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Revelation 18:1-10 “Warnings To Depart From Babylon (1)”

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SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

Rev 18:1-10

(1)  And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
(2)  And 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.
(3)  For 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.
(4)  And 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.
(5)  For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
(6)  Reward 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.
(7)  How 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.
(8)  Therefore 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.
(9)  And 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,
(10)  Standing 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.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

In chapter 17: we took a step back and reviewed the identity and characteristics of Satan’s kingdom.  In this text, we have the two aspects of Satan’s kingdom symbolized by the two main characters being presented to us… “the Great Whore” (the religious aspects of Satan’s kingdom) and “the Scarlet Colored Beast” (the political aspects of Satan’s kingdom).

[Please note Revelation 13: where the “Great Whore” in this passage symbolized as the “Beast from the Earth”, while the “Scarlet Beast”  is symbolized as the “Beast from the Sea”.  This description also links these to a description of Satan as the scarlet dragon with 7 heads and 10 horns in Rev 12:]

In chapter 18: we will see warnings that are given to mankind to depart from these kingdoms that are destined to fall under the hand of Almighty God.

A brief outline of chapter 18:

Chapter 18:  The Warnings To Depart From Satan’s Kingdom

18:1-3 – Announcement Of Babylon’s Fall
18:4-8 – Warning To God’s People
18:9-10 – Warning To Kings
18:11-17a – Warning To Merchants
18:17b-20 – Warning To Mariners
18:21-24 – Angel With The Millstone

 

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Rev 18:1-10

(1)  And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.   (2)  And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying,

Perhaps this is the same angel that we saw in 5:2 and 18:21.  In both of these texts we find an angel that makes very important announcements, and it is said to be done with “a strong voice”.

He is described as:

  1. come down from heaven – he is working on behalf of God Himself, proclaiming the Lord’s great victory
  2. having great power (authority) – he possessed the very authority from God to make this important announcement
  3. the earth was lightened with his glory – being God’s representative, his message and work is to be honored. His announcement brought the words of God into the world resulting in the enlightenment of this world.

(Either this angel is symbolically teaching us this message of victory comes from God Himself, or perhaps, this angel is symbolic of Christ Jesus declaring His victory over the powers of darkness.  Please note all three descriptive phrases concerning this angel could easily be referring to Christ (Ezek 43:2).  In any case, the most important point is that the message being delivered has a divine sinless origin that is the complete absolute truth.)

 

The angel now forcefully screams out with a large, loud voice, commanding everyone’s attention…

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. 

In this text, the beast from the earth, the false religions of this world are described as “Babylon” which means “confusion” or “the seat of confusion”.  This is because, joining with the beast from the sea (the political kingdoms of this world) they wreak havoc through the attempted confusion to all mankind.

Just as Satan confused Eve in the garden, so too, Satan’s kingdoms seek to confuse all mankind.

The mighty Babylon (the seat of confusion) has been brought down.  It has become desolate of anything good and profitable for mankind.  She has fallen to the wrath of God and her teachings and works have been made desolate and vain.

It is now become:

  1. “the habitation of devils” – the dwelling place of demons and the powers of darkness
  2. “the hold of every foul spirit” – the burrow of every dirty, sinful spirit
  3. “a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” – the prison holding every impure and opposing bird (Note in Matt 13:4 – birds are symbols of powers of darkness.)

 

Babylon’s defeat pictured as desolation (Isa 13:19-22, 34:11; Jer 50:39)

 

Why did God’s wrath fall against Babylon bringing her to defeat?

(3)  For 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.

“Fornication” comes from the Greek word for “uncleanness”.  In the Bible, it is used to describe a variety of sinful actions and desires.  Here, we can see that the sinful union between the false religions and the nations of the world are placed into view.

The religious powers have deceived lost mankind and lost mankind has willingly joined with them to further their cause.    They are described as:

  1. “becoming drunken” – no self-control, no shame, destructive
  2. “committed fornication”- union that is sinful by nature, against the will and purposes of the Lord
  3. “waxed rich” – prosperous, successful, wealthy

 

Based upon Babylon’s defeat, sinful nature, and unclean fruits, the Lord now graciously gives warning to any who might be misled to join up with her.  There will be a total of 4 warnings given to four different groups:

18:4-8 – Warning To God’s People;        18:9-10 – Warning To Kings;      18:11-17a – Warning To Merchants;

18:17b-20 – Warning To Mariners

(Note that much of the content of these warnings come from Ezek 26-28.)

 

(4)  And 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.  (5)  For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

Warning to God’s people…

Please notice “MY people” implies God is speaking.  He commands for them to “come out of her”, in other words… separate yourselves from her.  In doing so, they will avoid having part in her sins and then, not receiving her punishments.   God knows her sins and will not forget her acts of disobedience.

This message of separation from the sinful people and groups in the world is taught throughout the Bible.  In the Old Testament, it was symbolized by the Jews separating themselves from the idolatrous Gentile nations around her.  In the New Testament, we find many instructions to Christians to remain separated and live lives of holiness for Christ…

2Co 6:14-18 – “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,  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.“ 

1Pe 2:9 – “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” 

 

(6)  Reward 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.

Since God knows her sinful deeds and motives, He is capable of giving back in return her deeds upon her head.  In 17:4 we saw her deeds were described as “abominations” and “fornications”.

These two-fold sins, will deserve a two-fold judgment…

Jer 16:18 – “And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with the carcases of their detestable and abominable things.”

Keep in mind that “to fill her double” refers to bringing to total defeat, destruction…

Jer 17:18 – “Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded: let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed: bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.”

 

(7)  How 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.

The sins of the false religions of the world include a glorification of herself and abuse of her followers.  She does both of these to receive the fulfillment of her sinful desires and sinful pleasures. She is prideful, thinks she is above judgment, and lacks of concern for her future welfare and the welfare of her followers.

Because of her sinful acts, attitudes and motivations, the Lord promises to place upon her torment (rubs her against touchstone) and sorrow (mourning).   In other words, the Lord will rub her raw and cause her to mourn greatly for all the harm she has done.  This takes place at her defeat at the Battle of Armageddon (Rev 19:11-20a) and throughout eternity in the Lake of Fire (Rev 19:20b-21).

 

(8)  Therefore 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.

Her sins bring upon her sudden judgment (in one day) with no remedy.  Her judgments will bring upon her:

  1. “death” – separation from riches, power, destruction,
  2. “mourning” – sorrow due to her great loss of all she possesses
  3. “famine” – great hunger to regain that which was lost
  4. “utterly burned with fire” – God’s judgment at Armageddon and throughout eternity in Lake of Fire.

Her desolation and destruction will be complete and never remedied.

The Lord, by His grace, wants to stop these judgments from falling upon His people, that is why He has so graciously given them a warning to remain separated from her seductive influences in this world.

Note there is a similar picture given to us in the account of Sodom and Gomorrah:

Vs 4 – Saints removed – Gen 19:15-17
Vs 5-6 – Judgment falling based upon their sinful works – Gen 18:20-21
Vs 7 – Self-Righteous, Self-Reliance – Gen 19:4-11
Vs 8 – Judgment By Fire – Gen 19:23-28

 

(9)  And 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,  (10)  Standing 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.

Warning  to the kings of the earth..

The Lord now warns the political authority holders of the world to stay away from her influences.  When joining with her they are said to be committing uncleanness (fornication) and living in luxury (deliciously) .    When she is judged, these political powers will cry out in sorrow and loss knowing that their sinful pleasures and indulgences will now come to an end and she is now answering to God for her sins.

It will be at that time that they will then hypocritically separate themselves from her in fear that they will receive the judgment that she is currently experiencing.    Stop and think about this.  As long as they received fulfillment of their fleshly desires and goals they stayed in a close relationship with her, but once they could no longer gain form their relationship with her, they selfishly deserted her.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

Christ is revealed in this passage as the patient, merciful Lord that warns mankind of the powers of wickedness and the horrible eternal consequences of joining with them.  Think about it.  The Lord could easily step back and allow mankind to continue choosing to follow the powers that will lead to their ultimate destruction.  But He does not.  Instead, He mercifully gives all men a clear warning of the dangers of joining with these sinful world powers.

Truly our Lord is a longsuffering Lord who gives mankind ample warnings and opportunities to avoid His wrath that is to come.

Psa 86:15-16 – “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.   O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.”

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

May we all take the patient mercy of the Lord very seriously and not abuse His longsuffering towards us.  Although He patiently waits for men to come to Him, He will not always withhold His wrath…

Nah 1:3 – “The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.”

 

May we all very quickly take advantage of the Lord’s invitation to come to Him in repentance and faith, knowing that He is waiting to receive any that will come to Him in Godly sorrow, repentance and faith…

Joe 2:12-14 – “Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:   And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.   Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?”

 

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2 Comments

  1. SLIMJIM says:

    Thank you for this study

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