Revelation 18 Commentary, Part 1 (verses 1-8)
By Brother Mike (8-13-13, 64 minutes)
In the previous chapter, we discovered that the Great Whore is Babylon the Great, which, in turn, is the kingdom of Satan, and the kingdom of Satan is this world. We also discovered that the Great Whore included the corporate church so that we can now say based upon the biblical calendar that ever since May 21, 1988, all the churches and denomination have become a part of the kingdom of Satan, Babylon the Great, or just simply a part of this sinful world. The churches can no longer be called the Holy Place of God, for they have fornicated over and over again with the Great Whore. This has caused the spiritual judgment of God to come down upon them beginning on May 21, 1988, which has then led to their complete spiritual destruction followed with the complete spiritual destruction of the entire world on May 21, 2011, Judgment Day. There is no longer any possibility of salvation for anyone in the church; nor in the world. WE ARE NOW IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT!
We first began reading about the judgment of the Great Whore - the corporate church - back in chapter 17 where we read,
16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire .
This is a short description of the judgment that God brought upon the corporate church between May 21, 1988 and May 21, 2011. The beast, Satan, was used by God to make all the churches and denominations desolate and naked, and to eat their flesh, and to burn them with fire. This is all symbolic language to teach that the corporate church no longer has any hope for salvation. She is desolate and naked because Christ has left her; she has had her flesh eaten because the wages of sin is death, and her sins are killing her; and she has been burned with fire because judgment has come upon her.
But God's judgment against the church does not end with the church, but on May 21, 2011 it expands to include the entire world. This is the judgment that we read of in Revelation 18. It is not just a part of Babylon the Great - the corporate church - which is being judged, but it is now the entire kingdom of Babylon (the world, the church, the kingdom of Satan) that is being judged. Babylon the Great is fallen!
1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory .
It is not difficult to see that the angel who comes down from heaven is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Remember, the word for angel can simply mean messenger, and what other messenger could it be said of that He comes down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. Other verses speak similarly of Christ as an angel who comes down from heaven. For instance, we read of Christ in Revelation 10,
Re 10:1 And I saw another mighty angel [Christ] come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire . . .
Revelation 20 also speaks of Christ as an angel who comes down from heaven:
Re 20:1 And I saw an angel [Christ] come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand .
Further support for Christ being the angel who comes down from heaven can be realized in that the angel comes down from heaven, having great power, and having great power is normally associated with Christ as we read in Mark 13,
Mr 13:26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory .
Re 11:17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned .
So, therefore, in that the angel comes down from heaven, having great power, supports this angel being Christ, for scripture normally associates having great power with Christ Himself.
But now why is this angel [Christ] said to come down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was lightened with His glory? What is the purpose in even mention these things? To answer this question it is necessary to know the purpose for the angel [Christ] coming down from heaven. Once we realize that Christ came down to bring judgment upon Babylon the Great (the world, the church, the kingdom of Satan) as we will read in the next verse, then we can better understand why He is spoken of as having great power, and why He lightened the earth with His glory. First of all, if He is going to bring judgment upon the world, He must have great power or authority in order to judge, which He has, and He must come to judge in truth, which He does, and this is why He lightened the earth with His glory; the light exposes the darkness, but reveals the truth by which He judges.
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 .
Now, in this verse, the angel [Christ] which came down from heaven with great power and the earth was lightened by His glory in preparation for bringing judgment cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen. This is a pronouncement of judgment upon the entire world, or the kingdom of Satan because if you will remember, we had learned in Revelation 17 that Babylon the Great represents the kingdom of Satan, which is the world, and the Great Whore who represented the corporate church ever since May 21, 1988 is included in this Babylon the Great. So in that Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen means that the entire world including the corporate church has now been judged. And when was the entire world judged as a whole? According to the
Let's look a little more closely at the verse. First of all, we'll look more closely at Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen. A literal translation could read, fall, fall did Babylon the Great. The verb tense is in the aorist tense of the biblical Greek language, which means that the fall, fall of Babylon did take place at some point in the past. So when God says, fall, fall did Babylon the Great, he is saying this from a perspective of already being past May 21, 2011 when the Day of Judgment first began. In other words, God is saying all this at a time already beyond May 21, 2011; He is looking back while speaking about the fall of Babylon which had already taken place. Next, by mentioning the fall of Babylon twice in saying, fall, fall did Babylon the Great, God obviously wants to place emphasis upon it, namely that Babylon did certainly, without question, fall. This could also mean that Babylon actually fell two times: once when God brought judgment against the church on May 21, 1988, and, again, when He brought judgment on the entire world on May 21, 2011.
Now we read that upon her fall, Babylon the Great became (aorist tense) the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. The word for devils means demons, and the word for hold and the word for cage are the same word prison in the Greek. And, the word for foul is the same word unclean that we see used in the phrase unclean and hateful bird. Therefore, this verse would be more clearly translated, fall, fall did Babylon the Great, and became the habitation of demons, and the prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. Furthermore, the word here translated as hateful in hateful bird is a perfect, passive participle in the Greek, and so it can be translated having been hated bird. The whole verse should then read,
"Fall, fall did Babylon the Great, and became the habitation of demons, and the prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and having been hated bird ."
Notice that Babylon the Great (the world) became the habitation of demons, and the prison of every unclean spirit. Since demons are just another name for unclean spirits, the phrase, the prison of every unclean spirit is explaining in more detail what the habitation of demons is: it is a prison of every demon or unclean spirit. In fact, to make this more clear, and because the word for and (transliterated kai) can be translated as even, it might all be best translated like this: and became the habitation of demons, even the prison of every unclean spirit (demon).
So what we have learned is that the world became the habitation of demons, and they are all in prison. But just how did the demons come to inhabit the earth? And what does it mean that they are in prison? In answer to the first question first, the world first began to be a habitation of demons at the cross when any access for them to heaven was blocked, and they were all cast and kept to the earth. We read of this in Revelation 12:
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven .
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him .
10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night .
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death .
12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time .
13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child .
14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent .
So because the demons were all cast and kept to the earth, Babylon (the world) has now come to be known as a habitation of demons. But not just a habitation of demons; it is a prison for every demon as well. Not only are all demons confined to this earth, but, spiritually speaking, they are bound to sin and have no possibility for salvation. They are, indeed, in prison. They are now simply waiting in chains of darkness until they are finally annihilated along with this world and every unsaved human being. We read of their imprisonment in a couple of passages:
2Pe 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment . . .
Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day .
We next read in our text that not only did Babylon the Great (the world) become the prison of every unclean spirit, but it also became a prison of every unclean and having been hated bird. In order to understand what this is saying, we will first need to know what is meant by the word bird. Below are some scriptures which we can compare to help find the meaning of bird:
Pr 27:8 As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place .
Pr 6:5 Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler .
Ps 11:1 In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain ?
Ps 124:7 Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped .
Isa 16:2 For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon .
Isa 46:11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it .
La 3:52 Mine enemies chased me sore, like a bird, without cause .
Ho 11:11 They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses, saith the LORD .
A careful comparison of the above verses reveals that the word bird is symbolic of a person, people, souls of people, or a soul of a person. Whatever the case, we can conclude in general that the word bird has to do with human beings. Therefore, we can translate our verse in discussion like this:
". . . and a prison of every unclean and having been hated [human being] . "
Now we can understand this verse because it is saying that ever since the fall of Babylon the Great on May 21, 2011, the world became a prison of every unclean human being. Since an unclean human being is someone who has not been saved, this is saying that the world became a prison of every unsaved person. But just what does it mean that all the unsaved people are now in prison ever since May 21, 2011? Well, it means the same thing that it meant when it applied to the demons: To be in prison means that all the unsaved are bound to sin, and that they have no possibility of salvation. This supports exactly what we have been teaching all along that ever since May 21, 2011, salvation has come to an end for every single person who was not saved before May 21, 2011. There is no longer any hope for any unsaved person, for fall, fall did Babylon the Great ever since May 21, 2011.
It is important to consider why all the unclean people (unsaved) are also referred to as having been hated. Who are they hated by? This reminds me of a Psalm:
Ps 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth .
From this, we know that it is the Lord who hates the wicked, and because the wicked are the unclean or unsaved of the world, this is teaching that God hates all the unsaved people in the world. You have probably at some time heard that God hates the sin, but loves the sinner; nevertheless, according to what scripture says, God hates the sinner, and this is why scripture refers to each and everyone of the unsaved as having been hated birds.
3 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 .
This verse answers the question, why did Babylon the Great fall, fall, and become the habitation of demons, even the prison of every unclean spirit, and the prison of every unclean and having been hated bird? The answer is: 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.
Let's first consider that all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. This means that all the nations have been misled into false gospels, false teachings, and, ultimately, the worship of false Gods. Normally, this is accomplished without the people even knowing it. They are so skillfully deceived that they actually believe they are worshipping the true God. And, since the church has become one with Babylon the Great (the world) ever since May 21, 1988, the same is true for the corporate church; they actually believe that they are worshipping the one and only true God, who is Jesus, but instead their spiritual fornication with the world has resulted in their worshipping a false God.
But not only have all nations fornicated with Babylon the Great (the world), but so did the kings of the earth as we read: and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her. But just who are the kings of the earth who have committed fornication? In verse 2 of our last study in Revelation 17
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 . . .
Focus in on the sentence they [the kings of the earth] shall see the smoke of her burning. Now remember that the context of Revelation 18 is in Judgment Day after May 21, 2011. Now in this context, ask the question, who shall see the smoke of her burning? Is it the literal kings of the earth who realize that God's judgment or burning is upon Great Babylon (the world)? No, they don't even realize that God's judgment has come. Then, is it the false believers who are mostly in the churches that realize God's judgment or burning is upon the world? No, they don't even recognize that God's judgment has come. Then, what about God's elect? Do they see that God's judgment or burning has come upon the world ever since May 21, 2011? Absolutely! Then they are the kings of the earth who shall see the smoke of her burning. Therefore, we can know that the kings of the earth who have fornicated with Babylon (the world) are God's very own elect. Even though they were saved, they still committed some sin along the way, and as we continue on further in Revelation 18, we will see even more clearly that the kings of the earth, who have fornicated with the world, must be God's elect.
Next, another reason why God has brought judgment upon Babylon the Great (the world) is because the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. First of all, who are the merchants of the earth? Literally you might think that merchants are those who buy and sell earthly goods for profit, but, spiritually, merchants are those who spiritually sell and buy the gospel. We read in Mark 13,
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls
46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price [salvation through Christ], went and sold all that he had, and bought it .
Although this parable makes it sound as though salvation can be bought, we must remember that this is just a parable, and it is simply using the figure of selling and buying to portray the process of salvation. In actuality, salvation is free as we read in Isaiah 55:
Isa 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price .
So the merchants of the earth are those who, in a figure of speech, buy and sell the gospel. To sell the gospel means that they are those who send forth the gospel to the world.
Now the question arises, if the merchants of the earth are those who send forth the gospel, does this mean that they are the believers in Jesus Christ? Well, yes, but we must remember that just as it was with the kings of the earth, which were discussed in Revelation 17 verse 2
"and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies ."
The Greek word for abundance is normally translated as power, but the word translated as delicacies is a singular word, and is more difficult to translate because it is only used in this one place in the Bible. It can mean over strength, luxury, and even eager desire, but based on the context, the word luxury is probably the best word to use because its use gives a better sense of the intended meaning. The verse now reads when also making the verb tense clear,
"and the merchants of the earth [were made rich] through the [power] of her [luxury] .
What this is saying is that the merchants of the earth were made rich through the power of her luxury, which spiritual power is manifested through such things such as telecommunications, television, radio, internet, computers, automobiles, and so on. Throughout most of history, these things did not exist, and only in the last 100 years have they been so developed that they can be used as huge platforms to get the teachings of the Bible out into the whole world. The result has been that the merchants of the earth (believers in Christ) were made spiritually rich through the power of her luxury. Just think about Family Radio, for instance, how they were able to reach virtually the entire world before Judgment Day on May 21, 2011. This made millions and millions of believers spiritually rich.
But the context of verse 3 under discussion says that the merchants of the earth were made rich through the power of her luxury as a reason as to why God brought spiritual judgment upon Babylon (the world). The question then becomes, how does the making spiritually rich the merchants of the earth (believers) have something to do with bringing spiritual judgment upon the world on May 21, 2011? The answer is this: it is God's elect who had to first be made rich in their knowledge of end-time things before God brought spiritual judgment upon the world so that they could warn of its date, and also proclaim it once that judgment came. This is why God's people had to first be made rich through the power of her luxury. We must remember that it is God's people who were and are involved in bringing judgment (see
Now returning to our text,
4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues .
Now, in this verse, the apostle john hears another voice from heaven. This is a different voice than the voice of Christ who cried out, fall, fall did Babylon the Great back in verse 2. More than likely, this is the voice of the Father, for His voice is spoken of as a voice from heaven in other scriptures as well. For instance, we read of the voice from heaven which is the Fathers in the following verses:
Mt 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased .
Mr 1:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased .
Joh 12:28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again .
Next, we read that the voice from heaven is saying, Come out of her, my people. Many have thought this verse to be the command to come out of the churches after the fall of the corporate church beginning on May 21, 1988 like the similar commands of Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14, but this cannot be, for the context of Revelation 18 is the fall of all of Babylon (the entire world) beginning on May 21, 2011 and not just that part of Babylon which is the corporate church. The corporate church part of Babylon fell beginning on May 21, 1988, for judgment must first begin with the house of God (1Peter 5:17), but all of Babylon (the entire world of which the church is only a part) fell beginning on May 21, 2011. Therefore, when we read here in Revelation 18, come out of her, my people, in the context of spiritual judgment having come upon the entire world on May 21, 2011, it is a command not to come out of the churches, for that was already accomplished before May 21, 2011, but it is a command to come out of Babylon the Great (the entire world).
But now we have a problem! How can God's people come out of the entire world? They were able to come out of the churches by just departing out from them, but how can they literally depart out from the world? Obviously, unless they are raptured or die, they cannot. Therefore, we must see the command to come out of her my people spiritually and not literally, and when we do so, we realize that the only way to spiritually come out of this world is to be saved from this world of darkness and translated into the kingdom of Christ. We read of this in Colossians 1,
Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son . . .
What I am getting at is this: when God says, come out of her, my people in the context of May 21, 2011, it is a picture of the great salvation of souls brought about by God on May 21, 2011. It represents the effectual call to salvation that went out into the whole world during the Great Tribulation period, which was finalized on May 21, 2011 when there were millions of people who answered the call and were saved on or before May 21, 2011. They were taken from the kingdom of this world and translated into the kingdom of our Lord.
Next, we are given the reason why God's people should come out of her on May 21, 2011: that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. First, that ye be not partakers of her sins means that unless you come out of her; that is, be saved by May 21, 2011, you will be accounted as being a sinner, and, hence, you will come under the eternal judgment of God. Second, that ye receive not of her plagues means that unless you come out of her; that is, be saved by May 21, 2011, you will receive of her plagues, which are described in
5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities .
This verse is a continued explanation as to why judgment has come upon Babylon (the world) on May 21, 2011, and why God's people are to come out of her: For her sins have reached unto heaven and God hath remembered her iniquities. The verb here translated as reached in the phrase reached unto heaven is most commonly translated as joined, and it is in the Greek aorist tense and passive mood. Therefore, it can be translated, for her sins were joined unto heaven. The idea is that her sins were cleaved to heaven, which infers that they were numerous and bad enough to have been cleaved to heaven in need of satisfaction by judgment. What's more, God remembered (aorist tense) her iniquities. When it came time for judgment on May 21, 2011, God remembered every single last sin that the world ever committed, and He is now ever since dishing out spiritual judgment by having removed salvation from the world, and leaving them to their own destructive sins until when on the Last Day the whole unsaved human race will be destroyed along with this world. Then a new heaven and earth will be created for God's remnant of people to dwell in forevermore.
6 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 .
In this verse, we have a series of commands as to what to do to Babylon the Great (the world, which is the kingdom of Satan) for all her sins. First, we read the command: Reward her even as she rewarded you. Because the word reward normally carries with it the idea of something which is positive or a blessings (a reward), I prefer the translation, Render to her even as she rendered to you, which removes any notion that the reward being declared here is anything positive like a blessing because it obviously is not. No, what is being revealed here is the very negative judgment of God upon her, and she is to be rendered equal to what she rendered to all the inhabitants of the earth. This equality in what is to be rendered to Babylon (the world) for her sins reveals the justice of God.
Furthermore, we read the command: double unto her double according to her works. This reveals that for equality in rendering to Babylon (the kingdom of Satan) for her sins, she must receive double according to her works. Why double? This must mean that her works were doubly wrong. And how were they doubly wrong? Because she has not only led the inhabitants of the earth to death by her fornication with them, but she also led the corporate church to death by her fornication with them from May 21, 1988 to May 21, 2011. Therefore, she must be rendered double according to her works. And, in what way is she to be rendered double? We are told: In the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. The command, fill to her double is the third and final command found in this verse. But what does it mean in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double? What it means is that just as she rendered both the inhabitants of the earth and all the churches and denominations to death (two separate killings), so also she must be rendered to death double or twice.
And just how is Babylon the Great (the world) to be put to death twice? Well, her first death has taken place already ever since May 21, 2011 because ever since then there has been no possibility for salvation to anyone in the world. This means that she has NOT only been locked into the spiritual death that she inherited from Adam (the first death), and so physical death for each of her members from generation to generation is guaranteed to come, but she is also guaranteed to be completely annihilated on the Last Day at which time she will exist no more at all (the second death). So, therefore, by the end, she will have died double, having been rendered what she so justly deserved.
7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow .
Now we are told, How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously. The Greek word for How much (transliterated hosos) has quite a variety of ways in which it can be translated, but probably the best translation in this context is as much as. Also, the word for deliciously is only found here and in verse 9 of Revelation 18. It means to live luxuriously and is presumed derived from the word luxury (delicacies) in the sentence back in verse 3, which states, and the merchants of the earth waxed rich through the power (abundance) of her luxury (delicacies). Therefore, our verse in discussion can be translated,
"As much as she hath glorified herself, and lived luxuriously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow .
The idea of living luxuriously has to do with all the spiritual and material wealth that Babylon (the world) has accumulated due to the power of her luxury, which is manifest through all the luxuries in the world which did not exist for most of the history of the world. These luxuries would be such things as telecommunications (including cell phones), television, radio, internet, computers, automobiles, aircraft, motorized ships, and so on. Indeed, through all these things, Babylon the Great (the kingdom of Satan) has lived luxuriously.
But not only do we read that she has lived luxuriously, but we are told that she has glorified herself. We don't have to think too far as to what this means because we are told exactly what it means in the second half of the verse: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. What does this mean? First of all, when the verse says that she is saying in her heart, the verb saying is in the present tense and active voice of the Greek, which means that she is saying in her heart continuously, or over and over again, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. From this, we get the sense of the extent to which she glorified herself, namely she did so continuously. Next, the verb sit in the sentence, I sit a queen is in the middle voice of the Greek, which means the action of the verb sit points back to the subject. The idea is that she sits a queen not because she was made to sit a queen by something or someone else, but she sits a queen because she made it to be so herself. She did it! Now to sit in the Bible means to rule, and that she is said to be a queen means that she claims to be married to the king who we know is our Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, she claims to be saved and ruling with our lord Jesus Christ as a true believer even though she is not. Furthermore, she claims that she is no widow, and shall see no sorrow. A widow is someone whose husband has died, and, in this case, she claims her husband is the Lord Jesus, so what she is saying is that I am saved, and my husband, the Lord Jesus Christ, who saved me from the wrath of God, has not died from being married to me, so I could not possibly be under the wrath of God. And, that she could not possibly be under the wrath of God is emphasized again when she says that I will see no sorrow.
So, in short, what we see in all this is that Babylon the Great did glorify herself by saying in her heart that she is saved, and so will not come under the judgment of God when the truth is that she is not saved, and she is under the judgment of God. This never made more sense than when we see Babylon the Great here in this verse representing the corporate church. Remember, although the corporate church is only a part of Babylon the Great (the kingdom of Satan, the world), she can still be called by the complete name Babylon the Great as we saw especially in
Now before we leave this verse, let's consider the command in this verse: so much torment and sorrow give her. First, the word here translated as torment is only found in five verses in the Bible:
Re 9:5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man .
Re 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name .
Re 18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow .
Re 18:10 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 .
Re 18:15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing .
A careful examination of these verses can be shown to reveal that each verse is in the context of Judgment Day (a period of many days), which began on May 21, 2011. Therefore, this word here translated as torment is context specific to the period of days ever since May 21, 2011, which we call Judgment Day. Second, torment does not have to mean agonizing torture, and, in this case, it obviously does not since we are now in the Day of Judgment (torment), but most people do not appear to be being tortured. No, the kind of torment that people are now experiencing is spiritual torment, which means that they are being tormented whether they realize it or not by the fact that the door to heaven has been closed to them with no hope for their eternal salvation if they weren't already saved on or before May 21, 2011. Third, the word sorrow here in the command so much torment and sorrow give her does NOT represent a literal sorrow where everyone is literally sorrowing or mourning because it is Judgment Day, but, like with the word torment, the word sorrow is a spiritual sorrow, which is simply representative of the period of many days with no salvation after May 21, 2011, which we call Judgment Day. What the command so much torment and sorrow give her means, then, is so much Judgment Day give her, for ever since May 21, 2011 there is no more salvation possible (a torment and a sorrow), so the only thing left for the unsaved inhabitants of the earth is death. Certainly they shall all die! For people are dieing every day now, and on the Last Day of Judgment Day they shall all go up in flame forevermore.
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 .
The first word Therefore in this verse is a translation of the literal two words thru this. In other words, it is thru this, which could also be translated because of this, shall her plagues come in one day. But now we must ask, because of what shall her plagues come in one day? Well, it's because of what we had just read in the previous verse, namely that Babylon the Great (the world including the corporate church) glorified herself, saying in her heart falsely and arrogantly that I am saved (a queen), my husband, God, has not left me in death, and I will not see any sorrow in judgment because my husband who covers my sins is still living with me. Because of this (therefore) shall her plagues come in one day. The one day is May 21, 2011 until the end of the world. It is known as Judgment Day.
Now we are told what the plagues are, which come on Babylon the Great (the kingdom of Satan, the world); they are death, mourning, famine, and being utterly burned with fire. First, notice that there are 4 listings: death, mourning, famine, and being utterly burned with fire. This is to emphasize that these plagues are worldwide (see
Biblical Meaning of Number 4
Nor is it difficult to see why Judgment Day is described by mourning and famine. It is described by mourning, which can also be translated as sorrow as it was in the previous verse, because, spiritually speaking, Judgment Day is a very sad period of time for the world even if they don't realize it. There has never been a time in all history wherein there has been no hope for eternal salvation, but, now, ever since May 21, 2011, that is exactly where the world finds itself: with no eternal future, but death and mourning. And, all this is due to the spiritual famine that has come upon the world. It is a famine of hearing the word of God unto salvation. Even though people might hear the Word of God, the Holy Spirit will no longer take that Word and apply it to the hearts of the unsaved unto salvation. Therefore, there is no more hope for salvation, but only famine, and mourning, and death.
Finally, Judgment Day is described as Babylon the Great being utterly burned with fire. Because fire in the Bible is symbolic of judgment, this is simply saying that Babylon the Great is under the judgment of God. That is why she can now be said to be experiencing fire. But the idea that she shall be utterly burned up points to the Last Day of Judgment Day when she will be completely annihilated forevermore. Then she will have been completely or utterly burned up.
Now how are all these plagues able to come upon Babylon the Great (that is, the world, the kingdom of Satan) in one day; that is, in Judgment Day beginning on May 21, 2011? for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. Just how strong the Lord is, we begin to get a glimpse of when we consider how much strength it must haven taken to create the entire creation. Just think of all the planets, suns, universes and outer space. Just think of all the creatures: the birds, the fish, the animals, the insects, the plant life, the human beings, and all the rest of the macro and micro organisms. Just as it is impossible to comprehend all of this, so it is impossible to comprehend the great strength of God Almighty. His strength and power is infinite! If He can create all that He has created, certainly He can bring judgment and destroy everything in this creation as easily as He first created it. O, the awesome power and strength of our God! Amen!
Click here for Revelation 18, Part 2 (verses 9-19)