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 last battle (flash fiction fantasy from June 2014)

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war

Peace reigned over the bloody terrain. Ahmed shouldered his weapon. It was over. Carrion appeared on the horizon. They’d feast today! It was finished, the final battle. Dazed he couldn’t understand what happened. There’d been some sort of intervention.

This morning he’d reconciled himself to death. There seemed no other outcome. The world leader was invincible, superior numbers, weaponry, yes and something more, some charisma that had whisked him to power in the first place. Resistance was futile, he’d known that from the beginning, but what other course was there, only total and complete annihilation. Better to go down fighting!

But he’d not died. He stood watching as vast numbers of birds descended as if summoned upon the heaped dead.

What had stopped them, turned them to carrion’s meat? Was it the blinding lightning storm that descended as they fought? His eyes dazzled he’d seen nothing, heard nothing, save the scream of the wind as it rushed among them. When he’d opened his dust blinded eyes bodies lay in jumbled heaps, faces distorted in horror.   Yet he and his companions  remained, alive, open mouthed, trembling… Thousands upon thousands lay slain about them blood pooling to lurid pools and lakes of crimson.

Where the commander was he had no idea, perhaps he lay slain mist the mounds of bodies. The tyrant’s power was broken. They could begin again, rebuild.

A watery sun was rising as he and his compatriots trudged out of the valley of Megiddo, the battle of Armageddon was over, the task of burying the dead barely begun!

(A story drawn from the book of Revelation and old testament predictions – scripture buffs I’m aware of the many possible interpretations. It is not my goal to promote any just to create an interesting and unusual story).

Book of Revelation.

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rev book

The seal is broke, the scroll unveiled, of things that form the future:..

hour glass

The sand glass turned, the hour begun when mortal minds of men
Shall run a pace about this earth and dipped in blood the pen.
The man unveiled, an empire grim, lies waiting in the shadow,
The time is set, the race begins, that time itself unravels.
So set your course unto the wind that blows about this region.
It is the wake, the trumpet call that heralds in the season.
Look afar upon the wind for you may see it stirring
Beyond earth’s veil the tempest’s din about shall soon be whirling.

trumpets
Slowly, slowly time slips by, as water that is dripping.
One day over, next begun, life’s pages by are flipping.
Each day a note in this vast song, the melody that’s playing,
Each synchronized within the whole, the message it is saying
Come back, come back, within My arms, for time shall soon be ending
Life’s trials and tests, the combat sweet of others you’re defending.
Last note is played, the chorus ends, the silence is descending
Last drop is cast to net below, My presence now is pending

jesus return

So suck each drop of life’s sweet dew and hear the sound a ringing
Angels from the hosts on high the end of all are bringing.
What sweet refrain upon their lips, what power in each gesture,
Each sigh, each joy, each mumbled prayer, the sins no longer pester.

rev scroll

Open up your eyes and see the spirits in the wind.

(I’ve always been fascinated by the mysterious book of revelation and apocalyptic themes.)

Dream Magic.

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dreams med

Do we all dream alike? I’m often amazed at dream concepts related or portrayed in paintings and movies so vastly different to my own. I wonder at the diverse worlds we enter when sleeping.
Personally my dreams generally come in two varieties, what I term “frustration dreams” (often after a stressful day) where I’m trying to find something (a place, person, or item of clothing – even the bathroom!) but just can’t find it.

The other more usual dreams are practical or inspirational. In these dreams I discover solutions to problems, new creative ideas and of course my best stories! I often take it for granted that if I “sleep on it” the answer will probably be right there in my head when I wake up. I’ve discovered though many folks find this unusual. Do my fellow writers also glean words and stories in that wonderful stage between sleep and waking?
As a child I suffered a lot from nightmares feeling myself attacked by some evil force, in total darkness, unable the move or speak, powerless. Thankfully this all changed when I discovered my “magic” word – Jesus. Shouting it out in my dreams gave instant and permanent freedom from nightmares (though I can have troubling dreams on rare occasions they are never frightening and I feel a measure of control if needed.)

I’ve also had a few “prophetic dreams” particularly when I was young and still “finding my way”. These were very different from my usual dreams and were later fulfilled acting as signposts at crucial times in my life.
I’m a lucid dreamer (meaning I’m usually subtly aware when I’m sleeping and can steer my dreams to a great degree thus affecting the outcome). I love the state when sensitivity is heightened and ideas, solutions, (and stories) flow through my waking mind. Sometimes I can’t remember a dream but the peace it gave me in some stressful situation remains on waking.
I tend to approach sleep with a slight air of excitement as one going on a voyage of exploration where new ideas, truths, and glorious pictures become reality for a while and in passing I can gather some up like passing star dust to share with others.

I don’t agree at all with Freud and his interpretations which seem a futile attempt to catalog a realm that is truly beyond our understanding as yet, somehow soiling its beauty in the process. I tend to agree with J P Jackson that dreams are a wonderful gift that we can learn to explore to our profit. I find it strange when some Christians reject the idea that dreams can also be God given. The Bible is full of prophetic dreams – take Daniel for example!
It’s my personal belief that when we sleep and our bodies go to work repairing and growing that our minds likewise sort, catalog, and process the things we’ve been through that day (which is another reason we need more sleep in traumatic times).
What about you? What do you believe and what are your dreams like?

lucid dreaming

(Portrayal of lucid dreaming I found)

THE LAST BATTLE

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Peace reigned over the bloody terrain. Ahmed shouldered his weapon. It was over. Carrion appeared on the horizon. They’d feast today! It was finished, the final battle. What had happened he couldn’t say. There had been some sort of intervention.

This morning he had reconciled himself to death. There seemed no other outcome. The world leader was invincible, superior numbers, weaponry, yes and something more, something that had whisked him to power in the first place. Resistance was futile, he’d known that from the beginning, but what other course was there, only total and complete annihilation. Better to go down fighting!

But he had not died. Here he stood watching as vast numbers of birds descended as if summoned upon the heaped dead.

What had stopped them? Was it the blinding lights that descended as a lightning storm around them as they fought? His eyes dazzled he had seen nothing, heard nothing save the scream of the wind as it rushed among them. When he opened his eyes bodies lay in jumbled heaps, faces distorted in horror.   Yet he and his companions were unharmed, open mouthed, trembling. Thousands upon thousands lay slain about them as the blood pooled to lurid pools and lakes of crimson.

Where the commander was he had no idea, perhaps he lay slain also amidst the mounds of bodies. The tyrant’s power was broken. They could begin again, rebuild.

A watery sun was rising as he and his compatriots trudged up out of the valley of Megiddo, the battle of Armageddon was over, the task of burying the dead barely begun!

 

(A story drawn from the book of Revelation and old testament predictions – scripture buffs I’m aware of the many possible interpretations. It is not my goal to promote any just to create an interesting and unusual story).