Chapter Four – Part 1
ESCAPING FROM BABYLON
Only by leaving Babylon is it possible to enter the New Jerusalem, yet our old established concepts of Christianity are so entrenched in our minds that it is difficult to escape from Babylon completely.
This great Mother of Harlots is beautiful, enticing and familiar. We are so bound by her charms that it is extremely hard for us to see her most attractive “churches” as her harlot daughters. Nevertheless we cannot escape until we are able to discern between good and evil, and see things as God sees them.
Every building called a Church or Cathedral is subtly used as a tool by Babylon to bind people to itself. Sadly, the building divides and separates the true local church, which consists of every Christian living in that locality. It may satisfy the ego of its builders, and gratify the senses of its congregation, but all the work and money spent to establish a church founded on a building is ultimately wasted, for it simply ends up as another monument to the deceptions of Babylon the Great.
The members of these “churches” work for the growth of their numbers and the expansion of their organization, being unaware that they are building within the walls of spiritual Babylon.
The doctrines and rules that the leaders impose upon their groups create artificial divisions among all the believers in that locality. Christians living in one locality do not assemble together recognizing each other as members of the same body. Instead they assemble according to which denomination they belong to, and will travel right across a city to avoid assembling with their next door neighbours, who belong to another denomination. What would the apostle Paul think about this mad behaviour. Traditional concepts of church membership, pastoral care, and even making disciples within the system, bind people to certain leaders, organizations and structures.
These churches with their clergy and laity can only exist provided they have regular meetings. They have to meet for Sunday services, prayer meetings, youth meetings, women’s meetings, etc.
All these meetings at set times on set days allow men to control the congregations, but they preclude the Holy Spirit from directing His church.
If the Holy Spirit is allowed to direct the church, leaders will only call an assembly of the whole local church, when God wishes to make something known to them. It is Babylon that demands that a Minister preaches to a scheduled Sunday meeting, and men’s tradition that forces him to do so. Apart from meeting on the first day of the week, there is no New Testament basis for our traditional rituals of Sunday services and sermons in a building called church. Acts 20 tells us that the disciples living in Troas came together to eat a meal with each other on Sunday, and that Paul spoke to them until midnight. Perhaps he started while they were still eating, who knows, but it was certainly nothing like our tradition of a sermon, sandwiched between hymns on a Sunday morning. They were gathered together in an upper chamber, not on a ground floor, and not in a building called church. They never conceived of the meeting place as the “House of the Lord”, for they knew that their human bodies were His house. They certainly did not eat a tiny wafer or scrap of bread and drink a thimble full of wine and call that communion. They had discourse among themselves and everybody was able to speak or sing. They all participated in what we today would call “open ministry”.
How delighted our Father would be if all His children in one locality gathered together TO MINISTER TO HIM IN ADORATION AND PRAISE, instead of assembling separately to conduct various ritualistic services according to their particular tradition.
The call of the Holy Spirit “to come out of Babylon” is creating a vast disturbance in churches everywhere in the world. Thousands of believers are no longer content with their churches and many are confused, but we must hear what He is saying and be willing to move on.
We should all understand the lesson from Exodus that “when the cloud of God moves on we must follow or be left behind”.
Whenever God ends a period in the development of His church, He gives a new vision to some of His people while they are still in the old place that He wants us to leave behind. We must not be deceived like many pioneers in past moves of God, who have been subtly deceived into settling down with the new thing, and allowing it to be absorbed by the old system. We must learn from their mistakes and continually seek a new vision of the future, not allowing our present understanding to stop us from moving on in God’s purpose.
At the beginning of this century the outpouring of the Holy Spirit ended up with new Pentecostal denominations. Later the “Charismatic Move” affected many in the older denominations, but “the new thing” was simply absorbed by Babylon the Great.
Now the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is being proclaimed and we see much turmoil as a result. Sins, once hidden, are being publicly exposed, Christian organizations are coming into disrepute, churches are splitting or collapsing, and new groups are forming within the walls of Babylon. We should not allow this to alarm or confuse us, because the hand of God is involved in all these things.
Our natural minds will tell us that all this turmoil is of the devil. Nevertheless, God is in full control and what is happening is the result of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. The Government of God is the one thing that Babylon cannot absorb or contain.
The Lord is no longer willing to accept our denominational divisions, our concepts of churches, para-church organizations, religious institutions, Bible schools and seminaries. He has exposed all these things as being bound in spiritual Babylon, and He is calling us out, and into His New Jerusalem.
To be associated with some visible organization means nothing. To know Christ and have an intimate personal relationship with Him is everything. He must be restored to His rightful place as “the Head of every man”. (1 Cor. 11:3)
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God, when received in good soil, enthrones King Jesus in the heart of the believer and He reigns from within, because the Kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed. It is only Babylon that can be observed with its visible towers. The Kingdom of God is invisible to the eyes of flesh, and can only be seen and understood by the eyes of the Spirit, because it is the reign of God within us. (Luke 17:20, 21) There is no way we can keep moving on in the purpose of God unless we are willing to separate ourselves from the Babylonian church system, and obey the voice of God that calls 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.” (Rev. 18:4)
The first step necessitates dropping our traditional church attendance and activities, and spending time in quiet personal fellowship with Father. This may be for a short or prolonged season, but only the Holy Spirit can show you that. This is essential to allow the Holy Spirit to renew our minds until we acquire the mind of Christ, and His Name is written in our foreheads. Only then will we understand His will and align our lives with his purposes and his objectives. Most Christians who are serious about God are heavily involved in Christian activities, various meetings, projects, outreaches etc. Too often we are so busy working for God, that we have little time for Him.
Because of false concepts of churches being buildings where we must meet on Sundays etc., it is difficult for our minds to conceive of different ways for the body of Christ to meet and function. In defence of the existing system the carnal mind will immediately quote the scripture:-
“Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another and the more so as you see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25)
The deceived saints wrongly presume that the church meetings of Babylon are the only way to assemble together, when in reality most of them have become an abomination to God. It is possible to assemble together in a home, a workplace, any public building, a warehouse, a park, under a tree, or even a sports stadium for big worship meetings. Special buildings called churches where one sits in audience rows, watching professionals performing up front, were not designed by God and are not necessary for us to assemble together, or to be taught.
It is possible to use a church building for a true local church assembly, but it creates problems because of its old associations. The seating arrangements are normally unsuitable for open meetings, which are best when everyone sits in a circle or square, facing each other, and not only backs of heads.
Church buildings erected for the exclusive use of a denomination or sect are powerful tools of Satan to divide the local Body of Christ. These buildings, named after a particular group, stand in competition with each other no less than several competing banks in one city.
Nearly all our traditional kinds of assembling are really for the purpose of building and extending our little kingdoms, to indoctrinate our members, keep them together and increase their numbers. All these meetings are essential for the raising of money to keep the systems going.
It is true and important that we should assemble together, but we can do this in many ways without following the traditional forms of Babylon, which actually have their origin in Judaism and Pagan religions.
There is nothing in the New Testament to support the idea that Christians must meet in special buildings, at fixed times to hold religious services, and that everything should be organized and controlled by professional clerics.