WAR8 "The Babylonian Face," 28 June 2013

War8 Faces of Spiritualism Pt2: The Babylonian Face

Synopsis:

Knowing the mystery of Babylon is tantamount to securing our freedom, the driving force in motivating us to work and be successful in order to be able to do what we want, to fulfill our desires. Freedom and love are inseparable for it is impossible to force a person to love another. God will never violate His own character of love, which means God does not take away freedom or operate contrary to the law of liberty.

God’s universal government is founded on the principles of truth, love, freedom and justice. In the minds of many (practically the whole world) are a distorted picture of God, having been deceived by Satan, the father of lies. They are skeptical, in unbelief, over the true picture of God as the God of Love,  and as revealed in Jesus. Brain science has given us some insights into the amazing pathways through which our thoughts actually change our brains. Brain research has demonstrated that the kind of God you worship changes your brain. Only the worship of the God of Love brings healing. Holding to lies obstructs the healing and restoring process.

 

We need to be convinced firstly that the Bible (the main source of our information) is the inspired word of God; our Creator and the source of life. The matchless and longsuffering love of God has given us the divine manual directing us in our journey to our eternal home. One of Its most powerful elements is prophecy. As we see foretold events come to pass before us we grow in trusting the sure word of God. The fulfillment of predicted events reveals that God is really in control of history. God revealed the mysteries of the future to the Bible prophets to increase the faith of believers.

Satan’s dark and vicious identity is unmasked in the last article, War7.  In continuing this search, we endeavour to trace his cover ups from the annals of history. We are guided by the Spirit of Prophecy to study the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation together in order to prepare for the soon second coming of Christ. The prophecies of Daniel unlock the mysteries of Revelation which is one of the most important books in the entire Bible. Daniel’s predictions have been amazingly accurate for the past 2,500 years. We discover the amazing truth that we are living in the judgment hour since 22nd October, 1844. The Bible refers to the judgment more than 1000 times. Judgment is investigated before Jesus returns. The return of Jesus Christ is Revelation’s main theme/focus, one of the Bible’s most important truths, and is mentioned 250 times in the New Testament alone - once in every 25 verses. Just before Jesus ascended to heaven, He assured His followers, “I will come again.” The fact that Jesus is coming to the world a second time is as certain as the reality that He lived on this earth 2,000 years ago. For every prophecy in the Old Testament predicting the first coming of Jesus as a baby in Bethlehem’s manger, there are eight on the second coming of Christ. His coming is mentioned in every book of the New Testament except the small book of Philemon.

Revelationdescribes Babylon as "that great city" which made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication (Revelation 14:8). “Babylon the Great” symbolizes a mysterious political, economic, and religious system that is to exist in the last days. Revelation’s spiritual Babylon represents false religion. It symbolizes a departure from Bible truth.  The prophecy in Daniel2: 31-45 is the vision of one image and value of the materials decreases from head to foot. Babylon was during Nebuchadnezzar’s reign the greatest empire in the world. As the brain (the control centre)  is in the head, Babylon stands out above the other empires after her. She is the force and the influence superior to all nations with respect to religion, people, language, and race.  Babylonianism is a way of life, a philosophy by which peoples are ruled, educated, and taught to conduct business. It is by her sorceries (drug culture and the various practices, customs, ways, and philosophies) that all nations were deceived (Revelation 18:23).We need to know about Babylon in order not to be deceived and be quickened to share the truth to our brethrens who are in the dark. Knowing the time and the urgency of the work for God’s remnant people, we co-work with God to proclaim God’s final warning to the world. (14: 6-11; 18:4)

As a result of proclaiming the message of Revelation 14, two classes are developed. One receives the mark of the beast. They persecute and oppress the true people of God. Ultimately they receive the seven last plagues. The other group sensing it is the judgment hour, loyally stand for their Creator. Through faith in Jesus they keep the commandments of God. Many in Babylon will head the warning and flee from the falsehoods of spiritual Babylon and are protected from the plagues.

The reading of the article may by providence convict you to search for the truth in filling out the true picture of the Babylonian face and in the process fill your mind with the true picture of God for your healing and restoration to have the life that will never face sorrow and death.

CONTENTS

2.1 Introduction

2.2 The Holy Bible

            2.2.1 God in World History

            2.2.2 The Book-ends of the Bible

            2.2.3 The Word of God

                        2.2.3.1 Divine Revelation

                        2.2.3.2 Special Revelation

                        2.2.3.3 The Life Manual

                        2.2.3.4 The Science Guide

            2.2.4 Jesus is the Word of God 

                        2.2.4.1 God’s Word is Truth

                        2.2.4.2 "I am the truth"

                        2.2.4.3 Proven Truth

                        2.2.4.4 Truth (Admonition) for This Age

                                    2.2.4.4.1 History Repeats Itself

                                    2.2.4.4.2 Fulfillment of Prophecies

                                                2.2.4.4.2.1 Prophecy on King Cyrus

                                                2.2.4.4.2.2 The Longest Prophecy

                                                2.2.4.4.2.3 Books of Daniel and Revelation 

2.3 Bible Prophecies

            2.3.1 Prophecy in the Last Days

                        2.3.1.1 “Christ in You, the Hope of Glory”

            2.3.2 God’s People Today

                        2.3.2.1 Present Truth

                                    2.3.2.1.1 The False Prophets

                                               2.3.2.1.1.1 Two Reasons for False Prophets

                        2.3.2.2 Try the Prophets

                        2.3.2.3 Day of Revealing Coming Soon

                        2.3.2.3.1 Gift of Prophecy

                        2.3.2.4 Need for a Modern Prophet

                                    2.3.2.4.1 Function of a Modern Prophet

                                    2.3.2.4.2 Gift of Prophecy

                                                2.3.2.4.2.1 The End-Time Gift of Prophecy

                                    2.3.2.4.3 Foundational Bible Truth

2.4 Babylon, the Physical Facts

            2.4.1 The Name “Babylon” 

            2.4.2 Babylon Brief Historical Origin

                        2.4.2.1 Old Babylonian period

                        2.4.2.2 Assyrian period 

                        2.4.2.3 Neo-Babylonian Empire

                        2.4.2.4 Hellenistic period

                        2.4.2.5 Persian Empire period Babylonia

                        2.4.2.6 Arabs and Islam Conquest

            2.4.3 Babylon Attempted Reconstruction

            2.4.4 Confusion of Languages

                        2.4.4.1 The Tower of Babel 

                                    2.4.4.1.1 Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews

                                    2.4.4.1.2 Enumeration of scattered languages

                                    2.4.4.1.3 Height of the tower

            2.4.5  Babylonianism-  Historical and Prophetic

                        2.4.5.1 Hanging Gardens of Babylon

                        2.4.5.1.1 Hanging Gardens not in Babylon

                        2.4.5.2 Why Should We Be Concerned About Babylon?

                        2.4.5.3 What Is Babylon?

                        2.4.5.3.1 Economic Aspect

                                    2.4.5.3.2 Political Aspect

                                    2.4.5.3.3 Social Aspect

                        2.4.5.3.4 Military Aspect

                        2.4.5.3.5 Educational and Religious Aspect

            2.4.5.4 Prophetic Last Days Babylon

                        2.4.5.4.1 Totalitarianism

                        2.4.5.4.2 The Success of Modern Babylon

                                    2.4.5.4.2.1 Babylon Origin

                                    2.4.5.4.2.2 Babylonianism from the Beginning

                                       2.4.5.4.2.2.1 The Manifestations of Babylonianism

                                       2.4.5.4.2.2.2 Second Manifestation

                                       2.4.5.4.2.2.3 Third Manifestation

            2.4.5.5 Historical Babylon—The Type

                        2.4.5.5.1 Abraham Called Out of Babylon

                        2.4.5.5.2 Israel Encounters Babylonianism

                        2.4.5.5.3 Babylonianism from the Time of Christ

                        2.4.5.5.4 Apostasy Prophesied for the Last Days

            2.4.5.6 Prophetic Indications of Babylon

                        2.4.5.6.1 Babylon Destroyed Forever

                        2.4.5.6.2 God's Kingdom to Stand Forever

                           2.4.5.6.2.1 The Second Resurrection    

                           2.4.5.6.2.2 Judgment of the Wicked

                              2.4.5.6.2.2.1 Satan Acknowledgement

                              2.4.5.6.2.2.2 Babylon is forever Ended

                        2.4.5.6.2.3  The Kingdom of Glory Begins 

2.5  Conclusion

   2.5.1 The Law of Liberty

               2.5.1.1 God’s Standard, our Spiritual Weapon

               2.5.1.2 Thoughts Rewire Brain

                        2.5.1.2.1 Brain Fertilizers

            2.5.1.3 Worship the True God

2.5.2 Epilogue

            2.5.2.1 The Presence of Achan’s Sin

                        2.5.2.1.1 Growth of Achan's Covetousness

                           2.5.2.1.1.2 In Exchange for His Soul

            2.5.2.2 False Prophets

            2.5.2.3 Lest we forget Past History

                        2.5.2.3.1 The Lessons from Daniel

                           2.5.2.3.1.1 Conversion of Nebuchadnezzar

                              2.5.2.3.1.1.1 Some Today Like Nebuchadnezzar

                           2.5.2.3.1.2 The First and Last

                           2.5.2.3.1.3 Keeping God’s Commandments

                              2.5.2.3.1.3.1 Destruction of World to Repeat 

                                 2.5.2.3.1.3.1.1 Religious Humanism

                                 2.5.2.3.1.3.1.2 God’s Everlasting Love Beckons

                              2.5.2.3.1.3.2 The Day of the Lord

                                 2.5.2.3.1.3.2.1 Knowing God Leads to Worship

                                 2.5.2.3.1.3.2.2 The Only Solution

                                    2.5.2.3.1.3.2.2.1 Picture of God

                             2.5.2.3.1.3.3 The Final Glorious Gathering

                             2.5.2.3.1.3.4 Remember This Lasting Spiritual Message

            2.5.2.4 The Last Period of Probation

 2.6 The Next Issue

2.7 Appeal

2.8 References

2.8.1 Websites

            2.8.2 Online Books:

War8 Faces of Spiritualism Pt2: The Babylonian Face 

2.1 Introduction

In the search for the truth relating to the mystery of Babylon, the best recourse is the oldest book that tells of the history of mankind from the origin of earth (Gen 1:1) to the regeneration of the new earth and the new heaven (Rev21:1). In actual fact there is no other record available that is so complete. The Bible in the last Book, Revelation by Apostle John, describes Babylon as "that great city" which made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication (Revelation 14:8). “Babylon the Great” symbolizes a mysterious political, economic, and religious system that is to exist in the last days. In trying to unravel the mystery of Babylon, my first recall is learning about the intriguing Hanging Gardens of Babylon as one of the Seven Wonders of the World in my primary school text book (mid 1950s), but which is now considered as a fable. (more on this lesser topic in par. 2.4.5.1)  Similarly Babylon is no more. (The site at Babylon consists of a number of mounds covering an oblong area roughly 2 kilometers by 1 kilometer, oriented north to south. The site is bounded by the Euphrates River on the west, and by the remains of the ancient city walls otherwise.) However, there are 260 Bible verses on the history, the affairs and exploits of Babylon. Most crucial is God’s prophetic final warning to get out of Babylon as stated in Rev 18:4, 5: “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” As mentioned in War7, the final conflict, the invisible spiitual war, is over the issue of worship. Satan is after all human beings to worship him rather than God. He even tried to tempt Jesus, when He was on earth taking the human form, to bow down and worship him. (Mat4:9) Satan has long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world. The foundation of his work was laid by the assurance given to Eve in Eden: "Ye shall not surely die." "In the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Genesis 3:4, 5. Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the development of spiritualism to entice the whole world to worship him. He has not yet reached the full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time. God's people are warned to come out of Babylon, not to partake of her sins (Revelation 18:4). God's wrath is about to descend upon Babylon (vv. 6–10) when Satan’s cup of iniquity is full.

Our individual eternal destiny depends in knowing the truth concerning Babylon. The urgency of this revelation is commensurate with the signs of the times  telling us that the world is getting more and more out of control as is prophesied: the unresolved financial crisis, the deadlier and accelerating/increasing natural disasters (due to global climatic deterioration) and the political/social  unrests which no government could fully resolve. The Revelation of Jesus Christ in last book of the Bible is our only hope for every individual. We are now living in the time of judgment since 1844 and every day since then is one day nearer the end. (See T11) This is the prophecy of the end time prior to the Second Coming of Christ to eradicate Satan, and the wicked with the second death. We have read about the ‘End-Time Warning’ in War7; the warning to get out of Babylon. Therefore this article “The Babylonian Face” is about the Bible, Prophecy and Babylon. It is seeing Babylon from archaeological and historical records and through the lens of the Bible. It is an attempt in collating public domain information on recorded history and religious articles that give expansion on the understanding of God’s word. It is necessary to put together whatever is documented on the history of Babylon in order to test its authenticity against the Word of God so as to appeal to the secular mindset, to engage reader to examine the evidences presented and draw a reasoned conclusion on the truth. There is a decided need in briefly outlining some fundamental understanding concerning the truth (the sure word) of the Bible to provide confidence in the source. Otherwise one of the key role of the Bible, prophecy which is to tell us through the prophets of the destruction before it happens (Amos 3:7) (as the manifestation of God’s love in wanting all to return to Him to live with Him forever in eternity as was His original will, when God made us in His image), will all be in vain if you choose not to believe.

2.2 The Holy Bible

The central theme of the Bible is Jesus Christ (Jn 5:39). There are at least 10,258 verses containing either the word “Lord” or “God,” and 1216 verses containing either the word “Jesus” or “Christ. This is not counting at least 66 verses in the Book of Revelation alone where Jesus is known by other titles. The other protagonist, God’s adversary, that is either known as “Satan” or “devil” is mentioned in107 verses. Babylon as the symbol of Satan in disguise has 260 verses. The second coming of Jesus has at least 250 verses.

During the first twenty-five hundred years of human history, there was no written revelation. Those who had been taught of God, communicated their knowledge to others, and it was handed down from father to son, through successive generations. The preparation of the written word began in the time of Moses. Inspired revelations were then embodied in an inspired book. This work continued during the long period of around sixteen hundred years--from Moses, the historian of creation and the law, to John, the recorder of the most sublime truths of the gospel.( spanning from around 1486-06 BCE to 90 CE)    {GC v.2}

The Bible points to God as its author; yet it was written by human hands; and in the varied style of its different books it presents the characteristics of the several writers. The truths revealed are all "given by inspiration of God" (2 Timothy 3:16); yet they are expressed in the words of men. The Infinite One by His Holy Spirit has shed light into the minds and hearts of His servants. He has given dreams and visions, symbols and figures; and those to whom the truth was thus revealed have themselves embodied the thought in human language.  {GC v.3}

The Bible (Koine Greek "the books") is a collection of 66 books with 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament, written in different ages amazingly by more than forty authors who differed widely in rank and occupation, and in mental and spiritual endowments, presenting a wide contrast in style, as well as a diversity in the nature of the subjects unfolded. (For many Christians the Bible is also infallible, and is incapable of error in matters of faith and practice, but not necessarily in historic or scientific matters. A related, but distinguishable belief is that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, without error in any aspect, spoken by God and written down in its perfect form by humans.) The Bible was divided into chapters in the 13th century by Stephen Langton and into verses in the 16th century by French printer Robert Estienne[2] and is now usually cited by book, chapter, and verse. The Bible has estimated annual sales of 25 million copies and has been a major influence on literature and history, especially in the West where it was the first mass printed book. (using Johannes Gutenberg Press, 1450) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible )

As presented through different individuals, the truth is brought out in its varied aspects. One writer is more strongly impressed with one phase of the subject; he grasps those points that harmonize with his experience or with his power of perception and appreciation; another seizes upon a different phase; and each, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, presents what is most forcibly impressed upon his own mind--a different aspect of the truth in each, but a perfect harmony through all. And the truths thus revealed unite to form a perfect whole, adapted to meet the wants of men in all the circumstances and experiences of life.  {GC vi.2} 

God has been pleased to communicate His truth to the world by human agencies, and He Himself, by His Holy Spirit, qualified men and enabled them to do this work. He guided the mind in the selection of what to speak and what to write. The treasure was entrusted to earthen vessels, yet it is, nonetheless, from Heaven. The testimony is conveyed through the imperfect expression of human language, yet it is the testimony of God; and the obedient, believing child of God beholds in it the glory of a divine power, full of grace and truth.  {GC vi.3}

In His word, God has committed to men the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the revealer of doctrines, and the test of experience. "Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness; that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16, 17, R.V.  {GC vii.1} 

2.2.1 God in World History

World history has been divided by the birth of a single itinerant teacher living in a relatively obscure part of the vast Roman Empire.  The birth of Jesus is the marker dividing world history into its two largest epochs. Bible writers in both testaments insist that God directs history and reveals Himself in it.

     Yet, not all history reveals God’s will: humans are free to make bad choices, choices that influence history. The point is that just because God works through history doesn’t mean He causes all that happens. What it means, instead, is that, despite the machinations and evil of human beings, God is there, working out His ultimate will and that He will bring human history to a grand and glorious close.

     “In the annals of human history the growth of nations, the rise and fall of empires, appear as dependent on the will and prowess of man. The shaping of events seems, to a great degree, to be determined by his power, ambition, or caprice. But in the word of God the curtain is drawn aside, and we behold, behind, above, and through all the play and counter play of human interests and power and passions, the agencies of the all-merciful One, silently, patiently working out the counsels of His own will. ..The Bible reveals the true philosophy of history.”—Ellen G. White, Education, p. 173.

     Biblical Christians believe that the Bible writers operated within the framework that God had revealed and that He inspired them to record the most significant events in human history. God often even provides the interpretation of these events so that we can understand what they mean. (from TOP6- The plan of Salvation)

(Bible study Lesson One- Understanding the Bible is accessible in the website.)

2.2.2 The Book-ends of the Bible

The book-ends of the Bible, the first two chapters describe the original state of paradise on earth before the fall of Adam and Eve and then the last two chapters depicting the restoration in the new earth. In between is the playing out of the events in the plan of salvation; an interruption to the primary plan of God. (See TOP5)

The Book of Genesis is an appropriate introduction to the entire Bible. It provides answers for the universal questions of the origin of all living things, the universe, sin, and evil in the world. More than half of human history is covered in its fifty chapters. The Book lays the foundation of all the Scripture. Since God is invisible, man may know of Him only through His works, which are seen in nature, revealed in Scripture, and accomplished in the life of the believer.

The title of the last book, “Revelation,” describes the content and purpose of Apostle John’s writing. It is the uncovering or unveiling of the glory of Christ and of the future events. (1 Th 2:19). Revelation is a panoramic view of the history from the first century CE to the Second Coming of Christ. Jesus is “the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev 1:8)  Revelation 1:1-3 state: The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”

2.2.3 The Word of God

(SDAs Believe, pp 5-7 http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-01.htm )

No book has been so loved, so hated, so revered, so damned as the Bible. People have died for the Bible. Others have killed for it. It has inspired man's greatest, noblest acts, and been blamed for his most damnable and degenerate. Wars have raged over the Bible, revolutions have been nurtured in its pages, and kingdoms crumbled through its ideas. People of all viewpoints—from liberation theologians to capitalists, from fascists to Marxists, from dictators to liberators, from pacifists to militarists—search its pages for words with which to justify their deeds.

The Bible's uniqueness does not come from its unparalleled political, cultural, and social influence, but from its source and its subject matter. It is God's revelation of the unique God-man: the Son of God, Jesus Christ—the Saviour of the world.

2.2.3.1 Divine Revelation

While throughout history some have questioned God's existence, many have confidently testified that He exists and that He has disclosed Himself. In what ways has God revealed Himself, and how does the Bible function in His revelation?

2.2.3.2 General Revelation.

The insight into God's character that history, human behavior, conscience, and nature provide is frequently called "general revelation" because it is available to all and appeals to reason.

For millions, the wonders and beauty of nature, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork" (Ps. 19:1). The sunshine, rain, hills, and streams, all testify of a loving Creator. "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (Rom. 1:20).

Others see evidence of a caring God in the happy relationships and extraordinary love between friends, family members, husband and wife, parents and children. "As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you" (Isa. 66:13). "As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him" (Ps. 103:13).

Yet the same sunshine that testifies of a loving Creator can turn the earth into a parched desert, bringing starvation. The same rain can turn into a rush of water that drowns families; the same lofty hill can crack, crumble—and then crush. And human relationships often involve jealousy, envy, anger, and even hatred that leads to murder.

The world around us gives mixed signals, presenting as many questions as it answers. It reveals a conflict between good and evil, but does not explain how the conflict started, who is fighting, why, or who will ultimately win.

2.2.3.2 Special Revelation

Sin limits God's self-revelation through creation by obscuring our ability to interpret God's testimony. In love God gave a special revelation of Himself to help us get answers to these questions. Through both the Old and New Testament He disclosed Himself to us in a specific way, leaving no questions about His character of love. At first His revelation came through prophets; then His ultimate revelation, through the person of Jesus Christ (Heb.1:1, 2).

The Bible both contains propositions that declare the truth about God, and reveals Him as a person. Both areas of revelation are necessary: We need to know God through Jesus Christ (John 17:3), as well as "the truth that is in Jesus" (Eph. 4:21, NIV). And by means of the Scriptures God breaks through our mental, moral, and spiritual limitations, communicating His eagerness to save us.

2.2.3.3 The Life Manual

The Bible was designed to be a guide to all who wish to become acquainted with the will of their Maker. God gave to men the sure word of prophecy; angels and even Christ Himself came to make known to Daniel and John the things that must shortly come to pass. Those important matters that concern our salvation were not left involved in mystery. They were not revealed in such a way as to perplex and mislead the honest seeker after truth-Habakkuk 2:2. And no church can advance in holiness unless its members are earnestly seeking for truth as for hid treasure.  {GC 521.3}

2.2.3.4 The Science Guide

Human knowledge of both material and spiritual things is partial and imperfect; therefore many are unable to harmonize their views of science with Scripture statements. Many accept mere theories and speculations as scientific facts, and they think that God's word is to be tested by the teachings of "science falsely so called."

If men would but search and understand what God had made known of Himself and His purposes, they would obtain such a view of the glory, majesty, and power of Jehovah that  they would realize their own littleness and would be content with that which has been revealed for themselves and their children.  {GC 522.4}

We are dependent on the Bible for the knowledge of the early history of our world, of the creation of man, and of his fall. Remove the Word of God, and what can we expect but to be left to fables and conjectures and to that enfeebling of the intellect which is the sure result of entertaining error.  {2MCP 742.2} 

     We need the authentic history of the origin of the earth, of the fall of Lucifer, and of the introduction of sin into the world. Without the Bible, we should be bewildered by false theories. The mind would be subjected to the tyranny of superstition and falsehood. But, having in our possession an authentic history of the beginning of the world, we need not hamper ourselves with human conjectures and unreliable theories {2MCP 742.3}

Disbelievers of the Genesis account have lost the simplicity of faith. There should be a settled belief in the divine authority of God's Holy Word. The Bible is not to be tested by men's ideas of science. Human knowledge is an unreliable guide. Skeptics who read the Bible for the sake of caviling may, through an imperfect comprehension of either science or revelation, claim to find contradictions between them; but rightly understood, they are in perfect harmony. Moses wrote under the guidance of the Spirit of God and a correct theory of geology will never claim discoveries that cannot be reconciled with his statements. All truth is consistent with itself in all its manifestations whether in nature or in revelation. --PP 114 (1890).  {2MCP 743.1}  The history of truth has ever been the record of a struggle between right and wrong. The proclamation of the gospel has ever been carried forward in this world in the face of opposition, peril, loss, and suffering.  {AA 84.3}   

     Wherever Christians are, they may hold communion with God. And they may enjoy the intelligence of sanctified science. Their minds may be strengthened, even as Daniel's was. God gave him "knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom." Among all the youth examined by Nebuchadnezzar, there "was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king. And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm" (Daniel 1:19, 20).--RH, Nov 10, 1904.  {2MCP 742.4}

2.2.4 Jesus is the Word of God  

The word of God reveals His character. He Himself has declared His infinite love and pity. When Moses prayed, "Show me Thy glory," the Lord answered, "I will make all My goodness pass before thee." Exodus 33:18, 19. This is His glory. The Lord passed before Moses, and proclaimed, "The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin." Exodus 34:6, 7. He is "slow to anger, and of great kindness," "because He delighteth in mercy." Jonah 4:2; Micah 7:18.  {SC 10.2} 

     God has bound our hearts to Him by unnumbered tokens in heaven and in earth. Through the things of nature, and the deepest and tenderest earthly ties that human hearts can know, He has sought to reveal Himself to us. Yet these but imperfectly represent His love. Though all these evidences have been given, the enemy of good blinded the minds of men, so that they looked upon God with fear; they thought of Him as severe and unforgiving. Satan led men to conceive of God as a being whose chief attribute is stern justice,--one who is a severe judge, a harsh, exacting creditor. He pictured the Creator as a being who is watching with jealous eye to discern the errors and mistakes of men, that He may visit judgments upon them. It was to remove this dark shadow, by revealing to the world the infinite love of God, that Jesus came to live among men.  {SC 10.3} 

     The Son of God came from heaven to make manifest the Father. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him." John 1:18. "Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him." Matthew 11:27. When one of the disciples made the request, "Show us the Father," Jesus answered, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?" John 14:8, 9.  {SC 11.1} 

2.2.3.4 God’s Word is Truth (revisiting TOP12- par 2.1)

"What is truth?" is a very simple questionOf course, answering it isn't so simple.  We can offer definitions like "Truth is that which conforms to reality, fact, or actuality."  But this basic definition is not complete because its definition is open to interpretation and a wide variety of applications. In order for truth to be defined properly, it would have to be a factually and logically correct statement.  In other words, it would have to be true.  But, perhaps we could look further at truth by determining what it is not.  Truth is not error.  Truth is not self-contradictory.  Truth is not deception.  Of course, it could be true that someone is being deceptive, but the deception itself isn't truth.

In relativism, the adopted understanding of the nature of truth, the popular unquestioned view of post modern society, all points of view are equally valid and all truth is relative to the individual.  If these were true, then it would seem that this is the only truth relativism would have to offer.  But, the problem is that in reality, relativism isn't true for the following basic reason.  If what is true for me is that relativism is false, then is it true that relativism is false?  1) If you say no, then what is true for me is not true and relativism is false.  2) If you say yes, then relativism is false.  Relativism seems to defy the very nature of truth; namely, that truth is not self-contradictory.

 

If there is such a thing as truth, then we should be able to find it.  If truth cannot be known, then it probably doesn't exist.  But, it does exist.  For example, we know it is true that you are reading this.

Is there such a thing as something that is always true all the time?  Yes, there is.  For example, "Something cannot bring itself into existence."  This is an absolutely true statement.  In order for something to bring itself into existence, it would have to exist in order to be able to perform an action.  But if it already existed, then it isn't possible to bring itself into existence since it already exists.  Likewise, if it does not exist then it has no ability to perform any creative action since it didn't exist in the first place Therefore, "Something cannot bring itself into existence" is an absolute truth, i.e. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen 1:1).   

God's word is absolute! Jesus also said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35).

2.2.4.2 "I am the truth"

For the Christian, the ultimate expression of truth is found in the Bible, in Jesus who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life..." (John 14:6).  Of course, most philosophers and skeptics will dismiss His claim, but for the Christian, He is the mainstay of hope, security, and guidance.  Jesus, who walked on water, claimed to be divine, rose from the dead, and said that He was the truth and the originator of truthIf Jesus is wrong, then we should ignore Him.  But, if He is right, then it is true that we should listen to Him. What have we to lose if we are wrong, but if we are right we follow Him forever. This is the premise of Pascal’s wager argument: What must be given up to wager that God exists? Whatever it is, it is only finite, and it is most reasonable to wager something finite on the chance of winning an infinite prize. Perhaps you must give up autonomy or illicit pleasures, but you will gain infinite happiness in eternity, and "I tell you that you will gain even in this life "—purpose, peace, hope, joy, the things that put smiles on the lips of martyrs. Lest we take this argument with less seriousness than Pascal meant it, he concludes: "If my words please you and seem cogent, you must know that they come from a man who went down upon his knees before and after." After finishing the argument in his Pensées, he wrote, "This is conclusive, and if men are capable of any truth, this is it." That is the only time Pascal ever wrote a sentence like that, for he was one of the most skeptical philosophers who ever wrote (http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics/pascals-wager.htm).  Watch the DVD “Eleventh Hour Evidence: Pascal’s Wager” by Pr. David Assherick-

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dnt5dqQFznE

2.2.4.3  Proven Truth: “I am the resurrection, and the life.”

Now was proved the truth of His words, “I lay down My life, that I might take it again. . . . I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” Now was fulfilled the prophecy He had spoken to the priests and rulers, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 10:17, 18;  2:19  {CSA 43.6}

Over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, Christ had proclaimed in triumph, “I am the resurrection, and the life.” These words could be spoken only by the Deity. All created beings live by the will and power of God. They are dependent recipients of the life of God. From the highest seraph to the humblest animate being, all are replenished from the Source of life. Only He who is one with God could say, I have power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it again. In His divinity, Christ possessed the power to break the bonds of death. . . . {CSA 43.7}

Our confidence in that which comes to us as messages inspired by God is based on our faith in God and His word, as well as upon the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. It is also based upon the observation of fulfilled and fulfilling prophecy and the fruitage of these messages in our lives and in the lives of other.  .. {3SM 28.1}

2.2.4.4 Truth (Admonition) for This Age

As time has rolled on from Creation and the cross of Calvary, as prophecy has been and is still fulfilling, light and knowledge have greatly increased. . . . In the life and death of Christ, a light flashes back upon the past, giving significance to the whole Jewish economy, and making of the old and the new dispensations a complete whole. Nothing that God has ordained in the plan of redemption can be dispensed with. It is the working out of the divine will in the salvation of man.  {TMK 197.4} 

All the truths of revelation are of value to us, and in contemplating things of eternal interest, we shall gain true perceptions of the character of God. . . . The entire character will be elevated and transformed. The soul will be brought into harmony with Heaven.  {TMK 197.5}

With every generation increased light has shone, and we are responsible for the use that we make of this light. Those who pretend to serve God, and yet cherish selfishness, who seek to fulfill ambitious projects, are lovers of pleasures, lovers of self, and are as much more sinful than was ancient Israel as the light is greater which shines upon their pathway. They have the past experience in the history of the disobedience of Israel, and they know the result of their neglect of duty. They have heard warnings from God as to how to avoid the mistakes and errors of his ancient people, in order that they may escape the results of their own course of action, and they are more inexcusable in their course of sin than was ancient Israel.

In the New Testament we are exhorted to be warned by the example of the Hebrews in neglecting their duty and in departing from the living God. "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."(1 Cor 10:11) The failures and mistakes of ancient Israel are not as grievous in the sight of God as are the sins of the people of God in this age. Light has been increasing from age to age, and the generations that follow have the example of the generations that went before. The Lord does not change, and a sin which he condemned in former generations should be avoided by us. We should heed the admonition that has been given in the past, and lay hold of the promises that are made for the encouragement of the obedient. If we are learning lessons in obedience, following the path of faith and virtue, we have a living connection with God, and he will be our strength and support, our front guard, and our rearward. The same conditions must be fulfilled by us now as were by those who received rich blessings in former days. The reason we do not have more of the blessing of the Lord is that the professed people of God serve him with divided hearts, as verily as did ancient Israel. They profess to be worshipers of God, but many as verily worship idols as did the Hebrews.  {RH, May 21, 1895 para. 9} 

2.2.4.4.1 History Repeats Itself

We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.” -E.G. White {CET 204.1}  

Satan's policy in this final conflict with God's people is the same that he employed in the opening of the great controversy in heaven. He professed to be seeking to promote the stability of the divine government, while secretly bending every effort to secure its overthrow. And the very work which he was thus endeavoring to accomplish he charged upon the loyal angels. The same policy of deception has marked the history of the Roman Church. It has professed to act as the vicegerent of Heaven, while seeking to exalt itself above God and to change His law. Under the rule of Rome, those who suffered death for their fidelity to the gospel were denounced as evildoers; they were declared to be in league with Satan; and every possible means was employed to cover them with reproach, to cause them to appear in the eyes of the people and even to themselves as the vilest of criminals. So it will be now. While Satan seeks to destroy those who honor God's law, he will cause them to be accused as lawbreakers, as men who are dishonoring God and bringing judgments upon the world.  {GC 591.1}

The last great conflict between truth and error is but the final struggle of the long-standing controversy concerning the law of God. Upon this battle we are now entering--a battle between the laws of men and the precepts of Jehovah, between the religion of the Bible and the religion of fable and tradition.  {GC 582.2} 

Investigative judgment must precede the Second Coming of Jesus in the end of time. The work of judgment which began in 1844 must continue until the cases of all are decided, both of the living and the dead; hence it will extend to the close of human probation. That men may be prepared to stand in the judgment, the message commands them to "fear God, and give glory to Him," "and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." The result of an acceptance of these messages is given in the word: "Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." In order to be prepared for the judgment, it is necessary that men should keep the law of God. That law will be the standard of character in the judgment.

We forget so quickly that we are Christ's ambassadors to bear his message to the world. We forget that we are his soldiers, fighting his battles in our enemy's country, and unless we are upon guard, as faithful sentinels, we shall be entrapped by the enemy's stratagems. We must not be ignorant of Satan’s devices while we are obeying the orders of our captain, Jesus Christ. We are individually intrusted with the charge of the Lord's household. He has left the hour and moment of his return uncertain and indefinite, (Mat 24:36; Mk13:32) but he expects us to be always ready for his return, and has enjoined upon us to watch lest, coming suddenly, he find us sleeping.  {RH, July 10, 1888 par. 5} 

Lest any should forget these important directions, Christ has repeated them with His own voice. He calls His followers to a life of consecration and self-denial. He says: "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." This means what it says. Only by self-denial and self-sacrifice can we show that we are true disciples of Christ.  {RH, December 25, 1900 par. 8}

All who join the ranks of Sabbath keepers should become diligent Bible students, that they may know the pillars and groundwork of the truth. They should study prophetic history, which has brought us down point by point to where we are at the present time. .. There is the necessity of learning more and still more where we stand today in prophetic history, uniting link after link in the prophetic chain, even from Genesis to Revelation. Christ is the Alpha, the first link, and the Omega, the last link, of the gospel chain, which is welded in Revelation. {10MR 171.1} 

With what care should everyone come to the study of the Scriptures! With what a determination to know all that it is possible for him to know of the reasons of every point of the faith. Especially should he study the sanctuary question, and the first, second and third angel's messages. . . .  {10MR 171.2} 

2.2.4.4.2 Fulfillment of Prophecies  ( par 2.2.4.4.2 to 2.2.4.4.2.1)

(http://www.josh.org/resources/study-research/answers-to-skeptics-questions/why-do-christians-appeal-to-fulfilled-prophecies-to-prove-the-bible-is-gods-word/)

Fulfilled prophecy is one of the strongest prove that the Bible is God’s word.

The apostle Peter, after testifying that he had seen Jesus Christ in all His glory, said, “And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts” (II Peter 1:19, NASB). Peter here is appealing to fulfilled prophecy as a witness to the truth of the Scriptures. It is when we witness predicted events occurring before us that we cannot refute the truth of the source. About 30 percent of the Bible is prophecy.

The Bible itself gives the purpose of prophecy, “Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done… ” (Isaiah 46:9, 10, NASB). About 30 percent of the Bible is prophecy.

I declared the former things long ago and they went forth from My mouth, and I proclaimed them. Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.… Therefore I declared them to you long ago, before they took place I proclaimed them to you, lest you should say, ‘My idol has done them, and my graven image and my molten image have commanded them’” (Isaiah 48:3, 5, NASB).

The New Testament spoke of the coming of Jesus Christ: “Which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures” (Romans 1:1–4, RSV).

The testimony of the Scriptures is that the purpose of prophecy is to let us know that God exists and that He has a plan for this world. By the foretelling of persons, places, and events hundreds of years before their occurrence, the Bible demonstrates a knowledge of the future that is too specific to be labeled a good guess. By giving examples of fulfilled prophecy, the Scriptures give a strong testimony to their own inspiration.

2.2.4.4.2.1 Prophecy on King Cyrus

An example of this would be the prophecy on King Cyrus (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1). The prophet Isaiah, writing about 700 BCE predicts Cyrus by name as the king who will say to Jerusalem that it shall be built and that the temple foundation shall be laid.

At the time of Isaiah’s writing, the city of Jerusalem was fully built and the entire temple was standing. Not until more than 100 years later would the city and temple be destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE.

After Jerusalem was taken by the Babylonians, it was conquered by the Persians in about 539 BCE. Shortly after that, a Persian king named Cyrus gave the decree to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. This was around 160 years after the prophecy of Isaiah!

Thus Isaiah predicted that a man named Cyrus, who would not be born for about 100 years, would give the command to rebuild the temple which was still standing in Isaiah’s day and would not be destroyed for more than 100 years. This prophecy is truly amazing, but it is not isolated.

There are, in fact, literally hundreds of prophecies which predict future events. The idea that the fulfillment of the predictions is a result of coincidence or chance is absurd, in light of the evidence. God has given sufficient evidence of His existence and of the divine inspiration of the Scriptures by means of fulfilled prophecy.

2.2.4.4.2.2 The Longest Prophecy

Prophecy is given so that when it is fulfilled testify to the truth. The fulfillment of events prophesied in the appointed time give us confidence in God. "All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet" (Matt. 1:22). The Book of Daniel describes current and future world conflicts, but God’s control over all events is clearly demonstrated. One of the longest prophecy given in this Book of Daniel written in 536 B.C. has traced the rise and fall of the world's great empires--Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. (even to the final Kingdom of God on the New Earth) (See ‘Bible Prophecy’ under ‘Topical Issues in contents column (http://www.wakeupow.com/152909622) and also Bible Study (http://www.wakeupow.com/152909617 under  Lesson 2)) With each of these, as with nations of less power, history repeated itself. Each had its period of test, each failed, its glory faded, its power departed, and its place was occupied by another.  {Ed 176.4}

2.2.4.4.2.3 Books of Daniel and Revelation

 There is need of a much closer study of the Word of God; especially should Daniel and the Revelation have attention as never before. . . . The light that Daniel received from God was given especially for these last days.--TM 112, 113 (1896).  {LDE 15.3}  Let us read and study the twelfth chapter of Daniel. It is a warning that we shall all need to understand before the time of the end.--15MR 228 (1903).  {LDE 15.4} The last book of the New Testament scriptures is full of truth that we need to understand.--COL 133 (1900).  {LDE 15.5} The unfulfilled predictions of the book of Revelation are soon to be fulfilled. This prophecy is now to be studied with diligence by the people of God and should be clearly understood. It does not conceal the truth; it clearly forewarns, telling us what will be in the future.--1NL 96 (1903).  {LDE 15.6} The solemn messages that have been given in their order in the Revelation are to occupy the first place in the minds of God's people.--8T 302 (1904).  {LDE 16.1}

There is much false religion even among children. Many who profess to be followers of Christ are in the broad road to perdition; and this is one of the signs of the last days. "In the last days, perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,...having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." And many youth will choose these immoral, low minded ones as their companions, thus showing that their own minds have been cast in the same inferior mold. There is work to be done, earnest, loving work, to elevate the minds of the young, and the ignorant, and bring them up to the Bible standard. Its sacred truths must be the rule and guide of our life. Coming from God, it admits of no mistakes. It is the sure word of prophecy.  {SSW, October 1, 1885 par. 7}

While the nations rejected God's principles, and in this rejection wrought their own ruin, it was still manifest that the divine, overruling purpose was working through all their movements.  {Ed 177.1} Thus the meaning of prophecy in the Bible need to be properly understood prior to unraveling the mystery of Babylon in the Book of Daniel and Revelation for God desire that all be saved by the knowledge of the truth that set them free from the bondage to Satan and his deception.

2.3 Bible Prophecies—What Value Today?

Since the Bible makes it plain that the specific times and dates of Biblical prophecy will not be known or understood until their fulfillment, what then is the value of prophecy?

First of all, there is much that can be understood in regard to the overall framework of prophecy. There is no reason to question past understanding of Bible prophecy on the basis of prophetic assumptions which failed to materialize. There is no reason to question God or His Word concerning the general historical truth of prophecy for the last days. What should be questioned is the attempt—by those appearing on the scene, either now or later—to assign dates to specific prophetic events. Unless or until one receives direct revelation from God which can be substantiated by the fulfillment of that revelation, there is no need to be alarmed. Prophecy tells us many false prophets will appear in the last days (Matthew 24:24). Each Christian needs to know how to recognize those who are God's true servants and those who are not. Next, the Bible foretells an apostasy in the latter days (2 Thessalonians 2:2–4; Ezekiel 22:25–28; 2 Peter 2:1–3; 2 Timothy 3:1, 5). Apostasy cannot occur unless truth is first known. God’s people are always just one generation away from apostasy is the lesson from the Book of Joshua. Moses had trained Joshua to be his successor, but Joshua and the elders of Israel failed to train their successors, and to thoroughly ground new leaders in the faith of Israel.

There was no way apostasy could be recognized until it happened. The revealed doctrine of God was repudiated because of prophetic failure and a subsequent loss of confidence. Had the specific events of prophecy occurred as predicted, there would have been no reason to question doctrine. Prophetic failure actually substantiated the doctrine. Apostasy was foretold (2 Thessalonians 2).

Thirdly, prophecy serves as a necessary warning to those who are willing to heed—and the fulfillment of prophecy serves as a necessary chastisement to those who refuse to listen. It is in the warning of coming tribulation that the majority of God's people will finally repent (Jeremiah 36:3; 42:2–4; Ezekiel 2:5). There are ample prophetic warnings concerning the consequences of sin. God always deals in the same way with His people. Those who, today, refuse to heed the warnings given in the prophecies will suffer the same consequences as those who refused to heed them during the Old Testament period.

2.3.1 Prophecy in the Last Days

(AdultSabbathSchool Bible Study Guide, May 25-31 –

http://absg.adventist.org/2013/2Q/TE/PDFs/ETQ213_09.pdf )

The book of Zephaniah (The Lord hides or shelters) demonstrates that God wants to save everyone. The living God is the God of all nations. He not only loves everyone, but He wants all saved. He delights when a person responds to His love, comes to Him, becomes a new person, and worships Him. He is teaching the concept of the “remnant” that is protected in the “Day of the Lord.” Zephaniah paints a darker picture of God’s judgment, and a brighter picture of Israel’s future glory. This extreme contrast reflects the divided religious loyalties of the people of Judah. Their worship of the Lord was often mixed with pagan practices which were abominable to God. (There are at present with 38000 Christian denominations without counting the other religious faiths.) Zephaniah’s prophecy not only presents an awesome God who will judge the entire world at the longed for coming of the “day of the Lord” but also preaches who can endure the day of judgment and how. As a result, the faithful remnant of all nations will come and worship the One true God. 

“During the reign of Josiah (Josiah became king of Judah at the age of eight, after the assassination of his father, King Amon, and reigned for thirty-one years, from 641/640 to 610/609 BC.)  the word of the Lord came to Zephaniah, specifying plainly the results of continued apostasy, and calling the attention of the true church to the glorious prospect beyond. His prophecies of impending judgment upon Judah apply with equal force to the judgments that are to fall upon an impenitent world at the time of the second advent of Christ.” (PK, p. 389)

Look around. However alluring, the world is doomed to ultimate destruction. One does not even need to believe in the Bible to see how easily this destruction could happen. The Lord is our only hope. We must learn to lean on Him more and more and not trust in the vain and empty things of this world.

2.3.1.1 “Christ in You, the Hope of Glory” (Col 1:27)

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.’  (Zeph. 3:17, NIV).

In the closing section of his book (Zeph. 3:9–20), Zephaniah turns from a theme of anger to one of restoration. Beyond the judgment, we come to God’s ultimate goals. When the nations have been disciplined, they will together call on the Lord and serve Him cordially. The lips of the people will be purified so that all may worship and praise the Lord by serving Him. A small, yet humble and faithful remnant will survive in Judah and will take the place of the proud leaders.

Most important, God will dwell among His people, and He will make past wrongs right. No longer will His people need to live in fear, because the Lord will be with them, dwelling in their midst. He will be their Deliverer and Savior. ‘They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid” (Zeph. 3:13, NIV).

Such blessings would normally cause God’s people to rejoice over Him, but the prophet declares that God will rejoice over them. His love and joy for His people will be so great that He will shout over them with jubilation. (cf. Isa. 62:5, 65:19)

The great King, the divine Warrior, will protect and vindicate His people. He will grant them all the benefits of His victory, the one that He won for us at the Cross. He will exalt the humble and turn disgrace, suffering, and alienation into an experience of honor, blessings, and His own presence. Prominence will be given to the lame and the outcast, a theme that lies at the heart of the message proclaimed by Jesus Christ.

The remnant (such as the Seventh-day Adventists- see par 2.3.2.4.3) who trust in the promise of the Second Coming must  learn to live day by day with that hope especially in times of trouble when the world offers us nothing but sorrow.

2.3.2 God’s People Today (ref 2.7.1.10)

Spiritual Israel is repeating history. Like Israel of old, they are turning from God. And like Israel of old, those who leave God's revealed way of life seldom return. But remember, our entering into salvation (as Israel of old entered into the promised land) will not be determined by our understanding of the specifics about prophecy. The Bible prophecies and their fulfillments are recorded as examples for us today (1Corinthians 10:6, 11; Romans 15:4).

God's people today—the Church, spiritual Israel—have drifted so far from God that even the idea of divine revelation is ridiculed. Most of God's people have forgotten how they were called to a knowledge of the Truth and how they were converted. They are lost in a spiritual wilderness of confusion and doubt. Yes, God says, "My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray . . ." (Jeremiah 50:6). Physical Israel is depicted as being in a state of confusion and bewilderment at the time of Christ's return—and so is spiritual Israel, the remnant Church of God!

Jeremiah 23:20–21 tells us false prophets will be rampant in the last days. The same thing is stated in 2 Peter 2, Revelation 16 and Revelation 19. Because of the times in which we live, these prophets will be able to appeal to what people want to hear (2 Timothy 3:1–5; 4:2–4). Their messages may include statements about the return of Christ. But little or nothing will be said to make people aware of how they are displeasing God—how sin will bring His wrath upon a disobedient world. The truth they bring will be so "watered down" there will be little resemblance to the message Jesus preached: A message about the need to repent and turn from sin—the transgression of God's Law!

The proof of God's true prophets, on the other hand, is as follows: 1) Their "good news" is substantiated by the fulfillment of what they preach. 2) What they say does not contradict the Bible!

Those prophets who contradicted Jeremiah's message (compare Jeremiah 28:1–4 with Jeremiah 29:1–9) wanted prestige, popularity, and the security which comes with having many followers. Why should it be any different today?

False prophets wanted the approbation and approval of "the powers that be." This is made abundantly clear in First Kings, chapter twenty-two. Only Micaiah remained faithful to the Truth. The message of the false prophets was contradictory to that which was preached by Micaiah (1 Kings 22:6, 19). Micaiah was not popular since he refused to yield to "popular opinion."

Jesus warned about workers of "iniquity" (lawlessness) who would prophesy in His name (Matthew 7:21–23). That is, originally they would come as His true prophets, but they would apostatize. Because they began to assume responsibilities and messages not given to them, they would depart from obedience. They would preach from their own self-deception (Jeremiah 14:14), refusing to wait for God to give them divine revelation. And the people—not knowing how to substantiate the messages of the prophets—would be carried away by the esoteric, the unproven, the "inside knowledge."

What many fail to realize is that the long-range Bible prophecies are complete, and God is not interested in substantiating any "prophet" today! Future, short-range prophecies or present truths will substantiate the prophets who are God's true representatives, but their prophecies will have to be fulfilled or revealed to be in harmony with Scriptures.

2.3.2.1 Present Truth (See TOP12, par 2.2)

“Present truth” is a significant phrase for Seventh-day Adventists that dates back to the founding of the church. The expression implies truth that is particularly appropriate in a current historical situation – a fuller understanding of truth that was not available previously. Originally found in 2 Peter 1:12, (Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth), it referred especially to the truth about Jesus as the Messiah. In early Adventist history, pioneer Joseph Bates defined “present truth” as the sanctuary and Sabbath doctrines. Church founder James White wrote, “In Peter’s time there was present truth, or truth applicable to that present time. The Church have [sic] ever had a present truth. The present truth now, is that which shows present duty, and the right position for us.” The church has always paid lip service, at least, to the possibility that new truth may be revealed.

Whatever may be man's intellectual advancement, let him not for a moment think that there is no need of thorough and continuous searching of the Scriptures for greater light. As a people, we are called individually to be students of prophecy. We must watch with earnestness that we may discern any ray of light which God shall present to us. We are to catch the first gleamings of truth; and through prayerful study, clearer light may be obtained, which can be brought before others. {CW 41.1} 

When God's people are at ease, and satisfied with their present enlightenment, we may be sure that He will not favor them. It is His will that they should be ever moving forward, to receive the increased and ever-increasing light which is shining for them.  {CW 41.2} 

The present attitude of the church is not pleasing to God. There has come in a self-confidence that has led them to feel no necessity for more truth and greater light. We are living at a time when Satan is at work on the right hand and on the left, before and behind us; and yet as a people we are asleep. God wills that a voice shall be heard arousing His people to action.--Gospel Workers, pp. 297-300. (1915.)  {CW 41.3} 

No "prophet" today understands, except in a general sense, "the times or the seasons" (Acts 1:7). Jesus warned against setting dates (Matthew 24:36). He said only the Father knew the specific times. The Bible says the just shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4) The real test for those who claim to be true prophets will be their preaching-of and adherence-to the true doctrine (Isaiah 8:20). Those who depart from doctrinal truth cannot be the true prophets of the Eternal God! Not even the performing of miracles by those who claim to be the prophets of God is sufficient proof (Deuteronomy 13:1–3). Only if they adhere to the true doctrine are they the true prophets of God.

Until God directly (in the Bible manner) reveals prophetic truth, it is the prophets duty to preach true doctrine—not to assign prophetic dates, determine time periods or prepare prophetic charts. But false prophets in whatever age they live are allowed by God in order to test His people (Jeremiah 27:15; Deuteronomy 13:3; 1 John 4:1).

At some future date God's true prophets will deliver timely, inspired prophecies (Luke 11:49; Matthew 23:34; Revelation 10:11; 11:3)—and these prophecies will quickly come to pass. Then there will be no doubt who the true servants of God are. Meanwhile, the responsibility which rests heavily on each Christian is to "try the spirits."

( Readers who are convinced that Bible prophecies are  God’s loving  messages to guide us out of  captivity from Babylon may skip  (the nitty gritty details) to  p 20, para 2.1.2.2.1.2.4 Need for a Modern Prophet.)

2.3.2.1.1 The False Prophets (Ref 2.8.1.10)

What is very clear in the Old Testament is this: Many false prophets were once true prophets (note Deuteronomy 13:1–3). This text does not refer to Gentile "prophets" who would come into the land of Israel. On the contrary, the warning is against those from among the people of Israel who, after gaining reputations as prophets, would tend to deviate. It is a command to disregard anyone—regardless of his office—who turns from God or His Way.

We should not assume all false prophets within the land of Israel were first established as true prophets. When Israel departed from Judah, wholesale apostasy was set-up in Israel—Baal worship became the national religion! No doubt many "prophets" who were never established with a reputation of any kind were appointed to the ranks of these religions. The Levites left Israel when Jeroboam appointed priests from the lowest classes of the people. So, the priests of Baal and the prophets of the groves had little competition except for brief encounters with the true prophets.

When Israel began as a nation under Moses, national apostasy was not the established religion. Apostasy begins a step at a time. The beginning of the apostasy within the nation of Israel (long before the split between Israel and Judah) came from the ranks of the established servants of God.

Few people acknowledge or accept a spiritual leader who is unknown. Even in the case of Balaam, the leaders of Moab sought for a man who was a renowned prophetone who could accomplish what they wanted. When the Danites began their apostasy, they chose a Levite who was already established and recognized as a priest (Judges 18:19). There is evidence that Simon of Acts, chapter eight, was the one later known in secular history, as Simon Magus. His reputation was already well established before he encountered the apostles (Acts 8:9–11). There are a number of texts in the book of Jeremiah which show the relationship between false prophets and their established reputations. Some of these false leaders were even priests (note Jeremiah 2:8). It was those who handle the law who influenced and established false doctrine.

When the priesthood began to apostatize it was no problem for the prophets to "join the bandwagon" (Jeremiah 5:31). Those who turned from the Truth originally given continued to use their established authority (Jeremiah 14:14; notice Jeremiah 23, in particular). The apostasy started in God's House (Jeremiah 23:11; see 1 Timothy 3:15 for the spiritual counterpart). It was the prophets of Jerusalem who were responsible for profaneness (v. 15)—Jerusalem was the headquarters of the national religion.

To back-up their authority (Jeremiah 23:30), the false prophets relied upon the established word of others, claiming it was the word of God (v. 31). They paid no deference to original truth, but rather made light of it (v. 32). They perverted the words of the living God (v. 36)—one cannot pervert what one did not receive as original truth.

So it was the priests and prophets, who had access to God's House, who were the ones culpable before God (Jeremiah 26:7; 28:5). The struggle recorded in Jeremiah chapters twenty eight and twenty nine was between Jeremiah—a true prophet who was not accepted as God's representative—and Hananiah, the "prophet" who was. It was because God placed His stamp of approval on Jeremiah and killed Hananiah that Jeremiah was sustained in his cause. These texts are not talking about Gentile prophets who came into Israel. They are talking about influential and established religious leaders within Israel who turned from the Truth and from the responsibility given them! They were the prophets and priests of Israel (Jeremiah 32:32)! It was these religious leaders within Israel who were willing to compromise standards and truth for the sake of popularity (Ezekiel 13:2, 6, 22). They conjured-up their own concepts of right and wrong, ridiculed divine revelation and made it easy for the people to accept watered-down versions of God's requirements. They were "liberators" who delivered God's people from "bondage" (Jeremiah 23:33–34). They led the people away from the Truth, not away from the nation of Israel. The spiritual parallel is found in Second Thessalonians, chapter two. The "falling away" here, is not from a church but from the Truth.

Ezekiel 22:25–26 shows a conspiracy, for the sake of financial security, to turn from God's way of life. It was the prophets and priests who rejected knowledge and polluted all God had established (Zephaniah 3:4; Hosea 4:6). The spiritual counterpart in modern times should be obvious for all to see!

The false prophets of the Bible had no real dedication—no love for the Truth. Their frivolous approach and conduct, especially in relationship to changing doctrine, was appalling (Jeremiah 23:13–15). They were flippant in attitude and conviction (v. 32). They parroted one another for the sake of advantage within their own ranks (v. 30). Popularity, security and financial gain came about by "jumping on the bandwagon." They lacked self-control and discipline in their personal lives (Isaiah 28:7–8). They knew what the people wanted to hear and made every effort to please them (Ezekiel 13:2–8; Isaiah 30:9). They conjured-up their own ideas of what was right and wrong (Lamentations 2:14). Their primary concern was financial security (Micah 3:11). Many of them were "sold" on their own abilities and accomplishments. They somehow felt they had a special relationship with God which gave them the right to interpret situations as they saw fit (Ezekiel 13:8–9). They practiced "situation ethics." They created images for themselves and felt they were the exception to the rule, that they were above the law (Jeremiah 23:14). They had little real concern for the people (Ezekiel 34:1–5). Therefore, they went off into spiritual blindness from which there was little chance of recovery (Isaiah 29:9–11).

Since their primary desire was to sustain their position and popularity, they were not willing to wait for spiritual direction from God. They conjured-up their own prophecies and opposed the true servants of God who disagreed with them. Since the New Testament warns of an end-time apostasy and since human nature has not changed in the last 3,000 years, we should expect the same factors to be the cause of apostasy in the latter days!

One thing is certain: The prophecies of false prophets do not come to pass. Though many of their prophecies will be vague and "subject to alteration and revision" as the events fail to materialize, do not be led into believing they are of God. The true prophets will speak clear-cut, decisive messages, which will be substantiated in short order by their fulfillment. One will not have to wait "many days" to see them come to pass. The messages always harmonize with Scriptures.

2.3.2.1.1.1 Two Reasons for False Prophets (Ref 2.8.1.10)

God allow false prophets today for two reasons. Firstly, to abet the evil desires of men. Note an example in First Kings, chapter twenty-two. God said, ". . . Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? . . ." (1 Kings 22:20). The account shows how God used false prophets, inspired by a lying spirit (demon), to deceive Ahab's prophets—who in turn convinced him to go to war with Syria. God had determined to slay Ahab and used demons, along with false prophets, to accomplish His purpose.

Another reason is to test His people. This is specifically stated in Deuteronomy 13:3. The process of character-building calls for repeated tests and false prophets are often used to try God's people. This is corroborated in the New Testament by statements in 1 Corinthians 11:19 and 1 John 4:1. As stated earlier, many people are influenced by the esoteric, by the unproven or by signs, wonders and miracles. They do not possess a sense of dedication to truth. They are influenced by what they see—not by what they believe. But God warns, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isaiah 8:20).

What is important to God is adherence to His Truth. False prophets mislead those not dedicated to God's Truth and thereby serve to separate the wheat from the tares. Those who follow human beings rather than God will pay a terrible price. First Kings, chapter twelve, shows that the beginning of the end for Israel was in following Jeroboam's sin. No one is blessed for disobedience to God or in any desire to please and honor men above Him. What God decrees, man must do—regardless of what seems right (Jeremiah 27:16–22). We must never listen to the disguised logic of anyone—regardless of who that person may be—who attempts to turn us from the way of God (Galatians 1:8–9)!

2.3.2.2 Try the Prophets (Ref 2.8.1.10)

God's people are admonished not to hearken to the prophets who speak visions out of their own hearts—visions which the Bible says are nothing short of deceit (Jeremiah 23:16, 30). Christians are told to ". . . try the spirits whether they are of God . . ." (1 John 4:1). So, how can one know who is speaking the truth and who is not?

Enough is said in the Old Testament to make it plain who God's true prophets are and who is speaking the truth. Remember, the prophet who speaks by God's authority and performs miracles is capable of deviating from the commission given him. So these credentials of themselves are not sufficient proof (Deuteronomy 13:3; 18:20).

In The Book of Revelation, when one of heaven's messengers descended to bring John the gift of prophecy, the aged apostle knelt to worship the angel. The angel stopped him, explaining that he was testifying for Jesus in giving to John the spirit, or gift, of prophecy. (See also Revelation 22:8, 9.)  The gift of prophecy, or the testimony of Jesus, would be revealed again in God's last-day church according to Revelation 12:17

Scripture gives several biblical tests of a true prophet. The five tests are as follows:

Test 1 - Prophetic Accuracy

In prophecies that are not conditional, that is, that depend on a personal response to determine their fulfillment, the prophet is 100 percent accurate. Jeremiah rebuked Hananiah’s false prophesy of peace said that the one who prophesied of peace is the prophet truly sent by the Lord, only if his prediction comes true. (Jeremiah 28:9) The so-called prophets of our day miss the mark completely on this test. A few of their predictions may come to pass, but most are never fulfilled.

Test 2 - The Prophet's Relationship to the Bible 

The true gift of prophecy does not lead away from, but back to, the Bible. The Bible is always supreme. It is the sole criterion for the establishment of doctrine. If a prophet is apparently accurate but leads away from the truths of Scripture, you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. (Deuteronomy 13:1-4)

Test 3 - The True Gift of Prophecy Exalts Jesus and His Law

All Bible prophets exalt God's law. “To the law and to the testimony: if they do not speak according to this word, it is because  there is  no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God (1 John 4:2). Elijah called Israel from idolatry to the true God. Nehemiah preached for a reform in Sabbath-keeping. John the Baptist condemned Herod's adultery.

Test 4 - Physical Phenomena Surrounding the Gift

Bible prophets often experienced certain supernatural physical phenomena that accompanied their visions. Often they did not breathe in vision. God sustained them.

Daniel expressed, “My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe” while in vision. (Dan 10:17)

Test 5 - Spiritual Fruit

Jesus Himself tells us to distinguish between the true and counterfeit gifts of prophecy by their fruits you will recognize them. (Matthew 7:15-17, 20)

True prophets will never attempt to gain their own following in order to substantiate their own ideas about prophecy (Zechariah 1:1–6). While they desire to see good outcomes and are not against good reports, they are realistic enough to know that most people will not return but will have to suffer the penalty for sin (Jeremiah 28:5–9). Therefore, true prophets do not cater to whims and desires of the people (v. 8). They do not turn from revealed truth (Hosea 4:6) as do false prophets, for the sake of popularity. True prophets do not yield to pressure or give up their convictions because the majority disagrees with what they say (1 Kings 22:28). They know they must stand for truth and the revelation given them regardless of what the cost may be to them personally (1 Kings 22:27). Therefore, true prophets will be persecuted (1 Kings 18:4; Matthew 23:31; 1 Thessalonians 2:15).

2.3.2.3 Day of Revealing Coming Soon (Ref 2.8.1.10)

God says the day of revealing is coming, when it will be known who His true servants are and who they are not (Malachi 3:18). This prophecy, specifically for the latter days, is yet to be fulfilled. Those who have presumed prophetic responsibility will then be ashamed (Micah 3:5–7; Jeremiah 2:26; 4:9).

God is testing His people now to see who will be faithful to His Truth. He called His true people to a knowledge of the Truth, not to an organization which has lost its sense of direction. God is finding out who will worship Him only (Deuteronomy 6:13).

The majority of God's true servants have turned to vanity—to that which will not profit spiritually. They continue, on the basis of a past image, to substantiate a way of life contrary to God's Law. It was the misuse of long-range prophecies—by interpretations that could not be substantiated—which ensnared many. Until these interpretations failed, most of God's people had nothing by which to judge their veracity. And by that time they could no longer see the significance of prophetic failure. There had been no need, up to that point, to question men or the organization since doctrine had been correct. But presumed prophetic failure, along with unauthorized doctrinal changes, was the last straw for many. They lost confidence in everything—in God, in Christ, in the Bible and in the Truth.

It is vanity which motivates most false prophets, as well as those who are attracted by what they say. It is the result of misunderstanding what the Bible says about the purpose and use of prophecy. False prophets prosper because there are people willing to listen—people who feel supposed prophetic understanding and insight makes them spiritually superior to others. The plethora of prophets in our day amply attests to this fact. If Ezekiel 13:2 and Jeremiah 27:9–10, 14 do not apply to our day, then neither does 1 Corinthians 10:11 or Romans 15:4!

It is the presumptuous prophets who will answer to God for their presumption (Deuteronomy 13:5; Lamentations 2:20). But the people who listen to them are just as guilty. Deceived prophets are deceived because they choose to be, and the people to whom they preach are deceived also because they choose to be (Isaiah 30:9–12; Jeremiah 5:14). It is largely those who at one time were the true servants of God who have become false servants (Acts 20:28–30; 2 Peter 2:1). These prophets are condemned by the very words they preach—and the day of revealing is coming, when the entire world will know what they have done (Ezekiel 13:9, 14; Jeremiah 5:19)!

2.3.2.3.1 Gift of Prophecy (Ref2.8.1.11)

The Bible says not to despise (disregard) prophesyings (1Thessalonians 5:20). While the New Testament sense of prophesying means inspired utterance, this does not exclude the understanding of prophecies found in both Old and New Testaments. The New Testament Church is built upon a foundation which includes the prophets (Ephesians 2:20). Some New Testament prophets uttered short-range prophecies( present truth) which were recorded merely as examples for us. However, the inspired New Testament also includes long-range (end-times) prophecies. The same penalties for disobedience apply in the New Testament as applied in the Old (Acts 13:40).

There will be short-range prophecies or present truths spoken by God's true prophets in the future. Their fulfillment will transpire rapidly. Those chosen to serve God in that capacity will know their commission, not by what they have done, but by what God has done (Revelation 11). They will not need to conjure-up title or office for themselves in that day!

In a general sense, all prophecy applies to the individual (Luke 16:29). Those who have rejected prophecy rejected Christ, for the recorded prophecies are as much a part of God's word (Christ was the total word, personified) as are the specific words of Jesus (Matthew 4:4). Those who refuse to accept His prophets refuse to accept Christ (Matthew 10:40–41). Prophets of the last days, who speak the words of God, must not be rejected. Those who despise what they say will pay dearly for their attitude of contempt and disrespect toward Christ (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11; Romans 15:4; 2 Peter 1:19)! Prophecies will be revealed in the last days (Revelation 22:10).

Where should we look to find the genuine gift of prophecy today?

In the church for “God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets…” (1 Corinthians 12:28).

When we discover God’s faithful commandment-keeping church, we should also look within the church for the gift of prophecy. Because prophecy is one of God’s last-day gifts to His church, we should expect to find it within the church. The gift of prophecy is not a doctrine contrary to the Bible, but rather one of the gifts God says will remain in the church.

What a joy it is to know that God has a commandment-keeping church on earth today. It has been raised up to prepare a people for the coming of the Lord. God promised to place the gift of prophecy within His true church. It is one of the identifying characteristics of the true church (Rev 12:17; 19:10).

One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen. G. White. As the Lord’s messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. ( Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 2:14-21; Heb 1:1-3; Rev 12:17; 19:10.)

Seventh-day Adventists believe that God has again raised up the genuine gift of prophecy in the life and teachings of Ellen G. White, who was born in a humble home in Gorham, Maine.

When she was only a child, she had a tragic accident, so she completed only a few grades of education. She thought of herself as “the weakest of the weak.” When she was a young woman, God revealed Himself to her in visions and dreams.

 She wrote down God’s messages as counsel to His church. Her books on health and education are world-renowned. Her thousands of pages about Jesus are spiritual masterpieces. Books such as Steps to Christ, The Desire of Ages, and The Great Controversy have run through millions of copies.

Ellen G. White was a humble woman who exalted Jesus and always led her readers back to the Bible. She claimed her writings were “a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light [the Bible].”

If the prophet meets each of the biblical tests for the genuine gift of prophecy, we can readily accept the gift as coming from God. If they do not meet these biblical tests, we should reject them as false prophets. ‘Do not quench the Spirit nor the prophecies’ counseled Apostle Paul (1 The 5:19, 20). God has given His church the gift of prophecy for our benefit. Following God's counsel brings greater joy to our lives. Accepting heaven's wisdom saves us from a great deal of heartache and sorrow. The prophets' messages are heaven's blessings on our lives. You will be upheld; have faith in His prophets and you will be successful. (2 Chronicles 20:20)

2.3.2.4 Need for a Modern Prophet (Ref2.8.1.11)

(Fundamental Beliefs No. 18- Why a Modern Prophet? by Dr. Alberto R. Timm, Adventist World, March 2013)

Seventh-day Adventists accept “the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms.”2 If this is so, why do Adventists also accept Ellen White (1827-1915) as a true prophet? Do we actually need the modern manifestation of the prophetic gift? In answering these questions we must recognize, first of all, that even in biblical times there were several true prophets whose writings were not included in the Bible (cf. 1 Chron. 29:29). For Adventists, Ellen White is another true noncanonical prophet called by God for a very crucial moment of history—the time of the end.

If modern Christianity were a homogeneous religious body, solidly grounded on the authority of God’s Word, there would be no need for a manifestation of the prophetic gift in these last days. But in a world in which Christianity is more divided about the understanding of the Bible than ever before, (about 38,000 Christian denominations)3 such a gift is needed to scrub clean the misinterpretations of Scripture caused by the vast amount of antibiblical assumptions derived from human traditions, human reason, personal experience, and modern culture. So instead of replacing the Bible, the modern gift of prophecy helps readers to allow the Bible to interpret itself without being distorted by human biases.

2.3.2.4.1 Function of a Modern Prophet (Ref2.8.1.11)

Adventists believe that at the end of the 2300 prophetic days (see Dan. 8:9-14) truth would be restored by the preaching of the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14:6-12. As in other crucial moments described in Scripture, this end-time restoration also took place with special prophetic assistance to bring People back to the Bible:

(1) To direct attention to the Bible,

(2) To aid in understanding the Bible, and

(3) To help in applying Bible principles in our lives.

These functions of the prophetic gift are not limited to the early days of the Adventist movement: they should continue assisting us until the end of human history.

Jesus described it well in His parable of the great supper (Luke 14:15-24). Many people today are extremely distracted by their material possessions (verse 18), work (verse 19), and social activities (verse 20). In addition, modern communication devices and the entertainment industry are absorbing much of the time that we should be spending with God’s Word. As important as these potential distractions might be, nothing should ever replace our spiritual priorities. As I once read on a bumper sticker: “Not to have time for God means to live a time wasted life.” Undoubtedly, we need to be reminded constantly of our spiritual priorities (see Matt. 6:33). A modern manifestation of the gift of prophecy was given to direct our attention back to the Bible.

Even those who spend time with the Bible are tempted to distort its true meaning. As already mentioned, God gave us in Ellen White a modern prophet to help free us from the human traditions that tend to distort our understanding of God’s Word. Her writings are “a divine prophetic filter that helps us to remove all the human rubble that tradition has artificially imposed on the Bible, so that the divine message of the Scriptures can flow pure and clean into our hearts.”5

It’s a scary thought that even Satan can understand God’s Word without allowing it to transform his life (James 2:19). Ellen White warns that “many accept an intellectual religion, a form of godliness, when the heart is not cleansed.”6 And she adds, “A man may hear and acknowledge the whole truth, and yet know nothing of personal piety and true experimental religion. He may explain the way of salvation to others, and yet himself be a castaway.”7 The modern manifestation of the spirit of prophecy was provided to help us submit to the sanctifying influence of God’s Word (see John 17:17; Matt. 5:13-16).

2.3.2.4.2 The End-Time Gift of Prophecy (Ref2.8.1.20)

Matthew 24:24—“For there shall arise false christs and false prophets and shall show great signs and wonders, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

The devil falsifies that which God has true. The gift of prophecy is going to arise in the last days.

We need to understand the method of historicism, which shows that the great prophecies of Daniel and Revelation follow a delineated historical sequence of events. They are called chained prophecies. One event follows another event in sequence. Without understanding this, we will not be able to know when and where the end-time gift of prophecy will arise.

Most Christians today are either Preterists or Futurists. The Futurists believe that most of the prophecies about the end-time beast, the little horn, are still to be fulfilled. The Preterists believe that those prophecies were already fulfilled in the past. SDAs are historicists. SDAs believe that prophecies began to be fulfilled in the days when the prophet wrote and it fulfils without interruption in a sequence of events culminating with the setting up of Christ’s everlasting kingdom.

Ps Bohr in his sermon “The End-Time Gift of Prophecy: When and Where Will It Arise?” at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ygh-IfY4kpk  explains in great details by comparing  Daniel 7, Revelation 12 and Revelation 13 to answer the question and provide the  exact place and time when we  can expect the gift of prophecy to appear. We have the Old Testament period in all three of these chapters, Daniel 7, Revelation 12 and Revelation 13. In Revelation 12 we have the woman who hasn’t had the child. In Revelation 13, we have the lion, bear, and leopard in reverse order. They all describe the dragon period next. The dragon in Revelation 12 wants to slay the child. The dragon in Revelation 13 gives his power to the beast, just like the dragon in Daniel 7 gives his power to the little horn. In Revelation 13, we also find this dragon giving his power to the beast. The dragon in all 3 chapters has 10 horns. In all 3 chapters we have a period of 1260 years. In Daniel 7, we don’t have anything about the earth helping the woman and the dragon being enraged with God’s people. In Revelation 12, we have the earth helping the woman and swallowing up the waters of persecution. The devil is enraged with the woman and goes to make war against her because she keeps the commandments of God and has the testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy, the very two things that the little horn was trying to do. He tried to change God’s law and tried to change the prophetic times in God’s calendar. We can see it in Futurism and Preterism, counterfeit ways of interpreting Bible prophecy, leading everybody to look to the Middle East for the fulfilment of prophecy when prophecy is being in Rome and in the United States and people can’t see it because they are looking in the wrong place. In Revelation 13, this beast which helps the woman for a while, starts speaking like a dragon, imposes the mark of the beast, which is a change in God’s holy law and it is called the false prophet because it implements a false prophetic scenario.

The gift of prophecy has to appear after 1798, in the United States and the remnant needs to preach and practice all of God’s commandments and they have to have in their midst the gift of prophecy. The SDA church did arise after 1798, in the U.S. and had a prophet in her midst.

(Watch also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbzAsUkpfgY The lesser light)

2.3.2.4.3 Foundational Bible Truth (Ref 2.8.1.12)

(from “Who are we Matters “by Ted N. C. Wilson, President of the Seventh-dayAdventistChurch in  Adventist World May 2013. - 

 http://www.adventistworld.org/article/4/resources )

Prophecy is sealed until the time God decides to make it known (Revelation 22:6, 10; Daniel 12:9). This time is soon after the disappointment when Jesus had not come as expected in interpreting the Bible prophecy by William Miller. The time was right but the expected event was wrong. Actually, Jesus was entering into the Most Holy Place in the Heavenly Sanctuary in 22nd October 1844. (Listen to Pr. Lyle Albrecht sermon on “Hour of God’s Judgment”- Ref 2.7.1.23)

Although the disappointment was bitter, a small remnant of believers did not cast away their faith. Humbly, prayerfully, they searched the Scriptures, (Rev 10:9-11) and during the next 15 years the group grew larger as they held a series of Bible conferences. As they studied, biblical truths overlooked for centuries were opened to their understanding:

- The reaffirmation of a literal second coming of Jesus Christ seen simultaneously worldwide

- Christ’s ministry in a literal heavenly sanctuary where the investigative judgment began on October 22, 1844

- The seventh day of the week as God’s true Sabbath, to be remembered and kept holy

- The dead in an unconscious “sleep” until Christ’s return

- The three angels’ messages in Revelation 14 to be heard throughout the entire world: proclaiming the “everlasting gospel,” announcing the judgment, calling everyone to worship the Creator, identifying the fall of spiritual “Babylon,” warning all to avoid the “mark of the beast,” and identifying God’s end-time, remnant people as “those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (verse 12).

This remnant people will “have the testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 12:17), and that “testimony of Jesus” is the “spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10). This gift of prophetic guidance was recognized in the visions and writings of Ellen G. White and validated as a source of continued guidance for the remnant church.

No other church in existence accepted these vital biblical truths. Watch DVD of Ted Wilson's Sermon at 2011 ASI for a full explanation-

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkoHGrmLhNE)

 2.4 Babylon, the Physical Facts

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylon )

Babylon was an Akkadian city-state (founded in 1894 BC by an Amorite dynasty) of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Hillah, Babylon Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometres (53 mi) south of Baghdad. All that remains of the original ancient famed city of Babylon today is a large mound, or tell, of broken mud-brick buildings and debris in the fertile Mesopotamian plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. (The original site at Babylon consists of a number of mounds covering an oblong area roughly 2 kilometers by 1 kilometer, oriented north to south. The site is bounded by the EuphratesRiver on the west, and by the remains of the ancient city walls otherwise.) The city itself was built upon the Euphrates, and divided in equal parts along its left and right banks, with steep embankments to contain the river's seasonal floods.

2.4.1 The Name “Babylon” 

The Greek form Babylon (Βαβυλών) is an adaptation of Akkadian Babili. The Babylonian name as it stood in the 1st millennium BC had been changed from an earlier Babilli in early 2nd millennium BC, meaning "Gate of God" or "Gateway of the God" (bāb-ili) by popular etymology.[2] The earlier name Babilla appears to be an adaptation of a non-Semitic source of unknown origin or meaning.[3]

In the Hebrew Bible, the name appears as בָּבֶל (Babel; Tiberian בָּבֶל Bāvel; Syriac ܒܒܠ Bāwēl), interpreted in the Book of Genesis (11:9) to mean "confusion" (viz. of languages), from the verb בלבל bilbél, "to confuse".

2.4.2 Babylon Brief Historical Origin

Available historical resources suggest that Babylon was at first a small town which had sprung up by the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC. The town flourished and attained independence with the rise of the First Amorite Babylonian Dynasty in 1894 BC. Claiming to be the successor of the ancient city of Eridu, Babylon eclipsed Nippur as the "holy city" of Mesopotamia around the time an Amorite king named Hammurabi first created the short lived Babylonian Empire; this quickly dissolved upon his death and Babylon spent long periods under Assyrian, Kassite and Elamite domination. Babylon again became the seat of the Neo-Babylonian Empire from 608 to 539 BC which was founded by Chaldeans and whose last king was an Assyrian. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. After the fall of Babylon it came under the rules of the Achaemenid, Seleucid, Parthian, Roman and Sassanid empires.

A later tablet describe the reign of Sargon of Akkad (ca. 23rd century BC short chronology). The so-called "Weidner Chronicle" states that it was Sargon himself who built Babylon "in front of Akkad" (ABC 19:51). Another later chronicle likewise states that Sargon "dug up the dirt of the pit of Babylon, and made a counterpart of Babylon next to Akkad". (ABC 20:18–19). Van de Mieroop has suggested that those sources may refer to the much later Assyrian king Sargon II of the Neo-Assyrian Empire rather than Sargon of Akkad.[4]

Some scholars, including linguist I.J. Gelb, have suggested that the name Babil is an echo of an earlier city name. Herzfeld wrote about Bawer in Iran, which was allegedly founded by Jamshid; the name Babil could be an echo of Bawer. David Rohl holds that the original Babylon is to be identified with Eridu. The Bible in Genesis 10 indicates that Nimrod was the original founder of Babel (Babylon). Joan Oates claims in her book Babylon that the rendering "Gateway of the gods" is no longer accepted by modern scholars.

By around the 19th century BC, much of Mesopotamia was occupied by Amorites, nomadic tribes from the northern Levant who were Semitic speakers like the Akkadians of Babylonia and Assyria, but at first did not practice agriculture like them, preferring to herd sheep. Over time, Amorite grain merchants rose to prominence and established their own independent dynasties in several south Mesopotamian city-states, most notably Isin, Larsa and Babylon.

2.4.2.1 Old Babylonian period

The First Babylonian Dynasty was established by an Amorite chieftain named Sumu-abum in 1894 BC, who declared independence from the neighbouring city-state of Kazallu. The Amorites were, unlike the Sumerians and Akkadian Semites, not native to Mesopotamia, but were semi nomadic Semitic invaders from the lands to the west. Babylon controlled little surrounding territory until it became the capital of Hammurabi's empire a century later (r. 1792–1750 BC). Hammurabi is famous for codifying the laws of Babylonia into the Code of Hammurabi that has had a lasting influence on legal thought. Subsequently, the city of Babylon continued to be the capital of the region known as Babylonia. Hammurabi's empire quickly dissolved after his death, although the Amorite dynasty remained in power in a much reduced Babylonia until 1595 BC[9] when they were overthrown by the invading Hittites from Asia Minor.

Following the sack of Babylon by the Hittites, the Kassites invaded and took over Babylon, ushering in a dynasty that was to last for 435 years until 1160 BC. The city was renamed Karanduniash during this period. The Kassites, a people speaking a Language Isolate, originated from the Zagros Mountains to the north east of Mesopotamia in what is now Iran. However, Kassite Babylon eventually became subject to domination by Elam to the east and the fellow Mesopotamian state of Assyria to the north, both nations often interfering in or controlling Babylon during the Kassite period. The Assyrian king Tukulti-Ninurta I took the throne of Babylon in 1235 BC, becoming the first native Mesopotamian to rule there.

It has been estimated that Babylon was the largest city in the world from ca. 1770 to 1670 BC, and again between ca. 612 and 320 BC. It was perhaps the first city to reach a population above 200,000.[10] Estimates for the maximum extent of its size range from 890[11] to 900 hectares (2,200 acres).[12

(It is very interesting to note that there are 33 hits in Bible verses concerning most of these races (Amorites, Hittites) that were delivered into the hands of the Israelites in Canaan, the promised land, but were tribes who had their turns in the occupation of Babylon.  It is clearly recorded in 1Chronicles 1:8-16 that Cush, one of the sons of Ham, fathered Nimrod who became a mighty warrior and who took over land later known as Assyria and Babylon.  Canaan, another son of Ham, was the father of the Sidonians through Sidon his firstborn, and of the Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, Hivites, Arkites, Simites, Arvadites, Zemarities and Hamathites. The other sons of Ham were  Mizraim,  (Egypt) and Put. (For more see  par 2.4.5.5))

2.4.2.2 Assyrian period 

Throughout the duration of the Neo Assyrian Empire (911 BC to 608 BC) Babylonia was under Assyrian domination or direct control. During the reign of Sennacherib of Assyria, Babylonia was in a constant state of revolt, led by a Chaldean chieftain named Merodach-Baladan in alliance with the Elamites, and suppressed only by the complete destruction of the city of Babylon. In 689 BC, its walls, temples and palaces were razed, and the rubble was thrown into the Arakhtu, the sea bordering the earlier Babylon on the south. This act shocked the religious conscience of Mesopotamia; the subsequent murder of Sennacherib by two of his own sons whilst praying to the god Nisroch was held to be in expiation of it, and his successor in Assyria Esarhaddon hastened to rebuild the old city, to receive there his crown, and make it his residence during part of the year. On his death, Babylonia was left to be governed by his elder son, the Assyrian prince Shamash-shum-ukin, who, after becoming infused with Babylonian nationalism, eventually started a civil war in 652 BC against his own brother and master Ashurbanipal, who ruled in Nineveh. Shamash-shum-ukin enlisted the help of other peoples subject to Assyria, including Elam, the Chaldeans and Suteans of southern Mesopotamia, and the Arabs dwelling in the deserts south of Mesopotamia.

Once again, Babylon was besieged by the Assyrians, starved into surrender and its allies violently crushed. Ashurbanipal purified the city and celebrated a "service of reconciliation", but did not venture to "take the hands" of Bel. An Assyrian governor named Kandalanu was entrusted with ruling the city. After the death of Ashurbanipal, the Assyrian empire began to unravel due to a series of bitter internal civil wars. Three more Assyrian kings Ashur-etil-ilani, Sin-shumu-lishir and finally Sin-shar-ishkun were to rule. However, eventually Babylon, like many other parts of the near east, took advantage of the anarchy within Assyria to free itself from Assyrian rule. In the subsequent overthrow of the Assyrian Empire by an alliance of peoples, the Babylonians saw another example of divine vengeance. (Albert Houtum-Schindler, "Babylon," Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed.)

2.4.2.3 Neo-Babylonian Empire

Detail of the Ishtar Gate Under Nabopolassar, a Chaldean king, Babylon threw off Assyrian rule and destroyed the Assyrian Empire between 620 and 605 BC, in an alliance with Cyaxares, king of the Medes and Persians together with the Scythians and Cimmerians. Babylon thus became the capital of the Neo-Babylonian (sometimes and possibly erroneously called Chaldean) Empire.[13][14][15]

With the recovery of Babylonian independence, a new era of architectural activity ensued, and his son Nebuchadnezzar II (604–561 BC) made Babylon into one of the wonders of the ancient world.[16] Nebuchadnezzar ordered the complete reconstruction of the imperial grounds, including rebuilding the Etemenanki ziggurat and the construction of the Ishtar Gate – the most spectacular of eight gates that ringed the perimeter of Babylon. A reconstruction of The Ishtar Gate is located in the PergamonMuseum in Berlin. All that was ever found of the Original Ishtar gate was the foundation and scattered bricks.

Nebuchadnezzar is also credited with the construction of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (one of the seven wonders of the ancient world), said to have been built for his homesick wife Amyitis. Whether the gardens did exist is a matter of dispute. Although excavations by German archaeologist Robert Koldewey are thought to reveal its foundations, many historians disagree about the location, and some believe it may have been confused with gardens in the Assyrian capital, Nineveh.

Chaldean rule did not last long and it is not clear if Neriglissar and Labashi-Marduk were Chaldeans or native Babylonians, and the last ruler Nabonidus and his son and regent Belshazzar were Assyrians from Harran.

Persia captures Babylon In 539 BC, the Neo-Babylonian Empire fell to Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, with a military engagement known as the Battle of Opis. The famed walls of Babylon were indeed impenetrable, with the only way into the city through one of its many gates or through the Euphrates, which ebbed beneath its thick walls. Metal gates at the river's in-flow and out-flow prevented underwater intruders, if one could hold one's breath to reach them. Cyrus (or his generals) devised a plan to use the Euphrates as the mode of entry to the city, ordering large camps of troops at each point and instructed them to wait for the signal. Awaiting an evening of a national feast among Babylonians (generally thought to refer to the feast of Belshazzar mentioned in Daniel V), Cyrus' troops diverted the Euphrates river upstream, causing the Euphrates to drop to about 'mid thigh level on a man' or to dry up altogether. The soldiers marched under the walls through the lowered water. The Persian Army conquered the outlying areas of the city's interior while a majority of Babylonians at the city center were oblivious to the breach. The account was elaborated upon by Herodotus,[17] and is also mentioned by passages in the Hebrew Bible.[18][19]

Cyrus later issued a decree permitting captive people, including the Jews, to return to their own land (as explained in 2 Chronicles 36), to allow their temple to be rebuilt back in Jerusalem.

Under Cyrus and the subsequent Persian king Darius the Great, Babylon became the capital city of the 9th Satrapy (Babylonia in the south and Athura in the north), as well as a centre of learning and scientific advancement. In Achaemenid Persia, the ancient Babylonian arts of astronomy and mathematics were revitalised and flourished, and Babylonian scholars completed maps of constellations. The city was the administrative capital of the Persian Empire, the preeminent power of the then known world, and it played a vital part in the history of that region for over two centuries. Many important archaeological discoveries have been made that can provide a better understanding of that era.[20][21]

The early Persian kings had attempted to maintain the religious ceremonies of Marduk, but by the reign of Darius III, over-taxation and the strains of numerous wars led to a deterioration of Babylon's main shrines and canals, and the disintegration of the surrounding region. There were numerous attempts at rebellion and in 522 BC (Nebuchadnezzar III), 521 BC (Nebuchadnezzar IV) and 482 (Bel-shimani and Shamash-eriba) BC native Babylonian kings briefly regained independence. However these revolts were relatively swiftly repressed and the land and city of Babylon remained solidly under Persian rule for two centuries, until Alexander the Great's entry in 331 BC.

2.4.2.4 Hellenistic period

In 331 BC, Darius III was defeated by the forces of the Ancient Macedonian Greek ruler Alexander the Great at the Battle of Gaugamela, and in October, Babylon fell to the young conqueror. A native account of this invasion notes a ruling by Alexander not to enter the homes of its inhabitants.[22]

Under Alexander, Babylon again flourished as a centre of learning and commerce. But following Alexander's death in 323 BC in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar, his empire was divided amongst his generals, and decades of fighting soon began, with Babylon once again caught in the middle.

The constant turmoil virtually emptied the city of Babylon. A tablet dated 275 BC states that the inhabitants of Babylon were transported to Seleucia, where a palace was built, as well as a temple given the ancient name of Esagila. With this deportation, the history of Babylon comes practically to an end, though more than a century later, it was found that sacrifices were still performed in its old sanctuary.[23] By 141 BC, when the Parthian Empire took over the region, Babylon was in complete desolation and obscurity.

2.4.2.5 Persian Empire period Babylonia (Persian province)

Under the Parthian, and later, Sassanid Persians, Babylon (like Assyria) remained a province of the Persian Empire for nine centuries, until after 650 AD. It continued to have its own culture and people, who spoke varieties of Aramaic, and who continued to refer to their homeland as Babylon. Some examples of their cultural products are often found in the Babylonian Talmud, the Gnostic Mandaean religion, Eastern Rite Christianity and the religion of the prophet Mani. Christianity came to Mesopotamia in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, and Babylon was the seat of a Bishop of the Church of the East until well after the Arab/Islamic conquest.

2.4.2.6 Arabs and Islam Conquest

In the mid 7th century AD Mesopotamia was invaded and settled by the Arabs who brought with them Islam. A period of Arabisation and Islamification followed. Babylon was dissolved as a province and Aramaic and Church of the East Christianity eventually became marginalised, although both still exist today (more so however among the Assyrians of northern Iraq) as does Mandeanism. A Babylonian/ Mesopotamian/ Assyrian identity is still espoused by the ethnically indigenous Mesopotamian and Eastern Aramaic speaking members of the Chaldean Catholic Church and Assyrian Church of the East to this day.

2.4.3 Babylon Attempted Reconstruction

In 1983, Saddam Hussein started rebuilding the city on top of the old ruins (because of this, artifacts and other finds may well be under the city by now), investing in both restoration and new construction. He inscribed his name on many of the bricks in imitation of Nebuchadnezzar. One frequent inscription reads: "This was built by Saddam Hussein, son of Nebuchadnezzar, to glorify Iraq". This recalls the ziggurat at Ur, where each individual brick was stamped with "Ur-Nammu, king of Ur, who built the temple of Nanna". These bricks became sought after as collectors' items after the downfall of Hussein, and the ruins are no longer being restored to their original state. He also installed a huge portrait of himself and Nebuchadnezzar at the entrance to the ruins, and shored up Processional Way, a large boulevard of ancient stones, and the Lion of Babylon, a black rock sculpture about 2,600 years old.

When the Gulf War ended, Saddam wanted to build a modern palace, also over some old ruins; it was made in the pyramidal style of a Sumerian ziggurat. He named it Saddam Hill. In 2003, he was ready to begin the construction of a cable car line over Babylon when the invasion began and halted the project.

An article published in April 2006 states that UN officials and Iraqi leaders have plans for restoring Babylon, making it into a cultural center.[46][47]

As of May 2009, the provincial government of Babil has reopened the site to tourism.

2.4.4 Confusion of Languages

The Bible has 260 verses concerning Babylon in 11 books of the Old Testament and 4 books in the New Testament. The confusion of languages is one of the gems of truth recorded regarding the explanation of the diverse languages spoken in the world. One interpretation base on the verse in 1 Chronicles 1:19 say that Eber had two sons: Peleg (meaning Divided, because it was in his day that people separated themselves into different language groups) and Joktan. Peleg was born in ca 2247 B.C/2227B.C, 101 years after the Great Flood.

2.4.4.1 The Tower of Babel  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Babel )

The narrative of the city of Babel is recorded in Genesis 11:1-9. Everyone on earth spoke the same language, a united humanity of the generations following the Great Flood.  As people migrated from the east, they settled in the land of Shinar. People there sought to make bricks and build a city and a tower with its top in the sky, to make a name for themselves, so that they not be scattered over the world;  a city with a tower "whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." God came down to look at the city and tower, and remarked that as one people with one language, nothing that they sought would be out of their reach. God went down and confounded their speech, so that they could not understand each other, and scattered them over the face of the earth, and they stopped building the city. Thus the city was called Babel "because God there confounded the language of all the Earth" (See TOP6 Ref 2.7.1.3)

Quoting from Tim Osterholm in “Table of Nations,” “We can safely conclude that all people in the world are descended from the inhabitants of Babel, the first civilization after Noah's flood. From there the great empires of the past arose, including Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia and Greece, and all have strong historical links to the sons of Noah.”  (Link: The Origin of Races- http://www.soundchristian.com/man/  )

The Tower of Babel has often been associated with known structures, notably the Etemenanki, a ziggurat dedicated to the Mesopotamian god Marduk by Nabopolassar, king of Babylonia (c. 610 BC). The Great Ziggurat of Babylon base was square (not round), 91 metres (300 ft) in height, and demolished by Alexander the Great. A Sumerian story with some similar elements is told in Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta.

2.4.4.1.1 Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews

The Jewish-Roman historian Flavius Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews (c. AD 94), recounted history as found in the Hebrew Bible and mentioned the Tower of Babel. He wrote that it was Nimrod who had the tower built and that Nimrod was a tyrant who tried to turn the people away from God. In this account, God confused the people rather than destroying them because annihilation with a Flood hadn't taught them to be godly.

Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God, as if it were through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence on his power... Now the multitude were very ready to follow the determination of Nimrod and to esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to God; and they built a tower, neither sparing any pains, nor being in any degree negligent about the work: and, by reason of the multitude of hands employed in it, it grew very high, sooner than any one could expect; but the thickness of it was so great, and it was so strongly built, that thereby its great height seemed, upon the view, to be less than it really was. It was built of burnt brick, cemented together with mortar, made of bitumen, that it might not be liable to admit water. When God saw that they acted so madly, he did not resolve to destroy them utterly, since they were not grown wiser by the destruction of the former sinners [in the Flood]; but he caused a tumult among them, by producing in them diverse languages, and causing that, through the multitude of those languages, they should not be able to understand one another. The place wherein they built the tower is now called Babylon, because of the confusion of that language which they readily understood before; for the Hebrews mean by the word Babel, confusion...

2.4.4.1.2 Enumeration of scattered languages

There are several mediaeval historiography accounts that attempt to make an enumeration of the languages scattered at the Tower of Babel. Because a count of all the descendants of Noah listed by name in chapter 10 of Genesis (LXX) provides 15 names for Japheth's descendants, 30 for Ham's, and 27 for Shem's, these figures became established as the 72 languages resulting from the confusion at Babel — although the exact listing of these languages tended to vary over time. (The LXX Bible has two additional names, Elisa and Cainan, not found in the Masoretic text of this chapter, so early rabbinic traditions such as the Mishna speak instead of "70 languages".) Some of the earliest sources for 72 (sometimes 73) languages are the 2nd-century Christian writers Clement of Alexandria (Stromata I, 21) and Hippolytus of Rome (On the Psalms 9); it is repeated in the Syriac book Cave of Treasures (c. AD 350), Epiphanius of Salamis' Panarion (c. 375) and St. Augustine's The City of God 16.6 (c. 410). The chronicles attributed to Hippolytus (c. 234) contain one of the first attempts to list each of the 72 peoples who were believed to have spoken these languages.

2.4.4.1.3 Height of the tower

The narrative in the book of Genesis does not mention how tall the Biblical tower was. The phrase used to describe the tower, “its top in the sky” (v.4), was an idiom for impressive height; rather than implying arrogance this was simply a cliché for height.[25] The tower's height is discussed in various extra-canonical sources.

The Book of Jubilees mentions the tower's height as being 5,433 cubits and 2 palms, or 2,484 m (8,150 ft), about three times the height of Burj Khalifa, or roughly 1.6 miles high. The Third Apocalypse of Baruch mentions that the 'tower of strife' reached a height of 463 cubits, or 211.8 m (695 ft), taller than any structure built in human history until the construction of the Eiffel Tower in 1889, which is 324 m (1,063 ft) in height.

  2.4.5 Babylonianism -  Historical and Prophetic 

(By the Church of God, The Eternal is a remnant of the Worldwide Church of God still teaching the original doctrines first proclaimed by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong.)

This article by the Church of God is replicated almost in its entirety as it is in harmony with the Word of God.

In the book of Revelation the Apostle John writes of a mysterious political, economic, and religious system that is to exist in the last days. This entity is called Babylon—Babylon the Great. The time setting of the book of Revelation is the "day of the Lord" (Revelation 1:10), a period spoken of more than thirty times in the Old Testament—a period near the close of this age when God will begin to take a decisive hand in world affairs. John says Babylon is a great city (Revelation 16:19). Spiritually speaking, Babylon is a "whore" whose illicit relations with the governments of the world have made the inhabitants of the earth drunk (Revelation 17:1–2). Babylon is called MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH (v. 5). Babylon is responsible for the blood of the martyrs of Jesus (v. 6). Babylon, likened to a woman, is that great city that rules over the kings of the earth (v. 18).

God's people are warned to come out of Babylon, not to partake of her sins (Revelation 18:4). God's wrath is about to descend upon Babylon (vv. 6–10). The economic wealth and power of Babylon are described in Revelation 18:11–19, but this power and wealth will be of little avail when God decides to take a hand. God will utterly destroy Babylon, the system responsible for the blood of the prophets, saints, and all that were slain upon the earth (vv. 21, 24).

The book of Daniel reveals, in a prophecy for the latter days (Daniel 2:28), that the Babylonian system would exist from the time of Nebuchadnezzar to the time of the end. An examination of Daniel 2:31–42 shows that the great image seen by Nebuchadnezzar in a dream is one image, and while it successively became Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman, it will maintain continuity until it is destroyed by Christ when He sets up His Kingdom (v. 44).

The Old Testament Scriptures were written and preserved for our learning and admonition (Romans 15:4). What happened to the peoples of ancient times is an example for us today (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11). Many of the historical events preserved in the Old Testament record are types of events destined to take place in the future. Jeremiah 27 records how God used the kingdom of Babylon to punish His people for their rebellion and sin. Nebuchadnezzar, king of literal Babylon, was raised up for the purpose of subduing the nations (Daniel 5:18–19). God is the One determining who rules in the earth (Daniel 2:21). Revelation 17–18 record the antitype to appear in the last days. This antitype is also called Babylon and will punish God's people of the last days in the same manner they were punished in the days of old. According to Jeremiah 28, God's will and purpose could not be thwarted when He determined to punish His people. Neither can it be thwarted in the time of the end when God's people are punished and His purpose completed (Revelation 17:17).

2.4.5.1 Hanging Gardens of Babylon

(According to legend, King Nebuchadnezzar built the gardens for his wife, Amytis. Amytis was a princess from Media, a region of Iran near the Caspian Sea. Nebuchadnezzar is said to have built the gardens for her as a reminder of her homeland. But it's strange that Nebuchadnezzar, who recorded his many accomplishments in cuneiform, a type of ancient writing used in record-keeping, didn't mention the gardens. The Bible, the sure word of truth, had no mention of such gardens. The learned people choose to speculate on things not revealed to draw us away from God.

This has led some scholars to theorize that the gardens were actually built by an Assyrian queen or even by Sennacherib, the ruler of Nineveh. -

http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/seven-wonder-ancient-world2.htm

(Nebuchadnezzar wrote that he wanted future kings to expand his empire. In the palaces he built, he incorporated bricks inscribed with "Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon from sea to sea." When Saddam Hussein held the presidency of Iraq, he set out to fulfill Nebuchadnezzar's request, rebuilding an ornate palace where the HangingGardens of Babylon were thought to have stood. He, too, inscribed his palace's bricks with his own name to leave a legacy [source: Oxford].)

2.4.5.1.1 Hanging Gardens not in Babylon

Hanging Gardens Existed, but not in Babylon By Christopher Klein ,May 14, 2013 (http://www.history.com/news/hanging-gardens-existed-but-not-in-babylon )

Mythology shrouds each of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but none has been more mysterious than the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Archaeologists have never unearthed evidence of the soaring gardens, and scholars have questioned its very existence. Now, (May 14, 2013) however, an Oxford University researcher says she knows why the Hanging Gardens of Babylon have proven so elusive. It’s because they weren’t in Babylon at all.

Greek and Roman texts paint vivid pictures of the luxurious Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Amid the hot, arid landscape of ancient Babylon, lush vegetation cascaded like waterfalls down the terraces of the 75-foot-high garden. Exotic plants, herbs and flowers dazzled the eyes, and fragrances wafted through the towering botanical oasis dotted with statues and tall stone columns.

Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II was said to have constructed the luxurious Hanging Gardens in the sixth century B.C. as a gift to his wife, Amytis, who was homesick for the beautiful vegetation and mountains of her native Media (the northwestern part of modern-day Iran). To make the desert bloom, a marvel of irrigation engineering would have been required. Scientists have surmised that a system of pumps, waterwheels and cisterns would have been employed to raise and deliver the water from the nearby EuphratesRiver to the top of the gardens.

The multiple Greek and Roman accounts of the Hanging Gardens, however, were second-hand–written centuries after the wonder’s alleged destruction. First-hand accounts did not exist, and for centuries, archaeologists have hunted in vain for the remains of the gardens. A group of German archaeologists even spent two decades at the turn of the 20th century trying to unearth signs of the ancient wonder without any luck. The lack of any relics has caused skeptics to question whether the supposed desert wonder was just an “historical mirage.”

However, Dr. Stephanie Dalley, an honorary research fellow and part of the Oriental Institute at England’s OxfordUniversity, believes she has found evidence of the existence of the legendary Wonder of the Ancient World. In her soon-to-be-released book “The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon: An Elusive World Wonder Traced,” published by Oxford University Press, Dalley asserts that the reason why no traces of the Hanging Gardens have ever been found in Babylon is because they were never built there in the first place.

Dalley, who has spent the better part of two decades researching the Hanging Gardens and studying ancient cuneiform texts, believes they were constructed 300 miles to the north of Babylon in Nineveh, the capital of the rival Assyrian empire. She asserts the Assyrian king Sennacherib, not Nebuchadnezzar II, built the marvel in the early seventh century B.C., a century earlier than scholars had previously thought.

According to OxfordUniversity, Dalley, who is a scholar in ancient Mesopotamian languages, found evidence in new translations of the ancient texts of King Sennacherib that describe his own “unrivaled palace” and a “wonder for all peoples.” He also mentioned a bronze water-raising screw—similar to Archimedes’ screw developed four centuries later—that could have been used to irrigate the gardens.

Recent excavations around Nineveh, near the modern-day Iraqi city of Mosul, have uncovered evidence of an extensive aqueduct system that delivered water from the mountains with the inscription: “Sennacherib king of the world…Over a great distance I had a watercourse directed to the environs of Nineveh.” Bas reliefs from the royal palace in Nineveh depicted a lush garden watered by an aqueduct, and unlike the flat surroundings of Babylon, the more rugged topography around the Assyrian capital would have made the logistical challenges in elevating water to the gardens far easier for an ancient civilization to overcome.

Dalley explains that the reason for the confusion of the location of the gardens could be due to the Assyrian conquering of Babylon in 689 B.C. Following the takeover, Nineveh was referred to as the “New Babylon,” and Sennacherib even renamed the city gates after those of Babylon’s entrances. Dalley’s assertions could debunk thoughts that the elusive ancient wonder was an “historical mirage,” but they could also prove that the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are mislabeled and should truly be the Hanging Gardens of Nineveh

2.4.5.2 Why Should We Be Concerned About Babylon?

The adverse influence of Babylon upon all the peoples of the earth is made plain by a statement in Revelation 17:2. ". . . the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication." And again in Revelation 18:3, "For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. . . ." All the nations of the earth have been made spiritually drunk, unable to perceive the real plan and purpose of God. As a result the world today is in total chaos in its quest for peace and happiness. Today there is no peace, and happiness is equated with the number of possessions one owns.

To repeat, the evil influence of Babylon has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication (Revelation 14:8). She is "the great whore that sitteth upon many waters" (Revelation 17:1). The waters are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues (Revelation 17:15). Babylon, represented as a woman, sits upon a scarlet-colored beast(Revelation 17:3). In the Bible a beast is a symbol of a government or kingdom (Daniel 7). So Babylonianism includes political and military power. Babylon is the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. A harlot is a symbol of a false religious or philosophical concept often crystallized into a religious system. Included in these false concepts are all forms of paganism, occultism, and false Christianity. The woman Babylon is "that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth" (Revelation 17:18). The principal kind of power cities exercise over kings is economic power. So the woman represented as a city is a financial power that controls kings by means of debt capitalism. Kings or rulers of the earth have been compelled to enter into illicit relationships with this financial power in order to survive economically. This is why the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, living "deliciously" as a result (Revelation 17:2; 18:9). The relationships between the kings of the earth and Babylon have been political, economic, educational, social, and religious. There have been great material benefits derived from such a union. When Babylon is destroyed the merchants who were made rich by her "shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing" (Revelation 18:11, 15). So will those who shipped her goods by the sea lanes of the world (v. 17). So powerful have been the sorceries of Babylon that all nations have been deceived (v.23). "Sorceries" in this verse is the Greek pharmakon, which means one who mixes and uses drugs. Could this be a reference to the biggest industry in the world today—'dope incorporated'?

 Philosophically speaking, Babylon has been the source of worldwide depravity. As noted, "she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication" (Revelation 14:8), "and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication" (Revelation 17:2). She holds "a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication" (Revelation 17:4). True Christians are warned to have no part of this Babylonish system, to separate from it, and to have no fellowship with it (Revelation 18:4). The filthiness of Babylon must be recognized and understood. It is not necessary to personally experience it firsthand, but it is necessary to comprehend its filthiness. What is unrealized by most is that the concepts upon which we base our modus vivendi, including our religious views, are from Babylon. The whole world has imbibed of her philosophical wine—the cause of spiritual fornication!

Considering Isaiah 47:6 as a type of what is to occur in the last days (compare 1 Cor. 10:6, 11), God's people will be enslaved to Babylon. It is from this enslavement they are to be delivered by the hand of the Lord when He returns (Micah 4:6–10). All nations have been made spiritually drunk—deceived—by the philosophies of Babylon (Revelation 17:2). Many deceptive innovations will be rampant in the last days and many of God's people will be deceived (Matthew 24:24). Remember, the whole world is under the sway of Babylon; this includes the kings (political leaders) of the earth (Revelation 16:13–14).

 

2.4.5.3 What Is Babylon?

           Babylon is called "The lady of kingdoms" (Isaiah 47:5). She boasts, ". . .I shall be a lady for ever. . . . I am, and none else beside me. . ." (vv. 7–8). Babylon arises superior to all national identities. Notice, ". . . The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues" (Revelation 17:15). Babylon is over peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. Babylonianism, therefore, bridges all national considerations and is the source of deception for all nations.

            2.4.5.3.1 Economic Aspect

           Babylonianism is first of all economic in nature. From "youth," Babylon has been engaged in merchandising (Isaiah 47:15). The enormity of Babylonianism's riches and commerce can be seen in Ezekiel 26:1–27:36. See particularly The Living Bible for a clear description in modern English. Keep in mind that Tyrus in these chapters is identical with Babylon because Isaiah 14:4–14 and Ezekiel 28:11–16 both demonstrate that Satan is the invisible ruler of Babylon and Tyrus. Tyrus, as such, is an extension of Babylonianism. Revelation 18 goes on to tell us that the merchants of the earth have waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies; that a great international business relationship prospers under her aegis, and that prominence has been accorded the major businessmen of the earth.

            2.4.5.3.2 Political Aspect

           Babylonianism is political in nature. The rulers of the earth cohabit with Babylon; that is, they participate in her concepts of government, which include both totalitarian and socialistic forms of rule (Revelation 17:2). The kings of the earth have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her (Revelation 18:9), which implies willing cohabitation, acceptance, and pursuit of these relationships. At the appointed time God will place all nations under the control and rule of Babylon (Jeremiah 27:7). Since Revelation 17–18 shows the power and control of Babylon over the world in the last days, we can take Jeremiah 27 to be the type. Also, keep in mind 1 Corinthians 10, verses 6 and 11, says that which was written in ancient times was written for our admonition and learning.

            2.4.5.3.3 Social Aspect

           Babylonianism is social in nature. That is, it is the actuator of social change. Remember the tower of Babel? It was here that God confounded the speech in order to separate the several races. Babylonianism has consistently been the progenitor of racial mixing. Babylon is rebuked by God for this in Isaiah 13:14. The latter part of this verse indicates this same practice will prevail in the latter days (vv. 6, 9, 13, 14). See also Jeremiah 50:8. The social aim of Babylonianism is the mixing of the races and the disruption or loss of national identity. In addition, "lived deliciously" (Revelation 18:7) in the Babylonian context implies a riotous and uncontrolled lifestyle, a way of life that will come to an end when merrymaking and social plunder are brought to a halt (vv. 22–23). The inhabitants of the earth made drunk with the wine of her fornication (Revelation 17:2) implies a lifestyle of excess and debauchery at every level of social contact. Indeed, today the world is rapidly becoming one; and the excesses enumerated by the Apostle Paul and other Biblical authors can be seen as never before (compare Romans 1:18–32, Matthew 24:36–39, 2 Timothy 3:1–9).

            2.4.5.3.4 Military Aspect

           Babylonianism is militarv in nature. One of the great military powers of the past was Babylon. Modern Babylon, the woman, rides a beast (Revelation 17:3, 6–7). A beast, as we have already seen, symbolizes government. Here we find a political and military structure which inflicts its will upon all peoples, particularly upon those who follow God (Revelation 17:6; 18:24). Babylonianism will war against Christ and the armies of heaven when He returns (Revelation 17:14; 19:11–21). Babylonianism is militaristic and truculent by nature and is the diametric opposite of God's Way; it is a way of rebellion against the way of Truth—the absolutes of God.

            2.4.5.3.5 Educational and Religious Aspect

           Babylonianism is educational and religious in nature. But this education (including all religion) is deceptive. Deception is a mental disorientation. The basis for this disorientation is the educational approach—the various concepts of Babylonianism. Education is the acquisition of knowledge, whether right or wrong. The Bible tells us the whole world is deceived (Revelation 12:9); that is, it is mentally disoriented. It has acquired erroneous knowledge. Deception is the basis of the educational philosophy of Babylonianism. ". . . The inhabitants of the earth have been made [by means of controlled education] drunk [reeling in the pleasures and heady intoxication of their carnal hopes, purposes, and achievements] with the wine [concepts and philosophies] of her fornication [illegitimacy]" (Revelation 17:2). The woman has "a golden cup in her hand full of abominations [fetishes, beliefs, and practices found in every level of society, including religion, education, various customs, etc.] and filthiness of her fornication" (v. 4). She is indeed "the mother of harlots [organizations] and abominations of the earth" (v. 5). She is the inventive genius, the mother of the ideas, concepts, and beliefs of society. "For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. . ." (Revelation 18:3). The Babylonian educational philosophy is common to every nation on the face of the earth. This educational philosophy is common to all the political entities—governments—of the world. In addition, it is the philosophy of international business, as the latter portion of verse 3 tells us.

           The nations of the earth are not Babylon! Rather, the nations have drunk of the inordinate, illicit wine of Babylon. The rulers and leading businessmen of the earth engage in intercourse with her. Babylon arises as a force and influence which is superior to all nations, religions, peoples, languages, and races. Babylonianism is a way of life, a philosophy by which peoples are ruled, educated, and taught to conduct business. It is by her sorceries (drug culture and the various practices, customs, ways, and philosophies) that all nations were deceived (Revelation 18:23).

            2.4.5.4 Prophetic Last Days Babylon

           The Bible describes the "nerve center" of Babylon as "that great city" which made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication (Revelation 14:8). When modern Babylon is destroyed by God "the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath" (Revelation 16:19). ". . . Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come" (Revelation 18:10). ". . . What city is like unto this great city!" (Revelation 18:18.) ". . . Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness. . . !" (Revelation 18:19.) ". . . Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all" (Revelation 18:21). These Scriptures indicate that a single city, of these last days, serves as the nerve center of all international agreements, whether they be economic, political, religious, etc. Perhaps this city is New York or London.

            2.4.5.4.1 Totalitarianism

           Daniel, chapter 3, is the historical manifestation of the totalitarianism of Babylon. This totalitarian concept has never changed. It is for this reason that the historical manifestation recorded in Daniel is the type of a worldwide system of Babylon found in the last days. Remember Romans 15:4 and 1Corinthians 10:6, 11. The Babylonian system is idolized today and its worship soon will be compelled upon all. All who refuse to do so will be killed (Revelation 13:12–15). Notice carefully the parallel between Daniel 3 and Revelation 13:12–15. Religious freedom will be taken away from the masses. Babylon will make all nations drink the "wine of the wrath of her fornication" (Revelation 14:8). This implies a loss of choice and that in all aspects the populace will be compelled to accept and live according to the dictates of Babylon. The woman (Babylon) is "drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus" (Revelation 17:6). Those called servants of God will refuse to compromise their faith and convictions. The result will be death.

            2.4.5.4.2 The Success of Modern Babylon

           ". . . [T]he woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls. . ." (Revelation 17:4). Her attire indicates opulence, greatness, dominance. Babylon will be enormously successful economically. Those who have perpetrated this system will come to realize the aspirations, dreams, and hopes that are thousands of years old. "How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously . . . for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow" (Revelation 18:7). But note, "that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. . ." (vv. 16–17). What sorrow for those who have advanced Babylonianism when they cry, ". . . Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! . . ." (Verse 19.)

           Babylonianism is the philosophy which holds together the fabric of modern society. It arises superior to all national identities and philosophies. It encompasses the total orientation of peoples of the last days. It involves politics, religion, the military, all social aspects of society, economics, and education. It is the root of all deception found in the world. Babylonianism has surfaced from time to time throughout history, but will attain its apex in the last days just prior to the return of Jesus Christ. What was its beginning? What is its source? Where did it come from?

 

            2.4.5.4.2.1 Babylon Origin

           If Babylon had a time of youth (Isaiah 47:15), then it had a beginning. Where is it first mentioned? The answer is found in Genesis 10:8, 10. Babylon was the beginning of Nimrod's kingdom. "And Cush begat Nimrod. . . . And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel. . . ." This was the first political manifestation of Babylon and the first fabric of deception. Remember, ". . . for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived" (Revelation 18:23). Who is the author of deception? "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world. . . " (Revelation 12:9). A time is coming when "he should deceive the nations no more. . ." (Revelation 20:3). So, according to the Scriptures, the actual deceiver of the world is Satan the Devil. The fabric of that worldwide deception is Babylonianism. Babylonianism is the creation of Satan, the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). Satan has been the invisible ruler of the world from the beginning (Luke 4:5–7). Babylonianism, therefore, began with Satan. Both Isaiah 14:12–14 and Ezekiel 28:11–16 reveal Satan's attitude and rebellion against the Way of God. Babylonianism is the philosophy and way of "life" Satan has used to deceive mankind. Babylon was the physical system used by Satan to insinuate this deceptive philosophy upon all mankind. But, when did this deception begin? By determining the beginning of Satan's deception we will be able to see that this deception coincides with the beginning of Babylonianism.

            2.4.5.4.2.2 Babylonianism From the Beginning

           An early manifestation of Babylonianism was the slaying of righteous Abel. Notice, "And in her [Babylon] was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth" (Revelation 18:24). In a similar manner Christ held the religious leaders of His day responsible for the blood of the saints. He said to the Pharisees, "That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias [the most recent martyr] son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar" (Matthew 23:35). Since Revelation 18:24 holds Babylon accountable for all the blood spilled on the earth, Jesus' condemnation of the Pharisees proves that the same hateful spirit of Babylon emanated from them in His day. The actual beginning of the humanistic spirit of Babylonianism was in the days of Adam and Eve. Notice again, "And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. . ." (Revelation 17:6). Suffice it to say that Babylonianism is the nemesis of the saints. Babylonianism began with Satan the Devil—the deceiver of all mankind from the beginning. Babylonianism is the philosophy utilized to deceive mankind, while Babylon is the physical entity used to implement this deception. Babylon has asserted its ambitions periodically throughout the history of man and is the cause of problems for all the saints of God.

            2.4.5.4.2.2.1 The Manifestations of Babylonianism

           In the last days Babylonianism is universal. Since Satan is the present god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) who has deceived the whole world (John 8:44, Revelation 12:9; 18:23), he is the author of Babylonianism. The first manifestation of Babylonianism occurred, therefore, when Satan rebelled against God. This rebellion is recorded in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. Satan's intent was to establish a kingdom based on the concept of opposition to God and His Way of life. This rebellion against God was unsuccessful (Revelation 12:4, Luke 10:18), and Satan and his demons were cast down to this earth where Satan and these cohorts now rule as the adversaries of man. This rebellion of Satan was the beginning of Babylonianism. Since Satan's domain is universal, Babylonianism arises superior to all the physical kingdoms of this world. All the kingdoms of this world are a part of Satan's domain, not distinct from it "For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her. . ." Revelation 18:3). Satan's intent was to establish his own kingdom (Matthew 12:24–26, Mark 3:23–26). His goal is one government over the entire earth—to consolidate all the physical, fragmented governments into a one-world order under his direction and sway. This one-world government, from the Bible perspective, will be a kingdom of darkness (2 Peter 2:4).

2.4.5.4.2.2.2 Second Manifestation

A second manifestation of Babylonianism was the rebellion of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Who was the one who motivated this sin against God? Satan, of course! Read the account in Genesis, chapter 3. The result was a human society separate from God (Genesis 3:23–24), and Satan became man's new god. The subsequent struggle since then has been between the good Way of God and the evil nature of man. Contrary to the popular conception, there is no struggle going on between God and Satan. What takes place in this world is by God's express permission (Isaiah 43:8–13; 46:9–11, Daniel 4:35). Satan's Babylonish system has a definite allotted time period (Revelation 12:12). At the appointed time God will intervene in the affairs of man and Babylon will be no more (Revelation 18:2–3).

2.4.5.4.2.2.3 Third Manifestation

A third manifestation of Babylonianism was the murder of righteous Abel. As noted, God holds Babylon responsible for all the blood shed on the earth, beginning with the slaying of Abel (Genesis 4:8, Revelation 18:24; 17:6, Matthew 23:35). This murderous influence is from Satan (John 8:44). Cain knew God's will but was intent on pursuing his own way, the way of flesh, the way of the natural mind (Genesis 4:3–7, Hebrews 11:4). As a result of his sin, Cain was forced into exile and was separated from God (Genesis 4:14, Isaiah 59:1–2). Cain did not want to obey what God commanded. Rather, he wanted to "reason" with God. He wanted an easier way of life; he complained bitterly about his lot, about the necessity of overcoming the evil pulls of his nature. In process of time Cain's attitude became known as "the way of Cain" (Jude 11). Cain's way is the way of all people who are rebellious toward God (compare Jude 11, 18–19 with 2 Peter 2). Cain's attitude was clearly a manifestation of Babylonianism (1 John 3:11–12).

           The great Flood brought this manifestation of Babylon to an end. The works of Babylonianism are seen in Genesis 6:5–7, 11–12. The earlier human manifestations began with Adam and Eve and ended with the destruction of the entire human race except for Noah and his family. Noah, alone, was found to be righteous before God (Genesis 6:8). He was a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5). Righteousness, according to the Bible, is obedience to the commandments of God (Psalms 119:172). Noah and his family were saved from the Flood (Genesis. 7:1, 2 Peter 2:5). So evil was the generation of Noah that in the sight of God it was no longer fit to live. Yet, the manifestation of Babylonianism in the time of Noah characterizes the generation of the last days (Matthew 24:37–39). The last days, the period near the time of the end, is destined to be engulfed in Babylonianism as it was in the days of Noah. The conditions of Noah's day are the same existing in our day. Both are manifestations of Babylonianism. The rebellion against God in the days of Noah foreshadows our own time and both represent significant manifestations of Babylonianism.

 

            2.4.5.5 Historical Babylon - The Type

           Genesis 11 lists the first attempt to achieve a one-world government. Notice, the location was the land of Shinar. According to Unger's Bible Handbook, the land of Shinar was located in the very fertile plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The land of Shinar was given the name "Babel"; it was a manifestation of the Babylonian concept (Genesis 11:9). Following the Flood, the people of Babylonia developed highly skilled crafts and abilities. In human arrogance, they set about to develop a system designed to preserve and protect their "rights." "Let us make us a name," they said. This entire exercise was an act of rebellion against God, who had instead established the patriarchal system. Sometime earlier Nimrod had broken away from God's direction and initiated a rebellion. A Handbook of Ancient History in Bible Light, by Dorothy Ruth Miller (p.63, Fleming H. Revell Co., N.Y.), states, "The empire founded by Nimrod was apparently of brief duration. At some time before 2000 BC, the Hamitic control of Babylonia was succeeded by the rule of a dynasty of kings whom historians believe to have been Semitic. The line of kings is known as 'The First Dynasty of Babylon.' The sixth of this line of kings was Hammurabi; who has been identified with Amraphel, king of Shinar (Genesis 14:1). He was a great conqueror and the builder of a mighty empire."

           God had allowed time for the numerical increase of the human race following the Flood. The Tower of Babel was their attempt, after the Flood, to establish a universal government apart from the direction of God. God had to intervene and confuse the languages in order to prevent this machination. The result, "Babel," meaning confusion, characterized their endeavors. The events of Genesis 11 occurred approximately one hundred years after the Flood. By comparing the Bible and the works of Eusebius and Josephus, we can see that both Shinar and Babylon were located in the same area.To repeat, the land of Shinar was called "Babel"; it was a manifestation of the Babylonian concept.

            2.4.5.5.1 Abraham Called Out of Babylon

           Shinar was a part of the Babylonian kingdom (Genesis 10:10). It was in Shinar that the tower of Babel was built (Genesis 11:1). Abraham was born and lived his early life in Ur of the Chaldees (vv. 27–28). Ur, in Hebrew, means "fire"—probably from the fire worship practiced there. Ur could refer to a district or to a particular city much in the same way that Chaldea could refer to the whole of Babylonia or to a single province, the capital being Babylon. See Adam Clarke's Commentary, volume 1, page 92. Following the death of Haran, Abraham's brother Terah took his family to Haran, which was located in northern Mesopotamia near the Belikh River on the busy caravan road connecting Nineveh, Asshur, and Babylon. Terah, Abraham's father, died in Haran. It was from Haran that Abraham departed to come into the land of Canaan. Abraham was called out of Babylonia (Genesis 12:1). In the same way that Abraham, the father of the faithful, came out of Babylonia, we too are required to come out of Babylonianism (Revelation 18:4). Christ's kingdom is not of this world (John 8:23; 18:36). Christ came to deliver us out of this present evil world (Galatians 1:4). We are not of this world (John 15:19; 17:l4–16) and are not to conform to it (Romans 12:2). This world is on its way out (1 Corinthians 7:31), and it will be a matter of time only before God's Kingdom will begin (Daniel 2:44).

            2.4.5.5.2 Israel Encounters Babylonianism

           Historians may wrangle as to which is more ancient—Babylon or Egypt—but according to the Bible the first civilization was in Babylon. Egyptian civilization followed Babylon and, as a consequence, absorbed many Babylonian concepts. This is seen in any totalitarian form of government and the subsequent confiscation of property and possessions by the government when the economy fails, along with the loss of personal freedom for the people (Genesis 47:13–20). The Egyptian people sold themselves to become slaves and vassals of the state (vv.23–26). Joseph, a descendant of Abraham, was instrumental in much of this transfer of wealth, and the end result for the people was feudalism (Exodus 1:8–14; 3:9).

           God allowed Joseph to be sold into slavery and be sent to Egypt to preserve life (Genesis 45:4–11). Later, God instructed the patriarch Israel to go to Egypt for the purpose of becoming a great nation (Genesis 46:1–4). Yet, Egypt all this time was a hotbed of Babylonianism. It took many years for God to purge this contamination from His people when Israel was freed from slavery years later by the hand of Moses.

           Spiritually, Egypt typifies the world of Satan. Since Satan is the god of this world and Babylonianism is the philosophy he uses to implement his designs upon the world, Egypt, then, was a manifestation of Babylonianism. In the last days Jerusalem is regarded as defiled as was Sodom and Egypt (Revelation 11:8). If Babylonianism is universal in the last days (Revelation 18:3), then spiritual Egypt (Revelation 11:8) is a part of that system. God called Israel out of Egypt, that is, out of Babylonianism—physically, geographically, and spiritually. When called out, Israel was given a Way of life and commanded not to return to the ways of Egypt, meaning Egyptian (Babylonian) politics, economics, militarism, socialism, religion, and education.

           The nation of Israel was given the land of Canaan as an inheritance. Alexander Hislop tells us in his book The Two Babylons, page 13, that the Phoenicians (Canaanites) derived their religion from Babylon, as did Egypt and Greece. At the time of the Exodus the physical, spiritual, and moral conditions of Canaan were comparable to those of Egypt (Genesis 47:15; 15:16). The Canaanites also were immersed in Babylonianism. The lifestyle of the Canaanites included every moral and spiritual abomination imaginable (Leviticus 18, 19, 20, Psalms 106:34–42, Ezra 9:1–2, Judges 3:5–7). Israel was commanded not to walk in the practices of the Egyptians and Canaanites—the practices of Babylonianism (Leviticus 18:3). Canaan was yet another manifestation of Babylonianism. The Israelites did not heed God's warnings and soon compromised the Way of God (Joshua 16:10, Judges 2: 10–13). As a result the Israelites were taken into captivity by the Assyrians and eventually were lost from sight (2 Kings 17:6, 19). History indicates that Assyria was originally a colony of Babylonia. When Assyria became independent, it continued to pursue the culture of Babylon and attempted to control all the commerce of the ancient world.

           About 120 years after Israel was taken captive by the Assyrians, the kingdom of Judah was removed to Babylon by the Babylonians (2 Kings 20:12–18; 24:l–4, 10–16, 1 Chronicles 9:1). Seventy years after this captivity, a remnant of the Jews returned to Palestine and was reestablished. They continued as a nation intermittently until they were absorbed into the Roman Empire shortly before the time of Christ. What is generally not understood is that these Jews absorbed much of the Babylonian philosophy during their captivity in Babylon and were thoroughly indoctrinated into Babylonianism by the time Christ appeared on the scene.

 

            2.4.5.5.3 Babylonianism from the Time of Christ

           Little is said about the Jews in the Old Testament Scriptures after their return from the Babylonian captivity. Many of Daniel's prophecies made during this general time period, however, form the basis for many events yet to happen in the future. Christ's first encounter with the prince of Babylonianism—Satanoccurred as a babe. This was when Herod killed all the male children in the vicinity of Bethlehem in an attempt to kill Christ (Matthew 2:1–18, Revelation 12:3–4). Then Christ faced Satan in a fundamental test of purpose during which Christ came out victorious (Matthew 4:1–11). During His public ministry Christ was in constant conflict with the religious establishment of His day. While the scribes and Pharisees sat in Moses' seat (Matthew 23:2), and were the continuation of the Old Testament church (Acts 7:38), they had utterly perverted the Truth given by Moses and had embraced most of the fundamental philosophies of Babylonianism. In attempting to practice their version of the Law of Moses they were hypocritical and Christ condemned them soundly for this, as recorded in Matthew23. Their spiritual paternity went back to Satan (John 8:44), and when Jesus said they were accountable for all the righteous blood spilled upon the earth (Matthew 23:35). He was candidly telling them the origin of their Babylonian philosophy.

           After the resurrection and ascension of Christ, the apostles encountered this same Satanic system. It came first in the form of Jewish persecution as seen in both the early and later chapters of the book of Acts, and later in the Gnostic heresy promulgated by Simon Magus (Acts 8:9–24). History shows Simon Magus turned against the apostles and the Truth of God and became the father of all the Gnostic heresies. Within the lifetime of most of the apostles, apostasy began to creep into the New Testament Church, and by the middle of the second century there were very few faithful believers remaining who maintained the faith once delivered. Paul called this form of Babylonianism the "mystery of iniquity" (2 Thessalonians 2:7).

           The gospel message preached by Christ and the original apostles was being perverted; the majority of professing Christians were resorting to human reasonings in order to repudiate the revealed knowledge they had originally received (2 Corinthians 10:4–5). As a result an entire organized system of heresy surfaced which began to preach a different Christ and a different gospel (2 Corinthians 11:13–15, 4, Galatians 1:6). Many were returning to their original pagan concepts, to the weaknesses of the flesh, and to the occult (Galatians 3:1; 4:8–10; 5:17–21). Division and strife arose in Philippi, as some were preaching Christ out of contention (Philippians 1:15–16). Humanism and Gnostic concepts made inroads into the church at Colosse (Colossians 2:8, 18, 20–23). Heresies appealed to those who were carnally oriented (2 Peter 2:1–3, 10–22). Antichrists were making their appearance (1 John 2:18–23), and deceivers were challenging the fidelity of revealed doctrine (2 John 7–11). Rebellion against the Truth had taken over in the physical body of the church and the faithful were excommunicated (3 John 9–10). Notice the parallel in John 9:22 and 12:42. And by whom was this done? Compare Matthew 23:1–2, 34–35 and Revelation 18:23–24. The entire book of Jude is a warning against this same heretical system.

           Remember, Satan is the god of this world. He has deceived all nations. The system he has employed from the beginning is Babylonianism. Its chief manifestation within the Christian church was the Gnostic heresy which took either an ascetic or antinomian bent. Both of these approaches are seen in the heresies listed in the New Testament epistles. The responsibility borne by the faithful is to avoid those who espouse doctrine different from that received initially (2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14–15), and to avoid questions which only create ill-will and doubt (Titus 3:8–11). The faithful should not aid or encourage those who espouse heresy—doctrine which is contrary to that originally received.

           Babylonianism was to be extant during and following the days of Christ and the apostles is clearly demonstrated in Daniel 2:31–44 and 7:1–14. Here the continuity of Babylonianism is seen from the time of Nebuchadnezzar until the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God. Thus, the Babylonish system continues from the days of Babylon II until the coming of Christ. The image which Nebuchadnezzar saw was one image, manifesting continuity from head to foot. The feet and toes of this image most certainly refer to the Roman Empire which culminates in modern Babylon (Revelation 17, 18), as the head refers to Babylon in Nebuchadnezzar's time. The fourth beast of Daniel 7 refers to Rome, as does the fourth kingdom in Daniel 2. While many anticipate the revival of the Roman Empire in the last days, what is generally not understood is that both Daniel 2 and 7 show the continuity of Babylon, not Rome. Rome absorbed Babylonianism and is therefore a manifestation of it, not a separate entity. What continues, according to Daniel, is Babylonianism, not Romanism. Babylonianism is the basis for all deception and was manifested long before the time of Rome. The force of Babylonianism began its insidious work at an early date in the New Testament church. It was "the mystery of iniquity" referred to by the Apostle Paul. Babylonianism has been responsible for all the blood shed on the earth, and specifically so for the blood of the saints (Revelation 18:24). When God punishes the world for its wickedness, the apostles and saints will be avenged for the persecution and murders perpetrated by Babylon (Revelation 18:20).

 2.4.5.5.4 Apostasy Prophesied for the Last Days

From 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11, and Romans 15:4, it is clear that what happened to ancient Israel historically is the basis for last-day prophecies. Jeremiah 23 describes how the servants of God became corrupt and scattered the flock. Verse 20 indicates that the prophecy applies to the last days. Here we find the house of God full of wickedness (vv. 10–11), the messages uttered by the ministers totally subjective and without inspiration (vv. 16–18, 26–28, 32), the leadership sanctioning adultery and walking in lies (v. 14). The people as a whole have turned away from the Truth (vv. 10, 27, 36).

 The Apostle Paul spoke of an apostasy to occur in the last days (2 Thessalonians 2:1–3), during which one who comes out of the Body—the man of sin—will be the direct instrument of Satan, subverting the called and chosen people of God (vv. 3–4, 8–9). Since Satan is the author of Babylonianism, the man of sin will employ Babylonianism in order to accomplish his deceptive goals. Paul says that the deception to occur in the latter times (last days) will come from seducing spirits and doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1). The people of God (the Church) turn to Babylonianism because they do not really love the Truth of God (2 Thessalonians 2:10) and prefer to have their ears tickled by those who will tell them what they want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3–4; Ezekiel 13:31–33). False teachers are condoned and catered to (2 Peter 2:1–3), and change is touted as the acceptable thing (Jude 3–4). Both 2 Peter and Jude apply to the last days, as is seen in 2 Peter 3:1–7 and Jude 18. Jeremiah foretold, as a type, the time when Babylonian servants would dominate in the house of God (Jeremiah 51:50–52). The Babylonian universal obligation to worship an image is revealed by the type given in Daniel 3. Compare this with Revelation 13:12–18 to see the extent of forced idolatry in the last days. One should not make the mistake of assuming this idolatry could not occur in the true church of God in the last days.

 It is the determinate goal of Babylonianism to destroy all Truth and those who subscribe to it. Daniel 8:11–12 indicates that in the last days (v. 17) the sanctuary of God is cast down along with the Truth. A powerful "king of fierce countenance" shall stand up and by inspiration from an outside force destroy the holy people (Daniel 8:23–24). But he will be destroyed by Christ (v. 25). At the time of the end a conspirator will mingle with those who have departed from the Truth and the sanctuary will be polluted (Daniel 11:30–31). Is the historical fulfillment of this event a type of what will happen to the true Church of the last days? The beast, ridden by the apostate woman, will war against the saints while the rest of the world worships this power and authority (Revelation 17:3, 6; 13:17–18).

The people of God, during both the Old and New Testament periods, are subjugated and thereby punished for disobedience. God has selected Babylon as His instrument of punishment for both periods of time (Ezekiel 21:24, Daniel 11:35; 12:1, 7). As a result of this punishment the people of God will be purified and cleansed (Jeremiah 30:14–15; 50:20). The defiling of the sanctuary and the captivity of Judah are types of the bondage God's people will experience in the last days (Ezekiel 12:8–16; 24:19–27). Some who knew the Truth will face tribulation, to be purged and refined as a result (Daniel 11:35; 12:1–3, 10, Revelation 7:14). God's purpose shall stand. Babylon, chosen for God's purpose, will then be punished for her false assumptions in failing to consider God's doing (Jeremiah 50:23–24).

The historical captivity of the people of God described in Jeremiah 24 is a type of the captivity that will occur in the last days. Verses 6–7 of this chapter indicate a time period far in the future. Those who refuse to repent and turn back to God must suffer the consequences (Jeremiah 32:26–36). Notice again, the time setting is far in the future (vv. 37–42). This is seen also by type in Jeremiah 46:25–28 and Ezekiel 12:1–16. These passages apply to the last days as well. Occultism is a major form of the religious practice of Babylon. This is seen in Ezekiel 21:18–24 and in Revelation 18:23. The parallel between the types listed as historical examples in the Old Testament and the prophetic indications in the book of Revelation are too numerous to take lightly.

 

2.4.5.6 Prophetic Indications of Babylon

Historically, God honored the Word which He gave through His servants, the prophets. Those prophets delivered long-range prophecies which relate to the last days, prophecies which relate to His people and to Babylon in our day. What are the prophetic last-day indications of Babylon?

 For one thing, modern Israel must learn that obedience to God leads to blessings while disobedience leads to curses. Israel's oppression at the hand of Babylon is to demonstrate the lovingkindness of God, as He will show His mercy and yet choose Israel (Isaiah 14:1). Israel is to be placed in a condition of captivity, oppressed by the oppressor—oppressed by one who assumes the role of God (vv. 4, 12–14). The real inspiration behind Babylon is Satan (Isaiah 1:12–13), the deceptive source behind all the error that exists in this present world (Revelation 12:9). It is Satan who is the real king of Babylon, the ruler of rulers, who rules in wrath over the whole earth. The Babylonian system is dominated by a city (Isaiah 14:4, Revelation 17:18). Influential within that city is one man (Isaiah 14: 16–20). That the time setting of Isaiah 14 is for the last days is seen by what is stated in verses 1–3 of this chapter, clearly a reference to the time of the end, the time of restoration just before and after the return of Jesus Christ (compare Acts 1:6–7; 3:19–21).

Daniel was given the understanding of Nebuchadnezzar's vision—a vision for the last days (Daniel 2:19, 28, 31–45). The image represented the continuity of the Babylonian system. The great Stone struck the image on the toes and feet only, but the entire image was destroyed (vv. 34–35). The entire Babylonian system exists until the return of Jesus Christ—the time when it will be destroyed. God made the truth regarding Babylon known to His servant Daniel. It is by means of the Word of God preserved in the book of Daniel that we can know the truth regarding Babylon today. Nebuchadnezzar, a type of all world rulers, had to come to realize that it is God alone who rules (Daniel 4:32–37). The people of Israel must learn at the hand of Babylon (Micah 4:8–10), and when they have learned their lessons well, they in turn will be used by God to punish other nations (Micah 4:11–13).

Babylon is a servant of God used to punish Israel in the last days. Assyria was first used to punish the ten tribes of the northern kingdom (2 Kings 17:5–6). Keep in mind Assyria had its origin as a district of Babylon. God then sent Babylon against Judah; the Jews were cast out of His presence (2 Kings 24:24). It was both the Assyrian and Babylonian custom to remove captive peoples to new locations. Judah, like Israel, was removed as a direct result of the will of God (Jeremiah 20:4–6). God even assisted the enemies of His own people in order to fulfill His purpose (Jeremiah 21:1–10). The ancient Israelites, as well as most of their descendants, failed to realize corrections in life must be made before it is too late. God's mercy and tolerance do have an end. If corrected by God there is a way of coming through, providing one accepts God's purpose for punishment. What God decrees will come to pass, as those who have criticized and brutalized His servants have come to realize (Jeremiah 32:1–5, 26–28; 34:1–3; 37:1–10). Those who refuse to accept the necessary punishment are decimated (Jeremiah 19:1–10; 43:7–13). God purposed to give Judah over to the Babylonians, to break down the government, to remove national identity (Daniel 1:1–2, Ezekiel 19:9–14). For this, Babylon was well rewarded (Ezekiel 29:17–20).

Israel and Judah, as we have seen, were punished for their disobedience toward God. An examination of Ezekiel 23 reveals that God's people were heavily involved in various practices of the occult and had borrowed their religion and social customs from the Babylonians. As a type of what is to occur in the last days, this chapter portrays the present time period. This historical record shows that Israel and Judah were punished by Assyria and Babylon because they refused to walk in God's statutes and judgments; they served pagan gods; they forsook the covenant their forefathers had made with God; they practiced an evil and profligate lifestyle; they supported a false ministry because of what they wanted to hear; they permitted and encouraged leaders who were hypocritical and who had double standards; they incorporated paganism into their national religion; and, they refused to be corrected or to accept the punishment God decreed. See 2 Kings 17:8–20, 2 Chronicles 33:11–17, Jeremiah 22:8–10, 13–30; 25:1–11; 29:20–23, 30–32; 34:8–22; 35:11–17; 40:2–6; 44:1–30; 52:1–3. Prophetically, these conditions also apply today.

Israel and Judah were not the only ones punished for their sins. God used Babylon as an instrument to punish many wicked nations (Jeremiah 27:1–8). Babylon became "the hammer of the whole earth" (Jeremiah 50:23). By virtue of His authority, God gives lands and peoples to whomever He pleases (compare Acts 17:26 and Deuteronomy 32:8 with Jeremiah 27:5, 7; also Daniel 2:36–38 and Acts 1:6 with Acts 3:19–21 and Isaiah 63:17–19). Babylon of the last days is characterized as the world's dominant force (Revelation 17:1–2, 18). Whatever the time period God chooses to punish the people of the earth, it is important that these captive people respond properly. The historical record demonstrates that it is necessary to accept the existing situation and learn to live with it, to accept the decreed punishment not seeking deceptive justification (Jeremiah 29:1–19). In the appointed time, God will restore His people, as the historical type demonstrates (Ezra 1:7–2:2, 5:11–13, Jeremiah 25:11).

2.4.5.6.1 Babylon Destroyed Forever

Babylon, the instrument of punishment in the hands of God, will in turn suffer the wrath and punishment of God. When God's people realize who they are and come to their senses, God's purpose for Babylon will be complete. It will then be Babylon's turn (Psalms 137:1–9). In the great and terrible Day of the Lord—the time period when God will begin to punish the nations of this earth—God will turn the nations against Babylonianism and the whole of Babylon will be destroyed (Isaiah 13:1–22; 21:1–10). Remember, it was after the seventy-year punishment upon Judah that Babylon was destroyed. God will do judgment upon Babylon as the historical type reveals (Jeremiah 51:47). Revelation 15 through 17 shows the final judgment upon the whole Babylonian system. In these texts we see the seven last plagues of God; the people of God liberated; man's continued resistance to the punishment of God; Satan's attempt to deceive the world by means of miracles and wonders; Babylon destroyed; and the judgment upon the woman who sits astride Babylon. Many Old Testament prophecies attest to the manifestation of Babylon during the last days. Isaiah 13 is a good example, as is Isaiah 47. The reader should have little difficulty in noticing the parallel with Revelation 17–19.

The destruction of Babylon will be complete. The Bible uses various expressions in the Old Testament type to describe the finality of the destruction of Babylon. In Jeremiah 51:2, the land of Babylon will be completely emptied. Total desolation is decreed in verses 25–33. Complete ruin is described in verses 37–44. Babylon will go into a perpetual sleep according to verses 53–58, which is a Bible description of death. Babylon shall sink as a stone cast into the water (vv. 60–64). When this occurs the international reaction will be that of total shock (Jeremiah 50:46; 51:47, Revelation 18:15–19). All vestige of Babylon is wiped out and no one will come to her aid (Isaiah 14:21–23).

Babylon, chosen by God to serve His purpose, failed to understand the limit of that purpose (Jeremiah 50:23–24). Even though Israel is to be punished, it is not God's intention to destroy His people. Babylon, in resisting God's purpose, must be destroyed (Jeremiah 51:5–11). Her enmity against Israel goes far beyond the correction God intends (Jeremiah 51 :34–36). Babylon has ruled with unrelenting anger (Isaiah 14:4–11). She brutally punished Israel (Jeremiah 50:17–18). The evil purpose against Israel and Judah will have to be limited (Jeremiah 51:48–52), the enmity against Israel abated, as we have seen in Jeremiah 51:34–36. Babylon has manifested her arrogance against Israel and all the nations of the earth (Isaiah 47:6, Revelation 18:7–9). God's punishment upon Babylon will be measure for measure (Jeremiah 50: 14–15). Babylon has assumed authority beyond what God decreed (Isaiah 47:7–8, Revelation 18:7–8). Babylon made all nations subscribe to her concepts (Revelation 14:8), concepts embraced by the educational systems of this world, which according to God are "brutish," that is, stupid (Jeremiah 51:17). God's purpose and plan will not be thwarted(Isaiah 14:24–27, Jeremiah 50:11–13)

God's purpose for His people Israel has never changed; Israel is to be the possessor of all the earth (Romans 4:13). The ultimate fulfillment of Romans 4:13 is seen in Romans 2:28–29 and Matthew 5:5. But Babylon attempts to accomplish its own eternal inheritance by means of an empire of authority and rebellion against God (Isaiah 14:4–6). The real ruler of Babylon is Satan (Isaiah 14:12–14). Daniel 7 relates the long history of Satan's attempt to create a permanent empire, which in part will exist in the last days (Daniel 2:41–43); but this final empire will not be cohesive and will not last long. It will think to hold Israel captive forever (Jeremiah 50:33–34). But, like its predecessor of long ago, it will have to learn that disrespect to the will of God can be catastrophic (Daniel 5). It is God's purpose to use Babylon to punish His people, not to change His ultimate purpose for them. God will not share His glory with any nation (Isaiah 46:9–11). The historical lesson of Daniel 4 must be impressed upon modern Babylon, as she must recognize she was raised up for God's purpose, not by her own power. The nations who were once a part of Babylon will turn against her (Isaiah 13:3–4, Jeremiah 51:27–28). Internationalism will be forsaken and peoples will return to their allotted homelands (Isaiah 13:14, Jeremiah 51:9). God will yet choose Israel, His chosen people (Isaiah 14:1–3). Redeemed Israel will begin to fulfill God's purpose for the first time; the people will be regathered and enter into an everlasting covenant with God. Israel, once corrected, will be taken out of the land of Babylon (Isaiah 43–44, Jeremiah 32:36–44; 46:27–28; 50:4–8).

2.4.5.6.2 God's Kingdom to Stand Forever

Satan, the king of Babylon, has endeavored to establish a cohesive kingdom that could stand permanently. Jesus referred to Satan's kingdom in Matthew 12:25–26. The temptation Christ faced regarding Satan's kingdom was whether Christ would worship Satan in order to receive the "glory" of that kingdom now (Matthew 4:8–10). Christ came to prepare a kingdom that will replace Satan's (Matthew 25:34). That kingdom is the essence of the gospel message (Mark 1:14–15). Men are now being called from the kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God (Acts 26:18). At the appointed time the Kingdom of God will destroy the kingdom of Satan (Babylonianism). Those who have qualified during a life of trial and testing in the true Way of Life will assume command with Christ (Daniel 2:44–45). They will rule with Christ over the nations for a thousand years (Daniel 7:27, Revelation 5:9–10; 20:4).          During the thousand years between the first and the second resurrection the judgment of the wicked takes place to vindicate that God is righteous and just. The apostle Paul points to this judgment as an event that follows the second advent. "Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts." 1 Corinthians 4:5. Daniel declares that when the Ancient of Days came, "judgment was given to the saints of the Most High." Daniel 7:22. At this time the righteous reign as kings and priests unto God. John in the Revelation says: "I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them." "They shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." Revelation 20:4, 6. It is at this time that, as foretold by Paul, "the saints shall judge the world." 1 Corinthians 6:2. In union with Christ they judge the wicked, comparing their acts with the statute book, the Bible, and deciding every case according to the deeds done in the body. Then the portion which the wicked must suffer is meted out, according to their works; and it is recorded against their names in the book of death.  {GC 660.4}

2.4.5.6.2.1 The Second Resurrection    

Satan also and evil angels are judged by Christ and His people. Says Paul: "Know ye not that we shall judge angels?" (1 Cor 6:3) And Jude declares that "the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." Jude 6.  {GC 661.1} The Kingdom of God is destined to be an everlasting Kingdom. However, Satan's kingdom—Babylon—is destined to be destroyed forever.

 

At the close of the thousand years, Christ again returns to the earth. He is accompanied by the host of the redeemed and attended by a retinue of angels. As He descends in terrific majesty He bids the wicked dead arise to receive their doom. This is the second resurrection when the wicked will be raised from the dead and appear before God for the execution of "the judgment written. (Rev 20:5; Isa 24:22) "They come forth, a mighty host, numberless as the sands of the sea. What a contrast to those who were raised at the first resurrection! The righteous were clothed with immortal youth and beauty. The wicked bear the traces of disease and death.  {GC 662.1}

Christ descends upon the Mount of Olives, whence, after His resurrection, He ascended, and where angels repeated the promise of His return. Says the prophet: "The Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with Thee." "And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof, . . . and there shall be a very great valley." "And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one." Zechariah 14:5, 4, 9 As the New Jerusalem, in its dazzling splendor, comes down out of heaven, it rests upon the place purified and made ready to receive it, and Christ, with His people and the angels, enters the Holy City.  {GC 662.3} 

Now Satan prepares for a last mighty struggle for the supremacy. While deprived of his power and cut off from his work of deception, the prince of evil was miserable and dejected; but as the wicked dead are raised and he sees the vast multitudes upon his side, his hopes revive, and he determines not to yield the great controversy. He will marshal all the armies of the lost under his banner and through them endeavor to execute his plans. The wicked are Satan's captives. In rejecting Christ they have accepted the rule of the rebel leader. They are ready to receive his suggestions and to do his bidding. Yet, true to his early cunning, he does not acknowledge himself to be Satan. He claims to be the prince who is the rightful owner of the world and whose inheritance has been unlawfully wrested from him. He represents himself to his deluded subjects as a redeemer, assuring them that his power has brought them forth from their graves and that he is about to rescue them from the most cruel tyranny. The presence of Christ having been removed, Satan works wonders to support his claims. He makes the weak strong and inspires all with his own spirit and energy. He proposes to lead them against the camp of the saints and to take possession of the City of God. With fiendish exultation he points to the unnumbered millions who have been raised from the dead and declares that as their leader he is well able to overthrow the city and regain his throne and his kingdom.  {GC 663.1} 

In that vast throng are multitudes of the long-lived race that existed before the Flood; men of lofty stature and giant intellect, who, yielding to the control of fallen angels, devoted all their skill and knowledge to the exaltation of themselves; men whose wonderful works of art led the world to idolize their genius, but whose cruelty and evil inventions, defiling the earth and defacing the image of God, caused Him to blot them from the face of His creation. {GC 664.1}

2.4.5.6.2.2 Judgment of the Wicked

In the presence of the assembled inhabitants of earth and heaven the final coronation of the Son of God takes place. And now, invested with supreme majesty and power, the King of kings pronounces sentence upon the rebels against His government and executes justice upon those who have transgressed His law and oppressed His people. {GC 666.1}

As soon as the books of record are opened, and the eye of Jesus looks upon the wicked, they are conscious of every sin which they have ever committed. They see just where their feet diverged from the path of purity and holiness, just how far pride and rebellion have carried them in the violation of the law of God. The seductive temptations which they encouraged by indulgence in sin, the blessings perverted, the messengers of God despised, the warnings rejected, the waves of mercy beaten back by the stubborn, unrepentant heart--all appear as if written in letters of fire.  {GC 666.2} 

Above the throne is revealed the cross; and like a panoramic view appear the scenes of Adam's temptation and fall, and the successive steps in the great plan of redemption. ..{GC 666.3}  The awful spectacle appears just as it was. Satan, his angels, and his subjects have no power to turn from the picture of their own work. Each actor recalls the part which he performed. Herod, who slew the innocent children of Bethlehem that he might destroy the King of Israel; the base Herodias, upon whose guilty soul rests the blood of John the Baptist; the weak, timeserving Pilate; the mocking soldiers; the priests and rulers and the maddened throng who cried, "His blood be on us, and on our children!"--all behold the enormity of their guilt. They vainly seek to hide from the divine majesty of His countenance, outshining the glory of the sun, while the redeemed cast their crowns at the Saviour's feet, exclaiming: "He died for me!"  {GC 667.2} 

There are papist priests and prelates, who claimed to be Christ's ambassadors, yet employed the rack, the dungeon, and the stake to control the consciences of His people. There are the proud pontiffs who exalted themselves above God and presumed to change the law of the Most High. {GC 668.1} 

The whole wicked world stand arraigned at the bar of God on the charge of high treason against the government of heaven. They have none to plead their cause; they are without excuse; and the sentence of eternal death is pronounced against them.  {GC 668.2} 

It is now evident to all that the wages of sin is not noble independence and eternal life, but slavery, ruin, and death. The wicked see what they have forfeited by their life of rebellion. The far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory was despised when offered them; but how desirable it now appears. "All this," cries the lost soul, "I might have had; but I chose to put these things far from me. Oh, strange infatuation! I have exchanged peace, happiness, and honor for wretchedness, infamy, and despair." All see that their exclusion from heaven is just. By their lives they have declared: "We will not have this Man [Jesus] to reign over us."  {GC 668.3} 

As if entranced, the wicked have looked upon the coronation of the Son of God. They see in His hands the tables of the divine law, the statutes which they have despised and  transgressed. They witness the outburst of wonder, rapture, and adoration from the saved; and as the wave of melody sweeps over the multitudes without the city, all with one voice exclaim, "Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints" (Revelation 15:3); and, falling prostrate, they worship the Prince of life.  {GC 668.4}

2.4.5.6.2.2.1 Satan Acknowledgement – God’s Law Vindicated

Satan seems paralyzed as he beholds the glory and majesty of Christ. He who was once a covering cherub remembers whence he has fallen. A shining seraph, "son of the morning;" how changed, how degraded! From the council where once he was honored, he is forever excluded. He sees another now standing near to the Father, veiling His glory. He has seen the crown placed upon the head of Christ by an angel of lofty stature and majestic presence, and he knows that the exalted position of this angel might have been his.  {GC 669.1} 

He reviews his work among men and its results--the enmity of man toward his fellow man, the terrible destruction of life, the rise and fall of kingdoms, the overturning of thrones, the long succession of tumults, conflicts, and revolutions. He recalls his constant efforts to oppose the work of Christ and to sink man lower and lower. He sees that his hellish plots have been powerless to destroy those who have put their trust in Jesus. As Satan looks upon his kingdom, the fruit of his toil, he sees only failure and ruin. He has led the multitudes to believe that the City of God would be an easy prey; but he knows that this is false. Again and again, in the progress of the great controversy, he has been defeated and compelled to yield. He knows too well the power and majesty of the Eternal. {GC 669.2} 

The aim of the great rebel has ever been to justify himself and to prove the divine government responsible for the rebellion. To this end he has bent all the power of his giant intellect. He has worked deliberately and systematically, and with marvelous success, leading vast multitudes to accept his version of the great controversy which has been so long in progress. For thousands of years this chief of conspiracy has palmed off falsehood for truth. But the time has now come when the rebellion is to be finally defeated and the history and character of Satan disclosed. In his last great effort to dethrone Christ, destroy His people, and take possession of the City of God, the arch-deceiver has been fully unmasked. Those who have united with him see the total failure of his cause. Christ's followers and the loyal angels behold the full extent of his machinations against the government of God. He is the object of universal abhorrence.  {GC 670.1} 

 The working out of Satan's rule in contrast with the government of God has been presented to the whole universe. Satan's own works have condemned him. God's wisdom, His justice, and His goodness stand fully vindicated. It is seen that all His dealings in the great controversy have been conducted with respect to the eternal good of His people and the good of all the worlds that He has created. "All Thy works shall praise Thee, O Lord; and Thy saints shall bless Thee." Psalm 145:10. The history of sin will stand to all eternity as a witness that with the existence of God's law is bound up the happiness of all the beings He has created. With all the facts of the great controversy in view, the whole universe, both loyal and rebellious, with one accord declare: "Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints."  {GC 670.3}

2.4.5.6.2.2.2 Babylon is Forever Ended

  Notwithstanding that Satan has been constrained to acknowledge God's justice and to bow to the supremacy of Christ, his character remains unchanged. The spirit of rebellion, like a mighty torrent, again bursts forth. Filled with frenzy, he determines not to yield the great controversy. The time has come for a last desperate struggle against the King  of heaven. He rushes into the midst of his subjects and endeavors to inspire them with his own fury and arouse them to instant battle. But of all the countless millions whom he has allured into rebellion, there are none now to acknowledge his supremacy. His power is at an end. The wicked are filled with the same hatred of God that inspires Satan; but they see that their case is hopeless, that they cannot prevail against Jehovah. Their rage is kindled against Satan and those who have been his agents in deception, and with the fury of demons they turn upon them{GC 671.2} 

     Saith the Lord: "Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit." "I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. . . . I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. . . . I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. . . . Thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more." Ezekiel 28:6-8, 16-19.  {GC 672.1} 

"Every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire." "The indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and His fury upon all their armies: He hath utterly destroyed them, He hath delivered them to the slaughter." "Upon the wicked He shall rain quick burning coals, fire and brimstone and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup." Isaiah 9:5; 34:2; Psalm 11:6, margin. Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The earth is broken up. The weapons concealed in its depths are drawn forth. Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm. The very rocks are on fire. The day has come that shall burn as an oven. The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein are burned up. Malachi 4:1; 2 Peter 3:10. The earth's surface seems one molten mass--a vast, seething  lake of fire. It is the time of the judgment and perdition of ungodly men--"the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion." Isaiah 34:8.  {GC 672.2}

The wicked receive their recompense in the earth. Proverbs 11:31. They "shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts." Malachi 4:1. Some are destroyed as in a moment, while others suffer many days. All are punished "according to their deeds." The sins of the righteous having been transferred to Satan, he is made to suffer not only for his own rebellion, but for all the sins which he has caused God's people to commit. His punishment is to be far greater than that of those whom he has deceived. After all have perished who fell by his deceptions, he is still to live and suffer on. In the cleansing flames the wicked are at last destroyed, root and branch--Satan the root, his followers the branches. The full penalty of the law has been visited; the demands of justice have been met; and heaven and earth, beholding, declare the righteousness of Jehovah.  {GC 673.1} 

Satan's work of ruin is forever ended. For six thousand years he has wrought his will, filling the earth with woe and causing grief throughout the universe. The whole creation has groaned and travailed together in pain. Now God's creatures are forever delivered from his presence and temptations. "The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they [the righteous] break forth into singing." Isaiah 14:7. And a shout of praise and triumph ascends from the whole loyal universe. "The voice of a great multitude," "as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings," is heard, saying: "Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." Revelation 19:6.  {GC 673.2}

2.4.5.6.2.3 The Kingdom of Glory Begins 

While the earth was wrapped in the fire of destruction, the righteous abode safely in the Holy City. Upon those that had part in the first resurrection, the second death has no power. While God is to the wicked a consuming fire, He is to His people both a sun and a shield. Revelation 20:6; Psalm 84:11. {GC 673.3}

I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away." Revelation 21:1. The fire that consumes the wicked purifies the earth. Every trace of the curse is swept away. No eternally burning hell will keep before the ransomed the fearful consequences of sin.  {GC 674.1} 

One reminder alone remains: Our Redeemer will ever bear the marks of His crucifixion. Upon His wounded head, upon His side, His hands and feet, are the only traces of the cruel work that sin has wrought. Says the prophet, beholding Christ in His glory: "He had bright beams coming out of His side: and there was the hiding of His power." Habakkuk 3:4, margin. That pierced side whence flowed the crimson stream that reconciled man to God--there is the Saviour's glory, there "the hiding of His power." "Mighty to save," through the sacrifice of redemption, He was therefore strong to execute justice upon them that despised God's mercy. And the tokens of His humiliation are His highest honor; through the eternal ages the wounds of Calvary will show forth His praise and declare His power.  {GC 674.2}

 

2.5 Conclusion

This article unravels the mystery of Babylon by searching out the truth based on the facts in history as recorded and confirmed in the Bible. Knowing this mystery is tantamount to securing our freedom, the driving force in motivating us to work and be successful in order to be able to do what we want, to fulfill our desires.  Liberty guarantees individuality which is what human beings possess for no two persons are alike. The liberty we cherish is only good until we succumb to death. So Liberty is connected with life. God is the Creator who made us in His image. He is our source of life as it is the attested writing in the Bible. The Bible is objectively true even if you disbelieve in this. We are the evidences of His everlasting love. We were made perfect and were given the liberty to love Him or choose to go our own way. When we accept Jesus we pass from spiritual death to spiritual life. Without Christ we are dead in sin. Since the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), we have no possibility of living eternally without Christ. When we come to Jesus we receive the gift of eternal life from Him, and our names are placed in the book of life. Believers who keep God’s commandments and have the faith of Jesus do not die the second (eternal) death. To them the first physical death is a deep sleep to be resurrected at the second coming of Jesus to live with Him eternally.

2.5.1 The Law of Liberty (Ref 2.7.3.1, pp 60- 66)

God runs His universe on certain principles, certain fundamental laws, certain constants on which life is designed to operate. The primary principle is love (1 Jn 4:8), which emanates from the heart of God and is the base code for life. But love cannot exist in an atmosphere without freedom.

Whenever liberty is violated, three predictable consequences occur: 1. Love is always damaged and will eventually be destroyed; 2. a desire to rebel is installed in the heart and, if one has the option to restore freedom but instead chooses to remain violated, then 3. Individuality is slowly eroded and the person becomes a mere shadow.

2.5.1.1 God’s Standard, our Spiritual Weapon

Violate liberty, and love is always damaged. Eventually it will even be destroyed. A desire to rebel is instilled in the heart, but if one surrenders to violations long enough, individuality is shattered so that only a shadow remains. Love cannot exist in an atmosphere without freedom. This law is not enacted or legislated; it is one of the principles on which life is designed to operate, and our health and happiness are dependent on harmony with it.

It is essential you are convinced by testing it on a relationship in which freedom is abused by unlocking freedom and see if love revives as a result. Begin to promote the health, welfare and happiness of your spouse. Promote his or her dreams, goals and aspirations, and watch love blossom and grow.

Once we understand that this law is real – that it works, that it is a constant which never changes – then we have something measurable, tangible, reliable and predictable. There is also another standard against which we can test our theories, our doctrines and our beliefs about God. This tool enables the separation of the healthy from the damaging views of God, for God will never violate His own character of love, which means God does not take away freedom or operate contrary to the law of liberty.

This standard, this law highlighted in 2 Cor 10:3-5 is one of the spiritual weapons we can wield in our warfare against evil force. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world; possessing divine power to demolish evil strongholds, arguments and every pretensions that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. We take captives every thought to make it obedient to Christ. This is the huge invisible spiritual war we are in. This war is over the truth about God, who God is, and what He is like and whether He can be trusted. Satan, a created angel, and made the highest in ranking had the liberty to lie about God. This is the mystery of iniquity. The lies, the wrong views of God believed break the circle of love and trust. Love cannot flow where lies are retained, so we war against those lies in order to restore trust and reopen the channels of love.

2.5.1.2 Thoughts Rewire Brain (ibid, pp 55, 56)

Why is knowing the truth about God so critical, and what impact does it have on the brain? God created us in His image, with the ability to adapt and change based on our choices and experiences. When we believe lies about God those false beliefs actually damage us, change our neural circuits, and warp our minds and characters. Conversely, when we receive the truth we are also changed, conformed back into the image of God through the working of His Spirit. Brain science has given us some insights into the amazing pathways through which our thoughts actually change our brains.

The Amygdala, the fear centre of the brain, when activated triggers a cascade of caustic events, which ravages our bodies and brains. The sympathetic nervous system activates the release of stress hormones (glycocorticoids and adrenaline) and inflammatory factors (cytokines). The inflammatory factors wreak havoc in the body increasing illness, metabolic problems and pains.

2.5.1.2.1 Brain Fertilizers

The continual elevation of these inflammatory factors eventually react back on the brain, causing the suppression of genes that produce proteins called neurotrophic factors One such protein is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). “Brain-derived,’\” means that the brain makes it; “neurotrophic,” refers to something that makes the neurons grow strong. BDNF is likened to fertilizers for your neurons. When this protein is available, the neurons that get it grow stronger and send out more connections to other neurons, increasing brain circuits. The brain even makes new neurons under the influence of such proteins. With this protein available in the right brain regions, we can learn faster and easier. When this protein and other proteins like it are unavailable, the brain stops making new neurons and the neurons we have begin to wither and die.

BDNF does not leave the DNA as BDNF but as a precursor protein called proBDNF, whose effects are opposite BDNF. While BDNF is a fertilizer for neurons, proBDNF is like a weed killer to neurons. If proBDNf binds to dendrites, axons or neurons, it will kill them. The critical issue to determine whether a neuron or neural circuit gets BDNF or proBDNF is the presence of an enzyme that cleaves or cuts the longer chain molecule(proBDNF) into the shorter molecule BDNF. If the enzyme is not present, proBDNF is not cleaved and thus proBDNf prunes the circuit back.

What determines if a neural circuit will have the enzymes to `cleave proBDNF into BDNF? It is the activity of the neural circuit itself. If the circuit is utilized, active and firing, it produces the enzyme that cleaves pro BDNF into BDNF, and the circuit grows stronger, recruiting more neurons and making new connections. If, however the circuit is idle, it does not produce the enzyme and proBDNF is not cleaved. Therefore, over time, the circuit is slowly pruned back.

2.5.1.2.2 Bring Thoughts into Captivity

The decisions we make in our hearts determines which neural circuits get fired, either in action or imagination. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:”(Pro 23:7) But either way, it is the neural circuits the heart chooses that get activated and thus strengthened and retained.. The neurological ‘heart’ is the anterior cingulated cortex(ACC) where judgment (DLPCF and OFC/VMPFC) and our emotions(limbic system) is processed and where our choices are made.

We must demolish every lie about God because when the ACC accepts such lies, unhealthy neural circuits get fired and grow stronger, the prefrontal cortex is damaged, love is impaired, and fear is inflamed. Ultimately, holding to lies about God prevents God from restoring His image within us. But when we accept the truth and worships God in adoration, the PFC (including the ACC) grows healthier and fear is overcome.

2.5.1.3 Worship the True God

There are two pictures of God: a God of Love, as revealed in Jesus, or a god that other than love- a powerful and vindictive invisible being that requires some action be taken in order to merit his mercy, forgiveness and grace. In every false religion of the world, the central fallacy is a distorted picture of God. He is either a being too busy to care, who is detached and disinterested, or who is a cruel tyrant of absolute power that must be appeased. Brain research has demonstrated that the kind of God you worship changes you brain. Only the worship of the God of Love brings healing. Holding to lies obstructs the healing and restoring process.

2.5.2 Epilogue

“Face saving”(mian zi) one of the traits silently practiced by people (at least by the Chinese) may have its type also in Babylon. The simple and passive way is not doing anything that you think would look bad in front of others. It is either to be non committal or to cover up yourself so as not to expose your shame in case you have any (in any case, the vestige of hiding from God* subconsciously) or about to make any.  It is the act of putting up a perfect (fig leaf) appearance by not exposing your true natural self. The other extreme is to get others to look up to you out of pride in self, which was precisely the way that Satan took. Satan lied and deceived even a third of the angels to think that he can be supreme like God.  Our first parents Adam and Eve lost their perfect faces by listening to Satan’s lie concerning the truth in God’s word

(*Note: Adam and Eve lost their covering of light (the robe of righteousness) as mentioned in TOP6)

To seek to know the “Knowledge of good and evil” in spite of God’s personal teaching is disobedience out of a desire to exalt self signifying the choice of separation from God. Death is the consequence of knowing (mixing) good with evil without the help of God, the source of life. (Gen 2:17) Without God the knowledge of good and evil is damnation to eventual death which is the reality of every fallen sinful (proud and self righteous) human being. Before the entrance of sin, Adam enjoyed open communion with his Maker; but since man separated himself from God by transgression (lawlessness), the human race has been cut off from this high privilege. This is the diagnosis of the “face-saving” disease that all humans are infected with by inheritance. However, by the plan of redemption (the cure by God’s grace), a way has been opened whereby the inhabitants of the earth may still have connection with heaven (reconnected back to the life source). God has communicated with men by His Spirit, and divine light has been imparted to the world by revelations to His chosen servants. In His word, God has committed to men the knowledge necessary for salvation. The cure for the deadly “face-saving” disease is simply to return to trusting in the word of God to heal and restore your face in the sight of God and man.  But many choose not believe when they hear of the cure and refuse treatment. There are also those in the camp (professed Christians) who cherish the sin of Achan.

2.5.2.1 The Presence of Achan’s Sin

Three thousand of the warriors of Israel had gone up to besiege the little city of Ai. Joshua, their leader, had not expected defeat or disaster. .. But to his great dismay, the once conquering corps break rank in precipitous flight. He sees Israel discomfited, retreating before the men of Ai. The battle is abandoned, and thirty-six of his bravest warriors lie dead on the deserted field of conflict.  {RH, March 20, 1888 par. 1} 

 In answer to the prayer of Joshua, God revealed that at the siege of Jericho, the children of Israel had transgressed the commandments of the Lord, and broken the terms upon which He had promised to be their defense and deliverer. Everything in this city was accursed, and was to be utterly destroyed, with the exception of its gold and silver, and its vessels of brass and iron. These were to be consecrated to the Lord, and to be brought into the sanctuary; but Achan, the son of Carmi, had disregarded the directions of the Lord, and had taken of the spoils of Jericho. The camp was searched, and the guilty man stood before Joshua and the elders of Israel. Joshua said: "Tell me now what thou hast done." And he said: "When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it." The sin of this man had brought disaster upon Israel. The Lord would not be with them until the camp was cleansed and Achan was destroyed. The summary punishment visited upon him, was to teach Israel how God regarded iniquity, that they might be careful to obey every direction that was given them, and keep his commandments and live.  {RH, March 20, 1888 par. 3}

There are many in this day that would designate Achan's sin as of little consequence, and would excuse his guilt; but it is because they have no realization of the character of sin and its consequences, no sense of the holiness of God and of his requirements. The statement is often heard that God is not particular whether or not we give diligent heed to His word, whether or not we obey all the commandments of His holy law; but the record of His dealing with Achan should be a warning to us. He will in no wise clear the guilty. Says Paul, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come."  {RH, March 20, 1888 par. 4} 

The children of Israel often repeated this experience in their history. Not profiting by the examples of those who had sinned, nor being warned by the judgments that had fallen upon the transgressors, they lightly regarded the precepts of Jehovah, and came under condemnation. The nation that, through the favor of God, had gone forth as invincible and victorious, because of disobedience lost their power, their defense departed from them, and they became the proverb of the heathen and the prey of their enemies.  {RH, March 20, 1888 par. 5} 

2.5.2.1.1 Growth of Achan's Covetousness

 Achan had fostered covetousness and deception in his heart, until his perceptions of sin had become blunted, and he fell an easy prey to temptation. Those who venture to indulge in a known sin will be more readily overcome the second time. The first transgression opens the door to the tempter, and he gradually breaks down all resistance and takes full possession of the citadel of the soul. Achan had listened to oft-repeated warnings against the sin of covetousness. The law of God, pointed and positive, had forbidden stealing and all deception, but he continued to cherish sin. As he was not detected and openly rebuked, he grew bolder; warnings had less and less effect upon him, until his soul was bound in chains of darkness (ST April 21, 1881).  {2BC 997.5} 

2.5.2.1.1.2 In Exchange for His Soul

For a Babylonish robe and a paltry treasure of gold and silver, Achan consented to sell himself to evil, to bring upon his soul the curse of God, to forfeit his title to a rich possession in Canaan, and lose all prospect of the future, immortal inheritance in the earth made new. A fearful price indeed he paid for his ill-gotten gains! (ST May 5, 1881).  {2BC 997.6} 

2.5.2.2 False Prophets

The fact that God has revealed His will to men through His word, has not rendered needless the continued presence and guiding of the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, the Spirit was promised by our Saviour, to open the word to His servants, to illuminate and apply its teachings. And since it was the Spirit of God that inspired the Bible, it is impossible that the teaching of the Spirit should ever be contrary to that of the word. {GC vii.2} 

The Spirit was not given--nor can it ever be bestowed--to supersede the Bible; for the Scriptures explicitly state that the word of God is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. Says the apostle John, "Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." 1 John 4:1. And Isaiah declares, "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isaiah 8:20.  {GC vii.3}

Great reproach has been cast upon the work of the Holy Spirit by the errors of a class that, claiming its enlightenment, profess to have no further need of guidance from the word of God. They are governed by impressions which they regard as the voice of God in the soul. But the spirit that controls them is not the Spirit of God. This following of impressions, to the neglect of the Scriptures, can lead only to confusion, to deception and ruin. It serves only to further the designs of the evil one. Since the ministry of the Holy Spirit is of vital importance to the church of Christ, it is one of the devices of Satan, through the errors of extremists and fanatics, to cast contempt upon the work of the Spirit and cause the people of God to neglect this source of strength which our Lord Himself has provided.  {GC vii.4}

2.5.2.3 Lest we forget Past History

We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the Lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history.” -E.G. White {CET 204.1}

 Mrs. White enjoins all to become diligent Bible students, that they may know the pillars and groundwork of the truth. They should study prophetic history, which has brought us down point by point to where we are at the present time. .. There is the necessity of learning more and still more where we stand today in prophetic history, uniting link after link in the prophetic chain, even from Genesis to Revelation. Christ is the Alpha, the first link, and the Omega, the last link, of the gospel chain, which is welded in Revelation. {10MR 171.1}  Prophecy is given so that when it is fulfilled testify to the truth. The fulfillment of events prophesied in the appointed time give us confidence in God.

There is need of a much closer study of the Word of God; especially should Daniel and the Revelation have attention as never before. . . . The light that Daniel received from God was given especially for these last days.--TM 112, 113 (1896).  {LDE 15.3}  Let us read and study the twelfth chapter of Daniel. It is a warning that we shall all need to understand before the time of the end.--15MR 228 (1903).  {LDE 15.4} The last book of the New Testament scriptures is full of truth that we need to understand.--COL 133 (1900).  {LDE 15.5} The unfulfilled predictions of the book of Revelation are soon to be fulfilled. This prophecy is now to be studied with diligence by the people of God and should be clearly understood. It does not conceal the truth; it clearly forewarns, telling us what will be in the future.--1NL 96 (1903).  {LDE 15.6} The solemn messages that have been given in their order in the Revelation are to occupy the first place in the minds of God's people.--8T 302 (1904).  {LDE 16.1}

Daniel was not given to understand all that God had revealed of the divine purpose. He was directed seal up the book until the time of the end. The Book was written in symbolic languages to preserve the truth that is to happen in the last days. As we near the close of this world's history, the prophecies recorded by Daniel demand our special attention, as they relate to the very time in which we are living.

It was the Lion of the tribe of Judah who unsealed the book and gave to John the revelation of what should be in these last days.  {TM 115.2}

It was Apostle Paul who provided the caution to the whole of the Christian dispensation down to the year 1798 not to expect the return of Jesus until the “man of sin,” which is also styled the “mystery of iniquity,” the “son of perdition,” and “that wicked,” representing the papacy, which, as foretold in prophecy, was to maintain its supremacy for 1260 years “be revealed.” (2 The 2:3, Dan 7:25) It is after 1798 that the message of Christ's second coming is to be proclaimed.  {GC88 356.1} (This is one of the specified time prophecies. The first time prophecy was the seventy years captivity in Babylon lasting from 605 B.C. to 536B.C. as the fist group of Jews returned in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia (Ezra 1:1) under the leadership of Zerubabbel.  The seventy weeks of Dan 9:24-25 concerning the ministry (27 A.D) and crucifixion of the Messiah (31 A.D. and the stoning of Steven signifying the rejection of Judaism (34 A.D.), and the 2300 days (Dan 8:14) as the entry of Jesus into the Most Holy Place in the heavenly Sanctuary to commence investigative judgment (22nd Oct. 1844) are the other main time specified prophecies.)   

A careful study of the working out of God's purpose in the history of nations and in the revelation of things to come, will help us to estimate at their true value things seen and things unseen, and to learn what is the true aim of life. Thus, viewing the things of time in the light of eternity, we may, like Daniel and his fellows, live for that which is true and noble and enduring. And learning in this life the principles of the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour, that blessed kingdom which is to endure for ever and ever, we may be prepared at His coming to enter with Him into its possession.  {PK 548.2}

There are some lessons that are revealed in the book of Daniel for our edification that we should heed. There are also other deeper lessons to be revealed which is beyond my present understanding to confidently share at this time.     

2.5.2.3.1 The Lessons from Daniel

Babylon was the setting for the prophesied seventy years (captivity 605-539 B.C.) (Jer 29:10) of God’s chosen people (ambassadors) when the successive kings of Judah, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin and Zedekiah, defiantly chose not to heed God’s repeated warnings through His prophets given mainly by Jeremiah (ministry spanning 627-586B.C.), and Ezekiel (deported to Babylon in 597B.C with prophetic calls from 593 to 571 B.C.). The other prophets with related prophecies concerning the impending judgment on Israel and Judah were Isaiah, Amos, Micah, Zephaniah, Nahum and Habakkuk. This is the type of our captivity as prisoners of Satan in the invisible spiritual war. What had transpired in the past history (especially in the Book of Daniel) is an example for us to be prepared for what is to come in our time of great tribulation prior to the second coming of Christ to deliver us. By God’s grace, history will repeat itself until Satan and sin is eradicated.

Daniel was a nobleman of Israel (possibly a prince) who was taken to Babylon at the first deportation (605 B.C.), probably while in his early teens (Dan 1:3, 4). His ministry lasted the entire length of the Babylon Exile, his last dated prophecy being made in 536 B.C. when Daniel was in his eighties. The meaning of Daniel’s name, “my God is judge,” is certainly in harmony with the theme of the book, the sovereignty of God. This book describes current and future world conflicts (i.e. the final battle in the end-time), but God’s control over all events is clearly demonstrated.

The things that appear in Daniel’s vision, such as the great statues, the beasts, the angelic messengers, and the description of God’s glory, are very similar to the things that are portrayed in the Book of Revelation.  The Book of Revelation cannot be properly interpreted without a general knowledge of the Book of Daniel. Material from every chapter of Daniel is either quoted or alluded to in Revelation, and only two chapters in Revelation do not have some background in Daniel.

 

2.5.2.3.1.1 Conversion of Nebuchadnezzar

Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, was the instrument chosen by God to punish the people of Israel as a consequence of their transgressions (lawlessness). God’s purpose was manifold in His mercy. By placing His faithful servant like David and his three friends, they were to show in their acts and behaviours to impact on their captors the glory and power of God. Through the Hebrew captives the Lord was made known to the heathens in Babylon. This idolatrous nation was given a knowledge of the kingdom the Lord was to establish, and through His power maintain against all the power and craft of Satan. Daniel and his fellow-companions, Ezra and Nehemiah, and many others were witnesses for God in their captivity. In the process this brought about the conversion of Nebuchadnezzar and through him all his subjects. Unfortunately, his grandson, Belshazzar, failed to benefit in the way of his grandfather and went so far as to profane the gold and silver vessels taken out of God’s temple in Jerusalem by drinking in them with his royal families in merriment. This brought about the overthrow of Babylon by Cyrus, the king of Medo-Persia in 539 B.C. as was prophesied by Isaiah (Isa 45:1).

Exalted to the pinnacle of worldly honor, and acknowledged even by Inspiration as "a king of kings" (Ezekiel 26:7). Nebuchadnezzar nevertheless at times had ascribed to the favor of Jehovah the glory of his kingdom and the splendor of his reign. Such had been the case after his dream of the great image. His mind had been profoundly influenced by this vision and by the thought that the Babylonian Empire, universal though it was, was finally to fall, and other kingdoms were to bear sway, until at last all earthly powers were to be superseded by a kingdom set up by the God of heaven, which kingdom was never to be destroyed.  {PK 514.1}

Nebuchadnezzar's noble conception of God's purpose concerning the nations was lost sight of later in his experience; yet when his proud spirit was humbled before the multitude on the plain of Dura, he once more had acknowledged that God's kingdom is "an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation." An idolater by birth and training, and at the head of an idolatrous people, he had nevertheless an innate sense of justice and right, and God was able to use him as an instrument for the punishment of the rebellious and for the fulfillment of the divine purpose. "The terrible of the nations" (Ezekiel 28:7), it was given Nebuchadnezzar, after years of patient and wearing labor, to conquer Tyre; Egypt also fell a prey to his victorious armies; and as he added nation after nation to the Babylonian realm, he added more and more to his fame as the greatest ruler of the age.  {PK 514.2} 

It is not surprising that the successful monarch, so ambitious and so proud-spirited, should be tempted to turn aside from the path of humility, which alone leads to true greatness. In the intervals between his wars of conquest he gave much thought to the strengthening and beautifying of his capital, until at length the city of Babylon became the chief glory of his kingdom, "the golden city," "the praise of the whole earth." His passion as a builder, and his signal success in making Babylon one of the wonders of the world, ministered to his pride, until he was in grave danger of spoiling his record as a wise ruler whom God could continue to use as an instrument for the carrying out of the divine purpose.  {PK 515.1} 

In mercy God gave the king another dream, to warn him of his peril and of the snare that had been laid for his ruin. (Dan 4:1-37)

The last dream which God gave to Nebuchadnezzar, and the  experience of the king in connection with it, contain lessons of vital importance to all those who are connected with the work of God. The king was troubled with his dream; for it was evidently a prediction of adversity, and none of his wise men would attempt to interpret it. The faithful Daniel stood before the king, not to flatter, not to misinterpret in order to secure favor. A solemn duty rested upon him to tell the king of Babylon the truth. . . .  {CC 253.2} 

Nebuchadnezzar did not heed the heaven-sent message. One year after he had been thus warned, as he walked in his palace, he said within himself, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built . . .?" The God of heaven read the heart of the king, and heard its whisperings of self-congratulation. . . . "There fell a voice from heaven, saying, . . . The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it  to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar."  {CC 253.3} 

For seven years Nebuchadnezzar was an astonishment to all his subjects; for seven years he was humbled before all the world. Then his reason was restored and, looking up in humility to the God of heaven, he recognized the divine hand in his chastisement. In a public proclamation he acknowledged his guilt and the great mercy of God in his restoration. . . .  {CC 253.4} 

2.5.2.3.1.1.1 Some Today Like Nebuchadnezzar

From the record of Nebuchadnezzar's experience we may learn how the Lord regards the spirit of self-exaltation. Had the Babylonian king heeded God's warnings in regard to self-exaltation, the humiliation with which he was threatened might have been averted; but he went on with proud superiority, using the gifts of God as his own to exalt self, until he felt the humbling hand of the Almighty. Not until he had passed through seven years of shame and suffering, did the king learn that God is able to abase those who walk in pride and self-exaltation. Nebuchadnezzar's experience is a warning to all.  {YI, April 4, 1905 par. 1}    

We are living in the last days of this earth's history, and we may be surprised at nothing in the line of apostasies and denials of the truth. Unbelief has now come to be a fine art, which men work at to the destruction of their souls. There is constant danger of there being shams in pulpit preachers, whose lives contradict the words they speak; but the voice of warning and of admonition will be heard as long as time shall last; and those who are guilty of transactions that should never be entered into, when reproved or counseled through the Lord's appointed agencies, will resist the message and refuse to be corrected. They will go on as did Pharaoh, and Nebuchadnezzar, until the Lord takes away their reason, and their hearts become unimpressible. The Lord's Word will come to them; but if they choose not to hear it, the Lord will make them responsible for their own ruin (NL No. 31, p. 1).  {4BC 1170.4

2.5.2.3.1.2 The First and Last

Satan, the king of Babylon, has endeavored to establish a cohesive kingdom that could stand permanently. The image in the prophecy of Daniel (chapter2) represented the continuity of the Babylonian system where she was the first kingdom and is the head; but her end as described in Revelation is sure.  Christ came to prepare a kingdom that will replace Satan's (Matthew 25:34). That kingdom is the essence of the gospel message (Mark 1:14–15). Men are now being called from the kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God (Acts 26:18). At the appointed time the Kingdom of God will destroy the kingdom of Satan (Babylonianism). The destruction of Babylon will be complete. The Bible uses various expressions in the Old Testament type to describe the finality of the destruction of Babylon. In Jeremiah 51:2, the land of Babylon will be completely emptied. Babylon does not exist today.

Babylon under king Nebuchadnezzar was recorded as the first greatest empire of the world. The prophecy was the interpretation of the king's dream which he could not recall so that the wise men by their claimed understanding of mysteries, should not place upon it a false interpretation The historic events related in the king's dream were of consequence to him as it is the prophecy on the history of the world beginning with Babylon as the head of the image made in gold constituting the most valued of the whole image. (The next three kingdoms were Medo-Persia (silver, 539 - 331 B.C.), Greece (bronze, 331.-168 B.C.), and Rome (Iron, 168 B.C.-476 A.D). In addition Daniel also predicted that that the Roman Empire would be divided as represented by the feet of iron and clay. The breakup of the empire occurred from A.D. 351 to A.D. 476. Daniel continued, “But they will not adhere to one another” (verse 43, NKJV). History has followed this prophecy like a blueprint. Dictators and rulers have attempted to unite Europe through the centuries, but have absolutely failed. The Roman Empire was divided. The divisions of the empire into the eastern and western sections formed the foundation of the nations located in Europe today. The nations of Europe will never be able to be united into one in spite of the many historical attempts. The rock representing the coming kingdom of God broke up the image at the feet meaning that the forces of evil will be crushed, destroyed, broken in pieces. God will establish His everlasting kingdom forever - see Bible study L 2). The decrease in value of the elements in each successive section seems to relate to a decrease of absolute rule by each king in each portion. Following Babylon, every empire had a ruler who exhibited external controls, and Rome was technically a republic even though the emperors exercised dictatorial powers. Therefore the influence of Babylon was very great being inadvertently absorbed into the other three empires after her in all aspects of living that we observe in our modern lives.  

Babylonianism is educational and religious in nature. But this education (including all religion) is deceptive. Deception is a mental disorientation through the information and materials being taught, the type of teachers, and the method of indoctrination. Nebuchadnezzar brought the pick of the crop of the youths from the royal house of Judah to be trained in the language and customs of the Chaldeans by his special class of wise Chaldeans made up of astrologers, magicians and sorcerers. The trainees were castrated and were given the best care and treatment in food, drink and accommodation. Their names were also changed to reflect the Chaldeans gods to bring about a total transformation of character and to serve in his court after their graduation. Education is the acquisition of knowledge, whether right or wrong. The Bible tells us the whole world is deceived (Revelation 12:9); that is, it is mentally disoriented. It has acquired erroneous knowledge. Deception is the basis of the educational philosophy of Babylonianism.

The social aim of Babylonianism is the mixing of the races and the disruption or loss of national identity. In the Babylonian context "lived deliciously" (Revelation 18:7)  implies a riotous and uncontrolled lifestyle, a way of life that will come to an end when merrymaking and social plunder are brought to a halt (vv. 22–23). The inhabitants of the earth made drunk with the wine of her fornication (Revelation 17:2) implies a lifestyle of excess and debauchery at every level of social contact.

The empire was indeed one of the great military powers of the past. Modern Babylon is the woman riding a beast, symbolizing government. (Revelation 17:3, 6–7) Here we find a political and military structure which inflicts its will upon all peoples, particularly upon those who follow God (Revelation 17:6; 18:24). Babylonianism will war against Christ and the armies of heaven when He returns (Revelation 17:14; 19:11–21). Babylonianism is militaristic and truculent by nature and is the diametric opposite of God's Way; it is a way of rebellion against the way of Truth—the absolutes of God.

In terms of political power the rulers of the earth cohabit with Babylon; that is, they participate in her concepts of government, which include both totalitarian and socialistic forms of rule (Revelation 17:2). The kings of the earth have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her (Revelation 18:9), which implies willing cohabitation, acceptance, and pursuit of these relationships. At the appointed time God will place all nations under the control and rule of Babylon (Jeremiah 27:7). Since Revelation 17–18 shows the power and control of Babylon is over the world in the last days, we can take Jeremiah 27 to be the type. Also, keep in mind 1 Corinthians 10, verses 6 and 11, says that which was written in ancient times was written for our admonition and learning.

In economy and wealth Babylon has been engaged in merchandising (Isaiah 47:15) from "youth." The enormity of Babylonianism's riches and commerce can be seen in Ezekiel 26:1–27:36. Keep in mind that Tyrus in these chapters is identical with Babylon because Isaiah 14:4–14 and Ezekiel 28:11–16 both demonstrate that Satan is the invisible ruler of Babylon and Tyrus. Revelation 18 goes on to tell us that the merchants of the earth have waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies; that a great international business relationship prospers under her aegis, and that prominence has been accorded the major businessmen of the earth.

 

2.5.2.3.1.3 Keeping God’s Commandments

 From the history of Daniel we may learn that a strict compliance with the requirements of God will prove a blessing, not only in the future, immortal life, but also in the present life. Through religious principles, men may triumph over the temptations of Satan and the devices of wicked men, even though it costs them a great sacrifice. What if Daniel had made a compromise with those heathen rulers, and had denied his God? What if, on first entering the court, he had yielded to the pressure of temptation, by eating and drinking as was customary among the Babylonians? That one wrong step would probably have led to others, until, his connection with Heaven being severed, he would have been borne away by the power of temptation. But while he clung to God with unwavering, prayerful trust, he could not be forsaken. The divine protection is pledged to those who thus seek it, and God cannot forget his word.  {ST, November 4, 1886 par. 11} 

It was through prayer and adherence to right principles that Daniel was enabled to stand firm in the hour of trial and temptation. The prayer of faith is the great strength of the Christian, and will assuredly prevail against the devices of the hosts of darkness. Satan well knows how needful are meditation and prayer to keep Christ's followers aroused to understand his devices, and resist his temptations; so he tries to lead men to believe that prayer is useless, and but a mere form. If he can divert the mind from these important exercises, so that the soul will not lean for help on the Mighty One, and obtain divine strength to resist his attacks, he knows full well that he has gained a decided advantage.  {ST, November 4, 1886 par. 12} 

 We are living in the most solemn period of this world's history, when the last conflict between truth and error is raging; and we need courage and firmness for the right, and a prayerful trust in God no less than Daniel did. The destiny of earth's teeming millions is about to be decided; and our own future well-being, and the salvation of other souls, depend upon the course which we pursue. If we possess the same unwavering integrity that characterized the prophet of old, God will be honored through our course, and souls will be saved to shine as stars in the crown of our rejoicing. {ST, November 4, 1886 par. 13} 

Had Israel taken heed to the messages of the prophets emphasizing the value of "the great things" of God's law, they would have been spared the humiliation that followed. It was because they persisted in turning aside from his law that God was compelled to allow their enemies to take them captive. "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge," was his message to them through Hosea. "Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, . . . seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God." Hosea 4:6. In trial and affliction they were to learn lessons that under circumstances more favorable they had refused to learn.  {RH, February 26, 1914 par. 1} 

 In every age, transgression of God's law has been accompanied by the same result. In the days of Noah, when every precept of this law was set aside, iniquity became so deep and widespread that God could no longer bear with it, and he said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth." In the time of Abraham, the people of Sodom openly defied God and his law; and there followed the same wickedness, the same corruption, the same unbridled indulgence, that had marked the antediluvian world. The inhabitants of Sodom passed the limits of divine forbearance, and there were kindled against them the fires of God's vengeance. The time preceding the downfall of the northern kingdom was one of similar disobedience and of similar wickedness. God's law was counted as a thing of naught, and this opened the floodgates of iniquity upon Israel. "The Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land," Hosea declared, "because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood."  {RH, February 26, 1914 par. 2} 

And as it was then so it is today. Men boast of the wonderful progress and enlightenment of the age, but God sees the earth filled with guilt and violence. Men declare that the law of God has been abrogated, that the Bible is not authentic; and as a result, a tide of evil, such as has seldom been seen since the days of Noah and the days of apostate Israel, is sweeping over the world. Lawlessness, dissipation, extravagance, and corruption are coming in upon us as an overwhelming flood. Nobility of soul, gentleness, piety, are bartered away to gratify the lust for forbidden things. The taking of human life is a matter of daily occurrence. The terrible record of crime daily committed for the sake of gain is enough to chill the blood and fill the soul with horror. "Judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey."  {RH, February 26, 1914 par. 3} 

The time is right upon us when there will be sorrow in the world that no human balm can heal. The Spirit of God is being withdrawn from the world. Disasters by sea and land follow one another in quick succession. How frequently we hear of earthquakes and tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood, with great loss of life and property. Apparently these calamities are capricious outbreaks of seemingly disorganized, unregulated forces, but in them God's purpose may be read. They are one of the means by which he seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger.  {RH, February 26, 1914 par. 4}

2.5.2.3.1.3.1 Destruction of World to Repeat (Ref 2.8.1.20)

 "As the days of Noe (Noah) were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. . . . Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come."  {RH, February 26, 1914 par. 5}

Jesus, in the Olivet Discourse, presents the same picture. He lays out a clear uncomplicated straightforward single end time gathering of a single Elect. The righteous, both the 'quick (living) and the dead', are gathered at the last day. Jesus clearly and specifically said that this gathering of His Covenant people would occur "after the Tribulation of those days". (Mat.24:29-31) And yet certain 19th century churchmen, under the influence of Freemasonry, have seen fit to separate the Resurrection from the Rapture.

Other pieces of the jigsaw puzzle such as the phrase 'last day' have been re-engineered. It should mean the "last day" or last 24 hour period of this age. But sadly, the time period of the phrase 'last day' has been wrenched, twisted, and stretched out like a piece of taffy across 7 years or even 2,000 years. Among evangelicals today the message conveyed by the words "last day' has been religiously crafted and re-engineered. Thus it has been 'cloaked' by change agents of religion. This is priest craft with an agenda.

The powers of this world, working with men inside of Christendom, want to change things around to their liking. The have succeeded in twisting the Holy Scriptures around to get them to say something that is not being said by the Holy Spirit at all.

2.5.2.3.1.3.1.1 Religious Humanism (Ref 2.8.1.20)

The Holy Spirit laid out the scriptures so that they could be understood by the sincere seeking saint. A plain reading of the Bible is not complicated at all. But in trying to make the Bible fit the fanciful notions of men we have ended up with a twisted, contorted, confusing eschatological mess.

Unfortunately Christians don't read their Bibles. They are very busy nowadays. They don't have time or take the time to check up in Berean fashion the things they hear on Christian television or from the pulpit. Christians in past times used to sit on their porch and study the Bible in the quietness of the morning or evening. They read the Word of God for themselves and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit they put two and two together to make four. But today we get our Bible information spoon fed to us. We listen to popular teachers on TV. And we read 'end time novels' like "Left Behind". We would rather do that than open our hearts to God and seek His face in a simple and faithful Berean study of the Bible alone.

As western Christians we must confess that our problem with Bible prophecy is not an intellectual one. The pieces of the jigsaw puzzle are all sitting there in our Bibles. It is an easy matter to put them together. No, our problem really is that we have a heart attitude problem towards our God. We do not know Him intimately. So we do not trust Him. We have not submitted ourselves in humility to the Holy Spirit and to the God's Word. Christians point the finger of accusation at the world. And we pretend that we are different. But in our hearts we follow the crowd controlled, money driven religious champions who operate in the ways of this world. We rage against 'secular humanism' "out there" in the world. But we embrace "religious humanism" inside our own hearts!

Like a Trojan horse within the church this religious humanism is inside our church walls. Religious humanism is on church radio and church television. Our real enemy is worldliness. And this is how Lucifer, (the "god of self" we secretly worship), has poisoned the western church and made it powerless. The religious worldliness inside the church is far more deadly to our faith than the secular worldliness outside the church.

Disinformation is is a terrible thing. It is worse than no information at all. And the end time saints need good and correct information. False teaching on the end-time dulls and confuses God's people. It leads them down false paths to cliff edges and into armies they have no business joining. It renders them spiritually unprepared for witness and unable to meet the challenges which lie ahead.

Wrong information about the End Times is damaging to our faith for another reason as well. Christians can end up on the road to nowhere. They can also be led to a brick wall. This provides an occasion for people who are now Christian believers to become angry and to blame God. Christians who have been given the run around are quite understandably upset when the information they have been given is incorrect. Wrong information has landed them in trouble. If they had known about all this then they would have had an opportunity to prepare. But now they have been tripped up and they are caught in a web of circumstances they should have been warned about.

But they were not warned! Quite understandably people in this predicament complain of a 'raw deal'. Christians become angry at God. The anger will either be directed inwards, and cause clinical depression, passivity, hopelessness, and despair. Or it will be directed outwards at other human beings. Such people are ripe for enlistment in a hopeless crusade made up of Christian sword swingers. This is how Christians leave the flows of grace to become men of blood.This is the danger for Christians as they come unprepared into the End-Time. Edomite anger can come into their souls from the spirit of Esau. It is this anger, rage, and wrath which sets Christians up for either 1. Depression and despair;  2. Crusading against infidels, or 3. Apostasy and "falling away" from the faith.

Unfortunately this is going to happen to a lot of Christians. Our Apostle Paul has warned us that there will indeed be a great 'falling away', even a great apostasy. - 2Thes.2:3, John 5:43, Dan.9:27

Religious humanism is not just a matter of unscriptural and incorrect doctrine. As a people we are driven by our religious fantasies. We are no longer people who worship idols of clay. But we do erect and set up concepts in our minds. They become our idols. And so we worship these fantasies rather than searching the scriptures and turning our eyes to God. Our 'feelings' about what "we want to believe" are set up as idols over and above the Holy Scriptures. This is what has happened with the Pre-Tribulation rapture. It is a fantasy we have erected. And we haven't had or taken the time to check it out with the scriptures. This is to our shame. And if the matter is not attended to with all diligence it will be to our loss.

 2.5.2.3.1.3.1.2 God’s Everlasting Love Beckons (Ref 2.8.1.20)

God has a wonderful plan for His people in the End times. We are called to be His witnesses before kings and rulers. The Holy Spirit, (contrary to what we have been told), will be with us. He will take us right through the 70th week and into the end-time glory. There is a great and wonderful adventure and the romance in God ahead of us. Can we stick with Him?

We cannot avoid this information war in which the principalities and powers of this world, and their hired and deceived church leaders try to cut Christian believers off from a truthful interpretation of God's Holy Word. It is all part of the ultimate showdown between God of Israel and rebellious mankind. The saga of God's people must and will come to its prophesied and appointed glorious conclusion. There must be a climax, a resolution, to the burning issues of this age. The Ying and Yang of 'balanced forces', of endless meaningless cycles and of postponed decisions cannot continue to hold sway forever. Eastern mysticism, the mindset of the dragon, must be shown for the meaningless, impersonal, uncaring, and cruel sham that it is. Our Judeo-Christian God is the Sovereign Ruler, the God of history. He alone is the Savior of the world and he alone is worthy to be its High Priest and King of Kings.

History is not just a cyclical pattern of birth, death, and rebirth. Holy history is going somewhere. The players repeat their histories from time to time this is true. But history moves forward in teleological fashion. The Protagonist and the Antagonist move on toward the final arena as the climax approaches. And in the threshold God's people along with the whole creation, like a woman about to give birth, will cry out for deliverance. -Rev. 12:1-17 Decisions of eternal consequence will be made by men and nations. And indeed a Deliverer will come. Isa. 63 He is the One who will cap off history.

Our God is a loving God. His desire is to draw His people back to Him. But we, the Judeo-Christian people, are the ones responsible for all this mess. We are the ones who are the two timers. We are the ones who fancy that we can cut a covenant with heaven and hell at the same time. When this shady Dan.9:27 deal eventually leads on to the 'abomination of desolation' three and a half years later and half way into the 70th week our guardian angel, Michael, will be in a very awkward position indeed. He, and God's people as well, will face the final epic spiritual battle of the ages. -Dan. 12:1 And how are we implicated in all this? Because we loosed those dark forces ourselves! Jesus Himself said "What you bind and loose on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven." We have sowed to the wind. The time will come when we shall reap the whirlwind. Through all this God is calling out to His people to return to Him. He is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance". -2Pet.3:9

As usual we are inclined to blame others, even God, for our misfortunes. But the coming tribulation is all our own doing. Moses himself told us this way back at the beginning in the "Song of Moses". He said that in the latter days we would become prosperous and as in times past we would depart from the faith, making compromises and unfaithful alliances. This would bring us into tribulation in the latter days. - Deut.4:30 Jesus said the same in the Olivet Discourse. All these prophecies apply to the true church as well as to the Jewish nation because we as wild olive branches are grafted into the Olive tree of Israel. - Rom.11 Our Apostle Paul said that "If we are Christ's we are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise." -Gal.3:29 Our new identity as born again Christians is in the commonwealth or citizenship of Israel. - Eph. 2:12-13 So Israel and the church will come into the very same crucible of the end-time as laid out in Bible prophecy. Both of us will sign on with the coming false messiah. -John 5:43 It will be the penultimate quintessential story of 'Beauty and the Beast'.

The end-time play will see the presentation before the watching world of two princes. One will be the Messiah, the coming Prince of Israel. The other will be a false messiah, a pretender, and a usurper. This other prince, this false messiah will not come in the Father's name. He will come in his own name. Yet we, as God's Judeo-Christian people, will receive this selfist/Luciferian prince to our bosom. Why? Because we will think that he has the 'saving power'. Then, at the end of the age, on the day after the final day to repent, the Day of Atonement, He will send angels to separate the tares from the wheat and the sheeps from the goats for the day of the Lord.

The real question is this. Do we want to hear all this? For most people, and even amongst the people who honour our God, the answer is 'no'. Our heart commitment is still very much tied to this world. The fleshpots of Egypt and the humanistic culture and materialistic marketplaces of Babylon still draw us away. And the myriad covenants we have made with this world system still bind our hearts. So the result is what we see in the west today. Our many worldly covenants keep us from going into a deeper covenant walk with our God. The eventual result of this wanton neglect is inevitable. Whether we like it or not, the Judeo-Christian people will come to their time of crisis. The time will come when they will have to make their choice. It may be sooner. Or it may be later. But the day of reckoning must come. Why? It is because we are the engine of history. We are the covenant congregation of YHVH, the God of Israel. Because of the Eternal Covenant we have entered into our witness to that covenant is essential. When all is said and done our final witness will be heard. We cannot run away from our destiny. Our God will not allow it. He loves us too much for that. -

(http://endtimepilgrim.org/bibleprophecy.htm )

2.5.2.3.1.3.2 The Day of the Lord

            If the books of the prophets were placed in chronological order, Zephaniah’s would fit between Isaiah and Jeremiah. Prophet Zephaniah was from the royal line of King Hezekiah and he was the nephew (the fifth generation) of King Josiah. He lived in the seventh century before Christ in the time of God’s people’s spiritual and moral decay and political decline. He most likely started the last reformation among God’s people in Judah and had a positive influence on King Josiah (641–609 B.C.), who secured spiritual revival and reformation (631-621 B.C.). During his reign, the book of the law was found, and the monarch wanted to do everything according to the Word of God. (See 2 Kings 23:1–25, 2 Chron. 34:29–32, 34:1–33.)

Zephaniah presents an awesome God who will judge the entire world. He not only announces the coming of the day of the Lord but proclaims who can endure the day of judgment and how. As a result, the faithful remnant of all nations will come and worship the One true God. (Take note that the history of the fall of Judah is to be repeated in the end time.)

The focal point of Zephaniah’s message is the “day of the Lord” (Zeph. 1:7). For biblical prophets, the day of the Lord refers to a specific period of time in which God intervenes in human affairs in order both to save and to judge. Most people in ancient Israel believed that on this day the Lord would save and exalt Israel while the enemy nations would be destroyed forever. To the great surprise of those who listened, the prophet declared that the day of the Lord would be a day of doom, even for God’s people (see Zeph. 1:1–5), because they had sinned against Him (Zeph. 1:17) Zephaniah’s preaching condemned the hopeless corruption found in Judean society. He pointed to the need for repentance based on the fact that God’s love still was calling His people to humility and faithfulness. He likens the coming judgment to the sweeping away of all life in the days of the great Flood (Genesis 6–8). He also clarifies that God’s judgment is not only punitive but corrective, and that the Lord holds out a promise of shelter for those who seek Him (Zeph. 2:3). (His prophecies of impending judgment upon Judah apply with equal force to the judgments that are to fall upon an impenitent world at the time of the second advent of Christ.” {PK, p. 389}) His message was twofold: there is a threat of an imminent and universal judgment, which will include even God’s own people; yet, there is also a promise that the saved from all nations will join the remnant of Israel in serving God and enjoying His blessings. This is the good news of the eternal Gospel. In God’s ultimate intervention in the affairs of His people He will judge the whole world (Zep 1:2, 3; 3:8), purge Israel (Zep 3:11-13), and then reestablish His people into their land (Zep 3: 14-20).  Thus, the day of the Lord is more than the end of the world. It is the beginning of the future establishment of God’s rule, which will last forever. But the apostate people of Israel and Judah had to be  constantly reminded that the day of the Lord would be a time of judgment, and for the ungodly, a time of utter darkness (Jer 30:3-31:26; Amos 5:18-20; 1The 5:2).

2.5.2.3.1.3.2.1 Knowing God Leads to Worship

            The living God is the God of all nations. He not only loves everyone, but He wants all saved. He delights when a person responds to His love, comes to Him, becomes a new person, and worships Him. God is the Judge who invites people to repent. This God preserves and saves the remnant from the nations and from Judah by embracing them with His unique, joyful love. But through the misrepresentation of Satan, the general reaction to the judgment of God is often fear. Always remember that we are saved not on the basis of how we feel but because of God’s Word. Because God said that if we confess our sins, He will cleanse us from all our iniquity (1 John 1:9), we can rely on that promise. We can trust that God saves repentant sinners (Zeph. 2:3; 3:12, 13, 17). The meaning of the prophet Zephaniah’s name, “The Lord hides or shelters,” is also a powerful message. The Lord hides those who hide in Him on the day of the Lord. So, He protects, shelters, and saves. Everyone who trusts in the name of the Lord will be hidden and redeemed. Therefore, we do not need to be fearful of God’s judgment.

In Zephaniah 2:1–3, we see the prophet’s call to repentance. Even though the destruction is imminent, there is still time to be sheltered from calamity, but only if the nation will repent.

With the words “Seek the Lord” (NIV), Zephaniah is encouraging those who humble themselves before God to hold firm in their faith. The prophet teaches that to seek the Lord is the same as seeking righteousness and humility. This attitude of repentance is essential in order to escape the coming judgment.

The humble then are those people who remain faithful to God and who are led and taught by Him. The psalmist says: “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way” (Ps. 25:8, 9, NIV). The humble, then, are urged to prepare for the coming judgment by seeking God, righteousness, and humility.

The possibility of survival for the humble that are faithful is expressed through the word perhaps. It means that survival depends solely on divine grace, and grace is something that never should be taken for granted. In the face of impending doom, there is hope for the future from God, who is merciful. The Lord has promised to shelter all those who trust in Him (Joel 3:16, Nah. 1:7). This type of trust casts out self-reliance, guile, and deception.

In the closing section of his book (Zeph. 3:9–20), Zephaniah turns from a theme of anger to one of restoration. Beyond the judgment, we come to God’s ultimate goals. When the nations have been disciplined, they will together call on the Lord and serve Him cordially. The lips of the people will be purified so that all may worship and praise the Lord by serving Him. A small, yet humble and faithful remnant will survive in Judah and will take the place of the proud leaders.

Most important, God will dwell among His people, and He will make past wrongs right. No longer will His people need to live in fear, because the Lord will be with them, dwelling in their midst. He will be their Deliverer and Savior.

The great King, the divine Warrior, will protect and vindicate His people. He will grant them all the benefits of His victory, the one that He won for us at the Cross. He will exalt the humble and turn disgrace, suffering, and alienation into an experience of honor, blessings, and His own presence. Prominence will be given to the lame and the outcast, a theme that lies at the heart of the message proclaimed by Jesus Christ.

The prophet shows that God has awesome power. All creation trembles before Him. He does not tolerate sin forever. At the same time, He is the Savior of those who trust in Him. There is no middle ground. We are on one side or the other. “‘He who is not with Me,” Jesus said, “‘is against Me’ ” (Matt. 12:30, NKJV).

“With unerring accuracy the Infinite One still keeps account with the nations. While His mercy is tendered, with calls to repentance, this account remains open; but when the figures reach a certain amount which God has fixed, the ministry of His wrath begins. The account is closed. Divine patience ceases. Mercy no longer pleads in their behalf.” {PK, p, p. 364}

2.5.2.3.1.3.2.2 The Only Solution

When people are in a deadly serious situation from which there is no escape, the only solution is prayer, a repentant petition for God’s grace and mercy. God comes and responds in His love to such a contrite heart and the humble actions of a person’s life. Those who are “poor in spirit” are blessed “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mat. 5: 3). They become His remnant. The remnant is the people who will be rescued and saved at the end (Zeph. 2:7, 9; 3:13).

2.5.2.3.1.3.2.2.1 Picture of God

The most beautiful and encouraging picture of God in the book of Zephaniah is presented in Zephaniah 3:17. This verse summarizes well God’s unique activities for His faithful people as follows:

I. The Lord Is a Mighty Warrior

Our God is for us. He is a powerful Warrior who fights for us and defeats our enemies. Sin, evil, Satan, and his allies cannot prevail over God’s people. The Lord brings victory and saves. Moses, in his song of victory in Exodus 15, expresses the idea that God is a Warrior (Exod. 15:3). He defeated the entire ancient Egyptian army and brought down human pride and arrogance. The greatness of His majesty threw down all who opposed Him. He is the Victor not because of His force, but because of His moral strength and the power of His love. Jesus is for you. He fights for your salvation because He does not want to lose you when Satan desires to put you down.

II. The Lord Delights in You

God is very personal. The Lord was saying to us through Zephaniah: “It may be that some people despise you and do not take you seriously. I am different. You have enormous value to Me. I love you so much that I even died for you! I love you more than you love yourself. I, your God, rejoice over you!” Jesus states the reason why God rejoices: “ ‘I tell you that in the same way there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent’ ” (Luke 15:7, NIV).

III. The Lord Quiets You With His Love

God speaks to us in His language of love just as a parent will quiet a child who is hurt, crying, afraid, or disappointed, with loving caresses, kisses, and gentle words until he or she becomes quiet and goes to sleep in the parent’s arms, trusting and resting in that love. Likewise, God assures His children that they are safe and secure in His love; in this way, He will quiet us in His love (Zeph. 3:17). Thus, after speaking and assuring us that He loves us with an everlasting love, He becomes quiet so that we can rest in His arms of love and enjoy the warmth of His presence.

IV. The Lord Rejoices Over You With Singing

One function of such a song is that it expresses love. God expresses His love and joy over us. He sings a unique song over each of us! Another function of the song is that it expresses victory. See, as examples, the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb (Genesis 49, Exodus 15, Rev. 15:3).

Zephaniah does not say that we can “hide” from God or from the day of the Lord in order to avoid it. He emphasizes that one can be hidden “in” that day, which means that one can be sheltered only “in the Lord” on that day in order to be protected and saved.

We do not need to be terrified of God’s judgment. On the contrary, we can have full confidence, boldness, and joy of salvation when facing God’s judgment. This is possible because the primary meaning of God’s judgment is to justify, save, and deliver people who have faith in Him (Genesis 15:6; Psalm 76:8, 9; Isaiah 35:4; Daniel 7:22; John 5:24; 1 John 2:28; and 4:17). We must fix our eyes on  the true picture of God as the God who loves people, wants to save them, assures them of His enduring mercy, and who does not delight in punishment, condemnation, or destruction (Ezek. 18:23, 32). See, understand, and be touched by the beauty and love of our God in our daily diligent study of the word of God. -

(http://absg.adventist.org/2013/2Q/TE/PDFs/ETQ213_09.pdf )

 

2.5.2.3.1.3.3 The Final Glorious Gathering

The prophecies of judgment delivered by Amos and Hosea were also tempered with prophecies of future glory. According to Hosea, the children of Israel were to "abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim. Afterward," the prophet continued, "shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days."  {RH, February 26, 1914 par. 6}

This prophecy is to reach its complete fulfillment in the gathering out from all nations of a people prepared for the second coming of Christ. The remnant of Israel is symbolized by a woman, representing the Lord's chosen church on the earth. "Behold," he says, "I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope; and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi ["My husband," margin]; and shalt call me no more Baali ["My lord," margin]. For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name."  {RH, February 26, 1914 par. 7}

 In the last days of this earth's history, God's covenant with his commandment-keeping people is to be renewed. "In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and I will make them to lie down safely. And I will betroth thee unto me forever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness; and thou shalt know the Lord.  {RH, February 26, 1914 par. 8}

 

2.5.2.3.1.3.4 Remember This Lasting Spiritual Message

The prophecy of Habakkuk was given in 606 B.C just before the Battle of Carchemish which established Babylon as the ruling power in the area of Palestine. His prophecy has a lasting spiritual message that applies in the end time before Jesus actually comes to take us to heaven. This message is to deepen our faith in moments of doubt with a confession of trust and joy in God in order to endure the time of great tribulation.The period of great tribulations (severe tests) that besets God’s people then (Mat 24:21, 22) will be even worse than the turbulent era in the history of the Jewish people under siege and occupation by the Assyrians and the Babylonians. Assyria’s domination came to an end with the destruction of its capital city, Nineveh, by the invading Babylonians in 612 B.C. The Babylonians then destroyed Jerusalem (even the Temple of God and carried the leading citizens of Judah into captivity in 586 B.C, less than twenty years after Habakkuk had written his book. (http://www.ovrlnd.com/outlinesofbooks/Habbakkuk.html). It is within this context, and with this situation as a backdrop, that Habakkuk cries out to God, taking on the following narrative structure:

• Habakkuk’s First Complaint: Why does the evil in Judah go unpunished? (Hab. 1:2–4).

God’s Answer: The Babylonians will punish Judah (Hab. 1:5–11).

• Habakkuk’s Second Complaint: How can a just God use wicked Babylonia to punish a people more righteous than it? (Hab. 1:12, 2:1).

God’s Answer: Babylonia will be punished, and faith will be rewarded (Hab. 2:2–20).

Habakkuk’s Prayer: After asking for manifestations of God’s wrath and mercy (as he has seen in the past), he closes with a confession of trust and joy in God (Habakkuk 3; http://www.biblestudytools.com/habakkuk/).

Although very condensed, Habakkuk’s story teaches at least three vital truths: 1. that struggling with doubt may be part of the Christian experience. 2. Demonstrates God’s openness to Habakkuk’s (and our) questioning. 3. Its very structure is a template for the ways in which Christians can actually deepen their faith in moments of doubt.

Many of us look around the world or at our lives and see the absence of God and His justice. As the story of Habakkuk reveals, not only should we turn to God with our dilemmas and questions, but it is within these moments that the very character of God is revealed. The fact that God allows Himself to be questioned by one of His followers provides a valuable insight into His nature. Our God is a responsive God, who welcomes questions and is willing and able to provide us with answers, even when the answers are difficult to deliver (for example, He tells Habakkuk that the justice He seeks may take a while in coming). The content of God’s response to Habakkuk also contains a lasting spiritual message, which is that God reaffirms His principles of justice. He reveals that while His timing for this justice may not fit into our preferred timelines, God’s timing is perfect. God is in control of history. (AdultSabbathSchool Bible Study Guide, May 18-24 –

http://absg.adventist.org/2013/2Q/TE/PDFs/ETQ213_08.pdf )

2.5.2.4 The Last Period of Probation

Can there be any doubt that the prophecies concerning apostasy are being fulfilled? Our 21st-century world has embraced moral relativism, a philosophy which is tainting even the church. For example, many denominations are having a hard time defining marriage as being between one man and one woman, and many religious leaders today are openly supporting homosexuality. The Bible has become subordinate to the modern church’s quest for a more appealing “truth.” These are indeed “perilous times” spiritually.

The formation of the European Union—and the fact that we have a reunified Germany—is very interesting in light of biblical prophecy. The “ten toes” of Daniel 2:42 and the ten-horned beasts of Daniel 7:20 and Revelation 13:1 are references to a “revived” Roman Empire which will hold power before Christ returns. Although the precise political structure has yet to be formed, the pieces can be seen as falling into place.

In 1948, Israel was recognized as a sovereign state, and this, too, has ramifications for the student of Scripture. God promised Abram that his posterity would have Canaan as “an everlasting possession” (Genesis 17:8), and Ezekiel prophesied a physical and spiritual resuscitation of Israel (Ezekiel 37). Having Israel as a nation in its own land is important in light of end-time prophecy, because of Israel’s prominence in eschatology (Daniel 10:14; 11:41; Revelation 11:8).

While there is no biblical proof that the things mentioned above are the fulfilment of specific end-times prophecies, we can see how many of these events are similar to what the Bible describes. In any case, we are to be watching for these signs because Jesus told us that the day of the Lord—His return for His own—would come like a thief in the night (2 Peter 3:10), unexpected and unannounced. “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36). -

(http://www.gotquestions.org/fulfilled-prophecy.html )

The gospel dispensation (since 1844, with the unsealing of the Book of Daniel) is the last period of probation that will ever be granted to men. Those who live under this dispensation of test and trial and yet are not led to repent and obey will perish with the disloyal. There is no second trial. The gospel that is to be preached to all nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples presents the truth in clear lines, showing that obedience is the condition of gaining eternal life. Christ imparts His righteousness to those who consent to let Him take away their sins. We are indebted to Christ for the grace which makes us complete in Him (MS 40, 1900).  {7BC 971.9}

The message proclaimed by the angel flying in the midst of heaven is the everlasting gospel, the same gospel that was declared in Eden when God said to the serpent, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel." Here was the first promise of a Saviour that would stand on the field of battle to contest the power of Satan and prevail against him. Christ came to our world to represent the character of God as it is represented in His holy law; for His law is a transcript of His character. Christ was both the law and the gospel. The angel that proclaims the everlasting gospel proclaims the law of God; for the gospel of salvation brings man to obedience of the law, whereby their characters are formed after the divine similitude.  {1MR 44.2}

 

 2.6 The Next Issue:

WAR9 - Faces of Spiritualism, Pt3: “Face of Daughters”

Babylon is said to be “the mother of harlots.” By her daughters must be symbolized churches that cling to her doctrines and traditions, and follow her example of sacrificing the truth and the approval of God, in order to form an unlawful alliance with the world. Apostle John in vision saw this queenly woman holding a golden cup that is full of abomination and filthiness of her fornication. He was told by the angel with him that the great city of Babylon will use its seduction power to court the kings of the earth in the time of the end. Thus her influence is being passed on to her daughters which is we must be on the trail to seek out the daughters why in the next issue War9 - Faces of Spiritualism, Pt 3: “Face of Daughters.”

 

2.7 Appeal

It is my prayer that you may be impressed to join in sharing the article to the people in your area of influence. Please feel free to copy all or any portions of the article. Thank you for your support in visiting to read the full article and to carry on reading  regularly.

God has given in His Word sufficient evidence of its divine character. The great truths which concern our redemption are clearly presented. By the aid of the Holy Spirit, which is promised to all who seek it in sincerity, every man may understand these truths for himself. God has granted to men a strong foundation upon which to rest their faith. {DD 11.1}

God has given the human mind great power, power to show that the Creator has endowed man with ability to do a great work against the enemy of all righteousness, power to show what victories may be gained in the conflict against evil.  But when those to whom God has entrusted capabilities give themselves into the hands of the enemy, they become a power to destroy. When men do not make God first and last and best in everything, when they do not give themselves to him for the carrying out of his purposes, Satan comes in, and uses in his service the minds that, if given to God, could achieve great good. Under his direction, they do an evil work with great and masterly power. {4BC 1174.2 -.3}

We must watch and pray as soldiers of Christ to keep awake spiritually in our changed character by grace united as one in love as in Pentacost as we proclaim the third angel’s message and pray for the outpouring of the latter rain while waiting patiently for  the soon return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Let us pray particularly for the Holy Spirit to impress the truth to the unbelievers in our area of influence (before the sealing of allegiance makes it too late  for them to stand as soldiers of Christ), to know that  we are prisoners in this world captured by the wiles of Satan in this ongoing Spiritual warfare.

 

Any questions, comments are greatly appreciated for we are all co-workers for God’s glory. Please submit them and particularly any article pertaining to the theme “Time of Preparation” to singtsc@yahoo.com. Clarification on any comments received will be added subsequently as a postscript to the same article.

 

2.8 References

(Note: The information collated and compiled in this article is gathered from the references listed hereunder for your individual verification and research to form your own opinion.)

 

2.8.1 Websites:

Articles-

1. TOP7 The Love Response, Part 2b: The Plan of Salvation,

http://www.wakeupow.com/152909628

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible

3. TOP6- Pt 2a: The plan of Salvation- http://www.wakeupow.com/152909627

4. TOP5- The Love Response, Part 1: God's Primary Will -

http://www.wakeupow.com/152909626

5. SDAs Believe, pp 5-7 http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-01.htm           6. TOP12 Present Truth, Part 2: God’s Immutable Law

http://www.wakeupow.com/152909636 

7. (http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics/pascals-wager.htm).  

8. (http://www.josh.org/resources/study-research/answers-to-skeptics-                     questions/why-do-christians-appeal-to-fulfilled-prophecies-to-prove-the-bible-is-          gods-word/ )

9. Bible Prophecy’ under ‘Topical Issues in contents column            (http://www.wakeupow.com/152909622) and also Bible Study   (http://www.wakeupow.com/152909617 under  Lesson 2 

10. http://www.cogeternal.org/text/024prophecyshouldknow.pdf

11. Fundamental Beliefs No. 18- Why a Modern Prophet? by Dr. Alberto R.          Timm, Adventist World, March 2013

12. “Who are we Matters “by Ted N. C. Wilson, President of the Seventh-day       AdventistChurch in Adventist World May 2013 -             http://www.adventistworld.org/article/4/resources

13. Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, May 25-31 –            http://absg.adventist.org/2013/2Q/TE/PDFs/ETQ213_09.pdf          

14. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylon 

15. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Babel )

16. The Origin of Races -  http://www.soundchristian.com/man/ 

17. http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/seven-wonder-ancient-world2.htm

18. http://www.history.com/news/hanging-gardens-existed-but-not-in-babylon

19. Babylonianism http://www.cogeternal.org/text/040babylonianism.htm

http://www.cogeternal.org/index.html

20. http://endtimepilgrim.org/bibleprophecy.htm

21. http://www.gotquestions.org/fulfilled-prophecy.html

 

DVD-

21. “Eleventh Hour Evidence: Pascal’s Wager” by Pr. David Assherick-            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dnt5dqQFznE

22. “Is the Bible God’s Word?” by Pr. David Asscherick-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9tFwlKA_jA

23. “The End-Time Gift of Prophecy: When and Where Will It Arise?” by Pr

Bohr at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ygh-IfY4kpk 

24. The lesser light by Pr.Bohr –

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbzAsUkpfgY)

25. Ted Wilson's Sermon at 2011 ASI -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkoHGrmLhNE

26. The time we live in by Alden Ho -

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TI6D4NQU1D8

 

MP3 -

27. Hour of God’s Judgment by Pr. Lyle Albrecht

http://www.crsda.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=399:revelation-lectures-the-hour-of-gods-judgment&catid=70:sermons&Itemid=61

28. The Three Angels' Messages Found in Chronological Order in Daniel Chapters 1 – 6 by Daniel Mesahttps://www.audioverse.org/english/sermons/recordings/4879/the-three-angels-messages-found-in-chronological-order-in-daniel-chapters-1--6.html

 

2.8.2 Online Books:

The following publications authored by Mrs. Ellen G. White are accessible at http://text.egwwritings.org/

1. Ed - Education, p. 173; 177.1; 176.4

2. GC- The Great Controversy, pp521.3; 522.4; 591.1; 582.2; 660.4; 662.1- 664.1; 666.1-.3; 667.2- 674.1; v 2- v7.1

3. 2MCP 742.2-.4; 743.1

4. PP- Patriarchs and Prophets, pp 114

5. AA 84.3

6. RH - Review and Herald, Nov 10, 1904; May 21, 1895 para. 9; July 10, 1888 par. 5; December 25, 1900 par. 8; March 20, 1888 par. 1- par. 5; February 26, 1914 par. 1-5; February 26, 1914 par. 6-7;

7. 7BC 971.9

8. SC 10.2-.3; 11.1

9. CSA 43.6-.7

10. LDE  15.6, 16.1

11. Ed 177.1

12. 3SM - Selected messages Book.3, pp 28.1

13. TMK 197.4-.5

14. RH, May 21, 1895 para. 9; July 10, 1888 par. 5; December 25, 1900 par. 8

15. 2BC 997.5- .6

16. 10MR 171.1-.2

17. TM 112, 113 (1896); 115.2 

18. COL 133 (1900).  {LDE 15.5} {LDE 15.3}

19. 8T 302 (1904).  {LDE 16.1}

20. 1NL 96

21. SSW, October 1, 1885 par. 7

22. PK - Prophets and Kings, pp. 389; 548.2; 514.1-515.1;

23. CC 253.2-.4;

24. YI, April 4, 1905 par. 1

25. 4BC 1170.4; 1174.2 -.3

26. ST, November 4, 1886 par. 11-13;

27. 1MR 44.2-

28. DD 11.1

29. CW 41.1-.3

30. GW - Gospel Workers, pp. 297-300

 

2.8.3 Books:

1. The God –Shaped Brain by Timothy R. Jennings, M.D. Interversity Press, Illinois, USA. This book is available at www.ComeAndReason.com Its reading is highly recommended. Dr Jennings is a board-certified Christian psychiatrist, master psycho- pharmacologist, lecturer, international speaker and author. He was the speaker at our locally organized Tendrilon Seminar in August 2011 and he will be here again to speak in August 9-11, 2013. Details of this seminar, when available, will be posted at this website.

 

 

For the benefit of new readers: All the past articles are accessible from Archive http://www.wakeupow.com/152909621

For seekers of truth who may want to study the Bible to check out the Scriptures, “Bible Study” is available at  www.wakeupow.com (Click on the main page “Bible Study” at Content column (left hand, last item) or (http://www.wakeupow.com/152909617 ) There are 30 lessons on “Search for Certainty” in power-point format.