Revelation 18: 1-24, destruction of political-economic Babylon.
VV 1-2, 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!
After the destruction of the one world religious system (religious Babylon) by the beast (anti-christ) in Revelation 17, a mighty angel came down from heaven, proclaiming the doom of religious Babylon.
V 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.”
The beast (anti-christ) will set up and control a one world economic system (political-economic Babylon). Ancient Babylon is modern-day Iraq. Could this system be based in Iraq? We don’t know. In the 1990s, Saddam Hussein, who called himself the new Nebuchadnezzar, rebuilt Babylon, the Ishtar Gate, and the hanging gardens of Babylon. The 2 Gulf wars of 1990 and 2003 invaded Iraq. Saddam Hussein is dead but Iraq as a nation still exists. The final destruction of Babylon prophesied in Isaiah 13:19-20, Jeremiah 51:24-25, 62, will probably be fulfilled during the 7-year tribulation.
Economic-political Babylon was corrupted and sinful. Those who did not take the mark of the beast or worship the image of the beast cannot buy and sell.
VV 4-6, 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.
Another angel from heaven warned the people to get out of economic-political Babylon. Their sins had reached up to heaven and God’s judgments will soon follow.
VV 7-8, 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.
Because political-economic Babylon glorified herself in luxury and was unrepentant, God will destroy and burned her down with fire in one day.
VV 9-10, 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 kings of the nations who participated in political-economic Babylon will weep, cry, and wail when God’s judgment rained on her for one hour.
VV 11-13, 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.
World business conglomerates will grind to a halt. There will be no buying of merchandise, jewelry, clothing, cosmetics, perfumes, foods, automobiles, cars, and pornography. We can see a picture of this happening in the current Covid 19 pandemic. Airlines, hotels, retailers, and other big business conglomerates faced bleak futures.
VV 14-18, 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?’
All the material things that the people lust after are gone for good. Business owners wept and wailed. The great city that was booming at one time disappeared in 1 hour. Sailors and travelers will see the burning and destruction of cities from a distance.
VV 19-20, 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!”
In one hour the great city will be wiped out. Share market and property market will collapse overnight. In 1 hour everything is gone. Investors caught by the greed of materialism in political-economic Babylon suffered financial ruin. When heathens on earth wept, angels in heaven rejoiced.
VV 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.”
Political-economic Babylon will be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung on her neck. There will be no more commercial activities, entertainments, craftsmen, flashing neon lights, and wedding celebrations. Political-economic Babylon deceived the people and took the lives of prophets and saints.
Beware of the Babylonian mindset of greed and materialism. Love God and people. God gives you things to use for His glory. They are not yours. Do not let materialism possess you.