Revelation 18:1-24; 19:1-21
Revelation 17:15-18) (GW) The angel also said to me, “The waters you saw, on which the prostitute is sitting, are people, crowds, nations, and languages.
16) (GW) The ten horns and the beast you saw will hate the prostitute. They will leave her abandoned and naked. They will eat her flesh and burn her up in a fire.
17) (GW) God has made them do what he wants them to do. So they will give their kingdom to the beast until God’s words are carried out.
18) (GW) The woman you saw is the important city which dominates the kings of the earth.”
QUESTION: What are these waters referring to?
ANSWER: They are “peoples, crowds, nations, and languages.”
NOTE: They are the same waters the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet come out of. They are the mass of humanity. This gives credence to the thought that the Crystal Sea that the Tribulation Saints come out of represents the mass of the redeemed.
On To This Week’s Lesson:
Revelation 18:1-24) (GW) After these things I saw another angel come from heaven. He had tremendous power, and his glory lit up the earth.
2) (GW) He cried out in a powerful voice, “Fallen! Babylon the Great has fallen! She has become a home for demons. She is a prison for every evil spirit, every unclean bird, and every unclean and hated beast.
3) (GW) All the nations fell because of the wine of her sexual sins. The kings of the earth had sex with her. Her luxurious wealth has made the merchants of the earth rich.”
Revelation 17:4-5) (GW) The woman wore purple clothes, bright red clothes, gold jewelry, gems, and pearls. In her hand she was holding a gold cup filled with detestable and evil things from her sexual sins.
5) (GW) A name was written on her forehead. The name was Mystery: Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and Detestable Things of the Earth.
QUESTION: Who/what is “Babylon the Great”?
ANSWER: She is the Prostitute religious system that rode the back of the 7-headed beast.
4) (GW) I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of Babylon, my people, so that you do not participate in her sins and suffer from any of her plagues.
5) (GW) Her sins are piled as high as heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.
Revelation 17:9) (GW) “In this situation a wise mind is needed. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is sitting.
(GNB) “This calls for wisdom and understanding. The seven heads are seven hills, on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings:
(MSG) “But don’t drop your guard. Use your head. The seven heads are seven hills; they are where the woman sits.
Concerning “seven mountains/hills,”
“The original city was held by tradition to have been founded by Romulus on the Palatine Hill. The seven hills of early Rome – the Cermalus, Palatium, and Velia (the three peaks of the Palatine Hill), the Cispius, Fagutalis, and Oppius (the three peaks of the Esquiline Hill), and the Sucusa – figured prominently in Roman mythology, religion, and politics” [Wikipedia].
“City of Seven Hills usually refers to Rome. There are 51 cities on this list. There are many other cities claimed to be built on seven hills or fewer than seven [also Wikipedia].
“Rome (the then world city) is on seven hills (whence heathen Rome had a national festival called Septimontium, the feast of the seven-hilled city [PLUTARCH]; and on the imperial coins, just as here, she is represented as a woman seated on seven hills” [JFB].
QUESTION: What city on seven hills/mountains would John think of when he received this message?
ANSWER: He would think of Rome, whose Caesar banished him to the Isle of Patmos, where he was at the time he receive the Revelation.
QUESTION: What is God doing here?
ANSWER: He is calling whatever converts might be in Rome to get out of the city. It was about to be destroyed.
6) (GW) Do to her what she has done. Give her twice as much as she gave. Serve her a drink in her own cup twice as large as the drink she served others.
7) (GW) She gave herself glory and luxury. Now give her just as much torture and misery. She says to herself, ‘’I’m a queen on a throne, not a widow. I’ll never be miserable.’
8) (GW) For this reason her plagues of death, misery, and starvation will come in a single day. She will be burned up in a fire, because the Lord God, who judges her, is powerful.
9) (GW) “The kings of the earth who had sex with her and lived in luxury with her will cry and mourn over her when they see the smoke rise from her raging fire.
10) (GW) Frightened by her torture, they will stand far away and say, ‘How horrible, how horrible it is for that important city, the powerful city Babylon! In one moment judgment has come to it!’
11) (GW) “The merchants of the earth cry and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargo anymore.
12) (GW) No one buys their cargo of gold, silver, gems, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, bright red cloth, all kinds of citron wood, articles made of ivory and very costly wood, bronze, iron, marble,
13) (GW) cinnamon, spices, incense, perfume, frankincense, wine, olive oil, flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, wagons, slaves (that is, humans).
14) (GW) ‘The fruit you craved is gone. All your luxuries and your splendor have disappeared. No one will ever find them again’
15) (GW) “Frightened by her torture, the merchants who had become rich by selling these things will stand far away. They will cry and mourn,
16) (GW) saying, ‘How horrible, how horrible for that important city which was wearing fine linen, purple clothes, bright red clothes, gold jewelry, gems, and pearls.
17) (GW) In one moment all this wealth has been destroyed!’ Every ship’s captain, everyone who traveled by ship, sailors, and everyone who made their living from the sea stood far away.
18) (GW) When they saw the smoke rise from her raging fire, they repeatedly cried out, ‘Was there ever a city as important as this?’
19) (GW) Then they threw dust on their heads and shouted while crying and mourning, ‘How horrible, how horrible for that important city. Everyone who had a ship at sea grew rich because of that city’s high prices. In one moment it has been destroyed!’
QUESTION: Why will the merchants and kings of the earth mourn when “Babylon”/Rome is destroyed?
ANSWER: Rome will both be the leading commercial city of the world at that time, and the city that was home to the world’s religion, one they all loved.
QUESTION: How will Rome be destroyed.
ANSWER: I believe the Anti-Christ will drop a nuclear warhead on it.
20) (GW) “Gloat over it, heaven, God’s people, apostles, and prophets. God has condemned it for you.”
21) (GW) Then a powerful angel picked up a stone that was like a large millstone. He threw it into the sea and said, “The important city Babylon will be thrown down with the same force. It will never be found again.
22) (GW) The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters will never be heard in it again. Skilled craftsman will never be found in it again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in it again.
23) (GW) Light from lamps will never shine in it again. Voices of brides and grooms will never be heard in it again. Its merchants were the important people of the world, because all the nations were deceived by its witchcraft.
24) (GW) “The blood of prophets, God’s people, and everyone who had been murdered on earth was found in it.”
QUESTION: Do you find it odd that we would be exhorted to “gloat” over the destruction of a city?
ANSWER: Most translation translate it “rejoice” or “be glad.” The city had become the home of the prostitute religious system, and of great commerce. The world thought they were doing well without the Christian God, and were happy to worship the various gods offered to them by this prostitute religious system. Now it was all taken away from them, most probably by the very man they trusted, the Anti-Christ. And now, the Anti-Christ demands, not just their allegiance, but their worship.
Revelation 19:1-21) (GW) After these things I heard what sounded like the loud noise from a large crowd in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation, glory, and power belong to our God.
2) (GW) His judgments are true and fair. He has condemned the notorious prostitute who corrupted the world with her sexual sins. He has taken revenge on her for the blood of his servants.”
3) (GW) A second time they said, “Hallelujah! The smoke goes up from her forever and ever.”
4) (GW) The 24 leaders and the 4 living creatures bowed and worshiped God, who was sitting on the throne. They said, “Amen! Hallelujah!”
QUESTION: Why are the inhabitants of Heaven so glad at the destruction of this religious system?
ANSWER: This religious system has been responsible for the persecution and murder of O.T. saints, and Christians. She has tortured and murdered many over the years, and she has deceived multitudes to follow her instead of God. In other words, she’s responsible for multitudes ending up in Hell. Heaven was thrilled to see the day of her judgment.
5) (GW) A voice came from the throne. It said, “Praise our God, all who serve and fear him, no matter who you are.”
6) (GW) I heard what sounded like the noise from a large crowd, like the noise of raging waters, like the noise of loud thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! The Lord our God, the Almighty, has become king.
(GNB) Then I heard what sounded like a crowd, like the sound of a roaring waterfall, like loud peals of thunder. I heard them say, “Praise God! For the Lord, our Almighty God, is King!
NOTE: I included another translation to this verse because I don’t like the GW Translation. God Almighty has always been, is now, and will always be King. He won’t “become king” with the destruction of Mystery Babylon. This verse is simply telling us that this fulfillment of prophecy shows Him to be Who He has always been, which is “the Lord, our Almighty God,” Who “is King!”
7) (GW) Let us rejoice, be happy, and give him glory because it’s time for the marriage of the lamb. His bride has made herself ready.
8) (GW) She has been given the privilege of wearing dazzling, pure linen.” This fine linen represents the things that God’s holy people do that have his approval.
(BBE) And to her it was given to be clothed in delicate linen, clean and shining: for the clean linen is the righteousness of the saints.
9) (GW) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the lamb’s wedding banquet.’” He also told me, “These are the true words of God.”
10) (GW) I bowed at his feet to worship him. But he told me, “Don’t do that! I am your coworker and a coworker of the Christians who hold on to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, because the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy!”
QUESTION: What does the white wedding dress of the bride represent?
ANSWER: It represents the righteousness of the saints. White is the color that the garments of humanity become when washed in the blood.
11) (GW) I saw heaven standing open. There was a white horse, and its rider is named Faithful and True. With integrity he judges and wages war.
12) (GW) His eyes are flames of fire. On his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him, but only he knows what it is.
13) (GW) He wears clothes dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.
QUESTION: Who is riding this white horse?
ANSWER: The Lord Jesus Christ is riding this horse.
QUESTION: What do the “many crowns” represent?
ANSWER: Jesus is King over all kings! All kingdoms belong to Him!
14) (GW) The armies of heaven, wearing pure, white linen, follow him on white horses.
15) (GW) A sharp sword comes out of his mouth to defeat the nations. He will rule them with an iron scepter and tread the winepress of the fierce anger of God Almighty.
16) (GW) On his clothes and his thigh he has a name written: King of kings and Lord of lords.
QUESTION: What does the picture of a “sharp sword” coming out of His mouth represent?
ANSWER: His sword is the very Word He speaks! His words are creative; consequently, He simply speaks and the battle is won!
QUESTION: What might “King of kings and Lord of lords” written on His garment mean?
ANSWER: This battle isn’t really a battle. Jesus shows up, speaks a creative Word, and the battle is won!
17) (GW) I saw an angel standing in the sun. He cried out in a loud voice to all the birds flying overhead, “Come! Gather for the great banquet of God.
18) (GW) Eat the flesh of kings, generals, warriors, horses and their riders, and all free people and slaves, both important or insignificant people.”
19) (GW) I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army.
20) (GW) The beast and the false prophet who had done miracles for the beast were captured. By these miracles the false prophet had deceived those who had the brand of the beast and worshiped its statue. Both of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.
21) (GW) The rider on the horse killed the rest with the sword that came out of his mouth. All the birds gorged themselves on the flesh of those who had been killed.
QUESTION: What happens to the Anti-Christ and the false prophet?
ANSWER: They are captured and thrown alive into the Lake of Fire.
QUESTION: What happens to everyone else at Armageddon?
ANSWER: Note the following passage from Zachariah:
Zechariah 14:12-13) (GNB) The LORD will bring a terrible disease on all the nations that make war on Jerusalem. Their flesh will rot away while they are still alive; their eyes and their tongues will rot away.
13) (GNB) At that time the LORD will make them so confused and afraid that everyone will seize the man next to him and attack him.
NOTE: Think “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” No wonder the blood will read to the horse’s bridle.
Walk of Grace Chapel, Council Bluffs Church