May 18, 2017
Babylon is synonymous with paganism and evil. It had its beginnings soon after the Flood of Noah when evil once again began to take hold in the hearts of men. Nimrod was the leader among those people who were easily led away from God. These heathens wanted to build a tower in Babel to reach to heaven. “And they said, Go to, 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.” Genesis 11:4. God saw what was happening and confused their language in order to stop this united force that tried to build a tower to Heaven. There are many Babylonian practices that remain in our culture today, and Christians need to separate from them. The way to do that is to know God’s word and hold it in authority over the way we live.
God confused the langue and people were scattered, but rebellion against God continued. There were a few people who honored God, but others embraced idol worship, false gods, pagan lifestyles, human sacrifice, and other abominations. In the southern part of Babylonia was a city called Ur, which was a center of moon worship. Pagan ways abounded there and the voice of the one true God was obscured. Ur is where a man named Abram, later known as Abraham, lived. His family was a part of the idol worship that took place there, but God called him out of that pagan culture to establish the nation of Israel. “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 12:1-3. Before Abraham could be of any use to God he first had to leave the pagan culture behind and move away. The same is true of us today. How many who claim to be Christians cling to pagan ways? You can be of no use to God while you embrace Babylonian ways. Are you living a life of sexual immorality? Is it more fun to have friends who smoke a little marijuana and party rather than attend worship services? Like Abraham, you need to leave friends and family who reject God. Repent and turn away from the sins you embrace and then allow God to accomplish great things through you. Abraham would eventually have a son named Isaac, and through him the nation of Israel came to be. If Abraham had continued to embrace Babylonian ways he couldn’t have fulfilled God’s perfect plan.
Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, had twelve sons who established the twelve tribes of Israel. In time, Jacob and his family faced a famine and were forced to relocate to Egypt where they found food and prospered. Egypt wasn’t in Babylon, but the same paganism abounded there. They had a god for this and a god for that and it was a heathen culture. God had changed Jacob’s name to Israel, which means “God prevails”. God always will prevail. As time passed, the Israelites grew in numbers and became a threat to Pharaoh. His way of limiting the Israelites number was to kill male Hebrew children. God did prevail and preserved Israel. A male child was hidden and was found by Pharaoh’s daughter who raised him as her own. Moses was raised in the pagan Egyptian culture and schooled in their ways, but God would use him to lead the Hebrews from captivity. First, Moses had to leave Egypt. He had to leave the pagan ways behind and travel to where he was able to hear the voice of God. Moses fled Egypt because he had killed an Egyptian and he ended up in Midian, located in the desert north of the Arabian peninsula. There he married the daughter of Jethro and he tended his father-in-law’s sheep. In this land, far from the pagan culture he was raised in, Moses heard God’s voice call from a burning bush. “And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.” Exodus 3:4. God knew his name and who he was, but Moses could only come to know God after he left Egypt. With God’s help he led the Israelites out of captivity and eventually they entered the land that God had promised to Abraham. Both Abraham and Moses had been raised in very pagan circumstances, but they left the evil behind and followed God. If you call yourself a Christian then you need to leave the paganism of our culture behind and cling to God.
After the nation Israel entered the Promise Land, time passed and they became a great nation. There were times over the years when they turned away from God and He judged them. One of those judgments came at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, who besieged Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, and took many captives. Nebuchadnezzar had ordered that certain children be taken to the kings palace, and a youngster named Daniel was one of them. “Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.” Daniel 1:4. Daniel was schooled in Babylonian ways and could have chosen to embrace the pagan life there, but even at a young age he loved God. Instead embracing the evil of Babylon, Daniel chose to be separate from them and he bowed and prayed towards Jerusalem daily. He did this in spite of the fact that the Temple had been destroyed. Because he didn’t embrace the pagan lifestyles and pagan worship, Daniel was able to serve God by interpreting dreams, reading mysterious handwriting on the wall, and he was given an amazing prophecy describing the end times which will soon come to pass. Daniel lived in Babylon, but didn’t allow Babylon to live in him. We can learn a lot from studying Daniel’s life and seeing how he put God Almighty above all else. This is what every Christian should do. We have the Bible to guide us and the Holy Spirit indwelling us so there should be no room in our life for Babylonian ways.
Paganism didn’t stop in the Old Testament. Most of the letters contained in the New Testament were written to congregations located in pagan cities, such as Ephesus and Corinth. These letters encouraged the Christians there to stand firm in their faith and reject the pagan practices around them. The Corinthians seem much like Christians of today. Instead of following the strait and narrow path they tolerated sin and that sin was corrupting the congregation. We live in a pagan world ruled by the prince of the power of the air, but like Daniel we can’t allow the pagan ways to live in us. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14. The answer is “none”. If you yoke yourself in partnerships or friendships with non-believers you embrace pagan ways. “And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” 2 Corinthians 6:15. Belial means “worthless or wicked” and is another name for Satan. If you claim to be a Christian then you should never enter into any partnership with non-believers. If you’ve entered these relationships prior to you becoming a Christian then you need to stand firm on Christ and not allow compromise of your faith.”And 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.” 2 Corinthians 6:16. The Holy Spirit indwells Christians and if you’re yoked with Babylonian ways then you’re taking God with you into sin. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:17-18. Yes, brothers and sisters, come out from among them.
We are living in the last days and as we draw ever nearer to the Rapture, Satan tries harder to deceive people. Times are getting perilous. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5. This sounds a lot like today and it will get worse. As we draw near to the end of time the Babylonian ways grow stronger by the day. Instead of honoring God, Christians are becoming more tolerant of sin and evil because most don’t even know what the Bible says. They are schooled in Babylonian ways, but not in God’s ways. God’s word isn’t an outdated book of rules and regulations, but a guide to a way of life that pleases God. We have God’s word to teach us to judge between His ways and Babylonian ways, so don’t let anyone accuse you of being judgmental. Sin is to be rejected and the sinner is to be witnessed to in order to bring them to Christ. Don’t yoke yourself with sinners but stand firm upon God’s word. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Matthew 7:13-14. If you follow God’s ways then you’re on the right path. We make a choice whether to follow the strait and narrow road or the broad path that leads to destruction. The broad path follows Babylonian ways.
Whether we live in Babylon, Egypt, Rome, or the United States of America we choose which path we follow. When God is rejected, Babylonian ways are embraced and that leads to eternal destruction.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.