(para-phrased) by G. Reams
Original By Les Feldick
Vs 1 "and after these things (all of the cataclysmic events that have been taking place, including the demise of the antichrist and all the world's armies) I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory."
Vs 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.'"
Note: This is not the ancient city of Babylon, rebuilt and becoming a tremendous trade center. Scripture says: (Isaiah 13—that this Babylon in Revelation 18 is not speaking of any one city in particular. But as you can see over the past 20 some years, the world is getting smaller and smaller due to the vast communications system, and the speed of transportation. Everything that happens is a worldwide news event. The same is with commerce and politics or the economy: the world government of today and the horrendous New Age. Everything is coming to a head now, very speedily. So 'Babylon' in Revelation is speaking of the whole worldly picture: religion, politics, or the economy. They are all intertwined—a world system.
The other interpretation for Babylon, or Babel, is 'confusion'. The smaller the world gets, the more confusion there is.
Jesus said in Luke 21:25: "…and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity…" Being filled with perplexity, they don't know where to go next. Even within our own nation we have perplexity, but it doesn't compare to the perplexity of the whole world!
Here is the reason I don't feel the city of Babylon is going to be rebuilt and become a center of commerce:
Isaiah 13:19: "And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah."
Note: This is the ancient city of Babylon, the capital of Nebuchadnezzar's empire.
Isaiah 13: 20,21: "It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there."
Note: It is very clear here that the ancient city of Babylon, all it's beautiful hanging gardens, etc., would never be rebuilt after it was destroyed. Many things that are said in Scripture, regardless of what man may try to do, CAN'T BE DONE! God's word STANDS! This includes the Golden Gate (we call it the Eastern Gate). Right in the center of the Eastern Wall of jerusalem is the Eastern Gate. It is ALWAYS shut, and according to Scripture, "that when God mandated it to be shut it would never again be opened until Christ returns."
When you go back through history, you will find many rulers, emperors, etc., who have said they will open the Eastern Gate, but all have either died or were defeated by a military power. The reason? BECAUSE SCRIPTURE SAID IT WOULD BE SO! The same with Babylon--Scripture SAID it will NOT be rebuilt!
So, this Babylon in Revelation is the whole global system. All the great commercial and cultural centers of the world that are included in that one word!
Vs 3 "For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication (her gross immorality) 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."
Note: Delicacies! Think of the rich and famous when you meditate on this verse, not just in isolated areas, but a worldwide. Even Communists in Russia have sumptuous places where they can live above common man. The same all over the world. The rich and famous and all of their fortune—Some being 2 – 3 million dollars a year. Is any man worth that much money? The majority of the wealthy fit that verse (not all, of course). Vanity! And more and more, this is what the world is coming to.
Vs 4a "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, 'Come out of her my people (come out of this world system).
Note: This doesn't just mean in the final hours of the Tribulation, but also to you and I who are living before the Tribulation has even begun. Heed this admonition, you who have the desire to be part of that lifestyle of the rich and famous…
Again: "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, 'Come out of her my people (God doesn't expect the unsaved to leave it, but he does expect his own children to avoid it), that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
Note: Regardless of where you live, these things are right before us, but we are admonished to "come out of her" that we don't "partake of her sins".
How long will God put up with the things that are going on? His Grace and Mercy still flows, but remember, just before the flood, when the ark was ready, what did God do? He left the door open, the gangplank down, for 7 days, so that the Noahidic generation could still come to the ark of safety—that was His Grace—but no-one took advantage of it. The same thing is happening today: God's Grace is going to come to an end when we least expect it. The curtain will drop and in will come His awful wrath and vexation.
II Corinthians 6:17 "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,"
Note: This is not a condition on our salvation, but as a believer, it is our choice to make. Never once has God said 'you will, or else'; but always, 'I beseech you', 'Yield not!' It is an invitation for us to come out from this evil set of circumstances and be separated. Today, neither the world, nor each other of us, can tell a Christian when they see one. We've lost the concept of 'separation'. We are to be different—not oddballs or snobs with no dealings with the world; but we are not to be OF the world!
Paul writes to the Gentile believers at Corinth:
I Corinthians 6:19 "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"
Note: We've been bought with a price and are very special in God's eyes and in His program. He can't use us if we're coalesced with the world.
I Corinthians 6:20 "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God (with your body) in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
And in I Corinthians 3, the same thought:
Vss 16, 17 "Know ye not that ye are the temple (the dwelling place) of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man (believer) defile the temple (his own body) of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."
Note: Whatever you do to your body, you do to the temple of God!
Back to Revelation…
Vss 5, 6 "For her sins (rebellion and disobedience) have reached unto heaven, and God hath 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."
Vs 7 "How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously (note the language—isn't this exactly what the world system is trying to do? Take, for instance, the commercials. What are they all asking you to do? Whether or not you can afford it, they want you to WANT IT, and those who profit from it can go out, and 'live deliciously'), "so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, 'I sit a queen, an am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.'"
That's what they think!!!
Vs 8 "Therefore (says God) 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."
Note: The OT prophesied some of these very same things. Now remember the term 'Babylon' (as we are speaking of in Revelation and back in the OT) has to be taken from the text. Early in Chapters 50 and 51, it talks about Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon just before it fell, but like many OT prophecies, you have both the near-term and the long-term in view. Jeremiah 50 is the near-term. The judgment of God falls on Babylon as it was in Jeremiah's day. In Chapter 51:7, prophecy takes the long-term view, and we are looking at the Babylon of Revelation, which refers to the Whole World System.
Jeremiah 51: 7 "Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD'S hand, that made (not just the Middle East, but ALL THE EARTH) all the earth drunken (note the next 2 words) the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad (mentally affected)."
Jeremiah 51:8 "Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed (which is described by Revelation): howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed."
Note: But she cannot be healed! Let's look in at Daniel, Chapter 2, another book which explains the endtimes of Revelation. That's why it can be taught with authority—all these scriptures agree with these events. Now, Nebuchadnezzar's dream and Daniel's interpretation:
Daniel 2:31-33 "Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee: and the form thereof was terrible (terrifying). This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay."
Note: Okay, we know now that those were all metals.
Head of Gold: Babylon
Silver: Mede's and Persian's
Leg's of Iron: Roman Empire
The whole system of the Gentile Empires shown in the dream which Nebuchadnezzar had of the Image.
Daniel 2:34 "Thou sawest till (until a point in time) that a stone was cut out without hands (whenever a stone or rock is mentioned in scripture, it means Christ Jesus, at least as far back as Exodus when Moses struck the rock and water came forth.)
Note: The NT tells us Who the Rock was—It was Christ. And now Christ, "which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay (the amalgamation of the nations of the world, but especially the nations of the western world.) and brake them to pieces."
Daniel 2:35 "Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors."
Note: Chaff is the light stuff that you find on grain. Threshing and wind just blow it away—a picture that the Bible paints of these nations and kingdoms of the world at the time of Christ's Second Coming. When Christ comes, he will crush them as though a great boulder had fallen upon them, and they will just disappear from view like the chaff;
Daniel 2:35 "and the wind carried them away that no place was found for them" (global corporations, governments, and white houses of the world, will just disappear from view forever): "and the stone (Christ) that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth." (The prophetic statement concerning His coming Kingdom.)
Now back to Revelation….
Vs 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."
Note: In Luke 21:25, even the words of Jesus Himself, during His earthly ministry spoke of these things. He spoke in the flesh while still dealing with Israel under the Law. Now Paul gives us the revelation of Jesus Christ Who has now finished the work of the Cross; He has defeated death, sin and Satan. He has ascended and from His glorified position, He speaks through Paul.
Luke 21:26, 27 "Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory."
Note: All of this is associated with Jesus' Second Coming.
Matthew 24:37,38 "But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
Note: In plain English, "As was in the time of Noah, so it's going to be at the time of His return."
Vs 38 "For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,"
Note: You'll remember that God shows His Grace by leaving the door of the ark open for a week, but no-one aside of Noah and his family entered. No one entered for the safety and salvation that God offered by this 7-day waiting period. The same thing will be at the coming of Christ; people will be so caught up in their daily activities that they won't have time for anything else. I see that today, even.
Matthew 24:39 "And new not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
Note: That wasn't just a heavy rain, but an instantaneous destruction (Genesis 6,7). Every time you hear of murders throughout the nation, even world, remember what Jesus said: "As it was in the days of Noah…". This indicates the time of His return is VERY SOON!
Genesis 6:5 "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
Genesis 6:11 "The earth also was corrupted before God, and the earth was filled with violence."
Note: Murder, assaults, abortion.….and we see this all around us. TV is LOADED with violence. Just like before the flood.
Genesis 6:12, 13 "And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, 'The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.'"
Note: Genesis Chapter 7 tells us how He destroyed them. It wasn't just the 40 days of rain, the real cataclysmic event is in vs 11.
Genesis 7:11 "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were (in ONE DAY) all the fountains of the great deep broken up (so the cataclysmic events began in the earth! Tremendous volcanoes and earthquakes—instantaneous destruction!) "and the windows of heaven were opened."
Note: "As it was in the days of Noah…."
Back to Revelation…
Vs 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."
Note: "her" used here in the female gender is the unification of nations, with it's religions, politics and governments, and economies. They are entwined together to make this global Babylon.
Vs 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.'"
Note: Business is being conducted from one end of the world to the other: Russia, for one, Africa, where there is great potential for profit/business, et al. Airports are busier than ever carrying these merchants and business all over the globe. And then, one day soon, it'll all be gone—just like that!
Vs 11 "And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise anymore:"
Note: That's it! It's finished! The mention of 'city' in Revelation 18 indicates all of the commercial centers of the world: Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tehran, Rome, London, Paris, New York, and Chicago. Even Jerusalem is catching up in the business world. Computers bring all these places together. You can just about lump them together into one city. Through the computer, business deals can be handled within a matter of minutes from country to country.
Vs 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 of vessels of ivory, and all manner of vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,"
Note: People haven't changed! They still desire all these things.
Vs 13 "And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat and beasts, and sheep, and horses…"
Note: You could call this living it up and living deliciously—but it's all going to end. Many businessmen are fanatics about making money, not realizing that the day is soon approaching where there will NO LONGER BE THESE THINGS. It will ALL end.
As you look at these cataclysmic events which are associated with the end of the Tribulation and the Second Coming of Christ Jesus, keep them in mind, as we will be going back to show the graphic difference between the Tribulation, and the silent removal for the believer at the Rapture, a little later. There will be no cataclysmic events, or great upheavals at the Rapture. We will just, in the twinkling of an eye, be gone. The Rapture and the Second Coming are TWO SEPARATE EVENTS.
Vss 14-16 "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 (this great global system, the conglomeration of religion, politics and economics), shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, And saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city (great system) that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!"
Vss 17-19 "For in one hour (very short time) so great riches is come to naught. 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…And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made the rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! For in one hour is she made desolate.'"
Note: (Chapter 16) Here is another graphic statement that alludes to the VERY SAME THING. As the final great bowl judgment is poured out at the battle of Armegeddon (plague of 100# hail stones), right in the middle of that bowl, in vs 19 you'll find:
Revelation 16:19 "And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell (here is where the concept that the great commercial centers of the world are ALL going to go): and great Babylon (the whole consortium) came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath."
Note: How long will God be patient? We don't know, but we do know that one day His patience will run out. His Grace will end, and His wrath will fall upon man.
Back to Revelation 18…
Vs 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 (production) shall be heard no more at all in thee;"
Vs 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 (there will be a tremendous drug culture during the Tribulation) were all nations deceived."
Note: In vs 24 we find another reason God's wrath is going to be so tremendous: The past 2600 years, all the way back to Nebuchadnezzar's Babylon, they have been persecuting and murdering the children of God.
Vs 24 "And in her (the great system) was found the blood of prophets (OT days) and of saints (believers of the NT), and of all that were slain upon the earth.
Note: 50 million people lost their lives, civilians and military, during WWII. 50 million people lost their lives during the 70 years that the communists ran Russia. And during the dark ages, 50 million believers also lost their lives. We think that wars are precipitated solely on the basis of patriotism, and if someone came to take our freedoms, we would all be willing to fight and die to keep them. Through history men have done just that. But the more you study the wars back through history, the more you will come to the determination that all of these wars were manipulated by the super rich (Elite Bankers). Don't believe that? Who profits from war and war materials? The rich! They care nothing about human misery. They will finance BOTH SIDES of a war. All they care about is Riches and Power. This is the basis of most nations, including our beloved America. Defense is the backbone of our economy; defense contractors. We have to have defense spending, sure enough; we need to always be prepared. But these super rich don't care about the average man, only about the wealth they can generate through war materials, etc.
But the Scriptures are very clear in that at Christ's Second Coming (not the Rapture), all of these things will be destroyed, the materialism, the technology—Gone forever! And all these super rich, and others will follow Satan (the ruler of the super rich, the kings of this world) into the Lake of Fire (a REAL place of TORMENT and FLAMES). The god of this WHOLE WORLD SYSTEM is SATAN!
When the disciples stood on the Mount of Olives with Jesus, as He ascended, what did the angel tell them?
Acts1:11 "…this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."
Jesus left from the Mount of Olives, and He's coming back to this same Mount of Olives. He left head first, and will return feet first. Now, Zechariah is writing to the Jews…
Zechariah 14;1,2 "Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city." And when it looks as thought there is no hope…..
Zechariah 3 "Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations (the gentile nations that have gathered against the Jew), as when he fought in the day of battle." (This refers to when the Lord fought Israel's battles in the OT.)
Zechariah 14:4a "And his feet shall stand in that day (the Second Coming) upon the mount of Olives in Jerusalem), which is before Jerusalem on the east…"
Note: Then He prepares for the Kingdom. Now, to…
I Corinthians 15: 51 "Behold, I shew you a mystery: We shall not all sleep (die physically) but we shall all be changed,"
Whether we have died before the Rapture, or are still alive when the Lord returns for His Saints, we will all have a NEW BODY, like the RESURRECTED BODY OF CHRIST. A body that can travel at the speed of light, go through a wall, be able to eat and enjoy food, that can disappear out of sight. AWESOME!!!
I Corinthians 15:52 "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
Note: "In a moment…"—a moment in the Greek is just a fraction of a second. "in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead…"—those who have died as believers in Christ—this event being solely for the Body of Christ. Amazingly, this Church Age Doctrine of the Rapture which was given only to Paul, the Apostle, has ALWAYS been an imminent event. It still is, today! No one knows the day or the hour Christ will return for His church, however, we don't believe it will be long at all anymore, but VERY SOON,
There is no language here indicating cataclysmic events, or the wrath of God being poured out here. Just…all of a sudden, we'll be gone.
I Thessalonians 4:13 "But I would not have you to be ignorant (untaught), brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as other which have no hope."
I Thessalonians 4:14 "for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again…"
Note: According to Paul's Gospel, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day. This is the only qualification one needs to belong to Christ.
4:14 ",,,even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him."
These people are even now in heaven, in the presence of God, in soul and spirit, only. They will not receive their new body, either, until the resurrection day.
I Thessalonians 4:15 "For this we say unto you by word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (go ahead of who have already died) them which are asleep." Because……
I Thessalonians 4:16 "For the lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:"
I Thessalonians 4:17 "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord IN THE AIR (not Mount of Olives—remember, no cataclysmic judgments here, no wrath of God—Just a quiet, sudden departure): and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
I Thessalonians 4:18 "Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
Note: In I Thessalonians 5:1,2, Paul includes believers with his own experience by the use of the pronouns 'we' and 'you'.
I Thessalonians 5:1,2 "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night."
I Thessalonians 5:3 "For when they shall say, Peace and Safety: then sudden destruction cometh upon them ('they' and 'them' refer to the unbelievers), as travail upon a woman with child; and they (again, note the pronoun, 'they') shall not escape."
Note: For those of us who are going to be in this great out-calling—the Rapture—Paul uses first-person pronouns. But when he speaks of those who will be left behind to face the wrath and cataclysmic events of God, he uses 'they' and 'them'.
I Thessalonians 5:9 "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,"
Note: Believers are not appointed to wrath. We will not suffer the awful events of the Tribulation, but Jesus will be here to take us out of it before-hand:
Revelation 3:10 "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee FROM (Greek: "ek" meaning OUT OF) the hour of temptation (the Tribulation), which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."
I Thessalonians 5:10 "Who (Jesus) died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him."
Are you prepared to leave here with Jesus and His Church—the Saints? Would you like to be? The time is drawing to a close for the Church on earth. Very soon, now, Jesus will return!
According to Romans 10: 9, 10 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."