Wednesday, April 30, 2014


In the last post the Lamb has taken His bride in marriage and it is time to celebrate the marriage supper.

Revelation 19:9–10 “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

“He” saith unto me seems to take us back to the angel that showed John the destruction of Babylon because when John fell down to worship Him “he” identified himself as a fellowservant and a fellow prophet.  In the first verse of chapter 17 this angel is identified as one of the angels that had poured out one of the vial judgments.  We learned early on in our study that angels are defined in the Greek as “messengers” of God, those who do His bidding.   This implies to me that some of the angels serving God during the tribulation period include His prophets of old.  Maybe this is one of their rewards for faithful commitment to proclaim what they did not always understand.

1 Peter 1:10–11 “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.”

Daniel 12:8–9 “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”

I remember being surprised to discover during my study of Hebrews that the Old Testament saints were part of the resurrection of the dead that takes place at the rapture.  I had always been taught that they would be resurrected at the end of the tribulation period.

Hebrews 11:39–40 “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”

The Complete Jewish Bible makes it even clearer:  “Nevertheless, they did not receive what had been promised, because God had planned something better that would involve us, so that only with us would they be brought to the goal..” 

In context, the writer of the Hebrews has been extolling great people of faith, most of which are identified from the Old Testament scriptures.  I believe that we become perfect at the resurrection; therefore, all people of faith—Old Testament saints and church age saints—will be resurrected together.  I believe the Old Testament saints and any tribulation saints in heaven at this time are the guests at the marriage supper of the Lamb while saints that are part of the church are His Bride (as noted in the previous post). 

Note that the servant talking to John makes a point of declaring the truth of all that is being told to John.  It’s also significant to note that this servant refuses to accept worship from John.  I refuse to get off on a tangent regarding professing Christian leaders today who promote such worship of themselves.  The only One worthy of man’s worship is God. 

I liked the insight from Chuck Smith’s commentary: 

“You see it is a apart of man to need and want to worship something, and man seems to find it easier to worship an object that he can see rather than an object that he cannot see. And so this is the hang-up of man as Paul said in Romans one, "They worshipped and served the creature more than the creator." Man gets hung up and he stops short. He sees the glorious creation of God and he worships the creation, rather than the creator.

And so John is making the same mistake and the angel corrects him and says don't do that. I am a servant of God just like you are. You worship God. And if you are wise and involved in any kind of ministry at all when attention and adulation and these kinds of things come your way, you will be wise as the angel and say, ‘Don't worship me. Worship God.’  God doesn't want you taking credit for the work that He does, receiving glory for His work.”

John Walvoord expressed it well as he commented on the last part of verse 10:  This means that prophecy at its very heart is designed to unfold the beauty and loveliness of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

(to be continued…)

Sunday, April 27, 2014


This post picks up in the middle of a praise and worship service in heaven in celebration of the destruction of Babylon.

Revelation 19:5 “And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.”

John hears a voice emanating from the throne that encourages ALL God’s servants and those that fear Him to praise Him.  The owner of the voice claims God as his own God as well as the God of those who are His servants and those that fear Him.

What does it mean to “praise” God?  According to Webster’s, it is:  “To extol in words or song; to magnify; to glorify on account of perfections or excellent works; to do honor to; to display the excellence of.”

Who is being encouraged to express their praise?  “His servants” (slaves by choice).  The use of the word “and” indicates another group of people—those who “fear Him.”  This is all happening in heaven; Christ hasn’t departed for His glorious appearing yet.  This seems to indicate that although all those in heaven have been justified by faith, not all those in heaven chose to make themselves “servants” to God.  This brings to mind Paul’s words to the Corinthians regarding heavenly rewards.

1Corinthians 3:15 “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

My first thought was that the phrase “both small and great” referred to the status or esteem in which these people were regarded while on earth; however, I think it more likely is a reference to heavenly consideration.

“ye that fear him” - This is a subject I have thought about from time to time.  It would seem that though repenting of one’s sin and turning to God in true faith, none of this person’s works passed the test of being performed “as unto the Lord.”  It would seem that they were done “as unto self.”  That is something from which I often ask the Lord to protect me.  I ask Him to help me die to self.  I enjoy praise and appreciation, but my greatest desire is to be God’s vessel, to be used whenever and wherever He can use me for His glory, and to serve Him from a pure heart without thought to self.  I so want to have treasure to place at His feet to show my love and gratitude for His sacrifice and provision for me. 

Revelation 19:6-8 “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”

Now John describes another voice—one that He is trying to describe to us with comparisons as indicated by the words “as it were” and “as.”  This voice is described as the sound of a “great multitude,” as the “voice of many waters,” and as the “voice of mighty thunderings.”  It’s a voice that has been encountered several times in the study of Revelation.  The following verses support the thought that this voice is from the Supreme Being, God the Father, honoring the Son. 

Psalm 104:1 & 6-7 O LORD my God, thou art very great….Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.  Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.
Jeremiah 10:10 & 13 “But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God….When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.”
The redemption of creation is complete and the “prince of this world” has been defeated.  The Son is going to take his rightful place on His earthly throne and rule as King of kings and Lord of lords. 

It is time for the marriage of the Lamb; the bride is prepared and waiting to be revealed.  Point is made that she has been granted (“given and received” from the Greek) the privilege of being robed in fine, clean, white linen—evidence of the righteousness bestowed by Jesus upon all believers.  I can’t help but be reminded of the words of Isaiah, the encouragement given in the letters to the churches and the vision of the raptured believers before the throne.

Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

Revelation 3:5, 18 “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels….I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”

Revelation 7:9 “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands….”

“Let us” – God the Father will rejoice with the redeemed of the ages and the angels in heaven as His Son takes the position of honor He so richly deserves and publicly reveals His bride, those that are part of “the church.”

Paul shared his heart with the Corinthian believers concerning their relationship to Christ as His bride.

2Corinthians 11:2 “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

I think one of the most convincing passages to me regarding the church as the bride of Christ is found in Ephesians.  Paul is writing to the Ephesian believers regarding their relationship to Christ and states specifically in verse 32 that the truths being presented in the preceding verses regarding husband and wife are applicable to “Christ and the church.”

Ephesians 5:23-32 “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

How can the wife make herself ready?

John 6:28-29 “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
Colossians 1:10 “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God….”

Colossians 3:12-14 “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.”
1 Peter 1:22 “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently….”

2Peter 1:5-7 “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”

The beautiful truth is that though there are things we can do to honor the Lord and grow in faith, our righteousness is provided by our Savior, our heavenly husband.

2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

He loves us, has redeemed us, and presents us without blemish before the Father clothed in His own righteousness.

(to be continued…)

Thursday, April 24, 2014


This chapter opens with a great worship and praise service in heaven in celebration of the destruction of Babylon in consequence of her evil influence on man throughout millennia and in vengeance for the murder of God’s servants.

Revelation 19:1–4 “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.”

“After these things” – After the pouring out of the final judgments and the revelation of the destruction of Babylon

John hears a great voice (indicates that the sound is in unison) of much (a very large number) people in heaven.  That truth is a real comfort.  I often think of the words of Matthew.

Matthew 7:13–14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

Although few relative to whole will make it to heaven, there will be a great number of people who do respond in faith to God’s provision for them and who reject the deceptions of Satan.  The voices of the believing multitude are unified in spirit as they worship and praise the “Lord our God.” 

They go on to affirm the rightness of God’s judgment of the “great whore” (Babylon) and His actions to avenge the blood of his servants “at her hand.”  He was totally aware of her actions all along, contrary to the impressions of many on earth throughout history.  Many interpret God’s actions through their own lens of right and wrong and their own reasoning as to how and when He should act.  They refuse to acknowledge that God’s wisdom and His ways are beyond our understanding. 

Isaiah 55:8–9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

I also can’t help but think of the words of Peter:  2 Peter 3:3-4Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

God was totally holy and just in His judgment.  Those judged brought that judgment upon themselves.  They made the choice to reject God and His provision for them. 

John 3:17-19 “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

What does it mean to avenge something?  To retaliate for unjust treatment; to carry out justice.  Webster’s puts it this way:  “to exact satisfaction for by punishing the injuring party; to vindicate by inflicting pain or evil on a wrongdoer.” 

This brings back to mind the pleas of those under the altar in Revelation 6.

Revelation 6:10-11 “And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” 

Again, it jumps out that they weren’t rebuked for wanting vengeance to be taken.  It was a right attitude because they were expecting that vengeance to come from God; they weren’t expecting to accomplish it for themselves.  The true servants of God/Jesus had suffered, and many were killed under the authority and direction of the leaders of false religion that found its roots in the power and deceptions of Satan.

“her smoke rose up” – Who and what is this referring to?  Babylon, the great whore, the smoke of her judgment (from hell) will be there for eternity.  This brings back to mind the verses in chapter 14. 

Revelation 14:10-11 “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”

Again, I take comfort in the fact that this constant reminder of eternal judgment, which may include some we love and care for, is for the eyes of the Lamb and the holy angels.  I think we are going to be so absorbed in our relationship and service to our Father and Savior that we will be oblivious to anything that would distract from that.

John reminds us once again of the 24 elders and the four creatures whose purpose it is to worship God before the throne continually.  This is definitely an appropriate time for that praise and worship.  They are giving their exclamation point to the praise expressed by the multitude of the redeemed.

(to be continued…)

Monday, April 21, 2014


The previous post marked the suddenness with which Babylon’s destruction will happen and how the merchants who did business with her would mourn from afar.  Heaven, however, will rejoice. 

Revelation 18:20 “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.”

Note that as heaven is called to rejoice, the apostles and prophets are especially singled out to rejoice.  Why?  Because God has determined that the time is right to avenge their persecution and martyrdom.  It is important to note that we are never to take vengeance in our own hands; only God has the authority to exercise vengeance.

Romans 12:19 “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”

When God steps in to judge with vengeance, it should not make us sad or of heavy spirit.  We should rejoice.  I admit that this is not an easy truth to swallow when I think of how that righteous judgment could impact those I care about.

Revelation 18:21 “And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.”

As John continues to watch, he sees a mighty angel pick up a great stone similar to a millstone and throw it into the sea to illustrate the sudden violence that will result in Babylon’s destruction.  Significant point—She will be found no more at all.  This will fulfill the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah.

Isaiah 13:19-20 “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.”

Jeremiah 50:13 “Because of the wrath of the LORD it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate: every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues.”

Jeremiah 50:40 “As God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbour cities thereof, saith the LORD; so shall no man abide there, neither shall any son of man dwell therein.”

Jeremiah 51:26 “And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith the LORD.”

Jeremiah 51:29 “And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant.”
Jeremiah 51:63-64 “And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates: And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary.”

John goes on to elaborate on the destruction of Babylon the city.

Revelation 18:22–24 “And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.”

These verses emphasize the complete and total destruction that will befall the city of Babylon.  Although it has never been the center of power and importance it once was, the area of Babylon has continued to be inhabited.  In fact, Saddam Hussein started rebuilding the city since he thought he was Nebuchadnezzar reincarnate.  I believe these verses indicate that it will once again be a thriving, powerful metropolis that will be utterly destroyed to the point that it will never vibrate with the sounds of life again—no music, no craftsmen, no one to grind grain or make oil, no one to burn a candle, no sounds of family—nothing. 

Joseph Seiss (1823-1904) summed it up as follows:  “When did Babylon ever fall with so complete a fall, or meet with such an utter obliteration from the earth, “as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah?” Sodom and Gomorrah were completely blotted out. But this has never yet been the case with Babylon.  Such was not its fate when the Medes and Persians seized it from the hands of the infamous Belshazzar, for they made it one of their royal cities. In the time of Alexander it still stood, and was the chosen capital of the Graeco-Macedonian empire, the second city of Alexander’s dominions, where he himself lived and died. It continued to be a populous place under the Syrian kings, who succeeded Alexander in the rule over it. In the time of the apostles it was still a populous place, for both Peter and Bartholomew preached the Gospel there, and there Peter wrote his first Epistle. As late as A.D. 250, there was a Christian church there, and an influential bishopric for many years thereafter. Five hundred years after Christ there were Jewish academies there, who issued the celebrated Babylonian Talmud. Here, then, was a lengthening out of the existence of Babylon as a populated city for more than a thousand years subsequent to the taking of it by Cyrus. And even to this present hour there is a city in the middle of the area occupied by old Babylon containing 10,000 people, and which pays to its governor a revenue of 342,000 Turkish piastres, more than $17,000, a year. Shepherds do make their folds there, as testified by all modern travelers, and the Arabians do pitch their tents there. It is not an utter desolation without inhabitant, and never has been since Nimrod laid its first foundations. The sentence upon Babylon is therefore not yet fulfilled, and cannot be unless that city comes up again into something of its former consequence.”

Babylon was able to seduce the great men and nations of the world through the use of medicines, drugs, magic and witchcraft.   This is where we have to remind ourselves that she didn’t seduce the world without the help of the beast that she rides.  Through her and others he has used all these things in his efforts to undermine the workings of God, to destroy His plan for salvation, and to establish himself as God.  I am reminded of the words of Isaiah.

Isaiah 14:12-15 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

(to be continued…)

Friday, April 18, 2014


We learned in chapter 17 that the ten kings that rule under the authority of Antichrist will hate the woman, the false religious system—I believe, because of jealousy of her wealth.  However, those that have profited from their connection with her will mourn her destruction.

Revelation 18:9–11 “And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.  And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:”

Notice that these “kings of the earth” have totally embraced the false religion she represents and “lived deliciously” or in luxury from the profits they made doing business with her.  When they see the smoke of her destruction (possible due to today’s technology), they realize that their lifestyle is going to change significantly.  Their marketing success was directly dependent upon her well-being.

Note again—John is very clear in declaring that the woman is directly connected to the “great city Babylon.”  Her judgment has come quickly and unexpectedly.  The list that reveals her merchandise is very telling.

Revelation 18:12–13 “The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.”

Gold, silver, jewelry and fine garments are all used in the gaudy and self-aggrandizing display of those who are the high profile representatives of false religions.  Their lifestyle is almost always luxurious and their homes and furnishing of the finest materials.  They use expensive perfumes, enjoy the best foods, and travel in style.

Vernard Eller (with whom I agree very little) makes an astute observation on this scripture:  And you can be sure it is not accidental on John's part that "slaves and the lives of men" come at the bottom of the list, following "sheep and cattle, horses, chariots." This is accurate; the world does not value persons, it uses them; it consumes, exploits, and manipulates people for the sake of the "higher values" of gold and silver, jewels and pearls. The splendor of the world customarily is bought at the expense of the people of the world.”

Revelation 18:14–16 “And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!”

These verses affirm that her merchandise was directly influenced by the lusts of her soul.  Her worship was really of self.  Those that sold her the things she needed to fulfill those lusts will find themselves witnessing her destruction from afar.  They will weep and wail, but they will do so privately for fear of repercussions from the Antichrist and his ruling cohorts.

Twice in this section of verses reference is made to the fact that Babylon is made desolate in “one hour.”  It must be a terrifying sight to see.  Verses in Jeremiah mirror the words recorded by John.

Jeremiah 50:46 “At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth is moved, and the cry is heard among the nations.”

Jeremiah 51:41 “How is Sheshach taken! and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised! how is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations!”

Casting dust on one’s head was a sign of great grief and distress.  When I was searching for a cross-reference, I found words from the prophet Ezekiel regarding a situation very similar to the one being described here, the destruction of Tyre.

Ezekiel 27:30-31 “And shall cause their voice to be heard against thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their heads, they shall wallow themselves in the ashes: And they shall make themselves utterly bald for thee, and gird them with sackcloth, and they shall weep for thee with bitterness of heart and bitter wailing.”

(to be continued…)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


This chapter opened with a declaration of the fall of Babylon, the place from which all false religions were founded.  I can’t help but wonder if this declaration is the same as that recorded in chapter 14.

Revelation 14:8 “And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

I think this section describes in detail the resulting destruction announced by that angel.  John hears yet another voice from heaven which according to the context of the message has to be that of God.  He is calling for His people to get out of Babylon. 

Revelation 18:4–5 “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”

God is always faithful to warn His people of judgment to come.  There will be those who come to saving faith in the tribulation years, and some of these people will live in Babylon.  Again I am reminded of the words of Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 51:6--Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the LORD’S vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence. 

Jeremiah 51:45-- My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the LORD. 

When you are surrounded with that which is wicked, you are going to be tempted to partake.  Those who choose to stay in Babylon will also partake of her judgment.  God is not going to separate out His own (like He did with Israel in the land of Goshen during the time of the plagues in Egypt) when He judges Babylon.  It’s going to be like Sodom and Gomorrah; if you don’t get out, you will experience her judgment.  As with Sodom, the sins of Babylon are well known in heaven, and God has decided that now is the time to exercise judgment in accordance with her sins.

Revelation 18:6–7 “Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.”

Babylon is deserving of great punishment.  She is deserving of more than just an “eye for an eye.”  She is deserving of at least double (or is it quadruple) retribution for what she has herself inflicted on others.  The cup is a direct reference to Revelation 17:4.

Revelation 17:4 “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication….”

Verse 7 continues the thought of determining how much judgment to impose upon her.  She has lived in haughtiness and pride and in great luxury.  In direct proportion to that lifestyle she should experience torment and sorrow.  She has positioned herself as a queen and not as a widow.  The Greek for the word widow implies the idea of deficiency or lacking.  Babylon thinks she lacks nothing and is immune to judgment.  This parallels the description of the church at Laodicea as described in the Lord’s letter to that church in chapter 3.

Revelation 3:17 “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked….”

There is also a parallel verse in Isaiah.

Isaiah 47:8-9 Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children.  But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great abundance of thine enchantments.

Isaiah also points out that the lifestyle predominant in Babylon is based on sorcery, magic and wickedness—all prominent methods of deception employed by Satan and his forces.  

Revelation 18:8 “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.”

As I looked again at the root words in the original language, it occurred to me that the reference to “famine” is probably that of spiritual destitution.  This would seem to fit the context better in reference to destruction “in a moment in one day” and the fact that she is prosperous until she is destroyed by fire.  In fact, Revelation narrows it to one hour.

Revelation 18:10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

Why/How will this happen to one who seems so strong?  Because mightier, stronger, and more powerful is the Lord God who condemns and judges her.

(to be continued…)

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Well, we finally made it to chapter 18.  As this chapter opens, John sees yet another powerful angel descending from heaven.  This angel’s power is evident from the brightness of his glory as it lights the earth.

Revelation 18:1–3 “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.”

The angel declares his message loudly with great force.  “Babylon the great is fallen….”  Reminder, the chapter divisions most commonly used in bibles today are credited to Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury in the early 1200s AD.  In context with the previous chapter, the connection is clearly to the city mentioned in the last verse of that chapter.  As the birthplace of false gods and false religions, she has seduced the world and its leaders to practice spiritual fornication and has used that influence to emerge as the leading economic power base in the world as shown by the verses to follow. 

Remember, John is being shown the judgment of the “whore.”  The identity of city, woman and whore are inextricably connected to one another.  This city has become the dwelling place of demons/evil spirits, a cage for unclean spirits, sometimes pictured as birds in scripture.

Matthew 13:3–4 & 18-19 “And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up…. Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.  When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart.”

I couldn’t help but make a comparison to what is happening in the church today.  The “business” of church is growing day by day.  It’s becoming more like a picture of the Laodicean church on hormones.  Peter warned that this would become the modus operandi of false teachers in the professing church.  They are all motivated by the love of money as they promote their “damnable heresies” and deny the truth of God’s word. 

2 Peter 2:1–3 “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

Paul warned Titus of the same thing.

Titus 1:10–11 “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.”

I found a pertinent quote at in an article entitled Church Bondage:  “The modern Christian churches use brainwashing, mind control, indoctrination, oppression, coercion, intimidation, legalism, false teaching, guilt, shame, peer pressure, and other bondage techniques to control members, increase church attendance, and obtain more money. The goal is said to be "winning souls to Christ," but the underlying agenda is the desire for more power, control, and money. These mind control and bondage techniques are not needed to win souls to Christ. In fact, they are very counter-productive to soul winning.”

And another from an article at  The typical 'money-man' of tele-evangelism wears highly expensive silk suits, he (or she) purposefully strides the stage (yes, it often appears to be a stage-like setting, as for entertainers, rather than a pulpit, as for Bible teachers - significant?) while yelling out their spiritually-subversive money-based spiel (yes, they often seem to prefer to yell as this world yells, rather than to employ the 'still small voice'). They either directly state or, more often, imply that you too can share their obviously affluent and prosperous lifestyle if you will send your money in to them (oh, I beg your pardon, I mean send in your “tithes and offerings”). Yes, Jesus is mentioned too although quite often in rather a flippant way, rarely (I have noticed) in a respectful manner - but their gospel is a different gospel which would have been unknown to the original apostles.”

This scripture (Rev. 18:3) makes it clear that the one-world religion of the tribulation will be totally consumed by the love of money.  Scripture is very clear in declaring the love of money to be the root of all evil—and evil is unbridled at this point in time.

1Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

(to be continued…)