Monday, July 6, 2015

Mystery Babylon

The Bible tells us about the first empire on earth after Noah’s flood.  I propose the area dominated by this original Babylonian Empire (known to scholars as the Uruk Expansion) is vital to our understanding of “mystery Babylon” in Revelation.  Erech=Uruk

And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: why it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. (Genesis 10:8-10)

Shinar into Sumer
Mesopotamia litterally means “middle river” in Greek, but is extrapolated to mean the land (khora) between two rivers. This land was called Shinar in the Bible from Genesis to the time of the prophets (Isaiah 11:11, Daniel 1:2, Zechariah 5:11). Shinar is a composite word of the Hebrew words for “two” (shenayim) and “river” (nahar); and also implies the “land” (erets). Thus Mesopotamia and Shinar are geographically equivalent. Shinar was derived from the Akkadian (Ancient Hebrew) word Shumeru, but scholars have shortened it to Sumer; exchanging /sh/ for /s/ as in Shemite to Semite. Over time the upper portion became distinct and was called the land of Akkad, while just the southern part retained the title of Sumer.  But neither Uruk’s empire nor “mystery Babylon” are limited to southern Mesopotamia  

Cush of Ur as Gishur/Gasher in Sumerian King Lis
Cush built the city of Ur and was known as Cush of Ur, or Gishur in the Sumerian King List.  Cush also built his capital city of Kish (a derivative of his name) and the biblical city of Erech which is called ancient Uruk by scholars.  I propose Cush gave his son Nimrod a small city to govern (later called Babel) before Nimrod overthrew his father’s kingdom.

Then Kish was defeated and the kingship was taken to Eanna. In E-ana, Mesh-ki-ang-gasher, the son of Utu, became lord and king; he ruled for 5 ges, 2 u, 5 dis years.
Mec-ki-aj-gacer entered the sea and disappeared. Enmerkar, the son of Mec-ki-aj-gacer, the king of Unug, who built Unug, became king; he ruled for 7 ges years. . . . (Sumerian King List)

Mesh-ki-ang-gasher is the “prince of measured earth, Cush of Ur,” who built Ur and Unug (Uruk = Erech in the Bible).  E-Ana was the ziggurat in Uruk which was most likely built by Cush to worship Inanna. Cush of Ur was the first ruler of Kish and reigned there for 100 years. Utu was the sun god (Ra/Re) whom Ham worshipped in Egypt. Cush of Ur then entered the sea and disappeared, and I propose that he sailed back to his kin in Africa in the land of Cush, later called Ethiopia.

In Sumerian en-me-er-kar2 mean the following: en is a lord (ensi is a city ruler), me is an office of responsibility or the phenomenal area of a diety's power; er is a lament, tears (woeful waters) or a complaint (whereas ur means warrior); and kar means embankment, harbor, or port authority. Most of these words seem appropriate titles for Nimrod. Together Enmerkar, “lord who storms fortresses,” was the epithet of Nimrod, who conquered all of Shinar and beyond.

Nimrod’s Religious Idolatry
Noah and his family worshipped Creator Elohim (Hebrew for God which is often shortened to El).  Nimrod’s first city was even called Bab-El, meaning ‘gate of God’.  But Ham later chose to worship the sun (Utu), and eventually Nimrod called himself Marutuk, derived from amar-Utu ("bull calf of the sun god Utu"),[i] later pronounced Marduk.  Marduk is often pictured with his snake-dragon.  Nimrod’s father, Cush, worshipped Inanna (in Sumerian, but Ishtar in Akkadian).  Marduk’s wife, Sarpanitu (‘shining one’) represented the moon; and together they usurped biblical Elohim as creator of the Earth.  Their new religion required extravagant offerings and sacred prostitution.  So, yes, the first religion of Babylon was a great whore and the mother of prostitution which spread to many nations and languages.

The waters which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. (Rev. 17:15)
Uruk Expansion
During the Uruk Period, millions of bevel-rimmed bowls (BRB's) 

were mass produced likely to feed slave and corvee workers their daily rations of barley, and possibly to pay soldiers their ration of salt.  At Uruk strata IV-VI, BRB's are accompanied by an influx of cylinder seals; some of which depict scenes of the En (lord) presiding over torture, such as tying arms at the elbows behind the back, possibly inflicted on tax delinquents.[ii] These BRB's are found in abundance throughout Iraq (the Sunni “beast of the sea”) and Iran (the Shia “beast of the earth”).
         Uruk is #42, Judeida is #1, Hama(th) is #2

Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL)

. . . I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image . . . (Rev. 20:5)

These Muslims are following the Koran’s instructions.
“When your lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.” (Koran 8:12)
“Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), strike off their heads; at length; then when you have made wide Slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives: thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens.” (Koran 47:4)

                    Islamic State also controls portions of Yemen and Libya.

The empire of “Mystery Babylon” is the Islamic State.

And on her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus . . . (Revelation 17:5-6)

[i] Helmer Ringgren, (1974) Religions of The Ancient Near East, Translated by John Sturdy, The Westminster Press, p. 66.
[ii] Mark A. Brandes, Siegelabrollungen aus den Archaischen Bauschichten in Uruk-Warka, Freiburger Altorientalische Studien 3; Wiesbaden, Frank Steiner, 1979, pp. 17-166.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Don’t Look Back

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (I Thess. 4:16-17)

The phrase “caught up” was sadly translated rapturo in the Latin Bible, from whence we get the term rapture.  The root of this word is “rape” which means to be taken against your will for sex.  This has led to the false belief that when Christ descends from heaven and the trump sounds, living Christians will automatically be swept into the clouds to meet Jesus.  But our BrideGroom is a Gentleman who will await our final consent as a member of His Bride.
Jesus taught there will be a moment of decision when He returns.

28Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. 31In that day, he which shall be on the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. 32Remember Lot's wife. 33Whoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. 34I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.” (Luke 17:28-34)

Besides the rampant sexual sins in Sodom, there was also much commerce.  Lot was rich prior to moving into Sodom (Genesis 13).  He continued to do well in business and was an elder who sat in the gate (Gen. 19:1).

“And while he lingered, the men laid hold on his hand, and on the hand of his wife, and on the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful to him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.” (Gen. 19:16)

The word “lingered” is maw-hah in Hebrew from a root meaning to question.  One angel took the hands of Lot and his wife, and the other angel took the hands of the two daughters.  That means each of the four only had one free hand to carry anything with them (possibly some provisions bundled up the previous night).  Lot’s delaying question might have been, “What more can we take with us?” to which the reply was “Nothing” as the angels grabbed their hands and pulled them out the door and out of the doomed city.

We’re not told why Lot’s wife disobeyed the angel’s command to not look back towards Sodom, but she did.  Jesus used her as a warning for us, that we should be ready at any time to give up all that we have in order to follow Him.  Our lives are hidden in Christ (Col. 3:3), and should not be so entangled with the world that we can’t separate ourselves from it (I John 2:15).  Even your closest Christian friends might not understand they can choose to hold onto something in this world instead of obeying the trumpet call.  Please share this message with them.

5th Seal of Beheaded Christian Martyrs

My 2009 understanding of the order and timing of Revelation might be all wrong, but it is apparent the 5th seal is currently taking place in the Middle East.  Who could have foreseen in our modern world with weapons of mass destruction, that the enemies of God’s people would literally behead them?

“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark on their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:4)

These Christian believers living in the Babylon of the Middle East are often given the choice to deny Jesus Christ and become Muslim, or die.  These martyrs are now pleading with God to avenge their blood.  The Lord tells them to rest a “little season” until all the martyrs join them.

“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11And white robes were given to every one of them; and it was said to them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brothers, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. 12And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, see, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every slave, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Rev. 6:9-17)

The sun became black, a total solar eclipse, on March 20, 2015, and a blood moon or total lunar eclipse occurred the evening of Passover on April 4, 2015.  Both were viewable from Israel.  But there was no major Middle East earthquake prior to them.  The Lyrid meteor shower can be viewed from mid to late April [link].  Verses 14-17 sound like a nuclear explosion and its aftermath, with people hiding in underground bunkers from radio-active fallout.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

If the trumpets and vials move in tandem, and if the Islamic State (IS) represent the locusts of the fifth trumpet; then it corresponds with the fifth vial which is darkness and gnawing tongues (a symptom of dehydration; article) over the beast's kingdom (Sunni Islam; aka Babylon).  Thus the sixth trumpet and vial would commence after the five months of locusts end.

The last five years of drought in the Middle East have beaten records over 100 years old. article
"12One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter. 13And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 15And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. 16And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. 17And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. 18By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. 19For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like to serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. 20And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: 21Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts." (Revelation 9:12-21)

"10And the fifth angel poured out his vial on the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, 11And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. 12And the sixth angel poured out his vial on the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. 13And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 15Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. 16And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." (Revelation 16:10-16)

The sixth trumpet and the sixth vial are the only two passages in the New Testament which mention the Euphrates River.  The news portrayed the Mosul Dam on the Tigris River as very poorly built and difficult to maintain.  What if there were FOUR key dams on the Euphrates River which God graciously sent angels to protect?  Will they soon be relieved of duty so that IS can completely restrict the flow of water in order to control the people, thus enabling an army of 200,000,000 to cross it?

The IS has threatened Turkey to give them control of a dam, and IS now has 49 Turks from Mosul to bargain with. article

"Since January 2014, the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq has succeeded in taking control of several dams. To date, the group controls the Haditha Dam (the second-largest in the country), the Samarra Barrage and the Nuaimiyah Dam. Between January and April, the IS also controlled the strategic Fallujah Dam.
The dams are an essential element of the group’s military strategy. The IS has already proved its determination to use the dams as a weapon by deliberately drowning government forces around the Nuaimiyah Dam. When in control of the Fallujah Dam, the group closed eight of the ten doors of the dam, reducing water levels in the south and flooding land upstream." article

"In April 2014, fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria captured the Nuaimiyah Dam in western Iraq, despite earlier efforts to defend the site. They then overflowed it to dislodge Iraqi soldiers dug in upstream of the site—and to deny drinking water to civilians downstream." article
"The [Haditha] dam, which regulates the waters of the River Euphrates, is located north of the city of Haditha, approximately 150 miles (240 km) northwest of Baghdad. It is a major source of hydroelectricity for Iraq’s national grid behind Mosul Dam, which was recaptured by Kurdish and Iraqi forces backed by US air power on Monday." article

It would be an interesting twist if the red, yellow and blue uniformed army gathered in the Jezreel Valley was actually invited by Israel to use that area as a base from which to launch a campaign against IS.  Then if Israel launched rockets against Iran's nuclear facilities, this coalition army turned and attacked Israel instead.  There are so many ways this could play out, and several have nothing to do with prophecy.
I'm just continuing to watch for my Lord's return.