Babylon as a Redemptive Process for the Backslidden Church
Babylon as a Wilderness Experience for the Backslidden Church
My reader, when you think about the woefulness and destruction that accompanies the Last Days and the reasons for it… what comes to mind? Most would point the finger at the sins of the World.
However, believe it or not, the sins of the World cannot and will not bring about the End of the World! No. On the contrary, the wickedness of the Church is the standalone reason for the End of the World! In other words, the sins of the Church are the divine reason that God will raise up Babylon which, in turn, brings about the Last Days scenario that leads into the End of the World! Babylon is God’s judgment of the Church, first and foremost; and afterwards God will judge Babylon’s World! Remember, these two stages of judgment are, in other words, the Day of the LORD through Babylon and the Day of the LORD upon Babylon. According to the Doctrine of Babylon that was forged in the first Tribulation Period of the Old Testament, Babylon is God’s redemptive mechanism reared on behalf of the Church. My reader, what God did to the Church of the Old Testament through Babylon isn’t irrelevant for the Church of the Gentile Church Age or the Jews of the Last Days. Speaking of historical patterns that were fit examples for the generation which would endure the End of the World, it was written,
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” – 1 Cor. 10:11-12
My reader, the Doctrine of Babylon is not a dead doctrine. No! As you will soon see, it is very much alive! Just as the above quote, from 1 Corinthians 10:1-12, surveys the applicability and doctrinal relevance of the Church of the Exodus Generation (“the Church in the Wilderness” – Acts 7:38); likewise, the Book of Revelation does survey the applicability and doctrinal relevance of how the Church of the Civilization went through another Wilderness Experience called the Babylonian Captivity of the Jews (Ezek. 20). The two wilderness experiences can be considered, Wilderness Experience #1 & Wilderness Experience #2 according to Ezekiel 20. Nevertheless, and as usual, the significance of the Wilderness Experience cannot be understood properly except it be studied from the beginning to the end. Therefore, as an aid to this study, permit me to outline the following subjects that are vitally connected to the Wilderness Experience.
Through the Exodus Generation the LORD defined what a Church is in truth and in righteousness so that thenceforth it stands as an example to all generations. Therefore, to long for the Wilderness Experience is to long for the Glory of God to return to the Church! Through the Exodus Generation we understand both the Wilderness Experience and its effect upon the people who experience the operation of God’s Glory therein, the Church. The Wilderness is not what’s important. Rather, what God did to “the Church in the Wilderness” is of importance (Acts 7:38). The Wilderness alone, without the Church, is of no value or significance. However, in the Wilderness, the LORD met with, dwelt among, and taught the people a methodical relationship to the Glory of God. What’s methodical about the relationship is that there are inexcusable rules of conduct that must be kept, without which the relationship is impossible. Hereby, through the ordained methods, the Glory of God would appear and dwell among the people of God, the Church. Also, because the Exodus Generation and their Wilderness Experience is the chosen generation through whom God authored and exemplified the methods of holy matrimony in the God-to-man relationship, the Exodus Generation is the Church Defined (Jer. 2:1-2). However, passing the threshold of the River Jordan into the Promised Land we see a cessation of the Glory of God in operation via the Pillar of Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night (the Church in the Civilization). Notably, also, God’s sudden and shockingly apparent intervention to restore Church Purity via divine plague became far more infrequent. The frequency of this experience was characteristic to and common in the Church of the Wilderness! However, speaking of this peculiarity and it’s revival among the Church of the Civilization, it was written (the Lord speaking to the Tribulation Jews of the Babylonian Captivity): “Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the Wilderness of the Land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD” (Ezek. 20:36).
You see, one must understand the transition period of the Church from the Wilderness to the Civilization of the Promised Land; I say this because, what was disallowed by divine plague in the Wilderness should have been disallowed by Church Officers co-laboring with God for the enforcement of the Law in the Civilization. God gave the Law to the people in the Wilderness. Then, by God’s own power, He executed the rules of the Law amidst uprisings of rebellion and the like. Hence, after the threshold of Jordan was crossed, God expected the Law to be upheld and kept by the Israelites (“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” – Micah 6:8). He had thoroughly proven to the people that the Ark was the seat of the Glory of God, even though the Pillar of Fire and the Pillar of Cloud was no longer visibly present; in other words, THE GLORY OF ISRAEL WAS STILL THERE - GOD HIMSELF! Therefore, the people had all the means to successfully execute the Law amidst the people via God’s empowerment (“Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth.” – Ps. 80:1). God instituted a Law to be upheld by divinely empowered Church Officers, a Church Law that was exemplified and upheld by God and then committed to the people… or else.
However, when judgment lingered because of corruption among Church Officers amidst generational backslidings and then, contrary to the Exodus Generation’s Wilderness Experience, the Glory of God didn’t suddenly and shockingly manifest to enforce the unexecuted judgment to abate the growing influence of wickedness, even so, the people were confounded. In wonder and amazement they inquired of God, saying, “Will the Lord cast off for ever? And will He be favourable no more?”, and such like things (Ps. 77:5-12). God delivered His people over to the assigned chastisements outlined in Leviticus Ch. 26, this is true (and these punishments were manifest accordingly), but the sheer power and unstoppable authority that was expressed and asserted in the Wilderness when a tumult of backsliding was underway did not happen any longer in the Church of the Civilization; that is, not until the Tribulation Period! My reader, look with eyes wide-open upon the peculiar pronouncement,
“Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the Wilderness of the Land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD” - Ezek. 20:36)
This is the assertion of unstoppable authority unto the restoration of Church Purity! So, as judgment lingered and God didn’t arise to the judgment in the generations following the Exodus Generation, thereby corruption progressed from generation to generation. This, in turn, allowed for the perversion of the righteous standards that were definitively set forth in the Church Defined, the Church in the Wilderness. This allowed the people to invent relative and compromised standards of righteousness that tolerated Church Impurity, and the people believed that God’s judgment wouldn’t suddenly awake. This being the case, most people forgot about the operation of the Glory of God that once flourished of old in the Wilderness! Meanwhile, however, don’t forget this! A small remnant can be heard praying and crying out to God,
“We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work Thou didst in their days, in the times of old” - Psalm 44:1
“I remember the days of old” – Psalm 143:5
“I remember Thy judgments of old” – Psalm 119:49-53
“Look Thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as Thou usest to do unto those that love thy name” – Psalm 119:132
“Turn Thou us unto Thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old” - Lam 5:21
“Have respect unto the Covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty. O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name. Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily. Forget not the voice of thine enemies: the tumult of those that rise up against thee increaseth continually.” – Ps. 74:20-23
“Turn Thyself again... heal the breaches” – Psalm 60
“Will He reserve His anger for ever? Will He keep it to the end?” - Jer. 3:4-5
Hence, by Ezekiel’s time, the Glory of God departed from the Temple! I say again, the Glory of God departed from the Church! And, what is worse is that the people didn’t even recognize it (see “The Visible Church Abandoned by the Invisible God”)! They became utterly hardened in sin and confident in the modernized Judaism that had developed over time. Long ago, “Judaism” departed from the old paths and ancient truths that defined her from the beginning. God’s wife turned adulterous and worse: HARLOTRY! Understandably so, therefore, God departed from the “Judaism” that had departed from Him. “Judaism” redefined itself. “Judaism” was without Jehovah, so they didn’t notice when He left! Even so it shall be, and is, for the “Christianity” that is without Christ! The late Leonard Ravenhill made mention of this atrocity by giving reference to a confession made by the modernized pastors of this generation. "He said, 'I want to tell you that if God withdrew the Holy Spirit from my church today, it would function tomorrow the same way we wouldn't even know He'd gone...'". GOD HAVE MERCY! This commonplace confession bears witness of a Christianity without Christ! The Glory of God has departed from the 21st century Church in the Gentile Church Age!
In many ways, the Wilderness Doctrine (the return of the Glory of God) is elaborated upon and enunciated in reference to the reviving of God’s Glory amidst a fallen and backslidden Church (otherwise God would have used the normal means of Church Officers to co-labor in the operation of Glory in the OT and the NT). Hence, all these newly enunciated descriptions of the newly revived operation of Glory in the Tribulation Period (what God was doing by Himself and alone, no man working with him) of the Church in the Civilization were, in another cyclical revolution of the 2nd Tribulation Period, descriptive and prophetically definitive of what Christ would do amidst the same situation in the 1st century except in different manifestations (the Light, the Fire, the Sword, the Shepherding of the Flock, the Harvest, etc.).
Indicative of ageless and inter-covenantal significance, the Wilderness is the most significant and frequently cited generation (fundamental in the formation of salvific and covenantal doctrine) from the beginning of the Church and thereafter throughout the backsliding that ensued among the Kings for centuries [see the intercessory psalms of David as an example of intermediate generations (Ps. 77:1-20, 78:1-72, 105:1-45, 106:1-48); David’s psalms were centered on faith-filled prayers that God would arise unto the operation of Glory as it was exemplified in the Exodus Generation (Num. 10:33-36, Ps. 3:7, 7:6, 9:19, 10:12, 12:5, 17:13, 44:23, 26, 68:1, 74:22, 82:8, 102:13, 132:8)]; and, not only so, but the Wilderness is the most cited generation by the Tribulation Prophets (Amos 2:9-12, 3:1-2, 5:21-27; Hosea 2:3-15, 9:10, 11:1-4, 13:1, 4-6; Isaiah 1:2, 21-22, 63:7-19; Jeremiah 2:1-10, 21, 11:1-17, 31:29-34, 32:30-31; Ezekiel 20:1-44, and others); and, not only so, but the Wilderness (and the definitive operations therein) is the most cited / applied / typological reference point which forged the terms and defined what Jesus did in His earthly ministry (the Light, the Fire, the Sword, the Shepherding of the Flock, the Harvest, etc.); and, not only so, but the Wilderness Experience is the most cited generation which is exemplary to how God will deal with us in the New Covenant (1 Cor. 10:1-13, Jude 1:5, Heb. 3:1-4:11, 10:26-29, Heb. 12:18-29)! Foremost of all, and in conclusion, the World-Ending Tribulation Period to come is hereby definitively unveiled (Rev. 12:6, 14)! Behold, the continuity of divine genius! “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out” (Rom. 11:33)!
This observable continuity does reconcile the Old Testament Jesus (“that Rock was Christ” – 1 Cor. 10:4) to the New Testament Jesus! My reader, did you know that the God of the Old Testament isn’t different than the God of the New Testament? In recognition to this fact the writer of Corinthians said, “Nether let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents” (1 Cor. 10:9)! And, again, in a more conclusive statement: “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:11-12). Comprehensively, according to Holy Scripture, the Church Defined in the Exodus Generation was later reconciled to the operation of Glory in the Tribulation Period of the Old Testament in the aforementioned ways (Ezek. 20:1-44); and, thereafter, these two were reconciled to Christ’s Ministry in the 1st century, which was also a Tribulation Period; and, thereafter, these three were reconciled to Christ’s Ministry to the Gentile Church Age (Rev. 2-3); and, thereafter, at last, these four were reconciled to Christ’s Ministry at the End of the World (Revelation 7-15) – they’re all one continuous revelation of the same operation for the accomplishment of the same objective, a long-time-lingering and soon-to-be revived operation that will shock this world in the last generation!