Why does the Bible speak of two Babylons?

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In the Old Testament and specifically in the book of Daniel, we read about Babylon and how it waged war against ancient Israel. And in the New Testament in the book of Revelation, we read how spiritual Babylon will wage war against God’s people in the Battle of Armageddon.

Why are there two Babylons?

The answer is found in the fact that the prophecies given by Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc., have a double application—one to be fulfilled locally; the other to be fulfilled on a worldwide scale in the last days when spiritual Israel ( the church) will take the place of the literal Israel as God’s true chosen people.

There is a clear parallel that exists between what happened to ancient Israel and the events concerning spiritual Israel in Revelation 16:12-16. 

Ancient Israel Spiritual Israel
Jer. 50:33,34 Persecuted by Babylon Rev. 17:6
Dan. 3:13 Forced to worship image Rev. 13:15
Dan. 4:30 Called “Babylon the Great” Rev. 17:5
Jer. 51:13,14 Babylon sits on many waters Rev. 17:1
Isa. 44:27,28 Rescued—dried Euphrates Rev. 16:12
Jer. 51:6-8 Called out of Babylon Rev. 18:4
Isa. 45:1 Rescuer called the anointed Dan. 9:25
Isa. 41:2, 25 Both rescuers from east Mat. 24:27, Rev. 7:2

The special point of future controversy will be the fourth of the Ten Commandments – the seventh day Sabbath. The Bible predicted in Dan. 7:25, that the little horn (papacy) will attempt to change God’s law. And this happened when early in the Christian Era men began to set aside God’s seventh-day Sabbath and worship instead on the first day of the week. It should be noted the there is not a single verse in the Bible that supports Sunday observance.

The crisis will come when spiritual Babylon prevails upon the state to enforce the Mark of the beast which is Sunday observance by civil law and seeks to punish all dissenters “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Rev. 13:16–17).

The Bible describes God’s end time saints saying, “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). Deceived by Satan’s lies, the world will bow to the beast and its image, and carry out its decrees (Rev. 13:8). But the saints, on the other hand, will refuse to obey its man-made commandments. Instead they will obey the commandments of God through His enabling grace by faith (Romans 8:3, 4).

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In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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