FLIGHT FROM BABYLON
The Coming Salvation From The Works Of Collective Society
New Pattern for Persecution
During this 470 year Restoration of the Gospel, a new pattern for persecution emerged. Much earlier in our study we learned that when God's People apostacize, they persecute the voices He raises up to testify against them. This precedent was set in Old Israel culminating in the crucifixion of King Jesus Himself. The pattern continued as the Jews persecuted the New Covenant People. Then the corrupted babylonian "Church" persecuted the faithful remnant throughout the Dark Ages and then the Reformers.
Since the beginning of the Restoration, however, a new pattern for persecution emerged which continues to this day. Because of the staggering-out of the Restoration into succeeding waves, the pattern of persecution became transplanted to occur within the Restoring Church itself. With each new phase of restored salvation, the new body that arises is persecuted by the spiritual descendants of the preceding moves of Restoration for exposing their remaining vestiges of babylonian harlotry. Thus a perpetual sword of judgment and division has fallen within the restoring Church these 470 years.
In every phase and sub-phase of Restoration, we see the children of the earlier move persecute the apostles and followers of the succeeding move, casting them out of their brick-and-mortar synagogues.1 The spiritual descendants of the Reformers cast out the apostles of the Holiness Movement. The descendants of the "Deeper Life" Movement cut off the apostles of the Pentecostal Movement. The children of Pentecost cast out the pioneers of the Charismatic Move, etc.
To complicate the pattern, the process happens in reverse when the children (and apostles) of a later move persecute those associated with an earlier move whose more foundational truths they have not first absorbed. The best example of this is the arrogance with which the purveyors of the Charismatic Renewal and Faith Movement have inveighed against those who promote the message of self-denial (from the Holiness Movement) and the message of the fear and judgment of God (from the Reformation).
Yes. The staggered nature of God's Restoration has led to an
internecine war of persecution among the various bodies of His People
reminiscent of the intertribal wars during the time of the judges in Old
Israel.2 It fulfils by unique application
the prophecy that for Jesus' sake, households would be divided.3 One
of those households was His own.4 This intra-Church persecution
has been marked by three notable characteristics:
Twisted Use of Scripture
God gave the Scriptures to His People of all ages to aid them in their quest for salvation. The accurate use of them, however, was dependent upon having access to God's mind for true context. This in turn was dependent upon approaching the Scriptures with a pure heart and teachable spirit, for only to such a heart would God reveal His true mind.5
But in the hands of a mind polluted by some form of babylonian unbelief, the Scriptures are not only a stumblingblock over which to trip,6 but a dangerous weapon for the destruction of the righteous. Ever since the babylonian Jews used the Law to kill Jesus,7 the Scriptures have been a central feature in the persecution of apostles of Restoration by babylonian-minded descendants of earlier Restoration who claim to "stand on the Word.”
Throughout the Restoration there have been a consistent set of Scriptures used to persecute the faithful. These Scriptures have been used to support three basic charges against the faithful:
1. The faithful are "rebellious" against church and/or state
2. The faithful are guilty of "causing division" among the brethren.
3. The faithful are "unloving" toward the brethren.
Today, any time a pioneer of greater salvation or his followers address some form of remaining babylonianism in the Church and act to free others from it, these charges are used against them backed with supposedly relevant Scriptures ("obey them that have the rule over you9...mark them which cause divisions/ and avoid them10...this is my command that you love one another,"11 etc.). Additionally, other Scriptures are used to suit the particular issue or situation. That Jesus Himself could have been convicted based on such Scriptures should be obvious and proves that, unless interpreted by the mind of the Spirit, the Scriptures alone can be used to prove nothing about anything, least of all a man's righteousness.
Charge of Promoting Licentious Living in the Name of Grace
Besides the illegitimate use of Scriptures, another attack is maintained by religious believers upon maturing believers. Every time a pioneer promotes a greater degree of salvation by grace, he is charged with advocating some form of spiritual lawlessness. When the apostle Paul advocated salvation by grace apart from the works of the Law, babylonian Jews charged him with preaching, "Let us sin more that grace may abound...let us do evil that good may come."12
Since that time, all believers governed by some remaining form of babylonian-mindedness have laid some form of that charge against any who promote a greater degree of salvation from human works. The Roman Church system charged the Reformers with preaching civil anarchy when they preached salvation outside the works of their system. The Reformers' descendants charged the Holiness apostles with advocating self-indulgent living when they preached salvation outside the works of the Law and Reformation traditions. The descendants of Holiness charged the Pentecostal and Charismatic pioneers with mental anarchy for preaching salvation from the works of the natural mind.
Charge of Excessive Behaviour
Perhaps one of the better excuses for the Pharisees' rejection of Jesus was the displays of the mindless multitude around Him who sought His salvation for self-serving purposes.13 Even so to this day, those who resist a further message of grace point to the excesses and faults of the proponents of that message to justify their own continuance in unbelief.
It is unfortunate that every move of God's grace is plagued with the barnacles of those who abuse its message. Because of them, the way of salvation is blasphemed14 whether it be the abuses of the Reformers, the Deeper Life advocates, or the Charismatics. At the same time, however, God will not allow the abuses surrounding His Gospel to be used by others to preserve their remaining unbelief. Abuse of grace will never justify unbelief through dead works, and unbelief through dead works will never justify the abuse of grace.
A special word is in order for any who claims to be saved by grace in any degree. If one tries to point to the abuse of a greater grace by some to justify his remaining unbelief, then he must disclaim his own salvation. This is because Christianity itself is plagued by those who abuse its most basic message of grace. If one refuses to move forward into greater salvation because of some who have abused it, then he cannot justify why he is a Christian at all because the most basic Gospel was abused long before he was ever converted. If one was able to be converted despite the abuses then, he cannot justify remaining where he is because of abuses now.
1 Jn 16:2
2 Jg 20 - 21
3 Mt 10:21,34-38 Lk 12:49-53
4 Heb 3:6
5 Jn 7:17 (Mic 2:7) > Mt 11:25 > I Tim 1:5-8
6 I Pt 2:8 > Mt 13:13-15 Jn 5:45-47
7 Jn 10:33; 19:7
8 (Jer 32:1-5; 38:4-5 Am 7:10-11)
9 Heb 13:17
1O Rom 16:17-18
11 Jn 15:12 (I Jn 4:7-12 etc.)
12 Rom 3:8; 6:1,15
13 Jn 6:14-15,26 > 7:47-48; 12:19
14 Rom 2:24 Is 52:5 Ezk 36:29-23
[9. GRADUAL SALVATION FROM THE POLITICAL WORKS OF THE WORLD ]
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