THE CITY DESTROYED IN A SINGLE HOUR
Revelation, Chapter 17 & 18
"One of the seven angels that had the seven bowls came to speak to me, and said, 'Come here and I will show you the punishment given to the famous prostitute who rules enthroned beside abundant waters, the one with whom all the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and who has made all the population of the world drunk with the wine of her adultery'... "
"After this, I saw another angel come down from heaven, with great authority given to him; the earth was lit up with his glory. At the top of his voice he shouted, 'Babylon has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen, and has become the haunt of devils and a lodging for every foul spirit...all the nations have been intoxicated by the wine of her prostitution; every king on earth has committed fornication with her, and every merchant grown rich through her debauchery'."
"A new voice spoke from heaven; I heard it say, 'Come out, my people, away from her, so that you do not share in her crimes and have the same plagues to bear...within a single day, the plagues will fall on her: disease and mourning and famine. She will be burnt right up. The Lord God has condemned her, and he has great power.
There will be mourning and weeping for her by the kings of the earth who have fornicated with her and lived with her in luxury. They see the smoke as she burns, while they keep at a safe distance from fear of her agony. They will say: 'Mourn, mourn for this great city, Babylon, so powerful a city, doomed as you are within a single hour'.
There will be weeping and distress over her among all the traders of the earth when there is nobody left to buy their cargoes of goods; their stocks of gold and silver, jewels and pearls, linen and purple and silks and scarlet... All the fruits you had set your hearts on have failed you; gone forever, never to return is your life of magnificence and ease"
"The traders who made a fortune out of her will be standing at a safe distance from fear of her agony, mourning and weeping. They will be saying: 'Mourn, mourn for this great city; for all the linen and purple and scarlet that you wore, for all your finery of gold and jewels and pearls; your riches are all destroyed within a single hour.
All the captains and seafaring men, sailors and all those who make a living from the sea will be keeping a safe distance, watching the smoke as she burns, and crying out, 'Has there ever been a city as great as this!' They will throw dust on their heads and say, with tears and groans: 'Mourn, mourn for this great city whose lavish living has made a fortune for every owner of a sea-going ship ruined within a single hour'.
Now heaven, celebrate her downfall, and all you saints, apsotles and prophets; God has given judgment for you against her.
Then a powerful angel picked up a boulder like a great millstone, and as he hurled it into the sea, he said, 'That is how the great city of Babylon is going to be hurled down, never to be seen again'.
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Babylon stands for a world languishing in debauchery. Since the time of Rome it has been a synonym for western civilization. The Book of Revelation was written on the premise that Babylon's capitol city was Rome. That is still the case. New York, the commercial heart of western civilization is used here as a sign to the world of what is to come.
As the world's capitol of trade and finance, it sits enthroned beside the abundant waters of the confluence of the Hudson River and the Atlantic Ocean. It was destroyed in a single hour. The smoke of its burning seen around the world is not just a warning from God but a signal of what is to be. It is a declaration from heaven. That declaration can be found in the words of Revelation 17 & 18, much of which is reprinted above.
As we have shown in our writings, the works of God go in pairs by opposites. The smoking wreckage of New York City is that kind of symbol. It represents a physical image of what is now in store for western civilization because of sin. It tells us that the destroyer is at hand. Like the buildings themselves, a cascading fall of events have begun to occur which will lead western civilization straight into Armageddon. (See the Towers of Babylon).
What we saw literally occur in New York was the physical image of a spiritual catastrophe that is looming imminently before the entire western world. In the holocaust that follows, both east and west will collapse together in the crescendo of warfare that is about to engulf them both. At the end, after both combatants have been destroyed, God will appear victoriously in the sight of the people of the world and Christ will be crowned King. His kingdom will reign forever.
God's call for us to come out of this city is not about leaving New York City. It refers to our need to come out of spiritual Babylon by turning to Christ for salvation. This passage shows that there is still time for repentance. God has not locked the door, at least not yet.
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