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05/01/2005 - Babylon - Part I What is Babylon?



Babylon

Part I

What is Babylon?

Date: 05/01/2005

Issue No. 202

Having dealt with the three frogs of Rev. 16:13, 14, we now turn our attention to Babylon itself. The sixth bowl was poured out to release three frogs to gather the nations to Armageddon in order to expose the three religions that claim Abraham as their ancestor—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Because each of these claims to have the true way, God is bringing them specifically into account, and He is using occult Freemasonry as a vessel of dishonor to accomplish His purpose.

What is Babylon?

The most basic question that we must answer first is: “What is Babylon?” There is more than one answer, but in a nutshell, it is the entire world system run by the carnal minds of men. It is not a single religion or economic system or political system. In fact, religious Babylon is a huge ecumenical system in that it attempts to encompass all religions under its banner—except true Christianity.

In making all religions essentially equal, it destroys them all and creates an entirely new “secular” religion. This new religion makes man sovereign and makes man into a god. It is the root problem, the serpent’s lie in Gen. 3:5, which says,

5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. (NASB)

5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (KJV)

The Hebrew word for “God” or “gods” is elohim. It can be rendered either God or gods, depending on the context or upon the view of the translator. Some say that the lie was in the fact that Adam and Eve were already gods, and that accepting the lie reduced them to being “like gods.” I think that explanation misses the whole point.

There was no temptation in offering them a demotion, and I do not think they were that stupid. They were offered divine status through knowledge, after the tempter had questioned God’s wisdom and purpose in forbidding it.

What do you mean: Ye Are Gods?

The Hebrew word elohim is technically the plural of El. Some teach that this means a plurality in the Godhead. But the Hebrew language uses many plurals that cannot be translated into English as plural. Plurals are used in a different manner in the Hebrew language. Some call it the plural of majesty, such as when royalty uses the “royal we” in official documents. It is similar to the “editorial we” used in newspapers.

This term elohim can refer to either the true God or to a false god. For example, see Exodus 20:2, 3,

2 I am the Lord [Yahweh] your God [elohim], who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 You shall have no other gods [elohim] before Me.

Elohim literally means “a subjector,” that is, one who is in a position of authority over others. It is the plural of El, which is spelled with an aleph and a lamed in Hebrew. An aleph means an ox and signifies strength, or the idea of being first, since it is the first letter of their alphabet. A lamed means an ox goad and is a symbol of authority. Thus, El literally means “strong authority” or “first authority.” This is literally what “God” or “a god” is.

Thus, we see the term used of judges and rulers in Israel, such as in Exodus 21:6. The KJV renders it “judges,” while the NASB renders it “God.” Both are correct.

6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges [elohim]. (KJV)

6 Then his master shall bring him to God [elohim] (NASB).

In Exodus 22:8 we read,

8 If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges [elohim]. (KJV)

8 If the thief is not caught, then the owner of the house shall appear before the judges [elohim]. (NASB)

Thus, the word can be translated either way. The judges in Israel represented God, because they were supposed to administer the divine law to the people. All authority is from God (Rom. 13:1). Therefore, the judges are elohim by virtue of the authority that they have been given over other people.

Moses is a good example of this, because in Ex. 7:1 God tells him, “See, I have made you a god [elohim] to Pharaoh.” This means Moses was given authority to bring judgment to Pharaoh according to the divine law as led by the voice and word of God. It did not make Moses divine.

In the same way, we have been given authority over the world and angels too, for Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 6:2, 3,

2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, matters of this life?

Of course, since the saints will judge the world, this of necessity means that not all men will be judges. Some would have to be part of the “world” that is to be judged. We know from other studies that the overcomers will be the rulers (Rev. 20:6), and their job will be to reign in authority and to judge with righteous judgment.

This is the primary purpose and job description of the elohim—that is, overcomers, who are (under Christ) the highest ranking judges of angels and men.

Adam himself was given authority over the earth in Gen. 1:26, where it says,

26 Then God [elohim] said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to our likeness, and let them rule…”

The Creator-Elohim thus delegated authority to man. This made created man an elohim over the rest of creation. The fact that man is elohim does not make him divine, nor can it be used to prove that man pre-existed in heaven as some form of divine being. It simply indicates divine authority that has been delegated to him.

This Dominion Mandate made it imperative for the Creator-Elohim (Jesus Christ, the Word in John 1:1) to become a man descended from Adam in order to lawfully rule the earth. He was incarnated into the lineage to whom the scepter of Judah and David had passed, so that He would literally be the prime Inheritor of the Dominion Mandate from Adam that had been passed down from generation to generation.

This brings us to a very important point. The Creator-Elohim had to descend to earth through the incarnation in order to obtain earthly authority according to His own Dominion Mandate (law). He secured the Kingdom with His own blood and then ascended to the throne, where He had all authority in heaven and in earth (Matt. 28:18). This is the basis of our own authority as well, for our authority is derived from His authority, not from our own selves.

Usurping the Throne

As believers, we are said to be seated with Christ in heavenly places, as Paul says in Eph. 2:6,

6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.

There is a difference between being seated with Him and usurping His throne. To be seated with Him means that we derive our authority from Him, not from ourselves. To usurp the throne means that we replace Him and make ourselves kings in place of Him. To usurp the throne is to be an antichrist, for that term literally means “in place of Christ.” Anyone who teaches that we have replaced Christ is operating under a spirit of antichrist. This is what the rulers of the Jews did when they crucified Jesus to “seize His inheritance” (Matt. 21:38). This is what Absalom did when he usurped David’s throne (2 Sam. 15:10).

We are to rule “with Him,” not displacing Him. The true view gives Him honor; the counterfeit of Babylon honors self at the expense of Christ and either dispenses with Him entirely or diminishes Him in some way. We are to judge men’s teachings by this standard.

To be one with Christ does not mean to be Christ the Head. It means to be in full agreement with Him as a member of His body. The Amen people never usurp His glory; they reflect it.

Did Jesus Usurp His Father’s Throne?

One peculiar characteristic of God that is seldom understood is that He is not bound by time or space. He can be in more than one place at any time—and He is. That is how He can hear the prayers of all men, though they may be praying thousands of miles apart. Eph. 1:23 says that He fills all things. He is everywhere at the same time. So it should be no problem for us to see that God could be in heaven as well as in Christ at the same time.

The fact that Jesus prayed to the Father does not indicate that separateness. God did not have to leave heaven empty when He was incarnated in earth in the person of Jesus Christ. Nor do we need to make Jesus a separate God to explain how He prayed to His Father.

But this is not the focus of our study at the present time. When Jesus said in John 10:30, “I and My Father are one,” He was not giving a lesson on the theology of the Godhead. It was a lesson on the unity of being one body. Nonetheless, the Jews took up stones to kill Him for blasphemy, because, they said, “You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.” In other words, they accused Him of usurping the place of God. Did He do this?

The Greek word for God used here is theoi. The -oi ending is used when the subject is plural. It is the equivalent of the Hebrew word elohim understood as a plural, “gods.” So verse 34 days,

34 Jesus answered them, “Has it not been written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods[theoi]? 35 If he called them gods, to whom the word of God [theou] came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’ [theou]?

He went on to explain that “the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.”

Jesus did not deny that He was elohim. In fact, He quoted Psalm 82:6 to prove it. But take special note that He did not quote it by saying, “You are God (elohim).” Instead, He renders elohim in the plural—theoi, “gods.” That whole passage reads,

6 I said, “You are gods [elohim], and all of you are sons of the Most High. 7 Nevertheless, you will die like men, and fall like any one of the princes.

It is obvious from this that we are ALL elohim, not just Jesus Christ. Why? Simply because we are all given various levels of authority in the earth. We are elohim on account of Gen. 1:26. Nevertheless, because of Adam’s sin, we all “die like men” [Heb., adam].

In other words, our position of authority as elohim does not exempt us from the mortality that Adam’s sin brought to all of these elohim. Paul says that our Heavenly Father alone has immortality (1 Tim. 6:16).

There are some who say that because we are elohim, we helped Him create the heavens and the earth. In Job 38, God asks him, “Where were you at creation?” God was scolding Job for thinking He knew better how to run the universe, and Job repented of it.

Others say or imply that all elohim are equal to Christ. This is wrong. There are many levels of authority in the earth. The term elohim does not tell us anything about which level of authority each person has. All authority is from God, but not all authority is equal. Christ the Head is the highest Authority, for we read in Eph. 1:19-21,

19 . . . These are in accordance with the working of the strength of his might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and dominion, and every name that is named; not only in this age, but also in the one to come.

Christ’s authority is over everyone, both in this present age and in the age to come. That includes the Church and the overcomers. It includes the body of Christ, who, though seated with Him in His throne, will never usurp His throne or His place of authority over all creation.

Joint-Heirs with Christ

God has reached down to our mortal estate and has given us the right to become the children of God (John 1:12). If children, then we are also joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). But children must first grow up. As long as we are spiritually immature, we are not different from servants, even if destined to be “lord of all” (Gal. 4:1).

Too many, in their pride, want to exercise authority as lord of all without first going through the training process as servants—that is, as sons in training. They often think of themselves as fully mature sons, much like spiritual teenagers, who think they “know it all.” They are like the prodigal son who thinks he is old enough to receive his inheritance, not realizing until later that he has squandered it upon his own carnality.

The fact is, we are not fully mature until we experience the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles. Being justified by faith (Passover) does not make a mature son. Neither does the baptism of the Spirit (Pentecost). Only the final feast brings us into full maturity, and this will be evident by the actual changes in the body that occur.

Rom. 8:17 says we are joint-heirs with Christ. This does not mean EQUAL heirs in the sense of a position of authority. It means that our inheritance is His inheritance. In that sense, we are patterned after the Levites, who had no inheritance in the land of Israel, because God was their inheritance. The Levites represented all the firstborn sons of Israel, whom God claimed as His own (Lev. 3:12, 13). That is why all the firstborn of Israel were redeemed by all the Levites. The Levites were dedicated to God in place of all the firstborn sons of Israel. Lev. 18:20 says,

20 Then the Lord said to Aaron, “You shall have no inheritance in their land, nor own any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the sons of Israel.

The Levites (as representing the firstborn sons) were, in essence, God’s inheritance in the earth, and as such, they were joint-heirs of God. They had given up their Adamic authority and inheritance—tainted by sin and death—and traded it for the divine authority of the Christ and an inheritance in the Kingdom of God.

This new authority was not sovereignty, because it was authorized by a higher power. It was not that higher power itself, for God has never given man His sovereignty. He has only given man authority. If they misused it, they were held accountable by the Sovereign above them. As long as they remained obedient and in agreement with the Sovereign God, they had the potential of exercising all the authority of God Himself, if God should so lead them.

To misuse God’s authority is to usurp His authority. But to remain in full agreement with God means that we do all things as if it were God Himself doing it. We become His mirror image in the earth. Whatever we bind is bound in heaven. Whatever we loose is loosed in heaven. All we do and say is Amen in agreement.

The point of this is to show that Jesus’ statement, “You are gods,” should not be interpreted in a Babylonian way. We are not here to replace God as usurpers of His throne. We are created in His image and likeness. We lost that likeness through Adam’s sin. We regain it through Christ in the proper biblical manner through the New Covenant fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Knowledge: The Wrong Path

Getting back to Gen. 3:5, the serpent tempted Adam and Eve with knowledge from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. (NASB)

Babylon teaches that the goal of humanity is to usurp the place of God. Nimrod usurped the throne of Noah and Shem and set up his rival kingdom called Babylon. Babylon further teaches that the way to do this is through knowledge. And so, occult organizations such as Freemasonry lure people with the promise of learning hidden knowledge (lost technology) that was lost thousands of years ago. It is presumed that if a person could re-discover this lost knowledge, they could attain immortality and be like God.

More than this, they also end up teaching that God was stingy and tried to withhold this knowledge from Adam and Eve. Satan (i.e., the serpent) disagreed with God and generously shared this knowledge with Adam and Eve. God then threw a fit and unjustly declared war on Satan, cast him out of heaven, and made men mortal.

Occult organizations know that they could not get very far if they openly told people what they believed. So they made their organization secret, or “occult.” They suck people in by promising them knowledge. Then, if initiates accept their teaching, they are admitted to the higher degrees where they learn that “Lucifer” is the good God (the older son), and Jesus, his younger brother, is his rival.

This is why Babylon promotes the development of technology. In medical research, they are trying to find the lost secrets of immortality. In searching the heavens with astronomy and sending men to Mars, they are trying to get in touch with advanced civilizations in other solar systems to see if they can teach us the secrets of immortality.

I am not against scientific technology, nor do I believe that knowledge is evil in itself. Knowledge is good, as long as it is in submission to Jesus Christ. But I do not agree with those who say we must learn or remember some lost knowledge of who we were in a pre-existent state to qualify for either salvation or sonship. Such teachings make knowledge the basis of salvation or sonship, and it is part of the original serpent’s lie.

Salvation has to do with faith, not knowledge. Sonship has to do with character, not the knowledge of some lost or long-forgotten secret about who we are. Our Character is shaped by our knowledge of who God is, not of who we are. The age-old questions, “Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going?” These are relevant questions, certainly, but they are not the primary issue. The question is: “Who is God?” Better yet, “Who is Jesus Christ?” Eat of the tree of Life, and you will learn the answer.

When we shift our focus from Christ to ourselves, it is not long before we seek to deify man, as the Babylonians did, and then we elevate the soul in place of the spirit.