- Where is Babylon, The Great City?
The church is totally confused when it comes to deciding where Peter was when he wrote his letter to the dispersed Jewish Christians in Asia Minor. In my previous posts here and here, I showed how John, when writing to the Churches in Asia referred to Jerusalem being Babylon. Likewise, Peter refers to himself as being in Babylon when he wrote that the end of all things was at hand.
Peter Was Writing From Jerusalem
Peter was basically writing to the same audience John wrote to in his letter to the seven churches that were in Asia Minor. Some people believe that Peter was writing from Rome when he wrote this letter, however, there is no evidence for Peter ever being in Rome never mind writing his epistle from there. There is also no evidence that Peter ever left his home-base Jerusalem, for any length of time other than a short trip to Antioch which is recorded in Acts.
Peter referred to the Jewish believers in Jesus as being ‘aliens and strangers’.
To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen ~ 1Peter 1:1
The Cambridge dictionary describes the word alien as meaning:
adjective: belonging to a foreign country
noun: a foreigner, especially one who is not a naturalized citizen of the country where he or she is living.
These believers were just like Abraham seeking a heavenly country – The New Jerusalem.
Peter in his letter, referred to two different people groups, the Jewish believers in Christ and unbelievers and compared their destinies.
This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, “The stone which the builders rejected, This became the very cornerstone,” and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom, they were also appointed. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.
Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
The unrepentant group in Peter’s letter refused to believe in Jesus were reprobates and were appointed to doom. The very same doom that the Prophet Jeremiah warned Israel about, and the same doom as listed in John’s seals in Revelation.
I will appoint over them four kinds of doom,” declares the Lord: “the sword to slay, the dogs to drag off, and the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy. ~ Jeremiah 15:3
They were in bondage to Old Covenant Judaism, its traditions of men and its corrupted High Priesthood and practices.
Judah’s corrupt rulers had declared that they had no King but Caesar, murdered her husband (God, the Son) and asked that His blood would be upon them and their children. Judah was treacherous, lawless and deserved judgment. They had hardened their hearts just like the Israelites in the OT that Paul had warned about in Hebrews 3:8-11. They had become just like their ancestors in Isaiah, 1 Samuel and Jeremiah, who Yahweh said resembled Sodom and Egypt.
And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. ~ Rev 11:8
Corrupt Israel had become like Egypt, the persecutor of God’s people and those persecutors would be inflicted with the plagues of Egypt as prophesied in Revelation. Corrupt Israel would also become like Sodom, as fire and brimstone would come down on the city as prophesied in Revelation.
Just as Jesus had warned in Luke 17:
It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building, but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. ~ Luke 17:28-30
Burning was also the Old Covenant punishment for a priest’s daughter who became a harlot in Leviticus 21:9.
In contrast, the Jewish believers in Jesus had become part of the nation of royal priests that had been prophesised in Exodus 19:6.
and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel. ~ Exodus 19:6
They had come out of the bondage of the Mosaic Covenant, and the traditions of the oral law, into the freedom of the New Covenant. As a result, they were traveling as strangers and aliens to the Heavenly Promised Land – The New Jerusalem.
Life was very difficult at this time for believers, but Peter gave them such encouragement as their suffering would be over soon, the end of all things was near.
The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer…Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. ~ 1 Peter 4: 7,12-13
The Revelation of His glory would be the New Jerusalem, the country Abraham had always been seeking.
And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. ~ Rev 21:11
On my next blog post, I’ll resume my 2nd Exodus series,
You can read lots more on this topic over on Passion For Biblical Truth blog – Dispelling Christian Myths and Killing Sacred Cows.