CHAPTER 1 – BABYLON THE GREAT, PART 2
Scripture tells us that there are three main areas where men are vulnerable:
The lust of the flesh.
The lust of the eyes.
The boastful pride of life.
These are inherent in all of us in the natural, but after we are born of God’s Spirit we are empowered to overcome them. However, it is only if we use our free will to obey the Spirit of God that we can overcome these worldly desires and refuse to continue accepting the world’s standards.
One of Satan’s main objectives is to keep us from being led by the Holy Spirit, and when he succeeds he causes us to live and behave and think like the world. Scripture exhorts us to have our minds renewed until we can think with the mind of Christ. (Rom. 12:2, Eph. 4:23) Only then can we see our society and our religious systems with the eyes of God. To understand and escape from Babylon we must first comprehend that the systems and structures of religion have their origins in the mind of Satan, and are as much a part of the kosmos as any other facet of human society. Consider how Satan divides humanity with different religions, and even causes men to war with each other over religious beliefs. Not only does he cause the conflicts between different religions like Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and others, but within each religion he divides its adherents. In every different religion there are sects who fight with each other and confusion, (Babylon) reigns.
In the first three chapters of Revelation the Lord repeatedly states “He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”. The Lord also tells us that it is only overcomers who are able to enter the New Jerusalem. It is the individual responsibility of each one of us to overcome the world, and to heed the call of the Holy Spirit and the Bride to come out of Babylon. You can be certain that this call is made to Spirit filled believers in Christ, who belong to churches, for Revelation is addressed only to us, not to those outside the Body of Christ.
Those who fail to leave the Harlot City participate in her sins and receive of her plagues, when the ten kings are used by God to destroy her. It is the visible, organized church and its structures that is pulled down and persecuted by anti- Christ governments and rulers. Have we seen one of these kings operating in China in the 20th century? Now, after the destruction of the Harlot churches and the slaughter of many saints in past decades, we see a “King” or government accepting and even commending the believers living outside Babylon. We also see the Chinese Christians not wanting back the buildings and organizations called “churches” which their Government no longer frowns upon. Having tasted LIFE outside Babylon they are not interested in returning to her.
Revelation 18 describes the judgment that comes upon Babylon The Great, this monstrous, spiritual city that counterfeits the true Bride of Christ and deceives and holds captive God’s family. She makes the merchants of the earth rich by her desire for sensuous living. (verse 3) She causes us, the kings of the earth, God’s royal children, to live with her in adultery instead of our husband Christ. Most of us are so deceived that we actually weep and lament over her when we see her destroyed. (verse 9) Yet the Lord instructs us to rejoice over her destruction. (verse 20)
In many churches the members’ comfort and prosperity are of prime importance. Luxurious buildings with air conditioning, plush seating and high tech sound systems are established which perpetuate the Harlot system. Verses 12 and 13 describe the material wealth in which they deal as well as dealing in the bodies and souls of men.
We are warned from heaven:-
“Come out of her My people, that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven and God has remembered her iniquities.” (verses 4, 5)
The result of God’s judgment is that Babylon The Great is thrown down with violence, (verse 21) “and no more will the voice of the bridegroom and bride be heard in her.” (verse 23) Saddest of all is the fact that in the destroyed Harlot church is found “the blood of prophets and saints” (verse 24) who are true believers who never understood the counterfeit. Possibly the great majority of God’s children have died and will die in Babylon, never understanding the greatest deception that Satan has used to overcome the saints.
We need to be aware that the Harlot church is very attractive and appealing to our natural minds. She is not obviously ugly and wrong because she is an excellent counterfeit of the Bride. She is such a good imitation that she deceives the majority. She holds the precious children of God in her power, and it is only by the grace of God that He opens our spiritual eyes to see through her marvellous deception.
We also need to understand that God in His sovereign purpose has allowed the beast to overcome us for many hundreds of years, but that time is coming to an end with the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. This was first prophesied by Daniel in the time of the Jews’ Babylonian captivity:-
“I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and OVERPOWERING them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was passed in favour of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.” (Dan. 7:21, 22)
We are now living in the time when very slowly the church is awakening to the fact that it is God’s plan for us to rule and reign in life. We are to come under His government and then become part of His government, when we have learned to be overcomers. This is why the Spirit is calling us out of traditional types of churches in such great numbers today. Jesus is preparing those who have an ear to hear, so that large numbers of us will be actively putting His enemies under His feet in preparation for His return. Overcomers are to be part of the Bride that makes herself ready.
For centuries the church has consisted of weak and predominantly immature believers and very few have walked as overcomers. Bound by the great deceptions of Babylon the Great, we have simply evangelized and added to our numbers within the Harlot city. We have been like the Jews in their Babylonian captivity, the beloved children of God, reproducing our nation, growing in numbers, but bound in captivity.
Confirming Daniel’s prophecy, God informs us again in the book of Revelation that He allows the enemy to overcome His saints together with all mankind upon the earth.. This is the awful result of our submission to the world system, and our failure to overcome it. The beast in Revelation 13 is the same one on which the evil woman sits. The world system of Satan is the beast that blasphemes against God and the Body of Christ and makes war with the saints and overcomes them.
“And it was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them: and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. (the beast operates all worldly
systems of government) And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name is not written in the book of life of the Iamb who has been slain. If anyone has an ear to hear let him hear.” (Rev. 13:7-9)
The “all who dwell on the earth” refers only to those whose names are NOT written in the Lamb’s book of life, and does not include believers in Jesus Christ. The “worship” of the beast refers to the love that some people have for the Kosmos rather than God. We need to examine carefully the objects of our love, so that we are not deceived into thinking that we can love the things of the world without worshipping Satan unwittingly. Love of money, power, pride of position, materialism and sensuous pleasures are all an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.
When we start counting the numbers of those who “support or belong” to us, and announce how many we have saved, delivered or healed, or who attend our services, evangelistic meetings or campaigns, we are manifesting “the boastful pride of life.”
When we build a “church” building and organize membership we are simply creating another Babylonian tower. When we dress beautifully to attend meetings, beautify the building and fill it with creature comforts for our “members” we “satisfy the lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh.”
THE KINGDOM OF GOD DOES NOT COME WITH SIGNS TO BE OBSERVED. IT IS ONLY BABYLON THAT CAN BE OBSERVED.
The Kingdom of God is invisible to the eyes of the flesh but is seen and understood by the eyes of the Spirit, for it is the reign of God in the believer’s heart. Religious behaviour can be seen, but only the Spirit knows if God really rules a heart. Babylon the Great is however much more devious and insidious than our visible denominations, churches, structures and organizations. Her name is written on our foreheads since she has penetrated our minds and corrupted our thinking. We are so brainwashed by tradition that we cannot imagine how to live the Christian life without her. Even when we have left one of her visible towers we will join another, or worse still start building a new one.
Only when we have had our minds renewed and exert our free wills to erase the name of Babylon from our foreheads can we escape from the Harlot City. An essential step in this process is to begin to question the traditions and practices that we have accepted and followed blindly in the past, and to learn their origin. We also need to heed every word spoken by King Jesus and compare His teachings and instructions with what we have learned from our spiritual teachers and religious leaders. When our hearts and minds are set on obeying the Word of God we must learn that the only firm foundation on which to build is Jesus Christ, and that every word that proceeded from His lips and is recorded in scripture is the Word of God of primary importance that we must hear and obey.