Lesson 20 - Babylon is Fallen
Lesson 20 - (downloadable pdf file)
Throughout the Old Testament two ancient cities, Jerusalem and Babylon, are set in contrast. The city of Babylon had its origin when men willfully and knowingly turned from God and in defiance to Him sought salvation by their own works. Thus, Babylon became synonymous with apostasy, arrogance, confusion, and man-made salvation. In contrast to Babylon, the center of Satan’s earthly kingdom, was Jerusalem—“city of peace”—the center of God’s earthly kingdom. In the Revelation these two cities are again brought into contrast, representing two spiritual kingdoms.
1. What does the second angel of Revelation 14 announce? Revelation 14:8
NOTE: The announcement that Babylon is fallen implies that this was not always the case.
2. To what is Babylon likened? Revelation 17:5, 6
3. What is represented by a woman? Jeremiah 6:2
NOTE: We note that the apostle Paul used the same symbology in comparing the Christian church to a chaste virgin, espoused to Christ. The sacred and enduring relationship that is to exist between Christ and His church is likened to the union of marriage. See Jeremiah 3:14.
4. Is it possible for a pure and good church to fall from that position? Isaiah 1:21
NOTE: The announcement that Babylon has fallen must then apply to religious bodies that were once pure and have become corrupt. This announcement coming in the time of the judgment, given in the last days, cannot apply to the Roman Church alone, for it has been in a fallen condition for hundreds of years.
5. What constitutes spiritual adultery? James 4:4
NOTE: The unfaithfulness of the church to Christ in permitting her affections to be turned from Him and allowing worldly things to occupy her interest is likened to the violation of the marriage vow.
6. With whom is Babyon said to have formed this illicit relationship? Revelation 17:2
NOTE: The fact that it was a relationship with the civil powers (kings) proves that this power, referred to as Babylon, is not a government.
7. What does this false church become the mother of? Revelation 17:5
NOTE: By her daughters must be symbolized churches that cling to her doctrines and traditions and follow her example of sacrificing the truth and the approval of God in order to form an unlawful alliance with the world. The term “Babylon” – confusion - may be appropriately applied to these bodies, all professing to derive their doctrines from the Bible, yet divided into almost innumerous sects with widely conflicting creeds and theories.
8. Who are called out of this system of apostasy? Revelation 18:4
NOTE: Notwithstanding the spiritual darkness and alienation from God that exist in the churches which constitutes Babylon, Christ has many true followers who are still to be found in their communion. Anciently, during the days of Jewish captivity just before the overthrow of Babylon, God sent a message of warning that those who were in the city might escape the final overthrow. See Jeremiah 51:6.
9. What has Babylon made all nations do? Revelation 14:8
NOTE: The charge is made against Babylon that she “made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” This drink must represent her false doctrines that she has accepted as a result of her unlawful relationship with the rulers of the earth, to require all to accept these false teachings; teachings which are opposed to the plainest statements of Scripture.
This fall is of a progressive nature, for it cannot yet be said that all nations have been forced to partake of these false doctrines. In the worldliness that can be seen in the popular churches as the result of rejecting the gospel truth a moral fall has taken place, but the fall cannot yet be said to be complete. When the merge and final work in union of church and state, toward which the churches are tending, becomes an accomplished fact throughout the Christian world, the fall of Babylon will be complete.