Chapter 18: 21-24
“Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, ‘Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore. 22 The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore. 23 The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. 24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.’”
I continue to get emails from you, and I will answer all of them as fast as I can. Thanks for taking the time to read the articles and to respond whether positively, negatively or just with a question or observation.
We have been talking about the fall of Babylon for some time now, and it may seem that this chapter is drawn out. Why did I not just go to the end last week? I try to go as I am being led, and I felt that this part was for this week. Other than the resurrection, I do not think any other day in church history will be like this day. I say history because, even if it has not happened as yet, since God says it will happen, it is as if it has been done already. This day will be a day of rejoicing, a day that will culminate more than 6 millennia of war between the Kingdom of Light and the Kingdom of Darkness.
There are still a few wars to come on the earth. We will see one in chapter 19 and then another in chapter 20 and then the final judgment. But this spiritual battle and this destruction of the system of Babylon will bring to a close a rebellion that began in Genesis 11. Satan will meet his doom in the next chapters. But this is the system that we are talking about – the system that Paul talks about in Ephesians 6:12,
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
A system that permeates every aspect of our world. Our schools, our NEWS, our media, our governments and even our churches. A system that promotes religion, all the while hating Jesus, and a system that preys on the God-given needs of men and women to worship something. A system that can’t be Jesus, but tries to copy Him. A system that calls for total allegiance and costs you everything. A system that trades grace for works and offers nothing in return. A system that allows a few into the inner circle, all the while creating a hierarchy amongst mere men. A system that costs men everything, even their eternities, and offers just smoke and mirrors.
Satan, the father of all lies, is the father of the system. We see this in John 8:44,
“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
This is the truth about the system of Babylon; it is built on lies and has been from its inception. The first and most important lie is that man is his own god and he alone can determine what is righteous and what is not. Man, as we are told often in the book of Judges, lives according to what is right in his own eyes.
We can follow the carnage left behind by the system of Babylon, not to mention the disillusioned billions that have entered Hell, a place they were told did not exist; but the truth came rushing at them too late, and the lies they swallowed were their demise. A system that leaves broken men and women in its wake; a system that has given people the tools to kill over 50,000,000 babies in the name of convenience over the past 40+ years; a system that has bankrupted and handicapped our youth and left us with a very uncertain future. Were it not that we had the rapture to look forward too, we would have almost no hope. So, let us look at the system of Babylon and why the world will be in such sorrow and such mourning.
Guilt, Shame and Conviction.
In John 16:8 we see these words: “When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment.”
The Holy Spirit is sent to convict us of sin, to show what is righteous, and then to remind us that there is a judgment. These three things are in direct opposition to the system of Babylon. We hear things like ‘live and let live,’ or ‘I am doing what is right for me,’ or ‘you have no right to judge me.’ But God claims the right as the Sovereign standard of right and wrong to be able to show us what is sin, what is right and then to judge us. Even the Lord’s churches have been infected with this mentality of ‘live and let live.’
I recently met a young lady who, as we were speaking, gave a testimony of her salvation, a clear one. Nonetheless, she was currently in a bad situation. She had been living with a man who was not her husband; and when I asked what she did for a living, she was an office secretary to one of the largest churches here in Southern Ontario. How is this possible? She is not married to the man she is living with and yet she is working in the church office. This may seem trivial but it is symptomatic of what is happening. I know of churches that have people serving in ministry that are not members. They have no authority over them, yet they allow them to minister to the people that they are responsible to God for.
We have supposed churches that have openly gay men as their pastors. I recently had a conversation with a man who claimed to have been saved and was even in ministry for some time, and yet he vehemently hates the Lord now. He always complains about the things that God asks us to do – like live right, attend church, serve each other and love one another. He is convinced that we don’t need God for that.
All around us, churches are no longer preaching the truth of the Bible so that the Holy Spirit will convict us of sin and purge us. There is not a lot of exegetical preaching that dives into the truths of the scriptures and shows us how sinful we are and how Holy God is. Very few churches, according to the feedback I get in emails, seem to broach the subject of prophecy or eschatology anymore. No, we hear pep talks about how good we are and that God owes us the ‘good-life.’ And since there is no truth, the Holy Spirit is disarmed, so to speak.
Guilt, shame and conviction are an essential part of the life of a Christian. Read Daniel 9, Ezra 9, and Nehemiah 9 and see the confessions of righteous men. 1 John 1 tells us that we are sinners and that confession is the key to fellowship with God.
In Luke 5:8 after being confronted with Jesus’ power, Simon Peter utters these words: “When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, ‘Go away from me, because I’m a sinful man, Lord!’
Adam, when he disobeyed God, hid from the Holiness of the Lord and tried to cover himself.
We are told in Luke 18:13 that the Publican (tax collector) did this: “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes to heaven but kept striking his chest and saying, ‘God, turn Your wrath from me—a sinner!’”
Do you see? Do you get it? When confronted with the Holiness of God, mere men should fall face down in guilt and shame, asking for the loving forgiveness of our Loving Lord.
But the system of Babylon has pre-empted that. There is no shame – men doing unmentionable things with other men. Worse, there is a growing push to make sexual relationships with children acceptable. No one is guilty of sin; they flaunt it on main streets, and the world cheers on at the defiance of God.
The world will mourn because they will realize that their beloved Babylon was a myth, a lie; it was not eternal, not strong and certainly no help to them in eternity. And oh yeah, there is a God that even Satan has to answer to. They will realize that the One who could destroy Babylon could also destroy them, and that judgement is coming on them as well. They have to come face to face with the God that the system told them did not exist. They will realize that all the promises that Babylon made to them are lies, and they have evaporated with the fall thereof.
They Chose the Wrong God
In Matthew 6:24 we are confronted with this verse: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
Notice that the option to not have a God is not included. Something or someone will be your god. We are designed to worship, and we will find something to worship – something that guides the way we think, something to frame our life and our goals with, something to live for – and we will find something to bow down to.
Satan lied to those in the system of Babylon and told them that either they can be their own god, or that there was no God, or that he was God. They made a choice to turn their backs on the truth of the living God and to put their trust in something else. They chose wrong. They, here in Revelation 18, are standing on their choice, and it is shifting sand. Their foundation is eroding away, and they have cast a lot that cannot be taken back. They took the mark of the Anti-Christ; they swallowed the lie “hook, line and sinker,” and now the lie is burning in front of them and they cannot put out the fire. But they also know that there is no going back.
If the system is going up in flames, so too will those who have chosen the system. Sadly, for them, the fire that will burn them will never go out.
The world around us is celebrating the open sinfulness of men; they revere those that are ‘strong’ enough to defy God and reward those that live without shame before the Holy Lord. But their celebrating will come to an end, their reverence for sinners will cease, and their rewards will tarnish while they mourn and weep over the fall and destruction and end of the system of Babylon.
The saints of heaven will rejoice. Heaven will be jubilant over the fall of the system.
Revelation 18:20 “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!”
This system will never kill another saint again. Right now the blood of the saints is found in her; but after this day, no more. I wonder if the jubilant shouts of heaven will drown out the mourning on the earth?
My brothers and sisters, hold the truth to be precious. It is all we have; it is the currency of the Lord’s churches. We are to guard it and teach it like our very future depends on it, and it does. Truth is the enemy of the System of Babylon. That is why the hatred for the Bible, the hatred for street preachers, the hatred for those that share the Gospel, the hatred for the Ten Commandments, and on and on the hatred goes. That is why they want to take the Bible out of everything and replace it with their own gospel.
We should be more diligent now, as we see the end coming at us like a freight train, to read more of the Scriptures, to study more of the Scriptures, and to seek God’s wisdom in the application of the Scriptures.
If you love the truth of God, the system will hate you. They hated Jesus; they will hate you. You will not fit in, and you will not be comfortable. Thank God when you are hated, thank God when you don’t fit in, and thank God that the Holy Spirit still convicts you of sin, righteousness and the judgment to come.
Rejoice in John 8:32, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”