The Book of Revelation (part 31)
April 21, 2021
The Book of Revelation (part 31)
False Religion and Corrupt Government are Destroyed!
Revelation 16 contains the final judgments that cleanse the earth of all rebellion. These bowl judgments last about a month, and destroy the kingdom of the antiChrist and his system of control.
Part of his control is a religious system that has ruled the earth for thousands of years as a counterfeit of the true worship of Almighty God.
Revelation 16:17-19 (NKJV)
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. 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.
The cleansing of the earth in preparation for the 1000 year reign of Christ includes God judging a false religious system that has ruined mankind and the nations of the world for thousands of years.
This religious system has sought to take the place of God in the nations of the earth.
Here in Revelation 17 and 18, God shows the utter destruction of this false religious system.
Revelation 17:5 (NKJV)
And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
The mystery is that Babylon the Great is the fountainhead or beginning or mother of all the heathen religions on earth.
This woman has only one golden cup in her hand. There is only one source for the heathen religions of the world. Every religion that excludes Jesus as the only answer to the sin of man has drunk from her cup!
So, the destruction of Babylon will not only be the destruction of a real city called Babylon, but of the false religions of the world!
Revelation 17:7 (NKJV)
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.”
Governments of the nations of the world throughout history have allowed this harlot, false religions, to give them respectability and power.
The harlot of false religions has teamed up with governments and economic gain to seduce the people of the world for thousands of years now.
There is a Babylonian system at work worldwide right now that is seeking to unify the nations of the world under an umbrella of economic, religious, and governmental laws so that all people from all nations are equal.
It is coming under the guise of the Great Reset, and perhaps under the guise of helping everyone be safe from the virus!
If we do not keep this system out of America, with those in our representative government keeping us away from it, then America too will fall for the ploy of the harlot of the ages. Her goal is to unite the world, just like it was the goal in Babal at the origin of rebellion against God.
Revelation 18:1-3 (NKJV)
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.”
As we learned studying Revelation 17, Babylon is a false religious system that has teamed up with the governments of the nations of the world to deceive, control, and mislead the people of the world.
Babylon is a metaphor of the evil that has controlled the population of the world since the Tower of Babel. It is the very last demonic stronghold to fall before the antiChrist is defeated in the final battle of Armaggedeon.
(Fire Bible Study Notes)
18:2 FALLEN IS BABYLON THE GREAT! In ch. 18, Babylon the Great (see 17:5, note) is portrayed primarily in its commercial (i.e., business, trade, economy) and political image. (1) Some believe that Babylon here represents a literal city or nation that embodies the ungodly traits described in the chapter (just as ancient Babylon was notoriously wicked). (2) Others believe it represents the whole ungodly world system brought under the antiChrist’s rule. This passage describes the collapse of Babylon’s commercial and economic system. Then, in ch. 19, her political system is judged and destroyed by God at the end of the tribulation (cf. 19:17-21; Isa 13:1-11).
Revelation 18:4-8 (NKJV)
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.
We are encouraged in 1 John 2 to not love the world or the things of the world system.
1 John 2:15-17 (NKJV)
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
God spoke through the prophet Jeremiah about Babylon being destroyed for misleading the whole world and never rising again. Jeremiah 51 is about Babylon’s destruction.
Jeremiah 51:64 (NKJV)
Then you shall say, ‘Thus Babylon shall sink and not rise from the catastrophe that I will bring upon her. And they shall be weary.’
Babylon appears to get by with terrible wickedness through the centuries of time, but God remembers and rewards her quickly with judgment.
Romans 12:19 (NKJV)
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
Revelation 18:9-10 (NKJV)
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.’
Governments (kings of the earth) have used the Babylonian system to grow personal wealth through lying, stealing, and greed. Now they act as they have nothing to do with the system (standing at a distance).
Revelation 18:11-19 (NKJV)
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.’
In one hour, all of the things that people own that they think are so great will be destroyed and completely lose their value. The only things of value left at this time are the eternal things of God.
Revelation 18:20 (NKJV)
Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!
Babylon and the false religions that have ruled over the centuries have persecuted God’s people through the ages. Now, justice is brought to those who have opposed the people of God.
Revelation 18:21-24 (NKJV)
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 Ancient-Modern Bible Notes) 18:9–20 – From Eugene Peterson – The Message Paraphrase:
In Revelation 17–18, the Great Whore image is not about sex, it is a metaphor for worship gone wrong. . . . Worship under the aspect of the Great Whore is the commercialization of our great need and deep desire for meaning, love, and salvation, for the completion of ourselves from beyond ourselves. Whore-worship thrives by naming the worst things about us—our pride, our lust, our envy, our greed, our anger—with the designation “God,” and gathering depersonalized and depersonalizing crowds to pursue these divinized defects religiously. The great danger that the world poses for us is not in its gross evils, but its easy religion. The promise of success, ecstasy, and meaning that we can get for a price is Whore-worship. It is the diabolical inversion of “you are bought with a price” to “I can get it for you for wholesale.” . . . In the great lament of Revelation 18 over the Great Whore’s demise, the longest and most detailed lament is from the merchants and sea traders. In Whore-worship they got everything they wanted, their lives overflowed with things, and now it is gone, wasted, up in smoke. They are bereft of everything they were promised and invested in and enjoyed. It is not their businesses that have collapsed, but their religion, a religion of self-indulgence, of getting. Now it is gone: salvation-by-checkbook is gone, god-on-demand is gone, meaning-by-money is gone, religion-as-feeling is gone, self-as-(temporary)-god is gone. They are left with nothing but themselves, of whom after a lifetime in the whorehouse, they know nothing.