THE THIRD ANGEL'S MESSAGE.
What Is It as to Babylon?
"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." Rev. 14:8.
As we have before remarked, this word “followed" signifies not to follow alone one who has gone on before, but to arise and accompany one who is already on his way, and thus really, "to follow with," or "to go with." A good illustration of the thought is found in 1 Corinthians 10, where, speaking concerning Israel in the wilderness, it says: "They drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them ["went with them," margin]: and that Rock was Christ."
Thus the angel of the everlasting gospel goes forth proclaiming that gospel to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. Afterward the angel with the announcement concerning Babylon joins the first angel, and goes with him.
The word "Babylon," with the idea conveyed by it, is from "Babel." And the word "Babel" comes to us from the tower described in Genesis 11. And from the confusion of tongues created there, on account of the tower, the word now signifies "confusion."
But this was not the original meaning of the word "Babel." This was the name of the city and the tower when the people began to build it, before their language was confused, and therefore before the word signified "confusion."
It is written that the people said one to another: "Let us build us a city and a tower." And the name which they then gave to the city was "Babel."
At that time the meaning of the word “Babel”—its original meaning—was "Gate of God." Accordingly, they said: "Let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven."
But, because of their pride and self-exaltation, their whole enterprise was turned so utterly into confusion that the word "Babel" lost its original meaning of "Gate of God," and bore only the meaning of "confusion." And thus, that which originally meant the "Gate of God " became only the symbol of "confusion."
And this original meaning of “Babel”—“Gate of God”—with its new meaning of “confusion," carries a lesson all the way through the whole subject of Babylon. It has its lessons now, in the phase of the Third Angel's Message which speaks of Babylon and her fall.
Accordingly, next week we shall notice how that which, in the Christian dispensation, originally was the "gate of God" became "confusion,"—"Babylon the great, the mother."