Friday, November 11, 2005

Has Babylon the Great Fallen?

Has Babylon the Great really already fallen? And have Jehovah's Witnesses and the WTS really ceased to be a part of Babylon the Great? Some of our fellow brothers have been duped by apostate reasonings into thinking that Babylon has not fallen and that Jehovah's Witnesses have not been called to come out of Babylon.

As one disbeliever of such a fall commented, "if Babylon has already fallen, why does Christendom's trinity god still presumptuously parade as if he were the real God of the Bible? Or why does the Muslim god, Allah, still oppress and kill Jehovah's Witnesses, and anyone else who carries a Bible in the lands where his worshippers dominate? Is Jehovah, the God of Jehovah's Witnesses, and the same God who parted the Red Sea and overthrew the mighty kingdom of Babylon in one fateful night, merely an also-ran to the modern pantheon of gods of the nations?"

In his use of the above questions he is trying to put forth the notion that Babylon the Great must not have fallen yet. But is his reasoning valid? Or does his reasoning belie the fact that he simply does not understand what the Bible really teaches on the subject? While he poses these questions in an attempt to merely discredit the WTS, we will admit that those are certainly reasonable questions that ones might sincerely ask and that deserve an answer. Does the Bible offer that answer? Let us see.

Does Babylon's Fall Mean Immediate Destruction?

The 18th chapter of Revelation provides the answer. It shows us that her fall occurs sometime before her destruction: "After these things I saw another angel descending from heaven, with great authority; and the earth was lighted up from his glory. 2 And he cried out with a strong voice, saying: “She has fallen! Babylon the Great has fallen, and she has become a dwelling place of demons and a lurking place of every unclean exhalation and a lurking place of every unclean and hated bird! 3 For because of the wine of the anger of her fornication all the nations have fallen [victim], and the kings of the earth committed fornication with her, and the traveling merchants of the earth became rich due to the power of her shameless luxury.”

Please note that after her fall she still continues to be a lurking place for demons and uncleaness. We find this to be true in false religion today where pagan demonic teachings are promoted and where immorality runs rampant among its members. She has fallen but no she is not yet destroyed.

"4 And I heard another voice out of heaven say: “Get out of her, my people, if YOU do not want to share with her in her sins, and if YOU do not want to receive part of her plagues."

The call to get out of her comes after her fall but of course before her destruction. Anyone failing to get out of Babylon the Great could not be called 'my people' by Jehovah God. That call to get out is now taking place before her detruction and will probably continue right up until her destruction.

"5 For her sins have massed together clear up to heaven, and God has called her acts of injustice to mind. 6 Render to her even as she herself rendered, and do to her twice as much, yes, twice the number of the things she did; in the cup in which she put a mixture put twice as much of the mixture for her. 7 To the extent that she glorified herself and lived in shameless luxury, to that extent give her torment and mourning. For in her heart she keeps saying, ‘I sit a queen, and I am no widow, and I shall never see mourning.’ "

Even after she has fallen she still displays the attitude that she is a queen and nothing can happen to her. And even after her fall she appears to be well grounded in this system, ruling over the nations as a queen sitting pretty.

"8 That is why in one day her plagues will come, death and mourning and famine, and she will be completely burned with fire, because Jehovah God, who judged her, is strong."

Additionally we see here that even after her fall it is declared that her destruction is still yet future when she will be completely burned with fire. Why will this burning take place? It is 'because Jehovah God, who judged her, is strong.' She is judged (past tense) as already fallen before she is destroyed.

The Fall of Ancient Babylon--A Parallel

The parallel is ancient Babylon. It fell in 539BCE. But it was not destroyed. God's people were released from it in 537BCE but it was still not destroyed. The Babylonian religion and philosophy still held sway over the earth. It wasn't until some time later that it was destroyed.

Concerning Babylon becoming a literal desolate wasteland one brother named Al said, "Remember that when the ancient Babylon fell it continued to be a capital city and a major trading post for centuries. It was still inhabited in the 1st century and the early Christians preached there. All of this happend despite that the prophecies said Babylon would fall and become a desolate waste. But the prophecies weren't wrong. Babylon did fall, it just didn't become a desolate waste immediately, but it did later. So too with prophetic Babylon the Great. It fell and no longer prevented the truth from being spoken as it had done for centuries during the dark ages. It's not a desolate waste yet as Revelation predicts, but that too will change, hopefully soon."

What the Fall of Babylon Means

It is not that Babylon the Great, false religion, has lost position and authority in the world today. She has much influence over this world and the nations. In fact, as we showed earlier, even after Babylon the Great has fallen according to Revelation she still says, 'I sit a queen and I am no widow and I shall never see mourning.' She does not acknowledge or recognize a fall. Nor do her lovers.

The fall is only apparent to Jehovah and to Jehovah's people for He has pronounced that she has fallen and that her sure destruction will come. Jehovah's Witnesses proclaim that judgment by Jehovah and her coming destruction worldwide in their preaching of the good news of the Kingdom. JWs are no longer in bondage to Babylon's pagan falsehoods. She has no spiritual control over God's people any longer. God's people have been released from that bondage. She has fallen in that sense and in the sense that God has pronounced her destruction. But she still is viewed as a queen by herself and her lovers.

The Fall of Judaism

The fall of Babylon the Great also has a parallel in the fall of Judaism in the first century as well. Jesus said at Matthew 23:37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets and stoner of those sent forth to her,—how often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks together under her wings! But YOU people did not want it. 38 Look! YOUR house is abandoned to YOU."

The Jewish religious system had become filled with falsehoods and traditions of men. It had rejected God's son. It was therefore abandoned or rejected by God, fallen from his favor. God's people were released from that rejected religion and gathered into the newly formed Christian organization of God. The barren fallen Jewish religious system had no spiritual hold on God's people any longer. It had fallen. But it still existed. It still persecuted God's people. Even Rome apparently considered it a force to be reckoned with because in 70CE the Roman armies, the disgusting thing, attacked Jerusalem and destroyed the city and its temple thereby leaving no doubt that God had rejected them.

It is the same today. God has rejected Babylon the Great and she has no spiritual hold on God's people any longer. God's people have gotten out of her and have left her Babylonish teachings and falsehoods. She has fallen. But she still persecutes God's people. She is still a force to be reckoned with and the disgusting thing, the scarlet wild beast, will do so when he turns on her and eats her up. (Revelation 17)

Paul Makes the Connection

The Apostle Paul clears the matter up so that we are left with no doubt. At 2 Corinthians 6:16,17 notice what he says, "For we are a temple of a living God; just as God said: “I shall reside among them and walk among [them], and I shall be their God, and they will be my people.” 17 “‘Therefore get out from among them, and separate yourselves,’ says Jehovah, ‘and quit touching the unclean thing’”; “‘and I will take YOU in.’” 18 “‘And I shall be a father to YOU, and YOU will be sons and daughters to me,’ says Jehovah the Almighty.”

Here Paul makes the connection that those anointed ones, who are 'a temple of a living God', are the same ones who God calls 'my people' and have gotten out of symbolic Babylon. How do we know this? Because he is here quoting from the prophecy of Isaiah about the Israelites leaving ancient Babylon.

Isaiah 52: 9 "Become cheerful, cry out joyfully in unison, YOU devastated places of Jerusalem, for Jehovah has comforted his people; he has repurchased Jerusalem. 10 Jehovah has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth must see the salvation of our God.
11 Turn away, turn away, get out of there, touch nothing unclean; get out from the midst of her, keep yourselves clean, YOU who are carrying the utensils of Jehovah."

Does this not prove from God's word that the call to get out of Babylon the Great is not at some designated time during or immediately prior to the Great Tribulation but rather the call to get out of Babylon is at the time of the initial ingathering of God's people. That is what Paul was saying. That was the requirement for true Christians in the first century if they wanted to be part of God's temple class.

Babylon Has Fallen--Get Out Now

Trying to use faulty reasoning to discredit and belittle Jehovah's people one such twister of God's word said, "Has Jehovah's name become renowned world-wide merely because the Bible Students denounced Christendom back in the 1920's? Not really." However, we know that to be a dishonest and misleading statement, purposely put in such a way as to again attempt to belittle Jehovah's Witnesses. But we know, contrary to the reasoning of this opposer of God's people, that thanks to the preaching of the good news of Jehovah's Kingdom, the divine name has indeed become renowned throughout the entire globe like never before. For a fact, millions of people worldwide have been contacted by the promoters and bearers of God's name Jehovah?

He further reasons, "If Babylon the Great has already fallen and God's people have relived the mighty deliverance from the hand of tyranny, foreshadowed and foretold in prophecy, then, we must say "Yes, Jehovah is no more powerful than any other god." To this we can say, perhaps his god is no more powerful than any other god but our God Jehovah has pronounced that Babylon the Great has fallen and has collected together millions of people who are no longer under bondage to Babylon the Great or her false teachings. Perhaps he considers that a small unimportant feat that Jehovah has performed but Jesus said that it could only be performed by the power of the holy spirit.

Acts 1:8 "but YOU will receive power when the holy spirit arrives upon YOU, and YOU will be witnesses of me both in Jerusalem and in all Ju·de´a and Sa·mar´i·a and to the most distant part of the earth.”

Yes Babylon has indeed fallen according to the scriptures and now is the time for God's people to get out of her. Do not let the twisted reasonings of apostates convince you otherwise.