Revelation Bible Study #24 Fallen Babylon
Revelation Series #24
Last week we read and expounded on Chapter 17 of this wicked woman riding the beast. She was identified for us as the Spirit of Babylon, that spirit that would not worship God. The Spirit that would exalt anything but Christ, that would imitate and counterfeit Christ.
The spirit of idolatry and apostasy that has existed since Ham's Grandson Nimrod was King of Babylon. It was the same wicked Satan infused worship that Jeremiah spoke of and Ezekiel saw that worshipped the false "Queen of heaven" and her son, that invaded every society and culture all the way through to our day.
This "religion" that will come in the time of the end will be used by the leadership of the world and the Antichrist, the beast to unify the world and then she will be destroyed by the hands of those leaders. They will need her no more and will do away with her.
In Chapter 19 we will see the Glorious Second Coming of Christ
In Chapter 20 Satan will be bound and cast into the pit
In Chapters 21 and 22 there will be a New Heaven and a New Earth, a New Jerusalem
But before we get there, and after the seeing of the 7 Bowls of God's wrath poured out, an angel shows John greater detail about the latter part of those bowls, the Destruction of Babylon that is found in Bowl 7.
"Fallen, Fallen, is Babylon" ---
twice Fallen because if you will this Babylon has two personages.
The System and Spirit of Babylon in the religious idolatry and apostasy is destroyed and Judged in Chapter 17.
Then in Chapter 18 we have the City of Babylon Judged and destroyed because she will be then as in days of old, the Center of the World; Commercially, Politically, and Religiously.
More than that she will be the center of Influence, Infidelity, and Inhumanity for the World.
Chapter 14:18 speaks of the fallen Future of Babylon
Chapter 16:19 says Babylon will receive a full cup
This Judgment will be Sudden as in unexpected and Quick in time of being carried out. It will NOT be a long drawn out thing.
But I get ahead a bit, let's read chapter 18
After Jerusalem, Babylon is referred to more times than any city, 260 times in Scripture
The 1st King of the earth, Nimrod, was there. He founded Babylon and Nineveh among other cities
The First Great World Kingdom was there in Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar.
Babylon destroyed Judah, Jerusalem, and the Temple of Solomon
Israel was taken there into Captivity and as they wept along the river, they hung their harps in the Willow Trees for there was no reason for singing and no expectation of any reason coming soon.
It was the City that under Nimrod tried to be godlike and build a tower that would reach god status into the Heavens, and God confused their languages and separated them from that city thus called Babel later known as Babylon
But NOW centuries later, all of these great things and in the end this Center of worldly greatness will again attempt to reach god status and pull Jehovah down and take the Universal Throne …
but the only thing that will be piled up, brick upon brick, to reach heaven, will be it's sin and wickedness.
So John says, that he saw another angel coming down from Heaven. He had Authority and the earth was illuminated by his splendor.
It would seem that this angel appears during the 5th Bowl Judgment of darkness. If in the horror of that darkness this Bright Splendid Angel appears, think of the awe and horror of it all.
In the midst of the agony to see this angel. This Angel will pronounce Judgment and perhaps be making a final call to Repentance to any with ears to hear and hearts that have not given themselves fully to the Beast as of yet.
I want us to see 4 things here in Chapter 18
The Sins of Babylon
The Judgment on Babylon
The Lament for Babylon and
The Lessons From Babylon
1. The Sins of Babylon
There are Sins of
1. leading the world away from God socially, politically, culturally, commercially
2. "led the nations to drink the maddening wine"
3. her sins were piled up to heaven
4. also her crimes God has remembered … sins are the attitude of the heart and Crimes the actions of the body
5. luxury and glory --- elevated to a status never intended for man to have
6. home to demons of every kind … and every kind of evil bird --- this doesn't refer to "birds" but to the actions of the demons. What did Jesus say about the sower and the seed. He said that some fell on hard ground and the birds of the air stole it so that it didn't get into the ground. This is the work of demons that would steal the blessed truth of God that it might not take hold in the life of the hearer. YES the hearer is responsible but so is the one used by Satan who hinders. They are guilty of the stealing the Truth
7. Love of Power instead of strength under the control of God
8. Gathering the Wealth of the Earth for Herself
There are also sins of
1. adultery with the world
2. Refusing to be Joined to God as we are intended to be
3. Boasting, I don't need God … You were born for God
4. v 7 says Babylon said "I sit as queen, I am not a widow, and I will never mourn. --- Generally a Queen only received the throne as she got it from her husband --- but in defiance she says, I am not nor ever have been married to anyone I am in charge I am responsible to no man --- I do not need a male deity.
a. Boasting of self rule
b. Boasting of self - sufficiency
c. I don't need a King, I don't need a man -
5. Living apart from the Sovereignty of God and Boasting of the independent life away from God or even the concept of God.
There are also sins of
1. ignoring the poverty / needs of the world in favor of gaining all riches for herself
2. luxury and excess while the world starves - a "let them eat cake" mentality
3. Killing of Saints, Prophets, Killing of All People - Did THIS city kill ALL the saints, ALL the prophets, ALL the people? NO --- but understand if you break one commandment you have broken them all, if you break one law you are guilty of breaking the whole law. God looks to the inclination of the heart and the inclination of Babylon is that all the saints be destroyed, all the prophets are destroyed as their words are rejected, and all blood is on their hands
4. The One who will scream the loudest for tolerance will become herself MOST intolerant.
5. The commerce of not only every precious commodity but the one commodity you think is off the market will be on the market again … v13 … "the bodies and souls of men." --- The words are correctly translated there … they are the words for Body, Humanity, and the word psyche (psoo-khay) which means "breath of life" "vital force of life", "seat of feelings", or "soul" - Buying and Selling of Human Bodies and Souls --- Are we far off now? We abolished that Right? We could never get back there could we?
a. The foundations are being laid today for the dehumanization of Humans. We have been told that we are JUST ANIMALS, part of the Animal Kingdom. We don't have greater rights that gorillas in the mist, trout in a stream, or owls in the timber forest. As a matter of fact, Owls, trout, sparrows, beetles, rainforests, gorillas, have MORE protection today than a child in her mother's womb. And soon those things will have more rights than an adult in a nursing home or one unable to speak for themselves because of perceived uselessness to society or life through brain damage or age. But I seem to remember reading that we have been created just a little lower than the angels, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, that I have been knit together by the very hands of God. That he sees me in the womb and already has a plan for my life. ---
Oh but we wouldn't buy and sell human bodies and souls would we?
b. Stem Cell Research, Human Cloning … it is all for the purpose of science right. Creating life to save more important life. Creating clones to harvest body parts and stem cells to further humanity. HARVEST … HARVEST HUMANS … ?? now we are less than an animal, we could become nothing more than Agriculture. I wrote an opinion for AJ a couple of years ago in a Sociology class that offered that cloning and other forms of creating life for other purposes is unconstitutional because it is nothing more than birthing slaves, human life, created for the purpose of commerce without any personal control. It is the dehumanization of Humans. And we are CLOSE to doing that now … we are NOT far then from returning to permissible slavery. Why not, we are just animals
Those are the sins of Babylon
Look again then to see the
2. Judgment on Babylon
A. Swift -
1. catching off guard even though warned ---
2. quick in carrying it out .. ONE HOUR / One Day
3. Fallen - from heights --- unprepared for the fall … unable to prepare
B. Severe -
2. eye for an eye type of judgment
3. equal excess in judgment as to the excess she had in luxury and glory
4. will bring death, mourning, famine
5. visible burning from far away
6. terrifying causing others to stay back
7. normal life ends
8. Doomed, Ruined, Wealth Gone Irreversibly
C. Sufficient to Finish her
1. v21 - a Mighty Angel picked up a boulder --- and threw it into the sea and said "with such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again"
2. What would that image have been like for John? Pick an enormous Rock thrown into the Sea --- what do you see? What would happen, what would be the result for the Boulder?
3. Now, obviously, God can do that any way he wants, but the image to me is very much like an enormous explosion, like a Nuclear Explosion. Think about the follow to something like that, the death, the devastation, the destruction, the terror to the rest of the world, "stepping back" --- Normal Life ending … whatever survived would be uninhabitable.
That's the Sins of Babylon
And the Judgment on Babylon
But now look at the
3. Lament For Babylon
A. Kings of the Earth - vv9-10
1. doom has come ---
2. weeping and mourning
3. power is gone - Greatness is Gone
4. Terrified --- if this could happen to Babylon, their own kingdoms were in danger along with their power and simple greatness
B. Merchants - or Producers / Manufacturers vv11-17
1. weeping / mourning
2. why? Because no one will buy anymore … think of the world economy at this point, Babylon is the only place with any real wealth left … now who's going to buy their goods?
3. v14 "the fruit you longed for is gone from you" the word for fruit there is talking about a season than a product. It is referring to late summer early fall … that period of harvesting. The Merchants will take note that Babylon will NOT get the Harvest they expected. They will not get the return on wealth that they planned and expected - in One short hour your wealth is gone
C. Sea Captains and Sailors / Deliverers vv17-20 - Transporters / Deliverers
1. Exclaim - Was there ever a city like that?
2. We got rich because of Her … now what will we do … we don't DO anything we just supply … now what will we do, there is no buyer, so there will be no provider so our wealth is gone …
3. Yet these Know what is going on and speak it --- Rejoice Heaven! Rejoice Saints because God has brought JUSTICE …
4. interesting that these deliverers are detached enough to have a Heavenly Perspective even though they are part of Babylon's system and themselves mourning.
5. I find it hard to taken any joy and rejoicing in the death of the wicked, but as soldiers rejoice when defeat befalls the enemy securing the future for the right, so we will rejoice that God's Justice has prevailed and wickedness is being defeated and our future secured
D. Every Aspect of Life Mourns - the Consumers vv22-24
1. Mourn silently as life as it has been known stops
2. Music stops - forever --- what is there to celebrate? Radio stations go silent, no one is listening or playing
3. Tradesman have no work again … there is nothing left
4. Food Producers have nothing to work with, no crops to harvest, no goods to process
5. Utilities are gone - the light of a lamp will never shine in you again --- there is no infrastructure of any kind left in Babylon
6. No Marriages - voice of bridegroom and bride never heard again - why would you want to get married? Why would you imagine beginning a family in a world like this? Even if you wanted … where are you going to find someone to perform the ceremony and someone to stand up with you, and a place to have the ceremony and celebration …
… what a horrible horrible time this will be and the worst is still to come for the wicked and the best is yet to come for God's people
So, from the Sins of Babylon and the Judgment on Babylon, and in the Lament for Babylon, is there a Lesson?
3. A Lesson from Babylon
The Time is coming … I can see the beginnings
I can see the ground being tilled to prepare for the plantings of the end
2 Tim. 4:3-5
?3? For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. ?4? They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. ?5? But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
1 John 2:15-17
?15? Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. ?16? For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes not from the Father but from the world. ?17? The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
A. Recognize and Fear God
1. Eccl. 12:13,14
… Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing …
2. Recognize him now while it makes a difference
B. Repent of Sin and Separate from Babylon
1. The Angel said to "come out of her, … so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues" v4
2. we have a choice to make
C. Renounce Pride
1. the sin of Satan in heaven
2. the sin of Adam and Eve in the garden
3. the root of every sin is pride that says I will do it my way, I don't need anyone
4. God doesn't want sacrifices, "I'm sorry" - He wants a broken spirit, a humble heart
D. Rely on God alone
1. Don't expect the government to make you right with God
2. Don't expect the church to make you acceptable
3. Don't trust your Annuity to protect your future --- our only Hope is God and God alone, faith in Jesus Christ as the ONLY way, truth, and life
And finally in light of all of this
E. Proclaim Christ -
1. Paul told Timothy - "Do the Work of an Evangelist"
2. He didn't ask Timothy if he had the gift of Evangelism … he said to do the work of and Evangelist.
3. You may not have the education, or the gift set, or the position, but you have the mandate to proclaim Christ
4. Jesus is the Answer
Jesus is the Answer for the World today,
Above him there's no other
Jesus is the way
Jesus is the Answer for the World today
Above him there's no other
Jesus is the way
5. The Solid Rock
S On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All Other Ground is Sinking Sand
All Other Ground is Sinking Sand
Wednesday Night Bible study Fall 2005-Spring 2006
The following resources were used among others in preparation
Revelation Four Views: A Parallel Commentary – Steve Gregg
W.A. Criswell Expository Sermons on Revelation
Dr. J.A. Seiss Expositions on Revelations
MacArthur Bible Studies: Revelation – John MacArthur
Dr. David Jeremiah Expositions on Revelation
The Pulpit Commentary: Revelation
Wiersbe: The Bible Exposition Commentary