In the first epistle of Paul to the church of the CORINTHIANS, the apostle spoke to the saints in specific terms:
1 CORINTHIANS 1:2-6
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and our's: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in everything ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
“Sanctified in Christ Jesus” – being set apart, to be made holy (hagios Strong's Greek: 37. ἁγιάζω (hagiazó) -- to make holy, consecrate, sanctify (biblehub.com) in the Greek); the saints are not of this world (JOHN 17:14,16), but of the LORD, being born of His Spirit and are His children (JOHN 1:12-13).
It’s not that we should be taken out of the world itself (JOHN 17:15), for were that the case, how could we let the light of the LORD shine from our lives as “a city that is set on a hill” (MATT 5:14)?
Yet we are protected from its evil and corrupt influences as the Father keeps us (JOHN 17:15).
The monastic life among Catholic mystics sought for isolation, exclusion from society, but this was never GOD’s intent for the church. The very word ‘church’ is from the Greek ekklesia and since we are the “church of GOD” we are called out of this world in the sense of not partaking of its evil, but to live for the LORD, because we belong to Him (kyriakos) and are separated from the world in a moral and spiritual sense.
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Paul the apostle admonished the Corinthian saints not to keep company with those who only claim to be disciples of Christ and yet walk disorderly in fornication, covetousness, idolatry, drunkenness, etc. (1 COR 5:9-11) but not that we shouldn’t have interaction with sinners, because again, they need the light that we have, and so we must have that interaction for the sake of the Gospel, without letting their influences affect our walk with JESUS.
We have the Father ably keeping us, His children from being adversely affected by the world; yet this doesn’t protect the Christian who is actively seeking out the world and any of its desires, pleasures, and intoxicating sin, that is truly, spiritually toxic! A good example of this would be a misguided Christian seeking out occult spiritual experiences; because they are meddling with things that are strongly opposed to in the pages of Scripture, they are not invulnerable to the spiritually debilitating effects that such interaction would promote.
This is why we read this admonition throughout Scripture – “to come out from among them and be separate” (2 COR 6:17). This is accomplished not by distancing ourselves physically, but by living lives in absolute contradiction to the way that the lost of this world live theirs; to live in this darkened world as lights in such a perverse generation as we’re witnessing today:
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
In these near-future days, we Christians here in America are very likely (barring the rapture of the church) going to experience some serious challenges, including persecution, perhaps prison time, lawsuits, church closures and even more alarming things.
Therefore, this is A Call to the Last Days Church for Sanctified War – spiritual war that is “blameless and harmless” to the sinner but adamantly seeks the defeat of the enemy, the rescue of lost souls that are Satan’s P.O.W.s and the rallying of the church to do great exploits in the army of the LORD that will see increasing strength for the fight as we increase in practical, daily sanctification!
Sin will harden a heart, and cause deception (HEB 3:13).
For a saint who is intent on being sanctified in their practical, daily living, yielding their members to righteousness (ROM 6:13) and exhorting (and being exhorted) the saints to do so (HEB 10:25), such sanctification will have the opposite effect.
It will cause our hearts to be sensitive to the LORD, and discerning, rather than being hardened of heart and deceived.
Sanctification, as is justification, is a work of the Spirit in us; there is nothing manufactured by ourselves – all the LORD requires from us is a yielded, obedient heart.
After Israel’s deliverance from Egypt (a type of the Christian leaving the world), the nation traversed the wilderness, but their hearts were hardened (PSALM 95:8; HEB 3:8-15) because of the willful evilness of unbelief and their longing to return to Egypt. They who departed from Egypt, had among them those who “depart[ed] from the living God” (HEB 3:12).
Such hardness of heart is, if you will, an ‘anti-sanctification’ of the professing believer. Rather than becoming conformed to the image of Christ by dying to self (PHIL 3:10) and transformed (ROM 12:2) they find themselves being conformed to the world – and as such, are deplorably vulnerable to the attacks by the enemy who has them armor-less, weaponless and on his turf! Any time we as saints walk in the flesh, operating under our old sin-nature, we are open game to the assaults of the enemy!
We learn about this in the following chapter from the apostle Paul: the apostle refers to the passage from ISAIAH, where like in PSALM 95, Israel was compromised, but as always, the LORD, the Messiah of Israel is the hope of His people (JOEL 3:16) Who is their Redeemer!
Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee. Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
2 CORINTHIANS 6:1-2
We then, as workers together with him [that is, Christ], beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
“Receiv[ing] the grace of GOD in vain”? I believe this relates to what the apostle mentioned in the previous epistle to the Corinthian church:
1 CORINTHIANS 15:1-2
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
In both cases, one’s belief as well as any grace offered is useless unless properly implemented (belief) and properly received (grace). Our belief and reception of the grace of GOD must be genuine (a matter of the heart; ROM 10:9-10) if we are even to begin in this journey of sanctified conquest.
Essentially the LORD was telling the nation of Israel, “Don’t let this opportunity slip past you; I’m willing to receive you in this accepted time of grace (in contrast to the day of Judgment against sin). It was because Israel had an “evil heart of unbelief” that everyone in the first generation of Hebrews that was delivered from Egypt died in the wilderness (with the exception of Joshua and Caleb – not even Moses made it into the promised land [until much, much later; MATT 17:1-3]). They were a ‘day late’ for the day of salvation.
The Corinthian church has the same problem of compromise, corruption and carelessness, and the apostle Paul had to exhort them to not be “unequally yoked with unbelievers” (2 COR 6:14). He states that there is no fellowship, no concord between righteousness and unrighteousness; between light and darkness; between Christ and Belial or a believer with an infidel.
He then talks about the temple of GOD with idols; a serious problem that they had in Egypt, in the wilderness wanderings as well as in their own homeland, when they worshiped the false gods of the nations, particularly the nation of Babylon.
In ISAIAH 52 the LORD admonishes His people to “touch no unclean thing” (ISAIAH 52:11) as He will rouse the nation in the last days and draw Israel to Himself in sanctification (ISAIAH 52:1-7). The Jews are encouraged to leave the Gentile nations and return to the land and be a sanctified people for His name’s sake.
We the church of the LORD Jesus Christ have no land we can call our own; for the kingdom that we belong to is not of this world, but a kingdom that will be coming (soon!) upon this world (DAN 2:44; REV 11:15). So in order to “not touch the unclean thing” where do we flee to? We flee to our refuge, our High Priest Who is after the order of Melchizzedek (HEB 6:17-20; the refuge for all of “the heirs of promise”, both Jew and Gentile believers in Christ). See also PSALM 62:8; ISAIAH 25:4.
And just as the Jews sought for a false sense of security, by fleeing to Egypt in order to (make the attempt at least) flee from Babylon, even after the LORD promised to take care of His people if they abode in the land and submitted to His chastening (using Babylon as His ‘paddle’ as it were), the words of the prophet Jeremiah went unheeded (See JER 42:7-12). They fled to Egypt with a calloused heart towards GOD!
By the way, for excellent studies on the book of JEREMIAH, check out these teachings of pastor Robert Lawrenz of WHITESTONE Christian Fellowship (scroll down to the 9th category on the site, that begins with JEREMIAH Ch. One to Twenty One)!
Many of the Jews trusted in Egypt for deliverance from GOD’s judgment and were let down.
To escape the abominable idolatries of the world, we have no natural, physical place to flee to that is trustworthy save one: that is the LORD JESUS CHRIST! We the church are the very temple in which He dwells!
“For we are the temple of the living God” (2 Corinthians 6:16). Then to further support the idea that Christians are the temple of God, Paul quotes from Leviticus 26:12, which is also alluded to in Jeremiah 32:38 and Ezekiel 37:27: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people”.
It should be the endeavor of every Christian to keep the temple, that is themselves, clean and free from corruption that would infest the entirety of our lives and ruin our testimony. This is why we need regular inspections of our hearts and lives, to examine ourselves by the Word of truth (2 COR 13:5; PSALM 139:23-24; 119:105).
When we find that which the Spirit of GOD convicts us of dwelling in our temple, we need to follow what I call, “The JOSIAH Mandate”. For the article and the facebook video of this teaching, go here.
People have pondered over the perplexing puzzle of the anti-Christ’s identity for ages; perhaps a rival of his is “the great whore” – this woman that rides the beast, which has had an equal amount of speculation regarding who she is! This woman comfortably and ably steers this beast, this one world order, for a time.
In REVELATION 18 “city” is mentioned seven times in five verses (10,16,18,19,21); also mentioned in REV 14:8; 16:19; and 17:18 and in each mention, it speaks of Babylon.
There are those who seek to make Babylon into Israel, or America, or Europe, but never is Babylon addressed in the book of Revelation as anything other than a city.
Don’t misunderstand me though; I do believe that the ‘spirit of Babylon’ has been at work for millennia and accomplished its pervasive work in creating that which it was at the beginning, at the tower of Babel: a singular government and a singular religion, which today would translate as a one world religion and government.
It’s also interesting to note that in ancient days, nations themselves weren’t as significant as cities, which in our way of thinking seems contradictory, but when you think about it, in a sense, Washington D.C. or New York are powerhouses that employ a power all their own. Some cities are international and express an influence far greater than the State in which you find them (New York, Chicago, LA or even London, Berlin, Rome).
Speaking of Rome, there is a city within her, namely Vatican City that is both a political and a religious entity, and we can perceive the very heart of the spirit of Babylon residing there, having an influence over the entire globe!
For an excellent treatment of the Roman Catholic Church and its beginnings as well as the influences that formed it, check out The Fuel Project:
Also, I would be terribly negligent if I didn’t provide the competent expose by the late Dave Hunt and his research that developed into his book, A Woman Rides The Beast. Mr. Hunt can elaborate on the finer points of REVELATION Chapters 17 and 18 far better than I! So, I defer to his expert knowledge.
While seemingly localized to a particular city, the influence of her commerce as well as her religion appear to have a global impact.
We understand that the Roman Catholic Church has just such enormous influence in this world, both commercially and ecumenically (refer to the Dave Hunt video).
It has its influences in the World Council of Churches, a stalwart following of Jesuits (who themselves were instrumental in guiding, if not founding the Emergent Church Movement (See Roger Oakland’s landmark book Faith Undone)) – the Jesuit Order is the Military branch of the Roman Catholic church whose men are also superbly gifted in the art of espionage, and as evidence shows, even assassination! A profound impact on global politics with a base of religious adherents numbering over 1.4 billion.
Beyond the parameters of this papal power, there is this ‘spirit of Babylon’ that has caused the nations (politically and economically) to commit spiritual fornication with her (REV 18:3), and this idolatrous perversion of truth and error; mixing the false religious system that is Babel with the veneer of Christian externalism.
We see both aspects of this spirit of Babylon in REVELATION 17 and 18; chapter 17 spiritually and politically speaking; chapter 18, again politically and economically as well.
Note that in REV 17:5 it states the following:
5 And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.
This woman holds the title “Mystery” (musterion in the Greek, meaning (among other things): “a mystery, secret, of which initiation is necessary; a hidden thing, is not something unknowable. Rather, it is what can only be known through revelation; religious secrets, confided only to the initiated and not to be communicated by them to ordinary mortals; from the base word ‘muo’ meaning “to shut the mouth, through the idea of silence imposed by initiation into religious rites.”
It has long been the modus operandi of esoteric societies and secret orders to induct novices into their ranks by rituals and sworn oaths, and to impose strict conduct of silence upon them (interestingly enough, they are masked as an emblem of their promised silence; is that coincidental in our covid-phobia world today?).
This woman is named Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots – and if a harlot is a false religious system, what would the mother of such systems be but the very heart, the origin of these false religious systems? Such harlots keep their secretive mysteries well; in fact the occult (meaning “hidden”) knowledge down from antiquity is often referred to as “the mysteries”.
Such occult interactions with demons, expressing their spiritual interaction with humanity by such things as necromancy (communicating with the dead) and witchcraft (the utilization of spells, incantations, divination, and nature worship) are considered by GOD to be abomination, of which Babylon is the root source or ‘mother”.
And in REV 17:6:
And 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.
This abominable, demon infested, perverse and occult driven spiritual power has always been adversarial to the saints of GOD, and regularly became intoxicated with the blood of GOD’s children.
I don’t think you could label any one single nation – or city for that matter, as the purveyor and persecutor of GOD’s saints. I think through history, you could attribute this to a variety of cities, as the ‘spirit of Babylon’ migrated from place to place to suit Satan’s purposes.
Certainly Babel would be a good place to start, but then under the various Gentile powers, once Israel (GOD’s Hebrew saints) lost her kingdom, was subject to and victimized by them all. Rome was infamous in her persecution of the Jews as well as the church.
Jerusalem, Mecca and Berlin had their day as well in which this spirit of Babylon imbibed on the blood of GOD’s redeemed and sanctified ones. At one point, it dwelled in Pergamos (REV 2:13).
It is this very same spirit that pervades every city, ever nation, the globe over with its insidious and subtle affections of abominations. The idolatry we see here in America in the worship of money, of sex, of violence and pride and perversion is unparalleled anywhere else in the world, but we certainly don’t have a monopoly on these miseries!
In fact, Europe is in many respects, ahead of the game; in post WWII, Europe followed America and her ideals to a large extent as we became a prominent (and then the sole) super-power in the world, but for the last few decades, Europe has flung aside any American entanglements and charted her own course to meet her own destiny (which is decidedly anti-American!).
While there are those who would point out that the Dollar is still the currency that deals in oil, therefore predominant, the dollar itself is being, and pretty much has been siphoned of its integral value thanks to the Federal Reserve – a private central bank here in America that is unconstitutional, a private bank whose holders are predominantly European I might add!
All of this, and still far, far more may be viewed in the vile underbelly that is this “Mother of Harlots”. In virtually any pagan religion, there is the dark, obscured offering of child sacrifices done in the shadows. That’s the way it’s been for millennia, and one might presume (wrongly in my opinion) that in the 21st century people are more sophisticated and sensible than to stoop to such atrocities!
Just step into the nearest abortion clinic and try to prove me wrong.
Or in the fiercely guarded halls of the world’s elite, who are sworn to remain silent to the “mysteries” of murderous intent and action, for the advancement of power bequeathed by Beelzebub and his brood.
Just guess what happens to the hundreds of millions of children, stolen from their parents, from off the streets in cities across the globe in the worship of the gods of money and sex and violence.
And where does a saint go to flee from this spirit of Babylon? If we depart from America, will we be safe from it? No – not even close; the world is one under this satanic system of globalism. While some nations are less influenced than others, due to the massive exchange of information via computers, satellites, dogma and propaganda, to say nothing of the demonic influences filling in a vacuum left behind by wholesale rejection of the GOD of the Bible, this leaven of sin, pride and false doctrines of demons and seducing spirits (1 TIM 4:1-3) is spreading very rapidly. Nearly the entire lump is leavened!
For 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. And 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.
“All nations” have drunk – this is the time of the Revelation, the time of the Last Day, the Day of GOD, the Day of the LORD (JOEL 1:15; 2:11,31; 3:14) – and we are not there yet, but we are so close, so as any search for a place anywhere on Earth where this spiritual taint is not tasted would be in vain.
So how do we “come out” from such abominable wickedness and not be partakers of her sin?
By not partaking of her sins! To live holy in Christ Jesus and let His Holy Light shine from our lives! This does not mean (necessarily) of detaching ourselves from the daily routines of society (as in quitting our job and going ‘off-grid’ – though it may, but in conducting ourselves honorably, serving Christ, worshiping GOD, extolling His Word and sharing the Gospel while in this world (but again, not being of it).
To intentionally submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and surrender all to Him, so that this world and any of its allurements as well as her influences would be wasted on us – that they wouldn’t be any more affective in their temptations on us as they would a corpse!
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
To the same degree that we are freed from the iniquitous influences and sickening charms of this death-reeking world in our hearts through sanctification in Christ, to that same degree we shall be able to vanquish the dark domain and free the spiritual POW’s that are still under Satan’s crushing claw.
As stated through the character, the Magician, in Voyage of the Dawn Treader:
“To defeat the darkness out there, you must defeat the darkness within yourself.” – C. S. Lewis – Narnia