In the last few years we have seen tremendous storms on the oceans with hurricanes and typhoons. Scientists now say these are intensified by global warming and will increase in ferocity due to the burning of fossil fuels throughout the world. The sea and the waves will roar with increasing violence as a sign of the upheaval of nations that is approaching. The greater fulfillment of the prophecy in Luke will be when the gentile nations roar with violence. This will be the time of Jacob’s trouble, or the great tribulation.
“Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it. For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:” (Jeremiah 30:7,8)
That judgment will actually be a blessing to us because it will result in the destruction of the economic system that holds us in bondage. However, none of us will see it as a blessing when it comes upon us. It will be a terrible time attended by a tremendous war in the Middle East, as alluded to in Matthew 24:15-22. Some of us believe God will use the upheaval in the weather for his own purpose.
“Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? Or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?” (Job 38:22,23)
Aside from the upheaval in the world’s weather, there are other signs of the coming trouble. Recently, we heard about the demise of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. This was the man who boasted that he would re-build Babylon. We know from Scripture that Babylon will never be re-built. (Isaiah 13:19,20) During the recent conflict, the coalition forces used the site of ancient Babylon as a base and caused further destruction to the ancient ruins with their tanks. The judgment on Saddam Hussein and his plans should alert us to a greater judgment that is coming on greater Babylon, the city that rules over the kings of the earth. This city is not one that can be seen. Its citizens are among us; in fact they are throughout the world. The king of this city is Satan. The judgment on the king of Babylon is proclaimed in Isaiah 14:4-27.
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” Isaiah 14:12
The great city Babylon will fall, along with its king. The citizens of Babylon will be taken away by the angels, for they are the tares, planted in the world by Satan. Jesus Christ will not want them in the world, since his kingdom will include all of the nations of the world. Who are these tares, these citizens of mystery Babylon? Jesus said it is not for us to judge, lest we make a mistake and accuse the innocent. (Matthew 13:28,29). However, we have some clues about who they are. They rule over the world’s governments (Revelation 17:18), and many of them are powerful merchants. (Revelation 18:23)
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation released an article last year stating that one percent of the world’s population controls forty percent of the world’s wealth. At the other end, fifty percent of the world’s population are very poor and live on just one percent of the world’s wealth. In the gap between the very rich and very poor are the rest of us. We do not have a lot of control over the money that goes through our hands. We have to pay taxes. We have to pay for rent or mortgage, utilities, food, clothing, insurance and various fees for education and government services. The list goes on, but we find that we don’t have much disposable income left over. That luxury is for the rich of this world. They have the means to control people’s lives and sway governments to their wishes. Many of them are citizens of this invisible city called Babylon. It is their responsibility, as the rulers of the world, to point people to God, to teach the commandments of the Bible, to help the poor, and to be examples of righteousness to the rest of the world.
“…For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12:48
Looking at the state of the world today, we can see how dismally the citizens of mystery Babylon have performed. They have loved power and pleasure instead of loving God. Therefore judgment will fall on this great city.
“For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust. The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.” (Isaiah 26:5,6)
The city that should rule over the world is the New Jerusalem. “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” (Galatians 4:26)
The king of this city is Jesus Christ. He will bring this city with him when he returns. The citizens of the city are among us, and throughout the world, and will be gathered together at his coming. These are the people who are born again of his Spirit and his Word.
“Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:2,3)
The gates of the city will have the names of the twelve tribes of Israel on them (Revelation 21:12), indicating the key role redeemed Israel will have in the Kingdom age. Without the influence of the people that caused them to sin, Israel will become what God meant them to be. Our people, redeemed Israel, will lead the world in its transformation, finally achieving universal peace and prosperity. This will be accomplished by God’s laws being taught and applied.
“And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Micah 4:2)