Revelation 2:20 Index
"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 unto idols."
Research Material

PROBLEM: The problem(s) the church is faced with. "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 unto idols." (KC 50)

"...thou sufferest..."

  • Greek work aphiemi, "to permit," "to allow to operate." The church was at fault not only because many openly submitted to apostasy but also because no earnest effort was being made to check the course of evil. (7BC 751)

"...that woman Jezebel..."

  • The book of Revelation is filled with symbolism, and it is necessary for us to understand what is being described. In . . . [Revelation 2:20] . . . John speaks of Jezebel, who had lived seven hundred years before his day. Jezebel was certainly not alive, but he used her to represent the condition of the church. (KC 110)
  • In Bible prophecy, a woman represents a church, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it..." (Ephesians 5:25), "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church." (Ephesians 5:32). The church is referred to as the bride of Christ. Since the Scriptures refers to both good and bad women, in prophecy women represent both good and bad churches. Revelation could not be talking about Queen Jezebel in flesh and blood at this time in history. She'd been dead for 900 years. Therefore, it must be using her as a symbol of a church. (KC 53)
  • The prophet in Israel at the time of Jezebel and Ahab was Elijah. James 5:17 tells us about the period of time God gave Jezebel and Ahab to repent: "Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months." (KC 53)
  • What right did Elijah have to pray for it not to rain? The Lord had made it perfectly clear that they would receive rain if they followed Him. "Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God. Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD. If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit." (Leviticus 26:1-4). (KC 53-54)
  • The Israelites were far from walking with the Lord. "And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him. And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria." (I Kings 16:30-32). (KC 54)
  • In Revelation, John is comparing the conditions in the Church of Thyatira to the days of Jezebel. Queen Jezebel was foremost in corrupting Israel and Judah by leading them into Baal worship. The Lord gave Israel and Judah a time to repent (three and a half years). God gave the church of Thyatira the same opportunity for repentance. With the coming of the Reformation in the 1500s God was calling the Church to turn around and repent, just as He had with Israel of old. (KC 54)
    • God gave Israel three and a half years to come back to Him - and He gave the Church three and a half prophetic years to repent. (KC 54)
    • Remember, there was no rain in Israel for three and a half years. (KC 54)
    • In Bible prophecy, a day represents one year. (KC 54)
    • Ezekiel 4:6 says: "I have appointed thee each day for a year." (KC 54)
    • In biblical reckoning of time there are 360 days in a biblical year. (Genesis 7) (KC 54)
    • 3.5 years x 360 = 1,260 years (KC 54)
    • 538 AD + 1260 + 1798 AD (KC 54)
  • This is the period of time in history when the Dark Ages took place. Church and State came together in 538 A.D., and continued until 1798 A.D., a period of 1,260 years. During that time, the Church of Rome was in control and led the people away from following the Lord. God gave her a time to repent, and she repented not. (KC 54)
  • For the account of the historical Jezebel see 1 Kings 16:31; 1 Kings 18:13; 1 Kings 19:1; 1 Kings 19:2; 1 Kings 21:5-16; 1 Kings 21:23-25; 2 Kings 9:30-37. It would appear that, as Jezebel sponsored the worship of Baal in Israel (1 Kings 21:25), so in John's day some false prophetess was attempting to lead astray the church at Thyatira. The message indicates that here, even more than at Pergamum (Revelation 2:14), apostasy was openly and defiantly rampant. As applied to the Thyatira period of Christian history, the figure of Jezebel represents the power that produced the great apostasy of the medieval centuries, [the Roman Catholic Church]. (Daniel 7; Revelation 2:18; Revelation 17). (7BC 751)

"...to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols." (Revelation 2:14; 2 Kings 9:22)

  • This doubtless had, first, a local application to the church at Thyatira. Applied to the Thyatira period of church history, this wold represent an admixture of paganism with Christianity (Ezekiel 16:15; Revelation 17:1). This process was accelerated greatly under Constantine and his successors. Generally speaking, medieval Christianity was more pagan in form and in spirit than it was Christian. (7BC 751)