Rulers of Babylon
An end-times study from the New Exodus
Peter D. Goodgame
May 26, 2014
Two summers ago my book The Second Coming of the Antichrist (now available for free) was published by Tom Horn. At the heart of my book was an in-depth study of an extensive prophetic message from the book of Isaiah, chapters 9-14. This section begins with a warning against Israel that is summed up in Isaiah 9:10, a verse that received a lot of exposure through the success of Jonathan Cahn's book, The Harbinger, and subsequent video. Cahn's work showed the many parallels between the Isaiah 9:10 warning and the terrorist attacks of 9-11 that triggered other events that followed, including the global financial crisis. Cahn's conclusion was that prophetic parallels showed that the USA was on the very same course of pride, corruption, and rebellion that Israel was warned against during the life of Isaiah.
In Isaiah's day the judgment against Israel fell in the form of the invading Assyrians who conquered the northern kingdom in 722 BC, taking the ten tribes into captivity and beginning the great dispersion of Israel in fulfillment of Moses' warnings found in Deut. 28:15-68. Israel's exile from the Promised Land then became complete in 586 BC when the southern kingdom of Judah was invaded and Jerusalem and the Temple were razed by the Babylonians.
The exile of the twelve tribes of Israel then set the stage for the New Exodus predicted by Moses in Deut. 30:1-6, which is the gathering of God's people from throughout the entire world. This New Exodus is also the primary theme of Isaiah 40-55 which predicts the regathering of Israel through the ministry of a mysterious Servant of the Lord. The Gospels draw upon Isaiah to prove that this righteous servant was Jesus of Nazareth, who is God's appointed messenger announcing the way of salvation and leading God's people (now including both Jews and Gentiles) in a New Exodus out of the bondage of sin and death, through the wilderness of this dark world, and on to the promised land of the New Jerusalem.
The second half of Isaiah focuses on the redemption and regathering of God's people under the guidance of their messianic Deliverer, whereas the first half of Isaiah focuses on the reasons for Israel's exile and on the figure that plays the role of the anti-Messiah. In Isaiah 10 we find that God's judgment against the northern kingdom was predicted to come through this figure, who is named Asshur. He was an historical figure whose ancient career was memorialized in many pagan cultures, and in Isaiah's time he was worshiped as the primary god of the Assyrians. In fact, the name 'Asshur' is (mis)translated in most English bibles simply as 'The Assyrian,' but this is a misnomer. He is not some generic figure who happens to be an Assyrian, rather he is Asshur, the specific historical figure who was recognized by the Assyrians as their god and the father of their nation!
Asshur appears as an enigmatic figure throughout Isaiah, and also in Ezekiel, Hosea and Micah. As shown in my book, these references to Asshur connect directly with the many New Testament predictions of the Antichrist. The conclusion put forward in my book is that the historical Asshur is in fact the Antichrist who is to come, and the many OT references to Asshur add to our understanding of the Man of Sin's end-times career.
Isaiah introduces Asshur as the punisher and destroyer of Israel in Isaiah 10:5, but the entire prophetic section that begins back in Isaiah 9:8 is not concluded until Isaiah 14:27. This important fact is demonstrated by the repeated use of the following phrase as God's judgments against Israel are announced: "For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still." As the table of texts above demonstrates, God's anger will not be turned away until the very end when Asshur himself is defeated and destroyed.
The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Thes. 2:8 that the Antichrist would be destroyed by the fiery breath of the Lord Jesus, and Paul was simply drawing from three separate predictions in Isaiah that portray Asshur as the end-times enemy of Israel whose destruction is predicted to come by way of a fiery torrent of the breath of the Lord (see Isaiah 11:4, 30:33, and 33:11). Of course if this is true then it also becomes clear that "Lucifer," referred to in Isaiah 14:12, is not Satan as it is traditionally believed, but is merely another name for Asshur, the King of Babylon, also known as the Antichrist.
From this perspective we see that Isaiah's predictions in both Isaiah 10 and Isaiah 14 that deal with the purpose and destiny of Asshur span from the time of Israel's defeat in 722 BC all the way forward in time to the Second Coming. Isaiah predicts that Asshur, in the form of the Assyrian army, will initially be called forth as God's instrument of punishment upon Israel, causing destruction and dispersion. However, Asshur's destructive role is also cast forward into the time of the end. Isaiah 10 predicts that as a result of his achievements Asshur's heart will be filled with pride and he will go far beyond the limits of his original divine mandate, leading God to turn against Asshur, humbling and destroying him at the very end of the age.
In my book The Second Coming of the Antichrist I documented how Isaiah 14 depicts Asshur, the King of Babylon, as the Antichrist. Not only is he to be destroyed by the breath of the Lord, but he is also identified in 14:20 in the Septuagint (LXX) as the "evil seed" in fulfillment of Genesis 3:16. Furthermore, we also see in 14:20 that the dead corpse of the King of Babylon will be trodden underfoot but never see burial. This is because, when combined with insight from Revelation 19:20, we find that as the evil counterpart to the true Messiah (Jesus, the first fruits of the "first resurrection"), the dead body of the Antichrist will be resurrected after the battle of Armageddon and then immediately cast alive into the lake of fire, thereby becoming the first fruits of the "second resurrection" of the wicked.
When we look at Isaiah 10 we find elements contemporary to the time of Isaiah, but also hints of certain end-times fulfillments. However, Isaiah 14 is purely an end-times prediction because it describes Israel looking backwards in time taunting and exalting over the King of Babylon after he has already been defeated. Yet the connections between Isaiah 10 and Isaiah 14 are clearly there, centered around the figure of Asshur, and the themes that are first introduced in Isaiah 10 are brought to completion in Isaiah 14, as shown below:
The redemption of the people of God at the end of the age coincides with the judgment of the wicked. The people of God are the Body of Christ, described as the wife of the Lamb presented as the city of God, the New Jerusalem shown in Revelation 21-22. Jesus Christ is our King and in that sense our destiny is to become His Queen after remaing faithful during our season of engagement. The marriage ceremony referred to in Revelation 19:7 is the glorious consummation of this courtship.
In direct contrast to this positive picture of the people of God the Scriptures also paint a picture that describes the wicked who are destined for judgment and destruction. Babylon the Great is their city, as opposed to the New Jerusalem. The Antichrist is their King, as opposed to Jesus Christ. Jesus loves His bride and He gave His life for her salvation, whereas the Antichrist (whose spirit actively works in the world today) manipulates and deceives his bride. In the end the Antichrist will actually turn against his bride when he and his ten kings, "...shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire" (Rev. 17:16).
The people of God are to be presented to Jesus as an innocent virgin bride, without spot or wrinkle, clothed with white robes that represent her righteous acts motivated by unselfish sacrificial love. On the other hand the wicked are personified in Revelation 17-18 as a corrupt adulterous harlot, full of abominations and blasphemy, selfishly pursuing the "lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." The Church of Jesus Christ is the Body of Christ, whereas the wicked are collectively identified as the Body of the Antichrist, the proud Queen of Babylon, the great city doomed to destruction.
Many are aware of the glorious descriptions of the Bride of Christ and how she will be united with her Husband at the end of the age. On the other hand, few are aware that Scripture also paints a vivid picture of the destiny of the wicked, personified as the King and Queen of Babylon, who will both experience a horrible end. This picture is presented to us through two great end-times descriptions of God's justice in a parallel poetic form. Isaiah 14 speaks of the King of Babylon, while Revelation 18 speaks of the Queen of Babylon. These passages give a glimpse of the future in the immediate aftermath of God's righteous judgment upon unrepentent rebellious humanity, personified as the Antichrist King and his corrupt Queen.
The table below shows how these judgments progress. First, the stage is set for a voice to make an announcement against the rulers of Babylon. In Isaiah 14 Israel then speaks against the King of Babylon, while in Revelation 18 an angel from heaven speaks against the Harlot Queen of Babylon. Then both rulers are described as having fallen from greatness to nothingness. The King of Babylon had fallen from heaven to be cast down upon the earth, whereas the Great Harlot had accumulated glory and luxury for herself only to reap torture and grief in the end. The heart of the King of Babylon is revealed as being filled with a prideful desire to rule over heaven, which leads to his punishment in the depths of hell. The heart of the Harlot is revealed as being full of pride mixed with delusions of enduring grandeur, which leads to her punishment of plagues falling on her in one day. The complete destruction of Babylon is then announced, with Isaiah declaring that the King of Babylon and all his descendants will be destroyed, and Revelation describing the merchants reacting to the fact that all of Babylon's wonderful commodities that were desired by the Harlot are gone forever. The parallel ends with a prophetic warning from God against Babylon in Isaiah, whereas in Revelation the annihilation of Babylon is compared to the sinking of a stone into the depths of the sea.
Parallel Poetic Justice for the Kingdom of Darkness