Born in Babylon

 Hi, I’m Jane and I was born in Babylon. 

Not only was I born in Babylon, I worked for the mother church in Babylon as a Pastoral Associate for 19 years.  And because I loved Jesus Christ and I loved my church, I always knew that once I knew biblical truth for myself, I could be a defender of her. 

Trouble was, the more I searched for the truth, the further away I found myself from the mother church and her teachings.  So, how does someone born in Babylon now find herself in a congregation of Seventh-day Adventists?

It all began some 20 years ago. In the mornings, while eating breakfast with my son Paul before school, we would watch a preacher lady named Joyce Meyers.  While Miss Meyers’ teachings didn’t always agree with Babylonian teaching, they did seem biblical and I liked her. She brought practical use of the Bible into my daily life.  This morning ritual lasted only a few years, but long enough to plant the seeds of gospel truth.

While working for the mother church, I would take every opportunity to grow in my faith.  I would attend lectures, go on retreats, and take any class offered.  I attended Lay Ministry Leadership School, a two-year course. In the year 2000 I was commissioned as a Lay Minister.  Later, in 2006, I received a certificate in Pastoral Studies, a four-year theology course from Loyola Institute for Ministry.  In all my studies I learned a lot on how to be a better Babylonian, but not so much on God’s Word, and that’s what I was really hungry for.

During my four years at Loyola, on my half-hour Tuesday night drive to class, I listened to a Protestant preacher named Dr. David Jeremiah on my car radio.  I discovered other preachers on the radio.  I got into a ritual of retreating to my prayer room after coming home from Sunday Babylonian services to listen to Moody Church Hour with another Protestant preacher, Erwin Lutzer.  God’s words continued to nurture me and my faith in the God of the Bible was growing.

In March of 2016, I came home from work one day to find a flyer on my husband’s music stand.   “Unlock Revelation” was coming to the campus of Northern Michigan University in Marquette.  My husband asked me if I wanted to go.  Remember, I was hungry.  The book of Revelation?  Of course I wanted to go!

Any Adventist knows what is in the book of Revelation, right?  We all know where and what Babylon is.  So, we all know what religion I was born into.  Unable to attend all 21 “Unlock Revelation” meetings, I downloaded the videos as they became available online.  I was hooked by the depth of study but became overwhelmed by the information.  I do not advise staunch Babylonians to watch Seventh-day Adventist prophecy DVDs alone!  My spiritual world began to unravel. 

As more and more Bible truths were being revealed to me through the prophecy series, Ezekiel’s verses entered in and began to convict me concerning the “sacramentals” that were present in almost every room of my home.  Ezekiel 7:20 told me,

“They took pride in their beautiful jewelry and used it to make their detestable idols. They made it into vile images; therefore I will make it a thing unclean for them,” (NIV). 

Inside and out, pictures, statues and many other works of art depicting God, Jesus, Mary, saints and angels, covered my walls, sat on my tables and adorned my gardens.  I had been adding these “vile images” into my home for my whole life.  By the way, Babylon is very pretty. 

I had Babylonian prayer beads, rosaries.  I had lots of them.  I had rosaries of various sizes, colors, kinds and quality.  I even had rosaries from other countries. My son purchased these for me as he traveled the world serving this country.  Now, when I think of a rosary, Revelation 17:4 comes to mind:  “The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones, and pearls,” (NIV).  

Cleaning House

Scripture began to scream at me.  “This is what you are to do to them:  Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire,”  Deuteronomy 7:5, (NIV).  I could not remove the “idols” from my home fast enough!  These abominations needed to go and they needed to go now.  I began removing pictures from the walls and slicing them up with a knife.  If they had glass, the glass was smashed with a hammer and beautiful frames were broken.  Rosary beads were cut up and the “pearls” tossed into the trash.  “…Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the Lord your God,” Deuteronomy 7:25, (NIV).

Idolatria-768x256.png

 A very beautiful concrete statue of Mary, Jesus’ mother, which I had placed in a garden very close to the main entrance to our home, probably took the brunt of my anger.  Why? “…and I saw women sitting there, mourning the god Tammuz,” Ezekiel 8:14, (NIV).

This statue was fairly new, solid and very heavy.  It was too heavy for me to lift by myself, and I was in no mood to wait for help.  With the help of my hammer, another graven image was gone. 

“Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction.  Regard it as vile and utterly detest it, for it is set apart for destruction,” Deuteronomy 7:26, (NIV).

My stomach ached and I wanted to throw up.  I was so angry.  Sixty years of Satan’s lies, told in these things, were now a pile of broken glass, chunks of cement and shredded canvas, waiting for the garbage truck to pick it up.  Trash day couldn’t arrive fast enough and I didn’t care who saw the pile at the edge of my yard.  I was done living in Babylon and I needed to “…come out of her” (Revelation 18:4)!

I now needed some human guidance I could trust.  All I had were my downloaded, poorly-made, 21 videos of Pastor Aron Crews teaching the book of Revelation…and my faith in Jesus Christ.  I visited a few other Sunday churches but the seal of God and the Sabbath kept ringing in my ears.  So, in early November of 2017, almost a year-and-a-half after starting the “Unlock Revelation” series, I walked into the doors of the Marquette Seventh-day Adventist church. 

When I first walked through the doors of Marquette Church, I was met by Jeff.  Jeff is a young pastor now pastoring in Iowa, but that day he was just the first person I happened to meet.  Jeff had the biggest grin on his face. He was so welcoming. To my delight, there were children running the hallway of the church.  I actually felt like I had come home.  My Babylonian congregation had no children anymore.

On January 27, 2018, a day after my 62nd birthday, Pastor Aron Crews came to Marquette and baptized me in a baptistry my husband Dan, my friend Tom and I built.  That day you gained a new baby sister in Christ, and her name is Jane.

In Mark 10: 29-30 Jesus says, 

“Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brother or sisters or father or mother or wives, or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time--houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions--and in the age to come, eternal life,” (NKJV). 

My very large Babylonian family was not so open to my decision, and I have had to cling tightly to Jesus' promise.  

Last year I was invited to give my testimony at camp meeting, but due to a death in my family I ended up going to a funeral in Wisconsin.  If I had told this story last year it would have had a different ending.  A year ago my family ties were severed beyond repair, I thought.  But we all know God is the Great Physician and I can now say those wounds are healing.  Praise you, Lord! 

Leaving Babylon

My life since leaving Babylon, although strewn with persecutions, has been filled with more blessings than this sinner deserves.  But then again, we do serve a God of endless mercy. 

Let me tell you how our sovereign God got me out of my position in the church of Babylon.  When I knew I was leaving the mother church, after experiencing disdain from my sister, I wanted to leave with as little fanfare as possible.  In October I gave written notice of my “retirement,” to take effect December 31, 2017.  But I had also agreed to help on a volunteer basis to ease the transition of the retiring priest, whose duties would end the following July.  I wasn’t sure how all that was going to happen, as I could barely walk into the building without feeling like I was sinning.  Due to this, I was not attending mass on a regular basis but I still made sure all ministries were covered and that the church was prepared for Sunday mass. 

A few weeks after I gave my notice, Monsignor noticed my lack of attendance and questioned my sister  as to why.  She informed him that I was thinking of leaving the church.  His response was, “Get her key.”  My sister texted this to me. 

At first I was devastated.  How could he not even want to talk to me?  I had worked with him for eight years.  And then it occurred to me…God had taken all responsibility away from me, relieving me of any further obligation!  I cried tears of complete joy, praising Him over and over.  We do worship a mighty and faithful God!

In Ellen White's daily devotional Homeward Bound, page 355, under the heading “Babylon’s Sins Laid Open,” I found predictions concerning the treatment I received from another religious leader of Babylon. This gives a small glimpse of prophecy coming true in my life.  Those predictions can also be found in The Great Controversy, pages 606-607. 

Conclusion

I offer a challenge to you:  I came out of Babylon because of the false teachings. What part of Babylon have you visited, what false teachings are you leaning towards? Could it be homosexual marriage, or maybe  homosexual pastors?  Or, could it be ordaining women pastors?

What looks pretty to you? Maybe I’m stepping on toes, but where do you need to come out?  After being taught lies my whole life I just want “Thus saith the Lord” from now on.  Praise you, Lord Jesus Christ.  To God be the glory!   Amen.

Jane Iery and Pastor Aron Crews shared Jane's testimony during the June 15 Sabbath School program at the recent Michigan Conference Camp Meeting.


klnh.jpg

Jane Iery (“eye-re”) grew up in a faithful Catholic family, in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. She is married to Dan. They have five children, which they raised in the Catholic faith—until 2016. The “Unlock Revelation” seminar they attended changed everything. Jane is now a baptized member of the Marquette, MI Seventh-day Adventist Church. Dan is attending and studying.  Jane is thrilled about coming out of Babylon.  Are you?