`Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come!' Revelation 18:10
Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Tower of Babel in Vienna
( a tale of two cities - see also Jerusalem)
While Jerusalem appears in the Bible over 600 times and is clearly God's delight and his earthly HQ, Babylon appears 281 times, Babylonia 10 times , Babylonian 13 times and Babylonians 54 times. It is clearly of great significance. We will explore that significance.
Babel ( Bavel in Hebrew) appears in Genesis 11 v 1-9
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth." But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other." So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel -- because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
Babel is a version of Babylon and Shinar is the land of Babylonia - Babel sounds like the Hebrew for "confused". You will notice that, when man was expelled from the Garden of Eden it was to the East, and also that Abraham was called from the East to inherit the land that God promised him (Canaan / Israel). Babylon, Ur and the land of the Chaldeans all approximate to the location of present day Iraq.
The significance of Babylon for Israel (and Judah) was as the enemy - the city and people in opposition to Jerusalem and God's chosen people. It also appears to be as synonymous with worldliness and humanism as Jerusalem is with Faith and God centred thinking.
The references to Babylon tell a tale ----
Babylon was a pagan nation, used by God to punish his rebellious people when they had refused to heed all his warnings ( Habakuk 1 v6-10,
" I am raising up Babylon, guilty men who's strength is their god"But Babylon was later punished for the brutality with which it had carried out its conquest. Exiles were taken to Babylon and Temple treasures were taken to Babylon, also Psalm 137 concerns the misery of the exiles "by the rivers of Babylon". Babylon was the kingdom to which Daniel and the other Hebrews were taken and where they upheld their faith in the God of Israel rather than bow down to statues of worldly leaders .
In Revelation 17 v3 we read,
"Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. This title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus." But her end is certain; "Babylon has fallen", Isaiah 21 v9 and "Fallen is Babylon", Revelation 14 v8 and 18 v2.See also Jeremiah 51 for Old Testament roots of Babylon
Since Babylon was the place of suffering for God's nation of Israel/Judah in their time of Exile, and in the light of the above quote from Revelation 17, this topic merits some consideration by the Christian. In the writings of so many of the prophets we have God's warning words to a nation that has fallen away from godliness. These prophecies end up with the glorious vision of restoration. We, in the western church, gladly read the restoration promises and rejoice in their end times significance but we skip over the warning words which applied to Israel. Is this, perhaps, a hangover of Replacement Theology? Might the warnings apply just as much as the end-times visions. These disasters were to befall a nation that had fallen so far from the faith and righteousness it once had, but which dwelt secure, comfortable and complacent in material wealth. God condemned them for having abandoned His way, for Idolatry and for shedding innocent blood. Consider the moral and religious decline of our nations, the Idolatry (the "Pop Idol" phenomenon ) and the number of abortions carried out and the way multi-national business giants have far more power than most national governments. Shouldn't we be anticipating judgment and tribulation? And isn't the new Babylon the place for it to take place?
At the time John received this revelation the name appeared to apply to Rome, the current centre of One World Government, the centre of human pride, wealth and confidence. Interestingly, Rome is seen as being an empire that fell long ago but Israel is still in the process of returning from the Roman dispersion / exile. What is the significance of that?
Since Babylon and her fall is mentioned twice in Revelation, its significance as the seat of world, human pride and power remains. These forces seem set to play out the end-times events of the confrontation between the people and forces of God and the people and forces of Satan. The spirit of Babel in One World Government may well be discerned in world events, either already or in the near future. Certainly, the coming Antichrist is likely to be the highly esteemed leader of a one world government body who will achieve the seemingly humanly impossible in solving world problems, particularly the Middle East. See the table in End Times. This will be the time of the Tribulation ( Daniel 9 v27 - Isaiah 28 v18 - 1 Thessalonians 5 v3 ) .
At the beginning of the 21st century, the major conflict in the world appears to be between Islam and Israel (and those who support her ) but, real spiritual war zone though this is, it does not explain the whole "one world government" / Babel / Antichrist scenario.
A measure of world unity is discernible since the end of the Cold War between USSR and USA. Although we see wars continuing to rage around the world, they tend to be local, with the major powers agreeing to seek a resolution, or at least not to take opposite sides. The USA led war on terror, focused on Afghanistan has been remarkable in the amount of co-operation among the nations; even Islamic nations.
The Gulf War was similarly contained by political agreement. However, this conflict raised some concerns about a "One World Government" system. President George Bush (the father) used the phrase, "New World Order" several times, and it has been suggested that American politicians allowed Saddam Hussein to believe USA would not interfere if he invaded Kuwait in order to be able to then defeat him. As remarked in 911, the Gulf War appears to have been about oil not human rights and there are suggestions that it was part of a strategy based on the works of Hagel which assert that, "there is no change without conflict." and that all the suffering was necessary in the establishment of a new world order.
In the December 2003 issue of "israel today" magazine, informed sources are reported saying that , The Quartet has drafted a proposal to transfer the seat of the United Nations to Baghdad (ancient Babel or Babylon)! The move would relieve the space constraints of the New York headquarters while also freeing it from the physical jurisdiction of the US. According to the Quartet’s proposal, an area near Baghdad would not only house the new UN headquarters, it would also be the home of a worldwide religious council. Even atheistic politicians recognize that little can be done without addressing the matter of religion. In this scenario, Baghdad would become the seat of the Antichrist and the false Prophet.
There is a pattern in world politics which suggests that the one objective of world government is maintaining the status quo regarding oil and the petro-dollar. Certainly, the quest for harmony between the West and the oil producing Islamic nations has caused many horrors to be denied in order to maintain the oil supply / economic balance of power. Islamic genocide in Sudan and Indonesia is being overlooked by western governments and media as both countries are on the verge of becoming major oil suppliers. The government and media in USA are eager to find reasons for terrorist attacks which do not cause confrontation with Arab, oil producing nations. See also Babylon candidates
It is asserted that Timothy McVeigh acted alone in the Oklahoma bombing, in spite of evidence of support leading back to Iraq and a second man whose conviction is now being sought.
Evidence that TWA flight 800 was bought down by an Iraqi missile (August 1996) has been suppressed even though two military pilots witnessed a missile, probably a Soviet SAM, go up and hit the airliner, an Air France plane which was following had to take violent avoiding action, Saddam Hussein had promised the night before, "a big surprise" on Iraq's national day, and expert witnesses were convinced the plane had been destroyed by a missile. So why the reluctance to blame Iraq when Saddam was eager to take credit for the attack? Why did the plane manufacturer not contest theories that the cause was a fuel vapour explosion caused by design faults?
Why was the TV programme in which Islamic groups were seen planning the destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Center never screened on any network, even after the first, unsuccessful, attempt in February 1993? (it is interesting to note that the Islamic terrorists saw New York's twin towers as the symbol of evil world commercial power.)
(See "Is Fundamental Islam a Global Threat by Victor Mordechai)
The World system is seeking to maintain the present balance of power and trade with oil producing countries even though they are holding everybody to ransom. This is clearly bad for Israel, which is not currently an oil producer and is the focus of the hatred of the majority of oil producing nations.
The world is making progress towards a one world religion, based on tolerance and humanist values, but that will obviously be intolerant of Christianity which insists that Jesus is the only way.
The picture shows the "Ark of Hope". A Google image search will bring up many websites carrying images of this object and describing its contents and the aspirations of its creators and adherents. Generally speaking, its ambience is new age, eco friendly, unity etc. The similarity to God's Ark of the Covenant is obvious, and it clearly signals a human striving to do better than God and to "do what is right in his own eyes."
This object was central to the Earth Summit in Johannesburg in 2002, and it is reported that 65,000 delegates bowed down to it and declared, "The Earth is alive, and is our Mother Earth." It is understood that the movement that surrounds this object sees existing religions as the cause of the earth's troubles and that peace and harmony will be achieved when this new religion replaces them all. This religion will have to be mandatory, so tolerance will be enforced intolerantly!
The aspirations of the E.U. to become a powerful nation of Europe should also cause us to ponder its role in the future rise of "One World Government" and "One World Religion" See Europe and Is Europe the Beast?
When considering forces concerned with international power and manipulation, the secret societies should not be forgotten.
The Freemasons, although seen primarily as a social organisation, places on its members obligations to fellow members which precede those to nation or God. Members of this secret Brotherhood exercise control at high levels of politics, government, the military, the judiciary, the church and finance. The deeper levels of the brotherhood also involve religious devotions to what appear to be ancient pagan deities.
The Skull and Bones organization seeks to control wealth and power in the USA through this secretive society based in Yale University. Tapping 15 promising members per year and positioning them strategically to control the nation's policies. Presidents from both Democrat and Republican parties are Bonesmen, as are security chiefs etc.
Many believe that a relatively open branch of the Illuminati was responsible for the French and Russian Revolutions and manipulates world events to advance its progress towards "One World Government". (see also comments above on the Gulf War) Those inclined to carry out their own research could carry out Internet searches or visit the library. Searching the Internet for "Illuminati" will produce links to diverse sites, that should be weighed up very carefully. (Fantasy gaming sites can be ignored) A secret society will obviously not publish a full and frank description of itself and its aims. Also, misinformation can be expected, as can smokescreens depicting incredible conspiracy theories. It should also be noted that some accounts of the Illuminati base it upon the discredited anti-Semitic, "Protocols of the Elders of Zion."
Christian should remember that Satan's offer of world power for those who will worship him was no idle boast. (Temptations of Jesus) It is reasonable to assume that those who have taken up the offer are numerous and move in upper levels of government, finance, international business and the media.
While Christians should not be sidetracked by politics and conspiracy theories, we should be looking deeper than the TV News interpretation of events to see the signs of the times pointing towards the coming of Jesus the Messiah . Obsession with One World Government and the Antichrist is probably unhealthy, but we should be awake. Through all these things we can see Babylon representing global Human ambition and the pursuit of wealth and power, while Jerusalem represents the body of believers who trust in God. The Revelation significance of this is clear when one considers the spiritual forces arrayed behind both cities.
Remember, there is no neutral territory in this confrontation, and we should not find ourselves taking the wrong side!
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