By Charles H. Welch
its place in the purpose of the ages.
While Dispensational Truth must take cognizance of the vaster sweep of the purpose of the ages, it manifestly is only a department or subdivision of that great theme, and any endeavour to make this analysis comprehend all that is included in the purpose of the ages, would defeat our prime object. We are primarily concerned with the present dispensation, and must touch upon other dispensations in order that, by observing their very differences, we shall be enabled to appreciate those peculiar blessings that belong to our present high calling. We therefore deal with the gospels, with the Acts, with Pentecostal gifts, with the various aspects and spheres of the blessed hope.
Babylon is not actually mentioned in any of the apostle Paul’s writings, it figures largely in the book of the Revelation in the New Testament and occupies a great place in the prophets of the Old Testament. The only places where what may be called Babylonianism enters into Paul’s epistles, are where in Romans 1:21-32 the moral consequences of this great opposing system are reviewed, and where in 2 Timothy 3:1-4 they are envisaged as reappearing in the last days, when Babylon and its awful teaching will come once more to a head under the dictatorship of the Man of Sin. If 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 be studied with Revelation 13, it will be seen that there again Babylonianism is referred to.
Most of what Paul has been inspired to write concerning Babylonianism comes under the heading of ‘the lie’ pseudos, sometimes translated ‘lying’. This word pseudos is found in Romans 1:25, Ephesians 4:25 and 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11. The present dispensation, as we shall see later, is a parenthesis, and its last days will lead up to the awful conditions which characterize the close of Gentile dominion that is set forth in such books as Daniel or the Revelation. They lead up to, but do not belong, for the dispensation covered by the Day of the Lord, lies outside the scope of the dispensation of the Mystery. We have included this brief reference to Babylon and its place in the purpose of the ages to show that even though we cannot turn aside and deal with Prophecy, its importance cannot be overlooked without loss and possible disaster. The same is true regarding doctrine, for without the great truths of redemption, justification, and life in Christ, Dispensational Truth must be but a tantalizing mockery. We must, however, respect the limits of our present attempt and leave much that would be of profit, unsaid. See the article entitled LIE.