21 Then a powerful angel picked up a large stone, like one used for grinding grain, and threw it into the sea. He said: “In the same way, the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, and it will never be found again. 22 The music of people playing harps and other instruments, flutes, and trumpets, will never be heard in you again. No workman doing any job will ever be found in you again. The sound of grinding grain will never be heard in you again. 23 The light of a lamp will never shine in you again, and the voices of a bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world’s great people, and all the nations were tricked by your magic. 24 You are guilty of the death of the prophets and God’s holy people and all who have been killed on earth.” ~ Revelation 18:21-24
Today, we come to the completion of God's judgment on Babylon. As these events happen, the people of the earth will agonize and those in heaven will rejoice. And, after these events are completed, the Lord Jesus will descend to the earth to set up His Millennial kingdom.
In v. 21 we read, "Then a powerful angel picked up a large stone, like one used for grinding grain, and threw it into the sea. He said: “In the same way, the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, and it will never be found again."
In this verse the Lord provides for all a metaphor. One day, soon, this world system will pass away, like a large stone that falls to the bottom of the sea. In graphic and poetic language, the Apostle describes how the industry and commerce of Babylon will come to an end. The destruction of Babylon will be so complete that no one will find any inkling of it anymore. Six times the phrase “it will never be found again” is used in this text indicating the finality of the defeat of the system known as Babylon.
In the Gospels, the Lord Jesus said, "If anyone offends one of these little children, these followers of Mine, it’s better that you take a millstone and hang it around his neck and throw him into the sea." God's indictment on Babylon will be in response to how they treated the people of God. Their torturous ways will be matched by the unrelenting wrath of God. It is as if God will present Himself as the believer's righteous defense attorney.
In v.22 we read, "The music of people playing harps and other instruments, flutes, and trumpets, will never be heard in you again. No workman doing any job will ever be found in you again. The sound of grinding grain will never be heard in you again."
What once was synonymous with a huge party, Babylon will be a place that no one will want to even come close to. This long-adorned system will never have anymore entertainment, industry, music, mill, grain, or food. It will be desolate, and there will no longer be anything to distract the unbeliever from true reality.
In v.23 we read, "The light of a lamp will never shine in you again, and the voices of a bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world’s great people, and all the nations were tricked by your magic."
You will remember that with the pouring out of the fifth bowl judgment in Revelation 16:10, darkness covered the world. In the darkness everything is pronounced, especially the sounds. The sound of this great stone hurling through the atmosphere will be eerie. Terror will be heightened to the greatest degree in this darkness. The bride and the bridegroom will not be in this city to take their wedding pictures because terror will be heightened.
In v.24 we read, "You are guilty of the death of the prophets and God’s holy people and all who have been killed on earth."
Babylon will be guilty of the murder of God's messengers and followers in her lust for power. This will reveal the true nature of this international government and religion. And, God will finally expose the counterfeit for what it is and He will destroy it. God's judgment will be justified because the whole world will led into deception by the corrupt leadership of Babylon.
Deception will be the moniker of Satan's kingdom. Satan masks his deceptions in beautiful packaging that appeals to our natural senses and desires. He promises there will be no repercussions for indulging in that which God has clearly said will end in destruction.
Deception is everything opposite the truth. People will stand in roaring ovations for the illusionists, escape artists, and magicians. Much of it, in the form of entertainment, tricks the mind, causing us to think we are seeing something real when truthfully it is fraudulent. Prisons and jails are filled with con artists -- and sad to say, so are many churches.
We must have discerning spirits. This is why we must make it our habit to be in the word of God, daily, for it enables us to recognize the clever schemes of the enemy. We can not fight spiritual battles with the weapons of our flesh. We can not access God's blessings through enslavement to the flesh. It is only through our enslavement to the Spirit of God do we realize God's victory.
With the graphic description of the judgment of Babylon recorded for us in Revelation 17-18, the way is cleared for the presentation of the major theme of this book, the amazing second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the ultimate end of all things, the revealing of the Lord Jesus Christ. For those who believe, it will be precious. For those who will not believe, it will be devastating. This will be the subject of our next study in Revelation 19.