Online Bible College
Carelinks Home
FREE Literature
'The Last Days' Home
Bible Books Home
Buy this Book!
The Last Days Duncan Heaster  
email the author


2-4 Latter Day Babylon

How this could come up about in reality need not worry us; if it does, then we would be guilty of seeking to fit current events into Bible prophecy, rather than being led by the prophecy itself. The beast will arise suddenly, from the barren desert, and will be destroyed suddenly. It will take the world by surprise; we shouldn’t be surprised, therefore, if we can’t perceive the signs of these things far in advance. It may be that Iraq uses an oil stranglehold to silence the West; Iraq has the world’s second largest production of oil. Jeremiah 49 contains a fascinating prophecy about Babylon’s conquests, which serves as a prelude to her sudden destruction in chapters 50 and 51. She will take Jordan (Ammonites and Moabites, :1-6), then Saudi Arabia (Edom, :7-22), then Syria (Damascus, :23-27), followed by “Kedar / Hazor” (I suggest this refers to Kuwait, :28-33), and finally Iran (Elam, :34-39). The reasons for identifying Kedar / Hazor with Kuwait are as follows:

-          Kedar lived “in the northern part of the Arabian desert” (Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary)- where Kuwait is situated.

-          “Hazor” means “the enclosed place”; and “the name Kuwait is a diminutive of the Arabic ‘kut’ or fortress” (Ahmad Mustafa Abu-Haninia, History Of Eastern Arabia p. 47).

-          “Hazor was located near the Euphrates and the Persian Gulf”- exactly where Kuwait is (Finis Dake, Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible p. 794)

-          The descriptions of Kedar / Hazor having their wealth stolen and them paralysed with terror is reminiscent of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The riches of Kuwait were taken back to Babylon. This feature of the prophecy (Jer. 49:28-33) could never have meaningfully been fulfilled in the past.

-          Note that the horn / antiChrist moves to the south [Kuwait?], to the east [Afghanistan?] and against Israel (Dan. 8:9).

Already Iraq / Babylon has attempted to invade Iran and Kuwait. Saddam Hussein and his successors were all distinctly pan-Arab in their outlook. They seek Arab unity under their leadership, however aggressively they achieve it, with a distinctly anti-Zionist agenda for that unity. Alternatively, it could be that Kedar is a more generic term for the Arabic peoples. The Zondervan Pictorial Bible Dictionary says that Kedar “helped originate the Arab peoples”. They are called “the men of the east” (Jer. 49:28), which is “the general designation of the Arabs” (J.P.Lange, The Lange Commentary, Zondervan. 1976, p. 399). Whichever way we take it, Babylon never did all these things historically- they never invaded all the nations defined in Jer. 49, some of which never meaningfully existed at that time. So they must be fulfilled in our last days. And so we ask, Who is Babylon of the last days? It seems clear enough it cannot be the Roman Catholics- there is no sign they plan a violent invasion of the Arab world. But Babylon in its literal sense of Iraq, lead by an antiChrist, charismatic leader- this fits the bill admirably. In passing, the statement is often made that the “temporal power of the papacy” ended in 1870, according to some continuous historical views. If this is really to be accepted, then Babylon has lost its power, if it is to be equated with the Catholic church. Yet Babylon must be alive and powerful in the last days to fulfil the prophecies still outstanding. And there is no evidence that the ‘temporal power of the Papacy’ is over at all. But this in passing.

It seems likely therefore that ‘Babylon’ of the last days will rise to political and military dominance in the Arab world. The 10 nations / horns / leaders which exist in the land promised to Abraham- the “kings of the earth / land”- will give their power to Babylon, by force and by political manoeuvre, and this system will then invade Israel. The horns hating the whore implies there will be inter-Arab friction apparent in the beast system throughout its' existence. "Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom" (Mt. 24:7) will be a sign of the last days. In the AD70 context, this referred to friction between the Semitic peoples living around Israel; and the Lord's words are clearly an allusion to 2 Chron. 15:6, which specifically uses the phrase about inter-Arab friction. The fragile alliance between them will then be broken by the Lord’s return, the horns will hate the whore and destroy her. They give their power to the beast for but “one hour”. Daniel seems to associate a covenant which is then broken with the latter day Antichrist. Is. 30:27-31 speaks of the latter day Assyrian as placing “a bridle in the jaw of the people causing them to err”, referring to some kind of covenant / agreement which forces others to follow their direction. The Lord’s especial fury will be against the individual latter day Nebuchadnezzar who leads the invasion. The future leader of Babylon, after the example of Saddam Hussein, will see themselves as Nebuchadnezzar. Isaiah and Micah describe the latter day invader of the land as “the Assyrian” (Is. 10:5; 14:25; 30:31; Mic. 5:1-6). This itself suggests we are to see the individual who heads up the invasion, the rosh / chief prince of Ez. 38:2, as an ethnic Assyrian / Iraqi. Dan. 8:24,25 invites us to see the same- the “king of fierce countenance” stands up out of the area of northern Iraq / northern Iran.

The great, terrible beast of the last days is an aggregate of all those that went before it. It includes the total number of heads and horns which they featured. Likewise the whole image of Dan. 2 stands erect in the last days, headed up by a latter day Nebuchadnezzar [note that he personally was the head of gold, rather than the gold representing Babylon’s empire). All the nations which formed part of the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman empires will be amalgamated into this latter day beast system, under the leadership of a latter day Nebuchadnezzar. These nations include:

Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Portugal, Spain, France, England, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Austria, Hungary, the former Yugoslav republics, Romania, Albania, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan- as well as Iraq. It is chillingly significant that this list of nations is almost identical with a list of those areas which for the first time ever now have many true Christian converts living in them. It could be that this is God giving them a final opportunity to repent. It would seem that the core of the beast system will be the 10 kings of the earth / land promised to Abraham that will be the horns who form part of the system but then turn against the whore finally. Daniel 7 says that the Antichrist takes three of the other nations of the former Roman empire by force. But Dan. 8:25; 11:21 say that he will have power over the other nations by treachery, cunning treaties and manipulation. We will only finally understand all this when we see it happen. Dan. 8:26,27 and 12:6 tell us that the meaning of the visions are sealed until the time of the end, i.e. when they start to be fulfilled. “The revelation awaits an appointed time; for it speaks of the end” (Dan. 12:2). We may speculate about who and what and where, but these things are sealed up until they actually happen- then we will understand. It is therefore not so that these prophecies are designed to encourage “saints of all ages”- for the meaning of the prophecy is sealed up until the time of the end. However, it is possible to see in the process of formulation of correct understanding that seems to be happening in our community that we are being prepared for the last days. Likewise the world-wide spread of the Gospel and the return of the Jews to their land are beginning in embryo. The vision was to be made plain, so that a herald may run with it (Dan. 12:2,3 Heb.). The latter day preaching of the Gospel world-wide will be motivated by this true and thrilling understanding of latter day prophecy. We will see our place in God’s larger plan, and respond to it. Many will run to and fro to increase knowledge, i.e. to increase knowledge amongst others- for running to and fro will not increase knowledge amongst the runners (Dan. 12:4). Yet according to 2 Thess. 2, there will be a massive apostasy from the Truth in the very last days, whilst antiChrist is enthroned. Could this not be because so many of the true Christian community have been expecting that antiChrist will not reign like this, that Israel will never possibly be overrun, and that they have had to own up to having been looking the wrong way in their decades of analysis of the Roman Catholic church and Russia? When they finally own up to the anti-Semitism of Britain, will it not be they will find it hard to maintain faith in a God whom they had hitherto believed had prophesied that Tarshish / Britain would save Israel (1)? And yet, the Gospel will be accepted world-wide in the final preaching of it; and when it has gone into all nations, then shall the end come. It could well be that a materialistic, self-satisfied, dogmatic, divisive Anglo-saxon brotherhood is replaced in the very last days by a genuinely international world-wide community of new believers.

Latter day Witnessing To Babylon

According to Rev. 17 & 18, the latter day Babylon persecutes the saints, both Israel and the believers, and extends her power over “all the earth”. Her leadership sits on seven mountains. All attempts to identify these with literal hills in Jerusalem or Rome seem to me rather futile as the prophecy states clearly enough that these seven mountains represent seven kings (Rev. 17:9,10 RV “they are seven kings”). And there are very few symbols in Revelation which we are intended to interpret dead literally. The latter day Babylon will therefore head up a confederacy of seven nations. When the mountains flee in Rev. 16:10, Babylon loses the support base of the coalition she leads. These kings are described in Rev. 17:18 as the kings of the land- that promised to Abraham. And within the boundaries of that land we find seven such nations- Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Iran. The appeal in Rev. 14:6-8 and Rev. 18:4 for Christian believers to “come out of her” would imply that there are believers within those nations and that there will be a major witness made to her- and it is surely highly significant that there has been a great growth in conversions in those areas in recent times! This is a sure sign that we are approaching the time of the end. Sadly Rev. 18:24 implies that believers will be murdered in these areas in the final tribulation- and already the persecution and murder of Christian converts is in full swing there. The description of Babylon sitting upon various peoples, nations and tongues is to be connected with the same use of the phrase in Rev. 5:9 and 7:9 to describe the world from which Christian believers are drawn out. And significantly, the same phrase is very commonly used in Daniel to describe the area ruled over by historical Babylon (Dan. 3:4,29; 4:1; 5:19; 6:25; 7:14). God will make the various nations under Babylon’s rule to “agree” (Rev. 17:17)- there will be an unprecedented unity amongst those nations located within the land promised to Abraham. Pan-Arabism will triumph in the end. The resolution of the Iran-Iraq tensions is one example of this ‘agreement’ being reached. This union will lead to economic prosperity for the region (Rev. 18:3)- easy to imagine, given the huge oil wealth of these areas. Babylon will become a fake Kingdom of God; hence she is described in terms elsewhere applied to the people and land of Israel (Rev. 18:22,23). Babylon is arrayed in fine linen (Rev. 18:16) as a pseudo-bride of Christ.