Saturday 31 December 2011
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Read Revelation 18 at Bible Gateway.
And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!” Rev 18:2
And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, My people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” Rev 18:4
Rev 18 recounts the fall of Babylon, and the mourning of the earth over her fall: of kings and princes, and merchants, and all who profited from her government and her prosperity. So now why does heaven call the citizens of heaven to come out of her, when she is dwelling place of demons and the haunt of every foul spirit?
Babylon, we learned from Rev 17, is the woman who rides the scarlet dragon, which is symbolic for the great city which reigns over the kings of the earth (Rev 17:18). God is calling His people out of a city, a dwelling place. We saw that Mystery Babylon is the worldview and way of life of Babel/ Babylon, which rebels against God and His commandments, which exalts man and his ways, which worships gods of his own making, which sets up governments and taskmasters over men, to enslave them, to lord it over them, instead of serving them. Babel/ Babylon demands man’s worship and subservience at swordpoint, and takes delight in carrying out its draconian punishment, torture, and bloodshed when men try to break free.
Who are “My people” to whom heaven is calling out? Judah was taken captive by Babylon (this is history that prophesies of spiritual realities and things to come), and after 70 years, a remnant returned. With them, they brought the idea that an additional law existed besides the Torah (“teaching,” the Torah is the first five books of the Bible, the written Law on two tablets of stone, with the explanation given by Moses, received from YHVH’s mouth, also written, Exo 24:4, Deu 1:5). This additional law was called the Oral Law because it was not written down, and sometimes its dictates contradicted or nullified the written commandments of Torah. Jesus often clashed with the Pharisees over their practice, which was based in Oral Law, but which contradicted written Law, the Torah. He called their commandments “the tradition of men” (Mar 7:1-8). The Oral Law with its commentaries and discussions was finally written down in the Talmud, after the generation of Jesus and His apostles, and the destruction of the Temple.
It is not a coincidence that the tradition of men which superceded the commandments of God came from Babylon. The LORD specifically instructed His people NOT to add commandments to His commandments (Deu 4:2). So I believe heaven is calling to Judah, to come out of the additions which were added to their worship and practice, by Babylon. And anything else that is from Babylon, such as atheism, commercialism, religious form and outward works rather than worship from love.
Judah is one of the two witnesses; the other is Ephraim, who was assimilated into the Gentile nations and became as Gentiles, and who, I believe, have been coming to faith in Jesus for the past 2000 years, along with all those who were likewise drawn by the cross of Christ. So, Christians. When the Roman church gained supremacy over the Christian churches, many forms of worship from Babylonian, or pagan, religion, were incorporated into the Christian worship. This includes the Babylonian holidays of Christmas (the nativity of the sun god on Dec 25) and Easter (the fertility festival of Ishtar at the spring equinox) instead of the biblical holidays of Passover, Firstfruits, Tabernacles, etc. The day set apart for worship on the sun god’s day (Sun Day) rather than the biblical Sabbath. The veneration of Mary as the queen of heaven. Mary is likewise always shown holding a baby boy, which is the legend of Ishtar and Tammuz with the face of the Lamb painted over it. The making of many statues and icons in violation of the 2nd commandment, and the veneration of saints as idols. A gospel of works for salvation, and many other practices which were never of the LORD’s worship. All of these things come from Babylonian paganism.
Although the Protestant Reformation of the church excised many of these things from Christian practice, some of them were retained. Now, at the time of the pouring out of the seven plagues, God is calling His people, both of Judah and Ephraim, of Jews and Christians, to come out of the city of Babylon, which is the practice of Babylonian worship mixed with the LORD’s worship, which is thinking and living according to the Babylonian worldview in our daily lives, lest we partake of Babylon’s sins and receive of Babylon’s plagues, which will bring about her fall.
This is not the first time in Scripture that God called His righteous out of the corrupt city waiting to receive the plagues which will overthrow it — God called Noah out of the world that perished (Gen 6-8), and Lot out of Sodom before He overthrew it (Gen 19). It is NOT a coincidence that Jesus told His disciples that it would be like the days of Noah, and like the days of Lot, before His return (Luk 17:22-30). Because this is the generation that is awaiting the Lord’s return, this is the generation that is being called out of Babylon.