header image
Home arrow Griffin's History arrow Comments on Revelation, Vol 2-Chapter 4
Comments on Revelation, Vol 2-Chapter 4 PDF Print E-mail
Written by J.H. Fisher   

  

Chapter IV—Destruction Of Babylon

“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lighted with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying. Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitations of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of ever unclean and hateful bird.” Rev. 18:1-2.

What is really Babylon? It is an imitation of the true Church of Jesus Christ. Counterfeit money must look a good deal like good money or no one will take it. So Babylon could not have so many people deceived if the old Babylon did not look a good deal like the church of Jesus. One great mistake some people have made is to argue that the church is some big universal unseen thing in which are all Christians. That is a great mistake. Then Babylon might be a great big universal thing in which unbelievers were gathered together. But we see at once how fallacious this is. But what is the church of Christ? It is the full aggregate of those assemblies that have a true recognition as a Candlestick or ark of the covenant. Where the Lord records his name. Men may be children of God and not in this institution, and some way be in it, in a formal way, that are not children of God. It does not draw the dead line of regeneration, but yet according to the discipline that we try to go by, we do not mean to take any except they be born again, and in the real eye of God, are accepted members. So then we conclude that Babylon is bound to be a organization. This is that form of religion that was based on self-righteousness, and is an imitation of the righteousness of Christ. The whole organization is a counterfeit. Yet it possesses much truth. If old Babylon did not have much truth as the bone for the body, she would have gone on the rocks a long time ago. 

She holds to the trinity of God, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. She holds to the bible as true, and holds to the idea that Jesus is the Son of Mary, and of God the Father. She holds that the church shall never be destroyed, and that there must be some kind of perpetuity. That the church shall never go down. Yes, the church of Jesus will never go down, but the idol inventions of men set up in opposition of the true church, as counterfeit, shall go down. Yes, the church of Jesus will never go down, but the idol inventions of men set up in opposition to the true church, as counterfeit, shall go down forever.

Babylon is compared to a fallen women. She must have been once a good and proper woman, but she is not now, for she is now fallen. How is this that she has fallen? Well any church may depart from Jesus and gives up his service say, for the world. At first she is exhorted to repent and do her first work. But she persists in her disorder, then finally she is given up by the Lord, and then this so called church that is fallen away, goes on and may become a great big overgrown church, this Babylon that is fallen, is fallen and is no more a virtuous church or women. She is a harlot and may be the mother of harlots. 

This one is said to be the mother of harlots. She has become a habitation of devils. Sure as she is now ruled by the devil it is a home for devils and unbelievers, “the hold of every foul spirit.” That is she is the seat of every foul doctrine and practice introduced by smart unbelieving men. They work to attract the unbeliever, but not the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. The doctrine of giving one man the power to rule the entire church—then the doctrine of sprinkling for baptism. The pope claims that he assumed the power to change from immersion to sprinkling. And that a little piece of bread is actually changed to the real body of Christ, and that the priest changes the wine to the real blood of Christ. But it is a shame that this said priest is to drink all this blood himself and not let the church have any benefit of the blood of Christ. I had thought that the blood was for the church: “And a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” Yes every false way and doctrine is found in her, such as that the priest can pray your sins away. It is a place here all this false and rotten notions are harbored. Every little false institution (bird) is found in this cage of rottenness as if it were a cage where a lot of birds had been kept for a long time, and the cage had not been cleaned. What a filthy place this must be in the sight of God. Think of a cage that had birds in it that had not been cleaned for over a year. This is a nasty thing, so also is Babylon. It is the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. This is the false little pet idol that are invented by man for the use of’ the church, to give glory to man. But the true church of Jesus sees that he alone provided every thing that she needs and praises him for such.

“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.” V. 3.

All nations have been partakers of this rottenness and influence that has come out from this bloody monster of iniquity. Who can paint the foulness, filth decay, hate, spite, envy, anger, murder, variance, emulation, error; deception, unbelief, traitors, heady, high minded, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. “For of this sort are they that creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts. “Ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

This old Babylon and all the preachers that are running on this road are full brothers of this rottenness. If this is Babylon, why should not God destroy it? How could he bless the earth unless he first destroy this awful sink of filth and corruption. All nations have drunk of this dose and hence the wars. Hence every crime known to the human language. She is the hold of every foul spirit. If that is so, then she has promoted or originated every lie and false system that the earth has ever known or suffered under None of these things ever came from the blessed Builder of the true church of Jesus Christ. It is from beneath, and is earthly sensual and devilish. The kings of the earth have committed fornication with her. When these kings allowed themselves to support false things and dabble in sacred things that was none of their business, they are said to commit this horrible crime. This crime is another proof that she is a harlot-false church. And the merchants waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. What can this mean? It seams those great Bishops, Archbishops, Prelates, that do not the real work of preaching to the people, but stand between, yes, stand between the local preachers and keep time and dictate for both preacher and church. They fix up the doctrine and hand to these local preachers, and these merchants give it to the people. They make big profits as it is nearly all clear profit. Think of the large salaries that these big men get that are over the people, these archbishops, that rule over continents.

What are their services worth to the human family? When old Babylon goes down all these big fat salaries will instantly stop. What will these merchants do then? They will wail over the destruction of Babylon.

“And I heard another voice from heaven saying, Come out of her my people, that ye be not partaker of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues, (this is part of the plague) “For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” V. 4-5.

Now I have another argument to prove that Babylon is a visible organization. “Come out of her my people.” Something we do in order to get away from her. And of course there was something to do in order to get into her. God’s people did not get in there by obeying the good works of the gospel, but by obeying the institutions of men and the invented doctrines of men. And they were set up and preached by false prophets, and not the true gospel ministry in service. Come out of her or else partake of the plagues that are coming to her. Here it is plain that in some measure we are to partake of the awful judgments of Babylon if we follow up and join in with this Babylon in her work of idolatry. There is no escape from this meaning here. These plagues are intended as judgments for this wicked monster of crime and deception, but, if God’s people hang about it they too are to get a dose of this same medicine.

If the children of Israel had have left their place over in the land of. Goshen, when they were down in the land of Egypt, they too would have received the same plagues that fell on the Egyptians. While they were on their own grounds they were in no danger of the plagues that were falling on the main country of Egypt. So today we are in the gospel to call for the Lord’s children that have been deceived by this counterfeit, and got off on them like Jacob got his first wife. So I say come out lest you get these plagues.

“Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she has filled, fill to her double. “How much she has glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine: and she shall utterly be burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” Vs. 6-7-8.

The inspired record here paints it like a very large city surrounded by a hostile army that cuts off the inflow of food and water coming into the inhabitants of this city. Here a famine of bread and water is soon felt, and man are sometimes killed and there is mourning, and after while it often occurs that the city is, set on fire and burned up. This is a picture of the destruction of spiritual Babylon. This is the way the ancient Medes and Persians destroyed old ancient Babylon. And now it is used here to show how God is going to destroy this Babylon that over peoples and nations for at least 1260 years, and is claiming the right to rule over people as governments rulers.

This destruction is both natural and symbolic.  It will come in this double form. For the reading here is that it is to be doubled to her. That it is to be both in the sense of a natural overthrow and its false claims as a church will be so exposed that her merchandise, (her kind of religion) will be rejected and fully exposed and repudiated and denounced. God will expose her nakedness to the people and she shall be utterly detested and abhorred by all nations. She is to be denounced, hated, repudiated, detested, abhorred, exposed, her nakedness and enormous wickedness published and judged, she is further to be execrated from the face of the earth, condemned overthrown. The pit of her burning will cause the kings and the people to bewail, and mourn, and cry, and lament, and weep, as they see these plagues coming upon her in their double force as God has determined on account of her sins and crimes. These merchants are going to mourn over her as Cardinal Wolsey did when King Henry the Eighth had him arrested. He said. “If I had have served God as I have The King, he would not have forsaken me in my old age."

“And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornicatim1 and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning. Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.”

Again I ask what is Babylon? It is that very thing that God’s people are commanded to come out of. It is some form of an institution, or organization, that men have joined themselves into for salvation and protection that is purely of the world, and in which they are hoping to find protection from God’s judgments that others that are not members will not find. This is idolatry. These are they that will say to the mountains and rocks (human institutions) fall on us and hide us, (protect us) from the face of him that sitteth on the great white throne. But will these institutions really hide them from the awful judgments of God?

But neither Babylon nor these other clubs and societies will be able to protect its members from the face of the God of heaven and these last plagues that must come upon Babylon. Babylon is the greatest institution of men that has ever been set up. But its chief crime is that it is a bitter competitor of the dear old church of Jesus Christ and has got millions of people to believe that she is the church of Christ. And thus she has deceived all nations for by her sorceries were all nations deceived.

“And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her, for no man buyeth their merchandise any more”.

Who are these merchants? These are the men that peddle out salvation through water baptism, and through the confessional, and through penance, mass, eucharist, changing the bread to Christ, and get to the poor dying fellow before the breath leaves the body, all these privileges she sells to the poor dupes as merchandise. But the people are going to quit buying. This includes all the daughters of Babylon, and all the churches that have been invented by men and looked to the state for support. It will include any order that looks to the world for support. For every true church looks to the only true Husband for support. Babylon looked to the beast for her support, and thus was the wife of the beast rather than that of Jesus Christ.

All this destruction of Babylon is under these seven great last plagues, and therefore must be yet in the future. It is my candid belief that we are now in the later part of the sixth plague, or vial of the wrath of God.

For the above reasons I shall not be very technical as to the meaning for I am sure that its particulars are not to be understood in full yet. Just what kind of strange providence that God will use to bring his great strange judgments on the world and on Babylon, is probably not to be known, in as much as we are constantly finding new powers in nature that we did not know anything about before, such as Radio, Radium, Electricity, magnetic mental power, universal gas, and possibly oil under every foot of ground, late discoveries of strange drugs.

How easy it will be when God’s full time comes to take away from Babylon all her merchandise of gold, and of silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thine wood, and all manner of vessels of ivory, and all manner of vessels of most precious wood, and brass, and iron, and marble.

“And cinnamon, and odors, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. And fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. The merchants of these things which are made rich by her, shall stand afar off for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing. And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches are come to naught. 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.”

Another scripture here says, “For thy merchants were the great men of the earth; For by thy sorceries were all nations deceived,”

Here now is self interpretation of this chapter. These merchants are the great officers of church and state. These are the ones that are going to grieve over the wreck and downfall of Mystery Babylon the great, the mother of Harlots. She was the mother of other churches that have burned men at the stake about religion.

Calvin burned Servetus at the stake at Geneva; and Martin Luther helped to burn the Anabaptist in Germany; and King Henry VIII, of England burnt the Baptist and others at the stake in his country. Every state church has been. in this persecution business, and have descended from Rome.

As old ancient Babylon went down under the wrath of God and his righteous judgments so does this one that is the mother of many daughters. She with her daughters must go down if the Bible is true, and I feel sure it is God’s truth.

God will overthrow every false doctrine and principle that has been put forth by wicked men to bolster up their popularity; and God will vindicate every principle of pure sweet truth that his dear servants have suffered for, and he will further vindicate each of his dear servants and handmaids that have been burnt at the stake for the truth sake, or in other ways suffered for Jesus sake.

God numbers every groan and pain and sorrow and ache that has in any way been put upon his dear servants in suffering for the truth. All his judgments are right and faithful and good and true, and proper and in line with justice.

Notice the last of this 18th, chapter, that it says, “In her is found the blood of the saints and the prophets, and all that were slain upon the earth.

This is the main track by which we are to trace Babylon. She killed millions by that Spanish inquisition. They were sawed asunder, torn by the rack, kept in dungeons, burnt at the stake, put to hard work as slaves for lifetime, some sowed up in sacks and thrown to wild beasts. Carried out to sea, and scuttled, so that all were drowned at once. Smoked in caves till none were left alive, women were stripped naked and their flesh cut inch by inch from the body. They were suffocated in caves, fifteen at one time were blindfolded and tied to a post and their throats cut. Some had hot lead poured down their throats, some thrown from the tops of cliffs, their debauchery of the females is too awful to be printed. Whole cities, with old age, women and children were burnt and killed. This was almost all done in the name of the Christian religion. No heathen religion could be any worse. It is but the holiness and justice of God that all such be destroyed. So like the millstone let it go down never to rise again.

These last plagues go on through the last three chapters, and also the glorification of the church. The eternal God of all the ages will glorify his church, and exalt every principle of truth and honor that his poor servants have had to suffer for. We love to preach that the true and the good will finally prevail over all else, because our God has all power over the wicked side, and he has determined to hold this up and cast the other down.

If the wicked rule over us now, we know that it will be only for a short time when the rule of the wicked will be put down, and righteousness cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Then every inconvenience caused by sin will be put away forever, and every breach will be healed, and there will be no regrets nor pain nor sorrow, nor weeping nor sickness nor evil doings, nor fever, nor sadness, nor old age, nor weakness, nor dimness of eyes, nor hunger, nor thirst, nor poverty, nor disappointment, nor heart aches, nor cold weather, nor hot weather, nor drougth, nor low prices, nor poverty, nor some exalted and some debased, some ignorant and others wise, and some weak and some stout, nor stealing nor borrowing and lending, nor lying, nor deceiving, nor backbiting, nor falsehood, nor enemies, nor whispering, and belittling each other, nor telling of others faults, nor cheating, nor betraying, nor killing, nor persecuting, nor hating, nor doubt, nor unbelief, nor variance, nor idolatry, nor wrath nor strife, nor anger, nor seditions, nor envyings, nor any such things.

 

Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 November 2006 )
< Previous   Next >

Purpose

The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.