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



Chapter 27

Mourning and Gladness over Her Destruction

Revelation 18

WHEN ancient Babylon fell before King Cyrus the Persian in 539 B.C., it was God's will that her sudden fall should be made known among all the nations. (Jeremiah 50:1-3) It would correspondingly be His will that, when her counterpart, Babylon the Great, falls and is destroyed, this event of worldwide consequences should be given all the publicity due. In vision the apostle John saw God's publicity agent and wrote:

"After these things I saw another angel descending from heaven, with great authority; and the earth was lighted up from his glory. 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! For because of the passion-arousing wine 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.' "  — Revelation 18:1-3.

The angelic announcer of Great Babylon's fall and destruction had great authority and was brilliantly glorious. He could picture no one better than Jehovah's archangel, the glorified Lord Jesus Christ. As the Greater Cyrus he gains great glory by conquering

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Babylon the Great. As an archangel, his name in heaven is Michael, which means "Who Is Like God?" His destruction of Babylon the Great brings light to Jehovah's Christian witnesses on earth, who have been persecuted by that world empire of Babylonish religion. (Daniel 10:21; 12:1; Revelation 12:7; l Thessalonians 4:16, 17) Destruction of Babylon the Great brightens the earthly situation for them.

Babylon the Great is now likened, not to a woman playing the harlot with kings, but to a great city. Loudly Jehovah's announcer proclaims that she has fallen into destruction. She has become like a ruined city without human inhabitants or domestic animals. She has become like a haunted ruin, amid whose desolation only wild animals reminding one of demons would make their dwelling place. She stinks! From her arises every unclean exhalation to stench the whole neighborhood. Every unclean and hateful bird lurks about the place. All her glory has departed, and all her luxurious living.

This loathsome condition of ruin comes upon her after the symbolic ten horns of the scarlet-colored wild beast turn on her and devastate her. In this way Jehovah God rewards her because she has victimized all the nations with the stupefying "wine of her fornication" and she has enticed the kings of the earth to commit religious fornication with her and she has lived in shameless luxury. She has carried on a religious racket to the enriching also of the "merchants of the earth," who find Babylonish religion good for business. In Christendom, Babylon the Great has turned what professed to be God's temple into a "house of merchandise," a "den of thieves." (John 2:16; Matthew 21:13, AV) Here let it be noted that the angelic announcer mentions "kings of the earth" and "merchants of the earth," but no priests. Why? Because Great Babylon herself stands for the world empire

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of false religion with its priests, clergymen, monks, nuns, astrologers, spiritists, sorcerers.

However, before Babylon the Great is made a demon-infested ruin unfit for men to inhabit, Jehovah's witnesses who are held captive in her needed to do something in view of her approaching destruction. As we read what the apostle John writes for the captives in Great Babylon, it is as if we are listening to the words of Jeremiah 50:8-10; 51:6, 45, 50. John writes:

"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. For her sins have massed together clear up to heaven, and God has called her acts of injustice to mind. 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. 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." 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.' " — Revelation 18:4-8.

Since the year 1919 Jehovah's witnesses, held captive in Great Babylon during World War I, have been obeying this divine command to "get out of her." We must remember that in the case of ancient Babylon on the Euphrates River the exiled Israelites could not get out of her until after she fell in 539 B.C. and her conqueror, Cyrus the Persian, issued his decree of release to them. So in 1919, by Jehovah God's judgment in condemnation of her as his opposer, Babylon the Great experienced a fall and the Greater Cyrus, the reigning King Jesus Christ, issued the

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command from heaven to the remnant of the 144,000 on earth to get out of her and go forth as Jehovah's free people to preach everywhere the good news of God's victorious kingdom. The remnant had every reason to get out.

The remnant of the 144,000 knew that Great Babylon was now doomed to utter destruction, that it was now the beginning of the end for her. They did not wish to be caught in her destruction. God also opened their eyes to see that the symbolic seven last plagues of Revelation 15:1 to 16:21 were to be poured out on her, besides literal destructive plagues or blows. They did not wish to receive part of these by staying captive to Babylon the Great and thus sharing in her sins for which she deserved such plagues.

As regards her sins, when gory World War I had ended and she then advocated the League of Nations, forerunner of the United Nations, her sins that had been committed in the name of religion had "massed together clear up to heaven." That was at least high enough for God in heaven to notice, as in the case of ancient Babylon. Against Jehovah God she had heaped up this mountain of sin. (Jeremiah 50:14; 51:9) That is why he at last "has called her acts of injustice to mind." He has not forgotten her multitudinous sins. At his time of judgment he calls them to mind, to punish her for them. In the case of ancient Babylon, Jehovah executed vengeance for his temple in Jerusalem and vengeance for the city of Zion. (Jeremiah 50:28; 51:11, 35, 36) What, now, about Babylon the Great? She also has committed sins against him by mistreating his spiritual temple and spiritual Zion. She deserves to be paid back in kind.

When Jehovah executes vengeance upon her for all her sins against him and his witnesses for four thousand years, he has to concentrate it in one short period of time at the end of this system of things. This explains why he commands his executional forces to give her

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twice as much as she rendered to his people, and make her drink a doubly intoxicating cupful of dazing, stupefying troubles, sorrows, mistreatment, ruin, shame and insults, from the effects of which she will never regain consciousness. Make it as bitter as possible! Hence the remnant of the 144,000 on earth, who have suffered so much at her hands, are under divine command to declare in advance Jehovah's coming vengeance upon her. They must do so despite all her protests, objections and opposition to their proclaiming God's "day of vengeance." — Isaiah 61:1, 2.

O how she used to glorify herself before the awestruck people and to live "in shameless luxury," while the poor people, purposely kept in ignorance, suffered in poverty and under oppression by her rich favorites! So now in equal degree she is to be given torment and mourning. We do not have to be surprised at it or feel sympathy for that heartless world empire of Babylonish religion, as if Jehovah's vengeance were unrighteous. What pity does she deserve?

She has been like her ancient prototype on the Euphrates River in thinking that she was too strong and influential for such things to come upon her, especially from the God of Jehovah's witnesses, whose God she has despised and defied. (Isaiah 47:7, 8, 10) Yet, "because Jehovah God, who judged her, is strong," his death-dealing plagues will come upon her amazingly fast, as if "in one day." Then she will no longer sit as a queen, a mistress, an empress over a religious world empire. She will become a widow, a person bereaved of her billions of religious subjects, especially priests, clergy and other religious leaders. For all these she will have reason to mourn. Besides death and mourning, she will at last know famine herself, being deprived of all her means by which she "lived in shameless luxury." Finally, that nothing of her may remain, "she will be completely burned with fire" in

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all-consuming destruction. "For our God is also a consuming fire." — Hebrews 12:29.

MOURNERS

At her fiery destruction Babylon the Great will have sympathizers to mourn over her briefly. The apostle John indicates who they are as he writes down what the "voice out of heaven" says: "And the kings of the earth who committed fornication with her and lived in shameless luxury will weep and beat themselves in grief over her, when they look at the smoke from the burning of her, while they stand at a distance because of their fear of her torment and say, Too bad, too bad, you great city, Babylon you strong city, because in one hour your judgment has arrived!' " — Revelation 18:9, 10.

Those mourning kings could hardly be identical in personality with the symbolic ten horns of the scarlet-colored wild beast that hate the harlot, Babylon the Great, and devastate her and burn her with fire. They are kings or political rulers who fornicated and enjoyed shameless luxury with her during her popularity and who do not turn on her. They have been taken by surprise, because, as they themselves mournfully say, Jehovah's execution of judgment upon her arrived "in one hour." What fun they used to have with her! But, when judgment comes like a thief, they cannot help or preserve her for their further unclean pleasure. Afraid to interfere, they stand off in fear of sharing the fiery torment with her. Still, they share responsibility for her crimes. So, next in order, they will inescapably suffer pain when God executes judgment upon them.

Babylon the Great was noticeably fond of merchantmen, particularly men of Big Business, even gangsters and racketeers. She religiously soothed their bad consciences. How much they will miss her! How much so, Revelation 18: 11-17 tells us, with great details:

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"Also, the traveling merchants of the earth are weeping and mourning over her, because there is no one to buy their full stock any more, a full stock of gold and silver and precious stone and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet; and everything in scented wood and every sort of ivory object and every sort of object out of most precious wood and of copper and of iron and of marble; also cinnamon and Indian spice and incense and perfumed oil and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and horses and coaches and slaves and human souls. Yes, the fine fruit that your soul desired has departed from you [O Babylon], and all the dainty things and the gorgeous things have perished from you, and never again will people find them.

"The traveling merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of their fear of her torment and will weep and mourn, saying, 'Too bad, too bad — the great city, clothed with fine linen and purple and scarlet, and richly adorned with gold ornament and precious stone and pearl, because in one hour such great riches have been devastated!' "

Religious Babylon the Great has abounded in all that wealth. The world empire of Babylonish religion, after millenniums of accumulating such materialistic things, is doubtless one of the richest organizations, if not actually the richest organization, on earth today. Self-seeking businesses of all kinds have found it commercially and financially rewarding to patronize the materialistic world empire of Babylonish religion. What a market for self-enrichment they will have been deprived of by her destruction! With the earthly kings they will bemoan her destruction, this "in one hour."

The employees of these "traveling merchants" will also feel the worldwide effects of the burning of Great Babylon. They will join their employers in weeping

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and wailing, just as Revelation 18:17-19 describes it for us: "And every ship captain and every man that voyages anywhere, and sailors and all those who make a living by the sea, stood at a distance and cried out as they looked at the smoke from the burning of her and said, 'What city is like the great city?' And they threw dust upon their heads and cried out, weeping and mourning, and said, 'Too bad, too bad — the great city, in which all those having boats at sea became rich by reason of her costliness, because in one hour she has been devastated!' "

Ancient Babylon with the Persian Gulf and the Euphrates and her canals even to the Tigris River had a great fleet of ships of commerce and did a great business by sea. Many ships from other lands put in port at her. Today, Great Babylon, sitting like the "great harlot" on the symbolic waters of "peoples and crowds and nations and tongues," does a great materialistic business by means of such "waters." (Revelation 17:1, 15, 18; Isaiah 43:14) This provides employment for many of her religious subjects, especially through the "traveling merchants of the earth." Even her religious missionaries were unknowingly used to open up commercial routes and markets abroad. Now, as "in one hour," the execution of God's judgment and vengeance upon Babylon the Great cuts off this commercialized religious market or emporium. Hence all employers and employees who do business now with her by means of the sea of materialistic humanity will feel the pinch economically and mourn.

THE GLAD ONES

The symbolic "ten horns" of the scarlet-colored wild beast will doubtless rejoice at wrecking Babylon the Great as far as they can do so. In doing this they may think they have proved that there is no God at all, that there is no Jehovah. But those who have got out of Babylon in obedience to God's command will

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not rejoice with those "horns." They will rejoice with God's heaven. The divine command is: "Be glad over her, O heaven, also you holy ones and you apostles and you prophets, because God has judicially exacted punishment for you from her!" — Revelation 18:20.

It was foretold, in Jeremiah 51:48. that heaven and earth would rejoice over the despoiling and destruction of Babylon the Great. Those in heaven and on earth who long to see Jehovah God avenged and vindicated will have great cause to be glad. They have never tried to avenge themselves upon Babylon the Great. They have waited and yielded place to God for him to express his wrath at his marked time. In the court of the universe he takes up their legal cause and at last judicially exacts punishment for these weak ones. — Romans 12:19.

The apostle John saw the prophetic vision of this and he readily obeyed the command to "be glad over her." But, according to the Scriptures, the twelve faithful apostles of Christ and the Christian prophets and other Christian "holy ones" who died have by now had a spiritual resurrection to life in heaven. So they can rejoice with Jehovah God and his Son Jesus Christ and all the holy angels up there in heaven. (Revelation 14:13) But there is a remnant of the 144,000 "holy ones" yet on earth, who have a heavenly hope, and already they are glad over the prospect of an early destruction of Babylon the Great. The "great crowd" of their sheeplike companions with an earthly hope are also glad with them. Far gladder they will all be when they will have survived and actually witnessed God's execution of due punishment upon Babylon the Great.

When the faithful prophets and other holy ones of ancient times before Christ come back in resurrection to earthly life, they will be glad when they are informed that Jehovah God duly punished and destroyed the world empire of Babylonish religion.

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The thing for Jehovah's witnesses to do is to be patient a little while longer, keeping fully occupied with preaching the good news of God's reigning kingdom and proclaiming the coming day of God's vengeance upon Great Babylon and all the other enemies. The kings, the traveling merchants, the ship captains, the sea voyagers and the sailors of this world are all going to bemoan the fact that "in one hour" Babylon the Great was brought to nothing. Not only their mournful words, but also the words and action taken by God's angel assures us that her end will be swift. John says of this:

"And a strong angel lifted up a stone like a great millstone and hurled it into the sea, saying: Thus with a swift pitch will Babylon the great city be hurled down, and she will never be found again. And the sound of singers who accompany themselves on the harp and of musicians and of flutists and of trumpeters will never be heard in you again, and no craftsman of any trade will ever be found in you again, and no sound of a millstone will ever be heard in you again, and no light of a lamp will ever shine in you again, and no voice of a bridegroom and of a bride will ever be heard in you again; because your traveling merchants were the top-ranking men of the earth, for by your spiritistic practice all the nations were misled. Yes, in her was found the blood of prophets and of holy ones and of all those who have been slaughtered on the earth.' " — Revelation 18:21-24.

As the apostle John saw and heard this, his mind may have gone back some 700 years to when Seraiah, the quartermaster of King Zedekiah, stood on the bank of the Euphrates River at Babylon and read aloud the book of Jeremiah's prophecy against Babylon, then tied a stone to it and pitched it into the midst of the river, saying: "This is how Babylon will sink down and never rise up because of the calamity that I [Jehovah] am bringing in upon her." (Jeremiah

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51: 59-64) Babylon the Great, as typified by ancient Babylon, is to sink into destruction and never to rise up and be found again. Surely a great millstone, when hurled by a strong angel into the sea, would sink fast to the bottom. That is the way Great Babylon's destruction will be — swift, permanent. — Matthew 18:6.

No more will Babylon the Great be the gay place that she is today, brilliantly lit up, ringing with music and temple bells, roaring with activity, featuring high-priced showy weddings, teeming with many children for perpetuating herself. Cloaked under religion, her spiritual leaders were really materialistic merchants, top-ranking men in worldly, nonreligious circles. They oppressed and defrauded their religious flocks, fleecing the sheep. They represented a religious system that actually practiced demonism, sorcery, magic, religiously drugging the people and misleading all the nations of this world. Such a system of false religion in opposition to the true God, Jehovah, deserves to be and will be destroyed.

God's law, given to the patriarch Noah after the great flood, said: "Anyone shedding man's blood, by man will his own blood be shed." (Genesis 9:6) According to this law, Babylon the Great deserves to be put to death. She has an enormous bloodguilt before God. On her skirts is found the blood of even Jehovah's prophets and other holy ones who were Jehovah's witnesses. This brings up the subject of religious persecution and calls to mind all the persecution of one another by the religious sects of Christendom, including gory religious wars and crusades. How a difference in religion inflames to rioting, mobbing, mutilating and human butchery was displayed when Hindu India and Moslem Pakistan were partitioned in the summer of 1947 and Sikhs and Hindus and Moslems gave vent to their religious hatreds. Concerning the religious slaughter that took place The Americana Annual 1948, pages 326,327, says:

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Unhappily, the speed with which partition had been effected brought in its train immense economic dislocation and renewal of bitter communal strife. More than 4,000,000 persons were involved in an exchange of populations between the two states, and during the first two weeks more people were killed each day in the Union of India and Pakistan than in all the countries under scrutiny at that time by the Security Council of the United Nations. The separation of Moslems and non-Moslems destroyed the previous efficiency of the vital services, . . .


Without going into detail on this horrible outbreak of interreligious bad feeling, the 1948 Britannica Book of the Year says on page 385, paragraph 2, regarding partition of the Punjab:


Amritsar, the sacred city of the Sikhs, was left in their hands. It had, however, the effect of cutting the Sikh community in two, 2,000,000 being in the eastern Punjab (dominion of India), and 1,750,000 in Pakistan; moreover, many important Sikh shrines and landed estates were on the western side of the river. This led to a concerted attempt on the part of the Sikhs to eliminate the local Moslems, which in its turn provoked savage reprisals. The result was a mass migration of Sikhs and Hindus on the one hand into the dominion of India, and of Moslems into Pakistan on the other. Convoys of refugees fleeing by road and rail were violently attacked and in many cases virtually annihilated. Both dominions did their best to ensure safe transit for the refugees, but this was rendered difficult by the reluctance of troops and police to take resolute action against their coreligionists....


Call to mind also that World Wars I and II both started in Christendom and that the religious clergymen of Christendom failed to stop these wars and then sanctified them. Certainly, then, God's "strong angel" did not exaggerate matters by declaring that in Babylon the Great "was found the blood ... of all those who have been slaughtered on the earth." (Revelation 18:24) The blood-soaked earth cries out to Jehovah God for vengeance upon her.



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