Our recent series on the book of Revelation ended for the most part in Revelation 16, which speaks of the seven bowls (vials) being poured out. We showed how the time of the seven bowls is a seven-year period. The first year is 1999-2000; the seventh year is 2006-2007.
As of the Feast of Tabernacles in 2005, we have now seen the sixth vial being poured out prophetically upon the Euphrates River to begin the countdown toward the final battle called Armageddon. Precisely what this means or how it will work out in the future is not yet known. But we do know that the sixth vial ended the time Babylon was given to repent. This was in accordance with the law of spiritual warfare found in Deut. 20:10,
10 When you approach a city to fight against it, you shall offer it terms of peace.
Since Babylon is a “city,” the law had to be fulfilled in giving that great city its opportunity. Babylon, of course, was not about to repent or capitulate to the rule of Jesus and His Kingdom. And so the decree went forth, even as Isaiah prophesied about the literal Euphrates in Isaiah 44:27, “Be dry.”
Recall from our September issue (FFI #207) that I said to “Watch Halloween this year.” I thought it would be interesting if God shut down Halloween this year, but this is not what happened. Instead, God began to shut down the witchcraft that Halloween represents.
Over the past 20 years we have observed that God has a distinct plan and purpose each year. This purpose finds its culmination at the Feast of Tabernacles each year. The feasts of Passover and Pentecost are times of revelation when God progressively reveals that plan throughout the year. But even before the Feast of Passover, there are two cleansing periods of 76 days that God has us watch, because those dates always set the stage for Tabernacles.
Those 76-day periods usually begin either the end of October or the beginning of November. The beginning date is different each year. This year, 2005, it began on Halloween, October 31, 2005.
Thus, we will be watching Jan. 15, 2006 and April 1, because these are the 76-day cycles from Oct. 31st.
One thing that was already revealed to us on Oct. 31st is that the seventh bowl will be poured out in judgment upon Babylon, the Queen of Heaven, the great harlot. Her judgment is described in detail in Rev. 17 and 18. This is the great counterfeit Bride, the counterfeit kingdom, that has deceived the whole world, including many Christians.
Jezebel and Witchcraft
In recent bulletins, we have established the connection between Babylon and witchcraft. This is seen particularly in the fact that New Orleans, a type of Babylon, is known for its voodoo. Voodoo is simply one form of witchcraft.
Witchcraft is banned in Scripture (Ex. 22:18; Deut. 18:10). Jerusalem’s King Manasseh, used witchcraft, as we read in 2 Chron. 33:6,
6 And he made his sons pass through the fire in the valley of Ben-hinnom; and he practiced witchcraft, used divination, practiced sorcery, and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger.
In the northern House of Israel, Queen Jezebel used witchcraft and became the prime Babylonian type and shadow of the Queen of Heaven. In 2 Kings 9:22 we read,
22 And it came about, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?” And he answered, “What peace, so long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?”
Jezebel is the foremost type of the Babylonian harlot of Revelation 17. Her primary characteristic is witchcraft. Her influence is so pervasive that it was tolerated in the Church of Thyatira. Rev. 2:20 says,
20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray, so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to repent; and she does not want to repent of her immorality.
She is the spirit behind immorality, including fornication, adultery, and homosexual relations. For a longer discussion on the Church of Thyatira and its prophetic relationship to Jezebel of the Old Testament, see my book, The Seven Churches. Each of the seven churches in Rev. 2, 3 have a corresponding Old Testament Church era. Thyatira happens to run parallel to the Church of Jezebel in the days of Elijah, and so John mentions Jezebel in his discussion of Thyatira.
Take note also that verse 21 above tells us that Jezebel was given “time to repent.” In a long-term sense, the Jezebel Church has been given a long time to repent, since the Thyatira Church Age began in 529 A.D. But in a short-term sense, her time to repent was the year 2005.
The overthrow of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina was a primary picture of God’s overthrow of Babylon that is about to occur. Let me stress, however, that this is not a call for men to rise up with carnal weapons of war and start some sort of revolution. This can only be done by spiritual warfare, because Jezebel is not an earthly woman but a spiritual entity, a satanic archprince.
Neither is this spirit a woman, though it is pictured as one, even as Jerusalem and Babylon are “women.” The New Jerusalem is also a “woman,” the Bride of Christ. Both men and women are part of the New Jerusalem.
Secretly Worshiping Self
One of the chief characteristics of Jezebel, the Queen of Heaven, is secrecy, which is always necessary for the counterfeit to deceive people. Hence, Babylon today is a “mystery” or secret. The secret is that men look upon her as the Bride of Christ, but she is, in fact, a counterfeit.
In Isaiah 47, where the prophet addresses Babylon and speaks of her judgment, we read in verses 8-10,
8 Now then, hear this, you sensual one [Queen of Kingdoms, vs. 5] And you felt secure in your wickedness and said, “No one sees me.” Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; for you have said in your heart, “I AM, and there is no one besides me.”
Of all the things that Isaiah could have said to describe the heart of the Queen of Heaven, he focused upon her statement, “I AM.” The Jezebel spirit of Babylon takes our eyes off Jesus Christ and puts them upon self. As I wrote in FFI #205, it is not Christianity, but Selfianity. People get caught up into feeling good about themselves, rather than getting to know Jesus Christ and what He did.
It is the worship of self disguised as Christianity. Such people are left in their sin, but feel good about themselves because they have simply refused to believe that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
This is the primary great deception of Jezebel. Because she is a harlot and has no love for Jesus Christ, she seeks to dishonor Him and substitute self as the object of worship. There are so-called Sonship teachers who have stated in writing that we should not put Jesus Christ on a pedestal or worship him. Why? Because we are all one big family and are gods in our own right!
The Jezebel spirit is powerful and very secretive, and if you are caught by surprise, it will be easy to fall prey to this other gospel. This is why I am warning you to be watchful of it.
Many Names: The Same “Woman”
Most of you have read about the great harlot of Rev. 17 who is named in verse 5,
5 and upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery [musterion, “secret, hidden”], “Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and of the abominations of the earth.”
The Old Testament calls her by various names. The first name, of course, is “I AM,” because she usurps the place of Jesus Christ, who is the only true I AM. Isaiah 47:5 also calls her “Mistress of Kingdoms.”
She is called the “Queen of Heaven” in Jer. 44:18-25. Nahum 3:4 calls Nineveh the “Mistress of Witchcrafts.” The NASB renders it “the charming one, the mistress of sorceries, who sells nations by her harlotries.” Nahum’s prophecy is of interest also because he calls Nineveh “the bloody city” in Nah. 3:1. This happens to be Ezekiel’s term for the old Jerusalem (Ez. 22:2; 24:6, 9). It shows that Babylon, Nineveh, and Jerusalem are all types of the world system of oppression and bondage in the latter days.
The pattern of this latter-day “harlot” is to be found in the original city of Babylon. The modern harlot is not the same city as in ancient times. It is today a world empire, which currently rules primarily through its control of the world economy and banking system.
By the power of money, it has spread its tentacles into every facet of life—social, judicial, political, and religious life. The greatest tragedy is that churches have also succumbed to her spell, and this is seen most visibly on television in the great ministry money powers. Many have sold their souls in order to build their own kingdoms. In so doing, they manifest the biblical pattern of King Saul.
King Saul was into Witchcraft
When we look at the prophetic example of King Saul, we find him in rebellion against God (which is witchcraft—1 Sam. 15:23). By the end of his reign we see him consulting the witch of En-dor (1 Sam. 28:7). Because Saul is a type of the Church under Pentecost, it would be a surprise if we did NOT see much of the Church under the spell of the Queen of Heaven.
In fact, Saul had outlawed witchcraft and had even persecuted witches and mediums. 1 Sam. 28:9 says,
9 But the woman said to him, “Behold, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off those who are mediums and spiritists from the land. Why are you then laying a snare for my life to bring about my death?”
The Church has indeed persecuted witches and mediums throughout history. But in spite of this, Saul was still into the spirit of witchcraft since his original rebellion without repentance. Though he confessed his sin to Samuel, he did not repent. He could have repented when confronted by Samuel, but instead, he was more concerned about public relations. 1 Sam. 15:30 says,
30 Then he said, “I have sinned; but please honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and go back with me, that I may worship the Lord your God.” 31 So Samuel went back following Saul, and Saul worshiped the Lord.
It is amazing to me that Saul could be in witchcraft and still worship the Lord. Saul’s problem was not in his ability or desire to worship the Lord. The problem was hidden in his heart. It was a mystery, a secret, a hidden rebellion, and he refused to repent of that witchcraft.
It was not long before God sent Samuel to anoint another king. He anointed David. 1 Sam. 16:14 says,
14 Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrorized him.
Later, in 1 Sam. 18:10, we read (NASB),
10 Now it came about on the next day that an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, and he raved [naba, “prophesied”] in the midst of the house.
The NASB translators could not understand how Saul could prophesy under the power of an evil spirit, so they thought he must have been raving. However, this Hebrew word is consistently translated “prophesied” throughout the Old Testament. In no other place is it translated “raved.” The fact is, Saul prophesied under the influence of the evil spirit FROM GOD. He assumed that he was under the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit. But in fact, it was by an evil spirit from God. He did not know the difference, and neither do very many Christians today.
Such counterfeit prophecy comes from the Jezebel spirit, “who calls herself a prophetess” (Rev. 2:20). She was brought in by Saul’s rebellion, overthrown later by David, and then re-established by Solomon through his marriage to the daughter of Pharaoh and his other foreign wives (2 Chron. 8:11; 1 Kings 11:1-10).
Aholah and Aholibah
Once this Queen of Heaven was spiritually established in Israel, it caused the two nations (Israel and Judah) to manifest her character. Ezekiel 23 calls Israel Aholah, and he calls Judah Aholibah.
Aholah means “her tent” (Strong’s Concordance). Dr. Bullinger says it means “she has her own tent.” This implies that Israel essentially moved out of God’s tent and committed adultery with foreign gods in her own tent. That is, Israel set up its own shrine in Bethel to worship the golden calves (1 Kings 12:27-29).
Ezekiel 23:11 then says of her sister (Judah),
11 And when her sister Aholibah [Judah] saw this, she was more corrupt in her inordinate love than she [Israel], and in her whoredoms more than her sister in her whoredoms.
Aholibah means “My tent is in her.” This implies that Judah was using God’s tent to commit adultery with foreign gods. Whereas Israel moved out of God’s “tent” (the temple in Jerusalem) to commit adultery with other gods, Judah was a harlot in God’s own tent—not even bothering to leave home to commit adultery.
Thus, Aholibah-Judah was worse than Aholah-Israel. This is confirmed in Jer. 3:11,
11 And the Lord said to me, “Faithless Israel has proved herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.”
This is why God forsook Jerusalem as He did Shiloh (Jer. 7:14). His presence left that place (Ez. 10, 11) and went to a different city called New Jerusalem, where it will remain. As Christians, we have followed the instruction in Heb. 13:12-14,
12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Hence, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.
Even as Jesus bore His cross outside the city, so also are we called to go “outside the camp” to seek “the city which is to come.” The New Jerusalem is not simply a renewed Old Jerusalem. Neither is the New Covenant simply a renewed Old Covenant. Both the old city and the Old Covenant are Hagar (Gal. 4:25), and Hagar cannot be brought back to bring forth the promise.
As we said earlier, Nahum 3:1 identifies Nineveh as “the bloody city.” Jerusalem is given the same title in Ezekiel 22:2; 24:6, 9. Jerusalem literally means “City of Peace,” but it has been anything but peaceful in its long history. But fortunately, the name is plural, yerushalayim. This prophesies of TWO Jerusalems, one earthly, and the other heavenly. When Melchisedec built and named the city, he prophesied of that city which Abraham sought, a city not made with hands (Heb. 11:10-16).
Meanwhile, the old Jerusalem has become identified with all the other oppressors of history—Nineveh, Babylon, Egypt, Tyre, and Rome. In Rev. 11:8 we read,
8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.
This links the old Jerusalem to Sodom and Egypt. It is Sodom in its immorality. It is Egypt (Hagar) in that it brings men into bondage. Yet all are ruled by the Queen of Heaven and will find themselves destroyed in the end by the power of the flame.
The Power of the Flame
In 2001 I received a prophecy from a friend about “the power of the flame.” It was from Isaiah 47:14. I did not understand what this was about until recently. This verse is in the context of the fall of Babylon.
14 Behold, they have become like stubble, fire burns them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame; there will be no coal to warm by, nor a fire to sit before!
The word “power” is from the Hebrew word yad, which is also from the Hebrew letter, yod. It means an open hand, a work or deed. The word “flame” is lehabah, fem. for lehab. Strong’s Concordance says it means “to gleam, a flash; fig. a sharply polished blade or point of a weapon.”
This is where the New Testament gets the idea of the sharp, two-edged sword coming out of Jesus’ mouth. Rev. 1:16 says, “out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword.” Rev. 19:15 says, “And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations.”
It is a flaming sword, as we see in Rev. 11:5, for this same sword is in the mouth of the two witnesses:
5 And if anyone desires to harm them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies.
James 3:6 also refers to the tongue as a fire. So this was well-known symbolic language in biblical times. Thus, Rev. 18:8 says of the great harlot of Babylon,
8 For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.
The fire or flame comes from the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). Paul listed it with the armor of God for anyone involved in spiritual warfare. By this sword we intend to destroy Jezebel, the Queen of Heaven (Jer. 44:17), the Mistress of Kingdoms (Is. 47:5), and the Mistress of Witchcrafts (Nah. 3:4), so that America and the whole world can be set free into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. She will be judged for her practice of witchcraft by the law of Exodus 22:18.
A final word about the word lehabah and lehab (flame, or point of the sword): It is the Hebrew word leb (heart) with the letter hey in the middle of it. Recall how God put the hey in the middle of Abram’s name to make it Abraham. When the hey comes in the middle of a word, it indicates revelation or inspiration of the Spirit. It is the breath of God.
Leb means “heart.” Lehab literally conveys the idea of the Holy Spirit in the heart, as well as the revelation of the heart. This is the root idea behind the power of the flame. It manifests the heart of God. The intent of His heart is brought into the world through God’s hand (yad) working by the Sword of the Spirit to consume the great harlot.