In all my years of studying prophecy in the Bible, it’s been easy to pick out trends around the world that are falling into position and pattern for the scenario God painted, via His prophets, of the end times. There are a couple aspects of that scenario, however, that have been difficult to imagine swinging into line.
Until the last few years.
The first one has always bothered me: The United States of America is not present, or at least not significant enough to be mentioned, among the nations which play a part in the final act of international brinksmanship on Planet Earth.
The second one is something few, if any, prophecy students agree with me on: that the literal city of Babylon, in the Euphrates Valley of present-day Iraq, will become the focal point of world politics, religion and economics.
I’ll start with the second one.
Previously I’ve discussed the two methods of interpreting the Bible: Literal and symbolic. At the extreme end of symbolic interpretation is the allegorical camp (“the Bible is just a story book full of myths and philosophy, which sometimes conveys moral lessons similar to Aesop’s Fables or Grimm’s Fairy Tales“). On the literalist extreme are those who insist there is nothing symbolic in the Bible. My own conviction is that the Bible is literal truth which often uses symbolic language or terms to help our puny human brains understand it (which is one reason Jesus often used parables and said “the Kingdom of Heaven is like ________________” for instance).
Most people who have read prophecy, including most literalists, have decided that the “Mystery Babylon” described in the book of Revelation is a symbolic name for another city. There is good reason to look at it that way. I won’t go into it all here now, but obviously the apostle John (more accurately the angel who revealed this vision to John–Rev. 17:1-3) depicted the city in question as a woman. A harlot, or prostitute, to be more specific.
I believe that Mystery Babylon is both literal and symbolic.
I believe (as do most) that the great whore is a religion with a vast, global network and tremendous influence. That religion, headquartered in one particular city, will continue to evolve from its present stage of evolution, and grow even more powerful than it was in the Middle Ages. I also believe (as few others do) the vision points to another city, which is the world’s financial capital. But I take it a step further.
The Bible interprets itself. To understand much of the symbolism used in Revelation, you must study just about every other book of the Bible–especially the Old Testament. So, after reading Zechariah 5:5-11 and Revelation 17, here’s a brief summary of what I believe will happen: The nexus of international finance will transfer from New York City; the world capitol of western religion (pseudo-Christianity) will transfer from the Vatican; and both will ultimately be relocated to the political capitol of the impending world government–the literal city of Babylon.
Keep in mind that the literal city of Babylon has never been destroyed the way the Lord said it will be in Isaiah 13 and 14. When the Medo-Persians captured the city during the time of the prophet Daniel, they took the city without much of a fight. The Babylonian Empire fell, but Babylon was not destroyed. And the city has been inhabited off and on ever since. Saddam Hussein spent tons of money rebuilding the city proper, to recapture its ancient splendour. The reconstruction is incomplete so far.
The great whore (Babylon) is depicted riding a bizarre beast (a world system and its figurehead, both named simply “the beast” interchangeably in Revelation), which strongly resembles a bizarre dragon (which we elsewhere discover is Satan) from whom it derives its power. So this city comes to prominence due to the efforts of Satan’s global government and his anointed ruler. It makes perfect sense it would be Babylon–where paganism in its many forms all got started, and the capitol of the first world dictatorship (when its name was simply Babel). Both paganism and global dictatorship are satanic in origin, nature, and intent.
Ever since the regime change forced on Iraq, I’ve suspected that once American forces withdrew from the region there would be a power vacuum and much chaos caused by those trying to fill it. And that chaos would set forces in motion which will draw nations into alignment with the prophetic scenario.
But it’s not just Iraq–there are revolutions and civil wars taking place all over the Middle East now, while a strong alliance is forming between Iran and Russia, with Turkey drifting into their sphere of influence as well, just as we knew would happen because it was prophesied in Ezekiel 38. The catastrophic war described there and in chapter 39 will perfectly set up the “70th week” prophesied in the book of Daniel (Chapter 9) and expounded on in Revelation.
Now remember that Iraq and Syria comprise the bulk of an ancient empire called Assyria. And one of the many titles used to refer to the man called “the beast” in Revelation is “the Assyrian” (Isaiah 10:12-14). This might not just be a clue to his ethnicity, but a clue to the region he chooses to operate out of.
Remember the tactic embraced by the globalists for centuries: “Out of chaos, order. Out of many, one.” The chaos being instigated in the Middle East right now has a purpose to it. Most people won’t see it or will refuse to believe it’s all by design. But God’s people should not be so blind or ignorant that the fast approaching Day should surprise us like a thief in the night.
To be continued…