The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Open Theism: is it true, possible or biblical?


#123

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As far as I can ascertain, “Babylon” means Babylon —an area in the vicinity of what is now modern Iraq. (Note: Peter does say that, “She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark.” “She” likely refers to the church there. Peter apparently was writing from the vicinity of Babylon, although some argue a figurative use in this one case, perhaps meaning worldly Rome …)

There is evidence that Babylon will be rebuilt. (Saddam Hussein made a serious attempt.)

Please Qaz/ all, consider the following brief examination of prophecies related to Babylon, in support of the idea that Babylon in Iraq will (possibly soon) be rebuilt by Antichrist.

-Isaiah 13 prophesied the defeat of Babylon by the Medes, and its destruction.

-About a hundred and fifty years later, Cyrus the Great, king of the Medo-Persian empire, conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. This event is often considered the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy.

However,

  1. Isaiah 13’s discussion of the destruction of Babylon is given in relation to “The Day of The Lord,” and so Isaiah’s prophecy about Babylon was not completely fulfilled by Cyrus. There must yet be a complete fulfillment.

  2. Indeed, long AFTER the destruction of Babylon by Cyrus, we read an as yet unfulfilled prophecy given by the later prophet ZECHARIAH, of Babylon’s future reestablishment, even as a commercial center (the ephah basket being a symbol of commerce):

Zechariah 5
5 Then the angel who talked with me came out and said to me, “Lift your eyes now, and see what this is that goes forth.”
6 So I asked, “What is it?” And he said, “It is a basket that is going forth.”
He also said, “This is their resemblance throughout the earth:
7 Here is a lead disc lifted up, and this is A WOMAN sitting inside the [ephah] basket”;
8 then he said, “This is WICKEDNESS!” And he thrust her down into the basket, and threw the lead cover over its mouth.
9 Then I raised my eyes and looked, and there were two women, coming with the wind in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between earth and heaven.
10 So I said to the angel who talked with me, “WHERE are they carrying the basket?”
11 And he said to me, “To build a house for it in the land of Shinar [BABYLON]; when it is ready, the basket will be set there on its base.”

Just who is this woman “Wickedness,” and what fulfillment will be seen for her coming commercial house in Babylon?:

Rev. 17:4, 5, 18
4 THE WOMAN was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries.
5 The name written on her forehead was a mystery: BABYLON the great the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth.

18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.

Professor Arthur E. Bloomfield asserts:

Historically, this woman dates from the time mighty hunter (rebel) Nimrod built a city in defiance of God and called it Babel [with its famous tower]. It was the beginning of the first world empire (beast), and it was the beginning of idolatrous worship (the mother of harlots).

The woman known as Babylon the Great is Satan’s own ecclesiastical system. She is the mother of the “abominations of the earth.” All idolatrous systems are her harlot daughters.

Babylon must be rebuilt. The prophecies concerning Babylon imply tremendous changes in that part of the world. Not the least of these changes involves religion. Today Babylon is part of the Arab world. The Arabs are Mohammedan. The new city will not be Mohammedan but the seat of a world-wide religion….Babylon was the place of origin of many idolatrous religions. It was there that Satan tried to unite all such worship into one world religion.

So, what is the complete fulfillment of Isaiah 13, regarding her destruction at the coming Day of the Lord?

“Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great.” Rev. 14:8, 18:2.


#124

Hmmm…it’s been quite a while since I had any belief in the ‘Rapture’ as was popularized 30 years ago by, among others, Hal Lindsay. That was around the time I read Kik’s book on the eschatology of victory - a real turning point - I think you read it also.


#125

Yep… Kik’s postmillennialism was responsible for steering me beyond amillennialism into the prêterist direction :hugs:


#126

Not in Revelation. In Revelation, Rome is the “beast”, Jerusalem is “Babylon”. I can’t stress enough that Revelation is a book of symbols. How do we know that Jerusalem was Babylon? Revelation says Babylon killed the prophets. Both the Old and New Testaments say the Jews killed their own prophets.


#127

Unless there’s someone alive today who is approximately 2000 years old, I won’t. John revealed that the antichrist was in the world at the time he wrote his epistle. I’m pretty sure the antichrist has been dead for a long time.


#128

davo - is that paragraph a place where you would differ from NTW?


#129

Yep for sure… Pantelism takes the approach of covenant eschatology where “the resurrection” of 1Cor 15 speaks to the covenant restoration of corporate Israel… not the typical reading of individual physical resurrection. I tend to read that Corinthian passage punctuated with a slight variance (not that there was too much punctuation of the Greek text anyway) much like The Passion Translation; thus I read it so…

1Cor 15:23 But each one in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.

The firstfruits in this passage being identified as “the church of the firstborn ones” of Heb 12:23.


#130

Qaz, you ignored my convincing examination above of explicit unfulfilled prophecy in Zechariah which reveals the coming resurrection of Babylon in Iraq as a commercial center…because of this??

Revelation says NOWHERE that Babylon killed the prophets. The Bible implies nowhere that Jerusalem is Babylon. You provide no evidence, because there is none. Biblically, “Babylon” is a region in Mesopotamia-Shinar-Country between two rivers.


#131

Actually, John said the SPIRIT of the antichrist is now here, not THE antichrist (1 John 4:3). He said that “THE” ANTICHRIST is coming, but that even now there are many “antichrists” (1 John 2:18).

There is a “spirit” of antichrist, and there have been little previews/prototypes of THE Antichrist in history, such as Nimrod and Hitler.

The world is moving back to unity centered at Babylon—a unity not based on God—just as it did after the flood, under Nimrod at the tower at Babylon. (“Nimrod = rebellion or the valiant. He was the son of Cush, grandson of Ham, and great grandson of Noah; a mighty hunter, he established an empire in the area of Babylon and Assyria.”)

Unity at the expense of truth reveals the “spirit" of antichrist. (I might add anti-Semitism, political correctness, and dominion theology.)


#132

Rev 18:24
And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth.”

Do you want me to post verses showing it was the Jews who killed the prophets?

Regarding “all who have been slain on earth”. Obviously that’s not literal. But who does such figurative language describe in the Gospels? The Jews.

Matt 23:35
so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.


#133

Consider this…


#134

OOPS! I forgot about Rev. 18:24, and the guilt assigned to Babylon for worldwide bloodshed under the Antichrist—including the deaths of those bearing testimony to Jesus by the Spirit of prophecy (Rev. 19:10). We also read in Rev. 17:6, “I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.”

Nevertheless, Babylon is Babylon, and cannot be proven to be Jerusalem. Again, as argued above, we read about the forthcoming rebuilding of Babylon as a commercial center, represented by a wicked woman who will be carried there in an ephah basket, in Zechariah 5.

Futurists recognize prophecy in the Olivet Discourse pertaining to both 1) the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD, and 2) a later attack on a rebuilt Jerusalem by the forces of Antichrist, at which time Christ will come down from heaven to bring rescue—The Second Coming. E.g., Zech. 12:8-9, Rev 19:14-15. (Attack against Jerusalem being divided into “A” and “B” is akin to the “Part A” and “Part B” messianic prophecies, separated by a gulf of time, discussed above.)

As you know, my view about “the sword, famine, and plague” is that they come from the devil, who goes through the doors opened by the sinful rejection of God and His offer of divine favor and refuge. But that they (the sword, famine, and plague) are sometimes misattributed to God.

However, the unchanging God, perfectly represented by Jesus, is only about abundant life, in distinction to the devil (John 10:10), who wields the power of death (Heb. 2:14).

Satan loves no one. He is a murderer. Regarding the Ten Plagues, God wanted to warn the Egyptians to repent so they could be spared; but God’s messages through Moses and Aaron were embellished by them, and misrepresented as a series of threats of violence that God would carry out, instead of only warnings to repent in order to avoid the evil consequences (which we understand from NT light the devil would carry out).

The rebuilt Babylon of Revelation will again be in the area of southern Iraq, as the headquarters of what will be long-thriving world commerce under Antichrist (but which will be suddenly punctuated by the first, Pre-Trib Rapture).

God has had no covenant relation with Babylon, so the terrible rage of the devil against his eviction foretold in Revelation has nothing to do with the Jews being slaughtered by God. Hence, the demonic rage foretold in Revelation compares more with The Ten Plagues against the Egyptians, than with the threatened curses against Jews given in Deut. 28.


#135

Actually, it can be proven to be Jerusalem. Simply ask, “Who killed the prophets? Who did Jesus identify as guilty of shedding all the righteous blood on the earth?”. The answer to both question is Jerusalem. Historical Babylon didn’t kill the prophets, nor was it ever charged with shedding all the righteous blood on the earth.

Luke 13:33
Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’


#136

Qaz, as a futurist, I recognize, as per, for example, the unfulfilled prophecy of the resurrection of Babylon considered in my discussion of Zech. 5, that a literal city Babylon will indeed some day be rebuilt in Mesopotamia; and that we see great added detail of this coming fulfillment in the book of Revelation.

Yet, as you pointed out, Rev. 18:24 states that, “And in her [Babylon] was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth.”

As you now further point out, in order to build your case that Babylon = Jerusalem, Jesus said in Luke 13:33,

“Nevertheless, I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.”

But it sure sounds here like Jesus is satirically quoting a proverb about the murder of genuine prophets under the Old Testament (à la “You build tombs for the prophets, and it was your ancestors who killed them”), an experience which would now include himself.

The question is, does this argument prove that the Babylon of Revelation is not a literal rebuilt Babylon, but rather a figurative Babylon, which is actually literal Jerusalem? Certainly not:

And of course there were (and still are?) “prophets” under the New Covenant: Acts 11:27, 13:1, 15:32, 21:10, 1 Cor. 14:29, 32, 37, Ephesians 3:5, 4:11. And the apostle John, presumed author of Revelation, died on Patmos.

I should mention that the Jews will be in Israel, not Babylon, during the coming events of Revelation, because the Antichrist will be, like his prototype Adolf Hitler, a dangerous anti-Semite.

There is reason to believe that the Jews worldwide will be regathered to Israel through persecution, and come under the protection of the resurfaced Ark of the Covenant, at least until they make a seven year covenant with the Antichrist, which he will break.

(Regarding the future regathering of all Jews together, and the coming reappearance of the Ark/Ensign/Banner, see, for example, Ezek 20:34-38, Is. 18:3, 11:12, and a future retrospection about the Ark seen in Jer. 3:16,17 —in relation to its recent past reverence.)


#137

Jesus was obviously using hyperbole in Luke 13. But my argument doesn’t even rely on the verse I quoted in the last post. It relies on statements in both Testaments that the Jews killed the prophets. Based on those statements, yes, it is proven Jerusalem is Babylon. How many times does the Bible say Nebuchadnezzar’s empire killed prophets? How many times does the Bible say physical Babylon would be punished for all the righteous blood shed on the earth?


#138

Qaz, nobody’s disagreeing about the guilt and lack of repentance of Israel, which opened the door to its destruction in 70 AD (which the God of love did not cause to happen). Everything did happen as was foretold here…

Matthew 23:35-39 (NIV)

35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.
36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.
37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.
38 Look, your house is left to you desolate.
39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

…Well, everything except that last part:

39 “For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

When Jesus comes again, (after the full number of gentiles has come in), the natural branches will be grafted back in; the Jewish people will finally recognize and welcome Jesus as the Messiah saying, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!“

And just as Jerusalem and its temple were destroyed (70 AD), but are incredibly coming back in modern times (1948 and following) in fulfillment of “Part B” prophecies concerning them, destroyed Babylon will be rebuilt—but then destroyed again—in fulfillment of “Part B” prophecies concerning it.

As to me wearing “Zionist blinders,” I am all for the reestablishment of Israel, and for its peace, safety, and prosperity. Salvation is from the Jews.

And I see that the Jews will one day hold the place of highest honor on earth, during the Millennial Age; but that place of honor is certainly not as high as the Bride of the Lamb.


#139

Qaz, nobody’s disagreeing about the guilt and lack of repentance of Israel, which opened the door to its destruction in 70 AD (which the God of love did not cause to happen). Everything did happen as was foretold here…

If you’re able to recognize Israel’s rebellion and resultant punishment, you should be able to recognize that Jerusalem was Babylon.

Rev 17
17 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” 3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. 5 And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” 6 And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.

This “Babylon” sounds eerily similar to Israel.

Ezekiel 23
25 And I will direct my jealousy against you, that they may deal with you in fury. They shall cut off your nose and your ears, and your survivors shall fall by the sword. They shall seize your sons and your daughters, and your survivors shall be devoured by fire. 26 They shall also strip you of your clothes and take away your beautiful jewels. 27 Thus I will put an end to your lewdness and your whoring begun in the land of Egypt, so that you shall not lift up your eyes to them or remember Egypt anymore.

28 “For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will deliver you into the hands of those whom you hate, into the hands of those from whom you turned in disgust, 29 and they shall deal with you in hatred and take away all the fruit of your labor and leave you naked and bare, and the nakedness of your whoring shall be uncovered. Your lewdness and your whoring 30 have brought this upon you, because you played the whore with the nations and defiled yourself with their idols. 31 You have gone the way of your sister; therefore I will give her cup into your hand. 32 Thus says the Lord God:

“You shall drink your sister’s cup
_ that is deep and large;_
you shall be laughed at and held in derision,
_ for it contains much;_
33 _
you will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow.
A cup of horror and desolation,
_ the cup of your sister Samaria;

34 _
you shall drink it and drain it out,
_ and gnaw its shards,

_ and tear your breasts;_


#140

You mean Israel 3,000 years ago?


#141

No, 2000 years ago.


#142

One of the critical things is what exactly does the word “until” mean? Is it definitive or is it conditional upon the Jews first believing and then Jesus returns?