"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."
Angel is from the Greek anggelos, and means agent or messenger. "Heaven" does not refer to the glory world above, but to the work of God and heaven here upon earth. This angel is a messenger or servant in the work of the Lord. He has the everlasting gospel to preach to the people. The burden of his ministry is, "Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come." The evening or time of the end is reached, the hour of God's judgment, the time of the bride's especial preparation for the coming of the bridegroom. This ministry is closely followed by another messenger declaring, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."
"Babylon is fallen." This is a prediction against mystery Babylon the great and her harlot daughters -- Catholicism and Protestantism. This God's pure ministry has been preaching for the last two decades. Sectism is in a fallen condition. It is fallen into the depths of worldliness. She has opened her bosom and invited the world in to revel with her. She has prepared a potion of charming delusive spirits, by which she has intoxicated and inflamed the blood of nations. In the last few years the concerts, fairs and socials are frequented by both the professed Christians and non-professors, and in their dress, conversation, and general manner, they are undistinguishable. Sectism to-day in not enticing people to enter her fold by preaching the everlasting gospel, but she allures them by her seducing love decoction of lewdness, worldliness and licentiousness. Babylon is fallen.
Some of the Old Testament texts contain a spiritual import. "Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the Lord's vengeance; he will render unto her a recompense." Jer.51:6. This language is especially forcible at this present day. We have reached the time of the Lord's vengeance.
"Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad." Jer.51:7. The woman (mystery Babylon and her daughters) sitting upon the scarlet-colored beast had a golden cup in her hand. Rev.17:4. The day was, as we have before spoken, when God did save some souls in sectism and gave them the Holy Spirit's power. But Satan has succeeded in emptying the golden cup of that which was divine and filled it with intoxicating potions that have allured nations to commit fornication with her.
"Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed. We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies." Jer.51:8, 9. Babylon can never be healed. She will not be healed. She is irredeemable. Destruction is her doom. "Forsake her and let us go every one into his own country."
Hear the lamentation of the children of God in their captivity in Babylon: "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows, in the midst thereof. For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?" Psa.137:1-4.
Perishing souls in sectism would love to serve God better, but in their captivity they can not sing the songs of praise and glory.
By thy dark deceptive waters,
Who shall sing the songs of Zion
Golden days are gone forever,
Sadly weeping stands the willow
"Zion" is a metaphor, signifying "Jerusalem, which is from above," or the church of God. It is the home of the saints, where they are cared for by the Lord. As the ancient literal city of Babylon typifies the great spiritual Babylon, so the literal city of Jerusalem typifies the spiritual Jerusalem or Zion or church of God. God does not want his people joined unto a sect and under the laws and creeds and authority of man. He wants the full care of them. However, many of God's children, through ignorance, have been induced to seek a home in Babylon. Here they have been taken captive. In this evening time God is leading them back to Zion. "The ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads." Isa.35:10. The songs of Zion are not to be sung in the barren land of Babylon. Babylon has gone into Zion and captured God's devoted children, but God will be avenged. "And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the Lord." Jer.51:24.
Here is a prophecy relating to this evening time. "In those days, and that time, saith the Lord, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the Lord their God. They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come and let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten." Jer.50:4, 5. See them coming home to Zion with the glory of God risen upon them. Halleluiah!
In thy clear, transparent water,
There is music in the ripple
Peaceful are thy streams forever,
Tree of life is blooming ever
Revelation 18:1-5, 16, 17, 23.
"And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues, for her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities."
"Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought." "And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee."
This holy messenger announces the fall of Babylon, and gives a description of it. All that is pure, holy and divine has been driven out of sect Babylon and leaves its subjects to be ravished by unclean, worldly spirits, devouring their souls, and leaving the whole an unclean cage. God has gone out of sectism. He works with them no more; his voice is heard no more in her, and his call to his people is to "come out of her." "Flee out of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul." God dwells in Zion, and there shines the beautiful light of the gospel. "Out of Zion the perfection of beauty God hath shined." "Arise, shine: for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." Isa.60:1.
Return and come to Zion, O captive daughter; unloose the bands of sectism from off thy neck; cast aside the creeds and tyranny of man; cease the cold forms and frozen conventionalities, and seek the green pasture fields of Zion, where there are songs and everlasting joy, and sighs and sorrow come no more.
Matthew 13th chapter.
The parable of the Savior in which he likens the kingdom of heaven unto a man which sowed good seed in his field is also illustrative of the gospel day. The field is the world. The Son of man sowing the good seed is the glorious gospel work of the morning. The enemy that sowed the tares is the apostasy, which destroyed much of the good seed and sowed discord, contention, strife and superstition. The harvest-time is the evening time. The angels are God's holy messengers.
In the evening of time the Son of man shall send forth his angels or messengers, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity. God is calling his people out of all confusion and darkness, separating them from sin and the works of man. Such is the work to be done in the end of the world.
Jeremiah 23d chapter.
In the fifth and sixth verses of this chapter is a beautiful prophecy of Christ. "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness."
In the ninth verse the prophet tells of his broken heart because he foresees the dark apostasy. From verse nine to verse eighteen he speaks of the wicked doings of apostates.
In verse nineteen he describes the present holiness reformation that is sweeping over the land. "Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked."
Matthew 24th chapter.
In the third verse of the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew we read of the disciples questioning the Savior concerning the end of the world. They say, "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" In answering, the Savior in the sixth and the following few verses speaks of political upheavals. In the eleventh and twelfth verses he predicts the apostasy of the noonday. "Many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold." That is why a child of God finds it so difficult to retain an experience of salvation in sectism. Iniquity abounds, and being yoked up with such evil companions he can not stem the tide of influence.
In the fourteenth verse the Savior says: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." This preaching of the gospel of the kingdom is to be after the apostasy, and just prior to the end of the world. Throughout sectism theology and tradition have been substituted for the gospel, but in the evening time John beholds an angel flying in the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth. This is the same as the preaching of the gospel in the end of the world to which the Savior refers. He has now taken the disciples once down through the whole of the Christian dispensation to the end of the world.
In the fifteenth verse he begins with them again at the desolation spoken of by Daniel, which is the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70 A.D. From the sixteenth to the twenty-second verse inclusive, he instructs them concerning this abomination. From the twenty-third to the twenty-sixth inclusive he again speaks of the apostasy. False Christs and false prophets shall arise. In the twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth verses he speaks of the end of the world. He has now taken them through the Christian era again down to the time of the end. In the twenty-ninth verse he leads them back again to the destruction of Jerusalem. "Immediately after the tribulation of those days [by this he refers to the destruction of Jerusalem] shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven." This is the obscuring of Christ and the church by the beast power in the noontime.
In the thirty-first verse he says, "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." These are the angels that are shouting, "Come out of her, my people." They are gathering out of God's kingdom all things that do offend and them that do iniquity. This is the work of God in the time of the end. "Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon." Zech.2:7. "Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks." Jer.16:16.
"Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evils of your doings, saith the Lord. And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their fold; and they shall be fruitful and increase." Jer.23:1-3.
In the evening of time God will gather the scattered remnant of his people, but woe be to the pastors that scattered them. Let the proud lords of sectism repent of their evil doings ere God visits his woe upon them.
"For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day [sectism]. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment." Ezek.34:11-16.
God is gathering out his own into the beautiful light of Zion. We have now reached the time when the above promise is being fulfilled by the delivering hand of God. Amid the ruins of Babel confusion the Lord has a remnant which he is gathering home to their goodly fold, in the top of the mountains of Israel.
"Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah." Isa.1:9. "Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth." Ezek.14:22.
"Have you heard the voice from heaven,
"Do you know, O ransomed brother,
"Yes, I heard, and to my vision
"Yes, my soul has come to Zion,
[Now the evening light is flashing,
"Oh, what myriad souls are sleeping,
-- -- -- -- -- -- -
I have cast each sectish idol