THE LAST DAYS OF BABYLON Part 1, THE END OF FAITH

Goodnews Christian Ministry

"Is it not the will of God the Almighty that the laboring of the peoples should end in fire, and the toiling of the nations come to nothing?." ---Habbakuk 2:13

CHAPTER 4

God Brings Knowledge to Nothing

"I shall destroy the wisdom of the wise
and bring to nothing all the learning of the learned."
1 Cor.1:19

_____________

Jesus said that the world of God is the exact opposite of the world of men. What is highest here, He said, will be lowest in the kingdom of heaven, and what is lowest here will be glorified there. What the world exalts, Jesus said, is an abomination in the the sight of God.

Nothing is more revered in the society of Babylon than the possession of knowledge. But it is not a knowlege of God that drives our universities and powers the planet's intellectual hunger. It is the understanding of the elements of this doomed creation and all of its component parts that obsesses our study.

We memorize, not the commandments of God, but the voices that have hallowed an understanding of physical creation and exalted the soul of Babylon.

Hypnotized by a creation that is nothing more than temporarily charged particles vibrating in a vacuum of space and time -- the captains who guide us dictate that this we should elevate, not the Gospel which rescues us from Satan's grasp.

Because it has been skewed to enshrine all that is not God, the major battleground of faith, here, is knowledge. The more we know, the less we believe.

It is no coincidence, then, that the collapse of faith which we now find spreading across the globe has coincided with the greatest explosion of scholarship the world has ever known. Satan coerced Adam and Eve by enticing them to eat forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge.

Today their children have made that tree an obsessive feast. As a result, the consumption of Adam's fruit has become the most coveted endeavor in the modern world. This pursuit has risen to become the important element in modern society's measure of individual worth.

Meanwhile, the values which Christ taught are increasingly shunned by community leaders.

Much of this shift in the way we determine personal value in society has been spearheaded by the intellectual elite. For instance, the U.S. Supreme Court, perhaps the most august body in our government has decreed as illegal, prayer in school, and even ruled that a copy of the Ten Commandments be removed from a Georgia courthouse.

These men and women constitute the most scholarly and influential minds in the country and stand as the moral fortress of the nation.

The signal they have sent to our citizens and children with their dictums is that the faith commanded by Jesus and the Bible is irrelevant to government and a predjudice that needs to be severely controlled.

They have used a different argument, but the signal is the same.

We are now watching a society grow up under this arrogant and godless influence and the visions are ominous.

Many of these changes have occurred without protest from religious leaders. In fact, throughout history, church leaders have been among the intellectual world's staunchest advocates.

That closeness has been severely strained in the latter part of this century. Now, with the sabres of warfare between church and state suddenly starting to rattle, the religious community has begun to polarize around issues quietly heralded by God's prophets from the beginning.

Jesus predicted that this would happen -- especially in the last days. "I bless you, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do." (Mt.11:25-26).

Paul underscored Christ's prediction of academic blindness in his letter to the Corinthians, defining the wisdom of this world as foolishness to God, and the wisdom of God a mystery to the masters of this age.

Both Testaments of the Bible have given such witness: "The wisdom of its sages shall decay, the intelligence of its intelligent men shall be shrouded." (Is.29:14).

God Himself separated the camps of scholarship and faith and personally directed that they should oppose each other until the End. As a result, the frontal assault on faith that currently emanates from the intellectual community follows a plan fore-ordained by heaven.

Satan's intellectual attack on Christ has expanded well beyond the ivy shrouded walls that once nurtured it toward maturity.

It has been transported far out into the community -- carried there by reporters and editors of great newspapers, the knowledgeable elite that guide our society, the managers of the media, judges, most politicians, and the leaders of almost every institution of respect and influence in our culture.

Christians are painted as bigots; their stand against corruption interpreted as proof of sexism, racism, intolerance and intellectual inferiority by learned pagan propagandists whose voices have grown increasingly shrill and powerful in their opposition to the ways of God.

The correlation between secularism, the gymnasia (the ancient schools of the Greeks), and the modern universities of our time are interrelated, and they point to the changing nature of pagan worship.

In the 2nd century B.C., when Antiochus IV Epiphanes built his Greek Gymnasium (university) in a commanding position close to the Jewish temple in Jerusalem, it not only infuriated the Jewish priests, it mirrored the devil's attempt to compete against the message of God.

Using Antiochus' bold confrontation, Satan launched this rivalry of competing wisdoms by trying to pit a pagan university against the Hebrew temple. (1 Macc.1:15).

Anticipating the sophistication of Jesus' God (a God of Word), Satan gave the pagans another kind of 'word' to worship -- the vacillating word of human scholarship. With it he launched a worship of the world.

The fact that a deep antagonism between faith and scholarship would first blossom under the direction of Epiphanes (one of the Bible's two archetypal images of the Beast) is, in itself, significant.

The Book of Daniel shows that Antiochus IV Epiphanes forms one of the Bible's two templates of the Great Rebel to come.

It is not surprising then (since these are a part of the last days), that Academia would use its prestige in our time to set itself against God and thereby imitate the 'gymnasia apostasy' that foreshadowed the grave sacrilege of Daniel's era.

In Daniel's time, this confrontation led to a Jewish 'abomination of desolation'. In our time it will lead to the desolation of the entire world. It is further proof that Daniel's prophesies have finally come of age.

As the conditions of Daniel's day replicate themselves once again in our own, we can see his words nearing their fulfillment.

The Greek institute of knowledge that caused such controversy during the times he wrote about, stands once again on God's temple mount. This time, on His spiritual Mount. And it has risen to that position with insidious dispatch.

Erecting on earth what has grown up to be a convincing monument to doubt, Satan has created a likeness of truth, and used its images to supplant the faith commanded by Christ.

'Truth', said Jesus, is the word of God -- the Gospel of His Father.

But the world's institutions advertise another 'truth' in its place. As proof of the effectiveness of this promotion, most now look to the university instead of God as the ultimate authority on earth. And the product that emanates from its walls is this world's knowledge -- a faulty, secular, man-made 'truth' most of the world venerates as if it were divine. .

Scholarship, by itself, of course, is not the problem. God created the world, and so discovery should always lead toward God, not away from Him. The fault lies in the agenda of those who manage the way it is pursued, interpreted and dispensed.

It is the sustained effort by most academic leaders to deny and discredit God that has driven the intellectual community to the foot of Satan's altar.

In this procession we don't see the pagans of our time heading off to religious temples to offer animal sacrifices to their deity's anymore. Instead, we see them streaming to the universities and colleges to learn the secrets of this world's tree of knowledge.

It is a ritual practiced everywhere, in every country of the world by everyone who wants to be a serious part of this world; and yet it is an indoctrination that almost always leads people away from God.

That is because the potentates of all this scholarship -- those responsible for examining creation -- have pooled their data and determined that no divine intellect was involved either in creation's inception or its development.

This after building a massive institution for a detailed examination of every aspect of creation's dimensions.

Promoting and defending a godless existance, these are blind guides who have culled through mountains of evidence and come up empty.

Knowledge alone is not a sin-- it simply has no power to bring us to God. Some might try to argue this point, but God's word is a power unto itself; therefore it anoints us in its own truth -- an anointing that education cannot improve.

It is not knowledge that keeps a person from going bad, it is obedience to Christ. For every level of knowledge that exists there is a Satan to match.

This means that righteousness cannot be improved by intellect.

The perfect understanding of Jesus is unquestioning acceptance and obedience to what he said-- complete and utter faith. As we have seen, all knowledge does is interfere with this process, because it brings question to faith.

If knowledge were as perfect as faith, all questions would lead us to God, but our knowledge is always wrong, so the answers lead us astray.

Because it is perfect and without error of any kind, the word of Jesus is a truth that can never change. By contrast, the truth that comes out of the schools changes constantly.

Every textbook is outdated (and therefore false) the moment it is published. New knowledge has passed it by -- and will always pass it by -- through a process that will be repeated over and over again until the end, showing that human knowledge is always in orbit around truth but can never touch it.

For this reason, a ten year old textbook is useless and a hundred year old one an object of ridicule. And a hundred years from now -- if such a time were able to come -- it would be the same all over again.

Today's truth in this world will always be tomorrow's error. Yet it is Jesus who is rejected, while the errant scholarship is retained.

So while knowledge has no power to lead us to God, it has a great power to lead us away from Him because it brings doubt to faith. (2 Thes.2:9-12).

Because doubt is the engine which powers its whole pursuit, human scholarship will always stand opposite faith.

Knowing that past knowledge is wrong is the very thought that drives academic discovery. And knowing that the new discovery is wrong as well is the force that demands the search be continued.

Knowledge learned then, is error learned. And because in this process all truths become subjective, error is institutionalized and glorified.

For this reason, the university stands as a reverse image of the Church. In Jesus, truth is absolute. But in the university, truth is only error waiting to be corrected.

Highlighting these reverse roles, the Spirit of God caused scripture to portray the two as women offering food to passersby:

"Dame Folly...sits at the door of her house, on a throne commanding the city, inviting the passers-by as they pass on their lawful occasions, 'Who is ignorant? Let him step this way,' To the fool she says, 'Stolen waters are sweet, and bread tastes better when eaten in secret'." (Pr.9:11-17).

This 'secret bread' is the sacrificial food of today's pagan world. It is stolen because it was taken from God without acknowledgement, and it is secret because it is dispensed, not to the world, but only to the chosen few. To those with just the right credentials.

Those outside this circle are left out-- most of them fated to a life of poverty and menial jobs because they have been excluded. The poor and the weak, then, are not only the institution's primary victims, they are even formed by its terms.

This would seem acceptable in a society driven by competition and striving for intellectual perfection, but God did not make the world for these kinds of pursuits. Jesus did not want us at war with each other. God made the world so that we could all find Jesus and follow his commandments.

Thus the rules of our society are a corruption of God's whole purpose. This corruption is why the Bible calls our social system 'Babylon' (Rev. 17:5).

Just the opposite of the fare offered by 'Dame Folly' in the Book of Proverbs is the food of the Church:

"Wisdom has built herself a house, she has erected her seven pillars...she has laid her table. She has despatched her maidservants and proclaimed from the city's heights: 'Who is ignorant? Let him step this way.' To the fool she says, 'Come and eat my bread, drink the wine I have prepared! Leave your folly and you will live, walk in the ways of perception'." (Pr.9:1-6).

God did not call us to help build Babylon, He called us to build the kingdom of heaven instead. In this construction, only the commandments count. Knowledge is useless.

To underscore this fact, Jesus said that God had hidden His truths from the 'learned and the clever' -- hiding them from the schoolteachers and professors -- and revealing them, instead, to 'mere children'.

The Pharisees considered these children to be 'rabble' because most of them could neither read nor write, and none were academically trained: "This rabble knows nothing about the Law -- they are damned", the Hebrew educators proclaimed.

"Have any of the authorities believed in him?" (in Jesus) "Any of the Pharisees?" (Jn 7:49).

When Jesus ended the Mosaic sacrifices by revealing that God is 'Word', Satan followed suit.

When God put a stop to animal sacrifices by making His 'words' the object of worship, Satan countered by making 'knowledge' the venue for his own worship. This change was obvious early in the history of the Church in its battle against Gnosticism.

So while ancient worship hinged on animal sacrifices, modern worship focuses on truth and knowledge.

And that is why we now see the academic system, more and more, becoming a major battleground in the war between God and this world.

It is a battleground of spiritual food.

On one side, the word of Jesus -- the food of the tree of life, and on the other -- the food of the tree of knowledge -- a knowledge that Isaiah said, leads to nothing: "...the past will not be remembered and will come no more to men's minds." (Is.65:17).

Oblivious to such a fate, secular worship promotes man and the world as supreme, not God. It preaches the deification of Babylon-- the deification of the prostitute.

It's hidden truth has almost nothing to do with God's purpose on earth. That is why school is an open forum for the philosophies of Jefferson and Marx but discussion of Jesus is virtually forbidden.

God is neither the focus nor the destination of the academic search. In fact, God is held up to such ridicule in school that most students are embarrassed even to mention His name in a classroom.

Managed by the architects of commerce, the scholastic product relates specifically to commerce, so that the mark it stamps on us-- the degree conferred-- determines our ability to buy and sell. This is little different from the mark of the beast.

But because it offers the world's most hallowed rewards-- money, pride and power-- 'dame folly' has become the major rival to God on the planet.

What this institution promotes and preaches is 'worldliness'-- not just how to get ahead of others-- but a love and appreciation for the monuments of this world: for money, knowledge, art, literature, music, science and so on. All the things that Jeremiah said are destined for the fire.

Because the world has embraced all this statuary and glorified it in such hallowed terms, words like these surely sound heretical. But contrast this people's monuments with the words of the apostle John who wrote, "You must not love this passing world or anything that is in the world. The love of the Father cannot be in any man who loves the world..." (1 Jn.2:15).

The deification of Babylon is death's side of the valley of decision. This is why Jesus told us we must break the bond which ties us to our worldly possessions.

The only thing in life that has meaning, he said, is simple obedience to the teachings of God. "Lord, my heart has no lofty ambitions, my eyes do not look too high. Enough for me to keep my soul tranquil..." (Ps.131:1-2).

There is peace in these words. Contrast that peace with the driving stress commanded by God's opponents.

Instead of tranquility, the world teaches that we must strive to get ahead-- to make something of ourselves-- to offer our lives in the construction of monuments that glorify the world and its accomplishments.

That the two ideologies are opposites is proved by Isaiah's quotation above-- that everything this world is learning and striving for is going to disappear. Isaiah said none of it will ever be remembered.

So even our great libraries have no future meaning. Intelligent scholars know that all their 'truth' is wrong, but they argue that it is leading somewhere. Yet, the Bible says that it is leading nowhere-- that all the knowledge we now consider so sacred will disappear along with the cities and civilization it has built.

When the world ends it will all vanish, and when it is gone it will leave no trace of its existence behind. There will be no memory of it-- no books-- nothing at all.

This is a truly astonishing revelation-- a concept Jesus underscored when he said that the only thing that can survive the coming fire is righteous behavior. Everything else, he said, is meaningless and leads to death. And that is why the writer of Ecclesiastes called it all 'vanity'.

Babylon depends on higher learning for its construction, but scripture clearly indicates that the kingdom of heaven does not. "As your word unfolds, it gives light and the simple understand." (Ps.119:130).

Because pagan education has become such a god in our own time, most of us today cannot comprehend the fact that Jesus and most of his apostles had no schooling at all. Certainly no high school; not even grammar school. They held no academic degrees.

In fact, when Jesus went to the temple and began to teach, "the Jews were astonished and said, 'How did he learn to read? He has not been taught.' Jesus answered them: 'My teaching is not from myself: it comes from the one who sent me; and if anyone is prepared to do his will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or whether my doctrine is my own." (Jn.7:14-17).

Most of the apostles were like Jesus. Many could not read and a few possibly could not even write their names. Yet God had chosen them, not just as disciples, but as the very pillars of the Church itself. "The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." (Rev.21:14).

God did not structure His kingdom on such illiteracy by accident; and yet most Christian educators are convinced that such people today-- those who are as unlettered as these apostles were-- cannot possibly know much about God, let alone preach about Him.

The educated people of Christ's time apparently felt the same way: "Wisdom is better than strength, but a poor man's wisdom is never valued and his words disregarded." (Eccl.9:16).

Today, mesmerized by the influence of educators, we view as human failures anyone who stumbles in the academic process, and we are convinced that it is only through academic training that anyone can come to a full appreciation of God.

That is why we look for college degrees and search the educational backgrounds to determine the measure of credibility our leaders should be given. Even our ministers and priests.

Doing so, we often surround ourselves with Pharisees; because today, virtually no minister is allowed in a pulpit unless he has been properly credentialed in the temple of knowledge first.

Yet not one iota of morality ever came out of school. We certainly cannot look to our doctors, lawyers, bankers and politicians for lessons in ethics. When we look to education for morality, we put our trust in a system guaranteed to fail.

"The race does not go to the swift...there is no bread for the wise." (Eccl.9:11). Just the opposite, the more we know, the less we believe. "Make no mistake about it: if any one of you thinks of himself as wise...then he must learn to be a fool before he can be wise. Why? Because the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God." (1 Cor.3:18).

God crystallized this mandate when He called sheepherders to witness to priests.
Demonstrating the extent of God's ordinance, Paul declared,

"If it was God's wisdom that human wisdom should not know God, it was because God wanted to save those who have faith through the foolishness of the message that we preach...because it was to shame the wise that God chose what is contemptible by human reckoning. "

"Those whom the world thinks common and contemptible are the ones that God has chosen -- those who are nothing at all to show up those who are everything."
(1 Cor.1:21-28).

God will make these words come true because scripture cannot be rejected. (John 10:35).

God's truth and man's knowledge have been set apart by a divine decree-- a decree which cannot be changed because scripture cannot be overruled. The separation between the two is the reason why Jesus is so lightly regarded in intellectual circles.

And as recent events have shown, this rift even applies to Bible colleges. This should come as no shock to anyone, because the most scholarly and intellectual Bible college in the history of the world was in Jerusalem, but Jesus didn't go over there and select a single Apostle.

Instead, he bypassed scholarship and went up to a lake in Galilee and sought out people of compassion-- some fishermen, and a tax collector and a publican-- people who, for the most part, were unlettered-- people the school in Jerusalem had dismissed as ignorant.

And, in effect he said to them 'I am appointing you as the new masters of my theology-- you are to take over all the posts of those professors down in Jerusalem, and you are to tell all the people of the world about God in their place.'

God did the same thing before Jesus came. Instead of going to the theological center to select finely trained scholars with brilliant religious minds, the Holy Spirit went up into the hills, to shepherds tending sheep, saying to them, 'I want you to go down to that University in Jerusalem and tell all those religious professors and their graduate students what my words really are.'

Despite all their reading and writing and languages and all their credentials, God sent illiterate shepherds down to teach the divinity professors about their very own subject.

The proof of this is that when we read about God today, we rarely read a single word that any of those scholars and professors in that Bible college in Jerusalem ever wrote!

Instead, we read the words of the shepherds and fishermen, and of the tentmaker that God chose to speak to us in their place.

Since this happened in the Old Testament and again in the New Testament, and is perpetuated by a divine decree in scripture issued by the mouth of God, can we doubt that it is any different today? The facts show us that it is not.

We live in a time where knowledge has brought us to an understanding never dreamed of in the past-- even our understanding of God.

For almost 2000 years less than a handful of scriptural texts were known, but today, driven by the scholastic energy of our times there are hundreds of translations of the scriptures-- many going back to the very fabric of the original texts-- bringing us to a knowledge of God far beyond anything known by our forefathers, and yet none of this has improved the world's faith.

Which translation of the scriptures has created the best Christian for instance? Instead of creating better Christians, this explosion of holy knowledge has had no positive impact on the behavior of the world at all.

On the contrary, amid this burgeoning spiritual understanding, the world has rejected Christ and tossed his words away on a scale never seen before.

We can only come to God through love-- not by knowledge. Paul said, "We all have knowledge; yes, that is so, but knowledge gives self-importance-it is love that makes the building grow." (1 Cor.8:1).

Knowledge goes with ego because it makes people think they are smarter than those around them. Love on the other hand does not come from knowledge, it comes from the heart.

This is why Jeremiah, speaking of the new covenant through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said, "See the days are coming...when deep within them I will plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people.

There will be no further need for neighbor to try to teach neighbor, or for brother to say to brother, 'Learn to know God!'

No, they will all know me, the least no less than the greatest-- it is God who speaks-- since I will forgive their iniquity and never call their sin to mind."
(Jr.31:31-34).

In keeping with this prophecy, Jesus called us to witness, not to teach. (Mt.23:10). In this world, where education has become a god and the university its secular temple, this difference has become, for most, incomprehensible.


The Last Days of Babylon


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