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REVELATION - THE END OF THE AGE OF MAN
(A Synopsis of the Revelation of Jesus Christ)

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

The Judgment Of Babylon


The Fall of Babylon the Great

Revelation 18:1-8

(1)  After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory.  (2)  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!  (3) 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."

(4)  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. (5) For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.  (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.'  (8)  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.
(NKJV)


The judgment of the great city:
Verse 1 & 2 The announcement of Babylon’s judgment
Verse 3 The sin of Babylon's associates
Verse 4 The call to God’s people ‘Come out of her’
Verse 5-8 The reason for the judgment on Babylon
Verse 9-19 The lamentation of the inhabitants of Babylon
Verse 20 The people of God are to ‘Rejoice over her’
Verse 21 The manner of the judgment on Babylon
Verse 22 & 23 The silence of the inhabitants of Babylon
Verse 24 The blood of God’s people ‘found in her’

The glorious angel from heaven
To John he seems like an angel, but quite "another" from the one who was showing him these things.
This angel does not speak from heaven, but comes down out of the heaven.
He comes also with "great authority."
There is reason to believe that it is Christ himself whom we are to see in this angel, -
The Father gave Him authority to execute judgment

John 5:27
...and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.     (NKJV)

When Satan was cast out of heaven the celestial worshippers celebrated this authority, dominion, or power, as the particular possession of Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:24
Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.    (NKJV)

It is said that "the earth was lighted up from his glory."
Such language is nowhere used concerning created angels, but is quite common to all the prophets with regard to our Divine King and Savior. The Psalmist (blesses the glorious name of the Lord God of Israel, and speaks of a scene in which "the whole earth is filled with his glory."

Psalms 72:19
And blessed be His glorious name forever! And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.  Amen and Amen.    (NKJV)

Isaiah, in his vision of the enthroned Messiah, heard the seraphim cry, "The whole earth is full of his glory."

Isaiah 6:1-3
I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up... Above it stood seraphim... And one cried to another and said:

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!"

(NKJV)
Ezekiel beheld the glory of the God of Israel coming from the way of the East.

Ezekiel 43:2
And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory.    (NKJV)

The garment of Yahweh is light, and such intense luminousness everywhere attaches to what is divine; while the enlightening of things by the glory of God and the Lamb is specially spoken of in these visions.

Revelation 21:23-24
The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.    (NKJV)

We are not likely to be mistaken, then, in taking this angel for the Lord Jesus himself, and the more so as the remembrance of Great Babylon to give to her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of divine wrath is specially said to be "in the presence of God," as if God in Christ were then manifested and personally revealed upon the earth (Revelation 16:19)
(from The Apocalypse: Exposition of the Book of Revelation, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1998, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen
Possibly a dual judgment in the words: "is fallen, is fallen"
1. Ecclesiastical Babylon, ‘the harlot,’ in Revelation chapter 17 (a religious system)
2. Political Babylon found here in Revelation chapter 18 (a literal city)
This thought is amplified in Revelation 18:6 when God announces that Babylon will receive ‘double’ for her many sins.

COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE

There are two reasons for the separation of God's people from the world system
1. The first is that they might avoid pollution, becoming ‘partakers of her sins’ (verse 4),  'do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure’ (1 Timothy 5:22).
2. The second is that God's people might be spared the terrible plagues He will send on Babylon
God had patiently endured the growing sins of the evil system, but now the time had come for His wrath to be poured out.

John Brown offers:
I don’t know about you, but the first question I have is, "what are God’s people doing in Babylon in
the first place
?
1. The Lord has been declaring the same message for centuries.

2 Corinthians 6:14-17
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

"I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people."
Therefore
"Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you."
(NKJV)
2. The desire for greater salaries, and the prestige of position will attract many!
3. Many of the "modern thought" Christians will be thrilled to be a part of this new, dynamic, thriving metropolis.
4. Most will no doubt rationalize there presence in the enemy’s camp as an opportunity to "witness" to these poor lost souls!
5. But, the reality is this is just a cover-up for greed and covetousness.

Her sins have reached to heaven
"have reached" is ekolleetheesan (NT:190)  First aorist passive (deponent) indicative of  kollaoo, an old verb (from kolla, gluten, glue), to cleave to, to join one another in a mass "up to heaven." Compare Jeremiah 51:9.
(from Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament. Copyright © 1985 by Broadman Press.)

Jeremiah 51:9
We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed.  Forsake her, and let us go everyone to his own country; for her judgment reaches to heaven and is lifted up to the skies.      (NKJV)

Her sins are heaped high as heaven: the Greek verb translated heaped means "to glue," that is, to stick to something; here the picture is of sins that stick to one another and keep piling up, until the pile reaches heaven. This is a vivid way of describing the large number of the sins of Babylon.
(UBS New Testament Handbook Series. Copyright © 1961-1997, by United Bible Societies.)
He uses a word which signifies the following of sins one after another, and rising one of another
in such sort, that they grow at length to such a heap, that they come up even to heaven.
(Geneva Notes, PC Study Bible formatted electronic database Copyright © 2003, 2005, 2006 Biblesoft.)
So there are two towers built by Babylon
1. In the original Babylon the people were building a tower to the heavens so that God would never be able to destroy them and that they would not be scattered.

Genesis 11:4
And they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."      (NKJV)

  The result was that they were scattered anyway

Genesis 11:8-9
So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.      (NKJV)

2. In the final Babylon they build a tower of sin that reaches to heaven
  The result is that they are destroyed completely.

This passage presents a three-fold sin.
1. Self-indulgence
(lived luxuriously)
2. Pride
(glorified herself . . . sits as a queen)
3. Avoidance of suffering - this can also be self-delusion
(I am no widow, and will not see sorrow)

Speaking to Babylon in Isaiah, God says:

Isaiah 47:8-9
"Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures, who dwell securely, who say in your heart, 'I am, and there is no one else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know the loss of children';  But these two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day:

The loss of children,
and widowhood.

They shall come upon you in their fullness because of the multitude of your sorceries, for the great abundance of your enchantments.     (NKJV)


The World Mourns Babylon's Fall

Revelation 18:9-20

(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.'

(11)   "And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore:   (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.  (14)  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.  (15)  The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,  (16)  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! (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.'

(20)  "Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!"
(NKJV)


Certainly, the city of Rome was the center for world trade and government in John's day, and it was known for its extravagance and luxury. Politically and economically, the people in the Empire were dependent on Rome. Today, with the complex connections that exist between governments and businesses, and with the interrelated computer systems, it would not take long for "Babylon" to collapse and the world's economic system to be destroyed.
(from The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries.)

Zephaniah 1:18
Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of His jealousy, for He will make speedy riddance of all those who dwell in the land.     (NKJV)

1 Timothy 6:9
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. (NKJV)


There are 28 commodities listed here:
1. The first are the great items of timeless value such as gold, silver, diamonds , and other jewels.
a. The basis of almost all economic systems!
2. Next, 4 kinds of cloth are listed.
a. Representative of all the commerce of clothing done around the world!
3. Third, six of the most sought after materials in world.
a. These are representative of all the building and furnishings, and weapons, and instruments, and appliances, tools and machinery!
4. Next are the luxury items:
a. Spices, and perfumes etc.
5. Then to the food groups:
a. Oil, wine, flour and wheat, beasts and sheep
6. On to labor and transportation:
a. Horses, and chariots, (cars)
7. And lastly the "body and souls of men":
a. The Greek word for slave. is soma meaning body!
b. This is most likely a reference to male and female prostitution that was prolific in Babylon. And brought great riches to those who traded in this business.
c. It also includes slavery as both men and women are sold into prostitution.

Notice the order in the list.
Gold is at the top
The bodies and souls of people are at the bottom
This order is no accident. The world values things more than people. People are only valuable as a source of income.
Gold is first in Babylon - in the New Jerusalem, it is only pavement (Revelation 21:21).

Not only is the order no accident, but also the number listed is no accident.
1. 7 is the number of Completion in the Scriptures.
2. 4 is the number of the whole expanse of the earth (North, South, East, West)
3. 4x7=28  It symbolizes ALL of the world's treasures throughout the complete history of the earth and mankind. All that men and women live and die for!

The rulers of the earth mourn for her
But they are afraid to approach the city or attempt any rescue.
This destruction comes suddenly and unexpectedly. Some believe it is a nuclear blast of some kind.
The merchants mourn for her
But not out of concern for her condition.
They mourn because of the loss of their own revenue.
But in verse 20 God tells us to REJOICE over her
Jeremiah 51:48-49
Then the heavens and the earth and all that is in them shall sing joyously over Babylon; for the plunderers shall come to her from the north," says the Lord. As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon the slain of all the earth shall fall.      (NKJV)

The Finality of Babylon's Fall

Revelation 18:21-24

(21)   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.  (22)  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.  (23)  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. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.  (24)  And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth."
(NKJV)


The mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea:

This is reminiscent of Jeremiah’s instructions to Seraiah to bind a stone to a text of Jeremiah and cast it into the Euphrates.

Jeremiah 51:61-64
And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, "When you arrive in Babylon and see it, and read all these words, then you shall say, 'O Lord, You have spoken against this place to cut it off, so that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but it shall be desolate forever.' Now it shall be, when you have finished reading this book, that you shall tie a stone to it and throw it out into the Euphrates. Then you shall say, 'Thus Babylon shall sink and not rise from the catastrophe that I will bring upon her.     (NKJV)


God takes the persecution of His people as a personal offense. Those who attack His people actually attack Him. He said as much to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus when He asked Saul in Acts 9:4: "why are you persecuting Me?"

There will be complete devastation:
No more Music
No more commerce or manufacturing
No more produce (food)
No more light
No more happiness
Both the luxuries and the necessities of life will be removed.

In her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth
Jesus said to Israel of that generation:

Matthew 23:31-36
Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. ... I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. (NKJV)

God said through Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 51:49
As Babylon has caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon the slain of all the earth shall fall. (NKJV)

After God cleansed the earth with the flood and gave the human race another chance through Noah, Satan also began again to destroy at Babylon that which God had created. We find his influence throughout history, and even today.
1 John 4:2-3
By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. (NKJV)

Much in this chapter resembles the lamentation in Ezekiel chapters 27 and 28 over the commercial center and port of Tzor (Tyre). It is highly significant that Tyre is often understood as a surrogate for Satan's realm of activity and its king for Satan himself (this identification is based especially on Ezekiel 28:11-19). By analogy, the destruction of Babylon in this chapter is really the destruction of Satan's kingdom.
(from Jewish New Testament Commentary Copyright © 1992 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)



 

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