REVELATION CHAPTER 18
MYSTERY BABYLON – A POLITICAL EMPIRE, AN END-TIMES NATION
In the Bible, Babylon represents the kingdom of Satan and rebellion against God. Historical Babylon began as a system, a city and a nation under Nimrod in Gen 10, 11 and reached its greatest glory in the reign of Nebuchadnezzar (604-562 BC). Historic Babylon has faded, but the Bible teaches that historic Babylon will someday have “a daughter.”
Jeremiah 51:33 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "The Daughter of Babylon (The prophetic end times Great City of Rev 18 is the outgrowth of its mother, “historical Babylon.”) is like a threshing floor at the time it is trampled; the time to harvest her will soon come."
The offspring of Historic Babylon is Mystery Babylon. Mystery Babylon is John’s metaphorical name for a key player in the events of the end-times. We have seen in Rev. 17 that Mystery Babylon, the spiritual harlot who has forsaken God, will help the Antichrist rise to power. But eventually, she will be destroyed by the Antichrist. John paused in his description of Mystery Babylon in Rev. 17 to give us some additional details regarding the Antichrist’s beast kingdom.
John now continues with his description and we are given a symbolically rich picture of Mystery Babylon the Great.
Many Christians over the centuries have tried to determine her identity. With the additional insights provided in Jeremiah 50 & 51, I feel we should have little difficulty identifying this final, end-times, powerful, god-forsaking nation when she appears on the world scene.
REV 18 - Mystery Babylon, the Great City/Nation, rules over the kings of the earth. She is a super-power, enormously wealthy and exhibits excessive consumption of her riches. She is a nation surrounded by many waters. At one point she had faith in the true God, “a gold cup in His hand” but has forsaken Him and demonstrates spiritual adulteries as she helps the Antichrist rise to power. She is a nation that believes she is a “queen” and will never experience judgment. She will be utterly destroyed in one hour by fire. God destroys Mystery Babylon, using a devastating attacking army from the North. After the attack, she will never be inhabited again.
MYSTERY BABYLON’S FALL - REASONS FOR GOD’S WRATH
1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2With a mighty voice he shouted: "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! (An angel with immense authority announces the fall of Mystery Babylon. It had been previously announced in Rev 14:8 “A second angel followed and said, "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.") She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. (The clear implication is that this city/nation was once more virtuous than she is now! In the beginning, God blesses this nation. In the end, she forsakes God!
Jeremiah 50 & 51 has double application to both Historic Babylon, and Prophetic Mystery Babylon of the end-times. Much prophecy has a near and far application as do these verses. All Gentile nations, sooner or later, will be judged by God. But one, prominent, powerful, once-blessed, latter-day nation is singled out for devastating judgment and annihilation during the end-times. Revelation 18 calls this nation Mystery Babylon.
Jeremiah 50:11 Because you (Mystery Babylon) rejoice and are glad, you who pillage my inheritance, because you frolic like a heifer threshing grain and neigh like stallions,
GOD’S PEOPLE ARE CALLED OUT OF MYSTERY BABYLON THE CITY/NATION
3 For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth (world-wide influence) committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries."
Jeremiah 50:38 A drought on her waters! They will dry up. For it (Mystery Babylon) is a land of idols, idols that will go mad with terror.
Jeremiah 51:7 Babylon was a gold cup in the Lord's hand; she made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore they have now gone mad.”
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 (Judgments); 5 for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. (The end-times nations sins have piled up to heaven. However, God is unwilling to pour out his wrath and plagues of judgment upon her, until He first calls His people out of her. This is consistent with His warning and removal of Lot and his family before fire fell on Sodom and Gomorrah. In God’s time, his people will need to literally “come out of her” because she has exhausted God’s patience and her sins have piled up as high as heaven. A similar charge was issued by the prophet Jeremiah;
Jeremiah 50:8 Flee out of Babylon; leave the land of the Babylonians, and be like the goats that lead the flock.
Jeremiah 51:6 Flee from Babylon! Run for your lives! Do not be destroyed because of her sins. It is time for the Lord's vengeance; he will pay her what she deserves.
Jeremiah 51:45  Come out of her, my people! Run for your lives! Run from the fierce anger of the Lord.
Jeremiah 51:8-9  Babylon will suddenly fall and be broken. Wail over her! Get balm for her pain; perhaps she can be healed.  'We would have healed Babylon, but she cannot be healed; let us leave her and each go to his own land, for her judgment reaches to the skies, it rises as high as the clouds.'
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. 7Give 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.' (Mystery/Prophetic Babylon’s sins are so terrible in the end times; she is worthy of a double portion of God’s wrath. Mystery Babylon is given over to an exalted, self-glorifying view of herself. But now, she is woefully independent of God, prideful, haughty, egotistical and given over to luxury, wealth and self-indulgence. And, she is incredibly arrogant, because she considers herself to be untouchable and above any real humiliation or calamity. She is convinced she will never fall and defeat can never happen to her, and she will not see sorrow.”)
Isaiah 47:7-8 You said, 'I will continue forever-- the eternal queen!' But you did not consider these things or reflect on what might happen.  "Now then, listen, you wanton creature,
lounging in your security and saying to yourself,
'I am, and there is none besides me. I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.'
Jeremiah 50:31-32  See, I am against you, O arrogant one," declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty, "for your day has come, the time for you to be punished.  The arrogant one will stumble and fall and no one will help her up; I will kindle a fire in her towns that will consume all who are around her.
MYSTERY BABYLON’S JUDGMENT WILL OCCUR IN A SINGLE DAY, IN ONE HOUR
8Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire (complete destruction), for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.
Jeremiah 51:58 This is what the Lord Almighty says: "Babylon's thick wall will be leveled and her high gates set on fire; the peoples exhaust themselves for nothing, the nations' labor is only fuel for the flames."
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. 10Terrified 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!' (Jeremiah confirms that in a single day, in one hour, the conquering force from the North will deal a death-blow to the end-times nation and she will be consumed by fire. A fire is kindled in the cities of Babylon from the accurate arrows (missiles).
Jeremiah 50:3 A nation from the north (of Israel) will attack her and lay waste her land. No one will live in it; both men and animals will flee away.
Jeremiah 50:9 For I will stir up and bring against Babylon an alliance of great nations from the land of the north. They will take up their positions against her, and from the north she will be captured. Their arrows (missiles) will be like skilled warriors who do not return empty-handed.
Jeremiah 50:39-41  "So desert creatures and hyenas will live there, and there the owl will dwell. It will never again be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation.  As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah along with their neighboring towns," declares the Lord, "so no one will live there; no man will dwell in it.  "Look! An army is coming from the north; a great nation and many kings are being stirred up from the ends of the earth.
Jeremiah 50:45-46  Therefore, hear what the Lord has planned against Babylon, what he has purposed against the land of the Babylonians: The young of the flock will be dragged away; he will completely destroy their pasture because of them.  At the sound of Babylon's capture the earth will tremble; its cry will resound among the nations.
MYSTERY BABYLON – AN ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE
11The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more (a Market crash)-- 12cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls (Precious Metals and Gems Market); fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth (The Garment Industry); every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble (Home Renovation and Fancy Boutiques); 13cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil (food and spices), of fine flour and wheat (grain markets); cattle and sheep (cattle markets); horses and carriages (transportation industry); and bodies and souls of men (legalized prostitution, pornography industry, drug industry, slavery?). 14"They will say, 'The fruit you longed for (The love of money) is gone from you. All your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered (Economic Ruin).' 15The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They (unbelievers) will weep and mourn 16and cry out: " 'Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! (Mystery Babylon the city is a great economic power and commercial profit center in the second half of the week. She is a leader in practically every industry, looking like a Wall Street of the end times. No other nation in the history of the world can compare to her wealth. She is an economic powerhouse and is exporting her sinful pleasures.)
Jeremiah 51:41-44  How Sheshach will be captured, the boast of the whole earth seized! What a horror Babylon will be among the nations!  The sea will rise over Babylon; its roaring waves will cover her.  Her towns will be desolate, a dry and desert land, a land where no one lives, through which no man travels.  I will punish Bel in Babylon and make him spew out what he has wallowed. The nations will no longer stream to him. And the (protective) wall of Babylon will fall.
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. (The destruction of Mystery Babylon will occur in one hour and be seen by sea captains and sailors from afar.)
Jeremiah 51:13 You who live by many waters (oceans) and are rich in treasures, your end has come, the time for you to be cut off.
MYSTERY BABYLON - THE ULTIMATE DESTRUCTION OF THE NATION
18When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, 'Was there ever a city like this great city?' 19They (unbelievers) 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! 20Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets (believers will rejoice over her destruction) God has judged her for the way she treated you (Mystery Babylon is judged because of the way she mistreats God’s people).' "
Jeremiah 50:23 How broken and shattered is the hammer of the whole earth! How desolate is Babylon among the nations!
Jeremiah 51:53 Even if Babylon reaches the sky and fortifies her lofty stronghold (Does Mystery Babylon have a Space Program?), I will send destroyers against her," declares the Lord.
21Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea (one big instant splash), and said: "With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again. (the great nation will be destroyed suddenly and completely.) 22The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, (The Recording and Music industry) will never be heard in you again. No workman of any trade (Trade Unions destroyed) will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again (all production of any kind comes to an abrupt end). 23The light of a lamp will never shine in you again (The brightness of this nation is extinguished). The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again (No Joy!). Your merchants were the world's great men (leading business men of the world). By your magic spell (Drugs - Jeremiah calls it intoxication.) all the nations were led astray.
Jeremiah 51:2-4  I will send foreigners to Babylon to winnow her and to devastate her land; they will oppose her on every side in the day of her disaster.  Let not the archer string his bow, nor let him put on his armor. Do not spare her young men; completely destroy her army.  They will fall down slain in Babylon, fatally wounded in her streets.
MYSTERY BABYLON’S HEINOUS SIN
24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth.” (Mystery Babylon has joined with the Beast in trying to destroy the Church and participates with Antichrist in the martyrdom and death of the saints.)