Listen to the message

Sun am 16 October 2016 – Kobus Swart

Gen. 10:6-10; Gen. 11:1-9; Rev. 17:1-6; (2 Cor. 11:14); Rev. 18: 1-5, 20; (Rev. 11:15); Ps. 137:1-9; Ps. 138:1-8; Matt. 5:6; (3 John 1:2); (John 1:13); Eph. 1:3-6; Ps. 139:23-24

Where did Babylon come from?

Cush became the father of Nimrod, who was a mighty hunter before the Lord. “Before” is not correctly translated, he was a hunter “against” the Lord. The beginning of his kingdom was Babel. The name “Babel” comes from the words “mixture” and “confusion”. At that stage the whole earth used the same language. Later they decided to build a city and a tower so that they won’t scatter abroad. They were one (of one lip) people, and then the Lord saw that nothing they purposed to do would be impossible for them (Gen. 10:6-10; Gen. 11:1-9). However, the Lord said, “Let Us go down and confuse their language. The result was that they were scattered all over the whole earth.

The story of Babylon – this time in the Book of Revelation – has deep significance for us today (Rev. 17:1-6). Babylon (here called, the ‘harlot’) had global reach. She was drunk with the blood of the saints. Satan comes as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14). His life source is tapping into the life of the saints. He does not have a life of his own. I am painting a picture of how the spirit of the age interferes with what God is doing in the earth. If those in the Church do not see it, they will actually help the enemy with what he wants to do. All the nations have been infected by this harlot, by this spirit (Rev. 18:1-5, 20). Read it with spiritual eyes. The cry to the Church in the world is “Come out of that philosophy, come out of that mind-set, that you may not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues.” This spirit of Babylon is trying to invade the Church of Jesus Christ, whatever the brand or denomination it. That is why God is calling us to wake up. It is interesting to see that Babylon is falling. The book of Revelation is mostly written from the finished point of view, so it is past tense. God sees things above time; He says the kingdoms of the world have become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (Rev. 11:15). We do not see that yet, but from His point of view it is done. So from His point of view Babylon is fallen. Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her (Rev. 18:20).

What happens when the people of God are captive in this Babylon?

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, When we remembered Zion. Every one of us has a memory of ‘Zion’, referring to that high spiritual place in God. We have been created in the image and likeness of God. With the fall of man the image of God was not wiped out. It became marred, but Jesus came and re-created us. We are new creations in Christ Jesus. The image of God in mankind had to be renewed and reawakened in Jesus Christ. There is a Godly dimension in every person. If you spent more time in meditation, thinking and in conversations with God, you awaken a memory. Before you get out of bed every morning spend a little time talking to God – “Let Your thoughts invade my thoughts today”. Something needs to be awakened on the inside so that we can remember where we are from. As captives in Babylon they hung up their harps. Upon the willows in the midst of it We hung our harps. For there our captors demanded of us songs, And our tormentors mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”

They were ridiculed. This is what the world is doing to the Church. This is what the religious spirit of Babylon is doing to the Church of Jesus Christ. They sat down and wept because they suddenly remembered ‘Zion’. We as a Christian community should never be affected or infected by the spirit of heaviness or negativism that is in the earth. What sound is coming from the Church? Where is the victorious sound of the Church? Or are we participating in doom and gloom conversations? How can we sing the Lord’s song In a foreign land?  If I forget you, O Jerusalem, May my right hand forget her skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth If I do not remember you, If I do not exalt Jerusalem Above my chief joy. Remember, O Lord, against the sons of Edom The day of Jerusalem, Who said, “Raze it, raze it To its very foundation.” O daughter of Babylon, you devastated one, How blessed will be the one who repays you With the recompense with which you have repaid us. How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones Against the rock (Ps. 137:1-9). Connect this with what we read in Revelation 17 and 18. “Come out of her My people, come and sing a new song!” In order to do that, you have to remember Zion. The enemy will try everything to erase that memory and make you a child of bondage. We must not allow that to happen. Daniel and his friends in Babylon were not born there, but they were held captive there. They were born free and they did not allow the slave mentality to overtake them. God will accomplish what concerns us. Instead of saying, “God can” let us say, “God will.”

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (Matt. 5:6). As we experience during a fast, the thought of food makes our mouth water; that is because we remember how it tasted. What makes us hunger and thirst after righteousness? How can we hunger and thirst after it unless we remember what righteousness feels and tastes like? We were born with righteousness because we came out of God. Somehow in this life we lose it. The Bible encourages us to hunger and thirst, and that is driven by a memory. If we accept our present condition, we become susceptible to bondage. We must never allow bondage to make us feel at home. It is not what we were created for. We are created to be free. That is why it says that you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers (3 John 1:2). Our souls need attention and need to be reprogrammed. That will affect the rest of our lifestyle. We are a new creation and not born from this world (John 1:13).

He predestined us before the foundation of the world to the adoption as sons (Eph. 1:3-6). How will this work for us? We have to discover it by revelation. I have to remember this truth that was sealed before the foundation of the world. The word “revelation” boils down to “remember”. To reveal something means to uncover it; to open up something that already is. To remember something means there had to be something there to remember. If we discover by revelation that we have been chosen, predestined to the adoption as sons, then our whole lifestyle should change. We are no longer in bondage, no longer fighting sin. We are walking as conquerors. Freedom is crying out from the inside, but we have allowed the temptations of Babylon, the mother of harlots, to seduce us into religious habits without life and joy.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way (Ps. 139:23-24). We need trials and tribulations in order to appreciate what we actually have. When Adam and Eve were created, they did not know sin or sickness; they did not know anything negative. They therefore did not appreciate what they had. They fell and only then could they remember what it meant to have daily fellowship with God. God uses trials for our benefit. Out of trials comes freedom, but do not accept tribulation as the norm. Let us become part of the song of freedom, be as that soaring eagle above tribulations and above the heaviness that is brought into the Church by the mother of harlots.