Revelation 18:1-5 (NKJV) After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
“Come out of her (Babylon), my people, lest you share in her sins“. Thus the call of God comes to those redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; to leave behind Babylon. Many have conjectured what or where the end-times Babylon is: current day Iraq, Rome, Jerusalem and even the United States of America. For the purpose of our discussion today, we will acknowledge that end-times Babylon has real geography (which will be discussed in the second post), and is the real end of days one world governance. This governance will be headed by the final most terrible Antichrist.
It is imperative we understand that the command to “Come out of her…” is a command to escape from Babylon, as the Greek phrase “Come out” expresses. This understanding is important, for a call to escape implies the real potential of captivity ending in judgement with Babylon; should one not escape.
It is imperative that we deal with an obvious an divisive issue for some of my readers, who believe that the church of Christ will already be with Jesus when Babylon is destroyed. Therefore some believe Revelation 18:5 must apply to end-times Israel. Regardless of this position we must admit that to the first readers of this prophecy, the rapture had not taken place, nor were the first readers Jewish, but Christians of seven cities in Asia minor.
Let us also acknowledge, the rapture has still not taken place yet, though we are waiting with great anticipation for our blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Titus 2:11-14). Let us acknowledge most of us aren’t Jewish, and the call to “Come out” of Babylon is still real for us. This is because in the final one world government, there is an apostate faith that even today is entangling many who call themselves by the name of Christ.
In order to “Come out” to escape Babylon we must understand what it represents and see how God has called the faithful to escape its allure since the time of Abraham.
BABYLON BEGINS AT BABEL
Please understand, for the purpose of grasping what it means to escape Babylon, we will summarize some Old Testament events. Therefore the history given, not being exhaustive, is to provide context for God’s call to escape Babylon to His faithful throughout both Testaments. That being said, the Mystery of Babylon begins at the tower of Babel.
In Genesis 11 we find all people in rebellion against God. After the flood, the LORD commanded Noah and his sons to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1). In defiance of this command, the people, being led by the first Antichrist figure, decided to congregate in one area. Nimrod was their rebel leader and the first Antichrist figure. Nimrod, the head of the government, commanded a tower which would serve as an alter of sacrifice to false gods, and defy God’s authority.
In Babel, Nimrod was the unmitigated head of all government and religion, but he delegated practical authority of the false religion to his wife Semiramis. Interestingly Nimrod would assume the deity of sun god, his wife the Queen of heaven, their son Tammuz a miraculously born son of the god of the sun. This unholy trinity has been replicated in almost every pantheon of pagan worship. After the nation of Israel entered Canaan and they rebelled against God, He chastised them for the worship of these three, under other names (Baal, Ashtoreth and Moloch).
What must be understood, is that Nimrod’s one world government exercised absolute authority over the politics, religion, economics and therefore morals and culture. All of it was tied together through demonic worship of false deities, propping up Nimrod as deity. Into this world we turn to God’s call to Abraham, which is the first call to the faithful to leave Babylon behind.
Genesis 12:1-4 (NKJV) Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.
To understand God’s call to Abraham, we must begin in Chapter 12:28, where we see Abraham following his father Terah;where they had already left the land of their birth. That land was Ur of the Chaldean’s. Babel was the capitol city of that area, before God had confused the languages. After Abraham’s father died God speaks to Abraham, who is now the head of his deceased father’s family and God clearly delineates he is to leave Ur (Babylon). Not only is he to leave the nation (Government and religion), but it’s economy and culture; even the influence of his father’s family.
This is important, for although Babel was not what it once was, its government, economy, culture, and influence was all from demonically inspire governance and religion. For those called of God there is no mixing with this system at all.
This command was to be carried out by Abraham’s descendants, the Israelite’s. It was for that reason, after entering the land of Canaan, that God commanded the annihilation of the Canaanite tribes who followed Nimrod’s sexually immoral and abominable religion. As we understand from Joshua and Judges, Israel came up short of God’s command and even adopted a bastardized religion that acknowledged YHWH, while practicing the abominations of the pagan culture around it.
It was for that reason (among many others) that God prophesied their captivity in Isaiah. In the prophet Isaiah chapters 47 and 48, we see the LORD declaring the fall of Babylon; which is fulfilled in the first place over 100 years later, after Israel enters into captivity; but finally in the end-times version of Babylon. In the midst of this God called to His people with a familiar message.
Isaiah 48:20 (NKJV) Go forth from Babylon! Flee from the Chaldeans! With a voice of singing, declare, proclaim this, Utter it to the end of the earth; Say, “The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob!”
We also hear this call for Israel to flee Babylon, after many were in captivity and before the decree to return to Israel in Jeremiah’s prophecy, especially in chapters 50 and 51.
Jeremiah 50:8-10 (NKJV) “Move from the midst of Babylon, Go out of the land of the Chaldeans; And be like the rams before the flocks. For behold, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon An assembly of great nations from the north country, And they shall array themselves against her; From there she shall be captured. Their arrows shall be like those of an expert warrior; None shall return in vain. And Chaldea shall become plunder; All who plunder her shall be satisfied,” says the Lord.
Jeremiah 51:6-9 (NKJV) Flee from the midst of Babylon, and every one save his life! Do not be cut off in her iniquity, for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; He shall recompense her. Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; Therefore the nations are deranged. Babylon has suddenly fallen and been destroyed. Wail for her! Take balm for her pain; Perhaps she may be healed. We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed. Forsake her, and let us go everyone to his own country; For her judgment reaches to heaven and is lifted up to the skies.
In the last passage we see some allusion to the end times Babylon. God’s command could not be more clear and in addition to Revelation 18, God consistently calls us away from Babylon in every generation, but much more as we see the Day of the Lord’s return draw nearer than ever.
THE CALL IS IN OUR NAME
Interestingly, one of the names God gives to His redeemed Children as a body of Christ is “The Church“. In the Greek language the word Church comes from the word “ekklesia” which means “the called out“. Called out from Babylon, which is explicitly detailed as the world’s politics and law, economy, culture and influence in II Corinthians 6:14-7:1.
2 Corinthians 6:14 – 7:1 (NKJV) Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.” therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
We further understand the principal of Babylon, inherent in all the world system of government, even the USA and Israel, from I John 2:15-17.
1 John 2:15-17 (NKJV) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.\
When understanding Babylon, apart from it’s end times incarnation, we must understand it’s influence in a system. The word “world” from the Greek language means “the orderly arrangement of the world system with its adornment, working in harmony with itself“. This brings to mind what David prophesied in Psalm 2, and that which will be more and more aligned against the Lord Jesus Christ and His church in the coming years.
Psalms 2:1-3 (NKJV) Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.”
This is the spirit of Babylon, which will coalesce into the last one world rebellion against God under the Antichrist. In our next post we will explore what it means to escape Babylon, and finally where the last Babylon may possibly be found right now in the world.