I. Introduction. This article is a very important “look ahead” view of what our world will be like after Christ removes His born again believers, and only those remaining will be people who do not have a personal, and saving, relationship with Christ. Consider a world where governments and citizenry have no understanding of God, “Father, Son, Holy Spirit.” Revelation Chapters 17 and 18 have a number of references to a woman. The identity of that woman is clearly stated in Rev 17:18, “The woman whom you saw is the great “city,” which reigns over the kings of the earth.” Babylon is the city of Rev 17:18. Babylon, which is called Babylon, will be a literal city, and will be the headquarters of the Anti-Christ during the tribulation. Rev Chap 17 and 18 are not in chronological order. The events of Chap 17 will occur during the first half of the tribulation; the events of Chap 18 will occur during the last half. Babylon will be the headquarters of a worldwide religion and political system during the tribulation, as seen in Chap 17, and will be the headquarters of a one-world commercial system as seen in Chap 18. The seventh bowl of God’s wrath will bring about the destruction of Babylon. When Babylon is destroyed, the judgments of God are complete. It must be noted that the Judgments begin in Rev 6:1 (Seal, Trumpet, Bowl). Each judgment comes against an unbelieving world. God does not have an agenda against born again believers in Christ, whom will be taken out of the world prior to the tribulation, and will be taken to heaven by Christ (John 14:2,3,6; 1 Cor 15:50-54; 1 Thes 4:13-18). It will be Israel, and not Gentiles, who will call on Christ to save them from total destruction at the end of the tribulation (Deu 14:2; Jer 30:7; Mt 23:37-40; Mt 24:22; Zech 12:10).
A. Series Title. Israel In Revelation.
B. Opening Video Title. Apocalypse: Chapter 18 – The Fall of Babylon.
C. Article Title. End Times 31, Rev 18:1-24, The Destruction Of Commercial Babylon.
D. Article Focus. Rev 18 shows the condition of the world, not having the presence and influence of born again believers in Christ. The view of the “ten nation” Anti-Christ tribulation confederation, that was shown in the Tim LaHaye “Left Behind” series of books and videos, will be shown to be, as fact. As you read the verses and comments of this article, you will recognize a world that is much of which our unbelieving world leaders would like to have as controlling factors today. Most of the United Nations member nations would like to see the Nation of Israel dissolved, destroyed and removed from the face of the earth; they would also like to negate the influence of believers in Christ. Not only has the United Nations proven to be a threat to Israel, the liberal forces of America’s Democrat Party have also shown a total lack of proper respect for “God’s Chosen People,” Israel (Deu 14:2), and an increasing hostility toward Israel. Those, of whom, having a strong witness for Christ, are berated by members of the Democrat Party, mainstream media, academia, new world order and globalism types. After the rapture of the church takes place, the democrats will control all three houses of U.S. government, as the U.S.A. and all other nations, come under greater control of the Anti-Christ and the United Nations. The truth of Matt 24:12 will be realized, “lawlessness is increased.”
II. Key Verse. Jeremiah 51:8.
“Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken; Wail over her! Bring balm for her pain; Perhaps she may be healed.
The focus was first on Babylon’s sudden fall on one night in 539 B.C. (Dan. 5:30). The far view looks at the destruction of the final Babylon near the Second Advent when it will be absolutely sudden (Rev. 18). (MacArthur note).
The destruction of Babylon according to Jeremiah 51:8 was to be sudden. This is confirmed by Revelation 18:17-19. As far as the physical city of Babylon was concerned, this was not true of ancient Babylon as it continued for many years after its political downfall. Further, it is pointed out that the prophecy of Isaiah 13:6, 11, which formed the context of Isaiah 13:19-22, indicates that the destruction of Babylon would be in the day of the Lord. Hence, it is held that Babylon will be rebuilt and then destroyed by Christ at His second coming (Walvoord note).
Isa 13:6. From the near future, Isaiah returned to the distant future. The ultimate fulfillment of these prophecies of Babylon’s desolation will come in conjunction with Babylon’s rebuilding and utter destruction when Christ returns (Rev. 14:8; 18:2). Obviously, Isaiah was unable to see the many centuries that separated Babylon’s fall to the Medes from the destruction of the final Babylon by God (see Rev. 17, 18) (MacArthur note).
Isa 13:11 arrogance. The same sin of pride that led to Israel’s judgment (5:21; 9:9) will cause Babylon’s downfall (47:5, 7, 8; Rev. 18:7) (MacArthur note).
Isa 13:19-22. From the near future, Isaiah returned to the distant future. The ultimate fulfillment of these prophecies of Babylon’s desolation will come in conjunction with Babylon’s rebuilding and utter destruction when Christ returns (Rev. 14:8; 18:2). Obviously, Isaiah was unable to see the many centuries that separated Babylon’s fall to the Medes from the destruction of the final Babylon by God ((MacArthur note).
III. Consider. The “religious body,” which will be called “the church” during the Tribulation, will be that which today’s mainstream media calls, “the religious left.” This false church will be highly organized, and accepted by the anti-christ. Such an ecclesiastical system will mirror the liberal, highly organized, “so called” church of today. The religious left supports homosexuality, and ordains homosexuals to lead denominations and lower ranking “churches.” The religious left also supports same sex marriage, and abortion on demand. A great lack of respect and support for God’s chosen people (Israel, Deu 14:2), as well as its open hostility toward Israel through the BDS (boycott, divest, sanction) movement will keep this apostate ecumenical “church” in good standing with the United Nations and the anti-christ, until the anti-christ turns on that apostate church midway during the Tribulation. The Biblical indictment on this “religious left” group of “so-called” churches is that its members will not be “born again”(John 3:3, John 3:18, Rev 20:15). Tribulation saints, which were unbelievers who were left behind from the rapture, but come to saving faith in Christ during the Tribulation, will oppose the anti-christ empowered ecclesiastical church. The closing video, which comes from the Left Behind series of videos of Dr. Tim LaHaye, shows Tribulation saints who are being encouraged by the testimony of a highly respected Jewish leader, when he acknowledges Christ as Messiah. You will also see the anti-christ, false prophet, and a woman who was a close confidant of the anti-christ. Of key significance to me is a scene of two women (one saved and the other unsaved), when the unsaved woman accepts Christ as her Lord and Savior (it is truly soul-stirring).
IV. Revelation 18. Text and Comments.
A. Babylon Is Fallen.
1. Verses 1-3 (Text). 1 After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. 2 And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. 3 For 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.”
2. Comments: vs 1-3.
18:1 “earth was illuminated with his glory.” The fifth bowl (16:10) will have plunged the world into darkness. Against that backdrop, the sudden, blazing appearance of another angel (not the same as in 17:1, 7, 15) will certainly rivet the world’s attention on him and his message of judgment on Babylon (cf. 14:8).
18:2 “Babylon the great is fallen.” Rev 14:8, (see Isa. 21:9), the verse from which these words come. The Gr. text views the results of this as if it had already taken place. But the seventh bowl is being referred to here and it is yet to come at this point (16:17–21). When it comes, devastation and annihilation will take place, leaving the place to demons.
18:3 “wine of her fornication.” Religious Babylon (chap. 17) lures the nations into spiritual drunkenness and fornication with false gods (17:2, 4); commercial Babylon (chap. 18) seduces the unbelieving world into a materialistic stupor, so that the people of the world will become drunk with passion because of their relationship with Babylon. “kings…merchants.” Political rulers and corporate leaders alike are swept up in this worldwide system of commerce (14:8; 17:2).
3. Verses 4-8 (Text). 4 I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; 5 for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6 Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her. 7 To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning.’ 8 For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.
4. Comments: vs 4-8.
18:4 “Come out of her, my people.” God will call His own to disentangle themselves from this evil system. This may also be God’s calling the elect to abandon the world system and come to faith in the Savior. In either case, the message is to abandon the system before it is destroyed (cf. 2 Cor. 6:17; 1 John 2:15). The judgment of God on that society living in sinful, arrogant self-indulgence can be avoided. Cf. Isaiah’s and Jeremiah’s message to their people to leave Babylon (Is. 48:20; Jer. 50:8; 51:6–9, 45).
18:5 “remembered.” See 16:19. God does not remember the iniquities of His people (Jer. 31:34), but does remember to protect them (Mal. 3:16—4:2). For unrepentant Babylon, there will be no such forgiveness, only judgment.
18:6, 7a “repay.” The angel calls for God to recompense wrath to Babylon in her own cup to repay her according to her deeds. This is an echo of the OT law of retaliation (Ex. 21:24) which will be implemented by God (Rom. 12:17–21).
18:6 “double.” Has the sense of “full,” or “overflowing.” The punishment will fit the crime (cf. Jer. 16:18). “cup.” The cup of wickedness from which so many have drunk (14:8; 17:2, 4, 6) will call for the cup of wrath (14:10; 16:19).
18:7b “am no widow.” A proud, but empty, boast of self-sufficiency, also made by historical Babylon (Is. 47:8). Cf. 1 Cor. 10:12.
18:8 “her plagues.” These could include those of 16:1ff., but must be the special destruction of the city as well, described as “death, mourning and famine.” “in one day.” See vv. 10, 17, 19. The special judgments on Babylon take place in a brief period of time. Daniel 5:30 records that Babylon of old fell in one day.
B. Lament for Babylon
1. Verses 9-10 (Text). 9 “And the kings of the earth, who committed acts of immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, 10 standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’
2. Comments. vs 9-10.
18:9–20 (Note). This section records the lament over Babylon’s destruction, not her sin, by those who were part of her system.
18:9 “kings.” The political leaders of the world will weep because the loss of his capital city will signal the doom of Antichrist’s empire, and with it, the source of their power. Cf. v. 3; 17:2. “weep and lament for her.” “Weep” means “to sob openly.” “Lament” translates the same Gr. word used to express the despair of the unbelieving world at the return of Christ (1:7).
18:10 one hour. Cf. vv. 8, 17, 19.
3. Verses 11-20 (Text). 11 “And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more— 12 cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, 13 and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives. 14 The fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them. 15 The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning, 16 saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls; 17 for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!’ And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, 18 and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What city is like the great city?’ 19 And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’ 20 Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.”
4. Comments. vs 11-20.
18:12, 13 Over half of their commodities appear in the list of Ezek. 27:12–22.
18:13 “bodies and souls of men.” The slave trade, long banned by the civilized nations of the world, will reappear in Antichrist’s debauched commercial system.
18:17 “shipmaster.” Ship captains will mourn the loss of Babylon and the lucrative transport business that went with it.
18:19 “threw dust on their heads.” An ancient expression of grief (cf. Josh. 7:6; 1 Sam. 4:12; 2 Sam. 1:2; 15:32; Job 2:12; Lam. 2:10; Ezek. 27:30). “in one hour.” Not just 60 minutes, but one brief period of swift judgment.
18:20 “God has avenged you on her.” The angel will exhort the tribulation martyrs (6:9–11) to rejoice, not over the deaths of those doomed to eternal hell, but, because God’s righteousness and justice will have prevailed (Babylon had slain the saints; now, God slays Babylon).
5. Verses 21-24 (Text). 21 Then a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer. 22 And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; 23 and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery. 24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.”
6. Comments. vs 21-24.
18:21 “great millstone.” Millstones were large, heavy stones used to grind grain. This metaphor portrays the violence of Babylon’s overthrow. Cf. Jer. 51:61–64; Matt. 18:6.
18:22, 23 The fall of Babylon ends whatever semblance of normalcy will still exist in the world after all the seals, trumpets, and bowls. Life will be totally disrupted and the end near. No more music, no industry, no preparing of food (“millstone”), no more power for light, and no more weddings because God will destroy the deceivers and deceived (Babylon deceived the nations).
18:24 “blood of prophets and saints.” The religious and commercial/political systems embodied in Babylon will commit unspeakable atrocities against God’s people (cf. 6:10; 11:7; 13:7, 15; 17:6; 19:2). God will avenge that slaughter of His people (19:2) (Babylon killed the saints).
V. The identity of the anti-christ and the false prophet (Re: Walvoord Commentary). It would seem quite unlikely that either of the two beasts of Revelation 13 will be a Jew inasmuch as they both persecute the Jewish people and are the final Roman rulers of the times of the Gentiles. The general character of the great tribulation, however, is graphically portrayed in this chapter. It will be a time of absolute rule, and Satan will have his way. The ultimate in false religion will sweep the entire world in a manifestation of evil never before seen on the earth. The fact will be demonstrated beyond question that man is not able to solve his own problems and only God can bring righteousness and peace to the earth. The present attempts at unification of ecclesiastical and political power seem to be the forerunner and preparation for this end-time situation.
VI. Video Data.
A. Opening Video Title. Apocalypse: Chapter 18 – The Fall of Babylon. I AM SESTAK. Jun 2, 2012.
B. Closing Video Title. Testimony of Ben-Judah. gregorija1.Jan 4, 2009. From “Left Behind – Tribulation Force.”
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