Monday, February 26, 2018

Revelation 18:4-8 Babylon Has Fallen

KEY TEXT: Revelation 18:4-8 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, "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. Pay her back as she herself has paid back others, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed. As she glorified herself and lived in luxury, so give her a like measure of torment and mourning, since in her heart she says, 'I sit as a queen, I am no widow, and mourning I shall never see.' For this reason her plagues will come in a single day, death and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her."

KEY THOT: When the Twin Towers (part the seven-building World Trade Center complex in New York) collapsed after being hit by two commercial jets hijacked by Islamist terrorists on September 11, 2001, many thought that this was the fulfillment of Revelation 18: "Alas! Alas! You great city, you mighty city, Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come." Both Towers collapsed within one 1 hour and 42 mins, killing 2,606 people inside these buildings. The other five buildings were also affected and had to be demolished. The World Trade Center was the hub of international finance. At the time of their completion in 1973, the Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in the world. The collapse was telecast live around the world and everyone watched in horror as the Twin Towers collapsed, including those out at sea on their ships: "And all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning" (vv.17-18).

Babylon was an ancient city built on the site of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11), a monument to human pride and arrogance. God confused the people's language, so they could not communicate with one another and dispersed them over the earth. Whenever a tall tower is built as a monument to human pride and prowess, it shares the same spirit of Babel. In our modern days, the Twin Towers at the time of their completion were the tallest buildings on earth, reaching to the sky, a monument of human achievement. But it was destroyed in 1 hour and 42 minutes. Was that a divine foreshadowing of something even worse coming?

The old 7-building World Trade Center complex was completely demolished. In its place now stands a new World Trade Center, a 7-building complex. The One World Trade Center tower has 104 stories and is the tallest building in the United States. When finally completed, the new WTC complex will house a total 7 buildings, including one memorial museum dedicated to the victims of the September 11 attacks. The seven buildings of the new 1 WTC complex remind us of the "seven mountains on which the woman is seated" described in Revelation 17:9.

Is the new 1-WTC in New York a symbol of the Mystery Babylon of Revelation 18? It is estimated that there are as many as 2 million Jews living in New York City, more than in Tel Aviv in Israel. The first attack on New York city is perhaps a warning to the Jews to flee this city. In Jeremiah 51:6-8, God warns Israel: "Flee from the midst of Babylon; let every one save his life! Be not cut off in her punishment, for this is the time of the Lord's vengeance, the repayment he is rendering her. Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord's hand, making all the earth drunken; the nations drank of her wine; therefore the nations went mad. Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken; wail for her!" 

In similar vein, today's text in Revelation 18:4 gives the same warning: "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." New York is the financial center of the world (Wall Street is there). The corruption of Wall Street is legendary: it nearly caused the collapse of the global economy in 2008 and made millions around the world lost their life savings. The world's stock exchanges follow the rise and fall of the New York Stock Exchange.

The United Nations is also head-quartered in New York where all major decisions concerning the nations of the world are being made. Strangely, there is a little town on Long Island called "Babylon", not too distant from New York city itself. It is populated mainly by Jews (,_New_York).

Is the new 1-World Trade Center the symbolic tower of Mystery Babylon? And is the USA the Mystery Babylon that rules over the kings of the earth and from whom the nations of the world become wealthy? Prophecies in USA have been relentless in saying that God will judge the USA for her sins. Apparently, President Donald Trump is established by God to grant USA more time to repent. This would be the last chance according to many prophetic utterances concerning the USA.

So, Mystery Babylon is a city that makes the world rich and drunk with her lust for money and immorality: "For all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living" (Revelation 18:3).

The call to the believers is to "come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues" (v.4). 

Abba-Father, even as we ponder who the Mystery Babylon is, the evidence seems to point to the USA, who was supposedly founded as a City on the Hill but has now gone rogue. May Your Spirit bring revival to the people of God there. Amen.

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