Mankind has been conditioned and indoctrinated, led by the Pied Piper of this world, to respond in certain prescribed ways to words and symbols, and to surrender when compelled. They have become so accustomed to the many lures that the hook through their lip is easily tolerated. Men are accustomed, through prior elementary methods, to respond in certain ways to decoys and enticements. I am not saying that man is an unconscious machine; I am saying that man uses, and is used by, a machine, which is highly susceptible to enticement. Man in the world, even Christian man, is susceptible to sin. Those avenues of easy access for temptation must be barricaded and closed off: spiritualism, fashion, food, patriotism, entertainment, politics, respect and social standing, education, tradition, ambition, wealth, influence, art and culture, etc. Man is easy prey to worldliness. To be a Christian means allowing the Holy Spirit to take the predominance in one’s life and to listen, understand, and act accordingly. This also means making room for the Spirit by closing-off the avenues of evil assault.
For this reason, we are instructed to live “separated” lives. Separation means much more than just going to Church on Sunday. This separation, symbolized by the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem, after seventy years of captivity to Babylon, is the prerequisite of any successful Christian life. Keep in mind that not all Jews chose to return to Jerusalem, many had become very content living in captivity: the comfort, the family, their homes and jobs, their friendships with the world, and their pride of accomplishment and success. Babylon, their captor, offered them security and a sense of safety. The whole world is now Babylon, an uninterrupted life of idle pleasure, a “Vanity Fair” of frivolity.
That wall symbolizes much more than most people realize. The wall is more than separation from something, it is separation unto something, the altar, and the sacrifice. Separation and sacrifice go together. The term “wall of separation,” for most people, has political overtones, meaning the exclusion of the teachings of religious morality from participation in political debate. But, for the true Christian it means just the opposite, the putting aside of all political and worldly interest in one’s pursuit of Christ; It is to see this world through a different lens and drawing different conclusions. The largest part of Christendom is outside the wall of separation and totally involved in the world of deception and the support of the jailor.
The story of the Israelite captivity in Babylon is the story of the popular Church of today. Just as few elected to return after many years of the “good life” in Babylon, so today, compromised Christians want only a glamorized and romanticized replicate of what was once the true Church; otherwise depicted in Scripture as small, few, persecuted, shunned, rejected body, but accepted by Christ. The pursuit of truth is still a narrow path discovered by only a few – like a hidden treasure stumbled upon – while the wide road through Vanity Fair is most favored and exciting. To be a part of the “elect” is to be a part of a separated group, distinguished from the “tares” by a dedication to fulfill the desire of their Lord’s heart. Understanding just exactly what that desire is is the critical factor which initiates separation and a longing to return and to restore a wall, and altar, decimated by years of ignorance, inertia, and lethargy.
These are the days of the “called-out ones.” Will you come along on the trip, or will you stay in Babylon?