Mystery Babylon

“…Here we see the third Babylon in all its horror. Both city (Nimrod: Herod + Pilate-Caesar) and tower (priests and Jews) join in putting Jesus to death. Together, they intend that their city and tower will endure, no matter what the God of Heaven says or does. Judgment comes, however. As God came handwritingonwall-sdown on the first two Babylons, the Spirit comes down at Pentecost. Immediately there is a confusion of tongues. Jews of every nation hear the gospel in every language except Hebrew-Aramaic. This time, however, instead of a scattering of lips (religions), there is a unification of lips around the praise of the Father of Jesus Christ. As we shall see below, however, there is another sense in which there is a scattering of different “lips.” The “gift of tongues” continues on and off throughout the Apostolic Age until Jerusalem (the whole circumcision) is destroyed in the destruction of Mystery Babylon in ad 70. The Jews are brought into consternation (1 Corinthians 14:21–22; compare Acts 18:7).

Just as the builders of the first Babylon could not understand the new languages, and just as the Chaldeans in Daniel 5 could not understand the writing on the wall, so now the Jews cannot understand the new gospel except in other (new to them) languages.

The third Babylon is judged, and the people scatter from it. They begin scattering from physical Jerusalem in Acts 8. In Matthew 24, Jesus told faithful Jews to move away from physical Jerusalem whenever they perceived judgment was about to fall on her. Paul’s letters, and those of the other Apostles, call repeatedly for believers to leave the old spiritual Jerusalem, the religion of circumcision, behind (Galatians, Colossians, etc.), because the old spiritual Jerusalem has become Mystery Babylon.

Like Abram before them, Christians who have the faith of Abraham move away from old Babylon-Jerusalem to a new place, into the new Holy World of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Eventually the old Jerusalem is destroyed, literally and spiritually, and men “leave off building the tower.””

James B. Jordan, The Handwriting on the Wall, p. 114-115
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