We read in 2 Kings 18 in the time of King Hezekiah how the king of Assyria sent a great army against Jerusalem. We read: “31 Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make peace with me by a present and come out to me; and every one of you eat from his own vine and every one from his own fig tree, and every one of you drink the waters of his own cistern; 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive groves and honey, that you may live and not die.”
This event takes place directly after the time during which several thousand Israelites of ancient Samaria were resettled as captives by Assyria. The Northern Kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Neo-Assyrian monarchs, Tiglath-Pileser III (Pul) and Shalmaneser V. The later Assyrian rulers Sargon II and his son and successor, Sennacherib, were responsible for finishing the twenty-year demise of Israel’s northern ten-tribe kingdom (the tribes forcibly resettled by Assyria later became known as the Ten Lost Tribes), although they did not overtake the Southern Kingdom. So here we find Jerusalem being besieged.
Take note of how the Assyrian king wanted the Israelites to make peace with him, so that they may find favor in his eyes. The people of Hezekiah were told to make peace so that they “may live and not die.” Does this sound familiar? In the Garden of Eden, the serpent said to Adam and Eve in “Genesis 3: 4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The serpent thus promised that if Adam and Eve listened to him, thus buy into his truth, then they shall live and not die. To listen to the devil means not listening to God, which was also forewarned in 2 Timothy 4 that says that those in the church “will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (verse 4). Yes, the devil has certainly managed to get people’s attention in perilous times, for the world has certainly turned their focus on him, and it is happening more often in churches during the days of apostasy. And since faith comes by hearing, as we turn our ears away from God and to the lies of the devil, then our faith becomes eroded and we will begin to succumb to unhealthy fears and insecurities for true faith overrides such fears. The devil does not want a people living in faith or by the word of God, so he seduces people to listen to him so that they are deceived and left confused and bewildered.
The seductions and the whispering of the devil remind of the Sirens in Greek mythology, who were creatures who lured sailors to destruction by the sweetness of their song. The sirens sang enchantresses capable of luring passing sailors to their islands, and, subsequently, to their doom. Just so, we need to turn away our ears from the devil’s song of seduction, for it will lead only to our doom. We must turn our ears to God, for then we shall hear His Truth and find liberty and hope. Indeed, in the Garden of Eden, the devil was not offering Adam and Eve the truth. He was offering a lie. He was luring them into a trap of believing his deception, and therefore embracing a false sense of peace – one created by that it is alright to eat of the forbidden tree. He still presents this lie to the world that is alright to eat of the “forbidden fruit”, meaning we can partake of all things carnal, unnatural, unholy, and immoral yet still live.
And yes, in the Garden the devil promised Adam and Eve that their eyes will open to behold the truth. Still today, the devil promises enlightenment, spiritual fulfillment, and spiritual awakening. With the New Age movement, the concept of a spiritual “awakening” or spiritual evolution is of great importance, yet you will not be awake to the truth of God but rather be awaken to the great deception that brings spiritual enslavement. And so the devil has used esoteric teachings like Freemasonry and even religions like Buddhism to offer spiritual enlightenment beyond God. And sadly, so many have fallen for such lies and seductions, for only in God are we spiritually redeemed and saved. All other awakenings are merely awakenings to the spiritual darkness of the serpent, and an awakening to the pending destruction of those who seek not to serve and follow God.
And just as the king of Assyria wanted the Israelites to “come out to him” (v 31), thus a process of peaceful surrender under the guise of a peace treaty, just so the devil wanted Adam and Eve to come out of the presence of God and embrace his deception. The devil wanted to draw them out of the light and into the darkness, therefore mocking the price of the Blood. After all, it was by the Blood that God “has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love (Colossians 1:13). Yet, the devil wants us back in the darkness. Back in the state of spiritual blindness and unhealthy fear, all the while being suffocated by a false sense of peace.
The reality is that God actually wants us TO COME OUT OF BABYLON, thus not for us to come out of the Kingdom. It says in “Revelation 18:4, And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” And also “Jeremiah 51:45: “Come out of her, my people! Run for your lives! Run from the fierce anger of the LORD.” You see, we are from this world but not of this world (John 17:16) meaning we live by the true, values, norms, and morals of the eternal Kingdom. Babylon represents all things worldly, carnal, corrupt, immoral, unholy, impure, and unjust. It says in the chapter: “14 The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all.” This is the nature of Babylon, thus the fallen and carnal world – seducing people to long for things that are corrupt and immoral. Such is also the nature of the devil, who has given life to such debauchery. And it is sad how the world will mourn and weep, for such is the power of her seduction and deception, for indeed the world perishes because of the lust of the flesh and the eyes and the pride of life (1 John 2).
Indeed, the apostle John heard a voice from heaven summoning believers to exit Babylon. Still today there is the real peril of becoming part of Babylon instead of remaining true to the Kingdom. If we continue to hold onto Babylon, we might succumb to the temptation to partake of its cultural and secular life. Thus also the call in 1 John 2:15-17) not to love the world, thus Babylon. We need to thus in such perilous times RUN, thus flee, from the seductions of this world, just as we are called to resist the devil. Yes, we must not come out of the Kingdom, but out of Babylon. The devil wants to deceive and confuse people to rather stay in Babylon and forsake the Kingdom.
1 Kings 18 makes it clear Babylon shall fall and has already fallen. Yes, the worldly systems and all its debauchery shall cease to exist. For we read of Babylon: “2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” Yes, people love Babylon because the world offers liberty of the flesh, liberty of loving money (even though this is the root of all evil), liberty of loving the Self, and liberty to love all things which are an abomination and unnatural to God.
Babylon, once mighty (for man does this think him so powerful) will fall just like the Roman Empire and the British Empire fell. Nothing stands that is not built upon God. Nothing. The world thinks it is mighty with all its riches and gold, and many believe themselves to be gods, but Babylon shall fall and many shall mourn and be shocked. It says in the same chapter: “23 The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. 24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.” Yes, God will establish His Kingdom, and the kingdoms of this world shall surely know God is mighty and He shall not be mocked. The believers of God shall reign with God, the wicked shall be weighed and found wanting.
It says in “Revelations 19: 9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” You see, we cannot sit at the table of the devil and sip from the cup of Babylon while wanting to drink from the Lord’s cup. We need to choose. For God’s Kingdom shall reign forever, but the tangible and the temporary of this world, adorned in gold and so-called power, shall fade very quickly. And heaven and the saints shall rejoice in Babylon’s fall. We must thus make sure we are not drawn out of the true Kingdom to be part of fallen Babylon. For indeed, as God stuck Egypt, just so Babylon will be struck by plagues to unleash death and mourning and famine. And like God struck Sodom with fire, he shall strike Babylon with fire for God is an all-consuming God.