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Whore of Babylon Revelation 17, Changes to God’s Word

Posted by adventbiblestudy on October 26, 2010


Revelation 17:1-5 KJV And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: (2) With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. (3) So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. (4) And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: (5) And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

To understand this text we need to dissect it on two levels. The first is achieved with a simple word study, comparing a few of the key words with other texts. The second level uses the inductive study method, comparing texts which are the same, similar, or related.

This vision was shown to John by an angel, who described a scene where the great whore, that sits upon many waters is judged. These waters are later described in verse 15. And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. Revelation 17:15 KJV. It is important to understand this woman is sitting upon people. This illustrates a connection between the whore and the people. Because she is sitting upon them, this may indicate a dominating role.

A closer relationship is shown with the kings of the earth. This confirms the dominant role illustrated by the whore sitting upon people. Others are described as being drunk with the wine of her fornication, which means idolatry and adultery. Idolatry is easy to understand within the context of this passage. Adultery will often indicate unfaithfulness, leaving one love for another. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Revelation 2:4. People are impaired with this form of unfaithfulness, as indicated by the wine. When one is drunk their ability to see and think clearly is impaired.

As the scene changes, John is taken to the wilderness. Here he sees the woman sitting on a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The symbolism of the seven heads is described in verse 9. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. Revelation 17:9 KJV. A mountain can represent either a government, religion, or belief.

Amos 6:1 KJV Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!

Isaiah 2:2-3 KJV And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. (3) And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

The woman had her name written upon her forehead. MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. Babylon is further described in verse 18. And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth. Revelation 17:18 KJV.

To understand what the city of Babylon represents we need to examine its roots.

Genesis 11:9 KJV Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

Babel was the original name of Babylon.

Babel, Tower of

The Birs Nimrud, at ancient Borsippa, about 7 miles south-west of Hillah, the modern town which occupies a part of the site of ancient Babylon, and 6 miles from the Euphrates, is an immense mass of broken and fire-blasted fragments, of about 2,300 feet in circumference, rising suddenly to the height of 235 feet above the desert-plain, and is with probability regarded as the ruins of the tower of Babel. This is “one of the most imposing ruins in the country.” Others think it to be the ruins of the Temple of Belus. Easton’s Bible Dictionary.

H894 ba^bel From H1101; confusion; Babel (that is, Babylon), including Babylonia and the Babylonian empire: – Babel, Babylon.

The definition of the word Babel helps us understand the connection between the whore and Babylon. This explains the spiritual contexts of the passage.

Babel

BA’BEL, n. [Heb.] Confusion; disorder.

Additional details of the great whore are given in Revelation 19:2 KJV For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

The definition of corrupt helps us to understand plans the great whore will initiate.

Corrupt

G5351 phtheiro

Probably strengthened from öèé´ù phthio¯ (to pine or waste): properly to shrivel or wither, that is, to spoil (by any process) or (genitive) to ruin (especially figuratively by moral influences, to deprave): – corrupt (self), defile, destroy.

Thus far we have learned the woman represents confusion. Revelation 19:2 explains how she is confusing the multitudes of people she sits upon. The key detail we are going to investigate in this study will be limited to the word corrupt. This study will show who the whore will corrupt, and how.

A whore is known for having many lovers, she is unfaithful to all of them. In this case the whore has an objective, a goal, to corrupt all her lovers. The KJV uses the word corrupt, which means to shrivel or wither. The objective of the whore is to shrivel up the people she is sitting upon. To understand the methods she uses, we need to study additional key words. A detailed study of the word wine will provide an answer when we learn its spiritual meaning.

 

Wine

Isaiah 28:7-10 KJV But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. (8) For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean. (9) Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. (10) For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

Intoxicating wine is used to represent religious leaders teaching false doctrine. If they do not follow the rules outlined in Isaiah 28, precept upon precept; line upon line, they are relying upon their own judgment and not the word of God.

Deuteronomy 32:31-33 KJV (31) For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. (32) For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter: (33) Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.

Deuteronomy 32 unveils additional details with the comparison between wine, the poison of dragons and the vine to Sodom. To fully understand the spiritual meaning of this text we need to let the Bible explain the definition of a dragon and Sodom. In this study we will only look at the connection between the words wine and vine.

Hosea 10:1-4 KJV Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images. (2) Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images. (3) For now they shall say, We have no king, because we feared not the LORD; what then should a king do to us? (4) They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant: thus judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field.

Hosea used the word vine to describe Israel and its mistakes. They were concerned only about themselves. Their heart was divided between following the one true God and the assortment of false gods found throughout the region. Another very important detail is seen in the words God carefully chose to use. They spoke words. What words? We are shown they swore a false oath or covenant. If the covenant was false it is not referring to the covenant made with God. The context of this passage points to a covenant made with someone, or something other than God. The false covenant has something to do with the words of the empty vine and divided heart.

Thus far we have seen old, or mixed wine represents the words of men, not the words of God. It is important to understand new, or unmixed wine represent the pure word of God.

Isaiah 65:8 KJV Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all.

Knowing this does not guarantee a change. Too often people become entrenched in the beliefs handed down to them by others. People refuse to accept the fact, there is a difference between the word of God, unchanged, and pure, and the word of man, mixed with the word of God. Often times the word of God is a minute fraction of the message they receive. Because the words of men can be intoxicating, people may never realize they are receiving tainted information arranged to convince them the author, speaker, or teacher, and their opinion is correct. This may or may not agree with the word of God. One will never know unless they follow Isaiah’s instructions, precept upon precept, line upon line. If a statement is true, it will be proven with the word of God, and only the word of God.

Luke 5:39 KJV No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.

Thus far the Bible has revealed, the whore of Revelation 17 is working to control and confuse, or whither the masses. This plan has been quite successful, and easy to identify. We see evidence of its success when searching the Internet. The vast majority of information claiming to be a Bible study is little more than a verse, followed by the authors opinion. In churches all over the world people are commenting in study groups, basing answers on their own feelings, failing to supply proof texts and often misquoting the word of God, failing to give God’s word the reverence it deserves.

Where are the Biblical grounds for such actions located? Where does the Bible teach the opinion of the created creature is above or equal to the word of God? Don’t these people realize how they are influencing those new to the faith? This reduces, or shrivels the influence God has placed within the words of the Bible. This is a factor which discourages many new Christians, who realize this glorifies the person and not God. Misrepresenting the word of God may be a major reason many new members leave in a short time.

A visitor enters a church for the first time. They are welcomed at the door by a small group of people having the gift of hospitality. They sit down in a Bible class and listen. The visitor entered the church doors because they are searching for a church that distinctly follows the word of God. The visitor may have many questions, they may be looking for answers. No one invited this person, the Holy Spirit lead them to this church. No one at the church knew this person, the visitor may have a well established back ground on the Bible. They may have come from a church where the word of God is considered sacred, and held in the highest regard. The fact of the matter is, this may be the only chance the church had to leave an impression on this visitor.

The Bible study begins. The teachers admits, they did not take the time to prepare. The teachers begins asking questions designed to enter into a controversy. Members begin answering the questions. Not one of the members supplied proof texts, but answered in their own words in an attempt to impress members on their mastery of the scriptures.

What impression did this leave on the visitor looking for a Bible based church? It left a poor impression. The Spirit of God does not speak through people, the Spirit speaks through the word of God. The visitor left with an empty feeling, and their search continued.

The church wonders why the membership is not growing. They wonder why the power of the Holy Spirit does not rest upon the church, showing the growth found in the book of Acts. They decide to hold a seminar, and hire a high powered speaker. At first it seems to be a success. A few new members are added, and the church praises God for its success.

The new members are first introduced to a great deal of Bible texts arranged in a most convincing fashion. Because this is new information for the visitors, they have a feeling they have finally found a real Bible based church. They feel a sense of security knowing Bible study has a major role in the church.

As tradition dictates, new members are required to complete a series of Bible studies to make certain they are aware of the church’s doctrines. New members are still excited about learning from the Bible. At first they may think the new studies are repeating the seminar to make certain they did not miss the important details. The individual studies also give them an opportunity to ask questions.

While taking the Bible study classes new members may also be attending the weekly study classes with the regular church body. All of this information is new to them and their excitement grows.

Soon, after only a few months, the number of new members begins to dwindle. No one seems to know why. Most members convince themselves this is due to the lack of dedication on the part of the new members. I think it is due to the fact, new members become disappointed in their search for a church centering itself within the Bible. They soon realize the new information they learned from the seminar was repeated in the lessons. While attending classes they find the same information repeated again.

The information learned in the seminar may be new to visitors, who become excited. When the same information is repeated during personal studies, they accept this as a means to become part of the church. When they attend church Bible study groups, they begin to notice, this is the same information in the seminar and the studies. This is why they become discouraged and soon leave. They realize the church is not studying the Bible, searching for new information, relying upon God and the Holy Spirit to instruct and correct. They soon realize, the members rely on their own memory, imagination, and judgment. Or worse yet, because of the lack of personal study they suspect the members are being told what to believe. They are no longer awed by the church and soon leave. New members are not looking for a church that repeats the same lessons over and over again, they are looking for a church centered in the words of an infinite God, who is ready, willing, and able to provide new and exciting information and knowledge every time the Bible is studied. New members feel this in their hearts, are promised this by the Spirit, and will settle for nothing less. The only way they have found to satisfy this need is to continue the search for a new church.

I have seen this happen in dozens of churches throughout the United States, and no one seems to be able to figure it out. The Bible is no longer a source of new and exciting information. It is no longer a major source of communication with God. People no longer consider the Bible as a source of infinite information and knowledge. They have become comfortable turning the Bible into a book everyone should understand in the exact fashion and manner they believe as a condition to enter Heaven. They may still consider the Bible as a book from God, but they feel they have achieved total understanding, and their quickest way to Heaven is to teach others to think, and act exactly like them.

Religious leaders have recognized this trend. Instead of correcting this extreme flaw in handling the word of God, leaders decided to gather, and teach the customary beliefs and traditions of the masses in an attempt to appease and influence them. This is why we see so many books referred to as modern translations of the Bible. Why else would teachers have such a desire to alter the word of God? They use the excuse, to make it easier to understand, as a disguise to introduce a new version of the Bible designed to benefit their own beliefs. The word of God was never intended to be changed, altered, shriveled, or confused. It was written by God, to be used with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, so all things will be known. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: Mark 4:11 KJV. If God wrote His book to be easily understood, why do people have a need to constantly try to improve on God’s work? Why do we need so many different translations?

Keep in mind, each of these translations is protected by a legal copyright. To receive a copyright on a book that is basically a copy of an existing work, major changes must be made to the words and concepts.

Originality

A major requirement in copyright law is that the work be original in order to have copyright protection. The work must be independently conceived by its creator. Http://southernlibrarianship.icaap.org/content/v04n01/Diotalevi_r01.htm

How can all of these translations be considered an original work? Only by altering the original word of God.

Many of the modern translations alter, eliminate, and add texts to support creeds held in high regard by the translators. Once the author proves major changes in words and concepts, a copyright is granted.

It is not unusual for a Bible teacher to tell their students to refer to multiple translations whenever a text is not immediately understood. This is not Biblical. The Bible never teaches us to consult the wisdom of others when seeking an answer. To the contrary, the Bible defines this as confusion. We have already seen, many modern translations are tainted with concepts not found in the original works.

The question remains, is there a true Bible? If so, which translation is the most reliable?

This study is based on a study titled, “The Defiled Bread,” by William T. Barrett, in 2007. A complete copy of his study can be ordered from the following web site. http://www.parablesofjesus.net/index.html

We have already learned, God uses the word wine to represent words. Old, tainted, fermented wine is used as a symbol to represent man’s attempts to alter the word of God. New, unaltered wine, is used to represent God’s pure word. This is one of many spiritual symbols God used to represent His word. To understand how the whore controls and confuses the people she has a relationship with we need to study a number of key words. Once the evidence is collected it will either support or deny the theory of the tainted bread.

To understand the spiritual definition of a key word a number of texts must be located. Only the Bible can define the spiritual meaning of a key word. In this study we will look at a series of key words in series. The first set of key words is bread and water.

 

Bread and Water

Deuteronomy 8:3 KJV And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

John 6:33-35 KJV For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. (34) Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. (35) And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

John 4:13-14 KJV Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: (14) But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Ephesians 5:26 KJV That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

It is easy to see bread and water are spiritual words God uses to represent Jesus and His word. Jesus came to teach the word of God, they are one and the same. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, (Luke 24:45 KJV).

As seen in Revelation 17, the word of God will be altered in an attempt to confuse people. This fact is evident when we study additional verses.

Amos 8:11-12 KJV Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: (12) And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

Amos warns of a day when people will hunger for the word of God, but will not find it. Amos also links the spiritual words of bread and water to the word of God. There is a strange twist to Amos’ words. He intentionally states there will be a lack of hearing. There is a difference between a lack of words and a lack of hearing.

Students may receive the exact words within a class. One group may learn while another may not. The teacher did not supply a lack of words to the group that did not learn. That group displayed a lack of hearing. In the same manner, the word of God will be present, but there will be a lack of hearing, resulting in a lack of understanding.

The same is also true with the quality of the book used to teach. One cannot learn calculus from a primary mathematics book. The student can only learn from the information contained within the book.

Psalms 14:2-4 KJV The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. (3) They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (4) Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.

David provided a prophecy giving specific information about a time when God will come down to see if He can find any people who understand His word and seek after Him. This verse seems to have a connection with the tower of Babel. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. (Genesis 11:5 KJV). David supplies a number of major details. The workers of iniquity, those that the whore sits upon, have no knowledge. They also spiritually eat God’s people like they would eat bread. We understand this within the proper context when we accept the fact these people do not call upon the Lord. They do not call unto God because they do not want His guidance. They prefer to walk in their own wisdom. The results are explained when studying additional texts.

2 Peter 2:17-19 KJV These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. (18) For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. (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.

Peter provides a detailed explanation. The reason these people refuse to consult the word of God, and prefer to rely upon their own understanding is because of their vanity. They prefer to lead people to themselves and their beliefs, not those of God. This is why they refuse to study the way the Bible was meant to be studied. This is why they have altered the word of God, because the word of God in its original form does not support their beliefs.

This is why the pure fruit of the vine represents God’s word, and the intoxicating wine represents man’s. Men will take the original word of God and alter it by adding other ingredients. As Peter states, these are wells without water. They have no interest in the water offered by Christ. They prefer their mixed wine, their words, concepts, doctrines, and traditions to the simple word of God.

Leviticus 26:26 KJV And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.

Moses provides yet another prophecy concerning bread, or the word of God. The time will come when the word of God will be rationed. People will receive the word but will not be satisfied. We see this today. Many sermons are based upon a single scripture, or a portion of one. The word of God is being rationed to the people in small amounts.

The text specifically used the word weight. This indicates the word of God will be handed out in a predetermined volume. Someone or something will be behind these plans. With the use of a single word God has revealed, there is a determined plan behind this rationing.

Isaiah 55:1-3 KJV Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (2) Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. (3) Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

Isaiah records an invitation in the question, why do you spend money of bread, or the word of God, when it is not the word of God? It is clear by this text, the word of God is provided without price. Many teachers like to make the word of God appear complicated. They suggest lesson studies, plans, books, and aids of all types to help explain God’s simple words. The fact of the matter is, none of these materials has ever been required. They are created and sold for profit. God asks, why do you labor for that which does not satisfy? How many of these materials have provided the answers people are searching for? Every year a new book enters the best seller list. People read the book and are satisfied for a time, but soon the same questions return. Later another book takes its place on the best seller list and the trend continues.

Ezekiel shows us how seriously God regards the changes to His word.

Ezekiel 4:12-13 KJV And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight. (13) And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them.

On the surface this may seem like a strange verse. Some may consider it difficult to understand. Knowing the spiritual meaning for the word bread sheds light upon the subject, explaining the deeper meaning.

God considers this matter so sever, He compared defiled bread, or changes to His word, to bread which is baked using human dung. This plain and simple message should be easily understood.

Following is a list of texts providing additional details about the whore’s attempts to use people to alter God’s word.

Jeremiah 23:15-18 KJV Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land. (16) Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. (17) They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. (18) For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?

Ezekiel 12:18-19 KJV Son of man, eat thy bread with quaking, and drink thy water with trembling and with carefulness; (19) And say unto the people of the land, Thus saith the Lord GOD of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and of the land of Israel; They shall eat their bread with carefulness, and drink their water with astonishment, that her land may be desolate from all that is therein, because of the violence of all them that dwell therein.

Ezekiel 13:19 KJV And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies?

Ezekiel 34:18-19 KJV Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? (19) And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.

 

Sword, Bow, and Arrow

The next series of words to study is a group related to weapons of war, the sword, bow, and arrow. This collection also shows the importance of understanding the reverence demanded by the word of God. The sword is the only weapon of both an offensive and defensive nature. The sword can be used to deflect an attack, as well as pierce, and slash, to wound, or kill an opponent. The bow and arrow have no defensive qualities but are strictly used in an offensive manner, to attack, and kill from a distance.

Hebrews 4:12 KJV For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Most people know a sword spiritually represents the word of God. This fact is clearly shown in Hebrews 4:12. Spiritual definitions never come from man, but from the word of God.

This verse points out, the word of God divides the soul and the spirit. The soul is able to turn from God, but the spirit leads back to God. And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. (Leviticus 20:6 KJV).

The word of God also has the ability to see the intents of the heart, to see the motives behind every action. The word of God guards against all false teaching. This ability comes only through hard work and dedication to the study of the Bible, which contains lessons about life. We can either learn from the mistakes recorded upon its pages, or repeat them. Understanding lessons behind the stories gives us the ability to not only avoid downfalls, but to recognize the mistakes made by others, and the motives behind them.

This verse may be responsible for coining the phrase, dueling with words. Every truth encounters a number of attacks from Satan. The only sure way to separate truth from lies, deceit, traditions, folklore and other manufactured fallacies is to test each statement against the word of God, which is able to divide truth and error.

Psalms 64:2-10 KJV Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: (3) Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words: (4) That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not. (5) They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them? (6) They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward God shall shoot at them with an arrow; thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep. (7) But suddenly shall they be wounded. (8) So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away. (9) And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing. (10) The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.

David was a general before he was king. His military back ground comes through in Psalm 64 where he compares a war of words to a military campaign. Too often we forget there was war in Heaven long before this world came into existence. A war that began with a concept, a thought followed by words which soon turned to lies. What war has not begun in such a manner? It is no wander, God uses weapons to spiritually represent words.

The war in Heaven began when Satan questioned God’s law and position. Satan conquered this world with the same challenge, and continues to repeat and deceive with the same accusations.

Psalms 57:4 KJV My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.

Hosea 7:16 KJV They return, but not to the most High: they are like a deceitful bow: their princes shall fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue: this shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.

 

Table

Another symbol God uses to represent His word, is a table. There are a few types of tables mentioned in the Bible. One is the table of the heart, where truth is written. Or it can be stricken from the heart and covered by the desire of self exultation. A table is also a place to eat. The Bible is filled with examples of bonds forged at such a table.

Proverbs 3:1-5 KJV My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: (2) For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. (3) Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: (4) So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. (5) Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Proverbs 7:1-5 KJV My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. (2) Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. (3) Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart. (4) Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: (5) That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.

Solomon indicates the key to life is keeping the commandments of God, the word of God. Two rules are listed, write God’s law upon the table of your heart, and do not trust in your own understanding. Solomon also notes, this will keep you away from the deceptions of the strange woman. This includes the whore of Revelation 17. Do modern translations include the laws of God? Or do they pick and choose which to include and which to eliminate?

After studying a number of words God uses to symbolize His word it is evident Satan intends to use every opportunity to distort it. The Bible is not clear on the exact manner Satan will use. He may use speeches, sermons, seminars, or other verbal methods. It may involve books, and it is entirely possible Satan will attempt to counterfeit the Bible.

Beyond a doubt, many counterfeit editions of the Bible exist today. Many of these versions are little more than commentaries, a collection of thoughts from an author. Other versions do not provide a means to study. Many of the key words placed within the Bible by God for our understanding have been altered to such a degree, proper study is not possible.

The fact of the matter is, any person may be subjected to any number of deceptions. The question is, how do you avoid or overcome these deceptions? The only safe strategy is to compare every source to the original. This is the only method in which a counterfeit is exposed.

In the gospels, Jesus explained a number of parables. He provided the spiritual definition for each of the key words. Key words are a form of litmus test.

A search of the Internet will provide a number of lists of key words. Compare each of these interpretations to the definition provided from the Bible. Are these key words, or symbols defined by comparing scripture with scripture? Is proof texts supplied for each symbol, or is the symbol interpreted by man’s imagination? It is not surprising to find out the interpretation of some Biblical symbols is often derived from Pagan religions, other folklore, and not from the Bible. It is no wander why there are so many interpretations to scripture.

Many prophesies use symbols. Are the symbols interpreted using proof texts, or is the interpretation man made? Paul also warned of wolves coming in to the churches to deceive the sheep. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 8:5-8 KJV, Romans 12:2 KJV.

The question still remains, is there a true Bible, and are there deceptive Bibles? I have used simple word studies for more than thirty years. Over those years I have attempted to provide lessons which are easier to understand. It has been suggested a number of times to use a modern interpretation so the studies may be easier to understand. I have tried to convert a number of studies using a number of different Bibles. The Bible programs I have contain over a hundred translations. I tried rewriting a number of studies using some of the most popular translations. Every time I have attempted to rewritten a study using a modern English translation, I have found a number of key words changed or eliminated from verses.

The gospels contain a number of parables in which Jesus supplies the spiritual definition of the key words. To test a Bible translation for accuracy, conduct a simple word study to see if that translation will provide the same definition given by Jesus. The most widely known is the parable of the sower. In this parable Jesus states, “Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?” (Mark 4:13 KJV). If you are not able to find the same key word definitions Jesus provided, that version of the Bible has been altered. The translators did not understand the connection between key words.

The same method is used to test prophecies. Does the author provide adequate proof texts for the interpretation of each of the symbols, or does the author take the liberty of providing an interpretation gathered from their own imagination, and other sources? Many symbols have yet to be interpreted. If this is the case, does the author state the interpretation is their opinion, or is the interpretation introduced as a fact using references outside of the Bible? Every book and reference outside of the Bible is a fabrication of man. If sources other than the Bible are used, no matter how convincing they may seem, are still an interpretation by a man, and not from God. The accuracy of the entire study may be accurate, but should still be held in question until the connecting texts can be located.

It may be more difficult to determine the accuracy of sermons. One trick often used in a sermon is to clearly identify a spiritual definition using proof text. Speakers often do this at the beginning of a sermon to establish credibility. Afterwards they will begin to introduce new key words. Instead of providing proof texts to establish the spiritual meaning, they will provide their own personal interpretation. Often times this is done to drive home a point relating to their creed or beliefs that is not Biblically sound.

Care must be exercised when proving the definitions of key words. Most key words will have more than one meaning. It is also important to check adjacent texts for every verse studied. This will help to ensure the interpretation and spiritual meaning is within the proper context.

The prophecy of Revelation 17 makes it evident the Whore is deceiving people by introducing confusion. The prophecy does not indicate a single deception, therefore we must be on guard for every avenue Satan uses.

That is not to say we are to ignore, or mistrust every Christian work based on the Bible, but we are to test every word. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Timothy 4:2-4 KJV.

Proving doctrine is a double edged sword. Not only does it provide protection, it creates an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to reveal truth with a direct bearing on questions the individual is searching for. There is no single person who can claim to know every interpretation the Bible has to offer. An author can be dramatically influenced by the Holy Spirit and write an outstanding book. The Spirit is now limited by the words of the author, who may have been influenced by truths so deep and miraculous, words could not fully explain. Imagine the truth the Holy Spirit is able to personally reveal whenever the time is spent proving the interpretations made on others.

Jesus often used this method to teach. He answered a number of questions by pointing people back to the scriptures. If they would have taken the time to look, they would have received blessing beyond their belief. Two of the best examples are when Jesus healed the leper, and sent him to the priests for the offering. If the priests would have consulted the scriptures they would have learned of the respect God has for those who are suffering. Another example concerns the time Jesus asked the Pharisees to explain why David was allowed to eat the shewbread. The text Jesus was referring to reveals a prophecy, a vital detail about His life and sacrifice.

When the Son of God came down to the earth to establish a pattern of study and faith for us to follow, we should take heed and follow. What are the consequences of ignoring Jesus’ examples and relying on our own judgment?

Jesus taught on three levels. The very simple and straight forward, such Matthew 5. He also taught with parables, which require the interpretation of key words to learn the deeper meaning of the texts. Jesus also taught by referring to scripture. In each of these cases the adjacent texts reveals lessons Jesus wanted the listener to discover, giving the Holy Spirit a chance to work on the heart of the student. Two out of three methods used by Jesus require the comparison of scripture to scripture. Wouldn’t it seem logical, Jesus was teaching His method of Bible study?

This is why it is important to rely upon an accurate translation of the Bible. The accuracy of the key words is crucial to understanding both parables and prophecy.

There are many Bible study programs on the Internet available for free. Many of these allow versions of the Bible to be compared side by side. This will allow you to see how often key words are changed or eliminated. I prefer to use ESWORD. You can find the free download using an Internet search engine. This program offers a number of free Bible downloads. You will be quite surprised to see how some of these translations have changed a number of words in the parable of the sower. Some of these changes make it difficult or impossible to locate the texts from the Old Testament, Jesus used to provide His interpretation. This confusion helps the whore of Revelation 17 to achieve her goal, which is to shed questions and doubt on everything Jesus taught.

Jesus spoke in parables knowing His followers would understand. Jesus also told us, others will not understand. And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. Luke 8:10 KJV. Does this statement warn against counterfeit Bibles? Jesus explains the lack of understanding on two levels, hearing and seeing. To see a parable it must be written. This may be referring to the fact Jesus knew there would be changes to His parables.

1 Corinthians 2:6-16 KJV (6) Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: (7) But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: (8) Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (9) But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (10) But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (11) For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (15) But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. (16) For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

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