What to do with Christendom?
The past five articles have opened the door on the history and roots of what we call Christendom in the world today. We have seen that most of Christendom’s practices have no root in biblical instruction and many are in fact Babylonian paganism. We have traced the spiritual root of Babylonian paganism from Nimrod into the church through Constantine. We have also seen the influence of Greek thinking (the Prince of Greece mentioned in Daniel) affecting our cultural church practices and theology. All of these influences in the church persist to this day.
In fact over the past 1700 years, no single institution has so consistently cavorted with kings and merchants or shed so much blood of the saints as the church. All of which leads us to Revelation 17:1-6:
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written:
BABYLON THE GREAT,
THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marvelled with great amazement.
Why do you think John was so amazed when he saw her?
We continue in Revelation 18:1-6:
After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a habitation of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities…”
Jesus said in Matt 7:15-23 says:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
I repeat, over the past 1700 years, no single institution has cavorted with kings and merchants or has consistently spilt so much blood of the saints as the church. This leads me to one inescapable conclusion, that no matter how unpleasant the thought may be, the institution of the church (in all its forms) is the whore of Babylon, the false bride of Christ. There is very little about her that is biblical, she has not honoured Christ in her acts down through history and she continues to follow Babylonian pagan rituals – in spite of being warned about this by Luther hundreds of years ago. Her fruits betray her. I am not saying there are no true believers in the church because that is patently untrue, however we must seriously consider the heavenly command in Rev 18:4 to come out of Babylon and her practices, something the church shows no sign of doing (when did you last celebrate Passover? Or did you celebrate Eastre? Does your church use the cross as a symbol?)
Any serious reading of the history of “Christianity” whether Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, Eastern or otherwise will reveal very little of Christ’s teachings and a mountain of paganism, control, political power, cavorting with kings and merchants and relentless persecution of anyone trying to genuinely follow the teachings of Christ eg the Anabaptists.
In fact every move of God (what some would call revival) has consistently resulted in those involved with the movement being thrown out of whatever church they attended - satan cannot handle the presence of God. The problem was that just as a dog returns to its own vomit, so the new expression of Christ eventually morphed back into a church i.e. Babylon, and then the people wonder where the Spirit of God went.
Did you know “church” is not even in the bible? The Greek words for church never occur in the New Testament. There is only one Greek word used in the New Testament which is translated church: “Ekklesia” which in the New American Standard bible is translated “church” (74 times), “churches” (35 times), “assembly” (3 times) and “congregation” (twice). But what does ekklesia actually mean?
“Ekklesia” comes from two words:
“ek” which means “from out of”; and
“kaleo” which means “to call”
So an ekklesia is a group of people who have been called out of…
Which begs the question, out of what? – satan’s kingdom is what. So going back to pagan practices is not an option if you want to qualify as the ekklesia. You’ve been called out of that.
So how did we get hoodwinked into the word church? When King James sponsored the 1611 King James translation of the bible, he gave some specific instructions to the translators. Instruction #3 reads:
3. The old ecclesiastical words to be kept; as the word church, not to be translated congregation, &c.
This was a straight political power play to ensure his system of control of the country was kept in place. King James was both head of state and head of the Church of England (being pretty much an exact copy of the Roman Catholic system). So if ekklesia was translated “called out of ones,” the Church of England and the king’s control of it as head of the church was able to be challenged biblically. And so through the influence of the King James Bible we’ve been sold the word “church” ever since. Maybe we could just translate it “Babylon” and be done with it?... Just kidding.
What happens if every time you read your bible you substitute the words “Called Out of Ones” for “church?” It may change your perspective somewhat.
So the question remains, what does completing the reformation look like? Luther started by trying to peel back what he called “Babylonian paganism” in the Catholic church. Some progress has been made but we are still miles away from what happened in New Testament times. As you have seen, the vast majority of what we do in Christendom isn’t even in the bible. I’m sure we’ve got great (Greek) reasons why they are good things to do, but they are still not defensible as biblical. I had one brother going on at me about Lent at one stage and he had great arguments for it even though he admitted it wasn’t “in the bible.” Bit of a fail when it showed up as an abomination in Ezekiel 8 (weeping for Tammuz). My point is, if it’s not in the bible, it’s not sacrosanct and church as we do it is not in the bible. New Testament Christianity doesn’t work in a church building, nor with paid clergy, in fact not with clergy of any sort! We have already discussed how the great moves of God seemed to die and fossilise into church institutions, but there are records of New Testament ekklesia where the Spirit moved with powerful miracles consistently over periods of hundreds of years! And these expressions of Christ changed their worlds. Maybe we should think about what they did?