Mystery Babylon?

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I’ve been doing a great deal of research along with writing a fast moving, apocalyptic love story. An excellent writer once told me “the key to good fantasy writing is to make it believable”. I’ve therefore been googling everything from Wyoming weather and fauna to Nostradamus. One thing I came across during this time was the following article from a fellow Christian and friend of mine (soon to launch a book on Bible prophecies – I’ll keep you posted on that one!). I was so impressed and it keyed in exactly to my theme… but I wont spoil it! Give it a read (even if you don’t happen to be a believer the insights are worth pondering – though in that case you may want to skip the introductory paragraph.)

 

Babylon – The Great

 

‘I sit enthroned as queen. I am not a widow; I will never mourn.’

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Revelation 18:7

 

Repentance is a key step to becoming a Christian and being reconciled with our heavenly Father. For many years I thought that I could make it on my own. I saw no need to repent. I had fanciful dreams about who I was and lived a life of outward confidence. However, the day came that I looked at myself in the mirror and realised I needed something outside of myself to save me. Like the Titanic with a fatal hole below the water line, I recognised I was doomed to sink without salvation. That painful moment of recognising my sin within and repenting, fundamentally changed my life and set me on the road of walking with Christ.

 

There is one last great character in Last Days’ Scripture that we should be aware of. In Revelation chapters 17, 18 and 19, we read of a final world power that won’t repent and therefore experiences the judgement of God. I have summarised the chapters below, however, please do read them in full and familiarise yourself with them.

 

This power is graphically depicted as a wealthy woman called Babylon, the Prostitute (17:5). She holds a golden cup full of adulteries (17:4), and rules over the kings of the earth (17:18). She has become excessively rich as a great trader and consumer (17:4; 18:3), committing adultery with the kings and merchants of the world (18:3, 9). She has ‘fallen’ and become possessed by demons (18:2). The language of adultery suggests that this woman was once ‘married’ to Christ; in other words, was once a Christian nation.

 

She is violent, guilty of many crimes, responsible for much slaughter and the blood of many of God’s children (17:6; 18:24). She is full of deceit (18:23). Because she is proud, sinful (18:5) and will not repent (18:7), God will put it in the hearts of ten kings, allies of the Anti-Christ beast, to utterly burn her with fire (17:12, 16−17). She will be totally devastated and destroyed in one hour (18:10, 17). The Heavens give a shout of praise at this judgement (19:1−2). God calls His people who inhabit her to come out, so that they won’t share in this judgement (18:4−5).

 

The woman sits on seven hills (17:9). This appears to be a reference to Rome, which was built on seven hills. Many commentators have therefore identified this graphic figure as the Catholic Church. In her time, the Catholic Church was wealthy, corrupted, violent and powerful. However, she doesn’t rule over the kings of the earth in the present world as she did in the sixteenth century. This is too narrow an identification. It may be prudent for Christendom as a whole, which grew out of the Catholic Church,  to reflect on the text.

 

There are wealthy Christian countries that exert a great deal of power in the world today. However, discernment is needed to see to what extent their actions reflect or contradict Christian values. It isn’t what they say that counts, but what they do. What are their ‘fruits’ (Matthew 7:16) seen both in their societies at home, and the results of their foreign policies abroad? Babylon does not look in the mirror to see what she has become. She refuses to see either the corruption within or the results of her actions on other nations. She becomes her own worst  enemy deceiving herself and the world around her. Christ followers cannot afford to ignore these passages. They must take a long and possibly painful ‘look in the mirror’. May God’s Spirit give us all wisdom in discerning this mystery.

 

Jesus will return to defeat the Anti-Christ’s regime, but first He will allow it to wreak judgement on the adulterous unrepentant Babylon. Christians are warned to discern this mystery and ‘come out of her’ at the appropriate time before the judgement falls.

 

After rejoicing over the fall of Babylon in Revelation 19:1−5, the Heavens prepare for the arrival of the bride of Christ, the church in Revelation 19:6−8. This appears to place the judgement of Babylon towards the end of the time of tribulation, just before Christ’s Coming.

 

This then is a seventh landmark we can add to our list.

 

 

1)    Gospel Preached in all the World (Matthew 24:14)

2)    Rebuilding of the Jewish Temple (Matthew 24:1; Daniel 9:27, 11:31)

3)    The Confirming of a Holy Covenant for seven years (Daniel 9:27)

4)    The Anti-Christ Revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:3−8)

5)    The Abomination of Desolation Set Up (Matthew 24:15-20;

Daniel 9:27, 11:31)

6)    The Time of Tribulation (Matthew 24:21-28; Daniel 12:1)

7)    The Judgement of Babylon, the Great (Revelation 17, 18,19)

8)    The Second Coming of Jesus (Matthew 24:29−30; Daniel 7:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:8)

 

The great debate.

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Everyone’s talking about it, even my taxi driver, who expressed very much what I was feeling – disgust at the distortion of facts, downright lies and mudslinging clouding the issues and requiring much research to get to the bottom of (if indeed one can). The issue? To leave or remain in the EU.
I was appalled yesterday to find one of my favourite groups joining in by using the murder of MP Jo Cox (by all accounts a sincere advocate of many good causes) to secure votes to remain in Europe – shame on them!
She was an EU supporter who was killed by a member of a fascist US group (Britain First groups were quick to voice that there was no connection whatsoever with them). I’ve yet to establish what was the specific reason for the killing, but it seems unlikely to be because she was pro EU (there are so many pro EU MPs to choose from).
Some seem to be pursuing pro EU goals by labeling pro exit folks racists. I find this very offensive. There are many reasons for leaving the EU I can think of, none of them racist.
Perhaps exiting the EU might even benefit genuine refugees (yes, you heard that right).
Britain is a small island with limited resources to which many would like to come. Unfortunately we cannot take a limitless number. Before the EU, when we were free to choose, we chose mostly those in urgent need of sanctuary, those married to UK citizens and those who would benefit the country by their skills. Open doors to Europeans means less places for refugees, and a very hard time for spouses etc.
I’m sad that given the chance to vote on this, instead of clear facts we are constantly bombarded with propaganda and spin. However the vote goes it is unlikely to be for the right reasons either way. Happy voting whatever your views my UK compatriots.

Well done denmark!

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Not only this but I know from my daughter (who married a Dane and lives there) that social services there not only work, but are administered in a very practical, as well as compassionate way. An example she told me – if you are unemployed social services will give you basic income to live on, but (if you are not disabled etc.) only if you agree you to study a field where more people are needed. This further education is free and linked to your study (stop studying and the income stops). This is a win, win, idea for both parties. Eventually you graduate, get employed and begin to pay taxes. Denmark invests is her most important resource – her people!

Who was he?

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“He was born in an obscure hill town in a small Mideastern country. In early childhood his family had to flee as refugees from political injustice and attempted infanticide.[1]

The son of a manual laborer,[2] he showed little promise of greatness. He had no opportunity for higher education as we know it, never learned anything about technology, never even possessed a TV, a computer, cell phone, or I pad. There is no record of him owning a home or even any form of transportation.

In his thirties he was living hand to mouth,[3] wandering from town to town, never going more than 100 miles from where he grew up. Yet his deep and caring love for mankind inspired a small group of others to travel with him to learn more.[4] He often spent his time around social outcasts and the seamier side of society.[5]

For a period of three years he managed to gather some crowds through the use of what some called miracles. But false charges[6] that he associated with suspected terrorist elements seeking to overthrow the government, and accusations that he was claiming to be the king of his own nation resulted in his arrest, torture, and subsequent execution[7] at the behest of some influential enemies.

His friends and associates claimed that the charges were trumped up and that the whole incident had been a conspiracy by top religious and political elements to discredit what they saw as their competition, but none were ever brought to justice for what happened.

His life on this earth ended as it had been lived: focused on giving all that he had in order to rescue others. From a life of obscurity, poverty, and oppression, he showed that the simple truth was greater than the greatest intellect. Through his love and care for the weakest and neediest, he proved that power and wealth were truly weak and worthless unless used for God.

Instead of his death being the end of an obscure life, his subsequent resurrection triggered a kind of uprising in the hearts of men, a revolution of freedom and truth and mercy[8] that the armies of the earth throughout history have been unable to crush, that the superpowers have been powerless to suppress, and that the deceits of greed, malice, and hatred have never been able to silence.

The attempt to stifle his voice by a torturous and brutal death was futile. It has burst out in the voices of those whose lives down through the ages have been transformed by the truth he gave and the spirit he provided and the love he instilled in their hearts. What he gave to those who chose to live the example he set has proven to be greater than all the forces that have tried to prevent it spreading throughout the earth.

The result: All the powers that have tried to sway this world throughout history, all the wealth of nations and influence of kings and queens, czars and emperors, presidents and dictators, and all the revolutions and wars combined have failed to have as great an impact on the lives and hearts of mankind as this one extraordinary life”.[9]

(Adaption of the essay “One Solitary Life” by Dr. James Allan Francis, 1926.)

A tricky question.

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Carlos McKnight, 17, of Washington, left, and Katherine Nicole Struck, 25, of Frederick, Md., hold flags in support of gay marriage outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday June 26, 2015. A major opinion on gay marriage is among the remaining to be released before the term ends at the end of June. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Looking at social media I’m seeing so many radically opposing posts regarding to new US ruling on homosexual marriage (a very hot topic I’ve avoided so far!)

Reading through I can see both have good points. This caused me to ponder my own views which were a bit ambiguous. To my surprise I did come to a conclusion and one I’ve yet to see stated.

The thing that clarified things was picturing a homosexual couple and a right wing conservative Christian condemning them (understanding that aside from media paintbrushes most folks are somewhere in between on these issues).

I believe love between two men can be a holy and wonderful thing (take David and Johnathon for example where Johnathon loved David so much he was willing to give up his claim to the kingdom). The sexual act of homosexuality however is a far different matter and the two shouldn’t be confused. I think many supporters tend to focus on the love rather than the act itself which is (Christian principals apart) unnatural and therefore a perversion of nature (think over the nitty gritty details and you’ll see what I mean).

However that is not my main conclusion. To my mind as a Christian it is a sin, but so are a lot of other things done on a daily basis. There are no laws against several other things the Bible considers sin, greed, envy, lying, disrespect, even blasphemy so I have no problem with the new law, we enjoy freedom of religion even moral freedom to some degree (where it doesn’t harm others). Not only the state but God Himself gives us the freedom to choose.

It would not be my choice (I’m definitely a nature girl!) but to my mind it’s less hurtful than some of those other legal sins. Far more to be condemned are the folks behind the corporate giants who extort fresh water from 3rd. world communities, poison our food with additive ingredients, destroy and pollute the environment, and enslave poor workers in unsafe environments – greed is far more destructive than homosexuality! Then there are the power hungry politicians who start wars or oppression (again for greed) whipping out civilian populations, ethnic cleaning and child soldiers etc. My list could go on.

Then there’s the sin that tops my list and brought about the Devil’s fall and Jesus’ pain and crucifixion – self-righteous pride. I remember Jesus’ admonition, “let him that is without sin cast the first stone.”