Tuesday, February 9, 2010

#Revelation18> Things Which Shall Be Hereafter> Trumpet Judgments ( #Prophecy )

3. The things which shall be hereafter (4-22)
     A. Judgment on the inhabitants of the earth (4 - 19)
          6. The Trumpet Judgments (15-19)

Chapter 17 describes the desolation of a harlot, which is identified as "Babylon the Great", the city which rules over the kings of the earth. The focus, there, was on the end of what appeared to be an apostate, religious influence. In chapter 18, we again see the fall of Babylon, as pictured by a woman. But how does this account differ?

First, there seems to be a difference in the time of the fall. Verse one says "After these things". This seems indicate that the vision which John saw describes events which occur at a later time (v1). Further, it was a different angel who revealed the message. And the phrase "fallen, fallen", may not only describe the completed condition, but also a second fall of Babylon (v2).

Another difference seems to be the nature of the woman. In chapter 17, she was described as a harlot, and portrayed as an apostate, religious influence. Here, the woman is pictured as an economic center of trade and merchandise, as "the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies" (v3). God exhorts His people to "Come out of her", that they "be not partakers of her sins", and " receive not of her plagues". There seems to be a difference in the aspects of the woman which are presented in chapters 17 and 18.

Verses six through eight declare the justice of her fall, as they picture it a reward for her conduct. She troubled the saints, she glorified herself, lived deliciously, and boasted that she sat as a queen who would see no sorrow. Therefore, her plagues will come "in one day", and will include "death, mourning, and famine". Finally, she "shall be utterly burned with fire. God judges her according to her evil deeds.

Perhaps the greatest distinction, though, between the judgment of chapter 17, and here, is the way the world will view the fall of economic Babylon. In chapter 17, the ten kings of the revived Roman empire turn on the woman, making her "desolate and naked", eating her "flesh", and burning her up with fire.  Chapter 18, however, gives great detail about how the kings of the earth, and the merchants will mourn the loss of Babylon, and the riches of her merchandise (v.9-19).

By contrast, heaven, the holy apostles, and prophets are called upon to rejoice, because God has avenged them upon the woman. She had deceived the nations by her sorceries, and the blood of the prophets, saints, and all who were slain were found in her. Therefore, as a judgment, no more harpers, musicians, pipers, trumpeters, craftsmen, production, candle light, or voices of the bride and bridegroom would ever be heard in Babylon at all. Heaven rejoices over God's justice in judging Babylon.

In both 17 and 18, Babylon seems to be viewed as the capitol city of the revived Roman empire. There do, however, seem to be different aspects of this city. One seems to be the apostate, religious influence (17), the other a political, and economic (18). In either case, the culmination of man's systems, and the source of world corrupting influence will be leveled in God's righteous judgment.

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