Rome - Babylon - Jerusalem?

Posted in: 2012
By Tom L. Ballinger
Feb 14, 2012 - 3:49:25 PM

Plainer Words since 1968
February 14, 2012
The future Glory of the Kingdom of God will blaze-forth for over six-hundred years. It will be the Glory, shining forth, during the Pre-Millennial Day of Christ. It will be a time when the governments of the world are directed by Jesus Christ Himself. It will be a time of plenty. The natural man will live extended lives enabling them to enjoy the fruit of their own labor. They will have the benefit of perfect health. Everyone will know the ways of God. There will not be any natural catastrophes. Premature deaths will be unheard of. The world will be free from war, crime, injustice, hatred, starvation, disease, and other maladies. In fact, it can truly be said; “Man will live in a perfect environment—a world-wide Garden of Eden.” Much of the world’s population will be people who possess immortality.

The Universal Headquarters for the Government of God which will govern the Heavenly angelic Hosts, as well as the nations on earth, will be centered in the “True Tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man” (Heb. 8:2). The Church over which Christ Jesus is Head will operate out of the True Tabernacle, but it will have stations of service, both in the heavens and on earth. (The stations of service will be ministerial offices in which Government business is conducted). The elite members of the Church of the High Calling will occupy Governmental positions “far above principality, and power, and might, and dominion …”   (Eph. 1:22). In plainer words, the aristocracy, just mentioned, will report and be inferior to Heaven’s Super-Superior Officials (the “Eccelesia” that was formed in secret during the Dispensation of Grace). The Super-Superior Officials of the Heavenly Government will be the ones who will receive “the REWARD OF THE INHERITANCE” (Col. 3:24).

There will, also, be earthly categories for members of the Church, which is His Body. These stations of Service will be in the Government of Jesus Christ among the nations. There will be Service and Duty in Christ’s International Government. There will be service in the various capitals of the nations. Ambassadorships, emissaries, trade missions, work in Heaven’s earthly Embassies, Trade and Commerce Officials, Offices relating to the world-wide-Christian Faith and Its Council of Churches, staffed with Government approved and trained Pastors and Teachers. The Ecclesia of the Mystery, I believe, will provide traveling Missionaries who teach the Grace of God to Principalities and Powers in the vast expanse of the Heavens, as well as the far reaches of the earth.

The Twelve Judges will preside over the tribes of Israel in the Promised Land. They will have fully-staffed Court Officials, and the Tribes will have rulers of tens-of-thousands, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, and rulers of fifties. Israel will have no Congress or Senate. The Israel of God will be a Tribal Nation and, over time, will become the most prosperous, the most powerful, the most prayerful, the most devout, the most righteous, and the most prominent nation on earth. The Day of Christ will witness Israel becoming the pattern for all nations to emulate. Nations will send envoys to Jerusalem to more fully learn the ways of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They will be given the tour of the Valley of Gehenna and may, even, witness some “sinners” being cast into the perpetual Gehenna-fires (hell-fire) early in the mornings (Ps. 101:8).

All of this has been said in order to fully understand that in the process of time, during the Day of Christ, the “mystery of iniquity” will be “at work” (which is to say, in plainer words, “the secret power of lawlessness” will be operative).

“And now you know what is holding him [the lawless one] back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness [mystery of iniquity] is already at work; but the One [the Holy Spirit] who now holds it back will continue to do so till He is taken out of the way” (2 Thess. 2:6-7) NIV.

For hundreds of years, sin will have been suppressed and restrained by the mighty work of the Holy Spirit according to John 16:7-11. However, this “secret power of lawlessness” is working undercover. When He steps aside, according to Divine Plans, sin gradually begins to flourish, and punishment is withheld for awhile—the FALLING AWAY takes place. This apostasy leads to the rumblings of war. The man of sin is revealed (the whole world will know him) and the depths of Satan are exposed. The sorrow-free world begins to change—


“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matt.24:4-8).
The “beginning of sorrows” clearly indicates that the “Restrainer” [Holy Spirit] begins to, gradually, withdraw His restraints. This takes place sometime before the “Seventieth Week” of Daniel commences. This withdrawal could begin as early as Daniel’s 67th Week which would be 21 years prior to the end of the 490 years which are decreed upon Israel. So, here, the sum of the matter is that the world has been a perfect environment for, we’ll say, 469 years. The nations will be guided by a just and divine Government. The benefits to mankind are too exhaustive to attempt to enumerate. Yet, when the suppression of sin is relaxed; once again, the heart of man is proven to be desperately wicked.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”    (Jer. 17:9).
Thus, after several hundred years the “mystery of iniquity” is set in motion (2 Thess. 2:7). The main center of this activity will be centered in the Holy City, the City of God. Many of the Kingdom’s disciples will be martyred. They will become hated by many nations, and many become offended (Matt. 24:10) and will betray one another. False prophets will arise and will deceive many. Iniquity will abound, and the resurrected Peter, James, John, and Andrew will be killed by the forces of Anti-Christ (Matt. 24:9-12).
Then, the City of God will be amazingly transformed. The great City of Light becomes a city of darkness!
It’s hard to imagine that the Holy City situated on Mount Zion, that is to say, Jerusalem, will degenerate to such an extent. The City of God, the Capital City of the world which had been filled with the Glory of God, is betrayed by the forces of darkness. The collapse of Divine Rule will be the result of the Holy Spirit [the Restrainer] relinquishing His control and guidance of “the course of” the Kingdom-age. It will be by God’s design.
The Lord allows Satanic pressure to be brought to bear on His City of Light. In fact, the City will be over-run by the armies of the King of Fierce Countenance (i.e., the Anti-Christ):
“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences (i.e., a master of intrigue), shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. And through his policy also he shall cause craft [idolatry = deceit] to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand” (Dan. 8:23-25).
This is what is to take place in Jerusalem when the “Restrainer” steps aside. The Lord Jesus warned His disciples about this:
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains” (Matt. 24:15-16).
The focus of the consummation of the Kingdom—the Day of Christ—is centered in Jerusalem. Prophecies concerning the great city, once the City of God, are about Jerusalem. Not Rome! No, indeed, not even Babylon!
How deep can Jerusalem sink into the swamp of abominations?  A few words can sum up the declination of the once proud City of God; “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away [apostasy] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2:3-4). The scene described here is definitely Jerusalem! Certainly not Rome or a re-constituted Babylon! Neither Rome, nor Babylon ever had, or will have the Temple of God.
Satan’s influence in Jerusalem will be so atrocious that when John writes Revelation, he is inspired to give the city a NEW NAME; “And upon her forehead [the great Whore] was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Rev. 17:5).
The Note on page 1905 in “The Companion Bible” which references Revelation 17:5 provides further insight. The Note says, in part, “The verse should read, ‘And upon her forehead (she had) a name written, a secret symbol (musterion), BABYLON THE GREAT, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth.’ The name of the woman is therefore a secret sign or symbol of ‘that great city’ which she personifies     (V. 18).”
Babylon is designated as “musterion” (mystery). This, undoubtedly, indicates that the name is to be understood figuratively. Most scholars hold that Rome was the city that was                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    meant. That interpretation goes back, at least, to the time of Tertullian (Adv. Marc., iii. 13). This interpretation was adopted by Jerome and Augustine and has been commonly accepted by the church. In many instances, I cannot agree with “most scholars;” no matter the antiquity of such scholarship. This is a case in point—Babylon the Great is not a reference to the city of Rome. It refers to the once Righteous City of God, Jerusalem, which will be over-come by the spiritual forces of darkness.
I have come to the conclusion that “trouble in Paradise” [to wit, Jerusalem, the heart of Paradise] begins many years before the “Seventieth [the last] Week of Daniel” (Dan.9:24) begins. There are too many confluent prophecies that must come together within a seven-year period. This coming together of all of the prophecies within One Week [seven years] makes it, virtually, unattainable in setting the stage for the Tribulation Period. Several noted Dispensationalists believe most of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks have already been fulfilled. These scholars of prominence have proffered that twenty-one years of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks are still left unfulfilled. This allows for several extra years to take place prior to the Tribulation.
Whereas, I believe and teach that not one day of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks has yet to take place. Every last one of them is, yet, future. God’s Prophetic Clock begins to start ticking when the resurrected Cyrus, who is one of the Monarchs of the Kingdom of Christ prior to Israel’s ascendency, issues a decree that the nations are to rebuild Jerusalem:
The LORD “saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid” (Isa. 44:28).
The City of God will be rebuilt, along with the Temple Complex, on Mount Zion early in the Day of Christ. Tick tock—His Prophetic Clock for 490 years begins to tick with the issuance of Cyrus’ decree.
The “mystery [the secret name] Babylon” is a symbolic name for Jerusalem because of the abominations that will occur there at the time. To give Jerusalem figurative names is not unusual. For instance, the two witnesses of Revelation 11 lay dead in the street of Jerusalem, and we read; “And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified” (Rev. 11:8).
“Where also our Lord was crucified” absolutely identifies that “the street of the great city,” here mentioned, refers to Jerusalem. So it is with “mystery [the secret] Babylon the great.” The great City of God will degenerate, rapidly, into one that is characterized as being like Babylon of old.
Even in Isaiah’s time, Jerusalem was called a harlot city; “How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers”      (Isa. 1:21).
“Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Rev. 14:8).
“And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath” (Rev.16:19).
“And he [an angel] cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (Rev. 18:2).
“[The kings] 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” (Rev. 18:10).
“Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all” (Rev. 18:21).
Chapter 18 of Revelation is devoted, exclusively, to the great and mighty city of Babylon. The last verse identifies Babylon; not as that of a future Rome, or even Babylon of old, but as Jerusalem.
“And in her [not Rome or Babylon] was found the blood of the prophets, and the saints, and all that were slain upon the earth” (Rev. 18:24).
No Scriptural evidence has been found supporting the fact that the city of Rome killed any of the prophets. Yes, they persecuted and killed Christians, but not in the sense of Verse 24. This verse must be interpreted in the light of Matthew Twenty-Three.
“That upon you [the Pharisees and Scribes] may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple  and the altar” (Matt. 23:35).
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee” (Matt. 23:37).
Just prior to the consummation of the Pre-Millennial Kingdom age, the “Restrainer” steps aside, and Jerusalem disintegrates and becomes a city that the Word calls “Babylon, the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations.”
The time of Great Tribulation ends with the Parousia of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will govern the world from David’s Throne, in Jerusalem, which will be restored to her previous glory.
Tom Ballinger
P.O. Box 1302
Lancaster, TX 75146