It was in the vicinity of Babylon that 200 million formerly bound demons were released at the sounding of the sixth trumpet (9:13–16). They, along with the demons released from the abyss at the sounding of the fifth trumpet (9:1–11), those cast from heaven with Satan (12:4, 9), and those previously on earth, will be confined in Babylon. God will, so to speak, gather all the rotten eggs into one basket before disposing of them.
Babylon’s destruction will also come because all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality. Antichrist’s evil religious and commercial empire will spread its hellish influence to all the nations of the world. Having drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality (cf. 14:8; 17:2), the people of the world will fall into a religious and materialistic stupor. The all-encompassing terms all the nations, the kings of the earth, and the merchants of the earth reveal that Babylon will seduce the entire world. The unregenerate people of the world will lust for Babylon, passionately desiring to commit acts of spiritual immorality with her. Likewise, the merchants of the earth will have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality. In the beginning, the world will cash in on Babylon’s financial prosperity.
Having thrown off any semblance of self-control or self-restraint, sinners will indulge in a wild materialistic orgy. Like those in ancient Babylon, they will be partying when their city is destroyed (cf. Dan. 5:1–30).
“Come out of her, my people,” is a call for God’s people to disentangle themselves from the world system. It may also be an evangelistic call to God’s elect to come to faith in Christ and come out of Satan’s kingdom (cf. Col. 1:13). In both cases, the message is to abandon the system.
Throughout the terrifying judgments of the Tribulation, God will save people. The result of the gospel preaching by the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, the two witnesses, and an angel flying in midheaven will be the greatest harvest of souls the world has ever known (cf. 7:9)
Many of these believers will be martyred for their faith in Christ when they refuse to take the mark of the beast (13:15–16). The survivors will face powerful temptations to participate in the system. Family and friends will no doubt pressure them to save themselves by accepting the mark of the beast. The need to obtain the basic necessities of life will also pressure them to conform to the system (cf. 13:17).
The biblical truth that believers are not to be involved in the world system will take on new urgency as Babylon faces imminent destruction. The angel’s message to the believers still in that city is the same one that the angels brought to Lot (Gen. 19:12–13): Get out before you are caught up in God’s judgment of that wicked place.
The materialistic, pleasure-mad, demon-infested city of Babylon will exert an almost irresistible influence on believers to participate in her sins. Like Joseph (Gen. 39:7–12; cf. 1 Cor. 10:14; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22) they must flee to avoid succumbing to “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life” (1 John 2:16).
Piled is from kollaō, which literally means “to glue together,” or “to join.”
Babylon’s sins will pile up like a new Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:3–4), but unlike the ancient tower, her sins will reach as high as heaven.
He will take note of them as He did that earlier monument to man’s sinful, arrogant, prideful rebellion at Babel. The blessed truth is that God says of believers, “I will not remember your sins.… I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Isa. 43:25; Jer. 31:34). But for defiant, unrepentant Babylon there will be no forgiveness, only judgment.