May 4, 2013
Greetings and solutions to you!
Just a quick word and we'll resume where we left off last week. Because of continual issues with ISP's treating these Coffee Breaks like spam and rejecting the IP address they've been sent from during the past five years or so, we've been moving to an entirely different server. For the past few months you've been seeing changes as we've moved to the new site -- http://www.RegnersMorningCoffee.com. We still have some hiccups to deal with as we migrate our database to the new site. The past two weeks as we've sent out Coffee Breaks from new server, they've all gone out in text form only with much of the HTML formatting turned into gobbledy-gook. Bear with us during this transition. We will get things fixed.
Coffee's on. Got a couple of carafes filled and sitting on the counter. Pour yourself a cup and pull up a chair.
John says that he "saw a woman sitting on a beast, full of blasphemous names...." (We will come to the seven heads and ten horns momentarily.)
Who is this woman? O.K., let's look at her identifying characteristics. We are told, first of all, that she is full of blasphemous onomas (names).
We discussed this in the previous Coffee Break series on A NEW ONOMA, but, for the sake of quick review, we are told by J.H. Thayer in his Greek-English Lexicon that the Greek word, onoma, "is used for everything which the name covers: every thought or feeling which is roused in the mind by the mentioning of the name." It is used to define: one's rank, authority, interests, pleasure, command, deeds, character, title, purpose: in other words, the essence of one's being, their makeup, their whole existence.
Once more, we are told that the woman is full of blasphemous onomas. The word, "blasphemous," comes from the Greek, blasphemia, and its companion word, blasphemos. The use of these words extend well beyond the conventional usage in which we think of blasphemy -- that is, as cursing the name of the Lord, or cursing Him, or speaking evil of Him. Blasphemia literally means: to hurt the reputation or smite with (evil) reports or words; to speak evil of, to rail upon; it denotes the worst type of slander: bearing false witness against one who is a brother or sister.
Remember, this woman is full of the character, the nature, the very essence of speaking evil against "the saints," and smiting "the witnesses of Jesus" with evil reports or words, and false accusations. Revelation 18:24 tells us that "in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all (the implication of this word, "all," refers to all those of God's people) that were slain upon the earth."
The vision which John saw further states that the woman had "seven heads and ten horns..." As I have noted in previous open letters, the "seven heads" are a picture of the seven ruling spirits which make up the onoma of the Beast. How do we know this? Verse 9 of chapter 17 clearly identifies the seven heads as "seven mountains."
Mountains have always been metaphors in middle eastern cultures and languages for "ruling spirits." In Isaiah 14:13, we are told that Lucifer's boast is, "I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation...," thus identifying himself as being in the place of rulership over God's people.
In Matthew 21:21, Jesus makes the statement, "if you have faith, and do not doubt, you shall not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it shall happen." (NASB)
O.K! Question! To which mountain was Jesus referring? A mountain of rock or some grassy slope with trees? Some mountain in the vicinity of Bethany? Not likely. Jesus says, "if you have faith, and do not doubt..." Where does doubt get its force of negative power? In unbelief. In the following statement, Jesus says, “And all things whatsoever you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.” This particular mountain, therefore, is a spirit of unbelief.
So the seven heads -- or seven mountains -- of the woman are her makeup, the essence of her existence: her onoma. Apart from the fact that this is blasphemy against the chosen of the Lord, the fact that there are seven mountains -- or seven spirits -- is also uniquely significant.
In Revelation 1:4, we are told that John is instructed to write the seven letters as coming from the Seven Spirits of God. Verse 20 plainly identifies the seven golden candlesticks, or lamp stands, as the seven Ekklesias. These seven Ekklesias represent and make up the totality of the Bride. Revelation 13:2 identifies the Beast on which the woman sits on as also having seven heads and ten horns.
The fact that the woman has seven spirits, identifies her as a counterfeit bride. The seven spirits which make up the onoma of the Beast are, likewise, the counterfeit for the Lord.
Consider the fact that Israel, under Moses' and Joshua's leadership, was commanded to drive out seven nations. Many of you have heard me share on these seven nations before, but for the sake of review, these nations are: the Hittites, the Hivites, the Amorites, the Jebusites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, and the Canaanites. Each of these nations has a spiritual identity -- a characteristic, or set of characteristics which is a part of the onoma of the Beast.
The combination of these seven nations, or seven presiding spirits in the land of Canaan, usurped and counterfeited everything of the Lord. These spirits sought continually to keep Israel from obtaining its inheritance; they sought to keep Israel from the promise of the Lord; they placed themselves in the place of worship by counterfeiting and usurping the worship of the Lord, substituting instead the worship of Baal and Ashtaroth -- both of which originated in Babylon; and, ultimately, led Israel into captivity and servitude in Babylon.
[Let me insert a quick comment in the middle of this narrative to note that the worship of Baal and Ashtaroth is at the core of Islam. The animosity between Baal and its worshipers and the worshipers of Jehovah God is exactly the same animosity and intense hatred we see by the worshipers of Allah towards those who worship Father God (and the Lord Jesus Christ). Allah is none other than a modern incarnation of Baal. This is a god that wants to take the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and dominate them, force them into subservience, and -- if they fail to capitulate -- destroy them by whatever means necessary.]
These spirits had, as one concentrated motivation, the central purpose of keeping Israel from a relationship with the Lord God. They sought to create substitutes for virtually every gift of the Lord, (I will illustrate some of these things, shortly) and counterfeited His operations in their midst. They created enticements to trap God's people, and deceive them into accepting substitutes instead of the promises of God. Once snared, God's people were beset by treachery and fear to keep them from accepting the promises and gifts which the Lord had for them.
Isaiah identifies the onoma of these seven spirits first, as the king of Babylon (in Isaiah 14:4), and then, (in verse 12) as Lucifer, himself. Ezekiel refers to him (in Ezekiel 28:2) as the king of Tyre, which we would call a "first," or capital city of the Amorites. Ezekiel then turns and addresses Sidon, which was also referred to as being among the "first" cities of the Amorites.
Before we consider Tyre and Sidon, and their significance, let's review -- one more time -- the picture of the seven spirits.
First, we have the Lord described by John as "the Seven Spirits of God." His onoma, therefore, consists of seven very identifiable spirits with distinct characteristics of their own. Since we know that Satan is not, and never has been, a creator (he, instead, attempts to counterfeit the character and nature of God as a ruse to deceive and subjugate mankind under himself), it is clear that a major part of his counterfeiting would include seven spirits, whose character, nature, and operation substitute something false for the real operation or function of the Seven Spirits of God.
We therefore have a substitute, and counterfeit, bridegroom who sits in the place of "calling" a bride to himself. As Isaiah noted in his prophecy, Lucifer bragged, "I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation." This is usage of a common Hebrew metaphor which essentially means, "I will sit in the authoritative place of the Bridegroom. I will be a party to the calling of His Bride."
The Hebrew, in this verse, is rendered, "I will sit in mowadah." The word, mowadah, means: the calling and assembling together of the betrothed by the Bridegroom. The implications of his demonic braggadocio are clear. Lucifer's boast is that he will twist the Lord's calling of His Bride for his own purposes.
O.K., then. If Lucifer is the counterfeit bridegroom, where, or what is the counterfeit bride?
Since the Bride's love-relationship to the Bridegroom has also been represented by sevens throughout Scripture (in Moses' Tabernacle with the golden candlestick and its seven branches, the seven golden candlesticks in John's Revelation, and the seven Ekklesias to whom he wrote), the counterfeit bride is also represented by sevens.
Hence, John sees the counterfeit bride as a woman with seven heads (we will get to the ten horns, shortly). He is told by the angel of the Lord that these heads are symbolic of seven mountains.
Since mountains are metaphors in eastern thought for presiding spirits (Paul uses the descriptive word, kosmokrator, in the Greek text of Ephesians 6), the angel of the Lord is telling John that the counterfeit bride is likewise manifested through seven spirits, whose collective existence is the totality of her onoma. Her onoma, like that of the Bride of the Lord Jesus Christ, is reflective of, and identified with, the counterfeit bridegroom, Lucifer.
The word, "horn," in the Greek text is: keras. This word (with only one exception in the N.T.) always occurs in its metaphorical sense as: a symbol of strength and courage; a means of defense; a means of deliverance.
(Before I continue, let me pause momentarily to say that the first part of this picture which I am sharing may appear to be contradictory with verses 10 - 13 of Revelation 17. These verses do not contradict in any way, the overall picture, so please bear with me until I can share the whole concept.)
To repeat myself, the woman (in Revelation) is described as having seven heads and ten horns. The seven heads are the totality of her onoma -- her makeup, her character, her identity. The ten horns are the means by which she defends herself (and we will get into this at a later time), the symbols of her strength, the avenues by which she escapes detection -- the means of her deliverance.
The significance, however, is not just on the horns, nor on the heads, but on the collective total of these two: the number, 17. The heads and the horns are linked together to demonstrate -- as John is being shown this vision -- the fact that this is the counterfeit bride. The real Bride also has the number, 17, throughout Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. The real Bride is illustrated as the counterpart of the Lord Jesus Christ by virtue of the fact that Jesus' number is 8, the number of the Paraklete -- who is doing the work of processing, preparation and thlipsis in her life -- is 9. The prepared and readied Bride, therefore, is the collective total of the Bridegroom, 8, (whose character and makeup are now part and parcel of the Bride) and the preparation process of the Paraklete, 9, making her number, 17!
The counterfeit bride must appear as the real bride to an onlooking world. She, therefore, also has the number 17. It is important to remember Jesus’ admonition that “if it were possible, the very elect could be deceived.” (Mark 13:22) The striking difference is in how this counterfeit bride achieves a facade of the real Bride.
The real Bride is called by the Lord Jesus Christ, whose number is 8. Through tribulation, through testing, through a process of overcoming to which she is subjected by the Paraklete, she receives His number -- the number of the Holy Spirit, which is 9. She is transformed into a ready and worthy counterpart of the Lord Jesus Christ, and thus becomes the complete number, 17.
The counterfeit bride, on the other hand, begins with the seven spirits of the one to whom she has given her allegiance and owes her very existence. The counterfeit bride is not a bride in the midst of a preparation process. She is not a yielded and pliable bride. She cannot be conformed to the image of the real Bridegroom since He is not her betrothed, nor is He her husband. In order to survive, therefore, and achieve the ends of her true husband, she must be forceful, pushy, domineering, continuously striving to get her way, manipulating through witchcraft and sorceries, using enticements and enchantments to gain control, and repeatedly luring others into adultery with her -- using the ten horns which are her means of defense.
Are you beginning to get the picture?
The true Bride of Christ, therefore, can easily discern the difference between those who are truly allied with the Lord, and those who have the “form of Godliness.” The true Bride gains her intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ through suffering the same trials and afflictions that He suffered. The counterfeit bride – while giving all the outward appearance of being a part of the true Bride – avoids thlipsis like the plague, and promotes the doctrines of “gettin’ outta here.” The counterfeit bride often says all the right things, but when confronted with her need for being conformed NOW to the image of Christ, does a tap dance to avoid any real dealings.
Do you understand, yet, who this "Mystery Babylon" really is?
Time to stop for today. We will pick this up next week and continue laying out the pattern throughout the Word to help you see and understand message of Holy Spirit.
Blessings on you!
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