Armageddon was the judgment of Babylon, and the judgment of Babylon was due to her bloody history of killing the saints of God (Rev. 17-18). Eschatology Study Series 16 Lesson 5 establishes that “the war” of Isaiah and Daniel –> the prophecies from which John draws in Revelation –> were predictions of the AD 70 judgment. If therefore, we can prove that Revelation, and its prediction of “the war” was also a prediction of the judgment of Israel, then this proves irrefutably that Armageddon is past! We need therefore to prove that Babylon was Old Covenant Jerusalem.
It is axiomatic to say that whoever Babylon of Revelation was, or is, she has to meet the description given by John. That is, she had to have been, or will have to one day be, guilty of what John says she had already done. This is absolutely fundamental! Yet, it is virtually ignored by most commentators. Let me put it this way, if the entity that you identify as Babylon of Revelation has not done, or will not do, what Babylon of Revelation had already done, then you have the wrong Babylon! So, what had Babylon done that identifies her so clearly? There are three things:
First, she had killed the Old Covenant prophets (Rev. 16:6-7) (The term “prophets” and “the prophets (72 times)” is used over 88 times in the NT. When used without a qualifier that identifies the prophets under consideration, it invariably refers to OT prophets (as we looked into earlier in this study). There is no qualifier in Revelation 16, therefore, “the prophets” killed by Babylon were OT prophets.) Now, it is a historical fact that literal Babylon tried, but failed, to kill the Old Testament prophets! So, literal Babylon in Iraq cannot be Babylon of Revelation! The Roman Catholic church never killed Old Testament prophets simply because neither she, nor they, existed at the same time!
The Eastern European Common Market, New York City, nor any other modern city or entity killed the Old Testament prophets! However, Christ said Old Covenant Jerusalem had killed the prophets, and said, “It is not possible that a prophet perish outside of Jerusalem” (Luke 13:31-33)
Second, Babylon of Revelation is “where the Lord was slain” (Rev. 11:8). Now, it should be pretty obvious that neither “apostate Christianity,” nor literal or restored Babylon, nor New York City, nor any other city or place in the world qualifies as “where the Lord was slain.” Yet, Babylon is “where the Lord was slain.”
Third, Babylon of Revelation had killed, or perhaps even was in the process of killing, Christ’s apostles and prophets (Rev. 18:20, 24). Again, Christ identified Old Covenant Jerusalem as the city that would kill His “apostles and prophets” (Matt. 23:34-36). He said “Behold, I send to you (Jerusalem and Israel, RPS), apostles and prophets” (Luke 11:49-51).
Let me reiterate the point, Babylon of Revelation had already done these things! She had already slain prophets, Christ, and Christ’s apostles and prophets. Now, if you say that the fulfillment of the judgment of Babylon is yet future, and if you identify Babylon as a restored literal Babylon in Iraq, then of necessity, at some point in the future, literal Babylon in Iraq
must kill OT prophets, she must kill Christ, and she must kill apostles and prophets of Christ! How in the world would that work? Will OT prophets be physically raised from the dead, only to be killed again? Will Christ be “reincarnated” and return to earth to be crucified once again, in Iraq? Will Christ’s apostles and prophets be raised from the grave, in order to be sent to Europe, only to be martyred again? What kind of cruelty would that be?
There is only one city that had killed the prophets, killed Christ, and killed the apostles and prophets of Christ. Read Paul’s words:
“For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Yeshua. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Yeshua and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost.” (1 Thess. 2:14-16)
Can there be any doubt about where the Bible lays the blame for killing the prophets, Christ and Christ’s apostles and prophets? The Bible never blames literal Babylon. It never blames Rome. It never blames the Roman Catholic church (This is pretty obvious since the Roman Catholic church did not exist to do these things!). The Bible most assuredly does not blame
America and New York City for killing Old Testament prophets! The scriptural testimony is united, and runs from Deuteronomy to Revelation. The city guilty of killing the prophets, the Lord and His apostles was none other than Old Covenant Jerusalem.
So, what this means is that since Armageddon is depicted as the time of the judgment of the city that killed the prophets (Rev. 16:6-17), at the Great Day of the Lord, and since the Bible invariably identifies the city guilty of killing the prophets as Old Covenant Jerusalem (not modern Jerusalem!), then the battle of Armageddon is posited as the time when Old
Covenant Jerusalem was judged and destroyed. That means Armageddon was in the first century. Armageddon is past.
The passages we have cited in this study unequivocally posit the judgment of Armageddon against the persecuting power of Old Covenant Israel. Take a quick look at the evidence:
1.) Isaiah 2-4 deals with the time when Yahweh would stand up to judge His people, and Israel’s men would die by the edge of the sword in “The War.”
2.) Daniel 9 is concerned with the coming “the war,” and this is related to the fate of “your people and your holy city.” There is no deliverance from judgment! Instead, “desolations are determined unto the end of the war.”
3.) Daniel’s prediction (chapter 12), speaks of the time when “the power of the holy people is completely shattered.” Does that sound like deliverance from judgment?
4.) Christ’s prediction of the end of the age is related to the time when “not one stone shall be standing on top of another.” (Matt. 24:2). No deliverance from judgment here!
5.) John’s prediction of the judgment of Babylon describes a final destruction and judgment of that city. Babylon was Old Covenant Jerusalem. No deliverance for Babylon / Israel is to be found in Revelation.
[Also See: “Armageddon”]
[For a more in-depth study see eschatology “Study Series 16 Lesson 5 Rev. Chapters 14 thru 16 (sub study on Armageddon)”]