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Chapter 29

The Euphrates River wound its way for 2500 kilometres, forming the north eastern border of the land promised by God to Abraham and his descendants.(1) In ancient times this great river separated armies, hindering their advance. In recent years, dams had been built, making the river almost dry at some times of the year. Now it, like other rivers, had completely dried up removing any barrier or border between east and west. (2) Macro and Warwick looked out across the wide parched river bed, as Satan joined them in his usual blaze of sinister glory, drawing his flowing cape up over his mouth. When he removed it, he exhaled loudly and a demonic spirit came out of his mouth. Macro and Warwick were given the same power and mimicked Satan. Two more evil spirits joined the first. They were sent to bring many armies to Armageddon.(3)

 

Babylon had been partly rebuilt out of its neglected ruins, using some of the original bricks.(4) Nebuchadnezzar's palace was partially restored, but the largest palace in Babylon was the one built by Iraq's dictator. Money gained from the export of petroleum, natural gas, phosphates and sulphur, made him a very wealthy man, in spite of his country's huge international debt. Iraq was the apple of his eye. It was mostly made up of plains, with mountains along its borders with Iran and Turkey. The climate was mild to cool in winter with hot dry summers that he loved. Over the years, salinisation and erosion had reduced the amount of agricultural land available. To add to this dilemma, the great Euphrates River joined the Tigris and emptied a trickle of filth and pollution into the Persian Gulf. There was a severe labour crisis in Iraq, since the Republic decreed all able bodied citizens must enlist in one of the armed services at the age of eighteen. The country's striped red white and black flag, embellished with three five pointed stars on a white band, fluttered from many rooftops in a show of bravado and strength. Babylon was a godless, materialistic city where luxurious mansions and apartments housed wealthy people and merchants. Tourists rode escalators to the top of a huge glass tower that reached skywards. The once lush parks and gardens, planted with flowers and shrubs, were now brown and barren. Everything was dead in this city where corrupt businessmen and politicians grew richer. They used or exploited others on their way to fame and fortune. The stock exchange here, like those around the world had become defunct, and public ownership was a thing of the past. Dictatorial leaders did all their money dealings in private rooms.


Babylon was Macro's capital now his work in Jerusalem was finished for the time being. He and Warwick glanced out through the tinted grey windows of their luxury apartment on the thirty-third floor. At the same time, they had one eye on the multi-media set which was reporting giant earthquakes around the world. Mountains had been flattened and islands had disappeared into the sea, changing the topography of the world. In earthquake prone areas like Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Japan, there were massive disruptions, with big cities disappearing into the sea under giant tidal waves. The other side of the Pacific ocean had not escaped either. The San Andreas fault line near Los Angeles had suddenly moved nearly one metre. Freeways and skyscrapers constructed to withstand earthquakes above 7.5 on the Richter scale, had fallen as though pushed over by a giant hand. Further north, in ice prone areas, giant icebergs thrashed themselves into fishing ports, crushing ships along frosty shores.
Suddenly, their multimedia set went black. A flare of lightning zig-zagged to earth. More flashes were followed by claps of deafening thunder. The building shook and Macro and Warwick knew this was more than just a thunderstorm. Just as their elevator reached the ground floor, an earthquake greater than any ever registered ripped the city apart. Giant hailstones, bigger than basketballs, smashed into the huge glass viewing tower, shattering every pane. Pieces slithered to the ground, killing everyone in their path.(5 ) Macro and Warwick fled the city minutes before their great capital and empire lay in ruins. People once again cursed God as huge hailstones became lethal weapons, injuring and killing many. They said God was destroying their great city. Wealth and luxury were no longer bedmates.(6)


While much of the world mourned the destruction of Babylon, God's people rejoiced, not because people were killed, but because they knew this was part of His judgement on those who continued to reject Him. Many nations hated Jesus and His followers. These people were sure Macro and Satan could withstand any army, whether of man or God.  Now Babylon had fallen, Macro and Warwick were forced to return to their headquarters in Jerusalem. Macro spoke arrogantly to top military men gathered there.


"As we flew from Babylon we saw many armies marching through Galilee towards Megiddo, joining others from all nations. The arms of war stretch out from the Mediterranean Sea, to the hills of southern Jordan. Fleets are anchored in the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean.(7) Warwick, wanting to take part in this meeting, interrupted, "Missile planes sit in readiness on the decks of carriers and air forces of all nations are ready to strike."
Macro and Warwick's followers celebrated when they knew war was eminent. Young men were conscripted, some looking as young as fourteen years of age. Tens of millions gathered, armed with sophisticated weapons, waiting for what many believed would be the war to end all wars. In Jerusalem, many still worshipped Macro's image, rejecting Jesus now as they had when He first came to earth. Macro's troops stationed throughout Israel, joined those from other nations, all eager to attack Israel. They raided the city of Jerusalem, rifled homes and raped young and old alike. Two out of every three Israeli's died as a result of this massacre.(8) Those who survived searched the ruined city for somewhere to hide, despairing of ever finding food or comfort again. They wept for their city. It seemed they had no future.


The NovelNotes Feature

These are a helpful feature of this novel. Their use is optional. They may be used if you want to understand more of the underlying Biblical aspects of the story, or the historical and factual material. However, you do not have to use these to follow the story line of the novel.


Chapter 29 of NovelNotes

1.Around 1900 years B.C. God promised this land to the descendants of Abraham, the person God chose to begin the Hebrew nation. See Genesis, chapter 15, verse 18.

2.The sixth bowl of God's judgement dried up the River Euphrates, to open the way for the armies of the Kings of the east to travel to Armageddon. See Revelation, Chapter 16, verse 12.

3.Armageddon is a place known in the Hebrew as Megiddo. It is a small mountain just east of Mt. Carmel and present day Haifa. It overlooks the Jezreel Valley, where parts of the Battle of Armageddon will take place. This area has a long history of warfare. Even Napoleon fought here. Revelation, Chapter 16, Verse 14 explains that it is God Himself Who causes demons to go out and gather all the nations of the world for battle.

4.The City of Babylon was destroyed by the Medes and the Persians in 539 B.C. In view of the fact that in Revelation, Chapter 18, verse 8, God says He will destroy her, the City of Babylon must be rebuilt, prior to it again being destroyed. Internet research through locals in Iraq and visitors to the area, reveals that the dictator of Iraq at the time of writing, Saddam Hussein, has been attempting to rebuild Babylon for some years. We have reports saying he has built theatres, coffee shops, stores and restaurants at the location. His name appears stamped on each brick. Reports also say that parts of King Nebuchadnezzar's palace have been rebuilt. However, the major part of old Babylon is still in ruins. (Some interpretations of Scripture have Rome as the Babylon being referred to).

5.The earthquake and related events that occur here are God's seventh bowl judgement of wrath. The earthquake is the biggest the earth has ever experienced! The hailstones each weigh 75 pounds. This is found in Revelation, chapter 16, verses 17 to 21. Moreover, it is rather interesting that in the oldest book in the Bible, God already had mentioned the storing up of these hailstones. See what God says in the book of Job, chapter 38, verses 22 and 23. ' ..have you seen the treasury of hail which I have stored up for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war?'

6.In the world, Babylon is symbolic of the economic prosperity of the wealthy minority. This warrants its destruction by God.

7.This is the actual gathering of the armies of all nations to Israel for the battle of Armageddon. 8. God records in the book of Zechariah that only one third of the Jewish people in Israel will survive this war. See Zechariah, Chapter 13, verse 8.

Continue to Chapter 30