BABYLON THE GREAT
Revelation 17 also indicates that evil is related to division. This chapter presents a vision of Babylon the Great. According to verse 5, Babylon the Great is called "The Mother of the Prostitutes and the Abominations of the Earth." Verse 4 exposes the fact that although this woman has a pleasant appearance, evil is concealed within her: "And the woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and gilded with gold and precious stone and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the unclean things of her fornication." Outwardly Babylon the Great is clothed in purple and scarlet and is gilded with gold, precious stone, and pearls. Furthermore, she has a golden cup in her hand. But this cup is full of abominations and unclean things of her fornication. This is a picture of Christendom today. Christendom may have the golden cup, but the contents of the cup are idolatry, fornication, and every kind of evil. This is the element, the composition, of division. The ultimate issue of division is the Babylon the Great unveiled in Revelation 17.
Today’s Christianity is altogether in a state of division. This division has opened the way for idolatry and spiritual fornication. In many cases, it has even opened the way for literal idolatry and physical fornication. As we have pointed out again and again, this is the issue of division.
THE SERIOUSNESS OF DIVISION
When we turned to the way of the Lord’s recovery and came into the church life, the negative things associated with division were spontaneously set aside. However, as we have pointed out, those who forsake the proper oneness automatically become subject to the very evil things that once were put away from them. This should cause us to see that division is an extremely serious matter. Nothing is more dreadful than division. Satan knows that even the thought of division is sufficient to undermine our Christian life. It is like a termite that eats away at the very structure of a house. Therefore, even the thought of division must be repudiated.
When we are in the oneness, we are in life, and we enjoy every positive virtue and attribute. Furthermore, our spiritual condition gradually improves. However, simply by accepting a divisive thought, the way is opened for evil to enter in once again.
We should never think that the church ground is not a matter of life. The ground of the church is the very base of our experience of life. To remain in oneness is to remain in life. Apart from the ground of the church, it is vain to talk about holiness or spirituality. Such things are directly related to oneness. It is marvelous to stay in the oneness, but it is terrible to be involved in division. Many of today’s Christians have lost the Lord’s blessing and grace simply because of division. This must be a warning to us in the Lord’s recovery. Let us not repeat the history of the divisiveness of Christianity. May we all look to the Lord that He may preserve us in His oneness. We need to loathe even the thought of divisiveness. Praise the Lord for the oneness! May the Lord keep us in His presence by keeping us in this oneness.
(The Genuine Ground of Oneness, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)