18b Babylon

PURPOSE: Babylon represents all churches that retain Roman traditions and doctrines.

FOCUS: Jesus calls His people out of the churches that have rejected His message.

Is it confusing to you that there are so many different churches in the world?
Is it Jesus’ will that there should be different denominations?

John 17:20-23
What did Jesus pray about for His followers? (1 Cor 1:10) At this time God’s people were divided: a. Pharisees, b. Sadducees, c. Essenes, d. Zealots
Jesus longed to unify His people, so He preached a prophetic message to unite them…

Mark 1:14-15
What prophetic time is fulfilled? (see Dan 9:25) What were they therefore to do and believe in? Jesus’ gospel preaching was founded on prophecy.
Did the Jewish leaders receive the message?

Luke 19:41-44
What did Jesus want to give them? Why would Jerusalem be destroyed? (v.44) What time? Dan 9:25 predicted the time for the visitation of the Lord (Advent of Christ). But they didn’t know it, because they didn’t want to know it.
Not only that, but they didn’t want others to believe and study it…

John 7:47-49
They mocked all who believed Jesus was the Messiah. What arguments were used? IE: Rabbinic curse on Daniel 9. Are similar arguments used today?

Rabbinic curse
”R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in the name of R. Jonathan: Blasted be the bones of those who calculate the End [the time of the Messiah’s advent].” (Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sanhedrin, folio 97b) “Daniel has elucidated to us the knowledge of the end times. However, since they are secret, the wise [rabbis], may their memory be blessed, have barred the calculation of the days of Messiah’s coming so that the untutored populace will not be led astray when they see that the End Times have already come but there is no sign of the Messiah.” (Rabbi Moses Ben Maimonides, Igeret Teiman, Chapter 3 p. 24)
But it didn’t end there…

John 9:22, 34-39
They expelled Jesus’ followers from the synagogue (John 16:2). They could no longer be church members. Jesus had to gather His excommunicated followers and encourage their faith when they no longer had a church.
The excommunication threat worked pretty well for some time…

John 12:42-43
How many believed in Jesus? Were there even leaders who did? Why didn’t they confess Him openly? Did God approve of their conformity? (Luke 6:22)
This went so far that Jesus decided He had to start a new church…

Matt 21:43
The kingdom would be given to the believing Jews that were expelled from the synagogue. The unbelieving church would become desolate (Matt 23:37-38).
What was the name of the new organization?

Matt 16:18
The Church = gr. ecclesia = the called out ones. Built on all apostles (not only Peter) where Jesus Himself is the chief cornerstone (Eph 2:20, 1 Pet 2:4-10).
The Christian church would, however, go through a similar experience as the Jewish church…

Acts 20:28-30
Who would come in? What would they distort? Why? IE: Constantine.
This led to the Church starting to love the world instead of Jesus, as we see in Revelation 17…

Rev 17:1-6, 9, 18
What does a harlot represent? (Ezek 16:32, 35, Isa 1:21, Jer 3:1-8, Eph 5:31-32). What is she drunk with? How many hills does she sit on? What city reigned over the kings of the earth during the time of John? Who is the harlot? It’s literally written on her forehead: Babylon = codename for Rome (1 Pet 5:13). IE: Reformation history [QUOTE Robinson].

John Robinson
“For my part, I cannot sufficiently bewail the condition of the reformed churches, who are come to a period in religion, and will go at present no farther than the instruments of their reformation. The Lutherans cannot be drawn to go beyond what Luther saw; . . . and the Calvinists, you see, stick fast where they were left by that great man of God, who yet saw not all things. This is a misery much to be lamented; for though they were burning and shining lights in their time, yet they penetrated not into the whole counsel of God, but were they now living, would be as willing to embrace further light as that which they first received.” (John Robinson, quoted in D. Neal, History of the Puritans, vol. 1, p. 269)

RCC also has daughters (v.5). Who are they? Many fallen churches who look like their mother, that is state churches or churches that has retained Roman Catholic teachings and traditions. IE: Image-worship, Sunday sacredness, inherent immortality etc.
To heal the division within Protestantism, God sent the prophetic Advent Movement…

Rev 14:6-7, 8
IE: Advent Movement History, [Quote Miller]. Counteracted. 50 000 expelled.

William Miller
“In all my labors I never had the desire or thought to establish any separate interest from that of existing denominations, or to benefit one at the expense of another. I thought to benefit all. … My whole object was a desire to convert souls to God, to notify the world of a coming judgment, and to induce my fellow men to make that preparation of heart which will enable them to meet their God in peace. The great majority of those who were converted under my labors united with the various existing churches.” (William Miller quoted in Sylvester Bliss, Memoirs of William Miller, p. 328)

What does Jesus want us to do if we find ourselves in Babylon?

Rev 18:2-4
Whose people are in Babylon? What should they do? Where should they go to? (John 10:16).

Do you belong to a church that is either a state church or that holds to Roman doctrines or traditions? Do you wish to heed God’s call to you in Rev. 18:4?