Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Destruction Of Babylon

Revelation 18:1-24

“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.  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.” (Revelation 18:1-2)

Another angel appears whose glory is so great he light the whole earth, announcing the destruction of Babylon.  His description of its destruction is a fulfillment of Isaiah 13:19-22.  “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.  And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.”  When Babylon is destroyed by God it will never again be inhabited by people, not even by a wandering Arab shepherd. 

“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.” (Revelation 18:3)

False religion originated in Babylon when they built the tower of Babel as a way to reach heaven without god in Genesis 11.  In Daniel 3 they threatened to kill any who didn’t bow to the golden statue.  Under the false prophet they will again force people to worship their false god according to Revelation 13:15.  “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” 

All the nations of the world will yield to Babylon’s demands in an effort to gain the financial and political benefits of associating with her, including her religious demands.  Jeremiah 51:7 says, “Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD'S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.”  Even the so-called “Christian” nations will give up their personal freedoms for Babylon’s approval.  The result will be a period of worldwide prosperity. 

“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.  For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.  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.” (Revelation 18:4-6)

Christians and Jews will be drawn to Babylon because of her prosperity.  God warns not to fall for the allure because God is going to judge her.  If they go, they risk falling into the same mindset as Lot in Sodom, losing his own moral standards and his testimony with his family.  God warned the church of Thyatira of the consequences of going along with false religion.

“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.  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.” (Revelation 18:7-8)

Because they will be so powerful politically, Babylon will think they have everything under control and will be shocked and unprepared to protect themselves from attack.  Their defenses will be completely destroyed and the city burned.  They will be unable to save anything. 
“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, 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.” (Revelation 18:9-10)

The governments of that day will be upset when Babylon is destroyed because it will mean the loss of much of their influence.  At the same time they will hate her demands, eventually destroying her to get out from under her domination.  Revelation 17:16-17 says, “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.  For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.”  Babylon will be destroyed for her abuse of power, and no one will come to her rescue because they are afraid the others will turn on them.

“And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The 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, And 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.  And 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.” (Revelation 18:11-14)

Babylon will be the biggest market for all kinds of luxuries, and every day goods.  They will trade for everything including livestock, weapons, slaves, and religious beliefs of men.  When Babylon is destroyed all those markets will disappear.   The entire world’s economy will suffer a tremendous recession as a result.

 “The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, And 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!  For 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, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!  And 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.” (Revelation 18:15-19)

The recession affects not only the producers, but the lack of demand affects to fuel producers and the shipping companies.  The whole world will regret the decision to eliminate Babylon, realizing it has caused many of their problems.   

“Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.” (Revelation 18:20)

Those who have suffered most as a result of Babylon’s power and wickedness will be free to rejoice over her destruction. Knowing she has received fitting judgment and will never again harm other people. 

“And 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.  And 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; And 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. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” (Revelation 18:21-24)

When it is destroyed, Babylon will never be occupied.  The prophecies of Isaiah 13 and 14, and of Jeremiah 50 and 51 will be fulfilled.

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