Babylon Part of the Body of Christ?

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Hi B____,

Thank you for your question. I am very pleased to see that you are listening to those very meaty studies.
You ask:

The short answer is, no, they are not part of “the church… which is His body”.

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

Nevertheless, we do not want to act as if they are not our brothers, simply because they are God’s children who are still in Babylon. We must remember that King Saul, who represented Babylon, was still “God’s anointed”.

1Sa 24:6 And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.
1Sa 24:7 So David stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way.

Christ said more or less the same thing about the religious leaders of His day:

Mat 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
Mat 23:2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat:
Mat 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

Christ also called the Jews “Abraham’s seed”, and in the same breath said “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham”.

Joh 8:37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
Joh 8:38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
Joh 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

So the church which believes in Christ yet wants Him dead is called “the church in the wilderness.

Act 7:37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.
Act 7:38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him [ Moses] in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

It is Babylon, “the church in the wilderness”, which believes on Christ yet wants to see Him dead. Here is Christ, speaking to “those Jews which believed on Him” and yet could not hear His Word:

Joh 8:30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.
Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

The word translated “continue” is better translated as “abide”. It is only those who “abide in [ Christ’s] Word” who are His “disciples indeed”. In other words, there is a world of difference between being just ‘a disciple of Christ’ and being a “disciple indeed”.
Speaking to these same “believ[ ing] disciples, Christ demonstrates just how big is that difference:

Joh 8:40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
Joh 8:41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
Joh 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
Joh 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

So “the church in the wilderness” seeks to kill our Lord, and our Lord within us, while “His body, which is the church… builds itself up in love”.

Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

They are both His church, just as “Abraham had two wives”:

Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Gal 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, a nd answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Gal 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
Gal 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
Gal 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
Gal 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Gal 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

What this means is that while the first Adam is also called “the son of God”, we are not to think that this is true spiritually, even if Christ does tell us that He is “the beginning and the end”. It is “the end” which we are coming to, and we never want to return to “the first man, Adam”.

Luk 3:38 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

So while all of mankind are God’s sons, and while we are His disciples while we are in Babylon, we are nevertheless not part of “the church which is His body” unless we “abide in [ Christ’s] words, even on pain of death”.

Mat 10:39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

So I hope this helps you to understand how we can call those in Babylon our brothers, and yet understand that they are “the bondwoman and her son… yet carnal… babes in Christ” who will will indeed turn upon us, and want us dead, when they are tempted to do so.

Your brother in the Christ,
Mike

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