The last day message as foretold in Revelation 18 is a message that must be preached to the world before Jesus comes. It is critical that those who professed to be followers of Christ need to seek to understand the meaning of the “Loud Cry” message in Revelation 18.
It contains the end-time message that is both a warning and a Salvific message for lost humanity.
Specifically, Revelation 18:1-2 symbolizes the final climactic work of God’s church as an angel crying out to the world with a LOUD VOICE: “After these things I saw another angel coming down from Heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory.
And he cried mightily with a LOUD VOICE, saying, ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird.!”
This prophecy is referred to us the “LOUD CRY”. This is the message that God’s last day church is tasked to carry forward to the world before the soon return of Jesus.
The ‘angel’ of Revelation 18 is a message-bearing movement that powerfully magnifies the ‘glory’ of God’s character in contrast to the misrepresentations of God’s character imposed upon the world by “Babylon”, which represents a system that contradicts God’s system of true worship.
Bad religious systems have done damage to God’s reputation in the eyes of humanity through false doctrines and coercive deeds. The “LOUD CRY” message paints an accurate and beautiful picture of God’s character, resulting in the fall of Babylon.
Babylon is Satan’s agent that will wage war against God and His people. Its attempt is to thwart the work of God and His character and to lead God’s people away from the biblical truth.
The first element in the “Loud Cry” is the authority exercised by the angel in Revelation 18. This is not coercive authority, like that exercised by Babylon but rather persuasive authority, or internally aroused power of God’s love generated by the Gospel.
It is the authority delegated to the church by Christ when He articulated the gospel commission (Mathew 28:19-20). Here Jesus announced His victory in the great controversy between good and evil.
When he says, “all authority” has been given to him in heaven and on earth, He is speaking of the fact that his death on the cross demonstrated the truth of God’s love before the entire universe – heaven and earth – thus exonerating God’s character against the lying accusations of Satan and the false religious systems that represent him.
It was on the premise of deceit regarding the character of God that Satan instigated rebellion among the angels in heaven (Rev. 12:7).
Likewise, it was through the same deceptive portrayal of God that Satan caused the fall of humanity and took possession of Earth as his claimed Territory (Gen. 3; Luke 4:6).
Unselfishness, the principle of God’s Kingdom, is the principle that Satan hates; its very existence he denies. From the beginning of the great controversy, he has endeavored to prove God’s principles of action to be selfish, and he deals in the same way with all who serve God. To disprove Satan’s claim is the word of Christ and of all who bear his name.
The entire great controversy between good and evil centers on one question: Is God’s character one of unselfish love or self-serving power? By representing God as essentially selfish, Satan became, “the ruler of this world” and “the god of this age” (John 13:31; 2 Cor. 4:4).
As a counter-offensive maneuver, Christ “appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself (Heb. 9:26). He conquered evil by senseless giving of himself. Jesus achieved the redemption of humanity and reclaimed earth as his own rightful possession by presenting the irrefutable truth Of God’s good character, thus destroying “the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). “Having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Col. 2:15, NIV).
Satan was an armed foe, and Jesus disarmed him.
The disarming of which Paul speaks has nothing to do with physical weapons. Satan has not waged his war against God with guns and bombs, but rather with deception and force. But Jesus died on the cross, and Satan’s misrepresentations of God’s character were proven false. The theological weaponry Satan had employed against God was rendered impotent! Praise the Lord!
God’s church is called upon to exercise the authority of Jesus acquired over heaven and earth by his triumphant life, death, and resurrection. What is that authority? It is the authority of the victory of Jesus gained over the Kingdom of darkness by demonstrating beyond all reputation that “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). Hence, the “LOUD CRY” message heralded by the angel in Revelation 13 is exercised with Persuasive authority given by Jesus.
It is a cry for the redemption of lost humanity from a system that stands in contradiction to God’s system of worship. God is exposing the system of darkness that aims at tarnishing the very character of God.
The good news is Jesus had defeated the enemy of darkness on the cross. We can redirect our journey, starting at the cross and making it all the way home with Jesus. As the journey of the cross leads us home!
The second element of the “LOUD CRY” message in Revelation 18 is the “GLORY” radiating from the angel in Revelation 18. The glory was so beautiful and powerful that it illuminates the whole world. It is “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6).
Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory and the “express image of his person” (Hebrews 1:3). He is the complete and accurate revelation of the father’s character to a world that does not know him as He is. Into the darkness of distorted conceptions of God. Jesus came as a blazing light.
“The word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Notice how Jesus explained the result of His death on the cross: “But for his purpose, I came to this hour, Father, glorify Your name…Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to myself” (John 12:27,31-32).
At the cross, two cosmic-level events occurred in tandem: The Father was glorified, and Satan was cast out. The truth about God was placed on the table – entered as evidence into human history as a demonstrated reality – the truth that would, in its proclamation, destroy the credibility of Satan’s arguments against God.
In principle, Christ won the great controversy at the cross, in that Satan’s charges against God were fully refuted. This is the sense in which Jesus was given “all power in heaven and on earth” by his death and resurrection. Jesus forever proved that God is love and, therefore, worthy of the trust and loyalty of all rational beings.
It is in the light of this achieved victory, with all its legal leverage and testifying power, that Jesus said “Go ye therefore and teach all nations”.
In the most practical terms, the gospel commission sends the church forth with the authority to take back the souls of human beings from the dominion of the devil by liberating their minds from the falsehoods that keep them in rebellion against God.
The incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ is the definitive answer to Satan’s claim that God is especially Self-Centered and, therefore, cannot be loved, trusted, and obeyed.
When Jesus died on the cross, it became forever beyond dispute that God loves all others above and before himself. He can be trusted and should be worshipped and obeyed by every rational creature. There is no legitimate reason for rebellion against God!
The third element of the Loud cry is the announcement of the fallen Babylon. “Babylon the great is fallen is fallen!” The Babylon of Revelation is a biblical symbol of bad religion masquerading as the true representative of God to humanity.
More specifically, Babylon represents Papal and protestant evangelical Christianity as a system of belief and practice known in scripture as “the little horn” (Daniel 7), “the man of sin” (Paul – 2 Thess. 2), “the anti-Christ” (John – Revelation), the “beast rising up out of the sea” (John- Revelation 13) and the “great harlot” (John).
John’s usage of “Babylon” as a symbol for false religion has deep roots in scripture. There are three prominent characteristics of Babylon in the bible (1) The exaltation of human beings in place of God, (2) A salvation by works or appeasement picture of God, leading to (3) A coercive system of worship involving persecution for dissenters as the logical outworking of appeasement theology.
Our first biblical encounter with Babylon is in Genesis 10 and 11. Here we are told that Nimrod was the founder of Babel. It was a city established in a spirit of self-exaltation and distrust of God. The people of Babel attempted to build a tower to reach unto “heaven” and sought to make themselves a famous name. here we see the spirit of self-ascension as the foundational characteristic of Babylon.
Abraham was a descendant of Shem, Noah’s son. He lived in “Ur of the Chaldeans,” a city of Babylon. “Ur” means fire, a name likely chosen for the Babylonian practice of human sacrifice in harmony with Satan’s misrepresentation of the divine character. God called Abraham out of Babylon to separate a people among whom a true knowledge of God could be formed – free from pagan worship practices that instill in the human heart an appeasement conception of God (Joshua 24:2).
With Abraham, God founded a new nation that would hold forth the truth about the true God and through which the Messiah would eventually come to banish all darkness (Gen. 11-12). As an intentional parallel to Abraham’s experience, the angel of Revelation 18 calls “out” of Babylon all who will hear God’s voice and embrace His true character in the end-time (Reve. 18:4).
From these infamous beginnings in Genesis, Babylon’s long career of Rebellion against God is chronicled throughout the bible. In the book of Daniel, we find the most detailed character profile of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon’s Kings at its height of inglorious fame, embodied the spirit of Babylon by erecting an image as a monument to himself and forced everyone to worship the image on the threat of death (Dan. 3). Here was a foreshadowing of the final crisis of human history: a false image set up in place of God, a demand for appeasement in the form of forced worship and persecution for those who believe otherwise about God and refuse to worship the false image (Rev.13).
Ancient Babylon was known for her false gods. The fall of Babylon announced by the angel of Revelation 18 is quoted from Isaiah 21:9, “…Babylon is fallen, is fallen! All the carved images of her gods. He has broken to the ground.” Likewise, eschatological Babylon is essentially a professed Christian Church that has attributed the characteristics of pagan deities, and this Satan himself, to the biblical God.
This compromise between paganism and Christianity resulted in the development of ‘the man of sin’ foretold in prophecy as opposing and exalting himself above God. That gigantic system of false religion is a masterpiece of Satan’s power- a monument of his efforts to seat himself upon the throne to rule the earth according to his will.
Therefore, the fall of Babylon must involve its false image of God being overthrown by the gospel. It is the work of the angel movement of Revelation 18 that illuminates the world with the glory of God and thus precipitates the fall of Babylon. Babylon will undergo the “fall” foretold by the angel of Revelation 18 when that massive masquerading system of false “Christianity” loses its influence and credibility as a direct result of the gospel in all its beauty and power, revolutionizing the world’s understanding of the character of God.
This is the “LOUD CRY” mission Christ has given to His end-time church. What an incredible calling! What a sobering responsibility! What an extraordinary privilege!
The church of God is the medium through which lost humanity can come to know the true God and His character!
By David Filo
Solomon Islands SDA Mission