Burden of Babylon - Part II
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

We have been studying the book of Isaiah, verse by verse, chapter by chapter, and in so doing we have been noticing the natural divisions of the book which are found within the book itself. Without reviewing those natural divisions, I would like to emphasize that with chapter 13 we are beginning the third section of the book, a special section all within itself that goes through chapter 23 and is known as the Book of Burdens . It is called the Book of Burdens because in these chapters there are messages to ten nations, all of those messages including the word burden .

You will recall that we pointed out to you that the word burden , when used in relation to a prophetic message, indicates that the theme of the message is going to be one of judgment. We have in this chapter messages to ten nations related to their final judgment. These messages to these ten nations are recorded in the Word of God because these are nations that cross the path of the nation of Israel and are judged of God in fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant which is given in chapter 12 of the book of Genesis.

You will remember that we pointed out to you that our study of them is not only going to reveal the fact that the prophetic Word of God has been fulfilled, but it is going to reveal the fact that the prophetic Word of God will be fulfilled, and the thrilling thing about it is that these particular prophecies are related to nations which are now coming into focus as the center of the world's history.

We are going to be able to understand what the Word of God has to say about these nations which are emerging into importance and when we understand what the Word of God has to say and then read our newspapers, what we read will not come as any surprise.

Chapter 13 of the book of Isaiah represents a burden which was addressed to Babylon, a city which gave its name to a nation, but it is more definitely referred to in the Scripture as a city rather than a nation.

We would like for you, as we read this entire chapter, to watch for things in this chapter which could not have possibly been fulfilled in 640 B.C. Most Bible scholars look at chapter 13 of the book of Isaiah and refer to it as fulfilled prophecy, saying it all occurred in 640 B.C. That could not be true, in the light of the very language of the chapter. I would like for you to notice as we read that language in the chapter which might bear out the statement which I have just made. We read from verse 1:

Isaiah 13

1The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.
2Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.
3I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness.
4The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.
5They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.
6Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
7Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt:
8And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.
9Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
10For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
11And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
12I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
13Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.
14And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.
15Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword.
16Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.
17Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.
18Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes shall not spare children.
19And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
20It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.
21But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.
22And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.

Isaiah 14

1For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
2And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.

We will stop our reading right there, because that is the natural end of the chapter, the chapter division in your King James Version coming at an unhappy location.

The Origin of Babylon

If we are to understand the burden which Isaiah declared against the city of Babylon and realize the seriousness of it and its worldwide implications, it is going to be necessary for us to refresh our minds as to the origin of Babylon and why it is so important as the object of God's judgment. Turn in your Bibles, please, to the book of Genesis, chapter 10, where you read how the nations of the world came into being as the direct descendants of the three sons of Noah. We will not take the time to read the entire chapter, but will you notice verses 7-10:

Genesis 10

7And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah, and Sabtechah: and the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.
8And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.
9He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.
10And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel…

Notice that Cush was the son of Ham. The descendant of Cush was Nimrod, and Nimrod established a kingdom which was known as Babel. Glance at chapter 11 and notice there in the city of Babel something happened which drew God's attention to the city forevermore. Notice, beginning in verse 1:

Genesis 11

1And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
2And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
3And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
4And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
5And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
6And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
7Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
8So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: [notice this last statement] and they left off to build the city.

They quit building on that city. What city was it? The city of Babel. But, they did not cease their building on that city for any great length of time, because they went back to building; and eventually, down through the century, they progressed in the building of that city until it became so elaborate and so well-known that it was recognized by the ancients as one of the seven wonders of the world.

If you are familiar with what is recorded in the book of Daniel, you will remember that when it was at the zenith of its glory, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, was standing in his palace and said, “Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?”

Prophesied Destruction of Babylon

The reading of those words indicate that this was a city that had no equal in its time—the great city of Babylon. It did reach a great place of worldwide influence, but listen carefully to what I am going to say to you. We have just read chapter 13 of the book of Isaiah. In chapter 13 of the book of Isaiah, 170 years before the city of Babylon reached the zenith of its glory, Isaiah said, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that it would be destroyed by the Medes and the Persians.

As we go back to the book of Isaiah, notice chapter 13, verse 17. As we read these words, recognize that Isaiah wrote them 170 years before they were fulfilled:

Isaiah 13

17Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them [Babylon] , which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.
18Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes shall not spare children.

Turn now to Daniel, chapter 5, and notice the last two verses of that chapter. You will find one of the historical records in the Word of God of the fulfillment of this prophecy which Isaiah made. Notice, beginning with verse 30:

Daniel 5

30In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans [the king of the Babylonians] slain.
31And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.

You are familiar with chapter 5 of the book of Daniel. It tells the story of how Belshazzar, the regent for the city of Babylon, was gathered with all the nobles in a great banquet hall. They had taken the vessels from the temple of God and were drinking wine out of them in mockery and blasphemy. A hand without an arm wrote on the wall three words, which indicated that the days of the kingdom were numbered and that it was time for Isaiah's prophecy to be fulfilled. That night the Medes and the Persians marched unhindered into the city of Babylon and took control of it.

Unfulfilled Prophecy Concerning Babylon

I said at the beginning of our discussion that most Bible scholars feel that Isaiah, chapter 13, was fulfilled in its entirety on the night to which I refer, but I beg to suggest to you that this prophecy was not fulfilled in its entirety that night because of the very language of the chapter itself. If you will go back there, you will notice in a very general way in chapter 13 that it was suggested by Isaiah that the city would be utterly destroyed in a brief period of time, even as Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed in a brief period of time. It would be destroyed in a brief period of time when Cyrus marched into the city that night.

Yet, history bears out that the city of Babylon continued as the capital of the reigning monarch all during the reign of the Persian emperor. It was not destroyed that night. Even when Alexander the Great conquered the world, he attempted to set up his capital in the city of Babylon. But like many of us, when we buy an old house, we decide that it is going to cost too much to modernize it and we give up the idea, he decided that it was too expensive to modernize the city of Babylon for a capital, so he left off doing it.

During the days of the Roman Empire, Roman emperors made holiday visits to the city of Babylon, and had a great time of festivals in this city that most Bible scholars say was destroyed when Cyrus marched into the city of Babylon. Then if you remember what we read in the last paragraph of chapter 13, verse 20:

Isaiah 13

20It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.

Contrary to the idea then that this prophecy was completely fulfilled in the time that we referred to a moment ago—640 years before Christ—we have to recognize the fact that on part of the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon there is a city of ten thousand people at this very day, called the city of Havilah; and the Arabians, contrary to this passage of Scripture, if it was fulfilled, are pitching their tents on the site of the ancient city of Babylon.

Babylon as Future Wool Capital

We could go on and point out any number of things which are recorded in this chapter which did not occur when Cyrus marched into the city of Babylon, but which are considered the law of double reference , which we have tried to keep before you in our study of prophecy—namely, that the prophet sees one thing that happened right close to him and then he sees something that happened way down in the distant future. Not understanding altogether everything that he wrote about, for the Bible plainly declares that, he merged the two without noticing the length of time in between. If we do not read our Bibles carefully, we are apt to be misled, as many people are, and quote prophecy as being fulfilled when it isn't fulfilled.

Recognizing the law of double reference , we are forced to the conclusion that there is much in this chapter that is still related to the future, and recognizing that the language of the chapter demands something more than what we find in the village of Havilah, which is nothing more than a little village of sheepherders, we are forced to another conclusion. That is, if this prophecy is to be fulfilled, the city of Babylon must be rebuilt as a capital of the world and being rebuilt as a capital of the world, must be rebuilt as a great central metropolis that will have the interest of the entire world.

Therefore, on the basis of the Word of God, I make bold to predict that in the alluvial plain between the Tigris and the Euphrates River, which has to its south swamps of the Persian Gulf, there is going to be built in the territory that is now known as South Iraq, a modern city which will be the capital of the world.

I say that I make bold to predict that on the basis of the Word of God, and perhaps you are saying, “Surely not on the basis of the rather strange language found here in Isaiah, chapter 13.” Not on the basis of that strange language alone, but on the basis of other portions of the Word of God, one of which we will now notice.

The Final Destruction of Babylon

Turn to the book of Revelation, chapter 18. We will not take the time to read the entire chapter, but it describes a city which will be destroyed at the end of this age, and this city has for its name, Babylon . Many Bible scholars will say, “That's right, and what it is talking about is the city of Rome.” Who says so? It doesn't say so in the text. It says it is talking about the city of Babylon. The reason that some Bible scholars insist that it is talking about the city of Rome is that they will not accept every word in the Word of God at its primary, ordinary, literal meaning. They do not believe that the city of Babylon will be rebuilt. We believe it will, and we believe that the description of the modern city of Babylon is found here in chapter 18 of the book of Revelation. Glance at verse 3 and you will see that it is going to be a great commercial metropolis that influences the whole world.

Revelation 18

3For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

The capital of the world is going to have such a great influence that it will cause kings to deny loyalty to their own countries and it will cause merchants to do anything and everything in order to obtain the great wealth that will be theirs by traffic with her.

In Revelation, chapter 18, we are told that this great city will be destroyed, and the effect that the destruction of this city will have on the rest of the world is indicated in verse 18, where we read:

Revelation 18

18These merchants cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
19And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

Glance at verse 21:

Revelation 18

21And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

We now read verse 23:

Revelation 18

23And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: [notice] for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

I make bold to say that there is going to be rebuilt in the alluvial plain of the Tigris and Euphrates River, a city known as Babylon , which will be the center of the entire world, the capital of the United Nations.

It was with real interest when I was bold enough to make a statement like that I read the words of Frederick D. Williamson in an article entitled, Babylonian Meditation , which was printed in the National Review , April 10, 1962. Mr. Williamson said, “The other day I was in Babylon. The government of Iraq is rebuilding the city, and when finished, Babylon will be as once she was.”

You see, you do not have to rest simply on the Word of God, though as far as I am concerned, that is sufficient. You have a statement from a man who, if you read all of the article, has no interest in God at all, but who made bold to declare the city was being rebuilt.

That is going to help us understand Isaiah, chapter 13. I want you to notice, agreeing with me at least for the moment, that this prophecy was not fulfilled in 640 B.C. Notice how the city of Babylon, which is going to be rebuilt, is going to be destroyed, and the manner in which it is going to be destroyed could not have possibly been fulfilled when Cyrus marched into the city of Babylon that night that we read about in Daniel, chapter 5.

Destruction Ordered By God

We are going to just skip about in the chapter and notice some things with you. The first thing that I would like to suggest to you is that the rebuilt city of Babylon is going to be destroyed distinctly on the order of Almighty God. Notice verse 3, where he said:

Isaiah 13

3I have commanded my sanctified ones [that is, individuals I have set apart for this purpose] , I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness [majesty] .

Notice the last part of verse 4:

Isaiah 13

4…the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.

That is, “The LORD of hosts calls all the nations of the world to do battle against the city of Babylon.”

Then will you notice the second phrase of verse 5, where we are told how the nations are gathered from a far country, and we are told who gathers them.

Isaiah 13

5…even the LORD…

Notice in the latter part of verse 6:

Isaiah 13

6…it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

What does this suggest? Not only is this city going to be destroyed by human means, but God is going to intervene and supernatural means are going to be added to human means, just as certainly as the angel in Revelation, chapter 18, cast the millstone into the great sea.

Notice the second thing about this city that is going to be destroyed. When the city over which Belshazzar was king was conquered, do you remember from our reading by whom was it conquered? By one man at the head of one national army. But when the rebuilt city of Babylon is to be destroyed, it is not to be destroyed at the hands of one man at the head of one army. It is to be destroyed at the hand of one man at the head of the armies of the entire world. He says in verse 2:

Isaiah 13

2Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.

The Gates of the Nobles was the name of a gate in the ancient city of Babylon through which the conquerors rode in majesty and glory, but here Isaiah, looking down through the corridors of time, sees a single man on the plain just outside the Gates of the Nobles, and he is signaling to individuals who are in the mountains on the east. He says to them as he signals, waving his hand, “Come on you mighty men. Come down here and enter the Gates of the Nobles.” To whom is he signaling? Look at verse 4:

Isaiah 13

4The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.

Notice verse 5:

Isaiah 13

5They come from a far country…

How far away was Cyrus? Cyrus was a next door neighbor. It didn't take him long to get there at all, but here the armies that are going to destroy the rebuilt city of Babylon are from a far country. Notice what he said:

Isaiah 13

5…from the end of heaven…

That phrase, “from the end of heaven,” is a phrase that describes armies that come from a great distance, so immediately we see that this could not have been fulfilled in 640 B.C. because then it was only one nation, and this prophecy demands many nations.

Time of Final Destruction

There is even more definite truth. When will the rebuilt city of Babylon be destroyed? If we can settle that in our minds, we will be sure about whether or not all of this prophecy was fulfilled in 640 B.C. Let us notice when the rebuilt city of Babylon is going to be destroyed. Look at verse 6:

Isaiah 13

6Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

Look down at verse 9:

Isaiah 13

9Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

Twice over in this chapter it is emphasized that the rebuilt city of Babylon will be destroyed at the day of the LORD. This is not an idle phrase. It is found repeatedly throughout the Scripture, and the simplest explanation of the day of the LORD is found in II Thessalonians, chapter 2. Paul had written to the Thessalonians some wonderful truths about the coming of Christ; and some of the enemies, some of the Devil's servants, took that wonderful truth of prophecy just like the Devil's servants do today and twisted it around, took it out of context, and scared these Thessalonians to death. They thought that they were already in the day of the LORD. They thought that the day of the LORD had already come.

Paul wrote to them and told them, “Don't be deceived by what anybody says, even if they say that I said it. Don't be deceived. The day of the LORD can not come until certain things happen.” He mentioned what those things were. One is the Rapture of the Church. The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ will be taken out of the world, and then the day of the LORD will occur.

The Antichrist will have already been in a place of leadership, though he will not have been revealed as the treacherous character that he is. When those things begin to come to pass, then know that the day of the LORD is here. The day of the LORD is a phrase that describes a more familiar word known as the Tribulation .

So, when we realize that the rebuilt city of Babylon is going to be destroyed at the time that the day of the LORD is in existence, we realize that it has yet to do with the future.

Characteristics of the Day of the Lord

There are many things in this chapter that are characteristic of the day of the LORD and not characteristic of any other period of time. Of course you will keep in mind there are certain elements that will look like these characteristics. That is the reason the Thessalonians were deceived and thought that they might be in the day of the LORD.

Let's look in chapter 13 at some of the characteristics of the day of the LORD which will prevail at the time that the rebuilt city of Babylon is destroyed. In verse 7 of Isaiah 13, we read:

Isaiah 13

7Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt:
8And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.

Wait just a minute. What did we read in Daniel, chapter 5? We read about a feast where they were all drinking and whooping and hollering, and nobody was scared about anything until they saw that hand without an arm. That is the only time that they got scared. Then they were scared, not because of the danger of the battle, but because of the mystery of the thing they saw. This passage of Scripture says that when Babylon is to be destroyed, they will be afraid. Their hearts will be filled with sorrow and their faces will reflect the flame, which indicates how the city of Babylon will be destroyed. Read again, when you have time, chapter 18 of the book of Revelation, and you will see that indeed the city of Babylon is going to go up in smoke, as we say today.

It didn't go up in smoke when Babylon was taken by the Persians in 640 B.C. Do you know how quietly it was taken? The Babylonians were so proud of their fortification. Nobody could get through the wall or under the wall. That was true. They were so proud of the river that ran directly through their city, and they had great bronze gates at the wall of the city, so that the water could flow through, but no boat could get through. While they were whooping it up in the banquet hall, Cyrus (this is a matter of history), wise old fellow that he was, 72 years of age, he started out ruling his kingdom, had manpower, and he dug a ditch and diverted the waters of the river from going through the city, causing them to go out into the desert. When all of the waters were gone out of the river, they marched right up to those gates, opened them, and marched into the city on the riverbed, and were in the city in complete control for three days before these drunken idiots in the palace even knew they were in charge or what was going on.

You see, there wasn't anything drastic, sudden and fiery about that, was there? Yet this passage of Scripture says that it would be taken in the manner that I have suggested, instilling a great deal of fear into the hearts of the people who will be there.

Cataclysmic Events to Occur

Glance down at verse 10, and read:

Isaiah 13

10For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

Now, notice verse 13:

Isaiah 13

13Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

When is all of this going to happen? When the rebuilt city of Babylon is destroyed. What is going to happen? Literally, the stars of the heavens and the constellations are going to be blacked out. The sun and the moon is going to be covered. That is what the Word of God says. “Oh, well, maybe it doesn't mean that. Maybe it means something else.” Well, as we have said to you before, it would have been much simpler for God to have said what He meant. We would have all been better off. If He didn't mean what He said, why didn't He say what He meant? This is what He said.

In verse 13, we read that there will be earthquakes which will be felt around the world when the city of Babylon is destroyed. Now, I ask you, did that occur at the time that Cyrus marched on the riverbed of the Euphrates into the city of Babylon? If it did, there is no record of it in the Bible or in history, and most certainly, anything as cataclysmic as that would have drawn the attention of individuals.

Look at verse 12:

Isaiah 13

12I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

It would be better to the use the word scarce there than precious , because that is what it means. When the rebuilt city of Babylon is destroyed, there is going to be a great loss of life, and during the judgments of the entire Tribulation, so great will be the judgment of God that human life will be at a premium. Isaiah said, “Man will be scarce as a golden wedge of Ophir,” which was pretty scarce in that day—as scarce as our gold will be if something isn't done about it. That is the manner in which the destruction of the city of Babylon is to occur.

Think with me. Back in Daniel, chapter 5, when Cyrus marched into the city of Babylon, did anyone get killed? They didn't even know it happened. You see, the prophecy of God's Word remains yet to be fulfilled. I would remind you of something that we have already noticed. That is, the destruction of the city of Babylon was to be sudden. It was to be total, and it was never to be inhabited again. That was not true of the Babylon that was conquered by the Persians in 640 B.C., but it will be true of the Babylon which will be destroyed by Almighty God at the end of the Tribulation.

I read to you a few verses from chapter 14, because I said they belonged to chapter 13, and they do. These verses told the story of how the nation of Israel will be welcomed back to her own land without any strings, and she will be made judges over people who formerly subjected her to indignity.

Did that happen when Cyrus the Persian took over the city of Babylon? Not at all, but it is going to happen at the end of the Tribulation, because the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is going to come in glory, and the Jews are going to be restored for the Millennium to their place of leadership among the nations of the world.

The Nearness of Judgment

I close with an observation that Isaiah made in the last part of verse 22, when he said:

Isaiah 13

22…and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.

Literally, what he is saying is, “The time of her judgment is near, and there are not very many days left.”

Do you remember that one of the Apostles wrote in the New Testament: “Now is the coming of the Lord nearer than when we believed.”? Why am I emphasizing this? Many years ago I began to preach what I am now preaching to you. I haven't had to change it, but years ago I could not read to you from a periodical that a man stood in the city of Babylon, which was being built by the nation of Iraq, for there was no such thing. The days of the judgment of Babylon are nearer than they were then, and the day of that judgment is not too far off. We are living in momentous times, and this should emphasize before our hearts that indeed we are living in the end of the age.

Should we be frightened? Should we despair? Should we say, “This is a terrible age to live in?” No! We should first make sure that our hearts are right with God through the Lord Jesus Christ, and then we should look with great expectancy at everything that is moving on the stage of the world. When we see the pieces of the pattern begin to fall into place, we can say, “Thank you, Lord. Our hope is closer than it was yesterday. The joy of the Lord's return is nearer than when we first believed.”

You cannot feel that way if you are not trusting Christ as your Savior, because all you can think about is destruction and judgment, and that is not pleasant. I would beg of you to give serious consideration to your relationship to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. If you have not received the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, receive Him now, that these studies may not be a source of fear for you, but a source of joy, as you realize the coming of the Lord draws nigh.


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