Revelation Chapter Eighteen


Introduction: Again it seems to be helpful to put Revelation Eighteen in its proper place in the flow of history. Revelation Fourteen through Sixteen discuss the close of probation through the Seven Last Plagues. Revelation chapters Seventeen through nineteen go back and identify the processes in which the Beast, the Image to the Beast, and the World come to their fruition in rebellion against Jesus and thus become eligible for the Seven Last Plagues. Revelation Seventeen covers the development of the Image to the Beast and Revelation Eighteen will cover the development of the World in relationship with the Image to the Beast.

 1And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.

Author: Another angel comes to give its message and this angel, in this case, God’s people enlightened with the final messages of God, are granted great power to share their message with the world. They did such a good job that God says that the whole earth was lightened with the glory of this message, just as the Apostles carried the message of God to the whole world in their day. (Acts 17:6; Romans 1:8).

 2And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

Author: The angels, God’s people, cry out that the great apostate church system, called Babylon in Revelation 17:5, is fallen, is fallen. (See Revelation 14:8 for this is a repeat of this message). This message is a repeat of the message of Isaiah 21:1-9 where Babylon will fall by the hand of the Medes and Persians. (Daniel 5:30-31). God also adds that the fall of Babylon is because it has become the holding place devils, and every foul spirit, and everything unclean and hateful. The frogs of Revelation 16:13-14 have accomplished their work and the prophecy of Jeremiah 5:19-31 is fulfilled. The false church, the Synagogue of Satan (Revelation 2:9 and 3:9), is filled with rebellious behaviors of people claiming to be of God but living a life dedicated to things devoted to the worship of Satan. They offer up their incense of evil to their God. (See the issue of God smelling their incense in Early Writings 274, 277).

 3For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

Author: All of the rebellious behaviors, as described in Jeremiah 5:19-31, are part of the wine of the wrath of Babylon’s fornication with the kings of the earth. The merchants, those who sell a false doctrine of truth, are waxed rich through communion with this apostate church state connection.

 4And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Author: Yet God says He still has people in Babylon that will respond to the gospel call, the Loud Cry of Daniel 11:44; Matthew 25:5-13. This text shows that this time period comes before the Seven Last Plagues for probation is still open to receive His people lest they be partakers of the sins of Babylon and receive of her plagues.

This call to come out of Babylon was received by Abraham, by the Children of Abraham/Israel when they came out of Egypt, and when the Children of Abraham/Israel when they came out of literal Babylon in Ezra 1-2, and when the Children of Abraham/Israel came out of fallen Jerusalem in Acts 1-5; and when the Children of Abraham/Israel came out of the fallen churches in the time of 1840-1844. (See Jeremiah 50-51 and 51:6 specifically).

 5For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

Author: The message is that Babylon’s sins have come up before God (Genesis 18:20-21) and God says that He remembers their sins. The sins of His people He forgets for they have been washed away in the blood of the Lamb. (Hebrews 10:16-17; Revelation 7:14; Zechariah 3:1-8; Acts 4:19).

 6Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.

Author: God’s judgment will be upon Babylon, as she treated Israel, both historically and in the last days, she will be judged worthy to receive a double portion of suffering, even as her works have declared.(Exodus 22:4-9; Isaiah 40:2; Jeremiah 16:14-21; 17:9-18). God declares that Babylon has sinned and must be punished double for her sins.

 7How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

Author: Both Babylon of old, and Jerusalem when in rebellion, said these same things. “I can wander away from my husband (God) and nothing will ever happen to me.” (Isaiah 47:1-15; Lamentations 1 & 2). But God tells her, and thus He tells us, that if we turn away from Him we will see sorrow and see it abundantly. Rebellion brings no peace to the wicked. Isaiah 48:22.

 8Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.

Author: God says that the judgment that comes upon Babylon will come rapidly and there will be death and mourning. She shall be utterly burned with fire as her rebellious ancestors were in the Old Testament. (Nehemiah 1:3; Isaiah 1:7-21; Jeremiah 38:1-23; Jeremiah 51:1-58).

 9And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,

Author: The kings of this Earth are sad because they see the smoke of her burning and they recognize that she has been judged. But if possible they would return to her and partake of her delicacies again, for these kings remain unconverted. They are not sorry for their sins, or the sins of Babylon, but they are sorry that they can’t commit fornication with her anymore.

 10Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

Author: See the same kind of behavior regarding other great cities and their destruction for evil behaviors. (Nineveh – capital city of the Assyrian nation Jonah 1:2; 3:1-10; 4:11; Tyre – the great sea faring city – Ezekiel 26:1-28:10; Babylon – Jeremiah 50-51).

 11And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

Author: The merchants of the Earth are sad because no one is buying their wares, they are not sad because of their sins, and they do not repent.

 12The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,

 13And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

Author: In the above list there are many items that are sanctuary items but the last two are slaves and the souls of men, the goal of the deliverance promised by Jesus in the sanctuary. The merchants of the earth are willing to compromise any and every principle of God in order to make a profit. They are willing to lie, cheat, steal, and deceive in every way possible to increase their wealth. They are not willing to surrender to Jesus to get His help in order to be good businessmen. They are even willing to send people to hell to make money. (See Ezekiel 27, James 5:1-6).

 14And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.

Author: Since the merchants of the Earth have not sought Jesus they can not receive the gift of His Holy Spirit which would lead them to find the goodly things of God.

 15The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,

Author: The rich men will weep and wail for the punishment of Babylon, but they also will receive their punishment for they have not sough deliverance by Jesus.

 16And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!

Author: They have been pleased the pretended righteousness of Babylon, especially her wonderful pretentious false sanctuary system of line of Egypt and all of the precious stones without a connection with Jesus. (Proverbs 7:6-27, see verse 16).

 17For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

Author: When God’s judgments come it will happen in a short time. Those who traded on the prophetic seas of the world, and saw the things of God and the Synagogue of Satan, have made their choices and now will receive their punishment as Babylon received hers.

 18And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

Author: This cry of “What city is like unto this great city” is the testimony that they are enthralled with the great city of this earth – Babylon the great harlot. They are not interested in the great city of the New Jerusalem. They have chosen the flesh and ignored the Spirit of God. They have chosen the Earth and they will receive their punishment commensurate to their rejection of Jesus. (Daniel 9:16; Galatians 4:21-31; Hebrews 11:10-16; Revelation 21:1-2).

 19And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

Author: The people of the world are sad for that great city and again testify of their rejection of Jesus and His Great City.

 20Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

Author: In Revelation 6:9-11 the Saints, and Apostles, and God’s holy peoples have cried out to God wondering when they would be avenged by God. In verse 20 that time will come. Vengeance is God’s only He is wise enough and loving enough to handle this delicate question in a manner to glorify His own name, and accomplish the justice that needs to be done.

 21And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

Author: This text takes us back to the prophecies against Babylon in Jeremiah 51:61-64. God will address the great city and will destroy it as He did to Egypt in Nehemiah 9:11.

 22And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;

 23And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

Author: When God’s Spirit is no longer present then the benefits of society will not longer be available to the people of this Earth. They have rejected God and the blessings of life will no longer be found in the Earth.

 24And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

Author: As in Jerusalem of old, the bloody city (Ezekiel 22, 24; Matthew 23:33-39), the great harlot of Isaiah 1:21; so like Nineveh of old (Nahum 3); so will Babylon be like their mothers. She is a harlot because she has turned away from Jesus as Jerusalem, and Nineveh did. The punishment will be her rejection by Jesus and they will suffer the fires of coming of Jesus. (II Thessalonians 1:7-12).

Summary: Friends we must remember that Revelation is the story of how the church, and the world, have chosen the things of this world and have rejected the gifts of God. The “Great City” is the metaphor through which this discussion takes place. Through history each nation has developed a city which symbolized who and what that nation, and thus that people, represented. Each city is given the opportunity, as is each individual in that city (see Rahab in Jericho Joshua 2-6), to choose what city they want to participate in. Each city, from the time of Cain (Genesis 4:17) to the time of “Mystery, Babylon the Great” (Revelation 17:5) has made this decision, to accept Jesus, or to reject Him.

As Israel of old (Galatians 4:25) chose to view their city, Jerusalem, as heaven on Earth (Desire of Ages page 29) so every other nation, kindred, tongue, and people, has decided to choose heaven on earth in their view of their city, or they looked to that Great City – Jerusalem actually in heaven (Galatians 4:26; Hebrews 11:8-16; Revelation 21:1-2), to be the focus of their life. The ruler of each city, Christ or Satan, is calling you to choose today, which will you choose?