Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Kingdom of God in Contemporary Society: The Earthly Conflict between Babylon and the Kingdom

The Fall of Babylon artist depiction cc 2.0

Calvary by John Martin, cc 2.0
It's all around us though we may not see it.  It's built into our lives though we don't see more than fading glances of it's reality.  It's torn at us for all our lives, our hearts ache against it, but it remains.  It climbs upon our backs, it whispers into our ears of things we ought not do.  It's a kingdom all encompassing, a constant danger to peace, hope, and liberty.  It's the kingdom that rises up in opposition to truth.

It's a self-centered system that exemplifies the ideals of humanism, the idea that humanity will triumph through strenuous effort.  It's cries out "peace, peace!" but it brings war, famine, and disaster.  It builds cities into the heavens, it climbs into the clouds, smoke billows from it's stacks, the gears of the machine turn, and it builds walls around itself.  It cobbles together statues and monuments to it's own greatness.  From it's gates pour forth armies of darkness by the tens of thousands, gathered to make camp about the city of God, and tear it's boundaries down, and lead it's people into captivity.  Yes, this is the kingdom of babylon. And what can we do against it? 

Babylon the great mystery it is, in fact the scriptures call it "mystery babylon" (Rev 17:5).  The mystery of babylon is this: Babylon is the kingdom of human self-exaltation that rises up in consistent battle against the kingdom of God on Earth. 

It was babel in Genesis, then Egypt and the Pharoahs.  It was midian, it was the philistines, and it was Jericho and Ai.  It opposed Israel, the nation of God, and fought Israel, and built up around it.  David and Solomon put babylon to rest, expanding the power and reach of the city of God.  But though Solomon conquered babylon outwardly, inwardly babylon broke into the heart of Solomon. 

Then once again babylon reared it's head as Babylon, led by Nebuchadnezzar, besieging and taking Israel into captivity. Eventually Israel returned, but by this time babylon's expression had grown across most of the civilized world in various expressions of kingdoms and powers. 

Again babylon came as the ancient Roman empire, but little did the kingdom of Satan know, but a secret resistance movement was about to take hold in the tiny nation of Israel.  

John the baptist began proclaiming this message of the coming resistance movement against babylon, and he called it "the kingdom of God."  Jesus Christ was born into the world, hallelujah, and the resistance began with twelve men and a handful of women who began following Jesus and listening to everything he said.  Jesus was God become a man, and soon many began to wonder: What can babylon do against this kingdom of God?  But many misinterpreted the coming of Jesus to be a physical violent overthrow of babylon, expressed in the ancient Roman empire.  This was not the case.  Instead Jesus our resistance leader came to give by dying, to achieve victory by shedding his blood, to conquer by loving, to defeat by being crushed, and to declare victory by offering his life as a gift of righteousness for the world.  So Jesus died and many though the revolution was over.  The great leader had passed away, the world had killed yet another wise teacher, just like it always did... And then the impossible happened.

Jesus appeared after his brutal death nailed to the cross and left to rot, and He came back and He showed himself to be alive.  It was inconcievable, how could Jesus be alive!? Yet there He was, walking and talking with his disciples.  Jesus had declared victory over the kingdom of darkness and death.  Jesus had cancelled out death itself, the worst foe humanity had ever faced.  Jesus paid it all that day, and reclaimed His life with Godly power. 

Christ stayed with His disciples teaching them, resurrected, and then He gave them the great commission: Go into all the world and preach the gospel, the good news, to everyone, everywhere.  Then Jesus returned to the reality in which God exists, in an eternal state, to return again at the end of all time. But Jesus sent a friend to remain with them as an organizer, as one who would lead the resistance against babylon, Jesus called Him the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit would be the General, the resistance leader who would somehow take a few thousand followers of Jesus and conquer all the nations on Earth with love and the transforming new birth in Jesus. 

His disciples, emboldened by their resurrected master boldly launched themselves into the Roman empire, converting it to Christianity. Despite babylon rearing it's head in Nero the insane emperor of Rome who fed hundreds of Christians to the lions, with every pool of blood that the martyred Christian's offered it seemed that from those pools of blood tens and hundreds more would appear, born again, washed in the blood of Christ, amazed by the willingness of these martyrs to pour out their blood for Jesus.  When Rome fell hundreds of years later the Christians seeded throughout the empire spread into the barbarian tribes, launching north, south, east, and west into the whole world.  The revolution had become global, and though it would face dire threats from Islam's brutal invasions of Europe, and Communism's genocidal nightmares in the east, never-the-less nothing could stop the kingdom of God.  It even spread from an increasingly corrupt Europe and blossomed in North America, Central America, and South America.  

From then on there has been a constant battle and struggle between the kingdom of God and it's leader the Holy Spirit and the kingdom of Satan, babylon and it's leader Satan. Today we see little babylons all over the world, probably exemplifying one large expression of babylon, and even America, a country founded in Christian ethics, has become a babylon itself, though there is a remnant of Christian faith in it remaining. 

Jesus said that the good news would have to be preached to every nation, and then the end would come.  The end seems to be a situation where the Holy Spirit departs, or whatever barrier is holding back the darkness departs, some say it's the church itself, and then babylon takes total control.  At that point the final events of Revelation begin to take place, culminating in the return of Christ, at which time everything changes.  

So what is the mystery of babylon?  The mystery of babylon is that it is the kingdom of Satan.  It is the ultimate manifestation of rebellion.  While the church, the Christianity of the world is the exemplification of humanity in righteous cooperation with God in holy acts of sabotage against the kingdom of Satan, babylon exemplifies the consummate rebel humanity, hand in hand with Satan, fruit in hand, building Satan's kingdom with the hope that it will obtain for them man's final realization of self-crowned godhood. 

You see, babylon has two attacks: It has the outward foreign power attack, which is strong and dangerous, and has reared it's head as Nazi Germany and the USSR in recent history, and in Napoleon's France and Marcus Aurelius's ancient Rome.  But babylon's insidious power to destroy comes equally from it's ability to inwardly rot and destroy through insurrection and immorality.  Babylon was the atheistic french revolution.  Babylon was the cultural decay of the Roman empire before it's fall.  Babylon was the pride and rebellion in Solomon's heart as he turned to foreign women, foreign gods, and it ruined Israel's future.  Babylon is the kingdom of man.  And I see it once again growing like a cancer within the United States; It couldn't destroy us as Nazi Germany or the militarized Japanese forces, so it came in another way, through cultural marxism, and secular humanism.  

While we struggle in the west against humanist/naturalist ideologies we'd be wise to remember that any and every earthly kingdom is always headed, like a piano down a steep mountain road, toward babylon.  The lesson seems to be that any Earthly kingdom, no matter how well intentioned, will eventually turn into a babylonian-self exalting kingdom of darkness. Don't we see that rebellion reaching consummation today in America after 60 or so years of cultural revolution?  The kingdom of babylon is once again fighting tooth and nail to overthrow the kingdom of God.  

We see that paradigm emerge one last time in Revelation at the culmination of disaster before the return of Christ. Thus the coming kingdom of God is the only government that will last eternally in righteousness.  Remarkably we see that even in the millennial reign of Christ, the one thousand year intermediary reign of Christ that even in these circumstances of Christ reigning on Earth, Satan is released one last time and once again successfully deceives millions of people to once again lay siege to the kingdom of God.  It is a motif the repeats in the old testament, repeats today, and will repeat one last time even after the return of Christ.  

Yet finally, babylon is defeated, not by man, but by God himself.  All things are made new, new universe, new Earth, and redeemed hearts and glorified bodies for each human being who has chosen to stand with God against the dark kingdom.  Babylon is finally defeated eternally by God, by God making all things new.  Christ reigns, we live eternally, and babylon will never return to attack us again.  Finally, at last, peace.  

So we are at war everyday.  It's true.  We are in spiritual warfare.  We should keep fighting of course.  We should keep praying zealously, praying for our country, praying for the lost, and praying against injustice.  We are the resistance against the kingdom of darkness, and though final victory can only by given by God, we are called each day to advance the kingdom of God, by doing the will of the Holy Spirit as He moves and leads our forces to carry the message of God's atoning grace: Jesus Christ has paid it all, and He is alive today.  He is living, so we can face down the kingdom of darkness, and expect victory.  Expect victory.  

Jerusalem present day CC 2.0

Babylonian captivity CC 2.0

"Live Fire Exercise" CC 2.0

Depiction of Calvary cc 2.0
Photo of the United Nations CC 2.0

Depiction of the babylonian "Hanging Gardens" CC 2.0

Depiction of Adam & Eve hiding from God

The massive city in the desert in Kazakhstan

"Hanging Gardens" CC 2.0
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