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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
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Here is why I believe...
The "Babylon" of Revelation is referring to Jerusalem

By Greg Kiser

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.

1 - It is continually called the "great city" (Revelation 14:8; 16:19; 17:18; 18:10,16,18,19) as is Jerusalem (Revelation 11:8)

2 - It is described as receiving God's wrath (Revelation 14:8,19; 16:19) as is Jerusalem (Matthew 22:7; 23:37,38; Mark 12:9; Luke 13:34,35; 19:27,41-44; 20:16; 21:20; 23:28-31; Acts 6:14; 7:51,52; Galatians 4:21-31; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16).

3 - It is said to be fornicating (Revelation 14:8; 17:2) as is Jerusalem (Revelation 11:8). In the OT when Babylon was about to be used by God to judge Jerusalem, Jerusalem is said to be fornicating also.

4 - It is said that outside the city blood flowed for 1600 furlongs (200 miles) (Revelation 14:20), this is the north-south length of the land of Judea. Also, Josphus speaks of rivers of blood where dead bodies were washing up because they were slaughtered by the Romans and remained unburied. He also relates of the blood flow actually putting out fires in houses.

5 - Great hail weighing one talent is said to fall upon men there (Revelation 16:21). Josephus tells of the Roman catapults being used to cast whitewashed boulders over the walls of Jerusalem and they each weighed one talent.

6 - It is described as the great whore (Revelation 17:2), which is fitting for apostate Jerusalem being estranged from God. Again, in the OT, when Babylon was to judge Jerusalem, the prophet Ezekiel and Jeremiah call Jerusalem a harlot.

7 - It is described as being adorned in OT priestly apparel (Revelation 17:4, 5; 18:16) which is fitting for apostate Jerusalem having a form of godliness but being far from God. Even on the forehead is written "Mother of harlots . . ." just like "Holiness to the Lord" is written on
the foreheads of the OT priesthood (Exodus 28:36-38).

8 - It is clearly not literal Babylon, as it is called a "mystery" (Revelation 17:5).

9 - It is being held responsible for the "blood of the saints" and the "blood of the martyrs of Jesus (Revelation 17:6; 18:24) just as Jerusalem was (Matthew 23:29-39; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16, see references in #2 above also).

10 - It can be shown that the NT constantly contrasts two Jerusalems:

10a - Heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 11:16; 12:22) VS Earthly Jerusalem (Galatians 4:21-31).

10b - The city with foundations (Hebrews 11:10) VS the "no continuing" city (Hebrews 13:14)

10c - The city whose builder is God (Hebrews 11:10) VS the city whose builder is man (Galatians 4:21-31)

10d - The Jerusalem to come (Hebrews 13:14) VS the Jerusalem that "now is" (in Paul's day, Galatians 4:25)

10e - The Jerusalem which is above (Galatians 4:26) VS the Jerusalem that is below (Galatians 4:21-31)

10f - The Jerusalem that is free (Galatians 4:26) VS the Jerusalem that is in bondage (Galatians 4:25)

I believe I can carry this contrast on into Revelation and establish the following additional ones:

10g - The Holy City (Revelation 21:2; 22:19) VS the Wicked City (Revelation 17-18)

10h - The Bride (Revelation 21:9; 22:17) VS the Harlot (Revelation 17:15,16)

10i - New Jerusalem (Revelation 3:12; 21:2) VS Old Earthly Jerusalem

11 - It is said to make war with the Lamb (Revelation 17:14) as is Jerusalem (see references in #2 above) and the first-century Jews (Almost every chapter in the book of Acts!). When the Saul of Tarsus persecuted the Christians, Jesus said, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" (Acts 9:4). Jesus took it personal. Thus when Christians are persecuted, the Lamb is being attacked Himself.

12 - The beast hates her, makes her desolate and naked, eats her flesh and burns her with fire (Revelation 17:16) which is exactly what the Romans did to Jerusalem.

13 - The saints abiding in Babylon were told to escape (Revelation 18:4) as were the saints abiding in Jerusalem at the time of the Roman siege (Luke 21:20-22).

14 - It claims it is not a "widow" (Revelation 18:7), but if it is Jerusalem then it is fitting to be called a widow for she killed her own husband (Jesus).

15 - In its judgment it experiences death, mourning, famine and being burned with fire (Revelation 18:8) which is very descriptive of what happens in the siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD.

16 - Her judgment is an act of God's vengeance (Revelation 18:20) as is Jerusalem's (Luke 21:22; 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Hebrews 10:28-31).

16a - As a note to #16 for you to consider: Did Jerusalem repent of the crimes of the murder of the Son of God and of the saints that He sent to them? No, instead we see the perfect fulfillment of what Jesus predicted in Matthew 23:34 in almost every chapter of the book of Acts.

17 - Jerusalem is fittingly called "spiritually . . . Sodom and Egypt" (Revelation 11:8) and in the same passage called "the great city" (see #1 above). Sodom was destroyed for fornication, Babylon in Revelation is destroyed for fornication, Jerusalem was destroyed for spiritual fornication. Egypt was destroyed for holding Israel in bondage, Babylon is destroyed for persecuting the saints and holding them in bondage, Jerusalem was destroyed for persecuting the saints and holding them in spiritual bondage.

18 - The "voice of the bridegroom" and of the "bride" was to be heard no more in her (Revelation 18:23) and these terms are associated with Jesus and the church (John 3:29). Since Jesus told His church to depart from Jerusalem, then the bride was removed and thus the voice of the bridegroom was also removed.

Thus based on the above reasons I conclude that the Babylon of Revelation is an apocalyptic description of Jerusalem and its destruction in 70 AD.

In Christ,
Greg Kiser
Bluff City, TN

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