“Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.” (Rev 18:4–5 NIV 1984)
These are the words declared by a voice from heaven in Revelation 18, pronouncing the end of Mystery Babylon the Great, the Harlot, the great city.
But what do those words “come out of her my people” mean exactly? From the context of Revelation 18, those words sound important, and it sounds like a command from heaven that we, his people, should get right. And it is referring to us, since we are referred to as “my people.”
The discovery in Chronicles that Mystery Babylon, the great city, may be the entire human race except those who are servants of Christ has great repercussions for everyone’s eternal salvation.
The command to “come out of her” can only be interpreted correctly if we know what Mystery Babylon truly is in the first place.
Chronicles provides an answer.
The idea that the great city—the whole world—is divided into three parts is supported by world history and manifests itself today as all nations being grouped into three camps, defined by the way they responded to the gospel in the last many centuries. There is much proof that the three parts of a global Harlot is linked to the world we see today, both from history and in a chiastic study of Revelation. This will be written about in future posts.
So if Mystery Babylon is only the Roman Catholic Church, what would we say those words mean? Does it mean that if you want to belong to Christ you must leave the Catholic Church? The answer is “no” because Mystery Babylon is not only the Roman Catholic Church.
So if Mystery Babylon is only Islam, what would we say those words mean? Does it mean that if you want to belong to Christ you must leave Islam? The answer is “no” because Mystery Babylon is not only Islam.
If Mystery Babylon is any one religion or country or city, then the command given in Revelation 18:4 is simply telling us to leave that one thing. That would be a shallow command, and that interpretation, I believe, misses the mark. A person might be led to leave the Roman Catholic Church only to join the Greek Orthodox Church, and in both destination and the place that is fled, one might continue to only practice a religion. (Note: Neither of those denominations is any worse than any other denomination teaching that Jesus is God; the important thing is, are you Christ’s servant within a given denomination?)
Mystery Babylon being interpreted as all people who are not servants of Christ presents to us a better answer to the question, what does “Come out of her my people” mean?
Keep in mind that all through Scripture, God’s people are constantly described as one group such as the Israelites in Exodus, or the eight souls onboard the Ark, or the 7,000 who would not bow to Baal, or the saints described in the Epistles. Only in Revelation are we given a glimpse of the OTHER group as a whole—all those who are NOT the righteous—the whole human race that does not commit his or her life to Christ. This would be Mystery Babylon, and also everyone who must stand before the great white throne.
This leads us to better understand what that command—come out of her my people—means.
The meaning is this. God is calling in mercy, and is warning us, that if you are His, or if you want to be His, then put aside the world, and serve Him.
Escape being part of the world so you can escape being another victim of the plagues to fall on this world. Escape being part of the world so you can live with God forever.
Consider all the material stuff of Revelation 18:12–13, that the unregenerate person holds dear in his heart, and consider the stuff like Paul does in Philippians 3:8-9,
“I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him.” (NIV 1984)
This is the warning God is so lovingly giving every human being. He wants all to come to repentance and be saved (1 Tim. 2:4, 2 Pet. 3:9). It is one of the last commands in all the Bible.
If you are not His, will you heed His call? Time is growing short since we can see the coming of the Second Signpost, the next sign of Christ’s return. And when He returns, it will be too late.
“Come out of her my people.”