This dive into Revelation 18 begins with verse 20.
Revelation 18:20 NASB “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.”
When you think about the judgment and what that horror looks like for the nations and Israel, why would you rejoice?
One answer might be because this means that the beginning and the eventual end of this fury, from both humanity and God, is close and peace is finally near. Another train of thought occurs to me, for as you migrate through the Revelation, you see the martyred saints crying out, how long, oh Lord. It is difficult to see this question as anything other than a cry for vengeance. Considering that these are before the throne when they say it and that those who have been martyred, which are now in heaven, cannot stand before the throne without this change we see in 1Corinthians 15:22. It does not make sense that they would be seeking an eye for eye justice since the drive to sin has been removed from them.
Look at what Revelation 6 tells us.
and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also. (Revelation 6:10-11 NASB)
Sadly, our religious training drives us to look at the Great White Throne, as a place where many teachers send all who come to this throne to their final, inescapable day of justice.
Do I rejoice over the idea that we can so easily send people to hell?
No, I mourn, as many have foolishly chosen to follow Satan to his eternal punishment and they don’t need our help. Ah, but there is a high point in this throne of judgment, for many will be found worthy to enter the kingdom. You see, this Great White Throne is the same throne we see in Matthew 25, and there Jesus, the gentle shepherd, separates the crowd into two groups. One He calls the sheep and the other goats. Jesus tells the “sheep” to enter the kingdom, while those referred to as goats get sent to the eternal hell meant for Satan and his followers. So, there is hope even in this.
Justice/judgment began with the breaking of the first seal in Revelation chapter 6 and comes to completion approximately seven years later when Jesus returns as the conquering king at the end of the seven years. As you begin to read Revelation 6 you see a rider on a white horse and another on a red horse. The rider on the white horse represents the antichrist and he comes conquering. The red horse rider takes peace from the earth. If you can understand that God just used two humans to fulfill His prophecies, then you are on your way to understanding the Revelation.
‘He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS; AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My Father; (Revelation 2:26-27 NASB)
The only one who has overcome and kept God’s deeds until the end is Jesus. He is the one who has the authority over the nations.
Note the ominous words, He (Jesus) shall rule them with a rod of iron, as he breaks the vessels to pieces.
God is the one who made every vessel (that includes you and me,) and He is the one who has the right to destroy those vessels.
What did the Holy Spirit say in Revelation 18:20?
God has pronounced judgment for you against her.
So, who is the “you” in this sentence?
The verse itself tells us that it is the saints, the apostles, and the prophets.
Saints, in the context of the Revelation, apply to those who have been martyred during the time of God’s wrath.
If the application applies to all saints, then wouldn’t they already be in heaven, with the Father; they would.
“For indeed, while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord–” (2 Corinthians 5:4-6 NASB)
Assuming that we, the church, fit into one of these categories, saints, apostles, or prophets then the potential is here for at least a couple of these as being descriptives of the church; and, I could then say, yes, we are saints.
Use 1Corinthians 1:2 as a definition of a saint,
To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours: (1 Corinthians 1:2 NASB)
Secondly, as the prophetic, in the Revelation, is defined like this, the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, then believers fall under this category as long as you are testifying of the work of Jesus in your life, as described in the Word. In a sense, you are prophesying every time you proclaim Jesus. Let that sink in.
Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he *said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10 NASB)
I am bypassing the term apostles as it is saturated with controversy and misuse. It effectively means sent ones, and according to Jesus’ commission, we have all been sent to spread the good news of the kingdom.
A former pastor used to say, in heaven, we will be looking down over the edge of the balcony, able to see what is going on here on earth during the time of wrath, and we will rejoice with those who come to know Jesus and enter into the kingdom because they are martyred. That pastor seems to forget that there will be no more sorrow in heaven. Being able to witness the horror and suffering that those on earth will continue to experience until that Revelation 19 moment when Jesus comes back to end all fighting seems rather sadistic and bizarre.
If I can find the church among those rejoicing, it is only because God has pronounced judgment.
Revelation 18:21 AMP Then a single powerful angel took up a boulder like a great millstone and flung it into the sea, crying, With such violence shall Babylon the great city be hurled down to destruction and shall never again be found. [Jeremiah. 51:63, 64; Ezekiel. 26:21.]
There is that phrase once again, the great city. One dramatic verse is Revelation 11:8, where it says.
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)
The context of Revelation chapter 11 has much to do with God’s two witnesses coming back to earth and giving testimony of God, His power, and Jesus Christ. That last one, Jesus Christ, will still only be marginally acceptable to the Jews.
Notice that their dead bodies lie in the street of that great city. The only place God puts these men is in Jerusalem, so the city is Jerusalem. Verse 8 continues on by identifying Jerusalem as Sodom and Egypt, spiritually. Obviously, it is NEITHER of those two places.
So, if Jerusalem can be referred to as Sodom and Egypt, then what is to prevent it from being called Babylon?
Well, nothing really. Revelation 18:21 says,
“with such violence shall Babylon the great city be hurled down to destruction and never be found.”
In the book of Lamentations, we find this.
“The Lord has rejected all my strong men In my midst; He has called an appointed time against me To crush my young men; The Lord has trodden as in a wine press The virgin daughter of Judah.(Lamentations 1:15 NASB)
It is the Lord that is doing the crushing and He is doing it because of sins.
For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen, Because their speech and their actions are against the LORD, To rebel against His glorious presence. (Isaiah 3:8 NASB)
More evidence for why they are fallen.
Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, For you have stumbled because of your iniquity. (Hosea 14:1 NASB)
In the book of Amos, we again see a direct address against Israel.
Hear this word that I take up against you in lament, house of Isra’el: The virgin of Isra’el has fallen; she will not rise again. She lies abandoned on her own soil with no one to lift her up.(Amos 5:1-2 CJB)
Continuing through chapter 18.
Revelation 18:22-23 NASB (22) “And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer, and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer, and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; (23) and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer, and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery.
If this is the definitive telling of the end of Jerusalem then where and when is this new city going to come and sit?
At the end of the seven years, after Jesus has ended the fighting and bloodshed, the New Jerusalem will come down. It will sit upon the entirety of the land God promised to Abraham – 1500 miles square, and it will be filled with the sound of music, laughter, water running, merchants, and joy.
At the end of this morass and punishment, the new Jerusalem will be filled with the opposite of the curse. Within the city, there will be no deception and sorcery.
For me, my imagination turns to something that looks like a scene from Harry Potter. No, I have never seen any aspect of Harry Potter except for commercials. This word sorcery seems so simple and self-explanatory, and it is unless sorcery was a poor choice for a translation.
Sorcery is the Greek word pharmakeia and means medication. The word also conveys the idea of using or administering drugs and poisoning people by drug usage. What do you think the so-called vaccinations are?
You might ask, what does this have to do with Israel and Jerusalem?
Are you not aware that Israel was in full agreement with this globalist agenda of population reduction and made it very difficult for anyone that was not fully inoculated. After they noticed, that many of their population were having horrid reactions to the vaccines and that the majority of Covid cases we coming from fully vaccinated people, they dropped the mandates. Don’t worry, the propaganda has had the desired effect and many, even in the church, are enveloped in fear and will probably comply with all future attempts to control the populace.
The last verse in chapter 18, and my last attempt at convincing you that we are NOT looking for a rebuilt Babylon speaks about the fact that the blood of saints and prophets have been found in her.
Revelation 18:24 NASB “And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.”
I have pointed out, on several occasions, that the primary source of information we have on Babylon is from the Prophet Daniel and the three Hebrew young men who were taken captive with Daniel. Every attempt to kill these young men failed, so surely these are not the subject of verse 24.
Since Babylon is a continuation of Babel, then we know even less, and what we do know is wholly extra-biblical.
What do the scriptures say about this blood?
“Also on your skirts is found The lifeblood of the innocent poor; You did not find them breaking in. But in spite of all these things, (Jeremiah 2:34 NASB)
I suggest you read all of Ezekiel 22.
“You have despised My holy things and profaned My sabbaths. “Slanderous men have been in you for the purpose of shedding blood, and in you, they have eaten at the mountain shrines. In your midst, they have committed acts of lewdness. (Ezekiel 22:8-9 NASB)
And I will end this with Jesus’ words from Matthew’s gospel.
“Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous bloodshed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. (Matthew 23:34-35 NASB)
Did you get that?
“ so that upon you (Israel) may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth
How badly some want to see Babylon rebuilt. I suppose it comes from a need to validate their false prophecies.
Do you understand that I want you to be able to understand the Revelation and the words you find here? It is not that difficult when you realize that the majority of the prophecy is derived from the Old Testament and that figuring out what the context is, is key.
I was accosted by one of my pastors, several years ago, when he said, NO ONE understands the Revelation or the prophetic. I later learned that this pastor’s anger was triggered by another brother in Christ who pushed his theories with the insistence that the pastor allow him to teach his theories.
I have written to believers who wish to understand God’s word, as I do. If you are not a believer and want to be, then follow these simple words.
A – Admit you’re a sinner.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
B – Believe Jesus is Lord.
John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
C – Call upon His name.
Romans 10:13 “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”