V11After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory.. After the presentation of Babylon as a woman (harlot) and the judgment over her, Babylon is presented in this chapter as a city and we also see the judgment over it. Babylon is presented as a religious system under the symbol of a woman. The aspect of ‘harlot’ connects her unfaithfulness and apostasy from God to that. Under the symbol of a city Babylon is presented as a political, cultural and economic power and that’s what this chapter deals with.
With the words “after these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven” a new period starts (“after these things”) with thereby the announcement of a new judgment by “another angel”. The magnificence of his appearance is reinforced by the addition “having great authority”. By the way, it seems that it is not just an angel. It is possible that this angel is a hidden form of appearance of the Lord Jesus, because of the phenomena that accompany this angel (cf. Rev 8:33Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. – Priest; Rev 10:11I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire; – King; here – Judge). Of which other being could it be said that his glory illuminated the earth (cf. Eze 43:22and behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory.)?
V22And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird.. This verse describes the condition of Babylon after the events of chapter 17 (Rev 17:1616And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire.), when Babylon as a false church is robbed from her religious power and both beasts are in charge of the ‘Christian’ western world. The angel speaks with a powerful voice about the fall of Babylon. Everyone should know. With a repeated “fallen” the angel tells to the world that the great, magnificent Babylon is no longer standing, but has fallen off her pedestal.
The word ‘fallen’ indicates a sudden and instant fall and that it is once and for all (cf. Isa 21:99“Now behold, here comes a troop of riders, horsemen in pairs.”
And one said, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon;
And all the images of her gods are shattered on the ground.”
). She will never rise again. How great and rich she may have been, she has fallen. Nothing could have prevented or stopped her from falling.
The perfect tense of the word ‘fallen’ shows the absolute assurance of the prophecy. The moment that John is watching this, there is nothing visible yet of a fall of Babylon. But to God the future is now, or like here, already happened, so past tense.
“Bird” here is called, like it happens more often, in an unfavorable sense (Mt 13:3232and this is smaller than all [other] seeds, but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR come and NEST IN ITS BRANCHES.”; Isa 34:11-1511But pelican and hedgehog will possess it,
And owl and raven will dwell in it;
And He will stretch over it the line of desolation
And the plumb line of emptiness.
12Its nobles—there is no one there
[Whom] they may proclaim king—
And all its princes will be nothing.
13Thorns will come up in its fortified towers,
Nettles and thistles in its fortified cities;
It will also be a haunt of jackals
[And] an abode of ostriches.
14The desert creatures will meet with the wolves,
The hairy goat also will cry to its kind;
Yes, the night monster will settle there
And will find herself a resting place.
15The tree snake will make its nest and lay [eggs] there,
And it will hatch and gather [them] under its protection.
Yes, the hawks will be gathered there,
Every one with its kind.
; Jer 5:2727‘Like a cage full of birds,
So their houses are full of deceit;
Therefore they have become great and rich.
; Dan 4:1212‘Its foliage [was] beautiful and its fruit abundant,
And in it [was] food for all.
The beasts of the field found shade under it,
And the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches,
And all living creatures fed themselves from it.
). The word for “dwelling place” that is used here, appears only in Ephesians 2 once more where it refers to the dwelling place of God in the Spirit (Eph 2:2222in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.). Here it concerns the dwelling place of the spirit of the enemy of God. Besides a dwelling place it is also “a prison”. If the demons and all kinds of uncleanness have a dwelling place there, this system must be thoroughly evil. How evil it is, is better shown in the next verse.
V33For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed [acts of] immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.”. There is, as you have seen before, not only mention of religious fornication, but there is also an economic connection with the world. Babylon is not only a false religious system, but it is also a great politic and economic power in the world. That’s what has tempted the nations to drink from the twinkling cup of wine that she offered. The wine is brought here in relation with “passion” and “immorality”. It is the cunning deception of the harlot who pretends that trading with her delivers benefit and joy, while in reality she has wicked intentions.
The nations have not seen through her treacherous purpose and have eagerly accepted the trade that she offered. In that way the leaders of the nations have related themselves with her in an unacceptable way. She did not disguise her nature of harlot, but the merchants have eagerly related themselves with her. A great power came out of her luxury. The merchants of the world have seen the big money in her and wanted to benefit from that as much as they possibly could.
Babylon (or Rome) has gained her luxury for a great part by offering for sale the redemption of the soul. Many billions have been paid to the roman-catholic church by people who believed that they could buy their beloved ones into heaven. Dave Hunt writes in his book ‘A woman Rides the Beast’ besides such shameful distortions of the gospel that has deceived many hundreds of millions of people, about a lot more of ignominies. He informs us about corrupt financial transactions, money laundering from drug trafficking, trafficking with counterfeit securities and cooperation with the mafia (documented in police reports) that for a long period of time have received their orders across the globe from the Vatican.
Also the value of the art treasures that are in the possession of Rome, are not to be estimated. The roman-catholic church is by far the richest institution of the world. And then to think that Christ and His disciples were living in poverty. Christ has told His disciples not to lay up for themselves treasures on earth (Mt 6:1919“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.). The roman-catholic church does not care about that, but it has laid up for itself a fullness of wealth which is unmatchable and over which the pope has the highest management and the greatest access.
V44I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;. This ungodly system which is corrupted to the very core can in no way be a dwelling place of God’s people. How kindly the pope or his subordinates may speak, those are voices from the bottomless pit. To God’s people there comes a voice from heaven that appeals to come out of this system. It is not possible to stay there without sharing her sins. Staying there also means sharing in the plagues that will strike her. It is the last appeal in the Scripture to come out of that what will soon be judged, because the people have not given the Christ of the Scriptures His true place. The reason for coming out of her is to be a pure bride for the Lord.
Here every believer is reminded of the necessity to separate himself from every religious system that maintains an impure relationship with the ungodly world. Literally the order to come out had come in the past to Judah, that was in exile in Babel (Isa 48:2020Go forth from Babylon! Flee from the Chaldeans!
Declare with the sound of joyful shouting, proclaim this,
Send it out to the end of the earth;
Say, “The LORD has redeemed His servant Jacob.”
; 52:1111Depart, depart, go out from there,
Touch nothing unclean;
Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves,
You who carry the vessels of the LORD.
; Jer 50:88“Wander away from the midst of Babylon
And go forth from the land of the Chaldeans;
Be also like male goats at the head of the flock.
; 51:6,96Flee from the midst of Babylon,
And each of you save his life!
Do not be destroyed in her punishment,
For this is the LORD’S time of vengeance;
He is going to render recompense to her.
9We applied healing to Babylon, but she was not healed;
Forsake her and let us each go to his own country,
For her judgment has reached to heaven
And towers up to the very skies.
). Separation from the evil has been necessary for the believers at all times and that will remain so, also after the rapture of the church, like here. For us it is about separation in a spiritual sense and specifically in three relations. We are called to separate ourselves from the world (2Cor 6:1717“Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.), from Judaism that rejects Christ (Heb 13:1313So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.) and from the false Christians (2Tim 2:19-2219Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”20Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor.21Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these [things], he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.22Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love [and] peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.).
In the time wherein the fall of Babylon will take place, the church will have already be taken up to heaven. That does not mean that there will be no believers of the false church that will still exist. God’s people who are called here to come out of her, are believers whom have converted after the rapture of the church by the absolute power of God’s Spirit. But staying there is absolutely not possible. God cannot be there and He will surely judge the system. Even though a person may possibly have no part in the prevailing evil in that system, he still defiles himself by staying there. That happens by staying in such a system, because it means contributing to maintaining and in that way promoting the evil (2Jn 1:1111for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.).
V55for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.. The plagues that will strike the Vatican are so rightly deserved that it may be considered a miracle that God has tolerated it that long. But God judges only when the measure of unrighteousness has been completed (cf. Gen 15:1616Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.”). In the case of the Vatican, with all her treasures obtained by shady practices, the judgment will come when her sins “have piled up as high as heaven”. ‘Have piled up’ literally means ‘glued together or cemented together like bricks in a building’. God remembers her iniquities when her sins have reached that height and that gravity. That does not mean that God has forgotten them for a while, but it means that He will take action.
V66Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back [to her] double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her.. The double measure of avenge is in accordance with her own double practice. Her works were characterized by a horrible wickedness. Her double practice includes that she pretended to be righteous and faithful, but she was unrighteous and unfaithful. She dissembled in all areas. Her cup which she offered was therefore a “cup which she has mixed”. She mixed the truth with lies, benefit with greed. She presented heaven but she made it to be a financial source of profit. It is exactly this mixture that makes her to be hated by God. God hates every sin, but He mostly hates the sins that were committed under the appearance of Godliness.
V77To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit [as] a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning.’. With all her charms and appeals to the world to treat one another peacefully, she has only been seeking to glorify herself. Whatever she has preached of the truth, its purpose was not the glorification of God but the glorification of herself. When the pope writes a book about Jesus, a book that is praised by theologians, even by orthodox theologians, it is a trick of satan. It strengthens the position of the pope even more.
He may theologically write many right things about Jesus, but if he does not condemn his position and the system that he represents, he has absolutely not written the whole truth of God about Jesus. He remains to go on with his luxurious life. If he stays there, he will receive the plagues and will share in the torment and mourning that will strike the Vatican. At the moment every thought of mourning is strange to him. After all he expects to possess the world domination. In his heart he holds on to his position of government. He also holds on to his claim that the roman-catholic church is the bride of Christ. And what to say about the arrogance that he is called ‘substitute of Christ and shepherd over the whole church’.
V88For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.. “In one day her plagues will come”, fast and inevitable. The ten kings will deliver her a devastating blow in full force, for they are used by God for this judgment, as you have seen at the end of the previous chapter. Nothing could soften the judgment that strikes her. It will be merciless, without compassion. She has to do with the Ruler of the universe, with the almighty God under Whose avenging hand all her appearances of glory will turn into “pestilence and mourning and famine”. She gave the impression that she could give life, happiness and saturation in exchange for money and goods. Now she receives what she has done to numerous defenseless victims. She has fallen through the mighty Lord and God against Whom every thought of resistance is plainly ridiculous.
In His glory and excellence He throws this widow down, whereby He uses the means which He in His sovereignty chooses for that purpose as the most suitable. Through the use of this means, namely the ten kings, the plagues come over her in the most horrible way. She had never expected that the beast on which she was riding, would turn itself against her. But the political, economic and cultural power of Babylon will be judged in a way according to God’s will. Therefore it is a definite judgment. She will “be burned up with fire”. There will be nothing left of her on earth than her ashes. It will be impossible for her to rise up again from the ashes, for her eternal fate is the eternal fire in which she will end up and which will rule over her forever.
V99“And the kings of the earth, who committed [acts of] immorality and lived sensuously with her, will weep and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning,. The ten kings that were ruled by Rome, but which turned against her and through whom God judged her, are not the only kings. There are also “kings of the earth” who have particularly profited from her. They have had intimate relationships with her and swam in the luxury that it delivered them. Due to the judgment over Babylon this disappears completely. That’s what makes them very mournful. It is not a mourning because of what happened to her, but because of what they have lost by it. The kings see the judgment, but they have no compassion with her. Their selfishness is the cause of the tears over their cheeks and of their lamentation. When they “see the smoke of her burning”, they realize that it is definitely the end.
V1010standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’. The kings do not try to help her, but they remain at a distance. Besides the selfish sorrow there is also fear, for they notice that the city is being tormented. They stay away from her. They rather stand “at a distance” and see what is left of Babylon. In that way they see that nothing is left of that great, mighty, economic stronghold. The fierceness, the speed and the suddenness of the judgment that has struck her, makes clear to them that a greater power is at work.
Now read Revelation 18:1-10 again.
Revelation: Why is it necessary to separate from evil?