Rev. Chapter 18
Some believe this is Christ, but he is not. This angel is like the last angel who was speaking to John in chapter 17. This chapter 18 angel shows up in a blaze of glory and illuminates the whole earth probably because the fifth bowl judgment in chapter 16 sees the earth cast into darkness!
And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying,”Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!
Didn’t this just happen in chapter 17? Yes, but not completely. In the previous chapter we saw the destruction of the great harlot, or the false religious system. Now, in chapter 18 we are witness to the destruction of the economic and political world system emanating out of the rebuilt city, the headquarters of Antichrist, the great city of Babylon!
In actuality, what is being described in several chapters is the seventh angel pouring out his bowl. The seventh bowl judgment marks the return of Christ as the earth is utterly shaken! Among other prophecies, these events fulfill Zechariah 14:1-8.
1 Behold, the day of the LORD is coming,And your spoil will be divided in your midst. 2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished.Half of the city shall go into captivity,But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. 4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.
5 Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal.Yes, you shall flee As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah.
Thus the LORD my God will come, And all the saints with You.
6 It shall come to pass in that day That there will be no light; The lights will diminish. 7 It shall be one day Which is known to the LORD — Neither day nor night. But at evening time it shall happen That it will be light.
8 And in that day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur. 9 And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be — “The LORD is one,” And His name one.
The prophet Isaiah described the demise of Babylon in Isaiah 13:19-22 as so utterly complete that there would remain no good life, only unclean birds and demons, a description worthy of Hell!
For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”
Reiterating the spiritual drunkenness brought about by the false religious system, but adding reference to the sinful attraction of a corrupt world economic and political system. Both will come to an abrupt end when Christ returns!
And I heard another voice from heaven saying,”Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
God calls His people to come out of the Babylonian world system and repent before He brings His total judgment on her! God has said this to His people in historic Babylon as well:
Go forth from Babylon! Flee from the Chaldeans!
With a voice of singing, declare, proclaim this,
utter it to the end of the earth; Say, “The LORD has redeemed
His servant Jacob!”
“Move from the midst of Babylon, go out of the land of the Chaldeans;
And be like the rams before the flocks.
For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
God has not forgotten these unforgiven iniquities, but the time has come to remember them for judgment!
6 Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. 7 In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’
The angel is petitioning God to carry out a principle of retaliation remembering that vengeance belongs only to God!
23 But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
Her prideful and haughty spirit will crash and burn eternally with her!
Therefore her plagues will come in one day — death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.
As recorded in the Book of Daniel, historic Babylon fell in one day when Belshazzar, King of the Chaldeans was slain. Now as well, God sees no reason to delay even a day when it comes to her destruction! Babylon will be utterly destroyed in one hour, cast down, never to be found again!
9 “The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, 10 standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying,’Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’
The whole world has been divided into ten kingdoms ruled by ten kings who now are witnessing the destruction of the great city of Babylon, as well as all that she represents. They will watch and mourn from a safe distance (for the moment) as the world’s economic and political systems go down in flames! As they watch they will be overcome with the fear of the realization that their fate will be the same, and it is not far off! Verse 9 reiterates the speed in which judgment befalls Babylon stated in verse 8. In one hour judgment comes and that great city is utterly burned!
“And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore:
The business men and women of the unsaved world have grown accustomed to the amazing prophets they have enjoyed buying and selling in Antichrist’s world! They have accepted the mark of the beast necessary to buy and sell, and they have greatly prospered! Now they will mourn the loss of their great luxury! They will greatly mourn the lost opportunities to buy and sell their long list of worldly products!
12 merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; 13 and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men.
Twenty eight commodities that interestingly include products of slavery. Just as in the days of old, it should not surprise us that in a world that is so completely enamored with luxurious living, human beings will be bought and sold by the rich and richer! The value of life will be measured by wealth, and those who have not will be greatly devalued!
The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all.
All is gone forever, and so the wind has been taken from the sails of Babylon! That wind of fornication and self serving luxury will never blow again. Those who luxuriated in her will forever be adrift on the “Lake of Fire!”
The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
Just prior to setting sail on that hellish sea, they will stand trembling on the shore! Hearing the weeping and wailing, they will be overcome with fear as they see their fate rolling at them as a fiery tsunami!
…and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls!
Another manifest of all that is gone and lost forever!
17 For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’ Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance 18 and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying,’What is like this great city?’ 19 “They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.’
It is amazing that mankind will have become so dependent upon the trappings of luxury and wealth, that even as the disappear beneath the surface of that fiery sea, they will still cry out for that which has so deceived them until they have been utterly destroyed with fire! Surely her desolation will come swiftly, in one hour!
“Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!”
Now the angel turns his attention towards heaven and cries out for all of heaven to rejoice, for God has brought about His long awaited vengeance!
Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore.
Jesus spoke out against one who causes others to sin using the imagery of a millstone as the instrument of their demise!
6 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
John is witness to the quick and violent destruction of the great city of Babylon. How is she brought down? We might answer in a way we can understand; a nuclear exchange will bring a sudden end to this great city! Why not a supernatural means to the end? After all, God brought total destruction on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and He didn’t rely on man’s assistance, right? I don’t think that we should be so quick to take credit for helping God bring about His vengeance, do you?
The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore.
The culture of the culture, sort-of-speak, will be utterly obliterated! Beauty will be all but destroyed! Any remnant of honorable trade, which may have survived from an earlier time, will altogether disappear. Life as we know it now and life as will be known then will be over…No more, no more at all.
The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore.
If there were even a glimmer of hope left in any human heart which served this insane society, that hope has now been completely extinguished.
Now we are left with three exclamation points as to the reasons for Babylon’s judgment.
Exclamation Point One!
For your merchants were the great men of the earth…
Absolute power corrupts absolutely! A old saying that will ring true right to the end. Will we ever learn? Apparently not! The book of James, chapter five, speaks loudly and clearly of the abuses the prideful and arrogant rich dole out to the poor.
1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! 2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. 4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. 5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.
Exclamation Point Two!
…for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.
The word sorcery comes from the Greek word pharmakeia from which the English words pharmacy and pharmaceuticals are derived. Pharmakeia referred to medicines, but later referred to mood altering drugs and also to occult and witchcraft. I believe that Babylon, among other forms of organized crime, will be the world center for drug trafficking!
Exclamation Point Three!
And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.”
From the murder of Abel by his brother Cain, to the multiple millions murdered by Antichrist, sinful, evil man has been bent on destruction and murder for almost any reason, but mostly in the name of religion, religiously serving that roaring lion seeking whom he may devour! And now, Babylon goes down in flames with the blood of all mankind on her hands!