Revelation 18:1-24 Part 4

REVELATION 18:1-24 Part 4


1)    After those I saw another messenger, one having great authority, come down from the heaven; and the land was emblazoned by His glory.

2)    And He did cry out in a mighty sound, saying “she has fallen!  Babylon the Great has fallen!  She has become a dwelling place of demons and a haunt of every unclean spirit and a gathering of every unclean and detestable bird.

3)    All the nations drank from the wine of the passion of her fornication; for the kings did fornicate with her, and the merchants of the earth became rich from the power of her wantonness.”

4)    Then I heard another sound from the heaven, saying “come out of her My people that you not participate in her sins and receive her plagues;

5)    for her sins are heaped up unto the heaven and God remembered her iniquities.

6)    Repay her just as she meted out; and double double according to her works!  Mingle her double in the cup that she mingled!

7)    As much as she appeared glorious but waxed wanton, give her that much torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I am the sitting queen, I am not a widow, and I will never see mourning’.

8)    Because of this, in one day her plagues will come: death and mourning and famine, and she will be utterly burned in fire; for mighty is the Lord God Who judged her.

9)    When they look upon the smoke of her burning, the kings of the earth who fornicated and reveled with her will weep and lament over her,

10) having stood at a distance in awe of her torment, saying ‘woe, woe the great city’, Babylon the mighty city, for your judgment came in one hour.

11) And the merchants of the earth weep and sorrow over her because there is no longer anyone buying their cargo -

12) cargoes of gold and silver and precious stone and pearl and fine linen and purple and silk and crimson; and all kinds of scented wood, and every kind of ivory vessel, and every kind of costly wood, bronze, iron and marble articles;

13) cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense; wine, oil, fine flour, wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and chariots; and slaves…… human souls!

14) And the fruit of your soul’s lusts has gone away from you; all – the dainty and the bright – have gone away from you; and you will never find them again;

15) These merchants who had been enriched from her shall stand at a distance weeping and mourning at the awesomeness of her torment,

16) saying ‘woe, woe the great city’, arrayed with fine linen and purple and scarlet, adorned with gold and precious stone and pearls, for in one hour so much wealth is made desolate.

17) And every shipmaster and all sailing to the place and mariners and all who trade by sea did stand at a distance

18) and cry out when seeing the smoke of her burning, saying ‘any likeness of the great city?’

19) Weeping and mourning they cast dust upon their heads, saying ‘woe, woe the great city’ by which all that had ships in the sea did abound from her great worth, for in one hour she was made desolate.

20) Be gladdened over her heaven and holy ones and apostles and prophets! for from your lawsuit God did pass judgment on her.”

21) Then the one mighty messenger raised a stone as a great millstone and cast it into the sea, saying “so with violence Babylon the great city shall be cast and shall never again be found.

22) The sound of harpers and musicians and pipers and trumpeters shall never be heard in you again; and no craftsman of any craft shall ever be found in you again; and the sound of a millstone shall never be heard in you again;

23) and the light of a candle shall never shine in you again; and the voice of the bridegroom and the bride shall never be heard in you again; for your merchants were the princes of the earth, and by your enchantment all the nations of the earth were seduced.

24) And the blood of the prophets was found in her, and that of every one of the holy ones ever slain upon the land.”


John observes as the Commander of all the hosts of the tabernacle in the heaven appears.  And what he is shown is the Parousia – His active Presence; for His magnificent glory emblazons the land (just as the rising sun from the East).  And the light of His blazing glory illuminates the whole land in all of its foul and repulsive ugliness.  Jerusalem’s iniquity is “heaped up unto the tabernacle in the heaven”.  In other words, it is “filled up”.  And the light of His Presence makes it all evident.  The squalid is made manifest by His glory.  And it’s time for the pronouncement of judgment in YAHVEH’s law-suit against the harlot of the world!  And Michael testifies:

Jerusalem – worse than all the surrounding nations – is now the “dwelling place”, the home, the preferred habitat, for the demons and unclean spirits that had been cast down from the tabernacle in the heaven.

Israel and the city of Jerusalem and the temple on the mount were to have been the one place in all the creation where the glory of God was to be seen.  It was to be a “resemblance” of His tabernacle in the heaven from which the demons were cast!  It was to shine with the glory of God for all the world to see and to be in “wonder” at God’s people!  Outside of this paradise on earth was described in Scripture as a wilderness in which roamed these demons and unclean spirits… everywhere else except this paradise!

But now, Michael proclaims her “ready” for judgment, for the demons and unclean spirits of the wilderness places of the earth have found a home… a “dwelling place” in Israel.  Jerusalem has become so evil and depraved and unclean that it’s more compatible with the nature of these unclean spirits!  It’s so much better for them than the wilderness nations; so they’ve all occupied it!

Remember Jesus’ teaching regarding the demons, as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel; one went out and brought back seven (a complete number)… all much worse than the first.

And we are also reminded that Jesus, in His Own words, came to seek and to save the lost sheep of the house of Jacob.  And when he found them, He “reversed” the demon possession that had taken place among them.  And note also that Jesus didn’t send the demons out of Israel; He just expelled them from His Father’s elect people… all of that in prophetic preparation for what we’re reading here in Revelation eighteen!

Later on in John’s Revelation, we’ll find out how the Commander of all the hosts deals with all of these creatures that were cast down from the heaven, for their ideal “dwelling place” – Jerusalem and Israel – was about to be destroyed.  Soon they would no longer enjoy the perfect “habitat”; for it would be reduced to “wilderness”!

Then, continuing His testimony, Michael proclaims that the vultures of the desert places are gathered; and they are ready to feast on the rotting bodies.  And here in the second verse they are gathered for the feast; for Jerusalem, Michael says, is “fallen”.  She is “ready”.  “Where the fall, there the eagles are gathered”.

Thirdly, Michael says the golden cup of the wine of her fornications with all the nations is full (verse three).  That’s a direct quote from the prophet Jeremiah concerning the greater Babylon to come; for over the entire period of her existence she has filled the cup with her iniquities, having committed fornication with all the kings and merchants of the world while being covenanted to YAHVEH… while being betrothed to YAHVEH!

From God’s view of His history, it could be said that she actually joined – and even led – the nations in the attempt to cut off the “Seed” and overthrow the Kingdom of God’s Messiah/King!

Rather than being thankful to God for her birth and her care and her immense beauty and wealth – freely given to her, she chose instead to rebel against her Creator/Benefactor/Savior (breaking His covenant), and prostitute herself with all the nations.

And then, lastly (at the end of verse three), Michael proclaims that “all of the merchants of the world have become rich from the power of her wantonness”.

What we read (from Ezekiel) last week is one of the greatest analogies of Scripture in which a Sovereign God covenantally betrothed a people unto Himself and endowed her with every beautiful and glorious thing imaginable, only to have that fabulous dowry used to build high and eminent places to the strange gods of the foreigners in every location, and to prostitute herself with them.  Her great beauty and immense wealth, given to her by YAHVEH, is what is meant here in verse three of our text by the “power of her wantonness”.

All of the producers and merchants of the earth became rich because of that power, for she used her beauty and great wealth to acquire the finest things made on earth in order to bedeck all of those places of idolatry that she built on every high place and under the beautiful oaks and at the head of every road in Israel.  She shed the blood of the sacrifices all over the land – polluting God’s edenic paradise; and she even sacrificed many of her own children before these idols!

She became worse than Babylon – the first beast of world history, that made all the nations drink from the cup of the wine of its fornication; she became worse than Nineveh – the wicked city that repented at the preaching of Jonah; she became worse than Sodom and Gomorrah – the places known for sexual perversity; she became worse than Egypt – the nation that had enslaved her; she became worse than Tyre and Sidon – the ports through which the kings and merchants shipped the dainties that she so desired and that she acquired by her harlotry.

And she is called by their names!  She is called “Egypt”; she is called “Sodom” and “Gomorrah”; she is called “Tyre”; and she is called “Babylon”, for she exceeded them all – for she was betrothed of YAHVEH and given a magnificent dowry.  And He gave her His Law-word and placed a replica of His glory right in her midst!  And He promised her a Messiah King.

God called her by these names in His prophetic Word!  She is the greater Babylon; she is the greater Tyre and Sidon; she is the greater Egypt; and she is the greater Sodom and Gomorrah!  She disdained them all in her pride; but she exceeded them all in iniquity! And the cup of the wine of her fornication is filled to the brim.  It’s now “heaped up” all the way to YAHVEH’s tabernacle in the heaven. And the kings and merchants of the earth have become rich from the power of her wantonness.

We are hearing, as John has written, the Parousia of the King of Kings as He brings testimony of the end-of-the-age status of this harlot nation.  He says, “she has fallen”.

And now, having heard all of the witnesses (i.e. the blood of all the righteous in history and the persecution of many of the lost sheep of the house of Jacob; and having heard the prophets, and having heard the testimony of the Christ Himself as He illumined the nation’s illicit history) and pronounced her “fallen”, John now hears the final judgment of The Father in this covenantal law-suit. 

And never again will he afflict her and call her to repentance; for as John has previously written, it is the “last day” – the Day of Yahveh; and the time is near.

John writes to the Churches of the mighty, thunderous voice of God the Father from above the firmament over His tabernacle (verse four), as He shouts for all of His elect remaining in the land to come out of her!

You see, in the house of the harlot is the “daughter of Zion” – the elect remnant of the house of Jacob – those of the promise. They are marked and sealed.

The ones marked with the mark of the beast are to remain and suffer the final end; but those marked with the mark of the Christ are not to participate in the sins of the harlot nor suffer the plagues of the last day.  Their sins have already been paid for on the cross of the Christ; so they are not to receive the punishment due the harlot.  They are to “come out of her” and be scattered into the nations to bring the light of the dawn of a new day in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

Any of the lost sheep of the house of Jacob (the remnant) remaining in the land are to “come out”; for it is the last hour!  Israel’s sins are “heaped up into the heaven; and God has remembered her iniquities” (verse five).  He has remembered her iniquities.

Considering the way we do Biblical Theology – that is: “covenantal continuity” – it is for us to take note of the magnificent place that “remembrance” occupies in the text of Scripture.  And we must remember that God remembers His Word and promises.  In the older Scripture, that’s in contrast to Israel’s consistent absence of remembering God’s mighty deeds on her behalf.

What Israel was consistent in doing was proliferating harlotry!  And Scripture is replete with instances in which YAHVEH would afflict her for her iniquity.  Then, in the midst of that affliction, she would cry out for Him to save her… and remind Him of His promises!  Only in its sore afflictions would Israel prostrate itself and petition Almighty God to “remember”!

And then, when God heard the petitions and removed the affliction, she would go right back to her whoredoms with the kings and merchants of the nations… right back to the idolatry with the nations’ false gods.


After the last sermon during which we read the stunning passage from Ezekiel sixteen in which is prophesied the final judgment of the harlot, my wife asked me how in the world Jewish people could possibly disregard that passage!

And the answer, of course, is that they have always purposefully misread the promise of God to the house of Jacob.  And through that “misreading”, they continually “remind” God of His promise… even though they’ve always been an idolatrous nation, even though they’ve always turned God’s law-word upside down, and even though they have always militated against God’s Anointed King!  Over and over again they have broken covenant with God – continually disregarding it; but they require God to keep HIS promise and put an end to their affliction!  And they’re still doing that!  It’s a historical fact; it’s a Biblical fact!

And of course they “wrap themselves in the cloak of affliction”, (they are the persecuted people of God, you see), believing that God will restore them to His favor!  He will “remember” His promise to Israel (they say), and will set them on high once again over all the nations of the earth.

Having joined with the nations to cut off the seed of the woman, and having prostituted herself with the kings and merchants of the world, Israel has always rejected the terminal end of the nation in the Day of YAHVEH (as prophesied through all the prophets of old).  And it has always rejected the eminently prophesied fullness of God’s promise to save His elect people in The Christ – the Strong Right Arm of YAHVEH!

The “seeking” and “finding” and “saving” of the remnant of Jacob was the fullness of His promise.  It was all “filled up” in the prophesied Anointed One of God.  He has heard the cry of the afflicted; and He has saved all Israel!  His promise to Jacob and his twelve sons was kept in full!  They are the “seed” which He kept for Himself.

Even today, Jews see themselves as “victims” of the nations.  They revel in the affliction; for that’s their history, you see.  God will one day put an end to all of the affliction and raise them up once again.  That’s their “hope”… which purposefully disregards the Scripture from Genesis to The Revelation.

You remember Jesus’ answer to His disciples when they asked Him why He spoke in parables.  And He answered them by quoting directly from Isaiah chapter six and verse ten:


“Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn, and be healed.”


God’s Anointed One had arrived at the end of the age; and He came to seek and to find the lost sheep of the house of Jacob; and He came preaching the Kingdom “at hand”.  And that’s exactly what God was telling Isaiah to prophesy to Israel… the end of the age!

I speak in parables, Jesus said, in order to shut their ears and blind their eyes; for the Day of YAHVEH is at hand.  He will not hear them this time!  They are not to seek His favor this time!  He will not hear their pleas to save them this time!  They have been afflicted many times, and they have turned and asked Me to save them over and over and over; but yet they continued in their harlotry when I ended their affliction… but not this time!

His people are the remnant of the twelve tribes who He came to save!


“Come out from among them My people that you not participate in her sins and receive her plagues; for her sins are heaped up unto the heaven, and God remembered her iniquities.”


God “remembered”….

Listen to the words of YAHVEH through the prophet Jeremiah at chapter fourteen.  Israel will cry out to YAHVEH, as it always has in its deep affliction, reminding God of His promise to remember them and to save them… .and actually accusing Him of being “impotent” to save!  And then listen to God’s response to their pleas:

Here it is:


7)    "Though our iniquities testify against us, act, O YAHVEH, for your name’s sake; for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against you.

8)    O You hope of Israel, its Savior in time of trouble, why should You be like a stranger in the land, like a traveler who turns aside to stay for a night?

9)    Why should You be like a man confounded, like a mighty warrior who cannot save?  Yet you, O YAHVEH, are in the midst of us, and we are called by Your name; do not leave us."

10) Thus says YAHVEH concerning this people: "They have loved to wander like this; they have not restrained their feet; therefore YAHVEH will not accept them; now He will remember their iniquity and punish their sins."

11) YAHVEH said to me: "Do not pray for the welfare of this people.

12) Though they fast, I will not hear their cry, and though they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence" (the three plagues of the end of the age).


Here in our text (verse five) John writes, “and God remembered her iniquities”… a direct quote from the prophecy of Jeremiah fourteen.

Never in all of Scripture is the covenantal harlotry of Israel more specifically illustrated by God than in the prophecy of Hosea.  He was the prophet who was required by God to suffer a harlot for a wife all during his life.  And suffer he did.  Over and over again she was unfaithful to him, selling herself to all her lovers.  Hosea’s life was a prophecy to Israel concerning her whoredoms!

But his life married to a harlot wasn’t the sum total of His prophecy to Israel!  YAHVEH had words to say to them through this man.  Listen to them at chapter eight, verse thirteen:


“They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of My offerings, and eat it; and YAHVEH will not accept them; now will he remember their iniquity and visit their sins….


As John writes here in verse five: “her sins are heaped up unto the heaven and God remembered her iniquities”.


Once again… in Hosea chapter nine:


9) They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah; therefore he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins.


So many times YAHVEH had turned away His anger and removed the chastening and affliction.  But this people would always return to its whorish ways… all while being betrothed – covenanted.

But, you see, there was a promised seed!  Even among the greater Babylon and the greater Sodom and the greater Egypt, there was a promised seed.  In the midst of the whore of the world there was a promised seed – kept by YAHVEH as His Own.

And there’s the glory of God revealed in the Scripture!  In the worst of the worst God kept His Own!  Even when all the nations were gathered against Him and His Anointed, He kept His Own for Himself.  Even during the four great tyrant nations of history that were raised up in satanic fury against the seed, YAHVEH kept them.  And all through the repeated sanctions against Israel for her continual prostitution with the nations, YAHVEH “remembered” His promise and birthed the seed from the belly of the whore… and called her the “Daughter of Zion”.  That’s what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote to the Churches in Rome: “nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus”.

It’s the story of God’s history – written from the earliest chapters in Genesis.  Even in the worst of conditions – a satanic enemy and the complete depravity of man and a chosen nation that won’t obey – God preserves and manifests His Own.  That gives Him GLORY, you see?  There isn’t anything that can separate us from Him.  That “Seed” is the Christ and those “IN HIM” for whom His blood was shed.


For our last few minutes, let’s look at YAHVEH’s promise – a promise that Israel always purposefully misread and disregarded.  The prophetic Word says that God remembered His promise – and Israel’s eyes were closed to it; and her ears were stopped up (Isaiah six), (and it’s the reason that Jesus spoke to them in parables, you remember).

John wrote these words of God here in verse five – that God remembered her iniquity.  But God also remembered His promise to Abraham and to Isaac and to Jacob – the seed of the woman Who would crush the head of the dragon and establish His Kingdom and preserve every last one of His Own and defeat death and overcome sin and depravity and raise up a people to Himself – all for the glory of The Father.

God did remember; and the clarity of the prophetic Word concerning these things is irrefutable and undeniable.

Let’s listen to some of it.  Here’s what God said through the prophet Isaiah at chapter sixty-five:


11) But you who forsake the LORD, who forget my holy mountain, who set a table for Fortune and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny,

12) I will destine you to the sword, and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter, because, when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not listen, but you did what was evil in my eyes and chose what I did not delight in."

13) Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, my servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, my servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, my servants shall rejoice, but you shall be put to shame;

14) behold, my servants shall sing for gladness of heart, but you shall cry out for pain of heart and shall wail for breaking of spirit.

15) You shall leave your name to my chosen for a curse, and the Lord GOD will put you to death, but his servants he will call by another name.

16) So that he who blesses himself in the land shall bless himself by the God of truth, and he who takes an oath in the land shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles will be forgotten and will be hidden from my eyes.

17) "For behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth, and then the former things shall no longer be remembered or come into mind.


Once again, judaists must purposefully misread the prophets in order to maintain their victim status, and to hope for an end to their affliction, and anticipate Israel’s return to world-wide prominence!  Their eyes are blind, and the disregard of the text must be purposeful; for God was very specific in speaking to them through Isaiah, that He had a chosen people from among them who would be called by another name; and all the rest of them would meet a terminal end!  And then His justice would be satisfied and all that came before would no longer be remembered.

In that lengthy passage from Ezekiel sixteen that we read last Lord’s Day, we heard a wondrous description of the harlot of the world and her last-days-judgment by Almighty God.  But at the end of the passage Ezekiel writes YAHVEH’s words concerning His promise to Jacob and his father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham. Listen to it:


58) You yourself must bear the consequences of your indecency and abominations" —  (This is) YAHVEH’s declaration.

59) "For this is what YAHVEH says: I will deal with you according to what you have done, since you have despised the oath by breaking the covenant.

60) But I… I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.

61) 6Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when I receive your older and younger sisters. I will give them to you as daughters, but not because of your oath!

62) I will raise up My covenant with you, and you will know that I am YAHVEH,

63) so that when I make atonement for all you have done (when I Am satisfied), you will remember and be ashamed, and never open your mouth again because of your disgrace." [This is] the declaration (affirmation) of YAHVEH .


In that time of God’s atonement, which includes the destruction of the harlot and the flood of wrath upon the Son Of God/Son of Man, He will remember His covenant promise to the house of Jacob.  And the Daughter of Zion – the elect Israel – will be blessed with many daughters from her “sister” nations – those of Samaria and Sodom and Gomorrah and the Canaanites and from Syria – all of which the harlot disdained in pride, but all of which she surpassed in iniquity!

The harlot’s sin against God was SO heaped up into the heaven that, in comparison, the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was absolved!  And the shame of it all will be remembered by the house of Jacob when God freely atones for her sin and even adds those sister nations to her in the new heavens and the new earth!

God remembered His covenant; and He made atonement to Himself for His people!  And it would include – not only His elect from the tribes of Jacob, but many from all the nations and tribes and tongues of the earth.

Listen to it from Isaiah sixty-six:


22) For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, says YAHVEH, so shall your seed and your name remain.

23) And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, says YAHVEH.