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.
The harlot woman riding the beast
Revelation 17: 1-18, Religious Babylon.
All the 21 judgments had been unleashed, i.e. the 7 seal judgments, the 7 trumpet judgments, and the 7 bowl judgments. We are moving towards the end of the 7-year tribulation. John takes a breather in Rev. 17 to talk about religious Babylon and Rev. 18 about economic, political Babylon.
VV 1-2, 1Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
One of the 7 angels who had one of the 7 bowls of judgment showed John a vision of the harlot of Babylon. In biblical typology, water speaks of Gentile nations. The woman sitting on many waters means that she influenced many Gentile nations. She influenced kings and political powers, using them as partners in crime.
V 3, So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
John saw a vision of a woman sitting on the scarlet beast, (anti-christ), who had 7 heads, 10 horns, and full of blasphemous names.
VV 4-6, 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS
OF THE EARTH. 6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.
Purple speaks of royalty, scarlet speaks of religiosity, gold and precious stones speak of immense wealth. Babylon the Great, Mother of Harlots and Abomination of the Earth, speak of religious Babylon, the false religious center of the world, founded by Nimrod in Genesis 10:8-10, “Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.” And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar”.
Blood of the saints speaks of Christians martyrs. Religious Babylon cut a deal with the anti-christ to kill Christians during the tribulation. Interestingly enough, the 2 Euro coin today had an image of a harlot woman riding on a beast.
V 7, But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.
The beast, (anti-christ) is a political world ruler from the revived Roman Empire (Europe) who controlled a 10 nations confederation during the 7-year tribulation. He is Daniel’s little horn, Daniel 7:8, “’ I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words. He had 7 heads and 10 horns but three horns was plucked out by the little horn and 7 horns remained’’.
V 8, The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
The beast (anti-christ) who came out from the bottomless pit, will be assassinated, miraculously resuscitated to life, and unbelievers who saw this will be amazed.
VV 9-11, 9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 10 There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. 11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.
The 7 heads speak of the 7 hills of Rome. Religious Babylon is Rome. The 7 kings speak of 7 successive Romans Caesars. The first 5 had died, i.e. Julius, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero Caesar. Domitian, the 6th king is ruling but will also be killed. The 7th king is the anti-christ, who was assassinated, resuscitated to life, and became the 8th because the resuscitated anti-christ is a different person. Many biblical scholars believed the resuscitated anti-christ to be the incarnation of the 5th king, Nero Caesar.
VV 12-14, 12 “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
The 10 horns speak of the 10 European nation confederation under the anti-christ during the 7-year tribulation. They will wage war against Christ, but He will defeat them. He is Lord of lords, King of kings, and His followers are called, chosen, and faithful.
VV 15-18, 15 Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.”
In biblical typology, waters speak of Gentile nations. The harlot woman (Religious Babylon) influenced many Gentile nations. The 10 leaders of the 10 European nation confederation of the anti-christ turned the table against the harlot woman and destroyed her completely.
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Revelation 16: 1-21, the 7 bowl judgments.
V 1, Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.”
A loud voice from the temple told the 7 angels, to pour out the 7 bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.
V 2, So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.
When the 1st bowl is poured, painful sores inflicted those who took the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The mark of the beast could be a computer chip with the number 666 embedded underneath the skin of the right hand or forehead. The image of the beast could be a speaking computer-generated image like a hologram demanding worship.
V 3, Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man, and every living creature in the sea died.
When the 2nd bowl is poured, oceans turned into blood killing all the ocean creatures.
VV 4-7, 4 Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. 5 And I heard the angel of the waters saying: “You are righteous, O Lord, The One who is and who was and who is to be, Because You have judged these things. 6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, And You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due.”7 And I heard another from the altar saying, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.”
When the 3rd bowl is poured, rivers and springs turned into blood killing all the freshwater creatures. The angel of the water proclaimed the God is righteous in His judgment. The wicked are they getting their just desert because they shed innocent blood of saints and prophets. The angel of the altar also proclaimed the righteousness of God’s judgment. The altar speaks of the cross. Christ paid the wages of sin on the cross.
VV 8-9, 8 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues, and they did not repent and give Him glory.
When the 4th bowl is poured, the sun supernaturally heated up and burned the people with fire. Instead of crying out for mercy and repent, they blasphemed the name of God.
VV 10-11, 10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness, and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. 11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.
When the 5th bowl is poured, darkness fell upon the kingdom of the anti-christ on earth. The people cried out in agony from painful sores but instead of repenting, they again blasphemed the God of heaven.
V 12, Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.
When the 6th bowl is poured, the massive Euphrates river dried up. Drying up this facilitated the Kings from the east to marched into Isreal in preparation for the battle of Armageddon.
VV 13-14, 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
John saw the 3 unclean spirits, like frogs coming out from the mouth of satan (dragon), the anti-christ (beast), and the false prophets (second beast). Evil spiritual forces are at work to unite the kings of the world to fight in the coming battle of Armageddon to annihilated Israel. At that time, Christ will return to earth to rescue Israel.
VV 15-16, 15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” 16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
Christ’s second coming will be as a thief in the night. 1 Thessalonians 5:2, “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night’’.
Christ will bless believers who remained pure and watched out for His return. The valley of Megiddo or Armageddon is 60 miles north of Jerusalem.
VV 17-18, 17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18 And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.
When the 7th bowl is poured, the 7th angel cried out loudly, it is done, followed by noise, thunder, lightning, and a great earthquake.
VV 10-21, 19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. 20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail since that plague was exceedingly great.
The earthquake will split the city of Jerusalem into three. Babylon will be destroyed, islands will disappear, mountains will be flattened, and hailstones weighing 1 talent (approximately 75 pounds) will fall on the people who blasphemed God. In the Old Testament, the penalty for blaspheming God is stoning. Leviticus 24:16, “Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him”. Righteous and true are God’s judgments.