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"Babylon The Great Has Fallen!"
God's Kingdom Rules!



Chapter 25

From the Euphrates to Har-Magedon

Revelation 16:12-21

THE pouring out of the sixth plague pointed to a double action, one having to do with Babylon, and the other, Har-Magedon. The apostle John, speaking of the sixth of the "seven angels" who had bowls full of God's anger, says: "And the sixth one poured out his bowl upon the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, that the way might be prepared for the kings from the rising of the sun."  — Revelation 16:12.

The name Babylon is not here mentioned, but no doubt Babylon is meant. Why? Because she was the chief city located on the Euphrates River in ancient times and it was by means of practically drying up the riverbed that Babylon's fall was accomplished. At the Euphrates was also where captives were located, for when, as described in Revelation 9:13-15, the sixth trumpet was blown by an angel, this angel was given the following command: "Untie the four angels that are bound at the great river Euphrates." In obedience to this command those "four angels" were untied, to carry out a certain mission. Babylon was the city that held Jehovah's people, the Israelites, captives and exiles by the Euphrates River until the decree of Cyrus the Persian released them in 537 B.C.

What the pouring out of the sixth bowl discloses prophetically is the coming destruction of Babylon the Great. Since Babylon's fall had already been proclaimed by an angel, in Revelation 14:8. which fall

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was shown to have occurred in the year 1919 after World War I, to what, then, does its overthrow by the "kings from the rising of the sun" in Revelation 16:12 refer? Those kings from the east were pictured by Cyrus the Persian and his associated conqueror, and in our day they prove to be Jesus Christ and his Father Jehovah God. As was the case in connection with Cyrus of old, so it is also today: Jehovah is the "One saying to the watery deep, 'Be evaporated; and all your rivers I shall dry up.' " — Isaiah 44:27 to 45:5.

Elsewhere, the waters on which ancient Babylon sat are said to symbolize peoples, crowds and nations. However, the drying up of the waters of the Euphrates did not picture the releasing of the captive Israelites to return to Jerusalem and Judah. The releasing of the exiled Israelites to go back home did not have any part in causing Babylon's fall. She fell to Cyrus in 539 B.C., but the Israelites returned home in the second year thereafter, in 537 B.C.

Neither did the plague of drying up the waters of the Euphrates picture the turning of any people to Jehovah God. At most it pictured the turning of people away from Babylon, thus turning aside a strong part of her defense system and support, as this would offset the defensive power of her lofty walls. When Great Babylon falls at the end of this worldly system of things, it will be too late for people to turn to Jehovah God, which they might want to do just to "save their necks." Hence a revolt of people against the world empire of Babylonish religion may here be pictured, but not in favor of Jehovah. Besides all the damage that people in revolt may do to her, the Kings from the East, Jehovah and Jesus Christ, are the ones who must destroy Babylon. God's bowl of anger is against all defense and support of Babylon.

On Sunday, July 24, 1927, people who were unwilling captives in bondage to Babylon the Great were especially addressed under notable circumstances. The

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address was the leading feature of the general assembly of the International Bible Students at Toronto, Canada. It was spoken, not only to a visible audience of 15,000, but also to an invisible audience by means of 53 radio stations linked together from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean and including radio station WBBR. After reading a resolution addressed "To the Peoples of Christendom," President Rutherford spoke in favor of the resolution in his widely advertised speech, "Freedom for the Peoples." When speaking of the hopeless state of Christendom he said:


"... With great pomp and glory that unholy system rides upon the backs of the peoples. Without the support of the common peoples that wicked system called 'Christendom' could not survive. When the peoples withdraw their support therefrom 'organized Christianity,' which is a part of Babylon or the Devil's organization, will fall like a great millstone into the sea.

"... But instead of heeding the message from the Word of God the rulers of the world, to wit, those constituting the unholy alliance, walk on in darkness and continue to oppress the peoples. The doom of 'organized Christianity' or Babylon is sealed! . . ." — The Watch Tower, as of October 15, 1927, page 312.


This message was afterward put in booklet form in a number of languages and distributed worldwide by the millions of copies. It served as further notice to the world that Babylon the Great was doomed and that this world empire of Babylonish religion was to be destroyed by the "kings from the rising of the sun." Such notification of impending destruction has continued to be served on Babylon the Great in even sharper and clearer terms. It has been like a great plague or blow to those who support and defend her.

INSPIRED EXPRESSIONS LIKE FROGS

From the Euphrates River, made famous by Babylon, the vision of the apostle John is shifted, geographically speaking, to a point about 500 miles to

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Beast with frog coming out of its mouth

The Symbolic "False Prophet" or
Two-horned Wild Beast Out of the Earth

the southwest, to the valley of Jezreel or Esdraelon, which separates Galilee from Samaria. John sees a gathering of armies to this region, not the armies of the "kings from the rising of the sun," but the armies of earthly, human kings. John discloses how the gathering is brought about by saying:

"And I saw three unclean inspired expressions that looked like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the wild beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are, in fact, expressions inspired by demons and perform signs, and they go forth to the kings of the entire inhabited earth, to gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty."  — Revelation 16:13, 14.

As the appearance of these spirits or inspired expressions was that of frogs, an unclean animal to Jews like John before he became a Christian, it stamps these inspired expressions as being unclean in God's sight. Coming from the source that they do, they should be unclean, and they are inspired by unclean demons. They also make a croaking noise. They come out of the mouth of three creatures, and so must

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symbolize official proclamations, announcements, predictions, or propaganda, especially to influence kings or rulers of this world. As the symbolic dragon is Satan the Devil, who is the ruler of the demons, the unclean, froglike inspired expression out of his mouth must say that Jehovah God is not the Sovereign of the universe and that his rightful Messianic kingdom over earth is not to be recognized or surrendered to, even if the Gentile Times ended in 1914. Kingdom preaching by Jehovah's witnesses must therefore be stopped, and if they refuse to stop preaching Jehovah's kingdom by Christ we must war against them.

The "wild beast" out of the sea is the Dragon's visible political organization for governing mankind. It is loyal to the Dragon to whom it is indebted for its political power, throne and great authority. So the inspired propagandistic expression out of the wild beast's mouth backs up what the Dragon says. It argues for the sovereignty of the various national groups and tells them to conspire against Jehovah and his Anointed One or Messiah and to break all bands, restrictions and limitations that these would impose on them now that the Gentile Times have ended.  — Psalm 2:1-10.

The "false prophet" is a new figure in name only. He is really the other "wild beast" that ascended out of the earth and that had two lamblike horns. It is no one else but the dual world power of Britain and America who cooperate economically, politically and militarily, in English, and largely on the Protestant side of religion. But since Revelation 13:11 says that this two-horned beast speaks as the dragon does in blasphemies of God and His heavenly residence, and since it makes the "image of the wild beast" speak, the two-horned beast is here cast in the role of a prophet, not for Jehovah, of course. So it is a "false prophet." As it is the seventh head of the seven-headed "wild beast" out of the sea, it assumes to speak

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nowadays for the entire wild beast. From its position of economic, political and military strength, it speaks very impressively, for it predominates today as the Seventh World Power.

This political "false prophet" system speaks against God's kingdom but in favor of human sovereignty of the earth with self-determination of the peoples and in favor of an international alliance, first the League of Nations and now the United Nations, to keep a nuclear-powered world from destroying itself in world war.

These demon-inspired expressions from the three sources "perform signs," in order to clothe themselves with authority and impressiveness. At times they call for action on the part of the Dragon, the wild beast and the false prophet to enforce what the inspired expressions say. This makes it seem that the inspired expressions are coming true and have the "god of this world" backing them up. No matter how much these expressions may croak on the subject of international peace, they are really for war — for war against Jehovah God the Almighty and his Messiah.

Hence John says that the "inspired expressions" go forth to the worldly rulers who today possess nuclear and other mass-killing weapons, to "gather them together to the war of the great day of God the Almighty." Yes, they are really gathering them to fight Jehovah, who is Almighty God, a fight against which Jehovah's witnesses have warned the nations.* The nations plainly show they are marching to that final war in that, in these days, they fight against Jehovah's witnesses who preach the good news of God's kingdom.

As long ago as 1897 the publishing agent of Jehovah's witnesses, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, published the book called "The Battle of Armageddon" (at first called "The Day of Vengeance").


* Compare Acts 5: 38, 39.
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This book presented a certain understanding of what this final war would be. However, it was not till the Watch Tower magazine's issue of July 15, 1925, that Jehovah's modern Christian witnesses got the understanding that this final war would be, not a mere human struggle for domination here on earth, but a universal war. It would be really a war with God Almighty, in which he would destroy the Devil's entire organization in heaven and in earth. "This is the fight of God Almighty; and the fight is led by his beloved Son," said page 280 of the book Deliverance, issued in 1926.* This information has since been expanded and enlarged upon Scripturally. It has plagued the sensibilities of world rulers.

In the midst of this fascinating feature of John's vision a voice interrupts his contemplations. It says: "Look! I am coming as a thief. Happy is the one that stays awake and keeps his outer garments, that he may not walk naked and people look upon his shamefulness." (Revelation 16:15) The speaker is evidently one of the kings from the rising of the sun," the Greater Cyrus, namely, the reigning King Jesus Christ, who takes a leading part in destroying Babylon the Great. But now he speaks as the one whom John saw walking among the seven symbolic golden lamp-stands, the seven congregations of Asia. In that scene he repeatedly warned these congregations that he was coming suddenly to them for an inspection work followed by due rewards or recompenses. — Revelation 2:5, 16; 3:11.

Inasmuch as he is coming against the world empire of Babylonish religion, the members of the congregations of spirit-begotten Christians need to watch that they do not fall away to the condemned Babylonish religion. They are heirs with him of the heavenly kingdom. They are serving Jehovah God in his spiritual temple, as a spiritual priesthood, "a royal priesthood,"


* See The Watchtower, as of December 1, 1961. pages 721. 722.
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clothed in Christ's righteousness. Like in the temple in Jerusalem during Jesus' days on earth, if they go to sleep at their posts of duty and the temple inspector comes and finds them not watching over the safety and interests of the temple, they will be beaten and stripped of their priestly garments and be discharged. They will be put out of the temple as unfit for work in it. This will be shameful for them, and persons who looked to them for priestly services will see them, as it were, in their nakedness, without the covering of Christ's righteousness, as being no imitators of him.  — 1 Peter 2:5-9; Exodus 20:25, 26.

Consequently the temple priest who stays awake and keeps actively on the watch and who is found in this state when Jehovah's High Priest arrives like a thief for inspection work, will be happy for his faithfulness and reliability. He will retain his priestly garments and functions and not be stripped of them. He will have the promise of Revelation 3:12 fulfilled to him. He will win heavenly glory rather than suffer shame here with Babylon the Great.

After that slight but timely interruption by this solemn warning, the apostle John saw where the froglike inspired expressions out of the mouths of the Dragon, the "wild beast" and the "false prophet" gathered the earthly kings to wage the "war of the great day of God the Almighty." Where is it to be waged? Not on the Euphrates at Babylon, for Revelation 16:16 says: "And they gathered them together to the place that is called in Hebrew Har-Magedon."

The name seems to mean "Mountain of Megiddo." Not only because the name is Hebrew, but also because it appears to contain the name of the Hebrew fortress city of Megiddo, the place named is to be associated with Hebrew territory.* It is reported that, near here,


* In an article on Har-Magedon, Dr. Eb. Nestle says: "Upon the whole, to find an allusion here to Megiddo is still the most probable explanation. . . . the place seems to be mentioned . . . because of the victory over 'the kings of Canaan' (Judges 5: 19)." — Page 305a of Volume 2 of Hastings Dictionary of the Bible, edition of 1903.
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Heaven fought for the victory of Jehovah's people under Judge Barak and the prophetess Deborah. In their victory song they sang:


"Kings came, they fought; it was then that the kings of Canaan fought in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo. No gain of silver did they take. From heaven did the stars fight, from their orbits they fought against Sisera. The torrent of Kishon washed them away." — Judges 5:19-21.

Says The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Volume 2, page 1340: "These low hills around Megiddo, with their outlook over the plain of Esdraelon, have witnessed perhaps a greater number of bloody encounters than have ever stained a like area of the world's surface." The name Megiddo enters very nicely into the matter, not merely because of its historical associations, but because, as Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon (1859 edition) suggests, the name may mean "the place of crowds" (locus turbárum).

On no geographical map does a place named Har-Magedon (Armageddon) appear. In Revelation 16:16 this name does not literally refer to the neighborhood of Megiddo in the plain of Esdraelon, but it symbolizes the place where, within the realm of Jehovah's witnesses' experiences on earth, this final war is fought out.* In other words, the earthly kings under demon influence invade the holy estate that these Christian witnesses have in relationship with their God Jehovah, and they try to destroy it. Only in this indirect way can they get at Jehovah God and his Messiah. It is


* The author and Bible translator, Hugh J. Schonfield, identifies Har-Magedon (Armageddon) with Ramoth-Gilead, possibly known in John's day as Rama-Gad-Yavan, meaning "Rama of Gad of the Greeks," the place Gad-Yavan being mentioned in the Jewish Mishnah of the second century. — See pages 181-184 of his book The Bible Was Right; also the comment on Revelation 16: 16, on page 546 of his translation The Authentic New Testament.
At any rate, Schonfield associates Armageddon with Jewish territory, although east of the Jordan River, in the aforetime territory of the tribe of Gad. He does not locate it near the Euphrates.
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at this point of collision with Jehovah's holy, royal interests that he meets the attackers in a final, decisive war that will need no repeating. He will gain an everlasting victory over them, just as he did over the ancient "kings of Canaan" by the waters of Megiddo.

Thus the demon-inspired expressions that came out of the mouths of Satan the Dragon and his visible political governing organization and the falsely prophesying Anglo-American World Power are gathering the world rulers to their destruction at a spiritual Har-Magedon. The pouring out of the sixth bowl reveals that.

SEVENTH BOWL POURED OUT

While witnessing the effects of the pouring out of the seventh symbolic bowl of God's anger, John's attention is directed back eastward to Babylon. In telling about this seventh and last bowl by means of which "the anger of God is brought to a finish," John writes: "And the seventh one poured out his bowl upon the air. At this a loud voice issued out of the sanctuary from the throne, saying: 'It has come to pass!' And lightnings and voices and thunders occurred, and a great earthquake occurred such as had not occurred since men came to be on the earth, so extensive an earthquake, so great. And the great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell; and Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give her the cup of the wine of the anger of his wrath. Also, every island fled, and mountains were not found. And a great hail with every stone about the weight of a talent [around a hundred pounds] descended out of heaven upon the men, and the men blasphemed God due to the plague of hail, because the plague of it was unusually great."  — Revelation 16:17-21: 15:1.

This pouring out of the seventh bowl by the seventh angel was no explosion of an atomic bomb or nuclear

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device in the atmosphere or in outer space above our earth, causing a deadly fallout and contaminating the very air we breathe. To us air means life, our very soul. (Genesis 6:17; 7:15, 22; Job 9:18) Men and animals cannot live without air to breathe. This seventh plague was therefore more devastating in its effects than those plagues on the earth, the sea, the rivers and fountains of water, including the Euphrates River. Just how far above the earth the seventh bowl was poured out upon the air is not said, but all the earth comes to be affected.

According to the ancient Babylonians the air was the abode of evil spirits and devils. Of the seven evil spirits whom they feared, the first one was the South Wind, the sixth a whirlwind, and the seventh a storm (hurricane). There were also triads of devils, the demons that caused sickness seeming to form a class by themselves. But each of these devils had a name and was thought to have a monstrous form of some kind. The followers of Pythagoras believed our atmosphere to be peopled with spirits, under the control of a chief who held his seat of empire in the air. Such spirits were thought to be powerful but malignant, bent on inciting men to do wickedness.

Satan the Devil is declared to be "the prince of the power of the air," or, "the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit that now operates in the sons of disobedience." (Ephesians 2:2. AV; NW) The air or atmosphere is nothing spiritual; yet it is invisible, and it represents a realm of invisibility.

Satan the Devil is not an airy creature, but he is invisible because he is spiritual. He is very powerful in the invisible spiritual realm, particularly with reference to our earth and its atmosphere. Since mankind's fall into sin and death at the garden of Eden, he has been the "one having the means to cause death, that is, the Devil." (Hebrews 2:14) He was

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permitted to cause the death of Job's ten children (by a windstorm) but not of Job himself; and when, in order to report to God, he came "from roving about in the earth and from walking about in it," he very likely came from roving within our earth's air or atmosphere. — Job 1:7,18,19; 2:2, 6.

In fighting against the Devil's machinations Christians on earth have to fight "against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6: 11,12) Certainly when Satan the Devil and his demon angels were cast out of heaven after God's Messianic kingdom was born up there in 1914, they were confined to the atmosphere of our earth, and so woes resulted for the earth and for the sea. — Revelation 12:5-12.

Satan the Devil is the "ruler of the authority of the air" by having control over a powerful spirit organization in the air. Hence men who are the "sons of disobedience" toward God breathe in, as it were, the spirit of Satan the Devil. In their daily lives they live by his spirit and according to the system of things of which Satan is the god. (Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4) So, when the seventh angel poured out his bowl "upon the air," he was pouring out God's anger on the realm of the Dragon, Satan the Devil, and on the spirit of the Devil and its fruitage among men. This indicated that God was angry at the spirit of the Devil that the disobedient men on earth displayed in their lives.

The "loud voice" that issued from the heavenly sanctuary at this outpouring was that of Jehovah God, the One who sits on the throne there. The voice said: "It has come to pass!" Yes, the seventh and last bowl for bringing to a finish the anger of God was poured out; and it was poured out on the last one of the vital things that are necessary to man's life, namely, the air. The seven angels could now go

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back into the sanctuary and report on the finish of their obedient action. (Revelation 15:8; 16:17) But at this point, too, it was the time to let God's anger fully express itself against the spirit of Satan the Devil in man, man's "air."

In full harmony with the pouring out of this seventh bowl "upon the air," an event took place on Sunday morning, August 5, 1928, at the public meeting of the international assembly of dedicated Christian Bible Students. At first there was submitted for consideration a resolution entitled "Declaration Against Satan and for Jehovah." In its third proposition it said:


Third: . . . that Satan the Devil has caused strife amongst the nations and is responsible for all the cruel wars, wicked murders, all heinous crimes and other corrupt acts that have been committed; that until now Jehovah has not restrained Satan from the exercise of power and influence over men; . . . that for many centuries Satan has been the invisible ruler of the world, constantly defaming the name of Jehovah God and working great injury to men and nations.


Following the presentation of this resolution, President Rutherford delivered to the visible audience of 12,000 and an unseen audience listening by means of a network of 106 radio stations the supporting speech entitled "Ruler for the People." As he gave that speech he made an expose of Satan's spirit, saying:


"... the Bible designates him under the title Satan, Serpent, Dragon and Devil. All the unrighteous wars that have been fought between men, and all the cruel murders committed by men, have been due to the wicked influence of Satan the Devil because he was the first murderer and the father of lies. (John 8:44) All the tears of bitterness that have flowed from those who have been dealt with unjustly and sorely oppressed must be traced to the influence of Satan because he is the great and wicked oppressor. (Ps. 72:4) All the bitterness that has existed and been exhibited between professed Christian people, all the religious intolerance and persecution of Christians, must be laid at Satan's door. All

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the foul aspersions against Jehovah God and all the defamation of his holy name must be laid to the charge of Satan the Devil.

"... it was Satan, the invisible ruler of this world, who caused the death of Jesus. Such wicked persecution could not have proceeded from Jehovah God against his own Son. From then till now the Christians have suffered violent persecution. . . .

"Afterwards the Romans persecuted and put to death many Christian people. . . .

"All the evidence shows that Satan, the invisible ruler of this world, is the responsible one for such wrongful acts, and the conclusion is in harmony with the words of Jesus, . . . The fight of the Christian has not been against men, but against the invisible Satan and his cohorts of evil. . . . — Eph. 6:11, 12, Weymouth."


At some length, with quotations from various publications, President Rutherford went on to state in detail the wickedness of Satan in this world. He also said:


"The charge is often made that Jehovah is a cruel and bloodthirsty God. That charge is wholly false. Bear in mind that Jehovah is the only source of life. . . . Jehovah God will shortly overthrow the Devil's established organization and will set up righteousness in the earth. . . .

"... This Declaration is against the common enemy of all creation. It is against the enemy who for centuries has defamed the name of Jehovah God and brought unbounded sorrow to man. It is against Satan and his allies in darkness and evil. It is a testimony to the fact that Satan's evil rule must shortly end and that Jehovah, for his name's sake and the salvation of the people, will establish a righteous government that all the nations of earth shall be blessed."


In conclusion the speaker appealed to his audience to adopt this resolution. They did so, standing up and voting Aye! The resolution and the supporting speech were printed in a booklet and circulated by the millions of copies in many languages worldwide. Also, the book entitled "Government," that was released to the conventioners two days before the public address,

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began to be circulated in many languages, in hundreds of thousands of copies. Truly the seventh angel in heaven was pouring out his "bowl" of God's anger "upon the air" where Satan exercised his influence over men.

Literal lightnings, thunders and heavenly voices did not accompany this outpouring. But on August 1 of the Detroit convention the Society's president delivered a Bible talk on "God's Lightnings." Since then there have also been other flashes of spiritual enlightenment, other thunderings of divine judgments and other voicelike proclamations or publications of Bible truth, just as Revelation 16:18 foretold. This continued on even through the terrible years of World War II, which the diabolical spirit of the "prince of the power of the air" stirred up and during which he instigated the worst persecutions against Jehovah's witnesses down to this day.

In a further expose of the Devil's spirit, which infects the whole world and which will lead it to its ruin, there was delivered to an audience of 112,000, at the 1953 international assembly of Jehovah's witnesses at Yankee Stadium, New York city, on Thursday, July 23, the address on the subject "New World Society Attacked from the Far North." It laid bare that the mysterious Gog of Magog, as foretold in Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39 was no one else but Satan the Devil. The final assault that he leads the nations to make upon the New World society of Jehovah's witnesses brings on the utter destruction of Satan's visible organization on earth, by means of which destruction Jehovah the Almighty God sanctifies his holy name.* Among all the worldly nations Satan the Devil is cultivating his spirit that leads to this disastrous attack.


* This address was published in The Watchtower Announcing Jehovah's Kingdom, as of October 1, 1953, which then had a printing of 1,650,000 copies in 39 languages.
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As yet there has been no literal earthquake so great as to cause all the cities of the nations to fall. The earthquake of such power and extent, as described in Revelation 16:18-20. pictures the world's final trouble, the "great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world's beginning until now, no, nor will occur again." (Matthew 24:21) It will bring the "cities of

At Yankee Stadium, part of 253,922 who hear "God's Kingdom Rules — Is the World's End Near?" Aug. 3, 1958

the nations" crashing down in ruins, and the national governments of this world will be shaken to destruction with them. Only God's heavenly kingdom will remain standing. — Hebrews 12:20-28: Haggai 2:6,7,21,22.

The "great city" that John saw "split into three parts" as a result of the "great earthquake" symbolizes Babylon the Great. (Revelation 17:18) Ancient

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Babylon, being built on both sides of the Euphrates River, was already geographically split into two parts. So Babylon's being split into three parts would symbolize a very serious breaking up of it, three being a number of emphasis.

How well this foretells that this great world empire of Babylonish religion will be pulled or shaken apart

New York Polo Grounds used simultaneously with Yankee Stadium for the 1958 Divine Will Assembly of Jehovah's Witnesses.
See date on page 690 of chart of chronology of events.

and fall! Since God promised this symbolic earthquake and since he alone is the One who can produce such an earthquake, it clearly reminds us that Babylon the Great is made to fall by Jehovah God and his Greater Cyrus, the "kings from the rising of the sun." Revelation 16:18,19 emphasizes this fact by saying

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that thus "Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give her the cup of the wine of the anger of his wrath." This means that she drinks a specially bitter cup. The contents of this will make her so drunk with woe and shame that she will never recover from its effects and wake up. What this world empire of Babylonish religion has done has been "in the sight of God." He has witnessed all her wickedness and has not forgotten it. Hence he makes her drink the destructive cup at his hand.

Islands and mountains have been known to disappear as a result of submarine and terrestrial earthquakes. Such a thing is more gigantic than sending cities crashing in ruins. By the coming world "earthquake" of trouble at God's hands the sea and the land will be affected. Nothing will be too distant or isolated, as in the sea, or too lofty and sturdy, like a mountain, in Satan's visible organization to escape destruction. Things that up till now have proved so stable as to survive the raging of the "sea" of revolutionary, radical, nihilistic elements of mankind will not be able to withstand the shaking at God's hands.  — Psalm 46:2, 3.

However, disastrous things can come from above as well as from underfoot. Showing that the air or atmosphere has been affected by the pouring out of the seventh bowl of God's anger is the fact that out of heaven there descends upon disobedient men a "great hail," with every hailstone weighing 96 pounds avoirdupois. Their falling with speed adds to the destructive effect of these tremendous "hailstones." Since hailstones are congealed water, this hailstorm pictures that Heaven would send down upon worldly mankind a barrage of hard Biblical truths. These would be God's judgment messages for delivery by his Christian witnesses on earth. Instead of the good news of salvation by God's kingdom, the hard, unyielding message of God's vengeance against Satan's visible

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organization will at the last pelt men. It will presage their destruction.

The symbolic hailstorm was not meant or expected to convert mankind at that late development of world affairs. So what was foreshown to the apostle John was that "the men blasphemed God due to the plague of hail." They did not call upon the name of Jehovah for salvation but blasphemed him because of the delivery of the judgment messages and the execution of them. (Joel 2:32; Romans 10:13) The fact that "the plague of it was unusually great" foreshows that at the last there will be an unusually great proclamation of God's vengeance by Jehovah's witnesses.  — Revelation 16:21.

For the wicked ones there is no escaping from God's vengeance. In the Revelation picture, if they survived the symbolic earthquake, they would without fail be destroyed by the accurately aimed, executional hailstones from the heavens. (Job 38:22,23: Psalm 148: 7,8; Isaiah 28:2,17) The full execution of the seventh of those "seven plagues" will bring destruction to all persons on earth who bring forth the wicked fruitage of Satan's spirit. But happy will those people be who get filled with God's spirit and produce its fruit!



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