The Revelation of Hope – Revelation 18:1-13 – Week 36 – Rob Covell

The Revelation of Hope

Revelation 18:1-13

Week 36

Rob Covell

Introduction –

In this Session we will begin Revelation 18. Revelation 17 introduced us to the identity of the Mystery Babylon the Mother of Prostitutes which is Rome/Roman Empire that is animated with the spiritual realms of darkness and the dragon/devil. Revelation 17 was a wide view of the political system of Rome from the perspective of the spiritual realm.

Revelation 18 is the judgment and indictment of Rome from heavens perspective and in it, we see the angelic order announcing its destruction and the reasons for its destruction.

We will be dividing Revelation 18 into 2 Sessions and base our interpretation of Revelation 18 on the real history of the Roman Empire. As we look at the real history of the Roman Empire we can easily see the fulfillment of the prophesied destruction of Rome in precise detail as prophesied by John.

Revelation 18:1-3

a) Verse 1 introduces us to an angel of “MEGAS EXOUSIA” who was coming down from the heaven, the dwelling place of God. Revelation is fascinating in that we see the diversity of the angelic order in all their assignments and ministries in the heavens. This particular angel was given great authority/EXOUSIA – the power of choice, the power to judge, the power to do as one pleases, royal authority – this shows us that this particular angel’s ministry was to decree and put into action the judgment of Babylon the Great, which is Rome.

b) In Chapter 17 we were given the identity of Mystery Babylon and the wide overview of her pending destruction. In Revelation 18 we get to see the specific judgment decree and the reasons for her judgment from heaven’s perspective.

c) It is interesting that it took centuries for the whole judgment to come into view. This shows us that these judgments against Rome/Roman Empire were part of a process that allowed the Church to participate in the judgment as She evangelized and over through the religious pagan Roman cults by the Gospel. Lastly, the animating spirit behind the spiritual adultery of Rome is still in the world, and even now the Church of Jesus Christ is gaining ground and having victories as the centuries pass. Eventually at the return of Jesus Christ the animating spirit of rebellion, the devil/dragon, will be completely defeated.

d) As I mentioned in previous Sessions, Babylon was synonymous with Rome. See 1 Peter 5:13, as well as Revelation 17:9 as the proof texts for this. The Early Church referred to Rome as Babylon because of the similarities of the historical Babylon and its dealings with Israel. Tertullian was one of the Early Church Fathers who held that position. Now that we have established the identity of Mystery Babylon as Rome, verse 2 begins to outline the judgment.

e) Rome had become a haunt for demons. The Greek word is KATOIKĒTĒRION – which means an abode or a habitation. The NIV translation is lacking as the second part of verse 2 says that Babylon has also become a Prison – Greek – PHYLAKĒ – of the place where captives are kept, a prison, and held under watch. Birds are also considered as symbolic of demonic activity and influence.

f) Ancient Roman society was so degenerate that the demonic realm had embedded itself so deeply into it that was judged by the Lord. In the same way, the world systems of every generation are influenced and often in agreement with the demonic values and thoughts. This introduces us to 2 theological concepts. 1 – Jesus calls the Church salt and light. One of our primary missions is to preserve society be mixing into it and influence it by godly living, etc. In ancient times salt was a used a preservative for meat. 2 – Light dispels darkness. As Jesus Christ becomes manifest in our lives, we displace darkness by our kingdom authority, spiritual gifts and the wisdom of God operating in us. This has a redemptive effect on the nations of the world. Much of our spiritual warfare is waged in the practical things that we do every day.

g) The nations that were ruled by Rome embraced her religion, government and economic system, and in that they engaged in the spiritual adultery of Emperor Worship, pagan cultism, and the luxuries of excess.  h) Proverbs 15:6 Great wealth is in the house of the righteous,  But trouble is in the income of the wicked. – There is a difference between the economies of God and the unjust economies of the world systems. The economies of God run on generosity, justice, and righteousness. The economies of the world systems run on tyranny, injustice and inequality.

Revelation 18:4-6

a) We are reminded of Isaiah 52:11 – Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the articles of the LORD’s house. This verse is a charge to the Levites/Priesthood to not engage themselves in the sin that was in the land at that time. As the Church of Jesus Christ, we are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9), and the Church in the First Century was being warned by this prophesy not to agree with the common culture of their day.

b) It was probably very comforting for the Early Church to hear that they were going to be avenged by the Lord for all of the persecutions, murders, humiliations, and imprisonments they suffered at the hands of the Roman authorities. Rome was going to suffer a double portion for what she did to the Christians in the First Century. On August 24, 410, Rome was sacked by the Visigoths led by Alaric I and destroyed. St. Jerome wrote, “”The City which had taken the whole world was itself taken.”

Revelation 18:7-8  a) Rome sat as a queen/Jezebel and it is the pride of cultures to build themselves up and expect no consequences for their actions. Proverbs 11:2 – When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. 1 John 2:16 – For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

b) Alaric I sieged Rome in AD 408 and exacted the following vast amounts of wealth
from Rome; the city was forced to give the Goths 5,000 pounds of gold, 30,000 pounds of silver, 4,000 silken tunics, 3,000 hides dyed scarlet, and 3,000 pounds of pepper in exchange for lifting the siege. Later he sieged Rome 2 more times and ultimately burned it in 410. We can see clearly in history that Rome fell exactly as it was prophesied.

Revelation 18:9-10 a) It is common historical knowledge that the Roman Empire suffered economic collapse as a result of the sack in 410. The Roman economy was based fiat currency that did not have intrinsic value of itself, but represented by an amount of gold or silver that was endorsed by Rome. Much like our dollar, and the other major currencies of the world today. When Rome was emptied of her riches, their currency was worthless. Many in the Empire would have been mourning the loss of their wealth.

Revelation 18:11-13  a) In verses 11-13 we see a list of the luxuries that were traded throughout the Roman Empire. Rome held such vast amounts of regional influence. Riches and wealth from all over the whole civilized world was traded throughout the Empire. We can see this to be true by the diversity of the items on this list.

b) The most disturbing item is the bodies of men and the souls of men. The estimation of the population of slavery in the First Century was 30-50%. There is no precise demography for Ancient Rome, but these are the best estimates.

c) We see that God Almighty detests slavery and judged Rome for it. People are made in God’s image and slavery defaces and devalues God’s very own creation.

d) It is also disturbing to see that Rome somehow trafficked in the souls of men. This may refer to the influence of Emperor Worship, paganism and demon worship that was rampant in common Roman culture. It may also refer to the corrupting influence of the spirit of disobedience and rebellion inspired by the dragon, but whatever it is we can conclude it is alarming that souls of men can be trafficked by world systems.

e) As the Church, we are charged with the reformation of society. The Mystery Babylon was overthrown by the Early Church, and the Church had Christianized the whole of Europe by the Middle Ages. We are encouraged in Scripture to not only engage this warfare of influence for the nations of world by the Gospel of Love, but transcend it in Love and expand the influence of the Kingdom in every age.

Source Material:  Christian-History.org  Don Walker – The Beast of Revelation White Paper  Josephus.org David Chilton – Days of Vengeance  The Apocalypse Code – Hank Hanegraaff   G. Davis Dean – The Revelation of Jesus Christ  Blue Letter Bible.com
Preterist Archive.com Charles Taylor – Commentary on the Book of Revelation  George Eldon Ladd – Commentary on the Book of Revelation George Eldon Ladd – The Gospel of the Kingdom Loraine Boettner – The Millenium  Harold Eberle – Victorious Eschatology  Holman Bible Dictionary  Strongs Concordance  NIV – Interlinear Greek New Testament NASB – Interlinear Greek New Testament  Jonathan Welton – Raptureless  George Peter Holford – The Destruction of Jerusalem  Wikipedia  Rapture Fever – Gary North  The Prophets Dictionary – Price  Vines Expository Bible Dictionary  Wayne Grudem – Systematic Theology

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Finding the Face of Jesus in Yom Kippur – Leviticus 16 – Rob Covell

Finding the Face of Jesus in Yom Kippur

Leviticus 16

Rob Covell

Introduction

In this Session we will look at the Yom Kippur Sabbath found in Leviticus 16, and see the stunning reality of God’s holiness and how Jesus fulfilled this Scripture in His death and resurrection. It is fascinating to see the types and shadows found in the Law and how they all point to Jesus Christ as Messiah. These teach us about God’s storyline of redemption and communicate deep things about His nature and character. It is important to acknowledge our Jewish roots because they teach us and instruct us in God’s ways and demonstrate the intensions of His heart.

Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement is found in Leviticus 16. The backdrop for God instituting Yom Kippur is found in Leviticus 10 when Nadab and Abihu offered “strange fire” or unauthorized worship before the Lord and were burned to death by the holiness of God. In response to this, God chose 1 day a year that a man may enter His presence, and that man must be veiled in the smoke of incense in order to live. Yom Kippur is observed on the 10th day of the 7th month. Seven is the Scriptural number of completion/perfection and 10 represents God’s Law in the 10 Commandments. Even the day and month point to Jesus being the completion of the Law in His sacrifice on the cross.

Yom Kippur is far from the celebration that Rosh Hashanah is. The intention of Yom Kippur is a Sabbath day of self-denial, fasting, resting/reflection and the covering of the sins of Israel for the year. Today Yom Kippur is not observed according to the Law because the Temple in Jerusalem is gone and there is no priesthood from the sons of Aaron who can stand as mediator between man and God. 1 Timothy 2:5 tells that there is only one mediator between man and God, the Man Jesus Christ.

The Modern observance of Yom Kippur has morphed into fasting, charity and reflection. There is no blood offering for sin along with the scapegoat being sent into the desert to cover the sins of Israel.  The New Testament book that parallels Yom Kippur is the book of Hebrews, as it explains in detail the types and shadows of Jesus Christ as our High Priest and fulfillment of the Day of Atonement.

Leviticus 16:1-2

a) What we see in verse one is the reference to Nadab and Abihu and their deaths for not regarding God’s holiness. What is in view here is that there is a chasm between God and man that keeps man from communing with God and experiencing His presence.

b) In verse 2 we are told that even Aaron the High Priest cannot commune with God or experience His presence at will. The glory behind the veil to the Holy of Holies was off limits even to the hungry who longed for it. At this point the Godhead could not be experienced by people because of the shocking awe, purity and holiness of the Lord as represented by the glory cloud.

c) The glory of the New Covenant is that Jesus Christ tore the veil and made a way for all who desire to commune with the Father and experience God’s presence.  d) Luke 23:45 – because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two.

e) Hebrews 10:19-22 – Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

f) It is the honor and grace of Christians to be invited behind the veil and experience the fullness of God’s presence without fear or condemnation.

Leviticus 16:3-5

a) The usual dress for the High Priest was ornate and highly decorated. See Exodus 39. The High Priest wore a gold, blue and purple ephod that was decorated with precious stones and seals in settings that represented the 12 Tribes of Israel. There was also a breastplate with set stones in gold that represented the tribes of Israel that was worn on top of the ephod.

b) On this day the High Priest wore only a simple linen head dress, ephod, and sash and was required to be ritually pure by washing. This is a picture of Jesus Christ laying aside His glory in heaven and being found in the flesh of a Man. See Philippians 2:5-11, John 1:1-5, and Matthew 17:1-3.

c) It is important to note that the only the High Priest, alone, made atonement to for the nation. There are no other priests involved in this ministry. See Leviticus 16:17. This is a fore shadow of the work of atonement that Jesus Christ worked for us and the nations of the earth when He suffered alone on the cross. See Psalm 22:1. Jesus was forsaken by man and suffered as the loving gaze of the Father turned away from Him as He transitioned from the One who knew no sin, to the One who became sin for us that we might be forgiven and accepted by the Father.

Leviticus 16:6-10

a) Aaron needed to atone for his own sin by sacrificing the bull. The word for Atonement in Hebrew is KAPHAR – to cover, purge, make an atonement, make reconciliation, cover over with pitch. We can see from this word that sin under the Old Covenant sacrificial system was only covered.

b) Ephesians 1:7 – In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace. Contrast the Greek word for forgiveness – APHESIS – release from bondage or imprisonment, forgiveness or pardon, of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed), remission of the penalty – to KAPHAR – to cover, and we see that the blood of Jesus is a better blood than goats and bulls. See Hebrews 10:4
c) The 2 goats were used in the following ways. One goat was sent off into the wilderness (AZAZEL – to be removed or taken away) and the other was to be sacrificed for the sins of the whole nation. Luke 23:18 – With one voice they cried out, “Away with this Man!” The people shouting this in Aramaic at Jesus’ trial would have been shouting the same word, “AZAZEL!”

d)Leviticus 16:20-22 tells us that the High Priest laid his hands on the goat’s head and confessed the sins of the entire nation and the goat was driven into the desert. This prophetic symbolism of our sins being imputed to Jesus, and our sins separated from us by the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus fulfilled the type and shadow of the scapegoat.

e) The second goat was sacrificed as a sin offering for the Israelite Nation. John 11:49-53 – But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they planned together to kill Him.” Jesus fulfilled the type and shadow of the Yom Kippur sin offering.

Leviticus 16:11-14

a) Aaron needed to be concealed in the smoke of incense. Incense in Scripture is a type and shadow of prayer or intercession. We see this in the Levitical Temple worship, as well as in Revelation 4:8 when the prayers of the saints are depicted as bowls being full of incense. Aaron was interceding with the Lord on behalf of Israelite veiled in the smoke because of his imperfect intercession before God.

b) Hebrews 7:23-28 – These verses teach us that Jesus fulfilled this type and shadow found in Leviticus 16.

c) Aaron dipped his finger in the blood and sprinkled the mercy seat/atonement cover seven times. Seven being the number of completeness/finality./perfection speak to the perfect blood of Jesus that completely removes sin from us. Hebrews 9 teaches us that Jesus presented a better blood in the Heavenly Temple when He presented Himself as the One who atones and forgives sins.

d) 1 Peter 1:18-19 – knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

Leviticus 16:29-31

a) The 10th day of the 7th month (Tishrei – beginnings) calls our attention to the symbolism of 10 and 7. 10 represents the Law (Ten Commandments) and 7 being the number of perfection, completeness, and rest symbolizes the work of Jesus Christ as the One whose life fulfilled the Law and His death fulfilled the completeness of His sacrifice on the cross for our sins.

b) There were 6 Feasts of Israel. Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah), and the Tabernacles. I would not call Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement a feast because this was a day of assembling, fasting, atonement, and resting.

c) This points to realities. 1 – That God is a happy God who loves joy, celebration, community, family and blessing. 2 – That there was only ONE DAY to atone for sin. This points to the future work of Jesus Christ who offered only ONE sacrifice for sin. Hebrews 9:28

d) Yom Kippur is the most sacred/holy Sabbath day in the Law. This prophesies the fulfillment of us resting in the finished work of Jesus Christ, that He accomplished by His death on the cross.

The Revelation of Hope – Revelation 17:7-18 – Week 35 – Rob Covell

The Revelation of Hope

Revelation 17:7-18

Week 35

Rob Covell

Introduction –  In this Session we will conclude Revelation 17, and read through the angelic interpretations of verses 1-6 from the last Session. We will continue looking at the imagery that contrasts the Harlot/False Bride that is in agreement with the spirit of animating evil in the world, satan, to the true Bride, which is the Church of Jesus Christ, the shining, pure and white one who is faithful.

Since we have already introduced this Chapter in detail in the last Session; we will move forward in our study.

Revelation 17:7

a) John was greatly astonished by the vision of the Woman on the Beast. The Greek word for astonish or wonder is THAUMAZŌ – to wonder, wonder at, marvel – to be wondered at, to be had in admiration. This speaks of the alluring deception of the power of the world, the deception of luxury, and the plastic beauty of societies that love decadence. It can seem impossible for the Bride of Christ to overcome these social structures and their power, but we know that greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world. It our birthright to overcome and influence the world for God’s greater glory as He is the legal possessor of all things.

b) The angel re-directs John’s gaze and explains the mystery of the alluring vision he just witnessed. Chapter 17 is very easy to interpret because the interpretation is given to us by the angel who will explain the symbolism of the woman, the beast, the heads and 10 horns.

Revelation 17:8

a) We have 2 movements in verse 8. The first movement is in regards to the destiny of the beast, which is destruction. The second movement is in regards to the sure destruction of those who partner with the beast.

b) We must refer to Revelation 13:3 when we consider verse 8. Revelation 13:3 tells us that one of the heads of the beast suffered what appeared to be a mortal wound, and yet was healed and the world was astonished by this. This refers to the following political occurrences at that time.

c) Rome is easily identified as the beast. The Roman Emperor Nero committed suicide at the height of Roman dominance and power. We have discussed him in detail when we studied Revelation 13, so for the sake of time we will move on.  When Nero committed suicide the Julian Dynasty was suddenly ended, as Nero had no offspring or bloodline heir to the throne. He had murdered all familiar opponents to his rule. It is important to mention that it was a common name to refer to Nero as a Beast by the Roman Senate and others in Roman culture. So it could be said that the Generic Beast, Rome, had suffered a fatal wound to its head.

d) At that time the Roman Empire went into a short period of political civil wars, and wars of rebellion that plunged the Empire into deep political upheaval. Vespasian was able to realign allegiances and put down rebellion and restore/revive the beast with the fatal wound, the Roman Empire and establish the Flavian Dynasty. Basically the beast came out the pit/abyss.

e) The second movement is in regards to those who joined themselves to the harlot. It is sure death to live for any system than the system of Life, the Kingdom of God.

f) When we look at the language, “from the creation of the world”, it would seem that eternal destiny is pre-determined. This is simply not the case. I cannot accept that a loving God would appoint a portion of His creation, made in His image, to an eternal hell. This phrase is easily understood when one looks at it in the context of God’s omniscience. As God is transcendent and outside of time and space, He know beginning from end, but does not control the outcomes of those who chose either to love Him or live in their Adamic rebellion.

g) We can be assured that when Vespasian consolidated power and revived Rome’s power and authority, the people of the land, especially those in the Jewish rebellion against Rome were amazed. A good knowledge of the history and context of the Scriptures that we are reading keeps us safe from speculative doctrines that draw conclusions from Scripture that are completely outside the people and the culture they were written to. We can be sure that these verses that declare the fall of Rome, would have been good news for an Apostle who was being exiled by the Beast of Rome.

Revelation 17:9

a) The mind of wisdom – Mind – Greek – NOUS – the mind, comprising alike the faculties of perceiving and understanding and those of feeling, judging, determining

b) Wisdom – Greek – SOPHIA – wisdom, broad and full of intelligence; used of the knowledge of very diverse matters

c) What is being communicated here is that when one looks at these prophetic symbols, one can understand. To the First Century Christians of the 7 Churches, they would have been able to interpret these symbols. We also have the witness of the whole of church history that uniformly agreed to the earliest interpretation of these symbols until the 1860’s.

d) The city of 7 hills is easily identified as Rome by a simple knowledge of the geography of the city of Rome. They were Aventinus, Caelius, Esquilinus, Palantinus, Quirinalis, Caitolinus, and Viminalis.

Revelation 17:10-11

a) The list of kings in succession that are going to destruction. The first five Kings/Caesars were Julius, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius.

b) The one is Nero

c) Galba is the seventh King/Caesar. He reigned for less than seven months and was murdered by the Military Commander Otho.

d) The eighth King/Caesar is understood to be the animating spirit behind the antichrist political system of the Roman Caesars until her fall (Constantine). The text itself; “The beast which was and is not (Rome), is himself also an eighth and is one (of the same type – Greek – EK – out of, from, by, away from) of the seven, and he goes to destruction.”

e) I will quote scholar David Chilton here to bring clarity – “the antichristian brutality of succeeding tyrants will mark them as being of the same stripe as their predecessors. Eight is the number of resurrection in the Bible; St. John is warning that even though the Empire will seem to disintegrate after the rule of the seven kings, it will be “resurrected” again, to live on in other persecutors of the Church. Yet the Empire’s comeback will not result in victory for the Beast, for even the eighth, the resurrected Beast, goes to destruction. The Church will have to exercise patience during the period of the Beast’s ascendancy, but she has the assurance that her enemies will not succeed. Their King will be victorious; His servants have been predestined to share in His triumph.”

f) The really good news is that we are NOT looking forward to a Modern Era where a revived Roman Empire will begin to persecute Christians and cause hell on earth. We have already defeated this beast by the power of our gospel thousands of years ago.

Revelation 17:12

a) It is common knowledge that the Roman Empire had 10 provinces. These vassal kings pledged allegiance to Rome and the persecutions of Christians was Empire wide.

Revelation 17:13-14

a) It is a manifestation of all political entities to wage war against the rule of God. See Psalm 2.

b) It is also the ultimate goal of those who choose a reprobate mind to war against everything that is godly. This struggle has been from the foundation of the world. From Cain against Abel, to Nimrod, and every world leader or common culture that has rejected the witness of creation that points us to God. See Romans 1:18-20.

c) Philippians 2 teaches us the same theme found in Revelation 17:13-14. This would have been very encouraging to the early church living in the midst of this.

d) Ignatius of Antioch said – “May I enjoy the wild beasts that are prepared for me. I pray that they would be found eager to rush at me, and I will also entice them to devour me speedily and not deal with me as some, whom out of fear they have not touched. If they are unwilling to assail me, I will compel them to do so. Pardon me; I know what is to my benefit. Now I begin to be a disciple. Let no one, of things visible or invisible, prevent me from attaining to Jesus Christ. Let fire and the cross; let wild beasts; let tearings, breakings, and dislocation of bones; let cutting off of limbs; let shatterings of the whole body; and let all the evil torments of the devil come upon me; only let me attain to Jesus Christ.”

Revelation 17:15-18

a) The waters are all of the people groups that the Roman Empire ruled. The
woman is the spirit of Babylon/Mystery Babylon that has influenced all world powers in every era of history.

b) The woman will be humiliated by the Scriptural symbols listed.

c) Naked – To be humiliated and uncovered – Isaiah 47:2-3, Jeremiah 13:26, Ezekiel 16:37, Hosea 2:10

d) Eat her flesh – We can reference the demise of Jezebel whose flesh was eaten by dogs in 2 Kings 9:30-37. Just as Rome persecuted the prophetic voice the Church, the spirit of Jezebel always seeks to silence prophets of God.

e) Burn her with fire – Jeremiah 4:11-13, 30-31 – Ezekiel 16:37-41

f) Rome and Jerusalem who were both spiritual adulterers, were both burned to the ground.

g) The great city who rules over the earth is easily interpreted as the Roman Empire. Rome ruled the most territory of any empire ever in world history.

Summary:

As we conclude Revelation 17, we can see that not only was the Roman Empire destroyed by her political enemies, and the propagation of Christianity. So Jerusalem was destroyed by her rejection of Jesus and the New Covenant that He offered. All empires, nations and systems will suffer the same fate at the return of Jesus Christ. Spiritually by the conquest of the Church as she preaches the gospel of love, and in fullness when Jesus overthrows all systems at His return.

Source Material:  Christian-History.org  Don Walker – The Beast of Revelation White Paper  Josephus.org David Chilton – Days of Vengeance  The Apocalypse Code – Hank Hanegraaff   G. Davis Dean – The Revelation of Jesus Christ  Blue Letter Bible.com  Preterist Archive.com Charles Taylor – Commentary on the Book of Revelation  George Eldon Ladd – Commentary on the Book of Revelation George Eldon Ladd – The Gospel of the Kingdom Loraine Boettner – The Millenium  Harold Eberle – Victorious Eschatology  Holman Bible Dictionary  Strongs Concordance  NIV – Interlinear Greek New Testament-  NASB – Interlinear Greek New Testament  Jonathan Welton – Raptureless  George Peter Holford – The Destruction of Jerusalem  Wikipedia  Rapture Fever – Gary North  The Prophets Dictionary – Price  Vines Expository Bible Dictionary

Foundations – Week 8 – Culture of Love and Honor – Rob Covell

Culture of Love and Honor

Foundations Week 8

Rob Covell

Introduction

As we conclude our Foundations Series, we will look at the one thing that sustains Revival/Reformation Culture long term, so that we do not lose the Kairos or Convergence Moment of the Holy Spirit that is coming to Refuge in a widespread corporate encounter. But we partner with it to become a movement by planting it in a culture of love and honor. So many moves of God become one time encounters, but not long term sustained movements of God because our hearts are not prepared to carry the supernatural glory of God long term. Only a culture of love and honor will carry a long term move of God.

At Refuge our church culture or our spiritual value system has been built on 4 theological foundations that prepare us host a generational reformation move of God.

1 – The Goodness of God

2 – Dominion Mandate

3 – Supernatural Lifestyle

4 – A Culture of Love and Honor

In this Session we will look at the definitions and demonstration of love, and the definition and demonstration of Biblical honor. Understanding Biblical concepts of love and honor prepare us to minister to broken and hurting people through the eyes of grace. As we know all of us are walking our healings over our entire lifetimes and the work of sanctification is continual as God nurtures us in His love and grace.

When we speak about love and honor we are talking about the relational side of our identities in Jesus Christ as children, Bride, sons/daughters, a holy priesthood, a royal nation, and members of One Body, the collective Church of Jesus Christ. See 1 Peter 2:4-6 and Revelation 5:10.

A culture of love and honor is one of freedom and celebration of who you are in Christ.

Honor Defined

There are 7 Hebrew words and 4 Greek words for Honor in the Scriptures. The Hebrew word for Honor that mostly applies to mankind is the Hebrew word KABAD (Strong’s). The other Hebrew and Greek words describe honor that is due to the Lord.   KABAD – To be heavy, to be wealthy, to be honored and glorified

Exodus 20:12 – “Honor your father and your mother”
The Greek word that corresponds to KABAD is TIMAO – to honor, to show honor, to give recognition to.
Matthew 15:4 “Honor your father and mother”
Contemporary English Definition of Honor
Honor   1.  Personal integrity: strong moral character or strength, and adherence to ethical principles  2.  Respect: great respect and admiration   3.  Dignity or distinction: personal dignity that sometimes leads to recognition and glory  4.  Reputation: somebody’s good name or good reputation

Culture of Honor in Biblical Times

The principles of Honor and Shame were at the core of the Hebrew social fabric. Honor was the primary measure of social status in Hebrew culture. That is why the genealogies are recorded in Scripture. That is why the Gospels of Matthew, and Luke contain the genealogies of Jesus. So that the discerning Hebrew could see that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of being from the House of David, and take comfort in the Honor due His Name.

In Hebrew culture honor came to a person through 2 avenues.

a)  Inherited Honor – The family’s origin in regards to the tribe, family, and reputation of that family in service or faithfulness to the Lord. IE Genealogies, land inheritances, Names of families etc.
b)  Acquired Honor – Meritorious deeds or public performance that increased the family social position. The family social position was the Honor Base from which men launched out from in hopes of gaining more honor for the family, and for personal recognition. Women acquired honor by living holy and protecting the family’s name by the marriage covenant and child bearing.
c)  Challenges to Honor – The public forum provided the platform by which honor was taken or acquired. An illegitimate challenge was ignored, a legitimate challenge required a response. This was usually at the gate of the city. See Ruth 4

Let’s look at an example in Scripture where Jesus was challenged by the Pharisees in an honor contest.

Mark 3:1-6
a) The honor of Jesus was challenged by the Pharisees. Jesus would lose honor for not healing on the Sabbath, and he would lose honor if He did heal. Jesus defeats the honor challenge by explaining God’s heart for hurting people. Real honor is always about honoring people and not our reputations.

Negative Shame versus Protecting the Heart

Negative shame exposes sin and brings condemnation, and protecting a person’s heart covers the sin that would result in loss of honor, and leaves an opportunity for reconciliation, restoration, forgiveness and healing.

Scriptural Example of Negative Shame

Genesis 9:20-23

a) Noah sinned in a way that stole his honor, and uncovered his body, leaving him exposed. Noah also was acting outside of his identity as a one who was made in God’s image. So much of the attack of the enemy and the enticement to sin is caught up in removing our honor as children of God.

b) Ham saw the error and partnered with negative shame and exposed his father’s dishonor to his brothers. There is nothing worse than being shamed by our past deeds by those who take delight in telling everyone our sin, our shortcomings and all of the areas that we miss the mark.

c) Shem and Japheth covered Noah and demonstrated grace, and honor. They chose to esteem their father and relate to him per his destiny and calling as a man of God, a preacher of righteousness/intercessor who pleased God and delivered the human race from the flood.

d) Romans 8:1 – Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. e) We follow the example of Noah’s sons in Genesis 9, and the example of Jesus in John 8, and we cover the nakedness of our fallen natures. We will protect the reputations of others and allow God to convict and expose sin by His Spirit. We seek to protect the identities of people as children of God, and bring restoration by mercy, love and restorative ministry.

Honor at Refuge
a) Inherited Honor – All people are God’s creation. Therefore sinner or saint is due the honor of being made in the image of God. Genesis 1:27. We honor all because Jesus paid the price with His blood to redeem all who would say yes!

b) The person, who is in Covenant Relationship with God through the blood of Jesus, is called a child of God. Galatians 3:26, 1 John 3:1 – Therefore each person at Refuge is favored, loved and protected by the Lord. We relate to each other in this light.

c) Acquired Honor – We acquire honor for God when we do exploits for the Kingdom of God. Mark 16:15-18. When the people of God walk and demonstrate Kingdom Living, Jesus receives honor and glory.

d) We acquire honor by Holy Living, 2 Timothy 2:20-21. By living in purity, and holiness we demonstrate the seriousness and weight of the Scriptures to those who hold a lesser view of Christ.

e) Challenges to our honor – There are no legitimate challenges to the honor of a Child of God, a Royal Priesthood and Holy Nation.

Culture of Love at Refuge

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 – Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;

a) Love – Greek– AGAPĒ – affection, good will, love, benevolence, brotherly love

b) This is love that contends to God’s highest purposes for people and relates to one another with that understanding.

c) This is, in my estimation, the most challenging aspect of our faith. It is difficult to walk out personally and just as difficult corporately in the context of a faith family. However this is a powerful manifestation of Spirit of God and Jesus said that we would be known by our love. John 13:35 – “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

d) We are seeking to create a culture of nurturing love and acceptance that is born as a supernatural grace from the Holy Spirit. Imagine the possibility of being a movement known by not only its supernatural power, but by its love and honor for people. We would completely change the expression of Christianity and its reputation in America.

Rosh Hashanah Activation

a) Rosh Hashanah – Head of the Year – The Biblical name for this day is Yom Teruah – The Day of Shouting/Praise – We know it as the Feast of Trumpets

b) The Scriptural reference to Rosh Hashsah is Leviticus 23:23-25 – It is the first day of the seventh month –TISHREI – Beginning

c) The symbolic significance of Rosh Hashanah is the celebration of God creating Adam and Eve, i.e. humanity made in His image, The Judgment at the end of the ages, and the eternal kingdom of Messiah to come.

d) The celebration begins by blowing the trumpet to shouts of praise and making the declaration “Shanah Tovah” or “blessed new year” as apples are dipped in honey to symbolize the expectation of God’s goodness and sweetness on your lives.

e) As believers in Jesus the Messiah we celebrate Rosh Hashanah in the reality that we are under the covenant blessing of Messiah as His Bride, the object of His love. Beloved, in Jesus, everyday holds the expectation of the promises of God and His blessing on your life.

The Revelation of Hope – Revelation 17:1-6- Week 34 – Rob Covell

The Revelation of Hope

Revelation 17:1-6

Week 34

Rob Covell
Introduction –  In this Session we will begin Revelation 17. This is such an exciting section of Scripture because of all of the awesome spiritual symbolism that we will unpack in this chapter. As we move through this chapter we will reminded of spiritual symbolism and allegory that was explained in detail in earlier chapters. We will use these as a foundation to interpret Chapter 17.

Chapter 17 introduces us to the Woman on the Beast and interprets her identity to us as the Roman Empire. We can see this from the internal evidence already found in Chapter 17. Since we have already established our hermeneutic for interpreting Revelation, we will move on into this Chapter and begin our study of the contrast of 2 brides. The false/adulterous bride embodied in the Roman Empire and the people in agreement with that world system and True Bride of Christ described in Revelation 19, who agrees with her Lord of Lord and King of Kings.

Revelation 17:1

a) Chapter 17 begins with a John having a dialogue with one of the 7 angels who is about to speak to John in figurative and symbolic language about the identity of the Woman and the Beast. Later in Revelation 17:7 this same angel begins the interpretation of the symbolism from verses 1-6. Chapter 17 is an easy section of Scripture to interpret because it interprets itself, once the identity of the Woman and the Beast has been identified.

b) The angel is showing John the “judgment” of the great prostitute that sits on many waters. The Greek word for judgment is KRIMA – a decree, judgments, condemnation of wrong, the decision (whether severe or mild) which one passes on the faults of others, the sentence of a judge. What we see here is the angel showing John the reason for judgment through the use of spiritual symbolism that communicates vast amounts of information through that symbolism. To understand Revelation in context is to understand the symbolism.

c) Great Prostitute – Greek – MEGAS  PORNĒ – a woman who sells her body for sexual uses, metaph. an idolatress, of “Babylon” i.e. Rome, the chief seat of idolatry (Strong’s) – The identity of the great prostitute is easily understood as Rome. In Revelation 13 we looked at these concepts in detail. We see in Scripture that any nation that does do not worship God, but idols is considered to be in spiritual adultery. Israel was in spiritual adultery in many seasons of her history, Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Hosea use this type of symbolism to record those eras. At the time of writing of the Revelation, Rome was engaged in the worst type of spiritual adultery which was the worship of a man, the Caesars of Rome.

d) Many waters – Many times in Scripture, waters are described as the mass of people groups. Rome at this time governed the whole of the civilized world. Since we studied this in detail in Revelation 13, I will not spend much time on the
exegesis of this symbolism. See Isaiah 17:12, and Isaiah 57:20.

Revelation 17:2

a) The spiritual symbolism continues in verse 2 and we are given the description of the wide influence of spiritual adultery that Rome exerted on the ancient world. First of all, whenever Rome conquered an area, they introduced Roman culture, Roman currency, The Greco-Roman Pantheon, and Emperor worship. Given the massive influence of Rome ruling all of Europe, including the British Isles, Asia Minor, the Middle East and North Africa, Rome definitely caused the kings of the earth to commit adultery. Even Jerusalem was involved in this spiritual adultery when their leadership declared their allegiance to Caesar, and not to Jesus in John 19:12 and 15.

b) Being spiritually blinded by idolatry is described as drunkenness/intoxication. It is a spiritually delusional state to be caught in deception and be influenced by any other spirit than the Holy Spirit. All truth leads to clarity of mind as those who have the Holy Spirit are promised a Spirit of courage and a sound mind. See 2 Timothy 1:7.

c) Wine is the Biblical type and shadow for being under the influence of spiritual deception or judgment. Again, I have explained this detail in other Sessions so we will move on. The wine of her adulteries and her committing acts of adultery use the Greek Words relating to PORNEOin this verse. We see a verb and a noun used in this context. We see the active pursuit of deception, lies, immorality, resulting in the state of being influenced by them.

Revelation 17:3

a) It must have been a really wild experience for John to be in a vision and then suddenly be transported to another spiritual realm within that vision. This is a reminder that it is error to read Revelation with a literalist hermeneutic.

b) We were introduced to this Beast in Revelation 13. Let’s walk through the symbolism as this will help us in our interpretation of verse 3.

c) The vison takes place in a desert or deserted place – This symbolic language for the spiritual waste land where the enemy dwells. Greek – ERĒMOS – solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited, deprived of the aid and protection of others, especially of friends, acquaintances, kindred, of a woman neglected by her husband, from whom the husband withholds himself, of a flock deserted by its shepherd – We see a False Bride here embodied by those who have joined themselves to one who has no love, concern or care.

d) Woman sitting – Greek GYNE KATHĒMAI – Verb – to have a fixed abode, to dwell, to sit down, seat one’s self –

e) Scarlet Beast – This symbolism is easily interpreted as the generic beast of Revelation 13, the Roman Empire, being under the influence of the devil/satan.

f) The seven heads are interpreted for us in Revelation 17:9 – This is Rome, the city on 7 hills.

g) 10 horns are speaking about the 10 Roman Provinces at that time. It is important for us to mention Daniel 2:42-45. In the time Jesus was born, Augustus Caesar
divided the Roman Empire into 10 provinces (toes), and Jesus is the Rock cut without hands that smashed the 10 toes. His kingdom through the ages will have dominion in increasing measure until His return.

h) The blasphemous names speak of all of the blasphemies of idol worship, Emperor worship, sexual immorality, unjust economies, slave trading and cultural degradation of the Roman Empire. What is awesome is that in first 3 centuries of the Church of Jesus Christ, she converted the Woman who sits on the Beast! The True Bride conquered the False Bride!

Revelation 17:4-5

a) Dressed in purple – This color is reserved for royalty and the rich. We see a false or counterfeit identity of this unfaithful woman contrasted to the True Bride of Christ who is a royal princess arrayed in White!

b) Scarlet – Red can either speak of anger, passion, or redemption. This false bride/adulterous woman is inflamed with the ungodly passions of the spirit that animates this beast.

c) Glittering with gold – false glory

d) Precious stones – Gem stones speak of wealth and riches. Gem stones are used as descriptive language of the One who sat on the throne in Revelation 4. Also the tribes of Israel were represented by gem stones on the breast plate of the High Priest as a symbol being close to the Lord’s heart. This woman is arrayed in false wealth and riches, and is not a gem close to the Lord’s heart. She has no covenant.

e) Pearls are used in the context of wisdom and as a descriptive for the kingdom of God in Scripture – see Job 28:18 and Matthew 13. This woman has no wisdom or an enduring kingdom from God.

f) Her cup is filth. Cups speak of destinies: Jesus referred to his destiny as being the Lamb of God as a cup given to Him by the Father. Cups also speak of fellowship in Scripture as well. Psalm 116:12 speaks of fellowship with God as the cup of salvation. What we see here in the symbolism is that this woman has false fellowship and destiny of destruction.

g) Her title tells the whole story. Rome is the embodiment of everything contrary to the goodness of God.

Revelation 17:6

a)  Verse 6 tells us that the woman persecuted the Bride of Christ to point where she was drunk with their blood. This would have been very welcome news to the First Century Church that suffered immensely under her rule.

b) To summarize, this woman was defeated by the decree of the Lord Jesus and the power evangelism of the early church. This would have seemed an impossibility to the Apostolic Church who received the Revelation of John. If they looked at the power of Rome, its massive military, economic strength, and wide spread idolatry and immorality, they could have easily been discouraged. However they chose to believe in their identity as God’s very own as well as believe His decree of judgment on her, and live in fidelity to Him. The Church in every age is responsible for the continuing defeat of this spirit of adultery in every age.

Source Material:  Don Walker – The Beast of Revelation White Paper  Josephus.org David Chilton – Days of Vengeance  The Apocalypse Code – Hank Hanegraaff   G. Davis Dean – The Revelation of Jesus Christ  Blue Letter Bible.com  Preterist Archive.com Charles Taylor – Commentary on the Book of Revelation  George Eldon Ladd – Commentary on the Book of Revelation George Eldon Ladd – The Gospel of the Kingdom Loraine Boettner – The Millenium  Harold Eberle – Victorious Eschatology  Holman Bible Dictionary  Strongs Concordance  NIV – Interlinear Greek New Testament-  NASB – Interlinear Greek New Testament  Jonathan Welton – Raptureless  George Peter Holford – The Destruction of Jerusalem  Wikipedia  Rapture Fever – Gary North  The Prophets Dictionary – Price  Vines Expository Bible Dictionary

The Revelation of Hope – Reelation 16:16-20 – Week 33 – Rob Covell

The Revelation of Hope

Revelation 16:16-21

Week 33

Rob Covell

Introduction –  In this Session we will complete Revelation Chapter 16, and complete the 7 Bowl Judgment Cycle. We begin some of the most exciting prophetic spiritual imagery found in the Revelation, and we will see that the end of Revelation 16 is the perfect on ramp into Revelation 17 through Revelation 18 which details the fall of the Roman Empire and future Babylon’s of the world that stand against the kingdom and people of God in all ages.

Revelation 16:16

a) When we consider the battle of Armageddon (HAR-MEGIDDO in Hebrew), we need to note that this place does not literally exist. HAR in Hebrew means Mountain, and MEGIDDO refers to the Plain of Megiddo. There is literally no MOUNT MEGIDDO in Judea. The closest mountain adjacent to Megiddo is Mount Carmel.

b) What we have here is a play on words that the Hebrew mind would have connected to Mt Carmel and the Plain of Megiddo.

c) Carmel is symbolic of the revelation of God to His people and the defeat of Jezebel’s false prophets of Baal. Reference 1 Kings 18 for details.

d) Megiddo is the place in the history of Israel where wars were fought, kings were judged and kingdoms either rose or fell. These are some examples in Scripture of these concepts. Joshua 12:21 – Joshua defeated Tanaach the king of Megiddo when he lead the conquest of Canaan. Judges 5:19-20 – Deborah defeated the kings of Canaan at Megiddo. 2 Kings 9:27 – Ahaziah, the King of Judah (Ahab’s disobedient grandson), was killed at Megiddo by Jehu’s army. This is an example that being allied with evil always leads to death and defeat. The last mention I want to use as an example is the death of Josiah in 2 Chronicles 35:20-25. Josiah had deliberately disobeyed God’s command not to fight Pharaoh Neco, King of Egypt at Megiddo. Josiah was shot by an arrow in Megiddo and died from his battle wound. After that Judah began their decent into idolatry and spiritual adultery that lead to their exile form the land.

e) Another notable Scripture mention is Zechariah 12:9-11 – “And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. “In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. – In these verses we are encouraged to look forward to a future eschatological event that gives us the imagery of mourning of Israel for rejecting Jesus as Messiah when He returns.

f) Therefore we can see the following themes associated with Carmel and
Megiddo. False prophets are defeated, evil kings are defeated, righteous prophets are promoted, righteous kings are exalted, and all the nations of earth are judged by God. Armageddon is multi-layered symbolism for the sure defeat of the enemies of God.

Revelation 16:17

a) The Seventh Angel pours his bowl on the air. This is the Divine judgment on the satan’s realm of influence. Ephesians 2:2 –  in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

b) Greek – AĒR – the air, particularly the lower and denser air as distinguished from the higher and rarer air – The definition of this Greek word points to the reality that satan and demons dwell in lower heavens, not the OURANOS of God.

c) It is done! – Greek – GINOMAI – verb – to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being – This is the language of finality. Seven is the number of completion, rest from works, and the divine number of God. Here we see the prophesied the complete destruction of the devil and his realm.

Revelation 16:18

a) Verse 18 points us the spiritual shaking of ungodly realms. Reference Hebrews 12:25-29 for the interpretation. “See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.”

b) Verse 18 details the complete shaking of everything ungodly or contrary to Him so that His kingdom is established without hindrance. The Temple in Jerusalem was shaken in 70 AD, and at the Second Coming of Jesus, all will be shaken again as He establishes His eternal rule on earth.

Revelation 16:19

a) The Great City is a reference to Jerusalem. Reference Revelation 11:8 for the identification of the Great City.

b) The Great City into 3 parts reminds us of the Lord’s 3 fold destruction of Jerusalem in Ezekiel 5:1-2 -“As for you, son of man, take a sharp sword; take and use it as a barber’s razor on your head and beard. Then take scales for weighing and divide the hair. “One third you shall burn in the fire at the center of the city, when the days of the siege are completed. Then you shall take one third and strike it with the sword all around the city, and one third you shall scatter to the wind; and I will unsheathe a sword behind them. Here we see the final fulfillment of this prophecy in AD 70.

c) The cities of the Gentiles/Nations collapsed – We see imagery that causes us to see a fulfillment in the First Century as well as future fulfilment when all evil is defeated by God at the end of the New Covenant era.

d) God remembered Babylon the Great – This is a reference to the Roman Empire. Peter uses this idiom in 1 Peter 5:13. We know from history that the Church imputed the title of Babylon to the Roman Empire as way to connect it to the biblical historical wickedness of that city. Peter wrote 1 Peter in Rome before his crucifixion by Nero. God remembered the persecution of His people by Nero and the subsequent Roman Emperors as well as all persecutions in every age.

e) The identity of Babylon the Great as the Roman Empire is important to us as the remainder of Revelation details the historical fall of Rome and through the fall of historical Rome, we see the wider eschatological vision of the fall of the Babylon represented throughout the ages until the return of Christ.

Revelation 16:20

a) Verse 20 gives us the symbolism that nothing is ever hidden from the Lord. Just as the Roman Empire afflicted great persecutions on the Church, all acts of evil towards the people of God will be called to account by the Godhead.

b) Reference Revelation 6:16 – and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;

c) Hebrews 9:27 – And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,

d) We see that everything is called to account by God, and that is why vengeance belongs to Him and not to us. It is important to note that all of the references point to the future at the end of the age. In the present covenant, the Lord is relating to humanity in grace, love, forgiveness, mercy and restoration.

Revelation 16:21

a) Here is a parallel to the plague of hail on Egypt in Exodus 9:18-26. We also see a parallel in Joshua 10:11 when the Lord hurled large hailstones on the Amorites to defeat them. The thought here is that God will completely defeat His enemies and the enemies of His people.

b) Josephus gives us an interesting account of huge stones being hurled on Jerusalem. “The stone missiles weighed a talent and traveled two furlongs or more, and their impact not only on those who were hit first, but also on those behind them, was enormous. At first the Jews kept watch for the stone – for it was white – and its approach was intimated to the eye by its shining surface as well as to the ear by its whizzing sound. Watchmen posted on the towers gave the warnings whenever the engine was fired and the stone came hurtling toward them, shouting in their native tongue: ‘The Son is coming!’ Those in the line of fire made way and fell prone, a precaution that resulted in the stone’s passing harmlessly through and falling in their rear. To frustrate this, it occurred to the Romans to blacken the stones so that they could not be seen so easily beforehand; then they hit their target and destroyed many with a single shot.”

c) They cursed God because of the PLĒGĒ (Greek – wound, blow, stripe), not plague in the sense of a disease. Cursing the Almighty is useless and reveals the hardness of heart of those who have determined to resist His LOVE.

As we begin Chapter 17, we a contrast of 2 brides. The False Bride and the True Bride of Christ contrasted as one being a harlot and other a virgin; the Bride of Babylon versus the Bride of Christ.

Source Material:  Don Walker – The Beast of Revelation White Paper  Josephus.org David Chilton – Days of Vengeance  The Apocalypse Code – Hank Hanegraaff   G. Davis Dean – The Revelation of Jesus Christ  Blue Letter Bible.com  Preterist Archive.com Charles Taylor – Commentary on the Book of Revelation  George Eldon Ladd – Commentary on the Book of Revelation George Eldon Ladd – The Gospel of the Kingdom Loraine Boettner – The Millenium  Harold Eberle – Victorious Eschatology  Holman Bible Dictionary  Strongs Concordance  NIV – Interlinear Greek New Testament-  NASB – Interlinear Greek New Testament  Jonathan Welton – Raptureless  George Peter Holford – The Destruction of Jerusalem  Wikipedia  Rapture Fever – Gary North  The Prophets Dictionary – Price  Vines Expository Bible Dictionary