Coming out of Babylon is difficult. Nevertheless, blessings follow obedience.
Revelation 14:8 and 18:4 quote Isaiah 21:9b where Babylon's fall is described, "Babylon has fallen, has fallen! All the images of its gods lie shattered on the ground."
Idolatry is one of the main characteristics of Babylon in Scripture and is defined as "extreme admiration or love shown for somebody or something." Idolatry can be self-centered or outright self-glorification.
Babylon is first mentioned in Gen. 11:1-9 in the story of the Tower of Babel built on the plain of Shinar. Scripture states that the tower builders desired to "make a name for themselves".
Years later Isaiah describes Babylon's demise: "You felt secure in your wickedness and said, ‘No one sees me'. Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; For you have said in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one besides me' (Is. 47:10, NASB). This phrase is also reflected in Isaiah 47:8 and Daniel 4:30.
God does not share His glory or worship with anything else. In Isaiah 42:8 He says, "I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols" (NIV). Moreover, "I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no savior (Is. 43:11, NIV)."
Throughout the book of Isaiah the Lord declares that He alone is to be worshiped, glorified, and praised. In contrast, Babylon sports a mentality of "me-ism", selfishness, wanton luxury, and independence from God.
The first angel in Revelation 14 declares, "Fear God, Give Him glory, and worship Him." The second angel proclaims that Babylon is fallen, having caused the nations to commit adultery. What is this "adultery"? It is giving the throne of our hearts to anything or anyone besides God.
What occupies your heart? Where do you place your faith? Do you place your security in the "one true remnant church"? Do you define yourself by doing things well? Is your heart occupied with people, ministry, or circumstances? On whom or what are you depending? Who or what is the object of your trust?
Seventh-day Adventists believe that the call to come out of Babylon in Revelation 14:8 is a call for those who worship on Sunday to come out of "Sunday worshiping" and instead honor Saturday. Considering the context of Babylon throughout the Bible, it is quite a stretch to equate it with "Sunday worship".
Are you the master of your life, or have you turned the keys of your heart over to the Lord God Almighty? Have you repented of your self-centered idolatry—including believing you "know the truth"—and chosen to submit your life to Jesus Christ? What are you depending on—a remnant church? The day you worship? The 10 commandments? Your bank account or position?
Come out of this Babylon mentality.
One Former Adventist told me recently, "As I studied my way out of Adventism, I kept hearing the phrase, ‘Come out'. Yet, I wanted to stay in the Adventist Church and make a difference. My life is so different now that I have received Jesus as my Savior, and my focus is on Him, not on a day, a denomination or my own ‘good deeds'!"
Do you need to come out of Babylon? †
Copyright 2010 Life Assurance Ministries, Inc., Glendale, Arizona, USA. All rights reserved. Revised September 27, 2010. Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carolyn Macomber is a doctoral student at Andrews University. Discovering increasing inconsistencies between Adventism and the Bible, she withdrew her membership from the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 2009. She is a member of The Chapel Evangelical Free Church near Andrews University in St. Joseph, Michigan, is a children's teaching leader for the St. Joseph Bible Study Fellowship, and is co-founder and leader of the Former Adventist Fellowship at The Chapel. She will share her discoveries in this column, and you can read her experiences of processing out of Adventism into the Christian community at her blog or watch her testimony HERE.
July August September 2010
VOLUME 11, ISSUE 3
D E P A R T M E N T S
The life EXAMINED with Carolyn Macomber
The second angel's message:
Babylon is fallen, come out!