Revelation 14:8 -
Babylon is Fallen
Revelation 14:8 gives the second angel's message that Babylon is fallen. It is given immediately following the first angel's message of Revelation 14.
"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." (Rev 14:8)
"Followed" is from the Greek word "akoloutheo" (Strong's #190). It is described as:
1) to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him
2) to join one as a disciple, become or be his disciple
2a) side with his party
It means "to follow" as in "to accompany" rather than to follow in time as in one event following another. In all of its uses (if you were to read the 91 verses using it), to render it something like "later" would not make sense. The messages are given right together, accompanying each other. The message of the first angel does not lose its significance to be replaced by the second. Think of the second and third messages. Once Babylon is fallen it is time to get out (even better to get out before). It would not make sense to give the message that Babylon is fallen and then wait any amount of time before saying "get out." Think of this two-part message: "the house is on fire. Get out, now!" The messages go together.
The word "another" could be "second" in this case. In the next verse, we see yet another angel but it is designated as "the third angel" so the angel of Revelation 14:8 must be the second in the series and that of verse 6, the first.
The word "made" indicates that there will be a degree of coercion and force involved on the part of Babylon to gain acceptance of its way by everyone if possible. For most people there will be no force required - their compliance will be effected by deception as suggested by Rev 13:14.
"All nations" indicates the world-wide extent of the control and influence Babylon will have. It did not have that at anytime in the past such as the time of the ancient city of Babylon, the time of the Roman Empire etc.
"Wine" can be understood to represent doctrine or spiritual belief whether good or bad. Jesus may have been using it this way in this passage:
"And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better." (Luke 5:37-39)
The idea is that new truth (as He was trying to present to them) may not agree with a person's existing system of beliefs. Indeed, they need to become "new wineskins," (new, converted vessels) able to hold new truth.
It could also be related to the grape harvest of the lost that we will look at later in this chapter. Babylon, a false religious system in opposition to God, will deceive many people to believe her false doctrines and join her in an illicit relationship:
"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." (Rev 17:2)
Fornication represents an adulterous relationship which the harlot of Babylon is engaged in - more in chapter 17.
This system will employ much deception to get people to accept her false beliefs.
"Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." (2 Thess 2:9-10)
Babylon has long been recognized to have formed in the early centuries AD as false worship came into the church and men began to seek power and authority for themselves. That many people came to recognize the Roman Catholic church as Babylon is shown by many historical writings. A quick, 5-minute video that documents this shows that many who once so regarded the papacy have changed their views in recent times. Thus, many denominations are now associated with Babylon and, indeed, we are fast approaching the point where virtually "all the world wondered after the beast." (Rev 13:3).
The message of Revelation 14:8 is to be followed by a very dire warning involving
fire and brimstone (Part 4).
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