Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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by John David Clark, Sr.
"And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the Great
is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of demons, and the hold
of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird . . .
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partaker of her sins and that you receive not of her plagues."
Revelation 18:2, 4
Because of unfaithfulness to the Law of Moses, the Old Testament people of the Lord were carried away to distant places by heathen kings. Among these ancient places of captivity, Babylon is the most notable. In our text above, Babylon is used figuratively to represent a place of spiritual captivity for the New Testament children of God. God's words here are directed to saints of the last days who are within a spiritual Babylon. Are you one of them?
In God's sight, Babylon is a filthy place, full of unclean spirits, but in man's sight, Babylon is a place of great honor and praise. She is called, the "glory of kingdoms" (Isa. 13:19), the "lady of kingdoms" (Isa. 47:5), and "the praise of the whole earth" (Jer. 51:41). This highly esteemed place of spiritual wickedness where the saints are imprisoned is what men call "the Church", or "Christianity".
Jesus said, "that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God " (Lk. 16:15), and what is it that man esteems most, but his lofty religious creeds, titles, and ceremonies? Men learned long ago that to proclaim a gospel containing only parts of the truth is the most lucrative business on earth. People will pay handsomely for a gospel that offers an alternative to complete surrender to God. The most valuable product in the marketplace of human hearts is a gospel that offers sinners a mere appearance of righteousness. The more eloquently a man is able to promote such a gospel, the more earthly praise and riches he will reap for his services.
"Prophesy not unto us right things. Speak unto us smooth things; prophesy deceits."
This is Babylon, an attractive place filled with deeply religious, ungodly men. Babylon, the lovely city of lies, the hiding place of sin, where unclean souls are promised the blessings of Christ, but where the reproach of his holiness is avoided. Babylon, where the true God is flattered but not worshiped "in spirit and in truth", where men sing praises to a God they hate, and where ministers are hired to proclaim "doctrines of demons". Babylon, where men teach men about a Lord they do not know and where souls are drugged with lies into confused submission and become the merchandise of Satan (2Pet. 2:1-3). This is Babylon. This is Christianity. This is church religion.
"My people! Go out of the midst of her,
and deliver every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord."
In the 1973 minute book of the Church of God sect, it is reported that in their 1972 convention in Dallas, there was a message in tongues given to the assembly. First, God addressed His remarks to those "in whom is my Spirit." Then, He pleaded with those people to have nothing to do with the unclean thing they were in (Christianity), and then He quoted the warning of Revelation 18:2-4.
But they did not obey God. Why? Because they had been taught that Babylon is the world and that by coming to Jesus, they had already come out of Babylon. But think about it. In addressing those "in whom is my Spirit," God was speaking to those who had already come out of the world! My friends, God is calling His people out of the place where they are, not out of the place where they were!
Babylon is where God's saints worship with those who cannot worship in the Spirit because they do not have it, or do not want it, or in some cases do not even believe in it. Babylon is where the perfect lusts of the devil are performed, where men worship God in style, rather than in spirit and in truth.
When Jesus said, "You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do," he was speaking to respected religious leaders who condemned adultery, murder, and the like. Then, what were the "lusts of the devil" that these pillars of the community would do? To name a few: "they made long prayers"; they "compassed land and sea to make one convert"; and they occupied "the chief seats" in religious gatherings. Religious deeds that appear righteous are the "lusts of the devil." Fleshly immorality is not Satan's style. He despises men who cannot control their fleshly lusts.
Satan's desire is to use strong-willed men and women who have the will power to maintain an appearance of righteousness, and who can influence others. Satan has never desired to eradicate religion; his desire has always been to share in the glory of God. This is what Christianity, Satan's crowning achievement in deceit, has accomplished for him. Satan's sons are professional ministers who persuade men to believe an alternative gospel, men who persuasively teach doctrines that are not from God. Yes, Satan's sons are devout Christians, and Jesus warned us of them, saying, "Many shall come in my name and shall deceive many." This is Christianity, the stained-glassed snare of souls, where life is promised and death is loved.
"The man who wanders out of the way of understanding shall abide in
the congregation of the dead."
My dear brother, do not be afraid to leave Babylon. Let God be your fear. Let God be your dread. Jesus waits for you outside the gate of that cursed city. "Let us, therefore, go to him, outside the camp, sharing the contempt that he endured." If we obey his voice, we will be cleansed and received by the Father. If we resist the Spirit's call, we will not escape the wrath that will come upon Christianity.
"Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion has light with darkness? Wherefore, come out from among them, and be separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and I will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
It matters not what men call their errors – Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, or whatever. What difference can a label make? If worship is not sanctified by the Spirit of God, it is vain. If doctrine is not revealed from heaven, it is heresy. If sins are not washed away by the baptism of the Spirit, they are not gone. False religion is any religion without the Spirit and truth of God, regardless of the name.
Those who, fearing the reproach of Christ, huddle for safety in the shadows of Christianity's steeples are only waiting to be cursed with that strong delusion the apostle Paul prophesied would come upon the rebellious (2Thess. 2:11-12). Genuine children of Abraham will follow Abraham's example and come out, even though, like him, they know not where God will take them (Heb. 11:8). Those who humble themselves to the call of God and come out will find peace and light such as they have only imagined. If you are unequally yoked in worship with those who do not have the holy Spirit, you should "come out from among them" and be a light for others. Do not provoke your heavenly Father to jealousy. He loves you. He wants you out of church religion. He wants you home. COME OUT!