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Milepost 55: Mystery Babylon Destroyed

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Milepost 55: Mystery Babylon Destroyed

Primary References: Revelation 18:1-19

 

Mystery Babylon’s destruction starts with an unknown powerful angel (the Holy Spirit again?) lighting the earth with His glory and twice declaring God’s judgment, Babylon’s fall. God judges the king of ancient Babylon for failing to measure up to God’s standards. The MENE judgment declares the fall of his kingdom while a second MENE judgment foreshadows Mystery Babylon’s fall. As documented, it is a pattern repeated often in scripture. The consistency of this repetition unites the falls of ancient Babylon and Mystery Babylon. It also unites God’s destruction of both the golden head and feet of clay in Nebuchadnezzar’s vision of the statue with the golden head (Daniel 2).

Some believe the judgment’s repetition emphasizes the certainty and completeness of the judgment. Others suggest the repetition declares judgments on both the religious and secular natures of Mystery Babylon. As already discussed, it most likely represents the fall of both ancient Babylon and Mystery Babylon with the second fall (the modern city Mystery Babylon) being this angel’s focus. Though separated by thousands of years, the two falls are closely linked prophetically. Just as Mystery Babylon’s fall now recalls ancient Babylon’s fall, ancient Babylon’s fall forebode this moment (Daniel 5:25-31).

Prior to Babylon’s second fall, God follows a pattern seen throughout scripture when He calls his people out of danger before executing judgment on cities or nations. The most common examples of this occurred when God forced Lot to leave Sodom before its destruction and He sealed Noah into the ark prior to the rain. Even now at the height of the great tribulation, God stays true to form and calls His people out of harms way:

Revelation 18:4: 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.

While not specified, it is likely that stragglers among His people will be forcibly removed in a manner similar to Lot and his family (Genesis 19:15-16). His possessive disposition toward these people gives a clue to the speaker’s identity and suggests the speaker is God the Father.

Once the righteous are safely out of harm’s way, God’s judgment engulfs Mystery Babylon. In the same way that in the past God punished Israel double for her sins (Isaiah 40:2), now God inflicts a double punishment on Mystery Babylon. This punishment will be dreadful because her sins have been boundless. As a golden cup in God’s hand, she has actively led nations astray and driven them mad (Jeremiah 51:7). Her corrupting influence has extended to the farthest parts of the earth but now God forever breaks her control over her enemies, particularly Israel, and removes the burdens she forced on them (Isaiah 14:25). Jerusalem’s cup of trembling is now transferred to Mystery Babylon (Isaiah 51:22-23).

Mystery Babylon believes herself to be a queen who will never be a widow but now her destruction comes suddenly, in one day. Revelation 18:10 and 18:17 narrow this window of time from one day down to one hour. The plagues she suffers in this hour include: death, mourning, famine, and utterly burned with fire (also Matthew 22:7, Jeremiah 51:25). God uses the ten kings behind the beast’s power to punish Mystery Babylon including: making her desolate (Revelation 17:16), making her naked (Revelation 17:16), eating her flesh (Revelation 17:16), burning her with fire (Revelation 17:16), leaving her childless (Isaiah 47:9), making her a widow (Isaiah 47:9), sweeping her with destruction (Isaiah 14:23, Jeremiah 51:26), and breaking her into a heap of ruins (Jeremiah 51:37).

God has violently thrown her down for her sins including killing prophets and saints. The lasting effects of her punishment demonstrate the full extent of God’s vengeance:

  • The voice of harpers, musicians, pipers, and trumpeters shall not be heard in her
  • No craftsman, shall be found in her
  • The sound of a millstone (the miller) shall not be heard in her
  • The light of a candle shall not shine in her
  • The voice of the Bridegroom and of the bride shall not be heard in her (dual reference to people getting married in the city and Jesus and His bride, the church)
  • She becomes a habitation of devils and every foul spirit (Revelation 18:2)
  • She becomes a dwelling place of dragons (Jeremiah 51:37)
  • She becomes home to unclean and hateful birds (Revelation 18:2, Isaiah 13:21, Zephaniah 2:14)
  • Wild beasts will perpetually live in her (Isaiah 13:21, Zephaniah 2:14)
  • She will never be inhabited again (Isaiah 13:20; Isaiah 14:21-22)
  • Nomads will not live in her (tents, etc.) (Isaiah 13:20, Jeremiah 51:29)
  • No one will even pass by her (Jeremiah 51:43)
  • She remains desolate forever (Jeremiah 51:26)
  • She shall be as Sodom and Gomorrah (Isaiah 13:19)
  • She becomes a dry land, a wilderness (Jeremiah 51:43)
  • Pools of stagnant water cover her land (Isaiah 14:23)
  • Smoke rises up forever from her (Revelation 19:3)

Now it is possible to understand the full impact of Mystery Babylon’s destruction. It is totally wasted with nothing left. The land is abandoned and will lay waste forever as no one, not even nomads, will ever live there. Only wild animals will ever be found there. Even during Jesus’ reign when Jesus heals the rest of the earth (except Edom) from the ravages of sin, Mystery Babylon continues to lie in this state of ruin. One of the more surprising aspects of the desolation of Babylon is that it becomes the home of demonic spirits.