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Babylon Is Fallen Part 5

The Book of Revelation  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts
Introduction:
I. Judgment Pronounced (vs. 1-2)
II. Judgment Avoided (vs. 3-5)
III. Judgment Defined (vs. 6-8)
IV. Judgment Lamented (vs. 9-19)
Nothing more clearly reveals a total hardness of heart than the lack of sorrow for sins committed.
Through all the devastating judgment that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, sinners will relentlessly refuse to lament over their sin.
But while they will not lament over their own sins and wickedness, they will mourn over the destruction of Babylon.
Now, keep in mind that even though Babylon is a picture or an image of the final world empire of the AntiChrist, it is a real city with real activity.
I want you to understand that this is not some image or depiction of a city but it is an actual city, with actual rulers and actual activity of buying and selling and carrying on other type of business.
When this glorious centerpiece, the empire of AntiChrist is destroyed, there will be worldwide dismay and mourning.
John, in his vision, sees three classes of mourners that, while they mourn over different things, all share the same common agenda.
The Kings of the Earth (vs. 9)
Revelation 18:9 AV
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,
Remember these guys?
Revelation 17:12 AV
And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
Back when the angel was describing the image that John saw of the beast, he saw that the beast will have ten horns.
And the angel explained to John that the horns that you saw are going to be ten kings.
“They have received no kingdom as yet”, meaning that this is future but they will.
And we told you back when we studied Chapter 17 that it is possible what is in reference here is the fact that at this time the earth will divided in ten sections on the globe.
And that they AntiChrist will establish these ten kings to rule over the ten section of the globe.
These will be the kings that are going to mourn over the destruction of Babylon; as well as all the other rulers that are under these ten rulers.
The text tells us that these rulers are the ones that committed fornication with Babylon.
And we told you when we were studying verse 3 that what that is telling us is that they went after to worship the empire of AntiChrist.
And whenever you fail to worship truly the one true God, you are guilty of spiritual fornication.
That is the idea here.
And the angel is reminding John what these rulers of the earth have done and why there destruction was vital and justified, even though they lament.
2 Chronicles 21:11 AV
Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto.
High places speaks of altars to false gods.
And God likened the worship of false gods on high places to fornication; spiritual fornication.
Exodus 34:15 AV
Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;
Leviticus 20:6 AV
And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.
Deuteronomy 31:16 AV
And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.
God has always compared going after false deities as sexual sin, but just in the spiritual sense.
Notice, again, what the text says.
Revelation 18:9 AV
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,
Revelation 18:10 AV
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.
They were only in the relationship with Babylon because of what they could get out of it, as we will see, so when their “meal ticket” was in trouble where do we find them; “standing afar off”.
Why?
“For fear of her torment”.
They stood a far off because they did not want any of the torment that Babylon was experiencing to flow over onto them.
Now, admittedly, the fact that Babylon was able, by the Sovereign decree of God, to survive the devastations of the tribulation up to this point makes them look like a strong city.
And so all that does is add to the shock of the kings of the earth that have gone after here to worship her when she is destroyed.
“In one hour” indicates for us the swiftness that the kingdom of the AntiChrist will fall.
The angel predicted it.
Revelation 18:8 AV
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.
2. The Merchants on the Earth (vs. 11)
Revelation 18:11 AV
And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
The Merchants have one reason and one reason only that they mourn over the fallen empire of Satan.
Because it was going to cost them money.
These people are not really going to be as dedicated to the AntiChrist as they would have people to believe.
All they are concerned about is what they can get out of the relationship.
That is why the tells the reason for their sorrow was because they industry was gone.
Then follows a list of 28 items that are in a merchant cargo.

These items were common commodities in the ancient world (many of them are included on the list in Ezek. 27:12–24) and were the source of immense financial gain. They are only representative of the great wealth of Antichrist’s future commercial empire.

John Phillips writes:

What a catalog of opulence! What a vivid picture of a great, commercial city, trafficking in every luxury the heart could desire. This is the world’s great Vanity Fair. It offers articles of adornment and display, beautiful things to grace the mansions of the world’s millionaires. It deals in exotic spices and perfumes, in delicacies for the table, in provisions for banquets, in slaves, and in the souls of men. And Babylon imported all these things.… Babylon’s demand for this world’s goods was insatiable; ever it clamored for more and more!

Revelation 18:14 AV
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.

All of the city’s luxurious and splendid (Gk., lampros, a word that may refer to clothing) possessions have passed away from her and men will no longer find them. They will be gone forever as God bankrupts the system. The words no longer translate a double double negative in the Greek text, which is the strongest form of negation in the Greek language. That indicates these items will never be found again.

Revelation 18:15 AV
The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
Revelation 18:15-17
Revelation 18:15–17 AV
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,
3.

They weep and mourn, not out of some emotional sympathy for the decimated city, but because with its collapse they have been stripped of the key source of their financial resources. The merchants lament because their materialistic passions can no longer be fulfilled. The weeping that begins then will last for eternity in hell (Matt. 8:12; 13:42, 50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30). These greedy merchants are the classic illustration of all those in all times who gain the whole world, but forfeit their souls (Mark 8:36).

Mark 8:36 AV
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
3. Merchants of the Sea (vs. 17-19)
Revelation 18:17–19 AV
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 18:17-19

In addition to her political and economic importance, Babylon will also be an important distribution center. With its destruction, there will be no more goods to be transported by those who make their living by the sea. Like the rulers and merchants, the sailors were careful to stand at a safe distance from the city. As they gazed on the ruined city they were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, “What city is like the great city?” Their lament is reminiscent of the proud boast of Antichrist’s deluded followers in 13:4, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” But the seemingly indestructible city is already destroyed before their eyes, and its seemingly invincible ruler will shortly meet his end (19:20).

Then, in a typical ancient expression of grief, the sailors threw dust on their heads (cf. Josh. 7:6; 1 Sam. 4:12; 2 Sam. 1:2; 15:32; Job 2:12; Lam. 2:10; Ezek. 27:30). Like the rulers (vv. 9–10) and the merchants (vv. 15–16), they too will cry out, “Woe, woe, the great city.” That is an expression of pain, suffering, and grief, but not of repentance. The sailors do not mourn over their sins, or those of Babylon, but because of their lost business, since all who had ships at sea became rich by Babylon’s wealth. Like the rulers (v. 10) and the merchants (v. 17), the sailors also express amazement at the swiftness of Babylon’s downfall, exclaiming, “In one hour she has been laid waste!” In an astonishingly short period of time, the city that was the source of their wealth was destroyed.

V. Judgment Enjoyed (vs. 20)
Revelation 18:20 AV
Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

Heaven will have quite a different perspective on Babylon’s judgment than that of Antichrist’s earthly followers. The angel who began speaking in verse 4 then addressed the redeemed in heaven: the saints (a general term for all believers) and apostles and prophets (the special class of saints given to the church, as indicated in Eph. 2:20; 4:11). He calls on them to rejoice over Babylon’s fall, because God has pronounced judgment for them against her. The long-awaited moment of vindication, retribution, and vengeance, for which the martyred Tribulation believers prayed (6:9–10) and for which all the redeemed hoped, will have arrived. Heaven rejoices, not over the damnation of sinners, but because of the triumph of righteousness, the exaltation of Jesus Christ, the elimination of His enemies, and the arrival of His kingdom on the earth.

VI. Judgment Completed (vs. 21-23)
Revelation 18:21–23 AV
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.
Picture of Millstone
In a single dramatic act another angel picks up a great millsone, (four to five feet in diameter, a foot thick and very heavy), and threw it into the sea as a dramatic picture of Babylon’s destruction.
In a single moment just as the stone disappears into the water, so will Babylon disappear.
A similar demonstration predicted the doom of Babylon.
Jeremiah 51:61–64 AV
And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When thou comest to Babylon, and shalt see, and shalt read all these words; Then shalt thou say, O LORD, thou hast spoken against this place, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever. And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates: And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.
Revelation 18:22–23 AV
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.
Revelation 18:21–23 AV
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.
So complete will be the destruction of Babylon that all the normal practices of life will cease.

The city will be so completely abandoned that even the light of a lamp will not shine in her any longer. There will be no more falling in love; the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in her any longer. Babylon will be so thoroughly destroyed that it will never rise again, as predicted by the Old Testament prophets (Isa. 13:19–22; 14:22–23; Jer. 50:13, 39; 51:37).

VII. Judgment Justified (23-24)
Revelation 18:23–24 AV
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.
Three final reasons are given for the destruction of the empire of the AntiChrist.
The Merchants were the Great Men of the Earth (vs. 23)
Revelation 18:23 AV
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.

using their wealth to ascend to positions of power, prominence, and influence. The abuses of the proud, arrogant rich are well documented in Scripture.

James 2:6 AV
But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
James 5:4–6 AV
Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
The Scriptures have no kind words to say to those people who use their wealth to tear down others and use it to try and gain power over people.
2. All nations were deceived by her sorcery (vs. 23)
Revelation 18:23 AV
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.
Revelation 18:23

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 (9:21; Gal. 5:20). Babylon’s hold on the world will not be entirely due to her military and economic power, but also to her occult influence.

3. The Slaughter of God’s people (vs. 24)
Revelation 18:24 AV
And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
The Heavenly rejoicing over Babylon’s downfall also mentions this:
Revelation 19:1-2
Revelation 19:1–2 AV
And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
This parable of Christ seems to be a fitting end to the destruction of Babylon.
Luke 12:16–21 AV
And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
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