Revelation 18

As there is to be an ecclesiastical Babylon (“confusion”) heading up in the great Tribulation period, so there is also a great political Babylon, the pride of the great men of the earth, which shall likewise come to a terrible and an everlasting end, when Christ shall return in glory. This great system, back of which is anti-christ, will bitterly hate any who would glorify any god but materialism and the beast and will be guilty of the blood of many prophets and saints who have stood true to the everlasting Gospel.

1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.

2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.

7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.

9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,

10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,

13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.

15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,

16 And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!

17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;

23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

Revelation 18:1-13 – ​“Her Sins Have Reached unto Heaven”

   We have seen that the scarlet woman represents the false religion of human wit and fashion. It is found in every age. There is not a city, town, or village where it does not seek to allure men from Christ. The mischief is that so many really godly people are misled by it. In this they resemble Obadiah, who hid the prophets in a cave and fed them but was hand and glove with Ahab. To all such, who are endeavoring to keep in touch with the true Bride and with the apostate Church, the summons of Revelation 18:4 has a very profound significance.
   It was the unanimous verdict of the reformers that the great city here described, Revelation 18:10, was intended to represent Rome, as the seat of the great apostasy. If that be the case, the merchandise described here does not refer to literal commerce, but to the carnal delights which are often permitted and fostered by false religious systems to win the adhesion of the worldly and unclean. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Revelation 18:4—Come out of her, My people.

​   We cannot be surprised to find that God has people in the midst of Babylon. Probably in the most corrupt days there has always been a remnant of seven thousand who have not bowed the knee or kissed the hand to Baal. It is the presence of true, though benighted, piety which has perpetuated the existence of organizations which are an offence and a stumbling-block. But their presence in such company cannot be tolerated.
   It is often argued that we should stay in the midst of churches and bodies whose sins and follies we deplore, in the hope of saving them for God and man. And such reasoning has a good deal of force in the first stages of declension. A strong protest may arrest error. A vigorous policy may stop the gangrene, But as time advances, and the whole body becomes infected and diseased; when the protests have been disregarded, and the arguments trampled under foot; when the majority have clearly taken up their position against the truth; when her sins have reached up to heaven, and the plagues are about to befall—there is need for another policy; we have no alternative but to come out and be separate, and not touch the unclean thing. “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach” (Hebrews 13:13).
   The place from which we can exert the strongest influence for good is not from within, but from without. Lot lost all influence of his life in Sodom; but Abraham, from the heights of Mamre, was able to exert a mighty influence on its history. Obadiah might bide the prophets of God by fifties in a cave; but Elijah, from the Mount of Carmel, was able to exterminate the priests of Baal, and call back again the people’s hearts to God. —Our Daily Homily

Revelation 18:14-24 – ​Fallen Like a Stone into the Sea

   This section delineates the utter desolation which will ensue when the judgments of God have finished their mission against professing but unfaithful Christendom. How near we are at the present hour to their fulfillment, we dare not say. But it often seems as if we are living in the last days of “the times of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24), and very near the fulfillment of all that is written in this book. It is the universal comment that all religious values are being altered. The church systems, as such, give signs that they are losing their hold on the vast masses of the people, while the heart of man cries out as eagerly as ever for the living God. We can only heed the Lord’s command to watch, and see to it that we may be found of Him in peace, and standing patiently at our post. In the meantime events in the distant East are symptomatic of the fig tree putting forth her leaves. See Matthew 24:32. —Through the Bible Day by Day