BABYLON

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BABYLON Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

The ambition to build a city with a tower that reaches to the heavens reveals the desire in the adamic personality to join with others in order to accomplish something of significance, the idea being that we can gain a name for ourselves. Also, we can achieve power that we would not have were we to be a single individual or a small group of people. By combining our efforts, our wisdom, and our talents we can establish a monument on the earth to our own glory.

However, God often works through intense interaction with one person, such as Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, or the Apostle Paul.

BABYLON

As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth." (Genesis 11:2-4–NIV)

Shinar is Babylonia. This is the original Babylon.

The ambition to build a city with a tower that reaches to the heavens reveals the desire in the adamic personality to join with others in order to accomplish something of significance, the idea being that we can gain a name for ourselves. Also, we can achieve power that we would not have were we to be a single individual or a small group of people. By combining our efforts, our wisdom, and our talents we can establish a monument on the earth to our own glory.

However, God does not use the concerted efforts of people, their wisdom, or their talents to establish His Kingdom. God often works through intense interaction with one person, such as Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, or the Apostle Paul.

God immediately recognized that if people of one language joined together they indeed could accomplish whatever they pleased.

The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them." (Genesis 11:6CNIV)

We of today would emphasize the good that could be done if people would stop fighting against each other and work together to produce things and situations that would benefit mankind. It is almost impossible for us to perceive the potential for evil that would be produced if everyone could speak the same language, and thus were able achieve results that warring nations could not accomplish.

God saw the danger immediately and confused the ability of the people to communicate with each other. To the present hour we have wars because of the self-interest of nationsCnations separated from one another because they speak different languages.

What is the problem with wanting to join together with other people to accomplish something?

First let us explain we are not saying it is wrong to work together with other people in order to accomplish a task. Rather we are speaking of our human tendency to ignore the Lord Jesus Christ and look to the combined strength and wisdom of human beings to bring to pass what we desire. We are speaking especially of using this method in trying to "to do things for God."

The problem is that when God created the world in six days He fashioned not only the physical universe but also the destiny of mankind. In particular, God determined the destiny of each member of His elect, His Israel, His governing priesthood. God does not desire that we join with others to do what we think needs to be done, particularly in the work of establishing the Kingdom of God on the earth. Only God knows His plan for our life, and only God knows His plan for His Kingdom.

Notice this foreknowledge and predestination in the following verse:

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10 - NIV)

According to the above, God planned from the beginning of the world specific good works for us to do. We cannot enter God's rest except as we set aside our own ambitions and fears and seek each day the plan of God for that particular period of time. This procedure is simply stated, but proves to be difficult in practice because of our self-will and rebellion against God. Eve fell because she was not willing to trust God for her betterment and joy.

God has been resting since the seventh day because all His works have been finished through to the new Jerusalem. To enter the finished work of God for one's life is to enter the rest of God. The coming of the Kingdom of God is the doing of God's will in the earth as it is in Heaven, not the will of well-intentioned man.

Each human being is moved upon by a multitude of ambitions, fears, dreads, obligations, passions, and so forth. There are things we wish to possess, heights we desire to climb, and relationships we crave to establish. We may not realize it but God has a specific plan for our life, a plan worked out in detail in His mind from the time He created the world.

Our whole duty in life is to find God's will for us and to perform it diligently. To do this is to enter the rest of God, for God is resting after having decided what good works we are to perform.

To enter God's rest is at once remarkably easy and incredibly difficult. It is remarkably easy because we can lay aside our worries and ambitions and flow with the flowings of the Godhead. It is incredibly difficult because each day a multitude of pressures urge us to follow our own desires. Have you found this to be true?

All we are expected to do in life is to look continually to the Lord Jesus for every action we take, and then do with all our might what is set before us. Sometimes we do not hear from the Lord and we just have to keep on doing what we are doing until we are certain God wants us to do something else. This is all there is to the rest of God; but because Satan is living in our land of promise, we have to follow the Spirit of God into battle in order to enter God's rest.

Satan deems it his business to deceive and confuse us so we do what he wants rather than what God desires. We have to labor to enter the rest of God.

Once we understand thoroughly that a personal mark has been set before us, and we are to be pressing toward that mark each day, then we can perceive immediately how people of one language joining together for the common good will frustrate God's plan for the individual. Instead of looking to God for what he should be doing he is working together with the group to perform the desires of the group.

God wants each one of us to come to Him as an individual, not as part of a group. God does not interact with groups but with individuals. It is God's plan that His Kingdom be composed of people who have come to know Him in a very personal way, who have become part of Him through the Lord Jesus Christ. Such people automatically are one with each other because they are integral parts of the one Christ. None of them looks to the other for recognition, power, or wisdom, except as God directs one to minister to the other. The members of the Body of Christ do not gain status, wisdom, or power by joining together but by living in iron righteousness, fiery holiness, and stern obedience to the Father.

Can you see now why God prevented the ancient people from proceeding with their plan to build the city? God caused them to be confused and scattered them over the face of the whole earth so they would look to Him rather than to each other. To look to the group instead of God is Babylon – confusion!

The spirit of babylon is found in the world. It’s name is Antichrist.

The spirit of babylon is found in religion, including the Christian religion. Its name is Babylon the Great.

It seems so natural and "right" that people should join together to promote the Christian religion. However, this is not God's way. The result of such attempts at united effort, unless clearly and specifically put into effect by Jesus Christ, brings into existence the horror of Babylon the Great. When God's people neglect to seek the mind of Christ, and look to cooperation with others in order to build the Kingdom of God, we eventually create a cage of unclean spirits.

The Lord Jesus Christ stated He would build His own Church. For two thousand years we have denied Him His right to build His Church. Instead we have attempted to do this for Him. The result has been babylon! Confusion! A thousand competing denominations!

The churches pretty well understand a true Christian is not worldly in appearance and behavior, and that God does not want us to continue in sin. This is good and right. But the greatest monster of all is self-will. Until God destroys the self-will from us by repeatedly sending tribulations and prisons to purify us of this monster, we always are going to bring forth babylon as we seek to build the Kingdom of God.

Two chapters of the Book of Revelation are devoted to a discussion of Babylon the Great, revealing what an abominable institution it is. From the description, I believe Babylon the Great represents the combined religions of the world when they are guided and empowered by the will and ability of human beings instead of by close interaction with the living Jesus and by the Holy Spirit.

While the description of Babylon the Great seems to fit the Catholic Church to a significant extent, it is not our goal to condemn this particular denomination. The spirit of babylon, that is, of man seeking to join with other men to gain a name for themselves, to pool their abilities, can be found in the smallest of independent churches. We understand well that many fine, self-sacrificing Christians have emerged from a Catholic background, and so our point is not to point the finger at them or to minimize their contribution to mankind in any manner whatever.

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters. With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries." (Revelation 17:1,2 – NIV)

Those who have studied the history of Europe realize the tremendous influence the Catholic Church has had on Western civilization. Indeed, "the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries." The influence of the Catholic Church, and later the Protestant denominations, was felt in every area of human life.

But in many, perhaps most, instances it was not the influence of the Lord Jesus that affected European life but the influence of religious leaders following their own political ambitions.

Notice the name given by the Bible to self-willed Christianity:

This title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (Revelation 17:5 – NIV)

It is my point of view that Babylon the Great is the Catholic Church and the Protestant churches are her daughters, and that in the last days the other religions of the world will join with the Christian organizations and produce the great “mother of prostitutes.”

Why are the Protestant churches prostitutes? Because they seek to find favor with the world and attempt to offer God's grace to the world instead of standing as a witness of Christ against the malice and wickedness of the world.

Notice also:

I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. (Revelation 17:6 – NIV)

Here is a horrible thought. The self-directed religious organization has murdered so many true saints of the Lord Jesus Christ, those who bore testimony to Jesus, that it actually is drunk with their blood. It has lost its balance and its ability to reason, and is intoxicated with its success in crushing all resistance to what it believes is its Divinely inspired program to save the world.

The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. (Revelation 11:16 – NIV)

It is my point of view that in the not too distant future the religious denominations will combine into one huge religious organization. Antichrist and his fellow kings will work with this new denomination until they feel strong enough to rule without it. Then they will destroy it.

Again, without any intention of harming sincere Catholics by what I say, I believe we soon will see astonishing miracles performed in the name of the Virgin Mary. Many of us know of some of the major miracles that have occurred under the banner of Catholicism, such as those surrounding Joan of Arc and Bernadette of Lourdes. I do not know of miracles of similar magnitude that have occurred in the ranks of Protestantism or of other religions, except for the religion of Judaism.

The result of the current ecumenical trends added to stupendous evidences of supernatural confirmation could very well bring into existence an enormous world church operated by human wisdom – all in the name of Mary and Christ. Here is a significant part of Babylon the Great, as I see it.

After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. With a mighty voice he shouted: "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird.” (Revelation 18:1, 2 – NIV)

It appears most, perhaps all, of the great Christian denominations began with groups of sincere Christians who were seeking to serve the Lord. However, personal ambition soon entered and little by little the small group became a thriving organization.

As the denomination gains stature and influence, people who are not following the simple Jesus rise to positions of leadership. They talk much about the Lord and pray often, perhaps, but they do not know how to listen to Jesus. There are many factors in a denomination that are common to all organizations; for example there are the same internal strivings for preeminence.

Another force is present in a Christian denomination. It is Satan who is attempting to direct the denomination into paths that will prevent the denomination from becoming a serious threat to Satan's kingdom in the earth.

Satan enters the door opened by the self-seeking of the denominational leaders. Soon the organization, still engaged in worthy works of evangelism and social assistance, has become "a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit."

This is why the Catholic organization tortured and murdered dissenters up until the beginning years of the present century. I do not believe any sincere Catholic could honestly believe Mary or Jesus Christ would support the torture or murder of a believer because he or she had rejected Catholic doctrine.

It is because of personal ambition and avarice that so much cutthroat political jockeying takes place in Protestant organizations and independent churches. Such demon-inspired activity prevents the organization from becoming a serious threat to Satan's kingdom in the earth.

God's way is to take one individual, work with him night and day for a number of years until he is walking with Jesus, and then use him to bring the Kingdom of God forward.

Meanwhile, the Lord Jesus sits up on top of the temple, so to speak, while "Israel" rushes about engaging in religious politics. It was true then. It is true today.

That God's true people are members of babylonish churches can be seen as follows:

Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "Come out of her, my people, so you will not share in her sins, so you will not receive any of her plagues;" (Revelation 18:4 – NIV)

Every once in a while we hear ministers call to us to leave our denomination or church. We are to "come out of babylon."

I think the Lord is telling us today to seek the good of the babylon where we find ourselves, just as He told the Jews in captivity to seek the good of the nation that had captured them.

When we leave our church today and meet in a home group we are apt to bring the spirit of babylon with us. Babylon is self-will performing religious service. We find self-willed people in the small home group just as readily as in the megachurch of ten thousand members.

Babylon is a state of the heart!

Babylon thinks of herself as being the queen of the Kingdom.

Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, "I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn." (Revelation 18:7 – NIV)

But there are no queens of the Kingdom. The Bride of the Lamb is referred to as the Body of Christ, not as a queen who governs alongside the Lord Jesus Christ.

Some of the queens of history have been great rulers in their own right, such as Elizabeth of England. But the Church is not a queen in her own right. She is absolutely nothing apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. She is the Body of Christ, that is, she is His fullness, His glory, His counterpart. She cannot sit as a queen and govern according to what she thinks the King desires.

But this is exactly what the churches of history have been queens! They govern according to what they think the King desires, or what they themselves desire. They do not permit Christ to build His own church on the Rock which is Christ Himself. Rather, they seek to build the church according to their own ideas. The result through the centuries has been, and is to the present hour, babylon!

But God finally will overthrow all babylonish organizations, in the day He is ready to present the true Bride of the Lamb.

The next passage reveals that in the last days the Antichrist governments and the Christian church will share the wealth of the nations. They will be amazed and afraid when babylon is cast down because they never believed that their comfortable situation would ever be disturbed.

In prior verses we are told that Antichrist and ten kings closely aligned with Antichrist will bring babylon to ruin and leave her naked. But in the next two verses we are told that some of the kings of the earth will not be part of the ten kings aligned with Antichrist, apparently, and that these kings of the earth will be upset over the destruction of the great Christian denomination.

When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: "Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come!" (Revelation 18:9,10 – NIV)

And then we see the impact on the merchants of the world:

The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more – Cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; (Revelation 18:11,12 – NIV)

Think about the United States, for example. What would happen to the retail merchants in our country if there were no more Christmas, Easter, or Thanksgiving sales because the true Christians had left the great denomination and refused to celebrate their holidays by buying gifts or surfeiting themselves with food?

Cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men. (Revelation 18:13 – NIV)

Indeed, in the eyes of the huge denomination of the future, the souls of people will be just another commodity like cinnamon and spice. The great idol will be money, as it will be also in the Antichrist government.

The golden idol described in Daniel was erected in Babylon.

Self-willed religionists always will attack God's true saints. This accounts for the following verse:

Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you. (Revelation 18:20 – NIV)

Notice that before the time babylon was destroyed, the voice of the Lamb and His Bride could be heard in this organization. So it is today that in just about every Christian organization and in every church, one can find true disciples of the Lord. The remainder are church members and some are fine people. But they never have denied themselves, taken up their cross, and followed the Lord Jesus. They have never set aside their own will that they might do God's will. Fine people, but not Christians; for a true Christian is a disciple, not just a church member.

The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. (Revelation 18:23 – NIV)

After the great babylon is destroyed there never again will be found a Christian organization, only individual members of the royal priesthood who personally are known to the Lord Jesus and are an integral part of Him, and who personally know the Lord apart from any group influence.

If we go back and include the man-directed institutions of Judaism, and add to them the Christian institutions, we find in all of them the blood of the prophets and of the saints. In fact, Revelation states that the blood of all who have been killed on the earth can be found in this huge Christian organization.

In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth." (Revelation 18:24 – NIV)

The answer to this broad statement may be found in the Book of Ezekiel. God told Ezekiel that if the watchman did not warn the people of the coming danger, then the people would be slain in their sin but their blood would be on the watchman's hands.

Ordinarily the organized churches do not warn the believers of coming danger. Rather they speak comfortable things so people will attend the services. They confine their strongest exhortations to matters that affect the institution itself, but do not warn the people that if they continue to sin they will suffer God's judgment.

This is especially true in the Christian churches of America. One would travel far before hearing a pastor warn his congregation that if they did not live as true disciples of the Lord they would suffer at the hands of Christ upon His return. It is "rapture, rapture, Heaven, Heaven, grace, grace." The souls of their followers will be required of the leaders who curry favor with those who sit under their ministry. The ministers and the people will never hear "Well done, good and faithful servant" if they have not been good and faithful. The believers need to be told this emphatically in our day.

If the Christian ministers throughout Church history had turned aside from their own babylonish efforts to build the Kingdom of God, and had worked along with Jesus Christ as He built His own Church, it is possible there would have been no wars during this period of time. I think God would have made sure of this.

If the German Lutherans had all been abiding in Christ, Hitler could not have come to power and there would have been no holocaust.

If the Christians in America were living in iron righteousness, fiery holiness, and stern obedience to the Father, our nation would be one great source of food and other blessings to all the countries on the earth. It is possible the moral light then streaming from America would prevent all future wars.

But we Christians are content to make a nominal commitment to Christ and live in luxury while many are starving or imprisoned for the faith. We just do not want our material luxuries to be denied us. So we are facing World War III as the poorer nations plot against the "great Satan" of the West.

As soon as babylon, the self-willed Christian Church, is condemned, a great multitude of people in Heaven will begin to praise God.

After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, For true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants." (Revelation 19:1,2 – NIV)

The passage above reveals how closely the people in Heaven are watching what is taking place in the earth. Perhaps many of them have suffered at the hands of religious organizations. Now they are praising God because He has condemned these church leaders who, in the name of Christ, have abused the true servants of the Lord.

The jubilation in Heaven reveals how great an abomination self-willed Christianity is. We become accustomed to living and working within a denominational structure. We do not always realize how much the Lord wants us to have a personal relationship with him rather than just with the people of our group.

Self-centered religionists do not know the Lord. They will work together to accomplish their goals. Whether by murder, torture, or slander, they always have and always will seek to destroy the true saints of the Lord, those who really love God and seek His will each day. It was true in the days of Cain and Abel. It is true today.

And you say, "If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets." So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers! You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? (Matthew 23:30-33 – NIV)

The following passage describes perfectly how the multitude of Christian people regard the individuals who look to Jesus each moment for His will.

My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to listen to your words, but they do not put them into practice. With their mouths they express devotion, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain. Indeed, to them you are nothing more than one who sings love songs with a beautiful voice and plays an instrument well, for they hear your words but do not put them into practice. (Ezekiel 33:31,32 – NIV)

Religion often warps character and judgment. Following the living Lord Jesus never warps character or judgment. Walking with Him leads us to righteousness, mercy, and humility. But religion sometimes produces the most abominable of people – proselytes who, as the Lord said, are children of Hell.

Truly the spirit of religion, whether of the Judaic or Christian religion, always slanders and kills those whom Christ has commissioned to represent Him. Pilate understood clearly that the chief priests delivered up Christ because they envied His popularity. What an abomination! The leaders of Judaism murdered their own Christ because of their self-will!

So it is that the spirit of slander and murder abounds in the political actions of Christian churches. Aspiring young ministers soon learn that the meetings of the pastors are attended by cynical men who show very little of the Spirit of Christ in their words and actions. This is not always the case but certainly does occur.

Will we ever recover from the babylonish abominations? I doubt that we shall until the time babylon is destroyed. Then the true saints of the Lord will flow together in the Presence of Christ. They are abiding in Christ in God and therefore are one with each other. They are one in Christ, not in a denominational attempt at unity or ecumenicism.

As soon as babylon has been destroyed the Wife of the Lamb is revealed.

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) (Revelation 19:7, 8 – NIV)

When we are willing to cease trying to build a city and a tower that reaches to the heavens, we will be seen to be the Wife of the Lamb.