THE HARLOT OF THE NATIONS
TABLE OF CONTENTS TO THIS WEB PAGE
(Click on the respective items to find text.)
The Hammer of the Earth
Praise of the Whole Earth
A Golden Cup
The Proud One
Mounting Up to Heaven
Nations No Longer Flow To Her
The Flight of God's People
Desolations Are Decreed
Destroyers Out of the North
Destruction By Fire
The Sea Over Babylon
THE HARLOT OF THE NATIONS
One of the most puzzling subjects of biblical prophecy is that on Babylon. Major differences in symbolic assignment have been made by numerous interpreters over the centuries. Many believe the prophecies in the Old Testament are not symbolic, that they refer to ancient Babylon. The prophecies in Jeremiah fall deep within a context of other pronouncements against that ancient land. It is natural to assume that Jeremiah had a consistent object in mind when he wrote his work. This view is contradicted by prophecies in Isaiah 13 and 14 which, many believe, were written a century or more before the Babylonian conquest and disaster. In order to reconcile these Isaiah Babylon prophecies to this view some godless scholars assume those portions of Isaiah were written at the time of the Babylonian conquest.
Further controversy arises from the Babylonian prophecies in the Book of Revelation. The apostle John could not possibly have intended ancient Babylon for his descriptions; therefore his use of the word must carry a symbolic, not literal, meaning. Again some godless scholars propose that John merely copied pieces out of the Old Testament and reworked them according to his notions of their symbolic content. In proposing this explanation they reject John's deep love for Jesus, and his personal integrity. Other persons believe the symbolic meaning is intended to convey revelation about the Roman Catholic Church. Countless books and papers have been written from this view.
I shall not review these various interpretations of the Babylon prophecies. I shall go directly to their symbolic content describing a nation which has now appeared at the end of the planetary age.
Such ascription is consistent, from Isaiah to Revelation. There is no need to excuse contradictions from one Babylon prophecy to another; those contradictions evaporate when viewed from proper perspective. This nation carries a critical role in unfolding planetary destiny; Melchizedek gave it much attention in his work with the prophets and seers of Israel.
THE MEANING OF THE NAME
The word "Babylon" is Greek. It is used in the New Testament. It is the Greek form of the Hebrew word "Babel" used in the Old Testament.
English dictionary definitions of these two words are instructive.
Other than reference to the ancient city --
Babel: A confused mixture of sounds or voices. A scene of noise and confusion.
Babylon: Any rich and magnificent place believed to be excessive in luxury and wickedness.
The symbolism of these two words is highly appropriate to the subject of the prophecies, which is the same nation in both the Old and New Testaments.
Melchizedek chose the name "Babel" (or "Babylon") for the following reasons:
1. He could not use the actual name of the future land; people of ancient times would not have known what he was talking about. It would have been a nonsense word; it would have been regarded with extreme skepticism and doubt.
2. He also could not use the actual name because this would have forewarned men. A condition on prophecy is that the subject not be recognized until the time of fruition. Otherwise mankind would attempt to divert the predictions.
3. The combination of these two elements made it necessary that the word "Babel" imply the ancient city, thus to rivet the attention of men. They would speculate over application of the prophecies to that ancient city, while puzzling over the discrepancies.
4. Recognizing that the prophecies were holy, and that the conditions of the prophecy had not been truly fulfilled, men would preserve them against future expectation.
5. At the time of fruition, when the ripeness of the age had come to pass, the true significance of the prophecies would be made known. This would place on mankind a test of their devotion to God. Could they see through the symbolism to the meaning of the revelation? Would they make decisions based on such faith exercise? The symbolism thus became a critical element in the screening of mankind to find those with a more devout faith in God.
In this paper I shall consider the prophecies contained in
Isaiah 13 and 14,
Isaiah 47 and 48,
Jeremiah 25, and especially
Jeremiah 50 and 51, as well as those found in
Revelation 17 and 18.
Where necessary I shall refer to a few other verses not included in those chapters.
THE GREAT HARLOT
Rev 17:1-6 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who is seated upon many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and with the wine of whose fornication the dwellers on earth have become drunk." And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication; and on her forehead was written a name of mystery: "Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of earth's abominations." And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the consecrated ones and the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. When I saw her I marveled greatly.
The apostle John could not have expected this revelation to mean ancient Babylon. He would not provide revelation for a nation which had since passed out of existence. Nor could he have expected it to mean a Church, or other social institution. He would have been acutely aware of its future application. He would have known that the setting was geographical, not institutional. He would design his symbolism in order that his audience sense the geographical application. Every person giving serious attention to the revelation has recognized that the tone is cosmic; the depiction vast.
The location is marked by intense persecution of God's people. John saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the consecrated ones and the blood of the witnesses of Jesus. These are individuals who are truly dedicated to God. They have given themselves to new revelations. They who are willing to engage in reaffirmation of the old covenant. In this land arises a bloodlust for the slaughter of countless people devoted to God. This is a prophecy for the end of the age.
Refer to other of my papers, A Warning From Jesus About the End of the Age, The Release of the Prince, and Spirit Entry Into Human Mind.
John was carried away in the spirit to a wilderness where he saw this Great Harlot. She was not located in the Near East, nor in some neighboring land, nor distributed around the world through some institutional organization. John's use of the word "wilderness" denotes a place then unrecognized to the Roman world.
Her name is one of mystery; the name is not openly evident that all may see. The symbolism of Great Babylon, a great nation, portrays her nature.
She was bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls, arrayed in the royal colors of purple and scarlet, all symbols of great wealth.
I shall, for the moment, pass over the scarlet beast with seven heads and ten horns. The statement is an intrusion into the text which diverts attention from more rigorous examination of the essential kernel of the revelation. This includes the entire portion of text from Rev 17:7-18.
The textual difficulties may be discerned by noting that in 17:7 the beast with seven heads and ten horns carry the Great Harlot. In 17:12 the ten horns are ten kings whose relationship to the Harlot are not identified. In 17:16 the ten horns hate the Harlot and will destroy her. These statements are not mutually compatible.
In 17:1 the Great Harlot is seated on many waters. This passage has no condition that would prevent us from assuming that the waters are literal, composed of oceans, lakes, and rivers.
Verse 17:15 then offers an interpretation of the many waters of 17:1. This is part of the textual difficulty.
The symbolism of 17:15 is based on the notion that the sea represents humanity, and that peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues rise up out of this symbolic sea. This view then forces an interpretation of many different nations and languages scattered across the planet. As a logical consequence many interpreters have not considered the possibility that this means the Harlot is composed of many differing peoples, nationalities and tongues gathered in one nation.
The sense of specific geographical location, rather than a general symbolism for mankind, is denoted by other phrases in both Chapters 17 and 18.
"All the nations have drunk the wine of her impure passion . . ."
"The kings of the earth have committed fornication with her . . ."
"The merchants of the earth have grown rich with the wealth of her wantonness."
"Her destruction comes in a single day."
"She shall be burned with fire."
"In one hour her judgment has come."
These statements do not imply the general body of mankind; they imply a specific national identity.
The list of merchandise in 18:11-13 shows a great commercial enterprise; one would expect this for a specific nation who leads the world in mercantile exchange.
Rather than attempting to further define the character of the Great Harlot from the confusing material of Revelation it is more helpful to turn to the Old Testament prophecies.
THE JEREMIAH PROPHECIES (And Parallels)
In my paper
on World Judgment, I reviewed statements from Jeremiah 25 which
showed that the modern state of Israel would serve modern Babylon seventy
years. Modern Babylon would then bring destruction to Jerusalem and Judea,
and all the lands round about. In turn, modern Babylon would be destroyed
and utterly laid waste.
Jer 25:9-12 Behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, says Yahweh, and for Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these nations round about. I will utterly destroy them, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting reproach. . . . This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, says Yahweh, making the land an everlasting waste.
If Jeremiah 25 provides instruction on the sequence of events about to unfold now, at the end of the age, and if Rev 17 deals with the same sequence of events, then we should expect to find parallels and compatibility of Jeremiah 25 with Rev 17. If the two passage are incompatible we either do not understand, or the passages have suffered distortion or corruption. In order to clarify and further define the meaning of these revelations I shall now proceed into the relevant chapters of Jeremiah 50 and 51.
51:13 O you who dwell by many waters, rich in treasures, your end has come, the thread of your life is cut.
This compares directly with Rev 17:1; the phrase "many waters" is used in both. Here this Babylon "dwells by many waters"; in Revelation she "sits on many waters." This does not compare with the interpretation of Rev 17:15.
In order to explain this difficulty I shall now go directly to the nation which is the subject of the "Babylon" symbolism.
Geographically the United States sits among many waters. These are the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes, as well as many rivers, including the Hudson, Delaware, Susquehanna, Potomac, James, Savannah, Alabama, the Great Mississippi with its many branches draining major portions of her land through the Red, Ohio, and the Missouri, as well as rivers draining her western lands, the Colorado, Sacramento, and the Columbia.
The Hammer of the Earth
50:23 How the hammer of the whole earth is cut down and broken! How Babylon has become a horror among the nations!
51:20 "You are my hammer and weapon of war: with you I break nations in pieces; with you I destroy kingdoms.
The United States held a prime position in world affairs since World War I and the early years of the twentieth century. Without her contribution to European and Asiatic warfare the shape of world destiny would have taken an altogether different turn. After World War II she took a more forceful hand in the management of those affairs.
1. Immediately after World War II she initiated and financed the Marshall plan for the economic rehabilitation of Europe and Japan.
2. She was a major driving force behind the creation of the United Nations, in the original organizing activities, continuing financial support, and in hosting the world headquarters.
3. She became the major world element in opposing the communist philosophy of human society, through economic policies and in armed forces.
4. Through the vehicle of the United Nations she attempted to stop the communist takeover of Korea. This resulted in a stalemate that divided the land between the two opposing economic and political philosophies.
5. She attempted to stop the communist takeover of Viet Nam. This ended in failure, and set the tone for a disapproving world attitude about her heavy handedness in world affairs.
6. She continued to intervene militarily in the affairs of various countries in attempt to protect a capitalistic form of society, or to protect her sources of energy and trade. The list is long but more recently include Panama, Somalia, Haiti, Kuwait, and Bosnia.
7. She also continued to provide economic support for various countries who were based on the capitalistic form of government, to ensure against their loss to other political or economic philosophies.
Her location in the New World, relatively isolated from the rest of the world, gave her a unique position to determine policy devoid of intimidating influence from those other countries. She also enjoyed great material resources and wealth to make her the most powerful nation ever to exist on the face of the globe. She had the option to determine the form of her influence upon the world as no other nation ever enjoyed. She chose a militant and forceful economic course. She became the hammer of the earth, wielding her will upon other nations. She will become the hammer for warfare the like of which has never been. She will break in pieces many nations.
Praise of the Whole Earth
51:41 How Babylon is taken, the praise of the whole earth seized! How Babylon has become a horror among the nations!
Great Babylon was the praise of the entire earth. Never, in all of human history, did a nation enjoy such fortune. Her bountiful land provided the natural resources for great wealth and luxury. She was the land of golden opportunity, the shining beacon of economic freedom. Unfortunately, she permitted that freedom to be exploited through the greed of those who selfishly perverted her natural profusion and abundance.
51:7 Babylon was a golden cup in Yahweh's hand, making all the earth drunken; the nations drank of her wine, therefore the nations went mad.
Rev 17:4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and bedecked with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her fornication.
What was the wine by which the nations went mad? What were the abominations and impurities of her fornications?
They were her scientific discoveries and technological inventions. They were also her social techniques for economic power.
Never, in the history of mankind, has one nation contributed so exclusively to scientific and technological developments, and to new social methods.
The history of mechanical inventions is complex and blends into the mists of the past. The United States cannot claim originality to many important technological discoveries. This complex history was illustrated in a fascinating book by the Frenchman, Gerald Messadie, Great Inventions Through History, published in English by W. & R. Chambers, Edinburgh, 1991. On the other hand the United States was unique in its development of mechanical inventions, shaped by the lack of social inhibitions in the new society, and the spirit of discovery kindled by the vast wilderness of the new continent. This spirit is captured in descriptive phrases like, "Frontier self-reliance, foundation for an inventive future." The blending of more adventurous European genetic elements also contributed to this amazing phenomenon. The unique contribution of the United States to the new technological world order has been described in many books and reviews. One example is Those Inventive Americans, published by the National Geographic Society, Washington, 1971.
The list of inventions created and developed in the United States is long. I shall illustrate only a few.
1. The development of steam power goes back to the beginning of the eighteenth century and Thomas Newcome in England. Although the first steam engines were crude and cumbersome in comparison to later developments they greatly enhanced the employment of mechanical power over those of water wheels and wind mills. A few of these engines were introduced into the Americas before the War for Independence, but that war shut off communication from the developments then taking place with James Watt in England. As a consequence parallel developments were undertaken in the New World by such men as John Fitch, James Rumsey, John Fulton and Oliver Evans.
2. The cotton gin was improved by Eli Whitney in 1792. This permitted high volumes of cotton processing. In 1795 southern planters grew eight million pounds; by 1807 they were growing eighty million pounds per year.
3. The reaper by Cyrus McCormick and Obed Hussey revolutionized grain harvesting. With the first model introduced for sale in 1840, by 1851 McCormick received world publicity through the London Crystal Palace Exhibition. By 1861 the reaper had spread into eastern Europe, Russia, the grain lands of Siberia, and throughout the world.
4. The telegraph came into existence through much labor and exploration, in Europe and the United States. But it was the work of Samuel Morse who brought it into practical reality with first transmissions from Washington, DC to Baltimore in 1844. His encoding technique was used around the world for a hundred years until advances in radio made it obsolete in the mid-twentieth century.
5. The work of Benjamin Franklin, Michael Faraday, Joseph Henry and others led to developments in the control and transmission of electric energy. These techniques were then used by Alexander Bell, and others of his day. The telephone, patented in 1876, became a miracle of communication which eventually entered well-nigh every home in the civilized countries of the world. It was long considered the single most important invention of modern civilization.
6. Thomas Alva Edison was the most famous and most productive of all inventors, with nearly a eleven hundred patents to his name. His gift of insight into mechanical processes and relationships, despite a lack of formal education, was the genius behind his amazing abilities. The list of his inventions is nearly a recount of modern western civilization, with the light bulb, phonograph, motion picture techniques, power generators, transmission of electricity, and a host of other famous inventions.
The list could go on and on, from the development of mass production techniques, air flight, vacuum tubes, radio, television, transistors, integrated circuits, satellite communication, computers, and, regrettably, nuclear weapons.
Why is this such a bitter wine?
The answer is materialism. It carried the seeds of ultimate destruction. Technology emphasized material developments over spiritual growth. The drive for physical survival in the new world, and the natural bounty of the land, led to concentration on material gratifications over spiritual relationships.
Technology also opened the doors for social perversions. As mechanical advantage increased, manpower could be directed to other avenues. If the grain reaper could replace twenty men those men could engage in other activities. They could be placed into factories. Industrialization then had a base for expansion.
As a result human beings more and more lost contact with the natural world. In increasing numbers they entered the artificial world of city environments.
Industrial complexes, with their abuse of child and female labor, were used for the concentration of wealth into the hands of a few.
Stock markets, mercantile exchanges, and other financial systems were used to manipulate investment methods and then perverted into avenues for personal wealth accumulation.
The economic philosophy of free enterprise was used as a psychological weapon to justify personal greed and abuse of social equity.
Political philosophies could be prosecuted with intense technical power. Warfare became more deadly. Human value declined, until, by the mid-twentieth century, millions upon millions of human beings were slaughtered in gas chambers and by firing squads.
Increasing industrialization and abuse of natural resources created mass pollutions of the world.
Concentration of production, of energy, and of communication pushed the social order to ever more precarious positions. A small trigger event could cause disruption and breakdown of the entire system.
The ultimate of this deadly wine was nuclear weaponry. Now the will of any nation or any distorted personality could be imposed upon the world.
What began as bright promise and sublime hope ended in terror and horror.
The nations drank of this wine, and the nations went mad.
The United States was a golden cup in the hand of God. She had the greatest opportunity for righteousness of any nation in historic times. She was isolated from the Old World. She defined her own way. She had a gift of highly intelligent and perceptive men who founded her social order, with Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, and many others in a rare assembly of social insight. But she filled that cup with the impurities of her fornications. She traded indiscriminately with all the merchants of the world. What industrial baron did not want his name emblazoned on the pages of history? What Rockefeller, or Carnegie, or Morgan did not view his financial and commercial power with pride? The commercial kings of the United States went to bed with anyone, for greed, personal gain, and self-aggrandizement.
Thomas Lawson, a Rockefeller lieutenant who organized a major commercial operation for those men, published his personal experiences under a title, Frenzied Finance, The Crime of Amalgamated. It was an informative series of articles published in 1904 that later became a book. He recounted his experiences with men who used the trappings of civilized manners, calm speech, and manipulation of the financial system to rob other human beings. The spiritual concerns of mankind were far from the minds and hearts of men who went to church on Sunday morning and spent the rest of their days devising means to satisfy their greed and power hunger through the physical labors of other human beings. The philanthropy of those men were afterthoughts, means of assuaging their feelings of guilt.
And then, in concern for preservation of such an adulterous system, that social order devised methods for ultimate human destruction.
The Proud One
50:31 Behold, I am against you, O proud one, says the Lord GOD of hosts; for your day has come, the time when I will punish you.
any nation on earth, was one so proud as the United States. But now the
true harvest has come.
Isa 47:10-11 You felt secure in your wickedness, you said, "No one sees me." Your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray. You said in your heart, "I am, and there is no one besides me." But evil shall come upon you, for which you cannot atone; disaster shall fall upon you, which you will not be able to expiate; ruin shall come on you suddenly, of which you know nothing.
She truly became a Great Babylon, a harlot to the nations. She was a rich and magnificent land, excessive in luxury and wickedness. Her great wisdom led her astray. She was truly proud. She said there never was a nation like her. Gross deterioration of her morals and her human relationships were the result of her great sins. But now disaster shall fall upon her. Ruin shall come upon her of which she had not the slightest inkling.
Mounting Up To Heaven
51:53 Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify her strong height, yet destroyers would come from me upon her, says Yahweh.
Russia may have mounted into space with her orbiting vehicles, but it was the United States who went to the moon, and who entertains the notion of exploration of the solar system, and perhaps even of the stars.
50:12 Your mother shall be utterly shamed, and she who bore you shall be disgraced. Lo, she shall be the last of the nations, a wilderness dry and desert.
The United States was, indeed, the last of the nations, being founded in a land that saw no civilization until the seventeenth century. The hammering of her will upon the world, and her crude frontier styles, left a distaste around the planet. Her mother, England, and Europe, is truly ashamed of her.
Nations No Longer Flow To Her
51:44 And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and take out of his mouth what he has swallowed. The nations shall no longer flow to him; the wall of Babylon has fallen.
No land on this earth ever experienced the flow of the nations as did the United States. From the early 1800's through the twentieth century people from all over the world came to her. They came in droves from Europe, from Asia, and from Africa. The greatest influx was in the last years of the nineteenth century and the early decades of the twentieth. This was the time when she was looking for manpower for her mills and industrial plants. In the decade between 1900 and 1910 nine million people immigrated into this country. This was then about ten percent of her total population.
The following chart shows this great flow of the nations into Babylon.
I recently found a description of the impact of immigration into the United States through New York City. This articles well summarizes the nature of the international flow of the nations. See Manhattan Migrations. (Note made Sept. 30, 2004.)
This mass influx of people from all over the world created a great babel of tongues. A confused mixture of sounds and voices, a scene of noise and confusion, was a byword for this great nation.
But now God is about to take out of her that which she swallowed, not in mass emigration, but in the salvage of those people who have great faith in him.
The Flight Of God's People
Jer 50:8 Flee from the midst of Babylon, and go out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as he-goats before the flock.
50:16 Cut off from Babylon the sower, and the one who handles the sickle in time of harvest; because of the sword of the oppressor. Every one shall turn to his own people, and every one shall flee to his own land.
51:6 Flee from the midst of Babylon, let every man save his life! Be not cut off in her punishment, for this is the time of Yahweh's vengeance, the requital he is rendering her.
51:9 We would have healed Babylon, but she was not healed. Forsake her, and let us go each to his own country; for her judgment has reached up to heaven and has been lifted up even to the skies.
51:45 Go out of the midst of her, my people! Let every man save his life from the fierce anger of Yahweh!
Isa 48:20 Go forth from Babylon, flee from Chaldea. Declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it, send it forth to the end of the earth; say, "Yahweh has redeemed his servant Jacob!"
Rev 18:4-5 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities."
This is the heart of the revelation. This is the call to God's people. If you stay in the United States or on the North American continent you will be destroyed in the coming nuclear devastations.
God wants you to save yourself. Many of you are of blended European stocks. You carry good genetic potentials. Within your veins you carry biological and spiritual value for the future development of our world.
Give heed to God's call. Dedicate yourself to him, in real service, and not some imaginary religious theology.
When the revelation says that everyone will turn to his own people and everyone flee to his own land it does not mean a national identity from some ancestry. It means that each will make his own choice according to the dictates of his heart and the sense of survival for the new world.
Many interpreters of these passages believe that God's people will be rescued in a great escape they call the Rapture. Therefore they do not apply these appeals to themselves. They do not believe they carry a responsibility for the future of the world. In order to rescue these statements within the framework of their scheme they believe these appeals are directed to Jews who will remain on the planet and who must be saved from the coming destructions.
Such theories are an illusion. They are attempts to avoid the awesome burden of choice which face all of God's people today. Do not heed them.
God would have healed Babylon. He would have turned her to righteousness and have made her a shining light to the world. He sent his Billy Sundays and Billy Grahams. He brought great religious revivals. But she rejected that healing.
Isa 48:17-19 Thus says Yahweh, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am Yahweh your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. O that you had hearkened to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea; your offspring would have been like the sand, and your descendants like its grains; their name would never be cut off or destroyed from before me."
Isa 48:20-22 Go forth from Babylon, flee from Chaldea, declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it, send it forth to the end of the earth; say, "The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob!" They thirsted not when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he cleft the rock and the water gushed out. There is no peace," says the Lord , "for the wicked."
This is the price Great Babylon paid for her unrighteousness. Now she will be remembered no more forever.
in many verses, God left no doubt about Babylon's great sin.
Jer 50:15 Raise a shout against her round about, she has surrendered; her bulwarks have fallen, her walls are thrown down. For this is the vengeance of Yahweh: take vengeance on her, do to her as she has done.
50:24 I set a snare for you and you were taken, O Babylon, and you did not know it; you were found and caught, because you strove against Yahweh.
50:28-29 Hark! they flee and escape from the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of Yahweh our God, vengeance for his temple. Summon archers against Babylon, all those who bend the bow. Encamp round about her; let no one escape. Requite her according to her deeds, do to her according to all that she has done; for she has proudly defied Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel.
51:24-25 I will requite Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea before your very eyes for all the evil that they have done in Zion, says Yahweh. "Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain," says Yahweh, "which destroys the whole earth. I will stretch out my hand against you, and roll you down from the crags, and make you a burnt mountain."
51:34-35 Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me, he has crushed me; he has made me an empty vessel, he has swallowed me like a monster; he has filled his belly with my delicacies, he has rinsed me out. The violence done to me and to my kinsmen be upon Babylon. Let the inhabitant of Zion say. "My blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea."
51:49 Babylon must fall for the slain of Israel, as for Babylon have fallen the slain of all the earth.
Why is God bringing retribution?
We should not be repelled by the words of vengeance. These are human words, in order for human mortals to understand. God does not carry vengeance in his heart. But he does hold justice and righteousness within himself, and justice is the meaning of the action he brings against Great Babylon.
Why is it retribution? Because Great Babylon will bring the destruction of modern Israel, and all the nations round about. The United States will bring nuclear destruction to Jerusalem, Judea, and the surrounding countries, an action which, in her eyes, will end that continual strife once and forever more.
The Most Highs rule in the kingdoms of men. Little did Great Babylon pay heed to such revelations. God set a snare for her. If she had turned her heart to righteousness and justice she would not have fallen into that trap. But because she went her own wanton and willful way she was found and caught.
Desolations Are Decreed
50:13 Because of the wrath of Yahweh she shall not be inhabited, but shall be an utter desolation; every one who passes by Babylon shall be appalled, and hiss because of all her wounds.
50:22-23 The noise of battle is in the land, and great destruction! How the hammer of the whole earth is cut down and broken! How Babylon has become a horror among the nations!
50:30 Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares, and all her soldiers shall be destroyed on that day, says Yahweh.
51:29 The land trembles and writhes in pain, for Yahweh's purposes against Babylon stand, to make the land of Babylon a desolation, without inhabitant.
51:37 Babylon shall become a heap of ruins, the haunt of jackals, a horror and a hissing, without inhabitant.
51:47 Therefore, behold, the days are coming when I will punish the images of Babylon; her whole land shall be put to shame, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.
51:54-56 Hark! a cry from Babylon! The noise of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans! For Yahweh is laying Babylon waste, and stilling her mighty voice. Their waves roar like many waters, the noise of their voice is raised; for a destroyer has come upon her, upon Babylon; her warriors are taken, their bows are broken in pieces; for Yahweh is a God of recompense, he will surely requite.
Isa 47:11 But evil shall come upon you, for which you cannot atone; disaster shall fall upon you, which you will not be able to expiate; and ruin shall come on you suddenly, of which you know nothing.
Isa 47:14 Behold, they are like stubble, the fire consumes them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame. No coal for warming oneself is this, no fire to sit before!
Rev 18:2-3 And he called out with a mighty voice, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! It has become a dwelling place of demons, a haunt of every foul spirit, a haunt of every foul and hateful bird, for all the nations have drunk the wine of her impure passion, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich with the wealth of her wantonness."
Rev 18:6-8 Render to her as she herself has rendered, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double draught for her in the cup she mixed. As she glorified herself and played the wanton, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning. Since in her heart she says, "A queen I sit, I am no widow, mourning I shall never see," so shall her plagues come in a single day, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she shall be burned with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.
Destroyers Out Of The North
destroy Great Babylon will come out of the north. These will not be lands
north of ancient Israel or ancient Babylon, but north of North America.
They will come with their weapons of war, their great ballistic missiles,
over the north pole, and perhaps from their submarines.
50:3 For out of the north a nation has come up against her, which shall make her land a desolation, and none shall dwell in it; both man and beast shall flee away.
50:9 For behold, I am stirring up and bringing against Babylon a company of great nations, from the north country; and they shall array themselves against her; from there she shall be taken. Their arrows are like a skilled warrior who does not return empty-handed.
50:26 Come against her from every quarter; open her granaries; pile her up like heaps of grain, and destroy her utterly; let nothing be left of her.
50:41 Behold, a people comes from the north; a mighty nation and many kings are stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.
51:11 Sharpen the arrows! Take up the shields! Yahweh has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes, because his purpose concerning Babylon is to destroy it, for that is the vengeance of Yahweh, the vengeance for his temple.
Who are the
Medes? In ancient times they included those lands surrounding and north of
Lake Van and Lake Urmia to the Caucasus Mountains and which are now the
southernmost provinces of Russia, Georgia and Azerbaidzhan.
51:27-28 Set up a standard on the earth, blow the trumpet among the nations; prepare the nations for war against her. Summon against her the kingdoms, Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz. Appoint a marshal against her, bring up horses like bristling locusts. Prepare the nations for war against her, the kings of the Medes, with their governors and deputies, and every land under their dominion.
Minni were adjacent to Lake Van and Lake Urmia. Ashkenaz was an ancient
kingdom in eastern Armenia, again the same general location. Their
"deputies and governors and every land under their dominion" denotes an
association of ethnic tribes or provinces, certainly the nature of the
modern state of Russia and its provinces.
51:48 Then the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them, shall sing for joy over Babylon; for the destroyers shall come against them out of the north, says Yahweh.
Destruction By Fire
destructions will be by fire, the awesome fire of nuclear weapons.
51:48 Then the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them, shall sing for joy over Babylon; for the destroyers shall come against them out of the north, says Yahweh.
51:30 The warriors of Babylon have ceased fighting, they remain in their strongholds; their strength has failed, they have become women; her dwellings are on fire, her bars are broken.
strongholds are all those caves and holes they created for their retreat.
Little good they will do for a land that is destroyed.
51:32 The fords have been seized, the bulwarks are burned with fire, and the soldiers are in panic.
51:58 Thus says Yahweh of hosts: "The broad wall of Babylon shall be leveled to the ground and her high gates shall be burned with fire. The peoples labor for naught, and the nations weary themselves only for fire."
50:39-40 Therefore wild beasts shall dwell with hyenas in Babylon, and ostriches shall dwell in her; she shall be peopled no more for ever, nor inhabited for all generations. As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighbor cities, says Yahweh, so no man shall dwell there, and no son of man shall sojourn in her.
The Sea Over Babylon
that final act of the age, when the planet twists in the final throes of
the birth of a new age, Great Babylon shall sink beneath the waters of the
Jer 51:42 The sea has come up on Babylon; she is covered with its tumultuous waves.
Jer 51:64 Thus shall Babylon sink, to rise no more, because of the evil that I am bringing upon her.
Rev 18:21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, "So shall Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and shall be found no more."
THE GREAT PLANETARY TRANSITION
Throughout prophecy we were told of the great earth changes which will now take place at the end of the age. These are totally catastrophic in magnitude. A great shifting of the planet will occur.
Numerous speculations surround this event. Some believe the earth will be struck by a large meteor to create havoc and to alter its rotation with respect to the sun. Others believe a comet will pass in close proximity to flip it around in its orbit. Still others have proposed that the coming nuclear explosions will alter the energy content of the globe to trigger stupendous vibrations in the crust of the earth.
No one knows
how God will accomplish this change. It is not revealed in prophecy.
Therefore these various proposals are simply speculations. But the fact of
such dramatic change is indicated time and again.
Isa 24:1 Behold, Yahweh will lay waste the earth and make it desolate, and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants.
of the surface would come with great crustal movements over the liquid
core. While the total mass of the earth rotates with tremendous kinetic
energy, if the entire body of the planet were somehow to twist in its
rotation a displacement of crustal orientation with respect to the core
might easily take place. This would cause great upheavals and undulatory
movements on the surface.
Isa 24:18-20 He who flees at the sound of the terror shall fall into the pit; and he who climbs out of the pit shall be caught in the snare. For the windows of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble. The earth is utterly broken, the earth is rent asunder, the earth is violently shaken. The earth staggers like a drunken man, it sways like a hut; its transgression lies heavy upon it, and it falls, and will not rise again.
observer were to view this process from space he would note the staggering
of the planet, the twisting and swaying in motion as the globe seeks new
Matt 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Luke 21:25-26 And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
movements in the crust of the earth certainly will cause men to faint with
fear. If they are in the wrong locations they will be literally swallowed
in the upheavals. Huge tidal waves will sweep across the planet, bringing
tremendous destruction to all low-lying areas that survive the crustal
Rev 16:18-21 And there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as had never been since men were on the earth, so great was that earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Great Babylon, to make her drain the cup of the fury of his wrath. And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found. And great hailstones, heavy as a hundred-weight, dropped on men from heaven, till men cursed God for the plague of the hail, so fearful was that plague.
context the land of Great Babylon will sink beneath the sea. Major
portions of the eastern North American continent will fall. To maintain
isostatic equilibrium, that is, earth balance of the average level of the
continents and oceans, other lands will rise. Scientists call this
tectonic deleveling. The renovated earth will be dramatically different
from that which we now know.
Zech 14:4-8 On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives which lies before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley; so that one half of the Mount shall withdraw northward, and the other half southward. And the valley of my mountains shall be stopped up, for the valley of the mountains shall touch the side of it; and you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then Yahweh your God will come, and all the holy ones with him. On that day there shall be neither cold nor frost. And there shall be continuous day (it is known to Yahweh), not day and not night, for at evening time there shall be light. On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea; it shall continue in summer as in winter.
Here the great changes in surface structure are forecast. The tectonic plates will slide against one another, with massive movements from one location to the other.
This prophecy is particularly curious because of its exact geological description, a technical detail which would not have been known to any human mortal at the time of its writing. We can safely infer that a divine being had a hand in its formulation.
descriptions of changes in earth light pertain to the future, when this
planet will undergo yet other geophysical alterations. The phrases
"neither cold nor frost," and continuing "in summer as in winter" mean
dramatic changes in earth's climate, brought about by the new rotational
orientation with respect to the sun. The planet will return to a bounteous
beauty it knew before the fall of Adam and Eve.
Isa 30:18-26 Therefore Yahweh waits to be gracious to you; therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For Yahweh is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. Yea, O people in Zion who dwell at Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. And though Yahweh give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your silver-covered graven images and your gold-plated molten images. You will scatter them as unclean things; you will say to them, "Begone!" And he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and grain, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. In that day your cattle will graze in large pastures; and the oxen and the asses that till the ground will eat salted provender, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. And upon every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when Yahweh binds up the hurt of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.
Ezek 34:5-16 So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered, they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill; my sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them. Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh: As I live, says Yahweh GOD, because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd; and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep; therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh: Thus says Yahweh GOD, Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my sheep at their hand, and put a stop to their feeding the sheep; no longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them. For thus says Yahweh GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when some of his sheep have been scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. And I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the fountains, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them with good pasture, and upon the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on fat pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says Yahweh GOD. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the crippled, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will watch over; I will feed them in justice.
Isa 49:7-23 Thus says Yahweh, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations, the servant of rulers: "Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of Yahweh, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you." Thus says Yahweh: "In a time of favor I have answered you, in a day of salvation I have helped you; I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land, to apportion the desolate heritages; saying to the prisoners, 'Come forth,' to those who are in darkness, 'Appear.' They shall feed along the ways, on all bare heights shall be their pasture; they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall smite them, for he who has pity on them will lead them, and by springs of water will guide them. And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be raised up. Lo, these shall come from afar, and lo, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Syene." Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth; break forth, O mountains, into singing! For Yahweh has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his afflicted. But Zion said, "Yahweh has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me." Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have graven you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me. Your builders outstrip your destroyers, and those who laid you waste go forth from you. Lift up your eyes round about and see; they all gather, they come to you. As I live, says Yahweh, you shall put them all on as an ornament, you shall bind them on as a bride does. Surely your waste and your desolate places and your devastated land surely now you will be too narrow for your inhabitants, and those who swallowed you up will be far away. The children born in the time of your bereavement will yet say in your ears: "The place is too narrow for me; make room for me to dwell in." Then you will say in your heart: "Who has borne me these? I was bereaved and barren, exiled and put away, but who has brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; whence then have these come?" Thus says Yahweh GOD: "Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and raise my signal to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders. Kings shall be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you, and lick the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am Yahweh; those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.
These are the promises. Would any true child of God refuse to be a partner in that stupendous rescue of the planet? Can you see the beauty, bounty, righteousness and holiness which awaits your children? God calls to you. Will you answer?
Wise choices are necessary. None of these are outside the purview of intelligent men and women.
1. According to the sequence of events described in prophecy the nuclear events will be limited to the northern hemisphere. Nuclear debris and radiation will be most intense in that hemisphere. How much will drift over to the southern hemisphere is unknown. The safest refuge is at or below the equator.
2. Lower elevations should be avoided for two reasons. First, nuclear debris will settle toward the lower elevations. Second, the great tidal surges will sweep over many of the lower elevations.
3. Geologically stable areas should be sought. The great crustal fracturing will make unstable areas hazardous. Many geologists today can suggest those areas, but accept their advice with care.
4. The new earth rotational orientation with respect to the sun will cause great changes in evaporation of water into the atmosphere. This process will continue for some time, to alter meteorological and rainfall patterns. It is impossible to describe the magnitude of a lack of accessible water. Will springs continue to produce? This problem may make choices uncertain. However, keep in mind that God said:
Isa 41:18 I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.
5. If rainfall is limited the growth of plants may be adversely affected. This may make cultivated food scarce.
But God will take care of his people. As he did with Moses and the people of Israel in the wilderness many millennia ago, he will now do again.
truly be with all of you in these momentous destiny decisions.
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