Prophecy by J. Leland Earls
The fourth church to which I wrote was Thyatira. During this era, the apostasy culminated with the complete centralization of power in the bishop ofRome who was given the title of ‘Pope’ or papa of bishops. The eastern section of the organized church resisted this centralization of power in the west, and gradually a schism developed to such proportions that an open split resulted. After commending the faithful of the church of Thyatira for their works and charity and service and faith and patience, I expressed my displeasure at the increased apostasy: ‘Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols’ (Rev. 2:20). That which was the ‘doctrine of Balaam’ during the Pergamos era, became, in the Thyatira period of the church, the seducing tactics of ‘that woman Jezebel.’ Jezebel was the wife of the wicked king Ahab during the days that Israel had almost completely abandoned the faith of their fathers. She was the daughter of a foreign king who brought her alien religion into lsrael, and because of the weakness of Ahab, she dominated the religious life of the nation, destroying the true prophets of God and establishing the prophets of Baal and Asherah. (see I Kings 16:30-32, 18:4, 13, 19). This is the typical picture I chose in order to portray the religious condition of the Thyatira period, commonly referred to as the Middle Ages: the inception of which was in the years of growing papal power.
The word I spoke declares that Jezebel seduced my servants to commit fornication. Symbolically, this Jezebel is one and the same as the great whore described in the 17th chapter of Revelation, ‘with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication’ (Rev. 17:2). This ‘fornication’ has to do with the illicit relationship of church and state, primarily; however, it relates also to the unholy union of church and man-made organizations which purport to speak for me. It is the church turning to the arm of flesh for its sustenance and propagating power. (See Jer. 17:5). This ‘mother of harlots’ is symbolic of false religion – that which is alien to the true spirit of Christ. She has filled the earth with her abominations, and the inhabitants of the earth are drunk with the wine of her fornication.
This woman has plied her trade for many centuries, even before the Christian era began. She is pictured as sitting upon many waters, or peoples, and also upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns (Rev. 17:1-3). From the over-all historical perspective, the seven heads are seven major nations or empires which have been, or will be, influenced by this woman. They are: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome (both pagan and Christian, including those nations which have apostatized into communism, raking upon their heads the name of blasphemy – Rev. 13:1), and the coming world government of the false prophet which must continue for a short time (Rev. 13:11-18, 17:10, 19:20). The woman, or false religion, will continue to hold sway in the coming era of the seventh head, for the corrupt religious systems, both Catholic and Protestant, will enter into league with it. The sixth head, which ruled in the apostle John’s day (Rev. 17:10), has continued until this day, as its hereditary power has continued through Christendom, even though apostate and blasphemous.
Historically, the woman, which is the priestcraft of false religion, has affected the affairs of the nations directly through the close relationship of government and an officially supported priesthood. The priesthood has helped the ruling forces to maintain their power and control by keeping the masses of people in subjection through fear and supposed paternalistic favor. Thus the woman is supported or carried by the beast through an official working relationship between religion and state. In those former Christian nations which have taken upon their heads the name of blasphemy, however, there is a different relationship between the woman and the beast. The woman is responsible for the coming into being of such Marxist dictatorships by fostering conditions leading to severe reaction against the corrupt system which prevailed through her fornication. Thus false religion actually is responsible for spawning communism; it is her off spring. And because she has spawned it, she shall be judged by it. This is portrayed in the prophetic picture by the following: ‘And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make, her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire” (Rev. 17:16). The ten horns are ten nations which will be completely taken over by Marxist elements and become an integral part of the ‘sea beast’ of communism. (Rev. 13:1). They shall then turn on the religious systems and decimate them, both Catholic and Protestant. This will include the very stronghold of the Roman church system in Italy - the Vatican. Think not that only the Catholic branches of apostate Christianity will feel the wrath of the beast. The harlot daughters of the Protestant fold will also be greatly affected.
In the letter to Thyatira I gave this warning concerning Jezebel: ‘Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds’ (Rev. 2:22). It will be during the great tribulation that the great whore will be decimated by the communist powers, which correspond to the dogs that ate Jezebel after she was cast down and trodden under foot. (See II Kings 9:30-37). I have given her much opportunity to repent of her fornication but she has refused, therefore “I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he who searches the reins and hearts: and I will give to everyone of you according to your works’ (Rev. 2:21, 23). My people, the time is drawing near when all of these things shall take place. Therefore consider what I speak to thee, for even now you are being tried; and even now I am searching your heart. Andto you I say, as I did to certain ones in Thyatira, ‘as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put on you none other burden. But that which you have already hold fast till I come” (Rev. 2:24).
As in the other letters, there is a promise given to the overcomers in the message to Thyatira. ‘And he that overcomes, and keeps my works to 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.’ (Rev. 2:26-28). In the letter to Thyatira, the first mention is made of the great tribulation which comes at the close of the church age. This is because the apostate religious system which became entrenched during the Thyatira period continues until the tribulation and will be judged at that time. The initial fulfillment of the promise to the overcomers will come at the beginning of the tribulation period. I will translate and take to myself 144,000 of the choicest of my saints, and they will be given power over the nations during the tribulation. They will be functioning in their glorified bodies and will have the power to appear and disappear on the earth. This ability will constitute the ‘rod of iron’ which will be used as the means to speak my word and enforce my judgments. As I have received of my Father authority, so will I give to them authority to implement my will among the nations, and those nations which heed not that which they make known shall be broken in pieces as a potter’s vessel. These firstfruits saints are also given the pledge of the ‘morning star;’ this is my betrothal to them as the Bridegroom. They are the wise virgins, received into the marriage at the midnight hour. (Matt. 25:10). They make up ‘the queen in gold of Ophir’ to be ‘brought unto the king in raiment of needlework.’ (Psalm 45:9-14). ‘The virgins her companions that follow her’ shall be brought to me at the close of the tribulation. (see Psalm 45:14-15). They are the foolish virgins who are not completely ready at the beginning of the tribulation, when I come as a thief in the night. (Matt. 25:11-13). He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.