Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mystery Babylon, Jerusalem, and the Throne of The Beast

First off, I don't believe Babylon is the actual Capital of The Antichrist, it's a Global Capital that holds power over him at first before he turns on it.

I also no longer view Daniel 11:36-45 as being about The Antichrist.  So I would not agree with that being a proof text of Jerusalem being his Capital.

He's definitely in Jerusalem when he performs the Abomination of Desolation. But I believe the same day he does that is when the Two Witnesses are killed, then Three and a Half Days later their Resurrected and Revelation 11:13 says.

"And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven."

This is a truly unique occurrence in The Book of Revelation. Earlier it's always pointed out that no one repented in response to the Judgments.

The Seat of The Beast.

As far as The Antichrist's capital goes. Remember, every-time you see "Seat" in the KJV of Revelation, the Greek is Thronos and is usually translated Throne in the other books.

Revelation 13:2 "and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority."
Revelation 16:10 "And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain"

The Throne he's using is one given to him by The Dragon, who we know is Satan.

Isaiah 14:13-14 "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: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."

I believe Satan has a literal Throne out there in outer space somewhere, and that it will come to The Earth in the last days. Perhaps in Revelation 9, the "Star" refereed to there approaching before the Abyss is opened may be where it is. I reject the view that that Star is an Angel.

That view I know lends itself to the Christian versions of Ancient Aliens type theories, making this star and/or the Throne Nibiru/Planet X. There is a lot of bad information in those circles, and I agree firmly with Chris White's various refutations of the Nibiru/Planet X theories that you can find on Youtube. 
 But I do think some of the theories about Saturn's Moon Iapetus are interesting.

Amos 5:25 "But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves."

Pretty much all Scholars agree that Chiun was a name for the Planet Saturn. There are lots of condemnations of star worship in general, but the one time a specific star is singled out Saturn is chosen, that's interesting. And that this is such a seemingly obscure verse makes it interesting that Stephen chose to use it in his summery of Israel's History in Acts 7:43, where Chiun becomes Remphan.

Mystery Babylon in Shinar

I agree with Chuck Missler's approach, that those who view Mystery Babylon as False Religious systems which have moved to different cities since antiquity, and those who see it as a literal city in Mesopotamia are both right.  Zechariah 5 describes the Woman being taken back to Shinar, which makes it a key passage.

Unlike Chuck Missler however I don't necessarily see it as needing to be Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon. Saddam Huessien's rebuilding of that city is important, but it seems to be rebuilt mostly just as a tourist attraction.

In my study on Nimrod and Babel I explain that I believe the original Babel was actually Eridu in Southern Iraq.  H.G. Wells was a member of the Fabian Society, who wrote non fiction books on the Globalist plans of the elite like The New World Order and The Open Conspiracy. In his Utopic SciFi movie Things to Come he envisions Basra in southern Iraq as being the Capital of the future Global Technocracy.  Basra is currently the second largest city in Iraq, and has an international airport.  It was the first city taken by U.S. troops in 2003.

Chris White argues against Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon as being the Babylon of Revelation 17-18 because it's too far from the Sea for it's Smoke to be visible to ships at Sea. Chris White still argues it does not need to be a Port City. (He believes it's Jerusalem, which I shall refute his main arguments for that latter.)  By comparing how far away the smoke of the Twin Towers on 9/11 was visible, he argues Jerusalem is close enough to the Mediterranean Sea for it's Smoke to be visible. Basra and Eridu are both I think about equally as close if not closer to the Persian Gulf as Jerusalem is to the Mediterranean.

I would also argue that how far away the Smoke is visible is probably even greater if the Smoke in question is a Mushroom Cloud. I don't have the obsession with reading Nuclear Warfare into Bible Prophecy many modern Scholars have. A lot of verses they use as proof texts of that I consider completely inappropriate.

I do however think it's a valid option to consider. Particularly in passages where Smoke is visible from a great distance, and it's emphasized that the land will never be inhabited again, or at least not for a long time. But I would not be dogmatic about it.

In his Mystery Babylon study Chris White also talks about translation issues with Revelation 17:9-10. That it should read (and he's still using the Textus Recpetus with this) that the Seven Heads are the Seven Mountains and the Seven mountains are the Seven Kings. This way of looking at it is just fine I feel, except his objective is to insist that the Mountains then tell us nothing about the Geography of the City. Problem is he doesn't explain what the point of adding these mountains to the symbolic imagery is then, why not just cut them out all together?

Mystery Babylon as "Eschatological Jerusalem" Debunked

Chris White's Mystery Babylon study I found very compelling. He argues for it pretty well, and he's certainly not doing so out of Anti-Semitism or replacement Theology, or a denial of the Uniqueness of The Church, or any other way of insisting God's covenant with Israel no longer stands. None the less I still ultimately cannot accept his view.  A lot of why comes from what I've already explained above.

The most precise technical Argument he makes is the phrase "Great City". Which is used of both New Jerusalem in chapter 21, and of 70th Week Jerusalem when The Witnesses are killed there in Revelation 11. But it's also used of Mystery Babylon in chapters 17 and 18.

Sounds like a strong argument, but I agree with what Chuck Missler likes to say. The Bible is a tale of Two Cities. Jerusalem as the City of God, and Babylon as the City of Satan or the City of Man. So both cities can be Biblically called the "Great City", their mirror images of each other.  I talk about this issue in more detail here.

The core symbolic Augment is how Israel in disobedience is symbolically represented by a Harlot in Hosea.

Whoredom is used symbolically of Idolatry/Paganism in two different senses. In one sense the Whore is the worshiper and the clients are the Idols/false gods. This sense is how it's used of Israel, but Adultery is the more popular symbol for that context, even when the Harlot imagery is there the Adultery image is also, especially in Hosea. No reference to Adultery exists in Revelations 17 or 18.

The other sense has the worshiper as the Client and the Harlot as the false god(s), or religion, or those advocating for it. This is what the "Strange Woman" throughout Proverbs is really about, the Hebrew words for "Strange" used there all mean Pagan or Heathen (foreigner strictly, but here clearly foreign in the religious sense). That is more likely the context of Revelation 17 and 18, because she's committing "fornication" (Prostitution is what the word originally meant) with the Kings of the Earth, not with Idols.

This can also be used of Israel in disobedience.  But not with Israel as the Harlot.

The Harlot is drunk on the Blood of the Saints and Prophets and Martyrs. Chris White insists this can only mean Jerusalem because of Matthew 23:36 (and it's context) and Luke 11:51. Let's look at what's actually said here.

"Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation."

Same terminology in Luke. He's talking specifically about the Generation he was speaking to. It's completely irrelevant to Eschatology. Jerusalem suffered this Judgment in 70 A.D. But some people are so over reactionary to Preterism they want to deny anything Jesus said was about 70 A.D. besides the one comment that prompts the Olivite Discourse. That is simply silly, see my Olivite Discourse study.

About "from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias". I don't support the usual Extra-Biblical conjectural ways to resolve the apparent contradiction with 2 Chronicles 24:20-22. I don't believe the Zacharias refereed to here is any Old Testament personage. The typical views tell us that either Jesus refers to a Father the OT doesn't record, or in the Prophet Zachariah theory, a Martyrdom the OT doesn't record.

Notice that Jesus spoke to His first century enemies, saying, “you murdered" Zechariah, son of Berechiah (Matthew 23:35). A straightforward reading of this passage, without assuming that Zechariah was one of the more than two dozen Zechariahs of the Old Testament, leads one to the conclusion that the Pharisees themselves had murdered a righteous man named Zechariah.

Finally, considering the fact that God occasionally spoke of things yet to come as if they had already occurred (commonly known as “prophetic perfect”; cf. Isaiah 53; 21:1-10), it may be that Jesus was speaking about the death of a future Zacharias.  He did specifically earlier refer to people they will martyr in the future. According to Josephus, about 35-40 years following Jesus’ death, two zealots slew Zacharias the son of Baruch in the middle of the temple simply for being rich, hating wickedness, and loving liberty (Wars of The Jews 4:5:4).

At the beginning of Revelation 11, the Outer Court is given to the Gentiles for three and a half years. White insists this is the Second Half of the 70th week, and is talking about there being Gentile pilgrims coming to Jerusalem during a counterfeit imitation of the Messianic Kingdom.

First, this completely ignores how this kind of Terminology is used elsewhere. Luke 21:24 "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."  That terminology is clearly of the city being at least in part controlled by gentiles.  It's about foreign occupation.

Romans 10-11 is also about the Times of the Gentiles.  It's about the time during which Jerusalem is under Gentile control.  Which even since 1967 it partially is because Muslims still have The Temple Mount.  Romans 11 helps make clear this overlaps with The Church Age.

Second it ignores how this time period in Revelation 11 is the same as the time of the Two Witnesses. And Malachi said Elijah would come Before the Day or the LORD. That means it's clearly the first half of the 70th Week.

There are a lot of other little arguments he uses to back his view up.  But they don't hold much water with the core arguments weakened. A lot of it comes down to comparing the various things listed as being sold to the City with material mentioned in Exodus and elsewhere as being part of the Worship in the Tabernacle and the Temple. I think there will probably be false worship done in mockery of true Biblical worship there, but it doesn't have to be in Jerusalem for that to work.

The usual main argument against Mystery Babylon being Jerusalem is that Babylon is clearly described as never being inhabited again, and Jerusalem is promised the Opposite.

Chris White's counter is his pointing out that many Scholars studying Ezekiel 40-48 believe it's future Messianic Jerusalem is not actually located in the same location as present day Jerusalem. Some place it up further North, possibly Shechem or Shiloh.  Others further South around Hebron.

Even if that is the case. I don't believe the Completely desolate state foretold for Babylon can be descriptive of any location within the Holy Land during the Messianic Era. Of the number of cities God foretells becoming completely Uninhabited, and a Ruinous Heap.

At any rate not all scholars agree that Yaweh-Shammah is located further north. I've seem some articles argue explicitly against that theory. I myself agree with them, in looking at the lay out of the Tribal lands in Ezekiel, it seems apparent to me Yaweh-Shammah can't be any further north then the northernmost tip of the Dead Sea. Also the River that flows out splits in two and empties into the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea.

The source Chris White cites for Shechem being the location I think he misunderstood.  From what I read he does view Ezekiel's Jerusalem as being where Jerusalem has always been, but The Temple much further north being around Shechem.  The Temple is indeed far North of the City, and I see many reasons why that being in the Shechem area works well.

I agree though that the geography of the region is greatly changed. I believe the Earth Quake at the Resurrection of The Two Witnesses probably does much of that reshaping.  As well as the Seventh Bowl.

Chris White also says that even if it's located in the same place, it's still clearly a very different City then the Jerusalem we know.  The details of Babylon's fate in question however are not just saying the City "As we know it" will cease to exist, it speaks of that whole area being a desolate uninhabitable waste land, forever.

I also believe unlike Chris White and most other well known Scholars that Ezekiel is describing New Jerusalem, not the Millennium. I have written a study on The Millennium where I address the reasons why. So I believe the Jerusalem that Gog and Magog march on at the end of the Millennium is indisputably the city we know as Jerusalem now.

Preterist views.

Arguing that Mystery Babylon is any city but a Mesopotamian one requires a preterist interpretation of Isaiah 13-14 and 47, and Jeremiah 50-51.  I'm not against Preterist views of certain prophecies.   But there is no evidence anything like what those prophecies described ever happened to Ancient Babylon.  Isaiah 21 is about a battle that happened in Isaiah's time, but no where does The Bible talk about the fall to Cyrus besides in Daniel.

The Hebrew word rendered "Arrow" is, even in the KJV, translated a variety of different ways. "Missile" is in fact the most literal translation of what the word means, and the word for Bow means anything used to launch said missile. Jeremiah 50:9 says "their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain." if you study the Hebrew words here and the grammar, what it's literally sayings is the Arrows themselves have intelligence, and it never misses it's target. Before the last century the only possible interpretation of this was that God was doing it supernaturally, but the text doesn't explicitly define it that way. Now it makes perfect sense that these are smart weapons.

I've talked about Isaiah 14 in two existing studies of mine. One on Satan's fall from heaven, and the other on the Resurrection of The Antichrist. Which elaborate on why they're clearly End Times events. I have also discussed why in Isaiah 13 and Jeremiah 50-51 I believe the Medes in those passages are the modern Kurds.

On the subject of Isaiah 13. Verse 10 of that chapter is one many people see correlating to the Sixth Seal in Revelation 6. But the Moon isn't Blood in Isaiah 13 nor are Stars falling to the Earth. I think the verse more likely correlates to the Fifth bowl of God's Wrath in Revelation 16.
Isaiah 13:10 "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."
Revelation 16:10 "And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain".

The imagery of this judgment being like Sodom and Gomorrah, and the City never being inhabited again make it clearly not applicable to anything that happened to Babylon in Ancient Times. Babylon remained an important city well into the Christian Era, when the Talmud was written there. The context is purely End Times.

New researched has called into question even the claim that Seleucica's existence diminished Babylon's regional importance.

My new study here also helps seal the deal.

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