THE BABYLONIAN SPIRIT AND THE
CHURCH - Terry Somerville
And they said, Come,
let us build us a city, and a tower, whose top may
reach unto heaven, and let us make us a name;
lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And Jehovah came down to see the city and the tower, which
the children of men builded. Genesis11:4,5
the bible does not say there is a "demon of babylon", there is a
combination of human rebellion and demonic activity
we sometimes call the "spirit of Babylon. This spirit manifests
in mans heart saying "Let
us build, let us get a name for ourselves, let us reach unto
heaven." The "spirit of babylon"
motivates human organization and building with man at the head. It
is the root behind all the world religions trying to reach
heaven by human effort. The stories in the book of Daniel capture
the essence of Gods people in the midst of Babylon. The
Of Christ is being called into the marketplace, an arena
that the spirit of Babylon controls.
It is easy to mix the spirit of Babylon into our
organization, church or business, and not realize it. We
are like the people of Israel
who adopted the "practices of the land round about" and couldn't
see the problem. This is why Christians have often
been ineffective and irrelevant in our culture.
Lord wants to reveal His glory to world through His people and cannot
anoint a mixture. As God sends us INTO the marketplace he is also
calling us OUT OF Babylon. Here are some observations.
The spirit of Babylon causes man to say "come let us build".
Whenever Christians gather we are the church (Ecclesia) We know the
church is not the building, the organization or corporation, yet
we need to organizethe things we do. As soon as we move from
the church being believers
"gathered" to creating an organization and
corporation, we become vulnerable to the spirit of Babylon. We
can subtly shift to a "come let us build" mentality and end up
building and sustaining a "religious organization", rather than
extending the Kingdom of God. Human methods
then replace the power of the Holy Spirit and selfish ambitions
come in along with "every kind of disorder." If we
take an honest look at the church today where to we see the
problems? They are usually centered around the
organization! Regarding church buildings and organizations John Wesley
adopted the stance "it will all burn". We must not initiate, but always
story is told of Chinese Christian leaders visiting our churches.
At the end of their trip they were asked what they thought. Conferring
for a moment they replied, "We are amazed at how much you
have accomplished without the Holy Spirit." We need organization, but it must always
reflect Jesus. We cannot build the church, Jesus said "I will build my
church..." (matt.16:18) Today the Holy Spirit is saying
"repent from dead works, enter into rest and follow Jesus as Lord of
the church, in everything we do.
The spirit of Babylon causes men to say "let us get a name for
ourselves" This is the real motivation behind much ministry.
We have adopted human values of size, fame, youth, wealth, power and
recognition! We want the name of our church or ministry
to be famous! We operate by control through titles and
positions to "get a name for ourselves" , rather having
real spiritual authority. The 1995 "Gathering" at
Whistler marked a beginning of God's dealings with personal
agendas in ministry in Canada.
had a dream about the Whistler gathering the year before. In this
dream about 2000 people are together. The leader says "The
Spirit of God is coming like the rain, but He will be coming like
Niagara falls." Everyone jumps up and grabs their "boogie boards" from
under their seats, getting ready to ride the wave of God. These
boards represent God's call on each life, and they
were beautifully painted with the names of churches and
ministries, honorable titles, and positions. As the rain hits
the boogie boards the paint started to run. This is
what God has been doing for the last ten years. He's washing off
everything man adds to His work. Those who won't co-operate will be set
aside in the next move of God!
I stepped out of pastoral ministry last spring the Holy Spirit said
forcefully to me "no positions, no titles" The coming
generation of believers will be free of selfish ambition and be
noted for one thing - The Glory of the Lord. When the bible
says "The Glory of the Lord shall cover the earth" it does not mean we
will be incapacitated by His presence, rather we will reflect the glory
of the Lord in every sphere, because our hearts are one with His.
It will be HIs name alone that is noticed.
The spirit of Babylon says "let us reach to heaven". The
spirit of Babylon is the spirit of religion. It says "let us reach
heaven", and permeates Christians activity with legalism or religious
effort. For example, today there is much
striving in Spirit filled, revival circles, to "open the
windows of heaven". I know what that means, we all want God's
atmosphere to permeate our cities, but lets look at our methods.
We've been taught to tithe accurately, adopt new ways to pray, do
spiritual mapping and warfare, identificational repentance, quote the
right scriptures, continually deal with heart issues, etc. The problem is, the focus is on what WE do,
not on what HE HAS DONE. We are always reaching for one
more activity that will break through. Where is the simple
unity and oneness with Christ and following the Holy Spirit that
opened Jerusalem in Acts?
Then they said to Him, What shall we do that we
might work the works of God? Jesus
answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He has sent.
The facts are, Jesus already opened the windows of heaven,
they are not closed to a Christian, ever. We need no religious
activity whatsoever, only to believe and follow. He is our great
high priest who went into the heavens, and we have unfettered access to
him. (Heb 4) In fact we are seated with Christ above the windows
of heaven, and in a position of rest. We join Him
in pouring down his blessing onto the earth with the enemy under
our (His) feet. Since I've grasped this and simply
believed, healings, miracles and spiritual warfare have
dramatically changed. It's so good to stop striving
and enter his rest!
Heb 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest hath himself also
rested from his works, as God did from his.
The spirit of Babylon inspires hidden idolatry in God's people. When
Israel was released from captivity, the priests copied the
idolatry of Babylon. They painted unclean images on the inner
rooms of the temple, and took "idols in their hearts"
(Ezekiel 14:3) In many ways we are like the Israelite
priests. (We are a Royal Priesthood) We can
have idols in our hearts, an image or picture of something we covet and
serve. (covetousness is idolatry Col.3:5) The spirit
of Babylon is at work in idolatry.
In the early nineties the Lord convicted me
heavily of idols in my hearts. I didn't understand this until He
showed me the images or pictures in my heart that I served.
One was a picture of what I wanted my ministry to be like. Whenever ministry went according to the
image my flesh was pleased. Whenever it went contrary to the image
my flesh was upset and depressed. I served this idol of
ministry with my flesh.
Spiritual attack. When
there is idolatry in ministry terrible spiritual attacks and
oppression will happen, and spiritual warfare can not stop it
! This is what drove me to seek God. Satan took advantage of my
idolatry and assaulted me. I could not resist him
successfully because I was not really submitted to God. This is why
there is so much spiritual warfare and depression in the church today.
Character issues in ministry. When a minister has an idol of
ministry in his heart all kinds of character issues
emerge. Some may be depressed and discouraged. Others become
angry or control people. Still others may use spiritual
Soulish prayers and witchcraft. Prayers become very soulish
when serving an idol. We ask God to fulfill the picture of
ministry in the heart rather than following the leading of the Holy
Spirit. When prayers focus making people do our will it becomes
Until the idols of the heart are cast down (we have
to do it) we cannot fully follow the Holy Spirit, or
experience His power.
spirit of Babylon is under a judgement that
causes confusion and division.
Come, let Us go down and there confuse
their language, so that they cannot understand one another's speech. So Jehovah scattered them abroad from that place upon
the face of all the earth. And they quit building the city Gen 11:7,8
The Lord declared His judgement on the spirit of
Babylon and it stills operates
today: Confusion, division, and scattering will
always happen where this spirit has influence. This is
actually the Lords mercy to restrain mankind and return him
to God. We've wondered why the organized church
is so prone to division. The truth is that we are experiencing the
Lord's judgement on the spirit of Babylon in what we are doing.
Instead of simply praying for unity, (which Jesus even prayed
for) we need to repent and remove every influence of this spirit
in our midst.
This is only an initial look at the influence of the
spirit of Babylon. It remains largely un-noticed by the church today
because we grew up immersed in it's practices, and following its ways
in our organizations. Let those who have ears, hear what the
Spirit says to the church.
Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, Come
out of her, My people, that you may not be partakers of her sins, and
that you may not receive of her plagues.