The Scriptures speak of two Babylons: Babylon and Mystery Babylon. It could be concluded that Babylon was the original Babylon over which Nebuchadnezzar reigned, and Mystery Babylon the Iraq of today.
Another more plausible explanation is that Babylon is, of course, the Babylon of 600 B.C. that was a world empire, and it is also the one that destroyed the Temple and took the Jews into captivity. However, Mystery Babylon appears at the end of the age as we see the revival of the Roman Empire in the European Union within a world system, a New World Order, touted through international entities like the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Club of Rome, Council on Foreign Relations, NAFTA, GATT, WTO, etc., and even includes the Roman Catholic Church and the ecclesiastical leadership of most of the non-Catholic denominations. Other than 3 million Israelis in Israel, the Jew is still captive in the world. Therefore, it would seem logical that Mystery Babylon is the one-world system in its tripart identification: political, economic, and ecclesiastical. It would appear that the titular head of the system will be the person who will sit in the Temple of God on Mt. Moriah and claim to be the Messiah.
We read in Revelation 13:7 that this person, called the Son of Perdition and the Antichrist, will have power over all races, nations, and languages-this will be total political power over the earth. In Revelation 13:8 we read that everyone who is not a saved person during the Tribulation will worship this world dictator as a god. This will be total religious and ecclesiastical power. According to Revelation 13:12, there will be a high priest of the false religious system, but this ecclesiastic will be part of the beast system and preach that everyone should submit to the religious authority of the Antichrist. We also read in Revelation 13:15-17 that it be mandated by the Son of Perdition that any person who does not worship him as the "messiah," in order to get a mark and number, will be killed. This is total economic power.
The old Babylon, at least today, could not possibly fulfill the prophetic destruction described in Revelation 18. However, what about the destruction prophesied for the literal city of Babylon on the Euphrates River?
According to all archaeological reports found in numerous biblical dictionaries and encyclopedias, the Babylon (or Babel) founded by Nimrod and later ruled over by Hammurabi, encompassed 200 square miles. The city was protected by a double wall, with the great wall being 344 feet high and 86 feet wide. Chariot races were held on the wall, and in times of danger, troops could be swiftly moved to points of attack. The city was so big 25 bronze gates were in the wall on each side. In numerous prophetic scriptures in the Old Testament, the ultimate destruction of Babylon, just as Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, is to come swiftly. Most biblical references claim that this was fulfilled when the armies of the Medes and Persians in about 540 B.C. diverted the Euphrates River and marched into the city under the walls. While the account of the fall of Babylon to Medo-Persia did, according to Daniel 5, happen in one day, it certainly was not destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah. The city was only slightly damaged by the Medes and Persians because its fall happened so suddenly.
Babylon remained an important city during the 200 years of the Persian Empire. It was also an important political and commercial metropolis during the Grecian Empire. Alexander the Great died in Babylon in 320 B.C. When the Jews were allowed to return during the time of the Persian Empire, many remained in Babylon. At the time of Jesus Christ there were still 25,000 Jews in Babylon. Jesus commissioned Paul to take the Gospel to the Gentiles, and Peter was to go to the circumcision (Israelites). In carrying out this responsibility, we know that Peter did preach the Messianic Gospel to the Jews in Babylon in A.D. 63 (1 Pet. 5:13). The opinion of some that the Babylon referred to in this scripture was Rome is ridiculous.
With the decline of the Roman Empire the city of Babylon was not that important to world trade and commerce. Political, religious, and economic centers moved eastward and westward. Many of the beautiful bricks were carried off to be used in construction projects in Baghdad, Damascus, and cities of the decathlon. However, this was such a huge metropolis that the majority of the buildings and walls remained to be covered up with the sands of the Euphrates River and the blowing sands of the Middle East. The decline of Babylon was a slow process that occurred over a thousand years. There was no sudden destruction of Babylon, nor was it destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah.
There was considerable activity by German archaeologists during and after World War I. However, this activity was more of a nature of archaeological pillage, and certainly not reconstruction. The top 100 feet of the Ishtar Gate at Babylon was removed brick-by-brick and reassembled at the Pergamum Museum in Berlin. After the Germans, the French and English pillaged the ruins of Babylon under the sand. Many of the Babylonian artifacts are piled in the basement of the British Museum in London where there is so much junk from around the world that it probably will never be cataloged.
In 1971, UNESCO announced that it would help Iraq completely restore the ancient city of Babylon. The reconstruction would be under the general supervision of Saddam Hussein, who made his appearance in 1969 as the Iraqi strongman by hanging eight Jews on the streets of Baghdad as a warning for others to hit-the-road elsewhere. In 1978, 1 led a Southwest Radio Church tour of 103 to Iraq. One of the sites we visited was Babylon. There was a four-lane highway between Baghdad and Babylon with brick factories along the way turning out bricks for this tremendous reconstruction project. On one end of the brick was the name Nebuchadnezzar, and on the other end was the name Saddam Hussein who, then and now, envisions himself as a modern Nebuchadnezzar to restore the glory that was once Babylon's.
In spite of the 10-year suicidal war with Iran which began in 1980, Hussein continued the restoration project. In 1987 the rebuilding of the temples, the palaces, and the gardens had proceeded to a point where a month's Babylonian festival was set to declare to the world that Babylon had been restored to its former glory, and a new Nebuchadnezzar has been resurrected, or at least his spirit now lived in Saddam Hussein. To reference a story that appeared in the January 16, 1987, edition of the Los Angeles Times, Hussein appointed as marshal of the festival a musician by the name of Bashir, who invited famous musicians and personalities from around the world-the very best talent possible-to participate in the Grand Festival. In the invitations sent out to musicians, dancers, opera singers, movie stars, kings, queens, etc., a specific invitation was extended to Madonna, the sleazy rock singer, because as was noted, she lives in the heart of all Iraqi people.
It is not known exactly how the Babylonian Festival turned out, but we would presume it fared some better than Belshazzar's affair. In any event, the long war with Iran left Hussein short of funds to complete the rebuilding process, so in 1990 he invaded oil rich Kuwait. President Bush, along with the New World Order proponents, concluded that if Hussein got away with this take-away, he would also move to include Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the other oil-producing fields in the Middle East. Then, as we read in Daniel 3, the world's leaders would have to come to him and fall down and worship his golden image.
All these plans were foreshadowed in the Babylonian Festival where he placed his huge portrait beside a replica of the Ishtar Gate; he commanded a world festival to convene in Babylon; he intended to prove God a liar, and he announced that Madonna lived in the heart of the Iraqi people. Mea Domina, Madonna, in Latin corresponds in meaning to Semiramis in the Chaldean-Goddess of Heaven. So, Mea Domina, Madonna, or Semiramis indeed is worshiped by Iraqis. Semiramis constructed the first huge obelisk (phallic symbol) in honor of her late husband, Nimrod. According to tradition, she conceived a son by Nimrod after he was dead. Semiramis named him Tammuz, Son of Heaven, and he was worshiped by some of the women of Israel who were captives in Babylon (Ezek. 8:14). This past year Madonna, the movie star, said she just had to have a child, so she did have one even though she was not married. Perhaps she was destined to fulfill the type. However, any connection between Mea Domina (Semiramis) and Mary, the mother of Jesus, is of pure Catholic invention.
President Bush based his hopes on a combined alliance of nations to stop Saddam Hussein. He announced on an international television network on September 11, 1990:
A new partnership of nations has emerged...Out of these troubled times, a New World Order can emerge...A hundred generations have searched for this elusive path to peace, while a thousand wars raged across the span of human endeavor Today that new world is struggling to be born...a world where the rule of law supplants the rule of the jungle; a world in which nations recognize the shared responsibility for freedom and justice; a world where the strong respect the rights of the weak...This is the vision I shared with President Gorbachev in Helsinki.
The subsequent effort to divest Saddam Hussein of his Kuwaiti dream was 90 percent the United States; 9 percent England; and 1 percent the other 37 nations. However, all members of the alliance were represented in some way, even though they may have only sent a symbolic firecracker. And President Bush, who was the idol of the free world in just six months, became one of the most unpopular presidents in the history of the United States, and was replaced by an unknown womanizing Arkansawyer, showing just how fickle is the uncertainty of the human mind.
The scenario for the Desert Storm/New World Order war was prophesied by Isaiah. We read in Isaiah 13:1, 4-5: "The burden of Babylon... The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts musters the host of the battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land."
In January 1991, representative armies from five continents, 39 nations, came with loud weapons to destroy the ability of Iraq to make war. Did it happen? No! Did the Bible say it would happen? No! Why? It was not God's time. However, what did it signify? We read in verse 6: "Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty."
Even though the military capability of Saddam Hussein was not destroyed, it signaled that the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord, the Great Tribulation, was near. Following verse 6 is an interlude until we get to verse 19 in the Day of the Lord: 'And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldea's' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah."
Babylon will be destroyed in an overwhelming judgment of fire, but it will be in the Tribulation, which may be near, but not now. This is why we see Saddam Hussein continuing to be such a problem today, and also why it defies reason, human or inhuman, as to why the job was not completed in 1991.
Now why would, from a New World Order viewpoint, this reconstructed city be destroyed, perhaps by an H-bomb? We keep hearing about the germ factories that Hussein has, but so do other nations. Why is the U.N. so concerned ,about the germs that Hussein owns? According to the February 4, 1998, edition of the Near East Report, both the Washington Post and New York Times have confirmed that U.N. inspectors uncovered a 1995 agreement between Russia and Iraq whereby Russia would give Hussein factories to produce huge quantities of biological weapons. Inspectors also uncovered evidence that the machinery had already been delivered, then the Russian government, evidently with the knowledge of Boris Yeltsin, lied about it. This caused grave concern in the Pentagon. Biological warfare is just not the same anymore. I refer to pages 41-45 of the book The New Creators:
At least twenty years ago Congress was warned to place government restrictions on microbiological experimentation. The April 1, 1977, edition of Time reported in part:
"Appearing before a Senate subcommittee ...HEW Secretary Joseph Caliban asked Congress to impose federal restrictions on recombinant DNA research, a new form of genetic inquiry involving E. coli ....DNA with the DNA of plants, animals, and other bacteria. By this process, they may well be creating forms of life different from any that exist on earth....What would happen, they ask, if by accident or design, one variety of re-engineered E. coli proved dangerous? By escaping from the lab and multiplying...it could find its way into human intestines and cause baffling diseases...Calder's biology chairman, Robert Sunshine, concludes: 'Biologists have become, without wanting it, the custodians of great and terrible power It is idle to pretend otherwise.'"
That the AIDS virus could have been the result of mutations resulting from genetic engineering experiments seems to be the insinuation of Karl Johnson of the National Institute of Health, quoted on page 603 of The Coming Plague:
"I worry about all this research on virulence. It's only a matter of months--years, at most--before people nail down the genes for virulence and airborne transmission of influenza, Ebola, Lassa, you name it. And then any crackpot with a few thousand dollars' worth of equipment and a college biology education under his belt could manufacture what would make Ebola look like a walk around the park."
Microbes and viruses can be genetically re-engineered now to cause any number of new and deadly diseases. Jesus said that disease epidemics would be a judgment in the last days, and we read of the boils that would affect men on earth during the Tribulation. There are at least 30 references to pestilences in the books of the prophets, and many of these are in a Tribulation setting. Hussein has played games with the U.N. inspectors, and through trickery keeps moving his deadly pets from one location to the next.
A news report from Jerusalem titled "Saddam Hiding Bio-Weapons Under Babylon?" dated March 9,1998, is interestingly related to our subject:
German newspapers this week published new disclosures on Iraq's military capabilities. The Daily Bold reported that Saddam Hussein has hidden a large supply of nerve gas and biological weapons beneath the ruins of ancient Babylon, on the assumption that the United States would not dare to bomb the archaeological and historical site.
A few weeks ago I watched an imagined scenario on television where the inhabitants of a town had been infected with a deadly new virus for which no vaccine could be found. In order to save the country, the military was ordered to obliterate the town and its inhabitants to save the rest of the nation and, perhaps, the world.
The biblical scenario in Isaiah 13 and Jeremiah 50-52 specifically state that God uses the nations to bring judgment against Babylon. Could Israel, the United States, or some other nation drop nuclear bombs and missiles on Babylon if it meant saving other nations? Yes! Would this fulfill the biblical prophecy that Babylon will be destroyed like Sodom and Gomorrah? Yes!
We read in Ezekiel 29 that Egypt will be so desolated that even a dog will not be able to walk over the land for 40 years. This indicates nuclear destruction. However, we continue to read that Egypt will be in the midst of the nations that will be desolated.
No better close to this article can be found than 2 Peter 3:9-14: "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hastening unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
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