“And after these things 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, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” In examining these passages, we could understand that it calls for beholding Christ's righteousness and separation from personal sins as well as a loud cry of separation from corrupt churches in order for us to attain complete perfection of character. With this in mind, let us go over them briefly.
The mighty “angel” represents the Holy Spirit, who comes or is poured out, from heaven (Acts 1:8; Romans 1:16,17). Please note that when the Holy Spirit is poured out He cries mightily with a strong voice, or a loud cry, declaring the fall of Babylon.
The “earth” symbolizes our heart soil (Luke 8:15). Hence, our hearts are lightened with his glory.
The “glory” represents the message of Christ's righteousness (Hab. 2:14; Psalm 72:1-6).
So when the Lord send His messages of mercy – the righteousness of Christ, He is sending the outpouring or showering of the Holy Spirit of grace to you through that message. And if you accept these beams from the Son of righteousness, then you accept the refreshing presence of Jesus into your heart who is the source of that light. This then gives you the power – enabling you with Christ to fully overcome sin, and to perfect your character in righteousness in the fear of God. Thus fruits of righteousness would be produced, and glory could be given to the God of heaven.
“That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” Phil. 1:10-11.
And what is the righteousness spoken of in this text? “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.” Psalm 119:142. "And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.” Deut. 6:25.
By His perfect obedience Christ has made it possible for every human being to obey God's commandments. When we submit ourselves to Christ, the heart is united with His heart, the will is merged in His will, the mind becomes one with His mind, the thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we live His live. This is what it means to be clothed with the garment of His righteousness. Then as the Lord looks upon us He sees, not the fig-leaf garment, not the nakedness and deformity of sin, but His own robe of righteousness, which is perfect obedience to the law of Jehovah.
So the message of the righteousness of Christ involves obedience to all God's commandments. This involves the plan of redemption which began at the fall of man, to redeem us from sin, and bring us into harmony to all God's will. God demands perfection or holiness for without which no man can see Him (Hebrews 12:14). Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48. So, the perfection of character is possible in this life. As God is perfect in His sphere we can be perfect also in our own sphere. Of course, perfection is not instantaneous but it is a gradual process (II Peter 1:3-8). You have to look and to have faith in Jesus and use all your will power [by force – Matthew 11:12] to overcome your personal sins every minute and second of the day. (See Phil. 4:13, 2:12; James 4:7). Yes, overcoming of sin is a blending of the divine and human effort. Faith and works combined together to make a perfect character. (See Romans 2:13; James 2:24).
But what is sin? It is the transgression of the law (I John 3:4). Which law? The Ten Commandments written by the finger of God in tables of stone (Exodus 20:1-17, 31:18). So by the transgression of the law we commit sin, therefore, the Ten Commandments of God is still binding today and He requires us to perfectly obey them to have a sinless character. Yes, He wants us to hid the law in our hearts that we don't sin against Him (Psalm 40:8, 119:11). Especially is the Fourth commandment still in force! The Holy Sabbath of God is the seventh-day of the week, or the Lord's day, or Saturday which is the sign of our allegiance to our Creator NOT Sunday which is the first day of the week. (Gen. 2:1-3; Exo. 20:8-11; Rev. 1:10; Eze. 20:12,20). The changed from Saturday to Sunday as Sabbath was made and admitted by the Catholic Church as a mark of her authority. Hence, fulfilling the prophecy foretold by Daniel 7:25 (read also Rev. 13:1-10). But all the churches and the world have paid homage to an institution of the Papacy (Catholic Church), making of none effect the law of Jehovah but there is to be an increase of knowledge on this subject.
The Prophet Isaiah brings to view the fearful deception which will come upon the wicked, causing them to count themselves secure from the judgments of God: “Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.” Isaiah 28:15. In the class here describe are included those who in their stubborn impenitence comfort themselves with the assurance that there is to be no punishment for the sinner; that all mankind, it matters not how corrupt, are to be exalted in heaven, to become as the angels of God. But still more emphatically are those making a covenant with death and an agreement with hell, who renounce the truths which Heaven has provided as a defense for the righteous in the day of trouble, and accept the refuge of lies offered by Satan in its stead – the delusive pretensions of spiritualism. The Bible states that “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” Eze. 18:20, but false teachers and pastors teach that since you cannot keep God's law and stop sinning, you won't die. Because Christ will make you perfect at His coming and will take you to heaven and give you eternal life anyway: or in other words teaching spiritualism – the immortality of the soul.
Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country (USA) will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience. As spiritualism more closely imitates the nominal Christianity of the day, it has greater power to deceive and ensnare. Satan himself is converted, after the modern order of things.
This now brings us to define the rest of the symbols in Revelation 18:2-5 dealing with the loud cry announcing the fall of Babylon and a call to “come out of her”.
It is an impure woman (Rev. 17:1-5). A woman represents a church (Jer. 6:2; Eph. 5:23-25). So Babylon represents a once pure church that become corrupt by uniting to the world.
But how could that be? Basically, God's church is married to Christ, her first love and husband. To illustrate, if a married woman departs from her husband, her first love, and unite with another party she commits adultery. Apostle James says that those who assimilate to the world is said to be “adulterers and adulteresses” (James 4:4). Another term of adultery is harlotry. A virtuous woman represents a pure church and a vile woman an apostate church. Babylon is said to be a harlot—a world-loving church.
The apostate church is no longer the habitation of God and Jesus because it has became the habitation of devils, no longer the place of the sweet influence of the Holy Spirit and the heavenly angels but is now the place of the foul influence of evil spirits.
“A cage of unclean and hateful birds” represents a closed, hierarchical church which is a prison house full of deceitful men and leadership (Jer. 5:26-27; Isaiah 46:11).
“All nations” refer to “all churches” or all denominations, not excluding one. All the established churches of today are Babylon.
The “wine” is the false doctrines of Babylon (Isaiah 29:9,13; Matthew 15:8-9) which are the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness.
The word “fornication” means to commit harlotry (Strong's G4203). So all the churches of today are drunk upon Babylon's false doctrines and have committed harlotry with her. Thus they have all became a harlot of Babylon.
It is true that we are not saved by groups, but note that it is also true that we can be lost by belonging to corrupt churches or groups. That is why God required us, His honest people today to “come out of Babylon” (corrupt churches) that we “do not partake of her sins and receive not her plagues.” Rev. 18:4 (see also I Cor. 6:15-17). God also told us to depart from it and be clean (Isaiah 52:11) by separating ourselves from its fellowship if we are found to be a member of any Babylonian churches today. Then, right after then can only God will accept us as His legitimate sons and daughters (see II Cor. 6:14-18).
Let us go briefly who are these God's once pure church and professed people that became Babylon from the past to present?
1. The JEWISH CHURCH, who was once God's chosen church, had became an harlot of Babylon by departing from the Lord and made alliance with the heathen. (Isa 1:21). The abomination of desolation (idolatrous standard of Roman) had been planted and Christ commanded all of His honest people to completely and willing disconnect themselves from the church or be destroyed along with her. More than a million of Jews were slaughtered since they did not separated from their harlot church but not one Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 for they obeyed the warning. (see Matt. 24:15-18; Mark 13:14-16; Luke 21:20-21)
2. The ROMAN CHURCH, who was at one time God's chosen and apostolic Christian church, had became the Mother of Harlots of Babylon many centuries ago by seeking the support of worldly powers. (see Rev. 17:16, 13:1-8; Daniel 7:7-25) This church kept the Seventh-day Sabbath before her complete apostasy. But satan used a plan of compromise which had led the formation of the Roman Catholic church. Satan planted his banner within God's church and led the majority of its members to follow his plan to compromise the high standards of the word of God and to modify some of their doctrines in order to unite together with the pagan world. These pretended and professed to be converted and to accept Jesus as the Son of God. Thus the church lost her purity and power and became corrupted. The faithful few recognized the abominations being brought in that were disguised in garments of light and fought hard against this apostasy. But as the apostasy increased instead of decreased, God led these faithful few to finally dissolve all union and membership with their beloved, but apostate church, and to willingly separate from her to obey the word of God and thus set a right example to follow instead of an example to compromise and union with apostasy that would imperil the faith of others.
3. The PROTESTANT CHURCHES (such as Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, etc. – Rome's offspring or daughters), who were once God's pure churches, are harlots as well by following the same history by departing from Christ and uniting herself with the world. They were given a precious message to repent and break their marriage and connection with the world. Yet they have rejected the heaven-sent messages of the first and second angels found in Revelation 14. Hence, she was denounced as Babylon Fallen and there was a call to willingly separate from all these established churches. At the summer of 1844 many withdrew from these churches about 50,000. (see Revelation 17:5, 13:14-17, 14:8; Matthew 25:6.)
4. The SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH (the sister to the Protestant churches), who started as God's pure church in 1844, who received the greatest light from God, has already been denounced as a harlot of Babylon in the year 1903 by Christ Himself because of her allying with the world. ( see 8T 250 ). This Seventh-day Sabbath-keeping church have given up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of faith by upholding Sunday worship. In fact, she is now doing it by calling “the Lord's Day – in Rev. 1:10” as Sunday instead of Saturday, and also by celebrating Easter Sunday service in it's various churches in the world. (see 1SM 204-205; 1T578; TM359; 1RH 405) She's no longer a peculiar church as she used before because she connected and participated herself with the World Council of Churches – an ecumenical movement which is also Babylon the Great. (please see Feb. 11, 1999 edition of Adventist Review, p 14-19 for documentation).
"WHEN the early church departed from God and imbibed pagan errors, she became Babylon. When she united with the state, she fell, and, as an organization, was the body of Christ no longer. ' While the Reformation churches held fast to the word, Christ was with them. When they crystallized their various errors into creeds and endeavored thus to confine God's word, they made themselves daughters of Babylon. When some of them united with the state, they fell, and God had to use other people, called out of Babylon to carry forward His work. Now among these very churches which came out of the second Babylon, confusion reigns; and now great Babylon, including the later daughters, is in adulterous union with the kings of earth, and is endeavoring to make that union stronger. God calls no church Babylon which holds to His word, and follows the light that shines from it, even though there are in its membership many who do not know Christ. When the controlling influence of a church is downward, it erects some other standard besides God's word." - Sabbath School Quarterly Lesson IX, February 29, 1896, page 33
"IT has ever been true that a backslidden body—one that has turned from God's word to men, from God's power to the state —was never reformed in itself. Invariably God's message has called out those from the fallen church who would do His will and preach His gospel. Israel went down to Egypt for help, and their captivity and loss of power followed. Out of the captives God gathered a faithful band to do His work. The Jewish church failed, and God called out the apostolic church to do His bidding. The Roman Church failed, and out of it God called the churches of the Reformation. Some of these churches failed to advance, and God called out others to bear His gospel to the world—such as the Baptist, Methodist, Congregationalist, Disciple, Adventist. His last " called-out " people will know no standard but His word, no power but His Spirit. - Sabbath School Quarterly Lesson, Lesson X, March 7, 1896, pages 35-36
So all these established churches the Jewish, the Catholics, and the Protestants churches as well as the Seventh-day Adventist Church of today are all Babylonian churches. This also includes the ecumenical movements such as the National Council of Churches, World Council of Churches, etc. Therefore, if you are an honest member of any of these Babylonian churches, God is calling you to come out and willingly separate from her by separating yourselves from its fellowship or communion so that you will be completely free without blemish or the least stain of sins, whether it is personal or corporate. Hence, you will not receive the wrath of God which is the seven last plagues found in Revelation 16.
The last message of mercy is now going forth. It is a token of the long-suffering and compassion of God. Come, is the invitation now given. Come, for all things are now ready. This is mercy's last call. Next will come the vengeance of an offended God.
Jesus is calling you by name now: “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.” John 10:3-4. Will you follow Him?Jesus is knocking in your heart, “Behold I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear My voice, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and he with me.” Rev. 3:20. Won't you let Him in?
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