Jerusalem and Babylon: A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens opens his classic A Tale of Two Cities with this:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
As we enter into these last days, we are walking the ridge of a mountain. One side leads to darkness and the other light, and it seems many are falling on the dark side. Mr. Dickens captured the feeling of that age, and it reflects this age as well. In fact, this is the way it’s been since the beginning. It goes back to the garden, the fall of man, and the rise of Lucifer, and it’s been light or dark, wisdom or foolishness, and belief or incredulity ever since.
There is a tale of two cities.
In His process to restore the earth, God set a garden, the archetype of Jerusalem, as a tag or mark on the earth. It became a touchstone, a throb of His presence and a portal of His entry. The fallen Lucifer worked almost immediately against it. He wanted earth for himself to secure worshipers for himself. He wanted to be like the Most High (Isaiah 14:12-14).
Jerusalem belongs to God; it’s his territory, His door to planet earth. Jerusalem is marked. It’s more than a city but reaches beyond human imagination to encompass a system, a nature, an auditorium of worship.
“Yet I have chosen Jerusalem, that my Name may be there…” 2 Chronicles 6:6
“If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its cunning. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not; if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy.” Psalm 137:5-6
In his mission to be like the Most High, the fallen Lucifer established his own mark on earth with Babel—his own system built on gathering fallen hearts to erect and evangelize evil. From Babel’s beginning in Genesis 11 through to Revelation 11, where Lucifer believes he has dominated Jerusalem, Babel or Babylon has existed.
There is a war between two cities and the gold for which they vie is the hearts of man, God’s creation. Happily, this is an unfair war. The creator of evil is the only one who can extinguish it. Satan and his city will be cast into hell created for him.
John’s revelation discloses much about Babylon, but even with that, prophecy scholars still struggle with where to physically place Babylon of the end times. Most good scholarship has it in Rome or the actual place of ancient Babylon in Iraq. Wherever it is, the importance of it is that it’s a conglomerated system encompassing a false covenant of worship and economy management. I don’t believe the end time Babylon will find geographic limits but will exist in a computing cloud in its attempt to rule the world.
Let’s talk about the mayors of these cities—the chief architects. While Abraham was looking for a city (Jerusalem) whose builder and maker was God (Hebrews 11:10), he met Melchizedek, the High Priest of Salem (Jerusalem). Through communion, Abraham became a citizen of Jerusalem. We know that at the very least, Melchizedek was an archetype of Christ—if not Christ Himself, which is more likely.
You see, our linear minds are limited in understanding the cyclic history of God. God is not restricted to history, present, or future—it all runs in loops for Him. For us, time is of the essence. For Him it’s just essence and time is meaningless. God can do anything He wants to do; whenever He wants, and although He has a plan, it’s being fulfilled in cyclic loops. He was, He is, and He will be. Jesus embodies that when He says, “I am.”
Nimrod, the mayor of Babel, was a mighty hunter and king of Shinar who was a grandson of Ham and a great-grandson of Noah. According to Hebrew scholars, Nimrod means rebel. Nimrod is the archetype of the Antichrist.
Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.” And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city). Genesis 10:8-12
Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. 1 Chronicles 1:10
Nimrod founded Babel, and once physically attached or marked to earth, Satan was able to initiate his system of anti-God and anti-Christ. To name a few, we see historic attempts to raise the Antichrist in Pharaoh who challenges, “Who is the Lord?” in Exodus 5:2, and then there is Manasseh, notably the most wicked king in Israel in whose honor a wooden statue was erected driving worship to himself just as will follow the Antichrist of Revelation. Manasseh seals the deal with the promotion of child sacrifice to the demon god Molech by sacrificing his own child. This is the spirit of the antichrist that is today manifested in the sacrifice of children to abortion. The Molech god is still being served.
Unlike the Antichrist of the Revelation, Manasseh has an encounter with God, and humbles himself before the Lord. (2 Chronicles 33:12). Ahab also manifested the antichrist spirit with a worship-statue of himself. Then there is the Greek ruler Antiochus Epiphanes who many prophecy scholars cite as a specific example of the Antichrist—in fact many prophecy scholars consider him the Antichrist model. This list is in no way exhaustive to the ones here presented; we certainly shouldn’t leave out Hitler, who along with Antiochus Epiphanes, actively hated, persecuted, and killed Jews—just like the Antichrist in John’s Revelation.
John says the spirit of antichrist is already in the world (1 John 4:3). Paul says the same in 2 Thessalonians 2:7. This spirit emanates from the heart of Satan’s city, Babylon. Although not at this moment a place on the map, Babylon influences the earth and hearts of humanity.
Satan hates God’s beloved Jerusalem and contends for its destruction.
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.” Zechariah 12:2-3
All the leading nations of the world know that the next world war is sitting on the edge of Jerusalem, more specifically, the Temple Mount. This little piece of real estate has the attention of all the mighty kings of the earth. Many cry for Jerusalem to be divided, but the only one who has that right is its true mayor, the Lord Jesus Christ who Himself will physically divide it upon His second coming to the Mount of Olives, back from where he left. The loop closes.
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,
From east to west,
Making a very large valley;
Half of the mountain shall move toward the north
And half of it toward the south. Zachariah 4:14
Satan’s city, Babylon, will be utterly destroyed, and the spirit with it.
After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore. Revelation 18:1-2, 21
The garden becomes the bride of God. The Jerusalem of today is God’s ultrasound picture for His dream’s fulfillment, the New Jerusalem. This is the city for which God’s covenant partner, Abraham, searched. He had a glimpse that forever left its impression. The New Jerusalem is God’s city in its maturity, the fruit of the seed of its garden.
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Revelation 21:9-11
The finality of this tale of two cities climaxes with God’s heartthrob in full maturity; the best of times where pure wisdom and light reign freely without the competition of darkness or foolishness. These will be banished forever, leaving the children of God with eternity—which is more than the time of forever. Eternity is the presence, nature, and the very essence of God celebrated where color sings, and songs shine.
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