Idolatry will be introduced by force in the end times.
When the Jews were captives in Babylon, they were subjected to coercion. Nebuchadnezzar built a statue of gold, which he erected in the Valley of Dura, and demanded that everyone worship it: Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height [was] threescore cubits, [and] the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon …//… Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, [That] at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: Daniel 3,1.4-5.
Nebuchadnezzar followed this decree with an appropriate punishment: And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace, Daniel 3,6.
We know who is behind Babylon. It’s Satan. And we all know Satan’s methods. If a path does not lead to the desired result, then he uses another path or several other paths, because he has set himself the goal that everyone should fall from the only true God, God the Creator. Now, in their Babylonian captivity, which was the punishment for the apostasy Satan caused the Jewish people to commit, the Jews were about to return to their God. Satan could not accept this, and therefore he uses Nebuchadnezzar in his plan.
He makes Nebuchadnezzar proud and ambitious and causes him to erect a statue that symbolizes both the king and the kingdom, and demands that everyone worship the statue, thereby worshiping gods other than the Creator. This is also a type of a future event. The Bible tells us through Revelation chapter 13 that we will soon face the same thing. The beast from the earth, Revelation 13,11, will set up an image, see Revelation 13,12, of the first beast mentioned in 13,1. Here, as I said, we see the same pattern. An image (a statue) will be erected, and the whole world will be forced to worship this image. Those who do not want to worship this image of the first beast will be met with the death penalty, just as Daniel’s friends were sentenced to death in Daniel 3.
Daniel chapter 3 also tells us that music will play a significant role in end-time seduction: Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height [was] threescore cubits, [and] the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the princes, the governors, and the captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up. Then the princes, the governors, and captains, the judges, the treasurers, the counsellors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then an herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, [That] at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king hath set up: And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music, all the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down [and] worshipped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up, Daniel 3,1-7.
As we can see from the text, everyone was required to worship the statue of Nebuchadnezzar, and with the worship came music. Those who would not obey the order were to be killed. In the absolute end time, an image of the first beast will be set up with an order to worship this image. Even in the end times, there will also be a threat of being killed if one does not worship the image of the beast.
I am sure that music will also be a factor in the end-time worship of the image of the beast, and we see in many denominations already now that there is more and more of the repetitive music.
Repetitive music means that sequences and rhythms are repeated all the time – repeatedly, and in that way a suggestive effect is achieved on the listener, and then you can enter e.g. a message that you want to be perceived unconsciously, so that on a later occasion you will get acceptance for precisely this message when it is given in a visible way.
It is quite clear that we should be able to sing praises to God in our churches during the service, but there is a significant difference in music. Music and music are and will be two different things. We have uplifting hymns and songs that we should sing and listen to, and we have repetitive music that is of the dangerous kind, which is used a lot in popular music, and is something that especially the charismatic churches use. This is a form of music that has a suggestive effect on people, and they become less resistant to the influence they are exposed to. Within the occult, repetitive music has been used for a long time, and we find that form of music with most great artists and famous pop bands, from Elvis’ innocent rock via The Beatles and to Heavy metal / Black metal. There should be no doubt that Babylon wants to influence those who listen to that kind of music.
An image of Christ.
In human sense, it is sometimes strange to think about how God uses Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar) and other kingdoms (such as Medo-Persia and King Cyrus) to carry out His will. God used the pagan king Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon to punish the disobedience of the Jews, and then a few years later to use another pagan king, King Cyrus and Medo-Persia, to punish Babylon for what they had done to God and His people, including abusing the sacred objects from the temple.
God said to the pagan king Nebuchadnezzar through the prophet Daniel: Thou, O king, [art] a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory, Daniel 2,37.
About the pagan king Cyrus God said through the prophet Isaiah: Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; Isaiah 45,1.
As we see, God uses the terms king of kings on Nebuchadnezzar and My anointed on Cyrus, and these are two pagan kings. Both the King of kings and My Anointed are otherwise expressions that are explicitly used about Jesus. In this connection, both of these kings are used as images of Christ. Nebuchadnezzar, because he was used as a tool to punish a disobedient, apostate people, something Christ also will do when he returns. Cyrus, because he liberated the Jews, and let almost all prisoners return to their own lands and cities, something Jesus will do when he returns. He comes to deliver His people and bring them home to heaven.
Babylon as a picture of future events.
In Daniel chapter 5 we read about Belshazzar’s banquet. Belshazzar was the son of King Nabonidus. Nabonidus had made his son king while he himself was busy elsewhere. So they were co-regents. The party of Belshazzar was to be anything but a festive banquet. That night Belshazzar desecrated the holy vessels of the temple in Jerusalem by drinking wine from them. Then the wickedness of Babylon was complete, and God pronounced judgment on the Babylonian kingdom: In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote, Daniel 5,5. What this finger wrote was the judgment itself, which read: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin*, verse 25, which means MENE: God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it, verse 26. TEKEL: Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting, verse 27. PERES*: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians, verse 28. What happened next night was that the Medo-Persian soldiers entered the city, killed the king and conquered the entire Babylonian empire. This event is an image of what will happen in the end times, with the modern-day Babylon.
* Daniel used both Hebrew and Aramaic when he wrote the book of Daniel. The first part of the book. Chapter 1 verse 1 to chapter 2 verse 4a is written in Hebrew. From chapter 2 verse 4b O king live forever, and out chapter 7 Daniel has used Aramaic. The rest of the book is in Hebrew. The Aramaic word used in the basic text is peres and is translated with both peres and upharsin.
Before we go any further, I would like to add that there are many prophecies with double fulfilment in the Bible, in fact this applies to most prophecies. They have a contemporary fulfilment and an end-time fulfilment.
Judgment on Babylon.
Isaiah chapter 13.
In this chapter Isaiah pronounces a judgment on Babylon, saying that Babylon will be laid desolate and forsaken. Isaiah stated this more than 100 years before Babylon became the world power it became under Nebuchadnezzar. The ministry of Isaiah between 736 and 700 BC. Who would have thought that this city never again would be inhabited? This prophecy has both a contemporary fulfilment and an end-time fulfilment
Verses 6-13; The coming day of the Lord. Howl ye; for the day of the LORD [is] at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid*: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces [shall be as] flames.
Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine**. And I will punish the world for [their] evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.
Parallel texts that apply explicitly to the end time. *Revelation 6,16: And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. (See also Hosea 10,8; Luke 23,30). **Matthew 24,29: Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. (See also Joel 2,10; 3,4.20; Amos 8,9; Zephaniah 1,15; Revelation 6,12-14; 8,12).
The chapter begins with the following words: The burden of Babylon. In NIV 1984, the term an oracle concerning Babylon is used. Different expressions are used that all describe the same thing. The word burden or oracle used here as a solemn, majestic message that is often used about prophecies and judgments that are directed at or uttered over various powers or authorities, (see also Isaiah 15,1; 17,1; 19,1; 21,1; 22,1; 23,1). In other words, God pronounces judgment on the enemies of Israel. Here we have such a double prophecy.
The contemporary fulfilment is Medo-Persia conquering Babylon. Sure, the conqueror came from a land far away (verse 5), but the end-time fulfilment comes out more clearly than the contemporary fulfilment. Let’s look at some of the expressions:
Verse 3: I have commanded my sanctified ones; Here I points to God the Father, and it is He who has called His saints.
Verse 4: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle; The Lord of hosts here points to Christ mustering His army. The army consists of God’s angels who follow Him when He returns
Verse 5: They come from a far country, from the end of heaven; It is from heaven that the Lord and his entourage will come when Jesus soon returns to earth.
Verse 6: Howl ye; for the day of the LORD [is] at hand; The day of the Lord is in this context the return of Jesus, and is described as a destruction from the Almighty, something it is also in reality because then is the end of the world we know.
As we see, the end-time perspective in these prophecies is more visible and clear than the contemporary perspective is.
The Lord’s day; see also This is the Sabbath, part 3, under the heading A couple of thought-provoking statements from the Catholic Church.
Verses 19-22; Babylon is laid desolate. And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in [their] pleasant palaces: and her time [is] near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.
Medo-Persia conquered Babylon in the year 539 BC. and in spite of Isaiah’s prophecy of a complete destruction of Babylon, Cyrus improved Babylon’s fortifications and city walls and put the city in a very good condition. About 60 years later (480 BC) the inhabitants of Babylon rebelled against the Persian king Xerxes, with the result that he left the city in ruins, but people still lived there. The prophecy is not yet fulfilled. When Alexander the Great defeated Medo-Persia approx. 150 years later, and after conquering the entire Medo-Persian Empire and areas as far away as India, Alexander the Great returned and stopped in Babylon. There he began to rebuild the city, but he died before he was finished. Alexander the Great, who had conquered the whole world, was unable to rebuild Babylon because God had said it would not be inhabited. But there were still people living there. Had the prophecy failed?
300 years later, in the time of Jesus, the city was desolated and abandoned and since then not a single person has lived there. The last attempt to rebuild Babylon was backed by Saddam Hussein, and most of us know what happened to him and his plans. He first got the Kuwait war on his neck in 1990-91, and this put a temporary stop to the reconstruction. Then the reconstruction was started up again approx. and ten years later, on March 20, 2003, Iraq was invaded, and on December 13, 2003, Saddam Hussein was captured, and he was executed on December 30, 2006. The reconstruction stopped, and the reason for this should be known. God has said that Babylon will never again be inhabited. This will also be the case with modern-day Babylon. When Jesus returns from a land far away, He will leave our Babylon desolate and forsaken forever and ever.
Jeremiah chapter 50.
This entire chapter is about the judgment of the city of Babylon and the kingdom of Babylon. We read from the text that the fall of Babylon is something that already has occurred. It is part of the story that Jeremiah died in Egypt approx. year 570 BC or about 30 years before Babylon fell. The prophecy becomes more remarkable when we take this into account. Babylon, the capital of the world, was so large and secure in Jeremiah’s time that it could never be conquered.
Verses 1-7; Out of the north cometh the destruction. The word that the LORD spake against Babylon [and] against the land of the Chaldeans by Jeremiah the prophet. Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, [and] conceal not: say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodak is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces. For out of the north there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast. In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, [saying], Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant [that] shall not be forgotten. My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away [on] the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place. All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.
The destruction comes from the north, says the prophecy, and it is probably no coincidence either. The first prophecy Jeremiah wrote is found in chapter 1 and verses 11-19. Jeremiah had just been anointed as a prophet by God, and the first vision he received was that the destruction of Jerusalem and Judea was coming from the north. And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof [is] toward the north. Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land. For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the LORD; and they shall come, and they shall set everyone his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah. Jeremiah 1,13-15
Only a short time later, Nebuchadnezzar came and besieged Jerusalem. Although Babylon was in fact east of Jerusalem, they came from the north as the prophecy says, because between Babylon and Jerusalem there is a great desert, which made it almost impossible to move large troop forces that way. It was much better for soldiers and animals to travel the long way through what is called the Fertile Crescent – al-hilāl al-chasīb – which is the name of a land stretching from the Persian Gulf, through Mesopotamia and further into Turkey, Syria and Lebanon to Israel.
Is it a coincidence that the destruction comes from the north?
If we go to Isaiah 14,13, we read the following about Lucifer: For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: Satan wanted to usurp God’s throne farthest north, but he failed. This is also why the king of north is afraid when he receives news from North (Daniel 11,44). When the destruction comes from the north in the end times, it means that God’s judgment falls on Babylon and her entire court.
Verses 13-15; Babylon will never again be inhabited. Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: everyone that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues. Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all ye that bend the bow, shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the LORD. Shout against her round about: she hath given her hand: her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it [is] the vengeance of the LORD: take vengeance upon her; as she hath done, do unto her, Jeremiah 50,13-15. See also Isaiah 14,22-23, Babylon is destroyed.
As we also saw in Isaiah chapter 13, it is warned that Babylon will never again be inhabited in Jeremiah chapter 50.
Verses 21-45; God’s judgement, (only selected verses).
Verses 23-25: How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations! I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the LORD. The LORD hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation: for this [is] the work of the Lord GOD of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.
Verses 31-32: Behold, I [am] against thee, [O thou] most proud, saith the Lord GOD of hosts: for thy day is come, the time [that] I will visit thee. And the most proud shall stumble and fall, and none shall raise him up: and I will kindle a fire in his cities, and it shall devour all round about him.
Verses 39-41: Therefore the wild beasts of the desert with the wild beasts of the islands shall dwell [there], and the owls shall dwell therein: and it shall be no more inhabited for ever; neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation. As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour [cities] thereof, saith the LORD; [so] shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein. Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.
Once again we have this double prophecy. All this was fulfilled literally for the Jews, and at the same time it has a clear end-time perspective.
Contemporary Perspective: Daniel 5,30: In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. Jeremiah 25,12: And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, [that] I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations..
The end-time perspective: Nahum 3,5 Behold, I [am] against thee, saith the LORD of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame. Malachi 4,1: For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. Revelation 18,16: And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
The fall of the king of Babylon:
There are almost always two fulfilments of the prophecies. Isaiah who lived approx. 100 years before the Babylonian captivity was preoccupied with the apostasy he saw in the Jewish nation of his day and that they would be exiled if they did not turn to God. But he also saw that the Jews were to return to Judea and Jerusalem and that the oppressors of Judea were to be punished. His prophecies are marked by this. On the other hand, we have a clear end-time perspective in Chapter 14, and I will try to elaborate on that.
Isaiah chapter 14.
Verses 3-11; The parallel between Satan and Babylon. In these verses we find a text that draws parallels between Babylon and Satan. We see that the conquest of Babylon by Medo-Persia leads to the destruction of Babylon, and this destruction is a picture of the destruction of Satan in the end times.
Let’s begin with verses 10 and 11: All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, [and] the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.
Who are all and thee in verse 10? All; point back to the dead that are awakened in verse 9, all the princes on earth, who represent all the kings, nations and kingdoms that Satan has seduced and used as his tools in his fight against God and God’s faithful people. Thee; must therefore be Satan. Those who have been seduced and used by Satan now see that Satan has become as powerless as ordinary people, and he is sent down to the realm of the dead. John puts it this way in Revelation 20,10: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are] and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Then to verse 4: That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!
Who is the King of Babylon? Daniel 11,38 says that the king of the north will honour a god of fortresses (NVI 1984), and it is the god of fortresses who is the king of Babylon. This goes back to Noah’s great-grandson. The term the god of fortresses must be understood in light of the fact that Nimrod was the founder of Babylon and that Babylon was the Fortress. In other words, Nimrod was the god of fortresses, and an image of Satan. The real king of Babylon, represented by Belshazzar, literally fell in the year 539 BC. and the rood Belshazzar did was to use the holy vessels of the temple in Jerusalem to drink wine. God broke the staff of the wicked ruler (verse 5) when He used King Cyrus to conquer Babylon. In Isaiah 45,1, God calls King Cyrus My anointed, and as mentioned earlier, this is an image of Jesus.
In Isaiah 14,7 we read: The whole earth is at rest, [and] is quiet: they break forth into singing.
What is meant by the fact that the whole earth is at rest and is quiet? The reign of the king of Babylon is broken, which in the end-time interpretation means that now Satan has lost all his power, and there is no one who can be seduced and destroyed, for the saved are taken to heaven for a thousand years, and the wicked are dead. This is probably also confirmed in verse 11 where it says: Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, [and] the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.
Verses 12-21; The fall of Satan. That there is an end-time perspective in verses 3 to 11 we can deduct from the next 10 verses, 12-21 which deals with Lucifer’s fall in heaven, and his final destruction. The angel who was highest in rank among all of God’s creatures, and who stood closest to Jesus in heaven, he was proud, wanted to exalt himself and take God’s place. Lucifer was cast out of heaven and since then he has done what he can to lead God’s people astray, lead them to fall, and put them in opposition to their God and Creator. But as verse 15 says: Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. In other words he shall not prosper in the long run, but he shall be destroyed.
Verses 22-23; Babylon is being destroyed. Verses 22 and 23 have been fulfilled, first Babylon was conquered by Medo-Persia, then people moved away from the most beautiful city of antiquity and history. It was torn down when the Babylonians rebelled against the Persian king. Alexander the Great began to rebuild the city after conquering the entire Medo-Persian Empire, and people still lived there, but in Jesus’ day the city was abandoned for good. These two verses are just a repetition of what God said through Isaiah 13: Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it …//… And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in [their] pleasant palaces: and her time [is] near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged, Isaiah 13,9.19-22.
What a marvellous prophecy. 100 years before Nebuchadnezzar made Babylon the city it was, Isaiah said that one day the city would be laid waste and never be inhabited again. The mere fact that a city at that time was not to be rebuilt and inhabited after a destruction is a sensational prophecy in itself. In comparison, Jerusalem has been torn down between 25 and 30 times, but each time it has been rebuilt. It is worth dwelling on this prophecy.
* never again be inhabited
* from generation to generation no one should dwell in it
* the Arabian should not pitch a tent there either
* no shepherd should let his fold rest there
* but the wild beasts of the desert will find rest there
It is said that every point in this prophecy is fulfilled to the smallest detail. Alexander the Great who tried to rebuild the city died of fever which historians attribute to a disease he contracted in India. After seeing what happened to Saddam Hussain, who was the second and so far last in the line of those who wanted to rebuild Babylon, I am willing to believe that it was a fulfilment of the prophecy when Alexander died on June 10, 323 BC . Saddam Hussein was also stopped in his attempt to rebuild the city.
These verses have been fulfilled to the letter. No one lives in the city of Babylon in our day, and since the time of Jesus, not even shepherds or nomads have pitched their tents within the ancient city walls, and when archaeologists began their excavation there, the city was full of wild animals and birds.
Babylon must fall.
All the kingdoms that have oppressed God’s chosen over time, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece have all been overthrown from the position they held when they were most powerful. Only the chameleon among the kingdoms, the Roman Empire, has not been overthrown. The military phase of Rome is a thing of the past, while the religious phase is flourishing and thriving. But from the typology of the Bible, we can be sure that one day God will deal with our time Babylon, the religious Roman Empire.
Isaiah chapter 21;
Verses 9 and 10; Babylon is fallen, is fallen. We hear this cry throughout the rest of the Bible. Although the prophet here sees the physical fall in the year 539 BC. then there is no doubt that this sequence also points to a future event. The contemporary context is very clear in the first two verses of this chapter and is shown through a terrible land that is to come from the desert. This country is named: Media, (Medo-Persia): The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; [so] it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land. A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth. Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease, Isaiah 21,1-2.
Parallels to verses 9 and 10 in Isaiah 21 are found here: Jeremiah 51,8 and in Revelation 14,8; 18,2;
When Babylon had unfolded its story, the conqueror came with his army, and he came from the east, and God calls him My anointed. First, God uses Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar to punish his disobedient people, the Jews. Nebuchadnezzar conquers Judea and takes most of the people into captivity. Only the poor were left – symbolically enough. While Nebuchadnezzar was alive, he built a statue for all to worship. After a while, he loses his kingdom for seven years, but he turns to God and regains his kingdom. After Nebuchadnezzar’s death, none of the kings of Babylon had accepted God as their king, but they go their own way and rebel against the Creator. Finally, God’s patience with Babylon is over as this nation sets itself against anything reminiscent of God the Creator. This is the image of an end time event.
Babylon of today has taken almost all of God’s people into captivity, not physically as it did to the Jews, but spiritually. Those who call themselves by the name of Jesus Christ – Christians – have been captured by the false teachings of Babylon. They hear the music (see Daniel 3,5) and dance willingly away after the seducing music of Babylon, and when the time comes when it is commanded that they should kneel down and worship the image (statue) of the first beast, they have no resistance left, and they bow obediently descends before the golden statue of Babylon, which in its end-time wrapping is worshiping of the first beast by exalting a false day of rest. Furthermore, the king of the north, which is another name for Babylon in our day, shall plant what Daniel 11,45 calls … the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain … When we get this far in history, only the most steadfast of God’s remnants in the end times have not been captured by Babylon, and therefore the king of the north will plant the tabernacles of his palaces among them. This means that Rome’s false teachings are being tried to force upon God’s faithful remnant. God sees this in the same way as when Belshazzar used the golden vessels for wine, and then the rest of Daniel 11,45 is fulfilled which says: … yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him, because God’s patience with end-time Babylon is over. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities,Revelation 18,5.
Jeremiah chapter 50;
Verse 46; Babylon is taken. At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations. Both physical Babylon and spiritual Babylon will meet their destiny. It probably created shock waves throughout the world of that time when the Medo-Persian king Cyrus quite easily conquered the city that could not be conquered. The city walls were so thick that they could drive two horse-drawn carriages on top of the walls that surrounded the city. No one, absolutely no one, in the whole world thought that the city could be defeated. But it was foretold by Isaiah more than 150 years earlier that Cyrus would conquer the city, and God said through his prophet that Cyrus would carry out God’s will with Babylon so that His people could return home.
That saith of Cyrus, [He is] my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid, Isaiah 44,28.
Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call [thee] by thy name, [am] the God of Israel. For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me. I [am] the LORD, and [there is] none else, [there is] no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: Isaiah 45,1-5.
Prophecies were also given to Daniel that Medo-Persia would conquer Babylon: And after thee (Babylon) shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee (Medo-Persia) and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. Daniel 2,39 The first [was] like a lion and had eagle’s wings: (Babylon) I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear (Medo-Persia) and it raised up itself on one side, and [it had] three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh,Daniel 7,4-5.
When we know that the city of Babylon was considered impregnable, we may understand why the earth trembles when the message was given that the city and the kingdom have fallen. We can read from the text in Isaiah 45 that it was with the help of God that Babylon fell: Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loosen the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut, Isaiah 45,1. The same thing happened when Medo-Persia in turn was conquered by the Greeks and Alexander the Great. Medo-Persia mustered about a million soldiers, while Alexander the Great had only a fraction as many. But God let the Greeks win the decisive battle by Alexander and a few thousand men marching around the Medo-Persian army and capturing the Persian king. That decided the war.
But why is Babylon judged?
We find some clues in verses 13; 17 and 31.
Verse 13 says that Babylon will be judged because of the wrath of the Lord. Then we can ask the question why the Lord’s wrath is kindled against Babylon. God himself says of Babylon in Daniel 2,37 that the king of Babylon is the king of kings, and that God has given Babylon power and glory. God used Babylon to punish a disobedient people.
Verse 17 gives us something more tangible to grasp. Babylon is to be judged for treating Israel cruelly – broken his bones.
Verse 31 tells us that Babylon has become proud. This happened when King Belshazzar used the holy vessels from the temple in Jerusalem to drink wine during the last feast held in Babylon. As we know, this night Babylon fell.
God’s wrath was kindled against Babylon when they rebelled against God’s will and destroyed what was left of Israel and eventually desecrated the vessels of the temple in Jerusalem. This is an image of what will happen in the near future. Babylon of our time, which is both the fallen Roman Catholic Church and the fallen Reformed Church, will come to a point where the wrath of God is kindled, and He judges our time Babylon according to the same measures as the ancient Babylon was measured.
But how will today’s Babylon brake his (Israel’s) bones and compromise the sacred objects that belong to the Lord’s temple?
To brake his bones. One way this is done is to set up the opposite image of what happened in the plain of Dura, where an image was set up of Nebuchadnezzar that everyone had to worship. When Babylon of our time sets up an image that must be worshiped, and God’s faithful remnant is forced to worship this image under the death penalty, it will be the same as braking his (Israel’s) bones.
To compromise the sacred objects. On the last night of the Babylonian Empire, the golden vessels from the temple in Jerusalem were used to drink alcohol. This will not happen literally in the end times, but Babylon will try to get God’s faithful remnant to commit deeds that defile them, by taking the mark of the beast in connection with the image that will be set up.
When we get to this point in history, the world will be terrified because then the Babylon of our time will disintegrate, Revelation 18,8-10: Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong [is] the Lord God who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. This happens when the One we are all waiting for comes back to deliver His people, as Cyrus came and delivered all the tribes, peoples and kingdoms that had been exiled to Babylon by the Babylonian kings for 70 years. In this context, the pagan king Cyrus, My anointed, of Medo-Persia is used as an image of Christ – the Anointed One.
The typology: type and antitype. What is said about Cyrus is the type, while what is said about Jesus is the antitype. The phrase My anointed is used about Cyrus in Isaiah 44,28; 45,1, and about Jesus in Psalm 132,17. Cyrus defeats Babylon in Isaiah 45,1-2, and Jesus defeats Babylon in Revelation 18,10. Cyrus frees all prisoners and lets those who want to go home to their respective countries, Jesus takes all the saved = those who wanted it, home to heaven.