Summary: Study in Revelation using "The Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible" as a guide
STUDY IN REVELATION 29
The Collapse of Political Babylon pt 1
Revelation 18: 1-24
There are two basic ideas as to what Babylon represents here in chapter 18.
First Some believe that Babylon will be an actual city, either Rome or the city of Babylon will be rebuilt close to where it was in ancient times.
Babylon sat on the Euphrates River at the head of the Persian Gulf and W.A. Criswell says that these commentators believe that the whole eastern area will become extremely wealthy with their oil reserves. They also believe that the nations throughout the region will become nations of great commercial influence and power. The area has the greatest population concentration and goods will be in high demand. Also the area sits right in the midst of what could become the greatest commercial market in the world. All of Europe sits to the north and west, Africa and her masses sit due west, to the east the huge markets of China, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, The islands of the Pacific and add to that the huge market of the American continent.
Second there are those who believe that Babylon represents the political, commercial, social and cultural systems of the world. They believe that it symbolizes the godless and secular societies of this world.
W.A. Criswell says that Babylon could represent any great city of the world such as Washington, New York, Tokyo, London, Moscow or Paris. These commentators believe that this chapter is picturing the great destruction of all the godless societies and cultural systems. They believe that Babylon is just a symbol of the destruction of the godless government and society all around the world.
Both of these ideas not only make sense but could be true as well.
v.1 An angel comes down from heaven.
Coming down from heaven symbolizes that the angel is coming from God Himself. He is coming with great authority and power.
Notice that his glory is so powerful that it lights up the whole earth. This means that his message is for the whole earth.
vs.2 - 7 The reasons why Babylon will be destroyed.
1. Babylon will be destroyed because of spiritual corruption. Babylon will not look to God and so it will become a place for devils and their worship. It will become a place for every foul spirit.
Notice how Babylon is described as a cage for every unclean and hateful bird. In an “anything goes” society, Babylon will become a center for every foul and unclean spirit and the filth of the underworld. If you can think of it, it will be there.
Scripture tells us that there are several spirits that corrupt man.
a. The spirit of bondage. Rom. 8: 15
b. The spirit of the world. 1Cor. 2: 12
c. The spirit of man. 1Cor. 2: 11
d. The spirit that works in the children of disobedience. Eph. 2: 2
e. The spirit of false teaching and preaching. 1Jn. 4: 1
f. The spirit of error 1Jn. 4: 6
2. Babylon will be destroyed because she corrupted nations, kings and merchants. [v3]
The wealth of Babylon will be so great that it will be able to control nations, leaders and business men from all around the world.
The scary part is to think that even today, if all the nations of the Middle East could somehow get on the same page and be united, the confederation of power would be overwhelming.
They would be able to make enormous demands and manipulate the money of the nations of the world. Their power would be in their control of the oil in that region. Add to this some of the European nations of the revived Roman Empire and you have a confederation with mind boggling power.
3. Babylon will be destroyed because the city will corrupt people through secularism. [4-5]
Secularism offers everything a person could ever want physically and nothing more. The problem is that secularism offers nothing for eternity and people go into eternity lost and doomed.
Babylon will stand guilty of misleading people into sin, into the false belief of secularism and humanism, Verse 5 tells that these sins have reached up to heaven and God has remembered its iniquities.
Scripture: 2Tim. 3: 1-2 * 2Tim. 4: 3 * Gen. 6: 12 * Ps. 12: 1 * Mic. 7: 2
4. Babylon will be destroyed because it will take the lead in destroying God’s people. 
Literally millions will be persecuted and killed in the most inhumane ways known to man. The wrath of God will fall upon the government that launched this merciless slaughter.
Notice that the wrath will be double. God will avenge the deaths of His followers.
5. Babylon will be destroyed because of Self-glory, pride, selfish extravagance and indulgence.