I randomly stumbled upon this chapter in a book I bought awhile ago, “The Harvest”. I never finished more than 20 pages of this book but I was amazed at how RELEVANT this chapter was to what God had been teaching me lately. It’s a must-read for any one of you who truly desires to live a life awakened and fearfully set apart for God.
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Good is the worst enemy of best. There is a gospel, a church, a ministry and a religion which calls itself Christian, but which compels us to feel safe in a spiritual condition in which we remain lost. If the pursuit of happiness and comfort is our primary motivation we will forever be fooled. If we are to respond to our calling and walk in truth, then a commitment to the reality of Romans 12:1 will be required - that we present ourselves as a living and holy sacrifice. A choice is now being presented to us; we can pay now or pay later. To walk in the truth of the gospel will cost us everything now; to not walk in it will cost us everything later.
As a wise prover states, “Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.” Until now every new move of God has eventually fallen to the same errors made by the previous ones. With all of the emphasis the Scriptures place on learning from the history of God’s people it is hard to understand why the church has been so oblivious to the lessons of her own history. The lack of a historical perspective of the church has resulted in her repeating the same devastating mistakes over and over. Without profound changes the next move of God will make a significant spiritual advance only to end in the same kind of disorientation and despair as the previous moves. Before the end the Lord will break this cycle but we must understand it in order to be delivered.
Chapters 17&18 of Revelation contain an illumination of ‘Mystery Babylon.” This system is the fruit of the same error having been perpetuated for generation after generation in the church. To properly understand this mystery we must go to its root - the Tower of Babel.
Babylon means “confusion” because it was there that God confused men’s languages. James explained, “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder (confusion) and every evil thing” (James 3:16). The building of the tower of babel is a lucid revelation of the delusion of religious, selfish ambition. This is one of the great manifestations of the same lie started in the garden; that we can be like God without God. The men of Shinar thought they could make it to heaven by their own might and power by building a tower. We may ridicule these men for their incredible delusion but the church has continually tried to do the same thing - to make it to heaven by our own strength.
Building the tower “to heaven” was actually a guise for other motives which they expressed:
Come LET US BUILD FOR OURSELVES a city and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and LET US MAKE A NAME FOR OURSELVES; lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth (Genesis 11:4).
Deliverance from Babylon
The call in Revelation 18:4 is to “Come out of her My people, that you may not participate in her sins and that you may not receive of her plagues.” This call will soon go forth with clarity and power, but He has not called us to come out without leading us to something greater. As a clear revelation of the Mystery Babylon sweeps the body of Christ there will also be a clear revelation of the City Of God.
There will be many in the coming days running around calling everything organized “Babylon,” causing many to stumble and to miss the purpose of God in their lives. Being free of the babylonian spirit and becoming a part of the City of God is not just a matter of having correct doctrines, but it also includes a deliverance from a wrong heart condition and the receiving of a new heart. Thomas A’Kempis reflected, “What good does it avail a man to be abel to discourse profoundly concerning the Trinity, if he is void of humility and thereby displeasing to the Trinity?”
We are changed by what we are beholding (II Corinthians 3:18). If Babylon has all of our attention we will be changed into its image. If we are beholding the glory of the Lord, we will be changed into that same light, which will itself expose that which is darkness. The destruction of babylon and her ruler will come “without human agency” (Daniel 8:25). As we enter and live in the City of God, judgment on Babylon will be automatic. Leaving Babylon is laying down our self-seeking and the control spirit that causes division which separate us from the Lord and each other. Just because we comply with correct doctrines does not mean this has been accomplished. For this reason Paul explained, “therefore, from now on we recognize no man [or church] according to flesh [externals]…”
This is not to imply that just because we have good intentions when trying to build something for God that it is His work. The “good” of he Tree of Knowledge is just as deadly as the evil; their root is the same. Ministry which is motivated by an attempt to gain God’s acceptance is just as much an affront to Him. Jesus paid the price for our acceptance. Anything offered additionally by us to gain His acceptance is a statement that we do not believe His sacrifice was enough to accomplish this. True ministry can only come from a position of having God’s approval, not trying to acquire it. When Jesus said “It is finished” He was declaring that there was nothing left to be done. JESUS IS the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End of the work of God. We cannot take anything away from or add anything to what He has already accomplished.
For nearly two thousand years the Lord has been working to prepare His church for this hour. satan has likewise been earnestly working to deceive and side-track every purpose of God in the church. One of Satan’s most effective strategies has been to get the church to worship the things of God in place of God. He has succeeded in getting the church to worship the church, the Bible, even to worship in place of God Himself. One of his most effective delusions has been to get us to devote our attention to who we are in Christ, instead of who He is in us. This leads to the worshipping of ourselves, the creature, instead of the blessed Creator.
Of course, it is important that we know who we are in Christ, but this must never be exalted or emphasized above who He is in us. Almost all distractions involve truths that are from God, but we have worshipped the gifts in place of the Giver. The church is called to be the bride of the Lamb’ she is most dear to the heart of God, but what groom would be pleased with a bride who was more consumed with her own beauty and person that she was with him? such self-centeredness would be repulsive.
Regardless of our pretense, we are worshiping that which has our attention. Satan knows we will never become “who we are in Christ” as long as that is our motivation. We will only become who we are called to be when Jesus and His glory are the focus of our attention. We will be changed only by seeing His glory, not our own (as if we had any of our own). This deception of getting us to concentrate on who we are instead of who He is, has sidetracked and led into extremes many of the truths restored in preparation for this hour. But this delusion will not prevail,; the glory of the Lord will dispel it like a wisp of smoke before a great wind.
The latter glory of the Lord’s house will be greater than the former house, but this does not mean that the house itself is greater. It is the glory which fills the house, the presence of the Lord, that is greater. When the glory fills the temple it is not the temple that gets the attention. Those who do attain to all that He has called them to will probably not even be aware of it; their attention will not be on what they have attained, but on please the One who sent them. The believers who walk in the fullness of what is to come will not be focused on serving the temple of the Lord, but on serving the Lord of the temple. The church, ministry, spiritual truths, or even the Bible can become idols when they become the focus of our attention. Those who overcome and fulfill their callings do so by following the Lamb wherever He goes. Then all of the wonderful gifts and callings of God take their rightful place and become aids instead of distractions.
The delusions of self-centeredness and self-worship that now permeate the church and much of our teaching will be broken. The Lord Himself is about to enter His temple, and all crowns will be cast at His feet. Those who have presumed positions of leadership without commission will be evident. Everyone who has exalted himself will be humbled. Those who have humbled themselves will be anointed and commissioned. This army now being formed will be greater than anything ever seen or dreamed of, but this army will not be magnifying itself; it will magnify the King who leads it.
Those who perform the greatest works will be taking little notice of their own accomplishments. They will not esteem themselves highly, not because of insecurity, but because of their recognition of the One who works through them and what He has accomplished. These will not be measuring themselves by others, but by Him. Just as the Queen of Sheba was speechless before Solomon’s wisdom and the glory of his kingdom, those who have seen Jesus are even far more so before Him. Those who have truly seen the Lord will, like Him, flee to the mountains when men try to make them kings or exalt them in any way. Their authority will not come through man; it will come from above.