Light for the Last Days

SHORT TALK

Here’s Babylon, here’s Jerusalem. What do we know about Babylon? Where is Babylon?

Here’s a map which shows you where Jerusalem is. Babylon is in today’s Iraq.

Sometimes the country is known as ‘Mesopotamia’, which means the country of the two rivers: the river Euphrates and the river Tigris which flow down into the Persian Gulf and which were the seat of an ancient civilization in Babylon.

So, the Israelites were taken from Jerusalem through to Babylon.

And Babylon was a great city was a very powerful and very beautiful city was noted for its beauty for its power, for its prestige, for the wealth of the city. It had influence over the region round about and it was a great city.

It was also associated with evil with idolatry, with false religion, and with a powerful commercial and political system which was oppressing the people round about. It and was even given over to demons.

Jerusalem, on the contrary, was associated with the city of God, a city where there is true faith, the city where the faith which was founded on the Word of God, the word of the Torah given by Moses, with the prophets of Israel.

The city which represented the truth and even though at times Jerusalem was not faithful, Jerusalem remained the city of God for Jewish people to return to it.

We see also that in prophetic terms the Second Coming Jesus is going to come back not to London or New York or anywhere else. He’s coming back to Jerusalem and He’s going to set up His rule from Jerusalem.

And even in eternity we’re going to go to the New Jerusalem to be with God forever.

Jerusalem is associated with God, Babylon with evil.

Ancient Babylon however, was going to be destroyed. It was this wonderful city. There’s the Ishtar gate, there’s all the towns and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. All that stuff it was going to fall.

It was going to fall first to the Persians and then it would continue to be a great city even into the time of Alexander the Great who went to Babylon and died there.

In fact, Babylon would be a city until the time of the Romans.

But, eventually, Babylon would actually fall and cease to be a city of any kind.

This ties in with the prophecy in the Book of Isaiah chapter 13 which speaks about Babylon and says in verse 19,

19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms,
The beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride,
Will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
20 It will never be inhabited,
Nor will it be settled from generation to generation;
Nor will the Arabian pitch tents there,
Nor will the shepherds make their sheepfolds there.
21 But wild beasts of the desert will lie there,
And their houses will be full of owls;
Ostriches will dwell there,
And wild goats will caper there.
22 The hyenas will howl in their citadels,
And jackals in their pleasant palaces.
Her time is near to come,
And her days will not be prolonged.”

Isaiah 13.19-22

It’s interesting; that’s a picture of Babylon as it is today I saw a film by an archaeologist who went and visited and had permission to go to Babylon. He filmed the place and worked out what was the area where the ancient city of Babylon would have been situated. As he filmed, he recognized that most of that area was completely desolate. It was given over to wild animals. The local Arabs wouldn’t go there because they had a feeling that there was something sinister and evil about the place.

Saddam Hussein wanted to rebuild it and he built himself a palace there but that palace today remains empty, and they haven’t rebuilt Babylon. Babylon, that was once this beautiful place, is today this desolate place.

We must remember that the same place, in 500 BC, was a very advanced culture, a very powerful country. At the time when London was a marsh and the city of London, Canary Wharf and all that with the great towers (our modern Babylon) was just a marsh where nobody lived really, Babylon was a great City.

Now Babylon is a room in a museum and the question is: Why did it end up in that situation?

Some believe that Babylon is going to be rebuilt in the last days. I question that. I think that Babylon in the last days represents the whole world system, the commercial and religious system which will be built on the principles of Babylon. But Babylon itself remains this desolate city.

If you go through the Bible, God has a few things against Babylon, in fact, He has a lot of things against Babylon. There are 274 mentions of the “Babylon” and 3 mentions (all in Genesis) of the word “Babel”  in New King James version.

Firstly, that Babylon is under the power of Lucifer or Satan. We’ll have a look at that in a moment in Isaiah chapter 14.

Secondly, that Babylon or Babel is the seat of the Tower of Babel, a place whose founder was Nimrod. Babel is the same word as Babylon. It’s exactly the same word in Hebrew Bible. There’s no reason why the two places should have a different name because it’s exactly the same name both in the Genesis account and in the later periods where it’s talking about Babylon.

Thirdly, it’s also described as being the place of the goddess or the Queen of Heaven with a religious system coming out of it which we’re going to look at and see its relevance to what’s happening today.

And finally, it’s a place of astrology and the occult which is seen to support the present world system and the present political system.

So, Babylon becomes a symbol of a city in rebellion against God. We have this passage in the Book of Isaiah chapter 14. which begins as an oracle against the king of Babylon and as he’s talking about the king of Babylon, suddenly, it switches to being an oracle about the power behind Babylon. If you read this passage you can see very quickly who he’s talking about. It says,

12 “How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.

Isaiah 14.12-15

And Isaiah implies here that this is the power which is behind Babylon. This is the power behind the ancient city of Babylon and behind the Babylon world system which he speaks about in the last days.

If you look at that passage what do you see you see someone who’s exalting himself over God. It says:

‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’

Isaiah 14.13-15

In other words, this one is rebelling against God he’s saying, ‘I want to be like God’. And it’s a description of the fall of Satan. Satan who began as a angel worshiping God and who, according to the Bible, became ‘proud and lifted up’ and wanted to take the place of God and was then thrown down to the lowest place, brought down to Sheol, to the lower steps of the pit.

Fraunhofer IGD – Webvisualisierung Pergamon Altar (smb.museum)

So Satan exalts himself over God, he wants to exalt himself and to be as God. Looking back at the passage which we just read in Isaiah chapter 47, you see that what’s happening. Babylon is exalting itself, it even uses one of the names of God; it says “I am” and uses the name of God to describe Babylon.

10 “For you have trusted in your wickedness;
You have said, ‘No one sees me’;
Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you;
And you have said in your heart,
am, and there is no one else besides me.’
11 Therefore evil shall come upon you;
You shall not know from where it arises.
And trouble shall fall upon you;
You will not be able to put it off.
And desolation shall come upon you suddenly,
Which you shall not know.

And he’d be “I am” and ‘I will not be removed from my position of power. I will continue to be in that position of power.‘ Yet God says He’s going to bring them down, bring them down to the lowest place.

Therefore, there’s a battle going on between God and Satan. And in some way this is reflected in what’s taking place between Jerusalem and Babylon/Babel.

Tony Pearce

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