Thursday, May 28, 2009

Revelation 18 (The Fall of Baylon [Jerusalem])

Revelation 18 describes the destruction of Babylon (Jerusalem).

“After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, ‘Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury’” (Revelation 8:1-3).

Jerusalem (Babylon) has fallen. This is classic Old Testament language to describe the apostasy of Israel.

“And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ Therefore her plagues will come in one day--death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her’” (Revelation 18:4-8).

God’s people are supposed to flee Jerusalem before the final wrath is poured out (cf. Matthew 24:15). Two lamentations come next.

“The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come’” (Revelation 18:9-10).

The first is the lamentation of the kings of the earth (land), that is the religious leaders.

“And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore: merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men. The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, `Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls! ‘For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’ Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like this great city?’ They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate’” (Revelation 18:11-19).

The second is the lamentation of the merchants. The merchandise listed matches that used to build the Tabernacle (Exodus 25:4-7) and the Temple (1 Chronicles 28-29). All the nations that assisted Israel in building the Tabernacle and the Temple are now lamenting her destruction.

“Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!” (Revelation 18:20).

While the earth weeps for Jerusalem, heaven rejoices.

“Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, ‘Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore. The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore. The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth’” (Revelation 18:21-24).

The archangel casts a mighty stone into the sea, signifying that the surviving Jews will be scattered among the Gentiles. The city will be destroyed.


Frontier Forest said...

Brother Eric, my cousin, the dispensationalist, sent me some interesting information about the study of numbers. It is based upon ancient articles pointing towards numerology as “God’s perfect answer and timing for His Second Coming.” It is built around a new book written by David Flynn, stating and trying to prove that the conclusions of Sir Isaac Newton were facts. The book is called, “Temple of the Center of Time, Newton’s Bible Codex Deciphered in the year 2012.”

Here was my reply, and I would like you to share your thoughts on this matter with me.

Dear Bro,I didn't read all, but I did a somewhat careful read up to page 22. My 2 cents, is this is ALL pure conjecture, boarding on what I believe to be presumption, maybe even dangerous presumption. I think numbers have a place in accurate Scriptural interpretation, especially the number 3, 7, 6 as is stated. But trying to use or combine numbers to make definitive points, is dangerous, and I dont' believe this is "rightly handling the Word of Truth." Most numerologist would rather study numbers than the inerrant Word of God. They therefore theorize that dispensational theology is didactic and is God's perfect and only plan for His second coming. I just don't believe we should draw dogmatic conclusions on any one theory. All have some truth, but who is to say what is exacting truth and what is error?

But what I will do is send this off to my pastor friend, Eric Adams, whose entire blog is dedicated to Biblical eschatology. I have no idea what he will say, but his ideas will only come from what the Bible does say, not what it might say?

Love you bro, and digging for hidden treasure is exciting, but only the Word of God will last forever! Offering every prospector the eternal rewards of peace and joy everlasting, I will stick with what the Bible does tell us.


Eric Adams said...

Good thoughts, Woody. Stick with the Scriptures and the words therein. Numerology is a rabbit trail that only leads away from the meaning of God's word.

Frontier Forest said...

Dear Pastor,
Thanks for your frank comments. I will pass your thoughts on to my dear cousin.