What happened to Babylon the Great? Why is it still here?

by truthseeker 35 Replies latest jw friends

  • garybuss

    Since the governing body resigned their leadership positions in 2000 and the Jehovah's Witnesses started their own corporation apart from the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, they have been rudderless and it shows.

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    If Freddy was half as smart as he let people think he was, he would have taken a page from Nostradamus and left behind a 200 year "history of the future."

    ...what a JOKE that would have been!

    "Here Then is The Really, Really, Really Penultimately Finished Mystery: the Posthumous Work of Frederick William Franz Published After the Occasion of His Death with Assistance From His Invisible Personal Parousia Just Immediately Prior to the Unfolding of the Millennial Reign of the Invisible King of Heaven and Earth"

    Freddy liked his titles long...

    ...or maybe they all thought that Ray Franz would pick up Freddy's mantle.

    OOOPS! The "oracle's" nephew turned arch-apostate!

    ¬°Que lastima!

  • RunningMan

    I must point out an error in Leo's post. The JW doctrine of Babylon's fall appears to be consistent, at least for the last 50 years.

    Here is what they believe: Babylon fell in 1919, "in the sense that" her destruction became inevitable as soon as the mighty Watchtower Society rose to world prominence. The release of the governing body from prison was evidence that Babylon no longer held her former power.

    Just as ancient Babylon's fall began when the Euphrates river began to be diverted (allowing the Persians to enter the city gates through the dry river bed), modern Babylon's fall begins with the drying up of the waters on which she stands (her followers).

    Babylon's protracted fall continues until her complete annihilation at Armageddon. Her fall is then complete.

    So, you see, if you explain it stupidly enough, you really can have it both ways.

    By the way, whenever you see the phrase "in the sense that" in one of the Society's books, brace yourself for something really dumb.

  • Satanus
    I must point out an error in Leo's post.

    Could you explain it again for slow people like me, cus i still can't see her error?


  • RunningMan

    The post had two headings - one showed quotes where Babylon's fall was in the past (1919). The other one said "* The Fall of Babylon the Great is still future: "

    Now, if you read the "future" quotes very carefully, you will find that they never said that Babylon's fall is still in the future, to the exclusion of a past fall. They say that Babylon's fall will be COMPLETED in the future. She began to fall in 1919, is currently falling, and will hit the ground at some future point - a completely stupid piece of logic, but the statements quoted are not internally inconsistent.

  • Farkel

    : Any one here old enough to remember the book, "Babylon the Great has Fallen - God's Kingdom Rules" ?

    Sure I do. I read it three times not counting plodding through it in book studies. I still never understood 3/4 of it. Neither did the guy who wrote it, Fred Franz.

    The WTS will never run out of things or people to demonize. They no longer vilify religion like they used to. Ditto on the U.N. Ditto on Governments. They are in bed with all of their former enemies. The best and safest way for them to survive while still having something/someone to blame is to do it the safe way: blame Satan and his buddies and no one else. There is no way to prove that Satan does or doesn't exist, so such blame could not come back and backfire on them like it has in the past.

    This would be in accordance with the "invisible" presence of Christ, the "invisible" setting up up the heavenly Kingdom, the "invisible"fall of Babylon the Grape around 1918, the "invisible" end of the Genital (sic) Times in 1914, the "invisible" sign of the end in Matthew 24.

    Coming next: the "invisible" battle of Armageddon and the triumphant (but "invisible") march of little dubbies into the "invisible" Paradise Earth.

    Makes perfect sense to me!


  • Leolaia

    I think it's pretty clear what is going on. Back in the heady days of 1917, the Society prophesied in the Finished Mystery book that the year 1918 will bring the complete destruction of Babylon the Great and this event would be the "fall" of Babylon: "The Spring of 1918 will bring upon Christendom a spasm of anguish greater than even that experienced in the Fall of 1914" (p. 62), "In the parallel year 1918, I infer we should look for the complete overthrow of nominal Spiritual Israel, i.e. the fall of Babylon' (Rev. 18)" (p. 129), "the Day of Vengeance ... will break like a furious morning storm in 1918"(p. 404), "in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions" (p. 485), etc. So originally, there was no distinction between Babylon's fall and her destruction...both were to happen in short order.

    However....such destruction failed to happen. But what did happen was that the Society attempted to compromise with the government and was rewarded with prison sentences in 1918. What also happened in 1917-1918 was that Pastor Russell's movement had splintered into many factions, and the Finished Mystery book prophesied that a "sign" would be given around April 27, 1918 concerning who was commissioned by the Almighty. Of course, the Watchtower articles that praised the US government and supported the war effort were published in May 15 and June 1, 1918, and the Society's schismatic opponents took this as the prophesied sign and declared that the Society was no longer God's channel and "fell" in 1918 as part of God's invisible judgment on Babylon, and the imprisonment of the Society's leadership was further evidence of this. But after Rutherford and the directors were released from prison in 1919, they decided to adopt this sectarian anti-Society interpretation but turned it on its head: Rutherford claimed that the Society did fall from grace, and was temporarily taken into captivity into Babylon the Great (like original Israel) because they were in need of cleansing and thus God judged them unfavorably. But in 1919, they were released from Babylon vindicated, and this was the start of Rutherford's "reforms" (e.g. against so-called pagan practices, revitalizing the preaching effort, getting rid of elected elders, getting control of the Watchtower, etc.), ostensibly as part of cleansing the organization. Thus what appeared to be a blow to the Society was turned into an amazing confirmation of Bible prophecy. Babylon did fall in 1918, and the Society along with it, but in 1919, Jesus decided to adopt the Society as the real successor to Pastor Russell as the Faithful and Wise Servant.

    However, there was one little problem: If Babylon fell in 1918, how could the Society have been released from Babylonish captivity a year later? The Society wanted to liken their antitypical captivity to the Jews who were released from Babylon when it "fell" to Cyrus. The same event which caused their fall from grace (God's judgment on Babylon the Great) could not be the same event that caused them to be released. So the Society claimed that Babylon actually fell in 1919, and what happened to the Society in 1918 was not due to it falling as part of Babylon the Great but was part of an attack by Satan and his organization (including the Babylonish religionists). The compromises of 1918 occurred because the Society was held in Babylonian captivity. The restoration in 1919 thus constituted Babylon's fall, as God's favor permanently left Christendom and rested on the Society as his own organization. The idea that the Society entered into Babylonian captivity and was judged harshly by God in 1918, however, is a remnant of the idea started by Rutherford's opponents that the Society fell along with the rest of Babylon in 1918.

    Hence we find statements such as the following in the Knorr era onward:

    ***w51 5/15 p. 303 The More Important Healing ***

    "During the years of the first world war, 1914 to 1918, the remnant of spiritual Israel came under Jehovah's displeasure. His kingdom by his Christ had been born in the heavens in 1914, at the end of the "appointed times of the nations" that year; but, under the great stress of persecution, oppression and international opposition during those war years reaching a climax in 1918, God's anointed witnesses failed and their organization experienced a breakup and they came under captivity to the world system of modern Babylon. But from 1919 on they came to a realization of their spiritual condition. They appealed for some divine restorative remedy. Their appeal was well worded by Jeremiah who foretold the captivity of spiritual Israel: "Heal me, O Jehovah, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise".... The hearts of the remnant were broken because of God's apparent disfavor and because, through fear and improper understanding, they had been forced out of his service. God heard the prayer of his repentant, brokenhearted remnant. He regathered them, repaired the breaches of their organization and reorganized them for more effective service than ever. He built them up on earth as the visible theocratic organization to represent his heavenly Jerusalem which was now radiant with Kingdom glory."

    *** w66 5/15 p. 311 A Bible Mystery Unveiled ***

    The war had ended with an armistice on November 11, 1918...However, Babylon the Great had not fallen, for she now had taken into captivity God's witnesses, the Christian Bible students who had been proclaiming Jehovah's judgments against her, and she had broken up their worldwide organization and stopped their work. But where did she stand before God? She had brought herself into a position to experience divine judgment for opposing his kingdom on heavenly Zion and for persecuting his Christian witnesses and bringing them into captivity because of her spiritual fornication with the political powers to carry out her will.

    With the suddenness of the fall of the ancient city Babylon, which formidable and supposedly impregnable city was taken in one night by Cyrus of Persia, the tables were turned. In March of 1919 the prison doors were forced open to Jehovah's witnesses by order of the Federal Court of Appeals and the charges for which they had been incarcerated were shown to be false. The eight prominent agents of the Society were completely exonerated.

    What had happened? Well, Babylon the Great had not been destroyed, just as ancient Babylon remained intact when Cyrus took her. But she had now absolutely lost power to hold her captives. From now on all who were worshipers of Jehovah as well as those under her domination who desired to worship Jehovah could come out and freely worship him with spirit and truth.

    In the Babylon the Great Has Fallen book (as in earlier publications), Franz claimed that the captivity actually began in 1914; this allowed him to associate the 3 1/2-year period of captivity and persecution that the Society experienced during the first world war with the 3 1/2 years of "tribulation" in Daniel. With many years now separating the "fall" of Babylon in 1919, there is no way the destruction of Babylon was part of her "fall", as originally claimed in the Finished Mystery. As the 1966 Watchtower above shows, the Society reasoned that this fits with typical Babylon: Cyrus' overthrow of Babylonian domination did not bring a destruction of the city. Of course, they don't consider the ramifications of this reasoning: typical Babylon was not ever destroyed in a sudden attack but gradually slipped into oblivion over centuries. Not exactly the appropriate picture of Babylon's destruction at Armageddon. So....the Society turns to Revelation to support their belief that Babylon will be suddenly destroyed in the future. They turn to ch. 17-18, the vision of the harlot and the beast which depicts the beast turning on the harlot and "strips off her clothes and leaves her naked; then they will eat her flesh and burn the remains in the fire" (Revelation 17:16).

    However, this creates yet another problem. It is after Babylon's destruction in 17:16-17 and the angel then declares: "Babylon has fallen, Babylon the Great has fallen, and has become the haunt of devils" (Revelation 18:2). Then, after this declaration, the merchants of the world mourn Babylon's sudden destruction in v. 9-23. Of course, the original prophecy of Babylon's fall in the Finished Mystery book was consistent with this, but the eventual 1919 doctrine of the Society disassociated the fall from Babylon's destruction by many decades. I think the several slip-ups I pointed out in my earlier post reflect the fact that the Bible does depict Babylon's fall as her destruction, and the passages that refer to her fall as still future are influenced by this scripture. If the two claims are harmonized by claiming that Babylon fell in 1919 and remains fallen until she is destroyed, this still fails to mesh with their interpretation of the vision of the harlot and the beast in Revelation. It would mean that Babylon the Great suffered a great fall and yet continued to ride the beast and commit prostitution with the beast for many years, and yet it is at her future destruction that the angel then declares that she has fallen, even tho she supposedly fell much earlier.

    As a Witness, I would have to say that this was one of the worst and most embarassing doctrines of the Society that I could never believe. It was circular, inconsistent with the Bible (which never mentions dates like 1918 or 1919, or that the fall of Babylon in Revelation was merely the release of the imprisoned directors in 1919), and just plain stoopid.

  • frankiespeakin

    Yes I have to agree the WT interpatation of Babylon the Great if full of contridictions which if a JW could see this by not allowing his bible understanding be funneled through a funnel the WT has created that they will understand this thread and some outstanding posts.

    Bye bye WT,, funnel come one come on,, say: "bye bye to the funnel" we are growing up and don't need the funnel any more. Time to move on to better things as life awaits you.

  • Leolaia
    Now, if you read the "future" quotes very carefully, you will find that they never said that Babylon's fall is still in the future, to the exclusion of a past fall. They say that Babylon's fall will be COMPLETED in the future.

    I don't see any such statement that the fall has already begun and would be completed in the future. In the 1951 quote below, there is no hint that the fall is already in progress. It plainly states that the fall itself is "still future". Note especially that this future antitypical fall has as its type the historical fall of Babylon by the Medes, as predicted in Isaiah. This is the same event that the fall of Babylon in 1919 has as its type (cf. the Isaiah book, vol. 1, which interprets Isaiah 13 as a type of Babylon's fall in 1919), and yet this passage claims that the antitype is actually Armageddon.

    *** w51 1/1 p. 31 Questions from Readers ***

    "The October 1, 1949, Watchtower dealt with the "day of Jehovah" upon antitypical Babylon, which is described in Isaiah 13. That day in type arrived back there when ancient Babylon fell. It arrives in our time when Great Babylon, the Devil's organization, falls. So that "day" for Jehovah's strange act, his battle of Armageddon, is still future. We pray for it."

    The 1980 article I quoted is also similar. The article never connected the fall of Babylon the Great with the events of 1919. There is no sense at all that the fall has already begun. It discussed in detail the fall of typical Babylon to Cyrus in 539 BC but connects this event with the future destruction of Babylon by the worldly governments.

    ***w80 7/1 p. 17 The Watchman Said: "She Has Fallen!" ***

    "The fall of the mighty Third World Power in 539 B.C.E. with particular benefit to the small land of Israel was naturally something hard to imagine. It involved a vast change in the course of world history....Those descriptive words having to do with the fall of the treacherous Third World Power illustrate the shock wave that will course through the frame of the world's religious society when the modern-day counterpart of Babylon falls....

    By letting the Medes and the Persians who did not worship the gods of Babylon conquer her, Jehovah showed up the falsity of the idolatrous gods of the Third World Power, their nonexistence. It was not the exiled Jews in Babylon who rose up in some revolt and overthrew the Third World Power; Jehovah their God did not authorize or command them to do so. Instead, he used Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Persian to bring about the downfall of idolatrous Babylon as a world power. (Dan. 2:32, 36-38) So it was not the "watchman" that caused the fall of "the treacherous dealer," Babylon. He merely bore witness to its downfall, to the vindication of Jehovah as the God of prophecy and as Sovereign Lord....A universally important announcement like that of the "watchman" of Isaiah's prophecy was foretold as due to be made in our own time. The Christian apostle John, who lived till the end of the first century, had a vision of the one making the announcement and wrote: "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, 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!' "--Rev. 18:1, 2.

    The Greater Cyrus, the glorified Lord Jesus Christ, is the One who causes the coming literal fall of Babylon the Great, thus to become a desolate avoided place. Today the Christian witnesses of Jehovah could do all the preaching that they wanted to do throughout the world concerning Jehovah's kingdom and the day of his vengeance, but this would never bring on the crash of the world empire of false religion. They eagerly await the time when they can take up the announcement that Babylon the Great has fallen. (Rev. 18:2) Since the Greater Cyrus does not use his peaceable disciples on earth to overthrow Babylon the Great, chapter 17 of Revelation shows that he will use a beastlike agency; it is depicted as a scarlet-colored, 10-horned wild beast. Its seven heads picture the seven world powers of Bible history. Upon this 20th-century symbolic beast that international harlot, Babylon the Great, mounted herself at the formation of the League of Nations after World War I.

    Till now Babylon the Great has ridden upon the League's successor, the United Nations. But, shortly now, the political backers of the United Nations will tire of being dominated by the world empire of false religion and will dump her off and destroy her. Then, after the "watchman" calls out, "Babylon the Great has fallen," they will turn, full force, against the surviving Christian witnesses of Jehovah. Here the Greater Cyrus, Jesus Christ, the "King of kings," will step in and destroy the former backers of the U.N. in the "war of the great day of God the Almighty" at Har-Magedon. Jehovah's anointed "watchman" class and the "great crowd" that has responded to the information shouted out by that composite "watchman" will survive that final war under divine protection, for the vindication of Jehovah God as Sovereign of all heaven and earth....

    In view of the impending fall of Babylon the Great, now more than ever before it is the time for the "watchman" class and the "great crowd" to sound out the divine command: "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." (Rev. 18:4) Yes, "get out of her," not to join her political paramours or the faithless anti-God forces of this world, but to become part of "my people," Jehovah's dedicated people. (Jer. 51:45) Act now upon Isaiah's "pronouncement against the wilderness of the sea."--Isa. 21:1-10."

    This article, when read in its entirety, has no notion at all that the fall has actually begun; the event of Babylon's fall in 539 BC is here applied to what will happen in the future to Christendom. There is no 1918 or 1919 in this article, and everything in it points to only a future fall of Babylon.

  • frankiespeakin

    My brain is a little whoosie right now but even I can see the double standard that the WT uses for them and Babylon The Great ,,,namely that they were forgiven for thier transgression of fornicating with the rulers of the world,,, and Babylon is unforgiven for her fornication. A totally blatant form of double standards. How convienent.

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