Goodnews Christian Ministry
"All the Israelites were classified in related groups,
and these were already listed in the Book of the kings of Israel and Judah
when they were deported to Babylon for their faithlessness."
2 Chronicles 9:1
Babylon represents paganism per se. That is a spiritual concept and it has nothing to do with a reincarnate Roman Empire. It is a term that addresses world secularism.
In the Bible, there are only two spiritual cities on earth, Jerusalem and Babylon. In terms of scripture, whatever on earth is not Jerusalem is Babylon.
The Book of Revelation which portrays Babylon as a harlot, defines this spiritual city as the ruling authority of the earth a command fiercely opposed to the God who gave her birth. That is why she is called a prostitute. She is contrasted with the spiritual city of Jerusalem (the city Christ is building out of the deeds of the saints in the heavens) which is being constructed to replace her.
At the time of Christ this classification revolved around the people of Israel on one side and the godless society of Rome that ruthlessly governed them on the other. This interpretation stemmed from the ancient prophecies which predicted a Hebrew captivity at the banks of the Euphrates, predictions which came to pass when Nebuchadnezzar marched the tribes of Judah and Benjamine into the fulfillment of those forecasts about 500 years before the birth of Christ.
Consequently, most people at the time of Christ understood 'Babylon' in terms of Rome, the country that threatened to deal with them the same way Nebuchadnezzar had their ancestors. Indeed, Rome turned out to be the country that inflicted the second exile (the Great Diaspora), deporting Judah into Roman captivity after the fateful and unsuccessful Jewish war around 70 A.D.
Rome, however, was simply one of Babylon's 7 heads (one of its 7 empires), Babylon, itself, represented something far larger.
When Jesus defeated the pagan Roman Empire, it changed the rule of the world. For a thousand years and almost a thousand years thereafter, Christ ruled the world through His seven churches. That rule, though personified by the Bishop of Rome, stretches across the entire earth and is called the "Millenium". It is temporary because it exists only to rescue out of this world those who wish to follow God.
When that rescue is completed, the mortal wound will heal and Babylon will be allowed to take back its earthly throne and world command. The official exchange of power will take place in Rome, and it will focus in a figure which the Bible describes as a kind of 'reincarnation' of one of the previous "heads" of Babylon (perhaps Nero or Nebuchadnezzar), He will overthrow the Church along with the seat of its government, and abolish the perpetual sacrifice as he declares war on its people.
It is possible he may even change the name of Rome to Babylon as a sign of what he represents on earth.
This name contrasts with Jerusalem, the city of God. On earth God's city has been held captive, and it is out of that captivity that Jesus leads us.
The Bible tells us that God has appointed Jesus Christ to be the absolute ruler of mankind. Consequently, the only route out of Babylonian captivity is the Gospel He preached. A time period for that preaching was defined. It is unknown to man, but finite to God. Jesus said it was short. At the conclusion of that preaching, after the entire world has been warned to change its ways and turn to embrace the Lord God gave us, Jesus will suddenly return and gather all mankind into judgment for the way in which we lived our lives.
It is for that rescue and that Judgment that Jesus was sent into the world.
The Babylonian captivity is symbolic. It simply gives a name to sin's captivity. God has employed the word "Babylon" to illlustrate our human attachment to wickedness. Sin is a true captivity and we have to escape it, or die in the chains of it.
Christianity is the only road away from "Babylon's" captivity. It is the only way out of sin. Where Christianity rules, therefore, 'Babylon" lies mortally wounded, it's chains broken. But where paganism (secularism) rules, the chains of Babylon are healed and salvation is terminated.
There are no geographical boundaries to Babylon. As the world's people, it stretches from Rome to Tehran to Peking to Antarctica to the North Pole to New York to Moscow and back to Rome. No nation is left out. The only thing that changes is its ruler. Since the time of Christ, the world has been ruled by the west.
Christianity and paganism operate everywhere side by side. What marks the reincarnation of Babylon is the change in balance between these two spiritual forces. Where paganism (secularism) is the dominate philosophy, Babylon can be said to exist. Sin reigns free. Where Jesus is the dominant philosophy, Babylon is doomed. Sin is doomed.
When the Christian "conscience" is alive and operative in a community, the road to salvation is open and easily accessable. If the physical world serves Christ, and allows His preaching to take place unimpeded, then it cannot image Babylon. But if the physical world renounces Christ and embraces wickedness, or, more important, tries to thwart the preaching of Christ, its "Babylonian" image is re-born.
The conversion of the Roman Empire to Christ changed the world. Proving that it doomed "Babylon", the rulers responsible for the official recognition of that conversion, forbid all pagan practices and rituals by official edict. In a single instant, "Babylon" was mortally wounded and Christianity was openly born. The rulers of the world actively promoted sinless behavior by using their royal thrones to encourage conversion to Christ.
This showed that Government approval and acknowledgement of the divinity of Jesus is essential to His work. If Jesus is freely preached and supported by the governing authorities, God's work can be accomplished perfectly. Not by force, but by choice. Forcing people to obey Jesus is wrong and it is unnecessary. The Judgement will determine the saved. What is important is that everyone be given a full opportunity to hear the message of salvation. When the ruling authorities try to block Christ's message by directive or by disdaining it, they resurrect Babylon from the deathbed to which the Word of Jesus relegated it.
With the edict of Constantine and those who followed him being rejected by the world's governing bodies, we are seeing the beginning of the rebirth on earth of pagan rule once again. That is a sure sign of all that is coming, and a certain witness to the close proximity of the rule of the beast.
If this is the case, the day of Resurrection is close at hand.
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