Bill, Isaiah 28 has not been fulfilled. We are clearly told that this will be fulfilled during the time of the destruction coming on the WHOLE earth. That is the 70th Week of Daniel, not 700BC:
Isaiah 28:14 ...hear the word of the LORD, you scornful men, Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem, Because you have said, "We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we are in agreement. When the overflowing scourge passes through, It will not come to us, For we have made lies our refuge, And under falsehood we have hidden ourselves."
Isaiah 28:18 & 22 Your covenant with death will be annulled, And your agreement with Sheol will not stand; When the overflowing scourge passes through, Then you will be trampled down by it... Now therefore, do not be mockers, Lest your bonds be made strong; For I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts, A destruction determined even upon the whole earth.
The reason I said I believe this is a peace treaty is because the "covenant with death" that Israel makes is a "refuge" for them, even though God says they are "lies". In other words, Israel feels like they are safe after making this covenant, but in reality they are not. If they make the covenant to feel safe, then it is a peace treaty. The feeling of being safe, but not necessarily being safe is exactly the definition for the Hebrew word "betach" used in both Ezekiel 28 and Ezekiel 38:
Ezekiel 28:25-26 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "When I have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and am hallowed in them in the sight of the Gentiles, then they will dwell in their own land which I gave to My servant Jacob. And they will dwell safely there, build houses, and plant vineyards; yes, they will dwell securely, when I execute judgments on all those around them who despise them. Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God."'"
Ezekiel 38:7-9 "Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you."
As I discuss in the following study, I believe that after the Psalm 83 War, when God "executes judgments on all those around [Israel] who despise them", that the "covenant with death" will be confirmed. Then Israel will feel safe, which will fulfill the pre-requisite of the Hebrew word "betach" translated as "dwell safely" in Ezekiel 38.
As for "Mystery Babylon", let Scripture interpret Scripture. All throughout the Old Testament we are shown that Israel was considered a "harlot" because they went after false gods. Polytheism was born at the tower of Babel. Therefore, it is easy to see that "Mystery Babylon" is none other than the old Babylonian pagan religion that began at the tower of Babel. Many believe that today the headquarters of this religious system are currently in Rome. Many also believe that Zechariah 5 shows us that this "wicked woman" will be moved back to Iraq during the Tribulation. So we see that "Mystery Babylon" is both a city and a religious system.
I am not going to be dogmatic about the current location of the headquarters of the religious system of Mystery Babylon of Revelation 17, but I do believe it will move back to Iraq near the beginning of the Tribulation. I am also convinced that Revelation 18 is speaking of a literal Babylon also in Iraq, this system is political, not religious. While I believe both systems will eventually converge in the same geographical area, it is important to keep the two systems separate: one religious (Revelation 17) and one political/center of commerce (Revelation 18). In other words, the political center of commerce IS NOT the religious system of "Mystery Babylon".
Bill Griese (12 Dec 2011)
"Reply to Amy VanGerpen"
Reply to Amy VanGerpen: http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/dec2011/amyv1210.htm
Amy, these verses in Isaiah 28 are not the proof of a Seven-year Peace Treaty that you are making them out to be. The definition of a covenant is not just a Peace Treaty. The promises a leader makes to the people in exchange for their votes certainly qualifies, even if that is not readily recognized as the common definition. Lets not forget too, that the largest population of Jews in the world live in America, and overwhelmingly supported Obama. Many in Israel have dual American citizenship and mailed in their votes.
There was a previous fulfillment of these Isaiah 28 verses around 700 B.C. in the run up to when Sennacherib, the king of Assyria came against King Hezekiah and Judah. Hezekiah sought the Lord, and Judah was delivered by an angel of the Lord which destroyed the Assyrian Army in chapters 36 & 37. I do see an end time dual fulfillment as many do in these verses, but as often is the case, dual fulfillments are seldom exactly like the first fulfillment, and often are different enough not to be easily recognized.
Ray Schulz had an excellent post Friday about the previous Abomination of Desolation in Daniel's time, which was certainly different than the Abomination of Desolation by Antiocus IV Epiphanes. I'm expecting the coming one to be different too. I don't believe that the Antichrist is going to slaughter a pig in a rebuilt Jewish temple. I don't even believe it's necessary to have a rebuilt Jewish temple. Notice the Greek word for temple (naos g3485) in 2 Thess 2:3 does not mean the whole temple, and can even mean any heathen temple or shrine. Something setup in the courtyard of the old Jewish Temple, or the Dome of the Rock, or the Catholic Church in Jerusalem are all possibilities. Antichrist is going to proclaim himself to be God, and the Two Witnesses will have shown up in Jerusalem by then, probably 3 1/2 days earlier.
America is Mystery Babylon and is already dominating the world and certainly controlling Israel to a very large extent. See: http://www.americathebabylon.com/exerpts.shtml