There were two prominent cities written about in the
Bible—Jerusalem & Babylon. And these two cities are diametrically
opposed in everything they represent. Jerusalem, for instance, represents,
peace, righteousness. Babylon represents bondage and corruption.
Two Literal Cities
Let’s take a good look for a moment at ancient Babylon,
located on the beautiful banks of the mighty Euphrates, a flowing river
running diagonally through her, a city surrounded by walls 338 feet high, 85
feet thick, and 60 miles in circumference. Walls studded with towers and
blessed with brazen gates. Set in the garden of the East (located in
southern Iraq today), she was a square city, five times the size of London.
A tower of man’s magnificent monument. Her palaces, her hanging gardens,
her terraces, formed a mountain of scenery. The riches of the world were
brought through her splendid gates. It’s been said, "…this was
the golden kingdom of a golden age." I believe it.
On a given night, perhaps the night of the annual
festival, Belshazzar might give a feast to a thousand of his lords--his
servants, his princes, his wives and concubines, all dancing in the ivory
palace as they drank wine, praising their heathen deities far into the
This was ancient Babylon.
And then there was Jerusalem, the city of our Savior,
located 32 miles east of the Mediterranean Sea and 18 miles west of the
Jordan River. Babylon’s antithesis. A city where sheep graze on hillsides
and priests wail at the Wall. The chief city of Palestine. Kings have fought
to destroy her; kings have given their lives to defend her. Solomon’s
temple in all its glory was built there. Jesus in all his humiliation was
crucified there. Trade and bushels of wheat pass through its streets and
love and hate pass through its traditions.
Someone, somewhere, has always wanted to conquer
Jerusalem, take over its prized possession—her sacred history. Jesus wept
over this city. Mothers raised their children in Jerusalem. And politicians
talked about their duties and denarius. The city was, and is, even
today a strange mixture of the Divine and Ordinary. The sad and sublime.
Babylon and Jerusalem both exist and live on today in the
hearts of mankind.
Historically, we know Babylon was the first kingdom to
fall. It was conquered by the Medo-Persian army. Spiritually, Babylon will
be the last kingdom to fall. It will be conquered by overcoming saints. But
fall, she will.
Babylon, the Institution
Babylon stands for many things, but specifically the spirit
of Babylon stands for the presence of institutionalism—monuments to man.
Here’s the way it works:
…A man is used of God to create a move of God—which
starts out holy.
…A move of God becomes a movement—which begins to
weaken the Spirit’s role.
…A movement turns to a monument—which eventually
Thus, the beginnings of a denomination. A man, a movement,
a monument is the typical digression.
Denominations are by and large institutions of control
bearing the fruit of Babylon. Pastors and leaders are in bondage these days
like never before, running the affairs of their congregations, preparing
sermons, attempting to expand their membership with the ever-so-near
concerns of dismissal, salary, retirement, promotion, and political scandal.
Babylon exists today in the hearts of its people.
In one sense, a saint’s worst enemy is not "the
world, flesh, and the devil" (I Jn.2:15,16). It’s his
religion. His religion, not his sins, will do him in, if he’s not careful.
Be prepared. Babylon will fall. That whole scene will
fall. And God’s overcoming saints will have a vital role to play in its
The Triumph of the Kingdom
The Savior taught us to pray, "…thy kingdom
come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven…" As we pray,
we must realize every petition in harmony with the will of the Son is a
prophecy of what will be. Praying the above prayer assures us that
this earth will not always be in the hands of the accursed, the depraved, a
mixed scene of suffering and tyranny. We can expect a complete regeneration
of the globe, a change in our environment.
Do not, however, expect change without opposition.
Battles must be fought; trials will be enormous. The triumph of the kingdom
does have its price.
His Work Goes Before Him
For some reason, those of us who come from a Protestant
background tend to think that Jesus will "do it all" when he
comes. That we’re essentially to wait around passively for his coming. But
Isaiah tells us:
"…Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward
is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them, The
holy people, The redeemed of the Lord, and thou shalt be called, Sought
out…" --Isa.62: 11,12
Before the Lord returns, his work shall go before him.
The Lord will have a holy people; they shall be sought out to do his
work—to help set up the Lord’s kingdom. And every rule, every system of
economics, every government, shall at last come under his rule.
"…The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of
the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the
saints of the most High…" –Daniel 7:27
It is the Lord’s saints in these last days that will
help prepare the earth for the millennium.
The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ which
will occur between this present age that Satan rules and the future age that
God rules the earth. It’s the transition age.
The Bible says that Satan is the "god of this
world" (II Cor. 4:4). The word is "age," not
world. He is the god of this present age. There is a future age (of which
we’re about to enter) when God shall rule preeminently this earth. Most
Protestant Christians, especially evangelical Christians, are a bit
uncomfortable with the thought of God ruling this earth. We’re used to God
We’re more in touch with the idea of present-day saints
leaving this earth than with former saints arriving on it. But the truth
is—there’s not going to be a rapture; there’s going to be an invasion!
Present saints are not leaving; former saints are returning.
Which raises the issue…
Another scary thought for most Protestant believers.
Believe it or not, the Bible speaks of two resurrections. Daniel speaks of
one before the millennium and John speaks of one after the millennium. Hear
"…And at that time shall Michael stand up, the
great prince…and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since
there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time thy people shall
…And many of them [not all] that sleep in the dust of
the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and
everlasting contempt." --Dan.12:1,2
Daniel speaks of a time of trouble like the world has
never witnessed. It’s the Great Tribulation, the Day of the Lord. In
Revelation 20:5 we’re told of a resurrection that takes place at the
end of the thousand years. The resurrection in Daniel is for another
purpose, occurring at the beginning of the thousand years.
Daniel’s resurrection is for those saints of all ages
who embraced the promises, who gave their lives wholly to God, but who did
not enter into his fullness here on earth. They will take part in the
first resurrection. The passage in Daniel says "…many of them
that sleep…" Not all of them. The rest of the saints will come
The Battle of the Ages
There is another group who gave their lives wholly over
to Satan. They too will come forth, be resurrected. And the greatest battle
of the ages will begin—two armies, epitomes of good and evil. One with the
Sons of God, on the side of the Incarnation of God, the Lord Jesus
Christ; the other with medium, sorcerers, and adepts, on the side of the
Incarnation of Satan, the Anti-Christ.
There is war in heaven, or the heavenlies—not unlike
the first war when Michael and his angels fought the Dragon, that old
serpent, the devil. It’s the Sons of God against the sorcerers of Satan.
It’s late in the day. It’s power against power, anointing against
anointing—as it was with Moses going against the sorcerers of Egypt. The
Sons of God will bring defeat to Satan’s mediums, and restoration begins:
restoration of the earth, restoration of the whole creation, restoration of
goodness and mercy, of faith and love, restoration of health and healing and
marriages and nations.
Warriors will walk the earth, clothed with the full armor
of God. They’re his Sons, enlisted to do battle on both sides of the veil
during the endtime. God has an army of Sons on both sides…doing battle.
God has more than one army; he has two. One of Mathew’s
parables, the parable of the wedding banquet, gives us a hint (chapter
22). The king issues invitations for his subjects to attend his banquet.
Most of them make excuses, so, enraged, he sends his armies out and destroys
"…But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth,
and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and
destroyed their city" (vs.7).
The king sent forth his armies. Most students of
scripture believe the king in the parable is Christ. And the theme is
possibly the marriage supper (Rev.19). Notice, the armies are plural
but the city is singular. God’s armies will destroy Babylon, that city.
Let’s compare scriptures concerning the plurality of God’s armies.
"…And he doeth according to his will in the army
of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth…" --Dan.4:35
Note the distinction: "army of heaven" and
"inhabitants of the earth." Question: why not "army… of
the earth?" Because God hadn’t formed his earthly army yet.
Daniel is considered to be the apocalypse of the Old
Testament. The apocalypse of the New Testament makes a comparison.
"…And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white
horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True…And the
armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses…"
Now it’s "…armies…" By the time Babylon
has fallen, the army of the earth has been trained. The troops have been
roused to join the army of heaven. Job said it this way, "…his
troops come together…" –Job 19:12. And Paul said it another,
"…That in the dispensation of the fullness of
times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which
are in heaven, and which are on earth…" --Eph.1:10
God has both his armies together now, "…which are
in heaven and which are on earth…"
God’s armies are joined together—coming down and
Two armies are joined together, one from this side and
one from the "other side." After the return of our Lord, saints
from this side of the grave will have access into heaven and saints from the
"other side" will return to this earth. A marvelous plan, indeed.
God gives us a picture of accessing both worlds in
Genesis 28 with Jacob’s ladder-- angels ascending and descending into two
worlds. That’s the message of I Thessalonians four: saints coming back and
forth from another world.
"…Them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring
with him…" (verse 4).
Now Satan has no place to hide. He can no longer go into
heaven and accuse the brethren; he can no longer roam this earth like a
roaring lion, defeating the saints.
Glorified saints will take care of him no matter where he
attempts to roam—heaven, hell, the earth. We will rob his house, bind him,
destroy his power, and help cast him into the bottomless pit.
All manners of crime and vice will be abolished. Pimps
and terrorists will be out of work. Tyranny and oppression will be no more.
The Middle East will live in peace. Drug addiction and racial prejudice will
vanish. All religious schisms and sects will dry up like the south wind.
There will be only one "religion," the love of Jesus. There will
be no lying, no gossip, no slander. Evil speaking, tale-bearing, and false
accusations will be a thing of the past. Crooked landlords, greedy bankers,
and grab-alls will have vanished from the face of the earth while there
remains a people who gladly bow.
In fact, every knee shall bow, for it’s the millennium,
"…Babylon is fallen, is fallen…"r