Saturday, May 15, 2010

Revelation 18:1-5

Chapter 18

Verse 1-2 “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.”

An angel first announces that Babylon has fallen. She is no longer wields the power she once did. She is nothing more than a habitation for devils, demons, foul spirits, and unclean birds. This is a repeat of the announcement in chapter 14, which we did not go into at that time, of the fall of Babylon. But is this fall from power the same thing as her total destruction? This seemed to create a problem in chapter 14 if taken as her destruction there, because her destruction comes at the end of chapter 16 when the end of God‘s wrath occurs. This would be at the end of the 1290 days (which according to Daniel is how long it takes for everything to be accomplished after the abomination of desolation) and several weeks after the rapture which occurs shortly after the 1260 days. If, however, we accept in chapter 14 that it is speaking of her fall from power, not her destruction, (the word fallen really does not imply complete destruction, as the Greek word means to fail or fall down) there is not a problem. If her fall from power precedes her destruction, there should be a confirmation of that somewhere else besides chapter 14, and indeed there may be in the following verses. Referring back to the fall of Babylon, it is unclear as to exactly what is going on in that fall. We know that the ten cohorts of the beast want her complete destruction, and we know that the beast is not going to share his power, so it would seem that before her destruction she must have been brought under a certain amount of submission to the beast. It may be that she has gone along with the beast at first, but there are a lot of militant Americans who do not want to submit to a one world government, and they might cause problems so she needs to be rendered helpless to fight back. There are Old Testament scriptures that indicate that Babylon is going to be overrun and pillaged by the Islamic nations. Jer. 51:27-29 "Set up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz; appoint a captain against her; cause the horses to come up like the rough caterpillars. Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Medes, their captains, and all their rulers, and all the land of their dominion. And the land shall tremble and sorrow; for every purpose of the Lord shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant. The mighty men of Babylon have forborne to fight, they have remained in their holds; their might hath failed, they became like women; they have burned her dwelling places; her bars are broken. One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end, and that the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned with fire and the men of war are affrighted. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor; it is time to thresh her; yet a little while, and the time of her harvest shall come." Coincidentally(?) the kingdoms of Ararat (Turkey), Minni, and Ashkenaz (the area east of Turkey where Azerbaijan and Georgia are) along with the Medes (Iran) are part of what an Islamic league would include if our understanding of previous scriptures is correct. Note that according to this scripture Babylon is threshed (fallen,) but her time of harvest is not yet come. In other words, the harvest of saints to reward, and the harvest of sinners to wrath (the two harvests of Rev. 14) has not yet come. This event of being overrun by these nations precedes her total annihilation. With the many Muslims in this country, not to mention the Muslim compounds that exist (I must admit to being suspicious of an Islamic compound that is much too close to our home for comfort - one wonders why the government does not investigate), it is not a stretch to think that when the Mahdi makes his claim to godhood and calls for his followers to "kill the infidels", that even the most pacifistic Muslim will take up his sword and behead anyone who will not submit to the Mahdi, their messiah.

Verse 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.”

Again we see that drunkenness is associated with Babylon. This is a repetition of a previous description whereby everyone is drunk because of her fornications. This also states that the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of luxuries that she bestows upon herself. She buys and buys to lavish upon herself. This can describe no one other than America. We are known all over the world for this sin. Other countries sell us all kinds of material garbage for us to consume, and consume we do.

Verse 4-5 “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.”

Here is a very pertinent verse for Christians. In a previous verse, it was stated that Babylon had fallen, but it was not stated that she had been destroyed. It was surmised that that there should be a confirmation of this idea, if it is indeed so. It would appear that the confirmation is found here. God’s people are told to come out of Babylon, so that they will not receive the plagues that He is about to perpetrate upon her. While many think that this means that Christians should leave America, and this may be true (although I think this applies in that context to religious Jews rather than Christians as the instruction as to where they are to flee is found in verse 50 "Ye who have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still; remember the Lord afar off, and let Jerusalem come into your mind.") given a scripture in Jer. 51: 44-45 "And I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up, and the nations shall not flow together anymore unto him; yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall. My people, go out of the midst of her, and deliver every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord," a look back to chapters 14-16 makes one wonder if this is not God calling the remnant that remains out of the earth in the rapture before His wrath descends and Babylon is destroyed. (Note in the verse the nations flow together (merge) to Babylon. this would again present an argument for America being Babylon.) This chapter is in essence a history of Babylon. In the course of that history, at some point the rapture would have occurred. If God were to refer to it, it would give us a focal point in time by which we can line up the chronology of Babylon’s history with the rest of the chronology in Revelation. We have seen before that when God takes a break in the chronology or timeline of the book of Revelation to fill in other histories, He gives us focal points or events in the new history to help us overlay it onto the previous chronology that we have, so that we have an overview of everything that is happening in its correct place. We saw this done with chapters 11-13. In chapter 14 we had the announcement that Babylon had fallen, then there was the rapture and the pouring out of the seven vials of God‘s wrath, and then Babylon got her comeuppance. If we take these verses in the same context and chronology, we have Babylon falling, God’s people being told to come out of her (the rapture), and now we should see her destruction, if it is indeed the same chronology as chapter 14. Just as expected it states that her sins have reached as high as heaven, and God is now remembering her to judge her. This is also what it said at the end of chapter 16 at the last vial judgment, that God remembers Babylon and gives her the full cup of His wrath. The use of the similar verbal phrases in the two accounts (remembrance before God, cup filled, plagues) are deliberate to link the two as the same event. Her destruction by plagues and filling her cup with God's wrath is what we should see next here, if this is a correct understanding of the order of events, and we do.

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