1. We now go from taking a look at the “mystery” Babylon from Chapter 17 to the actual city and its fall in this chapter. It is a real place, not an allegory. Remember Satan was cast out of Heaven from accusing us day and night back in Chapter 12 where we read about that. Babylon will be an attempt by Satan to build something rivaling the New Jerusalem. Satan always tries to copy-cat and this is no different. Note that there are some similarities between the false religious system Mystery Babylon and the city Babylon. They are both ruled by the Antichrist, they both are full of blasphemies and ruling like gods, and they both come under judgment from God and are destroyed. But the similarity stops there and we see that the city Babylon is referred to as Babylon the Great. How great they tried to make this city back in Genesis will be a drop in the bucket to this revived empire.
2. John begins by saying “after these things” which shows this is in direct correlation to what happened in Chapter 17, tying firmly the religious whore of Babylon to what we will now see as a world economic system which also is Babylon. We begin by seeing another angel that is coming to take out this economic stronghold Satan has built. The description of this angel says he has great authority and illuminates the earth. I say this suggests that he must have come directly from the presence of God, and with his authority he announces the fall of Babylon, the great city. The description of its fallen state being that of a habitation of devils, a hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird, coincides with prophecy found in Isaiah 13:19-22 and Jeremiah 50:38-40. Yes, God as always will hold true to His word. This is going to have a huge effect for as we see, all have become drunk on her blasphemous wine; nations, kings, and merchants.
3. A voice from Heaven tells those who are following Christ during this time to come out of her, to leave, to flee. Those who profess Christ will have enough going on in their lives than to be around and possibly partake of Babylon’s sinful ways as well as the plagues about to hit this place. It’s about to get ugly. God confused Babylon’s language the first time around; He’s about to burn it to the ground this time, and how so! In verse six, we see that the blasphemous cup Babylon has made the world drunken with in its persecution of God’s people and promoting the Antichrist is about to be repaid…..double!!!
4. We see she has placed herself on a pedestal saying she is no widow, which means she owes nothing to anyone, nor does she feel sorrow. She is about to be humbled and humiliated with torment and sorrow. The destruction of the haughty system is going to be delivered in one hour, meaning VERY quickly. Burned to the ground. Just as the news of the two prophets went worldwide and caused joy and the sending of gifts around the globe, in opposite fashion the kings (rulers) of the earth will mourn. Their cash cow is gone. This will be no small thing as the smoke of an entire city that is burning billows into the sky. When you think back to the smoke and darkness caused by events like Mount Saint Helens volcano, or even the twin towers crumbling, multiply that exponentially when it is an entire city from one end to the other in ruins.
5. We see in verse 10 that these staunch supporters are filled with fear with the quickness and severity of Babylon’s destruction and won’t even get close. They stand back. But it’s not just the nations and rulers that mourn, merchants whose livelihood and fortunes were built around this economic hub will be crushed. You’ve never seen a stock market crash like this one! These businessmen will cry and look, some in person from a distance, and some probably on television in disbelief and horror. The fine linen, purple, and scarlet this city was so proud of being adorned in, as we saw a description of previously, certainly won’t match at all. Gone, forever.
6. It doesn’t stop there. The shipmasters who transport things to and from Babylon will be heart-broken as well. There jobs gone in the instant it took God to pour His judgment out on this city. Again we see, these who loved this city so, stand at a distance, fearful of getting anywhere close to it. An interesting quote comes in verse 18 as they ask, “What is like this great city?” This is similar to what was said about Tyre in Ezekiel 27:32, as people have placed all their stock, wonder, awe, and trust in this place….and it’s gone. In verse 19 we see it is desolate. Imagine how much wind gets knocked out of the Antichrist and his followers with this. All the disasters that have taken place, 1/3 of the ships sinking, the sea turning to blood, and now Babylon burning has got to be devastating to these people who were focused on the wrong thing anyway.
7. In verse 20, we see an interesting comparison is made where we see three who mourn (kings, merchants, shipmasters) and three who rejoice (Heaven, prophets, apostles). God has delivered just as we all knew He would. Then we see an example of the quick, sudden, sever, and permanent judgment on Babylon as a mighty angel casts what is like a huge millstone into the sea. The violent and eternal destruction of Babylon has come. You could hear a pin drop….if there were someone around to drop one. Nothing and no-one will remain. Nothing resembling a vibrant city will ever be seen, not even a light from a candle. Much blood is found on Babylon’s hands. Just as stones were stacked upon each other to build the Tower of Babel long ago, her sins continued to stack one on another, heaping up, until God said “ENOUGH”. There is no question who is in control. God you reign!!!.
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