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A Study in Revelation


The Description And Destruction of Babylon


And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

 

Revelation 16:18 

 

In the previous study, John saw a vision of the seven vials, which happens near the end of  the tribulation. At the Seventh Vial, the thunders and a great earthquake occur and the great city Babylon is split in three parts. And then this city is remembered by God to give up the cup of the fierceness of His wrath. In this study, we will examine John's vision of Babylon. 

 

 

And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:  With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

Revelation 17:1 & 2

 

One of the angels who had the seven vials from the previous two chapters talked to John and  commanded him to come hither to show him the judgment of the great whore who sat up on many waters whom the kings of the earth committed fornication with her and the inhabitants of the earth that was drunk with the wine of her fornication.

 

 

The Woman

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 

And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked  with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 

And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

Revelation 17: 3-5

 

The angel carried John in the spirit into the wilderness where John saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast who was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. This woman was dressed in purple and scarlet and covered with gold and pearls and precious stones. And in her hand she held a cup full of abominations and filth of her fornication. And printed on her forehead was:

 

"MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

 Revelation 17: 6 & 7

 

As John saw  and wondered at this this woman drunken with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus, The angel told him the mystery of the woman and the beast with the seven heads and horns who carried her.

 

The Beast 

The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Revelation 17: 8

The beast in John's vision, the one who was and is not is the one who ascends out of the bottomless pit, and he will go into perdition, and they who dwell on the earth whose names are not written in the book of life will behold him. This beast carries a similar description earlier in Revelation;

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 

And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed:...And all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast...1

In the previous chapter, John describes the beast as one of heads as if it were wounded to death, and his deadly wound was healed. And the beast Revelation 17 as was and is not and shall descend out of the bottomless pit and go in perdition. And in Second Thessalonians, Paul described the Anti-christ as the "son of perdition."2 And in both chapters of Revelation, the earth dwellers behold the beast. 

The Seven Heads

And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 

And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Revelation 17: 9-11

John gives a further description. The seven heads of the beast are the seven mountains on which the woman sits. During the time Revelation was written, Rome was described as a city which sat on seven mountains. Christians were brutally persecuted and murdered. Today, Rome is home of the Vatican. The Roman Catholic church has swayed from Biblical teachings and have added their own doctrines which are contrary to biblical Christianity. Later, Martin Luther broke off from the Catholic Church, which started many reformations by other reformers. Many of the churches today have have recognized the Catholic Church and claimed this church teaches true Christianity. And there has been a movement to restore relations with this church and has made efforts to go back to Catholicism or create a one world "church."

Many in prophecy believe that Babylon is the apostate church which will unite all religions into one, except for true Christianity.

John also wrote there are seven kings. Five of them have fallen, and there is still one and there is another yet to come. The one who comes for a short space is the beast who was and is not and will be the eighth king. This could be possible that when he apparently dies and comes back to life, he will be the eighth king and will go into perdition.

The Ten Horns

And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

Revelation 17: 12-14

The angel describes the ten horns on the beast (in verse 3) are kings who haven't yet received a kingdom, but will receive power as kings as one hour with the beast to make war with the Lamb, who overcomes them, which is what happens at the sixth seal when they get ready to battle Christ at Armageddon.

And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

Revelation 17: 15

And the waters that John saw where the whore sits are multitudes of people from many nations and tongues. These are the ones who engage in the activities with the great harlot.

And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. 

For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. 

And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

Revelation 17: 16-18

The ten horns that John saw upon the beast (who will gather at Armageddon) will hate the whore and will make her desolate and naked. They will eat her flesh and devour her with fire because God had put this in their hearts to fulfill His will. And these kings will give their kingdom to the beast until the words of God are fulfilled.

Babylon Has Fallen!

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

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. 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.

Revelation 18:1-3

 

After the ten kings destroy the great whore, another angel proclaimed with a loud voice that Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen. This great city became a habitation of devils (demons) and held every foul spirit, and was a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. And all the nations have drunk the wine of of the wrath of her fornication. And all the kings of the earth drank the wine with her. And all the merchants of the earth were rich through the abundance of her sensuality.

 

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

Revelation 18: 4-5

 

John hears another voice from heaven commanding God's people to come out of the great whore and commanding His people not to partake in her sins so and do not receive her plagues. The sins of Babylon have reached up to Heaven, And God has remembered her iniquities.

 

 

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. 

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.  

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.

Revelation 18: 6-8

 

The voice commands those who come out of this great whore to "reward her as she has rewarded you" and to double unto her double according to her works. She had glorified herself and lived deliciously. So she is to be repaid with torment and sorrow because she said in her heart "I sit as a queen and not widowed and I will see no sorrow." The whore's plagues occur in one day with death, mourning and famine and she will be utterly burned with fire because the Lord's judgments are strong.

 

 

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,  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.

Revelation 18: 9-10

As plagues befall the whore, the kings of the earth who lived deliciously and committed fornication with her will will wail and lament for her. As they watch from afar for the fear for her torment as they see her burning. And 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."

 

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

The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,  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!  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,  And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!  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.

Revelation 18: 11-19

The merchants of the earth who were rich through her will also mourn over her because no one will able to buy their fine merchandise. And they will also stand from afar weeping and mourning as they watch her torment . And every shipmaster and sailor also stand afar and weep and watch the smoke of Babylon and wail and watch while in one hour the city is laid desolate. 

 

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

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. 

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; 

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. 

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

Revelation 18: 20-24

As the kings, merchants and shipmasters mourn over the great whore, heaven, the prophets and holy apostles rejoice over her destruction because God has repaid vengeance on her. And an angel threw a heavy millstone into the sea and said violence will no longer be found in her. Musicians will no longer be heard in her. Craftsmen will no longer found in her nor the voice of the bride and bridegroom will no longer be heard in her. And neither the light of a candle shine no linger in her. Because of her sorceries all the nations were deceived. And the blood of the prophets, saints and all of what were slain in the earth were found in her.

 

And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. 

 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. 

And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

Revelation 19:1-4

After John Saw the above, he he heard a great voice in heaven proclaiming and praising the Lord for His righteous judgment as He judged the great whore. And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped the Lord.


Footnotes

1-Revelation 13:1-4b.

2-2 Thessalonians 2:3.

3-Revelation 16:13-16.