The Need for God’s People to Seek the Lord’s Direction and Have the Lord’s Presence to Display His Victory
for the Building Up of His Body and the Spreading of His Kingdom– Week 4
6 But you, when you pray, enter into your private room, and shut your door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
23 But an hour is coming, and it is now, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truthfulness, for the Father also seeks such to worship Him.
24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness.
3 But you, when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4 So that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.
1 Cor 2:9-10
9 But as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not come up in man’s heart; things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
10 But to us God has revealed them through the Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
1 Sam 16:7
7 But Jehovah said to Samuel, Do not regard his appearance and the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For it is not how man sees that matters; for man looks on the outward appearance, but Jehovah looks on the heart.
1 Thes. 5:17-18
17 Unceasingly pray,
18 In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
In Joshua 6 the children of Israel gained the victory over Jericho, but in fighting against Ai they were defeated. Because Achan kept a Babylonian garment (7: 21), God’s people suffered a defeat. Anything that is Babylonian gives Satan the ground to defeat the people of God. Therefore, we must forsake everything Babylonian. If we would serve God as His pure people, we first need to have a thorough clearance of all Babylonian things. (Life-study of Isaiah, p. 180)
When the Israelites entered into the land of Canaan, the first person to commit sin was Achan. What was the sin which Achan committed? He said, “When I saw among the spoil a beautiful mantle of Shinar,… I coveted them and took them” (Josh. 7: 21). A Babylonian garment seduced Achan to commit sin…. A beautiful garment is worn for the sake of appearance. When one puts on a beautiful garment, it means that he adorns himself to improve his appearance and to add a little luster to himself. Achan’s coveting of the Babylonian garment meant that he was seeking to improve himself, to make himself look better. This was Achan’s sin.
Who were the first ones to commit sin in the New Testament, after the church began? The Scriptures reveal that they were Ananias and Sapphira. What was the sin that they committed? They lied to the Holy Spirit. They did not love the Lord very much, but they wanted to be looked upon as those who greatly loved the Lord. They were just pretending. They were not willing to offer everything cheerfully to God. Before man, however, they acted as if they had offered all. This is the Babylonian garment.
The principle of Babylon, therefore, is hypocrisy. There is no reality, yet people act as if there is in order to obtain glory from man. Here is a real danger to God’s children—pretending to be spiritual. There is a great deal of spiritual behavior which is acted out in falsehood…. Many long prayers are counterfeit; many prayerful tones are unreal. There is no reality, but it is made to appear as if there is. This is the principle of Babylon. Whenever we put on a garment which does not match our actual condition, we are in the principle of Babylon.
God’s children do not know how much falsehood they have put on in order to receive glory from man. This is entirely opposite from the attitude of the bride. Everything done in falsehood is done in the principle of the harlot, not in the principle of the bride. It is a great matter for God’s children to be delivered from pretending before man. The principle of Babylon is to pretend in order to receive glory from man. If we set our sight upon man’s glory and man’s position in the church, we are participating in the sin of the Babylonian garment and the sin committed by Ananias and Sapphira. False consecration is sin, and false spirituality is also sin. True worship is in spirit and truthfulness.
God hates the principle of Babylon more than anything else. We must note in His presence how much of our being is still not absolute for Him. Anything which is halfway and not absolute is called Babylon. We need God to enlighten us so that in His light we may judge everything in us which is not absolute toward Him. Only when we judge ourselves in this way can we confess that we too hate the principle of Babylon. By His grace, may the Lord not allow us to seek any glory and honor outside of Christ. (CWWN, vol. 34, “The Glorious Church,” pp. 102-103, 105-106)
Further Reading: Life-study of Isaiah, msg. 26; CWWN, vol. 34, “The Glorious Church,” ch. 5
Corporate Reading of “The History of God in His Union with Man” Chapter 6 – Sections: Not Speaking to Abraham for Thirteen Years; Appearing the Seventh Time to Abraham When He Was Ninety-nine Years Old; Appearing the Eighth Time to Him by the Oaks of Mamre
© Living Stream Ministry, 2016, used by permission