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Victory Over Babylon
by Wayne Blank
"I saw those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name"
Babylon (and the English word babble) originated from the Hebrew word, pronounced baw-bale, which means to be confused. Although it was first used in the Scriptures at the time of the famous tower of Babel, humanity's "Babylon" has continued right to the present day. It is that "Babylon" that God's true people are to come out of:
"Come out of her, My people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her as she herself has rendered, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double draught for her in the cup she mixed. As she glorified herself and played the wanton, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning. Since in her heart she says, 'A queen I sit, I am no widow, mourning I shall never see,' so shall her plagues come in a single day, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she shall be burned with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who judges her." (Revelation 18:4-8 RSV)
Although "Babylon" is very much religious (i.e. the great false Christian church is called "Babylon the great, mother of harlots," Revelation 17:5 RSV), it has also always been political and military, something that "the kings of the earth" have perpetuated.
"And the kings of the earth, who committed fornication and were wanton with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning; they will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, "Alas! alas! thou great city, thou mighty city, Babylon! In one hour has thy judgment come." (Revelation 18:9-10 RSV)
Babylon is also economic (note as well how, in many parts of the world, The Lord's holy seventh day Sabbath is profaned as the most active buying and selling day of the week).
"And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo any more, cargo of gold, silver, jewels and pearls, fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet, all kinds of scented wood, all articles of ivory, all articles of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human souls." (Revelation 18:11-13 RSV)
The religious, political, military and economic oneness of "Babylon" will reach its peak in the time just prior to the return of Jesus Christ when a great religious misleader will have the political power, through the "beast" (see Revelation 13), to persecute God's true people economically, "so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name."
"it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast so that the image of the beast should even speak, and to cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let him who has understanding reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number, its number is six hundred and sixty-six." (Revelation 18:13-18 RSV)
But victory over "Babylon" will come to God's true people, "those who conquer the beast and its image and the number of its name":
"And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and wonderful are thy deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are thy ways, O King of the ages! Who shall not fear and glorify thy name, O Lord? For thou alone art holy. All nations shall come and worship thee, for thy judgments have been revealed." (Revelation 15:2-4 RSV)