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The Great City Devastated

The Great City Devastated

 Chapter 36

The Great City Devastated

 Vision 12​—Revelation 18:1–19:10

Subject: The fall and destruction of Babylon the Great; the marriage of the Lamb announced

Time of fulfillment: From 1919 until after the great tribulation

1. What will mark the start of the great tribulation?

SUDDEN, shocking, devastating​—such will be the demise of Babylon the Great! It will be one of the most catastrophic events in all history, marking the start of the “great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again.”​—Matthew 24:21.

2. Though political empires have risen and fallen, what kind of empire has endured?

2 False religion has been around for a long time. It has existed without a break since the days of bloodthirsty Nimrod, who opposed Jehovah and set men to building the Tower of Babel. When Jehovah confused the tongues of those rebels and scattered them over the earth, Babylon’s false religion traveled with them. (Genesis 10:8-10; 11:4-9) Since then, political empires have risen and fallen, but Babylonish religion has endured. It has taken many shapes and forms, becoming a world empire of false religion, the prophesied Babylon the Great. Its most prominent part is Christendom, which grew out of a fusion of early Babylonish teachings with apostate “Christian” doctrine. Because of the long, long history of Babylon the Great, many people find it hard to believe that it will ever be destroyed.

3. How does Revelation confirm the doom of false religion?

3 It is therefore appropriate that Revelation should confirm the doom of false religion by giving us two detailed descriptions of her fall and subsequent events leading to her total desolation. We have already seen her as “the great harlot” that is finally devastated by her erstwhile lovers of the political realm. (Revelation 17:1, 15, 16) Now, in still another vision, we are to view her as a city, the religious antitype of ancient Babylon.

Babylon the Great Takes a Tumble

4. (a) What vision does John next see? (b) How may we identify the angel, and why is it fitting for him to announce the fall of Babylon the Great?

John continues the account, telling us: “After these things I saw another angel descending from heaven, with great authority; and the earth was lighted up from his glory. And he cried out with a strong voice, saying: ‘She has fallen! Babylon the Great has fallen.’” (Revelation 18:1, 2a) It is the second time that John hears that angelic announcement. (See Revelation 14:8.) This time, however, its significance is emphasized by the magnificence of the heavenly angel, for his glory lights up the whole earth! Who can he be? Centuries earlier the prophet Ezekiel, reporting on a heavenly vision, stated that “the earth itself shone because of his [Jehovah’s] glory.” (Ezekiel 43:2) The only angel to shine with glory comparable to Jehovah’s would be the Lord Jesus, who is “the reflection of [God’s] glory and the exact representation of his very being.” (Hebrews 1:3) In 1914, Jesus became a heavenly King, and since that time he has been exercising authority over the earth as Jehovah’s associate King and Judge. It is fitting, then, that he should announce the fall of Babylon the Great.

5. (a) Whom does the angel use in heralding the fall of Babylon the Great? (b) When judgment began on those professing to be “the house of God,” how did Christendom fare?

5 Whom does this angel with great authority use in heralding such amazing news before mankind? Why, it is the very people that are released as a result of that fall, the remaining anointed ones on earth, the John class. From 1914 to 1918, these suffered greatly at the hands of Babylon the Great, but in 1918 the Lord Jehovah  and his “messenger of the [Abrahamic] covenant,” Jesus Christ, began judgment with “the house of God,” those professing to be Christians. Thus apostate Christendom was brought to trial. (Malachi 3:1; 1 Peter 4:17) Her tremendous bloodguilt incurred during the first world war, her complicity in persecuting Jehovah’s faithful witnesses, and her Babylonish creeds did not help her in the time of judgment; nor did any other part of Babylon the Great merit God’s approval.​—Compare Isaiah 13:1-9.

6. Why can it be said that Babylon the Great had fallen by 1919?

6 So by 1919 Babylon the Great had fallen, opening the way for God’s people to be released and restored, in one day as it were, to their land of spiritual prosperity. (Isaiah 66:8) By that year, Jehovah God and Jesus Christ, the Greater Darius and the Greater Cyrus, had maneuvered matters so that false religion could no longer keep a hold on Jehovah’s people. No more could it prevent them from serving Jehovah and making known to all who might hear that harlotlike Babylon the Great is doomed and the vindication of Jehovah’s sovereignty is at hand!​—Isaiah 45:1-4; Daniel 5:30, 31.

7. (a) Though Babylon the Great was not destroyed in 1919, how did Jehovah view her? (b) When Babylon the Great fell in 1919, what resulted to Jehovah’s people?

7 True, Babylon the Great was not destroyed in 1919​—any more than the ancient city Babylon was destroyed in 539 B.C.E. when it fell to the armies of Cyrus the Persian. But from Jehovah’s viewpoint, that organization had fallen. She was judicially condemned, awaiting execution; therefore, false religion could no longer hold Jehovah’s people in captivity. (Compare Luke 9:59, 60.) These were released to serve as the Master’s faithful and discreet slave in providing spiritual food at the proper time. They had received a judgment of “Well done” and were commissioned to get busy again in Jehovah’s work.​—Matthew 24:45-47; 25:21, 23; Acts 1:8.

8. What event does the watchman of Isaiah 21:8, 9 proclaim, and who today is foreshadowed by that watchman?

8 Millenniums ago Jehovah used other prophets to foretell this epoch-marking event. Isaiah spoke of a watchman who “proceeded to call out like a lion: ‘Upon the watchtower, O Jehovah, I am standing constantly by day, and at my guardpost I am stationed all the nights.’” And what event does that watchman discern and proclaim with lionlike boldness? This: “She has fallen! Babylon has fallen, and all the graven images of her gods he [Jehovah] has broken to the earth!” (Isaiah 21:8, 9) This watchman well foreshadows the wide-awake John class today, as it uses the Watchtower magazine and other theocratic publications to sound abroad the news that Babylon has fallen.

Decline of Babylon the Great

9, 10. (a) The influence of Babylonish religion has suffered what decline since World War I? (b) How does the mighty angel describe the fallen condition of Babylon the Great?

9 Ancient Babylon’s fall in 539 B.C.E. was the start of a long decline that ended in her desolation. Similarly, since the first world war, the influence of Babylonish religion has declined remarkably on a global scale. In Japan, Shinto emperor worship was proscribed following the second world war. In China, the Communist government controls all religious appointments and activity. In Protestant northern Europe, most people have become indifferent to religion. And the Roman Catholic Church has recently been weakened by schisms and internal dissent in its global domain.​—Compare Mark 3:24-26.

10 All these trends are doubtless part of the ‘drying up of the river Euphrates’ in preparation for the coming militaristic attack on Babylon the Great. This ‘drying up’ is reflected,  too, in the pope’s announcement of October 1986 that the church must “again become mendicant”​—because of huge deficits. (Revelation 16:12) Particularly since 1919 has Babylon the Great been exposed to public gaze as a spiritual wasteland, just as the mighty angel here announces: “And she has become a dwelling place of demons and a lurking place of every unclean exhalation and a lurking place of every unclean and hated bird!” (Revelation 18:2b) Soon she will be literally such a wasteland, as desolate as Babylon’s ruins in modern Iraq.​—See also Jeremiah 50:25-28.

11. In what sense has Babylon the Great become “a dwelling place of demons” and ‘a lurking place of unclean exhalations and of unclean birds’?

11 The word “demons” here is likely a reflection of the word “goat-shaped demons” (se‘i·rimʹ) found in Isaiah’s description of fallen Babylon: “And there the haunters of waterless regions will certainly lie down, and their houses must be filled with eagle owls. And there the ostriches must reside, and goat-shaped demons themselves will go skipping about there.” (Isaiah 13:21) It may not refer to literal demons but rather to shaggy-haired, desert-dwelling animals whose appearance made onlookers think of demons. In the ruins of Babylon the Great, the figurative existence of such animals, along with stagnant, poisonous air (“unclean exhalation”) and unclean birds, signifies her spiritually dead condition. She holds forth no life prospect whatever for mankind.​—Compare Ephesians 2:1, 2.

12. How does the situation of Babylon the Great match Jeremiah’s prophecy in chapter 50?

12 Her situation also matches Jeremiah’s prophecy: “‘There is a sword against the Chaldeans,’ is the utterance of Jehovah, ‘and against the inhabitants of Babylon and against her princes and against her wise ones. . . . There is a devastation upon her waters, and they must be dried up. For it is a land of graven images, and because of their frightful visions they keep acting crazy. Therefore the haunters of waterless regions will dwell with the howling animals, and in her the ostriches must dwell; and she will nevermore be dwelt in, nor will she reside for generation after generation.’” Idolatry and chanting of repetitious prayers cannot save Babylon the Great from a retribution resembling God’s overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah.​—Jeremiah 50:35-40.

Passion-Arousing Wine

13. (a) How does the mighty angel call attention to the broad extent of the harlotry of Babylon the Great? (b) What immorality that was rife in ancient Babylon is also found in Babylon the Great?

13 The mighty angel next calls attention to the broad extent of the harlotry of Babylon the Great, proclaiming: “For because of the passion-arousing wine of her fornication * all the nations have fallen victim, and the kings of the earth committed fornication with her, and the traveling merchants of the earth became rich due to the power of her shameless luxury.” (Revelation 18:3) She  has indoctrinated all nations of mankind in her unclean religious ways. In ancient Babylon, according to Greek historian Herodotus, each maiden was required to prostitute her virginity in temple worship. Revolting sexual corruption is portrayed to this day in the war-damaged sculptures at Angkor Wat in Kampuchea and in the temples at Khajuraho, India, which show the Hindu god Vishnu surrounded by disgusting erotic scenes. In the United States, the disclosures of immorality that shook the world of TV evangelists in 1987, and again in 1988, as well as the revelation of the widespread practice of homosexuality by ministers of religion, illustrate that even Christendom tolerates shocking excesses of literal fornication. Yet, all the nations have fallen victim to an even more serious kind of fornication.

14-16. (a) What spiritually illicit religio-political relationship developed in Fascist Italy? (b) When Italy invaded Abyssinia, what statements did bishops of the Roman Catholic Church make?

14 We have already reviewed the illicit religio-political relationship that catapulted Hitler into power in Nazi Germany. Other nations also suffered because of religion’s meddling in secular affairs. For example: In Fascist Italy, on February 11, 1929, the Lateran Treaty was signed by Mussolini and Cardinal Gasparri, making Vatican City a sovereign state. Pope Pius XI claimed that he had “given Italy back to God, and God back to Italy.” Was that the truth? Consider what happened six years later. On October 3, 1935, Italy invaded Abyssinia, claiming that it was “a barbarous land which still practises slavery.” Who, really, was being barbarous? Did the Catholic Church condemn Mussolini’s barbarity? While the pope issued ambiguous statements, his bishops were quite vocal in blessing the armed forces of their Italian “fatherland.” In the book The Vatican in the Age of the Dictators, Anthony Rhodes reports:

15 “In his Pastoral Letter of the 19th October [1935], the Bishop of Udine [Italy] wrote, ‘It is neither timely nor fitting for us to pronounce on the rights and wrongs of the case. Our duty as Italians, and still more as Christians is to contribute to the success of our arms.’ The Bishop of Padua wrote on the 21st October, ‘In the difficult hours through which we are passing, we ask you to have faith in our statesmen and armed forces.’ On the 24th October, the Bishop of Cremona consecrated a number of regimental flags and said: ‘The blessing of God be upon these soldiers who, on African soil, will conquer new and fertile lands for the Italian genius, thereby bringing to them Roman and Christian culture. May Italy stand once again as the Christian mentor to the whole world.’”

16 Abyssinia was raped, with the blessing of the Roman Catholic clergy. Could any of these claim, in any sense, that they were like the apostle Paul in being “clean from the blood of all men”?​—Acts 20:26.

17. How did Spain suffer because its clergy failed to “beat their swords into plowshares”?

17 Add to Germany, Italy, and Abyssinia another nation that has fallen victim to the fornication of Babylon the Great​—Spain. The Civil War of 1936-39 in that land was sparked, in part, by the democratic government’s taking steps to reduce the huge power of the Roman Catholic Church. As the war got under way, the Catholic Fascist leader of the revolutionary forces, Franco, described himself as “the Christian Generalissimo of the Holy Crusade,” a title that he later dropped. Several hundred thousand Spaniards died in the fighting. Apart from this, according to a conservative estimate, Franco’s Nationalists had murdered 40,000 Popular Front members, while the latter had murdered 8,000 clerics​—monks, priests, nuns, and novices. Such is the horror and tragedy of civil war, illustrating the wisdom of heeding Jesus’ words: “Return your sword to its place, for all those who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52) How  disgusting that Christendom gets involved in such massive bloodshed! Her clergy have indeed failed utterly to “beat their swords into plowshares”!​—Isaiah 2:4.

The Traveling Merchants

18. Who are “the traveling merchants of the earth”?

18 Who are “the traveling merchants of the earth”? No doubt we would today call them traders, commercial giants, wheeler-dealers of big business. This is not to say that it is wrong to engage in legitimate business. The Bible provides wise counsel for business people, warning against dishonesty, greed, and the like. (Proverbs 11:1; Zechariah 7:9, 10; James 5:1-5) The greater gain is “godly devotion along with self-sufficiency.” (1 Timothy 6:6, 17-19) However, Satan’s world does not follow righteous principles. Corruption abounds. It is to be found in religion, in politics​—and in big business. From time to time the news media expose scandals, such as embezzlement by high government officials and illegal trafficking in arms.

19. What fact about the world’s economy helps explain why the merchants of the earth come up for unfavorable mention in Revelation?

19 International trading in arms is soaring beyond $1,000,000,000,000 each year, while hundreds of millions of humans are deprived of life’s necessities. That is bad enough. But armaments appear to be a basic support of the world’s economy. On April 11, 1987, an article in London’s Spectator reported: “Counting only directly related industries, some 400,000 jobs are involved in the U.S. and 750,000 in Europe. But curiously enough, as the social and economic role of building weapons has grown, the actual question of whether the producers are well defended has slipped into the background.” Huge profits are made as bombs and other weaponry are traded all over the earth, even to potential enemies. Some day those bombs  may come back in a fiery holocaust to destroy those selling them. What a paradox! Add to this the graft that surrounds the arms industry. In the United States alone, according to the Spectator, “every year the Pentagon inexplicably loses $900-million worth of arms and equipment.” It is no wonder that the merchants of the earth come up for unfavorable mention in Revelation!

20. What example shows religion’s involvement in corrupt business practices?

20 As foretold by the glorious angel, religion has been deeply involved in such corrupt business practices. For example, there is the Vatican’s involvement in the collapse of Italy’s Banco Ambrosiano in 1982. The case has dragged on through the 1980’s, the unanswered question being: Where did the money go? In February 1987 Milan magistrates issued arrest warrants for three Vatican clerics, including an American archbishop, on charges that they were accessories to fraudulent bankruptcy, but the Vatican rejected an extradition request. In July 1987, amid an uproar of protest, the warrants were nullified by Italy’s highest Court of Appeals on the basis of an old treaty between the Vatican and the Italian government.

21. How do we know that Jesus had no tie-in with questionable business practices of his day, but what do we see today with Babylonish religion?

21 Did Jesus have a tie-in with questionable business practices of his day? No. He was not even a property owner, for he had “nowhere to lay down his head.” A rich young ruler was advised by Jesus: “Sell all the things you have and distribute to poor people, and you will have treasure in the heavens; and come be my follower.” That was fine admonition, for it could have resulted in his getting rid of all anxieties over business matters. (Luke 9:58; 18:22) In contrast, Babylonish religion often has unsavory links with big business. For example, in 1987 the Albany Times Union reported that the financial administrator of the Catholic archdiocese of Miami, Florida, U.S.A., admitted to the church’s owning stocks in companies that make nuclear weapons, R-rated movies, and cigarettes.

 “Get Out of Her, My People”

22. (a) What does a voice out of heaven say? (b) What led to rejoicing on the part of God’s people in 537 B.C.E. and in 1919 C.E.?

22 John’s next words point to a further fulfillment of the prophetic pattern: “And I heard another voice out of heaven say: ‘Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues.’” (Revelation 18:4) Prophecies of ancient Babylon’s fall in the Hebrew Scriptures also include Jehovah’s command to his people: “Take your flight out of the midst of Babylon.” (Jeremiah 50:8, 13) Similarly, in view of the coming desolation of Babylon the Great, God’s people are now urged to escape. In 537 B.C.E. the opportunity to escape from Babylon caused much rejoicing on the part of faithful Israelites. In the same way, the release of God’s people from Babylonish captivity in 1919 led to rejoicing on their part. (Revelation 11:11, 12) And since that time millions of others have obeyed the order to flee.

23. How does the voice out of heaven emphasize the urgency of fleeing out of Babylon the Great?

23 Is it really so urgent to flee out of Babylon the Great, withdrawing from membership in the world’s religions and making a complete separation? It is, for we need to take God’s view of this age-old religious monstrosity, Babylon the Great. He did not mince words in calling her the great harlot. So now the voice out of heaven informs John further concerning this whore: “For her sins have massed together clear up to heaven, and God has called her acts of injustice to mind. Render to her even as she herself rendered, and do to her twice as much, yes, twice the number of the things she did; in the cup in which she put a mixture put twice as much of the mixture for her. To the extent that she glorified herself and lived in shameless luxury, to that extent give her torment and mourning. For in her heart she keeps saying, ‘I sit a queen, and I am no widow, and I shall never see mourning.’ That is why in one day her plagues will come, death and mourning and famine, and she will be completely burned with fire, because Jehovah God, who judged her, is strong.”​—Revelation 18:5-8.

24. (a) God’s people must flee out of Babylon the Great to avoid what? (b) Those who fail to flee out of Babylon the Great share with her in what sins?

24 Strong words, those! So action is required. Jeremiah urged the Israelites in his day to act, saying: “Flee out of the midst of Babylon, . . . for it is the time of vengeance belonging to Jehovah. There is treatment that he is paying back to her. Get out of the midst of her, O my people, and provide each one his soul with escape from the burning anger of Jehovah.” (Jeremiah 51:6, 45) In a similar way, the voice out of heaven warns God’s people today to flee from Babylon the Great in order not to receive part of her plagues. Jehovah’s plaguelike judgments on this world, including Babylon the Great, are now being proclaimed. (Revelation 8:1–9:21; 16:1-21) God’s people need to separate themselves from false religion if they themselves do not want to suffer these plagues and ultimately die with her. Besides, remaining within that organization would make them share in her sins. They would be as guilty as she is of spiritual adultery and of shedding the blood “of all those who have been slaughtered on the earth.”​—Revelation 18:24; compare Ephesians 5:11; 1 Timothy 5:22.

25. In what ways did God’s people get out of ancient Babylon?

25 How, though, do God’s people get out of Babylon the Great? In the case of ancient Babylon, the Jews had to make the physical journey from the city of Babylon all the way back to the Promised Land. But more was involved than that. Isaiah prophetically told the Israelites: “Turn away, turn away, get out of there, touch nothing unclean; get out from the midst of her, keep yourselves clean, you who are carrying the utensils of Jehovah.” (Isaiah 52:11) Yes, they had to abandon all unclean practices of Babylonish religion that might tarnish their worship of Jehovah.

26. How did the Corinthian Christians obey the words, ‘Get out from among them and quit touching the unclean thing’?

 26 The apostle Paul quoted Isaiah’s words in his letter to the Corinthians, saying: “Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what sharing does light have with darkness? . . . ‘Therefore get out from among them, and separate yourselves,’ says Jehovah, ‘and quit touching the unclean thing.’” The Corinthian Christians did not have to leave Corinth in order to obey that command. They did, however, physically have to avoid the unclean temples of false religion, as well as spiritually separate themselves from the unclean acts of those idol worshippers. In 1919 God’s people began to flee from Babylon the Great in this way, cleansing themselves of any residual unclean teachings and practices. Thus, they were able to serve him as his purified people.​—2 Corinthians 6:14-17; 1 John 3:3.

27. What parallels are there between the judgments on ancient Babylon and those on Babylon the Great?

27 Ancient Babylon’s fall and eventual desolation was a punishment for her sins. “For clear to the heavens her judgment has reached.” (Jeremiah 51:9) Similarly, the sins of Babylon the Great have “massed together clear up to heaven,” so as to come to the attention of Jehovah himself. She is guilty of injustice, idolatry, immorality, oppression, robbery, and murder. Ancient Babylon’s fall was, in part, vengeance for what she had done to Jehovah’s temple and his true worshippers. (Jeremiah 50:8, 14; 51:11, 35, 36) The fall of Babylon the Great and her eventual destruction are likewise expressions of vengeance for what she has done to true worshippers over the centuries. Indeed, her final destruction is the beginning of “the day of vengeance on the part of our God.”​—Isaiah 34:8-10; 61:2; Jeremiah 50:28.

28. What standard of justice does Jehovah apply to Babylon the Great, and why?

28 Under the Mosaic Law, if an Israelite stole from his fellow countrymen, he had to pay back at least double in compensation. (Exodus 22:1, 4, 7, 9) In the coming destruction of Babylon the Great, Jehovah will apply a comparable standard of justice. She is to receive twice as much as she gave out. There will be no mercy shown because Babylon the Great has shown no mercy to her victims. She fed parasitically on the peoples of the earth to keep herself in “shameless luxury.” Now she will experience suffering and mourning. Ancient Babylon felt that she was in an absolutely secure position, boasting: “I shall not sit as a widow, and I shall not know the loss of children.” (Isaiah 47:8, 9, 11) Babylon the Great also feels secure. But her destruction, decreed by Jehovah who “is strong,” will happen quickly, as if “in one day”!

[Footnote]

^ par. 13 New World Translation Reference Bible, footnote.

[Study Questions]

[Box on page 263]

“The Kings . . . Committed Fornication With Her”

In the early 1800’s European merchants were smuggling large quantities of opium into China. In March 1839 Chinese officials tried to stop the illegal trade by seizing 20,000 chests of the drug from British merchants. This led to tension between Britain and China. As relations between the two countries deteriorated, some Protestant missionaries urged Britain to go to war, with statements such as the following:

“How these difficulties do rejoice my heart because I think the English government may be enraged, and God, in His power may break down the barriers which prevent the gospel of Christ from entering China.”​—Henrietta Shuck, Southern Baptist missionary.

Finally, war broke out​—the war that is today known as the Opium War. Missionaries wholeheartedly encouraged Britain with comments such as these:

“I am constrained to look back upon the present state of things not so much as an opium or an English affair, as the great design of Providence to make the wickedness of man subserve His purposes of mercy toward China in breaking through her wall of exclusion.”​—Peter Parker, Congregationalist missionary.

Another Congregationalist missionary, Samuel W. Williams, added: “The hand of God is apparent in all that has transpired in a remarkable manner, and we doubt not that He who said He came to bring a sword upon the earth has come here and that for the speedy destruction of His enemies and the establishment of His own kingdom. He will overturn and overturn until He has established the Prince of Peace.”

Regarding the horrendous slaughter of Chinese nationals, missionary J. Lewis Shuck wrote: “I regard such scenes . . . as the direct instruments of the Lord in clearing away the rubbish which impedes the advancement of Divine Truth.”

Congregationalist missionary Elijah C. Bridgman added: “God has often made use of the strong arm of civil power to prepare the way for His kingdom . . . The agency in these great moments is human; the directing power divine. The high governor of all the nations has employed England to chastize and humble China.”​—Quotations taken from “Ends and Means,” 1974, an essay by Stuart Creighton Miller published in The Missionary Enterprise in China and America (a Harvard Study edited by John K. Fairbank).

[Box on page 264]

“The Traveling Merchants . . . Became Rich”

“Between 1929 and the outbreak of World War II, [Bernadino] Nogara [the Vatican financial administrator] assigned Vatican capital and Vatican agents to work in diversified areas of Italy’s economy​—particularly in electric power, telephone communications, credit and banking, small railroads, and the production of agricultural implements, cement, and artificial textile fibers. Many of these ventures paid off.

“Nogara gobbled up a number of companies including La Società Italiana della Viscosa, La Supertessile, La Società Meridionale Industrie Tessili, and La Cisaraion. Fusing these into one company, which he named CISA-Viscosa and placed under the command of Baron Francesco Maria Oddasso, one of the most highly trusted Vatican laymen, Nogara then maneuvered the absorption of the new company by Italy’s largest textile manufacturer, SNIA-Viscosa. Eventually the Vatican interest in SNIA-Viscosa grew larger and larger, and in time the Vatican took control​—as witness the fact that Baron Oddasso subsequently became vice president.

“Thus did Nogara penetrate the textile industry. He penetrated other industries in other ways, for Nogara had many tricks up his sleeve. This selfless man . . . probably did more to infuse life into the Italian economy than did any other single businessman in Italy’s history . . . Benito Mussolini had never quite been able to achieve the empire of which he dreamed, but he enabled the Vatican and Bernadino Nogara to create a dominion of another kind.”​—The Vatican Empire, by Nino Lo Bello, pages 71-3.

This is just one example of the close cooperation between the merchants of the earth and Babylon the Great. No wonder these merchants will mourn when their business partner is no more!

[Picture on page 259]

As humans spread into all the earth, they took Babylonish religion with them

[Pictures on page 261]

The John class, like a watchman, proclaims that Babylon has fallen

[Picture on page 266]

Ancient Babylon’s ruins portend the coming ruination of Babylon the Great