You may have seen the recent story. In a New York fish market, a man was getting ready to kill a 20 pound carp, when all of a sudden, this carp supposedly started speaking in Hebrew, saying that the end of the world is at hand! The worker, understandably panicked, ran out of the room shouting "It’s the devil!" The owner of the shop, a Jew, tried to calm him down, and managed to successfully kill the carp, which has now been processed and eaten.
As I write this column, the war in Iraq has begun. Some "prophecy experts" insist that the current conflict proves that the end is near. On Trinity Broadcasting Network last evening (3-20-03, a pre-taped program), John Hagee said the Iraqi invasion is the beginning of the end, and the rapture will likely happen within six months. Benny Hinn, doing the interview, looked shocked and asked, "Are we that close? Are you saying we might be only six months away from the rapture?" Hagee responded, "We are that close."
Here is my prediction: Hagee is wrong, but will never even admit that he made this prediction.
One popular prophecy pundit, Mark Hitchcock from Edmond, Oklahoma, has recently published a book entitled, The Second Coming of Babylon. In his book, Hitchcock says that the ancient city of Babylon, that Hussein has sought to rebuild, will be rebuilt in "a relatively short time," and will become "the commercial and economic capital of the world." However, there is a major problem.
Babylon, whoever it was, existed in John’s day, and was the long standing, historical persecutor of God’s saints. Babylon of Revelation had killed the Old Testament prophets (Revelation 16). She had killed the Lord (Revelation 11). She had killed the apostles and prophets of Jesus (18:20, 24).
Had ancient, literal Babylon ever killed the Old Testament prophets, or Jesus, or Jesus’ apostles and prophets? In a word, no. So, if ancient Babylon had not killed the prophets, Jesus and his apostles, before John wrote, then, for Babylon of Revelation to be literal rebuilt Babylon, at some point in our future, literal Babylon will have to kill the Old Covenant prophets, Jesus, and Jesus’ apostles and prophets. Just how will this be possible?
Will Old Covenant prophets be resurrected to be killed again? Will Jesus come back to earth, and subject himself to physical death again? Will the apostles and prophets of Jesus be raised from the dead, sent to Babylon, only to be martyred once again?
You see, if ancient, historical Babylon never did what Revelation says Babylon did, then prophetic Babylon of Revelation must do what the Apocalypse describes. However, for Babylon to do what Revelation describes, the Lord himself must come back to earth and be killed once again!
The rebuilding of Babylon in Iraq has nothing to do with the time of the end. The fall of Babylon took place when the city "where the Lord was slain," was destroyed in A.D. 70. The message of the modern "prophecy experts," as well as the "talking carp," is fishy.