There is a wide moral difference between Egypt and Babylon, which it is important to see and understand. Egypt was that out of which Israel came; Babylon was that into which they were afterward carried. (Compare Amos 5. 25-27 with Acts 7. 42, 43). “Egypt” expresses what man has made of the world; while “Babylon” expresses what Satan has made, is making, or will make of the professing Church! Hence, in the present sense, we are not only, surrounded with the circumstances of Egypt, but the moral principles of Babylon.
This renders our “days” what the Holy Ghost has termed “perilous” or “difficult.” It demands a special energy of the Spirit of God, and complete subjection to the authority of the word, to enable one to meet the combined influence of the realities of Egypt, and the spirit and principles of Babylon. The former meets the natural desires of the heart; while the latter connect themselves to the religiousness of nature, which gives them a peculiar hold upon the heart. Man is a religious being, and peculiarly susceptible to the influences which arise from music,; sculpture, painting and pompous rites and ceremonies. When these things stand connected ‘with the full, supply of all his natural wants – yea, with all the ease and luxury of life, nothing but the mighty power of God’s Word and Spirit can keep one true to, Christ. We should also remark that there is a vast difference between the destinies of Egypt and those of Babylon. The 19th of Isaiah sets before us the blessings that are in store for Egypt. It concludes thus: “And the Lord shall smite Egypt; He shall smite and heal it; and they shall return even to the Lord, and He shall be entreated of them and shall heal them. … In that, day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and Assyria: even a blessing in the midst of the Land, whom the Lord of Hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt, My people and Assyria,, the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance” (Isa. 19. 22-25).
Very different is the close of Babylon’s history whether viewed as a literal city, or a spiritual system. “Twill also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of Hosts.” (Isa. 14. 23). “It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation” (Isa. 13. 20). So much for Babylon literal. Looking at it from a mystic or spiritual point of view, we read; Babylon’s destiny in Rev. 18. The entire chapter is; a description of Babylon, and it concludes thus: “A strong angel took up a stone, like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus, with violence! shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all” (Rev. 18. 21).
With what solemnity should these words fall; upon the ears of all who are in any wise connected with Babylon: that is to say, with the false professing Church. “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Rev. 18. 4). The “power” of the Holy Spirit will necessarily produce, or express itself in a certain “form,” but the Devil’s aim has ever been to rob the professing Church of the power, while he leads her to cling to and perpetuate the form; to stereotype, as it were, the “form,” when all the spirit and life of it has passed away. Thus he builds the spiritual Babylon! The material of which this city is built are lifeless professors, the “slime for mortar” (Gen. 11. 3) which binds it together, is a form of Godliness without the power (2 Tim. 3. 5); “from such,” says the Spirit of God, “turn away.”
Reprinted by permission from “The Word” an excellent American magazine with objects similar to our own. This article will be followed by a closer study of this important but neglected subject, by Mr. H. Lacey of Cardiff