“And they said, Come, let us build us a city, and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And Jehovah came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.” (Gen 11:4-5)
Those who teach, as do a growing number of Christian leaders, that we must not ‘divide’ over doctrine but unite at all cost and take over the world and literally establish God’s kingdom here and now, could discover too late that they have been helping to establish the Antichrist’s kingdom.
As Roy Livesey wrote in his book “Understanding Deception – New Age Teaching in the Church”: “They can be so deceived that, in encouraging a form of godliness and rejoicing in all the false unchallenging prophecies and whatever else is given forth, they fail – like the bishop in the cathedral – to recognise that some of them are yet unsaved.”
All men, whether they be spiritual men, committed men or consecrated men, need to understand that they can be deceived. It is vital that they do understand this, not only because God wants us to love the truth and be obedient to His Word, but because they are in turn – often unwittingly – deceiving others.
The following comparison is from a sermon by Milton Green, whose amazing testimony, along with video and audio seminars, and his only book “The Great Falling Away Today” are available on an ad-free one-click download from the foot of the home page of this blog.
|Bondage to flesh||Liberty in spirit|
|Kingdom of Men||Kingdom of God|
|Elected appointment||Jesus as Head|
|Rules and regulations of men’s own making||Spirit led|
|Man pleasing||Spirit sensitive|
|Busy and church work||Obedient to Holy Spirit|
|Accomplish in self strength||Accomplish things in Holy spirit power|
|Authority in manmade doctrines||Authority in Word of God|
|Sectarian and divisive with many divisions of people||One body in spirit|
|Programs, mind controls and preys||Worships in spirit and truth|
|Denominations, doctrines, heresies, creeds, traditions, personal views and opinions||Preaches Christ and Him crucified|
|Clergy system – want to make a difference between themselves and others||Priesthood of all believers|
|Answers to man and their institutions as the authorities||Answers to God as highest authority|
|Conforms people to its own image||Conforms people into the image of Jesus|
|Increases itself in power, position, riches & domination||Decreases that Christ may increase|
|Counts the money||Counts the cost|
|Preserves and protects itself||Lays down its life|
|Schemes, organises and promotes to execute its own plan in its own way and time||Waits upon God to raise up what He wants in His timing|
|Goes after things and people to possess them||Seeks the Lord with his whole heart to be possessed by Him|
|Seeks to build a city, a power and a name for itself||Seeks the city of God|
|Seeks to gather people to itself||Longs to be gathered to Jesus, to be a disciple, willing to deny self, take up cross and follow Jesus, self denial is the cross we bear.|
|The old man will rise up and attempt to control and dominate||The old man of flesh and sin has to be rendered dead, to lay down life defines the NT concept of agape love|
Full Gospel –v- Seeker Friendly Churches
|Entertains/tickles ears||Preaches the word given once to saints|
|Seeks man’s approval||Seeks god’s approval|
|Goal is to get new members and increase funds||Goal is to make disciples|
|Appeals to felt worldly needs||Appeals to spiritual needs|
|Purpose driven||Spirit filled and led|
|Seeks unity of faiths||Seeks holiness & truth|
|Inclusive & tolerant||Exclusive & divisive|
|Builds self esteem||Dies to self and humbles the proud|
The Babylonian Spirit and The Church
Though the bible does not say there is a ‘demon of Babylon’, there is a combination of human rebellion and demonic activity we sometimes call the ‘spirit of Babylon’ which is a Jezebellic spirit. This spirit manifests in mans heart saying “Let us build, let us get a name for ourselves, let us reach unto heaven.”
The “spirit of Babylon” motivates human organization and building with man at the head. It is the root behind all the world religions trying to reach heaven by human effort. The stories in the book of Daniel capture the essence of Gods people in the midst of Babylon. The Body Of Christ is being called into the marketplace, an arena that the spirit of Babylon controls. It is easy to mix the spirit of Babylon into our organization, church or business, and not realize it.
We are like the people of Israel who adopted the “practices of the land round about” and couldn’t see the problem. This is why Christians have often been ineffective and irrelevant in our culture.
The Lord wants to reveal His glory to world through His people and cannot anoint a mixture. As God sends us INTO the marketplace he is also calling us OUT OF Babylon. Here are some observations.
1. The spirit of Babylon causes man to say “come let us build”
Whenever Christians gather we are the church (Ecclesia) We know the church is not the building, the organization or corporation, yet we need to organize the things we do. As soon as we move from the church being believers “gathered” to creating an organization and corporation, we become vulnerable to the spirit of Babylon. We can subtly shift to a “come let us build” mentality and end up building and sustaining a “religious organization”, rather than extending the Kingdom of God. Human methods then replace the power of the Holy Spirit and selfish ambitions come in along with “every kind of disorder.” If we take an honest look at the church today where to we see the problems? They are usually centered around the organization! Regarding church buildings and organizations John Wesley adopted the stance “it will all burn”. We must not initiate, but always follow Jesus.
The story is told of Chinese Christian leaders visiting our churches. At the end of their trip they were asked what they thought. Conferring for a moment they replied, “We are amazed at how much you have accomplished without the Holy Spirit.” We need organization, but it must always reflect Jesus. We cannot build the church, Jesus said “I will build my church…” (Matt.16:18). Today the Holy Spirit is saying “repent from dead works, enter into rest and follow Jesus as Lord of the church, in everything we do.
2. The spirit of Babylon causes men to say “let us get a name for ourselves”
This is the real motivation behind much ministry. We have adopted human values of size, fame, youth, wealth, power and recognition! We want the name of our church or ministry to be famous! We operate by control through titles and positions to “get a name for ourselves”, rather having real spiritual authority.
The 1995 “Gathering” at Whistler marked a beginning of God’s dealings with personal agendas in ministry in Canada. I had a dream about the Whistler gathering the year before. In this dream about 2000 people are together. The leader says “The Spirit of God is coming like the rain, but He will be coming like Niagara falls.” Everyone jumps up and grabs their “boogie boards” from under their seats, getting ready to ride the wave of God. These boards represent God’s call on each life, and they were beautifully painted with the names of churches and ministries, honorable titles, and positions. As the rain hits the boogie boards the paint started to run. This is what God has been doing for the last ten years. He’s washing off everything man adds to His work. Those who won’t co-operate will be set aside in the next move of God!
When I stepped out of pastoral ministry last spring the Holy Spirit said forcefully to me “no positions, no titles” The coming generation of believers will be free of selfish ambition and be noted for one thing – The Glory of the Lord. When the bible says “The Glory of the Lord shall cover the earth” it does not mean we will be incapacitated by His presence, rather we will reflect the glory of the Lord in every sphere, because our hearts are one with His. It will be His name alone that is noticed.
3. The spirit of Babylon says “let us reach to heaven”
The spirit of Babylon is the spirit of religion. It says “‘let us reach heaven’, and permeates Christians activity with legalism or religious effort. For example, today there is much striving in Spirit filled, revival circles, to ‘open the windows of heaven’. I know what that means, we all want God’s atmosphere to permeate our cities, but let’s look at our methods. We’ve been taught to tithe accurately, adopt new ways to pray, do spiritual mapping and warfare, identificational repentance, quote the right scriptures, continually deal with heart issues, etc. The problem is, the focus is on what WE do, not on what HE HAS DONE. We are always reaching for one more activity that will break through. Where is the simple unity and oneness with Christ and following the Holy Spirit that opened Jerusalem in Acts?
“Then they said to Him, What shall we do that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He has sent.” (Joh 6:28)
The facts are, Jesus already opened the windows of heaven, they are not closed to a Christian, ever. We need no religious activity whatsoever, only to believe and follow. He is our great high priest who went into the heavens, and we have unfettered access to him. (Heb 4) In fact we are seated with Christ above the windows of heaven, and in a position of rest. We join Him in pouring down his blessing onto the earth with the enemy under our (His) feet. Since I’ve grasped this and simply believed, healings, miracles and spiritual warfare have dramatically changed. It’s so good to stop striving and enter his rest!
“For he that is entered into his rest hath himself also rested from his works, as God did from his.” (Heb 4:10)
4. The spirit of Babylon inspires hidden idolatry in God’s people
When Israel was released from captivity, the priests copied the idolatry of Babylon. They painted unclean images on the inner rooms of the temple, and took ‘idols in their hearts’ (Ezekiel 14:3) In many ways we are like the Israelite priests. (We are a Royal Priesthood) We can have idols in our hearts, an image or picture of something we covet and serve. (Covetousness is idolatry Col.3:5.) The spirit of Babylon is at work in idolatry.
In the early nineties the Lord convicted me heavily of idols in my hearts. I didn’t understand this until He showed me the images or pictures in my heart that I served. One was a picture of what I wanted my ministry to be like. Whenever ministry went according to the image my flesh was pleased. Whenever it went contrary to the image my flesh was upset and depressed. I served this idol of ministry with my flesh.
CONSEQUENCES OF IDOLATRY
1. Spiritual attack
When there is idolatry in ministry terrible spiritual attacks and oppression will happen, and spiritual warfare can not stop it ! This is what drove me to seek God. Satan took advantage of my idolatry and assaulted me. I could not resist him successfully because I was not really submitted to God. This is why there is so much spiritual warfare and depression in the church today.
2. Character issues in ministry
When a minister has an idol of ministry in his heart all kinds of character issues emerge. Some may be depressed and discouraged. Others become angry or control people. Still others may use spiritual manipulation.
3. Soulish prayers and witchcraft
Prayers become very soulish when serving an idol. We ask God to fulfill the picture of ministry in the heart rather than following the leading of the Holy Spirit. When prayers focus making people do our will it becomes witchcraft.
Until the idols of the heart are cast down (we have to do it) we cannot fully follow the Holy Spirit, or experience His power.
4.The spirit of Babylon is under a judgement that causes confusion and division.
“Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they cannot understand one another’s speech. So Jehovah scattered them abroad from that place upon the face of all the earth. And they quit building the city ” (Gen 11:7-8)
The Lord declared His judgement on the spirit of Babylon and it stills operates today: Confusion, division, and scattering will always happen where this spirit has influence. This is actually the Lords mercy to restrain mankind and return him to God. We’ve wondered why the organized church is so prone to division. The truth is that we are experiencing the Lord’s judgement on the spirit of Babylon in what we are doing. Instead of simply praying for unity, (which Jesus even prayed for) we need to repent and remove every influence of this spirit in our midst.
This is only an initial look at the influence of the spirit of Babylon. It remains largely unnoticed by the church today because we grew up immersed in its practices, and following its ways in our organizations.
Let those who have ears, hear what the Spirit says to the church.
by Terry Somerville