“After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury“
Chapter 18 presents political Babylon. This is the judgment of international government, multinational organizations, and financial institutions.
In the previous chapter, the coming world dictator overthrows the one-world ecumenical movement. In this chapter, God overthrows the world dictator.
“After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory.
A different angel comes to John coming down from heaven with great authority. The glory of this angel was so great that it shed light on the earth.
And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!
The angel’s message is that Babylon the great has fallen. This is not the same fall as Revelation 17:16-17.
Babylon is a home for demons. The Devil has an extensive religious organization to oppose the truth. The repetition of the word “fallen” is there for emphasis. With great force, the angel announces that God finally defeats this demonic system. God finally demolishes false religious and political ideas that contend for men’s minds.
“For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury”
All the nations of the world commit adultery with Babylon because she brings them great riches. They become intoxicated with her belief system of global economics. Apostate religion gains many converts from the political leaders of the world. Demonic religion gains these converts by appealing to their lust for power.
The word “merchant” means commerce, business, trade. A merchant is a person concerned with commerce. Super wealthy, transnational corporations make money their terminal value.
These multinational corporations use a certain kind of power to gain their riches. They use Babylonian “luxury” as their mode of appeal. “Luxury” means unrestrained sensuality. Unrestrained luxury and pleasure will influence the masses. Babylonianism is the philosophy of pleasure. That is why the Holy Spirit terms such as “whore” and “fornication” to describe this system. It is not that luxury in itself is wrong but that it usurps the place of God (18:7; 1 Timothy 6:5-11,17-19).
God wants us to separate ourselves from religion and understand the true nature of Christianity – that God does the providing.
God commands the believer in the church age to separate from apostate religion. Hell will be filled with religious do-gooders, people who thought they were superior, but they found themselves in hell.
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God.
As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
Thank you for explaining, I get confused when I reading
Deborah, your words are encouraging because making Scripture clear is a major focus of this website.
The identity of ‘Babylon the Great’ is not clear. I have three questions:
1) You say the ‘Babylon the Great’ of Revelation 17 is a one-world ecumenical system. But Revelation 17:18 says Babylon the Great is a city. Which city is the Bible referring to? In Revelation 17:18, the angel tells John that ‘Babylon the Great’ is that city that reigns over the kings of the earth [world leaders]”. Which city reigned over world leaders in John’s day? The only city that reigned over the world in John’s time is Rome, which was then the capital city of the Roman Empire.
2) Babylon the Great is indicted for being the place where many saints, prophets, and witnesses of Christ were slain (Revelation 17:6; Rev. 18:24). Which city meets this criterion of being the place where many of Christ’s witnesses were martyred? It seems to me that the city of Rome fulfills this criterion since many apostles and saints were murdered there.
3. But Revelation 17:5 describes ‘Babylon the Great’ as the Mother of harlots (i.e., the Mother of false religions). My understanding is that this description means ‘Babylon the Great’ is the place where false religion originated. All false religions can be traced back to ancient Babylon. So, a literal city of Babylon is the true Mother of all the false religions in the world today. Does this mean the ‘Babylon the Great’ of Revelation 17 is referring to a rebuilt literal city of Babylon?
You describe “Babylon the Great” as a system, but the Bible seems to be speaking of a specific geographical location. It may be a system but that system seems centered or headquartered on a specific geographical location.
I’d like to know your thoughts.
Victor, I am careful about not being too dogmatic about the specificity of interpreting the apocalyptic sections of Revelation. There has been a debate for years whether Babylon is the city of Rome or the historical city. Other New Testament books do use Babylon as a figure for Rome, but that is in the context of a normal narrative. In that kind of reference, the author attempted not to offend Rome with the figure of Babylon. I do not believe we can be sure in apocalyptic literature.
The reference is to both a city and a system since this person will rule over a number of kings of the earth.
Hi Pastor Grant,
Here is some information I came across an put together on Babylon, I trust I have gotten it correct please advise if not.
Babylon destroyed Jerusalem and the temple and became a “symbol” for the enemy of God and His people. Revelation uses this imagery, so Babylon in Revelation most likely does not refer to a revived Babylonian Empire but to a national entity that will persecute and destroy in “the spirit of the Babylonians.” The difference is that ancient Babylon (real place) destroyed Jerusalem as God’s judgment for her unfaithfulness. In the last days, “Babylon” (system) persecutes believers who are being faithful, and it is Babylon (the world) who will be judged.
A friend in Christ
Don, that interpretation is possible.