The second of the three message-bearing angels of Revelation 14 provides the shortest of the three messages. He says, “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)
Despite the brevity of this message, quite a lot could be written about its meaning. Desiring to keep this focused on principles rather than specifics, however, I will merely provide the Biblical definitions involved here, and then give some examples of how this message is to be applied in the life of the believer.
Historically, the nation identified as “Babylon” had two functions as far as God’s purposes went. First, it was an example of the disorder that results from rebellion against His law. In Genesis 11:9, the city and tower that the people desired to become the passageway to God-hood (Bab-El: Gate of God) became instead a symbol of confusion (Babel). Second, Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar was a heathen power that was permitted to overcome Israel as a testimony against their disobedience. (Jer 50:17)
Symbolically, Babylon serves much the same purpose. In the Book of Revelation we find her as a powerful woman riding a beast, (Rev 17:5, 6) and given the authority to draw blood from the saints. That she is full of the names of “blasphemy” (verse 3) identifies her as a religious entity, one that is unfaithful to the Almighty (hence the title: Mother of Harlots) and instructs people in false doctrines (for she is also said to be the mother of “Abominations”).
Protestants have long identified this entity as the Roman Catholic Church; and there is much evidence for this, even as far back as the New Testament itself, for Peter, writing from Rome, signs off in his epistle, “The church that is at Babylon […] saluteth you.” (1Peter 5:13) But the principle here is a far more enduring one than just any individual Church.
With the fall of Babylon comes the freedom of the saints. When this message of Babylon’s fall is repeated in Revelation 18, the saints are told to “come out of her.” There is freedom to be found outside of Babylon – outside of organizations that, by definition, are unfaithful to the laws of God, and that teach false doctrines. Ultimately, when the second Gospel angel announces the fall of Babylon, he is signifying the end to religious confusion, and false doctrines. He is telling the saints that they may depart from adulterated religions, from idols masquerading as religious principles, and from teachers not after the Lord’s own heart.
The second pillar of the CSDA faith, which reflects this principle, is that of doctrinal purity. Creation Seventh Day Adventists are fundamentalist Bible-believers who have critically examined the long-taught traditions of men, and rejected those that have originated in human intellect in favor of actual, inspired instruction from the prophets, from the apostles, and from Christ Himself.
Just to give a few examples here, without extensive “proofs” in this particular thread, Creation Seventh Day Adventists believe in:
1) The continuing validity of the 10 Commandments. While so many Churches teach that the Commandments are no longer applicable (and for different – confused and confusing – reasons), we see the saints keeping all 10 articles of the Decalogue before Moses received the tablets on Mount Sinai, and we see the saints keeping all 10 articles into the New Testament era, after the crucifixion of Christ, (e.g., Luke 23:56) and in the historical records we have of the generations following the close of the Biblical canon.
2) A view of the Godhead that does not include human interpretations and additions to the inspired Word of God. While we believe in, and glorify, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we do not find the Spirit described in the same terms as the Father and Son. We find that the Son “proceeded and came forth” from the Father, (John 8:24) thus being separate from Him and able to speak to Him, pray to Him, etc. On the other hand, the Spirit “proceedeth” (present, continuous) from the Father (John 15:26) and is thus not a separate Person, but rather the personal Presence of the Almighty. In short, we believe that the Trinity Doctrine, which was crafted with the application of force and (again) confusion by human effort, does not, and cannot, properly represent the Biblical revelation of the Godhead.
3) The importance of observing the Biblical “Holy Days” in place of the modern “holidays” that are generally pagan in origin and intent. We believe that Satan has been instrumental in the use of such secularized institutions as Christmas and Easter to desensitize Christians to the importance of watching and praying regarding distractions and deceptions. Commercialism and spectacle have all but entirely replaced joyful thanksgiving to Him crucified for our salvation on these days ostensibly held to honor Him. While modern Christians see such times as the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles as “Jewish” holidays, the fact of the matter is that New Testament Christians are constantly referenced as keeping them as sacred times. (Acts 18:21, 1Cor 5:8, Jude 1:12) While an outward observance of these days is not a “test of fellowship” for the CSDA Church, an understanding of their principles is, we believe, vital to remaining free from the Babylonian mindset that has actively rejected them.
4) The observance of the New Moon as a vital time of cleansing and reflection for members of the Bride of Christ. The New Moon, unique among any other time, is mentioned along with the Sabbath as being an everlasting institution. (Isa 66:23) New Moons are (in the Greek language) the appointed time “every month” at which the Redeemed partake of the Tree of Life, (Rev 22:2) representing Christ Himself. It is our belief that, just like the Sabbath, the gift of the New Moon has great importance in preparing the soul for everlasting life.
5) The literal, 6-day creation of the world and all that this implies. While secular evolution is taught in schools, and studies show that college students are losing their faith at record levels, the Creation Seventh Day Adventist Church makes a strong stand for the historical, geological and biological accuracy of the Scriptures. Christ referred to the Book of Genesis as a transcript of actual, historical events; and in fact the Cross, which was permitted by the Father that sin might be destroyed, loses all meaning, even symbolically, if we accept the idea that death pre-dated sin. In “Adam” the Bible says, “all die,” and this includes even the animals that were placed under his spiritual authority; “even so in Christ [whose sacrifice annulled this process] shall all be made alive.” (1Cor 15:22)
6) The idea that God cares about our physical, as well as spiritual, health. This takes no great effort to prove. The inspired apostle tells us directly, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” (3John 1:2) The Scriptures give us guidelines for healthy living, including diet, designed by the Perfect Physician for our own best good. So many have taught that Christ declared “all foods clean,” when long after His death and resurrection, His followers were saying of unclean meats, “I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” (Acts 10:14) A prophecy of the very last generation on earth describes a people who defile themselves (while thinking that they are being purified and sanctified) by “eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse.” (Isa 66:17) No declaration of Christ, or any His followers, has ever set at naught either the doctrinal or prophetic statements indicating that there is a difference between the clean and the unclean even in so “small” a matter as food.
7) An undiluted view of the Gospel message. While most of this concept is covered during an examination of the first angel’s message, it is worth mentioning here that the CSDA view of the Gospel, which teaches and demonstrates that “whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin,” (1John 3:9) differs in this respect from every other religion on earth. How does the Christian respond to sin? If you ask four different Churches, you may get eight different answers. But they all have one common thread among them: “Sometimes, perhaps often, or perhaps rarely, sin will crop up in the life of the born-again believer.” And this is not accidental, or ignorant, sin – this is a deliberate rejection of what one knows to be the will of God for his or her life. The Bible teaches that this is Babylonian error, and as such the Bride of Christ does not consider it anything but “another Gospel” to be actively shunned and rebuked when encountered. For the love of our brethren who are still captive to this lethal corruption of Christ’s good news, we cry out against this error with a loud voice.
Again, these are just a few examples to demonstrate the principle. The Church holds – as a foundational pillar – the idea that there is a “correct” way to read the Scriptures for our Father’s will. He has given us inspired words, and the Holy Spirit as a guide. He has called forth a people who are equipped and willing to purify the saints through faith and obedience to the Word of God; and in so doing they will escape from the destruction that results from the fall of Babylon.
Questions and conversation about religious beliefs, Scripture, the Spirit of Prophecy, and Creation 7th Day Adventism
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