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The Harlot Babylon the Great bears noteworthy resemblance to the spiritual ‘church’ of Israel during her period of harlotry before her exile, and remarkable resemblance (again, spiritually speaking) to the city of Ninevah before God’s unrestrained wrath was visited upon her. We often think we could not possibly be part of Babylon the Great. After all, we are not Catholics. We are good Protestants and go to the best church or fellowship ever. We cannot be idolatrous or cruel. Perhaps we even claim to have left the evil, Institutionalized Church altogether, Protestant or Catholic. We have the right doctrine, and could not possibly be apathetic enough to find ourselves in that same spirit as the Great Harlot, right?

Wrong. This is the way we think when we are thinking only in labels and doctrines, rather than in the lives we lead as Christians. We are looking at the outside of the cup, and not on the inside. Can we really tell so much by outward signs alone? If it were so easy to tell by outward indications, then why would the Lord ever say, "Come out of her, my people" to His people in regards to Babylon? (Rev. 18:4) Why would He have to? Couldn't His people (and they really are his people), keep themselves from being fooled for even a moment? Apparently not, and if we think we are so impervious, we are probably already fooled.

You see, it’s not about denominations or sectarian distinctions, or even about location (Rev. 17:15). Sure, we should depart from wickedness, even run from her. That is why God says to come out. But let us not become complacent in our illusions of safety and special status, because Christ is about Life:

Rev. 3:1 "To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead…" What is it about the Church in the end times? Is it like Jesus indicated in His parable? Will we all become drowsy because the bridegroom delays, with half of us forgetting the necessary preparations to meet Him upon His return ( Matt. 25:1-12)? Is that why we can so easily sit in the middle of Babylon the Great, and swear that it is not us who are part of that Harlot, but someone else? Is that why He warns us to "be on the alert" over and over again? Thank God that we are warned.

We need to worry less over the future and consider our spiritual state, NOW. But why should we if we are not dead in the first place? No, we are alive! We are not blind or naked or poor in spirit, either. It is not us. It is always someone else in some other Christian group or denomination. It is not us. It is someone or some time in the future. This is a simple mental diversion tactic we play on ourselves, and it leads to deception. Who needs a "coming great deception," if we are already deceived?


Rev. 3:2-3 "Wake up!" Jesus advises the church in Sardis, "Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you." What does it mean when Christ says to Sardis, "I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God?" Obviously, completing the deeds has something to do with waking up. I believe it is well worth our time to consider this. Matt. 23: 27 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. The Pharisees certainly had a "reputation of being alive", but were dead, just like the church in Sardis. They had a partial memory too. They remembered to tithe the mint, dill, and cummin, but ignored the weightier things of the law, like justice and mercy (vs. 23). They were also blind, like the Laodician church. They needed to purchase eye salve too, in order to even know or understand anymore what was important and what was not.

So the first step is to humbly ask for the ministry of the Lord for help, as He sees fit to give it. Admitting to ourselves that the need is there is a big step, but often we are too wretched and blind even for that. Therefore, although we might be confident about our spiritual condition, it would not hurt us to ask for God's honest evaluation for us, fearless of the outcome. This could mean the painful humility of hearing from those passionate and intrusive prophets, teachers, or counselors you would rather ignore (and I am confident that you are abundantly surrounded by ‘foolish’, ‘weak’, and ‘unqualified’ people like this). Most blind people assume they should be able to just pray and listen to the Living Lord themselves and for themselves, because they are righteous enough that He would gladly answer. But sometimes our barriers of sin and deafness are too much for Him to cross. Often times He does not choose to 'speak' to us in a way we would prefer anyway, because we have run our own lives in our own wisdom long enough and things simply must be out of our control (for once!). Sometimes He is silent. This is why God must minister to us in a way we need, and not necessarily in a way we would choose. The 'righteousness' of the religious is still filthy rags before the Lord (Isa. 64:6), so it is not time to count on them for some sort of automatically deserved favor.

Luke 18:10-14 Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: "God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get." But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, "God, have mercy on me, a sinner." I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. The Pharisee thought his religious actions justified him, but he was wrong. The sin of pride, of course, left him unjustified. For anything we want from God, we must start in humility of spirit, and we must start at step one. That is why Christ frustrated those seekers who totally misunderstood what their priorities should be with talk of Bread from heaven. They wanted to earn something from God on their own strength and merit, and He just told them to believe on Him (John 6:28-29). Similarly, Sardis needed to "get back to the basics," which was the gospel of Christ, then they could "wake up" and complete the deeds.

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