There is a world-wide culture in these last days that is referred to in Scripture as an “Anti-Christ” system. It is a godless, wicked, evil system that is in opposition to the Lord, and His righteousness. It has invaded many different aspects of our society, including churches, schools, governments, media, homes, cities, and nations. It seeks to brainwash and confuse people regarding right and wrong. It scorns and undermines true faith in God and sound doctrine.
Can we live the victorious, overcoming life in the midst of it all? YES! Thanks be God who gives us the VICTORY THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST! I Corinthians 15:57
“LIVING IN BABYLON” (1)
REVIEW OF Part 1 – “The Spirit of Babylon” (A) & (B) (1)
- Special note: Please review previous post “Overcoming in Babylon – 1” for more detail. This is only a quick summary of that…
The world-wide culture has shifted over the last century in many places to paganism, and the rejection of Biblical values. Absolute values and truths are no longer considered absolute by many people, these days!
Daniel and His friends, as seen in the Book of Daniel, stood strong in their faith in the midst of the Babylonian environment of captivity they lived in. They were victorious overcomer’s – they survived and thrived in that secular and pagan society.
“THE SPIRIT OF BABYLON” is still prevalent in the world today, although the actual city has been destroyed. Some of the characteristics of the spirit of Babylon are confusion and chaos. It has infiltrated every area of society. Through the media and many other means people are being brainwashed and inundated with worldly, anti-Christ philosophies and lifestyles. We might be alive and living in Babylonian type times at the end of the age, but don’t let the spirit of Babylon get inside of you! Although Babylon was physically destroyed, there is a Babylonian spirit prevalent these days that is displeasing to God! There is a spirit of the city of Babylon that continues in the world today.
BABYLON IN REVELATION
Revelation 14:8 – And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she (she’s a prostitute) made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
- Special note: The church, the bride of Christ in the New Testament is likened to a woman. Satan’s follower’s are his deceptive substitute, involved with prostitution and harlotry, immorality and perversion. The enemy is out to counterfeit and deceive people.
- Revelation 17:5 – And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.
- Babylon is now increasing in our nation because we have cut the Scriptures out of our lives!
ISRAEL DESTROYED AND TAKEN CAPTIVE TO BABYLON
Why did God send the enemy, and allow Israel to be destroyed? Daniel 1:1 – In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
- Special note: King Jehoiakim was the King that destroyed the scrolls of prophet Jeremiah 2 times, and threw it into the fire- (Jeremiah 36:21,22,27). He rejected the Word of the Lord that the Lord was going to bring judgment. Whether he liked it or not – God allowed judgment to come! Many in our nation have also rejected God’s Word, and thrown the Bible and prayer out of homes, School, courts, government… etc… Why are we in the mess we are in? People have rejected the Word of the Lord! They have cut the Bible out of their lives! Many want to live like the world, and be conformed to the worldly image, instead of Jesus’s image. Where has the concept of holiness (separation from the world gone)? Many of God’s people want to be like the world, and act like the world these days – instead of live holy, Christ-centered lives that are pleasing to the Lord.
- Daniel 1:2 – And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
- What is the land of “Shinar” – Genesis 11:1,2,9 – the place where the tower of Babel was erected was “Shinar” (Babel means “confusion” – Babylon and Babel are the same word). The characteristic of Babylon is confusion and chaos. Confusion in the political realm, confusion of genders… etc. God is not the author of confusion – He is a God of order and design.
PARTS 2 (A) & (B) – “THE FIGHT FOR THE TRUTH” / “BE HOLY”
This is a condensed summary of Parts 2 (A) and (B) of a 3-part message series titled – “Living in Babylon”. (1)
THE FIGHT FOR THE TRUTH
Truth is a distinguishing mark of Daniel’s life! He purposed in HIs heart that He would not defile himself in Babylon. (Daniel 1:8). That is the key! He purposed in His heart to serve God, and faithfully live for Him in Chapter 1. That is what helped prepare him and his friends for what they were going to face in Chapter 3 when his friends were thrown into the fiery furnace, and he was thrown into the lions den in Chapter 6!
We also need to be able to discern the truth, in the midst of days of great deception. We are living in a Babylonian, evil system that opposes God or anything righteous. There are many who are elevating man-made philosophies and teachings above the Inspired Word of God, and promoting false gods! These are times when we are being bullied and pressured to conform to worldly standards in our schools, churches, family, and nation! We need to decide with finality that we are never bow to the gods of this society (relativism, humanism, paganism, etc) or stop serving our true and living God! Young people and old can serve God in this culture – just like Daniel and his friends! It’s helpful to have the reinforcement of godly, wise friends! Let’s stay away from evil companions, and the wrong crowd that can lead us the way of destruction! People will perish because they reject the TRUTH!
Like Martin Luther said – we need to … “BITE AND FIGHT FOR THE TRUTH!” He also said ” “PEACE IF POSSIBLE – TRUTH AT ALL COSTS!” (3)
Daniel told the king the truth in Daniel 4. The king was prideful! That is the spirit of Babylon! The king was driven from his throne and society in his craziness. When the king came back to his senses, he exalted God!
Can we live the TRUTH in a Babylonian society when things around us are trying to affect us negatively, and destroy our faith? Daniel and his friends did, and we can, too!
“MY” TRUTH vs. “THE” TRUTH
“MY TRUTH” – A catch phrase. Some believe everybody is right, and nobody is wrong! Live YOUR truth – it is a subjective truth, man-made truth based on an individual’s own personal opinion, beliefs, personal feelings and perspectives – ‘doing what is right in your own eyes’. It avoids correction, and is not based on Biblical standards. It preaches tolerance, and practices intolerance. It is prideful, and wants to make a name for themself (like the people at Babel). The standard of right and wrong is based on personal opinion, and not the on the Word of God. It puts self on the throne, and makes self the authority, not God. It feels that you can do anything you want, and that is ok. You do what you think is right for you to do – don’t let anyone else, or even God tell you what to do… It leads people to stray from God’s truth!
“THE TRUTH” – THE TRUTH is very different than that! It is a godly standard of tRUTH that does exist! Jesus talked about it. It is Found in God’s Word. It is not about your personal feelings or opinion. It does not change. It is not subjective — it is objective. It is knowable and observable. It is outside of you. It is a fixed standard that involves reality. Jesus said, “If you continue in my Word, than are you my truly my disciples, and You shall know THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH shall make you free!” – John 8:31-32. Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” – John 17:17. Pilate questioned – “What is TRUTH?” Jesus told him “Every one that is of THE TRUTH hears my voice”. The church is to be “the pillar and ground of THE TRUTH” – I Timothy 3:15
God’s absolute truth is sourced in God, and the revelation of His Word! It is what the Bible says, as revealed through Jesus, the LIVING WORD! The standard of truth is God – not man!
Our culture is contaminated! The devil is at work deceiving people with his lies. He is a liar and the father of lies – (John 8:44). The devil wants to make sin look normal, and make THE TRUTH, and people who live for THE TRUTH look strange.
Truth is not always the popular vote, nor democracy. It is Theocracy – it is sourced in God and a revelation of His way. Jesus is… THE TRUTH (John 14:6) It’s all about Jesus, and HIS WAY! Right is right even if nobody is, and wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong! We need to be strong, and stand for right AND FOR THE TRUTH – even when the world, and worldly systems are wrong!
The mark of a man or woman of God is that they are willing to LIVE THE TRUTH, even when it personally affects them in a negative manner.
BE HOLY (2)
I Peter 1:15-16 – … but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
Isaiah 6:3 – And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!”
Revelation 4:8 – The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”
It is very clear from Scripture that God Almighty, our Creator wants us to be like Him! We’ve been created in HIS IMAGE! What is He like? He is, “Holy, holy, holy” (repeated 3 times for emphasis) – (see above Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8). Our pursuit of holiness must be to become more like JESUS! The way of life is the way of Jesus. What is His way? It is the way of holiness.
Hebrews 12:14 – PURSUE… HOLINESS, without which no one will see the Lord…
Isaiah 35:8 – A highway shall be there, and a road, And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness.…
God wants his people to be holy, and live holy lives. Most of the world are living UNHOLY LIVES. Paul wrote: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).”
We are to live HOLY LIVES! We are not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind… Jesus is coming for his glorious church, soon, that is HOLY and without blemish… – Ephesians 5:27. What is the church to look like? We are to look like Jesus – conformed into HIS IMAGE – (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). That is only possible through Jesus! Through Him we are made holy! Who is the “Holy One”? It’s Jesus! He is our Savior and Lord! We are to bring a revelation of Jesus and His HOLY kingdom into an UNHOLY world – may His kingdom come, HIs will be done! (Luke 11:2). Lord, hear our prayers!
We can live HOLY, BLAMELESS LIVES in a Babylonian culture. I Peter was written in the midst of persecution, and it is believed to be written from the city of Babylon. It is a call to faithfulness in the midst of suffering and hardship..
The word “HOLY” is used over 600 times in the Bible! It is something that is very important to the Lord! We are to be separated and set apart from the world, and consecrated to the Lord! We are to be HOLY in all of our conduct, and lifestyle!
Our old, sinful, unholy life
I Peter 4:3; 2:1 – For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries... Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking…
Galatians 5:19-21 – Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 – But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power…
James 3:14-16 – But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
PUT OFF THE OLD – PUT ON THE NEW
Ephesians 4:17-24 – This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Colossians 3:5-10 – Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him…
WE ARE A NEW CREATION – CREATED TO BE HOLY
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
- Special note: We are to now live a holy life, putting off worldly ways, and a life that is now worthy and compatible with the ways of Jesus. It is to be a life-long journey of holiness… JESUS IS OUR LIFE!
A HOLY NATION
I Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…
- Special thanks and acknowledgement to Josh Pennington– Lead Pastor at Christpoint Church; Message: “Living in Babylon” Part 1 (A) and (B)- “The Spirit of Babylon“; Part 2 (A) – “The Fight for the Truth”.
- Special thanks and acknowledgement to Dallas Herndon – Youth Pastor at Christpoint Church; Message Part 2 (B) – “Be Holy” .
- Special acknowledgement and appreciation for Martin Luther, and several of his famous quotes.