Reflections on Revelation #303

‘Day 303

 After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated from his glory. And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “a]Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a b]prison of every unclean spirit, and a c]prison of every unclean and hateful bird.” REV 18:1-2. (NASB)

This fourth angel is different because, “the earth is illuminated with his glory,” showing that his message has worldwide implications. The three angels of Revelation 14 have sounded with distinct messages of warning to the inhabitants of the earth. Now this angel comes to give impetus to the third angel’s message, proclaiming with a voice loud enough for the whole world to hear.
We must not lose sight of the fact that Babylon is the women riding the beast, a religious power made up of Catholicism, apostate Protestantism, and spiritualism.
Babylon is more than just an End-time power. As the “great city” it symbolizes all the evil powers that have ever dominated the earth. In the Greek of Rev 17:18, Babylon “is” the great city which “has rulership” over the kings of the earth. This combination of a present tense verb with a present participle (“has rulership”) is one of the most continuous expressions possible in the Greek. It means that Babylon rules continuously over the kings of the earth. The principles of Babylon lie behind all the powers in earth’s history that try to coerce and exploit people.

Babylon can rear its ugly head in surprising places. Israelite law required slave holders to provide freed slaves with resources so they could build their own lives (Deut 15:13-14). However, like the freed slaves in America, the Aboriginal people of Australia were placed in a kind of economic slavery. Freed slaves in America never received what was promised. While the Northern states ended slavery through the Civil War, the freed slaves themselves lacked the land to become self-sufficient in the agricultural South. Many freed slaves became virtual debt slaves on the same estates where they had once worked in bondage. As they flocked North to find work, white people fled and that established the black ghettos.

In regard to Aboriginal mistakes we could ask, “Am I responsible for the sins of my ancestors?” The Bible seems to answer “yes” (Rev 18:4-7; Matt 23:29-36). To ignore these disparities because “I had nothing to do with it” is like a soccer team cheating in the 1st half and then saying, “OK, we’ll play fair for the rest of the game!” Christians must be willing to do something, but what is it?

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