1,2 One of the seven angels who had poured out the seven bowls came over and spoke to me. “Come with me,” he said, “and I will show you the judgment that is going to come on the great prostitute, who rules over many waters. 2 The kings of the world have committed adultery with her, and the people who belong to this world have been made drunk by the wine of her immorality.”
Adultery here is once again dealing with idol worship, Idolatry. The great prostitute, harlot, or whore depending on your translation. This is the beginning of talking about the fall of Babylon. Many prophetic teachers over my life time have tried to tie this in to New York, Los Angeles, the United States in General, Rome and the Vatican.
There is a spiritual connotation here as well as a literal understanding of Babylon.
3 So the angel took me in the Spirit into the wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that had seven heads and ten horns, and blasphemies against God were written all over it. The woman wore purple and scarlet clothing and beautiful jewelry made of gold and precious gems and pearls. In her hand she held a gold goblet full of obscenities and the impurities of her immorality. 5 A mysterious name was written on her forehead: “Babylon the Great, Mother of All Prostitutes and Obscenities in the World.”
The woman here represents the spirit of Babylon, the religious Spirit but is not really based in the city itself which we will see later, and she is riding the scarlet beast. Babylon was the founding of all the paganism of the world. This is significant as this represents a religious system that is using the beast. How often throughout the world has religion been the greatest detriment to the real church….during the Soviet era the Russian Orthodox were the greatest persecutors of other Christians, the inquisition, the crusades Muslims killing Christians just to name a few instances. Religion is always rooted in man trying to work his way to righteousness. We say in the very beginning Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves with their own works but God showed a price had to be paid and he covered them with skins of the flesh of animals at the price of blood.
Purple was the color of the Roman government, scarlet tended to be the color of the religious sects.
As the mother of all prostitutes and obscenities she is the foundation of all the blasphemous religions and religious systems in the world
Remember there are going to be many religious people left on the earth. The anti-christ is going to seem to use religion for a while the impurities, immoralities and obscenities may be both real as the religious forces may have degradated to the total depravity of man but of course it is also the idolatry of the worship of the beast as adultery. The religious world is thriving on all of the attention the world is giving her and they are drunk with her promises in return but this doesn’t last long. Remember, Revelation 13:12 says that the false prophet (beast from the land) forces all the world to worship the first beast.
The golden goblet is found in Jeremiah 51:7…We need to understand what the basic understand of blasphemy is in scripture “any attempt to add to what God has completed…an example would be a salvation by works which denies God’s work completed through the cross.
6 I could see that she was drunk—drunk with the blood of God’s holy people who were witnesses for Jesus. I stared at her in complete amazement.
This tribulation “church” religious system was the main persecutor of the real Christ-followers
7 “Why are you so amazed?” the angel asked. “I will tell you the mystery of this woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns on which she sits.
I believe part of the reason John was amazed (shocked) was that he was seeing religious people killing the tribulation Christians, he may have even seen people wearing crosses. He would not have been amazed to see Pagan Rome persecuting the saints because he was already suffering persecution under Rome.
The word mystery is not like our word mystery it means more like a mystery that has been revealed like a password that now everyone knows.
Let’s talk about the beast for a moment. It represents a political system on one hand and or the leader of that system. This beast is described in Daniel 7 and several times in this book already. We go into it a little deeper here.
8 The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now. And yet he will soon come up out of the bottomless pit and go to eternal destruction. And the people who belong to this world, whose names were not written in the Book of Life before the world was made, will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died.
The beast came up from the bottomless pit and will return there. This is not simply the revival of a human empire this is supernatural (Revelation 9: 1,2, 11)
This is telling us that there will be a system, empire that will arise that the antichrist will come out of, this empire will arise then disappear then reappear. The earth dwellers will be amazed at it’s revival
9-11 “This calls for a mind with understanding: The seven heads of the beast represent the seven hills where the woman rules. They also represent seven kings. 10 Five kings have already fallen, the sixth now reigns, and the seventh is yet to come, but his reign will be brief.
11 “The scarlet beast that was, but is no longer, is the eighth king. He is like the other seven, and he, too, is headed for destruction
Mountains (hills) represent governmental authorities Daniel 2: 25,44, 45 as the word continues to say seven kings (kingdoms same word) of this beast by the time John saw this 5 kingdoms would have collapsed and one is still alive. Based on Daniel 7 and his description of the 4 beast + 1 The 10 horns show up in Daniel 2, 7, Revelation 13. When Daniel was writing he was writing at the time of Babylon/Persia. Egypt and Assyrian were history. Daniel’s vision spells it all out. It is 4 + 1 because there are two renditions of the 4th beast. You can read at your leisure Daniel 2 and 7
What five kingdoms had arisen before John’s day and had fallen?
Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece
What Kingdom was John living in? Rome
The belief by most scholars because of Daniel, and Revelation is that the 7th kingdom is the revived Roman empire (Rome also sits on seven hills) …some look at the European Union, as it stretches not just to Europe but connects in part to the Middle East, not as the revival but the foundation for it. It is out of this seventh Kingdom, the seventh King or kingdom is short lived because he dies and then is resurrected as the 8th king as the power of Satan completely overwhelms him that the 10 horns sprout out.
Revelation 17: 12,13
The ten horns of the beast are ten kings who have not yet risen to power. They will be appointed to their kingdoms for one brief moment to reign with the beast. 13 They will all agree to give him their power and authority.
Many people try to figure out who these 10 kings are but there is no way to know because they will not rise to power until after the Anti-Christ is in full power. Their reign will be short as the anti-Christ is not for allowing anyone but him to have power. If we understand the passages in Daniel 3 of these ten will stand up against the beast and they will be put down so only seven will remain
14 Together they will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them because he is Lord of all lords and King of all kings. And his called and chosen and faithful ones will be with him.”
Can you imagine the insanity???? The lamb will defeat them (this has got to be one of the biggest understatements in history) This is summarizing what is going to happen…This is a predicition that will be fulfilled in Revelation 19:14
15 – 18 Then the angel said to me, “The waters where the prostitute is ruling represent masses of people of every nation and language. 16 The scarlet beast and his ten horns all hate the prostitute. They will strip her naked, eat her flesh, and burn her remains with fire. 17 For God has put a plan into their minds, a plan that will carry out his purposes. They will agree to give their authority to the scarlet beast, and so the words of God will be fulfilled. 18 And this woman you saw in your vision represents the great city that rules over the kings of the world.”
At some point the Anti-Christ will betray the false prophet and destroy his system. The anti-Christ himself will not be destroyed until later. Notice the anti-Christ doesn’t even have the power or influence to turn these kings against the religious system of Babylon so God has to release these Kings to do it. Everything is in God’s hands even the very end. This shows the destruction of the religious system of this world influenced by the false prophet…where is this religious system based not actual Babylon but the great city of John’s time which was Rome….as the real Christians are raptured, leaving holes everywhere, Rome is already set up as a religious center so why wouldn’t the false prophet take it over as his center.
Just as a reminder the word anti-christ was only used by John in his letters but not in the book of Revelation it really means false (Pseudo) Christ and also is really a duet of sorts of the world leader and the false prophet
Mystery Babylon was the religious system and Babylon the Great represent the commercial and political centers but it will seem that they represent one in the same as an actual city as well.
1, 2 After all this I saw another angel come down from heaven with great authority, and the earth grew bright with his splendor. 2 He gave a mighty shout:
“Babylon is fallen—that great city is fallen!
She has become a home for demons.
She is a hideout for every foul spirit,
a hideout for every foul vulture
and every foul and dreadful animal.
We talked about this before when you see the emphasis twice as we do here with “fallen and fallen” we know the event is from God and is imminent.
It is the home over every foul spirit and demon so is the city that founded and established all demonic religions….remember the parables of the seeds sown and the parable of the mustard tree….both contain birds in the seeds sown the birds represent demonic forces that steal the word of God from people but what most people don’t realize is that the parable of the mustard tree that grows so big that the birds of the air make their nest in it is refering to evil spirits even being able to rest in the Kingdom of God to try to undermine God’s authority, we see that in the church far too often. Called the principle of expostional constancy which is just a over indulgent way of saying, the Holy Spirit is consistent with His idioms
3 For all the nations have fallen
because of the wine of her passionate immorality.
The kings of the world
have committed adultery with her.
Because of her desires for extravagant luxury,
the merchants of the world have grown rich.”
We will see all of this detailed here shortly
4 Then I heard another voice calling from heaven,
“Come away from her, my people.
Do not take part in her sins,
or you will be punished with her.
All of the 144,000 come away from the unholy area and the unholy things of the world system. They did and they were preserved as we have already see. A reminder you are sealed by God too, you need to be very forceful to shake from his grasp
5 For her sins are piled as high as heaven,
and God remembers her evil deeds.
6 Do to her as she has done to others.
Double her penalty for all her evil deeds.
She brewed a cup of terror for others,
so brew twice as much for her.
7 She glorified herself and lived in luxury,
so match it now with torment and sorrow.
She boasted in her heart,
‘I am queen on my throne.
I am no helpless widow,
and I have no reason to mourn.’
God sees all of the evil in this world, he sees all of the torment that his people have had to overcome. He has seen all of the pain the ungodly have poured out on the godly. They have arrogantly thought they will get away with it. But God never lets that happen. This is about the wrath of God being poured out as justice on those who have defied Him and have hurt his children.
It is interesting to hear Babylon’s boast here. I am no widow. There is a contrast through the scripture between to cities which represent the world system and God Babylon obviously the world system and Jerusalem often representing God. Jerusalem is called a widow several times in scripture because of her rejecting God but God always worked to gain her back Lamentations 1:1, Ezekiel 11: 22,23 and Isaiah 54;4,5 as well as other places. Babylon is once again trying to thumb her nose at God and his plans, she doesn’t not care what God thinks as Jerusalem seemed to always come back to God.
Can you imagine what all of those who have thumbed their noses at God are going to face. Dan Brown, many from Hollywood, music industry, politics, science, education, religion
8 Therefore, these plagues will overtake her in a single day—
death and mourning and famine.
She will be completely consumed by fire,
for the Lord God who judges her is mighty.”
God’s Judgment is going to hit very quickly and very suddenly over the wealth and power of the earth, those who felt they didn’t need God and have completely.
9 And the kings of the world who committed adultery with her and enjoyed her great luxury will mourn for her as they see the smoke rising from her charred remains. 10 They will stand at a distance, terrified by her great torment. They will cry out,
“How terrible, how terrible for you,
O Babylon, you great city!
In a single moment
God’s judgment came on you.”
Babylon is a symbol of the evil and rejecting of God and the source of all that is evil. But it is also very specific as who and what they mourning as a place that the rulers of the earth mourn
11 The merchants of the world will weep and mourn for her, for there is no one left to buy their goods. 12 She bought great quantities of gold, silver, jewels, and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet cloth; things made of fragrant thyine wood, ivory goods, and objects made of expensive wood; and bronze, iron, and marble. 13 She also bought cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, wagons, and bodies—that is, human slaves. 14 “The fancy things you loved so much
are gone,” they cry. “All your luxuries and splendor are gone forever, never to be yours again.”
This tends to cause me to believe it is a specific place as listed here are 28 specific things of trade. There is nothing symbolic about the trade, ivory doesn’t represent something. We see kings are mourning this loss of economy and trade and now also the merchants the world business is affected by this great loss, this center of commerece for the Satanic empire
15 The merchants who became wealthy by selling her these things will stand at a distance, terrified by her great torment. They will weep and cry out,
16 “How terrible, how terrible for that great city!
She was clothed in finest purple and scarlet linens,
decked out with gold and precious stones and pearls!
17 In a single moment
all the wealth of the city is gone!”
Once again all the mourning over the economic collapse that happened very quickly. Notice both the Kings and merchants stand off from Babylon (leading me to believe it is a specific place) because of the distruction. Was it a natural disaster, one of the plagues destroying it or some kind of nuclear situation…we don’t know but everyone is standing any and crushed over the destruction of the city
And all the captains of the merchant ships and their passengers and sailors and crews will stand at a distance. 18 They will cry out as they watch the smoke ascend, and they will say, “Where is there another city as great as this?” 19 And they will weep and throw dust on their heads to show their grief. And they will cry out,
“How terrible, how terrible for that great city!
The shipowners became wealthy
by transporting her great wealth on the seas.
In a single moment it is all gone.”
Is it the actual city of Babylon or one of the major cities in the Middle East, could be either but I believe as we see a third group here mourning its loss that it is an actual city that had once contained great influence in commerce, politics and religion and I believe before Christ returns we will at least see a raising up of the city in the middle east, perhaps we are already.
20 Rejoice over her fate, O heaven
and people of God and apostles and prophets!
For at last God has judged her
for your sakes.
For the first time heaven is instructed to rejoice because finally those principle powers which cursed the Body of Christ have been crushed, the religious people who robbed the truth of the Gospel the work Christ did that completed us and the world system that mocked the message of the cross. This is a big deal in heaven!!!!
21 Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a huge millstone. He threw it into the ocean and shouted,
“Just like this, the great city Babylon
will be thrown down with violence
and will never be found again.
22 The sound of harps, singers, flutes, and trumpets
will never be heard in you again.
No craftsmen and no trades
will ever be found in you again.
The sound of the mill
will never be heard in you again.
23 The light of a lamp
will never shine in you again.
The happy voices of brides and grooms
will never be heard in you again.
For your merchants were the greatest in the world,
and you deceived the nations with your sorceries.
24 In your streets flowed the blood of the prophets and of God’s holy people
and the blood of people slaughtered all over the world.”
Remember Babylon began at Babel with Nimrod…it was protected by a moat around it but we know from the book of Daniel it was captured by Cyrus (Daniel 5) without a battle. Daniel had read the handwriting on the wall which was encrypted by a Hebrew style of encryption (akbash) that a transposition code with the second half of the alphabet folded back on itself then you just transpose the letters….Daniel was the first code breaker….10 days later Cyrus makes his grand entrance and Daniel reads to him a letter written to him by God from 150 years earlier Isaiah 45 where Cyrus is mentioned by name…
Isaiah 45 1-7
This is what the LORD says to Cyrus, his anointed one,
whose right hand he will empower.
Before him, mighty kings will be paralyzed with fear.
Their fortress gates will be opened,
never to shut again.
2 This is what the LORD says:
“I will go before you, Cyrus,
and level the mountains.
I will smash down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.
3 And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness—
I will do this so you may know that I am the LORD,
the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.
4 “And why have I called you for this work?
Why did I call you by name when you did not know me?
It is for the sake of Jacob my servant,
Israel my chosen one.
5 I am the LORD;
there is no other God.
I have equipped you for battle,
though you don’t even know me,
6 so all the world from east to west
will know there is no other God.
I am the LORD, and there is no other.
7 I create the light and make the darkness.
I send good times and bad times.
I, the LORD, am the one who does these things.
Cyrus was called the anointed one and God uses him to free the captives and send the people back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple (Ezra1)
Cyrus son, then Darius 2 we have recorded the in 460 BC it was still intact as a city. Alexander made Babylon his capital. Daniel 8 and 11 details his (Alexander) career in advance.
We have records of merchants trying to keep the city alive in 75 ad and we have record of it alive in 115 AD. We know from 1 Peter chapter 5:13 that there was a thriving church community there and the Babylonian Talmud was an authenticated work by the Jews remember when the Jews were released less than 50,000 left the rest stayed in Babylon.
The destruction of Babylon is found in Isaiah 13, 14 (day of the vengeance of our Lord) this is a prophecy of what we are seeing in Revelation and Matthew 24 and Jeremiah 50, 51 the focus of both of these scriptures is that Babylon will never again be inhabited, Israel will be in its own land when this destruction takes place….Babylon is presently being rebuilt so we know these are prophecies for the yet future. The key is both of these scriptures are referring a yet future event… I want to point something out that may be important and very well may point to our present or near future in Jeremiah 50:9b
The enemies’ arrows will go straight to the mark;
they will not miss!
The Hebrew word there talking about the accuracy of the arrows says of the property of the arrow that it will not miss, it is not the property of the shooter in other words the Hebrew is talking about smart arrows or bullets as Jeremiah would have had no idea what a bullet was.
In verse 30 it says Babylon will remain desolate, this is repeated in Isaiah and chapter 51 and that has not happened yet so further reasoning why it very well could be a city a real place.
Next week the good news begins 19,20