The Destruction of Babylon Part 2 -- By: Herbert McKenzie

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 092:367 (Jul 1935)
Article: The Destruction of Babylon Part 2
Author: Herbert McKenzie

The Destruction of Babylon
Part 2

Herbert McKenzie

An Address Delivered Before the American Society for Prophetic Study

(Concluded from April-June Number)

We now draw attention to what is frequently referred to as the two Babylons of the 17th and 18th chapters of the Revelation. These two chapters, we believe, refer rather to two conditions which will prevail in this future city as it approaches the hour set for its final destruction. There are first the conditions which are produced by the existence of the woman as referred to in the 17th chapter, and then the conditions which will prevail in the city after the woman herself has been destroyed by those whom she expected to be to her a source of strength. This woman whom we find in Babylon, as later we find the bride in the New Jerusalem, is called “Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth” (Rev 17:5). All the mysteries of the Epistles and of the Revelation are in some way related to Gentile history, and the mystery which is a secret which may or may not be revealed, always relates to things of a spiritual order. The mystery is the woman and not the city, and the mystery is associated with the city because of the woman who is related to it. The significance of the New Testament woman in her spiritual aspirations is, in symbol, that of a destroyer of faith as represented by the leaven which she hides in the measures of meal (Matt 13:33), and the authority that this woman of Babylon exercises, will be due to the religious influence which she will cast over the minds of men. She is said to sit, first upon many waters, and the many waters, we are told, are multitudes, nations,

peoples and tongues (Rev 17:1, 15). The dominating influence among the nations, linking together the loyalty of various nations to one common person or purpose, is that of religion, of which Rome is perhaps the clearest example, and of which Mahomet is probably a good second, and yet the prophetic Word indicates that religion standing alone will fail to retain its grip with international strength and will call to its aid the wider embrace of commercial magnetism to hold the world to a unity of purpose. The rift in the ranks of religion was discovered in the recent war when commercial interests of various nations were at stake. Jew was to be found fighting against Jew, Moslem against Moslem, Catholic against Catholic, Protestant against Protestant, and, sad to relate, in many instances, believer against believer, but the woman upon the waters w...

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