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Eugene W. Prewitt

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Revelation 14 and Babylon’s Fall

Babylon in Revelation


Brief Idea: Babylon represents the great kingdom of popular confusion. It is defined by its errors rather than by its evil. Jerusalem in Revelation represents the down-trodden kingdom of God, overpowered at times by Babylon. It is defined by its adherence to truth rather than by its righteousness.


And so there are holy men in Babylon and wicked men in Jerusalem. And then, at the end, those facts begin to change. . .


Babylon in History


Babel goes way back. Nimrod (Gen 10) became a powerful man that built the city that first organized itself in defiance of God. In judgment God confused the languages of the Babel builders and they scattered from the land of Shinar. (Yes, Babel was in the “land of Shinar” just as was modern Babylon, though lands after the flood might have been named familiar names even if they their coordinates did not match those of their namesakes.)


The scattering and confusion of Babel gave rise to the meaning of the word Babylon in Hebrew – confusion.


Some six hundred years before the Messiah appeared the empire Babylon conquered God’s people and scattered them as a judgment from heaven for their rebellion. That was ironic in view of Babel’s history.


The history of the scattering and regathering is the subject of a previous article in this series on Revelation, “The Remnant”.


In the book of Daniel God’s most faithful men are found in Babylon. But when Babylon is destroyed, they are spared. Babylon seeks to slay the faithful even before her fall to the Persians. But they are preserved nonetheless.


Meanwhile, God’s faithful are praying for Jerusalem. And in due time the faithful in Babylon are called out to help rebuild the holy city.


Babylon in Revelation


Babylon in Revelation first appears in the Second Angel’s Message. Then, as a follow-up to the warning of the third message, Babylon is punished in Revelation 16:19.


Then Babylon in pictured in Revelation 17 as a woman riding a beast.


Finally, she is the subject of Revelation 18, the Loud Cry that repeats and expands upon the second angel’s message.


Revelation 17 is the subject of a future study. And so is Revelation 18. Here we will consider the definition of which bodies, persons, or organizations are represented by the term Babylon in Revelation.


First, notice that Babylon is a religious body. It is a woman on a beast and not the beast itself. You do not leave Babylon by abandoning some civil state.


Second, notice that Babylon is twice fallen. (Re 14:8; 18:2). Only a once comparatively pure body can become “fallen.” Now two falls of the Christian church are pointed out in prophecy.


The first, the “mystery of iniquity” is mentioned in 2Th 2:7. It is the “falling away” that had to precede the end-time events. 2Th 2:3.


The second fall is alluded to in Revelation 2 where Sardis has a name to live, but is dead (Re 3:1) and at the same time “ready to die” (Re 3:2). And it is only a “few” in Sardis that have not “defiled their robes.” (Re 3:4).


From this I gather that the second fall was the fall of Protestantism. But there is another way to show that. The woman controls the state, and it is Catholicism first and Protestantism second that aspired to control the state to crush dissenters.


Yet Protestantism has further to fall and it is her further fall that will elicit the strongest cry against her in Revelation 18. Her most recent corruptions, her uniting with the kings of the earth to unite church and state, will fulfill the prophecy of Revelation 13.


But what about those individuals that rise from time to time and show, by a mass of Bible and Ellen White materials, that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has become Babylon?


They don’t get it. Babylon is an organized system of religion that opposes the three angel’s messages. It is a set of doctrinal positions. And those positions, we could gather from Revelation, include a belief in the immortality of the soul and a denial of the seventh-day Sabbath.


And this could be shown also from the Testimonies.


The prophet says, “I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils” (Revelation 18:1, 2). This is the same message that was given by the second angel. Babylon is fallen, “because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Revelation 14:8). What is that wine?–Her false doctrines. She has given to the world a false sabbath instead of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, and has repeated the falsehood that Satan first told Eve in Eden–the natural immortality of the soul. Many kindred errors she has spread far and wide, “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9).  {2SM 118.1}

These things ought to be well understood.

For a Word Doc, Click Here: Rev_14_-_Babylon

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