Reflections: Babylon will not Prevail

The Gates of Hell Will Not Prevail: Ceasarea Philippi, Israel (painting on left) acrylic on mattboard— They say a trip to Israel is worth at least 10 years of Sunday school. I believe it.
Photos from my 2011 trip to Israel

What and Where is Babylon?

In the book of Revelation, Babylon is the ultimate symbol of wickedness on the face of the earth just prior to the Lord’s return. It would be wise for us to recognize the rapidly enveloping presence of it all around us. The world system strives for peaceful unity, but without accountability to the Most High God. The tactic is to create as much chaos as possible and then use tyrannical force to bring order, a false and corrupt “peaceful utopia”, under one world wide government and will ultimately happen with one leader, who is the Anti-Christ. The enemy, Satan, works to cause division among people groups and stir up violence between them and truth is so twisted that no one even recognizes it.
They said to one another, “Let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” and they had brick for stone and tar for mortar.  Then they said, “Come let us build a city and a tower whose top will reach to heaven, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” ~Genesis 11:3-4  This event in Babel was the first deliberate attempt at a one world unified government and these people knew they were working against God Most High. Babel is the Hebrew word for confusion, which was the punishment God gave them for their greedy prideful lust for power, sensuality, customized spirituality, perversion, etc.
Later when Israel was established as a nation and surrounding enemies realized that they could not curse them because of Yahweh God’s blessings, they sought to seduce them with the false religion of Baal worship which included sexual immorality and child torture and sacrifice. Their continued decline into wicked disobedience against God resulted in the punishment of 70 years of captivity in a place called Babylon, the great world power of the time (Daniel 2) named for it’s predecessor.
Sin always progresses and always has consequences, yet the enemy knows it has to be attractive and subtle in order for people to be lured in. In the garden, Eve saw the forbidden fruit as “good for food and pleasing to the eye” ~Genesis 3:6. So whom are we being turned over to when we fall into disobedience? He masquerades as an angel of light ~2 Corinthians 11:14, he prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour ~1 Peter 5:8, a murderer and a liar ~John 8:44, a thief, ~John 10:10, and his desire is to be worshiped ~Matthew 4:9 above God. Satan deceives nations by first deceiving individuals.
What do Babylon and Ceasarea Philippi have in common?   Located at the southwestern base of Mount Herman surrounded by mountains and quaint waterfalls lie the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Ceasarea Philippi.  Also known as Paneas, it was built to honor the Greek god Pan, this place was also associated with Baal worship by the Caananites during Old Testament times. There is a large cave where worshipers left sacrificial offerings to Pan that was also known as the Gates of Hades (Hell). In about 20 BC, the city was built and dedicated to Ceasar Augustus by Herod the Great. Note also that Greece and Rome are notches in Nebuchadnezzar’s (King of Ancient Babylon) prophetic dream statue of pagan world powers (Daniel 2).
Why did Yeshua take his disciples to such a place? This was a lesson on the identity of who He is as He allowed Peter to make the declaration, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God” ~Matthew 16:16 and then Jesus told them, “upon this rock (this declaration) I will build my church and the gates of Hell will not prevail.” ~Matthew 16:18    And just as God shattered the plans at the tower of Babel, He removes and establishes kingdoms for His purposes including His final and Glorious Kingdom. So during these times of increasing chaos and confusion, we can be encouraged as believers, as we observe that today, at least for the time being, the babbling brooks and pagan ruins of Ceasarea Philippi are visited daily by busloads of tourists, many of whom are conducting Bible studies and soon the fiery rider on the white horse of Revelation 19 known as Faithful and True is coming back as The King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

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