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:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power, and the earth was lightened with his glory.

:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Bab'y-lon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitaiion of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hatful bird.

:3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

:5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

:6 Reward her even as she has rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she has filled fill to her double.

:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived delicoiusly, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit as queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.

:9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,

:10 Standing a far off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Bab'y-lon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

:11 And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no man buyeth their merchandise anymore:

:12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner of vessels of ivory, and all manner of vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,

:13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beast and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

:14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shall find them no more at all.

:15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing.

:16 And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones, and pearls!

:17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood afar off,

:18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

:19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein where made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour she is made desolate.

:20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God has avenged you on her.

:21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Bab'y-lon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

:22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee.

:23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

:24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.


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Statement of Faith


Verses 1-3

As we saw in both Rev. 14:8 and Rev. 17:16, the initial judgment of Babylon (the 1st "is fallen"), is brought about by the attack of the Beast and the armies under his control. In this, the city will be humiliated, ravaged, stripped of its wealth; then structurally destroyed and burned with fire. Her judgement however, is not yet finished.

Chapter 18 supplies additional details, and outlines the final judgment of Babylon (the second "is fallen"). Here, God Himself will deal with Babylon in such a way that will make it impossible for anyone to bring her back to life again, once His judgment is finalized.

Verses 1 begins with another mighty angel descending from heaven and declaring that Babylon "...is fallen, is fallen..." As previously stated, this declaration first came forth in Rev. 14: 8; and there, appears to be in connection with those who were loyal to Babylon, before her initial destruction, but afterwards were faced with the decision of whether or not to receive the mark of the Beast.

By the wording of that chapter, we can compare the "...smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever;..." {Rev. 14:11} with the judgment of Babylon, whose "...smoke rose up for ever and ever!" {Rev. 19:3}. Herein, we see those who receive the mark of the Beast are to be cast into the lake of fire; the same lake which shall engulf Babylon in her final judgment.

The second part of verse 2 appears to point forward to verse 21 of this chapter, and also to Matt. 25:41 wherein the wicked are told:

"...Depart from me, ye cursed into everlasting fire ,prepared for the devil and his angels:"

There is some strong Scriptural evidence suggesting that the geographic area where original Babylon was built, will become the site of the "...everlasting fire..." referred to in Matt. 25 and also the "...lake of fire..." of Rev. 20.

In studying both Jeremiah 50 - 51 and Isaiah 13, we find that the destruction from which Babylon will not recover will be like that poured out upon Sodom and Gomorrah. The difference being that the fire which destroys Babylon will never be quenched.

In Gen. 19:24-25, God "...rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire ..."

In Rev. 14:10, those who take the mark of the Beast during the tribulation period wil be tormented with "...fire and brimstone..." In Rev. 19:20 the Beast and False Prophet are cast alive into "...the lake of fire burning with brimstone." In Rev. 20:10 we are told that the Devil was cast into the "...lake of fire and brimstone..." Verse 15 of that chapter also states that everyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the same lake of fire.

In Isaiah and Jeremiah there seems to be conflicting statements made concerning the aftermath of Babylon's judgment. Both state that, after her destruction only the wild beast and creatures of the desert will inhabitant Babylon {Isa.13: 19-22 ; Jer. 50: 39-40}. However, when we read Jer. 51:62 we find that, "...none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast..." So how do we reconcile these statements?

This may possibly be answered by saying that after the Antichrist and his armies have effectively destroy Babylon as a functioning city, the beast of the desert may temporarily dwell within its precincts, perhaps feeding on the bodies of the dead left unburied.

Jeremiah. 51:8-9 indicates that after Babylon is destroyed (by the Antichrist and his armies), the thought will enter the mind of its survivors to rescue the city. That however, will not be realized because God will send the world's greatest earthquake upon the city and rain a great hail upon those of that area who seek to save it, literally stoning them to death {Rev. 16:18-21}.

Having previously dried up the waters of the Euphrates River {Rev.16:12}, God will then fill its dry stream beds with pitch {Isa 34:9-10}, which may be ignited by the fires set by the plundering armies of the Antichrist, or the fire and brimstone coming down from heaven. This action will create a lake of fire into which Babylon will sink and remain forever. Then Jer. 51:62 will be fulfilled.

Verse 3

Again we are reminded of the reason for the demise of Babylon. The world was taken in by her opulence, power and deception, placing her upon a pedestal whereby she was revered and glorified. Then too, God remembered her sins and how she mistreated His people in the past.

 
 
 


Verse 4

"...Come out of her my people..."

Here appears to be the only possible reference in the Book of Revelation to the woman of Chapter 12 who fled into the wilderness to escape the wrath of the Dragon.

The woman of Chapter 12 already has children {Rev. 12:5,17}, whereas the wife, or bride of the Lamb, in Chapter 19 is being made ready to attend her marriage supper {Rev.19:7}. Therefore it doesn't appear likely that they are representative of the same entity. With no further mention of the fate of the woman after Chapter 12, it becomes more likely that the "...my people..." of Chapter 18 are representative of that woman. Rev. 17:3 informs us that Babylon is seen in the wilderness, which is also the place where the woman of Chapter 12 flees.

We may speculate somewhat with the idea that, it may well be that Babylon's influence over the Antichrist (as Gog), will push him to invade Israel, and bring unto her the spoils of the land {Ezekiel 38 :10-12}: a sort of replay of the days when Babylon originally plundered Israel.

Initially, it appears that she will be in full agreement with him on the persecution of the saints. However, when she sees his eminent demise, at the hands of the God of Israel; she may openly welcome the fleeing saints of Israel (the woman of chapter 12) to come unto her; thinking to manipulate the situation to gain the protection of God for herself, against a similiar fate. This may also play a role in the Antichrist's intense hatred for Babylon, after he recovers from his wound unto death.

Her gross complicity in the persecution of the saints, prior to the wound unto death suffered by the Antichrist, however, will not be forgotten by God, even though she would offer safe haven to the Woman (42 months of safety in the wilderness).

With the saints of God residing under her wing, the Antichrist will not dare to attack Babylon, lest he be dealt another immediate and resounding defeat. Through the consolidation of his power during the last half of the tribulation period however, he will become bold and have no fear in attacking Babylon, or the saints of God. The end results will be: Babylon will be destroyed, but the saints of God will be delivered {Rev. 18:4}.

By the end of the tribulation period the lure and influence of Babylon will become almost irrestible, even to the saints of God. Here in Chapter 18 we are seeing a people who have lived in Babylon's presence, but have not given in to her enticements.

The admonition is issued to them to "...Come out of Her..." They are warned to not join in with her lest they should also be made partakers of the judgments of God which are about to befall her.

No slack is cut here, even for those who profess to love God. If you participate in her sins, you will also be made a recipient of the judgments that are pronounced upon her. The Lord is coming back to receive a holy people unto Himself.

Salvation is to be found in obedience; unlike Lot's wife who was delivered from the firey destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah only to be made into a pillar of salt for her disobedience. Lot had daughters and sons-in-law in the city, who refused to flee {Gen. 19:14}. They, like the others in the city, were counted as wicked and destroyed.

The probable reason Lot's wife looked back, was the rememberance of her children who stayed behind in the city. Those here, in Babylon, are likewise told to flee from her and don't be partakers in her iniquities, lest they also be consumed with her.

In Jer. 51:45 the saints are told,

"My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord."

As stated in the previous chapter, this fleeing from the destruction of Babylon did not occur during the Babylonian Captivity of Daniel's day; when the Persians attacked and conquered the city. The Jews were allowed to peacefully return to the land of Israel; but it was many years later, after Babylon had come under Persian rule. They never fled Babylon in fear of God's judgment upon the city, as pronounced by the prophets.

Those who attempt to re-apply the judgments God has reserved for Babylon, by saying that Babylon now represents a different entity; may be applying a sort of "replacement theology" to the prophetic word.

Replacement theology states that the Church has replaced Israel in God's plan. "Replacement Prophecy" may be considered as a similiar application, of shifting Scriptural judgment from the original entity, to one of a later period.

The fall of Babylon to the Persians did not result in the judgments which were pronounced upon the city, as recorded in the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah. According the the Prophets, Babylon's fall will be extremely violent, not one by which decay set in and reduced her to dust for centuries. Jer. 51:45, stated above, can hardly be understood to be speaking of that process.

Babylon is destined to rise from the dust and become a mighty city again. As stated previously, Saddam Hussein began the task of her resurrection, others will finish it!

What we see here is the Jews fleeing Babylon in advance of the attack of the Antichrist and his armies. Their destination seems to be covered by the Prophet Zechariah, for in Zech. 14:1-5 we see that the Jews have re-occupied Jerusalem, and will hold it until Jesus comes back to the Mount of Olives.

 
 
 


Verses 5-8

At first glance, these verses appear to be speaking to "my people" of verse 4. However, "my people" are commanded to flee from Babylon, not execute judgment upon her, as these are. Babylon has now become extremely strong and God has previously stated that He will use the Beast and the armies which he commands to execute judgment upon the city. It's more likely therefore, that these verses are a continuation of Rev.17:16.

Verses 9-10

"...the kings of the earth...shall bewail her and lament for her..."

The world economic system which had formerly stood in the way of the Antichrist achieving full domination of the earth will have been effecitvely removed with the destruction of Babylon. Almost inconsolable weeping and lamenting over their loss will ensue with the destruction of this great city. In "...one hour..." her judgment has come.

The kings of the earth will be caught totally off guard by the sudden and unexpected destruction of Babylon. They, like her, share a deluded sense of her safety and well being. The "one hour" is the same time span given to the ten kings to rule along side the Antichrist as partners.

Verses 11-13

"...Merchandise"

Verse 11 is quite revealing in the fact that it states that, "...no man buyeth their merchandise any more:" Two economic entities had previously controlled the wealth and commerce of the world during the tribulation period. The Beast with his Mark, and Babylon with her power over the kings of the earth.

Now, with Babylon destroyed, the lament goes up that there is no one left to buy their merchandise. There is only the Beast, who is now in possession Babylon's great wealth, and demanding that his mark be received as a sign of absolute allegiance, by all who wish to participate in his global economic order.

In her day, Babylon will be the free-market economic powerhouse of the earth which will deal in commodities of every sort: fine luxury items and common goods, as well. Verses 12 and 13 show the categories of merchandise for which she will become famous throughout the world.

Verses 14-17

"...the fruits...are departed from thee,..."

The dirge of the merchants of the earth goes up in the wake of Babylon's demise.

"...stand at a distance..."

Three times in this chapter it is stated that those who loved Babylon, stood at a distance for fear of her torment. Her destruction is so awesome that no one dares to come to her rescue, lest they too become a partaker of her judgments. Total fear grips their hearts and paralyzes their will to act in her defense or rescue. The idea of any retaliation, or counter strike against the Antichrist, is evidently far from their minds.

Verses 18-19

"...What city is like unto this great city!"

Again, as stated in Rev. 17:18, it overwhelmingly evident that we are seeing the judgment of a literal city of Babylon. Our eschatology must fit Scripture, not the other way around.

 


Verses 20-24

"...Rejoice over her..."

Here we get an indication that those in heaven, especially those whose deaths are chargeable directly to Babylon, are privy to the events going on in the world concerning her judgment. It's a day of great celebration in heaven, but a day of misery in most of the earth.

"...a great millstone..."

That Babylon will sink like a great millstone thrown into the sea, hearkens back to the fulfillment of Jer. 51:63-64:

"And it shall be when thou hast made an end to reading this book, that thou shall bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates:

And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary..."

Rev. 18:21 puts the final word on her judgment by saying,

"...Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon, be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all."

The notion that Babylon's decay into ruin historically constitutes the judgment stated in Scripture, doesn't hold up in light of these verses. Violent downfall is her destiny, not the slow decay which took her out of view historically. Babylon's demise through slow decay can hardly be likened to the "evil" which God says is reserved for her, as told in Jeremiah and the Book of Revelation.

Verses 22-24 show us that all vestiges of life shall be snuffed out in Babylon with her final judgment. Her sins were great before the God of heaven; and her total disregard for His prophets and saints provides the trigger which unleashes His fury against her. Just as the blood of the prophets and saints were found in her before her judgment, so shall the blood, "...of all that were slain on the earth." be found in the lake of fire, which shall engulf her after her final judgment.

 


CHAPTER SUMMARY

The overriding theme of this chapter is the economic covenant which Babylon has with the kings and merchants of the earth, and the total despair, and utter dismay, they exhibit when observing her downfall.

Never could it be believed that the world's greatest city would be brought to nothing, "in one hour". In the shock of the events, they stand fearfully and helplessly at a distance, watching all of their dreams literally go up in smoke.

Despite the notions of some that Babylon has already fallen; their explanations do not do justice to the numerous verses of Scripture which indicate a different outcome for this great city which is yet to re-emerge. It is imperative that we make our eschatology fit Scripture, not the other way around.

Babylon's fall will be one of total anihilation. Her sins are so great before God, that the very lake of fire which He will create to consume the wicked will be located there. Finally, the God of heaven and the martyred saints and prophets are vindicated in her destruction.

 

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