This chapter continues
the description of the punishment to be applied to the prostitute known as
Babylon the Great because of the wrath of God. It might be noted that this is
not the nation of Babylon that the Bible is speaking of for that nation is long
gone. However, it was in Babylon
that the prostitute, who represents adultery with foreign gods, got her start.
And this chapter deals with her coming demise, which is still in our
Before we start, and as a sidebar it might be noted that mankind in general portrays angels as being female. However, the Bible always portrays their gender as male.
After this I saw another angel
coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated
by his splendor. NIV
18:1 mentions this angel’s splendor as an illumination not because this angel
was brighter than any other but because he is shouting a most brilliant truth as
it comes from the creator, which signals a very bright future for mankind
because it heralds the beginning of the end for Satan.
Notice “He had great authority,” and
that authority comes from the Almighty for this angel cries out the following
notification for all to hear.
With a mighty voice he shouted:
"Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and
a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird.
with this announcement the angel also gives the reason for this fall as he
continues to shout.
For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries." NIV
madding wine of her adulteries,” notice that God
is declaring through this angel that all the nations have drunk this madding
wine. The wine here symbolizes the
intoxication of fantasy that religions have fostered on the populace in general
and they are being equated with merchants here for the access to wealth is the
reason for the existence of these false gods and religions.
now we suddenly hear a different voice than that of the angel ringing down from
Then I heard another voice from
heaven say: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her
sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
We have to
slow down here to understand what is happening at this point in the vision that
John has been given of the future. To
begin with whom does this other voice, calling out in verse 4, belong too?
Fortunately we have the clue that positively identifies the owner of that
voice. The voice is calling out to “My
people” The voice belongs to Christ for his people
were given to him by his God and by using the term “My people” Christ is
referring to his adopted brothers and sisters.
6 "I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.
7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.
For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with
certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.
Did God set
things up so that men could be adopted from the earth into the spiritual family
He predestined us to be adopted
as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-
In other words this
family or group known as the members of the body of Christ were predestined to
exist. The individuals were not
predestined because that would deny free choice and negate the purpose behind
free will. Just the same, those that would freely choose to become part of the
family of God were going to be here, and that is just what has happened.
we are told in Hebrews:
11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.
says, "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the
congregation I will sing your praises.” NIV
fact, on an occasion when Jesus was told that his mother and his brothers were
waiting outside. Christ made it absolutely clear who his family was:
replied to him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?"
to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers.
whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and
Now that we know the
voice warning us to get out of Babylon the great is from our king and high
priest the question is what does He mean, what is it He is referring to?
It is no secret that the Babylon of Daniels time is gone. No one lives
there anymore. This clearly tells us the use of Babylon in these verses
represents or symbolizes something else besides the literal Babylon that existed
in the time that Nebuchadnezzar was allowed to overpower the house of Israel.
If this were not true then spreading plagues on an empty area would be a
futile gesture by God and God does not waste His time with empty threats.
But the opening line of
verse three of this chapter in Revelation helps clear this up.
“For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine
of her adulteries.” Since
Babylon is gone and the verse is telling us all the nations of all time have
been made drunk by her, then the meaning has to be something else besides that
literal Babylonian government or mountain.
The clue to this is this former mountain or government, which was
Babylon, is being likened to a great prostitute.
referred to Himself as a faithful husband to the nation or house of Israel and
He often referred to Israel as a prostitute who had adulterous relations with
other gods that are in truth not gods at all.
30 How weak-willed you are, declares the Sovereign LORD, when you do all these things, acting like a brazen prostitute!
you built your mounds at the head of every street and made your lofty shrines in
every public square, you were unlike a prostitute, because you scorned payment.
God is telling Israel
here that unlike normal prostitutes, Israel was too stupid to even charge for
her services. However, the meaning
as to who this great prostitute is becomes crystal clear with the following
verses from Exodus.
careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they
prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you
and you will eat their sacrifices. 16 And when you choose some of their
daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to
their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.
So we see that
Babylon the great is in reality representing all the organized religions of the
world. Let us repeat that…ALL THE
ORGANIZED RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD. Not
one or two, not some, but all the organized religions of the world. All the
religions that teach doctrines or concepts other than what God teaches in his
word and this includes so called Christian religions. For if a religion
supposedly is teaching about Christ and has even one doctrine or concept that is
contrary to the word of God then that religion is easily recognized as belonging
to Satan or the great prostitute.
if anyone does not believe that religions are big, in fact huge very profitable
businesses, which are why God equates them with merchants, then take a look at
the Vatican. The profits from this
mammoth world wide business amply allows for gold telephones for the popes use.
Or look at the millions upon millions of dollars that are collected
annually by television personalities espousing that it is they that lead you to
heaven. Truth is they cannot get themselves to heaven so there is
literally no chance they will lead you there.
If you want the eternal life that is offered by God through His Son Christ then you must accept Christ as your king and high priest and follow the two commands he gave us. The church or family of God is a spiritual church and has nothing to do with a building on a corner somewhere in the world. In fact let us go back to verse 4 where our king and high priest is telling us point blank:
out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins,”
Now people that
truly want to follow what God is telling us in his word are often perplexed by
the thought that if they leave the religions that they have been taught all
their lives where do they go. Well,
when you leave the worlds religions and join the family of God that is all taken
Therefore God is not ashamed to
be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. NIV
the prostitute Babylon the great, which we now know, represents the false
religions of the world, including those that claim to be Christian but are not,
are very noticeable by God:
For her sins are piled up to
heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.
It should be taken note of here that God does not consider it simply an error or a mistake to teach something other than his word. HE CONSIDERS IT A CRIME.
back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her
a double portion from her own cup.
When, in our courts, a criminal is convicted of a Crime he is sentenced
to serve a period of time in a jail. What
is being called for in verse 6 is a double portion of what ever it is that God
chooses to sentence her with.
her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her
heart she boasts, `I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.' NIV
The demons or angels that followed Satan know that there will come a day
of reckoning. Some of them even said so to Christ.
do you want with us, Son of God?" they shouted. "Have you come here to
torture us before the appointed time?"
“Before the appointed time?”
these demons know there will come a time when
they will have to pay for their crimes. But
the religions of the world, being lead by Satan and his cohorts, have not been
given this information from the devil. Nor
have they heeded what God has told them because they choose not to believe what
God is saying in His word. Therefore
they feel secure in their wealth brought about from the deceptions and delusions
they teach. Instead they feel they
are safe from any form of retribution from anyone.
This is why they say to themselves, `I sit
as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.'
Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her. NIV
“Death, mourning and famine” God
is saying here he intends to execute this great prostitute for her crimes and
while he is doing it there will be mourning and famine.
Famine because as he does it there will be an exodus from her churches,
synagogues, and temples and those that drew great wealth from the parishioners
that were deceived by her lies and false gods will mourn the loss of material
gains this causes them.
“Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:” When
you hear someone say “In my day” do you assume that they only lived 24
hours. Of course not and the Bible here is making the same kind of statement.
Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: is referring to a period of
time. Listen to what God says on this subject:
Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen
such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a
this is so and there is something else that was said by Ezra, one of Gods
prophets, that is more than applicable to this punishment to be received by the
But there are many people here and it is the rainy
season; so we cannot stand outside. Besides, this matter cannot be taken care of
in a day or two, because we have sinned greatly in this thing.
Ezra is saying
time for retribution and repentance is needed “because we have sinned
greatly in this thing.” The great prostitute of
Babylon has sinned more than greatly. To verify that lets read verse 5 of this
chapter in Revelation again.
For her sins are piled up to
heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. NIV
there is one other thing about verse 8 in Revelation chapter 18 that the Bible
has to explain for us: “She will be consumed by fire” What
kind of fire is being spoken of here?
there more than one kind you ask? Yes
says the Bible for the word fire has different applications or meanings
depending on how it is being used. There
is a fire that destroys totally such as the lake of fire we will read of later
in Revelation. There is a fire that
warms us or cooks our food. There is also a fire that refines things, such as
silver and gold… and people. How
do we know that fire is a word that can also be used to refine people?
Because our king, savior and High Priest told us this point blank.
will be salted with fire.
this something new that Christ was bringing us? Hardly. Listen to what the Almighty had to say about this
This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine
them like silver and test them like gold. They
will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, `They are my people,'
and they will say, `The LORD is our God.' NIV
There is an
interesting story about a woman then went to a silver smith to find out how
silver was refined because of the above scripture in Zechariah.
She noticed that as he smelted the silver the smith never took his eyes
off of the pot.
you have to watch it that intently?” she asked.
he replied “or I will miss the instant it is ready.”
do you know that instant,” she asked
know it is ready” he answered, “The moment I can see my reflection in it.”
analogy here is Christ knows the moment we are ready to become a spiritual
brother when he can see His reflection in us.
How does God
refine by fire? What that means is we are salted with knowledge.
49 Everyone will be salted with fire.
50 "Salt is
good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt
in yourselves, and be at peace with each other."
The commands of
God are Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.
We were also told to love one another. When
one takes on these commands seriously and tries to walk in the spirit as Paul
explained in Galatians chapter five, then we have been salted.
In order to take on those responsibilities of a true Christian we have to
first seek and be given the knowledge that goes with it. That knowledge comes
only from the word of God. Now we
know from that word that this prostitute that has been leading the nations
astray from God for centuries is to be destroyed by the Almighty.
"When the kings of the earth who committed
adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will
weep and mourn over her. NIV
Why should the
kings of the earth who committed adultery with her weep and mourn over her?
They mourn because she with her deceit and lies helped give them the
power they welded over the populace from way back in Babylonian days.
That these kings see the smoke of her burning signifies that she is being
destroyed. This we know from the
next verse in this chapter of Revelation.
Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and
cry: "`Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your
doom has come!" NIV
“City of power!” Make no mistake; power
is what this has been all about over the centuries.
These false religions represent power even to the point that chess pieces
include a bishop, which was originally a ship. But the bishop is placed next to
the king and queen, and for good reason; for they represent the power of this
great prostitute over the nations through the centuries.
11 "The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more-
of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and
scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of
ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble;
cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and
olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and
bodies and souls of men.
have put these three scriptures together because they do not need separate
explanations for they are really all one sentence concerning the religious
merchants of the earth. Now God is not really concerned with the normal
merchants that inhabit the world. The
merchants spoken of here are the same kind of merchants that Paul had a
confrontation with. We know this
because of the final statement of “and bodies and
souls of men.” All
of the items above were used in the idolatry this great prostitute spawned.
They were used to manufacture idols and were sold to people for
sacrifices to these false gods. And all the items above caused sin that brought
about death and separation from God. That
is the group of merchants that are being spoken of here. We were told of this conflict of merchants against Paul because of his
teaching concerning God in Acts.
silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no
little business for the craftsmen.
called them together, along with the workmen in related trades, and said:
"Men, you know we receive a good income from this business.
see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of
people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says
that man-made gods are no gods at all.
danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple
of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who
is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of
her divine majesty."
28 When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
29 Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and
Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia, and rushed as one man
into the theater.
wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him.
some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message
begging him not to venture into the theater.
assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of
the people did not even know why they were there.
pushed Alexander to the front, and some of the crowd shouted instructions to
him. He motioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people.
they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours:
"Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
clerk quieted the crowd and said: "Men of Ephesus, doesn't all the world
know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis
and of her image, which fell from heaven?
since these facts are undeniable, you ought to be quiet and not do anything
brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed
then, Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody, the
courts are open and there are proconsuls. They can press charges. NIV
These same kinds of people will stand back when God meets out the
punishment to the great prostitute that she deserves:
will say, “The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and
splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.”
This is said because at that time the earth will be in the process of
becoming filled with the true knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea
as has told to us in chapter eleven of the book of Isaiah.
cry out: "`Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and
scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! NIV
They will be terrified because it will be obvious that it is God causing
this downfall of the great prostitute and they cannot help but be frightened at
what action will be taken against them for their part in her crimes.
Perhaps there will be those among them that will finally understand what
Christ meant when He commented about these merchants while he was on this earth
as a man.
servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other,
or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both
God and Money." NIV
In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!' "Every sea
captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living
from the sea, will stand far off.
The reason sea captains and sailors are being included in all this is
because then as now today commerce in the world is greatly dependant on the
transportation of its goods by sea. In
other words they represents world trade. This is verified in verse 19 of this
chapter in Revelation.
The great prostitute is being compared to a city because she
never presented herself as a single nation, but in truth, she controlled many
kingdoms at the same time. Yet, like the Vatican today, she is separate from the
nation of Italy that she exists in, and like the Vatican, is known and identified as a
“Where all who had ships on the sea
became rich through her wealth!” Notice
also, that the time specified for this is no longer a day, as stated in verse 8 of
this chapter, but an hour. This is
not a contradiction, but means that the kings, merchants, and seaman will notice
it all during the last hour or final time of her destruction.
In the beginning, few will notice or pay attention, because their income
from it will not be affected until her demise is almost completed. It also means that even though this great prostitute had many
names of many gods, the real god behind it all was wealth and power.
Our Supreme Creator is of such power that He created this entire
universe, the size of which we can only guess at.
Let us take a moment to look at why our immensely powerful Creator would
be so put out by this symbolic prostitute to begin with.
spoke all these words:
am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
shall have no other gods before me.
shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or
on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a
jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and
fourth generation of those who hate me,
showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my
Take note of verse 4 above “You
shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything…” and this includes the cross. It even specifies that they be not
made to resemble anything in the heavens the earth or the waters in the earth.
That doesn’t leave anything. The next verse tells us not to bow down to
shall not bow down to them or worship them;”
Yet, as a flagrant disregard for what God has said, millions of Roman Catholics
are specifically taught that the first thing you do when you enter a church is
to genuflect before you take your seat. To genuflect is a fancy way of
saying… bow down.
“For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God…” What does He mean, a jealous God? Why should our Creator, who has power beyond our capability to understand, be jealous of man made idols that have absolutely no value or ability or true meaning at all?
The answer to this is because it harms us. In fact, it harms us so badly it kills. It is a direct violation
of a command from God, and that is sin and it is clearly understood that the
wages of sin is death. God wants to
give us eternal life; Satan wants to take it away, and that is the crux of the
matter. It has nothing to do with God's ego. What it comes down to is, our Creator jealously guards the
life only He can bestow. We are told this succinctly in:
is why the next verse in Revelation 18 tells us:
over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged
her for the way she treated you.
was because of this great prostitute that the saints were beheaded for preaching
the word of God, and this is also a reason that judgment is to be brought to this
prostitute who is followed by all nations of the earth.
We are also told that the end of this great prostitute will be brought
The sea we already know represents mankind in general. What this scripture is telling us is that it will be mankind in general that will rise up and destroy the great prostitute because of the action of an angel under direction of God. What will be the result of this violent destruction of this symbolic great prostitute?
“The sound of a millstone will never be
heard in you again,” means false religion will be completely destroyed,
never to return again, which is what the following scripture is verifying.
Verse 23 is mentioning Brides and bridegrooms because most marriages are
performed in churches, and it is making the point that social interaction will no
longer exist. In short, the
scripture above is giving the final explanation of why these false churches will
be so completely and finally destroyed. It
is referring to its magic spells. All
religions like to build mysteries into their doctrines or have mysticism
surrounding their actions. This way,
their priests can tell you that only they know the meaning behind the mystery.
And of course, this means they feel you’re too stupid to understand what God has
clearly written for all to comprehend.
We all know that death came because Adam and Eve listened to Satan.
However, it is also true that it was Satan who was the instigator of this
great prostitute, for it was Satan who told Adam and Eve that they would not die,
and that they would instead become like God. Therefore, it is adultery with
foreign or false Gods, including Satan himself, which has brought death to all
Fortunately it was Christ who ransomed mankind from this and brought eternal life to all who want it:
as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
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