FLIGHT FROM BABYLON
The Coming Salvation From The Works Of Collective Society
The next and final degree of salvation by grace to be restored to the Church before earthly appearance of Christ's kingdom is salvation from the works of collective human society--specifically, human economy and social community. God's salvation has always been by grace through faith, from dead works--into a new way of life governed and empowered by the Spirit. What has been less readily perceived is that salvation has various degrees (not just one), and that salvation is accomplished after initial conversion by a process of development out of various dimensions of dead works - individually and corporately. In this article we are addressing the final degree of salvation to be obtained by the Church to make Her ready for the Lord's return.
Some preliminary historical review is helpful to illustrate the degrees of salvation as God has already restored them to the Church. The first and most received phase of restored salvation occurred in the 16th century through the movement now commonly called the Reformation. Spearheaded by Martin Luther, this movement saw God restore the first and most basic degree of salvation from dead works, the "works of the devil". The believer is translated out of the kingdom of darkness1 and into the kingdom of Light through basic faith in Jesus Christ.
Yet there was more to be restored. A couple of centuries later, God began implementing a further phase of His corporate salvation. Through the efforts of 18th and 19th century evangelists like John Wesley, God recovered the next degree of salvation: salvation from the "works of the flesh" through crucifying indwelling sin2 by the power of the Spirit.3 The central message of this movement was the "work of the Cross".4 At the heart of this movement was a reintroduction to the New Testament experience known as the "baptism of the Holy Spirit",5 though at that time it was not clearly understood by that phrase. Some called it a "deeper life", others "sanctification", and still others, "second blessing". A few called it the "baptism of the Holy Spirit". But however it was called, it was universally recognized by those who encountered it as a further, distinct work of God in the believer's life to give him a hitherto unknown resource for defeating the "power of canceled sin". Later, in the 20th century, this dimension of salvation was expanded to include recovery of the other supernatural gifts, manifestations, and anointings of the Holy Spirit.6 This was known as the Pentecostal Movement, and still later, the Charismatic Movement. All these Spirit manifestations were given to complement salvation from the "works of the flesh."
But there yet remains for the Church one last degree of salvation to be restored, and its time is at hand. While this coming phase has been somewhat anticipated in some of God's latest activities in the Church, it has not fully come in and we yet await its arrival. We speak now of salvation from the dead works of human economy and social community - the "works of the world".7 This coming dimension of salvation is difficult to comprehend, especially in the Western world. Nevertheless, it is clearly revealed through the Scriptures. Let us turn there for a prophetic look at the remaining degree of salvation to be brought to us, culminating in our physical translation to new bodies and the visible return of our Lord Jesus Christ to establish His manifest kingdom on earth.
References:1 Eph 2:2 Col 1:13
2 Rom 7
3 Rom 8:1-17
4 Gal 5:24; 6:14
5 Acts 2
6 Rom 12 I Cor 12 and 14
7 Gal 1:4 I Jn 5:4
[2. BABYLONIANISM VERSUS THE WAY OF FAITH ]
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