San Diego, California
The second angel’s message can be found in Revelation 14:8 and reads as follows:
“Another angel followed, saying, ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’”
Following the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel, the name “Babylon” became connected with the Hebrew word balal, “to confound.” In Bible prophecy, Babylon is a vivid symbol of religious confusion—which is seen when professed Christians do not teach according to the Bible. So therefore, “Babylon” refers to Christians or churches that have teachings and doctrines that are not based in God’s Word, the Scriptures.
The second of God’s messages strongly opposes a religion of compromise. Revelation 17 depicts spiritual Babylon—apostate Christianity—as an immoral woman (verses 1-5). She stands in contrast to the pure woman of Revelation 12 who represents the true Christian church.
The second angel warns, “Babylon is fallen.” The woman who represents Babylon is a fallen woman who “has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” The “wine” represents false teachings that do not follow the Bible. The “fornication” represents the Christian church forming beliefs and philosophies based on human ideas and traditions rather than on God’s Word. It attempts to force these false teachings upon others through an alliance of the secular government and the church. The message of the second angel calls God’s people to belong only to a church whose teachings and beliefs are founded on the Word of God and to resist the false teachings of an apostate Christianity that obscure the truths of the Bible.
God calls people to “come out” of Babylon (Revelation 18:4) and into wholehearted devotion to Christ. He wants a people who serve as examples of the power of obedient faith—genuine disciples who depend on Christ and follow His teachings in the Scriptures. He asks us to “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).
Many today are choosing a form of “lite” Christianity, saying, in effect: “Just give me a few greeting card sayings and send me on my way. Don’t cramp my style with any of those nonnegotiable commandments from Mt. Sinai.”
Babylon falls because she chooses to compromise God’s Word and to reject certain truths of the Bible. During the first few centuries after Jesus’ resurrection, the Church introduced certain theological teachings that led to protests from clergy and members and gave birth to the Protestant Reformation. Even in our modern day, some Christians have chosen to depart from the great Bible truths of the Reformation. If we choose not to follow all of the teachings of the Bible, we are part of Babylon. Those who “come out” of Babylon will reject unbiblical teachings and worship God as He is revealed in His Word.