When reading the message to the churches in Revelation, it becomes apparent that things have not changed much over time. That is the reason the message to the seven churches is as relevant today as it was almost 2,000 years ago.
Consider the female, Jezebel, who is associated with the church of Thyatira. In the Old Testament Jezebel was married to Ahab, king of Israel. She was a Gentile and the daughter of Ethbaal, which means “Baal is alive.” Baal was a false god worshiped by the Canaanites. Thus Ahab not only married a gentile in violation of God’s command, but he also married into a family that worshiped a false deity.
Jezebel killed the prophets of God and stirred up Ahab to act wickedly before the Lord. (1 Kings 18:4; 21:25) She was involved in harlotries that was part of Canaanite worship and participated in witchcraft. (2 King 9:22) She was integral in influencing the entire nation of Israel to false worship through her husband, Ahab.
The Jezebel in Revelation similarly led astray those of the church of Thyatira. She led God’s servants to commit acts of immorality and to eat things sacrificed to idols. This may refer to meals held by guilds at the time for the craftsman. Eating meat offered to idols and sexual immorality was common to these meetings. These were the very things that the Jerusalem council cautioned the Gentile believers to avoid. (Acts 15) They were activities associated with pagan worship. But she invented a way to bring the world into the church just as Jezebel did to Israel.
When the church strays from the clear teaching of God’s word and overlooks ‘minor’ things to appease people, it opens the door for such evil as this. Most of the time, it is a gradual process, a slow decay, which leads to such behavior. In the last fifty plus years, many churches have drifted in their thinking. Within the church, living together (the Bible calls it fornication) has become almost as acceptable as marriage. And homosexual relationships are slowly being accepted as God ordained unions. It is obvious that this type of Jezebel spirit is just as alive today as it was in Thyatira. There are many in churches today seducing God’s servants to commit acts of immorality. To he/she involved in such activity, God says “repent.”
Repent is a change of mind. God graciously gave her time to repent but she did not. This Jezebel in the church did not change her mind about what she was teaching and doing. The Jezebel in the Old Testament met her demise just as God said she would.
This New Testament Jezebel will fall into a similar judgment. According to Hebrews 13 verse 4, fornicators and adulterers God will judge. She will be cast into a sickbed – metaphorically to be inflicted with a disease. Good Biblical teaching is good for us and glorifies God. Bad teaching does just the opposite. Neither one go unnoticed by God. (James 3:1) “He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev. 2:29)