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 dwelling for demons and a home for every impure spirit, a home for every unclean bird, a home for every unclean and detestable animal. 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.” ~ Revelation 18:1-3
Today, we make our transition into Revelation 18, where, we are given three reasons for the overthrow of Babylon. She is demonic. She is spiritually unfaithful. And, she is materially seductive. For these reasons she will be overthrown.
The world is very dependent on money. In fact, we are very dependent on the economics of our societies. It seems that our survival depends upon a good economy. We are perhaps nowadays more dependent than ever on things holding together, since most of us have our money in a bank, most of us have it in a savings account or have it in stocks or some other non-liquid place. This is why there’s elevated fear of the potential, at any moment, for the world market to crash.
For sure, there is coming, a final, economic crash, and it is described for us here in Revelation 18. And, we are all curious about the current state of the world economically. And that which elevates our curiosity is a one-world economy. Up until recent years, there were economies in the world. We are living in a day of global commerce by the design of the god of this world. We really only have a one-world economy. We are told that great effect on the stock market occurs because of something that goes on in a nation across the ocean from us. We are all tied together. The dollar, of course, becomes a standard against which foreign currency is measured, and it has tremendous implications on our dollar, and our dollar has implications worldwide. And, this all fits into the final picture prophetically here in the book of the the Revelation.
The world, in the end, before the second coming of the Lord Jesus, will be in the midst of a one-world, capitalistic, economic boom. As the book of the Revelation unfolds, the judgments of God will be poured out prior to the day of the Lord, there is going to be an awful lot of chaos in the world. But, as is indicated in today's text, amazingly, the world will survive with some measure of economic prosperity.
In v.1-2 of our text today we read, "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 dwelling for demons and a home for every impure spirit, a home for every unclean bird, a home for every unclean and detestable animal."
Whereas Revelation 17 described religious Babylon and her destruction, Revelation 18 describes the demise of the economic system. In v.1 another angel will come from heaven with great authority or power from God and his glory will be evident to all. And, he will pronounce God's judgment upon Satan's world-wide economic system.
In v.2 we read, "With a mighty voice he shouted: “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’ She has become a dwelling for demons and a home for every impure spirit, a home for every unclean bird, a home for every unclean and detestable animal."
This is a direct quote from Isaiah 21:9. Most often there is not a direct confrontation between God and Satan. God almost always uses angels to deliver His judgment or message. And, so, the angel pronounces the message and then he gives the reason for the punishment. The reason here for God's punishment upon Babylon will be that she became the home for evil. This entire satanic world empire will simply be infested with demons and impure spirits. All the emissaries of Satan will be demonic from one end to the other. And, Satan's abode will be a home for every unclean bird and every unclean and detestable animal. God is simply here highlighting the fact that Satan is pure evil and he propagates pure evil.
So, this final form of the one-world government will be controlled by hell itself. Hell’s powerful presence will dominate, influencing and controlling people in the system of the antichrist under the direction of Satan.
In v.3 we read, "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."
The Apostle John uses an analogy of drunkenness. The whole world will be in a materialistic drunken stupor. They will all be swept away, indulging in the sins that go along with it. This will like a drunk who’s given himself to every passion, to every prostitute, to commit every act of immorality, to do anything that is sensual. It pictures the world seduced by the antichrist, engaging itself in a form of fornication, prostitution, drunkenness with passionate materialism.
The Apostle identifies particularly the kings of the earth who will have made alliances with one another and the antichrist. They literally will commit fornication with the antichrist who represents Babylon. And so, they will drag their nations into this one-world government. And the antichrist will control everybody with the mark of the beast. This kind of thing could happen today because everything is fed into computers, and if someone controls all of those, they can, in effect, control everything.
Not only will the kings of the earth bring all their nations into this alliance, but the merchants of the earth will all join. We might say that it’s a unionized world, and the head of the union is the antichrist. The whole world will be engulfed in this.
Today, we are heading faster and faster toward this one world system. All of the alliances of all the leaders of all the nations will continue to come together. Even the merchants of the world will think they must globally market their products. Everybody is being set up, even now, to prostitute themselves to this satanic antichrist world system.
The beauty of all of this is: If you like stories that end well, you'll love Christianity. One of the great themes of our faith is triumphant hope, an unshakeable assurance that things will end right. In the midst of struggles and storms, battles and trials, we focus beyond the present moment and we see the victory. We see relief, because in the end, God wins!
We must not be shocked that for a time, evil will appear to win. God has clearly shown us this. We must understand that there is a redemptive story that has been unfolding since the beginning of creation and is spreading across all time. It all will lead to God conquering evil, which will usher in the great eternal Kingdom of Christ.
Until then, we will have the rise and fall of human kings and kingdoms. But this never strips away the power and omniscience of God, who is bringing human history to pass, surprisingly, by using both His enemies and His people to serve His purposes. All of this is proof that the difficult times that we go through have their purpose. God does not want us to be so attached to this earth that we lose sight of heaven. He does not want us to be so attached to time that we lose sight of eternity.