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What is Babylon a metaphor for?

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  • What is Babylon a metaphor for?

    What do you think the Babylon described by John is Revelation is a metaphor of / for? It can't be the city of Babylon, which is currently a collection of ruins and a tourist attraction. What are your thoughts on this?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Lucian Hodoboc View Post
    What do you think the Babylon described by John is Revelation is a metaphor of / for? It can't be the city of Babylon, which is currently a collection of ruins and a tourist attraction. What are your thoughts on this?
    In the book of Revelation, Babylon is a symbol of all that’s wrong in the world. It’s the system, the way things are in a sinful creation. Babylon is worldliness. If you study Revelation 17, you’ll notice three things about the prostitute Babylon. First, she is attractive. She has royal clothes, purple and scarlet. She glitters with gold and is decked out in pearls and precious stones. She’s got her best threads on, alluring and seductive.

    Second, the influence of Babylon is pervasive. She sits on many waters, which are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages (Rev. 17:15). Babylon the city literally sat on many waters (Ps. 137:1; Jer. 51:13), but water here is a metaphor for influence. Babylon is connected and powerful. She is not one kingdom in one place at one time but the pervasive worldliness that reigns in every country, every culture, and every government.

    Third, Babylon is impressive. John says, in verse 6, “When I saw her, I marveled greatly.” He was astonished at her influence, her power, and her hold on the inhabitants of the earth. The ways of the world always seem more impressive than the way of a crucified Savior.

    So how do we avoid the crushing weight of Babylon the Great? The first step is to admit we live in Babylon. Everyone does. We are all tempted to drink from the golden cup filled with abominable things (Rev. 17:4). Every culture has its “isms” to tempt us to idolatry. In Africa, the test of faithfulness may involve animism and polygamy. In South America, it might be syncretistic versions of Catholicism. In Asia, it might be ancestor worship. In America, the “isms” are a little different:

    Scientism: truth is only found in what can be measured, tested, and published by peer review.
    Biological Determinism: I am what my genes tell me to be.
    Journeyism: As long as I keep searching, maybe people will quit bothering me to find something.
    Experienceism: The good life can be found only through travel, adventure, and novelty.
    Protestism: If I always speak out against the evil out there, I can ignore the evil inside.
    Healthism: Younger is always better, and when I get old there will be a pill and a workout video to help me feel young again.
    Entertainmentism: If it doesn’t make me feel something right now, it can’t be worth my time.
    Voyeurism: My life is disappointing and boring, so I will do all I can to peer in on celebrities whose lives are more exciting and more dysfunctional.
    Sportsism: I live and die every weekend based on how well twenty-year- old men push each other over while running around in tights chasing a ball.
    Partyism: Life pretty much stinks most days, but once or twice a week I have the time of my life; later, I throw up.
    Politicsism: Everything bad is the other guy’s fault, and everything that needs to change in the world can be voted on by Congress.
    Familyism: Christ and His church take a back seat to soccer and band.
    Sexualityism: My parts are my business, and God cannot tell me what they’re for or when or how to use them.
    Shoppingism: It’s not idolatry if it’s for my kids or on sale.
    Advocacyism: I care therefore I am.

    I could go on and on about all the other worldly “isms” of our day. But you get the point. We live and breathe worldliness.

    The answer is not to hide in a holy huddle in some Christian ghetto. The problem with the Christian subculture isn’t that it’s too otherworldly but that it is almost always too worldly. Sure, some of the movies and music change, but the way of thinking is still the same. The experienceism, the healthism, the entertainmentism are all there because finding an alternative to Babylon is more difficult than watching different movies. It’s living by a different story. It’s being shaped by a different set of assumptions. It’s demonstrating a different ethic. It’s being supremely relevant to a dying world by smashing the idol of relevance. If you want to always be relevant, you must deal with the things that touch eternity, and if you are dealing with eternal things, you always seem a bit irrelevant.

    We’re foolish if we think that we are not surrounded by Babylon. Everyone is. Worldliness in this country will ruin far more spiritual lives than Islam and new-age spiritualities. “In the world, not of the world,” Jesus said. Easier said than done. “Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?” (Prov. 6:27–28). Beware of all the subtle ways the world wants to squeeze you into its mold.

    Source: Blame It on Babylon by Kevin DeYoung
    Comment>

    • #3
      Originally posted by Lucian Hodoboc View Post
      What do you think the Babylon described by John is Revelation is a metaphor of / for? It can't be the city of Babylon, which is currently a collection of ruins and a tourist attraction. What are your thoughts on this?
      This requires several points in Bible study. One must first understand what Revelation reveals that the end time Babylon is in order to understand why it's not the old geographical city of Babylon.

      A.
      Revelation 18 reveals the end time Babylon represents a 'city':

      Rev 18:10
      10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
      KJV

      The last verse of Revelation 17 reveals the "woman" of that chapter is a "great city". Upon the woman's forehead is the name Babylon per Rev.17:5.

      The phrase "great city" is used 10 times in the Book of Revelation, with the "great city" in Rev.11:8 pointing directly to the city of Jerusalem on earth. The very last example of "great city" in Rev.21:10 is about the new Jerusalem descending to earth from God.

      B.
      The "great city" of Revelation is always pointing to the city of Jerusalem, but at two different times and in two different conditions. For the end of this world prior to Christ's 2nd coming is one time and condition, a fallen condition like how Jerusalem fell away to false worship from God in OT times. This is why Rev.11:8 compares Jerusalem in that time of the 6th Trumpet - 2nd Woe to OT Sodom, and Egypt under idol worship. The historic city of Babylon is the ultimate comparison to false worship since that is where false religion began during this world, and it spread to the other nations from there. Thus the title of Babylon is also applied to Jerusalem for the end in this fallen worship state prior to Christ's return.

      C.
      That the city of Jerusalem on earth is meant in Revelation is further shown by related Scripture to its events, like 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 by Apostle Paul when speaking of a coming false one to sit in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God, and exalting himself over all that is worshiped, or that is called God. Paul was pointing directly to another built temple in Jerusalem for the end. Rev.11:1-2 also reveals another temple built in Jerusalem for the end, with those who worship there inside it, and its outer court is to be tread upon 42 months (the time the "dragon" of Rev.13 is given to operate) by the Gentiles. Some orthodox Jews today actually have been collecting materials to build another temple, and already have the cornerstones cut and have tried to place it upon the Temple Mount (see Land of Israel and Temple Mount Faithful movement). Their intention is to start up the old covenant worship in Jerusalem again, for that is one of the purposes they believe for becoming a nation again in 1948. They refuse Jesus and thus the New Covenant.

      D.
      Spiritually, the concept of Babylon is the opposite of God's Eden. In other words, Babylon is the devil's mimic of God's future eternal Kingdom. The culminating event in Revelation is about the event when Satan first rebelled against God in coveting God's Throne. This is what the Babylon concept associated with the "woman" represents, i.e., Satan's second attempt at the end of this world to establish a one world kingdom on earth to mimic God's future eternal Kingdom under Christ Jesus. This is why our Lord Jesus warned His elect in Matt.24:23-26 to not believe on a pseudo-Christ working great signs and miracles which the deceived will one day claim is Him. We have yet to see any such pseudo-Christ working those great signs and miracles that if possible, would even deceive Christ's elect. That's why that event is pointing to the false one of 2 Thess.2:3-4 coming in the last of days.

      E.
      When Christ comes to gather His Church on the last day of this world, that is when He will end the corruptions by Satan's children in Jerusalem.
      Comment>

      • #4
        Originally posted by Lucian Hodoboc View Post
        What do you think the Babylon described by John is Revelation is a metaphor of / for? It can't be the city of Babylon, which is currently a collection of ruins and a tourist attraction. What are your thoughts on this?
        Babylon is the visible flesh that walks around in a visible world without knowing what the "breath of life" means.

        Genesis 2
        7: then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground ( visible flesh ), and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life ( invisible spirit of God ); and man became a living being ( a visible and invisible human being ).

        Here's what will happen to the visible world and visible flesh that has gotten it's wealth from the world or possibly became very poor:

        Revelation 18
        17: In one hour all this wealth has been laid waste." And all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off
        18: and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning, "What city was like the great city?"
        19: And they threw dust on their heads, as they wept and mourned, crying out, "Alas, alas, for the great city where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her wealth! In one hour she has been laid waste.
        20: Rejoice over her, O heaven, O saints and apostles and prophets, for God has given judgment for you against her!"
        21: Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, "So shall Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and shall be found no more;
        22: and the sound of harpers and minstrels, of flute players and trumpeters, shall be heard in thee no more; and a craftsman of any craft shall be found in thee no more; and the sound of the millstone shall be heard in thee no more;
        23: and the light of a lamp shall shine in thee no more; and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall be heard in thee no more; for thy merchants were the great men of the earth, and all nations were deceived by thy sorcery.
        24: And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth."

        Here's what will happen soon now that the 1,000 year reign of Christ is nearly finished revealing the Tree of Life:

        Matthew 24
        14: And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world ( the 1,000 year reign of Christ ), as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come. ( read the prophecies below about "Babylon" being destroyed by the will of God ( Spirit of God ).

        Isaiah 24
        18: He who flees at the sound of the terror shall fall into the pit; and he who climbs out of the pit shall be caught in the snare. For the windows of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble.
        19: The earth is utterly broken, the earth is rent asunder, the earth is violently shaken.
        20: The earth staggers like a drunken man, it sways like a hut; its transgression lies heavy upon it, and it falls, and will not rise again.

        Ezekiel 38
        19: For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
        20: the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground.

        Zephaniah 1
        18: Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them on the day of the wrath of the LORD. In the fire of his jealous wrath, all the earth shall be consumed; for a full, yea, sudden end he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth. ( in one hour, everything on earth will be destroyed and then melted by hot molten lava including the crust of the earth to restore the earth back to it's original shape that it was before the flood and before any inhabitant walked on it ).

        2 Peter 3
        10: But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up.
        11: Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
        12: waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be kindled and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire!
        13: But according to his promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

        Comment>

        • #5
          Originally posted by bornofgod View Post
          Babylon is the visible flesh that walks around in a visible world without knowing what the "breath of life" means.

          Genesis 2
          7: then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground ( visible flesh ), and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life ( invisible spirit of God ); and man became a living being ( a visible and invisible human being ).
          Prove it from the Hebrew text not your bogus interpretation of an English translation.

          וַיִּיצֶר֩ יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהִ֜ים אֶת־הָֽאָדָ֗ם עָפָר֙ מִן־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה וַיִּפַּ֥ח בְּאַפָּ֖יו נִשְׁמַ֣ת חַיִּ֑ים וַֽיְהִ֥י הָֽאָדָ֖ם לְנֶ֥פֶשׁ חַיָּֽה

          Comment>

          • #6
            Originally posted by Origen View Post
            Prove it from the Hebrew text not your bogus interpretation of an English translation.

            וַיִּיצֶר֩ יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהִ֜ים אֶת־הָֽאָדָ֗ם עָפָר֙ מִן־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה וַיִּפַּ֥ח בְּאַפָּ֖יו נִשְׁמַ֣ת חַיִּ֑ים וַֽיְהִ֥י הָֽאָדָ֖ם לְנֶ֥פֶשׁ חַיָּֽה
            God converted His thoughts into the English language before He put each English word in my mind so that I would easily understand the knowledge that came out of those words. It's called the word of the Lord that I testified to for the past 8 years that revealed what the Tree of Life is and how it was used by our Father in Heaven to convert His thoughts into make-believe worlds ( visions and dreams ) for His people and animals to enjoy.
            Comment>

            • #7
              Originally posted by bornofgod View Post
              God converted His thoughts into the English language before He put each English word in my mind so that I would easily understand the knowledge that came out of those words.
              In other words you cannot. Now that is interesting. You want others to believe that God gave you this in English but it is in no way supported by the Hebrew text which is God's revelation. Hence there is a contraction. Believe what you say against God's given text which does not support you claim. Sorry that won't happen.

              Originally posted by bornofgod View Post
              It's called the word of the Lord that I testified to for the past 8 years that revealed what the Tree of Life is and how it was used by our Father in Heaven to convert His thoughts into make-believe worlds ( visions and dreams ) for His people and animals to enjoy.
              Again, so you say.
              Last edited by Origen; 10-23-2016, 11:33 AM.
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              • #8
                Trying to use the English text of a Bible to proof text is a dangerous thing.One HAS to go back to the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek in order to make ultimate sense of the text. I mean, no matter how good the translation, it is still a TRANSLATION, and that is all that need be said.
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                • #9
                  One of the things I thought about when reading bornofgod's post is that if anyone here wants to share Scripture from the original manuscripts to me or someone else unfamiliar with Hebrew or Greek, then, they must translate to English. They are then faced with what the translators have already dedicated their time. Does anyone here feel they are better apt in doing such a job?

                  bornofgod as far as make believe worlds, visions, and dreams... . I do not quite understand you.

                  Your thoughts? Anyone?

                  God bless,
                  William

                  P.S. I am not a KJV-onlyist, just to clarify. :)
                  Comment>

                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Origen View Post
                    In other words you cannot. Now that is interesting. You want others to believe that God gave you this in English but it is in no way supported by the Hebrew text which is God's revelation. Hence there is a contraction. Believe what you say against God's given text which does not support you claim. Sorry that won't happen.

                    Again, so you say.
                    Most people who spoke Hebrew while Jesus began preaching the Gospel rejected the Gospel spoken in their language. So what good does an English speaking person who isn't born of God going to do by translating English text into Hebrew text? He will still not be born of God.
                    Comment>

                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Diego View Post
                      Trying to use the English text of a Bible to proof text is a dangerous thing.One HAS to go back to the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek in order to make ultimate sense of the text. I mean, no matter how good the translation, it is still a TRANSLATION, and that is all that need be said.
                      People who are not born again in the Spirit of God can translate English text into Hebrew if they want but that won't change the fact that they are not born of God. Only those reborn in the Spirit of God are taught directly by our Father via His Holy Spirit.

                      In fact, once you translate everything into Hebrew, good luck trying to preach the Gospel to people who can't understand anything you're trying to say.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bornofgod View Post
                        In fact, once you translate everything into Hebrew, good luck trying to preach the Gospel to people who can't understand anything you're trying to say.
                        Likewise, once everything is translated into English from Hebrew, good luck trying to preach the Gospel to people who can't understanding anything you're trying to say.

                        God bless,
                        William
                        Comment>

                        • #13
                          Originally posted by William View Post
                          One of the things I thought about when reading bornofgod's post is that if anyone here wants to share Scripture from the original manuscripts to me or someone else unfamiliar with Hebrew or Greek, then, they must translate to English. They are then faced with what the translators have already dedicated their time. Does anyone here feel they are better apt in doing such a job?

                          bornofgod as far as make believe worlds, visions, and dreams... . I do not quite understand you.

                          Your thoughts? Anyone?

                          God bless,
                          William

                          P.S. I am not a KJV-onlyist, just to clarify. :)
                          None of the saints in the first witness that started the 1,000 year reign of Christ used Bibles to preach the Gospel of God. God's language is invisible so He converts His thoughts into any language that His prophet or saints understands to preach the Gospel into his mind with commands until the prophet or saint is ready to preach the Gospel for God to other people. God puts one word at a time in our mind to write or speak and this is how He reveals all this knowledge.

                          There were many stupid Hebrew speaking people in the time of the first saints who couldn't understand the Gospel spoken in Hebrew so what good does it do for a stupid English speaking person to translate English into Hebrew. He will still be stupid and not understand the Gospel of God.
                          Comment>

                          • #14
                            Originally posted by William View Post

                            Likewise, once everything is translated into English from Hebrew, good luck trying to preach the Gospel to people who can't understanding anything you're trying to say.

                            God bless,
                            William
                            Those of us who preach the Gospel don't use any Bible's. All we do is write or speak the words God puts in our mind while we're preaching. This is how God speaks to His chosen believers who hear His voice as the Gospel is being preached to them. The Gospel is the voice of God.
                            Comment>

                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bornofgod View Post

                              None of the saints in the first witness that started the 1,000 year reign of Christ used Bibles to preach the Gospel of God. God's language is invisible so He converts His thoughts into any language that His prophet or saints understands to preach the Gospel into his mind with commands until the prophet or saint is ready to preach the Gospel for God to other people. God puts one word at a time in our mind to write or speak and this is how He reveals all this knowledge.

                              There were many stupid Hebrew speaking people in the time of the first saints who couldn't understand the Gospel spoken in Hebrew so what good does it do for a stupid English speaking person to translate English into Hebrew. He will still be stupid and not understand the Gospel of God.
                              I guess Christ can't reign for 1001+ years. I am an amillennialist. If you aren't familiar with the label, we have a sub-category under the Prophecy category.

                              All the knowledge in or about Scripture does nothing for an individual besides puff up. Discernment is another matter, discerning truth from falsehood, and what is right or wrong. What good is it to understand the Scriptures if you don't agree with them?

                              God bless,
                              William
                              Comment>
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