After 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 dwelling for demons
and a haunt for every impure spirit,
a haunt for every unclean bird,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.
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.”
Then 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.
Pour her a double portion from her own cup.
Give her as much torment and grief
as the glory and luxury she gave herself.
In her heart she boasts,
‘I sit enthroned as queen.
I am not a widow;
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.
“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 to you, great city,
you mighty city of Babylon!
In one hour your doom has come!’
In chapter seventeen, we see the judgment of two Babylons. We will first see the apostate church in the Great Tribulation in chapter seventeen. Then we will see a commercial Babylon in chapter eighteen. These represent the religious and secular partners who have aligned themselves with the Antichrist. Many questions arise concerning these two Babylons. Are these two Babylons two different geographical locations? Are they representative of two world systems? Are they the same?
Unfortunately, there is not enough time to answer all these questions in one short devotion. Many believe the first Babylon identifies a one world religion that is present during the time of the Great Tribulation. Even when Christ’s bride departs, religion will flourish because man is prone to worship something even if it is not God. In his commentary on the book of Revelation, J.V. McGee writes, “This one world church is guilty of spiritual fornication, selling herself to the world for hire.” This one world church controls the Antichrist during the first half of the Great Tribulation, yet it is hated by him. During the last half of the Tribulation, the Antichrist destroys the one world church to set up his own religion where he is the sole object of false worship as he claims to be God.
The commercial Babylon is loved by the world and the Antichrist. The Antichrist is able to use the commercial Babylon to advance his agenda. We have all heard it said that, “Money makes the world go round.” What we see in chapter eighteen is that this commercial Babylon is destroyed at the end of the Great Tribulation by the return of Christ. Some scholars believe that this commercial Babylon is indeed ancient Babylon, rebuilt as the commercial capital of the world. They believe this new commercial capital is the final capital of political power of the Antichrist. It doesn’t matter how you view this second Babylon as long as you see that the destruction of this corrupt political and economic system is destroyed as Christ returns to establish His kingdom here on earth. The fall of this second Babylon produces entirely opposite effects on earth and in heaven. The earth is plunged into mourning. The heavenly and spiritual world rejoices!
The final word on this corrupt economic and political system is “the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again.” Like a stone that makes a big splash and then disappears beneath the waves, this second Babylon will come to an end. The second coming of Christ will usher in a new government and economy that is led by the King of kings and Lord of lords. This new kingdom will not know corruption and will last forever. The old is gone, and the new has come! Praise the Lord!
Questions to Ponder
As we move rapidly toward the end of the story, how are you feeling about where this is leading? How has false religion and the pursuit of wealth influenced our world today? How has Satan used false religion and the pursuit of wealth to advance his kingdom? Are you able to pray, “Lord Jesus, come quickly”?
- Praise the Lord as the King of kings and Lord of lords.
- Ask Him to help you to invest in the things that last forever, such as His Word and people.
- Pray that we, as His children, will use the things that He has given us to further His kingdom, such as time, talent, and treasure.
- Ask for His kingdom to come, and His will to be done as it is in heaven.
Lord, You are the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. We long for Your returning and we pray: Lord Jesus, come quickly! In the name that is above every name, Jesus Christ, we ask. Amen and amen!