Friday, August 24, 2012

EXODUS FROM BABYLON TO ZION


 Introduction: Most Bible teachers especially in the Pentecostal circle dislike hearing the word “Babylon” they consider it a mystical word reserved for the Christian sect or cult; some Christians don’t consider it biblical language, but a slogan for the Rastafarians. It is important for us to understand that the Rastas took the word from the bible to explain the Western political and economic domination and cultural imperialism. Christians are better positioned to inform people of the accurate meaning of the word Babylon, and what it represents; I believe this will protect many souls from deception. 

THE TWO BABYLONS
Many books have been written about Babylon. I think the most popular among them is the “Two Babylon” written by Alexander Hyslop first published as a pamphlet in 1853 - expanded in 1858, followed by “Mystery Babylon Religion” authored by Ralph Woodrow. The majority of Christian books about Babylon focus much on the Roman Catholic Church, but the truth is that Babylon has a vast meaning, which extends beyond the Roman Catholics; God will continue to reveal more concerning Babylon, to enable us to walk accurately in the light His word. Now, the scripture describes two categories of Babylon; one is a physical city and the second is a mystical city. The Old Testament prophets prophesied the destruction of the literal Babylon…
Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD's vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence. Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad. (Jeremiah 51:6-7)
  
The New Testament apostles of Jesus Christ reveal the end of spiritual Babylon…  

Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.(Revelation18:2-4) 

THE LITERAL BABYLON

The word “Ba'-bel, Bab'-i-lon or Babylon” is considered to come from the root, “balal” which means "to confound" (Gen 11:9). Babylon stands for a “city of confusion” or a confused municipality. Nimrod the son of Cush the first world dictator built Babylon (Genesis10:8-10).  The great city Babylon was built in rebellion against God;  according to the scripture, after the Noahic flood, God commanded the people to be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth (Genesis9:1), which was in accordance to the former command that God gave to man in the beginning (Genesis1:28). The command was repeated because God wants it to be accomplished; then, as men began to increase in number and to fill the earth, during the era of the tyrant; Nimrod proclaimed himself general overseer “the first pope” and prevented the people from spreading further to fill the earth as the Lord commanded. In self-glorification, Nimrod gathered the people together around himself to build a tower that would reach heaven. Nimrod introduced the idea of building the great tower in efforts to glorify himself as well as the people under his rulership (Genesis11:1-9). (which is the same as pastors and bishops of today attempting to construct the biggest denominational church or the most expensive cathedral to gain recognition of man instead of training the people and releasing them to make disciples of all nation as Christ Commanded us in Mathew28:18-20). Nimrod adopted the name “the mighty one” the great hunter before the Lord, which signified that he claimed to be higher than the highest “the mighty god in the flesh.” Nimrod was the enemy of God’s divine will; he stole the people’s hearts from following the God of heaven and became a visible god to them, hence the human worship originated from Babylon. Babylon is known as a place of false worship; Babylon is where the people of God (the Jews) spent seventy years in captivity.
 
THE MANIPULATIVE SYSTEM OF BABYLON

In the ancient world, Babylonians had the highest level of manipulative methods to persuade others (their captives) to conform to their wishes. When the children of Israel were taken captive to Babylon, the first thing that King Nebuchadnezzar did was to change the original Hebrew names of God’s servants and gave them Babylonian names, knowing that the Hebrews prophetically named their children. The ancient Hebrews took naming their children seriously; they gave their offspring names according to God’s eternal purpose. For instance, Daniel means “God is Judge” but King Nebuchadnezzar changed his name to Belteshazzar, which means, “Bel will protect”. Hananiah means “God is gracious” but his name was changed to Shadrach meaning “Inspire of Aku”, Azariah means “God is my help” his name was changed to Abednego, which means “servant of Nego,” Mishael means “Who is like God” his name was changed to Meshach “belonging to Aku”. The purpose of changing their names was to give them false identity, and after changing their names, the King introduced Babylonian victuals for them instead of allowing them to continue eating what the Lord had divinely commanded them to eat in the Mosaic Law. Changing of food signifies introducing a false doctrine, replacing Gods accurate revelation with human ideologies. The Israelites were taught to speak the Babylonian language and to wear their garments, which signify adoption of false religion. Brain washing, mind control, and wrong governmental principles (divide and conquer/dominion and control) all started from the ancient Babylon.

THE MYSTICAL BABYLON

The literal city Babylon prefigures the spiritual Babylon; which represents a realm of spiritual captivity or a spiritual penitentiary where people are being secretly dominated and controlled with no freedom or rights to fulfill their divine mandate; a place where people lost their original identity through deceit. In the New Testament, religious Babylon represents the “western Christendom,” an antichrist church system or denominationalism. When discussing the mystery of Babylon, most bible teachers only point to the Roman Catholic Church. The truth of the matter is that the religious Babylon extends to all denominational churches which include the Eastern Orthodox, Anglican (Church of England), Episcopal, Lutheran, Mennonites, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostals, Charismatic, Latter-day Saints, Church of God (Adventist), Seventh-day Adventist, Salvation Army, Jehovah's Witnesses, Holiness, Apostolic, Assemblies of God, Nazarene, ZCC, Universal Church of the kingdom of God, Foursquare, Nazarene, Worldwide Church of God, Latter-day saints and so many others. Denominational churches are different only in name and doctrine but walk in the same religious spirit; the reason is that the Roman Catholic Church gave birth to them all; all denominational churches have their root from The Roman Catholic Church. The scripture calls her mother of all harlots and abominations of the earth (Revelation17:5). Jesus Christ did not give birth to denominational principles of church; He simply came to reveal God’s way of doing things for us and to empower us by the Holy Spirit so that we can live right before God. The denominational church system was organized by the western world to exploit the people whom they tagged with the name “third world countries”, Arch-Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa once said: 

“When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.

False priests and missionaries went to the uncivilized world holding bible in one hand and a cross in the other hand. They hid guns at their backs, which they used to divide and conquer nations; they achieved their exploits by disguising themselves as “Christians”, using the word Christianity, which was very different from the one that Jesus Christ of Nazareth and His early apostles practiced in the first century. After the exploitation the slave masters did not leave the land or free their captives, before their final departure, they made sure that they led the people into spiritual colonialism by establishing their denominational churches, so that they would continue to dominate and control the people by receiving money from their uncivilized minds. On which account should the Church of England control churches in Africa calling themselves the headquarter church? I mean, most churches in Africa still send their reports including their monetary offering that they collected from the poor Africans to Europe where they are falsely made to believe that their headquarter church is located. The universal church of the kingdom of God is one of the richest churches in South Africa Republic; their money is not used to help develop poor South African communities, instead the money is sent to Brazil where the churches founder is. That is what I mean by spiritual colonialism, the rich nations rob the poor people to build their own countries and say that the money is going to the headquarter church. The local churches in the bible were autonomous, Jerusalem was not considered a headquarter church as the Vatican City falsely claims, and Peter was not the general overseer, his title was just “Brother Simon” for the Lord says: And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven (Matthew23:9).
 
Babylon “The western system of Church” has captured and sent more than half of the world population into a mental prison. Their missionaries presented Christ to us as a European; I mean, Jesus Christ was a Semitic Jew, he didn't look European at all, but people made us to believe that Jesus Christ was a white man. The Roman Catholic Church painted the first Western Christian image of Christ; the painting called in Latin “Majestas Domini” means Christ in Majesty. In the fresco painting of Majestas Domini” 1120 AD, the Romanesque painter deliberately portrayed Jesus Christ as a European. Again, between 1508 and 1512, Pope Julius II patronized Michelangelo to paint 12,000 square feet of the Sistine chapel ceiling, all of the images painted by Michelangelo depicted Europeans, including God’s Image, His angels, Adam and Eve, Jesus Christ and other biblical figures. The westerners knew exactly what they were doing when they were painting the picture of God, Angels, Adam and Eve, Moses and Jesus Christ to look like Europeans; they knew that nothing is as powerful as a visible image when it comes to mind manipulation. Now in the hearts and minds of many people who claim to be Christian, a European image of God and Jesus lives in their minds. Only few people have testified that Jesus Christ appeared to them in a dream as a Jew or an African man, the majority of people picture Jesus Christ as a white man due to pictures that the Roman Catholic Church painted and presented to the world. That is exactly what westerners wanted to achieve by painting Him white. The same Roman Catholic painting that portrays Jesus Christ and God the Father as European has created a false mental image in most people and makes them continue to think that fair-skinned people are superior to dark-skinned people. People should know that the acclaimed photo of Jesus that they buy and hang in their homes have nothing to do with the real Jesus Christ of Nazareth, it is the photo of an ancient Greek Neopythagorean philosopher a magician and a charismatic teacher called Apollonius of Tyana who lived in the first century AD. He was born in the city of Tyana located in the Roman province of Cappadocia in the Asia Minor and received divine honors in the third century. Apollonius was compared to Jesus of Nazareth because he also claimed to be a great miracle worker.

In the ancient literal Babylon when the Jews went into captivity the slave masters changed their Hebrew names, foods, language and clothes. The organized religions have done the same with Christianity, naming it a religion instead of a spiritual perfect way of life. The Roman Catholic buried the names of the Jewish apostles of Christ and replaced them with St. Romanus, St. Boniface, St. Anthony and so forth. No one has been able to tell us what happened to those Jewish believers in Jerusalem who succeeded the Jewish apostles of Christ. They replaced the message “the revelation of Jesus Christ and His kingdom” with manmade doctrines, dogmas, creeds and constitution, and changed the original language of the bible which was Hebrew to Greek, Latin and finally to English. It is important for us to realize that the wrong system of the Roman Catholic has penetrated all denominational churches. Christianity religion is the counterfeit of the Church of Christ, I mean; denominationalism is an antichrist system, which represents the image of the beast which is referred to in the book of revelation 13:11-15…. 

And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 

The structure that we call the church today resembles the Body of Christ but denies the nature and Character of Jesus Christ. This is what the scripture is referring to that says “ it has two horns like the lamb but spoke like the dragon”, all that one can see manifesting in denominational churches is division, politics, criticism, exploitation, dominion and control, which is the true nature of Satan. This shows that the denominational church system does not belong to Jesus Christ but to the antichrist, for that born of the flesh is flesh and that born of the spirit is spirit (John3:6). Denominationalism is created by human wisdom and Christ is not in it; if He is, His life, which is love, will be seen in the center of it instead of hatred, division and competition. Satan has blindfolded people not to realize that segregation is sin. Believers in organized churches are in spiritual captivity under pastors, bishops, archbishops, pope and so forth. Nimrod in the ancient Babylon stole the people’s hearts away from God and became god to them, just as leaders in today’s churches have programmed Jesus Christ out of the Church and replaced Him with a “mediatorial seat”. The present denominational church leaders are no longer servants but lords, and believers are now spectators instead of coworkers in the kingdom. Christ commanded us to spread out and make disciples of all nations but leaders like Nimrod have gathered believers together without training them only to use them to raise money to support radio and television broadcasts in efforts to construct the largest denominational structure to self exalt themselves. Babylon system!  

Majority of believers are aware that Christendom is empty; there is a spiritual dryness in the structure called church, noting is happening except the short temporary emotional excitement during the praise and worship hour. The reason is that the glory has departed, Jesus Christ is no longer in the midst of the organized religious system of church, He is outside knocking because the leaders have programmed him out. Most people go to church on Sunday just to fulfill religious obligations, the days of Christendom “the corrupt church system” is about to end, the denominational churches are heading to ecumenism “one world church system”.  It is time to move up to Zion, the Lord is calling his bride out of Babylon…. 
 
And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (Revelation18:1-4).

God is saying in the above scripture that Babylon has become the habitation of devils, the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. That means, when Jesus Christ withdrew himself from the organizational church system the antichrist “religious spirit” took over. Foul spirit represents impure ministers “gay pastors and bishops, fornicators etc”, unclean and hateful bird stands for false messengers, self-appointed prophets and those who practices divination. The structure called the church today has been dominated by false messengers and false worshipers; money seekers instead of kingdom seekers. All types of preachers are welcome in today’s churches, some call themselves prophets, but are nothing more than magicians, palm and mind readers; it is time to move to the next level. Thus saith the Lord! - Up! Escape to Zion, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon (Zachraiah2:7 ESV)  

SPIRITUAL DEPARTURE FROM BABYLON

Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD. For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your reward (Isaiah52:11-12).

God is telling us to leave Babylon unstained, and as we are leaving, we should not borrow any practice from there. As some believers did in the middle ages, the people left Babylon but Babylon do not leave them; for example, Martin Luther broke away from the western organized religious system and ended up forming a new one. It important for us to understand that coming out of Babylon is beyond leaving denominational churches, it is a mindset issue; a corrupt system. I will not encourage anyone to leave a local church when that person doesn’t know where he or she is going to, an accurate vision of the true church is needed and strong faith in Christ before stepping out of Babylon. This is not something that one can do on his own in a hurry; one must be lead by God’s Spirit and have a clear vision. God says that, he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers (Deut6:23). This scripture helps us to understand that the Lord wants us to reach the end not to perish on the way.

OUR FINAL DESTINATION

After the great city Babylon, is another remarkable city, the Holy City Jerusalem, The Hebrew name “Yerushalayim” or “Yerushalem” which is translated Jerusalem in the English bible is derived from the words “Ir Shalom” meaning "city of peace".  Unlike Babylon, the founder of Jerusalem remains unknown, though many Jewish traditions suggest that Shem and Eber, the descendants of Noah, founded the city but such claim has no solid scriptural or historical evidence. The scriptural history of Jerusalem begins when Abraham meets Melchisedec the king of Salem (Genesis 14:17-20). Now, the fact that Melchesedec was also referred to as the king of righteous (Hebrews7:1-3) shows that Jerusalem was a holy province; a city sanctified by God. It was built by the wisdom of God; not like Babylon which was built by human ideas, King David said: Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD (Psalm122:3-4). As we know, David was the great king in Jerusalem, he was called a man after God’s own heart, his throne was established in Zion, the word “Zion” essentially means a citadel, sanctuary, or a stronghold. Zion was located inside Jerusalem and served as its capital city, it was known as the “the City of David” (1 Kings 8:1; 1 Chronicles 11:5; 2 Chronicles 5:2). Zion was where the fortress stood or the spiritual point from which reality emerges. 

Now, allegorically, the ancient Jerusalem as a city foreshadows the New Testament church, and King David is the type and shadow of Jesus Christ. Zion, which was inside of Jerusalem figuratively, stands for the city of the Living God “the domain of Christ” (Isaiah8:18, Hebrews 12:22).  It is very important for us to understand that the dwelling place of God is different from the general religious conception of physical mansion in the astral world above the sky. Zion (Gods city) entails the unreachable spiritual state of purity, “sinlessness” power and immortality (1Timothy 6:16), or a position in the spirit where life is constant and where holiness becomes a natural lifestyle and peace is still, a dimension in the spirit where sin and death cannot abide. This realm of life (the level of sinless and immortality) is where the church is going to reign with Christ at the close of the mortal age, that is where every believer should be looking. When we achieve the dimension of spiritual Zion, the scripture in Hebrews will then be fulfilled… 

ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect(Hebrews12:22-23).

For us to reach Zion we need to come to full realization that God has made us His tabernacle and we must focus in purifying ourselves daily from everything that contaminates our body and spirit, and to perfect holiness out of reverence for God (2Corinthians7:1-2). Let us look beyond the empty organized religious structures called the church, and learn to add the fruits of the spirit daily in our life…that is church building. We are all created to conform to the whole image of Christ; God is not interested in building religious institutions, but total conformity to the image of His son Jesus Christ. May the Lord grant us the spirit of wisdom, with revelation and power to fulfill our divine mandate in Him. Amen!




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