|It is important to
note that there is no paragraph marking in the original. The judgment of the first angel is now
pronounced on “Babylon” -- indeed, the Greek verb has a tense here, the
prophetic(?) aorist, which implies “future fact.” (We see this all the time in English, signs
which say “Future home of First
|Babylon: All commentators agree on this: Babylon is Rome. This is made clear in chapters 17 and
18. It is more than that,
however. We can look at the Old
Testament Babylon, now destroyed, and see some parallels:
|• Babylon is a huge
empire; so is Rome (in any view)
|• It is always viewed
as Satan’s throne.
|• It is related to
Babel, or confusion.
|• It persecuted the
people of God, destroying the Temple.
|• It carried Israel,
the people of God, into captivity -- it enslaved them.
|All these are, in
the historicist view, characteristics of the Roman Catholic Church. There is one more point:
Babylon fell in a single night. Hal Lindsey makes this out as one more thermonuclear exchange.
Idolatry: Throughout the Old
Testament, God refers to the people of Israel as his “wife.” Idolatry, the worship of false gods, is
frequently referred to as “adultery.”
|• Adultery applies
only to the married. Whatever this
passage means, it applies to those who claim to have a relationship to the
Living God. We are not talking about
|• As such, in this
age, we must (as Talbot, a futurist, put it) be speaking of “false and corrupt forms of Christianity.”
|To the historicist,
of course, this is the Roman Catholic church.
The idols are the plaster saints;
the idolatry is the worship of saints and particularly the Virgin