You wrote: "The entire complement of the 144,000 will be martyred along with the two witnesses, Moses and Elijah."
Why not Enoch and Elijah?
And you also wrote: "On the other hand, Babylon, the tribulational USA,"
Why? Biblical basis? Personal basis?
As with the last e-mail, if you have a link to your other writings on this, that will suffice for an answer.
I am slowly winding my way through your site ... slowly.
1) That is correct.
2) Moses and Elijah are the two witnesses (not Enoch); see the link: "The Two Witnesses of the Tribulation: Moses and Elijah".
3) Babylon: in a nutshell, there are, biblically speaking, four biblical quadrants of the earth. The south during the Tribulation will be the three king confederacy defeated by antichrist twice (the second time right at the Tribulation's mid-point); the north is the seven nation confederacy, won over by antichrist in the early days of the Tribulation; the east remains militarily uninvolved until the "kings of the east" are summoned to Armageddon (Rev.16:12); Babylon is antichrist's home country, his home base of power, and it has to belong to the fourth quadrant; it also has to be powerful enough to dominate all other nations (until destroyed in Rev.18). As I say where this is discussed, this identification a) is speaking about events of the Tribulation, not events today; and b) merely points out the obvious, namely, that as things stand today, the US is the only western country which comes anywhere close to fitting the bill for Babylon. If the Tribulation were centuries away, that might easily change; since it is only a few years away, the future identification remains likely. You will find the details at the link: "The national origin of the beast" (in CT 3B).
Yours in Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,
Hello Dr. Luginbill,
I Hope you are fine. Please help me understand Revelation chapter 18. Let me start with the following verses.
(1) After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven with great power, and the earth was lit up by his glory. (2) And he cried out in a mighty voice, saying, "Babylon the great has fallen! And she has become a dwelling place for demons, and a place of confinement for every [sort of] unclean spirit, and a place of confinement for every unclean and detestable bird. (3) For the nations have drunk from the wine of [God's] wrath [that flows] from her prostitution. And the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her. And the merchants of the earth have grown rich with her from the [economic] power [flowing from] her wanton excess".
(21) And a powerful angel lifted up something resembling a huge stone and cast it into the sea, saying, "Thus in the blink of an eye shall Babylon the great city be thrown down, and never again will there be heard in her (22) the sound of harpists or musicians or flute players or trumpets, and never again will there be found in you any of your skilled technicians, (23) and never again will there be seen in you the light of your lamps, and never again will there be heard in you the [joyous] sound of bridegroom and bride! For those who did business with you were the great men of the earth, [doing so] because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery. (24) And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all those slain upon the earth."
I think Whatever John sees and hears these angels doing is "past". What I mean is, we won't be seeing the angel coming down from heaven, and the earth lit up by his glory, during the tribulation. Also, we won't be seeing a powerful angel lifting up something resembling a huge stone and casting it into the sea. Am I right? Verses in this chapter shifts a lot between future tense and past tense and I am all confused. I will read this chapter carefully again after your reply.
Thank you for your help sir.
Always great to hear from you, my friend.
As you probably know, I have all this translated and exegeted at the link in part 5 of Coming Tribulation, section II: "Judgment on Babylon".
As to the first question, the one about timing. The first passage says "has fallen", indicating something past; the second passage says "shall . . . be thrown down", indicating something future. In Greek the first passage's verb is in the aorist or simple past tense (literally, "fell"); the second is in the simple future (literally "will . . . be thrown down"). To take the second one first, the "shall" in English is emphatic, so that is an interpretive addition based upon the dramatic situation: i.e., since this is a prophecy of God, it definitely will happen. In the case of the first verb we have to do here with a Hebrew idiom imported into the Greek. The English translation represents this fairly well. I think a casual reader who takes in the whole chapter will get the impression that the entire event is yet in the future, and that is decidedly the case. Mystery Babylon is the home country of antichrist and serves as his platform for capturing revived Rome and thereafter the entire world; later, she is betrayed by him and his confederates (Rev.17:15-18). So a person might naturally suppose that the "has fallen" is also an emphatic way of communicating the certainty of Babylon's coming destruction, and that is indeed what is meant. In English, expressing this in a present perfect conveys the idea nicely because that means a situation in place now based upon what has already happened. The angel in making this first statement seems to be looking at things after the fact, but can only do so because the judgment is certain since it comes from the hand of God: "For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose" (Rev.17:17 NIV). This is very common idiom in Hebrew called the "prophetic perfect" (cf. English and Classical "proplepsis"), and is occasionally represented in the Greek New Testament by the simple aorist as we have it here. In any case, a future event is meant, one ensured by divine prophecy to be absolutely certain.
As to the question of what will or will not be seen, the vision given to John in the second passage will most likely not be seen as it is meant for him and for us in order to demonstrate the lightning-quick manner of Babylon's demise. However the first passage, "Fallen is Babylon!", is also found at Revelation 14:8 in company with two other important angelic proclamations, and these will indeed be seen and heard by the entire world of that future time (see the link: in CT 4 "The Three Angelic Proclamations").
You are certainly correct that the "time shifts" are issues in the book of Revelation. John in the past both from our point of view and also from the point of view of when he wrote the book after seeing the vision, was given to see future events along a time line. So there are three reference points he had to and we ought to keep in mind when choosing what tense to use and what to make of the tense used respectively: John's time of seeing the vision; our time of reading it (and his time of writing it); and the future sliding-scale time of prophesied events (i.e., the relativity of future events in describing them). One further complication comes when John discusses the revived Roman empire in combination with the personal beast in chapter 17. Here we have an empire which existed at John's time of seeing/writing but is being described from the future anchor. Each beast "was / now is not / will come up" (v.8). In terms of Rome, this means that the empire went out of existence (even though it was the dominant power in John's day) but will be revived during the Tribulation; in terms of antichrist, this means that antichrist (far future in John's day), "dies" at the approximate mid-point of the Tribulation and is then "revived" (a large factor in convincing the world of his false claim to be the Christ). So, yes, the tenses can certainly be tricky in interpreting this book! For more on this particular issue see the links: "Eschatology Issues IV", "Antichrist Alive and Well (Question #13)?", and "The 7 Trumpets (Question #11)".
Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Hi again dear Bob,
Thanks for reading the section of the book I'm writing. I hope you find it edifying and true. Your comments on that will be much appreciated.
On the other hand, I read the links you kindly sent me below and among many worthy things that I read I saw a reference to Revelations 18:9-24. Now, I am quite ignorant about things concerning the end of times, except that, like you, I do not believe in any pre-tribulation rapture. However, the description of Babylon as a powerful merchant city, an economic power, sounds to me like it is the USA or China, of the present day, the ones that are being described. Possibly even Germany, but not quite. What do you think? I mean, not city in the Middle East that I know if, resembles at all the description of Babylon as portrayed in Revelations 18:9-24, not even Dubai. And while there may be (relatively) economically rich cities, none as powerful and ubiquitous in the world markets as the USA or China are now, nor as prevalent in what they export and entice other countries with, in terms of their products and ideologies.
Thanks for helping me understand.
Best wishes and may the Lord keeps us from going astray from His wonderful path.
I think you are correct in your identification of Babylon. However, Babylon cannot be Germany or China, because in terms of biblical geography Germany and China are north and east respectively, while Babylon represents the west (Jerusalem being the central point of reference in the biblical geography). You will find my take on this at the following links: "Babylon is the home country of antichrist" and "Babylon USA?". As I am always quick to say, scripture describes the Babylon of the Tribulation, and the Tribulation has not yet begun. The removal of Holy Spirit restraint (see the link) and the intensified satanic involvement in the world that results will produce dramatic changes in very short order. So whatever trends people may bemoan in this country at present are not the major reason for the identification; rather, there are no other likely candidates which even come close to fitting the bill in terms of geography (biblically defined), power, influence or economy – assuming no massive shuffling of the world's geo-political balance in the short time remaining before the Tribulation commences.
Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Wow Bob. I am reading now your complete depiction of Babylon and its relation to the antichrist. Here's something you wrote.
The inherent evil of mystery Babylon is another prominent theme in scripture, especially as it relates to her luxuriating at the expense of others. She is a wanton creature, lounging in her security (Is.47:8), from whom proceeds a noisy voice of revelry (Jer.51:55; cf. Is.14:11), trusting in her evil and oblivious to God (Is.47:10), dissolute and pampered with luxuries (Is.47:1), arrogant (Jer.50:32), greedy (Hab.2:5), guilty of extortion, theft, and unjust gain (Hab.2:6-9). Like Nineveh, she is "a city of lies" (Nah.3:1).
Indeed, now that I read what you wrote, it echoes in me why it is so important this book that I am writing, if just to help those who are able, to understand all this idolatry of money, wealth and everything else that keep us away from the Lord's truth, light and love, in which we must abide and walk.
May the Lord keep you in His light so you can best reflect it to others, like me.
Thanks so much for your encouragement! It is deeply appreciated. Like Lot living in Sodom, it is difficult to remain completely unaffected. Indeed, our only hope of doing for the most part is through a very careful walk with our Lord by close attention to His holy Word.
In Jesus our dear Lord,
My new website
-- http://www.ekpar.org --
is currently under preparation -- I hope to complete preparations
soon, God willing.
Regarding your recent email to me, I cannot accept your interpretation of Babylon the Great as being "1st Century Judaism".
Unless one disregards the literal words of Revelation, Babylon is a physical, geographical place which is completely destroyed in a tangible, visible way in the waning days of the Great Tribulation (cf. Rev.18).
This is a matter of critical importance for the Church today, on the threshold of the end times as we are. Incorrectly identifying Babylon is likely to further mis-identification of antichrist as well, and thus contribute to the Great Apostasy.
If interested, you can read more at the following link:
Babylon: The Home Country of antichrist.
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,
Hope your keeping well. I have read some of your document; The Coming Tribulation. have read; (ii) The Origin, Character & Rise of Antichrist and half of (iii) The Kingdom of the Beast. This is the first time I see America chosen as Mystery Babylon the Great. Although I've always said America is worse than Sodom and Gomorrah. I guess my mind has always been programed to understand this city to be the RCC (the Vatican). To be honest I'm very confused on this topic, can you please help me explain why the RCC can not be the Mystery Babylon. I was always under the assumption that "the women", is a church and in this case, because she is a whore, then she is an apostate church. This has got me thinking more than it should. Please help me brother.
In Jesus Christ Who Is the Resurrection and the Life
Good to hear from you as always. Here are some links which discuss the matter in some detail (the first one is in the study you mention and I don't know if you've gotten to it yet or not):
Probable Identification of the Future "Mystery Babylon"
Who is Babylon?
In Revelation 18, Babylon's destruction is extensively described, and it is very clear that the description has to be of a place, not an institution – and a very large, very powerful, and very wealthy place at that. It would be impossible to destroy a religion or a church in this way. Also, antichrist will coopt all world religion into his religious system during the Tribulation so that the only two "churches" at that time will be the devil's pseudo church and the true Church of Christ (see the link). The beast will persecute the latter (but we are certainly not Babylon), but will do all he can to further the former. The "beast as R.C. church" interpretation goes back at least to Luther, and it is easy to see how Protestants under siege from Rome would wish to cast her in that role. But not only with the R.C. church be taken over by antichrist – all other denominations of "Christian" churches will be as well. After all, the beast will say that he is Christ (anti- = "instead of" as well as "opposed to"). So for these two unavoidable reasons alone Babylon cannot be the R.C. church (or any church or institution). As I say, there is more at the link above. Please do feel free to write me back about any of this.
In Jesus Christ in whose true Church we are privileged to be,
Hope your doing well. Sorry if I offended you in suggesting that the Roman Catholic Church might be Mystery Babylon. Or describing America as being worse than Sodom and Gomorrah. I ask for your forgiveness.
Love In Christ
No offense taken whatsoever!
Things over here are in a bad way and getting worse all the time. My point in this identification is to show that the US is the most probable future mystery Babylon for all sorts of reasons. As bad as things are today, they are nothing compared to what will be the case in the Tribulation when the Holy Spirit's restraint is removed and the beast takes over.
Your friend forever in Jesus Christ,
I've studied and learned from reading your articles ,but i believe your take on some prophecy is wrong ---i'm convinced,as are many, that U.S.A. is the "Mother of Prostitutes" and "Mystery Babylon" of Jer.50+51 and Rev.17+18-----don't forget the Antichrist and 10 Islamic Kings(they hate the whore America) destroy New York ("Great City Babylon) in one hour with surprise nuclear attack-----then the whole world says "who can make war with the Beast", after he destroys Super Power America----with New Yorks destruction,the merchants weep and wail as the world economy collapses and then comes the "Mark of the Beast"---Assyrian(rod of God's anger) Antichrist destroys the king of Babylon(Jer.50:43)(land of graven images and mad upon their idols can only be U.S.A.)---America is poisoning ALL -NATIONS with junkfood companies and Hollywood immorality and internet pornography and is the military hammer of the whole earth!----i believe that Antichrist destroys the most strongholds(Daniel11:39) of the world shortly after he sets up Abomination of Desolation, which is mid point of 7 year Trib.----another point---Matthew24:14 says "gospel preached to whole world as a witness,THEN THE END COMES"----this verse states that the gospel is preached right up until the end and not stop in the middle of the Tribulation week----i believe the supernaturally protected "TWO WITNESSES" will preach during the last 1/2 of the Trib. week----it says the Two Witnesses lie dead for 31/2 days ,then they are resurrected and then comes the great earthquake,when a 10th of Jerusalem falls and then it says the 2nd Woe is past and 3rd WOE COMETH QUICKLY, so we are definitely talking about end of 7 year Trib.,because the First Resurrection takes place between 2nd and 3rd WOE,just before the 7 last plagues are poured out on the wicked---as we know ,YHWH'S people are removed from experiencing the 7 last plagues, just as the Two Witnesses are removed also.---your council on how to prepare for Trib. is excellant, but i think some of your timeline is off---i'd be interested in hearing your take on what i have shared with you.Cheers
I assume that in addressing me as "Hello" this is not a spam mailing. However, in your email you state "I've studied and learned from reading your articles", and you then immediately say that my teaching is mistaken because the "U.S.A." is "Mystery Babylon". The problem is that this probability is exactly what this ministry teaches! Please see the link, "The Probable Identification of Mystery Babylon".
The Coming Tribulation series (see the link) discusses all of the issues you mention below in some considerable detail in well over a thousand pages of careful exegesis. I do invite you to read the series (there are many other eschatological discussions in the email response pages as well; see the link), and get back to me about anything you like.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Thanks again Dr. Luginbill.
I have another question. It is pretty insignificant compared to some of the broad topics you write about so well and in such detail. The question is about Gog and Magog. But first a little background.
When I first started going to church, having met the Lord, I was taught that Jesus could come back at any second..[."noone knows the day or the hour." [..therefore it could be any time...] was their Bible reference. After awhile I came across other scriptures that said something far different. Noone knows the day or the hour but of the times and the seasons we weren't ignorant.....we are not in darkness that that day should come upon us unawares.....even more when we see the day approaching...Jesus telling the disciples the signs of His coming [Mathew 24] ....Paul to the Thessalonians that that day won't come until.... and so it became pretty obvious that their " rapture at any moment " doctrine was off target.
Another Bible verse they used, that didn't make any sense to me was that John, being called up to heaven in the Book of Revelation, represented the rapture of the church. That always appeared to me to be a gigantic stretch of Bible interpretation used to shoehorn the Book of Revelation into fitting with their any moment rapture doctrine.
The other Bible verse that never made sense to me was Gog and Magog passage from Ezekiel being placed at the time right before the Lord's return. One of the guys on tv that I listened to would have a weekly report about prophesy unfolding and it seemed like every week he would read about some specific current event in Russia that he said was a specific fulfillment of an end time scripture Russia being part of the Gog / Magog group. It all seemed to me to be bogus and hype so I looked up the scriptures in Ezek. and the only reference in the Book of Revelation I could find placed a Gog / Magog battle at the end of the Millennium. It didn't make any sense to me that the Lord would put a passage about a Gog and Magog battle in Ezekiel and then have one reference to a Gog and Magog battle in the Book of Revelation, at the end of the Millennium, and yet the guy on tv kept saying that the battle in Ezek. refers to pre return of Christ battle. So I read the passage in Ezek. and it read to me like it was a pretty peaceful setting in Israel before the battle, not something one would expect to find at the end of the trib, and that their destruction was by fire [ and other calamities ], not the sword that comes out of the Lord's mouth, which I would have expected.
You are very knowledgeable on this subject and place the Ezek battle before the return of the Lord. Are there some things in the Ezek text that uniquely hook it into the pre return time frame rather than the end of the Millennium time frame. Something unique that disqualifies it for applying to the end of the Millennium ? and uniquely qualifies it to be part of the pre return time frame ? [ All of it looks to me like it could fit into the end of the Millennium time slot. ]
Once again , this is a pretty minor issue compared to the much broader portrait you paint. One of things you wrote about that blessed me the most was about how God always creates a garden [ a paradise] and that we get to have that even now by His Spirit.
I certainly agree with your first two paragraphs – and all of these matters are significant. Your very crisp grasp of the facts shows the truth of a point I often try to make, namely, when it comes to essential doctrines of the Bible, believers who are approaching the scriptures honestly and without prejudice will often be led by the Spirit to the simple truth. On this issue please see the following two links: "No Rapture" and "The Origin and Danger of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory".
On "Gog and Magog", I do see your point and your concerns, and there are certainly plenty of groups out there which share the view of identifying Ezekiel 38-39 with Revelation 20:8-9. One obvious difficulty with doing so, however, is the fact that in Revelation the rebels are incinerated by the Lord in an instant and the last judgment follows immediately, whereas in Ezekiel the aftermath of the destruction lasts for years with a great amount of detail being devoted to identifying and burying the bones of those involved in that attack (so just on that basis Ezekiel cannot be talking about the same event as the end of Revelation). The problem of "living in security" is explained by the fact that during the second half of the Tribulation up until the Armageddon campaign antichrist will be ruling from Jerusalem pretending to be Jesus Christ so that Israel will be physically secure albeit spiritually desolate at that time (these matters are all discussed in part 3B, part 4, and part 5 of the Coming Tribulation series; links). One of the keys to seeing these as different incidents is that the precise text of Ezekiel 38:1 is "Gog of the land of Magog", that is, it refers to a single individual (cf. Ezek.39:1), whereas in Revelation 20:8 "Gog and Magog" is in apposition to and hence an explanation of "the nations". The reasons for John's use of these names as a generic representation of unbelieving gentiles as a whole (as opposed to the beast individually) may be found at the link in CT 6: "The Gog-Magog Rebellion". Gog in Ezekiel, however, is antichrist, and Magog is his nation, namely mystery Babylon ("Magog" is actually a cryptogram for Babylon; see the link: "Gog of Magog" in CT 5).
Please feel free to write back about any of the above.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
I am stuck again and need your help. This time it is a passage from "Armageddon and Second Advent"
Now while eschatological Babylon is, strictly speaking, in the west, historical Babylon is in "the north" in terms of biblical geography, and, until her destruction at the end of the Tribulation, is indistinguishable from the revived Roman empire as part of antichrist's dual base of power. Thus, for Ezekiel's listeners, the association of "Gog", the future invader of the land, with "Magog", one of if not the most remote of the northern nations, not only conveys in contemporary terms a perfect picture of what will actually happen, but also allows us with the benefit of later prophetic details to take things a step further and identify "Magog" with prophetic Babylon for the reasons already delineated.
I have already read " part 3B of this series: Antichrist , section II.1.c.1". I know that Gog is synonymous with Antichrist, Magog is a potential cryptogram.
What I don't understand is:
1. The historical application of the following passage
(1) And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, "Thus says the Lord God, 'Behold, I am against you, Gog (i.e., antichrist), chief prince of Meshech and Tubhal. (2) And I will fetch you back, and conduct you, and bring you up from the far reaches of the north. For I will make you come to the mountains of Israel. (3) Then I will strike your bow from your left hand, and make your arrows fall from your right hand'".
2. 'historical Babylon is in "the north" in terms of biblical geography' (this is from the first passage quoted above)
Thanks a lot for your prayers. I will pray for you to the end.
Always good to hear from you my friend.
Gog in Ezekiel 38-39 is a person, antichrist. Magog is Babylon. Meshech and Tubal are the two parts of revived Rome which are welded back together by the beast through his subjugation of the south with its three "provinces" during the Tribulation's first half – this is why there are "seven kings" in Rev.17:10 (cf. Rev.12:3; 13:1; 17:3; 17:7; 17:9), but by the time of Rev.17:12, "ten kings". The Armageddon campaign comes from the north, from revived Rome, whence antichrist had departed from Jerusalem after the darkness of the 5th trumpet judgment plunged that kingdom into darkness (Rev.16:10), occasioning a rebellion against the beast's rule. These events lead to the revolt in Israel and set in motion the Armageddon campaign which comes primarily from the north, the area of revived Rome. Babylon has already been destroyed at this point (see the link: in CT 5 "Babylon Destroyed").
Please do let me know whether or not this answers your question.
Thank you so much for your prayers, my friend!
Hoping to hear the good news of your complete, victorious deliverance very soon.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
It is the wrong passage I have quoted. It should have been Ezek.38:1-2:
The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him
My question is, does this passage only speak about tribulational events or did it have any "near" term prophetic application in the past?
I wanted to know what would the listeners of Ezekiel make of this passage (Ezek.38:1-2)?
You have already explained thus:
"Thus, for Ezekiel's listeners, the association of "Gog", the future invader of the land, with "Magog", one of if not the most remote of the northern nations, not only conveys in contemporary terms a perfect picture of what will actually happen, but also allows us with the benefit of later prophetic details to take things a step further and identify "Magog" with prophetic Babylon for the reasons already delineated."
But, I will be very thankful If you will elaborate it a little more for me, please. Please do know that, I am not complaining that you have not explained enough. What do you mean when you say 'historical Babylon is in "the north" in terms of biblical geography'? Isn't historical Babylon somewhere near present day Baghdad?
Does this have anything to do with the following passage?
"This is what the Sovereign LORD says: This is Jerusalem, which I have set in the center of the nations, with countries all around her."
Thank you very much for your ever present help.
Good to hear from you as always, my friend.
As to your two questions, first, while many Old Testament prophecies admit of more than one application, often a near term and far term one, I know of no other application for this passage than Armageddon. Secondly, yes, you are correct: biblical geography is "measured" from Jerusalem, and Babylon, along with Assyria, is essentially north of Israel, especially when one considers that all traffic from there would come by way of what is today Syria (the western, desert and mountains approach even today being very difficult).
Hope you and yours are doing well as I constantly pray you are.
Yours in our dear Lord Jesus,
What a blessing to hear that your mom is continuing to stand strong and I hope you live fairly close to her. She must be very proud of you and that you continued in your dad's footsteps.
Thank you for such encouraging words! I've always loved the Word of God since I was a young child and it was one of the few things that really made true sense to me. Churches always greatly confused me overall since I'd be reading my Bible, but the sermons never seemed to line up too much with what I was reading in the Bible. Most ministries confused me as well. That is why I'm so thankful and always praise God for your ministry since nothing there confuses me and it all makes perfect sense. It's such a jungle out there, and it is true that we truly must seek Him with all our heart in order to find Him. I continue to pray that true seekers will find your website and will be greatly blessed by it.
Sometimes I do get discouraged because it feels like the "flood of lies" is so strong and prevalent, that it almost seems impossible to try and get through to people. Sometimes I feel like people have turned into types of "zombies", and no matter what you say, they just don't seem to comprehend or want to comprehend. It's very disheartening as I know you must often feel as well. It does make sense that Jesus often chose to speak in parables to people.
Would you please have a look at this video and tell me what you think?
Thanks again for the wonderful and kind encouragement!
In Jesus Christ our precious Lord,
I just watched the video. I'm not sure what exactly you are concerned about. There are a couple of things I would put a little differently: e.g., the beast doesn't show up – or at least is not visible – until after the Tribulation begins; the great harlot is Babylon rather than religion (although as an illustration it is apt). I think for anyone who watches the whole thing, they will see that there is a difference between believers and unbelievers in every respect (including, importantly, what repentance means). It's a motivational video, and I think it accomplishes this purpose very well. Feel free to write back if you wish to discuss it further.
Thank you for your good words and for your encouragement too!
Yours in Jesus our dear Shepherd and Savior,
One of my relatives seems to believe that you need to say a specific prayer to be saved, I'm not sure what's being referred to, but I always thought this sounded unseemly. The sinner's prayer was mentioned, but I think you're right, it doesn't matter what we say but only what we believe in our heart. My relative is definitely a Christian but like most Christians, still has vices.
There is an interesting article I wanted to share with you, I wanted to get your opinion on it. If you could read it when you have the time and share your opinion, I would appreciate it. I think there is definitely some truth to it, but how much I don't know.
God Bless You,
Good to hear from you. Yes, there is also no such thing as the "sinner's prayer" (see the link), at least not biblically. Words mean nothing if they are not matched by what is the heart; and if what is in the heart is faith necessary for salvation, the words prayed in silence or aloud can take a nearly infinite number of forms and still mean the same thing to God: "Yes Lord!" instead of "No!".
As for the link, while the categorizing of accelerating trends toward societal degeneration is one which any Christian with some basic spiritual common sense would already recognize (and be concerned about), and while these are certainly indications that we are getting closer to the end, the amalgamation of these things into "Illuminati"-type conspiracy theories has always troubled me. I always take these sorts of things as a "tell" that the site / book / individual is off deep in the woods, spiritually speaking. That is because 1) whatever truth there may be to such conspiratorial hand-wringing, there is always even more speculation, half-truths, and outright fabrications (one grows tired of debunking); 2) these are political considerations, and Christians should be wary of anything political: the "proper response" to becoming exercised about the Great Seals et al. is to join some fringe group where those in the lead are not at all concerned about Jesus Christ (even if they occasionally mention His Name); 3) when antichrist does come on the scene during the Tribulation, a few hours spent reading scripture about these matters and consulting a good teaching ministry will be worth 20 years trying to identify the Illuminati; 4) and in fact antichrist will be known for his ability to deceive: those who have been neglecting spiritual things for political ones will be very ripe candidates for falling into his trap. After all, he will claim to be Christ and will, for all but the few who have grown up spiritually, be very convincing at it. For all we know he will make speeches warning about the Illuminati too!
As always, I find the scriptures the only sure path to anything spiritual. As the sign says: "In God we trust; all others pay cash".
Yours in our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Thanks for clearing that up for me, I believe some of the teachings at the church my relative attends are a bit odd, if not darn right false. They have quite a few misconceptions about what we need to do as Christians do enter heaven: just believing isn't enough, certain rituals (for lack of a better word) must be performed.
No worries, I don't swallow anything whole I read on the internet, especially without consulting someone who is has more knowledge than myself. That's why I ran the article by you. Obviously there are many things in the article that are pure speculation, if not completely false. I must say that I have not read the article for quite some time, maybe 7 years as it's been on the internet for at long time. I read it again after I sent the link and I had a surprisingly different opinion of it. It didn't seem as impressive. I still think there is some truth in it, but I am not concerned with the illuminati, witches or Alex Jones! At any rate, I saved it a number of years ago and just copied and pasted the link when I sent it. I believe I have mentioned Last Trumpet Ministries to you before, I think some of what they write is interesting but again, I don't swallow everything whole, they can also be very negative and too focused on conspiracies. Who knows, much of what they say could be true but then again, it may not.
I've often heard people ask if the Bible is the truth, why is America not mentioned? I don't have an answer for this personally as there are some people who believe it is mentioned and some people who don't. It doesn't matter to me one way or the other since everything that is written in the Bible applies to the entire world, not just one country. The Bible was written for people of all nations, the entire world, I think specific countries (like Israel) are mentioned for reasons that are obvious. Perhaps God didn't give the prophets, apostles and disciples that information so they simply didn't know of America.
You're very welcome – and thanks for all the good comments. As to "America in the Bible", we are certainly there – at least the America of the Tribulation is there. There are very good reasons for seeing the US as mystery Babylon, especially when all the evidence is weighed (although this is often pooh-poohed by evangelicals who are unhappy with the association: as in Joel Rosenberg's recent book, "Implosion" – at least that is what I got out of a recent talk from him broadcast on CSPAN). Here is the link where I discuss this in CT 3B along with two other links on the topic:
The probable identification of mystery Babylon
Identity of Babylon
Developments leading to the rise of Babylon
Thanks again my friend – I continue to keep you and your family in my prayers.
Yes, I suppose it certainly makes sense when referring to the Tribulation although evidently, this is seemingly open to interpretation. Not sure what the percentage is, many people do believe the United States is the modern day Babylon but I can't speak with any authority regarding that as I simply have not done much research. I will certainly read your page when I am able.
[personal info omitted]
Thanks for your prayers and hope you had a good summer, if you don't work during the summer, I imagine you'll be heading back to work very soon.
I get my research / publications done during the summer ("publish or perish", you know), and devote myself to teaching and administrative duties (program / committees et al.) during the school year – so I am usually down at the office most every day even when I don't have classes. I will definitely say a prayer for you to be able to cope with this trial – and I hope be able to have a positive witness in the bargain.
Yours in our dear Lord Jesus,
Could you please explain Zechariah 2:9:
For behold, I will wave My hand over them so that they will be plunder for their slaves. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me.
What is 'plunder for their slaves'?
I take this to refer to eschatology Babylon (as well as historical Babylon) and the phenomenon of slaves (foreign captives, oppressed immigrants, etc.) looting Babylon at her fall. See the link: Babylon Invaded
Dear Dr. Luginbill, I got a service error when I tried to reply to you answer to my question so will try again! Thank you for your quick reply to my question. I guess I need to establish who you think Babylon is, American, Babylon in Iraq, the Vatican? I think from reading your studies that it is America, correct? Then we Christians who live in America are to flee at the given command, not to soon or not too late but we will know when that time is. Logistically how could this happen? When we get the command we would all have to get to the airport, get a ticket to Israel with everything going on with the tribulation all over the world. Israel in the best of times does not allow people to get there without much security and long delay of entry. I had always thought, perhaps wrongly, that when scripture said we were to flee Babylon that it was spiritually not physically. That we were to remove ourselves from 'the world' and be for Him and of His world in our spirit. I thought that we were suppose to hunker down when the tribulation begin and if necessary to die for Him in standing with Him and never taking the mark of the beast (I admit this is a rather simplistic description). And that at the last trumpet, in a twinkling of an eye we would all be changed and be with the Lord in the air and forever be with the Lord. Woe is me to figure this all out!
I think you have things pretty well figured out, actually. Yes, while I cannot be dogmatic about it, I think that the most likely candidate for the Babylon of the Tribulation will be the US of that time – not the US today (see the link: "Probable Identification of the Future "Mystery Babylon"" in CT 3B). Much will happen after the Tribulation commences and the Holy Spirit's restraint is removed (see the links: in CT 2B: "The Restraining Ministry of the Holy Spirit" and in SR 2 "The Restrainer"). Events will happen during the Tribulation at break-neck pace, and we cannot really extrapolate what things will be like nearly seven years in from what obtains today, much less some twenty or so years ahead of time, especially since the Tribulation's years will be "dog years" in respect of the intensity of changes that will occur. As I say in the context of "Flee Babylon" in CT 5, Israel will be antichrist's capital, and just as for example Muslims today make a Haj to Mecca, so also antichrist's followers will stream to Jerusalem to worship him and to participate in the "festival " of persecution of the martyrs for Christ. Jerusalem will be the focal point for everything which happens in the second half of the Tribulation, so I fully expect a high capacity ferry service to be developed for that purpose. Once antichrist leaves Jerusalem for the north during the Tribulation's final spring, and following Israel's revolt, chances are that the combination of chaos and anarchy which ensues and a huge ferry service whose purpose has been lost will give us the opportunity to make the transition. Please do see the last link above. The language in the passages which speak about fleeing Babylon are not symbolic in my view – especially once Babylon is realized to be an actual geographic place. Finally, if by "hunkering down" you mean, staying out of politics and "resistance movements" and continuing to live like a Christian in spite of the growing difficulties, then I certainly agree with that proposition too. There is much about all this at the links above, and you might also see the following:
The Coming Tribulation and the Kingdom of God
More on Antichrist and his Kingdom
Code of Conduct for Christians during the Tribulation
Do feel free to write back about any of the above.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,