Revelation 14:8 indicates that all of the nations will drink the maddening wine of Babylon's adulteries. Who is Babylon? What is the wine of Babylon? What is Babylon's adultery?
Thank you for your questions. I hope my response will be helpful because the future has a sequence of events that few people anticipate. We have to understand the circumstances that will cause the formation of Babylon before we can discuss Babylon's adultery and wine. According to Wikipedia, the estimated size and diversity of Earth's seven billion people currently live in approximately 195 nations and speak about 6,500 languages.
1. China has a population of about 1.3 billion people most of which are atheists.
2. India has a population of about 1.2 billion people most of which are Hindu or Buddhist.
3. There are about 1.5 billion Muslims and 1.2 billion Catholics living in various countries.
4. This leaves about 1.8 billion people in smaller categories such as Protestants (650 million), Jews (14 million) and various other groups.
These statistics force us to consider the nationalistic, linguistic, religious, and political diversity that exists on Earth. For thousands of years, this diversity has been a source of antagonism and conflict. In the past forty years, leaps in technology have made our world seem very small in matters of travel, economics, food supplies, energy, communication, and nuclear proliferation. It seems inevitable that one day, a nuclear exchange will occur at some point in the future. This oncoming eventuality is important in this study because the Bible indicates that life as we presently know it will abruptly change in a single day. (See 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6.)
God's Wrath Will Produce Babylon
Please consider this short scenario that could lead to the formation of Babylon.* Sometime in the near future, I anticipate a nuclear exchange will occur. When this happens, God will step into the conflict with a series of apocalyptic judgments that will be so overwhelming that the war will cease. Suddenly, world leaders will realize that their greatest opponent is not another nation having atomic bombs, but Almighty God Himself!
When God's wrath breaks out, He will get the undivided attention of all nations. In terms of scope and consequences, God's wrath will be global and totally devastating. The Bible indicates that God's wrath will begin with a mighty display of lightning, intimidating peals of thunder, rumblings deep within Earth, and a global earthquake that will destroy dams, bridges, electrical grids, and buildings. This earthquake will make travel and communication almost impossible. God will put the world in a state of lock-down because He has a message for this rebellious planet.
A few days after the global earthquake, God will burn up a third of the world with a meteoric shower of burning hail. A few days later, God will hurl a great asteroid into an ocean. The impact will destroy a third of the ships as well as a third of the sea creatures. The resulting tsunamis will swell several hundred feet high.
Giant concentric walls of water will rush toward coastal cities and destroy thousands of them in minutes. A few days after this, God will hurl a flaming asteroid into a continent and the shockwaves from the impact will shatter its geological strata. This will cause the rivers, aquifers, and springs of water to become contaminated and millions of people will die from drinking poisoned water. After this, hundreds of volcanos will erupt and fill the sky with ash, soot, and debris. The jet stream will cause darkness to cover the middle third of Earth. There will be no light for weeks, crops will perish, and global famine will follow.
God will destroy 25% of the world's population (1.75 billion people) within a period of a couple months. It goes without saying that the remaining 5.25 billion survivors will be badly traumatized and scared to death. The omnipotent power of Almighty God will silence the whole world in the same way that He silenced a powerful storm on the Sea of Galilee. The fear of the Almighty will humble everyone and the survivors will whisper, "What does He want?"
When the religious and political leaders of the world see the fierce destruction and apocalyptic proportions of God's wrath, they too will be overwhelmed and traumatized just like everyone else. Since they do not know God's plans (even though His plans are announced in the book of Revelation), the leaders of the world will erroneously conclude that God's wrath will continue without cessation unless something is done quickly to appease Him.
Furthermore, world leaders will not be able to dismiss these judgments as random acts of nature because I believe God's wrath will target notoriously wicked places (like Sodom and Gomorrah). Thus, Atheists, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Pagans will be forced to admit that a discernible pattern of destruction is obvious. The smouldering ruins of thousands of wicked cities will prove to everyone that Almighty God reigns and He must be very angry!
Think about this: By the time the fourth trumpet-judgment in Revelation 8 has ended, all of the world's infrastructures (communication, banking, manufacturing, travel, and every nations economy) will be destroyed. A third of the world will be a heap of ashes. Thousands of coastal cities will either be missing or uninhabitable. Twenty-five percent of the worlds population will be dead. Darkness will cover Earth 24/7 and the onset of global famine will be inescapable. These dire circumstances and the anticipation that more judgments are imminently coming will motivate world leaders to unite and do something quickly!
The religious and political leaders of the world will assemble, and according to the book of Revelation, their solution to appease God's awful wrath will be to form a crisis government that will oversee every nation, making sure every effort is made to appease God. This crisis government (called Babylon in the book of Revelation) will have authority over not only civil matters, but also religious ones as well. All 195 nations of the world will humbly agree to follow the directives of this "monstrous beast." (Revelation 13:3)
Revelation describes Babylon as an adulterous organization because God considers man-made church-state governments an abomination. The church (the bride of Christ) belongs to Christ and she is not permitted to "get in bed" with civil or secular authorities. Even when God delivered Israel from Egypt, He kept the powers of church (the priesthood) and state (the king) separate.
Babylon's function and role will appear to be a reasonable idea to almost everyone traumatized by the first four trumpets. Its motto will be simple: "The whole world must appease God so that His wrath will cease or we shall all die!" After witnessing the smouldering evidences of God's wrath, the destruction of thousands of coastal cities, the slaughter of 1.75 billion people, endless darkness, and looming famine, who can disagree with Babylon's motto without insulting the Almighty?
After the adulterous church-state government forms, I can envision a scenario where the leaders of Babylon announce to the world: "Every nation has suffered great loss. God is angry with the whole world for one reason. We have become wicked, degenerate, and violent. God is offended with our evil ways.
The Bible says that God destroyed the world in Noah's day because of violence and wickedness. The Bible teaches that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of sexual immorality, and the Bible teaches that God destroyed Jerusalem for idolatry and violence.
God never changes, and now that a third of the world has been reduced to ashes and 25% of the world has been slain, it is absolutely necessary to change our sinful ways if we want to survive. We must therefore make every effort to please the Almighty or He will destroy the rest of us.
Given this unforeseeable crisis, which is due to our decadent and degenerate behavior, the leaders of the world have established a new organization which will lead the way forward. This new organization will work with the authorities in each nation. World leaders have elected the pope to the head this new government because the Roman Catholic Church is unique in that it already has diplomatic relations with 175 nations. The pope will be assisted by an executive council of religious leaders from every religious body. This coalition of the world's religious leaders will guide us and provide counsel as we proceed.
"All 195 nations have wholeheartedly agreed to carry out the recommendations that will proceed from the crisis government. Due to the implementation of martial law in every nation, many new laws, carefully designed to eliminate offensive behaviors in God's sight, will be implemented without debate or delay.
People refusing to obey these laws will be arrested and punished because the world cannot risk offending Almighty God any further. We have no choice but to appease God's wrath if we want to survive. Therefore, a list of sinful behaviors will be published and anyone caught offending the Almighty will be quickly punished. Did not God say Is it not better for one man to die than a whole nation perish? (See John 11:50.)"
The wine of Babylon will be a compelling lie. It will be the biggest lie told ever since Lucifer lied to Eve in the Garden of Eden. The lie Babylon will promote is that God's wrath can be appeased. The wine of Babylon will seem reasonable and all 195 nations will drink it and do stupid things to try to stop God's wrath. (This is why the wine is called maddening wine.)
To counteract this lie, God will send 144,000 prophets throughout the world. They will speak plainly against Babylon's wine. They will boldly say, ". . . . Fallen! Fallen [False! False] is Babylon the Great [whose plans for appeasing God are nonsense and its presumed authority is an insult to the Almighty], which made all the nations drink the maddening wine [those nations and people who participate in Babylon's lies will become delusional fools and mad men] of her adulteries [unholy alliance between church and state]. " (Revelation 14:8, insertions and underlining mine)
The book of Revelation teaches three facts that every Christian should clearly understand at this hour. First, Gods wrath is surely coming. The book of Revelation indicates that God is about to send fourteen overwhelming judgments upon Earth. (These judgments are described as seven trumpets and seven bowls.) These judgments will be progressively destructive. In fact, Earth will be totally devastated during the seventh bowl.
Second, Jesus said that the end of the world will be similar to the story of Noah. (Matthew 24:37-39) For 120 years, God warned the people through Noah. Noah told the antediluvians what God was going to do and when He was going to do it. (Genesis 6:3) The antediluvians did not believe Noah.
They did not repent of their evil ways and neither did God deviate from His plan. Similarly, the book of Revelation is speaking to the world. It contains Gods plan and He will not deviate from it. When His wrath begins, God will speak to the whole world (and the leaders of Babylon) through His 144,000 servants, and like the antediluvians, most of the world will not listen and will defy God's commandments.
Third, every Christian should know today that there can be no appeasement of God's wrath during the Great Tribulation because Earth has passed the point of return. When Gods wrath begins, no amount of appeasement can change, divert, or alter God's actions.
This explains why God sends 144,000 prophets to tell the world that Babylon's wine is a huge lie. This truth is confirmed by the casting down of the censer at the Altar of Incense in Heaven's temple. (Revelation 8:5) When the daily service at Heaven's Altar of Incense is terminated, there can be no further appeasement of Gods wrath because 6,000 years of corporate atonement ends when the censer is cast down.**
Salvation will be offered to individuals during the seven trumpets and all who are willing to obey the eternal gospel and put their faith in Christ will be saved. However, it is vital to understand that there will not be any appeasement of God's wrath, in fact, His wrath will only get worse when the seven bowls begin.
Sherri, I know this scenario sounds like a fairy tale. (The antediluvians also thought a flood was a fairy tale, until the first raindrops fell.) If the documentation was not in the Bible, I would not believe it. Currently, there are many scoffers, but when God's wrath begins, life will change.
Babylon will implement martial law and the individual freedoms that we treasure so much today will be suspended. Constitutional rights and legislative debate will be set aside because of the overwhelming crisis. A day is coming when a few "civil servants" will rule over each nation with absolute power, and worse, a small group of religious leaders will rule over these civil servants with absolute power.The book of Revelation predicts a future and a one-world-church-state that is now impossible to imagine. The Word of God is infallible. It predicts that Babylon is coming. Do not be deceived with its wine.
PS: I hope our readers will make copies of this study and pass them around. Hurry. People need to be introduced to this topic. A monstrous beast will soon come to life and what will we then be able to say?
*Note: This topic is covered in considerable detail in my book, The Seven Trumpets, Two Witnesses and Four Beasts. This information can be freely downloaded from The Trumpets of Revelation.
**Note: For further discussion on the Full Cup Principle, please see Chapter 2 in my book, Warning! Revelation is about to be fulfilled or this information can be freely downloaded at https://www.wake-up.org/warnbook/WarnBook.htm
Larry Wilson, founder of WUAS, became a “born again” Christian in 1972. His interest in the gospel has led him on a 40+ year quest to learn more about what God has revealed to Earth’s final generation. The results of his research have been shared all over the world in books, television & radio broadcasts, media interviews, and seminars that are publicly available on all different types of media (see our Christian Bookstore).
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Wake Up America Seminars, Inc. is a nonprofit, nondenominational organization with a focus on the study of End-Time Prophecy. WUAS is not a church, nor does it endorse any denomination. Our focus is singular: We are dedicated to proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and His imminent return. We are delighted that people of all faiths are diligently using the Bible study materials produced by WUAS. All study materials are based solely on the Bible alone.