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- 1914 edition




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Bible Readings for the Home Circle - 1914 edition

Section 6

The Sure Word of Prophecy

Chapter 57.

The Fall of Modern Babylon

1. WHAT announcement immediately follows the judgment-hour message of Rev. 14:6,7?
"And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city." Rev. 14:8, first part.

2. What reason is assigned for the fall of Babylon?
"Because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." Same verse, last part.

3. How was the overthrow of ancient Babylon foretold?
"And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah." Isa. 13:19.

4. What call was made to come out of Babylon?
"Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the Lord's vengeance; He will render unto her a recompense." Jer. 51:6.

5. What did ancient Babylon do to all the nations?
"Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad." Verse 7. 

6. What was the effect of this apostasy?
"Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed." Verse 8.

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7. Just before the fall of Babylon, what did her king do? 
"Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand." Dan. 5:1.

8. By what command did the king repudiate the religion taught in Babylon by Daniel and others who feared God?
"Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein." Verse 2.

9. What marked the climax of Babylon's apostasy?
"Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them." Verse 3.

10. While drinking the wine, what gods did they honor?
"They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone." Verse 4.

11. What immediately followed this complete apostasy?
"In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old." Verses 30,31.

NOTE.-The gospel of the kingdom was preached in Babylon (see reading on "The Gospel of the Kingdom," chapter  49), and Nebuchadnezzar was brought to acknowledge and to worship the true God. But after the death of Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon relapsed into idolatry again, and this apostasy was rendered hopeless when Belshazzar used the sacred vessels from the house of God, dedicated to the worship of God, in which to drink the wine of Babylon while worship was offered to the false gods. Then came the handwriting on the wall, and the fall of ancient Babylon.

12. In the visions of John, what interpretation is given to the woman who sat upon many waters?
"And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth." Rev. 17:18.

NOTE.-The great city which reigned over the kings of the earth in John's time was Rome, and that city has given its name to the church which is represented by the woman, the Church of Rome, or the Papacy.

13. In this same prophecy, how is the Church of Rome, the Papacy, designated as the antitype of ancient Babylon?

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14. What specific statement emphasizes this identification?
"With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication." Verse 2. See verse 4.

NOTES.-The Church of Rome is called Babylon, and its religion is a revival of the religion of ancient Babylon. She claims a priesthood with exceptional powers and privileges, just as did ancient Babylon. Through the dogma of the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary, she denies that God in Christ dwelt in the same flesh as fallen man has, just as ancient Babylon did. See Dan. 2:11. She claims universal spiritual jurisdiction and demands submission under pains and penalties, just as ancient Babylon did. See Daniel 3. She repudiates the fundamental gospel truth of justification by faith, and boasts of works, just as ancient Babylon did. See Dan. 4:30. A careful comparison of the ritual of ancient and modern Babylon shows that the latter is copied from the former; and it is easy to trace the connection historically through the paganism of political Rome.
On the overthrow of Babylon by the Persians who nourished a traditional hatred for its idolatry, the Chaldean priesthood fled to Pergamos, in Asia Minor, and made it the headquarters of their religion. . . . The last pontiff king of Pergamos was Attalus III, who at his death bequeathed his dominions and authority to the Roman people, 133 B.C., and from that time the two lines of Pontifex Maximus were merged in the Roman one.-"The False Christ," J. Garnier, London, George Allen, 1900, Vol. II  pages 94, 95. Thus did the religion of ancient Babylon become the religion of modern Babylon.

15. What did Jesus say of the sacramental wine?
"This cup is the new covenant in My blood." Luke 22:20, R.V.

16. What is the essential teaching of the new covenant?
"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put My laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to Me a people." Heb. 8:10.

17. When Christ thus ministers the law in the heart, what does it become?
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Rom. 8:2-4.

18. In what other statement is this same truth expressed?
"It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." John 6:63.

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19. What kind of teaching have men substituted for the words which are spirit and life?
"Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. . . . And He said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." Mark 7:7-9.

NOTES.-There are two cups, the cup of the Lord and the cup of Babylon. The Wine in the Lord's cup represents the living truth, ''as the truth is in Jesus;" the wine in the cup of Babylon represents her false doctrines, her substitution of human tradition for the living word and law of God, and the illicit connection which she has made between the church and the secular power, depending upon political power to enforce her teachings, rather than upon the power of God. By this very thing, while maintaining a form of godliness, she denies the power thereof. 2 Tim. 3:1-5.
The following quotation states the position of that church in regard to tradition: "Though these two divine streams [the Bible and tradition] are in themselves, on account of their divine origin, of equal sacredness, and are both full of revealed truths, still, of the two, tradition is to us more clear and safe."-"Catholic Belief," Rev. Joseph Faa Di Bruno, D. D. (Roman Catholic), page 45.
The substitution of the law of the church for the law of God, in fulfilment of the prophecy in Dan. 7:25, testifies to the complete subordination of the Word of God to the authority of the church. The world-wide teaching of these doctrines in place of the pure gospel has led the world astray, and has made all the nations drink of the wine of her fornication. The Reformation of the sixteenth century was an effort to return to the pure truths of God's Word. In this the Reformers denied the supremacy of tradition over the Bible. 

20. What relation does the Church of Rome sustain to other apostate churches?
"And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." Rev. 17:5.

NOTES.-In the creed of Pope Pius IV, an authoritative statement of Roman Catholic belief, is found this statement: "I acknowledge the Holy Catholic Apostolic Church for the mother and mistress of all churches."-Article 10. When the professed Protestant churches repudiate the fundamental principle of Protestantism by setting aside the authority of God's Word, and accepting tradition and human speculation in its place, they adopt the fundamental principle of modern Babylon, and may be regarded as the daughters of Babylon. Their fall is then included in the fall of Babylon, and calls for a proclamation of the fall of modern Babylon.
Many representatives of modern Protestantism have, in one way or another, rejected many fundamental doctrines of the Bible, such as,-
The fall of man.
The Bible doctrine of sin.
The infallibility of the Scriptures.
The sufficiency of the Scriptures as a rule of faith and practise.
The Deity of Christ, and His consequent headship over the church.
The miraculous conception and the virgin birth of our Lord.
The resurrection of Christ from the grave.
The vicarious, expiatory, and propitiatory atonement of Christ.
Salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Regeneration by the power of the Holy Ghost.
The efficacy of the all-prevailing name of Christ in prayer.
The ministration and guardianship of holy angels.
Miracles as the direct manifestation and interposition of God's power.
Although many leaders of modem Protestantism known as higher critics have not formally adopted the creed of the Church of Rome, and have not become an organic part of that body, yet they belong to the same class in rejecting the authority of God's Word, and accepting in its place the product of their own reasonings. There is just as much apostasy in the one case as in the other, and both must therefore be included in Babylon, and both will go down in the fall of Babylon. The warning message applies with equal force to both classes.

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21. To what extent is the apostasy, or fall, of modern Babylon, the mother, and of her daughters, to be carried?
"And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies." Rev. 18:1-3.

NOTE.-In its largest sense, Babylon includes all false religions- all apostasy. The gospel message announcing her final overthrow should be a cause of rejoicing to every lover of truth and righteousness.

22. What final call to come out of Babylon is to go forth?
"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye
receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities." Verses 4,5.

23. How complete is to be the fall of modern Babylon?
"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. . . . And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth." Verses 21-24.

24. What song of triumph follows the overthrow of Babylon?
"Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him." Rev. 19:6,7.

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