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Sunday, March 9, 2008

ANCIENT AND MODERN BABYLON?


ANCIENT AND PRESENT DAY BABYLON?

The Prophet Jeremiah paints a graphic picture of the total destruction of the ancient Babylonian Empire. God raised up this fierce nation of warriors to punish Israel for her sins. He said that King Nebuchadnezzar was His rod of punishment. When Babylon accomplished His pleasure God sent a destroying wind against her. The Book of Daniel explains in detail the splendor of this kingdom; the head of gold, greater than all of the kingdoms of the earth. Jeremiah describes her destruction.


What brings great consternation on one hand and great comfort on the other is that God has said repeatedly that He changes not; what He did yesterday He will do tomorrow. His blessings, His judgment, His ways do not change. The methods are basically the same throughout human history.

In that regard, the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ written by John describes a Babylon that arises in the last of days. In many respects, this modern Babylon can be none other than the United States of America. I feel that statistics provided later in this paper, from none other than the US Government, will attest to the fact that we are already under severe judgment from the Almighty.

First, a little Biblical background regarding God’s revealed way of operation. Ecclesiastes 3 says to everything there is a season, a period to be born, die, plant, harvest, kill, heal, breakdown, build up, weep, laugh, mourn, dance, cast away stones, to gather stones, embrace, to refrain from embracing, time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and time to sew, a time to be quiet and a time to speak, a time to love and time to hate, a time of war and a time of peace.

These, times and seasons apply to nations as well as individuals.

Ancient Babylon’s time of success and prosperity was fulfilled. God’s purpose for her existence was complete. In judgment her young men were not spared, nor her armies. In Babylon’s streets they were thrust through with the sword. The LORD of hosts destroyed her broad walls (defenses). They were utterly broken down, burned with fire as the people worked in vain and grew weary of defending her.

She became drunk, her princes, her captains, her rulers and her mighty men. They slept a perpetual sleep, unable to awake. This spirit of stupor and drunkenness came from God. Jeremiah 51 gives graphic detail of her destruction.


Babylon was surrounded by three fortified walls thick enough in places for chariots to pass each other. Its size may have encompassed 385 to 480 furlongs (60 miles). Her ruins, according to the writings of St. Jerome (347-420 B.C.E.) who said, “Though the ruins of Babylon’s walls could be seen, the ground enclosed by them was a forest of wild beasts.” Total desolation. How the mighty have fallen! The reason?

Jeremiah 51:24-33 -
“And I will render unto Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the LORD. Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out Mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.”

“And they shall take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate forever saith the LORD. Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashchenaz; appoint a captain against her; cause the horses to come up as he rough caterpillars.”

“Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and all the land of his dominion. And the land shall tremble and sorrow; for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon desolate without an inhabitant.”

“The mighty men of Babylon have forborne to fight, they have remained in their holds; their might hath failed, they became as women; they have burned her dwelling places; her bars are broken. One post shall run to meet another and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end.”

“And that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire and the men of war are frightened. For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor, it is time to thresh her; yet a little while and the time of her harvest is come.”

This scenario gives background of how God judges what Daniel called the head of gold in relation to all nations of the earth; both past and present. As the book of the Exodus explains how the Egyptian Kingdom faded from the scene when it was time for Pharaoh to release the children of Israel, Jeremiah 51 describes the reason for Babylon’s demise.
Both kingdoms were used by God to punish Israel. After the time of punishment restoration and return to the Land occurred. Israel was the lynch pin in the rise and downfall of both kingdoms.
Here we are in 2008. In the turbulent 1980’s Jews in Russia began a Refusnik Movement demanding emigration to Israel. After many events the wall of separation in Eastern Europe fell; in one evening, The USSR; a mighty enemy of freedom collapsed on itself and is now comprised of several smaller nations.

We know the recent history of World War Two and the destruction of the German Nazi Empire. Cities fire bombed into oblivion. Only because of the intervention of the Marshall Plan initiated by the United States were they rebuilt.

One superpower remains on planet earth. She has created more wealth, prosperity, fought more wars, defended more people; spread her culture to the ends of the earth than any other nation in modern history. The United States of America has sent men to the moon and explored the depths of the oceans, land, and space. No other nation in the history of mankind has had such influence over the nations of the world. Our culture, music, clothing, institutions, influence, and way of life are a dream for billions of the planets citizens.

The United States successfully fought two world wars and defeated the powers of fascism and communism. We have expanded even to the moon and other planets in science and explorations. We were the first nation to recognize the State of Israel that came from the ashes of the Holocaust in Europe.

The United States of America has military bases in Great Britain, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Germany, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the U.A.E., Qatar, Afghanistan and forces in many other countries. What other nation qualifies as modern day Babylon with such worldwide influence and reach?

The main issue is again, Israel. In 2008 we find our government pushing what is diplomatically called the Road Map to Peace. We are willing participants in the carving up of the Land of Israel, the creation of a Palestinian State and the probable division of Jerusalem, the City of the Great King. Israel has again become the lynchpin for the judgment of a great nation who defiles what God has declared concerning His people, Israel.

Given this context, there is a modern day Babylon mentioned in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 18. The Ancient has past, the new has appeared. She boasts in her heart that she, and she alone sits as a queen, she is no widow. She is in charge of her affairs and will never see sorrow. She is boastful, full of pride and arrogance. The kings of the earth commit fornication with her. The merchants of the earth wax rich through the abundance of her delicacies. Likewise, at her judgment they will drink of the wrath of her fornication.

“The forces of ancient Babylon were God’s weapon of war, tools in His hand with which He broke in pieces and knocked down nations and kingdoms. Some were intoxicated by her pleasures and debauched by her; others were intoxicated with her terror and destroyed by her. Babylon was God’s battle ax. Now, Babylon itself must fall. The rod itself will now be thrown into the fire.” (Matthew Henry Commentary)

In Babylon there are many who refuse to cease partaking of her sin of greed, lust, and love of material things. Jeremiah 11:11 says people of this persuasion will not escape; though they cry unto God, He will not listen. He tells them to pray to the gods they have served for deliverance!

This modern Babylonian system uses devious dealings and diplomacy to appease Israel’s enemies. She will be destroyed in like manner. The forces being appeased will turn on this nation and attack in many ways. The handwriting is on the wall. It has started with the oil blackmail, terrorism, and our financial dependence on their hundreds of billions in loans; our own money being loaned back to us by the Arab oil cartel nations.

HAS JUDGMENT ALREADY STARTED?

Consider these facts for what is called a Christian nation. Reach your own conclusion:


* The defense budget for fiscal 2008 is 450 billion dollars, for 2009 - 466 billion dollars, and for 2010 - 484 billion dollars. If we are a Christian nation is this a sign that we no longer have His protection? Is the threat that great? Yes, it is.

* One out of every ten American citizens is incarcerated. (Bureau of Justice/National Corrections Reporting Program)

* There were 1,750,000 arrests for drug use last year.

* In 2005 U.S. residents 12 years of age or older experienced 23 million violent and property victimizations. (National Crime Victimization Survey)

* There were 49,000 attempted car jackings.

* Just in the month of December 2007 the trade deficit was 711 Billion dollars.

* The national debt as of March 5, 2008 is over 9 Trillion dollars.

* 8% of the homes owned by American citizens are late in payment of mortgages. They face possible foreclosure in the near future.

* 40 million babies killed by abortion since Roe vs. Wade
One nation under God?

There are sign posts given time and again for nations under judgment. They are listed in Deuteronomy 28. These events come in stages and quicken as time passes:

SIGN POSTS OF JUDGMENT BEGINNING AND PROGRESSING

* Cities, fields, produce, and stores are cursed

* Children and your flock (possessions) are cursed

* You will be cursed when you go in and come out

* All you try to do will be drawn in curses (U.S. Foreign Policy?)

* Vexation and rebuke until final destruction occurs.

* Pestilence and disease will cling to you.

* You will be struck with consumption; fever, and inflammation.

* Burning and the sword, with blasting and mildew; these will pursue you.

* The heavens will become brass and the earth as iron.

* Enemies will smite you and you will flee seven ways.

* Your carcass will be meat to the fowls of the air and the beasts of the earth.

* You will be smitten with madness, blindness, and astonishment of heart.

* You will grope at noonday as the blind grope in darkness.

* You will not prosper but be only oppressed and spoiled forever, no man will save you.

* You will marry and another lie with her.

* You will build a house and not live there, plant a vineyard but not gather grapes.

* Your strength and possessions will be destroyed before your eyes.

* Your livelihood (employment) will be violently taken away.

* Your children will be given to other people.

* You become astonishment, proverb and a byword among the nations where you are scattered.

God will render unto Babylon all of the evil they have done to Zion-the forced division of the Land of Israel, the compromise with terrorists in Gaza, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, the U.A.E., Turkey and many others whose goal is the destruction of Israel. These evils will be brought on those who perpetuate evil and deceit against His people.

A recent example, the forced withdraw initiated by the United States of Jews from communities in Gaza, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the division of Jerusalem. This will result in like measure of violence and the evacuation of areas of the United States under judgment. Consider Katrina-after the evacuation of communities in Gaza. New Orleans and the Gulf Coast were under water and hundreds of thousands of Americans were the evacuees almost one week later!


The coming storms, fires, earthquakes, war, violence and social upheaval will be unprecedented in our history if we do not change course and policy and have a long season of national repentance for the evils our society allows. If not, God Himself is against this destroying mountain, this modern Babylonian spirit. Not a stone or anything of substance will remain.

“God has wind and rain at His disposal. If He speaks the word, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens fed by vapors out of the earth. Lightening and rain seem contrary of each other; yet they are produced together. And the wind which seems arbitrary in its motions, for we know not from whence it comes, is brought out of His treasures.” (Matthew Henry)

Jeremiah 51:13 speaks prophetically today, “O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come and the measure of your greed.”

Our national sins have reached to the heavens and God remembers our iniquities. He will reward us double according to our works. In the same measure we have glorified ourselves and lived deliciously, we will be tormented in like measure. The things of which we boasted, our wealth, military, financial markets and prosperity will be the areas in which our downfall occurs.

IN ONE DAY, shall plagues, death, mourning and famine strike terror. Babylon will be utterly destroyed with fire. For strong is the LORD God who judges her.

THE RESULT OF NON REPENTANCE


* You will eat the flesh of your own body, the flesh of your sons and daughters when you are in distress.

* Those that hold you dear to themselves shall be evil toward you, they will not share nor will you share with them.

* The LORD will make your plagues wonderful and of long continuance, even the plagues of Egypt until you are destroyed.

* As the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good for obedience, so He will rejoice over you to destroy you and bring you to naught.

* You will never have rest, never be at ease.

* You will have a trembling heart, failing eyes and sorrow of mind.

* Your life will hang in doubt, you will fear day and night.

* You will have no assurance of your life.

* In the morning you will say, would to God that it was evening, and in the evening would to God that it was morning; for the fear in your heart and because of what you see.

* You will have children but not enjoy them; they shall go into captivity (drugs, jail, and addiction)

* The stranger (20 million thus far in the U.S.?) within your borders will rise above you very high and you will come down very low. He will lend to you but you will not lend to him. He will be the head and you will be the tail.

* All of these curses will come upon you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed; because you did not listen to the LORD your God.

* You will serve your enemies which the LORD shall send upon you in hunger, in thirst and nakedness and in what of all things.

* You will have an iron about your neck until you are destroyed.

* A nation from afar from the end of the earth that does not regard the old or young will eat the fruit of your wealth until you are destroyed and then leave you nothing.

* All of your defenses will come down and the strength you depended upon will fail.

This is a covenant of judgment upon a nation that rejects God. It is as sure as the covenant of promises of blessings for obedience and our personal covenant from God of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.
“God will convince those by His judgments those who would not be convinced by His word that He is God over all.” (Matthew Henry) A Divine Power has the spirit of man in His hands; He cannot be resisted. When He moves, human effort is useless.



What other nation since ancient Babylon has produced merchants of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple and silk and scarlet, precious rare woods, vessels of wood, brass, iron and marble; cinnamon, odors, perfumes, ointments, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat and animals and chariots (weapons) and has enslaved the souls of men by her enticements that Revelation 18 speaks of?

Though she mounts up to heaven and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet God will send spoilers to her. In her judgment all of the fruits and delicacies the merchants souls lusted after are gone with Babylon’s destruction. All things dainty and goodly have departed and no longer exist. They will never again be found in such abundance. At her destruction these merchants (businessmen) stand afar off because her torment is so great. They cry “Alas! Alas! That great city, that mighty city, in one hour your judgment has come.” They weep and mourn because no one is left to buy their merchandise.


THE SCENE IN THE HEAVENS

The scene in the heavens is given of a mighty angel taking up a great stone, like a great millstone and casting it into the sea.


He proclaims, “With this violence shall the great city of Babylon be thrown down and shall be found no more. The voice of harpers, musicians, and of pipes and trumpeters shall be heard no longer. No craftsman, no matter of craft shall be found. The sound of the millstone (factories, industry) shall no more be heard. No voice of the bridegroom or bride, no candle shining, no vision of hope. The great men of the earth, the merchandisers, the advertisers, the sorceries by whom the nations were deceived shall be heard no more. This system that is stained with the lifeblood of the prophets and saints and all that were slain upon the earth ceases to exist.”

Those who traded with her by sea will stand afar off and watch the smoke of her burning. They cry, “What city is like this great city”? “Alas! That great city that was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet and decked with precious stone and pearls! In one hour your riches cease to exist.” They cast dust on their heads and cry, weep, and mourn at her destruction. In one hour their riches and future goes up in smoke.


God says her cities are desolate, dry and a wilderness where no man dwells or passes by. She will become astonishment to other nations. The inhabitants will become drunk and sleep a perpetual sleep, unable to awaken.

Babylon has been a golden cup in the God’s hands. He has made the nations of the earth drink and become drunk and full of madness. Her judgment has reached into the heavens. The LORD has risen up the spirit of the Medes (Persia, Iran, Iraq, and Islam). Babylon shines her armaments, gathers her weapons and sets up a strong standard in her boundaries in an attempt to make her borders strong. But, there are ambushes in waiting, for the LORD has devised this and done so as He spoke against Babylon’s inhabitants. He is the Prince of the kings of the earth! He has His way. (Rev. 1:5)

She becomes a habitation of devils, the hold of every foul spirit and a cage for every unclean bird.

A great voice is heard in heaven. Many people cry “Alleluia, Salvation, and glory and honor and power unto the LORD our God. For true and righteous are His judgments for He has judged the great whore that corrupted the earth and He has avenged the life of His prophets. And Babylon’s smoke rose up forever and ever.”

“Rejoice over her, thou heaven and you holy Apostles and Prophets; for God has avenged you on her.”

This rejoicing is over the destruction of the last great worldly system that captivates the body, soul and spirit of men, women, and children. The captivity is the never ending desire for wealth, health, profit, pleasure at the expense of others.


Half of the world populations live on less than 1 dollar a day. Millions starve and living in refugee camps around the world with no place to call their own. Slave labor in Third World countries try to produce the merchandize to fill the belly of this beastly world system at bargain basement prices and wages to match. Children labor from sun up to sun down in slums around the world in Indonesia, China, Pakistan, and India.
The time of accountability has arrived.
From the midst of this great destruction the Antichrist will arise and appear to bring order and once again a form of peace and prosperity. He will expand upon the military, intelligence gathering and control formed by this modern day Babyloninan system.

WHAT OF ISRAEL?


God has spoken to the four winds to regather His people to their land. As in Germany and Europe in the early 1900’s, most refused to go. Under much duress, persecution and death many Holocaust survivors returned to their ancient land, Israel.

There are as many Jews living in the United States of America as live in Israel. As the events above unfold the demographics will change quickly. God has declared they will return to Israel where He will reveal Himself as the God of Israel. The last obstacle to this is the success and acceptance of Jews living in America. The destruction and total collapse will be the reason for the remaining Jews to flee to their homeland.


A voice will cry out of heaven as in ancient Babylon, “Come out of her My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, that you do not receive her plagues.” Flee Babylon-deliver. Save yourself, for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance. (Revelation 18:4)

You Israelites, who have escaped the sword of the Chaldeans (Babylonian’s), your oppressors, and of the Persians their destroyers, now that the year of release has come, go away, stand not still, hasten to your own country again, however you may be comfortably settled in Babylon, for Babylon is not your rest, but CANAAN is.


This massive and final evacuation of Jews from the remaining nations to Israel sets the final stage for the great battle of the LORD. They are all gathered to the land of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob so God can reveal Himself as their God.


Babylon’s destruction is of utmost importance to God’s people. As a result of her fall they will return to their land.


Micah 4:11-13 says -

“Now as many nations are gathered against thee, that say let Israel be defiled and let our eyes look upon Zion. But they know not the thoughts of the LORD, neither understands His counsel: for He shall gather the nations as sheaves into the floor. “

“Arise and thresh, O Daughter of Zion, for I will make your strength as iron, and your feet as brass, and you shall beat in pieces many people. All will be consecrated to the LORD of the whole earth.”


WHAT OF BELIEVERS IN BABYLON?


Psalm 102:13-16 -


“Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion:
For the time to favor her, yea, the set time has come.”
“For Thy servants take pleasure in her stones,
And favor the dust thereof.”


The great test during the coming troubles is not the trouble, but our faith. Faith will be put to the test.


May we be like the men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what to do.
(1 Chronicles 12:32)


Tens of millions wondering in the valley of decision will be led by the Spirit to our homes and places of employment. Our prayers on behalf of the ones God sends across our path will decide where they spend eternity. The false gods of religion and materialism will be exposed by the climatic events about to unfold.


Our Father has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. The King of the universe who created all things knew the day of our birth, the day in which He placed us, and the people we would influence.


When judgment fell upon Jerusalem in days of old, He instructed an angel to go throughout the city and put a mark on the one’s who believed in Him. They were saved from the destruction. They were preserved as His special treasure. Before the Exodus from Egypt, as the plagues and angel of death passed through the nation, the blood of a lamb saved the Children of Israel and those who were in their dwelling places.


We have a much more precious blood to cover us. The blood of God’s Son, Yeshua Messiah. We can plead His blood over our household during this time of the end of all things as we know them. He is faithful and just. He has promised to not lose one that has been given to Him.


His blood is our assurance!


His blood is our salvation!


His blood is the basis of our faith!


His blood will never lose its power!

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