THE LAST DAYS OF BABYLON Part 6, THE WRATH

Goodnews Christian Ministry

"Then they will hand you over to be tortured and put to death; and you will be hated by all the nations on account of my name." ---Matthew 24:9

CHAPTER 28

The Death of the Beast

"Not from the east, nor from the west, not from the desert, nor from the mountains, but from God alone the judgment comes..."
Psalm 75:6-7

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At the height of his power, and before the world itself comes to an end, the beast will suddenly die. (Dn.8:25).

"All who see you will gaze at you, will stare at you, 'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, and overthrew kingdoms, who made the world a desert and leveled cities, who never to his captives opened the prison gates?'

You have been expelled from your grave like loathsome dung, buried under the slaughtered, under those cut down by the sword, and thrown on the stones of the ditch like a mangled carcass. You are never to rejoin them in the grave, for you have brought your country to ruin and destroyed your people."
(Is.14:16-20).

Coming in catastrophe, the Rebel's death will not occur at the hands of men. (Dn.8:25). Antiochus IV Epiphanes is said in one account to have died as a result of a chariot accident he was involved in as he was rushing to rejoin his forces in Israel.

According to the writer of the first Book of the Maccabees, Antiochus died slowly of his injuries, in bitter grief, deeply regretting the fact that he had ordered the extermination of the Jews. (1 Macc.6:10-13).

Whether this mirrors the death of the Rebel is unknown. Daniel said that the catastrophic events surrounding the beast's end will not come at the hands of another human being:"...but no hand intervening, he shall himself be broken." (Dn.8:25).

A traffic accident would seem mundane considering the magnitude of this moment. Daniel's prophecy seems to point to an event much more sweeping -- to something bordering on divine retribution.

However, even though it seems associated with it, the worst part of the cataclysm appears to follow the Rebel's death rather than cause it.

Ezekiel reveals that the rebel will die on the mountains of Israel (Ez.39:4), on an open field thereof: "You will fall in the open countryside." (Ez.39:5).

Isaiah indicates that the beast's body will be buried by his forces and then all at once, exhumed and catapulted through the air by some immense force. "But you, you have been expelled from your grave like loathsome dung..." (Is.14:19).

Whatever event causes this disentombment in Palestine during those final days, it will be sudden and violent, hurling the Rebel's corpse out of the ground and dropping it into the same gorge where the bodies of many of his forces will come to lie. (Is.14:19).

Divine retribution, then, will play a key role in the terrifying events of the last days.

Although the nations of the end will set the world on fire with missles and bombs, the final disasters will come out of the heavens, from space itself. "He rains coals of fire and brimstone on the wicked, he serves them a scorching wind to swallow down." (Ps.11:6).

The involvement of nature in the upheavals of the last days is thoroughly evident in scripture, "...he will arm creation to punish his enemies...he will forge a biting sword of his stern wrath, and the universe will march with him to fight the reckless. "

"Bolts truly aimed, the shafts of lightning will leap, and from the clouds, as from a full-drawn bow, fly to their mark; and the catapult will hurl hailstones charged with fury. "

"The waters of the sea will rage against them...so lawlessness will bring the whole earth to ruin and evil-doing bring the thrones of the mighty down."
(Ws.5:18-24).

All the elements of divine catastrophe are present in these passages of the Greek Bible: Stoney thunderbolts falling out of heaven blazing with fire; mammoth impacts; cataclysmic tidal wives and irreversible ruin.

And perfect aim as well, because one of these cosmic hailstones will destroy the Rebel's army as it encircles Jerusalem:

"On the day Gog attacks the land of Israel...there shall be a fearful quaking there. At my presence the fish in the sea and the birds of heaven, the wild beasts and all the reptiles that crawl along the ground, and all men on earth will quake. Mountains will fall, cliffs crumble, walls collapse and I will confront him with every sort of terror." (Ez.38:19-21).

"I will punish him with plague and bloodshed and send torrential rain, hailstones, fire and brimstone against him and his hordes and against the many nations with him. I mean to display my greatness and holiness and to compel the many nations to acknowledge me; this is how I will teach them that I am God." (Ez.38:22-23).

The 'shafts of lightning from heaven' (Ws.5:18) will follow closely on the heels of the devastating earthquake in Israel described by Ezekiel and Zechariah. Since Zechariah has said that the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem will be split completely in half, it is obvious that something enormous will occur here in the days that lie ahead.

According to John, shock waves from this assault will cause the entire earth to shudder violently. (Rv.16:18).

In accompanyment with these natural events, the terrible fires of the end will occur -- the time scripture says that God will "send fire to Magog and on those living undisturbed on islands." (Ez.39:6).

As we have shown before, 'Magog' is the empire of 'Gog' -- and includes all the countries that have aligned themselves with the beast.

Those who are living undisturbed on the islands include the people of the United States.

Magog and 'the islands', then, constitute the two great superpowers of the End.

Whether Ezekiel's reference to these fires allude to those ignited by the missiles of the last days or by the cosmic brimstone which God intends to rain down from the skies just before Jesus returns is not altogether clear.

A meteoric assault could easily trigger a nuclear response -- a potentiality discussed often in current literature.

Daniel's description of the day of demolition does not rule this possibility out: "But reports coming from the East and the North will worry him, and in great fury he will set out to bring ruin and complete destruction to many." (Dn.11:44).

Scripture states that all these fires, (whether they are ignited by missles or meteors) will come from God who has ruled that the End should be now.

In fact, so will the eastern army itself be spurred on by God, and all the devastation it causes on earth from the opening days of its existence. "Be ready, be well prepared, you and all your troops and the others rallying round you, and hold yourself at my service." (Ez.38:3-7).

This means that all the devastation is related -- all of it happening because God has pulled the plug.

"I will turn you round, fixing hooks in your jaws, and drag you and your troops along, all the horses and well-armoured horsemen, and all that great army carrying shields and bucklers, and wieldng swords." (Ez.38:4).

"I will turn you round, lead you on, and bring you from the farthest north to attack the mountains of Israel" (Ez.39:2).

This is the time that was predicted from the beginning -- the day of divine retribution because of sin.

For this reason it is impossible to separate the events.

The assumption would be that the warheads will come first and the lightning of God second. That scenario seems to match Daniel's chronology of the disaster.

Daniel said that after the beast dies there will suddenly come upon the earth "...a time of great distress, unparalleled since nations first came into existence". (Dn.12:1). His words indicate that the celestial bombardment of the earth from the heavens will be even more terrifying and destructive than the terror wrought by human missles.

As the turmoil of the last days progresses, the astral impacts will grow more numerous, ultimately striking with such mammoth force and consistency that the earth will be shattered into rubble and cease to exist.

"Yes, the sluicegates above will open, and the foundations of the earth will rock. The earth will split into fragments. So heavy will be its sin on it, it will fall never to rise again." (Is.24:18-19).

"I will punish the world for its evil-doing, and the wicked for their crimes...This is why I am going to shake the heavens -- and make the earth reel from its place." (Is.13:11-13).

One thing is abundantly clear, in the firebombing that accompanies the last days, there will be extensive participation by elements outside the planet. "That day, God will punish above, the armies of the sky, below, the kings of the earth." (Is.24:21).

The world's annihilation, then, will be accompanied by destructive anomalies in the heavens equally as cataclysmic as those impacting the earth.

Since the very last days are destined to occur under skies darkened by the fires of intense warfare, it appears certain that the arrows of the beast will fly first, incinerating the cities and blackening the skies, and then the heavens above will begin to fall apart.

As they do so, lethal asteroid or cometary debris from space will begin to bombard the planet from the skies, destroying the armies of Armageddon and thoroughly cleansing the world for Christ's return.

Scripture refers to the universe as a wild 'sea' which God has tamed by storing its waters in containment vessels. (Ps.33:7). There are voluminous passages in the Bible which tell us that these 'deep waters' will rage at the end, churned by God into a frothing boil.

Not just raging oceans, but even the hydrogen bombs themselves could be considered a part of this churning sea because the fire they represent is no different than that which powers the stars -- a surging kind of 'water' which God has contained in an orderly way and kept distant from us in outer space.

It is only man's stupidity that has broken God's divine barriers and brought that fire down to the earth. (Is.5:30).

The sequence of the world's ultimate demolition is going to be very fast. Forty-five days, according to Daniel. (Dn.12-11-12).

The intense fires destined to rage on earth as the final bell tolls are symbolic of God's total annihilation of wickedness.

"Yes, wickedness burns like a fire: it consumes briar and thorn, it sets the forest thickets alight and columns of smoke go rolling upwards. The land is set aflame by the wrath of the Lord God Almighty and the people are food for the fire." (Is.9:17-18).

In the end it will become clear that the true agents behind all these catastrophes were those who promoted evil. They did not believe a day of retribution was really possible or that Jesus Christ told the truth.

"The day of God is coming, merciless, with wrath and fierce anger, to reduce the earth to desert and root out the sinners from it." (Is.13:10).

Every word in the Bible will come true. Scripture is God's Law and Jesus Christ is the only mercy which protects us from that Law.

All the catastrophe's described above were decreed long ago and it is only the fact that Jesus Christ is being preached on earth that has blocked them from having taken place already.

By revolting against Jesus, the world will cast away its protection from obliteration.

"The seventh angel emptied his bowl into the air, and a voice shouted from the sanctuary, 'The end has come'. Then there were flashes of lightning and peals of thunder and the most violent earthquake that anyone has ever seen since there have been men on the earth. "

"The Great City was split into three parts and the cities of the world collapsed; Babylon the Great was not forgotten...every island vanished and the mountains disappeared; and hail, with great hailstones weighing a talent each fell from the sky on the people."
(Rv.16:17-21).

"For by fire will God execute judgment, and by his sword, against all mankind." (Is.66:16).

Accompanying this fire will be the roar of the oceans. "The sea will rise over Babylon, she will sink under its roaring waves." (Jer.51:42).

Damage this intense on earth has not occured since the days of the dinosaurs, when a comet struck in the Yucatan, blasting a crater hundreds of miles wide in the Gulf of Mexico, and sending immense tidal waves rolling completely over the state of Florida and across the Atlantic Ocean.

As we have shown so often in this book, God brings scripture to fulfillment both literally and metaphorically. These waves, then, will be as much physical as symbolic.

Waves large enough to wash across whole countries in a single sweep could only be driven by forces catastrophic beyond comprehension -- the reeling of the earth from its place in space for instance, or by massive meteoric impacts into the oceans.

The physical waves will be a counterpoint to the mass of eastern armies which they represent. "I mean to cause many nations to surge against you like the sea and its waves." (Ez.26:3).

"...I am going to hand you over to the sons of the East, they will pitch their camps inside your frontiers, they will settle there." (Ez.25:4).

Elements of this prophecy were completed many years ago when the Persians under the flag of Mohammed took control of Palestine. But that invasion was only a sign. It stands today a proof of the End that is still to come.

We can see in these passages that all the assaults against Babylon's many faces by the forces of the east are related to one another. We are witnessing a continuum which is destined to crescendo in the final moments of history.

And as it does so, the sea itself will join the armies, washing even the mountains of Babylon into the deep.

"God is our shelter, our strength...so we shall not be afraid when the earth gives way, when mountains tumble into the depths of the sea, and its waters roar and seethe, the mountains tottering as it heaves." (Ps.46:1-3).

The two countries most associated with the tidal waves of prophecy are Babylon and Tyre. (Jer.51:42, Ez.26-28).

"Now you are shattered by the waves, surrounded by the seas." (Ez.27:34).

As we have seen before, Tyre appears to be a biblical cryptogram for Rome. Not the Christian camp there, but the secular Babylon that scripture predicts is destined to renege on its conversion in the last days and return to paganism.

Like the Tyre in Ezekiel's prophecies, Rome, in its earlier conversion to Christ had wrapped itself in the divine beauty of God's perfect Son whose words it exported to the nations through evangelism.

Allowing that reformation to lapse, however, the nation which now embodies that city appears to be completing Ezekiel's vision by allowing itself to founder on the rocks of a secular revolt which is today ripping apart its earlier conversion.

This defection from the grace of God has created a critical breach in the city's defenses. It is through this gaping spiritual hole that the beast will march his armies when he routs the current management and takes control of the city's gloomy future. (Ez.26:7-18).

In retaliation for its apostasy, the waters of the ocean will completely cover Rome when the day of divine retribution comes. "...when I bring up the deep against you and the ocean covers you, I will cast you down with those who go down to the pit. I will make you an object of terror. You will not exist." Ez.26:19-21.

It is this particular face of Babylon, scripture predicts, that will interlock with the beast in the last days and, because he intends to make it his capitol, provide the launchpad for the armies that are destined to descend on the plains near Megiddo at the end of history.

The Hebrew name 'Armageddon' applies to the mountains of Megiddo in the north of Israel very near the town of Nazareth -- a place situated between the southernmost end of the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean coast.

This is where the Book of Revelation indicates the armies of the end will be gathered for the final conflict of mankind. (Rev.16:14).

While this may be the central battlefield of the conflict, Ezekiel seems to indicate that the Rebel will die instead near the plateau of Moab in a place called the 'Valley of Abarim'.

According to Ezekiel this valley was renamed Harmon-gog (Ez.38:11) because it will be here, somewhere near the deep gorge of the Arnon on the eastern side of the Dead Sea, that Gog and much of his army will be hurled and destroyed when evil's reign on earth is brought to its sudden end. (Dn.8:25).

"The enemy may sharpen his sword, he may bend his bow and take aim, but the weapons he prepares will kill himself and his arrows turn into firebrands. He dug a pit, hollowed it out, only to fall into his own trap! His spite recoils on his own head, his brutality falls back on his own skull." (Ps.7:12-16).

"God will appear above them and his arrow will flash out like lightning. The Lord will sound the trumpet and advance in the storms of the south." (Zc.9:14).

Since scripture defines two different locations relative to Armageddon, we must consider both to be accurate.

The battlefield at Megiddo will never be used. Although intense preparations for war will be in progress, the prophecies are very clear. The end will come before the final assault begins. (Ez.7:10-14).

It seems likely that the ditch where the Rebel's corpse eventually will come to rest (at the bottom of the gorge of the Arnon perhaps), is a place adjacent to where he will move to command the fighting, or perhaps where he will be buried following his sudden death.

Prophecy makes it certain that both locations will be involved in the conflict.

The forces massing here will be immense -- the greatest gathering of armies in the history of the entire world. These forces will involve soldiers from almost every nation on the planet.

Inevitably, this vast horde will be spread across the entire landscape of Palestine.

The army of the beast -- a union of soldiers from all the eastern nations that are allied with Magog will be on one side, and on the other will gather the remnant of all the armies that have aligned themselves with the South.

"Let the nations muster round you in a body, and then return, high over them." (Ps.7:7).

As we have seen, this final massing of troops will produce no war. (Ez.7:14). God intends to draw all the nations here for the day of His judgment.

"Here is the day! It has come; your turn has come, the scourge is ready, pride is at its peak. Violence has risen to become the scourge of wickedness...for anger rages against all alike. The trumpet will sound, all will be ready; but no one will go into battle, since my anger rages against all alike." (Ez.7:10-14).

Despite all the preparations for war, there will be no fighting there that day. Only the devastation coming down from God out of the skies.

"A fire unlit by man devours him and consumes what is left in his tent." (Job 20:26).

Thus all the violence of the last days will be concluded in a final scourge of wickedness by a fiery rain of rocks from heaven -- a rain of cosmic violence that brings all violence on earth to a violent end.

"Since John the Baptist came, up to this present time, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence and the violent are taking it by storm...and by violence is everyone getting in." (Mt.11:12, Lk.16:16).

This abuse started with the beheading of John the Baptist and the crucifixion of Jesus and it will end with all the warfare of the last days, revealing that all violence on earth is a part of the same process.

The ultimate Law of God is a mirror. What we put out is what we get back. What we do to others, we do to ourselves -- good or bad. The whole universe has been constructed on this premise making it an absolute Law of creation.

God's secret intention is that the virtuous be saved through their humility and compassion while the wicked be destroyed through the violence of their own hands. In this way wickedness destroys not what it kills, but itself, while those who do good save themselves through their own compassion.

"These people see the wise man's ending without understanding what the Lord has in store for him or why he has taken him to safety. " (Ws.4:17).

"They do not know the hidden things of God, they have no hope that holiness will be rewarded, they can see no reward for blameless souls. Yet God did make man imperishable, he made him in the image of his own nature; it was the devil's envy that brought death into the world, as those who are his partners will discover. "

"But the souls of the virtuous are in the hands of God, no torment shall ever touch them. In the eyes of the unwise, they did appear to die, their going looked like a disaster, their leaving us, like annihilation; but they are in peace."
(Ws.2:22-3:3)

"On the sinners, however, punishments rained down -- not without violent thunder as early warning...those beasts they had taken for gods, now the means of their punishment."
(Ws.19:13,12:27).

The final events of scripture will all take place in darkness. "When I extinguish you I will cover the skies, and darken the stars. I will cover the sun with clouds and the moon will not give its light. I will dim every luminary in heaven for you, and cover your country in darkness." (Ez.32:7-8).

Whatever missiles are fired, all will have been launched before the final day comes (Rev.17:16, Ez.39:6); their aftermath leaving a day of darkness and gloom all across the earth.

Presaging the sea of burning sulphur that is to follow, columns of smoke will rise from the tribulation's flames, uniting across the world and shrouding the planet's skies in the deep blackness that comes from a nuclear winter. (Is.13:10).

"That day I will make the sun go down at noon, and darken the earth in broad daylight...I will make it a mourning like the mourning for an only son -- as long as it lasts it will be like a day of bitterness." (Amos 8:9-10, Ez.32:7-8).

In spiritual terms, this darkness will reflect Satan's final 'night' -- the loss of the light of Christ that will come to the world during these last days (the fact that preaching stops); but the darkness of the end will also be tangible as well, covering the whole earth in perpetual night.

It was God's ultimate purpose to gather the whole world to Jerusalem for the final judgment -- a judgment designed to bring God there as well.

As He comes, the fires of heaven will march with Him -- in front of Him -- in the final fulfillment of scripture, "A fire precedes him as he goes, devouring all enemies around him; his lightning lights up the world, earth observes and quakes. The mountains melt like wax at the coming of the Master of the world." (Ps.97:3-5).

Struck by God's own arrows -- fired by the universe -- the ground will liquify; it will shudder and shake and in the end according to the prophecies, catapult from its orbit in space. This is how it will be on earth in the last moments surrounding the Second Coming of Christ.

Sin brings disaster. In sin's wake even the innocent suffer.

We have seen this same kind of response in our own lives -- in sickness and disease -- and scripture indicates that the same principle applies to the planet and to the universe.

Sin has structured a point of impact in the future and the earth is heading toward it on a collision course which has been programmed by wickedness.

The orbit of the earth and the elements of space are scheduled to meet at a predetermined location on a fateful day unknown to anyone except God. When that day comes there will suddenly tumble out of the heavens all the destruction decreed in the Law.

For almost 2000 years, God has been holding this awful moment back in hopes that mankind will come to its senses and repent, but the all the signs demonstrate that the time for such repentance is now drawing to a close.

Only repentance for sin and conversion into the commandments of God can alter the circumstances of the final days. "Because you have kept my commandment to endure trials, I will keep you safe in the time of trial which is going to come for the whole world, to test the people of the world." (Rev.3:10).

To bring the world to this repentance God sent Jesus to sound the warning of what was coming -- all the fire His Book has announced -- a holocaust which could be avoided only by repentance and conversion into his Gospel.

"For I am God, not man: I am the Holy One in your midst and have no wish to destroy." (Hos.11:9).

Those who say that God wouldn't do anything like this have failed to hear the warnings of scripture. The Law of the universe has already judged us and sentenced us to death -- and it did this long before we were born. The truth of this judgment can be seen by the fact that all earthly life ends in death.

Jesus came to save us from a sentence already decreed by the Law and already ratified by our own universe, and it is the universe itself that will deliver the terminal blows unless the world repents in the brief respite that Christ gave us.

Those who disregard the door of mercy He has sent us from heaven (Jesus Christ) have no way to escape the penalty of scripture's decrees. That is why it is so important that we follow Jesus.

His treaty is peace.

Outside that treaty there is only catastrophe.

"The wide ramparts of Babylon will be razed to the ground, and her high gates will be burnt down. Thus the laboring of the peoples comes to nothing. The toiling of the nations ends in fire." (Jer.51:58).

You will make them like a blazing furnace on the day that you appear." (Ps.21:9).

The Law has decreed that "lawlessness will bring the whole earth to ruin and evil-doing bring the thrones of the mighty down." (Ws.5:17-24).


The Last Days of Babylon


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