July 06 2022
Today, Wednesday July 06
“God Has Remembered Her Iniquities”
“And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, 'I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.' Therefore her plagues will come in one day--death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.”
In Revelation 17, ecclesiastical, religious Babylon is destroyed by the Antichrist and his ten kings after he uses her to rise to power in the first half of the seven-year Tribulation. After she is gone, the Antichrist sets up his one world, global economic and political system, also called Babylon, by which he is able to rule the world and demand that it worship him.
Now in Revelation 18, the final destruction by God Himself of economic, commercial and political Babylon is being described by John. In this chapter we hear at least four voices. The first voice was the voice of destruction by the mighty angel from heaven (vv. 1-3), proclaiming “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.” Now in verses 4-8, another voice from heaven is calling God’s people to come out of this worldly ungodly system. “Come out of her, my people” (v. 4)
The first reason John gives is so that they will “not share in her sins” (v. 4). The second reason is that God's people might be spared the terrible plagues He will send on Babylon. “Lest you receive of her plagues…” (v. 4). God had patiently endured the growing sins of the evil system, but now the time had come for His wrath to be poured out. He would treat Babylon just as she treated His people. “Render to her just as she rendered to you…” (v. 6)
What specific sins would God judge? We have already noted Babylon's evil influence on the nations of the world, seducing them with idolatry (v. 3). This is the worship of any other god rather than the God of heaven. Another sin that will be judged is pride:"She glorified herself…" (Rev. 18:7). She saw herself as a queen who could never be dethroned, and this false confidence and pride could never be accepted by the Lord. Isaiah prophesied of this very thing in Isaiah 47:7-9, when he wrote about the destruction of literal Babylon: “And you said, 'I shall be a lady forever,' So that you did not take these things to heart, Nor remember the latter end of them. "Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures, Who dwell securely, Who say in your heart, 'I am, and there is no one else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, Nor shall I know the loss of children'; But these two things shall come to you In a moment, in one day: The loss of children, and widowhood. They shall come upon you in their fullness Because of the multitude of your sorceries, For the great abundance of your enchantments.”
A third sin is Babylon's worship of pleasures and luxury. To "live luxuriously" (Rev. 18:7), is to live proudly in luxury while others go without. It means to make possessions and pleasures the most important things in life, and to ignore the needs of others. John summarized this attitude and time in 1 John 2:15-18: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.”
God's people must not delay in separating themselves from this evil system, because God's judgment will come suddenly, and Babylon will be destroyed in a single day (vv. 8-10). Sometimes God's judgments work silently "as a moth" (Hosea 5:12), but at other times they are "as a lion" (Hosea 5:14) and spring suddenly, and there is no escape. In one day, in one hour, the entire economic empire of the Antichrist will collapse!
We saw a preview of this happen on 9/11, when the planes flew into the twin towers in New York and the entire economic system of the world was affected! And it is just around the corner again!