Revelation Episode 18

Beth's Notes

Be Thou My Vision  
C. T. Studd wrote: Only one life, ‘twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

The Apostle John also tells us in 1 John 2:15-17 (NIV):
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world -- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. 
Here the “world” is stated as being an entity that is hostile to God. The “world” has always had a seductive influence that believers in Jesus are warned against and are continually told to resist.  It is that proverbial siren’s call, continually luring us closer to crashing on the rocks of our devastation. In James 4:4 (NIV) we are told:
4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 
The “world” mentioned here is all that is in competition with God for our greatest love. It is His desire to be on the throne of our lives and when we allow something else there – even it is a “good” thing – it becomes idolatry. He does not share His throne with anyone or anything. It matters greatly how we live our lives. 
“What is ‘good’? Just as Pilate asked Jesus ‘What is Truth?’ while all the while looking straight at Truth Incarnate, we as humans often misconstrue ‘What is good?’ and end up missing out on God’s best by ‘kicking against the goads’ and not walking in His ways. We so often buy into what the world believes as good. Do we believe it’s all about more – More clothes in the closet? More comforts in the den? More money in the bank?  More health in the body? More buildings, marquees, publications or whatever’s  bearing our names? More children in the home? And on and on and on it goes. ‘Good’ is not merely ‘wants.’ ‘Good’ can be as varied as the people who populate this dusty earth. Simply put, ‘good’ is always God’s best for a life. The Maker of all humankind has a plan for each life and our best is always to walk in it – be it ever so hard. His will is revealed in a myriad of ways from His Word, from the Holy Spirit’s promptings Who indwells every true believer in Christ, from prayer and petition with thanksgiving, from fellow sojourners – why God can even use a donkey or a great big fish! And believe me, you always want to be in the center of His will as it is good and pleasing and perfect. Don’t fight against God’s best because it is hard. Allow Him to conform you to the image of Christ. We are the ultimate losers if we don’t. It is the life of true blessedness.”  
Jesus tells us earth is not our home rather our sojourn. Heaven is our home. We are to keep heaven in our eyes and earth under our feet. Jesus stated in John 18:36 (NIV):
36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.” 
Jesus also tells us to store up our treasures there, not here. In Matthew 6:19-24 (NIV):
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. 

Certainly, God does richly give us many things here to enjoy but they were never given to replace Him rather to point us to Him as He is the Giver of every good and perfect gift. The Shema tells us in Deuteronomy 6:6-12 (NIV):
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. 10 When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you--a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant--then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  

This always reminds me of Paul’s words to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV):
7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? 
Humility, praise and thankfulness is the acceptable posture for the child of the King Who graciously bestows upon us varieties of all good and perfect gifts. Whether we deem the gifts good or not, we can rest assured that all things He allows or bestows will work for our good as Paul tells us in Romans 8:28-29 (NIV):
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 
God wants us to look like Jesus (and we do too) so that the world will know Him and He uses our circumstances to bring this forth.  When we allow something to take His place on the throne of our lives, in His mercy He seeks to remove it – for our own good. He does this also because it breaks the flow of our relationship with Him and He is a “with-us” God – praise Him!   
We must not allow our freedom to cause us to be slaves again. As Robert Robinson wrote in Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing:
“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.  Take my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.”     

Now we are going to read Revelation Chapter 18 and then discuss:  
Prayer: Father open our eyes to the Truth of Your Word and help us to apply it to our lives for Your glory and our good. 

1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2 With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. 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 rich from her excessive luxuries.” 4 Then I heard another voice from heaven say:  “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; 5 for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. 6 Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup. 7 Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.’ 8 Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her. 9 “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her.  10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: “‘Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power!  In one hour your doom has come!’” 11 “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more-- 12 cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; 13 cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men.” 14 “They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you.  All your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’ 15 The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn 16 and cry out: “‘Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! 17 In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’” “Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. 18 When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city?’ 19 They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out:  ‘Woe! Woe, O great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth!  In one hour she has been brought to ruin! 20 Rejoice over her, O heaven!  Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets!  God has judged her for the way she treated you.’” 21 Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: “With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again.  22 The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No workman of any trade will ever be found in you again.  The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again.  23 The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world’s great men. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray. 24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth.” 

Prayer: Lord Jesus make the Word come alive to us, make it come alive. If you do not teach us nothing will be taught – all for your glory Lord and for the good of your people.
Revelation Chapter 18 opens up with a mighty angel coming down from heaven having great authority. Indeed, the earth was illuminated by his splendor. Remember, it is God Who causes light. It was one of the first things He created in Genesis right on the heels of the creation of the heaven and the earth. And in Him is all light. Genesis 1:3-4 (NIV) tells us:

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 

And He continues to desire light to be separated from darkness from among His people. Amen? Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:14 (NIV):
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 

Again, Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (NIV):
6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 

We are to come out of the darkness and to be holy – because He is holy – as this points others to Him. Remember, Satan is all darkness even though he does masquerade around as an angel of light. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (NIV):
13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. 

On the contrary God is light. John tells us in 1 John 1:5-7 (NIV):
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.   

A believer in Jesus cannot truly claim communion with Him while living in the darkness because God does not dwell in darkness.  

In Chapters 17 and 18 we discover the descriptions of the final destruction of Babylon – symbolic of the  religious, political and economic worldview which has stood and is presently standing in direct opposition to God.  It loves what He hates and it hates what He loves. The presence of another angel here in Chapter 18:1 (NIV) makes it clear that this is a different angel than the one mentioned in Revelation 17:1 (NIV). The majestic description of this angel indicates that he is delegated to do a great work on behalf of God and this was to announce the completion of Babylon’s fall. This underscores the importance of the use of angels in Revelation. Angels, of course, are present and active in the church age as well. After the church is removed from the earth by the Rapture, however, angels assume a more visible role.  

It appears that the destruction and fall of Babylon’s religious worldview is discussed in Chapter 17 and the destruction and fall of its political and economic worldview is discussed here in Chapter 18 - and great and complete will be her fall. These worldviews will never rear their ugly heads again.  Praise Jesus! Also, these two chapters do not advance the narrative but rather gives further information to enhance it. A behind the scenes look, so to speak, of Chapter 16 – the seven bowl judgments that we previously studied.

What is pictured here in Revelation 18 is a large prosperous city which is the center of political and economic life. Bible expositors, however, continue to be divided on the question of what city that this represents (if one at all). Some identify this  city as ancient Babylon, some identify it as Rome, some identify it as some future city where perhaps the Antichrist will rule, and some identify “Babylon” as simply a metaphor of a religious, economic and political worldview that is totally depraved and opposed to everything God stands for – i.e. the entire heaving cosmos is being judged. Regardless, the devastation in Revelation 18 is a symbol of the fall of the political and economic worldview on earth, and the kings of the earth both marvel and weep at the destruction of what they presumed to be infinite power and wealth. The lament involves both words and the beating of their breasts which is a common act of great distress. “Woe! Woe!” is mournful in both its sound and meaning and it is reminiscent of the hopeless wailing of those who mourn the passing of loved ones. Their mourning is also characterized by fear lest they encounter the same judgment that has overcome the city and for this reason they stand far off.  I find it interesting that they mourn and weep over the loss of their wealth but when they lost their religion in Chapter 17 there was no sign of weeping – an indication that their wealth was their true god.   

In Chapter 18:2-3 (NIV), the angel proclaims that man centered society has fallen because of the unfaithfulness to God of all the nations. They had turned their backs on Him. This is depicted metaphorically as society’s drinking the maddening wine of her adulteries.  They were pregnant with sin and they liked it. As a result of all this disgustingly wicked activity, the merchants of the earth had become wealthy. Again, money appears to be their god. Proverbs 11:28 (NIV) states:
28 Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. 

And again in Proverbs 27:24 (NIV)
24 for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations. 

And lastly in Jeremiah 9:23-25 (NIV) God tells us:
23 This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.  25 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh-- .”

In Chapter 18:4-8 (NIV), God’s people are called to withdraw from worldly  living in order to avoid judgment that is certain to fall.  Remember, there will be believer’s remaining on the earth with the 144,000 Jewish evangelists leading the pact. The voice from heaven refers to Babylon’s sins as being piled up to heaven and triggering God’s remembrance of all of her crimes. God often delays judgment for the sins of the wicked, but when judgment does arrive, no sin will be passed over. We can be rest assured of that. He will right every wrong. Babylon will receive torture and grief commensurate with her glory and luxury, in which she boasted that she was a queen. Death, mourning, and famine, and also fire, will come on the city in one day. Indeed, God says the members of this secular, godless society within the Antichrist’s kingdom are sentenced to a double portion of His judgment for their sins. The reason for such severe judgment is the arrogance and self - centeredness of those under the beast’s rule. The society metaphorically called Babylon glorified herself and indulged in all sorts of prideful, sensual and excessive ways, proclaiming she would never see grief. God despises brazen rejection of His ways and viewing oneself as indestructible. Therefore in one day she will be overtaken by plagues, death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire because mighty is the Lord Who judges her.  

There is nothing new under the sun. The Prophet Jeremiah tells us in Jeremiah 6:13-15 (NIV):
13 “From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. 14 They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. 15 Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them,” says the LORD. 

In Revelation 18:9-14 (NIV) we discover that judgment of the Antichrist’s realm will be swift. Leading up to the moment of divine recompense, there will be plenty of warning’s. God continually pleads for sinners to turn, turn, turn before it is too late. He is patient not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance. Remember His Words in Ezekiel 33:11 (NIV) which are applicable in every generation:
11 “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?’”   

The seemingly infinite power of the world empire is about to come to its ruin. Those who trusted in all these things will find them worthless on the day of judgment. When judgment finally falls, their pride quickly vanishes and they weep and mourn – not over their sin, mind you, but over their loss of earthly treasure and political power. God’s judgment will involve great economic disruption and the kings of the earth stand in amazement over this judgment.

Divine destruction of wealth in this instance should not be taken to indicate divine condemnation of wealth perse. There were obviously many wealthy people in Scripture – Abraham and Solomon for example – but what the Lord condemns is a person being controlled by that wealth or worshipping that wealth. God both gives and takes away as Job stated and may His great Name be praised. We are to live our lives with open hands not firmly gripping what He places there. This can be things other than wealth as well – jobs, status, even our adorable children. Naked we come into this world and naked we will depart – He both gives and takes away and may His great Name always be praised as Job tells us.  

It would also be a mistake to assume that the presence of wealth in a particular life is indicative of God’s pleasure with that person. What we see in Chapter 18 is just the opposite. God’s judgment of this city makes it a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. Not only were they disgusting they wooed others into their lifestyle. Obviously, this does not sound like God’s  approval. Their wealth led to self-centeredness and denial of God. This is a great illustration that great wealth does not necessarily mean it is a blessing from God. Scripture tells us in Proverbs 30:7-9 (NIV):

7 “Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die: 8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. 9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
Great wealth is difficult to handle for most. Indeed, it is often easier handling being poor than being rich. Also, there seem to be more discontented  wealthy people than discontented poor people. Enough never seems to be enough. When one tries to satisfy themselves with what was never intended to satisfy the soul they continually find themselves wanting and often despairing. Study Solomon’s life if you wonder if that is true. Meaningless, meaningless was his mantra.  Complete satisfaction and wholeness only comes from the mighty Hand of God. Jesus is the Living Water that fills every crevasse of the human heart. True riches of faith, devotion, and service for God are safely stored in heaven beyond the destructive hands of man and protected by the righteous power of God.  Remember as well, that we are held accountable for all that He places in our hands – including the hands the things are placed in. Again, it matters greatly how one lives their lives – just as C. T. Studd stated. And as Paul stated in Romans 12:1-2 (NIV):

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

And lastly, as the writer of Hebrews tells us in Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV):
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 

Further we discover in Proverbs 23:4-5 (NIV):
4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.  5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. 

The Babylon God described in Chapters 17 and 18 symbolizes a world-wide, humanistic system that is extremely hostile to God. It is one that rejects God’s Word and that refuses to accept the gift of salvation that God offers through the blood of his Son Jesus Christ. The entire Babylonian worldview – religious, political and economic - will fall to the sword of Christ’s wrath in his return just as the city of Babylon fell to Cyrus’s mounted warriors.
As a reminder, the events of Chapter 17 will be fulfilled at the midpoint of the seven years, whereas the events of Chapter 18 will occur at the end of the seven years, immediately before the second coming of Christ. The destruction of the city of Babylon is the final blow to the times of the Gentiles, which began when the Babylonian army attacked Jerusalem in 605 b.c. Jesus warns us in Luke 21:20-28 (NIV):
20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!  There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” 25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” 

In Revelation 18:15-20 (NIV) we discover that wealth controlled the inhabitants of the Antichrist’s kingdom as evidenced by their merchant’s weeping and beating their breasts in torment – terrified over the destruction of their material goods. The sea captains that earned their living from the sea stand at a distance mourning as they see the smoke rise from her burning. Their lament was not over the loss of life or the loss of other’s livelihood, rather in a single hour such fabulous wealth was destroyed. The swiftness of the event of judgment is evidenced by the phrase “in an hour” or “a single hour” in Verses 10, 17, and 19. And the severity of it is evidenced by the three fold repetition of the double “Woe” in Verses 10, 16 and 19. John next tells the heavens, saints, apostles and prophets to rejoice as God has judged Babylon for the way she had treated them – as the world mourned they were to rejoice. Again, one day,  God will right every wrong – you can take that to the proverbial bank of your own choosing.

In Verse 21 of Revelation 18 we see the severe final destruction of a godless, secular society never to rear its ugly head again. Hallelujah! A mighty angel graphically illustrates this point by picking up a bolder the size of a large millstone and throwing it into the sea declaring the great city Babylon will be thrown down never to be found again. God’s judgment here was both swift and thorough. This is much akin to Jeremiah 51:60-64 (NIV) where Scripture states:     
60 Jeremiah had written on a scroll about all the disasters that would come upon Babylon--all that had been recorded concerning Babylon. 61 He said to Seraiah, “When you get to Babylon, see that you read all these words aloud. 62 Then say, ‘O LORD, you have said you will destroy this place, so that neither man nor animal will live in it; it will be desolate forever.’ 63 When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and throw it into the Euphrates. 64 Then say, ‘So will Babylon sink to rise no more because of the disaster I will bring upon her. And her people will fall.’”  The words of Jeremiah end here. 

The symbolism is the same here in Revelation 18, for the angel’s action represents the destruction of the great city, which like a stone sinking into the sea will disappear. The ultimate end of Babylon in all its forms will be accomplished by God’s final judgment at the end of the great tribulation.  Babylon and her disgusting worldview will be found no more. This expression occurs seven times with minor variations.

In Revelation 18:22-23 the angel begins to expound on the cessation of Babylon’s activity. The music that had once characterized the city’s bustling life and luxurious existence was now ringing with the ominous sound of silence. Similarly, the craftsmen who had produced the finest in luxurious goods are no longer to be found. Grain grinding and millstone grinding had also come to an abrupt halt, remaining quiet. The happy voices of the bride and the bridegroom are no longer to be heard in the city streets. Decimation abounded. Of the nine different features that are mentioned, seven are described by the Greek Word “phone” literally meaning sound. The very silence of that great city was a stark testimony to God’s devastating judgment. Her merchants had been the great ones of the earth The candle has now been blown out.The Truth becomes crystal clear: Wealth and power do not save a soul. Only Jesus saves. The city lies cold and dead and lifeless. Secular society had perverted all its services. People had been deceived by the lie of material wealth and political power was all satisfying. Job 8:14 (NIV) fits perfectly here:
14 “What he trusts in is fragile; what he relies on is a spider’s web.”Worship of the wrong object leads to naught. The question arises on Whom or whom or what do we rely? Where are our hopes placed? Again, we find in Job 9:4-12 (NIV):
4 “His wisdom is profound, his power is vast. Who has resisted him and come out unscathed? 5 He moves mountains without their knowing it and overturns them in his anger. 6 He shakes the earth from its place and makes its pillars tremble. 7 He speaks to the sun and it does not shine; he seals off the light of the stars. 8 He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.9 He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south. 10 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. 11 When he passes me, I cannot see him; when he goes by, I cannot perceive him. 12 If he snatches away, who can stop him? Who can say to him, ‘What are you doing?’”

When people are out of control, as they are here, where they have fully embraced this Babylonian worldview in false religion, politics and money it is often accompanied by a misdirected wrath of an improper and innocent target and here that would be the Christians. There is found within her the blood of the prophets and saints. They killed those who sought to bring them Truth. Here these martyrs had stood as a bright light for God’s values in opposition to the religion of materialism and pride. They had poured out their lives like a drink offering and this was their payment. Babylon is declared to be guilty of the blood of the saints and prophets referring in part to the martyrs of the Great Tribulation. The stage is now set for the climax of the Book of Revelation—the second coming of Christ Jesus.

These are Beth’s personal notes, due to this fact sources are not often stated.

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