There is scriptural evidence that Babylon, in these last days, will be rebuilt, or else, the spirit of Babylon will be that which the Scripture indicates. If it is the city Babylon, or the spirit of Babylon, with the new city of Dubai at its core, either one would fulfill prophecy. Whichever, the antichrist will make his headquarters there, at least during the first half of the Great Tribulation (Isaiah 13-14; Jeremiah 50-51, Zechariah 5:5-11 ; Revelation 14:8; 16:19; 18:1-24) From the Scriptures, it seems that rebuilt Babylon, or else the spirit of Babylon, will play a great part in latter day events not only as a political capital of the kingdom of antichrist but as the headquarters for a religious system called “mystery Babylon.” It will be a great commercial center in the earth in the last days as pictured in Revelation Chapter 18. It seems that the man of sin will reign from Babylon during his rise to power over the ten kingdoms of the old Roman empire territory, which he will take over (Isaiah 14; Daniel 7:23-24; Revelation 17:12-17) In New Testament times, Babylon was still a city and even had a Christian church (1 Peter 5:13). About 500 years later, the Babylon Talmud was written there. Since then, it has not been destroyed as Revelation 18 says it will be destroyed. Even today, there is a city called Hilla of nearly a half million people that is built just south of the old site of ancient Babylon. The soil, it is said, is exceedingly fertile and engineers estimate that the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers could irrigate seven million acres in winter and about three million in summer to grow various crops. In fact, the whole of the east is rich in oil and other minerals.
The Antichrist Shows His True Colors
At about the midpoint of the Great Tribulation, the antichrist will show his true colors and invade Israel, thereby breaking his covenant with them. He will enter into Israel and actually take over that country and make the newly-built Jewish temple his headquarters, at least his religious headquarters (Daniel 7:21-25; 8:9-14; 22-25; 9:27; 11:36-45; Matthew 24:15-24; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 13:1-18; Revelation 17:8-17). At that time, he will then do away with all Jewish sacrifices in the temple and set himself and his image in the temple to be worshiped as god. This will continue for over three years.
At this juncture, the antichrist could easily destroy Israel, but The Lord will divert his attention elsewhere. Actually, Israel at that time, at least for the most part, will flee into Jordan. Incidentally, of all the countries of the Middle East, this little country will not be controlled by the man of sin (Daniel 11:41). As many Bible students know, Petra is located in Jordan. This very strange city is surrounded by mountains and accessible only by a very narrow road located between two towering cliffs. It is now empty. Many in Israel will flee to this place upon the invasion of the antichrist. The beast could easily destroy these ancient people at this time, but the Scripture says that he will encounter problems in the north and the east and will be forced to then deal with these problems (Daniel 11:44). He will then leave the Jews for the time being to go forth against these new enemies until he conquers them in the last 3 ½ years of this age. He will then go back into Israel to do what he formerly planned, only to be defeated by the coming of The Lord. During the last days of this 3 ½ years of the Great Tribulation, the Jews will have regained control of Jerusalem because the antichrist is away elsewhere. He will then come against Jerusalem, intending to destroy Israel once and for all in what his known as the Battle of Armageddon (Isaiah 63:1-6; Ezekiel 38-39; Joel 3:13; Revelation 19:15). To be sure, the antichrist would, at the same time, succeed but for the Coming of The Lord. The following Scriptures proclaim Petra as a place of refuge for Israel during that coming dark time (Psalms 60:6-12; Isaiah 16:1-5; 26:20; 63:1; Ezekiel 20:33; Daniel 11:41; Hosea 2:14; Matthew 24:16; Revelation 12).
As Travail Upon a Woman with Child
The heading presents a familiar oriental simile. It carries the idea of the inevitability or unavoidability of judgment and of suddenness. In her rejection of Christ some 2,000 years ago, Israel was carried into a dark night of unbelief and rebellion against God. They have suffered much as all such positions bring suffering and judgment. It is not so much that God has leveled judgment against them as much as them taking themselves out from under the protection of God. This has left them wide open to the powers of darkness which steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). In fact, Christ prophesied this very thing when He said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Matthew 23:37-39) In fact, Jesus was in the temple whenever this prophecy was uttered. He then went to Olivet where He gave the great Matthew 24 discourse which spoke of the coming “Great Tribulation” which, for the most part, pertains to Israel (Matthew 24:21-22).
The simile used here by Paul pertains to a woman who is experiencing birth pangs, knowing that the birth is eminent but not knowing the time. The difference in Israel and the example of the woman in travail is that a woman knows when she is pregnant. However, Israel will have no knowledge whatsoever regarding her impending danger because she fully trusts the antichrist, so it will definitely be sudden destruction. However, as it regards the travail, The Lord definitely knows what is happening and how it’s happening because, in fact, He will have allowed it to happen. Whatever the antichrist may think or try, he can only do what The Lord allows him to do. His ambition will be to take over the world and to destroy Israel. However, God will use him for another purpose altogether. That purpose is to bring Israel to a place to where she will sincerely call for the Messiah because of having no one else to help her. This, she will do, which will be during the battle of Armageddon and which looks like her total destructions as a people and as a nation. In fact, were it not for the coming of The Lord, she would be totally and completely destroyed, but Jesus will come, and His coming will be totally unlike anything the world has ever known before. Israel will then accept Him as Lord, as Savior, as Redeemer, and as Messiah.
And They Shall Not Escape
The heading refers to all of this of which we speak being inevitable. In other words, all of these things definitely are going to happen. As students of The Word, there is a possibility that we might misinterpret Bible prophecy to a certain extent. But irrespective of the fine detail, it is guaranteed that the overall thrust of these prophecies is definitely going to take place. I speak of the Rapture of the Church, the rise of the antichrist, the coming Great Tribulation, and the anger of God against a world who has forgotten Him days without number. I speak of the wrath of God being poured out on this world as it has never known before. While the area of the Middle East will be the greatest target, still the entirety of the world is going to be affected and in a way that it has never known before. Preachers can claim that all of this has been fulfilled with the world getting better, etc. However, The Word of God plainly says, “They shall not escape.” The Great Tribulation is definitely coming upon this world. “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” (1 Thessalonians 5:4)
But You Brethren Are Not in Darkness
The Word of The Lord is explicit here. Even though these things will overtake the world like a thief, simply because they do not know The Word of God or even believe The Word of God. For those who are truly following The Lord, from our understanding of The Word of God, we know what is coming upon this world. As one knows The Word of God, one sees the absolute ability of the casting about of even those who are the most intellectual in the world as it concerns the future. In other words, they don’t have a clue as to what is coming. In fact, the future, as far as the world is concerned, is pretty much limited to what Hollywood produces. The greatest past time of the world, one might say, is delivering into one’s roots. Somehow, they seem to think that this holds some type of answer for them. The great uncertainty among those who do not know God is because of the terrible emptiness they must have in their souls and the absolute lack of purpose in their lives. In other words, the world has nothing but a dark past, a hurting present, and an unknown future.
Christ and Him Crucified
The heading, given some paragraphs back, refers to Spiritual Enlightenment which comes only from the Word of God. Even though the statement, “…ye, brethren, are not in darkness,…” is very simple, but it speaks volumes. The word “darkness” in the Greek is “skotos” and means “shadow, error, shadiness, and obscurity.” In fact, other than those who know The Lord Jesus Christ, the entirety of the world lies in terrible spiritual darkness. Actually, one cannot know God unless one knows Christ. The only way to The Father is by Christ (John 10:9). As well, Jesus is “…the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) The intersection has always been The Lord Jesus Christ, and more particularly, Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 1:23). The only way out of darkness is to accept Christ, and this speaks of the crucified, risen, and exalted Christ. Millions in the world would like to accept Christ, a good man, the miracle worker, or the great teacher. But they don’t want the Christ of The Cross. However, to accept Christ in any other capacity is not really to accept Christ. Please note the following once again, the only way to God is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). The only way to Christ is through The Cross (Luke 9:23). The only way to The Cross is denial of self (Luke 9:23; 14:27).
Man’s problem is sin, and when we say sin, we are not speaking of a mere mendacity or a mere infraction, whatever that might be. We’re speaking of that which is of such power and strength as to completely cut off an individual from God. In fact, the only thing that can separate man from God and God from man is sin. The only remedy for sin, and we mean the only remedy, is The Cross of Christ. There is no other remedy because no other remedy is needed. So, the whole idea of accepting Christ is to accept what He did at The Cross on our behalf, and to accept that fully, totally, and completely. There is salvation in no other way or source (Romans 6:2-6).
That That Day Should Overtake You as a Thief
The heading refers to the world being in that condition because they are in darkness, but the child of God functions in a totally different capacity. There is no excuse for the believer to not know these things even as Paul said to the Thessalonians, who had not been saved very long. I’m afraid the truth, in many cases, is that some Christians definitely are in darkness, at least as far as understanding the Word of God is concerned, simply because there is very little consecration to The Lord. Were this not so, Paul would not have given the admonishment that he did in the verses following 1 Thessalonians 5:4. In other words, it is possible for a Christian to be spiritually asleep.
God is our refuge and our strength
In straits a present aid
Therefore, although the earth remove
We will not be afraid
Though hills amidst the seas be cast
Though waters roaring make
And troubled be Ye, though the hills
By swelling seas to shake
God in the midst of her does dwell
Nothing shall her remove
God unto her an helper will
And that right early prove
Give us souls lest we die;
Give us souls lest we die;
Give us souls lest we die;
That the Lamb Who was slain might receive the reward of His suffering, as the Glory perfects the Unity, and the Unity proclaims the Glory!
The continuation and extension of the ministry of our Lord, Jesus Christ
The Rapture of The Church
***Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Pastor Michael is conducting a Bible Study of End Times Prophecy and wishes to share this insight by The Holy Spirit with all of our faithful servants in Christ. Every week, we will add a new page of prophecy taken from Scripture. We started with the Book of Revelation, moved on to the Book of Daniel, then Ezekiel Chapters 47 and 48. Now, we are studying The Rapture of the Church. The Scripture verses are in black font, the words of Jesus Christ in red, and the notes in blue. The audio and video clips have been temporarily moved to the bottom of this page***
Kenya Prison Ministry
Conquerors for Christ ministry is the continuation and extension of the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. As the kings and priests of Messiah (Revelation 1:6; 5:10), our Vision/Mission is to preach the finished the work of the Cross of Christ Jesus, thereby advancing and fulfilling our Great Commission (John 4:34; Mark 16:15-20).
In/with the Person, Power and Presence of God The Holy Spirit, in the fullness of the Apostolic Anointing, we evangelize, preach, teach, testify and witness Messiah and His Gospel (Christ and Him Crucified and the Power of His Resurrection) unto the nations, with mighty works, signs, wonders and miracles following, bringing many sons and daughters to eternal Glory as they confess Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives! What is more, we disciple, equip and send out into the nations these saved of Christ as anointed preachers and teachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ -- thereby replicating the ministry of Messiah worldwide in/with the Anointing, Authority, Power, Strength, Wisdom, Dominion, Love, Fire, Brilliance, Radiance and Glory of The Holy Spirit of the Living God (Acts 1:8)!
Conquerors for Christ ministries include Crusades for Christ, Revivals for Christ, Five Published Volumes of our book series -- Conquerors for Christ -- sold via the Internet and other marketing venues, Television and Internet Evangelism ministries, Conquerors for Christ Bible Institute, Personal and Telephone Evangelism ministries, and on the ground Evangelism missions and ministries in Africa and India.
We invite you to join us and become a mighty "Conqueror for Christ"! Contact us @ firstname.lastname@example.org.