THE THYATIREAN CHURCH AGE



The Time Period - 606 AD to 1520 AD.

The Messenger - Columba

The Bible Reference - Revelation 2: 18-29

The City - Thyatira

The Message To The Fourth Age - Thyatira

Part:One Two Three Four five

THE TIME PERIOD

The Thyatirean Age lasted the longest of them all, about 900 years, from 606 to 1520 AD. In this Age, Jezebel, the false prophetess, the spirit of Balaamism and the Nicolaitane attitude of the False Vine seems to have triumphed over the True Vine. But a believing remnant is found to have endured the on-slaught of "false religion" in this Age.

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THE MESSENGER - Columba

Continuing to use the "A God Given Rule for choosing the messenger to each age, we find that the Brother whose ministry most closely compares to that of the first messenger, Paul, was St. Columba. His ministry to the Thyatirean Age was powerful in Word and Demonstration of the Spirit. He stayed with the "original Word", over-ruling all human opinions and ideas. He took his stand against the "religious tradition" which was now becoming ingrained in people's thinking, through the teaching of the false vine.

Actually there were two men in the British Isles, whose ministry in Word and deed could stand the test of truth. They were St. Patrick and St. Columba. But it was to St. Columba that the lot of being the messenger fell. Before looking more closely at his life and ministry let's take a brief look at the life of St. Patrick.

In spite of claims to the contrary by the Roman Catholic Church, St. Patrick was not a Roman Catholic, no more than Joan of Arc. Patrick was born to the sister of St. Martin in the little town of Bonavern on the banks of the river Clyde. One day while playing on the shoreline with his two sisters, pirates approached and kidnapped all three. Patrick (his name was Succat) was sold to a chieftain in Northern Ireland but his sisters were never heard of again. In Ireland his job was to tend the swine. Eventually he was able to train dogs to assist him in his job. So well trained were his dogs that many people came from far and near to buy them.

It was a lonely existence for a young man so far from home and family. But his loneliness drove him to call on the Lord for comfort. He entered into a deep saving and keeping relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. With his new found faith in Christ came the urgent desire to escape and return home to his parents. Using his God-given ability as a dog-trainer he devised a plan to escape. God prospered his plan to escape. With the help of the dogs and a Christian Captain of a boat Patrick finally reached home.

At home Patrick went to Bible school and returned to Ireland where, by the Word and the power of God, and in many signs and wonders he won thousands to the Lord. At no time did be ever go to Rome nor at any time was he commissioned by Rome. The truth of the matter is that when Rome finally gained a foothold on the island and when they saw the time was opportune, they killed over 100,000 Christians who had over the years grown out of the original group that had come to the Lord under St. Patrick. Yet, as great as his ministry was, he was not to be the Messenger to the Age.

About 60 years after the death of St. Patrick, Columba was born in County Donegal, North Ireland, to the royal family of Fergus. He became a brilliant, consecrated scholar, committing to memory most of the Scripture. God called him in an audible voice to be a missionary. After he had beard the voice of God, nothing could stop him, and his miraculous ministry has caused many historians to acclaim him next to the apostles. So great was his ministry with the supernatural signs following that some (especially students in Rome) supposed that the accounts were exaggerated. But God testified of validity of His servants ministry.

In one of his missionary journeys, as he approached a walled city, he found the gates barred against him. He lifted his voice in prayer that God might intervene and allow him access to the people in order to preach. But as he prayed the court magicians began to harass him with loud noises. He then began to sing a psalm. As he sang, God so increased the volume of his voice that he drowned out the cries of the heathen. Suddenly the gates burst open of their own accord. He entered in and preached the Gospel, winning many to the Lord.

On another occasion when he was also shut out from a village, as he turned away to depart, the son of the chief suddenly became violently ill, even unto death. St. Columba was quickly sought after and recalled. When be prayed the prayer of faith the boy was instantly healed. The village was then opened to evangelization by the Gospel.

The pure Gospel that was preached by Columba and his fellow workers spread over the whole of Scotland, turning it to God. It also overflowed into Ireland and over Northern Europe. His means of spreading the Gospel was one wherein perhaps twelve men under a leader would go into a new area and literally build a Gospel-centered town. Amongst these twelve men would be carpenters, teachers, preachers, etc., all wonderfully versed in the Word and holy living.

This little colony was enclosed by a wall. Soon this enclosure would be surrounded by students and their families in their own homes, learning the Word and preparing to go out and serve the Lord as missionaries, leaders, and preachers. The men were free to marry though many (of their own free will) chose not to marry that they may devote more of their time to serving God. They remained free from state help, and thereby steered clear of politics. Instead of ever attacking other religions they taught the truth for they believed that the truth was weapon enough to accomplish the ends that God had in mind for them. They were absolutely independent of Rome.

St. Columba was the founder of a great Bible school on the island of Hy (off the S.W. coast of Scotland). When he went there the island was so barren and rocky that it could not bear enough food for them all. But Columba planted seed with one hand while he held the other aloft in prayer. Today the island is one of the most fertile in the world. From this Bible-centered island went forth mighty scholars with wisdom and the power of God.

When Brother Branham read the history of this great servant of God and the wonderful work he did, his heart was saddened to find that the papal power, lusting to bring all men into its grasp, came and eventually defiled these mission fields and destroyed the truth as it was taught by Columba. Nicolaitanism and Balaamism had taken it's toll, but a few [along with Columba] would be found faithful.

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THE BIBLE REFERENCE

Revelation 2:18-29:

"And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet [are] like fine brass;

I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last [to be] more than the first.

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.

And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

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.

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.

But that which ye have [already] hold fast till I come.

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

And I will give him the morning star.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."

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The City - Thyatira
The Prophetic Meaning Of It's Name


The first mention of this city is in Acts 16:14. Here we find reference to the first known Christian convert in Europe - a woman named Lydia, of the city of Thyatira. Her heart was receptive to the words of the Apostle Paul.

The city of Thyatira was situated between the cities Pergamos and Sardis. The Church in Pergamos represented the previous "third" Church Age, and Sardis respresents the next or "fifth" Church Age. Thyatira's Geographic position runs parrallel with it position in prophecy. Dyeing apparently formed an important part of the industrial activity of Thyatira, as it did of that of Collossae and Laodicea.

Historically, the city was the least noteworthy of all the seven cities of the Revelation. It was situated on the confines of Mysia and Ionia. It was surrounded by many rivers, but they were full of leeches. Its most commendable feature was that it was well off financially due to the corporate guilds of potters, tanners, weavers, dyers, robe makers, etc.

The reason that the Spirit chose this city as the one already containing the spiritual attributes for the fourth age was because of its religion. The major religion of Thyatira was the worship of Apollo Tyrimnaios which was joined with the emperor worship cult. Apollo was the sun god, and the next in power to his father, Zeus. He was known as the 'averter of evil'; presiding over religious law and expiation (means of atonement, making amends for wrong-doing or guilt). Apollo communicated his knowledge of 'the future' and his 'father's will' to men through his prophets and oracles. In Thyatira this ritual was conducted by a prophetess who sat on a tripod chair and delivered the messages while entranced. In this Age the "organized" Christian Church would continue to be influenced by the Pagan religious "forms and rituals".

The hold of this pagan religion was remarkable. Its formidable power did not lie exclusively in the realm of mystery, but lay in the fact no one could belong to the guilds which offered the people their living unless they belonged to the temple worship of Apollo. Anyone who refused to join in the idolatrous feasts and licentious orgies was barred from these first century unions. In order to be a part of the social and commercial life one had to be a practising pagan idolator Of course, this is but a 'type' of what would come in the latter days wherein, "...no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Revelation 13:17.

I think it important that we take note of the meaning of the name Thyatira: "Dominating Female." It's important also to note that in Scripture 'woman' represents a 'church'. Paul referred to the Church-Bride of Christ as "The Elect Lady". John, in Revelation referred to the false church as "Mystery, Babylon The Great, the Mother of harlots". But the Church-Bride of Christ is NOT a "dominating female". She is submissive to Christ, through obedience to His Word. But we do find in Scripture that the false, Mystery, Babylon the Great Church is very dominating, very powerful, very deceptive and influential - so much so that the Bible says of her: ".....the kings of the earth have committed fornication [with her], and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication." Revelation 17:2.

For the dominating, powerful and pagan religion of Thyatira the deception and fornication was literal; but for the false, Mystery, Babylon the Great Church, it is spiritual fornication - partaking of things pagan (contrary to the Word of God) while at the same time professing to be Christian. For the sake of personal gain many professing Christians compromised their faith and joined the guilds which were controlled by the pagans. Only a few were not defiled with the conditions and influences which prevailed in this Age. The false, Mystery, Babylon the Great Church was pushing the Holy Spirit-led Elect Lady aside, giving heed to the leadership of man rather than allowing the Holy Spirit to guide them.

Also, note that one of the dominating forces in the Thyatirean pagan religion was a 'woman', it's prophetess, who while entranced and setting on a tripod chair, would supposedly receive messages from the pagan god, Apollo Tyrimnaios.

Not to be out-done by the pagans, the false, Mystery, Babylon the Great Church also had the 'spirit' of a woman prophetess (Jezebel), dominating, teaching and seducing the servants of God into committing spiritual fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols. The City of Thyatira, with it's way of life, it's commerce, it's pagan religion, and it's anti-christ "organized" representation of Christianity was most certainly prophetic of the Age which would bear it's name.

Solomon spoke of the "dominating female" in these words:

"...I find more BITTER THAN DEATH THE WOMAN, whose heart is snares and nets, and her hands as bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the SINNER shall be taken by her."

Many in this age were taken-in by this dominating false representation of Christianity, which weilded so much power that during the Dark Ages it martyred 68,000,000 of those who opposed it's reign. No wonder the Bible says that this Anti-christ church is "drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus:" The false was beginning to far out number the True representatives of Christ in the earth.

As we continue our study we will see that the Scriptures are showing us two pictures:

1. The Revelation of Jesus Christ to His Elect Bride in every Age and the promise to the overcomers;

2. The evolution of the Roman Catholic Church, ever increasing it's influence and dominion over the religious and political affairs of man. Remember, the Roman Catholic Church was the "first organized" form of Christianity. It's seeds were planted in the Ephesian Age as the "deeds" of the Nicolaitans, evolving into the "doctrine" of the Nicolaitans in Pergamos; adding the "doctrine" of Balaam; and, in Thyatira the false prophecy of the "Jezebel" spirit.

It's dominion over the masses was all encompassing. She has cast out the Word, destroyed the Bibles and worthy essays of the godly. She has slain those who would preach the truth. She has taken over kings, princes and nations - controls armies and insists that she is the true body of Christ and that her popes are the vicars of Christ. She is entirely seduced by the devil until she in turn has become the seducer of others.

By the end of this fourth age the Roman Catholic Church was dominating Christianity, putting to death anything and everything that stood in it's way. Anything contrary was branded as heretical and killed. The head of this system, a Pope, reign as supreme leader of the Church, taking the Word of God from the people and giving them a creed of Roman dogma. This false Mystery, Babylon the Great, church, was true to the name of the Age - Thyatira - a dominating female.

She is typed with Babylon because the same religious spirit which dominated the original Babylon, now, cloaked with Christian-like trappings, dominates this false church. Eventually, she produces "Harlot" daughter churches [Revelation 17:5], like onto herself. These "Harlot" churches also take on the same Babylonish dominating religious spirit.

As we shall see in further study, God served notice on this dominating female, warning her of what was to come. The Light of the Truth was almost entirely gone and only the barest sliver of light remained. The oil and the wine had almost ceased to flow; but there was a little group who belonged to God and their citizenship was in heaven. God kept His little flock. A Martin Luther was about to appear in the next Age; a reformation was about to begin which would deal a tremendous blow to the Roman Catholic Church.

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THE MESSAGE TO THYATIRA - PART ONE
Him With Eyes Like Fire And Feet Like Brass

"And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet [are] like fine brass;"   Revelation 2:18

In the first three Ages the Headship, Eternal nature, Character, and Authority of our Lord Jesus Christ is presented; but in this Age He is clearly identified as the "Son of God" - Deity speaking to the Church. The revelation of Godhead to the Thyatirean Age is that Jesus is the Son of God. In the days of His flesh, walking the dusty roads of Palestine, He was known as the Son of Man - the God-Prophet, Who in Himself gathered together all prophecies. But henceforth we know Him no more after the flesh.

In 2nd Corinthians 5:16 Paul expressed it in these words:

"Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more." Further stating in 1st. Corinthians 15:45, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit.

He is no longer the Son of Man - after the flesh, as He was in Jesus. He came from God (Logos-Pillar of Fire) and went to God (Logos-Pillar of Fire) Paul met Him on the Road to Damascus - he was in the form of a Pillar of Fire and when Paul asked to know His identity, He said, "I am Jesus" [Acts 9:5]. The Only Begotten went back in the bosom of the Father. But in John 14:16-18 He had made a promise to His Church:

"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you."

On the Day of Pentecost, Jesus Christ - Logos, Son of God, returned in the form of the Holy Spirit, revealing Himself in and through His Word, in His Church, in every Age, "to take out of them [the Gentiles] a people for his name" [Acts 15:14]. Through the New Birth He would quickened to His Elect in every age the reality of His words in John 14:20: "At that day ye shall know that I [am] in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you."

And in this new Spiritual birth we would come to know Him, not after the flesh but after the Spirit - the power of His resurrection living in us - a confirmation that He is risen and has taken unto Himself His mighty power and is above all and over all to the praise of His own glory. His glory will He not share with another. His leadership over the church He will not surrender to any man.

He looks down upon Thyatira and His Holy and Righteous Jealousy for His Church is stirred. In this fourth age He finds that the honor which belongs to Him alone is bestowed upon another. No wonder John the Revelator declared that His eyes were like unto a flame of fire and His feet like fine brass. His wrath is stirred against the Nicolaitan spirit which crept into the First Age to usurp His absolute leadership, authority and Headship over the Church. In this fourth age His verdict and judgement is clear - He will not share His Deity with an imposter. He alone is the Only Begotten of the Father.

In Thyatira the pagans worshipped Apollo, the son of Zeus as the son of god. Taking their cue from paganism the Church elevates a human ruler to adoration, backed by the power of the state. This is Nicolaitanism in it's highest form - conquer the laity and make them subservient to a headship other than the headship of Christ. The Roman Catholic Church, already fully immersed in idol worship (saints, etc) based upon paganism, had elevated a man to actual deity (a pope), through the marriage of the church to the state. This pope was invested with absolute authority and power over secular and religious matters.

Thomas Aquinas and Alverus Pelagius formulated and stated that: "The Pope seems to those who view him with the spiritual eye, to be, not a man but a God. There are no bounds to his authority. He can declare to be right what he will and can take away from any their rights as he sees fit. To doubt this universal power leads to being shut out from salvation. The great enemies of the church are the heretics who will not wear the yoke of true obedience." What blasphemy!

The Bible in 1st. Timothy 2:5 clearly states: "For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;" But religious leaders threw out the Mediatorialship of Christ and the absolute authority of the Word of God [Matt. 4:4; Psalms 119:89; Revelation 22:18-19] and proclaimed the Pope to be the "mediator" between God and men, usurping the position of Christ. The Pope of Rome has changed the Word. So now, empowered by the Nicolaitan and Baalim spirit he mediates between the mediator and men.

But there is no other mediator save the Son. The Pope pronounces salvation through the church of Rome. But there is no salvation except through the Son of God. No wonder that in this fourth age His eyes blaze in fiery judgment and His feet are like fine brass, ready to execute judgement upon the religious and secular kingdoms of this world.

In light of recent world shaking events and the emphasis on the Islamic faith around the world, we would do well to note that it was in this Thyatirean age that we witness the rise of Mohammedanism, a man-made religion that absolutely denies the Son of God; and has determined death upon all who called themselves Christians.

Many Moslems are trying desperately to present Mohammedanism as a peace loving religion. But this is far from the truth. So-called Christian governement leaders white-wash their words so as not to offend the Islamic religion. It's ironic that so-called Christian nations allow absolute freedom of worship to Moslems, but most Moslem countries absolutely refuse freedom of worship for Christians. It would appear that as Christians we are no longer masters in our own house.

It was also in this fourth age that the false church defied the first commandment of Almighty God and launched swiftly into breaking the second commandment for it put its Pope in the place of Jesus Christ and established and enforced idol worship to such an extent that it meant death to those who refused the icons a place within the church. Under Empress Theodora, alone, from 842 to 867 over 100,000 saints were killed because they declared the images of no value.

Let's continue in our study to see what the "eyes like fire" and the "feet like brass" hold for this age. Without a doubt we'll find judgement on the false anti-christ church, but Grace for those who remain faithful to the Word.

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THE MESSAGE TO THYATIRA - PART TWO
Acknowledging The Faithful Ones

"I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last [to be] more than the first."  Revelation 2:19

The same introductory words are repeat again: "I know thy works....." Their works or ours bear witness of faith, or lack of it. The works of the Word always pour forth from the life of one who has experienced the "saving Grace" of God. Jesus' works bore witness of His faith, confirming that the "Living Word" was made manifest in His Ministry. In response to the unbelief of the Pharisees and religious leaders in His day, Jesus, in John 10:37-38 said, ""If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father [is] in me, and I in him.""

Through the Ages, "working the works of God" have caused many to separate from a church, from family and friends; yes, MANY in this Fourth Age laid down their very lives for the Gospel's sake. True believers are more than willing to be totally separated unto the Lord, to live according to His will and Word.

Here in the Saints of the Thyatirean Church Age Christ sees charity, service, faith, and patience in all they did; declaring that the last works were more than the first. A tremendous commendation for an Age beset by so much anti-christ influences.

Love, Service, Faith and Patience

Would to God that He would be able [in our Age] to commend us for our for our love, service, faith and patience. But, alas, in this 21st. century we live in an Age known in Scripture for it's LACK of faith. Speaking of this Age Jesus said, "When the Son of Man comes shall He find faith on the earth"

Yet, in Thyatira the believers are commended for manifesting the genuine fruit of the Holy Spirit, even in the face of poverty, opposition, persecution and death. It is certainly true that faith is tried, NOT in times of poverty, but in times of prosperity. In times of prosperity the individual's faith moves from dependance on God to dependance on his/her social status and financial standing, wherein we find ourselves seeking the praise of men and not the praise of God. Self-righteousness becomes the 'norm'.

But in this Age, Jesus finds no self-righteousness in His children. There was much to be found in the false-vine church, but not in the True Vine. The Divine Love they were experiencing in Salvation produced "service" to their Lord. Their service testified of their faith and patience. The Scriptures exhort us that "Without faith it is impossible to please God." [Hebrews 11:6] and "we have need of patience, that, after we have done the will of, we might receive the promise."  Hebrews 10:36.

Faithfulness and patience go together. In James 1:3 it's written that, "The trying of your faith worketh patience." Again in Romans 5:3 it states: "Tribulation worketh patience." Again, in James 1:4 we are encouraged with these words: "But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire lacking nothing." Praise the Lord! God's will for us is perfection. And that perfection is patient waiting ON God and FOR God. This is the process of character development for the Saints of all Ages.

Last Works More Than The First

In the warfare against Nicolaitanism, Baalamism and the false Jezebel spirit, the honor roll of marytrs grew longer and longer, day by day. The Thyatirean Age was part of that period in history called "The Dark Ages". It was the Age of Pope Innocent III who claimed that he was the "vicar of Christ - supreme sovreign over the church and the world". This same Pope instituted the infamous INQUISITION which under his direction shed more blood than at any other time, except in the Reformation. Religious insanity ruled. The false vine church, which by now had far out-numbered the True Church, was riddled with whoredoms and immorality - spiritually and physically.

This was an Age when the True Light of the Gospel glowed ever so faintly, yet the few faithful believers labored more fervently as the darkness increased. Their labors were so fervent that they paved the way for the oncoming Reformation. Having done all to stand, they stood firm on what God had given them for their day. One of the various meanings of the name "Thyatira" is "Continual Sacrifice". This is indeed representative of the "continual sacrifice" in the labors and marytrdom of God's True Children.

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THE MESSAGE TO THYATIRA - PART THREE
The Rebuke - I Have Somewhat Against Thee

"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."

Tho found faithful in many things, the little True Vine Elect of God were rebuked for allowing the influence of "the Jezebel false teaching" to infiltrate and pollute the Church. What began so simple in the First Age as the "deeds of the Nicolaitanes" now, in this Fourth Ages has gained tremendous influence and authority within the church. Through deception, intimidation and false teaching, paganism is introduced into the Church, causing the clergy and laity to be seduced into joining up with pagans in "trade guilds", which along with promoting business, also promoted pagan religion and it's licentious practices.

Pergamos, the previous Age was indifferent to this evil but Thyatira became assoicated with it. Such was the influence of this Jezebel spirit that the Servants of God were seduced into committing fornication and eating things sacrificed to idols. It was a high price to pay for the benefit of belonging to the "trade guilds".

Of course there was prosperity and security in joining the trade guilds. Ridicule and persecution (for their faith) would also be avoided by just "going along" with the trend. It's influence took the Christian further than what he planned to go and cost him more than what he had planned to pay. But, during these Dark Ages it was "deadly" to condemn it and walk away from it.

As stated above these trade guilds were but a forerunner of the church and trade unions in this Last Age in which we live. As in Thaytira, so it is in Laodicea, when the "Mark of the Beast" is being enforced, many professing Christians are selling out their God-given conviction by the Word, and compromising the Word in order to be a part of the church unions and trade unions - it's a forced union. It's coming to that place where "no man can buy or sell, except they that have the "mark" or "number" of the Beast".

That Woman Jezebel

At the head of all this deception is "that woman Jezebel". In fact the whole cry of God against this fourth age is found in His denunciation of this prophetess, Jezebel. If it's a real woman, WHO is she? If it's symbolism, WHAT does it synbolize? Since Scritpure interprets Scripture let's see what It has to say about Jezebel.

The first Bible references to a woman named Jezebel is found in the Old Testament. She was the pagan wife of Ahab, King of Israel. She was not a daughter of Abraham, nor was she converted to the "faith" of Abraham, as was Ruth, the Moabitess. Jezebel was the daughter of a heathen, murderous and pagan king-priest to Astarte. By marriage to Ahab she was elevated to the possession of queen in Israel. When she journeyed to Israel she also brought with her hundreds of prophets of Baal (the sun god). She came with the intention of turning Israel away from the God of Abraham to serve and worship Baal.

But from the time of Ahab's marriage to Jezebel, idolatry [in Israel] progressed in a deadly fashion. It was when this woman became a priestess in the temples that she erected to Astarte (Venus) and Baal (sun god) that Israel came to the crisis point of her life. Idolatry was running rampant in the nation. It was during this time of backslidding that Elijah, God's "judgement" prophet thundered one judgement message after another against Ahab, Jezebel and backsliding Israel.

And from the time the church first started in the Ephesian Age, the spirit of anti-christ was there in the form of the "deeds of the Nicolaitans" to sow seeds of discord within the true church - just like the woman Jezebel did in Israel. Even in Israel, under the reign of Ahab and Jezebel God had reserved unto Himself 7000 that had not bowed the knee to Baal.

Even so, through the Church Ages, regardless of the different antichrist influences which infiltrated the church, God had in every age reserved unto himself an Elect number who would not yield to the Nicolaitan, Baalim or Jezebel influences which had moved in to "organize" and bring the church under human leadership, and mixing paganism with the Gospel, causing many to backslide, giving heed to "seducing spirits and doctrines of Devils.

For thus, it is written in 1st. Timothy 4:1-3

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth."

As the first Jezebel had done to Israel, now this woman, Jezebel - none other than the Roman Catholic church in the Thyatirean Age, was doing to Christianity. The Pope with absolute control over the church, and having already merged with Constantine, brought religious and secular powers together to gain absolute control over the masses - uniting pagans and Christians together.

But the son of God, with eyes like unto a flame of fire, and feet like fine brass, judges that woman, Jezebel, declaring her to be guilty of teaching falsehoods in the name of Christianity, to satisfy the pagans; and seducing God's servants, cauing them to commit fornication, and eat things sacrificed to idols - again, to accommodate the pagans. All this was being done for the sake of prestige, power, wealth and popularity. Still, the Lord Jesus gives them the opportunity of repentance.

It is written:

"And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not."

But, like Jezebel, the Queen did in the Old Testament, the Jezebel Church in the New Testament ignored God's warnings, spurning His Servants and His call to "repentance". She caused God's servants to be thrust through with the sword, drowned, burned at the stake, etc.. Spurning the call to repent she had crossed the line between mercy and judgement. She was weighed in the balance of God's Word and found wanting.

Actually this false church was more wicked than Ahab? He repented for awhile and walked softly before God? But we have no evidence that the Roman Catholic Church ever repented. No sir. On the contrary, she has stubbornly destroyed any and all who tried to help her repent. That is history. In spite of the fact that God kept raising up messengers and ministeries in each age who did everything they could to bring the church back to God. Still, she insisted on going her own way and doing her own thing. She never did repent and never will.She is drunk. She has lost her senses in spiritual things.

Just because the church of Rome is attempting to unite with the Protestants by making her creeds to line up with Protestant Creeds, don't be deceived into thinking that the Church of Rome has repented of her slaughter of millions of Saints. Not once has she ever apologized and said she was wrong for her mass murders. And no matter how mellow and sweet she appears at this particular time, she will yet rise up to kill, for murder lies in her evil and unrepentant heart.

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THE MESSAGE TO THYATIRA - PART FOUR
God's Judgement On The False Church

"Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 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."

In passing judgement on "that woman Jezebel" the Lord looks ahead and includes "her children" under the same indictment, saying, that He would kill her children with death. As the natural Jezebel had children, the spiritual Jezebel also gives birth to children. As the natural Jezebel came to symbolize "false religion" in Israel, the "spiritual" Jezebel represents the "false impersonation" of Christianity which evolved through the Seven Church Ages to become the Roman Catholic Church.

The Jezebel of the Old Testament had a daughter - Athaliah. She married Jehoram, the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. What Jezebel did in Israel, her daughter did in Judah - filled the land with altars dedicated to the worship of Baal. You don't have to go to the history for that; that's Bible. What the Roman Catholic church did throughout the Church Ages, her Harlot denominational daughters have done since their birth, even unto this last Age in which you and I live - filled the land with altars (churches) dedicated to the worship of their man-made anti-Word denominational rituals, creeds and forms of godliness. They lost their life of "separation" unto the Lord. Holiness unto the Lord went out and worldliness with a "form of godliness" came in.

God NEVER ever started a denomination. God started "revivals" to call His Elect children out of man-made organized religion unto Himself. But on the heels of every revival came the Devil with his lies, rituals, false doctrines and impersonations of Christianity to bringing man under the Nicolaitan, Balaam and Jezebel spirit, causing then to denominate just like the Roman Church had done - preventing them from going any further with God. Once they made a denomination they died spiritually and the Life of the revival (the Holy Ghost) moved on.

We shall see in the last three Ages that when the Lutherans denominated they weren't able to go any further into the Word. The same happened to the Methodist. Through John Wesley the Lord issued forth a mighty revival, but shortly after Wesley's passing, they went right back into Organization. Then came the Pentecostals and within a few years they had broken up into a number of different Organizations. Whenever the people denominated, made a creed and put a "period" or "exclamation point" behind it they were never able to "grow" or mature beyond the original "revelation" which started the revival.

But in the Last Age there is a final "coming out" from among organized religion. God would bring forth one more revival; and this revival would produce the last day Bride. She will not be seduced into organization or denomination but be Raptured into Glory. praise the Lord!

I Will Cast Her Into A Bed - Tribulation!
I Will kill her children with death.

This is the sentence past on the Jezebel - Mother of Harlots Church AND them which commit spiritual adultery with her. To commit spiritual adultery is to accept the churches interpretation of the Word over and above the Holy Spirit's interpretation, through the Messenger of the Age. To do so is to be cast into a bed of tribulation - the Great Tribulation spoken of in Revelation, prophesied to come to the world after the Bride of Christ is caught away into glory.

What kind of a death is her children to be killed with? How can one be "killed with death"? Spiritually, they're already dead. Everytime the people form themselves into a denomination and try to organize what God has done, they die spiritually. But, here in Revelation 2:23 God say "I will kill her children with death" It can be none other than being cast into the lake of fire - the "second death", as recorded in Revelation 20:12-15. It is an eternal separtion from God.

Their judgment is "according to their works". In 2nd Corinthians 11:13-15 Paul said: "For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore [it is] no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."

In Revelation 20:12 it is written: "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."

Their "works" were "religious", sometimes "very religious", but with only a "form of godliness", and absolutely contrary to the "Revealed Word of God" for thier Age. Calling good, evil and evil, good, they refused to accept the Word for their Age. In his espistle to Titus, chapter 1, VERSE 16, Paul warned him that he would encounter such within the framework of the Church. "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny [him], being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." Yet, they think they're righteous; and like Cain think their offering is sufficient; only to find it rejected by God because it's contrary to His Word. The Lord doesn't ask us to be religious, but He does ask us to be "Spiritual", giving His Word, not the church creed, preeminence in our lives.

If you haven't already done so, maybe now is the time to stop and consider whether or not your attitude, motive, objective and life is "according to" or "contrary to" the Word of God. In the Bible, we have been instructed by the Lord to, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" If Jesus Christ is in you, then you will endeavor to live by His Word.

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THE MESSAGE TO THYATIRA - PART FIVE
Promise, Encouragement And Reward

"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. But that which ye have [already] hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches."  Revelation 2:24-29

Not forgetting His own who labor under the strain of the forces of unbelief, our Lord graciously acknowledges those in Thyatira who have not defiled their testimony with the doctrine of "that woman, Jezebel". Rather than experiencing the "depths of Satan" by compromising on the True Word, they experienced the depths of God by staying true to that measure of the Word revealed to them in their Age.

Here, our Lord promises that He would not "put upon them none other burden". The pressure of the Dark Ages was either bend, or be broken. Bow or die. It was the inquisition, the power of the empire backing up Satanic worship. Be organized or pay with your life. Each age had its pressures. For example a great burden of the last age is the pressure of riches, soft living and nervous tensions in a complex age that we seem unfitted to live in. But this fourth age seems to have had a clear cut burden. It was to defy Rome, stand up for the Word even unto death.

He encourages them to "hold fast till I come", and points them to the reward reserved for the overcomer. He identifies the "overcomer" as "he that keepeth my works unto the end". They that "keep His works" are they that "do those things which please God, not the church. What pleases God? To "hear" His Word for your Age and "obey it", remembering that "the race [is] not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong" [Ecclesiastes 9:11]. But, "the eye of the LORD [is] upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine." [Psalms 33:18-19]. To these overcomers the Lord has promised "power over the nations".

To more fully understand the Reward of "power over the nations", we must briefly jump ahead to the "reward" promised to the overcomers at the end of Laodicea, the Seventh and last Church Age. In that Age it is written: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." [Revelation 3:21]. The Throne represents a position of "Power and Authority". To sit with Him, our Lord Jesus Christ, in His Throne is to share in His "Power and Authority". All judgment was committed unto the Son, and the Son in turn declared through His servant, Paul that the Saints shall judge the earth. The Elect Bride will sit with HIM in that position in eternity.

With more Words of encouragement the overcomers are promised "The Morning Star". Of course, the Morning Star is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. In John 14:3, Jesus, our Morning Star promised: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also" To receive The Morning Star is to be gathered with Him, in resurrection and Rapturing glory, into Eternity. Amen!

May the 'ear' of your soul 'hear' what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.

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The God Given Rule
Identifying the Messenger for Each Age:

God's Rule for identifying the Messenger of each Age is found only in one place. God in His sovereign will has seen to it that neither the history of Israel (Old Testament) or the Church (New Testament) was not lost. Brought together in one Book - the Bible, we have been given accurate accounts of God's dealings with man "through" man, spanning a period of just over 4000 years.

For many years unbelievers and make-believers questioned the accuracy of the Bible record. But through science, archaeology, secular historical records, multitudes of scrolls, earthen vessels and other artifacts, the Bible record of people and events is being proven accurate. Of course, the Lord attested to it's accuracy when He warned man not to "add to" or "take away from" what He had so inspired.

From a study of the Inspired Scriptures [both the Old and New Testaments] Brother Branham identified "men of God's choosing", highlighting the nature, attitudes, attributes and character of each man and his ministry - from Abel to Paul. There are certain "characteristics" which are common to all "God-called" men.

In the New Testament we have many God-called men. But only the ministries of John the Baptist, Peter, John, the Beloved Disciple, and Paul are highlighted. The only one who came close to qualifying as "The Messenger" to the First Church Age was Paul. Through his ministry the Lord brought forth the many revelations which are to this day the basis for most Christian theology. It is impossible to discuss the Christian Gospel without making reference to Paul.

Thus in considering the history of the Church, Bro. Branham sought out those men who in their particular Age were the closest to God's original pattern in the New Testament - the Apostle Paul. His focus always came to rest on those who's first love was the Word, and whom God used to bring His people back to the Word of Truth for that Age. Then, from among all the others Brother Branham identified that man (in each Age) who's ministry was the closest [to Paul] in Word pattern and power - That man was the Messenger.

Identifying the ages also are found by a study of history. You need only to read the prophetic account of the ages as found in Revelation Chapters 2 and 3 - it all patterns perfectly with history as INDEED IT MUST. The Lord foretold of each Age, revealed the conditions that would exist in each Age; and history unfolded exactly as it was set forth in the Bible.

Yes, it's that simple - but of course, simplicity is the key to the Word. God is "hidden" and "revealed" in simplicity. You can be sure that Brother Branham DID NOT recklessly or intellectually set forth the Ages and the Messengers. He, himself, said that he had sought the mind of the Lord, endeavoring to be Spiritually-minded, and NEVER setting forth an Age or it's Messenger without the definite approval the Spirit of God. he said, "This is true as God knows my heart."

 
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