The following question was posed by our Moderator on the Bible Students Forum sometime ago following his visit to one of the General Conventions in which they were discussing the fall of Babylon.
The shout is “Babylon the Great has fallen!”
The question asked was, has she fallen, is she falling or is she yet to fall? What and why?
The answer to our question is found in the statement itself, “Babylon the Great has fallen”
The word fallen is the past participle of fall or falling, it implies that which is dated, or past tense.
“Babylon the Great is fallen is fallen…“ (Rev 18:2)
Now since it is obvious that Babylon’s influence (her works) still abound it is self-evident that, that which is stated here is not in reference to her final fall or demise spoken of in (Rev 18:21), but rather in respects to how she has fallen from grace, from divine favor, fallen from her usefulness to the Lord.
Note that the word “fallen” is repeated twice in the text, this in itself may be symbolic of the fact that this is but a partial fall, a fall from favor, but not yet to total ruin. Totality (or completeness) is usually expressed by a three-fold expression such as that found in Rev 4:8 (Holy, Holy, Holy), and in Rev 8:13 (Woe, Woe, Woe). The number 3 being a symbol of completeness.
“Babylon was (or had been, at one time) a golden cup in the Lord’s hand (a repository of divine truth)…” (Jer 51:7), but now she is cast out from being his mouthpiece, because of her “lukewarm” condition (Rev 3:15, 16) having become totally corrupted through the doctrines of men she has become, “a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every fowl spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird”. (Rev 18:2)
“A dwelling place of demons”
Not only of the literal demons, but also as is symbolically expressed in their influence over the teachings of men, which have corrupted “the faith once delivered to the Saints”. This faith once delivered has been distorted (leavened) out of all semblance of its original simplicity; the hope set before us in the Gospel has been changed to another hope all together entirely, unlike the original; the spirit of the Lord, love, has been perverted to a selfish love of creeds of men and of human institutions (denominationalism), all because foolish men gave heed to these “deceiving spirits” and their false doctrines (1 Tim 4:1)
“A prison for every fowl (un-clean) spirit”
“We encountered “unclean spirits” in Rev 16:13. They were teachings — demon-inspired teachings [as was expressed by the Apostle in 1 Tim 4:1]. Why are unclean spirits imprisoned in Babylon? Apparently the teachings of Babylon have become so irrational, so out-of-touch with the real world that no other place is willing to house them! Therefore the spirits (teachings) are confined to (imprisoned in) Babylon, a sort of Tartarus-like condition i. e., without the ability to function elsewhere.” (N.A.N.O.R. page 144)
“A cage for every unclean and hated bird”
“Again, Babylon is a prison because these birds cannot find anywhere else to function. They are held (captive, imprisoned) in Babylon because it alone satisfied their needs. Unclean birds represent selfish profiteers — just like buzzards, which constantly search for “easy meals”, food already killed for them. Thus Babylon provides ready “customers” for those “Christians” who build their business schemes on their fellow parishioners. The birds are described as “hateful.” Their attitude is hatred, the very opposite of the true Christian. Jer 5:23-29 provides an additional understanding for this verse. “Men” (Verse 26) are the trapped and caged birds. The poor race of nominal Christians has been made into birds of prey, skeptics who selfishly feed on whatever they find will get them through life comfortably and profitably.” (N.A.N.O.R. page 144)
It is for these reasons that Babylon has fallen from the favor of God
“MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN”
MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it, TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. PERES [the singular of Upharsin]; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” (Dan 5:25-28)
The final code word deals with the method of destruction—by division. It was a unified twin enemy—Medes and Persians—that were the downfall of literal Babylon. As literal Babylon fell and was given to the Medes and the Persians, so its greater reality will (in due time) also crumble to divisions and fall to another incoming world government: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” (Rev 11:15)
In the words of our Lord, “Behold, your house is left to you desolate” (Matt 23:38). As favor left the natural house so too it has left the nominal spiritual house, and as a certain amount of time preceded the final destruction of the natural house so too the nominal spiritual house.
As the scriptures so state at one time Babylon was indeed a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, and did at one time serve as a repository of divine truth, this however was only because some of the Lord’s people remained in her and as the “salt of the earth” their influence and presence helped preserve her and stem the tide of her fall, unfortunately because the true followers of the Lord were so greatly outnumbered by those being deceived through the doctrines of demons and men they were forced to flee into the “wilderness condition” (Rev 12:6)
With very few remaining Babylon speedily corrupted, falling into all manner of evil and deception, completely departing from the faith once delivered. However there was as yet no divine degree for those who still remained to flee from her, for the harvest, the time of separation had not yet come. But now as we are in the harvest, the degree is sounded to those who remain, “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.” (Rev 18:4, 5)
Unfortunately some love their creed, their church or denomination much more than they love the Lord as is evident by their refusal to heed the Lord’s word in this matter. Like Lots wife they keep “looking back” afraid of what they might have to sacrifice should they leave as admonished.
Even though she has yet to have reached her final demise, according to (Rev 18: 22,23) there remains in her no longer “the sound of the harpist” (those are able to harmoniously interpret the word of God), nor the “musicians” (those who can sing; i.e. proclaim truthfully the tidings of great joy) nor the “flutists” (character teachers) nor any true “craftsman” (teacher) of any sorts, for the “light of the lamp” (the light of the Bible, the truth) no longer shines in her anymore, neither is hear the “voice of the bridegroom or the bride” in her (because the true Church has been gathered into the “barn”, the state or condition of full consecration, Matt 13:30 and thus separated from the false professing church).
If you are awake, its time you heeded the Lord’s call to come out of her, if not you will soon surfer the consequences coming upon all those who heed not. (Rev 18:4)