CHURCH OF THYATIRA (JEZEBEL)
* The principal deity of Thyatira was the ancient Lydian sun-god Tyrimnos (Tyrimnaeos) who was identified with the Greek sun-god Apollo.
* Of lesser importance was Boreitene, a goddess identified with Artemis, the sister of Apollo. Thyatira also paid homage to the goddess Sambethe or Sambethe, a Sibyl (from the Greek sibylla, prophetess) who claimed to speak for Apollo.
* The "Jezebel" within Thyatira's Christian community was a self-styled prophetess who advocated tolerance for guild festivities and their practices. She may have argued that a guild's patron deities need not be taken seriously. After all, everyone had to earn a living!
In the name of compromise, she told Christians it was permitted to be part of the guild community, so they could continue to make a living.
However, being part of the guild community, meant atleast agreeing to or accepting the idolatrous practices (which included huge feasts and potential sexual worship unto a false god).
One who simply does not 'get it':
* The above commentator does not understand that God is refering to a form of idolatry when he says "fornication".
Satan's so-called deep secrets:
* Manichean Gnosticism! - Another explanation for "Satan�s deep secrets" is that Jezebel, like the later Gnostics, taught that only by descending into the depths of evil could one appreciate the heights of God�s grace. Paul had also been forced to refute a similar idea in the church at Rome (Romans 6:1).
* This was designed off the idea of Gnosicism, whereas one can free their enlightened spirit, by defiling the physical body with sin and base desires.
Shall we sin that Grace may Abound:
* What did I just say, about five minutes ago? If you believe in the immortality of the soul, and if you accept dualism as a part of this, then sin becomes nothing to you. It really does not matter. And so sin abounds. But what did these people do? They then would claim the grace of God, and they would be free (they said) to do whatever they wanted in their body because the grace of God would cover it.
* In Ancient times they called themselves "Christians" not "Gnostics". Today they do the very same thing.
* Nicolaitans as a Gnostic sect: �John, the disciple of the Lord, preaches this faith (the deity of Christ), and seeks, by the proclamation of the Gospel, to remove that error which by Cerinthus had been disseminated among men, and a long time previously by those termed Nicolaitans, who are an offset of that �knowledge� falsely so called, that he might confound them, and persuade them that there is but one God, who made all things by His Word� (see Irenaeus Against Heresies iii 11. 1; ANF vol. 1, p. 426)
* The doctrine of the Nicolaitans appears to have been a form of antinomianism. (Antinomianism: A belief that is based upon a recognition of the mercy of God as the ground of salvation, but it makes the fatal mistake that man can freely partake in sin because the Law of God is no longer binding.
* James 2:19 with the admonition, "The devils also believe, and tremble";
* Nicolaitans of the 2nd century seem to have continued and extended the views of the 1st century adherents, holding to the freedom of the flesh and sin, and teaching that the deeds of the flesh had no effect upon the health of the soul and consequently no relation to salvation. On the other hand, the Bible teaches that Christians are supposed to "die" to sin and the deeds of our "flesh": "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
* �a different Gospel, which is really no Gospel at all� (Gal. 1:6�7 niv)
* �Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle� (Col. 2:21).
1. In Ancient times they called themselves "Christians" not "Gnostics". Today they do the very same thing.
2. There were three main schools of Gnosticism originally:
A. Mandaeanism - strongly dualistic worldview. Its adherents, the Mandaeans, revere Adam, Abel, Seth, Enosh, Noah, Shem, Aram and especially John the Baptist, but reject Abraham, Moses and Jesus of Nazareth. Mandaeism, as the religion of the Mandaean people, is based more on a common heritage than on any set of religious creeds and doctrines. A basic guide to Mandaean theology does not exist.
B. Manichaeism - Manichaeism taught an elaborate cosmology describing the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness. light is gradually removed from the world of matter and returned to the world of light from which it came.
1. The Cathars and Paulician Movements were condemned as being Manichean.
C. Syrian-Egyptian Gnosticism - Derives much of its outlook from Platonist influences. Evil in terms of matter. Goodness is spiritual and higher/greater. They often identified themselves as "Christian", though they were not Orthodox Christians.
1. The Valentinians derived from the Syrian-Egyptian Gnosticm. Valentinius came very close to becoming the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) or what is now the Roman Catholic Church.
2. The Basilidian Sect also came from Syrian/Egyptian form of Gnosicism. Irenaeus fought them vehemently.
COMMON ASPECTS OF THESE GROUPS:
1. EITHER, refraining from all physical activity, denying the physical:
2. OR, partaking in the physical, as the physical is evil and to defile the physical, one must partake in the sins of its nature, to release the soul:
A. The Cainites: they believed that indulgence in sin was the key to salvation because since the body is evil, one must defile it through immoral activity (see libertinism).
B. The Carpocratians and Borborites, also were libertine Gnostic Sects, like the Cainites (meaning they defiled their bodies to release their enlightened spirits).
Calvinism/Reformed Theology - is actually the descendant of Gnostics and Manicheans.