Babylon – Spiritual Wickedness
Just why did God choose the name “Babylon” to describe spiritual wickedness in the last days? To find the answer to this question we must go back to the beginning of the original Babylon. We find that it was started by Nimrod, the mighty hunter and the great Anti-Christ of his day. (See Gen 10:10). The city of Babel, or Babylon was built in direct opposition to the will of the Lord for He wanted his people to scatter abroad all over the face of the earth and repopulate it after the flood, instead of congesting in one place. For one thing the Lord knew that a great congestion of the population always brings this spiritual wickedness. Because the people built the great city and the tower God had to confuse their language so they could be scattered all over the earth according to his will.
Joseph Smith taught this important principle of limitation. He taught that the great city Zion would “fill up the world,” but that each community or stake in that city would be limited to “fifteen to twenty thousand people”. DHC 1:358
It is obvious that cities below twenty thousand population have much less corruption than the large cities. All of the large cities today are filled with every kind of wickedness one can imagine thus the main concentration of spiritual wickedness in the world today is in the large cities. Thus when the Lord says: “Come out of her (Babylon), my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her PLAGUES.” REV 18:4 He is telling the people to come out of the cities of the world for all of these large concentrations of people are Babylon or confusion in the sight of God.
Not only are the Large cities a part of Babylon but so also are the smaller ones, to a lesser degree, according to the amount of spiritual wickedness therein. The only places that are not a part of Babylon are those places appointed by the Lord. Concerning these gathering places the scriptures commanded: ”Those who call themselves by my name and are essaying to be my saints, if they will do my will and keep my commandments concerning them, let them GATHER THEMSELVES TOGETHER unto the places which I shall appoint unto them by my servant Joseph (or another servant), AND BUILD UP CITIES UNTO MY NAME, that they may be prepared for that which is in store for a time to come.” D&C 125:2
Thus those who come out of Babylon are those who gather together and build up cities or stakes of Zion unto the Lord not exceeding twenty thousand. Salt Lake was once a city of Zion, but is no longer because of the spiritual wickedness there. It is as much a part of Babylon as any other city and there is no safety there at present.
Joseph Smith verified this doctrine. He said in speaking of Israel that the Lord would “Gather them from the coasts of the earth and as John heard the voice saying ‘Come Out Of her my people’ even so must all be fulfilled: that the PEOPLE OF THE LORD MAY LIVE when Babylon the great is fallen is fallen. There has been quite a number of families gathered up here already and we expect a continuance…” DHC 4:8-9 In speaking of the destruction of Babylon we find: “Therefore, shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning. Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, Alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! FOR IN ONE HOUR IS THY JUDGEMENT COME. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; FOR NO MAN BUYETH THEIR MERCHANDISE ANY MORE… The merchants of these things WHICH WERE MADE RICH BY HER, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing… In ONE HOUR so great riches is come to nought… And they cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying what city is like unto this great city!… In one hour is she made desolate. Rejoice over her, thou Heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for GOD HATH AVENGED YOU ON HER. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall the great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” Rev 18:8-11, 15,17-21.
In reading this chapter many people think that Babylon is only one city since it was called a “great city” but we know that this cannot be the case since we are told that “in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of ALL THAT WERE SLAIN UPON THE EARTH.” Rev 18:24. No one city has even been in existence long enough to slay all the saints that have been on the earth, but “spiritual wickedness” has indeed slain all the saints that have been on the earth and where ever this spiritual wickedness reigns there we have Babylon. The Lord calls Babylon a city just as he calls Zion a city that will “fill the whole earth”. Actually the city Zion which will fill the whole earth in the eyes of man will be composed of many smaller cities. The same is true of the great city Babylon. Yet even taking this into consideration within each prophecy we have many types or shadows of reality. For instance the city Zion is often referred to as the center stake in Jackson County. The central gathering place for Zion is prophesied to be in Missouri and the United States as a whole. Even so, with the city Babylon we have a city and nation today which typifies its-existence. The City is New York City and the Nation is the United States.
Just as in the days of Peter Rome was called Babylon (I Peter 5:13) so also in our day is the great controlling city of New York is called Babylon. New York has several things in common with the Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar. First it is the controlling financial city of the world. Second it is surrounded by water. Third, it is the melting pot of the nations. A conglomeration of all types of people always fills the city Babylon. In speaking of Babylon of our day Jeremiah exclaimed: “opulent city, standing beside great waters!” Jer 51:13 New English.
Concerning the city beside the great waters Ezekiel writes: “How art thou destroyed, that wast inhabited of seafaring men, the renowned city, WHICH WAS STRONG IN THE SEA, she and her inhabitants, which cause their terror to be on all that haunt it! Now shall the isles tremble in the day of thy fall; yea, the isles that are in the sea shall be troubled at thy departure. For thus saith the Lord God; when I shall make thee a desolate city, like the cities that are not inhabited, when I shall BRING UP THE DEEP UPON THEE, AND GREAT WATERS SHALL COVER THEE.” Ezekiel 26:17-19
This coincides with another prophecy of John Taylor when he said that the city of New York would someday be submerged under water.
Jeremiah also speaks of this event: “The sea is come upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves.” Jer 51:42
On the other hand, Jeremiah in the next verse indicates that there are other parts of Babylon that will not be covered with water: “Her CITIES are a desolation, A DRY LAND, and a wilderness, a land where no man dwelleth.” Jer 51:43
This clearly indicates that the main city of Babylon will be sunken under the sea whereas its other cities will become a desolation just as John Taylor saw in his vision.
In addition to the flooding Jeremiah gives us another cause of the desolation: “And a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground. Howl, ye SHEPHERDS, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye PRINCIPAL (From the Hebrew ADDIYR which means the greatest of or the leading men) OF THE FLOCK: for the days of your slaughter and your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel. And the shepherds (the General Authorities) shall have no way to flee, nor the principal (the First Presidency) of the flock, to escape. A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and an howling of the principal of the flock shall be heard: for the Lord hath spoiled their pasture. (The pasture is Salt Lake City and others where the church is joined with Babylon) And the peaceable habitations are cut down because of the fierce anger of the Lord.” Jer 25:32-37
We also have a strong indication that Babylon can refer to a certain country: in the last days: “For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon as assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken.” Jer 50:9
Obviously the nations that come against Babylon here could not be a part of Babylon so Babylon here could only refer to a nation or set of nations in the last days.
Since Babylon refers to “spiritual wickedness” then that nation which possesses this type of wickedness in the world today would be the Babylon that is prophesied. All nations possess wickedness, but they do not all have a great deal of “spiritual wickedness.” The greater the spiritual leanings are in a nation the greater the chance there is for spiritual wickedness for the greater the light the greater is the darkness of those who go against the light.
Not only is the United States the most religious nation on earth, as well as the headquarters of Mormonism but has a greater variety of spiritual teachers of every mold. It is indeed the prime candidate for being the modern Babylon, center of spiritual wickedness. It is not surprising that there are so many references in the scriptures to the apostasy of the shepherds of Israel in the last days.
There are many other indications that the nation Babylon is the United States* For instance we are told that “the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” Rev. 18:3 What other nation other than the United States makes the merchants of the earth rich?
The saints of God are commanded: “Come out of her my people.” Rev 18:4 We know that the majority of the Latter-Day Saints are in the United States.
Another indication is given in: “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.” Rev 18:20. Joseph and Hyrum Smith are among these.
Then too, sometimes Babylon refers to the nations of the world. “Go ye Out from among the nations, even from Babylon.” D&C 133:14 All of the nations possess a degree of spiritual wickedness, but the United States exceeds them all and all cities in the United States possess this same wickedness, but New York exceeds them all from a political standpoint and Salt Lake City exceeds them all from a religious standpoint.
A great warning was given by the Lord through Ezekiel to the Watchmen of Israel to warn them about sinning against the light: “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, AND GIVE THEM WARNING FROM ME. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, TO SAVE HIS LIFE; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood WILL I REQUIRE AT THINE HAND. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” EZEKIEL 3:17-19
Do not the scriptures make clear that desolation can be our lot and that a warning voice needs to be sounded to save the actual physical lives of the saints? Is there a revelation anywhere that tells us to cease giving the warning voice? Yet where is the warning voice of the shepherds of Israel today telling us to come out of Babylon so we will not be caught in the cities and suffer as John Taylor saw in his vision? When the desolation comes the virgins who are not wise will ask why they were not warned and many members of the church will curse their leaders and then their God in their dying breaths while the wise virgins, the Saints who will gather “shall hardly escape”. D&C 63:34
Is it not clear from what has, been hitherto written that we in need of a “literal” gathering of Israel? That is that the Saints must literally gather to places of refuge to save their physical lives in the day of judgment. Is it not obvious that the church is not sounding the warning voice as commanded in the scriptures, thus the blood of those who perish will be required at the hands of the shepherds of Israel. There is a small handful who understand these things, and understanding the responsibility we must sound the warning no matter what sacrifice or cost that we have to pay,
Copyright 1979 by J J Dewey
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