August 2nd

 

Carnal Knowledge

18"To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. 20Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. 24Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan's so-called deep secrets (I will not impose any other burden on you): 25Only hold on to what you have until I come. 26To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations--  27'He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery'-- 28just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the morning star. 29He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 2:18-28 NIV 

The above passage from Revelation is Jesus’ message to the church in Thyratira.  Some people in the church had apparently been corrupted through the teachings of a false prophetess named Jezebel.  She had led them into idolatry and sexual immorality.  Jesus also described her corruptions as “Satan’s so-called deep secrets” (24), which could also be identified by the term “occult.”   

“The occult” is a broad term referring to Satan’s schemes to entice people to sin through the desire for knowledge and/or power.  Pornography is part of the occult, because it lures people with the promise of revealing secret “carnal knowledge.”  For example, the tantalizing titles of porn videos and the seductive banner ads for porn sites promise exploration of hidden delights…perhaps something we have never seen before or something so bazaar that curiosity demands a peek.  If we bite on the temptation, we may find temporary enjoyment in devouring the bait, only to find later that it had a large hook which has caught us.   

God has given us healthy guidelines for sex that enable us to enjoy it in the best possible way – i.e. the way he designed it to be enjoyed.  When we rebel against God by partaking of sex outside of marriage or abusing it within marriage, we give lust a foothold (the hook) and open the door to more evil.  For a while, the eroticism and decadence of rebellion may pleasure us, but eventually the destruction will overtake our souls.  When God forbade Adam and Eve from eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, he had very good reasons.  Once we’ve tasted the “forbidden fruit” (i.e. deep secrets) it becomes a monumental task to cleanse our minds from the corrupted knowledge we’ve ingested.   

As we recover from sex addiction, we’ll need to confess any fascination we’ve developed for Satan’s deep secrets through porn or other channels.  Receiving his forgiveness, we can then ask for God’s help in restoring truth and purity in our minds.   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:  Ephesians 1:17-19 makes a wonderful prayer to pray for healing of our minds and getting them set on God’s truth.  This will help us shed the “darkened understanding” (Romans 1:21) brought on by our fascination with evil: 

that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power” Ephesians 1:17-19 NIV 

“Heavenly Father, please forgive me for my fascination with carnal knowledge.  I repent from my evil ways.  Please wash away all the corruption of carnal knowledge and Satan’s so-called deep secrets that I have allowed into my heart and mind.   Please restore the knowledge of truth in me and help me discern the lies I’ve believed.  I ask that you would give me the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of you.  Please open the eyes of my understanding and enlighten them, so that I may know what is the hope of your calling, what are the riches of the glory of the inheritance I have in you, and what is the exceeding greatness of your power toward me, according to the working of your mighty power. Thank you, Father! I pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen.”