If (Babylon the Great == X) Then ....

Discussion in 'Bible Prophecy' started by SingleCell, Dec 11, 2013.

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    Utuna

    Utuna Administrator

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    Dear SingleCell,

    Thanks very, very much for your answers.

    As I have already answered that point in another thread, I'm going to make it straight...

    1) Where is it written that it is a religious entity ?

    2) Did you read the link I gave you in another thread about the use of the expression "Mother of..." in Eastern countries, even until nowadays ? What do you think about it ?
     
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    SingleCell

    SingleCell Experienced Member

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    Thanks for making this point Utuna!

    In the article, the 'mother of all battles' is used as metaphor for the "biggest battle".

    Look at Rev 17:

    “Babylon the Great, the mother of the prostitutes and of the disgusting things of the earth.â€￾

    She isn't just the 'mother of all prostitutes'. She is the mother of THE prostitutes.

    I take this as she gave birth, which the Catholic Church certainly did!

    -------

    Jeremiah 3:6 which I think backs up the idea that a 'harlot' is a religious institution:

    In the days of King Jo·si′ah,+ Jehovah said to me: “‘Have you seen what unfaithful Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and underneath every luxuriant tree to commit prostitution.+ 7 Even after she did all these things, I kept telling her to return to me,+ but she did not return; and Judah kept watching her treacherous sister.+ 8 When I saw that, I sent unfaithful Israel away with a full certificate of divorce+ because of her adultery.+ But her treacherous sister Judah did not become afraid; she too went out and committed prostitution.+ 9 She took her prostitution lightly, and she kept polluting the land and committing adultery with stones and with trees


    (stones and trees are likely references to idols, 'gods' carved by their makers)

    Read Ez 13:26-end here for more: http://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/nwt/books/ezekiel/16/#v26016001

    Jesus brought 'new wine'.

    Babylon the Great made people drunk with the wine of her fornication.

    Spiritual fornication -> wine -> 'drunk' -> blind / asleep / drunk Christians
     
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    SingleCell

    SingleCell Experienced Member

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    Bad timing my friend!

    I'm *supposed* to be working :) So my posting is getting a bit scattered trying to get responses in.

    There is a LOT to be said here, which I'll get to hopefully tonight!
     
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    Utuna

    Utuna Administrator

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    MOTHER

    In Hebrew, as in English, a nation is considered as a mother, and individuals as her children (Isa 1:1; Jer 1:12; Ezek 19:2; Hos 2:4; 4:5); so our 'mother-country,' which is quite as good as 'father-land,' which we seem beginning to copy from the Germans. Large and important cities are also called mothers, i.e., 'mother-cities' (comp. metropolis, from the Greek), with reference to the dependent towns and villages (2 Sam 20:19), or even to the inhabitants, who are called her children (Isa 3:12; 49:23). 'The parting of the way, at the head of two ways' (Ezek 11:21), is in the Hebrew 'the mother of the way,' because out of it the two ways arise as daughters. In Job 1:21 the earth is indicated as the common mother, to whose bosom all mankind must return.'" The term is also applied to a city as the parent or source of wickedness and abominations; as "Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots " (Rev 17:5). The Church, as the Bride, is spoken of as the mother of believers (Isa 49:14-22; 56:8-13; Ps 87:5,6; Gal 4:22,21); and the sentiment, at once so mild and so tender, which unites the mother to her child is often alluded to in the sacred volume to illustrate the love of God to his people (Isa 44:1-8; 56:6-14; 1 Cor 3:1,2; 1 Thess 2:7; 2 Cor 11:2).
    (from McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia, Electronic Database. Copyright © 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006)
     
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    Utuna

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    MOTHER

    The concept of mother was sometimes used in other, more figurative ways. Nations were sometimes thought of as mothers. The prophet Ezekiel used mother as a metaphor for Israel. After being nurtured and cared for by their "mother," the "princes of Israel" brought shame upon her by their idolatrous practices (Ezek 19). Jeremiah used the concept of Israel as mother to personify the nation's sin (Jer 50:12-13), while Hosea made it a continuing theme of his prophecies.

    The word mother was sometimes used to describe large and important cities. The city of Abel of Beth Maachah was called "a mother in Israel" (2 Sam 20:19). A city was also a mother in terms of its influence. Babylon was called "the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth" (Rev 17:5).
    (from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
     
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    SingleCell

    SingleCell Experienced Member

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    That is certainly one way of translating 'mother' - a 'nurturing agent'.

    And I would tend to agree, but the idea that she is the mother of prostitutes and disgusting things, seems to imply a different reading.

    Especially considering Israel was called a prostitute when she 'dealt falsely with Jehovah'.

    So one way of reading this: BTG is the progenitor of prostituting 'women' churches.

    ----

    Even if you reject that reasoning, what about the idea that Jehovah's people are 'in her'?

    Are Jehovah's people in pagan religions?

    [as noted, you could read this as 'his people' in a future sense]

    I would say no. They are either Christians or Jews.
     
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    Utuna

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    I can't retrieve the comment which I had quoted once, which said that capital cities (Rv17:18) were called "mothers" of all the other smaller ones in the country.

    What I mean here is that that "city" is called the mother because it's a capital "city", the greatest ever in opposition to Jehovah. It's the other way round from your opinion. In my opinion, it will be the last, but not the least.... It is connected with the Antichrist, whoever it may be or whatever shape he may be under.

    That "city" will be the climax of Satan's works in order to deceive mankind and the chosen ones in particular. It being a women stands in contrast with Jesus' bride... Which one will have the upper hand....?

    It's already 23h00 here so I'm going to call it a day so you can work as you wish to and so I can get some sleep... ;)

    La nuit porte conseil...

    More to come tomorrow !!! ;)
     
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    SingleCell

    SingleCell Experienced Member

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    Sleep-tight YOU tuna! :eek:

    Conjecture:

    If this deception is targeting believers, and the 'chosen', then will it be some obvious non-Christ 'new-age'-conception?

    Or will it be a 'great deception' which even the chosen could fall into, taking the form of a false Christ?


    And if a false Christ, wouldn't the largest Christian church, holding 1.2 billion of "my people" be able to pull-off the ultimate scam to convince the world that Christ has indeed 'returned' and 'chosen' them (ecumenicism is preparing people for this!) by posing as the ultimate 'woman', who is actually a prostitute?

    I would say yes; and the Catholic church fulfills a number of attributes describing this 'woman'.

    ----


    The only problem I have with this framework, is how can the Catholic Church be said to be riding 7 headed beast?

    A possible idea, conception becomes institution: (conception) Babylonian religious ideas -> (conception) Jewish Babylon Talmud -> (institution) Roman Catholic Church.

    Or does she need to have been present for all of the heads? What if she was there for 2 heads? Would she still be seen at the future time as 'sitting on a scarlet-colored wild beast that was full of blasphemous names and that had seven heads and ten horns.'?
     
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    Utuna

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    Dear SingleCell,

    The JWs aren't inside anymore of the Catholic Church or of the pagan religions. They can't get out of something they aren't already inside of, unless the JWs are still inside of the false religion, which I tend to agree with somehow. The BTG can't then be the Catholic Church or any other religious entity. As I often say, the JWs are in the less wrong religious system so far, as the Truth hasn't been revealed yet in its entirety, as we all know. Which means that BTG is still to come and that it is something way bigger than the mere Catholic church. Furthermore, in the Bible, Israel gets under the Babylonian/Roman yoke because of a God-given punishment due to its unfaithfulness. The JWs haven't been chastized yet, despite the hogwash of the GB in that regard. The punishment, captivity and release are yet to come.

    However, the Bible says that the whole earth and the kings therein will drink the harlot's Kool-Aid. Given the status of Christianity in the world today (India, China, etc), it'll either be a powerful Christ-like character (who will overcome every sorts of lacks of faith) or a secular world power which will be able to achieve unthinkable scientific achievements to us nowadays. If we consider how fast scientific knowledge is making progress these days (genetics, bionics, etc), our world will be another one just 50 years in the future from now. I tend to prefer the second alternative.

    Besides, what puzzles me is that BTG is strongly related to business and prosperity, which the religions of this world aren't the guarantee anymore. Granted, it may have a relation with religion, but there is, in my opinion, much more to it.

    You know how much I make the connection between BTG, the King of Babylon/Tyre, and the man of lawlessness (which is another way to call the Gentiles, the heathen, the lawless ones). There are too many similitudes for it to be a coincidence, in my opinion.

    Please read : "and they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations, until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled." - Luke 21:24

    The harlot may be the epitome of an heathen* empire which will manage for a short while to make God's promises come true through sheer human ways.

    * in contrast with God's kingdom and its 144 000 co-heirs.

    I took a few minutes more to develop my reasoning a bit further. I don't care about being proved wrong and I'll never be dogmatic in my thinking. There are other explanations in relation with BTG which I think are tenable although there are things therein that keep bugging me. Mine is more all-encompassing, somehow, even if I haven't figured everything out.

    Now, I have some ZZzzzz to catch up with... :p
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    You forget one thing brother, chronology... :) Let's say that chronology in scripture says that the society goes down at the beginning of the 1260 days, "as I'm sure you agree" but that Babylon the great does not go down till after the end of those 1260 days. So therefore, without the Watchtower society around there will no doubt be many that will attend other churches. Besides the fact it can be said that Jehovah's people are being held captive by Babylon because she is part of the entity that comes against Gods people. (Rev 11) She will also be a part of the entity that kills the two Witnesses... (And yes the physical death of these two 1260 days after the constant feature is removed.)
     
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    SingleCell

    SingleCell Experienced Member

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    Your posts are making me reconsider a few things as well, thanks brother J-stone.

    (not to mention go into much greater detail)

    So perhaps the 'ecumenical' movement are a hint we're moving towards a re-convening of the harlot, and her 'prostitute' children into the WCORL / false Christ for the culmination of this mystery.
     
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    SingleCell

    SingleCell Experienced Member

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    To clarify, I believe "Jehovah's people" are all who profess faith in Christ, and have some 'work' (James) to show for that faith.

    In that regard, I whole-heartedly disagree with the WTBS regarding who a 'true Christian' is; and disagree that JWs are 'calling people out of her' in regards to this prophecy, as they suggest.

    [but perhaps will, post-judgment of the house of God]

    (in other words: doctrinal nuance a Christian does not make, and Jehovah's use of JWs does not invalidate the faith of other Christians, anymore than Jehovah's use of Judah invalidated other tribes)

    ------ that said! -----

    "The harlot may be the epitome of an heathen* empire which will manage for a short while to make God's promises come true through sheer human ways." - Utuna

    (I'm sorry for the following leading questions)

    But why is she a harlot? Why is she a she? How can she be said to have made people drunk from her wine? What does wine symbolize? What fornication? What prostitution?

    Why will the sound of a 'bride' not be found in her? Why doesn't she have a lamp? Why did she MAKE people wealthy through her fornication and luxury?

    I think the answer to all of these questions comes back to "spiritual institution". The history of the Catholic Church is such a stark fulfillment of this that I have to question the understanding, because it's almost too obvious.

    (Enter Joshua's thoughts on the world church council)

    All the major 'check-boxes' are checked on her application for false religious institution!
     
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    Utuna

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    If God's people are the anointed ones, Christ's brothers and by extension, the GC, it is unthinkable that they may belong back again to any Church of Christendom. The example of the three Hebrews in the book of Daniel is telling enough in that regard.

    The sheep may be scattered around after the bad shepherds are stricken but God's people as a whole will not go back to false religion. In a pinch, if your scenario is correct, that call to get out of her may involve those of the GC who will not have been spiritually "enlightened" before that moment. Therefore, I only agree with that sentence of yours if it is phrased this way :

    So therefore, without the Watchtower society around there will no doubt be many that will STILL attend other churches.
     
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    Utuna

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    I agree with your disagreement... lol

    In my opinion, stricto sensu, God's people are the anointed ones and by extension, the Great Crowd, as we usually call it. But until "the revealing of the sons of God" takes place, both entities are prospective only. With the 1914 dogma excepted, the gist of what the brothers had understood back then was correct. Their application of the prophecies was mostly correct but premature. As time proved them wrong on chronological grounds, the GB then started to twist their former correct interpretations in order to make them match with reality.

    If the 1914 dogma is wrong, then everything is still as it was before that date regarding the fulfillment of prophecies related to the time of the end. The jury is still out... However, I tend to think that the truths rediscovered on doctrinal grounds by the JWs as a whole are meaningful indeed ! Something's cooking...? ;)

    As for your questions, please keep in mind that the book of Revelation is mainly a patchwork of different prophecies and symbols/types recorded in previous books. The prophecies in the book of Rv are echos of many prophecies recorded in other books, especially Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel.

    "And now hear this, you pleasure-given [woman], the one sitting in security, the one saying in her heart: “I am, and there is nobody else. I shall not sit as a widow, and I shall not know the loss of children." - Is47:8

    Here, the husband is either her king or her god. She pretends that her god (false god, riches, science, military forces, etc) will never let her down (Jr51:17-18) or her king (see verses below) will remain forever. Her children are her followers, the figurative inhabitants of her empire.

    "“‘“For the reason that your heart has become haughty, and you keep saying, ‘I am a god. In the seat of god I have seated myself, in the heart of the open sea,’ whereas an earthling man is what you are, and not a god, and you keep making your heart like the heart of god— look! you are wiser than Daniel. There are no secrets that have proved a match for you. By your wisdom and by your discernment you have made wealth for your own self, and you keep getting gold and silver in your storehouses. By the abundance of your wisdom, by your sales goods, you have made your wealth abound, and your heart began to be haughty because of your wealth.â€â€™" - Ez 28:2-5

    “O woman residing on abounding waters, abundant in treasures, your end has come, the measure of your profit making." - Jr 51:13

    "For this is what Jehovah the God of Israel said to me: “Take this cup of the wine of rage out of my hand, and you must make all the nations to whom I am sending you drink it. And they must drink and shake back and forth and act like crazed men because of the sword that I am sending among them.â€" - Jr25:15-16

    "Babylon has been a golden cup in the hand of Jehovah, she making all the earth drunk. From her wine the nations have drunk. That is why the nations keep acting crazed." - Jr51:7

    Regarding the bride and the lamp, I think that the obvious meaning is that the continuation of life will cease, that there will be no more rejoicing in her. Deep darkness will be her future and this, forever.

    Why did she make people wealthy ? In order to lure them, to carry out her satanic agenda, to distract people from the presence of God's kingdom through Christ's brothers.

    As I already said, the harlot may have a religious component but the latter doesn't stand out so much as expected in the book of Rv. According to Jeremiah, the main reason for which God wants to destroy her is because she has the blood of his people on her hands, and also because of the bloodshed that she made the nations that served her do because of them having drunk her "Kool-Aid" :

    "“Neb·u·chad·rez′zar the king of Babylon has eaten me up; he has thrown me into confusion. He has set me as an empty vessel. He has swallowed me down like a big snake; he has filled his abdomen with my pleasant things. He has rinsed me away. ‘The violence done to me and [to] my organism be upon Babylon!’ the inhabitress of Zion will say. ‘And my blood be upon the inhabitants of Chal·de′a!’ Jerusalem will say.â€" - Jr51:34-35

    "And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the holy ones and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus." - Rv 17:6

    "O how the forge hammer of all the earth has been cut down and gets broken! O how Babylon has become a mere object of astonishment among the nations! " - Jr50:23

    "For he has executed judgment upon the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication, and he has avenged the blood of his slaves at her hand.â€" - Rv19:2

    As for her being clothed with gold, pearls and arrayed in purple and scarlet, it just denotes wealth and power. Purple (=>Tyrian purple) was the color of Royalty, of kings, emperors, etc.

    Where is it written that the harlot is such because it was formerly God's organization, or perverted Christians and because the fornication is mainly a spiritual one ?

    Interestingly, if I dared push my reasoning a little bit further, it would start looking like Robert's interpretations, maybe in that the harlot might be something akin to the financial and commercial world power over the earth, whose capital city would be London, etc. It's also notorious that the kings of the earth have relinquished their political authority to the advantage of the finance tycoons. Although I disagree with Robert's conclusions related to all of this, mainly because I'm allergic to conspiracy theories, his logical reasoning is airtight. And I whole-heartedly give him that !
     
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    SingleCell

    SingleCell Experienced Member

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    Great reasoning and scripture citing Utuna.

    So with BTG equating to a political empire, let me ask:

    How can it be said that 'she rides on the back' of the 7-headed beast? Doesn't that indicate an already existing visible institution?

    Do you see BTG as a sub-group operating above the nation-state system? (as you mentioned, Robert's "London oligarchy")

    ------

    "Babylon has been a golden cup in the hand of Jehovah, she making all the earth drunk. From her wine the nations have drunk. That is why the nations keep acting crazed." - Jr51:7

    My other 'challenge' to your post is what does the 'wine' represent here? Isn't it false spiritual knowledge which spread out from Babylon that made the 'nations' act crazed?

    Or can wine be both spiritual knowledge, and the 'sum total' of a judgement / behavior? (the 'wine of God's rage' and the war-making 'wine' of Babylon?)
     
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    Joshuastone7

    Joshuastone7 Administrator Staff Member

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    Has not Jehovah's people been kept captive throughout scripture? From Egypt, Babylon it'self, etc? I could see this as a pretty easy concept to think that sense BTG is one of the entities of the beast that comes against Gods people that it can be said they are being held by them.

    Again, I would have to use the examples such as Daniel, though a man of God he was being held in Babylon was he not? Now whether Jehovah is referring to those who have not been enlightened as you say may be debatable. We must remember however that once those ones receive the mark of the beast, of witch BTG is part of they are doomed.

    So I would ask you this. What is meant by "my people"? “Get out of her, my people, if YOU do not want to share with her in her sins, and if YOU do not want to receive part of her plagues" (Rev 18:4)
     
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    Utuna

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    Just a few words more so I make sure that one of my previous point is understood properly. I'm sorry but I know that I may inadvertently be too elliptic so I'm trying to make up for it the best I can.

    When the war in Iraq started, the battle was named "the Mother of all the battles". Here, it is obvious that the meaning, just as it was meant by John in the first century (please see quotations about it), was that the battle in 1991 wasn't the first ever, supposedly followed by others (like a mother with her children), etc. The meaning was that that battle was the greatest ever, the decisive one !!!

    My point is that "the mother of the harlots and of the disgusting things of the earth" is the greatest ever, the epitome, the paragon of everything that can represent that which is despicable and abject in God's eyes. Here is my opinion about it being connected with the Antichrist, and the MOL as its king...

    Dear SingleCell, I'm afraid I won't be able to write long posts before Sunday. My professional and personal timetable is going to be tough... I know that you have enjoyed my thread entitled "The Fear and the Fault". I read a chapter of a new book yesterday about Paul's understanding of Sin vis-à-vis* of the Law. The bottom line is "The greatest sin, as Paul came to understand it, is to think that we are just in God's eyes thanks to our works" (Rom. 7:21-25) Those who think that salvation is through works and spiritual elitism are spiritually anxious, misunderstanding the ins and the outs of Jesus' message and downplaying the importance of his death. Salvation is a gift, no one can get it through works. The race to perfection, as advertised by some knuckle-dragging and Bible-thumping bigots, is a trompe-l'oeil*.... a spiritual mirage*... I'm going to write a summary of it the sooner possible.

    *My E/F dictionary says that this French expression/word is also used in English so, I'm using it.... :p
     
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    SingleCell

    SingleCell Experienced Member

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    I'm with you my friend.

    Particularly this idea "Those who think that salvation is through works and spiritual elitism are spiritually anxious, misunderstanding the ins and the outs of Jesus' message and downplaying the importance of his death. Salvation is a gift, no one can get it through works."

    Regarding BTG, I can't take a hard stance on anything. Your framework makes sense, (i think) my framework makes sense.

    But it's all nonsense :)

    [at least until fulfillment]

    But we shouldn't give up! This is the 'intelligent' one understanding - thinking, praying, hashing it out with brothers/sisters, etc.

    What I think we (who are interested) should do, is put together a conceptual framework whereby we do an "if (this) then (that)" series of statements, and see where we land.


    How that takes shape I'm not sure; but my programming skills could probably help, so maybe I'll throw something together that allows us to label a cohesive scriptural framework, and various permutations of the framework.

    Then we can "10,000 ft view" the framework and view the logically / scripturally cohesive conception.
     
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    Utuna

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    Being held captive by them isn't the same thing as belonging to them. Moreover, although they were part of the political system of Babylon, they would rather have died than defile themselves with the Babylonian religion.
     
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    wallflower

    wallflower Moderator

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    I like the sound of that. Myself, I'm not real bright in the prophetic side of things so I probably wouldn't be adding to it much. But being able to read the differing viewpoints was a help to me on this thread. I think other readers would benefit also.

    Wallflower
     

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