Never Again

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NEVER TO BE FOUND, HEARD OR SHINE AGAINThen a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone 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. The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No workman of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again. The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. (Revelation 18:21-23a)

The casting of the millstone into the sea indicates the suddenness of God’s judgment on the empire of the Beast. Some Bible students see in this millstone the return of Christ, as pictured in Daniel 2:34–35, 44–45 (“the rock was cut out, but not by human hands…it will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will endure forever”).(1)

It also symbolizes the completeness of the judgement.(2) In Jeremiah 51:63–64, the prophet is commanded to hurl a stone into the Euphrates and declare that Babylon would likewise “sink to rise no more.” The stone referenced here is the kind of millstone that was turned by a beast to mill grain. It is so heavy that it could not be retrieved from the sea (Mark 9:42).

The eerie silence that follows in Babylon also means that the devastation is complete.(3) All her mighty works of industry, craftsmanship, political power, and artistic skill are brought to nothing (see also Jeremiah 25:9–11). She has played the harlot and worshiped the beast rather than devoting her skills and energies to God and to the Lamb.(4) Note the repeated “never again” statements in Revelation 18. When God declares no more, there is nothing man can do to change it.(5)

Up Next – Justification of Judgement.

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References

  1. Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 849). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  2. Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible (Re 18:21). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
  3. Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (Re 18:21–22). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  4. Dockery, D. S., Butler, T. C., Church, C. L., Scott, L. L., Ellis Smith, M. A., White, J. E., & Holman Bible Publishers (Nashville, T. . (1992). Holman Bible Handbook (p. 802). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  5. Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 849). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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.

The Scarlet Beast

THE SCARLET BEAST[The woman was] sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. When I saw [the beast], I was greatly astonished. Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of … the beast [that the woman] rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction … This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction. “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled. (Revelation 17:3-14, 16-17)

Identity of the Scarlet Beast – The scarlet beast is the same “beast coming out of the sea” mentioned in Revelation 13:1 (the anti-Christ). There he is also described as “having seven heads and ten horns.” This description indicates that he is Continue reading “The Scarlet Beast”

Mystery Babylon, the Mother of Prostitutes

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A MYSTERYThis title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES, AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? (Revelation 17:5, 7)

Spiritual Babylon – In the last days, many believe that a one world church will be formed, perhaps an amalgam or intermarriage of all world religions in the ultimate in coexistence. This world church (the harlot) will be involved in Continue reading “Mystery Babylon, the Mother of Prostitutes”