4/10/10 John watched as another angel flew through mid heaven saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the Great…” Babylon the Great is further discussed in Rev 17 where the woman riding the scarlet best is called Babylon. Babylon is one of the key symbols in Revelation. It is opposed and paralleled by Jerusalem.
Nimrod first founded Babylon back at the tower of Babel. It was a city that from the beginning was set up as anti-God. Early on it became the standard metaphor for any power that set itself up against God.
Many sources can be cited for the fact that the first century Christians applied this title to imperial Rome. And that is how Revelation uses the term. But it is expanded in meaning and scope as we get closer to the end of time. It will reach its complete fulfillment when the religions of the world band together for some common reason. At that point Babylon will again rise to power over the nations of the world as she did in the Middle Ages.
She will force the world to drink the wine of the wrath of her fornication. In Rev 17 we see the kings of the earth committing adultery with her and the nations drunk with this relationship between religion and civil power.
Part of the message that God’s people will fearlessly deliver will be of Babylon’s coming doom. It’s not necessary that Babylon be in full power before this is preached, but as a prediction of what will happen. Besides, even though Babylon isn’t yet complete in its end-time form, it is cumulatively and progressively moving toward more and more “Babylonianness.”
In Rev 18 comes the call, “Come out of her my people.” That call must go out now, but at some point during the final crisis that call will be issued with special urgency as the saints endeavor to convince the truth-neutral to commit to God.