The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 84
Destruction of antichrist's Dominion, or "Babylon the Great."
Destruction of antichrist's Dominion, or "Babylon the Great."
We have in Revelation, chapter xviii., a description given of the destruction of "Babylon the Great," as a certain mighty and wicked city. Some expositors who have taken the Pope to be the Antichrist have naturally understood this "city" to refer to the seat of the Roman Church—Rome; others, again, have thought that London is meant, on account of its extent, nches, and wickedness. But that no city is meant by this "Babylon" is evident, for the following reasons
When the destruction of the ancient City of Babylon was predicted, althoug it was mentioned by name as being about to be destroyed, the whole Empire of the page 33 Chaldeans was involved in its ruin, and the whole land was accordingly laid waste (see Jerem. Li., the whole chapter). And when God commanded his ancient people to remove from the doomed place, it was not that they should depart out of the city only, but out of the country of the Chaldeans altogether, which they accordingly did. and returned to their own land. Even so will it be in this case; the command has gone forth, "Conic out of her my people," and will be obeyed; God's people must remove from the Dominion of Antichrist altogether, "that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues," which will be abundantly poured upon them even before their final destruction (Rev. vi., 1 to 12).
Moreover, it may be asked, what effect could the destruction of a single city have upon the whole of Antichrist's vast dominion; it would be but one city out of scores of others, and would amount to a mere nothing, and scarcely be felt. It is therefore quite clear, considering these reasons, and the whole circumstances attending the destruction of Antichrist, that this "Babylon the Great" is the representative of Antichrist's Extensive Empire. When we also remember that after the destruction of Antichrist and his army the millennial government is to be set up. it will obviously be necessary that the nations who have bowed to the Blasphemer and received his mark should be speedily reckoned with, and they will; their ruin quickly follows that of their king and army (Rev. xvi. 17 to 21).
The destruction of ancient Babylon was signified by the prophet casting the book of the prophecy attached to a stone into the river Euphrates (Jerem. li. 63). This would slowly sink; and so, step by step, was the land laid waste never to flourish again. The destruction of this second Babylon is represented by a mighty angel casting, with much force, a stone like a great millstone into the sea, which swiftly passes out of sight,—so, suddenly and with much violence, shall the nations under Antichrist be laid low, to rise again no more.
After God had brought his people Israel out of Egypt, and when he was settling them in Canaan, he commanded them to destroy all the inhabitants of the land; and though they were fully prepared, with God's aid, to do so, still they did not do it, but made peace with some of them, only laying them under taxation. In this case, when the Lord shall set up his Millennial Kingdom, it is with Him to make the bounds between his people and the outsiders, so that his chosen people may not be molested as the Israelites were by the surrounding nations—and considering the long period, a space of a thousand years. His people, in this case, cannot do it themselves; our Lord must do it : it is therefore necessary, if for this reason alone, that Antichrist's dominion should be destroyed.
Although we are so sure of the rising of the great Evil King, and of the unexampled events that shall follow through him. we are not so certain as to the exact time of his appearance. This is nowhere distinctly stated in Scripture, but there is an indication given which we think will enable us to form a tolerably close idea of the time. We will endeavour to explain our views upon the matter, and ask the reader to carefully consider the following :
The Apostle Peter, when writing of the coming of Christ, says : "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day "(2 Peter iii. 8). The Apostle here seems to allude to a Jewish tradition, which was to this effect : Each day of the Creation was thought to be the representation of a thousand years of this world's existence. As, therefore, God was six days engaged in creative work, and rested on the seventh day, so this world would continue for 6,000 years, and then the seventh day, or Sabbath of Eternal Rest, would commence. At the time Peter wrote his epistle nothing was known of the millennial period, when Satan should be bound for a thousand years. Even Christ gives no intimation of that time; and the Apostles are silent regarding it. The know ledge of the Millennium was first revealed to the Apostle John on Patmos (Rev. i. 1—9), the predictions of Daniel and Ezekiel we have been considering being not then understood. If, therefore, we may take the words of the Apostle to mean that each day of the Creation is to stand for a thousand years of this world's existence, then we may understand that the world in its present state will last for 6,000 years, and that the 1,000 years of millennial rest and peace—the Sabbath of the world—will follow. If this be so we can soon make our calculation.page 34
Whatever the reckonings of the Jews or Gentiles may be, we shall not be very far out in the following dates : (1.) From the Creation to the birth of Christ was 4, 0-years; (2.) from the birth of Christ to the present time, 1,890 years. It will be seen that we have added four years to the date in common use, because it is now generally accepted that Christ was born four years before the time usually assigned to that event. We have therefore a total of 5,890 years of this world's life, and a balance of 110 years is required to complete the 6,000 years. Now, we must understand the 1,000 years of millennial blessedness, during which period Satan shall be bound, will last exactly that time; but then comes the question as to how long a period will elapse between the time of Satan being loosed and the coming of Christ to judgment. We are told that it shall be for "a little season" (Rev. xx. 3). By that term we cannot possibly understand a few years to be meant; because Satan will doubtless only be enabled to exercise his power by degrees, and, step by step, to obtain such influence over the people as to madly incense a large number against the saints and their beloved city, Jerusalem, the seat of the Millennial Empire.
As, therefore, the 1,000 years of millenial happiness is a full term, the time for that "little season" must be taken out of the 110 years required to complete the 6, 0 first noted. This being the case, we must conclude that the date of Antichrist's rise and dominion is not far distant, and that the troublous times to ensue will soon have to be faced.
The first sign upon which we may base our assurance is the coming into prominence of one connected with a kingdom descended from the Roman Empire, and his forming an alliance with the other Kings. It may commence, say, by France, Spain, Austria, and Italy forming a mutual compact, and all the other nations gradually joining in it.
However this may be, the most assured and unmistakable sign is when this King concludes an agreement with the Jews to bring them back to the land of their fathers; and from the date of that agreement to the destruction of Antichrist we know will be seven years. This time need not, therefore, come upon us unawares—"as a thief in the night."
But, seeing that the duration of our life is so uncertain, the best and most profitable calculation we can make is as regarding ourselves. Therefore, Reader, let us take counsel, and "so to number our days," which are always and only To-Day, "that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom," for we know not what to-morrow may bring forth; nay not even this very day. As one who has obtained mercy, therefore, we would counsel you to seek to be rid of the burden of your sins, by casting them upon your Saviour Jesus Christ, who is the only one accepted by God on your behalf; and being thus discharged from the curse resting upon sinners, and reconciled to your Heavenly Father, you will be prepared to leave this world at a moment s notice, and in a manner very different from that of the fools (Luke xii. 20). Then, too, if it should please God that you should still be living at the time God calls his people out of Sodom—that great city, Babylon : "Come out of her my people," (Rev. xviii. 4,) you will sit very loosely to your earthly property, and will not receive the doom of Lot's wife, of which our Lord so tenderly and graciously warns and reminds us (Luke xvii. 32).