Summary: 1. Today we learn about the fall of Babylon.
1. Today we learn about the fall of Babylon. Before we do lets review a few points from the last couple of weeks. In chapter 17 we saw that the woman was both a harlot and a city. She was the apostate church which had forsaken her true husband, Jesus. And just as the true church ultimately reveals itself as the New Jerusalem, so does the false church reveal itself as Babylon, the false Jerusalem. We saw that the beast once was, is not and will come again. A world unity of mind occurred at Babylon and was stopped by God. Yet it will happen again at the end times. We also saw how the beast had seven heads which represent . These represent antichristian empires - Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia and Greece in the past as well as Rome at the time which John wrote what he saw. And a seventh at the end from which the beast will emerge as the head of a eighth unified kingdom. We saw how the beast, the antichristian world power will hate and destroy the woman the false church. And yet she will remain as the false city. Her teachings and beliefs are blended into the antichristian power’s rule.
2. Today we see the destruction of the woman as the city of Babylon. This means also the destruction of the antichristian world powers of which Babylon is the center.
3. Before we look at the passage and how it describes the fall of Babylon, let us first take a look at Babylon itself/
4. Babylon is described as the center of the antichristian kingdom from a royal and legislative point of view. In her heart she says "I sit a queen." The laws that rule the nations, all peoples on the earth are issued forth from Babylon. We are not told if a person would be the head of the world power, but if there was such a person, he or she would dwell in Babylon. It is in Babylon that the ten kings meet to plan their attack upon the Lamb. Babylon is the throne of the antichrist.
5. Babylon is also described as the heart and center of all trade and commerce. It is the home of industry and art. Without Babylon all industry and commerce would be gone. She sells articles of every kind - gold and silver, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet. Both necessities and luxuries. It controls a slave trade - as its merchants deals in the bodies and souls of men. It controls crafts, fines arts and music.
6. Babylon is a rich and wicked city
Rev 18:3 For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew.
It represents the best of human effort and ingenuity. Peace, wealth and security. All for the joy and comfort of man.
7. Let us look at the text and consider the downfall of this mighty city and power. The prediction of her fall can be broken into three parts.
* vs. 2-3 is a simple and plain prediction of her fall
* vs. 4-20 - is a figurative prediction showing the circumstance of her fall
* vs. 21-24 - confirms her fall by a sign or wonder
Each of these begins with the words or actions of an angel.
8. The angel in verse one is described as having great authority and being illuminated by his splendour. He is thoroughly provided with greatness of power and the light of glory is a sign of that power to all who see him.
9. Let us look at the first part of the prediction - vs. 2&3. In verse 2 we have the simple prediction of her fall. "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!" This announcement is similar to that which was made in Rev. 14:8. In each case they proclaim the fall of the city as an accomplished fact even though it actually happens in the future. The certainty of her fall is indicated by use of the perfect verb tense. And the repetition of the word fallen also indicates its certainty
10. This prediction describes the greatness of her fall. It will be the seat and home for demons, of wild beasts, of cursed souls. The 1599 Geneva Bible says it is become "habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
11. This prediction also gives the reason for her fall. Her wicked is mentioned in verse 3 which we have already read.
12. The second part of the prediction is verses 4-20. This part shows the circumstances of her fall. The things that take place. This is broken into two sections: