Opposing Forces in Scripture. • In Genesis seed of serpent seen in opposition to seed of woman. • Serpent was subtle - would expect his progeny to be the same. • Jesus classed the religious leaders of his day:- “Yeserpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Matt.23:33)
The Serpent. 1 ¶” Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Gen 3).
Two Categories of People. • Two categories - God fearing and the rebels - frequently alluded to in scripture. • Initially God viewed Israel as a wife:.. “yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.” (Eze.16:8) • But Israel committed adultery, - “But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot...” (Eze.16:15)
Israel Divides into Two. • After Solomon Israel divided into two Kingdoms. • Samaria, the capital of northern Israel and Jerusalem, the capital of Judah. • Ezekiel represents them as two wives -Samaria Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah. • Initially Aholah played the harlot and then so did Aholibah.
Spiritual Infidelity. 4 And the names of them were Aholah the elder, and Aholibah her sister: and they were mine, and they bare sons and daughters. Thus were their names; Samaria is Aholah, and Jerusalem Aholibah. 5 And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbours…(Ezek 23)
The New Testament Bride. • Potential move to adultery highlighted in New Testament, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” (2 Cor.11:2.3)
False Teaching. • “Simplicity” - not naiveté - Paul’s fears not unfounded, corruption and deceit already working in Ecclesias : “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” (2 Cor 11:13) • In Letter to Thyatira Jesus warns of subtlety and deception in teaching.
Warnings. 20 “ Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.” Rev 2.
Opposing Forces Till End. • Revelation contains picture of a virgin bride and a harlot. • The chaste virgin bears a man child but becomes a harlot persecuting power who opposes the Lamb. 17:5,6,14. • At conclusion of Revelation, Bridegroom returns to claim his bride. • But many lost through harlotry with false religion - rejected by Christ at the last.
“Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word..” (Eph 5:25)