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His Word ... a prophetic perspective


The Fleshly “Church” Of Today

        The seven assemblies mentioned in the book of Revelation are viewed in many different lights. However, one thing is clear: they are a sampling of the assemblies in existence at the time Jesus spoke to John about them. Since the book of Revelation is a prophecy (Revelation 1:3), they should be viewed as one entity representing the local assemblies of the saints over the centuries, up to and including today’s “church” and any future “church,” regardless of the societal influences pertaining to form and structure. It’s the people of God who form the assemblies, therefore Jesus is talking about human attitudes, attributes and accomplishments, not some preconceived idea of a physical structure.
        These comments by Jesus are especially directed at the institutional church system that has existed for the past 1,700 years, the core of which was already established at the time Jesus spoke to John, after which he wrote the book of Revelation. However, any group of Christians meeting together constitutes a biblical assembly and is prone to fall prey to the same pitfalls of their collective flesh.
        Whether there is a sequential revelation contained in the order in which they are mentioned is a matter of speculation. However, the very first assembly at Ephesus had a problem with false apostles, just as there is a problem today with false apostles who are liars. To think that Ephesus, with its false apostles, is a type that existed only at that time would be foolish.
        Based upon the comments by Jesus, the following problems are noted as being prevalent in the assemblies. A list of substantiating scriptural verses from my research notes, upon which I base these statements is at the end of this article.
  • Jesus tells His assemblies that there are false apostles that have been found out to be liars.
  • He makes note that those in the assemblies have left their first love. Evidently their warmth and passion for Jesus had given way to cold, dead, dry man-made rituals.
  • There are Nicolaitans in the assemblies, who are hated.
  • Some in the assemblies hold the doctrine of Balaam.
        From the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary on Revelation 2:6:
NICOLAITANSNicolaitanes–IRENÆUS [Against Heresies, 1.26.3] and TERTULLIAN [Prescription against Heretics, 46] make these followers of Nicolas, one of the seven (honorably mentioned, Ac 6:3, 5). They (CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA [Miscellanies, 2.20 3.4] and EPIPHANIUS [Heresies, 25]) evidently confound the latter Gnostic Nicolaitanes, or followers of one Nicolaos, with those of Revelation. MICHAELIS’ view is probable: Nicolaos (conqueror of the people) is the Greek version of Balaam, from HebrewBelang Am,” “Destroyer of the people.” Revelation abounds in such duplicate Hebrew and Greek names: as Apollyon, Abaddon: Devil, Satan: Yea (Greek,Nai”), Amen. The name, like other names, Egypt, Babylon, Sodom, is symbolic. Compare Re 2:14, 15, which shows the true sense of Nicolaitanes; they are not a sect, but professing Christians who, like Balaam of old. tried to introduce into the Church a false freedom, that is, licentiousness; this was a reaction in the opposite direction from Judaism, the first danger to the Church combated in the council of Jerusalem, and by Paul in the Epistle to Galatians. These symbolical Nicolaitanes, or followers of Balaam, abused Paul’s doctrine of the grace of God into a plea for lasciviousness (2Pe 2:15, 16, 19; Jude 4, 11 who both describe the same sort of seducers as followers of Balaam). The difficulty that they should appropriate a name branded with infamy in Scripture is met by TRENCH: The Antinomian Gnostics were so opposed to John as a Judaizing apostle that they would assume as a name of chiefest honor one which John branded with dishonor.
        Scriptures referenced in the above comments:
        2 Peter 2:15-16,19:
        15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
        16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.
        19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
        Jude 4,11:
        4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
        11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
        From the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary on Revelation 2:14,15:
hold the doctrine of Balaam–“the teaching of Balaam,” namely, that which he “taught Balak.” Compare “the counsel of Balaam,” Nu 31:16. “Balak” is dative in the Greek, whence BENGEL translates, “taught (the Moabites) for (that is, to please) Balak.” But though in Numbers it is not expressly said he taught Balak, yet there is nothing said inconsistent with his having done so; and JOSEPHUS [Antiquities,4. 6. 6], says he did so. The dative case is a Hebraism for the accusative case.
15. thou
–emphatic: “So THOU also hast,” As Balak and the Moabites of old had Balaam and his followers literally, so hast thou also them that hold the same Balaamite or Nicolaitane doctrine spiritually or symbolically. Literal eating of idol-meats and fornication in Pergamos were accompanied by spiritual idolatry and fornication. So TRENCH explains. But I prefer taking it, “THOU also,” as well as Ephesus (“in like manner” as Ephesus; see below the oldest reading), hast . . . Nicolaitanes, with this important difference, Ephesus, as a Church, hates them and casts them out, but thou “hast them,” namely, in the Church.
–teaching (see on Re 2:6): namely, to tempt God’s people to idolatry.
which thing I hate
–It is sin not to hate what God hates. The Ephesian Church (Re 2:6) had this point of superiority to Pergamos. But the three oldest manuscripts, and Vulgate and Syriac, read instead of “which I hate,” “IN LIKE MANNER.”
        We can see from this explanation that the Nicolaitans are professing Christians who love the wages of unrighteousness, and are in bondage as servants of corruption while promising liberty to their followers. In essense they parallel the Balaamites in their effect upon the body of Christ. Their conduct is marked by excesses in shameless conduct (lasciviousness), and leading God’s people into spiritual idolatry and fornication. Vine’s Expository Dictionary comments on the word “corruption” as used in 1 Peter 3:19: “... of the effect upon themselves of the work of false and immoral teachers, (2 Pet. 2:12), RV, “destroying”; KJV, “corruption,” and (verse 19).”
  • There are those who claim to be Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of satan. These assemblies, are in fact, where satan’s seat [Greek: throne] is and where he dwells.
        Excerpts from the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary on Revelation 2:9,13; 3:9:
say they are Jews, and are not–Jews by national descent, but not spiritually of “the true circumcision.”
synagogue of Satan
–So “the throne of Satan” (Re 2:13) represents the heathens’ opposition to Christianity; “the depths of Satan” (Re 2:24), the opposition of heretics.
Satan’s seat
–rather as the Greek is translated all through Revelation, “throne.” Satan, in impious mimicry of God’s heavenly throne, sets up his earthly throne (Re 4:2). Æsculapius was worshipped there under the serpent form; and Satan, the old serpent, as the instigator (compare Re 2:10) of fanatical devotees of Æsculapius, and, through them, of the supreme magistracy at Pergamos, persecuted one of the Lord’s people (Antipas) even to death. Thus, this address is an anticipatory preface to Re 12:1-17; Note:throne . . . the dragon, Satan . . . war with her seed,” Re 12:5, 9, 17.
9. I will make
Greek present, “I make,” literally, “I give” (see on Re 3:8). The promise to Philadelphia is larger than that to Smyrna. To Smyrna the promise was that “the synagogue of Satan” should not prevail against the faithful in her: to Philadelphia, that she should even win over some of “the synagogue of Satan” to fall on their faces and confess God is in her of a truth. Translate, “(some) of the synagogue.” For until Christ shall come, and all Israel then be saved, there is but “a remnant” being gathered out of the Jews “according to the election of grace.” This is an instance of how Christ set before her an “open door,” some of her greatest adversaries, the Jews, being brought to the obedience of the faith. Their worshipping before her feet expresses the convert’s willingness to take the very lowest place in the Church, doing servile honor to those whom once they persecuted, rather than dwell with the ungodly. So the Philippian jailer before Paul.)
        It is absolutely incredible to come to realize that the throne of satan is in the midst of the assemblies of the called out ones! There are many who will passionately and vehemently reject that by rationalizing that that fact only holds true for the particular assembly mentioned and for some arbitrary period of time in a sequential passing of time. And most certainly it doesn’t apply to “their” “church.”
        There is also tremendous confusion regarding the identities of a true spiritual Jew, even though scripture is perfectly clear on the matter. Every truly saved disciple of Jesus Christ, those who learn of Him, follow Him, support Him and imitate Him in their 24 hour a day, 7 day a week lifestyle are the true Jews, having been circumcised in their hearts.
        Those Jews of the synagogue of satan, which are not Jews will be forced to acknowledge those who are saved.
  • Jezebel is rebuked in the strongest of terms. The depths of satan are mentioned.
        From the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary on Revelation 2:20-24:
20. a few things–omitted in the three oldest manuscripts. Translate then, “I have against thee that,” &c.
–The three oldest manuscripts read, “lettest alone.”
that woman–Two oldest manuscripts read, “THY wife”; two omit it. Vulgate and most ancient versions read as English Version. The symbolical Jezebel was to the Church of Thyatira what Jezebel, Ahab’s “wife,” was to him. Some self-styled prophetess (or as the feminine in Hebrew is often used collectively to express a multitude, a set of false prophets), as closely attached to the Church of Thyatira as a wife is to a husband, and as powerfully influencing for evil that Church as Jezebel did Ahab. As Balaam, in Israel’s early history, so Jezebel, daughter of Eth-baal, king of Sidon (1Ki 16:31, formerly priest of Astarte, and murderer of his predecessor on the throne, JOSEPHUS [Against Apion, 1.18]), was the great seducer to idolatry in Israel’s later history. Like her father, she was swift to shed blood. Wholly given to Baal worship, like Eth-baal, whose name expresses his idolatry, she, with her strong will, seduced the weak Ahab and Israel beyond the calf-worship (which was a worship of the true God under the cherub-ox form, that is, a violation of the second commandment) to that of Baal (a violation of the first commandment also). She seems to have been herself a priestess and prophetess of Baal. Compare 2Ki 9:22, 30, “whoredoms of . . . Jezebel and her witchcrafts” (impurity was part of the worship of the Phœnician Astarte, or Venus). Her spiritual counterpart at Thyatira lured God’s “servants” by pretended utterances of inspiration to the same libertinism, fornication, and eating of idol-meats, as the Balaamites and Nicolaitanes (Re 2:6, 14, 15). By a false spiritualism these seducers led their victims into the grossest carnality, as though things done in the flesh were outside the true man, and were, therefore, indifferent. “The deeper the Church penetrated into heathenism, the more she herself became heathenish; this prepares us for the expressions ‘harlot’ and ‘Babylon,’ applied to her afterwards” [AUBERLEN].
to teach and to seduce
–The three oldest manuscripts read, “and she teaches and seduces,” or “deceives.” “Thyatira was just the reverse of Ephesus. There, much zeal for orthodoxy, but little love; here, activity of faith and love, but insufficient zeal for godly discipline and doctrine, a patience of error even where there was not a participation in it” [TRENCH].
21. space
Greek, “time.”
of her fornication . . . she repented not–The three oldest manuscripts read, “and she willeth not to repent of (literally, ‘out of,’ that is, so as to come out of) her fornication.” Here there is a transition from literal to spiritual fornication, as appears from Re 2:22. The idea arose from Jehovah’s covenant relation to the Old Testament Church being regarded as a marriage, any transgression against which was, therefore, harlotry, fornication, or adultery.
22. Behold
–calling attention to her awful doom to come.
I will
Greek present, “I cast her.”
a bed
–The place of her sin shall be the place of her punishment. The bed of her sin shall be her bed of sickness and anguish. Perhaps a pestilence was about to be sent. Or the bed of the grave, and of the hell beyond, where the worm dieth not.
them that commit adultery with her
–spiritually; including both the eating of idol-meats and fornication. “With her,” in the Greek, implies participation with her in her adulteries, namely, by suffering her (Re 2:20), or letting her alone, and so virtually encouraging her. Her punishment is distinct from theirs; she is to be cast into a bed, and her children to be killed; while those who make themselves partakers of her sin by tolerating her, are to be cast into great tribulation.
except they repent
Greek aorist, “repent” at once; shall have repented by the time limited in My purpose.
their deeds–Two of the oldest manuscripts and most ancient versions read “her.” Thus, God’s true servants, who by connivance, are incurring the guilt of her deeds, are distinguished from her. One oldest manuscript, ANDREAS, and CYPRIAN, support “their.”
23. her children
– (Isa 57:3; Eze 23:45, 47). Her proper adherents; not those who suffer her, but those who are begotten of her. A distinct class from the last in Re 2:22 (compare Note, see on Re 2:22), whose sin was less direct, being that only of connivance.
kill . . . with death
–Compare the disaster that overtook the literal Jezebel’s votaries of Baal, and Ahab’s sons, 1Ki 18:40; 2Ki 10:6, 7, 24, 25. Kill with death is a Hebraism for slay with most sure and awful death; so “dying thou shalt die” (Ge 2:17). Not “die the common death of men” (Nu 16:29).
all the churches shall know
–implying that these addresses are designed for the catholic [read: universal] Church of all ages and places. So palpably shall God’s hand be seen in the judgment on Thyatira, that the whole Church shall recognize it as God’s doing.
I am he–the “I” is strongly emphatical: “that it is I am He who,” &c.
searcheth . . . hearts
–God’s peculiar attribute is given to Christ. The “reins” are the seat of the desires; the “heart,” that of the thoughts. The Greek for “searcheth” expresses an accurate following up of all tracks and windings.
unto every one of you
–literally, “unto you, to each.”
according to your works–to be judged not according to the mere act as it appears to man, but with reference to the motive, faith and love being the only motives which God recognizes as sound.
24. you . . . and . . . the rest
–The three oldest manuscripts omit “and”; translate then, “Unto you, the rest.”
as many as have not
–not only do not hold, but are free from contact with. and which–The oldest manuscripts omit “and”; translate, “whosoever.”
the depths–These false prophets boasted peculiarly of their knowledge of mysteries and the deep things of God; pretensions subsequently expressed by their arrogant title, Gnostics (“full of knowledge”). The Spirit here declares their so-called “depths,” (namely, of knowledge of divine things) to be really “depths of Satan”; just as in Re 2:9, He says, instead of “the synagogue of God,” “the synagogue of Satan.” HENGSTENBERG thinks the teachers themselves professed to fathom the depths of Satan, giving loose rein to fleshly lusts, without being hurt thereby. They who thus think to fight Satan with his own weapons always find him more than a match for them. The words, “as they speak,” that is, “as they call them,” coming after not only “depths,” but “depths of Satan,” seem to favor this latter view; otherwise I should prefer the former, in which case, “as they speak,” or “call them,” must refer to “depths” only, not also “depths of Satan.” The original sin of Adam was a desire to know EVIL as well as good, so in HENGSTENBERG’S view, those who professed to know “the depths of Satan.” It is the prerogative of God alone to know evil fully, without being hurt or defiled by it.
I will put
–Two oldest manuscripts have “I put,” or “cast.” One oldest manuscript reads as English Version.
none other burden–save abstinence from, and protestation against, these abominations; no “depths” beyond your reach, such as they teach, no new doctrine, but the old faith and rule of practice once for all delivered to the saints. Exaggerating and perfecting Paul’s doctrine of grace without the law as the source of justification and sanctification, these false prophets rejected the law as a rule of life, as though it were an intolerable “burden.” But it is a “light” burden. In Ac 15:28, 29, the very term “burden,” as here, is used of abstinence from fornication and idol-meats; to this the Lord here refers.
        Jezebel symbolizes a multitude of false prophets who are grouped in with the Balaamites and Nicolaitanes, who lead God’s people into the grossest carnality [read: flesh]. These false teachers seduce and deceive God’s people into paganism and whoredom by the worship of idols, of which the flesh is the worse.
        There is an awful and horrible future ahead for such as do these things. Her children will be killed. Those who take part in her sin will be cast into great tribulation, which terrible time as noted in the Bible should be self-explanatory.
        These false prophets are gnostics, pure and simple. There are many today, especially in the Pentecostal and Charismatic circles who are living examples of such false philosophy, but are applauded and supported and encouraged by the masses because of their scriptural ignorance and lack of exercising the gift of discerning of spirits. The are teaching and preaching the things of the “depths of satan,” of which the idea of attaining to “higher levels of spiritual enlightenment, awareness and accomplishment” is a gnostic trademark.
        There is eternal safety and security only in teaching, preaching and living, not new alleged “revelatory” doctrine, but the old faith and rule of practice once for all delivered to the saints as clearly stated in the Bible.
  • The assemblies claim to be lively, but Jesus says they are dead and that their works are not perfect before God.
        Look at any “church service” for the truth of that statement.
        Dead works abound in the institutional church system. There is a very clear warning that many have defiled garments who are not righteous and worthy and will not make it to heaven. Jesus has vomited out the lukewarmness of today’s “church” because they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked because of the pervading fleshly atmosphere.
  • The statement is made that only a few persons don’t have defiled garments and will walk in white with Jesus because they are worthy.
        This is a very strong statement which means that many in the assemblies are not saved and will not be with God for all of eternity.
  • The assemblies are found to be lukewarm in their devotion to the things of God and are vomited out of Jesus’ mouth because they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.
        In summing up, what did Jesus see in the corporate institutional church system with His eternal viewpoint of divine prophetic insight? False apostles, cold, dead man-made rituals, false and immoral teachers, false Christians serving satan’s throne in the midst of the institutional church system, multitudes of false prophets wed to a Jezebel spirit, teaching and seducing God’s people to indulge their flesh and its lusts, while advocating a gnostic philosophy of alleged revelation of new spiritual mysteries and the deep things of God, which in reality are the deep things of satan.
        Flesh is the prevailing agenda in the institutional church system. Those things that satisfy the flesh and the flesh itself are coveted by the leaders, and this is what is being taught and is deceiving those who name the name of Christ.


        The works of the flesh spoken of by Paul in Galatians include many things. Based upon a study of the words Paul used in describing the works of the flesh, the following general behavior is seen as it is exhibited within the institutional church system. (Definitions of those words are listed at the end of this article):
        There is physical and spiritual adultery and fornication, i.e., unlawful intercourse with the spouse of another and with those who are not the spouse of anyone. Metaphorically this describes persons who have lost their love for God and have broken their spiritual union with Christ by their close affiliation with the things of the material world. The logical conclusion of such focus upon the things that satisfy the flesh is to respond to Jezebel’s seductions and to engage in idolatry. Things that satisfy the flesh lead to a self-centered preoccupation of one’s flesh which leads to a spirit of pride. These things of the flesh, and one’s flesh itself become idols.
        An idol is a love for created things, instead of love of the Creator of those things. It's just that simple. Idols are always demonic, and the demonic comes from satan himself.
        In essense and in actual application, then, adultery, both physical and spiritual, continues to lead to a spiritual union with the Jezebel spirit. This unholy union, which mockingly parallels a husband and wife union, is consummated by seeking after, obtaining and loving those things which satisfy the flesh and the flesh itself.
        Despite professions of the belief in doctrines of the Christian faith, the most base pagan idolatry is practiced, perfected and passed on as false teachings to those who are caught up in the institutional church system and its accompanying mindset.
        This results in uncleanness, physically and morally, because of the association with sensuality and evil doctrines, accentuated by shameless conduct because you become a slave of your own lusts.
        Charismatic witchcraft, or sorcery, runs rampant in attempts to seek to impress others with mysterious supernatural resources and powers.
        True agape love continues to be opposed by hostility or hatred towards those who don’t follow the same agenda as those whose lifestyle reflects the works of the flesh. This is expressed by strifes, quarrels, rivalry, contention and wrangling in an atmosphere of hot jealous zeal.
        There will continue to be emotional flare-ups of agitated anger with outbursts of wrath and indignation with overtones of revenge that will burst forth spontaneously and then subside just as quickly—until the next time, which is not long in coming.
        Self promotion flourishes as individuals stand apart from the crowd and actively pursue and win followers of themselves. The fruit of these activities will brings about new cliques and sects based upon personal preference to bring an advantage to the persons involved based upon a particular truth or perversion of one. This brings about a tainted atmosphere of ill-will, jealousy and spite as each such divided group seeks to deprive the others of what they have so that can appropriate those things for themselves. Murderous attitudes continue to prevail despite pronouncements of “love” for the brethren.
        Habitual intoxication from either alcoholic beverages, drugs or false “spiritual highs” result in long late night parties [read: meetings] which are very public and noisesome in their vain and empty boastful atmosphere. There are lots of challenges and contests to provoke and irritate the other cliques and sects each of which envies the other.
        What’s my point? My point is that the institutional church system of today is under the control of satan and is demonic and it produces a fleshly mindset in those who continue to make it an idol in their lives. Open up your spiritual eyes and look and see what is going on all around you in this carnal and carnival atmosphere called “church.” Quit blinding yourself to the truth of the reality of what you see with your own eyes and recognize as not of God. You, being blind, are following others who are also blinded and you have a ditch for your destiny, instead of the kingdom of God.
        If you don’t understand this warning from Jesus Himself, look for His truth in studying your Bible and pray about this as if your life depends upon it.
        Is there any urgency about this? Only if you value your own soul.
        What do I suggest? Get out of it! Get out of it! Get out of it! And then spend time alone with God for as long as it’s necessary to get the institutional church system mindset out of you. There are lots of articles available through links and my writings on this web site that will help you to do that.

        If you’re dissatisfied with today’s “church” scene, then invest your time in reading some other related articles:
"Truth or Consequences" discusses the fake church of today.
"Jezebel Spirit Controlling Institutional Church People" will liberate you by helping you to recognize the type of leadership you’ve been oppressed by.
"The Spirit Of Antichrist" explains how to remove yourself and your loved ones far from the antichrist influence.
"A Sinking Submarine" explains why today’s concept and practice of Christianity fails to measure up to scriptural standards.
"God's Will And Purpose" will help you to understand that you are not in the family of Jesus when you hear the word of God and don’t do it.
"Women Keep Silence, or Don't Lose Your Head, Please!" discusses biblical types and antitypes, examples and clear scriptural instructions for scriptural spiritual headship, why Paul the apostle insisted upon it, and the dangers of irresponsibility by the men of the ekklelsia.
"Does Anybody Out There Hear Me?" states the case for the urgent need for biblical home ekklesias in God’s economy as compared with today’s standardized religious institutional mindset.
"Getting Out And Getting On" has a lot more information on the process of leaving the institutional church system. To become really, really free you want to know what you’re getting into, not just where you’re leaving from. It’s a process, a painful one, and it’s not easy. But it is a necessary step away from the bondage to the institutional church system mindset. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it” (Matthew 7:13-14 New International Version).
"The Old Testament Tithe And New Testament Giving" is an in-depth and comprehensive study that will help you to get out of bondage to an Old Testament practice.

        Scriptures I used as research notes and upon which I base my statements are listed below:
Revelation, chapter 2:
        2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
        4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
        5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
        6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
        9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
        13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
        14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
        15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
        20 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.
        21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
        22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
        23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
        24 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.
Revelation, chapter 3:
        1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
        2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
        4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
        9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
        15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
        16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
        17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
        Galatians 5:19-21,26:
        19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
        20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
        21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
        26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
        These definitions are excerpted mainly from Vine’s Expository Dictionary, but some also include Strong’s Concordance, and Thayer’s Definitions:
        1. Adultery is used as a noun in the verse. The other usages are included because they further define the meaning as used in the text.
        A. Nouns.
        1. moichos denotes one “who has unlawful intercourse with the spouse of another,” (Luke 18:11; 1 Cor. 6:9; Heb. 13:4). As to (Jas. 4:4), see below.
        2. moichalis “an adulteress,” is used (a) in the natural sense, (2 Pet. 2:14; Rom. 7:3); (b) in the spiritual sense, (Jas. 4:4); here the RV rightly omits the word “adulterers.” It was added by a copyist. As in Israel the breach of their relationship with God through their idolatry, was described as “adultery” or “harlotry” (e. g., (Ezek. 16:15), etc.; (23:43)), so believers who cultivate friendship with the world, thus breaking their spiritual union with Christ, are spiritual “adulteresses,” having been spiritually united to Him as wife to husband, (Rom. 7:4). It is used adjectivally to describe the Jewish people in transferring their affections from God, (Matt. 12:39; 16:4; Mark 8:38). In (2 Pet. 2:14), the lit. translation is “full of an adulteress” (RV, marg.).
        3. moicheia “adultery,” is found in (Matt. 15:19; Mark 7:21; John 8:3) (KJV only).
        B. Verbs.
        1. moichao used in the middle voice in the NT, is said of men in (Matt. 5:32; 19:9; Mark 10:11); of women in (Mark 10:12).
        2. moicheuo is used in (Matt. 5:27-28,32) (in (v. 32) some texts have No. 1); (19:18; Mark 10:19; Luke 16:18; 18:20; John 8:4; Rom. 2:22; 13:9; Jas. 2:11); in (Rev. 2:22), metaphorically, of those who are by a Jezebel’s solicitations drawn away to idolatry.
        2. Fornication
        A. Nouns.
        1. porneia is used (a) of “illicit sexual intercourse,” in (John 8:41; Acts 15:20,29; 21:25; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:13,18; 2 Cor. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1 Thes. 4:3; Rev. 2:21; 9:21); in the plural in (1 Cor. 7:2); in (Matt. 5:32) and (19:9) it stands for, or includes, adultery; it is distinguished from it in (15:19) and (Mark 7:21); (b) metaphorically, of “the association of pagan idolatry with doctrines of, and professed adherence to, the Christian faith,” (Rev. 14:8; 17:2,4; 18:3; 19:2); some suggest this as the sense in (2:21).
        3. Uncleanness
        C. Noun.
        akatharsia ... denotes “uncleanness,” (a) physical, (Matt. 23:27) (instances in the papyri speak of tenants keeping houses in good condition); (b) moral, (Rom. 1:24; 6:19; 2 Cor. 12:21; Gal. 5:19; Eph. 4:19; 5:3; Col. 3:5; 1 Thes. 2:3) (suggestive of the fact that sensuality and evil doctrine are frequently associated); (4:7).
        4. Lasciviousness
        aselgeia denotes “excess, licentiousness, absence of restraint, indecency, wantonness”; “lasciviousness” in (Mark 7:22), one of the evils that proceed from the heart; in (2 Cor. 12:21), one of the evils of which some in the church at Corinth had been guilty; in (Gal. 5:19), classed among the works of the flesh; in (Eph. 4:19), among the sins of the unregenerate who are “past feeling”; so in (1 Pet. 4:3); in (Jude 4), of that into which the grace of God had been turned by ungodly men; it is translated “wantonness” in (Rom. 13:13), one of the sins against which believers are warned; in (2 Pet. 2:2), according to the best mss., “lascivious (doings),” RV (the KJV “pernicious ways” follows those texts which have apoleiais); in (v. 7), RV, “lascivious (life),” KJV, “filthy (conversation),” of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah; in (2:18), RV, “lasciviousness” (KJV, “wantonness”), practiced by the same persons as mentioned in Jude. The prominent idea is shameless conduct. Some have derived the word from a, negative, and selge, “a city in Pisidia.” Others, with similar improbability, trace it to a, negative, and selgo, or thelgo, “to charm.”
        5. Idolatry
        eidololatria (or- eia) whence Eng., “idolatry,” (from eidolon, and latreia, “service”), is found in (1 Cor. 10:14; Gal. 5:20; Col. 3:5); and, in the plural, in (1 Pet. 4:3).
        Heathen sacrifices were sacrificed to demons, (1 Cor. 10:19); there was a dire reality in the cup and table of demons and in the involved communion with demons. In (Rom. 1:22-25), “idolatry,” the sin of the mind against God (Eph. 2:3), and immorality, sins of the flesh, are associated, and are traced to lack of the acknowledgment of God and of gratitude to Him. An “idolater” is a slave to the depraved ideas his idols represent, (Gal. 4:8,9); and thereby, to divers lusts, (Titus 3:3)
        6. Witchcraft
        A. Nouns.
        1. pharmakia (or–eia) (Eng., “pharmacy,” etc.) primarily signified “the use of medicine, drugs, spells”; then, “poisoning”; then, “sorcery,” (Gal. 5:20), RV, “sorcery” (KJV, “witchcraft”), mentioned as one of “the works of the flesh.” See also (Rev. 9:21; 18:23). In the Sept., (Ex. 7:11,22; 8:7,18; Isa. 47:9, 12). In “sorcery,” the use of drugs, whether simple or potent, was generally accompanied by incantations and appeals to occult powers, with the provision of various charms, amulets, etc., professedly designed to keep the applicant or patient from the attention and power of demons, but actually to impress the applicant with the mysterious resources and powers of the sorcerer.
        7. Hatred
        echthra from the adjective echthros (see ENEMY) is rendered “enmity” in (Luke 23:12; Rom. 8:7; Eph. 2:15-16; Jas. 4:4); “enmities,” (Gal. 5:20), RV, for KJV, “hatred.” It is the opposite of agape, “love.”
        (Strong’s Dictionary adds : “hostility; by implication, a reason for opposition.”)
        8. Variance
        Contention, Contentions
        eris “strife, quarrel, especially rivalry, contention, wrangling,” as in the church in Corinth, (1 Cor. 1:11), is translated “contentions in (Titus 3:9), KJV.
        eris “strife, contention,” is the expression of “enmity,” (Rom. 1:29), RV, “strife” (KJV, “debate”); (13:13; 1 Cor. 1:11), “contentions” (RV and KJV); (3:3; 2 Cor. 12:20), RV, “strife” (KJV, “debates”); (Gal. 5:20), RV, “strife” (KJV, “variance”); (Phil. 1:15; 1 Tim. 6:4; Titus 3:9), RV, “strifes” (KJV, “contentions”).
        9. Emulations
        Fierce, Fiercenesss
        2. zelos “zeal, jealousy,” is rendered “fierceness” in (Heb. 10:27), RV (of fire).
        Jealous, Jealousy
        zelos “zeal, jealousy,” is rendered “jealousy” in the RV (KJV, “envying”) in (Rom. 13:13; 1 Cor. 3:3; Jas. 3:14,16); in (2 Cor. 12:20) (KJV, “envyings”); in (Gal. 5:20), RV “jealousies” (KJV, “emulations”); in (Acts 5:17) (KJV, “indignation”); in (13:45) (KJV, “envy”); in (2 Cor. 11:2) it is used in the phrase “with a godly jealousy,” lit., “with a jealousy of God” (RV, marg.).
        zelos denotes “zeal” in the following passages: (John 2:17), with objective genitive, i. e., “zeal for Thine house”; so in (Rom. 10:2), “a zeal for God”; in (2 Cor. 7:7), RV, “(your) zeal (for me),” KJV, “(your) fervent mind (toward me)”; used absolutely in (7:11; 9:2; Phil. 3:6) (in (Col. 4:13) in some texts; the best have ponos, labor, RV).
        (Strong’s Dictionary defines emulations as: “properly, heat, i.e. (figuratively) “zeal” (in a favorable sense, ardor; in an unfavorable one, jealousy, as of a husband [figuratively, of God], or an enemy, malice.”)
        10. Wrath
        Fierce, Fiercenesss
        1. thumos “hot anger, wrath,” is rendered “fierceness” in (Rev. 16:19; 19:15), of the wrath of God.
        2. thumos “hot anger, passion,” for which see ANGER, Notes (1) and (2), is translated “wrath” in (Luke 4:28; Acts 19:28; Rom. 2:8), RV; (Gal. 5:20; Eph. 4:31; Col. 3:8; Heb. 11:27; Rev. 12:12; 14:8,10,19; 15:1,7; 16:1; 18:3); “wraths” in (2 Cor. 12:20); “fierceness” in (Rev. 16:19; 19:15) (followed by No. 1).
        [Here is the referenced note (1) on ANGER:
        ANGER, ANGRY (TO BE)
        Notes: (1) Thumos, “wrath” (not translated “anger”), is to be distinguished from orge [anger], in this respect, that thumos indicates a more agitated condition of the feelings, an outburst of wrath from inward indignation, while orge suggests a more settled or abiding condition of mind, frequently with a view to taking revenge. Orge is less sudden in its rise than thumos, but more lasting in its nature. Thumos expresses more the inward feeling, orge the more active emotion. Thumos may issue in revenge, though it does not necessarily include it. It is characteristic that it quickly blazes up and quickly subsides, though that is not necessarily implied in each case.]
        11. Strife
        Faction, Factious
        erithia (or– eia) denotes “ambition, self-seeking, rivalry,” self-will being an underlying idea in the word; hence it denotes “party-making.” It is derived, not from eris, “strife,” but from erithos, “a hireling”; hence the meaning of “seeking to win followers,” “factions,” so rendered in the RV of (2 Cor. 12:20), KJV, “strifes”; not improbably the meaning here is rivalries, or base ambitions (all the other words in the list express abstract ideas rather than factions); (Gal. 5:20) (ditto); (Phil. 1:17) (RV; KJV, (v. 16), “contention”); (2:3) (KJV, “strife”); (Jas. 3:14,16) (ditto); in (Rom. 2:8) it is translated as an adjective, “factious” (KJV, “contentious”). The order “strife, jealousy, wrath, faction,” is the same in (2 Cor. 12:20) and (Gal. 5:20). “Faction” is the fruit of jealousy. Cf. the synonymous adjective hairetikos, (Titus 3:10), causing division (marg., “factious”), not necessarily “heretical,” in the sense of holding false doctrine.
        (Thayer’s Definition of strife:
        “electioneering or intriguing for office
        a) apparently, in the New Testament a courting distinction, a desire to put oneself forward, a partisan and fractious spirit which does not disdain low arts
        b) partisanship, fractiousness;
        Before New Testament times this word is found only in Aristotle where it denotes a self-seeking pursuit of political office by unfair means. Paul exhorts to be one in the mind of Christ not putting self forward or being selfish (Phil. 2:3). James 3:14 speaks against having selfishness or self-promoting in your heart.”)
        12. Seditions
        2. dichostasia lit., “a standing apart” (dicha, “asunder, apart,” stasis, “a standing”), hence “a dissension, division,” is translated “seditions” in (Gal. 5:20), KJV.
        13. Heresies
        hairesis denotes (a) “a choosing, choice” (from haireomai, “to choose”); then, “that which is chosen,” and hence, “an opinion,” especially a self-willed opinion, which is substituted for submission to the power of truth, and leads to division and the formation of sects, (Gal. 5:20) (marg., “parties”); such erroneous opinions are frequently the outcome of personal preference or the prospect of advantage; see (2 Pet. 2:1), where “destructive” (RV) signifies leading to ruin; some assign even this to (b); in the papyri the prevalent meaning is “choice” (Moulton and Milligan, Vocab.); (b) “a sect”; this secondary meaning, resulting from (a), is the dominating significance in the NT, (Acts 5:17; 15:5; 24:5,14; 26:5; 28:22); “heresies” in (1 Cor. 11:19) (see marg.).
        hairesis “a choosing,” is translated “sect” throughout the Acts, except in (24:14), KJV, “heresy” (RV, “sect”); it properly denotes a predilection either for a particular truth, or for a perversion of one, generally with the expectation of personal advantage; hence, a division and the formation of a party or “sect” in contrast to the uniting power of “the truth,” held in toto; “a sect” is a division developed and brought to an issue; the order “divisions, heresies” (marg. “parties”) in “the works of the flesh” in (Gal. 5:19-21) is suggestive of this.
        14. Envyings
        A. Noun.
        phthonos “envy,” is the feeling of displeasure produced by witnessing or hearing of the advantage or prosperity of others; this evil sense always attaches to this word, (Matt. 27:18; Mark 15:10; Rom. 1:29; Gal. 5:21; Phil. 1:15; 1 Tim. 6:4; Titus 3:3; 1 Pet. 2:1); so in (Jas. 4:5), where the question is rhetorical and strongly remonstrative, signifying that the Spirit (or spirit) which God made to dwell in us was certainly not so bestowed that we should be guilty of “envy.”
        Note: Zelos, “zeal or jealousy,” translated “envy” in the KJV, in (Acts 13:45; Rom. 13:13; 1 Cor. 3:3; 2 Cor. 12:20; Jas. 3:14,16), is to be distinguished from phthonos, and, apart from the meanings “zeal” and “indignation,” is always translated “jealousy” in the RV. The distinction lies in this, that “envy” desires to deprive another of what he has, “jealousy” desires to have the same or the same sort of thing for itself.
        (Strongs Dictionary says: “ill-will (as detraction), i.e. jealousy (spite)”
        phonos is used (a) of a special act, (Mark 15:7; Luke 23:19,25); (b) in the plural, of “murders” in general, (Matt. 15:19; Mark 7:21) (Gal. 5:21), in some inferior mss.; (Rev. 9:21); in the singular, (Rom. 1:29); (c) in the sense of “slaughter,” (Heb. 11:37), “they were slain with the sword,” lit., “(they died by) slaughter (of the sword)”; in (Acts 9:1), “slaughter.”
        Note: In (Matt. 19:18), KJV, phoneuo, “to kill” (akin to phoneus, see below), is translated “thou shalt do (no) murder” (RV, “thou shalt (not) kill).
        3. phonos “a killing, murder,” is rendered “slaughter” in (Acts 9:1).
        16. Drunkenness
        C. Noun.
        methe “strong drink” (akin to methu, “wine,” see under A. 1, above), denotes “drunkenness, habitual intoxication,” (Luke 21:34; Rom. 13:13; Gal. 5:21).
        17. Revellings
        2. komos “a revel, carousal,” the concomitant and consequence of drunkenness, is used in the plural, (Rom. 13:13), translated by the singular, RV, “reveling” (KJV, “rioting”); (Gal. 5:21) and (1 Pet. 4:3), “revelings.”
        (Thayer’s Definition:
        “a revel, carousal;
        a nocturnal and riotous procession of half-drunken and frolicsome fellows who after supper parade through the streets with torches and music in honor of Bacchus or some other deity, and sing and play before houses of male and female friends; hence, used generally of feasts and drinking parties that are protracted until late at night and indulge in revelry.”)
        18. Vainglory (the adjective kenodoxus is used in Galatians 5:26).
        A. Nouns.
        1. kenodoxia, from kenos, “vain, empty,” doxa, “glory,” is used in (Phil. 2:3).
        B. Adjective.
        kenodoxos akin to A, No. 1, is rendered “vainglorious” in (Gal. 5:26), RV (KJV, “desirous of vain glory”).
        (Strong’s Dictionary: “vainly glorifying, i.e. self-conceited.”)
        19. Provoke
        7. prokaleo “to call forth,” as to a contest, hence “to stir up what is evil in another,” occurs in the middle voice in (Gal. 5:26).
        (Thayer’s Definition:
        “1) to call forth
        2) to call forth to oneself, especially to challenge to a combat or contest with one
        3) to provoke, to irritate”)
        20. Envying
        B. Verbs.
        1. phthoneo “to envy” (akin to A. [which is envy as defined above]), is used in (Gal. 5:26).