Babylon is Fallen
Babylon is Fallen (Revelation 14:8)
Revelation 14:8—And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
With the hour of judgment comes the work of judgment. The messengers of God are busy declaring the mind of God. The same cry is made both in chapter 14 and chapter 18.
Revelation 14:8—…Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
Revelation 18:2,3—…Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, … 3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication,…
This cry is declaring something in the future and yet the sense of the declaration is given as though it is already past. When God says it, future judgment is no less definite than history. Because He is sovereign, God calls things that aren't as though they were. The utter destruction of Babylon is certain.
Why Babylon is Destroyed
Emphasis Should be on the Reason for her Destruction
Believers can and do differ over what Babylon literally is, but it is important to unite in emphasizing what the Scripture does say about it. "Babylon" will be destroyed because of her false teaching and murder of the saints.
The name Babylon is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Babel. Throughout the Bible, Babylon is a symbol of the confusion caused by godlessness.
The unveiling of the real enemy is found in what Babylon DOES and SAYS and not an inherent evil because of where it can be found on a map or because of historical sentiment towards it. The City of Rome or even the area near Baghdad, Iraq are only in danger of God's Wrath for the same reasons any people or nation will suffer judgment—if they set themselves as the enemies of God.
Babylon is destroyed because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. All who drank of her wine are guilty of spiritual adultery or idolatry.
What is the wine that she made all nations to drink? False doctrines. As harlots would utilize love potions and intoxicating drinks so the City of Babylon has used and will use false doctrine to entrap.
2 Thessalonians 2:10-12—And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
An Illustration from history: In November 1978, 909 people drank cyanide-laced grape-flavored Flavor Aid at the instruction of religious leader and community organizer Jim Jones. Jim Jones attracted a large following to his Peoples Temple through sermons on tolerance, social responsibility and community. As the church grew, however, the sermons on equality and tolerance were replaced by demands for personal loyalty and obedience. (In 1973, Jones had been arrested for soliciting a man for sex—homosexuality.)
Proverbs 23:32 is speaking of drunkenness and wine, but is appropriate as well for the devil's tactics of false doctrine:
Proverbs 23:32—At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
What Babylon is Destroyed
Babylon is fallen
A Place and Its Religious System
There are some that make a great difference between the Mystery Babylon in Chapter 17 and the City of Babylon in Chapters 14 and 18, but both "Babylons" are two parts of the same thing: 1) a place 2) a system. The emphasis is put on the system in the 17th chapter and in 14:8 and the 18th Chapter the emphasis is on the city itself.
Literally, the City of Babylon
Not Just Rome
Babylon, who is the Mother of Harlots (17:5) and the Habitation of Devils (18:2) is fallen. As Rome, Italy (or more specifically Vatican City) has been instrumental in both Christian martyrdom and the spread of false doctrine, this prophecy concerning the fall of the City of Babylon is generally believed to be a prediction concerning the city of Rome, Italy. This interpretation is seemingly influenced by the long standing prejudice of the Protestant church historically at war with the Roman Catholic church.
The passage does not say Rome, but it does say Babylon. To be consistent in our method of interpretation of the this great Book, we will interpret Babylon literally as the city originally built by Nimrod in the land of Shinar and rising and falling throughout history, but being utterly destroyed in the Day of God's Wrath. Truly, Babylon is the birth place of the false doctrine woven throughout Roman Catholicism and not the other way around (i.e., Mother-Infant worship).
The Roman Catholic church is not the only religious system guilty of spiritual adultery. God would not be justified in sparing one and punishing another unrepentant group for the identical criminal act. Babylon is not just Rome. It is bigger than that. It is an apostate religious world.
Not Utterly Destroyed, Yet
The City of Babylon was situated in the Land of Shinar on the Euphrates River, about 50 miles south of modern Baghdad, Iraq. Although Babylon was effectively eliminated as an empire when it was taken by the Medes and Persians after the 70 year Jewish exile, all prophecies concerning it have not yet been entirely fulfilled.
The conquering empire of Persia did not destroy Babylon, but instead made it a royal city. Babylon appears importantly in history 500 years after Christ, for it was at Babylon that Jewish Academics compiled the Talmud (the basis of all codes of Jewish Law). Also Modern Day Bahgdad, Iraq stands near the original location of Babylon.
Isaiah 13:6,19-22; Jeremiah 50:40; 51:64 and Revelation 14:8; 17; 18 give an image of an extreme and absolute destruction not yet seen. Much of this has been fulfilled, but not all will be fulfilled until the Day of the Lord (Isaiah 13:6).
Isaiah 13:19,20—And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. 20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.
Jeremiah 51:64 And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.
Babylon will fall, but first it must be rebuilt. Before her utter destruction that will take place in the Day of the Lord's Wrath, the city of Babylon will first become instrumental in centralizing apostasy. What the Vatican is for just 1.2 Billion Roman Catholics, Babylon will arise for the greatest apostate ecumenical group the world has ever seen. Read Zechariah 5:5-11.
Zechariah 5:10,11— Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? 11 And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base.
How Babylon is Destroyed
Babylon is destroyed by fire
Revelation 18:18—And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
Revelation 18:21— And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
Isaiah 13:19-20; Jeremiah 50:40.
Babylon is Destroyed Quickly
Revelation 18:10—…in one hour is thy judgment come.