Make no mistake; if someone tells you that you are in Babylon and this would happen to be the truth, then the Bible makes it painfully clear that you’re spiritually lost and on the way to HELL. You are not supposed to call a person who you believe is in Babylon for “sister” or “brother” because they are nothing but your enemy.
Babylon is of course a city which we can read about in the Bible, and was placed somewhere in the area which we today call Iraq. In Revelation however it’s more than just a city but a spiritually lost state of mind. The comparison with the wicked city of Babylon is not a coincidence. Revelation tells us her rule is worldwide and contrasted with the New Jerusalem (compare Rev 17:1 -Rev 21:9-10). The first is called the great prostitute and the other is called the bride the wife of the Lamb. She is covered in precious jewels, pearls and gold as is also the new Jerusalem. As the great prostitute, Babylon seduces and tempts men away from God.
Rev. 1:1And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2And 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. 3For 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. 4And 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. 5For her SINS have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.— 7How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. 8Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. 9And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
It’s possible that some of what we can read here will take place literally to modern-day Iraq, but we are mostly reading about a lost state of mind:
17For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, 18And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! 19And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. 20Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. 21And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. 22And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; 23And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. 24And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
Clearly the above is not a pretty picture, and Babylon seems to be a worse place to be in than a combination of a brothel and a nightclub for gangsters. The idea of coming out of Babylon is similar to Paul’s comment in 2 Cor 6:16-18, which refer to separation and purity:
2 Cor. 6:14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
Paul is quoting from Isaiah:
Isaiah 5211Depart 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.
Babylon – the harlot
The problem with Babylon was her excessive luxuries, her pride, giving herself glory, etc. She seduced the kings and the merchants to follow her ways — to seek wealth and riches (rather than God). God’s people are told to come out of her “so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues” 18:4. And her sins are piled up to heaven (Rev 18:5). Read about the abominable sins Babylon is guilty of:
Jeremiah 51:7 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.
Rev 17:12With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
In our past the Catholic church has been claimed to be Babylon, but there have been other theories as well. Today there is a theory that ALL THE TRADITIONAL CHURCHES (which they call the Institutional Church) ARE IN BABYLON. This means that ALL assemblies in church buildings are evil (churches in homes are not included in the “traditional church” so these people indirectly say that you only have a chance to be saved if you are OUTSIDE of the traditional modern church). As long as you’re in the church system you’re doomed and on the way to hell. They might be reluctant to admit that this is the only outcome of their theology views, but this IS their message which you have left after having removed all the “fluff” and the excessive words.
Think about that for a moment. Church buildings have been a factor ever since the first synagogues started to be worn out and as soon as christians felt it was safe to start meeting in larger buildings instead of in their small homes, so from 150-200 AD until today ALL christians under the sun who have remained in a traditional church have been in Babylon and therefore lost. I can’t even count how many billions of christians we’re talking about here, but it’s for certain the vast majority of christians. This means that the Gate to God’s kingdom is only opened for a tiny little remnant (are we counting in thousands?) who have regretted any involvement they might have had with the Church. And out of those christians of course only those who have lived righteously will be saved. If you have your faith in Jesus and live righteously, it wouldn’t save you anyway if you’re in the traditional church – according to some of the anti-church-movement’s websites.
Let’s not complicate matters but admit that it’s not possible to be in Babylon and still be saved (as in “spiritually alive”) and this applies regardless if you have heard the call to come out or not. We can never excuse any kind of sin with that we didn’t hear or understand the call to come out. You can’t be conformed to Babylon, drunken by her wine, be partakers of her sin, deserving her judgment, etc and still be spiritually alive and on the way to heaven. HOWEVER, these anti-church people are of course not correct in their assessment that the traditional churches are in Babylon. Examples of erroneous teachings:
“We must remember that God said to come out of Babylon not change it. It is impossible for us to change the Institutional Church. It is what it is. We can’t revive it because it was never alive to begin with. We can’t restore it because it is not what God is building. We can’t dress it up and make it acceptable because it is a product of judgment—the divinely divided false thing. We can only come out of it.”
(Comment: there is no support for the idea that we are unable to improve a church whether it’s in a church building or in a home. The wolves are supposed to come out of the church and not the sheep. If the sheep were supposed to leave, why didn’t Jesus and Paul leave the synagogues? Why is there NOT A WORD with a warning to us that the entire church system would be in Babylon? Had we been able to read one sentence about this from Jesus, then this could have saved billions of innocent souls of people who have had no other desire but to obey the Lord’s instructions whatever they are.)
“Members of the Institutionalized Church ARE in a Babylonian frame of mind (drunk with her wine, i.e., her teachings and doctrines, her hieratical structures, her programs, her system, etc…) and they are unaware of it. They cannot see or think outside of their own religious system or traditions.—We can either stay in it and conform to it’s traditions, it’s rigid structure and it’s man-made influences, or we can break free.”
(Comment: Yes, here again there are only two options. Stay and be doomed, or leave and get a chance to be saved.)
The Bible of course doesn’t teach us to leave all church buildings as soon as we hear something that is incorrect. If that would have been what we are told to do, then we can’t have an assembly anywhere since the risk for false doctrines will follow us wherever we go. We have not escaped the peril and the judgment just because we hide in a home. Jesus, Paul, Apollo, etc always went into the synagogues to teach and speak to people, regardless of if the synagogue was ok or not. Sometimes they were thrown out and other times they were accepted.
How to cause a division in the Body of Christ
Causing a division is sometimes inevitable (and even necessary), but causing a division in the body of Christ for no good reason at all is just not right. Wolves would like to scatter the body of Christ. We are repeatedly told wolves in sheep’s clothing will enter among us and teach us false doctrines, and there are also wolves who simply would like to scatter us, and of course they have no concern WHERE TO as long as we just leave the Church system. If people can just make us leave church and stay home alone, then they have achieved MUCH. Unfortunately people among us are helping the atheists out to warn us against Church
Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto YOURSELVES, and to all the FLOCK, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made YOU OVERSEERS, to feed the CHURCH OF God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.29For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in AMONG YOU, not sparing the FLOCK.
What advice would the devil give us to bring in heresies and cause division in the body of Christ? And how will the devil make the FLOCK – the body of Christ – dissolve and be scattered? Here are some suggestions what he might do. He might:
1) Try to make people believe that Paul didn’t really mean what he said with that all are not apostles, teachers, prophets, etc, but that just about anyone can do the teaching in a christian assembly.
2) Try to make people believe that it’s not that important to have qualified elders and that it’s a lot more important to have MULTIPLE elders. By allowing loads of people to do the teaching, false teachings will eventually slip in among us.
3) Try to make people believe that as soon as we are not allowed to be teachers and elders, and able to do what others can do, then it’s a “hierarchy” and something bad.
4) Warn against church buildings and denominations and make sure to paint with a broad brush and use generalizations. Provide your own personal experiences when it comes to your own bitter experiences in church. Remember to make it sound as though you are describing the average church. Use video clips and articles where other people’s bad experiences are showing, and avoid material with people’s positive experiences.
5) Remind people of the verse “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”, and hopefully they will ignore other verses which show that the body of Christ stayed together (physically) if they only could.
6) When church-goers won’t let you spread your material in peace but start to defend themselves, then turn it on them and make it sound like they are doing the attacks so it makes you the victim.
7) Stick to your agenda and look only for anti-church material to post and avoid all pro-Church stuff. Do not search for video clips which reveal abuse, false teachings and horrible treatments within home churches.
8) When Church-goers point out your errors, inconsistencies, lack of logic, hypocrisy and twisting of Bible verses, then try to keep it short, delete posts which are way too troublesome or end the discussion.
If we truly would like to warn people about dangerous doctrines, we could warn them about this instead of church buildings.
There is no dispute that loads of churches are bad, but not all. My main blog article about Church can be read here