Guns N’ Roses had a popular song in the late 80’s named Welcome to the Jungle. It unknowingly describes the biblical place called Babylon. Christians have been trying to understand the prophetic place of Babylon, that is written so much about in the Bible, for hundreds of years. I have heard various places discussed and taught that fit the description of Babylon, but no one actually knows where the place that will be destroyed in an hour is located. Like most things in the Bible, it will become self evident.
However, each time slot in history gives us different possibilities. If a person was living in the Middle Ages, then Rome was likely the choice for Babylon, while today, Rome is just an ancient city in Italy. Peter tells us in one of his letters that he is writing from Babylon.
1Pe 5:12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it.
1Pe 5:13 She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son.
That is from the English Standard Version. Verse thirteen uses “she who is at Babylon”, where the King James Version inserts its own understanding into the verse.
1Pe 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
“Church that is” is used for Strong’s G1722. It is possible in Greek that the subject is implied, and it must be added for it to make sense in English.
1) in, by, with etc.
Part of Speech: preposition
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), i.e. a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537)
In this verse, Peter is telling us he is in Babylon. Many people through the years have said Peter was using this for code, and he really meant that he was in Rome. This plays into the myth that Peter was the first pope in Rome. There is nothing Peter says to make us think He was anywhere other than Babylon, which is in the vicinity of modern day Iraq. I am simply pointing this out to show how very early on, people were calling Rome, Babylon.
The house of Israel, consisting of the ten tribes that went under Jeroboam’s leadership, were captured and dispersed by Assyria by approximately 722 BCE. Yahweh divorced them for their idolatry, such as sun god worship (Baal), the worship of the spring goddess (Ishtar) and their associated festivals. The house of Judah, consisting of the remaining tribes of Judah and Benjamin, were captured later by Babylon for similar activities. They were brought into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar.
The prophets speak of Babylon before and during the Babylonian captivity; however, Babylon represents more than a physical, ancient kingdom. Isaiah prophesies about the day of Yahweh when He will punish the sinners of the world. In this prophesy Babylon is specifically called out.
Isa 13:9 Look! The day of Yahweh is coming, cruel and wrath and the burning of anger, to make the earth a desolation, and he will destroy its sinners from it.
Isa 13:10 For the stars of the heavens and their constellations will not flash forth their light; the sun will keep back when it comes out, and the moon will not cause its light to shine.
Isa 13:11 And I will punish the world for its evil and the wicked for their iniquity. And I will put an end to the pride of the arrogant, and I will bring the haughtiness of tyrants low.
Isa 13:12 I will make humanity more rare than gold and humankind more than the gold of Ophir.
Isa 13:13 Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will quake from its place because of the wrath of Yahweh of hosts, and in the day his anger burns.
Isa 13:14 And this shall happen: like a hunted gazelle or sheep with none to gather them, they will each turn to his own people, and they will each flee to his own land.
Isa 13:15 Everyone who is found will be pierced through, and everyone who is carried away will fall by the sword.
Isa 13:16 And their children will be dashed into pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered, and their wives will be raped.
Isa 13:17 Look! I am stirring the Medes up against them, who do not value silver and do not delight in gold.
Isa 13:18 And their bows will shatter young men. And they will not show mercy on the fruit of the womb; their eyes will not look compassionately on children.
Isa 13:19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the splendor of the Chaldeans’ pride, will be like when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
Isa 13:20 It will not be inhabited forever, and it will not be dwelled in forever; and no Arab will pitch a tent there, and shepherds will not allow their flocks to lie down there.
Isa 13:21 But wild animals will lie down there, and their houses will be full of howling creatures, and the daughters of ostriches will live there, and goats will dance there.
Isa 13:22 And hyenas will answer in its palaces, and jackals in the pleasure palaces; and its time is coming soon, and its days will not be prolonged.
Jeremiah tells us to flee from Babylon. Was this the country located approximately where modern day Iraq is located, or is there more being told here?
Jer 51:6 Flee from the midst of Babylon and save each one his life. You must not perish because of her guilt. For this is the time of vengeance for Yahweh, he will repay her what is deserved.
Jer 51:7 Babylon was a cup of gold in the hand of Yahweh, making drunk all the earth. The nations drank of her wine. Therefore the nations acted like madmen.
Jer 51:8 Suddenly Babylon has fallen and she is shattered. Wail over her! Take balm for her wounds, perhaps she may be healed.
Jer 51:9 We tried to heal Babylon, and she was not healed. Forsake her and let us go each one to his country, for her judgment has reached to the heavens, and it has been lifted up to the skies.
Jer 51:10 Yahweh has brought forth our vindication. Come and let us make known in Zion the work of Yahweh our God.
The warnings against Babylon are too many to list in this blog post. The last warning is from the book of Revelation. First, the verses that sound very similar to those we just read in Jeremiah.
Rev 18:1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory.
Rev 18:2 And he called out with a mighty voice, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast.
Rev 18:3 For all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.”
Rev 18:4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues;
Rev 18:5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
Rev 18:6 Pay her back as she herself has paid back others, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed.
Rev 18:7 As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning, since in her heart she says, ‘I sit as a queen, I am no widow, and mourning I shall never see.’
Rev 18:8 For this reason her plagues will come in a single day, death and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her.”
Just as Jeremiah said to flee, the voice the Apostle John heard from heaven also said, “come out of her”. Jeremiah and John are both dealing with a futuristic Babylon in these cases. It is very possible that we are in the midst of it. Continuing with John’s prophecy:
Rev 18:9 And the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning.
Rev 18:10 They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, “Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come.”
This futuristic place called Babylon will be a luxurious place that has treated other people in the world poorly. It sounds like a center for commerce. “And the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.” It is also a world center for spreading sexual immorality and iniquity. “For all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality”.
While the world system in general is a type of Babylon, these verses in Revelation seem to be speaking of a very specific place that will be destroyed in one hour. Everyone else in the world will witness this. This place also deceived the world with sorcery. The Greek word for sorcery in Revelation is the same word Paul used in his list of the works of the flesh in his letter to Galatians.
Rev 18:23 and the light of a lamp will shine in you no more, and the voice of bridegroom and bride will be heard in you no more, for your merchants were the great ones of the earth, and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.
Sorcery is Strong’s G5331, which is defined as the use or administering of drugs, poisoning and idolatry.
1) the use or the administering of drugs
3) sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it
4) metaphorically the deceptions and seductions of idolatry
There are enough clues given for this futuristic place of Babylon for the believer to be able to “get out of her”. All one has to do is look at the ancient place of Babylon and see the idolatry they were involved in, plus look at the items in the Revelation 18 list. Over the last 2000 years, there have only been a few places on Earth that fit the description in Revelation 18. Are you in a Babylonian state of mind like the Guns N’ Roses song, or a kingdom of God state of mind?
The following is from an article at CNBC.com: https://cnb.cx/3djpTHx . It is speaking about a law suit against Johnson and Johnson. Here is a quote from the article:
“The settlement follows years of lawsuits by states, cities and counties against major pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis, which has killed nearly 500,000 people in the U.S. in the last couple decades.”
Please do not misunderstand; I am not speaking against the use medicine. However, there seems to be an extreme dependence on drugs in the last several decades, as well as the illegal types of drugs. We are living with poisoned air, poisoned farmlands and a corrupt food chain. Moreover, science and medicine have become gods. Eat unhealthy, corrupt food, get sick and take a handful of pills a day to counteract the resulting illnesses. The administering of drugs and idolatry seem to go hand in hand and it is a telling definition of pharmakeia.
The word sorcery is also used for the Greek word pharmakeia in Paul’s “lusts of the flesh” list. The New Testament manuscripts that we have, were written in Greek, so the English word that is picked for the Greek word is someone’s best attempt to define it in context. I personally do not believe any English translation was divinely translated, as some believe the King James Version was translated. We all have the ability to have lexicons at our fingertips now and have a responsibility to use them. There is a reason pharmekeia is the basis for the English words around medicine, such as, pharmacy, pharmaceuticals and pharmacology.
Gal 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Gal 5:17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
Gal 5:20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,
Gal 5:21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Gal 5:23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
I am amazed how easily Christians are convinced that they are “not under the law” based on Paul’s writings. We are not under the law when we do not break God’s laws, as a result of walking in the spirit. It is our responsibility to know the laws or instructions of God so we do not get deceived into trampling the Spirit of Grace. Gal 5:21 “that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God”. If you are someone who thinks because you have said a prayer one time in your life, yet continue to live in the lusts of the flesh, and that “no one can snatch you out of His hand”, then you have been deceived.
Heb 10:26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
Heb 10:28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses.
Heb 10:29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?
Heb 10:30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.”
Heb 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Above all, read the Bible and learn what Yahweh likes and hates. The use of trees, stone pillars or other items of creation for worship are number one on the list throughout all of scripture as things angering Yahweh. Also, keep an eye out for a place on Earth that spreads sexual immorality throughout the whole world, lives luxuriously, oppresses certain cultures and countries, makes people rich by commerce, is steeped in idol worship and pushes its pharmaceuticals and tainted food on the entire world. It will be destroyed in an hour at some point in the future.
The feature image was taken by a game camera in an undisclosed location in New Brunswick, Canada.
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