4. Thyatira

Thyatira (Dark Ages)

The Dark Ages

Following the 3rd church the dark hours of humanity came. Pagan rituals and ideas invaded the innocent and simple faith of Christ. Spiritual darkness engulfed Europe. Daniel spoke of this time period.

And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (Daniel 7:25)

This time was prophesied by more than just Daniel. A most interesting prophecy of this same time was given us in the life and experiences of Elijah. God told Elijah to go tell Ahab that there would not be rain for three and a half years. At the end of those years, the people turned back to God and God gave them rain. That experience was a prophetic story meant to complement Daniel and the other prophets. Within Elijah’s experience, however, we find the notorious character of Jezebel. Jezebel gave order to murder God’s prophets anywhere they could be found. Many were hidden and fed by select individuals like Obadiah.

For it was [so], when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water. (1Ki 18:4)

To pick up this story, God gave John the words for the 4th church.

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. (Rev 2:20 KJV)

Who or what is Jezebel?

As Adventists we understand that a woman represents a church in Bible prophecy. In Jeremiah 6:2 God says “I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.” The pure woman of Revelation represents God’s church. In Revelation 2, Jezebel calls herself a prophetess, but God condemns her. It is not hard to understand who is referred to here. Jezebel represents the Roman Church. The Roman Church was the persecuting power of the Dark Ages. Isaiah 57 picks up the theme of the Dark Ages and discusses them in context of a depraved whore in power who kills innocent people.


Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.

2 He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.

3 But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore.

4 Against whom do ye sport yourselves? against whom make ye a wide mouth, and draw out the tongue? are ye not children of transgression, a seed of falsehood,

5 Enflaming yourselves with idols under every green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of the rocks?

6 Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these?

7 Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed: even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifice.

8 Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance: for thou hast discovered thyself to another than me, and art gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed, and made thee a covenant with them; thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it.

9 And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase thyself even unto hell.

10 Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; yet saidst thou not, There is no hope: thou hast found the life of thine hand; therefore thou wast not grieved.

11 And of whom hast thou been afraid or feared, that thou hast lied, and hast not remembered me, nor laid it to thy heart? have not I held my peace even of old, and thou fearest me not?

12 I will declare thy righteousness, and thy works; for they shall not profit thee.

The Whore of Revelation

“to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication”

Teaching God’s people doctrines of the Pagans certainly qualifies as spiritual fornication. In the effort to bring cohesion to the fourth century Roman Empire, Constantine introduced a variety of compromises into the Christian religion. The church gained wider popularity and in a short time replaced the ruling powers sitting on the throne. Europe was subjugated and few select men assumed authority over both religious ideas and state interests.

It was the Catholic Church which, by the authority of Jesus Christ, has transferred this rest (from the Bible Sabbath) to the Sunday . . . Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) Church. -Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk about the Protestantism of Today, page 213.
The Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible authority given to her by her founder, Jesus Christ. The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday. In this matter the Seventh-day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant. -The Catholic Universe Bulletin, August 14, 1942, page 4.
Protestants . . . accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change . . . But the Protestant mind does not seem to realize that . . . in observing the Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the church, the Pope. – Our Sunday Visitor, February 5, 1950.

Revelation goes on to discuss more details about Jezebel.

And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. (Rev 2:21 KJV)

Jezebel

Did Jezebel repent of her fornication?

God gave the Roman church plenty of time to repent of her fornication. Does the church feel it made any mistakes during the Dark Ages? Consider these words:

If, therefore, the Catholic Church also claims the right of dogmatic intolerance with regard to her teaching, it is unjust to reproach her for exercising this right. . . . she regards dogmatic intolerance not alone as her incontestable right, but also as a sacred duty. . . .
However repulsive, when judged from the more refined standpoint of modern civilization, the barbarous cruelty of medieval penal ordinances may be . . . we may not for this reason condemn the whole penal system of that age as judicial murder; for the legal punishments, while indeed inhuman, were not unjust . . . .
According to Rom., xiii, 11 sqq., the secular authorities have the right to punish, especially grave crimes, with death; consequently, ‘heretics may be not only excommunicated, but also justly (juste) put to death.’ -The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 edition, Vol. 14, pages 766, 768 [Emphasis Supplied].
All dogmatic decrees of the Pope, made with or without his general council, are infallible . . . Once made, no pope or council can reverse them…. This is the Catholic principle, that the Church cannot err in faith. -The Catholic World, June 1871, pages 422, 423.
We have no right to ask reasons of the church, any more than of Almighty God, as a preliminary to our submission. We are to take with unquestioning docility, whatever instruction the church gives us. -The Catholic World, August, 1871, page 589.
If a man refuse to hear the (Roman Catholic) Church, let him be considered–so the Lord commands–as a heathen and a publican. -Pope Pius XII, in his encyclical letter, The Mystical Body of Christ, June 29, 1943.

God gave the Roman Catholic Church plenty of time to repent – 1260 years – and she repented not! As we can see from some of the quotes above, even after the Dark Ages the church still believed it was correct in executing “heretics”! Does this sound like repentance?

Accounts of horrifying acts of cruelty against the saints during the Dark Ages are recorded in a classic book entitled Fox’s Book of Martyrs, available on the web at http://www.reformed.org/books/fox/fox_martyrs.html.

Show Additional Quotes

Not the Creator of the Universe, in Genesis 2:1-3,–but the Catholic Church “can claim the honor of having granted man a pause to his work every seven days.” -S.D. Mosna, Storia della Domenica, 1969, pages 366-367.
We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.” -Pope Leo XIII, in an Encyclical Letter, June 20, 1894.
The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ Himself, hidden under veil of flesh.” -The Catholic National, July 1895.
If Protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath Day. In keeping the Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic Church.” -Albert Smith, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying for the Cardinal, in a letter, February 10, 1920.
We define that the Holy Apostolic See (the Vatican) and the Roman Pontiff hold the primacy over the whole world.” -A Decree of the Council of Trent, quoted in Philippe Labbe and Gabriel Cossart, The Most Holy Councils, Vol. 13, col. 1167.
It was the Catholic Church which, by the authority of Jesus Christ, has transferred this rest (from the Bible Sabbath) to the Sunday . . . Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) Church.” -Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk about the Protestantism of Today, page 213.
We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” -Peter Geiermann, CSSR, A Doctrinal Catechism, 1957 edition, page 50.
We Catholics, then, have precisely the same authority for keeping Sunday holy instead of Saturday as we have for every other article of our creed, namely, the authority of the Church . . . whereas you who are Protestants have really no authority for it whatever; for there is no authority for it (Sunday sacredness) in the Bible, and you will not allow that there can be authority for it anywhere else. Both you and we do, in fact, follow tradition in this matter; but we follow it, believing it to be a part of God’s word, and the (Catholic) Church to be its divinely appointed guardian and interpreter; you follow it (the Catholic Church), denouncing it all the time as a fallible and treacherous guide, which often ‘makes the commandments of God of none effect’ quoting Matthew 15:6.” -The Brotherhood of St. Paul, The Clifton Tracts, Vol. 4, tract 4, page 15.
The Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible authority given to her by her founder, Jesus Christ. The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday. In this matter the Seventh-day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant.” -The Catholic Universe Bulletin, August 14, 1942, page 4.
Baptist: “There was and is a command to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will however be readily said, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week, with all its duties, privileges and sanctions. Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which I have studied for many years, I ask, where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament–absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week.” -Dr. E.T. Hiscox, author of the Baptist Manual.
Lutheran Free Church: “For when there could not be produced one solitary place in the Holy Scriptures which testified that either the Lord Himself or the apostles had ordered such a transfer of the Sabbath to Sunday, then it was not easy to answer the question: Who has transferred the Sabbath, and who has had the right to do it?” -George Sverdrup, A New Day.
Protestant Episcopal: “The day is now changed from the seventh to the first day . . . but as we meet with no Scriptural direction for the change, we may conclude it was done by the authority of the church.” -Explanation of Catechism.
Baptist: “The Scriptures nowhere call the first day of the week the Sabbath . . . There is no Scriptural authority for so doing, nor of course, any Scriptural obligation.” -The Watchman.
Presbyterian: “There is no word, no hint in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday. The observance of Ash Wednesday, or Lent, stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday. Into the rest of Sunday no Divine Law enters.” -Canon Eyton, in The Ten Commandments.
Anglican: “And where are we told in the Scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day.” -Isaac Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism, pages 334, 336.
Disciples of Christ: “There is no direct Scriptural authority for designating the first day ‘the Lord’s Day.’ ” -Dr. D.H. Lucas, Christian Oracle, January, 1890.
We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.” -Pope Leo XIII, in an Encyclical Letter, June 20, 1894.
The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ Himself, hidden under veil of flesh.” -The Catholic National, July 1895.
If Protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath Day. In keeping the Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic Church.” -Albert Smith, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying for the Cardinal, in a letter, February 10, 1920.
We define that the Holy Apostolic See (the Vatican) and the Roman Pontiff hold the primacy over the whole world.” -A Decree of the Council of Trent, quoted in Philippe Labbe and Gabriel Cossart, The Most Holy Councils, Vol. 13, col. 1167.
It was the Catholic Church which, by the authority of Jesus Christ, has transferred this rest (from the Bible Sabbath) to the Sunday . . . Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) Church.” -Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk about the Protestantism of Today, page 213.
We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” -Peter Geiermann, CSSR, A Doctrinal Catechism, 1957 edition, page 50.
We Catholics, then, have precisely the same authority for keeping Sunday holy instead of Saturday as we have for every other article of our creed, namely, the authority of the Church . . . whereas you who are Protestants have really no authority for it whatever; for there is no authority for it (Sunday sacredness) in the Bible, and you will not allow that there can be authority for it anywhere else. Both you and we do, in fact, follow tradition in this matter; but we follow it, believing it to be a part of God’s word, and the (Catholic) Church to be its divinely appointed guardian and interpreter; you follow it (the Catholic Church), denouncing it all the time as a fallible and treacherous guide, which often ‘makes the commandments of God of none effect’ quoting Matthew 15:6.” -The Brotherhood of St. Paul, The Clifton Tracts, Vol. 4, tract 4, page 15.
The Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible authority given to her by her founder, Jesus Christ. The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday. In this matter the Seventh-day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant.” -The Catholic Universe Bulletin, August 14, 1942, page 4.
Baptist: “There was and is a command to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will however be readily said, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week, with all its duties, privileges and sanctions. Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which I have studied for many years, I ask, where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament–absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week.” -Dr. E.T. Hiscox, author of the Baptist Manual.
Lutheran Free Church: “For when there could not be produced one solitary place in the Holy Scriptures which testified that either the Lord Himself or the apostles had ordered such a transfer of the Sabbath to Sunday, then it was not easy to answer the question: Who has transferred the Sabbath, and who has had the right to do it?” -George Sverdrup, A New Day.
Protestant Episcopal: “The day is now changed from the seventh to the first day . . . but as we meet with no Scriptural direction for the change, we may conclude it was done by the authority of the church.” -Explanation of Catechism.
Baptist: “The Scriptures nowhere call the first day of the week the Sabbath . . . There is no Scriptural authority for so doing, nor of course, any Scriptural obligation.” -The Watchman.
Presbyterian: “There is no word, no hint in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday. The observance of Ash Wednesday, or Lent, stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday. Into the rest of Sunday no Divine Law enters.” -Canon Eyton, in The Ten Commandments.
Anglican: “And where are we told in the Scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day.” -Isaac Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism, pages 334, 336.
Disciples of Christ: “There is no direct Scriptural authority for designating the first day ‘the Lord’s Day.’ ” -Dr. D.H. Lucas, Christian Oracle, January, 1890.
Not the Creator of the Universe, in Genesis 2:1-3,–but the Catholic Church “can claim the honor of having granted man a pause to his work every seven days.” -S.D. Mosna, Storia della Domenica, 1969, pages 366-367.
We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.” -Pope Leo XIII, in an Encyclical Letter, June 20, 1894.
The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ Himself, hidden under veil of flesh.” -The Catholic National, July 1895.
If Protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath Day. In keeping the Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic Church.” -Albert Smith, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying for the Cardinal, in a letter, February 10, 1920.
We define that the Holy Apostolic See (the Vatican) and the Roman Pontiff hold the primacy over the whole world.” -A Decree of the Council of Trent, quoted in Philippe Labbe and Gabriel Cossart, The Most Holy Councils, Vol. 13, col. 1167.
It was the Catholic Church which, by the authority of Jesus Christ, has transferred this rest (from the Bible Sabbath) to the Sunday . . . Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) Church.” -Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk about the Protestantism of Today, page 213.
We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” -Peter Geiermann, CSSR, A Doctrinal Catechism, 1957 edition, page 50.
We Catholics, then, have precisely the same authority for keeping Sunday holy instead of Saturday as we have for every other article of our creed, namely, the authority of the Church . . . whereas you who are Protestants have really no authority for it whatever; for there is no authority for it (Sunday sacredness) in the Bible, and you will not allow that there can be authority for it anywhere else. Both you and we do, in fact, follow tradition in this matter; but we follow it, believing it to be a part of God’s word, and the (Catholic) Church to be its divinely appointed guardian and interpreter; you follow it (the Catholic Church), denouncing it all the time as a fallible and treacherous guide, which often ‘makes the commandments of God of none effect’ quoting Matthew 15:6.” -The Brotherhood of St. Paul, The Clifton Tracts, Vol. 4, tract 4, page 15.
The Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible authority given to her by her founder, Jesus Christ. The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday. In this matter the Seventh-day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant.” -The Catholic Universe Bulletin, August 14, 1942, page 4.
Baptist: “There was and is a command to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will however be readily said, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week, with all its duties, privileges and sanctions. Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which I have studied for many years, I ask, where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament–absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week.” -Dr. E.T. Hiscox, author of the Baptist Manual.
Lutheran Free Church: “For when there could not be produced one solitary place in the Holy Scriptures which testified that either the Lord Himself or the apostles had ordered such a transfer of the Sabbath to Sunday, then it was not easy to answer the question: Who has transferred the Sabbath, and who has had the right to do it?” -George Sverdrup, A New Day.
Protestant Episcopal: “The day is now changed from the seventh to the first day . . . but as we meet with no Scriptural direction for the change, we may conclude it was done by the authority of the church.” -Explanation of Catechism.
Baptist: “The Scriptures nowhere call the first day of the week the Sabbath . . . There is no Scriptural authority for so doing, nor of course, any Scriptural obligation.” -The Watchman.
Presbyterian: “There is no word, no hint in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday. The observance of Ash Wednesday, or Lent, stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday. Into the rest of Sunday no Divine Law enters.” -Canon Eyton, in The Ten Commandments.
Anglican: “And where are we told in the Scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day.” -Isaac Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism, pages 334, 336.
Disciples of Christ: “There is no direct Scriptural authority for designating the first day ‘the Lord’s Day.’ ” -Dr. D.H. Lucas, Christian Oracle, January, 1890.
Not the Creator of the Universe, in Genesis 2:1-3,–but the Catholic Church “can claim the honor of having granted man a pause to his work every seven days.” -S.D. Mosna, Storia della Domenica, 1969, pages 366-367.
We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.” -Pope Leo XIII, in an Encyclical Letter, June 20, 1894.
The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ Himself, hidden under veil of flesh.” -The Catholic National, July 1895.
If Protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath Day. In keeping the Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic Church.” -Albert Smith, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying for the Cardinal, in a letter, February 10, 1920.
We define that the Holy Apostolic See (the Vatican) and the Roman Pontiff hold the primacy over the whole world.” -A Decree of the Council of Trent, quoted in Philippe Labbe and Gabriel Cossart, The Most Holy Councils, Vol. 13, col. 1167.
It was the Catholic Church which, by the authority of Jesus Christ, has transferred this rest (from the Bible Sabbath) to the Sunday . . . Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) Church.” -Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk about the Protestantism of Today, page 213.
We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.” -Peter Geiermann, CSSR, A Doctrinal Catechism, 1957 edition, page 50.
We Catholics, then, have precisely the same authority for keeping Sunday holy instead of Saturday as we have for every other article of our creed, namely, the authority of the Church . . . whereas you who are Protestants have really no authority for it whatever; for there is no authority for it (Sunday sacredness) in the Bible, and you will not allow that there can be authority for it anywhere else. Both you and we do, in fact, follow tradition in this matter; but we follow it, believing it to be a part of God’s word, and the (Catholic) Church to be its divinely appointed guardian and interpreter; you follow it (the Catholic Church), denouncing it all the time as a fallible and treacherous guide, which often ‘makes the commandments of God of none effect’ quoting Matthew 15:6.” -The Brotherhood of St. Paul, The Clifton Tracts, Vol. 4, tract 4, page 15.
The Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible authority given to her by her founder, Jesus Christ. The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday. In this matter the Seventh-day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant.” -The Catholic Universe Bulletin, August 14, 1942, page 4.
Baptist: “There was and is a command to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will however be readily said, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week, with all its duties, privileges and sanctions. Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which I have studied for many years, I ask, where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament–absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week.” -Dr. E.T. Hiscox, author of the Baptist Manual.
Lutheran Free Church: “For when there could not be produced one solitary place in the Holy Scriptures which testified that either the Lord Himself or the apostles had ordered such a transfer of the Sabbath to Sunday, then it was not easy to answer the question: Who has transferred the Sabbath, and who has had the right to do it?” -George Sverdrup, A New Day.
Protestant Episcopal: “The day is now changed from the seventh to the first day . . . but as we meet with no Scriptural direction for the change, we may conclude it was done by the authority of the church.” -Explanation of Catechism.
Baptist: “The Scriptures nowhere call the first day of the week the Sabbath . . . There is no Scriptural authority for so doing, nor of course, any Scriptural obligation.” -The Watchman.


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. (Rev 2:24 KJV)

God knew how much the people from this time have suffered and appropriately, He releases them with little requirement.

But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. (Rev 2:25 KJV)

In the spiritual darkness great insights of truth were not likely. The believers held onto whatever truth they could find.

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