We ended Revelation 17 talking about the scarlet-clad harlot who rides the beast and how the nations allied with the beast/antichrist will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh, and will burn her up with fire.
The harlot is this cluster of people who think they have the right to lord over the rest of us, as they impose medical mandates and mask rules, all for the purpose of gaining more riches and an unlimited supply of food while many of us starve. According to scripture, these people are using the nations that fall under the category of beast nations. If these are Islamic nations, who are being driven into battles with each other, then these same nations will, in time, destroy the beast; this is the majority of the message in Revelation 18, so let’s dive in.
Revelation 18:1 NET. After these things I saw another angel, who possessed great authority, coming down out of heaven, and the earth was lit up by his radiance.
Jesus is the radiance of the Father’s glory, but this is NOT Him. This angel is a messenger, as many of them are. An intriguing piece of information: the first time we see an angel mentioned by name is in Daniel 8:6, Gabriel. What a surprise, as it is Gabriel who brings the message to Mary of the impending birth of Jesus (Luke_1:19).
In Daniel 10:6 Gabriel shows up once again to give Daniel a much-needed explanation. Here I want you to pay attention to what this angel looks like.
Daniel 10:5-6 NASB I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a certain man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of Uphaz. (6) His body also was like beryl, his face had the appearance of lightning, his eyes were like flaming torches, his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a tumult.
Gabriel reflects an amazing amount of light and produces some of his own. We have nothing that tells us that this angel in verse one is Gabriel; I am only giving you some interesting information, and, it is what this angel says that makes the difference, as the message changes everything.
Revelation 18:2 NLT “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.”
As I sit here typing out this post, I can see the pictures taken by American service members of the town and the location of Babylon in my mind’s eye. It looked very similar to several of our California desert communities. Contextually, in what seems to be chronological telling of the events during the time of wrath, Babylon is fallen. In case you missed my point, as far as I am concerned, Babylon fell several thousand years ago.
The passage (Revelation 18:2) emphasizes the word fallen (piptō) by using it twice. This is meant to draw your attention to the importance of what is being said. In Greek, the word Fallen. or Piptō, means to descend from a higher place to a lower, to fall, to be thrust down, and metaphorically to fall under judgment or condemnation.
I have gone over the subject of Babylon several times in the last couple of weeks, but there are always new readers. Israel is called Babylon, and so is the physical place where we find Daniel, formerly of Israel.
There is a fascinating reference to Babylon, the great city, in Revelation 16. There it speaks of a great earthquake splitting the city into thirds.
The obvious thing about Babylon is that it is little more than a spot on the map; in other words, it doesn’t exist anymore except when it represents spiritual debauchery.
The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. (Revelation 16:19 NASB)
Is it any coincidence, in speaking of this same period, that the Prophet Zechariah says,
Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.
(Zechariah 13:7-8 KJV)
Revelation 11 speaks of the two witnesses God places back on the earth. Upon their death, they lie in the streets of Jerusalem but pay attention to how it is described.
And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. (Revelation 11:8 NASB)
Our Lord was crucified in Jerusalem, and here it is being called the great city, just as Babylon was in Revelation 18:2. The allusion to Sodom and Egypt is associated with the sexual and religious perversions that will be predominant sins ending this age (Matthew_24:37-39; Luke_17:26-30).
This may come as a shock, but we have been talking about Israel all this time.
Revelation 18:3 NLT 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.”
“For all the nations have fallen because of the wine of her passionate immorality.”
I want to touch on something before we continue. Israel, having come out of Egypt, at least that is how their migration is described, did not leave that junk behind; they brought it all with them. And what they did not bring with them, they adopted.
I will let you in on an aspect of my struggle to create a bible study that is based on the word and a bit more relational. I have always understood that Balaam said something to Balak, which was then used to bring down Israel. So, I did a word search for Balaam. Did you know that his donkey spoke to him, and he was not shocked, and Israel killed Balaam in one of their battles? Proof that even if God talks to you, you don’t have His protection, as some would try to imply. The Revelation has one of the most significant clues, proving that Balaam fed Balak information that eventually brought down Israel. The craziest thing is that Israel was more than willing to bring about its own downfall.
Revelation 2:14 MKJV But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the teachings of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling-block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication.
Typically, if I use a cross-reference, I will find a word that links a revealing statement like this back to its origin. However, this one is tough as everything seems to allude to something being said but not the specifics. The passage that is the most defining in terms of how Israel went down is Numbers 25:1-3.
While the Israelites were camped at Acacia Grove, some of the men defiled themselves by having sexual relations with local Moabite women. These women invited them to attend sacrifices to their gods, so the Israelites feasted with them and worshiped the gods of Moab. In this way, Israel joined in the worship of Baal of Peor, causing the LORD’s anger to blaze against his people. (Numbers 25:1-3 NLT)
Yes, this next one is long, but I want you to see a few things in it. I will highlight them.
Numbers 31:6-16 MKJV And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe. He sent them and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments and the trumpets to blow in his hand. (7) And they warred against the Midianites, as Jehovah commanded Moses. And they killed all the males. (8) And they killed the kings of Midian, besides the rest of their slain: Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian. They also killed Balaam, the son of Beor, with the sword. (9) And the sons of Israel took all the women of Midian captive, and their little ones, and the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. (10) And they burned with fire all their cities, their homes, and all their towers. (11) And they took all the spoil and all the prey of men and animals. (12) And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, to Moses and to Eleazar, the priest, and to the congregation of the sons of Israel, to the camp at the plains of Moab, which are beside Jordan, at Jericho. (13) And Moses and Eleazar the priest, and all the rulers of the congregation, went forth to meet them outside the camp. (14) And Moses was angry with the officers of the army, the captains over thousands and captains over hundreds, who came from the battle. (15) And Moses said to them, Have you saved all the women alive? (16) Behold, these caused the sons of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit sin against Jehovah in the matter of Peor, and the plague was on the congregation of Jehovah.
Here is an example of what the cross-reference gives you.
Balaam. Num_22:5; Num_24:14; *Num_25:1-3; *+Num_31:8; >Num_31:16, Jos_13:22; Jos_24:9, Psa_68:21, +2Pe_2:15, *Jud_1:11.
While most of these speak about Balaam, none tell us how he instructed Balak to destroy Israel.
If Babylon refers to a physical city, which it doesn’t, how and where are these present-tense sins taking place?
For most, including many of those who call themselves “Christians” because they will not read the Bible with an intent to learn, this means there is no physical place for this to happen.
So, when God says come away from her, my people, you have to answer the question as to who He is talking about and where they are coming out of. Try to get a Jew to confess that Israel is neck-deep in sexual and spiritual sins, and it won’t happen.
If you wish to take this quest for a physical Babylon back to Babel, then you have to include Nimrod and the plains of Shinar. (Search for scriptural references to Nimrod, and you will find three.)
Why am I pointing out this lack of information?
Because there are those, who feel they are biblical purists and will not accept extra-biblical information. That kind of position seems rather odd when virtually everything we are asked to understand about Babylon is extra-biblical.
Here we learn his ancestry and that he was a mighty hunter. Don’t be deceived by the simplicity of the word hunter, as this has some horrifying darkness attached to it.
1Chronicles 1:10, and again, we have a bit of Nimrod.
And finally, the Prophet Micah. In Micah 5:6, a somewhat confusing and dark statement says, “They will shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, The land of Nimrod at its entrances.” A statement like this masks the context and forces us to find out who and what is doing the shepherding.
Not much in the way of information is there. Yet, Babylon, the extension of Babel, the creation of Nimrod, seems to have an extensive history, including Babel’s tower, a wife, a son, and a false religious system. What we can gather about this religious system we learn from Josephus, how Nimrod persuaded people to ascribe their happiness to him rather than God.
Ah, but this is another example where we move into extra-biblical information, and, as one brother in Christ stated, we should NOT expose ourselves to extra-biblical information.
Are you kidding me?
We merely pick and choose which extra-biblical information we choose to cling to, such as Jesus being a carpenter when the reality is that NO ONE said Jesus was a carpenter. A similar statement was made about Joseph that goes like this – they said, isn’t this the son of Joseph, the tekton. Tekton is the Greek word for craftsman, which includes poets, and yet no one perceives Joseph as being a poet, but then neither was Jesus. So we have reasoned that this hostile statement about Joseph being a carpenter applies to Jesus because Jewish tradition says that the Son followed in the father’s career path. Considering that both Joseph and Mary were informed about Jesus’ role on earth and who His real Father is.
Revelation 18:4-5 NLT 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. (5) For her sins are piled as high as heaven, and God remembers her evil deeds.
An examination of Babylon, and the sensuality we are informed of, can easily be compared to Israel, who, soon after coming out of Egypt, started offering their children as sacrifices on the altar of Moloch, at the base of Mount Sinai; all this immediately moves the conversation over into the spiritual side and enforces the idea that Babylon is an all-encompassing spiritual entity.
But, the entity did not stay in the plains of Shinar, did it?
It, alongside the people of Israel, got brought into the present-day country of Israel.
An obvious question. Who are God’s people?
The answer to this lies in understanding that the overall context of the Bible is a Jewish book, which tells the story of a specific people, that came through Abraham and his son, Issac. So yes, nations also came through Ishmael, but it is clear that most of these nations became the enemies of Israel and God.
“Come away from her, my people.”
So “my people” are talking about the Jews and, through adoption, followers of Christ.
“Do not take part in her sins, or you will be punished with her.”
“Her” is equal to Israel, and the entirety of Revelation is about the punishment against the nations and Israel.
Let’s camp here for a moment. I have been trying to convey that Israel represents a considerable aspect of Babylon on several levels. The Prophet Jeremiah explains.
Jeremiah 51:1-9 AMP THUS SAYS the Lord: Behold, I will raise up against Babylon and against those who dwell among those rebelling against Me a destroying wind and spirit; (2) And I will send to Babylon strangers or winnowers who will winnow her and will empty her land; for in the day of calamity they will be against her on every side. (3) Against him who bends, let the archer bend his bow, and against him who lifts himself up in his coat of mail. And spare not her young men; devote [to God] and utterly destroy her entire host. (4) Thus, they shall fall down slain in the land of the Chaldeans and wounded in her streets. (5) For Israel has not been widowed and forsaken, nor has Judah, by his God, the Lord of hosts, though their land is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel. (6) Flee out of the midst of Babylon! Let every man save his life! Let not destruction come upon you through her [punishment for] sin and guilt. For it is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; He will render to her a recompense. [Jer. 50:28; II Cor. 6:17; Rev. 18:4.] (7) Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, making all the earth drunken. The nations drank of her wine; therefore, the nations have gone mad. [Rev. 14:8; 17:4.] (8) Babylon has suddenly fallen and is shattered (destroyed)! Wail for her [if you care to]! Get balm for her [incurable] pain; if [you do] so she may [possibly] be healed! [Jer. 25:15; Rev. 14:8-10; 16:19; 18:2, 3.] (9) We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed. Forsake her and let us each go to his own country, for her guilt and the judgment against her reach to heaven and are lifted even to the skies. [Gen. 18:20, 21.]
Did you pick up on the idea that this conversation initiated about Babylon? This place is a skeleton of what it once was, and then inserted the character and nature of Israel in as the target of God’s wrath and vengeance.
Yes, Babylon encompasses the monetary and governmental systems, and finally, it replaced a system of worship based upon Elohim with the worship of everything but God.