The Final Destruction of Babylon the Great

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We are coming to a climatic end in our study of the Book of Revelation. Over the last several months, we’ve examined chapter after chapter of God’s continual judgement to a rebellious and unbelieving world that is driven by a satanic leader we know as the Antichrist. This is the 70th week of years defined by the prophet Daniel and a culmination of events known in the Old Testament as the Great Day of the Lord or the Day of Jacob’s Trouble.
There are a couple of things I want to remind you as we will close out Revelation 18 this week and next week and come to the victorious return of Christ and His Church starting in Revelation 19. First, for the believer we have a tremendous hope that needs to be shared. The Bible is clear that this judgement will not come on those who put their faith in Christ to be saved. Second, everything we see happening in our world to day is clearly tied to this time that is quickly coming. Third (and most important), God is in control. Therefore, we have nothing to fear.
We are told to study these words and to keep our eyes open. Hebrews 10:25 says, “[encourage] one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” There is nothing in the Bible that tells the believer to panic about what is happening in the world around you. However, we are to keep our eyes open and be aware, not to be deceived, and to keep our focus on the coming of our King. Luke 21:28 “28 “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Now, we finished Revelation 17, which discussed a world religious system and its destruction. Revelation 17:5 “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Today we continue to see the final destruction of the Antichrist’s Economic & Political System. These 3 systems are the governing force of the Antichrist and the world’s obsession with satanic rule.
The world is obsessed with the world economy. We live in a day when there are no isolated economies in our much smaller world, now. Rather, all the economies of the nations are interlinked. In fact, there is a single, unelected group of elites that control the direction of these economies known as the World Economic Forum. These elites control a vast amount of the world’s wealth and, in the name of saving the climate, dictate to global leaders their priorities.
Their desire is to control the masses, reduce global population, and stop climate change. They do that by controlling vast amounts of the wealth of the world’s largest banks, energy corporations, entertainment groups, medical corporations, manufacturers, investments firms, and literally thousands of other entities. In doing so they control not only the masses through commerce, but also the nations and the nation’s leaders based on their view on how the world should look and operate. This is a stepping stone to the emergence of the Antichrist.
And so, the Babylon of Chapter 17 is a religious system that is used by the Antichrist to control the world along with his economic system and political system. They will coexist for the first 3 1/2 years of the 7-year tribulation, but at the midpoint the Antichrist will not tolerate that coexistence and any other worship but himself and so, that religious system will be destroyed. And so, the commercial system will be the ruling power of the Antichrist and he will demand himself to be worshiped as God.
Chapter 18, then is the final destruction of this economic system. That destruction will come, at what I believe is the final bowl judgement in Revelation 16:17. This is a system that is steadily being created in our world today and we see the judgement of that system in our study this week and next week.
One other word about this system before we start our verse-by-verse study. The spirit of the antichrist is building this system based on the materialistic greeds of our culture. You will see later in the chapter starting in verse 11 how men will be in sorrow over the loss of their material goods. It underscores what Jesus said in Mark 8:36 “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” This is literally what is going to happen to many.
Now, we have talked extensively about the origin of Babylon, so I won’t go into much detail here. It is called Babylon because its system, its ideas, its philosophies root all the way back to the Book of Genesis. There was a man named Nimrod who built the Tower of Babel. It was mankind's first attempt at humanism; for man to establish his independence apart from God. Man was at the center and the circumference of all that was done there. God judged the Tower of Babel. Nimrod was the main leader of that time period. His name means, “rebel.” Three times in the Book of Genesis he is called “a mighty one.” Nimrod was a picture of the coming Antichrist who will rule over the last Babylon. Babylon began with the Tower of Babel and it will end in chapter 18 of the Book of the Revelation.
It is a place in the Bible that is identified as the center of rebellion against God. It is a place that is rooted in violence, idolatry, false religion, immorality, and humanism. There is a spirit out of Babylon that seeks world domination through human achievement completely independent of and in rebellion of the God of the Bible.
Is this Babylon described the ancient, actual city, or is this Babylon simply symbolic of a system? Is it a city, a system or both? If it is a city, will Babylon actually be rebuilt on the shores of the River Euphrates? Some think so but no one can be certain. One thing I am certain of is this: Babylon stands for a wicked and vile system. If it is a city, we have yet to see any city in the world that could be associated with it’s description. If it we identify it as only a system, then there are many assertions that have to be taken for that to happen.
We know that Saddam Hussein was obsessed with restoring the original city and was actively building it prior to the first Gulf War. We also know that many of the Old Testament prophesies regarding Babylon have not yet been fulfilled. For instance, Isaiah 13 clearly has a reference to the judgements described by John in Revelation yet to come:
Isaiah 13:9–11 LSB
9 Behold, the day of Yahweh is coming, Cruel, with fury and burning anger, To make the land a desolation; And He will exterminate its sinners from it. 10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises And the moon will not shed its light. 11 Thus I will punish the world for its evil And the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the pride of the arrogant And bring low the lofty pride of the ruthless.
Isaiah 47:1, 7 “Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; Sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no longer be called tender and delicate.” 7, “Yet you said, ‘I will be a queen forever.’ These things you did not put on your heart Nor remember the outcome of them.”
Jeremiah 51:1-3 “1 Thus says Yahweh: “Behold, I am going to arouse against Babylon And against the inhabitants of Leb-kamai The spirit of a destroyer. 2 “I will send strangers to Babylon that they may winnow her And may empty her land to destruction; For on every side they will be against her In the day of her calamity. 3 “Let not him who bends his bow bend it, Nor let him rise up in his scale-armor; So do not spare her young men; Devote all her army to destruction.”
There are many other references in the Old Testament pertaining to the destruction of Babylon including Ezekiel 26, Ezekiel 27, Zechariah 5. All of which have yet to be completed. That is, until we get to Revelation 18, and it is clear that this system described in prophecy, is now being established globally, and will soon meet the judgment of Christ finally. This brings us to our expositional study of Chapter 18 and 7 points of the judgment of Babylon:
Babylon’s Judgement Commanded (vv. 1-4)
Babylon’s Judgement Contemplated (vv. 4-5)
Babylon’s Judgement Contended (vv. 6-8)
Babylon’s Judgement Cried Over (vv. 9-19)
Babylon’s Judgement Celebrated (v. 20)
Babylon’s Judgement Completed (v. 21)
Babylon’s Judgement Confirmed (vv. 22-24)

I. Babylon’s Judgement Commanded (vv. 1-4)

Revelation 18:1–4 LSB
1 After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. 2 And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “FALLEN, FALLEN IS BABYLON THE GREAT! And she has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean bird and a prison of every unclean and hateful beast. 3 “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the power of her sensuality.” 4 And I 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;
We first see the opening announcement of Babylon’s judgement. The term ‘another’ (Gr., allon meaning ‘another of the same kind’) makes it clear that this angel is the same in kind as the angel of 17:1. So we know this is great angel appointed by God to make the announcement of judgement. But this angel is remarkable, even by Revelation’s standards because John describes this angel as “having great authority and illumined with glory.
Look at his announcement. He cries out with a might voice - no one can ignore him. As we will see later in the chapter, this announcement brings anguish to merchants, the wealthy, and the rulers of the world, but great celebration and rejoicing to God’s people and angels. “Fallen, fallen, is Babylon the Great. We see the same pronouncement in Revelation 14:8 “8 And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “FALLEN, FALLEN IS BABYLON THE GREAT, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality.” and both of these give reference to Isaiah 21:9 “Fallen, fallen is Babylon; And all the graven images of her gods are shattered on the ground.” I beleive this is all related to the pouring of the 7th Bowl when the voice from the throne of heaven pronounces “It is done!” (Revelation 16:17). So Chapter 18 is the description in detail of the destruction of Babylon in detail mentioned in Revelation 16:17.
Going on in Revelation 18:2 “And she has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean bird and a prison of every unclean and hateful beast.” The destruction of Babylon -whether as a city or a system, or both, is significant because this is the central location of demonic activity, influence, and especially sexual immorality.
This is especially true with our world today. The immorality of our world is at a fever pitch that is not going to be tolerated by the Lord much more - in fact it shows just how patient and long-suffering He is as he withhold his hand to allow every opportunity to repent. This past week, the Grammy Awards had nothing short of a satanic worship service. The performance was given by Sam Smith (who says he is non-binary) and Kim Petras, who is transgender performed the song “Unholy.”
Before the performance, Smith tweeted, "This is going to be SPECIAL," and CBS replied, " can say that again. We are ready to worship!" (CBS since deleted the tweet). At the conclusion of the performance, Pfizer took time to mention they were the sponsors of the Grammy Awards. Do you need any more evidence that these entertainment entities are being driven by a demonic agenda?
This influence is world-wide. Revelation 18:3 “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the power of her sensuality.” This system has literally driven the world into a materialistic stupor and it will continue to get worse as the world will pursue it every lust of materialism, luxury, and sensuality. It is going to captivate the world and their passion is going to make them drunk on their desire for riches that is dependent on a Babylonian system established by the Antichrist.
Remember at the same time there are going to be holocausts, natural distasters, and judgements. You will be forces to chose between the luxuries of this system or you and your family being able to eat and drink. What do you think most people will chose? So the whole world will align with the Antichrist’s system. Incidentally, what do you think they will blame on these disasters? Climate change.
Isaiah 13:17–22 LSB
17 Behold, I am going to awaken the Medes against them, Who will not think about silver or take pleasure in gold. 18 And their bows will dash the young men to pieces, They will not even have compassion on the fruit of the womb, Nor will their eye pity children. 19 And it will be that Babylon, the beauty of kingdoms, the honor of the Chaldeans’ pride, Will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. 20 It will never be inhabited or dwelt in from generation to generation; Nor will the Arab pitch his tent there, Nor will shepherds make their flocks lie down there. 21 But desert creatures will lie down there, And their houses will be full of owls; Ostriches also will dwell there, and shaggy goats will leap there. 22 And hyenas will howl in their fortified towers And jackals in their luxurious palaces. Her fateful time also will soon come And her days will not be prolonged.

II. Babylon’s Judgement Contemplated (vv. 4-5)

Revelation 18:4–5 LSB
4 And I 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; 5 for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
The judgment of God is coming on this morally bankrupt but prosperous society. When the seven bowls are poured out, certainly is finally devastated. But there is a message for us today and those who will be enduring this world during the 7-year Tribulation. God’s judgment on this society living in arrogant luxury and self-indulgence is approaching. However, this is something that can be avoided and must be avoided.
Verse 4 the angel says, “Come out of her.” This is a call to depart from Babylon and the worldliness that it represents and it is a theme repeated throughout the Scriptures. That warning is for us now and in the Tribulation. Can it be anymore clear that we are not to associate with the sins of Babylon?
Isaiah 48:20 LSB
20 Go forth from Babylon! Flee from the Chaldeans! Declare with the sound of joyful shouting, cause this to be heard, Bring it forth to the end of the earth; Say, “Yahweh has redeemed His servant Jacob.”
Isaiah 52:11 LSB
11 Depart, depart, go out from there, Touch nothing unclean; Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves, You who carry the vessels of Yahweh.
Jeremiah 50:8 LSB
8 “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.
Jeremiah 51:45 LSB
45 “Come forth from her midst, My people, And each of you escape with his life From the burning anger of Yahweh.
2 Corinthians 6:14 LSB
14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
Ephesians 5:11 LSB
11 And do not participate in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead even expose them.
1 John 2:15–17 LSB
15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and also its lusts, but the one who does the will of God abides forever.
The problem is the more we get enamored with the things of this world the further we drift away from God and when God is absent in our lives or our society, the vacuum that is left is filled by demonic things. In 1962 the Supreme Court banned brayer from School and in 2003 banned Bible teaching in public school. In 2012 marriage was redefined and last year our congress signed into law protections of gay marriage. Since 1962 births to unmarried girls increased 500 percent; reported child abuse increased 2,300 percent; the divorce rate rose by 350 percent; illegal drug use among youths increased by 6,000 percent; teenage suicide rose by 450 percent; and in 25 percent of viable pregnancies the babies were surgically killed at the mother’s request (Ryken).
In 1962, the city of Detroit was the fifth-largest city in America and boasted the highest per capita income. Now, after a generation of ungodliness and greed, Detroit has had to file for bankruptcy and is so widely deserted that many neighborhoods have become overrun with coyotes. Even America’s most affluent suburbs have become such a “haunt for unclean spirits” that they now are prey to drugs, crime and violence. Our schools live in fear of mass shootings and our cities are open air drug markets and a haven for crime.
Can you imagine how much more it will be during the Tribulation when God says in Revelation 18:5 “5 for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” The ancient Tower of Babel didn’t reach up to heaven, but the sins of Babylon the Great will.

III. Babylon’s Judgement Contended (vv. 6-8)

Revelation 18:6–8 LSB
6 “Pay her back even as she paid, and give her back double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. 7 “To 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.’ 8 “For 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.
It has been the prayer of God’s people for centuries that He would destroy the wicked world system.
Psalm 28:4 LSB
4 Give to them according to their work and according to the evil of their actions; Give to them according to the deeds of their hands; Return their dealings upon them.
Psalm 137:8 LSB
8 O daughter of Babylon, you devastated one, How blessed will be the one who repays you With the recompense with which you have recompensed us.
Jeremiah 51:24 LSB
24 “But I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea for all their evil that they have done in Zion before your eyes,” declares Yahweh.
Revelation 6:10 LSB
10 and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Master, holy and true? Will You not judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
The point is as Christians, we understand the system of the world as enemies of God and the people caught in that system as separated from His grace. However we are supposed to love them and never repay their evil or take vengance.
Romans 12:19 LSB
19 never taking your own revenge, beloved—instead leave room for the wrath of God. For it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.
With our attention to being the light in the darkness, God’s judgement is fully just. When that time comes, it will be double according to her deeds. Double is a way that is described as complete, overflowing, and abundant. There is no room for anything missed.
Double restitution was required in the Old Testament in cases of theft (Exodus 22:4-9). The implication here is that the punishment will be sudden and complete. The warning for the believer is to have no affiliation with anything that is counted toward God’s wrath.

IV. Babylon’s Judgement Cried Over (vv. 9-19)

Revelation 18:9–19 LSB
9 “And the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived sensuously with her, will cry and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, 10 standing 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.’ 11 “And the merchants of the earth cry and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargo anymore— 12 cargo of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from precious wood and bronze and iron and marble, 13 and cinnamon and amomum and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargo of horses and carriages and human beings and human lives. 14 “And the fruit you long for has gone from you, and all things that were splendid and shining have passed away from you and men will no longer find them. 15 “The merchants of these things, who became rich from her, will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment, crying and mourning, 16 saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls; 17 for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste!’ And every shipmaster and every passenger and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea, stood at a distance, 18 and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like the great city?’ 19 “And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, crying and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who have ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’
What is first amazing is the mourning that takes place over the fall of Babylon. There was never a mourning over the reality of sin, but they will cry over the loss of their city. They wouldn’t mourn over their iniquity despite God’s judgement. Even Nineveh mourned over the reality of their sins when Jonah preached God’s judgement (Jonah 3:5) but the people of the world have no remorse.
There is a long list of items and commodities the Kings of the Earth, Sea Captains, Merchants, and people of the world will miss. Notice that the heart of this is the sexual immorality. This is often associated with idolatry in biblical prophecy, but I think there is a literal view that is also seen here. In verse 13 we see that people -slaves- are among the ‘cargo’ listed. According to the UN, there are 50 million people in modern slavery with more than 400,000 of those being in the United States. Many of these slaves being trafficked (79%) are for sexual exploitation.
Perhaps that is why Revelation 18:9, 15, 17 all tells us that they stood at a distance as God’s judgement is being poured out on them. They don’t want to get too close or get caught in the torment. They don’t want to be associated that what is being judged. That may be, in part, their motivation for gathering to go to Armageddon. They aren’t lamenting over their own souls or darkness of their sins, but they are lamenting over their wealth and the 28 categories John lists here. Their desire is for the things of this world and nothing of God’s Kingdom.
Mark 8:36 LSB
36 “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?
“They have heard the gospel preached by a hundred and forty-four thousand Jewish evangelists. They’ve heard the gospel preached by two witnesses who rose from the dead. They’ve heard the gospel preached by Jews and Gentiles who came to faith during this period. They’ve heard the gospel preached by angels flying through the heaven. They have heard the gospel preached, clearly they have felt the judgment of God, the heat of His fury. They have tasted of the things of the day of the Lord. They know what is ahead. They have all of that experience, and still they are utterly and totally consumed with those things which will perish and have no thought for their eternal souls. This is where the world is going” (MacArthur). We are to have nothing to do with it. Sadly, our culture, including many churches, are getting more and more materialistic.

V. Babylon’s Judgement Celebrated (v. 20)

Revelation 18:20 LSB
20 “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you saints and apostles and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her.”
The rejoicing is not over the loss of those who are damned, but rather the victory of God and the perfect execution of His will. All of God’s promises are certain and true. The distance of time in God’s execution of His promises does not equate the distance of certainty that they will happen.
This is the rejoicing in heaven because all of heaven and earth has waited for this moment when Satan and sin is crushed once and for all and the cursed earth is made whole again. It is here that Jesus will setup his kingdom and once again peace and righteousness will reign. How many have been martyred over the centuries taking a stand for Christ? Not one drop of blood shed by the Saints for their King will go unavenged.

VI. Babylon’s Judgement Completed (v. 21)

Revelation 18:21 LSB
21 Then a strong angel picked up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer.
The image here is the completion of Babylon’s destruction. There is no possibility of reconstruction or the emergence of a remnant. A millstone was a heavy solid piece of rock. It was usually 1 foot thick and 5 feet in diameter. The image here is a absolute and complete destruction of the Babylonian System and the system of the Antichrist.
Jeremiah 51:61–64 LSB
61 Then Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “As soon as you come to Babylon, then see that you read all these words aloud, 62 and then you will say, ‘You, O Yahweh, have promised concerning this place to cut it off, so that there will be nothing inhabiting it, whether man or beast, but it will be a perpetual desolation.’ 63 “And as soon as you finish reading this scroll, you will tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates, 64 and then you will say, ‘Just so shall Babylon sink down and not rise again because of the calamity that I am going to bring upon her; and they will become utterly weary.’” Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.
We can conclude that Jeremiah’s prophecy has yet to be fulfilled. We can be assured that time is coming soon. It is also a connection to Jesus’ words.
Matthew 18:6 LSB
6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea.

VII. Babylon’s Judgement Confirmed (vv. 22-24)

Revelation 18:22–24 LSB
22 “And the sound of harpists and musicians and flute-players and trumpeters will not be heard in you any longer; and no craftsman of any craft will be found in you any longer; and the sound of a mill will not be heard in you any longer; 23 and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery. 24 “And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.”
There will come an end to God’s patience and He will say, ‘That’s enough.’ No more entertainment. No more sounds of progress and human industry. No more craftsmen making their wares. The corrupt leadership and deception is over.
Notice in Revelation 18:23 “all the nations were deceived by your sorcery.” Interesting word there for sorcery. It is pharmakia, which means, “to prepare drugs.” I don’t think this is an assault on using medication for health purposes. But it is an interesting association with the lure of Babylon that is fed by drug addiction, or even the use of drugs for control. Even today, the WEF is attempting to use pandemics and future pandemics to roll out the digital ID for everyone as proof that you are vaccinated.
Last year the Pharmaceutical industry spent nearly 6 billion dollars on TV in the United States and accounted for 75% of total ad spending. That’s in addition to the 20 billion dollars used to shmooze doctors. Is there something powerful behind these drug companies and do they have an interest in controlling us? Yes.
Where is the world heading in all of this? It’s heading to judgement. When God’s judgement falls it is will be the complete destruction of a system that is diametrically opposed to everything about him. There will be no question of the power and authority of Jesus as the rightful King of this world on that day. The question is who are you trusting?
Luke 12:20 LSB
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you prepared?’
What’s the whole point? Quite simple, no matter what is happening in this world, Christ is going to triumph. They can promise all kinds of things, but Christ is going to defeat them and their system in the end. Come out of it. Stop looking to governments, wealth, entertainment, and all the other things listed in this chapter for your hope. Your hope is found in Jesus Christ alone and everything else will lead you away from God. That is what Satan wants - he wants you to never or stop trusting in God as part of his evil revenge and hate for all the things that are God’s.
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