At different times in history God’s people were told to come out of a sinful place. Lot was told to come out of Sodom (Genesis 19:12). The Israelites were told to come out of Egypt (Exodus 3:17), and later, members of the House of Judah were told to come out of Babylon, which had become part of the Persian empire (Ezra 1:5). Sodom, Egypt, and Babylon were symbolic of the sins of the flesh, the world, and the devil, which were the three types of temptation that Jesus was subjected to. (Matthew 4:1-11)
Sodom was the city where it was not safe to sleep outside of a house. The angels that visited the city were invited by Lot to spend the night in his house. Men of the city came later to demand the right to sexually abuse the angels. Lot tried to appease them by giving them his daughters, but they would have none of that. The angels then blinded those wicked men and brought Lot and his family out of the city, bringing down fire from heaven on Sodom. It became a smoldering heap. How many church people in our day refuse to give up their sexual lusts, even abandoning their marriages to go to some other sexual partner? This is a huge problem in our society, is affecting even church leaders, and threatens to destroy our Israel nations.
Egypt was the greatest and wealthiest nation in the world, made great by Joseph, but had forgotten Joseph and had enslaved the Israelites. The Israelites built two cities for the Egyptians and were the source of the nation’s greatness. God had to drag the Israelites out of Egypt and they complained all the way, lusting for the flesh pots and bread that Egypt had afforded them. (Exodus 16:3) How many church people in our day are content with the materialism surrounding us, and are not interested in the coming Kingdom?
Babylon was known for its idolatry. The people of the land were expected to fall down and worship a golden image or be thrown into a fiery furnace. (Daniel 3:5,6) Later, anyone asking a petition of any god other than the king was thrown into a lion’s den. (Daniel 6:7-9) We know how these stories turned out when Daniel and his friends refused to worship anything or anyone other than the Lord God. How many church people of our day accept other religions as being alternate ways to God? Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” (John 14:6)
We are told to come out of sexual sins, the lust after wealth, and all non-Christian religions, symbolized by Sodom, Egypt, and Babylon. These three are mentioned in the book of Revelation. The two witnesses in Revelation 11:3-12 are the House of Israel and the House of Judah, according to Howard Rand in his book “Study in Revelation”. The two Houses were joined in Christ according to Ezekiel 37:19. The full union will not be complete until the Resurrection, when all the faithful of Israel from all generations are united. Before that, the witnesses will symbolically be killed (will no longer witness to the truths of the Bible) and will lie in the streets of Sodom and Egypt (Revelation 11:8). Our people will have been overcome by sexual sins and the love of money.
Babylon is mentioned several times in the book of Revelation. In Revelation 18:2 a mighty angel announces the fall of Babylon. “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” We are told, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4. We are to have nothing to do with the evil spirits that inhabit spiritual Babylon which means world rule apart from Christ. Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome all produced empires ruled by heathen religions. All non-Christian religions, occult practices and idolatry are to be avoided by our people. I believe this is what it means to come out of Babylon.
God’s people came out of Sodom, Egypt, and Babylon, as recorded in the Scriptures. We are called to avoid the sins of those three. The key is to yield to God’s commandments in our thoughts, words, and deeds. Then we will be protected from the judgments that are coming on the whole earth. Perhaps some judgments have come already.