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Ripped Away

Written by Marie Jon

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December 14, 2008
By Marie Jon

Imagine being suddenly ripped away from your home and left standing in an unfamiliar place that completely contradicted your way of life. The extreme pressures are overwhelming. You find yourself in a society that you were never raised to believe in and that no one can sufficiently explain. One could describe the feeling as an unfavorable.

I'm afraid that many people living in our country are feeling just this way. The horrendous, rapid pace of social change is throwing us off balance. It seems that we're living in a different place.

What has happened to America?  Our social mores and values are being redefined. What can be done?

Christians have to resist these dramatic changes because they do not conform to the teachings of a loving yet firm God. "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters." (Luke 11:23)

At a recent Bible study class I was asked if I would be ready to die for my faith. My response was "absolutely not." The thought of dying doesn't appeal to me. However, I believe if that moment were to actually come, God would give me the courage to do it rather than denying my Lord.

Have you ever wondered if you had it in you to become a martyr, ready to die for your faith? While going through the prophecies of the Bible, I found an answer that gave me hope. It's a powerful thought that provides an unmovable confidence. No matter what might come my way, I can face it. Here is that prophecy and true the story that helped me reach my conclusion.

There once lived a young man named Daniel, who was just eighteen years old. This exemplary teenager could inspire many to get up early on the Lord's Day and attend their churches' weekly Bible classes.

Total strangers approached Daniel. They meant him no good, to say the least. The city he once lived in was totally wiped out. All the beautiful homes that once stood in his neighborhood were left in smoldering ruins. He and his friends and neighbors were bound in chains and unwillingly taken off to a land where everyone spoke in a strange language and held strange customs.

And oddly enough, this uncanny happening was pre-told in the written Word. The Israelites knew it was coming. The dramatic fulfillment of an old prediction was made clear to them by the prophet Isaiah years before it happened. Look at 2 Kings 17-20; Isaiah predicted:

"‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,' says the Lord."

Everything that took place was exactly as Isaiah had predicted.  Sometime between 606 and 605 B.C., the Babylonian armies overtook the royal city of Jerusalem and laid it to destruction.

Daniel was just one member of the royal family who became a victim of another ruler of ancient times. The entire family was carried away in chains, along with Daniel's neighbors. They were forced to march hundreds of miles across the burning desert to the city of Babylon. They felt humiliated because they were subjected to the shame of slavery.

Daniel was placed into servitude in the home of a pagan king. While most young men would begin living their adult lives, he became nothing more than a slave. Daniel felt helpless. What was there to look forward to?

However, as bad as that was, his personal situation could have been a whole lot worse. At least he was not put to work in the fields or forced to work in a rock quarry.

Daniel was given a job in the palace of the king. One of the first things he was asked to do was graduate from the Royal University of Babylon.

King Nebuchadnezzar had an extraordinary master plan for world domination. The king took the brightest and the best, and put them through his own universities so that they would learn to think like the Babylonians and rule over the conquered Israelites.

Over time, the king knew that the people of Israel would settle in to their new way of life. By using Daniel he felt assured his brilliant strategy would work. He counted on no uprisings against his Babylonian kingdom. Rather than beat, starve or use other cruel measures to isolate and alienate his captives, Nebuchadnezzar's plan was to simply absorb them into the empire.

It is a plan that is being used today right here in the United States of America. It's much easier for the ungodly to entice people into open sin by changing the way they think. It's better than fighting them tooth and nail.

One way to achieve silencing any opposition is by telling our school age children that Darwinism is the be all and end all. There is no open debate allowed in the sciences for "Intelligent Design", (see clip below) neither in grade school, high school, nor universities of higher education.
 

Today, we sadly find ourselves in a rapidly changing world. Values are changing. The world is telling us that nothing is right or wrong, and that everything's a matter of personal preferences.

Like the Trojan Horse, we allow the entertainment media into our homes. Today's Pop music is seductive and devoid of morals. The melodies and the lyrics are no longer about boy meets girl and puppy love. It is any wonder why our society is spinning out of control?

Our teenagers are encouraged to become sexually active. Our public schools allow Planned Parenthood to pass out free condoms and birth control pills. However, babies are still being born out of wedlock, and worse, abortion on demand has hardened our society. There is no remorse connected with aborting an unwanted pregnancy. 

While evil seems to chase God's people, some lose their way and peacefully join the ranks of the secular progressive way of life. It's  perfectly fine to allow the gay community to dictate to the rest of society regarding their version of marital Nirvana.

The Babylonian education program was much like our own public school system. They were lacking in the moral values of the God of the Bible. Our faith will not grow if we can't call the words of God to mind. America needs to become known as the people of the Bible. It's our heritage, and we're losing it.

During the time of his captivity, Daniel exhibited special qualities of intelligence. Given the choice between working in the rock quarries all day or attending the best schools the Babylonians had to offer, the choice was a no-brainier. However, the Bible unfolds the rest of the story. In spite of the cushy living conditions, Daniel didn't have it so easy. He faced much greater difficulties in the opulent palace.

One would believe that Daniel took a big sigh of relief, thankful that his prison sentence wasn't any worse. But even at his young age, he had common sense and could see past the luxurious perks. Daniel recognized that Nebuchadnezzar wanted to change everything he stood for.

Little by little, Israelites were stripped of everything that made them Hebrews. They were unwillingly given new names. In our day and age, that doesn't seem like a bad thing. People change their names all the time. Many immigrants took on slight changes to their last names as they entered Ellis Island.  Not so in the ancient world. To change your name was to change your character. Your name represented who you were and what you stood for.

Parents chose their children's names very carefully. They wholeheartedly believed that your name would dictate your course in life. Your name would help shape your character. The right name would give you a better chance at a good life.

The king of Babylon wanted to change the character of every Hebrew. So he simply changed their names and sat back to see the fruits of his labor. (Daniel 1:6, 7 NKJV):

"Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. to them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego."

Originally, Daniel's name meant, "God is my judge." Hananiah meant "Jehovah (or Yahweh) is gracious." Mishael means "the one who belongs to God," and Azariah means "Jehovah helps."

The young men were named as a special tribute to The Almighty. Because Nebuchadnezzar didn't want them to remember their Hebrew religion, he removed their identity and gave them pagan names of Babylonian gods instead.

Belteshazzar became Daniel's new name. The king brazenly believed he had won the battle over the human mind. His strongest weapon was the ability to make people accept the culture of the general population. The reason we find the city of Babylon all through Bible prophecy is because of its powerful symbol of religious confusion, especially in the last days.

The Book of Revelation describes a people who have become drunk with the wine of Babylon. People who will be alive to see the Second Coming of Christ are found immersed in false teachings and bad philosophy. Liberal doctrines lead them astray, thus their moral judgments will leave them seriously impaired.

Some Christians have taken a lesson from the Babylonians by mixing God's truth with error. They are no longer able think for themselves. (Thessalonians2:7): "The mystery of iniquity doth already work," and it's happening today.

The ancient empire of Babylon was built on the ruins of the tower of Babel. After the flood, the human race became very haughty. They build a monument to their greatness. However, The Almighty put a stop to it by confusing their language. Even today, the word "Babel" or "Babylon" means unintelligible gibberish.

The Bible speaks of a special end time message that goes to the entire world. (Revelation 14:8 NKJV):

"And another angel followed, saying, ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen."

The prophecy can't possibly be referring to the literal ancient city of Babylon, because the old ancient city has been gone for centuries. God says that Babylon will never be rebuilt: Isaiah 13.

Just before the end time, however, "spiritual" Babylon will prevail over the citizens of the world. They will find themselves in a state of religious confusion. The scriptures portray a very sad picture of where the human race is heading. Within the opening chapter of the Book of Daniel, one can envision the issues that Daniel was facing and we see a little glimpse of what we are going to face as time goes by.

The secular progressives of today are trying to woo us to their way of thinking, just as the Babylonians tried with an eighteen-year-old. Daniel was continually tempted; his lifestyle and religious beliefs were under fire.

In today's world, our morals have been thrown to the wayside. We are bombarded on a daily basis with the temptation to conform. Everything changes in direct opposition to the Word of God. The amazing thing is that it was all predicted in the book of Revelation: (Revelation 18:3, 4 NKJV)

"‘For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.' And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.'"

There is a Holy Spirit clarion call going out to America and to the world. Christian activism calls for a people who will stand tall and true. There is more at stake than ever before. Liberalism undermines America. It compromises our convictions, while many wander away from God. Secularism often equals atheism. They offer every evil under the sun without condemnation or shame. 

In your heart, you know that this is true. There is a part of you that remembers what life was like when people still believed in their faith, and you know that you would like to stand up for what's right. You have a desire to never throw in the towel.

If what you feel is righteous indignation, then hold fast. Cling to Jesus. You can walk away from every temptation that this world has to offer, and live a life with no regrets.

The story of Daniel tells us what we can do. Against all odds, anyone can stand for God. If only more Christians embraced the "Daniel approach" to life, maybe this world wouldn't be in the compromising moral mess it finds itself in.

Men and women, with a strong determination and the help of the Word of God, must stand against the falsehoods of spiritual Babylon.

Become part of the answer, and not the problem. Begin today. Allow the voice of Jesus to call you to stand firm while ignoring worldliness. Understand that He is leading you to make something better out of your life. Get on your knees and pray that you may feel His gentle touch. Crave the kind inner strength that a young man once had in the palace of a pagan king.

Will you pray and ask God to help you stand firm?


ishtar_gate.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIKvhPNDMWc

The Ishtar Gate of Babylon was built during the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar II (604- 562 BC). The foundations of the gate were discovered between 1899 and 1914, including numerous glazed bricks and unglazed figures. The gate resides at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.

Related Reading: 

Babylon: The Jewel of the Semites-Youtube
 

Exhibition in Berlin- Babylon

Take a tour of Babylon: Flickr Photos Marie Jon' is a political/religious-based writer. She is the founder of www.DrawingClose.org/-a sister website to RenewAmerica. Marie extends her hand of welcome. Come visit her website and receive your free gift of salvation by taking an on line Bible study. She personally invites you to join Christians from all over the world by becoming a free member of GOD Fellowship http://www.gofellowship.com/ The site is a nondenominational gathering of believers.

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