Welcome to Brian's Bits, where Brian gets to share at length about various topics stirring inside of him.
 
Witnessing Without and Within
9 July 2013
 
 
Sometimes the Bible uses symbolism to communicate certain ideas. In the Old Testament, Babylon was a large and powerful empire which ended up conquering and exiling the Jewish nation. In the New Testament book of Revelation, Babylon is not referring to this ancient kingdom, but metaphorically to the evil world system. This concept is similar to the ideas expressed in the following verses, directed to followers of Yeshua (Jesus):
When you read about this Babylonian world system in Revelation 17 and 18, you will notice that it has obvious political, economic and religious dimensions. In the end, all man-made religions are part of this demonically-controlled system, even — as I recounted in Jewish Religious Degeneration — God-ordained religious systems which degenerate into something that God detests. In that article I quoted God saying in the Old Testament:
I hate all your show and pretense — the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.... Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps.... They have chosen their own ways, and their souls delight in their abominations.... How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you, says Yahweh of Heaven's Armies, and I will not accept your offerings.
In ancient times, God's people turned away from Him in their hearts, even though they still performed many of the God-ordained religious observances, and God rejected their degenerate religion. In the very same way, God's people in the Church, for the last 2,000 years, up through this very day, have often done, and still do, the exact same thing, with the exact same results. This should be a cause for concern and alarm for those who desire to relate to God in a way that pleases Him.

Because I have not participated in organized Christianity for the past 10 years, I sometimes am accused of willfully walking in sin and rebellion. I'm told that I need to repent, and get back "into fellowship" with other Christians. Specifically, I'm told that I'm not obeying this verse in the Bible:
Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25)
Although I don't believe that I'm walking in sin and rebellion, it IS possible, of course, that it's true, and that I'm in deception. By the very definition of the word, when you are deceived you don't know it. Once you realize you are deceived, then you aren't any more!

But it is equally possible that my concerned accusers are the ones walking in sin and deception, and need to repent, because they are participating in the degenerate, rancid religious system of man-made Pagan Christianity.

There is no way I can participate in such a religious system and still keep my conscience clear and my integrity intact. But what about those who insist that I'm completely out of God's will because I'm not an active part of a church? Well, that question begs another question: What IS the Church? I strongly encourage you to read that entire article, but I'll quote just a short portion here:
This is so, So, SO vitally important to understand: God's Kingdom, of which His Church is an integral part, CANNOT be equated with ANY human institution, church denomination, or organized religion (including Christianity). As I've said before, the Church of Yeshua is a SPIRITUAL entity! The Church of Yeshua may PARTICIPATE in these human institutions and religions, but these human institutions and religions ARE NOT the Church of Yeshua.
From the point of view of the religious, my lack of participation in their system disqualifies me from being a true follower of Yeshua. From my point of view, their participation in the rancid religious system of modern Christianity disqualifies them from being true followers of Yeshua.

These two diametrically-opposed perspectives sometimes cause pain and conflict between myself and others I'm in relationship with. My convictions are totally unacceptable to them, and their convictions are totally unacceptable to me. There doesn't seem to be any common ground, or any way for both perspectives to be right.

One day as I was talking my daily neighborhood walk, I felt that God spoke to my heart and brought revelation and clarity. He told me that there is room for both perspectives, because He's called some people to be a witness against the system from without, while He has called some people to be a witness from within. Therefore, I have no right to judge the people who are following God on the inside, and those people have no right to judge me, who am following God on the outside.

This revelation really brought freedom and peace to my heart. I was in awe at the simplicity of it! These ideas reminded me strongly of the wisdom of Yeshua (Jesus) — see Matthew 22:15-22 — and the wisdom of Solomon — see 1 Kings 3:16-28.

I'm also put in mind of these words written by the Apostle Paul:
Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Master is able to make them stand.... You, then, why do you judge another believer? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat.... So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. (Romans 14:4,10,12,13)
For those whom God is leading to be a witness against the Babylonian religious system from within, perhaps these verses would apply:
Make yourselves at home there and work for its welfare. Pray for Babylon's well-being. If things go well for Babylon, things will go well for you. I have it all planned out — plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. (Jeremiah 29:7,11)
And for those whom God is leading to be a witness against the Babylonian religious system from without, these could be applicable verses:
Flee from Babylon! Save yourselves! Don't get trapped in her punishment! It is the Lord's time for vengeance; He will repay her in full. Babylon has been a gold cup in the Yahweh's hands, a cup that made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank Babylon's wine, and it drove them all mad. But suddenly Babylon, too, has fallen. Weep for her. Give her medicine. Perhaps she can yet be healed. We would have helped her if we could, but nothing can save her now. Let her go; abandon her. Return now to your own land. For her punishment reaches to the heavens; it is so great it cannot be measured. Yahweh has vindicated us. Come, let us announce in Zion everything Yahweh our God has done. (Jeremiah 51:6-10)
Two opposite messages from the same God through the same prophet! Which one applies to you? Are you called to be a witness from without or within?
This article is 20th a series of articles on this Web site related to Modern Christianity and the Church which also includes (scroll to see the entire list):
1.
9  Nov  2008
2.
27  Nov  2008
3.
12  Jun  2010
4.
9  Sep  2010
5.
10  Sep  2010
6.
11  Sep  2010
7.
12  Sep  2010
8.
15  Sep  2010
9.
16  Sep  2010
10.
27  Sep  2010
11.
2  May  2011
12.
22  May  2011
13.
4  Jul  2011
14.
20  Aug  2012
15.
20  Mar  2013
16.
2  Jul  2013
17.
3  Jul  2013
18.
6  Jul  2013
19.
7  Jul  2013
20.
Witnessing Without and Within
9  Jul  2013
21.
10  Jul  2013
22.
11  Jul  2013
23.
17  Aug  2013
24.
18  Aug  2013
25.
20  Aug  2013
26.
27  Dec  2013
27.
19  Feb  2014
28.
24  Feb  2014
29.
25  Feb  2014
30.
27  Feb  2014
31.
19  Jul  2014
32.
24  Jul  2014
33.
25  Jul  2014
34.
1  Aug  2014
35.
19  Aug  2014
36.
29  Aug  2014
37.
30  Aug  2014
38.
31  Aug  2014
39.
1  Sep  2014
40.
2  Sep  2014
41.
3  Sep  2014
42.
5  Sep  2014
43.
6  Sep  2014
44.
7  Sep  2014
45.
8  Sep  2014
46.
9  Sep  2014
47.
10  Sep  2014
48.
11  Sep  2014
49.
13  Sep  2014
50.
18  Sep  2014
51.
23  Sep  2014
52.
24  Sep  2014
53.
25  Sep  2014
54.
26  Sep  2014
55.
10  Oct  2014
56.
11  Oct  2014
57.
13  Oct  2014
58.
20  Oct  2014
59.
15  Dec  2014
60.
16  Dec  2014
61.
20  Dec  2014
62.
22  Dec  2014
63.
27  Dec  2014
64.
14  Jan  2015
65.
15  Jan  2015
66.
18  Jan  2015
67.
26  Jan  2015
68.
3  Mar  2015
69.
19  Aug  2015
70.
4  Sep  2015
Feedback
Your Name:(required — will appear in the comments section below)

Your E-mail Address:(optional — just in case I would like to reply to your comment — will NOT be made public)

Your Web Site:(optional — if entered, a link will appear in the comments section below)
http://
Your Comments:(no HTML, no profanity — will be screened before posting)

Simple Math:(required — demonstrate that you're a human, and not an automated spambot)
What is 7 + 7 ?   
Reader Comments
There are no reader comments for this blog entry. Why don't you be the first to write one?
 
You can also send comments to me privately at: 2bits@briansbits.com
Article Index     |     Search     |     Site Help
< Brian's Photos >< Your Islamic Future >RSS Subscribe