Showing posts with the label Babylon

Babylonian Territory

The “Seven Mountains Mandate”? I was taught long ago that disciples of Jesus must live “separate from the world,” not physically, but morally and spiritually. We are “ in the world but not of it ,” and our task is to call men and women to “ save themselves from this crooked generation ” before Jesus arrives and judges the world.

Babel Lives

Babylon is both a historic political entity and a symbol of the recurring rise of empires and self-appointed world rulers .  There is a larger and older story behind the visions of  Daniel  than meets the eye, one that remains relevant to this day. The book focuses on the  Empire  that has been attempting to rule the world since the dawn of human history.

Babylon Then and Now

The story of Ancient Babylon’s demise is reflected in the sixth trumpet and the sixth bowl of wrath.  In  Daniel , on the eve of the city’s conquest by the “ Medes and Persians ,” King Belshazzar gave a feast “ for a thousand of his lords ” and “ tasted wine ” from the sacred vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had looted from the Temple in Jerusalem, thereby disrespecting the God of Israel while also praising the false gods of Babylon.

Tale of Two Cities

A key theme in Revelation is the contrast and conflict between the two cities - New Jerusalem and Babylon .  The book of  Revelation  often uses several terms to portray the same reality. For example, the people of God are called the “ servants of God ,” the “ saints ,” and the “ brethren .” Churches are pictured as “ lampstands ,” priests, and the “ Two Witnesses .” And the overarching cosmic conflict is presented by contrasting two very different “ cities .”

Lamb Overcomes the Beast

The Lamb overcomes the Beast and Babylon because he is the “Lord of lords, and King of kings”  –  Revelation 17:14-18 .  Next, John was provided with the interpretation of what he saw - “ Babylon ” is the “ great city ” that sways the political powers of the earth in alliance with the “ beast ,” and her persecution of the “ saints ” is an extension of the Dragon’s “ war ” against them. But Jesus overcomes the “ beast ” and “ Babylon ,” though he does so in unexpected and paradoxical ways.

Babylon Rides the Beast

Babylon, the Great Harlot, for centuries has ridden the Beast from the Sea and its seven heads and ten horns  – Revelation 17:7-13.  Cosmic “ Babylon ” sits on the same malignant creature that John saw earlier “ ascending from the sea .” It combines the four “ beasts from the sea ” presented in the book of  Daniel . Now, we discover its “lineage” and preview its destruction described with language from Daniel’s vision of the “ fourth beast ” and the “ little horn .”

Great Harlot Revealed

Babylon is revealed as a bejeweled harlot dripping with the shed blood of martyred saints  –  Revelation 17:1-6 .  In chapter 17,  Revelation  presents the impressive figure of “ Babylon .” She is labeled “ harlot ” and identified as the “ great city ,” and she is responsible for the deaths of the martyrs. “ Babylon ” is also closely associated with the deceptions and economic power of the “ Beast .” In her, the book’s first audience would see the city of Rome.

Finished! - Seventh Bowl

The seventh “ bowl of wrath ” anticipates the fuller description of the destruction of “ Babylon ” in chapters 17 and 18. It echoes the Old Testament story of the plague of hail inflicted on Egypt at the word of Moses. Emptying the bowl “ on the air ” prepares for the “ great hail ” that will conclude this last “ plague ” and seal Babylon’s doom.

Ingathering of the Grapes

The ingathering of the fruit of the vine represents the wrath of God on all men who take the mark of the Beast  – Revelation 14:17-20. Next,  Revelation  presents the ingathering of the “ fruit of the vine , which is then pressed in the “ winepress of God's wrath .” This is the fate of all men who swear fealty to the “ Beast ” and take its “ mark. ” The “ saints ” are gathered to the “ sanctuary of God ,” but the “ inhabitants of the earth ” are “ tread underfoot ” in His winepress.

Dream of the King

Only Daniel is able to reveal the troubling dream of the Babylonian King, unveiling the future of kings and empires  – Daniel 2:1-49.  The second and third chapters present a single story told in two parts. First, Nebuchadnezzar dreams of an enormous image composed of several materials, which Daniel interprets, demonstrating the sovereignty of God over history. Second, the king attempts to implement his dream by erecting a great golden image in the “ plain of Dura. ”

Land of Shinar

The book of Daniel calls Babylon the “ land of Shinar ,” a verbal link to the Tower of Babel and the founding of the original city that became Babylon. That incident is echoed again in the third chapter when Nebuchadnezzar gathers all nations and peoples to pay homage to the great golden image that he “ set up .”

Third Trumpet

The third trumpet results in a “great star” falling into the sources of freshwater and embittering them  – Revelation 8:10-11.  The third trumpet uses imagery from the first plague of Egypt that polluted the nation’s sources of freshwater. The “ Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river ” because it had turned “ into blood .” In the book of  Revelation , the plague also kills the fish in rivers and streams, and it “ embitters ” a third of the earth’s drinking water.

First Trumpet - Hail

The first trumpet blast unleashes forces that impact agriculture, as its plague is modeled on the seventh plague of Egypt  – Revelation 8:7.  Fire from the “ golden altar ” has been “ cast onto the earth ” in response to the “ prayers of the saints .” This is followed by “ claps of  thunder, voices, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake , ” phenomena that conclude the series of “ seven seals ” and signal the commencement of the “ seven trumpets .” Thus, we find the seven angels poised to sound their trumpets and unleash their “ plagues. ”


In the letter to the “ messenger ” in Thyatira, a structural change occurs. In the first three letters, the call to heed the Spirit’s voice preceded the promises to overcomers. From this point forward, it follows the promises and concludes each letter. This serves to emphasize the need to “ hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches ” through the seven letters sent by the risen Son of Man.

Babylon's Fall Announced

Angels announce the judicial sentence on Babylon and the inhabitants of the earth, but "rest" awaits the followers of the Lamb .  Next, “ another angel ” announces the “ fall of Babylon ,” and he is followed by “ a third angel ” who pronounces the judicial sentence on the men who gave their allegiance to the “ Beast ,” namely, torment by “ fire and brimstone .” God is about to vindicate His “ martyrs .”

First Four Trumpets

SYNOPSIS: The seventh seal ended with the seven angels prepared to sound their trumpets. A close link between the seals and the trumpets is seen as the first four trumpets sound - Revelation 8:7-12.  The first four trumpets parallel the  first four seals . Both seals and trumpets afflict within defined limits. The first four seals harm a fourth of the earth, the first four trumpets a third of the earth, sea, rivers and heavenly luminaries. Both series are preceded by the prayers of the saints that ascend as incense.

Empires Rise and Fall

Imperial hubris is the legacy of the Tower of Babel, humanity’s first but certainly not the last attempt to establish the World Empire . The Tower of Babel incident is echoed in  Daniel  when the ruler of  “ Shinar ” gathers all nations to worship his great image  in the “ Plain of Dura .” His empire was not a new entity, but the latest incarnation of Satan’s plan to control humanity, one that has been underway since human civilization began.

Food Offered to Idols

Upon his arrival in Babylon, Daniel was confronted with a predicament. If he consumed the food and drink of the king, it would impinge on his ritual impurity. While he might have wished to avoid eating “unclean” meats, more likely, his concern was that consuming the “ king’s delicacies ” meant participation in the idolatrous rituals of the Babylonian court and pagan religion.

First Three Beasts

Daniel saw four creatures with animalistic features ascending from a wind-tossed sea, representing four successive kingdoms .  In a dream, Daniel sees “ four beasts ascending ” from a chaotic sea. Each corresponds to one of the four parts of the “ great image ” that  Nebuchadnezzar  saw in his dream with the head of gold, a torso of silver, brass thighs, and its legs of iron and clay. Daniel’s vision of four creatures utilizes that same fourfold structure.

Downfall and Restoration

Nebuchadnezzar has another dream, and as before, one that only Daniel can interpret. Yahweh will remove the king from power until he learns that the “ Most-High God ” is sovereign over the affairs of men. Chapter 4 begins and ends with the Babylonian ruler acknowledging the sovereignty of the God of Israel.