Visions are set in God’s Time so when a great and powerful image of the scarlet beast or the harlot is flashed what is understood is the long process of maturing of time,- earth time in this case, would have taken to give it clarity so these are visual tokens. Symbolism of sins of the city like kangaroo words carries every martyr from Abel onwards. What does the Scarlet woman and scarlet beast have in common? The color shows it in relation to the red dragon, where shall we place the saints arrayed in white robes? Scarlet vs white. These are as familiar as we are to the term two tribes. When the beast makes war with the saints we do not need to know what went before but their final showdown is what the vision wants the reader to focus upon. When we read the verse “For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities (v.5)” it implies the cries of the martyrs have been heard (Re.6:10). From the altar of the souls (of them that were slain for the word of God) they did not cry in vain.
The vision of the Harlot occurs in the wilderness and when she is destroyed it is place for everything evil just as the great tribulation and sorrows of the end times shall take place after the saints are removed from the earth. This has been predicted in the Book of Isaiah. It is called the day of Vengeance. (Isa.34:9-11) But the cormorant and bittern shall possess it, …and he shall stretch upon it the line of confusion…” We can from this appreciate the significance of this line, “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 (v.2).”Even as I write these the grim images of the Malibu houses gutted by wildfire can give us an idea of the wilderness both in physical and spiritual terms.
“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.(v.1)
Compare this angel with the mighty angel mentioned in Re.10:1
“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.(v.3)”
Babylon is not only a synonym for the Harlot but is also indicating what provided for her opulence or glory. Kings of the earth are in terms of merchant houses from world all over; a network of shipping lines leading to her. The city served as a hub for international trade and commerce and an impetus for keeping the latest trends in fashion accessories new for each season.
“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 (v.4)”.
This was heard from heaven signifying what is God’s Will for those who are given to be in step with the world. Being partaker of sins would indicate a conspiracy of sorts. Bedazzled and beguiled are the rules of engagement with which Satan would set up his wares in Vanity Fair. Prince of the power of the air can beguile saints just well as the serpent did with Eve.
“For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities(v.5)”.
Sins of a great city like Babylon are in terms of omission and commission. Squalor and disease in cities are the gangrene of urban life and city fathers pretend these do not matter and make laws to let them since their wealth is generated by brazen Corporate czars. The cry of the poor is heard and when disaster strikes in one part of the city it is a warning which in most cases are explained away. When man sins and denies justice to the needy and poor you think he is going to admit God in his calculations? This apocalyptic vision should be seen as carrying sins of those who let.
(To be continued)