Posted by: SandreS | September 30, 2009

The Church in Ruins (Brief Thoughts on II Timothy), Part 23

The Mystery of Iniquity vs. The Mystery of Godliness

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor (II Timothy 2:20).

This “great house” (:20) with it’s “iniquity” (:19) was a part of the “mystery of iniquity” (II Thessalonians 2:7) that Satan has used to stand in contrast with, and opposition to the one true church (ecclesia), which is “the mystery of godliness” (I Timothy 3:16).

The Mixed Multitude

This “great house” has a mixture of vessels in it: some to “honor,” some to “dishonor,” like the “mixed multitude” of Israel. This is the old Babylonian religious system. It is the habitation of devils, every foul spirit, and every unclean and hateful bird!

… Babylon … the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities … How much she has glorified herself, and lived deliciously …” (Revelation 18:2-5, 7).

Note a few things from this passage in Revelation:

First, this Babylonian system is referred to as “her” and “she.” Interestingly enough, the “church” of this religious system (Christendom) is also referred to as “her” and “she.” In stark contrast, God’s ecclesia is the “one new man” (Ephesians 2:15). Listen as members of Christendom say, “the church, she is …”

Second, there is a clear relationship between the Babylonian religious system and the nations of the world. They are in bed together (“fornication”) for mutual financial advantage, along with the merchants of the world! It is a religious-political-social-economic system.

Are you a part of a religious entity that has a relationship (fornication) with human government? A “501 c3” “Church, Inc.” with “non-profit” “tax-deductable” (subsidized) exemptions?

Third, we note that there is the divine call to, “Come out of her, my people.”

Why are God’s people in her? Advantage, prestige, honor, recognition, reputation and respectability.

Yet God calls His people out!

Listen to Paul, our apostle, give the same warning to the Corinthians:

Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has he who believes with an infidel? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, “I will dwell in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be separate,” says the Lord, “and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,” says the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (II Corinthians 6:14-7:1).

“Out” of what is Paul calling believers?

What is the “unclean thing” that believers are not to “touch?”

What is the “filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit” from which believers are to “cleanse” themselves?

It is the Gentile Babylonian religious system!

Is “your church” or “your ministry” a part of this system? Why not leave it and come out?

(to be continued)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2001, 2009 Bible Student’s Press

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