A Brand New Identity for Babylon of Revelation
Be sure to read the first article in this series.
Every few years a new book is published by a Dispensational writer assuring us that the author has now discovered what all other Millennialists have over looked in their interpretation of the end time prophecies, but that they now know the key. And of course, they tell us with full confidence, that we are in the very last days, the end is near! But, over and over again, their fear mongering predictions fail, and disappoint, because they are overlooking, denying or ignoring what the Bible truly says about when the end was to be: in the first century, Jesus’ generation.
Much of this total confusion– and error– stems from a mistaken identification of Babylon of Revelation
Hal Lindsey has it wrong. Grant Jeffrey has it wrong. Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice have it wrong. John Hagee got it wrong, (and has it wrong) with his newest predictions concerning the Four Blood Moon predictions. So, with all of these failed predictions, we now have (another) false prediction, that changes the face of Dispensationalism. Thee is a brand new proposal for the identity of Babylon in Revelation, and I can tell you that it is not sitting well with some Millennialists.
The WorldNet Daily an internet publication, carried the following on May 20, 2015:
“A prominent Bible-prophecy teacher claims the true site of the biblical Tower of Babel is in Saudi Arabia and the concept of “Mystery Babylon” actually refers to Mecca, not the Vatican, as some researchers of Scripture claim.
Walid Shoebat, a former PLO operative, tells fellow Christians they’re looking in the wrong place when trying to understand the identity of the people who make up the worldview outlined in Revelation 17:1-5.” (http://www.wnd.com/2014/05/new-identity-for-mystery-babylon-of-bible/)
Radically Redefining Babylon of Revelation
You must realize what Mr. Shoebat has done! He has radically re-defined “Babylon” of Revelation. Babylon is not, as the huge majority of Dispensationalists claim, the literal city of Babylon in Iraq. No, it is in Saudia Arabia and is to be identified as Islam!
“When it comes to Mystery Babylon,” said Shoebat, “the common tendency amongst many Protestant theologians is to liken it to Rome. According to them, Rome is the city of seven hills.”
He said others equate it with Iraq, since it was home to the original Babylon.
“Years ago, many books were written about Saddam Hussein, who was allegedly hard at work, rebuilding Babylon,” Shoebat observed. “Christians gobbled up the books without truly examining the evidence. Saddam was simply rebuilding a tourist attraction where Nineveh once stood.”
The project was later abandoned, he noted, “and Saddam died on the gallows along with the prophecy books that included his name.”
Shoebat contends the Bible’s references to cities point to Arabia.”
Thomas Ice, with whom I have had four debates, rejects Mr. Shoebat’s new identity of Babylon. (You can order a DVD of my formal public debate with Thomas Ice from me). Ice says: “I do know that Babel in the Bible is Babel (in Hebrew the same word for Babel is used for Babylon), or Babylon. Babylon has never been used in the Bible to refer to Rome; it always means the same thing in the Bible,” Ice told WND. “The proper approach is to study the Bible and see what it says before one is influenced by current events. Thus, Babylon in the Bible always and only refers to that city on the plains of Shinar,” he said.
So, we now have a brand new identity for Babylon of Revelation: It is Mecca in Saudia Arabia. And yet, this new “revelation” is not being accepted by some of the leading Dispensational sources.
The problem is that, as Shoebat notes, all of the Dispensational claims about literal Babylon in Iraq have been falsified. The death of Saddam Hussein and the abandonment of his project to rebuild the ancient city has been shown the fallacy of that application. As he points out, a plethora of books were written espousing the imminent end of the age, based on what Saddam Hussein was doing.
What I find ironic is what Ice had to say: “The proper approach is to study the Bible and see what it says before one is influenced by current events. Thus, Babylon in the Bible always and only refers to that city on the plains of Shinar,”
Nothing could illustrate and demonstrate the hypocrisy within Dispensationalism more than this comment! On the one hand, Ice says we should go to the Bible and see what it says first. But, he co-wrote a book with Timothy Demy, entitled, “Prophecy Watch” in which the newspapers and current events serve as a major source of the interpretive authority. And then, with Tim LaHaye, he co-authored the book Charting the End Times, in which the newspaper serves as the key interpretative foundation for their application! Over and over again in that book, the authors point to “current events” as the fulfillment of prophecy!
What is worse, Ice and LaHaye make claims about those “current events” that fly in the face of emphatic statements of the Bible. I prove this beyond dispute in my book Israel 1948: Countdown to No Where. In that book, I expose the fact that Ice and LaHay, along with most Dispensationalists, turn the Bible’s statements 180% out, and make claims about those texts that are irrefutably wrong. This book is a stunning refutation of their claims.
The fact is that Dispensationalism is constantly changing, sometimes radically, and, it is, without fail, always wrong in its applications of the “end times prophecies.” It is invariably wrong because, as noted above, Dispensationalism, like Amillennialism and Postmillennialism, refuse to take seriously what the Bible says about when the end was– and did– come to pass.
Of course, the fallacy of Shoebat’s new view is that nothing that Revelation says about “Babylon” fits Mecca! Nothing! We will illustrate that in another article, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, be sure to get a copy of my book, Who Is This Babylon? for an in-depth discussion of the identity of Babylon. You will be amazed at how easily we can know that true identity, and put aside the on-going, every changing speculation of the Dispensational world.