“Get Out of Her, My People”
“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.
1. When did the call to get out of Babylon the Great sound forth, and why was this call then fitting?
“GET OUT of her, my people.” That call has been sounded out since 1919, the year in which the nations fighting in the world war of 1914-1918 signed the peace treaty. Organized religion of the world had backed up that global fight. What about those whom the Bible’s God calls “my people”? These peaceful Christians had come under bondage, even to imprisonment, to Babylon the Great and her political paramours who were engaged in World War I.
2. What similar call was earlier issued through Jeremiah?
2 The call to “get out of her” had been set down in Revelation 18:4. There was a like call set down earlier in Jeremiah 51:45: “Get out of the midst of her, O my people, and provide each one his soul with escape from the burning anger of Jehovah.”
3, 4. (a) According to Jeremiah 50:8-10, their “escape” was to be from where? (b) By the time for fulfilling this latter prophecy, did Babylon have the same relationship with Jehovah as during Nebuchadnezzar’s rule? Why?
3 “Escape” from where? Jeremiah 50:8-10 plainly answers: “‘Take your flight out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth even out of the land of the Chaldeans, and become like the leading animals before the flock. For here I am arousing and bringing up against Babylon a congregation of great nations from the land of the north, and they will certainly array themselves against her. From there she will be captured. . . . And Chaldea must become a spoil. All those making spoil of her will satisfy themselves,’ is the utterance of Jehovah.”
On the very night that Babylon fell in 539 B.C.E., the prophet Daniel interpreted the handwriting on the wall that had appeared to King Belshazzar: “PERES [the singular number of the third word of the cryptic handwriting], your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians.” Daniel’s eyewitness account goes on to say: “In that very night Belshazzar the Chaldean king was killed and Darius the Mede himself [as the associate of Cyrus] received the kingdom.”—Dan. 5:28-31; 9:1, 2.
6. (a) What Babylon pictured in Belshazzar’s day is set out in what Bible book and is what today? (b) Who founded that symbolic Babylon, and this takes in what religions?
6 What ancient Babylon pictured in her last days as mistress of the world is set out in the book of Revelation as written by the inspired apostle John about 96 C.E., when the remains of old Babylon were still standing. From what John wrote in Revelation 16:12 through 19:3, it becomes plain that the doomed Babylon of Belshazzar’s day pictured the world empire of false religion that still exists. That empire, now comprising all the religions of the doomed world, was started by “a mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah.” He was Nimrod, a great-grandson of Noah, and he founded the city of Babel on the Euphrates River. (Rev. 16:12; Gen. 10:8-10) The empire now called Babylon the Great takes in all the religions “in opposition to Jehovah” and is now in its “time of the end.”—Dan. 12:4.
7. (a) When did the “escapees” get out of ancient Babylon? (b) When do the escapees get out of Babylon the Great, and why then?
7 From that worldwide religious empire, Jehovah’s people are called to “get out,” and this without delay. That empire is what was prefigured by the Babylon about which Jeremiah spoke in Jer chapters 50 and 51. In the case of the ancient Babylonian Empire, the exiled Jews and their companions could not “get out” until after it fell to the Medes and the Persians in 539 B.C.E. (Isa. 14:12-17) However, what about this 20th century? What about those whom Jehovah today calls “my people”? These are commanded to “get out” of modern Babylon the Great before she is destroyed in the coming “great tribulation” foretold by Jesus Christ. (Matt. 24:21, 22; Rev. 1:1; 7:14, 15) The reason for this is that these escapees need to avoid being plagued and destroyed with Babylon the Great, the still-standing world empire of false religion.—Rev. 18:4.