The Church in Thyatira — the Church in Apostasy

Another parable He spoke to them: The kingdom of the heavens is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal until the whole was leavened.

Matt. 13:33

The principle of the deeds of the apostate church is to mix the heathen, pagan things with the worship of God by His people. She helps God’s people to worship Him, but she does not do so in God’s way; she does it in her own pagan, heathen way.

Ever since the apostate church began, she has been absorbing paganism. Wherever she goes, she assimilates things related to the worship of idols.

The Source of Christmas

One of the most striking examples of the deeds of this apostate church is the so-called Christmas. We want Christ, but we do not need a mass. Originally, December 25, the so-called Christmas Day, was the day the ancient Europeans worshipped the sun. They said that December 25 was the birthday of the sun.

When the apostate church spread to Europe, she assimilated this ancient custom because she had taken in thousands of unbelievers into the church. These unbelievers still wanted to celebrate the birthday of their god. Therefore, to accommodate them, the apostate church declared December 25 to be the birthday of Christ.

This is the source of Christmas. The book, The Two Babylons, exposes the origin of the evil, demonic, pagan things that were brought into the apostate church. If we see this picture on the negative side, then we shall know what we must be on the positive side.

A Picture of the So-Called Jesus

In 1937, when I was traveling in North China, a case of demon possession was brought to my attention. A certain Christian sister had become possessed. When I was asked the reason for this, I said that, in principle, either sin or some idols or images in that sister’s home would give ground for the demon to possess her.

I was told that there were no idols or images in her home. Nevertheless, the demon came again and again to trouble her. I told her that since she was not involved in anything sinful, there must be some sort of idol or image in her home and that she should search thoroughly for it.

Eventually, I learned that on her wall was a picture of the so-called Jesus, and I told her to burn it. From the moment she burned that picture, the demon departed. In this, we see the subtlety of the enemy.

A Statue of Mary

Some in the apostate church would say, “Don’t you think we have something real? Don’t you think we have God, Christ, and the Bible?” Yes, they do, but it is not pure; it is a mixture. The apostate church has the fine flour, but within the flour there is leaven.

When I was in Manila, I visited a Catholic cathedral. At the entrance of this cathedral was a statue of Mary. Noticing that one of the hands of the statue was almost completely worn out, I asked the people what had happened. They said that everyone who entered the cathedral firstly touched the hand of the statue and that, through the years, this had worn out the hand.

When I asked them about the need for such a statue, they said, “If people do not have statues, they cannot understand what you are saying when you talk about the Bible. They need something solid to grasp.” This is their justification for having statues of Jesus and Mary.

What subtlety! That is not Jesus or Mary — that is an idol. Apparently, they worship Jesus; actually, they worship an image of stone. This is the subtlety of the enemy. Now we can see the evil of the apostate church — it absorbs pagan things and adds them to the fine flour. How wicked this is!

Sick in bed

The Lord also said, “Behold, I will cast her into a bed.” A bed is normally used for sleep and rest, and abnormally for sickness. The Lord indicates here that the apostate church is incurably sick and will remain so until her final judgment.

Jezebel’s evils have made her sick; she is not at all healthy. The entire apostate church is in a sick condition. Look at her situation: some things are heavenly and others are earthly; some things are of God and more things are of Satan; some things are holy and other things are secular, common, and worldly.

This leaven is not only in that apostate church, but has spread into the so-called reformed church. Jezebel is demonic, satanic, devilish, and even hellish. It is not a small thing for us to have our eyes opened to see the devilish and demonic things in the Catholic Church. We simply cannot imagine how deplorable this apostate church is.

The Deep Things of Satan

… Satan has come into the church and has saturated the church with himself. In the apostate church are the deep things of Satan, the mysterious teachings of Satan. This is the satanic philosophy.

The apostate church does teach the satanic mysteries. This indicates that the deep thought of Satan, Satan’s concept, has saturated the apostate church. Eventually, this church becomes the embodiment of Satan.

The Satanic Philosophies

The deep things of Satan, being the satanic philosophy, are subtle. In the apostate church there are many so-called mysteries. All the mysteries taught by this evil church are satanic philosophies.

One of their philosophies is that if you do not add things to the truths of the Bible, it will be difficult for people to accept them. The Lord, being wise, likened this to the leaven put into the fine flour that makes the bread easy to eat.

The apostate church says that if people do not have a Christmas, it will be difficult for them to accept the truth regarding the birth of Christ. The mass is the leaven added to the fine flour. This is subtle and evil.

Christendom Has Become an Organ of Satan

No one would imagine that Satan could put on the “church” as his form. But in the epistle to the church in Thyatira we see that this is the real situation of today’s Christendom. Christendom has become an organ of Satan. Although it has the name Christ in it, actually within it there is Satan himself. We all must see this.

All quotations in this post, unless otherwise noted, are from Life-Study Of Revelation, message 13, by Witness Lee.
Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA, U.S.A. 1984. Source:

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