Creation And The Second Coming Of Christ - Lesson 3
Back to Babel
Next to Jerusalem, Babylon is the most frequently recorded city in the Bible, beginning at Babel.
Jerusalem, the Holy City, is where the redeemed will dwell forever, to be made new.
Babylon is the opposite: "the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth." (Revelation 17:5.) After the fall of the Babylonian empire, the city was destroyed but has been inhabited to some extent and was in reconstruction under Saddam Hussein. In Revelation, John is shown the city: "that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth"... "clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones and pearls." Revelation 17:18; 18:16. But it will be destroyed utterly by fire, and shall be found no more at all.
Hussein's plans were to restore the symbol of the Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadnez'zar. His ultimate dream was to unite all Arabs under himself as the new Emperor of the entire Muslim world. None of his plans were successful. Babylon is still there, 55 miles south of Baghdad, and substantially complete.
After the destruction of the Russian and Moslem states coalition against Israel, there will be a power vacuum in the Middle East. Oil will still be immensely valuable to developed nations. Western Europe (the E.U.) is the predicted power bloc. Some have called it the Revived Roman Empire. All western nations have a Roman style legal system, some form of representative democracy, military, and governmental institutions. This has been extended to the colonies of those nations such as Australia and America.
The implication is that the Antichrist will become leader of the configuration of nations and appropriate the rebuilt city of Babylon for his capital. This is the central location of the global empire he assumes control over: finance, transportation, communication, and political power. This would be the predicted "one world government". This will last for 3 and 1/2 years. Any needed construction can be done quickly, and set up to be the center of wealth, commerce, power, propaganda, ungodliness, and immorality.
The Beast (named in Daniel and Revelation) that man of sin... The son of perdition, may be alive today, waiting for the proper time. He will be possessed by satan to rule this totally materialistic and ungodly empire.
The new age movement is part of this. It includes belief in evolution and a utopian "one world government", as well as occult religion and philosophy. It is all based on evolutionary humanism. This movement teaches people to become one with universal consciousness, to be as gods, deciders of their own destinies, to believe in evolved humanity. It will also lead people to follow the charismatic leader of the world - the Anti-Christ who would lead the world into one world utopian global government and religion.
The movement also includes such cults as witchcraft, astrology, spiritism, satanism, worship of Gaia the earth mother, and scientists that believe in alien intelligence. All reject a Creator God, the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, His Sacrificial Death for sin, His resurrection and ascension to the right hand of God. Though they claim ideals of the brotherhood of man and universal love, they seem to hold great animosity toward those backward fundamentalist Christians, who are so "intolerant". These cults include Masons, Christian Science, Unity, Mormons, Unitarian, Scientology, and Trans. Meditation. There are at least 100 others.
"Mystery Babylon the Great", an abomination, was more than just the city. It included idolatry, and immoral practices, such as illicit sexual behavior. These originated in the city of Babel, established and ruled by Nimrod. This was the source of all false religions and their accompanying evil practices. The pantheons of gods and goddesses of Greece, Rome, Egypt, Judea, and the Norse were similar to those of ancient Babylon.
These "deities" are the personifications of heavenly bodies (sun, moon, constellations) as well as forces of nature. All this has been and continues to be counter to the true worship of God Almighty. They also fostered many sinful, harmful, destructive practices. These included great exploitation, slavery, abortion, promiscuity, and drug use.
Zechariah predicts the return of the world's commerce to Babylon, and that it will happen in a short time. Mystery Babylon is described as clothed in great wealth, but drunk with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus (Revelation 17:4,6). The end is the demand of the Anti-Christ to be worshipped as a god. "And they worshipped the Dragon which gave power to the Beast." (Revelation 13:4.)
Revelation 18 describes the total destruction of the city of Babylon; it took place in one hour. It happens near the end of the great tribulation. Many will mourn. There will be the most powerful earthquake in history (Revelation 16:18,19), but the end will not be yet. "The kings of the earth and the whole world" will be gathered together in the great plain in Israel called Armageddon (Revelation 16:16).
David's Final Week
Daniel chapter 9: seventy weeks (seventy sevens) are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city...from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary: and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war, desolations are determined (verses 24-26).
There were to be 490 years till the return of the Jews to Israel, and 483 years from the command of Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem (in 446 B.C.) to the coming of Messiah the prince. The calculated time was about 30 A.D., and Jesus was at the age of 33 years old when the triumphal entry took place. One week later He was "cut off" but not for Himself.
The people of the prince yet to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, fulfilled in 70 A.D., for the destruction of the Temple, and 135 A.D. for the city. The Jews were dispersed among many nations, and wars and desolation are determined until the end.
In the final week (7 years), the ruler that shall come shall confirm a covenant with many nations for one week (7 years): in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation...(Daniel 9:27).
The treaty with the coming ruler (the Anti-Christ) will allow the Jews to rebuild their Temple on the original sacred site and reestablish the ancient Jewish worship of Jehovah. The 7 year treaty will be broken in the middle, canceling the holy worship of God. The Muslim influence has been eliminated. The treaty is with the power bloc of Western Europe.
The treaty will be broken for the abominations to the uttermost extent. The ruler will demand the worship of himself - a giant statue in the temple of God. Those who refuse shall be executed. This will be the ultimate blasphemy or desolation by the man of sin, the son of perdition. His claim that he is god and must be worshipped as god. (II Thessalonians 2:3,4.)
Jesus confirmed this in Matthew 24:15,16,21. Verse 22 says of the last 3 and 1/2 years of the Great Tribulation: "Except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved." Daniel 7:25 describes it in this way: "And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time, times, and the dividing of time."
The ministry of the Two Witnesses is 1260 days (3 and 1/2 years of 360 days each) in Revelation 11:3; they then will be killed by the Beast, then the next 3 and 1/2 years, both adding up to the 7 years of Daniel's 70th week.
The first 3 and 1/2 years are described in Revelation 6-9; the second 3 and 1/2 years in Revelation 16-19. In between Revelation 10-15 gives the total view from beginning of creation, to the eternal state.
It has been estimated that the time of creation to the calling of Abraham was 2,000 years, God dealing with all men, after Babel with all nations. The second period of 2,000 years, God dealt specifically with Israel. Both groups rebelled against the Creator. God sent prophets to call them back to God, but they were not successful. After the rejection of Christ, God turned from the nations to call out a people for His Name (Acts 15:14), the Church of true believers in the Savior. This has been going on for almost 2,000 years.
In the midpoint of the first period, there was a great prophet, Enoch, who preached against the great wickedness of his day, and of the coming judgment (Jude 14,15).
In the midpoint of the second period of 2,000 years, a great prophet, Elijah, who prophesied against the wickedness of Israel. Both of these prophets were taken to heaven without dying, the only two (Genesis 5:23,24; II Kings 2:11).
God always has a purpose in all that He does. He planned to send them back to complete their ministries. Malachi 4:56 - "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."
In Matthew 17:11, Jesus said, "Elias truly shall come first, and restore all things." The Baptist recognized that He came in the spirit and power of Elijah but was not an incarnation of Elijah. (Luke 1:17; John 1:21.) Revelation 11:3 - "I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy 1,260 days. Enoch to the Gentiles, Elijah to Israel. This will continue until they are killed by the Beast.
These two witnesses will call down judgments upon the earth: plagues, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, hail, fire, meteorites, great darkness. Finally demons from the pit are loosed. All are to warn men to flee from the wrath to come. The witnesses will be blamed while it is God's wrath coming upon the earth.
Even while suffering is poured upon the earth, most people will not repent or turn from their wicked, sinful ways (Revelation 9:20,21). Those who do repent will be cruelly persecuted by the others.
The 144,000 Jewish witnesses (Revelation 7:4-8) will proclaim their testimony after the Two Witnesses are gone, thus preparing the whole nation of Israel to receive Christ at His Second Coming. There will be a great multitude of all nations, kindreds, people and tongues that will come out of the great tribulation (Revelation 7:9,14). When the two witnesses are slain (Enoch and Elijah), their bodies will be left in the street. After 3 and 1/2 days they will be raised from the dead and taken to heaven in plain sight (Revelation 11:9,12).
At the beginning of the 7 year treaty, the ruler called the Beast will allow the Jews to rebuild their temple and reinstate their worship of Jehovah. There is a group of Orthodox Jews that have been making preparations for this. When the decision is made, it will be completed quickly. After the initial 3 and 1/2 years, the Beast will break the treaty, and claim to be God as the abomination of desolation in the temple. Then begins the persecution and execution of Christians, Jews, and any others that refuse to worship the image of the beast.
Revelation 12 describes the great red dragon (the rebel against God in the beginning) about to attack the woman who was about to give birth to a man-child. This is the Genesis prophecy of the conflict between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. The conflict between the Christ and the Beast. The dragon and his angels are not victorious and are permanently cast out from further access to heaven (Revelation 12:7,8).
The false prophet will issue a decree that the Beast must be worshipped by everyone. There will be a giant image of the best set up in the Temple. He would have power to give life to the image and power that as many that would not worship the image would be put to death (Revelation 13:15).
Technology will advance to the degree that it will be known who follows and who deviates from the required actions. No dissent will be allowed. This is required to buy and sell (Revelation 13:17).
There will be great wonders shown, though they be lying wonders (Matthew 24:24). Deceiving into believing that he controls the world. All those whose names are not written into the Lamb's Book of Life will be fooled (Revelation 13:8). But not all will agree to receive the mark of the beast. Those that come through the Great Tribulation without the mark shall hunger no more neither thirst for God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes (Revelation 7:14,16,17).
The woman in the wilderness. She fled to a place prepared by God, where she should survive for 3 and 1/2 years and be hid from the serpent (Revelation 12:614). The woman is the nation of Israel who gave birth to Christ. Believers will have to flee quickly when the Anti-Christ demands worship. Jesus gave advice in Matthew 24:16-18 for them to flee to the mountains when this sign of the Great Tribulation began. They will be preserved for the 3 and 1/2 years of the Great Tribulation. Some will survive this tribulation, and be ready to follow Christ after His return in glory at the coming Battle of Armageddon.