Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.Revelation 18:4-5
(Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references in this paper are from the New International Version of the Bible.)
In January of 1991 the Lord took us by the hand and led us out of Babylon, even as He led Lot out of Sodom so many years ago (Gen 19, cf. Is 1:9-10, Rev 11:8). He told us to not look back (Gen 19:17,26), to not descend into the house for anything, nor to turn back from the field even for our cloak (Mt 24:17-18, Lk 17:26-37). Since then the Lord has been revealing Himself to us in the wilderness with such a light as to blind our eyes that had been so accustomed to the darkness. And that is exactly where we now believe we were for a large part of our lives as we sincerely thought we were seeking after and serving God, walking in His light. And to be sure, there was light, but it wasn’t God’s light. Indeed it was a false light that shone upon and revealed a false God, a false Jesus, a false Spirit, a false Kingdom, a false Church, a false Gospel with false promises, and false apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.
The False Light of Harlot Religion
Those who fall prey to this false religion the Bible calls false sons (Is 30:9-11, Heb 12:8). They are like the simple young man who lacked judgment in Proverbs 7:26-27 and was led astray by the harlot. “Many are the victims she has brought down, her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death”. “For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written” (Lk 21:22) and “the mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; he who is under the Lord’s wrath will fall into it” (Prov 22:14). “For those who guide this people are leading them astray; and those who are guided by them are swallowed up by confusion” (Is 9:16, NASB). And yet the darkness is so great they don’t even know they are under judgment. For He has “poured out on them his burning anger, the violence of war; it enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand; it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart” (Is 42:25). And she herself is deceived while deceiving others (2 Tim 3:13). “Her paths are crooked but she knows it not” (Prov 5:6). “This is the way of an adulteress: She eats and wipes her mouth and says ‘I’ve done nothing wrong’” (Prov 30:20). Why? Because she calls evil good and good evil. She has set forth darkness for light and light for darkness (Is 5:20). It was the revelation of this false light of harlot religion that caused us to flee out of Babylon.
God Gives Men Over To Believe a Lie
This false light is a part of God’s judgment in the form of a great deception which the Scriptures say would deceive the very elect, if that were possible (Mt 24:24). It is a part of the coming of the lawless one,
in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have (inwardly) delighted in wickedness.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
The Lie is Religious in Nature
We must understand that such a powerful delusion, though in fact very wicked (2 Tim 3:1-4), has an outward appearance of godliness (2 Tim 3:5) and is religious in nature:
In the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; (and yet at the very same time) holding to a form (outward appearance) of godliness (or religion, see text note), although they have denied its power (by their actions, cf. Tit 1:16).
2 Timothy 3:1-5, NASB
Thus this powerful delusion is a counterfeit of the truth. That is to say it has an outward appearance that to the unwary looks, sounds, tastes, smells, and feels just exactly like the real thing although it is not the real thing (just like counterfeit money). And it will deceive those whose hearts are not pure so as to be able to discern the difference, those who do not know the truth so as to spot the forgery (just like Treasury agents who carefully study real money to be able to spot counterfeit money).
False Sons Won’t Endure Sound Doctrine
The goal of every individual sincerely seeking God is to know the truth (1 Tim 2:4, 4:3, 2 Tim 2:25, 3:7, Tit 1:1, Heb 10:26). The truth is found in the sound doctrine (1 Tim 1:10, 4:16, 6:3, 2 Tim 1:13, 4:3, Tit 1:9, 2:1) of the Scriptures. Sound means whole; i.e., nothing is left out. Those followers of this false religion may appear very godly because they read, study and even memorize the Scriptures and can quote it left and right. And yet they are deceived and deceiving others because their hearts are not pure and they see in the Scriptures only what they want to see and hear only what they want to hear. If something is objectionable they just leave it out, reinterpret it, gloss over it. They are like the Pharisees who diligently study the Scriptures and think that by them they possess eternal life. And yet they don’t even recognize the Jesus of which the Scriptures speak when He stands before them (Jn 5:39-40).
For this reason the best one can do is to read the Bible for himself and ask the Lord to teach him and show him what He wants him to see (i.e., to give him ears to hear what the Spirit is saying). “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword” (Heb 4:12, NASB). It cuts, if we will let it, and that is painful. What it cuts is our flesh with all of its cancers. If we are to live eternally we must let it; otherwise we will die from the sickness and disease of sin. However, false sons with a form of godliness have fixed their eyes not on what is unseen and eternal but on what is seen and temporary (2 Cor 4:18). They will not suffer in the flesh by allowing the word of God to correct, rebuke and chasten them unto righteousness (2 Tim 3:16). Because they are not chastened they are illegitimate children and not true sons (i.e. false sons, Is 30:9-11, Heb 12:8). But still they cling to a false security that tells them they are OK and are going to inherit eternal life. It is clear that these do not love the truth and so are going to believe a lie, the powerful delusion God sends.
Satan’s Ministers Masquerade As Servants of Righteousness
It is very important that we understand that the nature of this delusion is religious. This should not surprise us, for “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light; it is not surprising, then, that his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness” (2 Cor 11:14-15). These are the false prophets Jesus spoke of in Matthew 7:13-23. They lead the masses of outwardly religious people down the broad road to destruction. Outwardly they appear as harmless and innocent as sheep, and because of this it is most difficult for us to imagine that such words could ever refer to any of the religious folks we know. “But inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” In truth they are evil men, deceiving and being deceived (2 Tim 3:13). For they really believe that they are helping God out and have a false security that they will inherit eternal life. At the judgment they will call out to Jesus “Lord, Lord” and tell Him all they’ve done for Him with their outward appearance of godliness. But He will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers!”
Again, such as these are those of whom Isaiah spoke when he prophesied, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Is 5:20). Do not be deceived! These are evil men but they appear very religious and godly. They call evil good, they put forth darkness as light. The context of Isaiah 5:1-7 also makes it clear these are outwardly religious people, for it concerns the people of God whom He had set apart to be the “garden of his delight”.
The False Church Worships A False God
We must understand that at the heart of this religious deception is a counterfeit Church that embodies all of which we have spoken. This counterfeit, as we have already seen, is so very nearly alike the true thing in its outward appearance that it would deceive the very elect if it were possible. They worship God, but it is not the true God. It is the god of this age who has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the (true) light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of (the true) God (2 Cor 4:4). This one masquerades as an angel of light and “opposes and exalts himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, and even sets himself up in God’s temple (the Church), proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thess 2:4, cf. Is 14:14). This is the very one whose coming is “in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing” (2 Thess 2:9-10). And again, the delusion is so strong that it would deceive the very elect if it were possible. In this way the masses are led down the broad road to destruction, deceiving and being deceived that they are serving the true God when in fact they are serving Satan. (Read that last sentence again).
Therefore my people will go into exile for lack of understanding (they are blind to the truth); their men of rank (flesh kings) will die of hunger and their masses (who are on the broad road to destruction) will be parched with thirst (a famine of hearing the true word of the Lord, Amos 8:11-13). Therefore the grave (hell) enlarges its appetite and opens its mouth without limit; into it will descend their nobles and masses.
My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
A False Jesus
For everything God has that is true in His true Church, Satan has a counterfeit of it in his false Church, whether it be a false Jesus, a false Spirit, or a false gospel. “For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached (a false Jesus), or if you receive a different Spirit from the one you received (a false Spirit), or a different gospel from the one you accepted (a false gospel), you put up with it easily enough!” (2 Cor 11:4). This false Jesus looks just like the real Jesus in outward appearance, and yet is the image of Satan, speaking his words (Rev 13:2,5,6) even as the true Jesus is the image of God speaking His words (Jn 8:28, 12:49).
One of the heads of the beast (false Jesus) seemed to have had a fatal wound (false crucifixion), but the fatal wound had been healed (false resurrection). The whole world (the masses on the broad road to destruction) was astonished (just as they were at the true Jesus, cf. Matt 9:8,33, 15:31, Mk 5:20, Lk 9:43, 11:14, 24:41, Jn 7:21, and see esp. Acts 13:41) and followed the beast. Men worshipped the dragon (false God) because he had given authority to the beast (false authority, cf. Matt 28:18, Jn 5:27, 17:2, and Matt 9:8 again) and they also worshipped the beast (false Jesus)… He who has an ear let him hear.
A False Spirit
The false Spirit in Satan’s false Church also looks just exactly like the true Spirit of Christ in outward appearance. And yet, again, he is the Spirit of Antichrist (the false Jesus) having his nature and bearing witness to him.
He had two horns (power, strength) like a lamb (like the true Jesus, for just like the true Spirit empowers those in God’s true Church so does the false Spirit empower those in the false Church, cf. Lk 24:49, Acts 1:8), but he spoke like a dragon (false God, Satan). He exercised all the authority of the first beast (the false Jesus) on his behalf (just as the Holy Spirit does for the true Jesus, cf. Jn 16:5-15), and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast (just as the true Spirit leads the true sons to worship Christ, cf. Jn 15:26, 16:14), whose fatal wound had been healed. And he performed great and miraculous signs (just like the true Spirit), even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. (Recall how the Holy Spirit came in Acts 2:3). And he deceives those who dwell on the earth (the masses on the broad road to destruction) because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. (The image to the beast is the false church; the false spirit conforms the false church to the image of the false Jesus, just as the Holy Spirit conforms the true Church to the image of the true Jesus.)
Revelation 13:11-14, NIV, NASB
A False Gospel
That which gives the masses on the broad road to destruction a false security that they will inherit eternal life is the false gospel of the harlotrous false Church. This false gospel leads them into a form of godliness, causing them to suppose they are pleasing God and giving them a false security. But in fact their hearts are unregenerate and still bear the fruit of Satan. “Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! (Let him go to hell)” (Gal 1:8).
Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, “Lord, open the door for us.” But he will answer, “I don’t know you or where you come from.” Then you will say, “We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.” (They had a false security). But he will reply, “I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me you evildoers.”
For, “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Mt 7:21).
Jude perfectly describes today’s harlotrous false Church with its perverted understanding of God’s grace, which is the central doctrine of its false gospel:
For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you (because these men have a form of godliness and deceived them into thinking they are true believers. But,…) they are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality (within their hearts and in secret, for to those who are deceived they appear godly) and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for doing anything good.
True Grace Delivers From Sin
In contrast to the harlot’s false grace, Paul reminds us of God’s true grace:
For the (true) grace of God that brings salvation (and not just a false security) has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright (righteous) and godly lives (as opposed to a form of godliness) in this present age (not just in the age to come) while we wait for the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
The True and the False Church
Throughout the Scriptures this is the description of God’s true Church. The true Spirit is the Holy Spirit and it is to holiness that He has called us (Rom 1:7, 1 Cor 1:2, 1 Thess 4:3-8, esp. verse 7, 2 Thess 2:13-14, 2 Tim 1:9, 1 Pet 1:15). The true Bride of Christ is described as pure and holy, blameless, radiant, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish (2 Cor 11:2, Eph 5:26-27, Phil 1:10, Rev 19:7-8, 21:2). And this is the record we have of the true Church in the book of Acts. Those believers had a sincere love for one another and a pure heart for God. They walked in obedience to God’s commands because they loved Him more than their sin (cf. Acts 2:42-47, 4:32-35, and Jn 14:15,21,23). To cut it straight, we see very plainly that this does not describe what is put forth by so many as the Church today. The reason for this is that it is not God’s Church. Indeed, what they put forth as the Church, as good, as light, as sweet, is in fact the great delusion sent by God to deceive those who refuse to love the truth but inwardly delight in wickedness. Let us repeat that so there is no mistake. What is put forth by the multitudes as the Church, as good, as light, as sweet, is in fact the great delusion sent by God to deceive those who refuse to love the truth but inwardly delight in wickedness. If we love the truth and come into the true light we see very plainly that what is called the “Church” by so many today is the false Church we have been describing and that what they call good is evil, what they call light is darkness, and what they call sweet is in fact very bitter.
The Incredible Truth
We stand amazed, wondering how such a thing could be. It strikes us as a contradiction that something could appear so godly on the outside and yet be so evil. But that is the nature and the power of the delusion. And such was exactly John’s reaction when it was revealed to him:
“Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute who sits on many waters. With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth (the masses on the broad road to destruction) were intoxicated with the wine (teaching) of her adulteries.” …When I saw her I was greatly astonished.
And yet if we have spiritual eyes to see (which is with what John saw the harlot, Rev 17:3) we see it very clearly.
We must remember that those within the false Church are deceiving and being deceived. But let us carefully note that the very nature of deception precludes them from knowing they are deceived. They are completely sincere and think they are helping God out, serving Him. But on the inside there is a part of their heart that loves something else more than Jesus (like pride, greed, or selfish ambition). For example, one who loves the approval of men more than Jesus will not believe or teach anything that will offend them. He will add a little water to dilute the choice wine of the word of God (Is 1:21-22) and so remove the sharp edge of the sword of God regarding anything objectionable. In this way he has refused to love the truth that is found in the sound (whole) doctrine of the word of God and so perishes in the powerful delusion sent by God.
Paul writes that these dupes have been captured alive in a trap of Satan for the purpose of doing his will (2 Tim 2:26); they have fallen prey to the deception. They think they are helping God out saving souls, travelling over land and sea to make a single convert, and when he becomes one, making him twice as much a son of hell as they are (Mt 23:15, 2 Tim 3:6). Jesus said He knew the slander of those who claim to be Jews (i.e. true believers) and are not, but are a synagogue (Church) of Satan (Rev 2:9).
A Form of Godliness Is Not Godliness
James calls such deceived disciples of the false church double-minded men and says they can expect nothing from God (James 1:6-8, cf. Mt 7:21-23). He reminds us of their nature that speaks both blessings and cursings (Jam 3:9-12) which is the very nature of Satan. Perhaps we are so astonished to have the harlot revealed because we suppose for something to be evil it must be always evil, when in fact for something to be good it must be always good without even a hint of evil (Eph 5:3). This is an example of how the false Church has set forth darkness as light and called evil good. We must not be deceived to suppose that to be like Satan we must engage in the most vile and horrifically evil things imaginable. For he appears as an angel of light and his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. To be like Satan we have only to put on the appearance that we are righteous when in fact our hearts are unrepentant and still love the vain pleasures of sin.
The Nature of God And The Nature of Satan
Psalm 1 and Jeremiah 17:7-8 describe the true disciple of God as a tree of righteousness planted by streams of (living) water (i.e. he is rooted in the nature of Jesus). When the heat comes (trials and temptations) it does not fear. Its leaf does not wither but is always green. It has no worries in a year of drought (when things are not going his way) and never fails to bear fruit! This is the nature of the true God and is exactly what the true Jesus taught: “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit” (Mt 7:18). However, this is not so with the wicked. We must understand that when there is plenty of rain (blessings, things going their way, etc…) their leaves will prosper and be green too (i.e. they will appear godly and appear to produce fruit). But the true test is during the drought, when the hot winds of trial and temptation blow. Because they are not rooted in the living water of the true Jesus their leaf withers. When cursed they curse back. When wronged they will not forgive. When slandered they slander back. (Contrast 1 Corinthians 4:12-13). And so in the end they are cut down and thrown into the fire (Mt 7:19). Like chaff, the hot winds blow their withered leaf away (Ps 1:4, Jer 17:5-6). They have fallen prey to the trap of Satan, the very temptation offered Eve in the Garden: to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:9). All of this Jesus said in His sermon on the mount:
You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be (true) sons of your Father who is in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (This is the nature of God—always and only good fruit, no matter what evil is incurred against Him.) If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax-collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man (virgin) who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock (of obedience to the true Jesus). But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man (virgin) who built his house on sand. (Everything was fine for him until…) the rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.
Be perfect therefore as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Matthew 5:43-47, 7:24-27, 5:48
Harlot Religion Will Never Perfect One in Righteousness and Holiness
It is impossible for the form of godliness offered in the false gospel of the false Church to perfect one in the perfect righteousness of the true Father in heaven. Because it is objectionable to the flesh it will never teach that “without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14). James reminds us concerning the false disciples that,
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight reign on his tongue (from speaking blessings and cursings, thus proving he has the nature and character of Satan, cf. Mat 7:20) he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
He goes on to describe the harlot in chapter 4 who claims to be the Bride of Christ and yet proves she has the nature and character of Satan by committing adultery with the world:
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
John spoke of the same thing:
Do not love the world nor the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him….No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil….No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning because he has been born of God (and is a true son of God).
1 John 2:15, 3:6-9
A False Love
Another counterfeit within the false Church and among the false sons is a false love. “The lips of an adulterous drip honey” (Prov 5:3) and it is with them that she offers her love to the naive. This is the false love that allures the simple who lack judgment down the broad road to destruction, giving them a false security that none shall see their wickedness (study Prov 7:6-27 carefully and cf. Is 47:10). She will love you if, if she gets her way, as we have already seen. In contrast to it is God’s true agape love. One who loves with this love will love no matter what hurt is incurred against him, no matter what he gets in return, and no matter what it costs him (cf. 1 Cor 13:4-8). It is a love that always seeks the best for its object, even if that means rebuking someone to repent. The false love of the harlot is sloppy agape. It is a “love” that just tells someone what they want to hear, even when it isn’t what they need to hear (for she loves the approval of men and won’t offend them). This is the “Peace and Safety” message of the false prophets (Jer 6:13-15, 1 Thess 5:3) that only confirms the false disciples in their rebellion without calling upon them to repent. The true God’s true love, because it always seeks the good of its object, would call upon them to suffer in the flesh and repent, for “unless you repent, you too will all perish” (Lk 13:5). We see in this contrast between true and false love the truth of Proverbs 27:6— “The kisses of an enemy may be profuse, but faithful are the wounds of a friend.” Again, for those who have eyes to see it is plain which love characterizes the so-called churches of our day.
Unity of The Holy Spirit, Disunity of Unholy Spirits
Perhaps the most obvious evidence by which God has lifted the skirt of the harlot to reveal her nakedness to the whole world is her fundamental lack of unity and love for and submission to one another. This is the very test Jesus gave by which the world would know we were His disciples: “All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another” (Jn 13:35). “I pray…that all of them may be one…as we are one” (Jn 17:20-23). Throughout the New Testament the true Church of Christ is described as being one body in which all are united by a common bond of (true) love and mutual submission one to another, under the one head Jesus Christ (Rom 12:5, 1 Cor 1:10, 10:17, 11:17-18, 12:12-20, Eph 4:3-6, Phil 1:27, 2:1-11, and esp. 1 Cor 6:1-8, esp. vs. 7). There is no strife or jealousy in God’s true Church. For each, having the mind of Christ, submits himself to the others considering them to be more important (Phil 2:2-3). Neither are there doctrinal differences, because the Lord is the head of His Church, not any man nor any man’s opinions. Each true believer has the mind of Christ having been baptised in one Spirit into one body (1 Cor 12:13). There is only one doctrine and one interpretation—Jesus’. And all of those in the true Church of God agree with it because all share this same Spirit—Jesus’ Spirit. This one Spirit certainly doesn’t teach 666 different doctrines. For there is but “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph 4:5). However, men can and do teach such a number of doctrines, being led not by the Holy Spirit of Christ, but by the unholy spirit of Antichrist. For “the (true) Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Tim 4:1).
That all of this isn’t just “pie in the sky” is evidenced by the Church that is described in the book of Acts (Acts 1:14, 2:1,44, 4:32, 5:12). And the same Spirit who filled and empowered those early believers to obey the gospel of Jesus Christ is the One who fills and empowers those today who are willing to be as obedient as were those in the book of Acts. God hasn’t changed. Neither has the gospel. Very simply, the reason we do not see the love and unity demanded by the gospel in the lives of so many who claim to be Christ’s disciples and in what they set forth as the Church today is that they are false disciples of a false Jesus in a false Church, reflecting the image of the one they really serve (cf. Jn 8:42-47). For, “a student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Lk 6:40).
The True Body of Christ Versus The Audience of A False Prophet
We can see this fundamental lack of love and unity as rooted in the organizational structure of the harlot Church which in these last days having been fully trained is just like its teacher (Satan) and reflects his nature. In God’s true Church Jesus is King and receives all of the glory, and he who is the greatest is the least and the servant of all. No individual is exalted above the others, but each serves humbly in the position in which he is placed by God. Everybody has a part, and each individual uses his gift, a special measure of God’s grace administered by His Holy Spirit, to build up and edify the others, to the glory of God, not himself. He doesn’t look to himself, but is a servant to others. Each is a necessary but single part of the whole, of which Jesus alone is the head (cf. 1 Cor 12).
In 1 Corinthians 14:26-40 we find the only New Testament description of a “church service”. One is hard pressed to find there anything even remotely resembling the services found in today’s harlot churches. Most notably absent is the false prophet about whom the whole service revolves. For in a harlot church he, rather than Jesus, is the focus of attention, and his spirit, rather than Jesus’, is in charge to guide and direct the service. For he alone is “gifted”, not by the Holy Spirit, but by virtue of the fact that he alone has been trained in the traditions of men. And so he is the sole participant and he alone is able to strengthen and build up and edify the body. To be sure, he is willing to worship and ascribe glory to Jesus (a false Jesus), but only as one of his idols, a golden calf, and only so long as he gets to share the glory with Jesus.
A Covenant of Deception
A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?” (Jeremiah 5:30-31). Such is a perfect description of today’s harlotrous false Church. Unlike God’s true Church where everybody has a part and each is a minister to the others, here the people, the false disciples, want to be entertained (for they are lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 2 Tim 3:4) and have their ears tickled (2 Tim 4:3). At the same time the false prophet wants to be king and rule over these people, making them dependant upon him so as to be exalted in his pride, rewarded in his greed, and promoted in his selfish ambition. Each has a covenant of deception with the other. The false disciples want to be entertained and have their ears tickled, have someone tell them what they already believe and confirm them in their rebellion. And the false prophet wants to do just this and use them to his own ends—to satisfy his pride and greed and selfish ambition. And again, all of this is hidden deep in their hearts far from their outward form of godliness—so deep in fact that they are blind to it, deceived into thinking they are actually serving God, helping Him out.
And so the false prophet entertains the people and tickles their ears, telling them what they want to hear, confirming them in their rebellion, being careful not to offend them lest the large numbers cease to follow him and satisfy his pride, or quit tithing and dent his greed or quit promoting him and so damage his selfish ambition. For all it takes is the slightest offense and the false disciple, having the nature of Satan, will not forgive, and it becomes increasingly difficult for the false prophet to entertain him. The false disciple will begin to complain that he isn’t being fed anymore and begin searching for another “church”, perhaps one with a bigger and better program that will be sure to entertain him, or perhaps one that will be sure to agree with him and confirm him in his rebellion, give him a false security that he is saved and never offend his cursed flesh. He will have no problem finding one, and will never consider the possibility that he is a deceived false son of a harlot. For he has heaped up to himself a great number of teachers who will tell him just what he wants to hear (2 Tim 4:3) and supposes that all those people couldn’t be wrong, despite Jesus’ teaching that it is the masses on the broad road to destruction.
Escape From Babylon!
Throughout Scripture we find the repeated warning to stay far away from the path of the harlot (Prov 5:7-8, 7:24-25) and to have nothing to do with those who claim to know God and yet commit adultery with the world (1 Cor 5:9-13, 6:15-17, Eph 5:6-7, 2 Tim 3:5, Tit 3:10-11), which is a command to come out of the harlot, out of Babylon (Rev 18:4, Is 48:20, Jer 50:8, 51:6,45, Zech 2:6-7, Mt 24:15-18). Just as harlotrous Israel (Eze 16, 23) was given over to ancient Babylon for her sins (Jer 39:1-40:3, esp. 40:1-3), but then Babylon was destroyed for her sins (Jer 50-51), so too has today’s harlot Church been given over to spiritual Babylon for its sins (2 Thess 2:9-12) and in the end God will again destroy the harlot Babylon (Rev 17-18, cf. Rom 15:4, 1 Cor 10:11). And just as there was a remnant saved out of the exile in Jeremiah’s day, and a remnant that God saved out of Babylon (Jer 40:4-12, 50:8, 51:6,45) by calling on those who had ears to hear to come out and not be destroyed because of her sins, so is it today. Jesus said, “When you see Jerusalem (the spiritual city of God, cf. Rev 21:2) surrounded by armies (of demons) and the abomination that causes desolation (harlotry) standing in the holy place (the temple, us, the Church)—let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written” (Matthew 24:15, Luke 21:20-22). This is the remnant saved out of the exile, just as in the days of Jeremiah when people fled because they had eyes to see and ears to hear that Jerusalem was going to fall, despite the false words of the false prophets who prophesied to the contrary (cf. Jer 6:14, 23:17, 28:1-17). Notice that those who fled remained in the land (kept their inheritance which typifies eternal life, peace and rest) and “harvested an abundance of wine (teaching) and summer fruit (righteousness)” (Jer 40:11-12). Those who have ears to hear today will understand and get out of the city also. This is the same picture we see in Revelation 18:4 where God is punishing Babylon and calls out, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not receive any of her plagues.” Perhaps now we can better understand the truth of the following words of God through the apostle Paul:
Shall I take the (true) members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in Spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:15-17
And with that perhaps the reader can understand why we left the so-called “Church”. We didn’t just leave, we fled for our lives, though at the time it was very much the Lord who took us by the hand and more or less dragged us out of Sodom, even as He did Lot. (How great is His mercy!) To stay would have been to share in her sins and suffer her judgment, for we would be one with her in body. To stay would have been to be conformed to the image of a false Jesus who cannot save. It would have been to be led by blind men right up to the pit and fall in. The very best for which we could ever hope would have been to be like our teachers, the false prophets, and ultimately the false Jesus, who will all be thrown into the Lake of Fire to suffer eternal torment for their harlotries. Glory be to God who has delivered us out of her hand.
Our prayer for you the reader is that the true God might give you ears to hear and eyes to see for yourself what is true. If anything about which we have spoken is true and you are a part of what we have described as the false Church, it won’t be surprising if all this seems completely incredible and contrary to anything you’ve ever been taught. At one time it would have seemed so to us. For this reason we have included numerous references to the Scriptures by which you may prayerfully inquire of the true God to reveal to you what is true. For to be sure, the things about which we have spoken are not discerned by the carnal mind but only as revealed by His Spirit. Indeed, the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven are given only to those whose hearts are pure so as to have ears to hear.
But to those on the outside, everything is said in parables so that though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes”.
Mark 4:11, Matthew 13:13-15