Judgement Before the Second Coming of Christ - by pastor Mike Taylor - https://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2020/12/judgement-before-second-coming-of-christ.html
18 “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
2 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.
3 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 18:1-3)
Judgment is coming to a closing end, and the destruction of this rebellious world is nearly to its completion. Here again in this chapter it again speaks of Babylon. Is this the same Babylon that was spoken of in Chapter 17? Many believe that the Babylon of these two chapters are the same, but are they? Note that there are two divisions of end times concept of the Babylon that rises to rule the earth. The first is Mystery Babylon. She is considered a harlot, a whore which is signified by a woman in a religious order that deceived the world and has for the last nearly 2000 years. She is identified with Rome and is shown to be an adulterer, a woman that is defiled and worships false gods and leads other people into sin. She has held sway over kings and nations at different intervals of her history and in these last days, she rises from the ashes of oblivion, much like the Phoenix bird and retakes her glory lost in the past, but it is short lived. She rules with the Beast power for a set and pre-determined amount of time, before the political power of this time destroys her completely and burns her with fire.
Then there is secular, political, and commercial Babylon that is identified with a coastal city. Be she Mecca, New York City or some other powerful center of this ruling abomination called the Beast power, we are not sure, nor will we be sure this side of the coming of our Lord for the true Church of the Living God. As we have pointed out, this great city is the center of world economics. She is a marketplace that has grown ever more greedy and has lust for power. She is self indulgent and in the end, God Almighty destroys her completely for her sins and abominations.
Through a great portion of the coming Tribulation these two portions of Babylon are intertwined with each other. One having power over another to lead one as much as horse is led by a bridle. But it is an uneasy alliance, as they are not the same, but antagonist of each other, both lusting for supreme power. The coming Beast power has need of this religious power to forge the chains of those who it wishes to follow him and use this false religion as an agent of conquest, much as it was in the Middle Ages. But the Beast that rules the earth will need this false religion for just so long. Her usefulness will run out in the near future during the midpoint of the Tribulation and she will be burned with fire as we saw in Chapter 17.
15 “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
16 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.
17 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.
18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:15-18)
This harlot religion has temporal power over the Beast, as the Bible shows that she rides the Beast, and controls him to a point and rules over all nations in religious affairs. Only one religion has more than a 1.5 billion people from all over the globe of all people, multitudes, nations, and tongues. She has spread her tentacles to all points of the globe and in the past, no one was able to withstand her. But this Tribulation power she holds over the political Babylon is short lived.
Mystery Babylon seems to be destroyed when the Anti-Christ comes into the Temple of God in Jerusalem at the mid point of the coming tribulation and proclaims himself as being God in the flesh. Then this religious portion of this unholy alliance will be needed no longer, as the dragon, Satan the devil, who has entered into the last dictator of this fallen world known as the Anti-Christ, will desire complete worship of himself (Satan) through a mortal man that he has possessed. It appears from scripture that a charade either real or manufactured is fostered upon a rebellious and evil population that believes this lawless man has been resurrected from some type of wound that brought him to near death. It will be a false resurrection to mimic what Jesus did 2000 years ago by the power of God, whether this resurrection of the Anti-Christ is real or a charade. Satan is very good as counterfeiting what God has done to make the unrighteous believe a lie.
BABYLON, REAL OR SYMBOLIC?
But as we study the concept of this great city called Babylon, are they literal cities or is she symbolic? That is a question we have to ask ourselves, as many believe that Babylon will be rebuilt again on a desert sands found in the backward country of Iraq. Note that any city built on the ruins of ancient Babylon would not completely fit the description of her having a sea faring port able to handle large merchant ships. Saddam Hussein had the mad notion of rebuilding ancient Babylon thinking that he was a modern king Nebachadnezzer and ruler of the Middle East and we know what happened to him. Many people believe that the New Babylon will be built on the Euphrates River and with the wealth of the Middle East oil, that could happen, but to be an economic power house that God speaks of, leaves large holes in that theory. Although, no one has stepped forward to attempt such a city. But from my viewpoint, being so close to what I feel is the season of our Lord's return, I don't see that kind of time being allowed for another city to emerge as a economic powerhouse for all the world to coincide with the description of her destruction in coming verse of this chapter.
As briefly mentioned in the last part of this study, our Lord equated the known world that hated Him and cautioned that it would hate those who follow Him, just as much to what this world will become.
18 “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world the would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:18-19)
So there are two possibilities, as we have investigated and looked at different cities as being the center of the Beast power, either Rome, Mecca, or even New York, as New York is the center of world wide commerce at the present time. At this present time, the economy of the world is centered on the USA and its economic engine found in New York City, but that could change. It's possible, but highly unlikely, as another city would take years to achieve what the investors on Wall street and the New York economic hub of the world has become. Another possibility is that Babylon is symbolic of what Jesus spoke of as the end time world that revels in their rebellion and unrighteousness. The entire world is a combination of religion and commerce, so the symbol of Babylon “could be” this end time Beast power that covers the entire earth we now live on. In portraying the destruction of a city (Rome?), John describes in Chapter 17 God’s judgment on the great satanic system of religious evil that has corrupted the earth’s history. In chapter 18, the context seems to indicate that Babylon here is viewed in its political and economic character rather than its religious aspect. Although both portions of Babylon the Great are mentioned in various detail, jumping from one power to the other.
Looking at the opening verses, this “angel” which can be interpreted as “messenger” has a great shining appearance. Either the light He cast is from being in the presence of God, or this is Jesus Christ proclaiming that Babylon has fallen and will not rise again. It is a matter of a great moment, whether by this angel we understand as Jesus Christ, or a created angel; the description agreeth to Christ, but most likely agrees to a created angel.
The term ‘another’ (Gr.,allon) makes it clear that this angel is the same in kind as the angel of 17:1. So this most likely is one of the 7 angels that have the bowl judgments. Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen: He announces that Babylon is fallen, fallen and the phrase is “repeated like a solemn dirge of the damned. It becomes a dwelling place of demons: A sad fate for a once-great city.
Abundance of her luxury: Babylon’s sin was not only idolatry (referred to with the term fornication), but also pride, greed, and selfishly held wealth.
The concept is of man ruling himself and being blessed for his work on this earth for a “great economic city” either a location or speaking of the whole world has come to an end. This is “a prophetic picture of absolute desolation where the proud achievements of man become the demonic haunts of unclean and horrible creatures
4 “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.
5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
6 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.
7 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.” (Revelation 18:4-7)
COMMAND TO LEAVE BABYLON
This is a call to God's Tribulation saints to come out of those places where they should not be. It is akin to what God told Lot and his family to depart from the city of Sodom and flee to the mountains before God destroys her. The tribulation saints are in a place ripe for destruction. Those who are living during this time, are subject to the temptation and the evil that is perpetuated in the end time world that is headed for oblivion, and God commands His own to separate themselves from everything that pertains to the evil influence of these end time Gentile nations. Note that the inference is that those who believes on Jesus Christ at this time, are susceptible to loosing their salvation and ability to commit sin in God's sight and they could be caught up in the judgment that is coming. They are not sealed with God's Holy Spirit as the 144,000 Jewish evangelist were, but are in danger of falling back into the world system that God says depart from it. This is not true of the Church, who cannot lose their salvation, but those in the tribulation have no such guarantee.
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:10-14)
The church of the Living God has an irrevocable promise of being kept in His grace for any sin, past, present or future. What God has drawn to Jesus Christ and those who have been put into God's Hand cannot be removed.
27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
30 I and my Father are one.” (John 10:27-30)
Tribulation saints must guard their salvation until the very end of this horrific time. So God is talking about a different set of people who are also called saints, which is another indication that the church is not here, as the Church was sealed and had a deposit of future glorification that is promised. The call to come out of Babylon and its sinful and worldly living has been repeated many times in scripture:
“Depart! Depart! Go out from there, touch no unclean thing; go out from her, be clean, you who bear the vessels of the Lord.” (Isaiah 52:11)
“ Flee from the midst of Babylon, and everyone save his life!” (Jeremiah 50:8)
“ My people, go out of the midst of her! And let everyone deliver himself from the fierce anger of the Lord.”(Jeremiah 51:45)
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.”(Ephesians 5:11)
But who is this “messenger” of God speaking of? Who are they to come out of? I believe He is speaking of religious and political Babylon that their sins have piled high as the Tower of Babel. There will be an end time false religion that has deceived mankind throughout the history of the world since Jesus ascended back to heaven and the right hand of the Father in glory. God has remembered her iniquities and has passed judgment upon her. This is more detail that John gives to report the destruction of the Harlot Church who has deceived the whole world to worship the image of the Beast.
The description of this Harlot Church is verses 6-7 is most telling of who this woman is and where she has had her headquarters for the last near 2000 years. Note her delicacies and her riches and how she has rewarded others by dealing treacherously with those who did not bow the knee to her. She will be rewarded double for what she has done. I see the complete destruction of this harlot church in flames, as God will use the political power of this earth to destroy her.
--Render to her just as she rendered to you: The ancient Greek word for render (apodidomi) means literally “to pay a debt” or “to give back that which is due.” God will give Babylon exactly what she deserves.
--Repay her double according to her works . . . mix for her double: Double restitution was required in the Old Testament in cases of theft (Exodus 22:4-9). This perhaps is a commentary on how Babylon has made her wealth – through dishonest dealings.
--Repay her double according to her works: This passage presents a three-fold sin. First, self-indulgence (lived luxuriously). Second, pride (glorified herself . . . sits as a queen). Third, avoidance of suffering (am no widow, and will not see sorrow). All these things are characteristic of worldliness and materialism.
--Therefore her plagues will come in one day: The destruction of religious Babylon will come suddenly and with completeness (utterly burned with fire).
8 “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.
9 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,
10 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.
11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
12 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,
13 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.
14 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 18:8-14)
John goes back and forth speaking of the two Babylon's that are mingled together in this chapter. He speaks of religious Babylon and then commercial or political Babylon. Both receive judgment from God and in these preceding verses, you have the vision of a city of commercial marketplace that has dealt with the merchants of the world in what was valuable in John's day, as that is all he could describe, as our technological day was beyond his understanding. You also see a religious portion of Babylon who has deceived the whole world to worship the image of the Beast and to take his mark in their forehead and their right hand.
John witnesses the destruction of these great powerful cities in flames and their destruction in one hour. In your mind, you must separate the two Babylon's and not confuse one with another. The religious Babylon will be destroyed by the Beast power under the will of God, and the final political portion of the Beast power, God will destroy Himself. I can think of no other man-made weapon of destruction than a nuclear weapon, which is what many believe happens to these religious and political cities, which could level a city in one hour. The merchants of the earth stand at a safe distance from her destruction, as the heat and flames, and not to mention the radiation if this be a nuclear weapon that destroyed her, and they wail because the city is destroyed. That is one reason I have explored the one city in the USA, New York who is the economic hub of this modern world now and in the coming future and the city which could be Rome destroyed by the Beast power as he burns her with fire..
The political Babylon sounds eerily similar to what a person would see standing on a boat a long distance from the harbor of the New York City, who has the only port large enough to accommodate large merchant ships. This could come from a nuclear exchange or a pre-emptive nuclear strike from another country. We can only hypothesize of who this great city is, if she is indeed an actual city or a symbolic representation of God's divine judgment on the center of the Beast power and his government. Obviously, God is more than able to replicate a nuclear strike much as He did on Sodom and Gomorrah. Either God uses man to do His will, or completes the prophecy in Divine retribution for her iniquities with fire and brimstone raining from heaven. Thankfully, I won't see any of this to determine which is true as I'll be with Jesus in heaven awaiting the return to the earth of the saints of God, known as the Church of the Living God. Will you?
As we continue to read to the end of the chapter, the angel describes the death knell of Babylon and likens it to a mill stone thrown to the bottom of the sea, never to rise no more. The descriptions show that the center of commercial trade will never be found again.
20 “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
21 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.
22 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;
23 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 18:20-23)
This is either a complete destruction of an actual city or applied broadly to a worldly commerce found across the globe during this time of the coming Tribulation. But I find it telling to who and where this prophecy is directed at, as was mentioned, the political and the religious Babylon have been intertwined up to this point.
24 “And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” (Revelation 18:24)
In verse 24, if this is an actual city, then I can think of only one city in this world that has all the attributes that have been described. Some will point a finger at Jerusalem as she has killed prophets and saints also, but she does not fit the description of a harlot religious system that has ruled the world, drowned herself in luxuries of gold, jewels, and much wealth, and has been the center of apostasy in the past ages and into the modern world. Only one religious organization has more gold in her vaults than even Fort Knox. And if you think hard enough, you will come to the conclusion that fits all points of the prophecy.
The chapter describes the complete destruction of the two Babylons: the religious portion and the commercial or political aspect of the ruling One World government that is a mixture of church and state, much as it was in the Middle Ages. Coming in the next chapter, the beginning reveals the coming victory of our Lord God, Jesus Christ over the Beast Power and its final death blow that will decimate all who come against a Living God. The beginning of chapter 19 is a continuation of the end of chapter 18, as the bible has no actual chapter breaks, as that is man's doing, but the end is near and we will discuss that next time, when we see Jesus coming back to earth in power and great glory. We are nearing the start of the coming Millennium and the reign of Jesus Christ for 1000 years to restore the earth to what was lost in the Garden of Eden, the complete beauty of His creation revived and made perfect. We have much to anticipate for and we await anxiously for the coming of our Lord to make this earth what it was in the time of Adam and Eve. Many things will change. The earth will not be subject to pollution and the evils of mankind. War will be no more, and the weapons of war will be changed into plow shares to become a agricultural society. I have a burden for anyone that may have to live through this horrific time, or die a horrible death....if you believe the following two passages found in your Bible, you won't have to, if you do it this side of the rapture.
But who will be those who populate the coming Millennial reign of Christ? We will discover that when we explore chapter 19 and 20 of the “Return of Jesus Christ and His Millennial Reign.” See you then.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.' (John 3:16-19)
8 “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13)
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying that you see none of this noted above and are found in Jesus Christ at His coming for His Church that could come very soon. I pray if you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit me online for more biblical messages to help strengthen your faith in the times we live, God bless you all, TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET