Signs of the End Times? – Rebuilding Babylon

February 11, 2021 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Dianne E. Butts –

Zechariah 5:11 and Isaiah 13 talk of prophecies against Babylon. But Revelation 14:8, 16:19, and chapters 17-18 talk about the fall of Babylon in the End Times. It seems the literal city of Babylon will again exist in the land of Shinar for these prophecies to take place. The remains of ancient Babylon are found in present-day Iraq about 55 miles south of Baghdad.

Saddam Hussein was the fifth President of Iraq, serving from July 16, 1979 to April 9, 2003. According to an About.com article, “Saddam Hussein said that Babylon’s great palaces and the legendary hanging gardens of Babylon (one of the seven wonders of the ancient world) would rise from the dust.” During his more than twenty years in power, Saddam worked toward rebuilding the ancient city of Babylon.

Babylon flourished in 1894 BC under the Amorite king Hammurabi who created the short-lived Babylonian Empire, but it quickly dissolved after his death. It rose to power again and was the seat of the Neo-Babylonian Empire from 612 to 539 BC. Nebuchadnezzar II ruled from 605 BC to 562 BC and, according to the Bible, conquered Judah and Jerusalem and sent the Jews into exile in Babylon. According to Wikipedia, “He is credited with the construction of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.”

The About.com article says Saddam’s workers began reconstructing the 600-room palace of King Nebuchadnezzar II in 1982. Saddam’s reconstruction took place right on top of the ancient ruins which horrified archaeologists and historians, but they were powerless to stop him. The About.com article says, “The original bricks, which rise two or three feet from the ground, bear ancient inscriptions praising Nebuchadnezzar. Above these, Saddam Hussein’s workers laid more than 60-million sand-colored bricks inscribed with the words, ‘In the era of Saddam Hussein, protector of Iraq, who rebuilt civilization and rebuilt Babylon.’ The new bricks began to crack after only ten years.”

That’s not all Hussein set out to build. About.com says, “Adjacent to Nebuchadnezzar’s ancient palace and overlooking the Euphrates River, Saddam Hussein built a new palace for himself…a monstrous hill-top fortress surrounded by miniature palm trees and rose gardens. The four-storey palace extends across an area as large as five football fields. Villagers told news media that a thousand people were evacuated to make way for this emblem of Saddam Hussein’s power.”

Ceilings and walls in the palace depicted 360-degree murals from ancient Babylon, Ur, and the Tower of Babel. Plumbing fixtures appeared to be gold-plated and pediments were engraved with Hussein’s initials “SdH.”

About.com continues: “When American troops entered Babylon in April, 2003, they found little evidence that the palace had been occupied or used. Saddam’s fall from power brought vandals and looters. The smoked glass windows were shattered, the furnishings removed, and architectural details – from faucets to light switches—had been stripped away. During the war, Western troops pitched tents in the vast empty rooms at Saddam Hussein’s Babylonian palace.”

U.S. Marine Daniel O’Connell, Gunnery Sergeant, took photographs of many of these sites in 2003 and you can see 26 of his photos in a photo gallery on About.com.

So what do you think? Is Saddam’s rebuilding of Babylon a sign of the End Times? Or do you think the city of Babylon will be rebuilt to a greater degree and occupied by the Antichrist?

Signs of the End Times? – Birds of Prey

December 30, 2020 by  
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By Dianne E. Butts –

A booklet titled 101 Last Days Prophecies published by Eternal Productions lists “birds of prey” in Israel as one of the Last Days prophecies. You can see an online version of the booklet on the “101 Prophecies” page on Eternal-Productions’ web site.

Number 58 of their 101 says, “It is a little known fact that Israel is the bird migration capital of the world.” Do you find that interesting?

According to the booklet, “During the spring and fall migrations, billions of birds fly over Israel. Many of these migratory birds are raptors—carrion (dead flesh) eating birds of prey. In fact, 34 species of raptors migrate over Israel.”

If you search the internet on birds of prey in Israel, there’s a lot of interesting information. I even found some bird-watching tours that visitors can take.

This fact itself is not a prophecy of the End Times, but the booklet links the fact to Scripture verses that talk about many birds gorging themselves on the flesh of God’s enemies—people who fight against God in the final battle of the End Times.

Here are three such verses:

Ezekiel 39:4: “On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals.”

Ezekiel 39:17: “Son of man, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Call out to every kind of bird and all the wild animals: ‘Assemble and come together from all around to the sacrifice I am preparing for you, the great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel. There you will eat flesh and drink blood.”

Revelation 19:17-21:

17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great.”

19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse [who is, in verse 16, the “King of Kings and Lord of Lords”] and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.”

In that last sentence, “the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse” refers back to verse 15, which describes the rider on the horse, who is Jesus Christ, and says, “Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations.”

If you don’t know what that sharp sword is, here are two hints:

Revelation 19:13: “…his name is the Word of God.”

Ephesians 6:17: “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Jesus is the Word of God personified. Everything God ever said or promised with His words has come to fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

Do you believe an entire army of all God’s enemies combined can be defeated with one Word?

Signs of the End Times? Chaotic Weather

November 9, 2020 by  
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By Dianne E. Butts –

It’s April and the beginning of spring. In many places, spring is the time for violent weather. We’ve certainly seen a lot in the United States in recent years.

According to Wikipedia, “the largest tornado outbreak ever recorded, and popularly known as the 2011 Super Outbreak, occurred from April 25 to 28, 2011.” Destructive tornados hit Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia. The Wikipedia article continues, “In total, 353 tornadoes were confirmed by the National Weather Service in 21 states from Texas to New York and even isolated tornadoes in Canada. Widespread and destructive tornadoes occurred on each day of the outbreak, with April 27 being among the most prolific and destructive tornado days in United States history with a record 208 tornadoes touching down that day. Four of the tornadoes were destructive enough to be rated EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which is the highest ranking possible; typically these tornadoes are only recorded about once each year or less.”

A total of 346 people were killed as a result of those tornadoes.

Less than a month later, on Sunday afternoon, May 22, 2011, Joplin, Missouri, was struck by an EF5 multiple-vortex tornado. “It was part of a larger late-May tornado outbreak sequence and reached a maximum width of in excess of 1 mile (1.6 km) during its path through the southern part of the city,” an article on Wikipedia says. The number of deaths directly linked to the tornado: 160.

In Luke 21:25-26 Jesus said, “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”

Do you think this Bible verse could refer to increased intensity in chaotic weather patterns on earth?

Jesus mentioned, “the roaring and tossing of the sea.” We talked last month about earthquakes and tsunamis. I’m sure you remember the tsunami that occurred after the earthquake in Japan on March 11, 2011. The tsunami was partly to blame, along with the earthquake, for the damage and resulting nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant where eventually three of six reactors went into meltdown.

Do you think God is shaking up the nations and the heavenly bodies right now? God always sends warnings before He sends judgments. But people don’t always listen. Do you believe God is shaking up the human race with earthquakes, tsunamis, and chaotic weather to get the attention of people? Or do you simply think “global warming” is to blame?

Signs of the End Times? – Earthquakes and Tsunamis

September 18, 2020 by  
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By Dianne E. Butts –

Last month we watched the happening at the Western Wall in Jerusalem live. It may have been that very wall, or another wall of the Temple Mount that existed before it was destroyed in 70 AD, that Jesus and the disciples were walking past when the following conversation took place.

Jesus said that a, “time would come when not one stone would be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down” (Luke 21:6).

His disciples asked when these things would happen and, “what will be the sign that they are about to take place” (v. 7)?

Jesus then gave a lengthy description of what we understand to be the end times of the earth as we know it now. One thing He said was this: “There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven” (Luke 21:11).

In 2011, we saw several major earthquakes and tsunamis:

Sunday, January 2, 2011: Araucania, Chile, is hit by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake.

Friday, February 11, 2011: off shore 30 miles north of Concepcion, Chile, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake rocks from almost exactly where an 8.8 quake was centered on February 27, 2010, that killed 521 people.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 (local time): 6.3 quake rattled Christchurch, New Zealand’s second-most populous city, killing 181 people. The same area was hit with a 7.1 magnitude quake on September 4, 2010. There were no casualties in the September quake, but it may have weakened buildings leading to more deaths in the 2011 quake. An article on Wikipedia says, “The earthquake has been the most damaging in a year-long earthquake swarm affecting the Christchurch area.” An aftershock on June 13, 2011, caused considerable additional damage. A series of large aftershocks hit Christchurch again on December 23, 2011 (local time).

Sunday, February 27, 2011: A 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck just south of Concepcion, Chile, one year to the day after the 8.8 magnitude quake devastated the area. Strong aftershocks followed.

Friday, March 11, 2011: An 8.9 magnitude earthquake hits northeastern Japan triggering a massive tsunami. When the tsunami hit Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, seawater flooded power lines causing a meltdown in three of the six reactors. Months later, the death toll from the earthquake and tsunami was 14,919 dead and 9,893 unaccounted for.

One blogger writes, “In short, in less than 11 weeks, the major earthquakes at the edge of the Rim of Fire in the Pacific have covered 3 continents—and have yet to move on to North America.”

The Pacific Ring of Fire, according to Wikipedia, is a 25,000 miles horseshoe-shape ring around the Pacific Ocean where 90% of the world’s earthquakes (89% of the world’s largest earthquakes) occur. The Ring of Fire is so named because it is home to over 75% of the world’s volcanoes.

Chile. New Zealand. Japan. Three of the four “corners” of the Ring of Fire were hit with large earthquakes in 2011. Is it time for the fourth “corner” to feel the earth shake? That would be the Pacific Northwest corner of the United States or southwestern Canada.

Jesus said there would be “great earthquakes.” This has led many Christians to believe there will be an increase in earthquake frequency and intensity as we near the End Times. Today, many people believe we are see that happen right before our very eyes. However, the USGS government earthquake web site says, “The number of large earthquakes (magnitude 6.0 and greater) has stayed relatively constant.”

What do you think?

Signs of the End Times? Mass and Vast Communications

August 4, 2020 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Dianne E. Butts –

In January, we started looking at Biblical prophecies God predicted as the End Times approach—prophecies that might come true right before our very eyes. The first prophecy we looked at was Israel is back in the Promised Land—just since 1948, and some people from that generation are still living today.

Other prophecies seem to imply that mass communication—visual, not just audio—will need to exist for them to be fulfilled. Today we have radio, television, and the internet. These things did not exist much more than a century ago.

Here are two examples of prophecies that might show world-wide visual communications are needed in End Times prophecy, visual communication that only became available in recent decades:

Revelation 11:7-10: “Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.”

Revelation 17:8: “The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.”

It’s true these events might be shown on the evening news or carried “Live” as breaking news. But did you know that you can watch events in Israel live right now?

Currently live web cams broadcasting 24/7/365 overlook the Wailing Wall, also known as the Western Wall, in Jerusalem. You can also view live footage from other areas around the Temple Mount, such as Wilson’s Arch. You can find the link on the internet if you do a search for kotel cam.

Kotel is the Hebrew word for the Western Wall or the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, which is a part of, or all of, the western wall of the ancient Jewish temple that was destroyed by the Roman, Titus, in 70 AD.

Isn’t it fascinating that today, through computers, laptops, tablets, and even smart phones, we can watch live in real time, at any time we want to, what is happening at the foot of the mount of the very Temple in Jerusalem we’ve read about in our Bibles?! Will we, or those who are alive at the time, gaze upon the two dead bodies of those prophets via internet? Will unbelievers see the Beast on their smart phones?

What do you think? Is this prophecy in preparation to be fulfilled right before our very eyes?

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