Nazarene Apocalypse ©2000

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN:
REACTIONS TO THE FALL OF BABYLON

[“Come out before the Plagues!”]
Key Word: Babylon
Theme Verse: 4

Revelation 18:1-4 – Come out of Babylon!

RV18:1 After these things I saw another angel having great authority886 descending out of the Celestialum. The earth was completely illuminated from his glory.887
886 Another angel having great authority: How does John know about this authority?
887 The earth was completely illuminated from his glory: Is it the power of light? What a vision of an angel descending toward the earth and the globe illuminated by the power of this angel. Compare Revelation 10:1. The phrase may find its source in Ezekiel 43:2.
RV18:2 And the angel cried out in a strong voice, saying: “She fell! Babylon the Great fell!888 [Isaiah 21:9] And she became a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean demon, and every unclean and hated bird.889
888 She fell! Babylon the Great fell: Compare Revelation 14:8. This phrase is from Isaiah 21:9. This may show that chapter 14 over laps this one.
889 Every unclean and hated bird: Compare Isaiah 13:21, 22; 34:11-14.
RV18:3 Because of the angry wine of her prostitution890 all the nations have fallen. The kings of the earth committed prostitution with her. The traveling merchants of the earth891 became rich from the power of her uncontrolled luxury.”
890 The angry wine of her prostitution: Compare Revelation 17:2 and Jeremiah 51:7.
891 The traveling merchants of the earth: Babylon is highly associated with history’s kings and great merchants. Her religious empire spread throughout the entire earth. Her tentacles reached everywhere.
RV18:4 And I heard another heavenly voice, saying: “Come out, My People,892 [Isaiah 49:9 LXX] so that you share not in her sins893 and that you receive not of her plagues.894
892 Come out, My People: In Greek this is EXELTHATE and is the same as Isaiah 49:9 LXX EXELTHE which is generally translated as a call, “Go forth!” or “Come out!” Note it is the same prophetic context as those verses which allude to it in Revelation 7:16, 17! (Isaiah 49:8 quoted by Paul at 2 Corinthians 6:1; Isaiah 49:10 quoted in Revelation 7:16) It has all the sense of 1 Thessalonians 4:17’s commanding call. God’s People are “snatched” from harm’s way so they do not share in the plagues on Babylon. “My People” are the same as Revelation 21:3. Compare Jeremiah 51:6. The Jews who left Babylon did so as a divine miracle by God’s use of Cyrus. The Jews came out as a body, much the same as will occur in the Rapture.
893 That you share not in her sins: Compare Genesis 18:20; Jeremiah 51:9.
894 That you receive not of her plagues: Those of chapter 16.

HOW TO GET OUT OF BABYLON

#455. Before Babylon the Great is destroyed by the Ten Powers, a call goes forth in verse 4, ‘Come out of her, My People, so you do not share in her sins and so you do not share in her plagues.’ We have already seen a miraculous deliverance out of Babylon in chapter 11. There we saw the corpses of the Two Prophets representing the end-time Saints. (Revelation 11:2; 13:5, 7) These are within Babylon. (Revelation 11:8) How do they get out? Judging from Revelation 11:11, 12 it is by a miraculous, heaven-sent resuscitation, followed by a call to rise and enter heaven. Their enemies within Babylon observe this with the result that some glorify God. So, the end-time Saints get out of Babylon much like their ancient counterparts among the Jews in the Fifth Century BCE: by divine intervention.

#456. The phrase, “Come (YOU) out!” in Greek is one word, Exelthate. We find this same word in Isaiah 48:20 (Exelthe) and Isaiah 49:9 (exelthate), the later a chapter we have visited already in the Revelation 7:16, 17 in the context of the Large Crowd. These prophetic contexts in Isaiah deal with the miraculous deliverance of the Jews out of Babylon of old. This is something they did not do themselves, but by God’s moving Cyrus the Great. (Isaiah 44:28; 45:1) Just so, God’s people are called out of Babylon the Great in what becomes known as the Rapture, and this just before the plagues are to begin on the Harlot. (Revelation 15:1, 6, 15; 18:4, 8)

#457. This is the reason we do not see the 144,000 end-time Saints on earth during the plagues. They are victorious in their presence in the Throne-room before the plagues break forth on Babylon. (Revelation 15:2) They have already miraculously escaped, just as the ancient Jewish remnant did. This call in verse 4 to “Come out!” is likely that “commanding call” of the Lord Jesus when he descends from heaven in clouds to snatch his living disciples out of harm’s way. (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17) This call to “Come out!” echoes the words of the Nazarene to the dead body of Lazarus. (John 11:43) The 144,000 end-time Saints are now within the protective “tent” of God as described in Revelation 7:15, 16. But, what are the reasons given for this severe judgment on Babylon the Great?

Revelation 18:5-8 – Reasons for Her Judgment

RV18:5 “Because her sins were piled heaven-high and The God has called her injustice to mind. Give to her as she gave! RV18:6 Give twice as much as her actions!895 In the Cup of her mixture mix twice!
895 Give twice as much as her actions: Or, works. Compare Jeremiah 50:15, 16, 18; Isaiah 47:8, 9.
RV18:7 Give her torment and mourning as much as she glorified herself. Because in her heart she says: ‘I sit like a queen.896 I will never be a widow. I will never see mourning.’
896 I sit like a queen: Compare Isaiah 47:9.
RV18:8 For in a single day her plagues will come897 – death and mourning and famine. She will be burned in the fire because YHWH The God who judges her is powerful.
897 In a single day her plagues will come: Those of chapter 16.

#458. Many reasons are given for the guilt of Babylon the Great. The greatest of which is her participation in the martyrdom of the Saints as well as all that blood slaughtered on earth in wars and inquisitions. (Revelation 18:4, 24) This echoes that woeful condemnation of the Nazarene upon the Jewish hierarchy of his own day: Serpents, offspring of vipers, how are you to flee from the judgment of Ge·hen'na? For this reason, here I am sending forth to you prophets and wise men and public instructors. Some of them you will kill and impale, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city; that there may come upon you all the righteous blood spilled on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zech·a·ri'ah son of Bar·a·chi'ah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.’ (Matthew 24:33-35 NWT)

#459. A further reason for Harlot Religion’s judgment is her economic oppression on earth’s innocent victims. She has used her power and position to become enormously wealthy to the delight of merchants worldwide. While earth’s masses suffered the affects of the apocalyptic horses (Revelation 6:3-8), Harlot Religion got rich and lived shamelessly in her wealth. Right up to modern times, religious leaders have lived in degrees of riches and wealth far above the average membership of their flocks. Those “Christian” leaders have taken advantage of their flocks by living very well while they continue to solicit contributions amounting to billions of dollars. Note the lengthy description of this in the following verses.

Revelation 18:9-10 – Political Elements Weep

RV18:9 “The kings of the earth898 will weep and beat themselves, even the very ones who prostituted themselves with her – those who lived in uncontrolled luxury899 with her.
898 The kings of the earth: Compare Ezekiel chapters 26-28. In Revelation chapter 18 one has the major elements of Satan’s world – false religion, corrupt commercialism, political powers, and the military complex.
899 Those who lived in uncontrolled luxury: Or, KJV: lived deliciously; ASV: lived wantonly; ALF: lived luxuriously. The angel goes to great lengths in this elaborate list of riches and luxury. Nothing could have described better the vast wealth of Christendom, Islam, Jewry, Buddhism, Shintoism, Taoism.
RV18:10 When the kings of the earth see from a great distance the smoke of her burning they will say because of fear of her punishment:900 ‘Woe, woe, the Great City, Babylon the strong City, for in a single hour your judgment came.’
900 Punishment: Or, torment. The Greek is translated “punishment” here and elsewhere by other versions. See notes elsewhere.

Revelation 18:11-19 – Commercial Elements Mourn

RV18:11 The traveling merchants of the earth weep and mourn [Ezekiel 27:31, 36] because of her. For their full stocks no one buys anymore:901
901 Their full stocks no one buys anymore: The thorough list of the trade among Babylon and the merchants reveals her identity.
RV18:12 that full stock of gold, silver, precious gems, pearls, fine linen, purple, silk, scarlet, precious wood, vessels of ivory and precious wood. RV18:13 copper, iron, marble, cinnamon, amomum, incenses, perfumed oil, frankincense, wine, olive oil,902 fine flour, wheat, domestic animals, sheep, horses, coaches, bodies, and the souls of men.
902 Wine, olive oil: Those things not to be harmed in Revelation 6:6.
RV18:14 The juicy fruit your soul desired has departed from you, all the fatty things and the bright things have perished from you. And never again will people find them in you. RV18:15 The traveling merchants of these things, those who became rich from her, stood a long way off from fear of her punishment. They wept and mourned, saying: RV18:16 “Woe, woe, the Great City. The City enwrapped in fine linen, purple, scarlet, and gilded with gold and precious stones and pearls. RV18:17 For in a single hour all your wealth was desolated. Every steersman, every sailor and merchant marine,903 [Isaiah 27:28-32] stood a long way off
903 Every steersman, every sailor and merchant marine: Compare Ezekiel 27:27-29.
RV18:18 and cried over the smoke of her burning, saying: ‘Who is like this Great City?’ RV18:19 They threw dust on their heads and they cried out weeping and mourning, saying: ‘Woe, woe, the Great City, by which all those having boats at sea904 became rich from her preciousness. For in a single hour she was desolated.’
904 All those having boats at sea: Compare Ezekiel 27:27-29.

Revelation 18:20-24 – Rejoicing over Her End

RV18:20 “Rejoice over her, Heaven,905 [Isaiah 44:23] the Saints and the Apostles and the Prophets. For The God decided her judgment.”
905 Rejoice over her, Heaven: Compare Revelation 19:1. The Saints are in heaven at this moment.
RV18:21 And a strong angel raised a great millstone and threw it into the sea, [Jeremiah 51:63] saying: “Thus swiftly the Great City Babylon will be hurled into the sea. She will never be found again. [Jeremiah 51:63] RV18:22 And the sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you again. [Isaiah 24:8; Ezekiel 26:13] Every artisan of every kind of art shall not be found in you again. The sound of a mill will not be heard in you again. RV18:23 No lit lamp shall shine ever again. The voices of a bridegroom and bride [Jeremiah 25:10] shall not be heard in you again. Because your traveling merchants were the strong men of the earth. For by your druggery you made all the nations err. [Isaiah 23:8; 47:9] RV18:24 In her was found all the blood of the Prophets and the Saints,906 even all those who have ever been slaughtered on earth.”907 [Jeremiah 51:49]
906 The Prophets and the Saints: Though some may want to separate these into three categories it is more likely an idiomatic way of describing a single group from different aspects.
907 All those who have ever been slaughtered on earth: The plea of Revelation 6:9, 10 is answered.

#460. Before Babylon the Great is destroyed by the Ten Powers, a call goes forth in Revelation 18:4: ‘Come out of her, my People, so you do not share in her sins or her plagues.’ This is the reason we do no see the Saints on earth during the plagues of chapter sixteen. They have already miraculously escaped, just as the ancient Jewish remnant did in the Fifth Century BCE. This call to “Come out!” is part of the “commanding call” of 1 Thessalonians 4:16. These are words similar to those of the Nazarene when he called forth Lazarus: “Come out!” (John 11:43) With God’s People securely off the planet, safe under God’s protective “tent” (Revelation 7:15, 16), the burning of the Great City can go forth.

#461. Chapter eighteen describes this burning of Babylon the Great as the kings and the merchants stand off at a distance for fear something similar will happen to them. Little do they know. While those who had used Babylon mourn, the heavens, where the Saints now reside, are called on to rejoice in verse 20, for God has exacted His judgment on the vile City. But, what of the wild Sea Beast and the Ten Powers?

#462. Before the Lamb turns his attention to the kings of the earth, including the wild Sea Beast with its Image and economic control, and the False Prophet with its misleading the signs, there is a matter which must take place in heaven. The marriage of the Lamb. Consider these celestial festivities and the victorious war to follow.

Nazarene Commentary 2000

Mark Heber Miller

2000 All Rights Reserved