church; and women are subordinate to men. Jesus is not less than God. This is how God ordained things. But the Thyatirans decided not to obey that divine order.
Women being in submission to men in the home and the church has its roots in Creation, not the Fall. This is mandatory in Christ's church: women are not to lead the assembly (1 Timothy 2:12-14; 1 Corinthians 14 . But this Jezebel defied God's order and was leading Christ's bondservants astray. However, that was not new. In 1 Kings 18 Ahab's Jezebel led Israel into gross idolatry and introduced male and female sex perverts into the priesthood of Baal worship. The falsehoods of Christian Science were started by Mary Baker Eddy. Theosophy's errors were propounded by Annie Besant and Madame Blavatsky. Seventh Day Adventism was led astray in the teachings of Ellen White, and so forth. Beware of women who go against God's Word and lead churches, for they will face judgment.
What can we learn from today's lesson? Be scriptural and be balanced. We should not be hard-hearted, legalistic, Ephesus-like Christians who harshly judge others and punish with loveless indifference. Neither should we be weak and limp, tolerating all in love, with no rules and no offense. Both legalism and undue tolerance lead to error and judgment. Be scriptural: know it and do it. Be balanced: love with a pure heart, and hate sin.
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