THE DESTRUCTION OF COMMERCIAL & POLITICAL BABYLON
REVELATIONS: CHAPTER 18
AIM: To show when & how Commercial & Political Babylon will be destroyed and the reaction of earth and Heaven.
POINT OF CONTACT: In Chapter 14 we learned that the armies of the world will meet together in the Valley of Megiddo to war with each other. But we also learned that suddenly they will unite to war against God. Today we will study one of those events that may be a cause of their sudden unification.
INTRODUCTION: In chapters 17 & 18 two Babylons are brought before us. The Babylon of Chapter 17 is ecclesiastical. The Babylon of Chapter 18 is economic. The first is religions - the Apostate Church. The second is political & commercial. The Apostate Church is hated by the kings of the earth. 17:16. The commercial center is loved by the kings of the earth. The political Babylon is destroyed by the judgement of God. 18:5,8. Obviously the ecclesiastical Babylon is first in the first half of the tribulation, while commercial Babylon is destroyed at the second coming of Christ.
There are opposing viewpoints as to where commercial Babylon will be. Some say Rome and others believe that ancient Babylon will be rebuilt. If ancient Babylon is rebuilt (it would be in a very ideal place between east and west) it would probably not be on the exact site of the previous Babylon because of shifting of the Euphrates River & because of scripture. CF. Isa. 13:19-22; Jeremiah 51:61-64. It seems just as likely however, that commercial & political Babylon will be Rome.
I. Fall of Commercial & Political Babylon Vs.1-8
Vs. 1 - "After these things". After the fall of the religious system.
Vs. 2 - Babylon (the city & the rulers) became the habitation or headquarters of the Demon world. Note: This world is not going to get better & better. It is going to get worse and worse.
Vs. 3 -"Fornication" here means unfaithfulness. The nations of the earth, the kings of the earth, & the merchants of the earth have joined the political system in being unfaithful to God. They had forgotten God's standards for conduct. Their activities were characterized by dishonesty, untruthfulness, covetousness, breaking the Lord's day & perhaps many other abominable things. CF. Exodus 20:1-17. Discuss these things & make them applicable to the lives of pupils.
Vs. 4 - Gods warns His people in this city to come out of her before it's too late. This city will soon be utterly destroyed. This too, can be applied to God's people in the ecclesiastical system or who are in unscriptural churches.
Vs. 5 - God knows when & what sins we commit. CF. Job 16:19 & Ps. 139.
Vs. 6 -God will doubly punish this city & this system for it has deceived many. Many will be in hell for eternity because of her enticement. Note: The desire for power & wealth by individuals has kept many people from being obedient to God. It has kept many out of church & from reading their Bible. So God will justly reward this system & all will see that the desire of these things was futile. Mt. 6:33, Eccles. 1:2,3; 12:13,14.
Vs. 7 -This system thought there would be no day of accounting to God but there is. Many think this & live like this. What a tragic day is in store for them. CF. Eccles. 8:11-13; Rom. 2:6.
Vs. 8 -None is able to stand against the Almighty God! This shows us that Death, mourning & famine are the three horsemen that ride roughshod over Babylon which is symbolic if not literal of the first city of prominence in the world. It's long, eventful & sinful existence ends. Note: There is an end on this earth for everyone & everything regardless of it's prominence, it's wealth or it's power. This event seems to occur just before the Battle of Armageddon. In one prophecy of Christ's second coming it speaks of His coming from Edom, Isa. 63:1-4. It may be that just before His coming at the Battle of Armageddon, He executes judgement upon that wicked city.
II. The Earth's reaction to Babylon's downfall. Vs 9-19
Vs. 9&10 - The kings are saddened because of the treasures that they will lose over this city's destruction since it was the capital for the world's commerce. Also, because of the destruction of the political power structure of the world. This, too, may be the event that will unite all the armies of the world together to war against God.
Vs. 11 -The merchants are saddened because of the treasures they will lose.
Vs. 12-17 - Everything listed here is a luxury item.
Jewelry dept -- gold, silver, etc.
Ladies ready to wear-- fine linen, purple, silk, scarlet
Luxury gift -- thyine (citron) wood, ivory, precious wood, brass, iron & marble
Spice & cosmetics -- cinnamon, odors, frankincense
Liquor dept. & Pastry Center -- wine, oil, flour, wheat
Meat dept. -- cattle, sheep
The merchandise covers every phase of business. The articles are for a society accustomed to the better things of the material universe. Even men were bought & sold, even their souls.
Vs. 18 & 19 - People will watch their TV sets & with horror bewail the destruction of the great city. God in one hour (suddenly) destroys her. She will possibly be the greatest city on earth in that day & completely & utterly destroyed.
Note: How do we see the luxuries of this world? Can we use them without them getting into our hearts, can we use them without them taking our time, intents, treasure which should be used for God? John 2:15-17.
III. The Heavenly Reaction to Babylon's Destruction - Vs. 20-24
Vs. 20 -Heaven's inhabitants will rejoice over her destruction for God hath avenged His own & put down evil in a way which shows no doubt of His hatred of their wicked way. Note: Be sure, be sure, your ways are right before God. Gal. 6:6,7.
Vs. 21-24 - Babylon is destroyed like a stone that makes a big splash & then disappears beneath the waves. Popular music comes to an end in Babylon. The factories will be destroyed. The bright lights of Broadway will be seen no more in her. This is Satan's City. He is a murderer - this city murdered & worst of all it murdered God's people. CF. Mk. 9:42.
CONCLUSION: Thus have fallen the two power structures of the tribulation. The two powerful systems that Satan will use so effectively to deceive people during the tribulation. Its popular to follow Satan today, but the end of those who do will be like these two Babylons. Today God calls upon all to "Come out of her, my people". God calls you today to not be of the world even though you are in the world. II Cor. 6:17. Above all things walk pleasing to God. The end thereof is the way of rejoicing.
What is the Babylon of Chapter 17?
What is the Babylon of Chapter 18?
Is the Babylon of Chapter 18 also a city?
The Babylon of Chapter 17 is hated by kings. T or F.
The Babylon of Chapter 18 is loved by kings. T or F.
Who destroys ecclesiastical Babylon?
Who destroys commercial Babylon?
When is ecclesiastical Babylon destroyed?
When is commercial Babylon destroyed?
What is meant when commercial Babylon is accused of fornication?
How long does it take God to destroy the Babylon in Chapter 18?
Why are the Kings of the earth saddened over her destruction?
How will Heaven react to Babylon's destruction?
What has happened in this city that causes God's hatred to be manifested so greatly? See Vs. 24.