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Exploring Revelation
11234
“Revelation 18:2-6”
by Art Sadlier   
August 29th, 2010

Verse 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."

During the last half of the tribulation period Antichrist works to establish his world-wide political economic domination of the world. After destroying the harlot church (at the mid-trib point) he establishes a new religion, the worship of Satan through the worship of himself. Though the harlot church has been destroyed, yet spiritual Babylon carries on and reaches its climax in the form of Satan worship that dominates the last three and half years. The economic, political Babylon is always in union with religious Babylon, the religion just changes.

We have here the proclamation that this economic, political, religious monstrosity has now been brought crashing down. This monstrosity had just reached the point where it totally dominated the entire world of men and nations. No one could buy or sell unless they worshipped the beast, the Antichrist. Just as Satan appears to have reached his goal of ruling the world and having the world worship him, God crushes the whole thing!

"And is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." The kingdom of Antichrist is of the essence of Satan, it is all that is opposite to what God is. The essence of the kingdom of God is righteousness and peace. The essence of the kingdom of Satan is given, "foul, unclean and hateful." Before God's kingdom can be established the kingdom of Satan must be destroyed. All of mankind must be separated, the righteous from the unrighteous, there could be no heaven without hell, and there could be no righteous kingdom unless and until evil is bound in hell.

God has allowed Satan and evil to run its course to the full. Satan and evil are revealed for what they really are. Satan cannot rule the kingdom, and God has proven this by allowing him to try. The question is now settled forever.

"Babylon the great is fallen," this is not only the end of the tribulation period but also the end of the 6,000 year great experiment to prove Satan cannot rule in God's stead. It is finally over, praise God! God has been vindicated and will now be glorified as the sovereign, holy, merciful, patient, and Almighty Lord of the universe.

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."

"For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication,"  materialism has a tremendous pull on our hearts. It has always drawn the hearts of men and nations away from God. "Things" have repeatedly usurped the place God desires to have in the hearts of men. All down through the long age of man, man has worshipped "things" in place of the worship of God. Materialism has always been the tool of Satan to draw men's hearts from God. Materialism has always been at the center of human government. "The kings of the earth have committed fornication with her," the anger of God is therefore kindled against human government. God is a jealous God who loves man and does not want anything to come between Himself and man.

Today the biggest excuse for having no time for God is business and possessions and the activities that will gain money. "Things" then become a great curse in our lives, though we do not often see it until it is too late.

All of these things will reach a great climax in the tribulation period. There will be unprecedented material prosperity such as the world has never known.

Verse 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." During the last three and a half years of the tribulation period the World Empire of Antichrist will be occupied with several things.

First - We have the slaughter of those people who are being saved and coming to Christ (tribulation saints). These believers will turn away from the kingdom of Antichrist and refuse neither to worship him nor to take his mark upon them.

Second - There is the slaughter of Israelis.  We read in Zechariah 13, that two thirds of all living Israelis will die during that time.

Third - It will be a time when the judgment of God will be falling on the world. It will also be a time when men will go on a rampage of lawlessness. However, in the midst of all of this men and nations will experience perhaps the greatest time of material prosperity. Satan will give the world the greatest material affluence it has ever known. This will be dispensed through the Antichrist himself; Satan will deliver the things of this world to his worshippers.

"Fornication" - Spiritual adultery takes place when men worship something other than God Himself. Satan will bargain with men and nations; he will give material wealth and prosperity in return for their worship. This is the climax of the bargain Satan has always made with men. Men are not always totally aware of the bargain they are making with Satan, probably because God has hardened their hearts somewhere along the way as they have turned away from Him.

"Come out of her my peopleHow could there be God's people found in the system of Antichrist? I believe the answer is in the realization that during that time multitudes of men and women will be saved and they will be saved as they are found within the system of Antichrist. They will not have taken the mark of the beast, yet they will be found within the system. It is they who will come out of her when they are saved.

From another aspect I believe that this verse is written to our day. As we see the day approaching we see these two Babylons forming. We see the growing ecumenical movement and we see the growing materialism; the warning is not to be caught in either.

In that future day the choice will be;

A - Not receiving the mark of the beast and the resulting Martyrdom.

B - Receiving the mark of the beast and plunging into the great material prosperity and ultimate destruction.

"For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities" (verse 5).

God keeps a record of sins and God judges sin. Babylonianism began at Babel nearly 4,500 years ago and it has continued ever since. It has striven to establish a political-economic system in harmony with a world religion that is based on man’s efforts instead of God’s grace. It has been practiced in harmony with Satan and has been occupied with persecuting the true people of God. God has been writing, and he has kept a record of the sins of Babylon. Now as the age draws to a close -- God is going to judge Babylon.

Understand that the participants of the Babylonian system have changed down over the years. There was a change in the mid-point of the tribulation period as the harlot church was replaced by the Satan worship in the kingdom of Antichrist. It seems that as God judges Babylon here at the close of the tribulation, the Babylonian system of Antichrist is representative of all of historical Babylon as God judges it.

"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" (verse 6).

We have here an emphasis on the extent of God's wrath and judgment on the sins of Babylon. What is true of Babylon is also true of every person who rejects Christ as Saviour. We remind you that the greatest single hindrance to the reception of Christ is counterfeit religion. Multitudes believe they have no need of the gospel because they have their own religion. Religion has occupied itself with deceiving men and women and leading them to believe they are somehow safe within the religion they embrace. "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in"  (Matthew 23:13).

The double judgment is no doubt also tied to the great persecution and slaughter Babylonianism has poured out on the people of God down over the long centuries.

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