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Zion and Babylon Compared   6 comments

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Chapter 1 from The Harlot Church System
By Charles Elliott Newbold, Jr.

Chapter 1 – Zion And Babylon Compared

We often sang scripture songs about Zion. I was a new convert then, gathering with a room full of very Spirit-sensitive believers. Those songs always struck a chord of joy in my heart, but I didn’t know why. “Do you know what Zion is?” I asked one of the sisters.

“Yes.” She meekly answered.

“Would you explain it to me?” I eagerly asked.

“You’ll discover it in time.”

“That’s it!? You know the answer, but I’ll have to wait to discover it myself?” Having no other choice, I waited.

Some years later I came to understand that Zion is a symbolic place in the spirit where Jesus is the only thing there is. He alone takes preeminence.

Then, I came to understand that Babylon meant something as well, that it stood in contrast to Zion. Symbolically, Babylon is all that the carnal (fleshly) mind devises in the exaltation of Self–the preeminence of Self over God. It is a place in us where we think we are IT. We exalt our imaginations and every high thing above the knowledge of God. 2 Cor. 10:5.

Both Zion and Babylon were historical places, yet the scriptures also speak of them as spiritual states of being. Hebrews 12:22 speaks of Zion (Sion, in KJV) in this figurative sense: “But we are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and assembly of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect.” 1 Peter 2:6 reads, “Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious; and he who believes on Him shall not be confounded.” This Zion is Jesus.

Revelation 14:8 is a good example of how Babylon has been used in this figurative sense: “And there followed another angel, saying, ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’” Most notable is Revelation 17:5 which identifies the mother of harlots as Babylon: “Upon her forehead was a name written, “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”

Both Zion and Babylon mirror the condition of our hearts.

Symbolic Babylon is that attitude of the heart that makes us think we can solve all of our problems and meet all of our needs without God. We look to government, politics, science, technology, psychology, sociology, economics, entertainment, and religion for our help–things mankind has invented. Therefore, we look to ourselves to save ourselves.

In this book, however, my reference to spiritual Babylon is limited to the institutionalized, organized, religious church systems which I contend are products of the carnal mind. Please read on to see what I mean by this.

(The word church and the pronoun it when used in italics in this book refers to this Thing we call church. When it is not in italics, I am referring to buildings that have been dedicated to the worship of a deity, or I am directly quoting other sources.)

SPIRIT AND FLESH

In order to understand these two “spiritual states of being”–that is, Zion and Babylon–we must understand the difference between Spirit and flesh.

In the context of this book, the difference between the body of Christ and this Thing we call church is that difference between Spirit and flesh–what is of the Spirit of God and what is of our old man nature of flesh and sin, even the carnal mind.

Zion represents the Spirit; Babylon represents the flesh. The body of Christ needs very much to discern between what is Spirit and what is flesh, for that which is of the flesh is an enemy to the Spirit. True believers in Christ have been given the power of the Spirit to live a life separated from the flesh. This separation is what we call sanctification.

The word flesh is used in both the Old and the New Testament in reference to the natural, physical existence of all mankind such as we see it used in Matthew 24:22: “And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”

Flesh has also been used in reference to an individual’s human body. After His resurrection and before His ascension, Jesus appeared to His followers and said, “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” Luke 24:39.

However, the kind of flesh written about in this book is in reference to that fallen nature of sin within all mankind that came about when Adam rebelled in the garden. Paul wrote regarding this, “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery [which is witchcraft], hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 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.” Gal. 5:19-21. Flesh is capable of committing the most vile evils without conscience even while having an awareness of what is good and evil. Such occurred in the days of Noah. Gen. 6:5-7. These practices are not the deeds of the physical body, but of that fallen sin nature that resides in us.

Paul had already established in Galatians 5:17 that “the flesh lusts [sets its desire] against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” Romans 8:7 attests that “the carnal mind is at enmity [hostile] against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.”

The carnal mind and the Spirit of God speak languages that are foreign and unknown to each other. The carnal (fleshly) mind cannot speak Spirit and the Spirit of God cannot speak flesh. The carnal mind has no ability whatsoever to understand the things of God which are Spirit. 1 Cor. 2:12-14. When inspired things of God are reduced to rigid doctrines, systems of theology, reasoning and logic, they are no longer Spirit but have become flesh. And if flesh, then deception. The carnal mind is at total odds with the Spirit of God; it is hostile to God.

THE DEATH SENTENCE

The sentence of death has been pronounced over the flesh. The flesh nature of man is separated from God who is life; therefore, the flesh is dead and all that comes from the carnal mind is death.

Nevertheless, flesh has a life of its own. It is earthly, sensual, self-centered, and at war with God. Its life is born out of the seed of death. It has an inherent drive to preserve itself at all cost. It fears annihilation. Yet, it cannot save itself because it is destined to self-destruction. The flesh nature rules a person until the life of God in Christ is planted within his spirit, at which time the old seed of flesh and sin is understood to be what it already is–dead. Unfortunately, even after we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and while we remain in this life, we carry about both seeds: the seed of flesh and death, and the seed of Spirit and life.

THE HARLOT OF SELF

The flesh loves Self. Self with the capital “S” is the term I use throughout this book to refer to that the self-centered, self-indulging, self-absorbed, self-willed, self-serving nature of fallen flesh. The flesh nature of Self turns in on itself. It is selfish, prideful, arrogant, haughty, vain, narcissistic, manipulative, controlling, dominating, impatient, stubborn, insensitive, resentful, angry, unteachable, rebellious, fearful, anxious, complaining, disagreeable, judgmental, negative, critical, cynical, indifferent, greedy, lustful, sensual, envious, covetous, jealous, fault-finding, dishonest, and deceitful. It is deceived and suffers from delusions of grandeur. It always asks, “What’s in it for me?”

The harlot, broadly defined, is anything for Self. I refer to these Things we call church as the harlot church system because they have been created out of our fleshly minds and desires for Self.Churches as we experience them today have no basis in scripture. They are icons of self-worship. Moreover, they are idolatrous, deceptive, and dangerous.

A TROUBLING MESSAGE

I will hit hard on the idolatry of the church system as we know it and experience it today. If you are not prepared to hear this message by the Spirit, you will no doubt take serious offense to it. The message of this book will be troubling to many of you who are victims of the church system, but will be most troubling to those of you who depend upon the church system for your livelihood and who find your significance, identity, validation, recognition, power, and security in it.

If you choose to continue reading this book, it will take you where you may think you do not want to go. You will journey beyond the facade of that Thing we call church and see how it is an invention of flesh. You will discover the demons that empower it. If you go the distance, you will hopefully find, with Abraham, that “city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is the Lord.” Heb. 11:10. You will “come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels; to the general assembly and assembly of the firstborn, who are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirit of just men made perfect.” Heb. 12:22-23.

ZION AND BABYLON

Before I plunge forward into exposing the idolatry of this harlot system, I want to abbreviate some comparisons between spiritual Zion, where Jesus is the only thing there is, and spiritual Babylon (the harlot), where the carnal mind of Self exalts itself, in order to provide a better point of reference for what follows. Many of the thoughts below are developed further throughout this book.

Zion refers to the true body of Christ, the bride, the ekklesia; Babylon refers to the false church system of men’s traditions and religions. (Ekklesia is the Greek word in the New Testament which has been mis-translated “church” in most English versions, but it literally means “called-out-ones”.)

Zion is a people–the people of God; Babylon is a Thing–church institutions and systems.

Zion is a living organism; Babylon is characterized by organizations, institutions, and systems.

Zion consists of people who have been born into it; Babylon consists of people who have joined it or been voted into it.

Zion is a people who are called by the name of Jesus; Babylon is a people who are called by many different names that represent divisions within this Babylonian church system: Baptist, Catholic, Charismatic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, and all the rest.

Zion is Jesus-centered; Babylon is self-centered.

Zion is living by the Spirit; Babylon is living after the flesh.

Zion is heavenly; Babylon is earthly.

Zion is grace; Babylon is law.

Zion is life; Babylon is death.

Zion is being; Babylon is doing.

Zion is rest; Babylon is works.

Zion is light; Babylon is darkness.

Zion is humility; Babylon is full of pride, arrogance, and haughtiness.

Zion is liberty in Christ; Babylon is bondage to the flesh.

Zion is the Kingdom of God; Babylon is the kingdoms of men.

Zion has Jesus Christ as her head; Babylon has elected or appointed men as their heads.

Zion is a Spirit-led people; Babylon is led by rules and regulations of man’s own making.

Zion is Spirit-sensitive; Babylon is man-pleasing.

Zion is obedience to the Holy Spirit; Babylon is busy church work.

Zion accomplishes things in Holy Spirit power (Zech. 4:6); Babylon tries to accomplish things in self-strength.

Zion has its authority in the Word of God; Babylon places its authority in man-made doctrines.

Zion is one body in Christ Jesus as Lord; Babylon is sectarian and divisive, consisting of many divisions of people.

Zion worships in spirit and in truth; Babylon programs praise.

Zion preaches Christ and Him crucified; Babylon proclaims denominations, doctrines, heritage, traditions, creeds, personal views and opinions.

Zion is the priesthood of all believers; Babylon is the clergy system. The clergy are those who want to make a difference between themselves and others.

Zion answers to God as the highest authority; Babylon answers to men and their institutions as the authority.

Zion calls forth revelation; Babylon depends upon imagination.

Zion conforms people into the image of Jesus; Babylon conforms people into its own image.

Zion decreases that Christ may increase; Babylon increases itself in power, position, riches, and domination.

Zion counts the cost; Babylon counts the money.

Zion lays down its life; Babylon preserves and protects itself.

Zion waits upon God to raise up what God wants in His timing; Babylon schemes, organizes, and promotes to execute its own plan in its own way and time.

Zion seeks the Lord with a whole heart to be possessed by Him; Babylon goes after things and people to possess them.

Zion is the city of God; Babylon seeks to build a city, a tower, and a name for itself. Gen. 11:4.

Zion longs to be gathered into Jesus; Babylon passionately seeks to gather people unto itself.

DENY SELF

To be a disciple of Jesus Christ one must be willing to deny Self, take up his cross, and follow Jesus. Luke 9:23. Self-denial is the cross we bear. The old man of flesh and sin has to be rendered dead. The laid-down life defines the New Testament concept of agape (love).

When we live according to the flesh, we are living for Self. Conversely, when we are living for Self, we are living according to the flesh. When we live according the Spirit, we will bear the fruit of agape. We have not been called to live unto ourselves. We have been called to surrender our lives to Christ that He might live His life of agape through us. We cannot be the bride of Christ and at the same time live selfishly in this world. We are either the bride or we are living the life of the harlot.

Self-centered living is making ourselves out to be god; therefore, it is idolatry. I will show in a subsequent chapter that idolatry is spiritual harlotry. I will also show how this Thing we call church is an idolatrous extension of ourselves–thus, spiritual harlotry.

We become spiritual prostitutes when we create something and give our hearts to it rather than to the Lord Jesus Christ. That is what men have done with this Thing we call church. They have made church a substitute for Jesus. Many within these harlot church systems are true believers who love the Lord, but are uninformed and deceived. They have unintentionally given their hearts to these Things we call church. God loves us all but hates our idolatries.

Judge the words in this book for yourself and judge yourself by these words. Open your heart to the Holy Spirit that He might instruct you and point you to Jesus. I hope to reveal Father-God’s heart to you that your heart may be revealed to you; that you may dare face your idolatries, cleanse His temple of whom you and I are, and return to the God of your salvation. The idolatry revealed in this book is not about “them” but about each of us.

Called Out:  Now What?

The Babylonish Church—Isaac Penington

The Harlot Church System

Abram and Lot

A Harlot, an Emergent and a Pope Walked into a Bar. . .

Dover Beach

Breaking off the Greek Mindset


The Babylonish Church   6 comments

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“BABYLON is the spiritual fabric of iniquity; the mystical great city of the great king of darkness; built in imitation of Zion, painted just like Zion, that it might be taken for Zion, and be worshipped there, instead of the true, eternal, ever living God, and King of Zion.”

“And here, in this there is a great difference between the vessels of Zion, and the vessels of Babylon. The vessels of Zion, they are weak, earthen, foolish, contemptible to the eye of man’s wisdom, (which cannot look for any great matter of excellency there); but the treasure, the liquor of life in them, is precious. The vessels of Babylon make a great show, appear very holy, very heavenly, very zealous for God and Christ, and for the setting up of his church and ordinances all over the world. Thus they appear outside; but they are sepulchers; there is rottenness within. Under all this there lodges an unclean, an unsanctified heart; a heart unsubdued to the spirit and power of the gospel, while it makes such a great show of subjection and obedience to the letter.”

“But their souls never knew the fire in Zion, and the furnace in Jerusalem; by which the very inwards of their spirits must be cleansed, before the pure eye of life is opened which can see Zion.”

“And it is a spiritual city, a mystical city, a city built by the working of the mystery of iniquity, 2 Thes 2:7. whereupon she is called mystery. Rev 17:5. It is not a city of plain wickedness, but a city of sin that is hidden; of sin keeping its life under a covering, under a form of godliness; of sin reigning in the heart under zeal, under devotion, under praying, believing, worshipping, hoping, waiting, etc. Where sin lies hidden within under these, there is Babylon; there is the mystery of witchcraft; there is the painted throne of Satan; there is spiritual Egypt and Sodom, where the Lord of life is daily crucified. This is the city, the mystical city, the spiritual city. Rev. 11:8.”

–Isaac Penington

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Babel–“1. The site of a tower reaching to heaven whose construction was interrupted by the confusion of tongues, according to the Old Testament. 2.a. A confusion of voices or sounds. b. Noise and confusion.”

Babble–“1. To utter meaningless, confused words or sounds.”

Babylon–“A place characterized by great luxury and often corruption.”

Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary

Joshua 7: 20-21: “And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.”

II Timothy 2: 16: “But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”

A Pile of Rocks—something much more alive in Christ than a Babylonish church.

Babylon the Great
Zion and Babylon Compared
The Hidden Streets of Babylon
Abram and Lot

Zion is My Home   2 comments

Dreams from the LORD 2003-2006
6 April 2005

Psalm 50: 2-3: “Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.”

Zion is the Presence of God. Zion is our home; Zion is where the Lord wants His saints. It is not: well, I’m saved, and when I die, then I’ll go to heaven. We are called to bring heaven to earth: to bring Zion (the Presence of God) to earth to tame it and civilize it. What demon can stand in the Presence of God? The Holy Ghost Fire burns up the wood, hay and stubble of Satan.

Out of the Presence of God, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. The world defines beauty probably as physical, fleshly perfection; the Lord defines beauty and perfection as abiding in the Presence of God. When we abide in the Presence of God, this is where God shines through us. In the Presence of God, our life becomes effortless: when we obey the Lord, the world can see the Lord working through us. They see God, not us. It is a God-work, not a man-work. My Father works and I work. God working and breathing through us because we are abiding in Zion. A son of Zion. When you see me you see the Father.

“Our God shall come and not keep silence.” The Lord doesn’t have to use words to speak: it is His Presence that speaks, and if we abide in His Presence, He will speak volumes through our lives. People will say: I perceive that thou hast been with Jesus, when they see your life.

“A fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.” What will the fire devour? The flesh, the world and the devil: these three cannot stand before the Presence of God and live: they will fight to the death to preserve their lives, especially in unbelievers and lukewarm Christians. “It shall be very tempestuous round about him.” Satan does not lamely lie down when he sees the Holy Ghost believers come his way: he will fight against you with every weapon that he’s got. Satan will lie, tempt, assassinate your character; he will try to kill you. Our greatest weapon: a sword with two sharp edges: the Holy Ghost and the Word of God. When we abide in Zion, no weapon from hell can touch us. When we abide in Zion, the Lord will shine through our lives and conquer sin because we are the perfection of beauty, the apple of His eye.

Zion is my home.

Zion
The Lord has founded Zion
Abram and Lot

Posted September 10, 2012 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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