Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Babylon Continues its Party


Jam.4: Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

This present world if filled with all sorts of alluring trinkets. Material desires and fleshly excitements as well as false avenues to make the world a better place are widespread across the face of the planet. And here, in the west, the variety of carnal enticements is dazzling. We are surrounded by the voice of earthly and even demonic sirens calling us to a life of self elevation, self satisfaction, and self fulfillment. The prospect of self denial and sacrifice has been all but relegated to some medieval concept which is seen today as ignorant and superstition. To deny oneself of almost any pleasure within your grasp is an outdated concept even it requires going into great debt to have it.

This present world has thrown a great party with no accoutrements spared. It offers us what we want. Do you desire to be praised for your looks and intellect? Do you desire to experience titillation that thrills your flesh? Do you want more and more money? A bigger house? A more luxurious car? Do you wish to experience a vicarious thrill through your children? Do you desire to feel important and be a part of the social strata? Well come on in! The world has all that and more in this party that began in Eden and has grown to immense proportions.

And the best aspect about this party is that you do not have to openly renounce your faith in Jesus. In fact, if you wish, the world will bring its party right into your church! Yes, you can have a party and openly incorporate it right into your ecclesiastical practice and even your belief system. Think about it. Jesus wants you to go for all the gusto you can. He even desires to cater your party, and He will be partying right there with you! And in the middle of this colossal celebration of the flesh is a magnificent piñata.

Watch as that piñata is broken and all its hidden treasures come bursting forth. Financial prosperity; political clout; national pride; moral hubris; and all kinds of promises about having it all spill out onto the altar and God’s professing people can quickly gather them all up. It is a sinner’s dream!

So let me come out from the metaphor and openly address what continues to be happening in the lives of believers collectively and individually. And as we weigh these things let us also never minimize the effect that the visible church has had on professing believers and what they believe and practice. And at the very heart of this influence are new and enticing and well coifed communicators who used to be called shepherds and pastors. The entire western ecclesiastical construct is now one of a constantly expanding pattern of Scriptural equivocation. It is obvious that regardless of what the Scriptures openly teach they must be forced to conform to the dictates and desires of human flesh. It is quite astounding and I am sure repulsive to the Spirit of Almighty God.

And here once again I wish to uncover what I believe to be at the heart of this spiritual rebellion. It is called “nationalism” and it entails viewing your earthly country with high esteem and even love while also viewing yourself as its patriotic citizen. I realize this is not only acceptable within the church, but it is even embraced and celebrated. And while the so called church of Jesus Christ adores the founding fathers, and promotes conservative values, and supports democracy and capitalism, and embraces America as a divine construct, the depth to which these things have imprisoned the church in idolatry remains unnoticed to the evangelical masses. I mean who can hear the spiritual warnings knocking on your door when the party is raging? But in a spiritual reality this idolatry is practiced on a scale which would embarrass the builders of the golden calf.

And even while discussing this issue called nationalism most believers view it as a different perspective and a matter of focus. In other words they assume if you keep your love for America in perspective and place Jesus first you are alright and can walk in the Spirit. That is wrong. If you have ANY allegiance to ANY country you are walking in the flesh and you have compromised the Lordship of Christ in your life and you have swung open the gates which allow a multitude of compromises. Yes, it is that serious.

The problem stems from an illusion about the true nature of any earthly country. These are fallen countries which actively work against Christ and are tools of the spirit of antichrist. All sorts of deceptions are leveraged from moral issues to social issues to freedom issues to religious issues and everywhere in between. People’s hearts are transfixed upon their own material benefits and they vote their pocketbooks. And believers do the exact same thing. And preachers by the thousands show a visceral disdain for men like President Obama and then endorse and support Mitt Romney who has given millions to spread a spirit of antichrist. We are supposed to love sinners not endorse them and promote them as our leaders.

Step back a minute and look at the kingdoms of the world. They are not working with the kingdom of God. Yes God can use anything, but never has God directed the followers of Jesus Christ to join hands with unbelievers. Never. This is a spiritual principle that is foundational to the Christian life and must be foundational to the teachings of the church. I refuse to puff out my chest and castigate sinners, but I also refuse to join hands with them and their movements regardless of where I agree with them. Hugh Hefner is against stealing and so am I. Does that mean I can join with him in a nationwide movement against stealing?

So the situation is desperate and the issue demands an inspection and spiritual evaluation that goes further than just water cooler discussion. We as the church should be fasting and praying and begging God to open our eyes to our compromise. And this is the kind of foundational compromise which affects everything. You may compromise and watch a questionable movie without dismantling your spiritual life. But nationalism is the death knell to following Christ. And dare I say that at the crux of American nationalism is money, material gain, and the system called capitalism.

The entire immigration issue is also centered upon economic issues. All of it. Most illegals enter looking for a better economy and most Americans are against open immigration in order to protect their own economic situation. Yes, there are more layered issues about immigration but the roots grow out of money. But money is at the root of most things. Prostitution, drugs, crime, entertainment, sports, all have money roots. And the number one cause of divorce is money. And in the midst of all this the church has become a big business which elicits obscene amounts of money which they lavish on buildings, staff, advertisement, and activities of all sorts. Rarely, if ever, does an American evangelical church borrow millions only to send it overseas to minister to those is desperate need. Church debt is always centered on the material and leadership needs of that same local church.

And so where do we go from here? To be honest the visible church is probably not coming back. The call to return to Zion has gone out but those who love Babylon have stopped their ears with entertainment, material things, self affirmation, and more and more money. When the Lord called His people to come out of Babylon to rebuild the walls of His temple only a handful returned. Why? Because after they had been carried away to Babylon, and after the initial sorrow had worn off, they had found prosperity in Babylon. They had formed friendships and family roots. They had given birth to children, and in those 70 years they had not only become used to Babylonian life, but they had come to enjoy it.

They had been allowed to retain some of their religious customs even though they had not celebrated the feasts and sacrifices, and they had neglected God’s Word. And when the remnant returned to Jerusalem they had found the Book of the Law and openly wept as it was read. That remnant had repented and now they had seen just how far they had strayed from serving and knowing the Lord. And so much of that scenario mirrors what is happening today. A few have heard the voice of the Spirit, and although some are unsure as to where they should go, there is a remnant which have taken up their tents and set their faces toward heaven.

And when I say the word “remnant” I do not mean a company of prideful people who think they are better than anyone else or who are self appointed prophets who seek to draw attention to themselves. No, we are sinners saved by grace who are still in the process of repenting but who can never return to the religious grave clothes from which we just came. We do not have all the answers but this one thing we do know. God has called us out from the religious system that flourishes in this modern day Babylon. We have been set free and we can never go back.

Jesus Christ is Lord.


Anonymous said...

James 4: 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?

Dear readers, if you are pursuing pleasure before a living relationship with the risen LORD Jesus Christ you are a friend of the world.

I encourage you to focus on Jesus, His words and deeds, for He can cleanse your mind and heart, so that you begin to show more interest in what He has to say and what He has done throught history and continues to do!

Persevere in trusting and obeying Him, for He can bless you, so that you delight in His wondrous wisdom.

Truly the Teacher of Teachers treasures and loves you but know also that He is calling you out of your impure, pleasure-seeking lifestyle.
You will have to dig very deep but be encouraged for if you say a firm yes daily to this challenge Almighty God will encourage you every step of the way.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

What a great reminder Pastor Rick, of how far we have twisted the word of God to feed our own perverse desires. That it started in Eden is an interesting point. Sometimes I wonder if it has anything to do with the modern Calvinistic predestination explanation, whose subscribers like to say that we are chosen - i've observed that many subscribers to this concept tend to have a strong sense of smug entitlement. It is frightening. I suppose though, it is plain rebellion to God, a desire to usurp His place.

Cherie c said...

This post has made me cry and breaks my heart. Looking out of the window looking at a sliver of a moon and missing my brothers and sisters in the Lord. Oh how I wish I could embrace you all. How I long to make tea for Kim, sit on Jackie's porch and fellowship, hear Pastor Rick preach God's Word. Hear Michael tell us about his people. Chat with
Lorene and Annette. Talk about the Lord with Josef and Reine. Hear Joel recite Psalms. And those who I haven't met, have them hear me say hello dear sister or brother. Lonely time right now when you read about Babylon's party knowing it makes so much noise, praying for fellowship with the brethren. Did you ever notice that when your with the world you are the loneliest? But when you're with the family of God your heart is full?
Looks like a winter sky with the way the moon looks tonight. Hoping you are sharing it with me even though we are far apart. Pining for Jesus right now too.

Love you brothers and sisters in the Lord, even God our Father

Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully said, Cherie! Thanks for your beautiful-from-the-heart comments. I know you love tender-hearted Victoria also and are eager to be a blessing to Shannon too!

Keep boldly fighting to bring truth in small mouth-size bites to your husband and two sons. Thanks for enriching my life! Always be encouraged for Lord Jesus truly loves you!!!

Unknown said...

in some mss this passsage reads

James 4: 4 Ye adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?

Indicating that the entire bride is playing footsie with the world? because they are not perfected, just being perfected.

Cherie c said...

Oh my, yes anonymous! Never forget Victoria, sweet sister. Shannon and Kelli my heart and prayers go out to both of them as well. I have been so blessed, the Lord has brought me so many brothers and sisters. Also Steve, Bob, please know, I do not leave anyone of you out of my prayers every day. If I haven't mentioned anyone directly by name please forgive me. I love you all very much. Some will say how can you say that you love us all? Because we are off One Spirit, of One Father, and of One Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If They love you, how can I not?

♡♡♡♡♡♡♡ hope these hearts come out in the post.

Have a Blessed day.

Your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

The entire bride of Christ isn't playing footsie with the world but have gone obediently into the world to preach the good news as commanded by Their Savior.

Yes, Christians are not yet perfected, but graciously are being perfected by their Maker!

God's word to us is: Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect!

Reine Gnade

kelli said...

Cherie and all,
Thank you for your prayers. You have shown agape and as well a concern for those who are under false teachings and as well what our other born again believers are going through.

God Bless

Anonymous said...

While my son is off going for interviews for full-time work, I was trying to encourage him from his tendency to be too pessimistic about the world right now.

This pessimism reminded me of the times we live in and how the true church is caught between two evils. It is being tempted now to be in the Babylonian way, and if it's not willing to go in that direction, then it's going to the other extreme in becoming cynical and taking things into it's own hands and behaving like an entitled spoiled demanding child. It's not helping to spiritually train our minds, to be persistent and keep the faith. And, of course, teach repentence and regeneration.

Our christian youth and adults desperately need to see a sign that the real Church, the Body of Christ IS sowing and overcoming in this hour, but we don't see it, or at least I don't see it. I can't even encourage my family in the Lord anymore, because we only see the wicked prosper, or we see those who are independent and lack spiritual depth succeed in everything they touch. It seems that lukewarm christians have the Midas touch in this world, and true christians who need divine reassurance that all is well with our soul have no role models, examples, or elders to keep us edified.

I know many of us here and I myself have written that our dependence now is entirely on the Lord Himself and His word and on the few watchmen who see the reality of the situation. But even so, I am still needing to draw strength and needing edification and am having a hard time being refreshed without true fellowship. And we forget that the Lord did command us to get together and break bread in remembrance of Him. 1Cor. 11:26 - For as often as you eat this break and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes".

There's got to be an answer in the Word for those who are really alone in the midst of the Babylonian party atmosphere, trying to keep our spiritual heads above water. If the Lord doesn't send a refreshing or a revival in western church, we may lose heart. I know that for decades, hiding christians from Communist countries had to work in underground churches or rarely fellowship and secretly meet; I always wonder how they kept their faith up in those times. I ask, can I keep encouraging others and my family for as long as it takes without parts of the Body who are close by? How can we be the different parts and how can the elders of the church pray and anoint the sick with oil, or how can we encourage and edify each other without ever having any physical presence? Thank the Lord for the little we can do on the internet, but even so, the internet can never replace meetings of real people, gathered together in His name, where He can manifest His Holy presence and rejuvenate us.

I ask myself daily, can the "remnant" church survive without each other? It was important that Jesus show Himself after His resurrection to his disciples. There is something to be said about relational presence of the saints gathered together. I pray we can get by these times without it.


Steve said...

How well put, brother: "... if you wish, the world will bring its party right into your church!" Exactly the Church' dilemna, that we do wish that.

And how well put anonymous' comment: that we see a widespread sense of "smug entitlement." Not Calvinists only: it seems even more to be part of our nationalistic baggage as Americans.

A quick testimony to God's faithfulness. Going on 4 years ago, God told me to draw closer to Him in disciplined prayer. I have, and this year He also said to draw near in fasting.

Have prayed continually that He will awaken the Church (and especially our local congregation) to the manifold evils we discuss here. But the political and nationalistic mindset that fosters all those evils has remained unyielding.

This Monday, our men's Bible study in Isaiah (a half-dozen men in a congregation of some 400) was discussing God's anger that his people followed idols. There was agreement the world still follows idols, and that God still warns His people fiercely against them. The usual suspects were named: wealth, fame, "success," etc.

I threw out what I knew would be an unwelcome idea: that America's national idol is "rights" (as anonymous so well put it, our sense of "smug entitlement"): that God OWES us (as our founders taught) "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." It's a deeply counter-Biblical idea, I said, and has been used to justify many evils (slavery, gun-violence, smoking, abortion, etc.)

I expected angry "patriotic" disagreement. But God moved. All but one or two of the brothers were saying, "You know, that's really true," or "Right on !"

Seeing the Spirit move like that, where I least expected it, has buoyed my determination to seek God even more. He DOES change hearts, and He is faithful to PERFORM His will He gives us to pray, even where we have given up hope.

Glory to our Father, Who rules with righteousness and mercy, now and forever !

In Jesus, Steve

michael said...

I'll comment before reading the comments posted already.

There are only two ways and both are deadly! There are only two easys and both are deadly.

There are only two rulers and both bring you to your end.

The one way, the easy way, that ruler is the devil himself. Jesus said:

I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here. (John 14:30, 31 ESV)

The other way, the other easy, the other Ruler is Christ. Jesus said:

At that time Jesus declared, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:25-30 ESV)

Break, continue to next post:::>

michael said...

Two easys! Both lead you to death! One easy. The other easy! Both bring about your end!

Jesus said:

"Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matthew 7:13, 14 ESV)

It's easy going when you are full of this world and her ways! But how many would know that this way ends in destruction? Apparently according to Jesus only a few!


Also though difficult to do it too is hard to enter by the narrow gate!

But the dichotomy is there and apparently according to Jesus it is easy and not burdensome, see again Matthew 11:25-30.

What is it, these oddities?

Well I propose this as a reasonable answer. It is always hard doing anything for The Lord and yes it is impossible to do, IMPOSSIBLE! Without the Spirit sanctifying there is no death to self only a burdensome self-work!

No man chooses this.


You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16 ESV)


I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. (John 17:15-19 ESV)


Break, continuing:::>

michael said...


For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:7-11 ESV)

For those God has chosen, the Called, the Elected, there's high adventure ahead through the Spirit of Grace and Truth!

For the world however, this:

The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, "It is done!" And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found. And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe. (Revelation 16:17-21 ESV)

If you are reading this and your heart burns hot within you and you do not know what to do, do like these did too:

Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself." And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation." (Acts 2:37-40 ESV)

Anonymous said...

Friends, I find great comfort in the words of Jesus who said: "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst."

Whether we are gathered at this site or gathered together physically with other people Our risen Lord is with us in our midst as long as we are gathered in His name!

When the risen Lord is in our midst it is never a "little" thing but a glorious, meaningful, significant and fulfilling time !

When we gather together here, Jackie, it is the equivalent of getting together and breaking bread in remembrance of Our living Lord, for He is the bread of heaven!

True fellowship that refreshes involves remembering and worshipping Jesus, the risen Lord. That's precisely what we are doing here!

And Jackie, no believer is alone for God's comforting, consoling holy Spirit dwells with them and in times of persecution God's delightful Holy Spirit will continue blessing believers with His steadfast love!

Truly true believers are are being refreshed and rejuvenated worldwide no matter how they are gathered together! Glory be to God!!!

Josef Sefton

Annette said...

"Ye also, as living stone, are built up into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."
1 Peter 2:5

"Therefore, comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as you also do."
1 Thessalonians 5:11

"But you beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit."
Jude 1:20

After reading this post that stretches the mind and cuts to the heart....I just want to Praise our Living God for all of your testimonies that encouraged me in my faith today. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for taking the time to express your witness on this blog. It has been a tremendous blessing to my soul and an encouragement in my faith in Jesus Christ.

Thank-you living stones! May we Glory in the LORD together.