Laments Over Babylon’s Fall

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LAMENT OF THE KINGS, MERCHANTS & SEA CAPTAINS – “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: “‘Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come!’ “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more—cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men. “They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’ The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn and cry out: “‘Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’ “Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city?’ They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out: “‘Woe! Woe, O great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin! (Revelation 18:9-19)

Who Mourned – The mourners are those who had been bewitched by Babylon’s spiritual fornication, who had shared in her sensual pleasures, and who had gained from her wealth and trade.

Kings of the Earth – They were the kings of the earth, whom she had seduced into idolatry and who had shared in her tyranny.

Merchants and Sea Captains – They were the merchants and sea captains who got rich by selling and transporting her goods.(1)

The imagery here is Continue reading “Laments Over Babylon’s Fall”

Proclamation From Heaven

PROCLAMATION FROM HEAVENThen I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup. Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.’ Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her. (Revelation 18:4-8)

Come Out of Her – The warning “come out of her” is reminiscent of Continue reading “Proclamation From Heaven”

Proclamation of the Angel

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PROCLAMATION OF THE ANGELAfter this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” (Revelation 18:1-3)

When the Proclamation is Given – The final verses of Revelation 17 (before) warn of Babylon’s impending fall. Revelation 18 (after) gives the details of its destruction. While John received visions (before) that would happen in the future (after), he wrote down what he saw after seeing the vision. Thus, Continue reading “Proclamation of the Angel”

Inhabitants of the Earth

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THE INHABITANTS OF THE EARTHWith [the woman/prostitute] the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries … I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come. (Revelation 17:2, 6, 8)

Kings and People Intoxicated by the Woman – The figure of a harlot committing fornication with kings and peoples occurs frequently in the prophets. It represents the defection of God’s people and their attachment to another god. See Isaiah 1:21; Jeremiah 2:20; 3:1, 6, 8; Ezekiel 16:15, 16, 28, 31, 35, 41; 23:5, 19, 44; Hosea 2:5; 3:3; 4:14. The word is also applied to heathen cities, but only in three places: to Tyre (Isaiah 23:15 – 17), to Nineveh (Nahum 3:4), and here.(1) In other words, they had become a part of the religious system which she symbolized (Revelation14:8),(2) and yet later turn against her and “bring her to ruin.” As we see the people of the United States gradually turning away from, or redefining the Christian faith upon which it was built, we can perhaps see how easily this might happen when Satan has freer rein and the Holy Spirit is withdrawn.

Fornication may refer to religious infidelity, the sexual indiscretion involved in pagan ritual, or both (Revelation 2:21). Revelation 18 (next chapter) suggests that this immorality also represents the commercial and political dealings with the kings and merchants of the earth,(3) as in the end times commerce, politics and religion all become strange bedfellows.

The Woman Drunk on the Blood of the Saints – This is an explicit reference to the intense persecution inflicted on believers by the woman.

Up Next – Babylon’s fall is proclaimed.

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References

  1. Vincent, M. R. (1887). Word studies in the New Testament. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
  2. Walvoord, John F., & Zuck, R. B., Dallas Theological Seminary. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  3. Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Dispensation

DISPENSATION – In its verb form the word dispensation means to manage, administer, regulate, or plan. The Biblical usage of this concept, however, has a deeper theological sense, in which certain responsibilities are placed on mankind by God during different ages. In Ephesians 3:2 and 3:9 Paul indicates that the current dispensation (age of grace) has been extended to the Gentiles, a mystery revealed by Christ that was kept hidden in past ages (dispensations – e.g. age of the law). Paul indicates earlier in the epistle that there is a coming future end time dispensation “to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment” in order to “bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ” (Ephesians 1:10). This is something that will not happen during the age of grace. See also Colossians 1:25–29. This seems to suggest that Paul believed Continue reading “Dispensation”

Armageddon, Millennium and Last Judgment

ARMAGEDDON – Another word that is referenced a lot in modern discussions of the end times, but occurs only once in the Bible (Revelation 16:16) is Armageddon. It refers to the place where the last great battle of the ages will take place and has become synonymous with the end of the world. The battle will coincide with the second coming of Christ (Revelation 16:15), when all the hosts of evil will be defeated (Revelation 19:11–21). (1)

MILLENNIUM – The word millennium is derived from the Latin words mille meaning a thousand, and annus meaning year, i.e., a period of one thousand years. Although the concept of the millennium has its foundation in certain unconditional covenants from the Old Testament, Revelation 20:4–6 specifically and unmistakably mentions that Christ will reign on earth for a thousand years. (2) There are three primary views on the millennium. Continue reading “Armageddon, Millennium and Last Judgment”

The Anti-Christ

THE ANTI-CHRIST – The anti-Christ is the end-times antagonist of God and His people. He is a person who will be empowered by Satan and will function as an enemy of Jesus Christ and the Church. In the context of apocalyptic literature, this figure performs false miracles, deceives many in order to discourage people from worshiping the true God, and persecutes God’s people. The term anti-Christ could be interpreted either as Continue reading “The Anti-Christ”