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 D. Clark, Sr.
“And he cried out with a powerful voice, saying, ‘She has fallen! Babylon the Great has fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, and a prison for every unclean spirit, and a prison for every unclean and loathsome bird.’ Then I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive 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 believers in the New Testament. God’s words are directed to saints of the last days who are held captive 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. Men call her “the glory of kingdoms” (Isa. 13:19), “the madam 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 an abomination in the sight of God” (Lk. 16:15), and what is it that man esteems most but his lofty religious creeds, stately buildings of worship, prestigious titles, and lovely ceremonies?
Men learned long ago that to proclaim a gospel containing only a part of the truth is a lucrative business. 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 an appearance of righteousness. The more eloquently a man is able to do that, the more earthly praise he will reap for his services. Christianity is a stained-glass snare of souls, where life is promised and death is loved.
This is Babylon, an attractive place filled with deeply religious, ungodly men. Babylon, a lovely city of lies, a hiding place for sin, where unclean souls are promised the blessings of Christ, but where the reproach of his holiness is avoided. Babylon, where God is flattered but not worshipped spiritually and truly, where men sing praises to a God they hate and hire ministers to proclaim “doctrines of demons”. Babylon, where men teach about a Lord they do not know and where souls are drugged with lies into confused submission and become merchandise for Satan (2Pet. 2:1–3). This is Christianity. This is church religion.
In the 1973 minute book of the Church of God sect, 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.
“Come out of her, my people, and let each one save his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord!”
But they did not obey God. Why? Because they did not understand Him. God’s people have been taught that Babylon is the world and that by coming to Jesus, they have 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 once were! Babylon is a mixed congregation, where God’s saints worship with those who cannot worship in the Spirit because they do not have it, or do not want it, and in some cases, do not even believe in it.
It matters not what men call their errors – Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, or whatever. What difference does a label make? If worship is not sanctified by the Spirit of God, it is unacceptable to Him (cf. Rom. 15:16). If doctrine is not revealed from heaven, it is false. 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 what men call it.
Babylon is where the 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 you willingly do the desires of your father,” he was speaking to ministers who condemned adultery, murder, thievery, and the like. Such immoral acts are not Satan’s style; he and his ministers despise those who do those things. What, then, are the “desires of the Devil” that Israel’s religious leaders did? To name a few, “they made long prayers”; they “compassed land and sea to make one convert”; and they occupied the “seats of honor” in the congregation. These are the “desires of the Devil”, and his ministers are good at making such appearances of righteousness. But Jesus warned us of them, saying, “Many will come using my name, and they shall deceive many.”
Satan’s most effective instruments are men and women who have the will-power to maintain a steady appearance of righteousness, for that attracts and influences others. Satan has never desired to eradicate the worship of God; on the contrary, he encourages it – as long as he can share in its glory (Isa. 14:12–14). This is what Christianity has accomplished for him. Satan’s sons are professional ministers who are ordained by other professional ministers to teach doctrines that their congregations will approve of. The doctrine of Christ is hidden from them.
“Do not see right things for us! Say nice things to us! See deceptive visions!”
My dear brother, do not be afraid to leave Babylon. Let God be your fear. Let God be your dread. Jesus is waiting for you outside the gate of that cursed city. “So then, let us go to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach.” There is nothing to fear. If we obey His voice, our heavenly Father has promised that He will receive us: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, for what is there in common between righteousness and lawlessness? What fellowship has light with darkness? Wherefore, Come out from their midst and be separate, says the Lord, and do not touch the unclean thing, and I will receive you; I will be your Father, and you shall be my sons and daughters” (2Cor. 6:14, 17–18).
Those who huddle for safety in the shadow of Christianity’s steeples are not safe. They are instead in position to receive that curse which God will send upon all who do not love the truth (2Thess. 2:11–12). Genuine children of Abraham are they who follow Abraham’s example and heed God’s call to come out and follow Him, even though, like Abraham, they know not where God will take them (Heb. 11:8). And in the end, they will find eternal peace, just as Abraham did. My dear brother or sister, if you are unequally yoked in worship with Christians who have not received the holy Spirit, I beg you to “come out from their midst” and be a light to them. Do not resist your heavenly Father. He loves you, and He wants you to come out of Babylon. Come out of Christianity, for it is not of Him. COME OUT!