And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying to me, Come here; I will show to you the judgment of the great whore that sits on many waters: With whom the kings of the Earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the Earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication… (Revelation 17:1-2 AKJV)
This is mentioned right after the wrath is poured out. The angels who had the vials of wrath are mentioned, so we know this event happens after God’s wrath. A whore is someone who is unfaithful to God and His ways. A vivid description is given of the “woman.”
And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication. (Revelation 17:4 AKJV)
The colors mentioned here have great meaning:
- Purple is the color of royalty and priesthood
- Scarlet represents wisdom
Add to these colors the meaning of gold, precious stones, and pearls that represent wealth. This description is reminiscent of Jezebel, the queen who manipulated King Ahab to do her evil bidding. This royal pair instituted the worship of gods Baal and Asherah on a national scale (1 Kings 16)
And on her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. (Revelation 17:5-6 AKJV)
Jezebel is mentioned in the Old Testament. She slaughtered God’s prophets and was referred to as the daughter of Babylon. Jezebel is synonymous with those who lead mankind astray and into sinful ways. This spirit may be the one who sits upon the beast, promising to reveal mysteries and give riches and power to those who follow her. The spirit known as Jezebel is a principality that uses demons with particular abilities to influence mankind through an earthly leader. One of the names that apply to the woman is “Babylon the Great” marking this figure as someone who works like Jezebel.
We have already discussed the next several verses about the Beast through which the AntiChrist will reign, so now let’s skip down to where we left off so we can find out how this “whore on many waters” relates to “Babylon.”
And he said to me, The waters which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. (Revelation 17:15 AKJV)
And the woman which you saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the Earth. (Revelation 17:18 AKJV)
Jerusalem was often referred to as a woman in the Old Testament (Amos 5:2, Isaiah 37:22). The woman mentioned in the opening scripture is actually a city that leads people into sin and the waters are many nations and peoples who are being influenced by this city.
And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God has put in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. (Revelation 17:16-17 AKJV)
The leaders empowered by Satan will hate a particular city and attack it, but this is God’s will. Fire will be part of that destruction. These ten rulers will be of one mind with Satan and his army (the Beast) until God’s prophecies are fulfilled. In the Bible, chapter breaks were inserted to make it easier to reference. As we continue reading we receive more information concerning Babylon.
And after these things I saw another angel come down from Heaven, having great power; and the Earth was lightened with his glory. 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. 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. (Revelation 18:1-3 AKJV)
As we looked throughout the book of Revelation, with no preconceived ideas, we have found this to be a chronicle list of events. The items are clearly listed in the order that they will happen. This seems to hold true until we look at scriptures that mention Babylon. The destruction of the wicked city is mentioned in two places, which indicates it happens at two different times:
- Revelation 18:2 - after the wrath (above)
- Revelation 14:8 - after the trumpets
And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. (Revelation 14:8 AKJV)
If Revelation is a chronological list of events, how can one city be mentioned as “fallen” twice? There is a possibility that there are two Babylons, however, both mentions of Babylon include scriptures about the world drinking the “wine of fornication.” Because of the consistency of the description, and although it is unlikely that there are two cities, we cannot rule out that possibility. I think there may be a different explanation when we carefully examine the original language to understand what is being said.
The announcement of Babylon’s fall has an interesting repetition; “is fallen” is said twice. There are several definitions that can be applied to the Greek word piptō, translated as “is fallen.” The repetitive phrase caused me to look into the meaning of this word:
- To descend from a higher place to a lower
- Metaphor: to fall under judgment, come under condemnation
- To be cast down from a state of prosperity
- to lose authority, no longer have force
- To fall down, fall into ruin: of buildings, walls etc.
- to fall out, fall from i.e. shall perish or be lost
The first statement of “fallen” is declaring that it has been removed from a high place to a lower place because of judgment. The second time it is said in the same sentence is to show what is happening. The two mentions of the city should read like this:
Babylon has come under judgment (fallen) and God has given the city over to the enemy. It “is fallen” into spiritual ruin.
This is confirmed because when we see it next in chapter 18 it is inhabited by “ devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” The spiritual fall can account for it being an inhibition for Satan’s minions. The spiritual fall of Babylon occurs right after Michael kicks Satan’s army out of Heaven. It seems many of the demons take up residence in Babylon.
Babylon has come under judgment and has lost its authority and/or prosperity. It is utterly destroyed and its buildings are in ruins.
Next, the city comes into economic and physical destruction and loss. Throughout the Old Testament, we see this pattern: first, the land falls into spiritual ruin, then judgment brings physical catastrophes upon it.
And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. (Revelation 18:4 AKJV)
Christians are given a strong warning: we need to know what city this is and flee from this city or else, we may be affected by the plagues or punishment that God releases. Just as Lot was warned to flee Sodom before the destruction, God is telling us to do the same!
For her iniquities (her crimes and transgressions) are piled up as high as Heaven, and God has remembered her wickedness and [her] crimes [and calls them up for settlement]. Repay to her what she herself has paid [to others] and double [her doom] in accordance with what she has done. Mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed [for others]. To the degree that she glorified herself and reveled in her wantonness [living deliciously and luxuriously], to that measure impose on her torment and anguish and tears and mourning. Since in her heart she boasts, I am not a widow; as a queen [on a throne] I sit, and I shall never see suffering or experience sorrow— (Revelation 18:5-7 AMPC)
There is a city that considers itself untouchable. It will come to rule over all other nations when the beast is in power. “Wanton” is a profuse luxury, unrestrained in obtaining what it desires. In a time of trouble, this city will live above all other cities of the world. God will pour out His wrath in a double measure upon this city.
So shall her plagues (afflictions, calamities) come thick upon her in a single day, pestilence and anguish and sorrow and famine; and she shall be utterly consumed (burned up with fire), for mighty is the Lord God who judges her. And the rulers and leaders of the Earth who joined her in her immorality (idolatry) and luxuriated with her will weep and beat their breasts and lament over her when they see the smoke of her conflagration. They will stand a long way off, in terror of her torment, and they will cry, Woe and alas, the great city, the mighty city, Babylon! In one single hour how your doom (judgment) has overtaken you! (Revelation 18:8-10 AMPC)
The rulers of the world will despair when Babylon is destroyed. The space of “a day” may not represent 24 hours since days often represent years in this particular book, it may actually be a year. Four distinct calamities will come in a relatively short space of time:
- Death that will be most likely from an attack from the heads of the Beast
- Mourning for the lost
And Earth’s businessmen will weep and grieve over her because no one buys their freight (cargo) any more. Their merchandise is of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; of fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet [stuffs]; all kinds of scented wood, all sorts of articles of ivory, all varieties of objects of costly woods, bronze, iron, and marble; Of cinnamon, spices, incense, ointment and perfume, and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, fine flour and wheat; of cattle and sheep, horses and conveyances; and of slaves (the bodies) and souls of men! (Revelation 18:11-13 AMPC)
An extremely detailed description leaves no doubt that these effects are not metaphorical. The loss of this lone city will affect businesses across the Earth who can no longer sell their goods through this city including money (gold and silver), jewels (gems and pearls), clothing (cloth), created merchandise (wood and stone vessels), food (wheat, beasts, sheep), and even the body and souls of men (workforces).
And the fruits that your soul lusted after are departed from you, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from you, and you shall find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! (Revelation 18:14-16 AKJV)
Those who trade in the “dainty” or finer things of life will be greatly distressed when Babylon is destroyed.
For in one hour so great riches is come to nothing. 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, saying, What city is like to this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. (Revelation 18:17-19 AKJV)
If ships can see this city, it must be close to the ocean. When sea captains are lamenting because of a loss of profit, it means that a lot of merchandise was moved through the ports of Babylon. Though the world weeps, God’s people should be rejoicing.
Rejoice over her, you Heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets; for God has avenged you on her. (Revelation 18:20 AKJV)
Those who know God’s ways will be happy to see the destruction of this city.
And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. (Revelation 18:21 AKJV)
This verse is a confirmation that the first destruction may have been referring to the city’s spiritual fall and its second mention as a physical fall that comes when God pours out his wrath. The seventh bowl of wrath includes hail that weighs eighty pounds; perhaps Babylon is where this hail will hit.
And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in you; and no craftsman, of whatever craft he be, shall be found any more in you; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in you, And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in you; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in you: for your merchants were the great men of the Earth; for by your sorceries were all nations deceived. (Revelation 18:22-23 AKJV)
Not only is Babylon big business, but it also has entertainment and food! The Greek word pharmakeia is translated as “sorceries” and is where we get our word “pharmacy.” It may mean drugs or the power of influence and persuasion (Strong’s Concordance G5331). What city is God speaking of? It is a “great city” with no equal, so this narrows it down a bit. There are two distinct possibilities:
This city has been ranked in the top 40 cities and it has one attribute that many others do not have:
And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all those who have been slain (slaughtered) on Earth. (Revelation 18:24 AMPC)
Rome was involved when Jesus and the disciples were killed and I believe will be involved in the support of the AntiChrist with the mark of the Beast. This leads me to think that perhaps it will be Rome despite it not being the biggest of cities.
It is ranked number one in the Global Cities Index. It is the most influential city in the world. It fits all of the attributes above.
According to scripture, we can be responsible for the blood of others by supporting those who are doing the killing. “In her was found” is the Greek word heyriskō which may imply “to be discovered, recognized, detected, to show oneself out, of one's character or state as found out by others (men, God, or both).” In other words, it is directly connected but by careful examination, you see the truth of it. Could it be that the stock market and other types of financial support cause New York to be held responsible for all the blood that is spilled?
Because of the apocalyptic events taking place before the fall of Babylon, it is impossible to say for sure which city Babylon refers to. We have no real way of knowing how much time has elapsed between the wrath and the fall of Babylon, only that this is the next big event or perhaps part of the seventh bowl of wrath.
After this I heard what sounded like a mighty shout of a great crowd in Heaven, exclaiming, Hallelujah (praise the Lord)! Salvation and glory (splendor and majesty) and power (dominion and authority) [belong] to our God!... He has judged (convicted, pronounced sentence, and doomed) the great and notorious harlot (idolatress) who corrupted and demoralized and poisoned the Earth with her lewdness and adultery (idolatry)... (Revelation 19:1-2 AMPC)
There is great rejoicing in Heaven over the fall of Babylon and we finally see why the judgment has come upon this city. This is a place of great influence that has caused many nations to fall into “fornication” which is idolatry: placing other desires above God. The Greek word megas translated as “notorious” can mean things esteemed highly for their importance: of great moment, of great weight, of importance. “Poisoned the Earth” could be literal toxic waste or it may be metaphorically influencing the morality of mankind with entertainment centered around sin.
And again they said, Alleluia And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all you His servants, and you that fear Him, both small and great. (Revelation 19:3-5 AKJV)
When destruction comes upon those who are beheading Christians for not worshiping the beast, it is time to rejoice with those in Heaven!
Jesus’ Point of View
This is the love of our Lord. He has told us ahead of time to flee Babylon. We may not know what city that is right now, but after Satan is kicked out of Heaven, the city will rise. It will be easy to see who is controlling the nations of the world. The Lord says to watch for the rise of Babylon and flee!
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Believers' Boot Camp series
Many people think of boot camp as a place you train for combat. Any veteran will tell you that basic training is about three things:
- Knowing what weapons are available
- Learning how to use those weapons
- Receiving orders and following them
Volume 1: Why Doesn't God Speak to Me?
Eager hearts cry out, hoping for a single word to confirm that He hears us. Yet, many times the only sound is silence. Over the years I have heard several reasons why God speaks to some and not to others. One night, as I tossed and turned, I brought each of these reasons before the Lord, stating why each of them did not line up with who I thought He was.
Words rose from my soul, pleading for Him to reveal why He has remained silent when a single word from Him would mean so much to so many. For the next few hours, God used things I learned about years ago and things I had just discovered to show why He talks to some and why He doesn’t, and in demonstrative ways.
In His grace, He also showed me how people could hear more from Him. Basic instructions on how to hear more from God and how to be led by Him are included in this book. Thank you for taking time to consider the answers I received and share with you now.
Keys to Authority for Every Believer
There is untapped power that is easy for every Christian to access in the form of authority. The keys to this authority will unlock weapons we can use to free ourselves from the attacks of the enemy. We must be intimately aware of the bounds and limitations of our weapon if they are to be used effectively.
Find out about your authority:
- Why you need it.
- Where it comes from.
- What you can do with it.
- How to get more.
- Why you need it.
- Where it comes from.
- What you can do with it.
- How to get more.