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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Apr. 15, 2007

  • 2007 Apr 15

This devotional is one day of a 365 days devotional book entitled Living Hope for the End of Days that explores Revelation, the final book of God's Word; and is available at



Understand the True Bride of Jesus

(Revelation 17)

As the end of days approaches, you can find hope as you understand the true bride of Jesus!


SUNDAY: The True Bride of Jesus


I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:2, emphasis added


In Revelation 17 we find the collapse of the apostate world’s church. In the process we see Satan’s harlot bride: the delusion of religion. From Eden onward, Satan has been building his church. Although Eve was tempted and fell into sin, she never joined the old serpent’s assembly. Cain was Satan’s first member (1 John 3:12), and that church has flourished ever since.

Today the church of Satan has many congregations. Whenever the God of Scripture is left out, there is only one other source of authority—Satan. Some followers meet in the ivory towers of academia where God is banished from education. Other congregations include those masses who ignore God altogether, and some even worship Satan directly. But the most insidious congregations meet in churches, synagogues, mosques, cathedrals, and temples where organized religion stresses the achievements of humans working their way to God. This “church of good works” promotes self-righteousness: “I will do it my way.” When you join such a church, you are required to “follow the rules”—and hope that the good outweighs the bad in the balance of religions. This religion deceives mankind into thinking that there are many ways to God, and many gods to seek. Refusing to acknowledge that they were created in God’s image, these followers create their god in their own image instead.

In the seventeenth chapter we see Satan’s ongoing system of counterfeiting the true church, the true worship, and the true seeking of God. Revelation 17 can therefore be divided into these sections: Satan’s plan exposed (vv.1-6); Satan’s plan explained (vv. 7-15); and Satan’s plan extinguished (vv. 16-18).

To pass off counterfeit money, I would not show you a blue twenty-dollar bill, because right away you could tell it is a fake. The best way to fool someone is to choose currency that looks as much like the genuine article as possible. Most who talk and think about Satan’s church think of warlocks, witches, and human sacrifices. But I don’t think he spends much time on that. His goal is not to make a “blue twenty-dollar bill” but to make one that looks exactly like the real thing. Therefore, Satan slyly represents the real thing as closely as possible while still having a deadly difference that is damnable. So when you think of Satan’s church, don’t be tricked into assuming that it simply involves Buddha, animists, and stone gods in the jungle. No, his church will also have Christ, the Bible, and words that are familiar to Christians. The deadly difference that is damnable is that the reality of the substitutionary work of Christ, and the essence of the gospel of grace, will be missing. That is Satan’s counterfeit church.

Jesus came to seek and save the lost and make them His bride. He gave himself to purchase her from sin and damnation. Jesus ever lives as a Great High Priest to purify and cleanse His bride from all defilement. The true bride of Jesus is a pure and chaste virgin, washed in the blood of the Lamb, sealed by the Holy Spirit, and awaiting the day of marriage to Jesus.

Satan also has a bride. We meet her in Revelation 17. She is a drunken, licentious harlot. She is the full-grown woman of the Tower of Babel. She is the queen of heaven of the Old Testament. She is the mystery religion in the cults of the Near and Far East. She is the one-world church of the World Council of Churches and National Council of Churches of America. Nothing is more satanic and deceptive in the entire world than the ecumenical (one united) church movement. God hates religious deception! She is also the embodiment of a false Christianity, led by a false Christ and embodied in the image of the very mother of Jesus. That is why John was so shocked. No other beast in sixteen chapters of death, demonism, and destruction shocked him until he saw this false harlot bride.

As we start this difficult topic that is so crucial to the future, please pray that God will open your understanding about the end of days.


My Prayer for You This Week: Dear heavenly Father, bless us with Your enlightening power. Open our eyes to behold wonderful truths from Your Word. May the humility of Christ, the insights of Your Spirit, and Your blessed plan be present in our lives. As we increase in knowledge, may we not become puffed up with pride, but rather humbly receive Your engrafted Word that we may grow in Christlikeness. We pray that in Jesus’ name and love we will go out to reach the world around us—the world that is dying without hope of the Savior. Help us to be constantly ready to step heavenward, and to know less of this world as our home and be more expectant of heaven. We pray all this in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.






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