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As we approach the time of the seventh vial being poured out, take note that Rev. 16:18-20 speaks of a great "earthquake" that results in the great city of Babylon being "divided into three parts." Because Iraq is the territory of the old Babylonian Empire, it is a type and shadow of the modern "Babylon" in the book of Revelation. Iraq is NOT the actual Babylon in Revelation, as many seem to think. Babylon today is a world-wide system, not simply a nation in the Middle East with certain territorial boundaries. Nonetheless, we watch Iraq, because it is a SIGN of things to come in the world-wide Babylonian system.
I have said for years that when President Bush ordered our troops to overthrow Iraq and depose Saddam Hussein, he was unknowingly setting the prophetic pattern for the overthrow of Mystery Babylon. I also have said for years that I believe the new government of Iraq will NOT succeed in holding the country together, but that it will split in three parts. I base this belief in Rev. 16:19, "and the great city was divided into three parts." Those three parts are: the Shiite South, the Kurdish North, and the Sunni Middle.
Since last Wednesday's bombing of the Shiite holy shrine in Samarra that destroyed its huge golden dome, people are taking this crisis very seriously. The Shiite reaction to that desecration and destruction was predictable, given their strong, deep ties to holy sites. Thus, as of today's news, the backlash has killed at least 12 Sunni clerics and has killed over 200 people.
A daytime curfew has been imposed as well--something quite unprecedented. It means people cannot even go to work. The AOL news for today writes:
"Such sweeping daytime restrictions indicated the depth of fear within the government that the crisis could touch off a Sunni-Shiite civil war.
"This is the first time that I have heard politicians say they are worried about the outbreak of civil war," Kurdish elder statesman Mahmoud Othman told The Associated Press.
"The fury unleashed by the destruction of Askariya's golden dome threatens to derail talks on a new government drawing in Iraq's main ethnic and religious blocs, which U.S. officials consider key to curbing the Sunni Arab-driven insurgency.
"The biggest Sunni Arab bloc in parliament announced Thursday it was pulling out of the negotiations until the Shiite-dominated national leadership apologizes for damage to Sunni mosques during reprisal attacks.
"If the Sunnis don't reverse their stand, the U.S. strategy of establishing an inclusive government as a major step toward disengagement from Iraq will collapse."
Though I am not an expert on the Islamic religion, I think I can safely say that they value justice more than the Christian idea of "turning the other cheek." We can learn from each other, of course. If Christians knew anything about true justice, they would not entertain the notion that the Jews were God's privileged people who were somehow above the law. But Muslims would also do well to learn that sometimes forgiveness is better than justice (reprisals), because if only justice were done, the earth would soon be depopulated by the divine wrath.
This coming October, the seventh bowl (vial) will be poured out. Each year we have seen appropriate signs leading up to the next vial, as well as the results of the previous bowl. Last October's bowl was poured out upon the "Euphrates" which, according to Rev. 16:14, will bring the nations "to the battle of that great day of God Almighty."
The bear has been released and is working methodically to achieve its goal and fulfill its calling. From the divine perspective, it is His judgment upon the nations that is finding its culmination point. You need to know these things so that you are not caught up in the battle.