Dear Associates, Students and Friends:
This month’s article is "The Prophetic Future of Iraq," a timely subject given present world circumstances. Dr. Ernest Martin gave it as a taped lecture in 1991. The subject of Babylon, its activities and eventual destruction are the topics of the lecture.
Keep in mind while you read the article, that what will be occurring in the Middle East, in Iraq, in Israel, and what will happen in the future reconstruction of Babylon, all revolves around the world’s participation and final culmination of the Babylonian system. This Babylonian structure is basically a system of commerce. The "new world order" of the ancient world that Jeremiah the prophet foretold was inaugurated by God through Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, the Head of Gold of the Babylonian image. The main difference between the old system and the new was that the Babylonian system was a commercial system that greatly strengthened rulers in their subjugation of native and foreign peoples.
How can I say that? It is simple. Read Zechariah 5:1–11 (where the ephah is a commercial measure of trade), combine that passage with the two distinct views of Babylon in Revelation chapter 17 and chapter 18, along with the verses mentioned in this article. Clearly Babylon is a system controlling the kings of the earth by commercial factors, as well as being a moral, religious system. The great whore will not only commit fornication with the kings of the earth (Revelation 17:2 and 18:3, compare with Jeremiah 25:15–16 & 51:7 and Zechariah 5:6–11) but, "The woman which thou saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth" (Revelation 17:18). The kings of the earth will be ruled by some aspect of this woman who represents commerce unbridled by law. This will be made plain in this and other ASK articles. 1 Note what B.W. Newton wrote some 150 years ago,
[of Zechariah chapter 5] can be the harbinger of anything but good? … [I]f the ‘material’ interests of the human family are to be made the supreme object of pursuit, it is no wonder that God and revealed Truth should be excluded from such consolidation. Such will be the result of the new germinant principles of this rising age of commercial greatness."
"Let commerce be supreme. Its influences are benign and gentle. It gives scope to the energies of man. It ennobles and enriches. It cherishes science; it encourages art; it stimulates research. It diffuses wealth and banishes penury. It breathes of peace and concord. It is the panacea for our ills. Who, then, will condemn commerce? Who will say that the ephah
Newton, Thoughts on the Apocalypse, p. 278–279, 2 emphasis mine
When economic success and prosperity is great, and worldwide in benefit, then people are seduced away to things other than God. Satan seduces more successfully with prosperity and order than with persecution and chaos. Truth, honesty and righteousness are set aside when prosperity abounds. The reconstruction of Babylon will be no small matter. It will be called a "great city" seven times (Revelation 14:8, 16:19, 17:18, 18:10, 16, 19 and 21) and "great Babylon" once (Revelation 16:19).
The greatest commercial nation in the history of the world, the United States, at present seeks to "liberate" Iraq. This will result — eventually — in the transformation of Iraq (and Babylon) into a great commercial center. While we cannot understand when it will take place, we can know for certain that it will take place. Also, while we cannot know the outcome of the present confrontation we can be assured that great prosperity and success will attend Babylon and the region, parallel to the conversion and reconciliation in Jerusalem. See Zechariah the sequence of events in chapters 12–14. As B.W. Newton wrote,
"But this system, it must be remembered, is in the fullest sense to be a ruling system; that is, it will not be merely a morally influential system which kings and governors may be glad to use; but it will be a system that will use them, and make them subservient to its will. The beast having ten horns carries the woman. This willing subjection of the executive organs of government is a peculiarly distinguishing feature in the Babylonian period."
Newton, Thoughts, p. 274, emphasis Newton’s
As you read this article refer to the timeline of events under discussion to gain perspective of time:
Date of Presentation Topic Isaiah 8th century B.C.E. Prophecies of Babylon’s destruction Jeremiah 6th century B.C.E. Prophecies of Babylon’s destruction Daniel 6th century B.C.E. Prophecies of Babylon’s destruction Revelation 1st century C.E. Prophecies of Babylon’s destruction B.W. Newton 19th century C.E. Wrote on Iraq & Babylon Ernest Martin 1970 Trip to Iraq Ernest Martin 1975 Wrote "Rebirth of Babylon" article Ernest Martin February 1991 Date of this lecture Ernest Martin April 2003 Date of this transcript
Housekeeping details. We decided to postpone "Hell" and "Damnation" (so to speak) until later, perhaps June. Important current events required that more timely information to be presented. The articles for May will deal with various factors in the religion of Islam.
Responses to our ASK Website makeover have been most encouraging, as has been the reliability and bug-free implementation of the changes. Many thanks to our Webmaster, Chip Chuprinko.
We begin the second cycle of the book The Tithing Dilemma free on the ASK Website. The book The ABC’s of the Gospel is approaching its first complete cycle on the Website. One chapter per week of these books is presented so you can learn the important information that Dr. Martin wrote about in a timely manner, one chapter at a time.
Soon we will put up chapter-by-chapter the entire book The People That History Forgot. This surprising gem of a book, in its extended 2nd edition, essentially relates the history of Gnosticism, the heresy that has plagued Christianity and Judaism since the 1st century C.E. Starting with the mystery of Jewish synagogues that seemingly contain pagan and occult symbols totally out of line with contemporary writings and thought, Dr. Martin traces the history of the Samaritans, Gnosticism and paganism as it counterfeits Judaism and then Christianity to result in the "Churchianity" that we have today in the so-called Christian orthodoxy. This book will be presented with an Introduction and 19 chapters.
Our thanks go out to all of you — and to God — for all that you have done through your prayers, encouragement and contributions. You have truly "held our hands up" so that the work of producing the truth of the Gospel can go forward little by little, bit by bit. God will use the excellent information from ASK in the ways that He sees fit, bringing it to the attention of people who need it, and making contacts for us and each other, in ways that some day we will find truly amazing. Each of us has a role by asking God to continue blessing this endeavor. God wants us to ask, even though He knows what we need, it is always good to ask. Thank you so much.
David W. Sielaff
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