Summary: Now we come to the days of Jesus and the church's formation, to see how Babylon relates in that time period.
PART II: ROME, PAGAN to PAPAL
A.D. 100 to A.D. 1300
"We wrestle not against flesh and blood." (Ephesians 6:12)
It is not men to whom we look as we seek the origin of the conspiracy against Christ and His church. We worry not whether mere mortals were aware of the part they played in the unfolding drama. We look behind the scenes to view the master conspirator, and to expose him. It is Lucifer who is behind the priesthoods of men. He is the one whose earthly throne always contains a chief priest, or pontifex maximus, offerer of the sacrifice. Wherever this supreme pontiff sits can be labeled Babylon. We ask not whether the man is good, or better than others, or possessor of certain acceptable doctrines. We ask if he sits in Satan's seat. Judge for yourself the progression of the following events.
SIXTEEN: THE EARLY CHURCH
c. A.D. 30
During and following the days of the foundational writers, the church is new, strong, and freshly filled with the Holy Ghost. False teachings abound, but what a church is forming! Here is a brief sketch of that church, as a backdrop against which the other church can be set, for your later comparison. Whatever your present affiliation, it will be difficult to compare it favorably to those first days of the church.
The first Christians have all things in common. Not forced, all voluntary. They meet daily, in various homes or existing buildings or special hiding places, to keep themselves safe from the present "Babylon," Pagan Rome. No church buildings. No air conditioning. No loudspeaker systems. No mikes. There is a simplicity about their meetings which varies from town to town, but has the same basic elements, inspired by the same Spirit, and recorded by Luke in the book of Acts and Paul in his epistles:
1) the teachings of the apostles, Acts 2:42
2) prayers, Acts 2:42
3) worship, I Corinthians 12, 14
4) manifestations of the Spirit of God, I Corinthians 14
6) often, fellowship dinners - love feasts - are a part of the meeting, but they soon become a problem (I Corinthians 11)
And, the Lord keeps adding to the church those who are being set free from sin, that is, saved. Great grace is upon them.
To see an involved pagan ritual in old Pagan Rome, and then to see a simple meeting of God's people is to see two totally different events, not even close to comparison. At least in the beginning, no one could compare Christianity to paganism. But things change.
In their personal lives, and in their communal life, the early Christians are a separated people. They use the world as needed, but keep their eyes on the heavens, whence they look for Christ to return at any moment.
People such as the above described have their descendants among us today: simple men and women, children too, who want nothing but the Word of God, the Spirit of God, the People of God, and a God-given job to do while waiting for Jesus' return.
But slowly another people evolve. Things are added. Things are subtracted. An evolution takes place, a mixing of good and evil, which always produces evil.