03/1/15

What is a Bed of Suffering?

Part 6 in the Series:

The Spirit of Jezebel

By Don Enevoldsen

TricliniumLast week, we examined the background to the words of Jesus that Jezebel influenced people to eat food sacrificed to idols, and saw a connection between pagan offerings, which were then sold in the marketplace, and the religious overtones associated with various banquets at which that food might be consumed. There is another detail in the message to Thyatira that links Jezebel to the banquets of ancient Rome. Jesus said that he would “cast her on a bed of suffering.” (Revelation 2:22)

02/22/15

Food Sacrificed to Idols

Part 5 in the Series:

The Spirit of Jezebel

By Don Enevoldsen

AltarOne of the primary criticisms of Jezebel given in Revelation was that she misled people into sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:20) It’s no wonder the focus has been on the first of those two. Sex sells, after all, and not many people have to worry about temptation to idol worship in modern America.

02/15/15

Patty’s Story

Part 4 in the Series:

The Spirit of Jezebel

By Don Enevoldsen

There is much more to say about the background to the church in Thyatira. Every part of the passage in Revelation 2:18-29 points to leadership that is self-entitled, ruthless enough to do anything to maintain their position of power, and convinced that God has their back and therefore justifies every one of their actions and decisions.

02/8/15

The Woman in the Window

Part 3 in the Series:

The Spirit of Jezebel

By Don Enevoldsen

Astarte in WindowThe message to the church of Thyatira revolves around a character called “that woman Jezebel.” (Revelation 2:20) Since Revelation is an apocalyptic book, written in an apocalyptic style, which makes copious use of imagery and symbols, there is no good reason to assume this particular Jezebel was an actual person in the church. Such allusions to Old Testament characters are so consistently incorporated into the images of Revelation, it would be very unusual if the reference was not to the wife of King Ahab, whose life represented characteristics intended for the church to recognize.

02/1/15

Toleration and Intimidation

Part 2 in the Series:

The Spirit of Jezebel

By Don Enevoldsen

See No EvilI returned from lunch as I did every day. In one motion, I dropped into my chair while tapping the space bar on my keyboard to awaken my computer from its lunchtime slumber. Then I leaned back and waited for the monitor screen to light up so I could resume typing on the manuscript that had occupied my attention all morning.

Except nothing happened. The screen stared back at me, completely blank, slumbering peacefully in spite of my attention.

01/24/15

A Jezebelian Kind of Thing

Part 1 in the Series:

The Spirit of Jezebel

By Don Enevoldsen

I donJezebel Eye’t usually give much attention to personal prophecy. They are usually uplifting, encouraging words (usually), but so general in content that they don’t really mean much. “God will bless you.” “You will have the victory.” That sort of thing. Maybe they’re from God or maybe they are fellow believers wishing me well. Either way they’re nice to hear, and spoken at the right time, they are valuable. But I wouldn’t make any life-changing decisions on the basis of most of them.

01/18/15

Logos

CT Word Study-logos“Word of God” is a phrase used widely in evangelical circles as a synonym for “Bible,” though according to the Gospel of John, Jesus is the Word. In the Word of Faith churches I’ve been associated with (and to a slightly lesser degree in many other churches, as well), this has led to a peculiar interchange of “Bible” and “Jesus,” with only the vaguest and often superstitious notion of how they connect. In fact, the New Testament word for “Word” has a rich history and meaning.

01/11/15

Disciple

CT Word Study mathetes-talmid

I never liked discipleship programs. And by inference, I’ve always had a kind of revulsion for the idea of discipleship. At least at a visceral level. Intellectually I know that Jesus called us to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). In fact, the Great Commission does not send us out to make converts; it specifically charges us with making disciples. There is an assumption in the teaching of Jesus that anyone who becomes a convert will also be a disciple.

01/1/15

A New Continuation

By Don Enevoldsen

In six days it will be one year since I last posted a blog. There are reasons for that, which I will get to. Procrastination only accounts for the past couple of months. It’s been an eventful year.

A few years ago—about eight, actually—Christina and I started a journey that few who knew us ten years ago would have ever predicted. I’m not sure what to call it, except to say that it encompassed going against the grain in the most public and visible ways. From the beginning, we wanted more than anything to articulate truth, no matter where it took us and no matter what it cost.

01/7/14

The Importance of Artists

Part 20 in the Series:

The Bezalel Blueprint

By Don Enevoldsen

“You just had to be there.”

Most of us have said these words at one time or another. We wanted to describe an experience or something we saw, but words failed us. So to emphasize the point that it was an extraordinary moment, we resort to an expression that says, “I can’t tell you what it was like, but it was great. To really understand how great it was, you would have had to be there and experience it yourself. You just had to be there.”