Unity: The Sign of Babylon

by Joseph Byczko <byczko@gdc.com>

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From various sectors we hear the lament: "....the Church needs one leadership, if we had this we could amend many of societies problems, lower the crime rate, restore morality,..." We hear that a unified leadership will cure many ills. Disunity is the great evil, denominations are the great Babylon,... and so forth.

It is clear that men want centralized control regardless of the consequence because they are convinced it will bring great benefit for the Church and society. Let us examine this idea from a biblical perspective.

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Examples from the Old Testament


The first attempt to centralize human power and leadership is revealed in Genesis 10 and 11:

"And they said, Go to, let us build a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do." (Gen 11:4-6)

Legend holds that the leader of this enterprise was one Nimrod bar-Cush; dictator and founder of the Babylonian form of unity. Scripture says that he was "a mighty hunter before the LORD" and "the beginning of his kingdom was Babel" (Gen 10) The term "mighty hunter" may be better understood as "mighty warrior". Note that Gen 10:10 is the first occurance of "kingdom" in the bible.

And what purpose was this? Secular (a city) and religious (tower unto heaven) dominion. Man's intent was unrestrained power in all affairs. Human unity was the inspiration, centralization was the method, and authority (a name) was the goal. The effort of man was emphasised; i.e. "... which the children of men builded." The name itself, Bab - El, translates as "gate to god"! Babel sounds like the Hebrew term for confusion.

Subsequently the LORD confounded their efforts in order to scatter them and defeat their purpose; designating it "confusion".

The wickedness of Babel is the unity of human effort to gain a kingdom, not the resulting division, which is of the LORD.

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Latter in scripture we find another effort of men to realize centralized human leadership without the LORD. This is seen by examining the transition from the period of the Judges to the Kings.

The book of Judges reveals some of the darkest times in the history of Israel. Moral decay, spiritual deviation, corruption of the people, priests, and judges alike was the order of the day. Examine the progression shown in chapters 16-21.

In chapter 16 we see the mighty Samson. The anointed champion of Israel brought to destruction because of his passion for a foreign woman. He defiled his Nazarite character in favor of Delilah. The contemporary trend of Gospel ministers falling to lust is sometimes called the "Samson Syndrome".

Chapter 17 reveals the man Micah who decided that he could establish his own system of idolatrous worship. He further used a Levite to establish credibility. Know that having a consecrated priesthood to support an institution does not make it true!

Thinking that such a system has the support of the true God, the Danites in chapter 18 seize Micah's idols and priest. They maintain that a tribe of Israel lends better credibility (v.19). A false doctrine with wide-spread popularity is still a lie.

Chapter 19 shows sexual sin of the Gibeah men of Benjamin. They are determined to abuse a Levite visitor in verse 22: "Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him". Failing this they settle for his woman; murdering her by gang rape.

When word of this atrocity gets to the people of Israel they initiate the Benjaminite wars in Chapter 20. Division in the house of Israel is the sad result in Chapter 21. Judges concludes:

"In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did which was right in his own eyes". (Jud 21:25)

The circumstances bear similarity to this day; moral decay in society and church, priest and judge, politician and preacher. Tribal, spiritual, and sectarian divisions abound. If only we had unity...Give us a king!

Is this a call to centralization? Is something greater going on here? Note that Judges was pre-monarchy; to say Israel "had no king" is the same as saying they were not following God! Hence they demanded a kingdom after the fashion of the world. Look at what is revealed in 1 Samuel:

"Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old and thy sons walk not in thy ways; now make us a king to judge us like all the nations." (1 Sam 8:4-5)

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Kings of Israel and Judah

Samuel warned Israel that it was rejection of the LORD himself to demand a King (1 Sam 8:7). Consequently Samuel reveals the hardship of having human rulers. Let us examine the track record of some notable monarchs:








"Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign... But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD,... For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. Also he build altars in the house of the LORD,...And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. And he caused his children to pass through the fire...also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. And he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God,...." (2 Chron 33:1-7)


Despite Josiah's exemplary reign, the Bible says:

"Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal." (2 Ki 23:26)

Therefore, we can safely conclude that human theocratic monarchs are not the cure for civil and ecclesiastical ills. Further, it seems the best of rulers cannot undo the damage caused by wicked leaders in the eyes of God. Neither is righteousness conveyed by dynasty, succession, genealogy, or other human mechanisms.

Let us carefully consider the results of asking for a king. Israel had reached the point where men thought they had it all...only to receive Babylon.

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Examples From the Christian Era

The Historical Church

In the centuries following the inception of the Church, the form of administration followed a pattern of the world. A hierarchy of men was established with an authoritarian form of leadership. One city and man would exercise power and authority over the Christian Church and worldly kingdoms. At various times it had the following attributes:

The Church at this time claimed to be the divine kingdom of God on earth.

Consequently, great divisions took place in the pattern of the reformation. Thus spawning many denominations and churches.

Does all this sound familiar?

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The Protestant Reformation

The reformation in many sectors is viewed as a work of God. Strictly speaking, "reformation" is somewhat a misnomer. Little reformation took place in the parent church while the children spawned were new entities. A better term may be reorganization and diversification.

Basic divisions included:

As an aside, the Orthodox Communion was never sold on the notion that the Roman church should be boss, so they remained separate. They tend to view the Protestant Reformation as a quarrel within Romanism.

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Revivalism of the 1800s and 1900s

During various periods from early 1800's until the 1900's we witness the emergence of many movements and churches.

All of the proponents of these movements are adamant that it is a work of God; all of them resulted in division, schisms, new churches, and denominations. Ironically, some began as efforts to greater unity; ending in sectarianism, exclusivism, or heterodox theology.

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The Early Twentieth Century


Today we witness powerful forces at work for religous plurality. One of these is an ecumenical men's movement with rapid growth. [Promisekeepers] Some of the principles connected with this organization:

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The Supernatural

Signs and wonders are also at work in order to promote a great "revival".

What sort of manifestations are we suggesting? Some of the exotic things observed:

These experiences attract Christians from very diverse traditions into a form of unity. However, we find certain aspects questionable:

At this point I would not deny that these signs and wonders are real artifacts of a spiritual power. So how does this all line up with scripture? New Testament teachings offer preparation for suffering, persecution, trials, tribulations and apostacy; not a party!

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A Paradigm Shift

A transition in thinking is being observed in regard to the criteria used to judge if a move is of God. This paradigm shift puts emphasis on experiencial results as the evidence of divine stamp of approval and uses biblical support when agreement can be found.

Doctrinal/Scriptural/Faith >>>>> Experience/Mystical/Sensual

We are also witnessing a change from Biblical exegesis to subjective methods: i.e. dreams, visions, "the spirit told me", or "I feel this is so..."

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Any practical "unity" requires a control mechanism in order to force the "sheep" in line. Enter the practice of "discipleship". Authoritarian methods are employed to establish a hierarchical chain of command in order that men may "lord over" the church.

The premise of this doctrine is that Christians must, in the same fashion as Jesus, directly control the lives of the disciples. In this process Christians assume the relationship of Christ to the twelve. These disciples become "masters" and proceed to gain for themselves disciples and thus an effective multiplication in followers.

These methods have made the rounds in various denominations, intentional communities, parachurch ministries, and sects; resulting in spiritual abuse.

In the mid 1970's a confrontation resulted within the Charismatic movement when the authoritarian character of the "shepherds" was understood. Some of the shepherding teachers renounced the doctrine, while others continue to promote it. Although there was an effort to vomit this abberration out of the church, it has reappeared; often in the more subtle presentation as "mentoring" or "accountability".

Some of the signs that can be associated with shepherding or discipling groups:

In short, this so-called "discipleship" movement is really about MASTERSHIP. As such it serves an vital enforcement function to maintain organic unity. Something like a spiritual Gestapo!

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Dominion Theology

The theology to achieve unity is based on the effort of men to establish the Kingdom of God using the principle of "Dominion".

Dominion theology holds that man is given divine mandate to conquer and rule the earth. Christ cannot or will not return until men have all things under control. The church is "Christ" on earth and the sole physical means where this may occur.

In regard to God's Kingdom; it is here now and awaits realization by the church. Hence it is sometimes designated "Kingdom Now".

This theology is post-millenial by definition; Jesus will return (if at all) after the millenial kingdom is established. So it is man who must institute this kingdom on his own.

Dominion is justified based on spiritual interpretation of scriptures; especially OT prophecies regarding Israel and the promised kingdom. These teach that we must take "the land", drive out the Caananites, destroy the Amelikites, all the land we set our foot upon is ours to claim, we must have dominion over the fish of the sea, fowls of the air, over cattle, over all the earth....we must act in the image of God! (Gen 1:26)

Some of the practices and attitudes that may be rooted in dominion thinking:

Note that those who embrace these ideas are not necessarily dominion advocates. Often these principles have very widespread acceptance.

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A Refutation of Dominion Theology

Compare emphasis of Dominion teachings with New Testament principles:

Dominion New Testament
Militancy Humility
Masters Servants
Avengers Intercessors
Judgement Mercy
Authority Submission
Prosperity Sacrifice
Power Suffering
Little gods Little children

Dear Christian, beware of the Dominion; they take no prisoners! Examine Matthew 4:1-11 as follows:

"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him."

What is the devil is suggesting? First, he challenges Christ's relationship to the Father according to performance.

"If thou be the Son of God..." In effect saying that if you are a son you better manifest the supernatural power; the essence of the "Manifest Sons" or "little gods" doctrine.

Second, he tries to substitute miracles for dependence on God's word.

Third, he offers the highest place of the "temple". See how ministers covet the power and prestige of authoritarian church leadership. Hey, don't worry if you should fall; the scipture demands angelic protection.

Forth, he can put men above all the worldly kingdoms; the "high mountain". Why stop at the top of the church? You can rule the WORLD with DOMINION! Secular and religious power can be realized.

Just one small detail... Satan must pull the strings!

Hear what Jesus says to all this:

"It is written...." (Mt 4:4,7,10)

The Bible refutes the notion that lust for supernatural power, worldly glory, and ecclesiastical preemminence come from God. It shows their true source.

"And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down." (Mk 13:1,2)

Throughout scripture the temple is figurative of the "church" made with the hands of men.

Against conquest; first seal judgement of God shown in Revelation 6:

"And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer." (Rev6:2)

Against the beasts; of sea and land - Revelation 13:

"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea...And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority." (Rev 13:1-2)
"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, ...And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast;..." (Rev 13:11-14)

Against spiritual prostitution; the harlot of Revelation 17:

"...I will show unto thee the judgement of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration." (Rev 17:1-6)

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So, I pose the questions. Is centralization what God wants? Does the LORD endorse "Bab-El" or "Babel"? Why was Nimrod called the "Mighty Warrior before the LORD"?

In establishing organic unity the parameters for a great power-grab are established. All that is needed is some "man of the hour" to seize control. The beast of land (Jews?) and sea (Gentiles?). The great Harlot (sellout Christianity?) riding the beast (civil power?). Horns like a Lamb (messianic authority) and speaks like a dragon (satanic power). Displays supernatural miracles and wonders; even fire from Heaven!

Let those who have ears hear. Beware of "Nicolatians"; literally "men controlling people".

Note: Unless otherwise noted all bible quotes from KJV.

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©1996 by Joseph Byczko <byczko@gdc.com>. All rights reserved.

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