The definition of "Babylon" in the dictionary is: "1. An ancient city on the Euphrates River: capital of Babylonia and later of the Chaldean empire. 2. Any city regarded as a place of excessive luxury and wickedness."
Those are good definitions, because "Babylon" was indeed an ancient city, but it is also the symbol of what many cities have been in the world ever since, some of which have been worse than others.
That is consistent with what is written in the book of Daniel, which says that "Babylon" would eventually become "broken in many pieces." But it will be replaced by a new "kingdom" of God that will embrace all nations and "shall last forever." And that is the "kingdom" John wrote about in the Christian book of Revelation, which "will last forever."
However, the "fall" of Babylon will not be as many Christians believe it will be, and what is written in the book of Daniel gives us some important clues about that.
Daniel was a seer and chief adviser to the court of a king of ancient Babylon, King Nebuchednezzar, who asked Daniel to interpret a dream that the king had. And it turned out that the dream represented a symbolic pattern and sequence of imperial rulership from that time right up to our time.
Before he interpreted the king’s dream, Daniel described it, and this is the gist of it: "There was an image with a head of fine gold; his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. A stone struck the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces. ... And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." (Daniel 2:32-35)
Daniel obviously uses symbolism, not only because that is the stuff of dreams, but also because the symbolism he used has Astrologicical meaning. For the "stone" is not a material stone or rock. It is the same "stone" mentioned by the prophet Isaiah because it is the spiritual "cornerstone and foundation" of the "kingdom" to come. That "stone" is the esoteric symbol known by Kabbalistic Jews and Qabalistic Christians as the symbol for divine truth which can be expressed in righteous judgment, which will indeed shatter the image of the "King of Babylon" so that we may no longer be ruled by heads of state, plutocracies and military empires, but will at long last have governments of, by and for the people.
It makes more sense when you consider Daniel's interpretation of the dream.
Daniel said that the image of the king at that time was the head of gold. After his kingdom there would arise another, inferior kingdom, and another third kingdom of brass (or bronze), which shall bear rule over the earth, and a fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron. But, as iron breaks in pieces, it shall break in pieces. And, because the feet of the image of the king are part iron and part clay, the fourth kingdom shall be divided ... but the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And finally when the stone (of true judgment) shatters the image of the King of Babylon, God shall set up a new kingdom, which shall never be destroyed. God’s new kingdom will not be left to other people, and it will include and embrace all other kingdoms and nations in the world, and it shall stand for ever. (Daniel 2:38-45)
If you read Daniel’s interpretation of the dream in this new light, you may see that the four parts of the image (the four kingdoms) represent four great world empires. But, the rest of the clues can be understood only in an astrological context, because Daniel was the Chief Astrologer and Kabbalist who advised the king of ancient Babylon, and therefore his writing contained esoteric astrological symbolism.
The first kingdom or empire was, of course, that of the Babylonians which began during Daniel’s time and is also known as the Chaldean empire. The deity of the Babylonians was the sun god, and gold is the metal associated with the sun in astrological symbolism. That’s why the king had a "head of gold." But of course, that "went to the head" of Babylonian King Nebuchednezzar because he misunderstood Daniel, and constructed an actual royal image of gold.
The second empire was that of the Persians. Their religion revered the moon goddess, associated astrologically and alchemically with silver. The third empire was that of the Greeks, who predominantly revered Aphrodite or Venus, hermetically and esoterically associated with copper (or brass). And the fourth empire is usually considered to be that of the Romans, whose god of war, Mars, is associated with iron.
However, the feet of the image are of both iron and clay, and while some scholars have for various reasons surmised that this refers solely to the Romans, it probably refers also to the empires that have their roots in Rome and have subsequently ruled in the world living by the sword, then by the gun, and then by the bomb. That’s why Daniel said the fourth kingdom would "break in pieces" and become many. That is why many European empires that claimed to be Christian would become some of those "pieces," even after the Protestant Reformation, while another piece was the Ottoman Empire, which was an Islamic successor to the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.
It should be noted that Daniel’s reference to the image of the King of Babylon changes in chapter seven and eight. For example, in Daniel 7:7 it is written: “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces ...” So there again we see the symbolism of iron, and reference to the “fourth” kingdom or beast, which is the Roman Empire, which “brake in pieces.”
Then Daniel 7:23 states: “The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.” And Daniel 8:20-21 states: “The ram which you saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia ...” And that reveals that Daniel was indeed speaking of the four major empires up to the Roman Empire.
Today, however, the U.S.A. is now one of the nations that most epitomizes one of the "pieces" of the fourth kingdom-empire foreseen by Daniel, and as such its capitol Washington D.C. --- like the capitols of the other nations that are ruled by a wealthy few while the majority of the people grow worse off --- most represents the Babylon in the last book in the Christian Bible, which ultimately falls because its government is divided and corrupt.
It becomes more obvious that the U.S. is one of the "pieces" when you consider that the U.S. definitely has its roots in Rome. The American system of laws are founded in part on Roman law, and Roman Latin terms are part of its legal foundation and terminology. Also, since the feet are astrologically associated with Pisces and the passing Piscean Age, and since the king (president) of this partisan-ruled divided America could be said to have "feet of iron and clay" because while in some ways he is strong while in other ways he is weak, we still live in that "divided fourth kingdom."
However, the "image of the King of Babylon" is an image, not a specific person, just as "Magog" and "Babylon" are not specific cities or nations. The image of the "King of Babylon" symbolizes the leader of powerful military industrial empires who enable the wealthiest few to live in the lap of luxury while the majority barely gets by and many people live either at risk of poverty or in poverty, and many live in poverty and suffer from hunger and even homelessness.
Fulfillment of prophecy of the "stone" striking the feet and shattering the image is symbolic. That’s why Daniel said the stone shall grow and "become as a great mountain that shall fill the whole earth."
Now, another way the book of Daniel is related to the book of Revelation is where the corrupt "Babylon" is chastised in Revelation 18:23, where John wrote: "And the light of a candle shall shine no more in you, and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in you. For your merchants were the powerful men of the earth, and because of them all nations were deceived."
John was no doubt familiar with Chapter 9 of the book of Daniel, which speaks of the corruption of Jerusalem (and, really, the corruption of many people in the world, including some of the most powerful people in America).
The book of Daniel is not only about the sins, trespasses, transgressions and iniquity of the leaders of the nations of earth, it is also about the corruption of the modern nation of Israel. It actually speaks of a time to "finish the transgression," "make reconciliation for iniquity," and "bring in everlasting righteousness" — a time when Israel will have to face its transgressions and iniquity, and make amends and reconciliation for it.
That certainly has not happened yet. It will be brought about by the judgment issued by the witness and servant of God foretold by Isaiah and Jesus.
The message which is the "stone" of truth will shatter the image of the sovereign head of state, and it doesn’t matter if he is a relatively beneficial and good one or a relatively harmful one. It is the presidential form of monarchy and the plutocratic and oligarchical form of government that will fall --- because it is those who have held and wielded that kind of power who have been responsible for creating conditions that have resulted in this tragic state of the nation and world.
The fact is that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That's why no person should try to play god, or king or queen with political power of government. And that includes even chief executives and heads of state, and leaders of legislative bodies. The power must lie with the people, to the greatest extent possible. That's why The 21st Century Declaration of Independence is all about how to establish government of, by, and for the people.
You see, the message from the Spirit of truth exposes divisive and harmful leadership, dispels myths, exposes false beliefs, dissolves the most divisive and harmful patriarchal doctrines and traditions of the passing age, shows what is to come, and it is to be spread all over the world. And thank God the message from the Spirit of truth is designed not to condemn but to educate; not to punish but to correct; and not to destroy but to save.
When humanity accepts and understands the message, the God of heaven shall set up a new kingdom on the earth that shall encompass all kingdoms and nations, and it shall last forever, never to be destroyed. That’s what the fulfillment of Old Testament and New Testament Bible prophecy is all about, and the prophesies of all other religions are based on the same idea and the same reality.
Again, in the new "kingdom" only God reigns in Spirit, and governments are of, by and for the people. Even though many religious people have been led to believe that there will be a "holy king" who rules that "kingdom," that it not true. God will ensure that we are all joint heirs to the throne, and that our divine inheritance shall be shared, not hoarded by a wealthy and powerful few.
You see, the prophet Isaiah reported that God said this: "Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation, [so that] he that believes shall not make haste." (Isaiah 28:16)
"He that believes" is the modern son of man, the modern Mashiach or Messiah, the servant of God who delivers the promised judgment. And Isaiah 28:16 was written so that he could rest assured and not make haste. After all, what conscientious servant of God would not willingly give his life to try to stop the conflict and carnage in the world, and die trying?
Isaiah's prophecies guide him and help him be cautious and patient, thank God. And even though Isaiah also wrote that the son of man would send his work before him but have it rejected for so long that he would fear it was all in vain and for naught, he would at least expect to be rejected. (And even Jesus of Nazareth understood Isaiah, which is why he also prophesied that the modern son of man would "first be rejected by his generation, and suffer many things.")
In other words, he is a fellow companion in Tribulation, suffering as many suffer, and he does so willingly because he knows it is not only his karma, but also his soul offering in his willingness to die trying to serve God for the benefit of humanity.
Part of that effort is in learning, and the modern son of man learns and says that the all-embracing "kingdom" that will stand for ever is the same one foreseen in the book of Revelation, which states: "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of 'His' Christ; and 'He' shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 11:15)
That means that the Ancient One, the "First and the Last," who is in heaven with God, shall reign with God in Spirit. For no human being is immortal, and as Moses wrote, God is not a man, nor a son of man, which is why Jesus said, "God is greater than I" and "You have not heard God's voice or seen God's shape at any time."
The modern son of man says the same thing, having the testimony of the Christ. But Christians have not known that because Christianity has been distorted with myths since the first century, and particularly since the fourth century. But, even so, the gospels still contain much truth.
John's book of Revelation, like the book of Daniel, speaks of the ultimate fulfillment of all religious prophecies. They speak in a timeless way, for even as they speak of what happened in the spiritual or physical realm long ago, they also speak of things relevant to our time.
Ultimately, they speak of our time at the end of the age Jesus ushered it, when the Lord God, which is the Great Spirit-Parent of all, and "His Christ" (which is the Ancient One known by many different titles by different religions who is in heaven with God), will finally reign in Spirit, and all the "pieces" of the "divided fourth kingdom" Daniel foresaw are encompassed and embraced by a new realm that shall last forever as truly united nations under God, with governments of, by and for the people.
It is the new "kingdom" in which God and the Ancient One or "Ancient of Days" will reign in Spirit forever, and all the people shall be equal joint heirs to the throne of the new kingdom -- because the modern son of man knows he is your fellow servant, and he rejects the worldly throne just as Jesus did. (Daniel 2:44, Jeremiah 33:15-17, James 2:5)
That means that there will NOT be a "one world government" ruled by a king playing god, as misguided right-wing Christian fundamentalists have been led to believe.
The United Nations will act together by consensus and international agreement in the General Assembly, but all the nations will still be sovereign and independent. Each nation will finally have government that is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people, and each nation will be a cooperating and collaborating member of a truly United Nations. No large nations will have veto power. No nation or religion will exalt itself as superior, and all nations, religions, races and cultures will be considered equal.
Different religions have slightly different readings about ages and their length, but most prophets of the world foresaw what would happening as we neared the end of an age of conflict and division. And they knew the earth and humanity would go through a tribulation that would be like "labor pains" prior to something new being born into the world -- a new way of looking at government and religion, which will gradually and eventually bring harmony and unity.
In America, the "Dawning of the Age of Aquarius" was prematurely announced in the 1960s, because even now we are still in the waning Age of Pisces that Jesus ushered in. But, as is explained in the article on The End of an Age, we are in the "cusp" and we are increasingly feeling the effects of the coming age, and the desire for real freedom, justice, and peace.
According to some of the ancient texts of Hinduism, the passing age is the Kali Yuga, the Age of Iron, which is drawing to a close. The ancient Hindus, like the ancient Mayans, predicted that it would be an age of conflict and division because the leaders who have ruled over the Earth would be violent, exploit the people, and selfishly seek and gain power, wealth and domain for themselves. But, all great seers and prophets foresaw the same thing, basically, regardless of which religious traditions they followed.
As everyone knows, the U.S. is great in many ways, and its finest principles, such as Jeffersonian democratic principles, which Abraham Lincoln said are "the axioms of a free society," have been admired around the world.
However, the U.S. Government has sometimes not lived up to those principles, because some Americans have always wanted to continue the European traditions of "Christian" Military Industrial Empire. Consequently, even though most of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America frowned upon it, it wasn't that long after the birth of the nation when the U.S. Government started to become imperialistic.
You can read about that in the articles on Ignored American History and Neo-Imperialism. They explain what enabled the Reaganites to rise to power in the 1980s and ever since then operate under the claim that Republicans did in 1898 after the Spanish American War, claiming they have "the duty of extending Christian civilization," and feeling they are "not despots" but "ministering angels" or evangelists fulfilling a Christian evangelical mandate. But the history of Cuba and the Philippines following 1898 revealed the hypocrisy of that claim.
Unfortunately, Christian Dominionists have unwittingly perpetuated the doctrine of Christian preeminence and superiority which plunged Europe into the Dark Ages and caused the Crusades and the Inquisition --- because that doctrine survived the Protestant Reformation and it has justified the imperialist and colonial rule of many Christian military empires ever since.
It is that kind of rule that the Founding Fathers of the U.S.A. were trying to establish freedom from in 1776.
Unfortunately, their intent and their Constitution has been ignored, or twisted, and that is why the U.S. has for the last 30 years represented the "religious Babylon" of excessive luxury, corruption, wickedness, and self-interest, because too many of its leaders have been serving Mammon and the interests of the wealthiest few, while claiming to serve the People, God and Country.
In the 1990s part of that Babylon began to be exposed, as the corruption of the greedy, deceptive wrongdoers in certain American corporations began to be exposed. You may remember all the corporate scandals, such as those caused by Enron, Global Crossing, WorldCom, Adelphia, etc. But those were like the tip of a huge iceberg of corruption that had infected many corporations, banks, lending institutions and other corrupt businesses and industries, and that iceberg of corruption just kept growing.
The wake up call of the 1990s was apparently not enough, though. It did not prompt proper or needed reform, but merely pointed the finger at the "fall guys" and scapegoats upon whom all the blame was laid. Not much was fixed.
Then, in 2008 when more of the corruption of the large banks, lending companies and financial institutions was exposed when it caused horrible economic crises, there was even less done to correct the situation, or to treat the underlying infection or stop enabling the corrupted politicians and corporate executives. In fact, President Bush began "dealing" with the problem by requiring taxpayers to bail out the very people who caused the problems in the first place, and in 2009 the Obama Administration followed suit.
Consequently, greed and corruption still infects many big corporations, banks, etc., and the infection will not be treated and stopped without a reformation of both government and religion.
That is why the message from the Spirit of truth tells you why and how Babylon falls, and how and why the reformation will put an end to the rule of money.
America can and may be the first nation to do that. Otherwise, the status quo will prevail, we will still be hopelessly divided, and the rich will continue to get much richer while the vast majority continue to get poorer. And, whether Republicans or Democrats rule, we would still have government of, by and for the wealthiest few and their huge businesses, corporations, industries, banks, financial institutions, lending institutions, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, etc.
That is why Americans need to realize that even though Ronald Reagan called Washington D.C. "the shining city upon a hill," he actually appealed to the pride and prejudices of gullible Americans, and over the last 30 years his legacy made D.C. a "Babylon," rife with self-interest, malice, greed and corruption.
That will not change significantly or sufficiently unless and until there is a comprehensive reformation of religion and government in America. But, because of the decisions and policies of certain Americans who see America as a beneficent empire and a big brother, who indulge in nationalistic hegemony and religious sanctimony as if it were good, the U.S.A. is the only nation maintaining regional multi-service military commands in all parts of the world. And that is why so many people in the world see the U.S. as imperialistic, and hypocritical. After all, while Americans would like to believe that the U.S. Military is the good policeman of the world, that impression is in part designed to hide the fact that the U.S. Government tends to serve the interests of American industry and globalized corporate power.
Of course, the majority of Americans, as a people, are good people. Everybody know that. And even though the U.S. Government has not been and is not what the Founding Fathers intended, we all know that America has been and is great in many respects.
Furthermore, it is a great testament to the advancement and goodness of the great majority of Americans that Barack and Michelle Obama are president and first lady. They are in the White House now because most Americans see past the color of skin to the content of a person’s character (which in their case is brilliant and honorable). That shows that most Americans have come a long way in certain respects.
However, the opposition to him shows that many Americans have been deceived and pushed backward because they are very gullible and have been easily misled by people who claim to serve all the people but instead seek personal power, wealth and domain, and cater to those who have most of it and want more.
However, even though the U.S. Government can certainly be faulted, it certainly has not been the worst one. And while some have been better than others, some have been simply terrible.
It could be said that to various degrees, "Babylon" has been the center of the military empires of the ancient Babylonians and Chaldeans, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantine Christians, the Ottoman Muslim Turks, the Spanish, the British, the Russians, the Germans, the Japanese, and the Americans, to mention some of the most notable.
But, since Babylon was mentioned in eleven of the books of the Judaic Scriptures and in the Christian book of Revelation, it is important to understand the symbolism.
Babylon is obviously not literally a woman with "harlot" written on her head, as the book of Revelation states, nor is it a specific place. The term "Great Whore of Babylon" illustrates how much John and other apostles kept in mind how the Christ Jesus criticized and rebuked the rich and the greedy. That's why they wrote that they had "fallen into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful desires," not realizing that "the love of money is the root of all evil and those who desire it have erred from the faith."
Babylon can can therefore symbolize a military nation-empire that lives by the sword (gun and bomb) and is ruled by corrupt, greedy people who seek and fight for worldly power, wealth and domain, and live luxuriously while many of its citizens and subjects live in poverty.
That is why John’s description of Babylon as a fornicating whore is merely symbolic of certain people greedily prostituting themselves for money and personal power while causing others spiritual and physical harm and/or loss.
But, remember, John also wrote of the "Beast of Babylon" as a male.
Many monarchies and empires throughout history have fit those descriptions of "Babylon." The ancient Roman Empire, which ruled during the time of the original Christians and persecuted them, is perhaps now one of the most well known. But there were many before and after that. The succeeding "Holy" Roman Empire brought about many centuries of "Christian" theocratic tyranny and oppression during the "Dark Ages." And Nazi Germany, while comparatively short-lived, was surely the worst and most infamous empire that claimed to be Christian (as Adolph Hitler claimed in his book and in his speeches).
But, in the final analysis, "Babylon" will indeed fall. And the part of America that is Babylon will fall because of the rampant greed and corruption that has always been there but has increased significantly during the last 30 years.
There should be no more "Big Brother." The U.S.A will of course maintain its sovereignty and independence, but its military industrial imperialism should stop. It should no longer be the military policeman of the world. Its military power and resources can be better and more fairly organized, and, as a reformed member of the United Nations, it can be a part of the U.N. Military-Police-Peacekeeping Force of the world, under the leadership of the U.N. Security Council.
With an empowered U.N. Peacekeeping Force, there could be no more rogue states, and the U.S., Israel, Russia, Iran, North Korea, China and all other nations that have been overly ambitious and aggressive can take their rightful place in the world family of nations. They can be world neighbors, and all the people can learn how and why we should love our neighbors.
(Continued at The Fall of Babylon, Part 2, which discusses John's Symbolism in the Book of Revelation, and The "Beast," "666" and the "Dragon.")