The story of Esther gives us a clear picture of how intercession works. In the story, Queen Vashti was divorced from King Ahasuerus because she refused to dance before the king and his guests at a banquet. Later, after the king’s anger had subsided, a search was made for a new Queen. Esther was chosen, and the king loved her.
Soon afterwards, King Ahasuerus appointed a man named Haman as Prime Minister; and as the king commanded, all the king’s officials were to bow down to him. But Mordecai, who was Esther’s cousin and the one who reared her, refused to bow down to Haman because of his Jewish faith. Upon hearing this news Haman was furious and immediately began to plot the destruction of all the Jews, out of which a decree was issued and signed by the king that all Jews would be killed on the 28th of…
Minneapolis on Thursday became the first major American city to permit unfettered broadcast of the Muslim call to prayer, allowing the adhan to be heard over speakers five times a day, year-round.
The Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to amend the city’s noise ordinance, which had prevented some morning and evening calls at certain times of the year because they occurred at times of the day when tighter noise restrictions are in place.
“The Constitution doesn’t sleep at night,” said Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), after the vote. He said Minneapolis’ action should show the world that a “nation founded on freedom of religion makes good on its promise.”
Thursday’s vote, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, marked the capstone of a years-long effort to allow more calls to be broadcast in Minneapolis, whose burgeoning population of East African immigrants has led to mosques dotting the landscape.
Three council members — Aisha Chughtai, Jeremiah Ellison and Jamal Osman — identify as Muslim. “In a body of 13, that’s a real caucus,” Ellison said before the 12-0 vote (Council Member Andrew Johnson was absent).
Not only was the council vote unanimous, the decision drew no organized community opposition. Mayor Jacob Frey is expected to sign the measure within a week.
I live in Minneapolis, and, while I was working outside one day I happened to hear these prayer calls. One bold Muslim decided to do it on his own (with a loud microphone). I’m not Muslim, so I didn’t agree with it; but on the other hand, I thoiught this man was quite bold and dedicated to his religion; and I wished I was as bold as him. I wish more Christians would be more dedicated to prayer.
I recalled that Daniel prayed three times a day in his window chamber (Daniel 6:10). David also prayed many times a day. They were dedicated prayer warriors.
After the Tribulation is over, and likewise, after the fall of Babylon (Rev. 16:19; 17 & 18), and after the return of Christ (Rev. 19:11-16), and after Jesus brings all the believing Jews to safety (Rev. 12:16; Zech. 12:9; 14:3-4), and after He casts the beast and the false prophet into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20), and after He goes out to kill all unbelievers who have gathered at Armageddon to do battle with Him (Rev. 19:21), Jesus will then gather all nations together (all gentiles that are still alive), and will bring them to a certain place on earth, probably to a place near Jerusalem to be judged. It will be the place of His earthly reign in the Millennial kingdom (Matt. 25:31; Rev. 20:4-6).
This judgment is sometimes called the judgment of the sheep and goats. The sheep represent believers and the goats represent unbelievers. This judgment is well described for us in Matthew 25:31-46. Here it describes King Jesus as separating all the people as a shepherd would separate the sheep from the goats. And He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on the left. Here is the passage from verse 34:
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45 “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Notice the basis of the judgment of these Gentile peoples. It hinges on how they will treat Christ’s brothers. Most scholars would say that these brothers refer to Jewish believers, mainly the 144,000 Jews who will be His witnesses.
As you remember, during the Tribulation no one will be able to buy or sell anything without the beast’s mark. But since believers were not to take the mark, they will have to get food and anything they needed by other means. Since the Jewish witnesses were to commit all of their time on preaching the gospel, they could not spend much time trying to provide for themselves.
Those who were believing Gentiles, they were the ones that will provide for them. Even though they will not take the mark either, they will make the time to somehow feed themselves as well as the believing Jews. And God will help them do it. He will give them the heart and the knowhow to feed themselves as well as others. Moreover, this good work will reveal that they in fact are believers—that they are His sheep.
Now I want to write a little more on all the judgments—so that we can put this judgment of the nations in perspective. But that will be on a coming blog.
The Holy Spirit is the person of God who intercedes for us on earth. Here is a picture of His intercession.
1. He prays for us. A big part of the intercession of the Holy Spirit is His prayer for us. While Jesus is praying for us in heaven, the Holy Spirit is praying for us here on earth in our hearts.
Romans 8:27 says that He intercedes for us “according to God.” Most translations say that He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. However, a literal translation should read “according to God”, leaving out “the will of”. William Newel states, “We feel that the introduction of the words ‘the will of’ before the word God, merely obscures the meaning.” He states that the phrase “according to God” is a more “all inclusive” and “blessed expression.” Newel says it this way: “We know not how…
We are living in an Orwellian era when the formerly most powerful man in the world, who remains very powerful, is being prosecuted in order to stop him from becoming president again. If they can take him down, they can take down any conservative. The left has weaponized lawfare, which started with merely civil lawsuits but has now progressed into disbarring attorneys and prosecution. Once they’ve gone after Trump through prosecution — even if unsuccessful — it will be easier to go after him again on other charges, and easier to go after any other conservative. And they won’t stop there, they’ll go after RINOs and those on the left who side with the right against the abuse of the legal system next.
Left-wing billionaire George Soros contributed $1 million to Color of Change’s PAC, which then spent over $500,000 to support the campaign of Alvin Bragg, the New York DA prosecuting Trump. Soros has been contributing millions to defeat conservative prosecutors and sheriffs around the country in recent years. When Bragg ran for office, he gloated about how he went after the Trump Foundation while serving as New York state’s chief deputy attorney general from 2017 to 2018. His primary opponent Tali Farhadian Weinstein accused Bragg of going after Trump “for political advantage every chance he gets.”
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling clothing; 5 and as the women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living One among the dead? 6 “He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” 8 And they remembered His words, 9 and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest (Luke 24:1-9).
Five things the Bible says about the Resurrection
1 Jesus’ resurrection is prophetic (Psalm 16:10)
For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
2 Jesus’ resurrection is promised (John 2: 19-21)
Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
3 Jesus resurrection is declared (Romans 1:3-4)
Concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord.
4 Jesus resurrection is a priority (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
5 Jesus’ resurrection is sobering (Acts 17:30-31)
“Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
We mentioned earlier (from Revelation 16:19) that in the midst of the seventh bowl judgment, “Babylon the Great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.” Here, in chapter 18, are the details of His wrath, which we call the fall of Babylon.
Just as chapter 17 contains the religious and spiritual nature of Babylon, this chapter speaks of the visible, material and commercial part of Babylon. More specifically, it speaks of the place (or city) of Babylon, which is the capitol of the world and the headquarters of the world leader—the Antichrist. This city, as we discussed earlier, is, I think, the city of Rome. I think the best way to look at this eighteenth chapter is to view it in its five parts just as it is in the text.
Verses 1-3. An angel’s description of Babylon (Rome).The angel described it as a dwelling place of demons and a prison of unclean spirits. Moreover, it is a place where kings and merchants have made immoral dealings with demons and have become wealthy on their corruption.
Verses 4-5. Here, a heavenly voice warns believers to leave the city and not participate in sinful dealings. These verses remind me of what angels said to Lot to warm him of the soon coming judgment of God on Sodom.
When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he hesitated. So the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, for the compassion of the Lord was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city. 17 When they had brought them outside, one said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away” (Gen. 19:15-17).
Verses 6-8. In these verses, the same heavenly voice (probably an angel) calls on God to pay her (Babylon) back (take revenge on her): to give her the same torment and mourning as she gave out to others—in her sinful deeds. And because of her pride, thinking that she will never see mourning, in one day God will bring to her plagues, pestilence, famine, and will be burned up with fire.
I’m not sure that we can know positively how Babylon will be destroyed, but here are three ideas: 1) Babylon will fall just as all other cities, as it is described in Revelation 16:19-21; 2) besides the events of the seventh bowl, there may be a nuclear strike on the city; 3) the city may be leveled by God just as Sodom was destroyed (Gen. 19:23-25).
Verses 9-19. Those who will be most affected by Babylon’s fall. These three groups of people will be the most affected by Babylon’s fall:
Kings (vs 9-10). All kings, including all political leaders, will weep and lament over Babylon—because it will mean the end of Antichrist’s empire and of their power with him. They also may be weeping over their fear of Christ’s coming and of their certain punishment (Rev. 1:7).
Merchants (vs 11-17). All the merchants of the earth (traders, suppliers, importers, exporters, retailers and shopkeepers) who are tied to the Antichrist system will weep and mourn, because no one buys their goods any more (verses 12-13). The Scriptures are not specific as to what happens to them. We can only say what the Scriptures say—from verses 14-17: the fruit you no longer have has gone from you; and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you; and men will no longer find them.…In one hour such great wealth has been laid waste” (v. 17). Hence, we may sum it up by saying this: when the new kingdom comes the old kingdom of Satan isno more. It will be “passed away,” and “laid waste.” God will make all things new.
Transporters of the cargo (vs 17-19). The bible labels this group as those who “make their living by the sea.” But I think we may understand it as all the transporters of the cargo. In that day cargo was transported mainly by ships. But today, even though the city (of Rome) is located on the sea, transportation would be by ships, planes, trains, and trucks. And this group would obviously be affected because they make their living transporting the cargo—and that would all end. And this group and all others, as the Scriptures say, will stand and cry as they see the smoke of her burning. I don’t know how literal that is, but I’m sure they all will be devastated at the quick and thorough destruction of the city and of the Antichrist’s empire.
Verses 20-24. Rejoicing over Babylon’s fall. All those in heaven will rejoice over Babylon’s fall, not because of all who will be doomed to hell, but because of God’s justice that will prevail.Hence, they will rejoice because they will hear no more music played for the devil; and because there will be no more industry to make the Antichrist rich; and because there will be no more food prepared for all who take the mark of the beast; and because there will be no more laughter and weddings for all who partake of immorality and demonism; and because there will be no more deceptions and false teaching by which the prophets and the saints were slain.
It is not the Father’s role to intercede. The Father is the one who hears, receives, and answers our prayers. But I think He should be included in the intercession process, because if it wasn’t for the Father we could not pray at all. In fact, all prayer comes from the Father. We will take time now to consider seven things regarding how the Father is involved in intercession.
1.He is the head person of the trinity and is in charge over the whole intercession process. Jesus said that His Father is Lord over heaven and earth (Lu. 10:21) and that He is greater than all (Jn. 10:29). Jesus also said in John 6:57 that He lives because of the Father. This does not mean that the Father gave Him existence (Jesus has always existed); however, it means that His special life of power and authority was…
When we think of Babylon we normally think of the ancient city of Babylon; and we think of the tower of Babel where Babylon originated. And, of course, we think of the great evil in its idol worship that eventually spread all over the world. And so, I suppose, when we read in Revelation of Babylon and the fall of Babylon, we may naturally think of that ancient city of Babylon, which has to be rebuilt.
But there is another option that I think is more probable. I think Babylon is Rome, and here are six reasons why:
1. After the ancient city of Babylon is destroyed by Cyrus of Persia in 539 B. C., the high-priest of the Babylon religion and his workers fled to Rome. Harry Ironside writes,
When the city and temples were destroyed, the high-priest fled with a company of initiates and their sacred vessels and images to Pergamos, where the Symbol of the serpent was set up as the emblem of the hidden wisdom. From there, they afterwards crossed the sea and immigrated to Italy, where, they settled on the Etruscan plain. There the ancient cult was propagated under the name of the Etruscan Mysteries and eventually Rome became the headquarters of Babylonianism.10
Then, as I point out in my book, After the Rapture,
Beginning with Julius Caesar, the Roman emperors seemed to share power with the chief priests. And then, under Constantine the Great, for the first time in history the emperor became both the head of state and the head of the church. Some say that Constantine became a Christian and was trying to Christianize the world. However, others correctly concluded that the devil was working through Constantine to corrupt the church… Hence, as it happened, idolatry was forced upon Christians and many of the pagan practices became part of the church.11
Thus, Rome became just as Babylon was. In fact, it is my contention that Rome, with the Catholic church, is, in fact, the Babylon of Revelation 17 and 18.
2. The false religious system (the harlot) is tied to the Catholic Church of Rome. When we read in Revelation 17:6 that “the woman [was] drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus,” we have a direct link to Rome. It began with the Popes against Christians such as John Wickliffe and William Tyndale, and many hundreds of others; and it will continue in Rome by the Church of Rome in the future Tribulation period.
3. The harlot (in Rev. 17) looks Roman Catholic.Not only does the harlot act like the Roman Catholic Church in her murders (pt. 2), she looks like the Roman Catholic Church. The colors of the harlot’s purple and scarlet, as well as her jewelry of gold, precious stones and pearls, are the colors and the adornment of the Catholic Priests and Cardinals.
4. The woman sits on the seven hills of Rome (Rev. 17:9). From Revelation 17:7-18, we read that the beast has seven heads and ten horns; and the woman sits on the beast. In verse nine we read that the woman sits on the seven hills.
Many scholars say that the seven hills implies Rome—because Rome is known for its seven hills. A group called City Wonders Team has written,
The Seven Hills of Rome are on the east of the Tiber in the heart of the Ancient City and are said to be the origins of the empire. Back in the day (there is proof of civilization on the hills from as early as 1,000BC) the seven hills were inhabited separately, each with its own independent tribe. Eventually, the tribes came together to compete in sports, strengthening their bonds and uniting their villages. And thus, began the great Roman Empire.12
5. The ten toes as well as the ten horns are the ten kingdoms of the beast and represent the Revived Roman Empire (Dan. 2:33; Rev. 17:12-13).This Revived Roman Empire will most likely be ruled from Rome.
6. The city (of Babylon) will be located on a sea port (Rev. 18:17-19).Here is the most convincing evidence yet that Rome is Babylon: because Rome is located on the Mediterranean Sea; but the ancient city of Babylon is not located on the sea, but on the Euphrates river, which may still be dried up (Rev. 16:12).