|Babylon is Fallen
The first angel's message
of Revelation 14, announcing the hour of God's judgment and calling upon men to fear and worship Him, was designed to separate the professed people of God from the corrupting influences of the world and to arouse them to see their true condition of worldliness and backsliding. In this message, God had sent to the church a warning, which, had it been accepted, would have corrected the evils that were shutting them away from Him. The church would again have reached that blessed state of unity, faith, and love which existed in apostolic days, when the believers "were of one heart and of one soul," and "spake the word of God with boldness," when "the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 4:32, 31; 2:47).
In Revelation 14 the first angel is followed by a second proclaiming: "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication" (Revelation 14:8). The term "Babylon" is derived from "Babel," and signifies confusion. It is employed in Scripture to designate various forms of false or apostate religion. In Revelation 17 Babylon is represented as a woman - a figure which is used in the Bible as the symbol of a church, a vile woman, an apostate church.
The term "Babylon" comes from the word "Babel" and it signifies confusion. The English word "babbling" is also derived from the same. "Babylon" is used by the Bible to refer to a false, man-made religious system.
Genesis chapter 11 records: how the vast majority of the world did not believe God's promise to never completely destroy the earth again by a flood; how they rejected God's instructions to spread across the earth; and how they chose to glorify themselves rather than God.
"And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top [may reach] unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth." Genesis 11:4
These rebellious 'Babel' builders chose to dwell together in a large city where they united in building a structure that would supposedly afford safety against further judgments from God for their disobedience.
The 'Babel' builders substituted obedience to God for their own works. They attempted to save themselves in their rebellion by "building a tower to heaven."
The Bible indicates that at the end of this world, 'Babylon," a false religious system, will attempt to decieve, and then force, multitudes into thinking that they too can disobey God and yet be saved.
God indicates that at the very closing moments of time many of His true followers are associated with this false system of religion. God lovingly calls them "my people" in the final warning message of Revelation 18:4.
The woman (Babylon) of Revelation 17 is described as "arrayed
in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious
stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations
and filthiness:... and upon her forehead was a name written,
Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots."
Says the prophet: "I saw the woman drunken with the blood
of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus."
Babylon is further declared to be "that great city, which
reigneth over the kings of the earth" (Revelation 17:4-6,
18). The power that for so many centuries maintained despotic
sway over the monarchs of Christendom is Rome. The purple and
scarlet color, the gold and precious stones and pearls, vividly
picture the magnificence and more than kingly pomp affected
by the haughty see of Rome. And no other power could be so truly
declared "drunken with the blood of the saints" as
that church which has so cruelly persecuted the followers of
Christ. Babylon is also charged with the sin of unlawful connectionn
with the "kings of the earth." It was by departure
from the Lord, and alliance with the heathen, that the Jewish
church became a harlot; and Rome, corrupting herself in like
manner by seeking the support of worldly powers, recieves a
Babylon is said to be "the mother of harlots." By her daughters must be symbolized churches
that cling to her doctrines and tradtions, and follow her example of sacrificing truth and the approval of God, in order to form an unlawful alliance with the world. The message of Revelation 14, announcing the fall of Babylon must apply to religious bodies that were once pure and have become corrupt. Since this message follows the warning of the judgment, it must be given in the last days; therefore it cannot refer to the Roman Church alone, for that church has been in a fallen condition for many centuries. Furthermore, in the eighteenth chapter of Revelation the people of God are called upon to come out of Babylon. According to this scripture, many of God's people must still be in Babylon. And in what religious bodies are the greater part of the followers of Christ now to be found? Without doubt, in the various churches professing the protestant faith. At the time of the their rise these churches took a noble stand for God and the truth, and His blessing was with them. But they fell by the same desire which was the curse and ruin of Israel - the desire of imitating the practices and courting the friendship of the ungodly.
The message of the second angel did not reach its complete fulfillment in 1844. The churches then experienced a moral fall, in consequence of their refusal of the light of the advent message; but that fall was not complete. As they have continued to reject the special truths for this time they have fallen lower and lower. Not yet, however, can it be said that "Babylon is fallen,... because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." She has not yet made all nations do this.
The Bible declares that before the coming of the Lord, Satan will work "with all power and signs and lying wonders,
and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness;" and they that "received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved," will be left to receive "strong delusion, that they should believe a lie." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11. Not until this condition shall be reached, and the union of the church with the world shall be fully accomplished throughout Christendom, will the fall of Babylon be complete. The change is a progressive one, and the perfect fulfillment of Revelation 14:8 is yet future.
Notwithstanding the spiritual darkness and alienation from God that exist in the churches which constitute Babylon, the great body of Christ's true followers are still to be found in their communion. There are many of these who have never seen the special truths for this time. Not a few are dissatisfied with their present condition and are longing for clearer light. They look in vain for the image of Christ in the churches with which they are connected. As these bodies depart further and further from the truth, and ally themselves more closely with the world, the difference between the two classes will widen, and it will finally result in separation. The time will come when those who love God supremely can no longer remain in connection with such as are "lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."
Revelation 18 points to the time when, as the result of rejecting the threefold warning of Revelation 14:6-12, the church will have fully reached the condition foretold by the second angel, and the people of God still in Babylon will be called upon to separate from her communion. This message is the last that will ever be given to the world; and it will accomplish its work. When those that "believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thessalonians 2:12), shall be left to receive strong delusion and to believe a lie, then the light of truth will shine upon all whose hearts are open to receive it, and all the children of the Lord that remain in Babylon will heed the call: "Come out of her, My people" (Revelation 18:4).
|America in Prophecy
The content of this page contains excerpts from the following book:
America In Prophecy