4 - Babylon Is Fallen.


"And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."

This message follows the message of the first angel, so that this will also go to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. It is a part of the everlasting Gospel, but it has a special significance in view of the fact that the time has come for the closing work of the Gospel.

What is Babylon? It is spoken of several times in the Book of Revelation as a great city. "And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cap of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath." Rev. 16:19. The original Babylon was a great city, so that it would be fitting to represent a city by that name.

Again in the seventeenth chapter, we read of a woman arrayed in purple and scarlet, on whose forehead was a name written, "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." This woman is said by the angel to be "that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth." Verse 18.

No one earthly city can be said to be the mother of the abominations of the earth. Some have been eminent in iniquity, but it would not be possible to trace all abomina­tions back to any one of them. When Babylon the Great is destroyed, in her is found every evil, and every deed of blood. "In her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." Rev. 18:24. All the cities of the nations are more or less the offspring of Babylon the Great, and when she comes in remembrance before God, the cities of the nations fall with her, but they are only subjects.

We read in the Book of Isaiah of the king of Babylon, and find that he is Satan. Once he was Lucifer, son of the morning, now he is king of Babylon, prince of darkness. Isa. 14. From what we know of the king, we may judge of the kingdom. Babylon the Great is the kingdom of Satan.

The spirit of Satan is the spirit of the kingdom. Self-exaltation was his ruin. "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will second into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation on the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit." Isa 14:12-15.

The very attempt to raise self cast Lucifer down from where God had placed him. In seeking to rise, he fell. If he had sought to humble himself he would have risen. Christ, whom Lucifer envied, thought it not a thing to be tenaciously grasped, that He should be equal with God. He gave up all and humbled Himself to the death of the cross; wherefore He is highly exalted. Phil. 2:5-11.

This spirit of Satan has always been the characteristic, and the destruction, of Babylon. In the very beginning of the kingdom it was seen. The builders of Babel said, "Let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest ye be scattered abroad." Gen. 11:4. It was while their ambitious hearts were planning thus for their own greatness that the Lord came down and frustrated their purpose by confounding their language. "So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel." Verses 8, 9.

On that very site Babylon was built. The same spirit was strong in her, but again it brought a fall. It was while Nebuchadnezzar was glorifying himself, and boasting, "Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty," even while the words were in his mouth, that a voice fell, from heaven, "O King Nebuchad­nezzar, to thee it is spoken: The kingdom is departed from thee." Dan. 4:30, 31.

Nebuchadnezzar humbled himself and his kingdom was restored; but Belshazzar forgot the lesson, and while he feasted and glorified himself, his kingdom was divided and given to the Medes and Persians.

Once more, when Babylon the Great is drunk with power and earthly glory, when her sinful ambitions are all realised, when “all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her,” then in her hour of triumph falls once again a voice from heaven, "Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partaken of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have {612} reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double." Rev. 18:2-8.

In the message of the second angel we learn that, to all outward appearance, Babylon is prospering greatly. All nations are serving her. Her triumph seems assured. Opposition seems hopeless. Yet God’s servants are to declare aloud, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen." It is when Babylon triumphs that she falls.

We should never be discouraged when evil seems to be victorious. "When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever." Ps. 92:7. So God’s servants are to declare boldly, notwithstanding all, "Baby­lon is fallen, is fallen."

It was when Babylon fell that Israel went free. Babylon is fallen: therefore it has no power to hold its captives. The message, "Babylon is fallen," is a strong, emphatic call to the prisoners of Satan, to go forth and stand in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made them free. It means to proclaim deliverance to the captives, the opening of the prison to them that are bound, and to those who join in the message, it means the experience that belongs to such a cry,—"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek." Isa. 61:1.

That there are prisoners still in Babylon is clear from Rev. 18:4, where the Lord calls upon His people to come out of her and escape her fate. Satan has no power over them. It is Christ who holds the keys of death and the grave. The power of Satan is his power to deceive, the power of blinding the eyes, the power of darkness, but the man who walks in the light will not be in darkness, and Satan will not have power over him. "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." James 4:7.

The message of the second angel goes with the everlasting Gospel, to set men perfectly free from Satan’s power. It means entire deliverance from every yoke of bondage. It means having power over all the power of the enemy. Satan has bound many, as he bound the woman who was bowed down by a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years (Luke 13:16), but this message will give deliverance from all such bondage to all who will take it by faith.

While Satan appears to be triumphing in the earth, while the churches unite with the world in rejecting the law of God and denying the faith of Christ, believers will with gladness and confidence declare the glad tidings that Babylon is fallen. Many a captive will hear the message and go free.

E. J. Waggoner.
The Present Truth, Vol. 19, No. 39, Sept. 24, 1903, pp. 611, 612.
[Verified by and from the original.] 
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