The Road From Babylon To Zion – Introduction

by | Jul 3, 2024

Introduction


Babylon and Zion – These names represent two groups of people that the
scriptures have much to speak about. One group of people has the appearance of
being very impressive. Their industriousness is legend. Their constant andunceasing
labor seeks to plan and to build and to enlarge themselves until their works reach
the very habitation of Yahweh God. Yet with this Babylonian people, God is not
pleased. He has rejected their righteousness as filthy rags. He has rejected their labor
as being works of lawlessness. He has despised the offerings they have brought
before Him.


This people is impressive and glorious in the eyes of man in the same way that the
massive buildings of Herod’s temple awed the disciples of Yahshua the Messiah.
Yahshua triedtotemper His disciples’ misplaced enthusiasm by telling them that not
one stone would remain upon another of all that appeared so magnificent to their
eyes. Even so, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots, who has glorified herself and
exalted herself in the eyes of all men, will be suddenly destroyed, and that with great
finality.


There is another people whose outward appearance is not impressive. They are a
people that follow the pattern of the One who was despised and rejected of men.
They have no comely appearance that men should desire them, nor stately form that
the flesh of man should be attracted to them. These people are not known for their
industry, rather they are marked by their oddness. They do not fit into the systems
of the world. They are outcasts and misfits and they dwell in wilderness places.
Consequently many consider them to have been smitten and stricken by God, yet
these Overcomers are the apple of Yahweh’s eye.


These people are not renowned for their building in wood and stone. Instead, they
stand out because they have undergone a spiritual transformation. The things of the
world have lost their luster in their sight. They do not work and plan and strive to
accumulate the goods of a passing age. They walk as aliens and strangers in the land,
seeking a city whose builder is God. A world that judges by external appearance sees
nothing of value, nothing that impresses, nothing that demands a second look,inthis
people. Yet Yahweh God, who judges the heart, is captivated by these Overcomers,
these citizens of Zion, for in them He sees the image of His only begotten Son taking
shape.


For a time it has been the will of God that the people of Zion dwell in Babylon. In this
land of captivity He commanded Zion to be faithful and to seek righteousness. As
Zion dwelt in Babylon Yahweh tested Zion’s heart. Would Zion be tempted by
Babylon’s delicate meats and awed by Babylon’s external majesty? Would Zion
become entangled by the affairs of this life, striving for that which perishes, or would
she remain faithful to the One who chose her? Would Zion walk in the midst of a
wicked and unbelieving people and remain true to her God?


The citizens of Babylon have hardly suspected that there was another people
dwelling in their midst. Babylon has been focused on her own pursuits and
endeavors and she has considered herself to be the chosen one of God. Babylon has
continued to build and to enlarge her borders. She has continued to strive to attain
to greater heights, and she has considered herself to be successful.


On occasion Babylon would note some member of Zion that was not involved in the
same pursuits and she would think it odd. At times she might even get annoyed that
there were some who did not share the same values and goals as she. At times her
annoyance would turn to rage when she came to understand that the citizens of Zion
were not impressed by all that Babylon had built, but that they were rather appalled
by it all.


At the end of this age, now six days since Adam (six thousand years), and two days
(two thousand years) since Yahshua the Messiah was crucified and rose again,
Yahweh is doing a work of separation. Even as Judah and Jerusalem were released
from Babylon after seventy years of captivity and were invited to return to Zion, so
the people of God, the Overcomers, are being called out of spiritual Babylon.


Revelation 18:4
I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my
people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her
plagues…”


Though those who are heeding the call may be a mere remnant of all that dwell in
Babylon, yet they are a considerable people. Many are coming out. But this
separation is not devoid of difficulties. For many, Babylon has been the only home
they have known. Certainly this was true of those freed from Babylon so many years
ago. In seventy years a whole generation had died and another had been raised
entirely in a land of captivity. Although Babylon was a land of great idolatry and
spiritual harlotry, it was also a land of great material wealth and prosperity. Many
who had been born in this land, even the majority, chose not to leave when they were
free to return to Zion. Their hearts had grown attached to the things of the world. To
travel the road to Zion meant hardship, and physical difficulty, and many dangers
along the way. It was much easier to remain in the artificial security of a prosperous
land, sleeping in a soft bed inside a house of luxury.


Yet many struggled with leaving simply because Babylon was all they knew. Babylon
had truly been a mother to them. They had been raised in her, and Yahweh had told
them to not seek to leave until the appointed time, but rather to dwell and prosper
in the land and seek the welfare of their captors. Transitions are always difficult. It
is hard to hear the Spirit tell us to leave a familiar place where we have once seen
Him work, and to go to another place of which we know little. In this hour it is also
greatly difficult for many to leave the sheltering arms of Babylon when they have
known nothing else. Many are torn about leaving, especially when they see so many
of those they have known saying that things are still fine in Babylon and that they
have no intention of packing up and heeding the call to come out.


Yahweh has foreshadowed many things in the pages of scripture. Those who are
being called out of Babylon now can learn much from those who made the journey
many years ago. Once one heeds the call and determines to come out, the first perils
and difficulties have been passed, but more remain. When Ezra the priest made the
journey from Babylon to Zion with those who went with him, we are told that the
journey took four months and many perils lay along the way.


Ezra 8:21-23, 31
Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might
humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for
us, our little ones, and all our possessions. For I was ashamed to request
from the king troops and horsemen to protect us from the enemy on the
way, because we had said to the king, “The hand of our God is favorably
disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are
against all those who forsake Him.” So we fasted and sought our God
concerning this matter, and He listened to our entreaty… Then we
journeyed from the river Ahava on the twelfth of the first month to go
to Jerusalem; and the hand of our God was over us, and He delivered
us from the hand of the enemy and the ambushes by the way.


In the time I have been on this journey from Babylon to Zion I have encountered
many ambushes along the way. The enemy seeks to defeat those who would set their
face toward Zion. If he cannot frighten them from taking this road, he will seek to
waylay them and in some means keep them from their destination. He would also
seek to get these pilgrims to become wearied of the way and confused about their
actual destination, to blur their vision of where they are going, that he might turn
them back to what is familiar.


This book is written to encourage those at all stages of the journey: those who are
just now hearing the call to come out and who are unsure of what they are to come
out of; those who are torn at leaving all that is familiar to them; those who have
begun the journey and who have been met by the ambushes of the enemy; and even
those whose foreheads are set like flint toward their destination and who have not
looked to the right or to the left, but have been pressing ever onward.


My hope is that you will be both encouraged and forewarned of some of the pitfalls
and ambushes along the way. As the saying goes, “To be forewarned is to be
forearmed.” May those who journey to Zion arrive at their intended end. May the
citizens of Zion all rejoice together having overcome all and having received the
approval of the One who has called them forth.

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