With this powerful scripture, the admonition to leave Babylon is clear. But what is Babylon? How do you know if you are in Babylon? We will attempt to answer these questions by finding what the scriptures say about the characteristics of Babylon. Based on identifying these characteristics, we should be able to recognize if we are in Babylon and if we need to come out.
Posts Tagged ‘ Mystic Babylon ’
The ten tribes were like a “deceitful bow,” for they broke their covenant. Instead of the bow being clean and hitting the mark—instead of admitting and recognizing their sinful condition, their utter dependence upon God, and their need for salvation—they only pretended to look to God for help. In reality, Israel looked to the world. A crooked bow misses the mark, even if it is aimed straight. And so Israel’s desires were not fulfilled because of their “deceitful” lips. The bow was crooked; that is, the covenant was not in proper order. The ten tribes formalistically returned to the Lord, but they feigned repentance with meaningless words.
Chapter 5 told of the experiences of the people inside the city of Jerusalem. Now Ezekiel was telling of the coming utter destruction of the high places of false worship outside the city and throughout Judah. A thorough housecleaning of the nation was coming. All cities, not just Jerusalem, would be laid waste. At the end of the age, in our day, there will be a similar judgment and destruction of everything outward to do with false religion. Prominent religious edifices, both Catholic and Protestant, will be looted and despoiled. Mystic Babylon will fall with violence.
In review, the time setting is about 612 BC, that is, shortly before the desolation of 606 BC. From captivity in Babylon, Ezekiel was told to prophesy about the coming destruction. When God said, “Son of man, set thy face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them,” Ezekiel literally turned and pointed his face toward Israel and Jerusalem and then foretold the coming doom. Since he had been providentially struck with dumbness, the Lord now loosened his tongue so that the people could hear these important utterances.
UNDER the symbol of white raiment the Lord throughout His Word represents the righteousness of those whom He accepts as His people. Their righteousness in the future state will be a personal righteousness or holiness; and the guarantee of this is the promise that all who are accounted worthy, as “overcomers” of the world to be joint-heirs with Christ in the heavenly Kingdom, will in the resurrection be granted new, perfect, spiritual bodies, free from sin and impurity of every kind, and fully in harmony with their new wills or characters developed during the trial-time of this present life.
We don’t claim to have all the answers, but using dates that we know: 1844, 1914 and 1994, we might be able to account for some of the stops. But the fact is we have not yet gotten to Jordan, we have not yet divided the waters, and Elisha (also pictured by foolish virgins, scapegoat, the group sent back by Gideon, and the other virgin in Song of Solomon, Great Multitude in Rev.) has not yet acknowledged their lack. In other words there is not yet a separation between the two classes of Christians (which we classify as Little Flock–Bride of Christ and the Great Company–multitude)
Rabbah’s being burned with fire and becoming a desolate heap had a past fulfillment, but in regard to the future fulfillment of Psalm 83, these terms indicate that Israel’s strike on its Arab neighbors will be decisive. Is there a suggestion here that nuclear power might be used?
In the antitype, Edom pictures Christendom. Just as Esau sold his birthright, the Abrahamic promise, so Catholicism was a golden cup in the hand of the Lord but lost the stewardship because of improper use. True spiritual Israelites inherit the stewardship. Esau (Christendom) will be stripped. In the type, the people tried to hide in rocks and caves, but they were searched out. “He is not” means extinction. Accordingly, the beast and the false prophet will go into Second Death (permanent extinction).
The six circuits (once each day) represent the first six periods of the Gospel Age (Ephesus through Philadelphia). An angel blew a trumpet (announced a special message) in each period, or church. (In all, there are seven churches, trumpets, messages, and messengers for seven periods.) In the Joshua type, seven priests blew seven trumpets. The seven priests picture the seven messengers, the seven trumpets are the Word of God, and the sound represents the seven messages.
The armed men of war represent consecrated soldiers of the Cross, who faithfully proclaim the message of truth. The armed men of war were from Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, although some from the other tribes could also have been included. The people in the rear picture the rest of the “Christian” world, which is a mixed company.
Chapter 5 ends on a mysterious note. “And the wind was in their [the women’s] wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven.” The arms of the women resembled the wings of a stork, which are almost like sails on a boat, billowing out to catch the wind. Zechariah then asked, “Where are the women taking the ephah?” The angel answered, “To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.” Hence the two women took the ephah to the land of Shinar (Babylon), where it would be established and set upon its own base, or pedestal. On a base she previously occupied. This ties in with the healing of the deadly wound in Revelation Chapter 13. The two that restore her to her own base, or position, would be the Two-horned beast, Protestantism, specifically the Church of England and Ireland.
The “high ones … and the kings of the earth … shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall … be visited.” The picture changes here. Earlier verses show how the Time of Trouble will affect all society with disarray and harsh experiences. The condemnation will be particularly on the “high ones” of the earth. When earth is viewed throughout its history, there have been cycles of conditions leading up to a climax requiring judgment: guilt and sin, then judgment; guilt and sin, then judgment; etc. But many have died without receiving judgment, punishment, or retribution. Now the wicked flourish “like a green bay tree” (Psa. 37:35), and those who tempt God seem to prosper. Verses 21 and 22 are summarizing that down through history, those who have failed in their stewardship of responsibility will not escape retribution.
God “girded” Cyrus in two ways: (1) He gave Cyrus supernatural power in overcoming his enemies. (2) God prepared Cyrus as a child and fashioned him for his future work; He trained him for his position as general and renowned conqueror. Not only was God’s providence over the victories Cyrus later attained, but that providence operated from his earliest youth—even from his baptism, as it were, when he was given the name Cyrus. Thus God’s remarkable foreknowledge was displayed 150 years before the events occurred.