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 Prophetic Times To The End Part Twenty-five

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PostSubject: Prophetic Times To The End Part Twenty-five    Wed May 23, 2012 7:27 pm

Revelation 18:1-3


Political Babylon Destroyed
But the destruction of the commercial and governmental systems will not take place, however, until the end of the Tribulation. Some Bible scholars do not distinguish between the destruction of chapter 17 and that of chapter 18, but mold them altogether. The following six reasons establish that they are not the same.
1. "After these things" (Rev 18 v.1) This expression indicates that the events described in chapter 18 will not take place until after the events of chapter 17 have been fulfilled.
2. "I saw another angel coming down from heaven" Events of chapter 17 were introduced by "one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls" (Rev 17 v.1). The angel referred to in chapter 18 is obviously not the same as the one who introduced the events of chapter 17. Therefore, we can expect the same sequence of events that have happened throughout the book of Revelation: When an angel fulfills his responsibility, another distinct judgment takes place on the earth.
3. The names in the 2 chapters are different. The name in chapter 18 is simply "Babylon the Great". (Rev. 18 v.2) True, the Babylon destroyed in chapter 17 has the name, "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and of the Abominations of the whole Earth", (Rev. 17 v.5) but the only similarity is the location, Babylon. When both titles are used fully, the contrast of these two Babylons is clearly seen.
4. Babylon the prostitute of chapter 17 will be destroyed by the kings of the earth. (Rev. 17 v.16) The Babylon of chapter 18 will be destroyed by the cataclysmic judgments of God.
5. The kings who destroy the Babylon of chapter 17 rejoice. In the Babylon of chapter 18, the kings and merchants lament and weep for her (Rev. 18 v.9-15).
6. If chapter 17 and 18 take place during the last days of the Tribulation, there will be no place for the Antichrist and the False Prophet to do away with all religions and substitute the worship of the Antichrist's image as described in chapter 13.

Further revelation on the destruction of Babylon was made by another angel coming down from heaven. This contrasts with “one of the seven angels” mentioned in Rev_17:1 and should not be confused with angelic representations of Christ. Angels do have great authority and often make pronouncements in the Book of Revelation. The power and glory of this angel was such that the earth was illuminated by his splendor (Rev_18:1). Then John saw another angel coming down from heaven. Whether "another angel" is one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls we are not told. But it seems doubtful, for this angel is distinctive, with such "great authority" that he lights the earth with his glory. In the last lesson we saw that the beast, and his system, and the great whore were revealed. Here in chapter 18, we will see the judgment that comes from God poured out on them. This "angel" in V-1 was sent from heaven. This "power" spoken of here is power that God has endowed on this angel for the execution of this punishment. This "angel" has been in close association with the Light. We see here that this powerful Light of Jesus, even though second hand through the angel, still lightens the earth.
The angel’s message is summarized: Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! The question has been raised as to whether or not this is another view of the same destruction mentioned in Rev_17:16-17. A comparison of Rev_17:1-18 and Rev_18:1-24 reveals that these are different events. The woman in Rev_17:1-18 was associated with the political power but was not the political power itself, and her destruction apparently brought no mourning from the earth. By contrast the destruction of Babylon in Rev_18:1-24 brings loud lamentation from the earth’s political and economic powers. Instead of being destroyed and consumed by the 10 kings, here the destruction seems to come from an earthquake, and it is probable that this is an enlarged explanation of what was described in Rev_16:19-21. The message of this angel who cries with a "mighty voice" is this: "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!" Since chapter 18 seems to describe the destruction of a literal commercial city, the governmental capital of the world during the Tribulation, we naturally ask ourselves the question, "Where is that city?" Again, Bible prophecy students are not in agreement. Some suggest the city of Rome, and some years ago suggested New York City because he felt it was the commercial center of the world. Some who believe we should take the Scriptures literally whenever possible are inclined to believe that the city of Babylon will be rebuilt.
In chapter 18 verses 10, 16, 18, 19, and 21 you find reference to this Babylon being a city. In verse 2 the angel cried mightily and said "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen". The literal interpretation would dictate that indeed this Babylon is a city.
What is pictured here is a large prosperous city, the center of political and economic life. The judgment of God makes it a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wines of her adulteries this false religion is like a drug that drives men to madness. While it brought riches to merchants, it is now doomed for destruction. Remember in chapter 16 we saw the actual destruction of commercial Babylon. At the end of this chapter I will show it to you again so you can make sense of what is taking place.
The corruption may have had its beginnings at the city of Babylon, but believe me it has spread to every corner of the earth. It will not be until the earth is totally destroyed that this evil will be no more. Those who mourn are those who are loosing their ability to deceive the nations any longer.
Looking ahead at what it says in chapter 18 verse 23: "for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived", so you see this is not a city only but a very corrupt system that is being destroyed by God by his Judgment to prepare for the coming Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Revelation 18:4-8

Following the pronouncement of the angel, another voice from heaven instructed the people of God to leave the city so that they would escape the judgment to come on it (Rev_18:4-5). Babylon will receive torture and grief commensurate with her glory and luxury, in which she boasted that she was a queen (Rev_18:7). Death, mourning, and famine, also fire, will come on the city in one day (Rev_18:Cool. Come out of her, my people. This is a call for God's people to disentangle themselves from the world system. It may also be an evangelistic call to God’s elects to come to faith in Christ and come out of Satan's kingdom. In both cases, the message is to abandon the system.
Read 2 Cor. 6 v-14-17 for a good example of this
• Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
• And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
• And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
• Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,
You see, even though you are not committing sin, as such. You are committing sin by association. The Bible tells us over and over not to be unequally yoked with those of unbelief. If you do not remove yourself, you are guilty of her sin. In this verse, we read that her plagues will come to those people as well.
The righteous God of the universe has not overlooked the sins of the elite power brokers who have used commerce and government for centuries to live luxuriously at the expense of others. The commercial, social and political systems of the Antichrist will receive double judgment for their sins. Babylon's sins will pile up like a new Tower of Babel, but unlike the ancient tower, her sins will reach as high as heaven.
Then an angel states that God has remembered her sins. He will take note of them as He did that earlier monument to man's sinful, arrogant, prideful rebellion at Babel. This reward her simple means will recompense or repay commercial Babylon according to her works. All of those who are involved and are guilty will suffer double judgment as the cup is filled twice for her for what she has done to the Saints.
She will reap what she sowed.
This is describing 3 sins she is guilty of.
(1) "She has glorified herself" meaning she was proud.
(2) "She lived deliciously" meaning she pursued self gratification, and
(3) "I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow" meaning she was not only proud but boastful.
That proud boast echoes that of ancient Babylon who said "I will be a queen forever" and I will not sit as a widow, nor know loss of children. Now read that boast in Isaiah 47 verses 7-8:
"And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: [so] that thou didst not lay these [things] to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it." "Therefore hear now this, [thou that art] given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I [am], and none else beside me; I shall not sit [as] a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children." But these two [things] shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, [and] for the great abundance of thine enchantments. (Isaiah 47 v.9)
This is saying that Babylon's destruction will not be progressive. The wicked city (system) will be instantly destroyed. Daniel 5 records a similar fate that befell ancient Babylon; the city fell the very night that God wrote its doom on the wall of the king's palace.
Babylon's doom is certain and cannot be avoided. No one can change God's plans or keep Him from accomplishing what He purposed to do as Nebuchadnezzar discovered above in Daniel. Or in this case his grandson.
Revelation 18:9-20

When kings who were involved with the city see its destruction they will be grieved, and will cry, Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! (Rev_18:10) Merchants too will bemoan the city’s downfall since they will no longer be able to carry on commerce with the city. The description in Rev_18:12-13 indicates the great luxury and wealth of the city. This obviously refers to an economic and political situation rather than a religious one. The mourning of the merchants is similar to that of the kings: Woe! Woe, O great city… ! (Rev_18:16) This will no doubt include the 10 kings of the earth who rule Antichrist's kingdom under his authority as well as the rest of the world's leaders.
The destruction of the Antichrist's political and economic power will strike a fatal blow to his empire. The fall of Babylon will be a symbol of the fall of the entire evil world system.
And again Babylon is pictured as a harlot whose death causes her lovers to weep and lament over her. This "standing afar off", could mean those who heeded and came out of her. It really doesn't matter where. It may be all of these cities and many more, or it might not be a literal city at all. I really believe this is both an evil system and many evil cities, as well, being destroyed.
The one hour simply means the judgment will happen rapidly just as verse 8 predicted. These mourners are the merchants of the earth who will weep and mourn over Babylon because no one will be able to buy their goods anymore.
Whatever economy there had been will end and so will any semblance of normalcy on this devastated planet that was already in serious trouble brought on by the divine judgments of God. It appears that these are classed in several types:
1. Personal items of jewelry
2. Articles used for furniture
3. Nice smelling and tasting things
4. Food
5. Animals
6. Souls of men
What significance this has, I do not know; unless, it means worldly things. Most of these are things a person could do without if hard times came and you had to, even maybe the food for awhile.
This "souls of men", is one of the more interesting. In the days of the old Roman Empire, they sold people as you would animals. Perhaps that is what is meant there. They thought no more about selling a person than they did a pair of shoes.
It appears to me, in all of this that trade has just about ceased, period. Probably, all the plagues and wars have just about stopped everything. And the merchandise that was available before are now gone and will never ever be available again. The commercial system is completely shut down and that reality is about to be made manifest.
It will probably be a time when it will be next to impossible to even find enough to feed your family. Even if you did find enough for them to eat, it would probably take all you could possibly make just to have even bread for your family.
This is probably the time when a loaf of bread would cost a whole day's wages. There will be no money at all left for niceties.
Even if you have a tremendous amount of money, there will be great shortages of real items necessary to live on not to mention the things the rich consume will be entirely unavailable. Here, we see such great fear from these merchants who used to sell their merchandise at tremendous, outrageous profits. Like today when many get rich from oil by taking advantage of those who can't afford the inflated prices. And that includes the government who adds very high taxes to every gallon of gas. When this horrible punishment comes, it will put the fear of God on those looking on. It is about time that someone begins to fear.
These merchants weep because their materialistic passions can no longer be fulfilled. The weeping that begins then will last for eternity in hell.
These greedy merchants are a classic illustration of those in all times who gain the whole world only to end up forfeiting their own souls. These items were common commodities in the ancient world and were the source of great immense financial gain. Those materialistic, unrepentant people mourn as God brings His judgment against Babylon, knowing these items will never be found again.
Sea captains… sailors, and others in navigational occupations will lament in similar fashion: Woe! Woe, O great city… ! (Rev_18:19) All three groups — kings, merchants, and sailors — speak of her destruction as sudden: in one hour (Rev_18:10, Rev_18:17, Rev_18:19). As the world mourns the destruction of Babylon, the saints are told to rejoice because God has judged her for the way she treated you (Rev_18:20). In one Hour: The destruction will come suddenly and quickly. The world's pagan economic system will collapse. They cast dust on their heads as a sign of mourning and sorrow (v.19; Job. 2:12; lam. 2:10; Ezek. 27:30). God hath avenged you on her: God at last judges the Babylonian system for its treatment of God's people, particularly those who are martyred during the Tribulation (Rev. 6:9-11). The people cry and are amazed as they see this destruction taking place before their eyes. Casting dust on their heads is a typical ancient expression of grief. These last few scriptures state sailors, but could mean any system of transportation and delivery systems of today such as planes, trains, trucks ect. All of these services would be immediately shut down if the commercial system was destroyed including banking and computers.
Consider what would happen if there was no more electrical system available.
God has taken vengeance on the ones who killed his prophets and apostles and even his blessed Son. Finally, all of those martyred by these have been avenged.
The long awaited moment of vindication, retribution and vengeance for which the martyred tribulation believers had prayed for in chapter 6 verses 9 -10 and for which all the redeemed have hoped, that time has arrived.
These final verses picture from within the results of the collapse of the Babylonian system. The finality of its destruction is shown by the six fold repetition of the phrase "no more at all". The stone cast into the sea depicts the violence and permanence of the destruction. The Babylonian system began in Genesis 10, and has continued uninterrupted in one form or another to the present day. But one day it will suddenly "sink," never to return.
In verses 23b, 24, three reasons are given for the destruction of Babylon: (1) its arrogance, (2) Its deception of the nations, and (3) its persecution and martyrdom of God's people.
Revelation 18:21-24

The final and violent destruction of the city is compared to throwing a large millstone… into the sea (Rev_18:21). "sea" sometimes means masses of people but I do not believe that is the meaning here. Whether this is only a real city, (rebuilt Babylon) or a sinful commercial, social and political system that corrupts the entire world which is being destroyed here, this is speaking of total destruction. More than likely both these are speaking of both as the two can be easily associated. This millstone here is similar to the one spoken of as being around a neck and thrown into the sea.
In the light of this Scripture, this is a really bad punishment. I believe this illustration is to show the finality of this judgment of God. We must remember Babylon is destroyed by God Himself, not by the devil.
The lament follows that those who once characterized the city — harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, and workmen of any trade (Rev_18:22) — will not be seen in the city again. Literally everything grinds to a halt everywhere. Babylon will be completely and so thoroughly destroyed that it will never rise again as predicted by the Old Testament prophets. Isaiah in Chapter 13 verses 19-21: "And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' Excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah." "It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there." "But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there." Nor will there be light and the joy of weddings (Rev_18:23). The reason for her judgment is that by her magic spell (pharmakeia; cf. Rev_9:21) all the nations were led astray from God (Rev_18:23; cf. Rev_17:2), and she was guilty of murdering prophets and… saints (Rev_18:24; cf. Rev_17:6). Three final reasons are given for Babylon's judgment. Notice that the merchants are mentioned as the great men of the earth. That's why this is talking of a commercial system as well as a political system. They are not from the city of Babylon, but from all parts of the earth.
First, they use their wealth to ascent to positions of power, prominence and influence. The abuses of the proud, arrogant rich are well documented in scripture. James, Isaiah and Amos condemned the rich for their self aggrandizement and maltreatment of the poor.
Second is all the nations were deceived by her sorcery. Sorcery is from pharmakeia, the root word of the English words "pharmacy" and "pharmaceuticals". The word is used in the New Testament to refer to magic and occult practices. (Gal. 5 v.20)
Babylon's hold on the world will not be entirely due to her military and economic power, but also to her occult influence.
A final reason given for Babylon's judgment is her murderous slaughter of God's people.
The question remains as to what city is in view here. A common view is that it refers to the city of Rome, because of the prominence of Rome as the seat of the Roman Catholic Church and the capital of the ancient Roman Empire. Some find confirmation of this in the fact that the kings and sea merchants will be able to see the smoke of the burning of the city (Rev_18:9, Rev_18:18).
Other evidence seems to point to the fact that it is Babylon itself, located on the Euphrates River, which in the end time will be converted into a ship-bearing river. When all the evidence is studied, the conclusion seems to point to Babylon being rebuilt as the capital of the world empire in the end time rather than to Rome in Italy. Bible expositors, however, continue to be divided on this question.
The events of Rev_17:1-18 will be fulfilled at the midpoint of the seven years, whereas the events of Rev_18:1-24 will occur at the end of the seven years, immediately before the second coming of Christ. The destruction of the city of Babylon is the final blow to the times of the Gentiles, which began when the Babylonian army attacked Jerusalem in 605 b.c. (cf. Luk_21:24).
With Rev_17:1-18 and Rev_18:1-24 giving additional insight and information concerning the earth’s major religious and political movements during that final seven years, the stage is now set for the climax of the Book of Revelation — the second coming of Christ (Rev_19:1-21).
Now let's go back and read the end of chapter 16 starting with verse 17 through verse 21.
This is starting when the Angel pours our the seventh vial or bowl judgment which is the last of the 21 plaques of Revelation right before the second coming of Jesus and the battle of Armageddon.
• 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
• 16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightning’s; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, [and] so great.
• 16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
• 16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
• 16:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, [every stone] about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
Notice that not only Babylon fell, but also the cities of the nations as well, v.19.
Also don't forget the earth is already reeling from the thunders and lightings not to mention the biggest earthquake the world has even know.
Then the great hail that weight about a talent each (100 pounds each). This hail is totally capable of destroying cities with no problem at all.
And verse 20 tells us that every island fled away and the mountains were no longer found. This is the worst plague of the 21 by far as it completely destroys the political, commercial system called Babylon the Great from off the earth. Not to mention that this is the end of the earth as we have known it as it now has been completely leveled and is ready for the renewal process that's coming.
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Prophetic Times To The End Part Twenty-five
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