Babylon, the Cross, Christ & Sin
Issue No. 203
Babylon is a false bride attempting to become the true “Bride of Christ,” but in fact it is a soulish counterfeit. Rev. 17:1 calls Babylon a “great harlot,” one who acts like a wife but who is ruled by the love of money, which Paul says is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10).
In the biblical story, there are two cities that compete for dominion in the earth—Babylon and Jerusalem. The dominion mandate was given to Adam, the first king over the earth. That mandate passed down to his son who was next in line to receive it, and so on. It passed finally to Noah and then to his son, Shem.
During the days of Noah and Shem, Nimrod usurped their authority and organized the first counter-Kingdom in the earth. He built a city called Babel (Gen. 10:10). In the book of Jasher we read that Shem left Mesopotamia and went to Canaan, where he built the City of Salem, i.e., “Jerusalem.” He took the title of Adonizedek, “Lord of Righteousness,” or its variant, Melchizedek, “King of Righteousness.” He is mentioned in Gen. 14:18 under this title. Since Shem was the divinely-appointed king and high priest in the earth, Abram paid tithes to him.
Thus, the two cities stood in opposition to each other. It was inevitable that they would ultimately come into a great conflict. In later years, however, Jerusalem became corrupted by its priesthood, and God decreed that He would forsake that city as He had done to Shiloh (Jer. 7:12-15). So God used Babylon to judge Jerusalem and then God later used the Persians to judge Babylon.
Jerusalem and Babylon have now taken new forms. They are now known as the New Jerusalem and Mystery Babylon. The old cities were types and shadows of greater things. But these two cities are still in conflict. Both feel called to rule the world. But Babylon is a usurper and a soulish counterfeit, operating by the flesh but thinking it is spiritual. At its root, the soul usurps the role of the spirit.
Redefining Sin as Ignorance
Unrepentant flesh tends to look for unlawful ways to justify itself. The carnal mind has what psychologists call “defense mechanisms” such as projection, where the mind projects its fault upon another person or object. For example, a school teacher might scold a boy in school. The boy feels humiliated, angry, and unrepentant, and he then projects his guilt upon another boy as if he were to blame.
Another defense mechanism is justification. The carnal mind loves to justify itself by making excuses for sin, rather than confessing guilt. When the carnal mind (soul) justifies itself, it is always done in an unlawful manner. True Biblical justification is the proper way to handle it.
Scripture is clear that Adam sinned. The story is told in terms of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I know of no such literal tree growing anywhere on earth, so this did not have to be a literal tree with literal fruit. Many people write pages upon pages, focusing on the type of tree this was. I find that to be off focus, because regardless of the type of tree it was, this one fact remains: Adam sinned.
When Paul compares Adam with Christ in Romans 5, he says in verse 19,
19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one the many will be made righteous.
In Romans 5, Paul uses the terms: disobedience, sin, and transgression to describe Adam’s act that brought mortality to us all. If that is not clear to some people, then they are not listening at all to what the Bible says.
Yet I received a newsletter recently from one who claims to be in the Kingdom movement, who wrote,
“The religious thought of man, as shown in religious ideas and practice for thousands of years of recorded history, shows that man has a very simple core belief. That core belief is reflected in all major religions that still dominate the spiritual climate. Here is my nutshell idea of that core belief.
“We (man) did something wrong in the beginning and God is still trying to fix it….
“One night…I had an experience. I saw the LIGHT, I was with the Light…
“What was it that the Light did NOT say?
“It did not say that there was [a] single ‘jot or tittle’ that was wrong with me. There was not a single vibration of even the remotest idea that anything about me needed fixing. Yet most of our religious ideas are riddled with that thought.”
He goes on to say that if we think there is anything wrong with us, we have a pagan core belief. We must “think positively.” “You are what you think you are.” Well, first of all, God does not “try” to do anything. He just does it. To “try” implies that God might fail often before succeeding. God does not fail in anything He wills to do. So if anyone thinks God is “trying” to fix anything, he does not have a proper understanding of God.
On the other hand, the one who wrote this bulletin says that there is nothing wrong with him—and by implication, nothing has been wrong with any of us since Adam. In his other writings, he says that there is no sin—sin is only ignorance. Since there are no sinners, and Adam did not “fall,” then there is nothing to “fix.”
Paul disagrees. He writes, “All have sinned” (Rom. 3:23). “There is none righteous, not even one” (Rom. 3:10). We also have the witness of John in 1 John 1:10,
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Some may have no trouble making God a liar, but John does. 1 John 1:8 says,
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
So John tells us that the truth is not in the man writing the article quoted above. And anyone who says amen to such things also is deficient in truth.
I have heard it said that Paul never uses the word “repent” anywhere in his writings. This was to imply that we no longer need to repent. It was further explained that repentance was a lower-frequency revelation, while Paul had a higher revelation that just said “believe and you will be saved.”
So are we to pit Paul against Jesus? Matt. 4:17 says,
17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Did Jesus preach a lower-frequency message? Was Paul’s gospel better than that of Jesus? Besides, I take issue with this idea. In Acts 17:30, PAUL himself says,
30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent.
Paul told king Agrippa in Acts 26:19, 20,
19 Consequently, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance.
This was Paul’s “heavenly vision.” It was to call all men to repentance. Luke wrote these words in the book of Acts. He was Paul’s traveling companion. Paul never taught repentance? It is time for such people to repent from turning away from the truth of God’s word.
Is Adam Christ?
Those teaching these things are also saying that Adam was Christ. If Adam was Christ, and Adam sinned, then Christ is made a sinner. Thus, they insist that Adam did not sin, because that would make Christ a sinner. If Adam were Christ, then it would completely destroy Paul’s analogy in Romans 5, where he contrasts Adam and Christ, and the act of sin vs. the act of righteousness. The two results are opposites—death and life. There is no Scripture saying that Adam was Christ.
God does not “fix” anything. He RESTORES all that was lost in Adam through Adam’s sin. He does not have a repair shop. He is in the restoration business. If there were nothing wrong with us, there would be no need for Him to restore anything. For that matter, there would be no reason for Him to die on the cross either.
When Bible teachers reject the idea of sin and say that there is nothing wrong with mankind, they find it necessary to reject the cross and the need for the blood of Christ to save mankind. If there is nothing wrong with man, why die on a cross for him? Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 2:2,
2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
John taught that believers were to confess their sin, not their righteousness. 1 John 1:9 says,
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Yet there are those who think that we are sinners only if we confess that we are sinners. To confess is from the Greek word homologeo, which means “to speak the same thing.” It has to do with agreeing with God’s assessment of us, agreeing with God that all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. The solution is to agree with God, not to agree with what we want to be.
It is true, of course, that God has imputed righteousness to our accounts, and that in spite of ourselves, He now considers us righteous. God is calling what is NOT as though it were (Rom. 4:17). But one must first recognize “what is NOT” before God will recognize us as though we were righteous.
One must recognize the meaning of imputation in order to know the balanced truth of Scripture.
How God Restores All Things
As I said earlier, God does not “fix” anything. He restores all things. Yes, there is a problem of sin, and this problem is not mere ignorance.
The solution to the problem is not achieved in a classroom. It is achieved in a Court Room.
Babylonian doctrine, as taught by the carnal mind in the guise of spirituality, says that the solution is knowledge or wisdom. This is nothing less than eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It is a false method of salvation and a false method of coming into immortality.
The tree of knowledge is based on the idea that our salvation is based upon us, rather than upon God. We must name it and claim it. We must learn this or that knowledge to become wise. We must learn how to manifest Christ. We must learn the scientific secrets of immortality. No, this path will never lead to immortality or perfection.
Adam and Eve ate of this tree, because “the tree was desirable to make one wise” (Gen. 3:6). Wisdom was the way to becoming gods, they were told. This has been the way of the world since that time. “The Jews ask for signs, and the Greeks search for wisdom” (1 Cor. 1:22). Wisdom is a great thing, but Greek wisdom was derived from trying to continue eating from the tree of knowledge. All occult groups have continued that same tradition, trying to find the lost secret of immortality. Modern technology is still searching for that answer. But even if they were able to live for 900 years, they will never attain immortality, because Adam’s sin made us mortal (Rom. 5:12).
No one, it seems, wants to believe that answer lies in Jesus Christ and His act—not in their own righteousness. Immortality is not something that can be learned in a classroom. It must be attained in the Divine Court of law.
Sin is not an ignorance problem, but a judicial problem. Sin is an offence against God or man. It is an act of rebellion and disobedience. It is a rejection of the divine law in favor of one’s own law or “conscience.” It is both an attitude and an action.
God does not judge ignorance as much as He judges men’s knowledge. In Luke 12:47 and 48 Jesus says,
47 And that slave who KNEW his master’s will and did not get ready or act in accord with His will, shall receive many lashes, 48 but the one who DID NOT KNOW it and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few.
In 1 Tim. 1:13 Paul speaks of his own ignorance while he was persecuting the early Church:
13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. And yet I was shown mercy, because I acted IGNORANTLY in unbelief.
God’s law judges all men according to their level of knowledge and ignorance. This is what makes it a serious matter for Bible teachers to teach people to eat of the tree of knowledge in order to attain immortality. Knowledge is a good thing. Technology is a marvelous thing. But if immortality comes by knowledge in a classroom, then the Greeks were right all along, and the Bible was wrong.
There is a Biblical path to immortality and salvation. This is the gospel I have been teaching from the beginning. It is mapped out through the Scriptures. It is seen in the feast days of Israel, which portray Justification, Sanctification, and glorification. It is seen in the tabernacle of Moses and the temple of Solomon. It is seen in the two works of Christ as portrayed in the law.
It is seen in the entire sacrificial system in the law, which pointed to the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. Jesus the Teacher did not save anyone. Jesus the Sacrifice saves all and restores all men to Himself, as He Himself bore witness in John 12:32 and 33,
32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself. 33 But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die.
Charles Fillmore: Prophet of Babylon
In the early 1800’s the Transcendentalist Movement was established in America. This movement attempted to establish morality apart from Christ and anything that was supernatural. It was secular “scientific” religion. Among their ranks were the poets, Emerson and Thoreau.
In the early 1900’s a man named Charles Fillmore took up the banner, quoting Emerson as a prophet. He was the first to put together a “metaphysical dictionary” for the “metaphysical Christian.” He and his wife Myrtle were the founders of the Unity Church. In his attempt to make Christianity “scientific,” he helped create secular religion.
In his books he held the Greek view that matter was carnal and evil while the mind (soul) was divine and good. The Greeks thought the soul was spiritual. The Bible says that the soul is carnal, fleshly. The Greeks thought that the mind of man was king, and from that falsehood came a multitude of false beliefs that enthroned knowledge and wisdom. They need to repent and to change their beliefs.
Fillmore redefined God as an impersonal force in the universe that was based upon a set of natural laws. He taught that if we could just learn those natural laws, we could come into immortality. In his book, Prosperity, p. 57, he says,
“If you know how to take hold of the universal substance and mold it to your uses, you will be prosperous.”
He taught that if we knew how to make positive affirmations, we could name and claim anything to make ourselves healthy, wealthy, and wise. He pictured this impersonal God like a farmer pictures his field. By knowing the laws of sowing and reaping, we can become prosperous.
It is no offense to an impersonal God to treat Him like a field to be manipulated into bringing forth a harvest. But later Christians took those ideas and applied them to a personal God. The result was that God became One to be manipulated like an impersonal field. All you have to do is learn the principles of sowing and reaping, and you can manipulate God into giving you prosperity.
Norman Vincent Peale was greatly influenced by Fillmore and came out with his “power of positive thinking” idea. Then came the “prosperity doctrine” of Hagin and Copeland, based upon Charles Fillmore’s book, Prosperity. If we just “sow some seed money” into their coffers, then God will be forced by His own law to give a 100-fold return on their investment.
The personal God has thus become God, Inc., and giving has been turned into an investment. That teaching is well suited to America. Christianity has been turned into a system of monetary investment. Thanks to Fillmore.
To Fillmore, sin was only ignorance. By ignorance man died, and by knowledge will man re-attain immortality. To do this, he must learn of his “twelve powers” listed in his book, The Twelve Powers of Man. As he puts it on page 4,
“Herein is set forth the metaphysical idea of the spiritual quickening of man on the human plane and his transformation into the divine; not by a miracle or the fiat of God [i.e. the cross or divine action], but by the gradual refinement of the man of flesh into the man of Spirit.”
Fillmore honors Jesus as the “Way-shower,” and the Teacher. So how does he say Jesus came into immortality? Prosperity, page 79, says,
“He built this divine substance into His body, cell by cell, replacing the mortal flesh with the spiritual substance, until His whole body was immortalized.”
In other words, He came into immortality by learning how to manipulate the great impersonal God, which is only the scientific “ether” (his term). He did it by the power of positive thinking by the power of the soul. He did it by naming it and claiming it. In this way He was the great Teacher, and we only have to follow His example, he says.
Nowhere does Fillmore teach that Jesus was a Sacrifice for sin. Sin? Sin is only ignorance. Sacrifice? We need not have Jesus as our Sacrifice. He is only a Teacher to feed us with the knowledge of good and evil. Jesus is not the Door; He only the One pointing to the Door.
In their statement of faith, they answer the question about the crucifixion:
“Unity teaches that the cross symbolizes the crossing out of all false beliefs. Here again, emphasis is on life and living, through the resurrection rather than on the Crucifixion.”
That is a polite way of saying that the cross has little or nothing to do with our salvation. It is only a symbol of “crossing out of all false beliefs.” Fillmore taught that sin itself is an illusion and that the problem is only sin consciousness. In other words if the conscience bothers us, we should ignore or even destroy the conscience.
Fillmore’s false doctrines have taken new forms but are still being taught today by teachers who have turned aside from the truth of the gospel. They are following an angel of light that is teaching another gospel.