Thus says Yahweh to His anointed one, to Cyrus whom He says I have grasped by his right hand to make the nations bow before him and to disarm kings (Isaiah45:1)
The Neo-Babylonian empire, who under king Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed the first Jewish Temple and brought God’s people into exile as slaves in Babylon was to be defeated by Cyrus the Great – “king of kings”, being one of his grand titles. God used this enlightened Gentile to liberate His people from Babylon and through his sovereign edict, their temple was rebuilt. He was described by the Prophet Isaiah as “God’s anointed one” or messiah. This self-styled “king of the four corners of the world” destroyed the Babylonian hold over God’s people and cleared the path for them to worship Yahweh in the city of the great king.
This prefigures the end-time destruction of “Babylon” (Rev17-19) representative of the intangible kingdom of satanic evil, currently functioning in the world in diametric opposition to the Church, the Kingdom of God in mystery. The One (for all its flaws) ever seeking to bring light, truth, peace and healing, the other moral degradation, greed, deception and destruction. That is the nature of the struggle; it is not the Church versus everyone outside her as depicted in Augustine’s “City of God”; it is a two-way battle within the World, not against her. The Church and “Babylon” are both seeking to gain people for themselves but for opposing ends, resulting of course in three outcomes: the saints, “children of the devil” (Jn8:44, Acts13:10, 1Jn3:10 cf. Mt13:38, 15:13,16:26, 2Cor11:14,15; 1Tim4:1,2; Jude12b; Rev11:18b)* and the rest of creation whom we noted in the previous post are to be “delivered from the bondage of corruption (nota bene), into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Rom8:21).
*Not intended to be an exhaustive listing – I have set out the scriptural definitions in my book (chapter 6)** – that is not to say such people can always be determined by their fellow man (au contraire 2Cor11:14-15; 1Sam16:7)
** Free PDF HERE