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From Here to Forever

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    Spiritual Adultery

    Unfaithfulness of the church to Christ in allowing worldly things to occupy the soul is likened to violation of the marriage vow. The sin of Israel in departing from the Lord is presented under this figure. “As a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord;” “as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband!” Jeremiah 3:20; Ezekiel 16:32.HF 237.1

    Says the apostle James: “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4.HF 237.2

    The woman (Babylon) is “arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones, and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness: ... and upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots.” Says the prophet: “I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” Babylon is “that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” Revelation 17:4-6, 18.HF 237.3

    The power that for centuries maintained sway over the monarchs of Christendom is Rome. The purple, scarlet color, gold, precious stones, and pearls, picture the magnificence affected by the haughty see of Rome. No other power could be so truly declared “drunken with the blood of the saints” as that church which so cruelly persecuted the followers of Christ.HF 237.4

    Babylon is also charged with unlawful connection with the “kings of the earth.” By departure from the Lord and alliance with the heathen the Jewish church became a harlot, and Rome, seeking the support of worldly powers, receives a like condemnation.HF 237.5

    Babylon is “the mother of harlots.” Her daughters must be churches that cling to her doctrines and follow her example of sacrificing truth in order to form an alliance with the world. The message announcing the fall of Babylon must apply to religious bodies that were once pure and have become corrupt. Since this message follows the warning of the judgment, it must be given in the last days. Therefore it cannot refer to the Roman Church alone, for that church has been in a fallen condition for centuries.HF 238.1

    Furthermore, the people of God are called to come out of Babylon. According to this scripture, many of God's people must still be in Babylon. And in what religious bodies are the greater part of the followers of Christ now to be found? In churches professing the Protestant faith. At the time of their rise these churches took a noble stand for truth, and God's blessing was with them. But they fell by the same desire which was the ruin of Israel—imitating the practices and courting the friendship of the ungodly.HF 238.2

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