Revelation is the only book that says we are blessed to read, hear and keep the things that are written, for the time is near. Hence, let us not be like hypocrites without discerning times and seasons. Here we will look into Revelation 18 and understand what it says.
(Rev 1:3) Blessed [is] he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time [is] near.
(Luke 12:56) “Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how [is it] you do not discern this time?
Babylon is Fallen
(Rev 18:1-3) After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”
The mystery Babylon is fallen. Based on our study on the previous chapter, we concluded there are 2 possible candidates – Jerusalem or Mecca. However, it is very important to understand that the characteristics mentioned here are for the future and may not have all characteristics that are mentioned here.
The future city has become as following:
- Dwelling place for demons.
- Prison (or hold) for foul spirit
- Cage (or hold) for unclean and hated bird
The merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury. This future city will be exceedingly rich and influence all the nations to follow and worship the other god, referred as fornication.
(Rev 18:4-8) 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.
These passages are a warning for the people living in this future city, the harlot referred as mystery Babylon. As already mentioned while studying the earlier chapter, she had more riches and luxury. Apart from living luxuriously, she will also glorify herself.
I sit as queen and am no widow and will not sorrow – This is the phrase that was said by the old Babylon too.
(Isa 47:6-8) I was angry with My people; I have profaned My inheritance, And given them into your hand. You showed them no mercy; On the elderly you laid your yoke very heavily. 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’;
It was told by God to old Babylon when she did not show mercy but was filled with pride. God finally judges the harlot with fire. She will utterly burn with fire. Comparing Jerusalem and Mecca, which will burn with fire?
(Rev 20:9) and they did go up over the breadth of the land, and did surround the camp of the saints, and the beloved city, and there came down fire from God out of the heaven, and devoured them;
This is the first clue that helps to find out which will burn in fire. The above passage is after the thousand year reign during the Gog and Magog war and before the new heavens and new earth where new Jerusalem comes down from God. In other words, Jesus Christ will reign from Jerusalem (not the new Jerusalem) for a thousand years and will not be destroyed until the new heavens and new earth are created. Hence, Jerusalem will not be utterly burnt with fire.
(Rev 18:9-19) ” The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.‘ And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore: merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men. The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls! For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’ Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What [is] like this great city?’ They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she is made desolate.’
This future harlot will be the main customer for all the merchandise, similar to United States today. Many scholars are misled to believe United States is this harlot based on the fact it is the biggest main customer for all the merchandise of the world and made all the merchants rich. This is true based on the present situation that US being the biggest consumer. However, we need to understand the harlot is a future city and must also fulfill all characteristics and not just a few. God will certainly judge United States in His own appointed time for the abominations it is committing. However, the harlot mentioned in Revelation 17 and 18 is not US.
Other important clue here is the city’s destruction will be visible from the sea and it must be on an important trade route for every shipmaster to see the smoke of her burning.
|A Year of Global Shipping Routes Mapped by GPS
The route in the red sea where Mecca is located is the world’s most busiest sea route from where the shipmaster can see the smoke of the harlot’s burning.
The smoke of her burning which the shipmasters saw could be a mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion which will last exactly an hour.
The cloud attains its maximum height after about 10 minutes and is then said to be “stabilized.” It continues to grow laterally, however, to produce the characteristic mushroom shape. The cloud may continue to be visible for about an hour or more before being dispersed by the winds into the surrounding atmosphere where it merges with natural clouds in the sky. (Ref: atomicarchive.com)
Rejoicing of Saints
(Rev 18:20-24) “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and [you] holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her! Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw [it] into the sea, saying, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore. The sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore, and the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore. The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.“
As we saw earlier, the harlot is not Jerusalem. It is often misunderstood for what Jesus said about Jerusalem regarding prophets.
(Luke 13:33-35) “Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the [day] following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen [gathers] her brood under [her] wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until [the time] comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ “
Jesus did say Jerusalem kills prophets and it is not possible for a prophet to die outside Jerusalem referring to the prophets sent to Jerusalem in the past and His own death. But the future city, the harlot, has a slightly different description. While the blood of prophets and saints are found, blood of all who were slain on earth was also found, which points to a future persecution of Christians at a global level, not Jews persecuting their own prophets. Jesus didn’t stop there. He goes on to say, the Jews will not see Him “until” they accept Christ as their Messiah. He didn’t reject them rather gave an indication of a future acceptance of Him as their Messiah.
I want to once again take the below points: Have you wondered why Mecca will have the following characteristics?
- Dwelling place for demons.
- Prison (or hold) for foul spirit
- Cage (or hold) for unclean and hated bird
(Gen 18:32) Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?” And He said, “I will not destroy [it] for the sake of ten.“
(Rev 13:1) Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.
(Rev 17:3) So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast [which was] full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
(Rev 17:16) “And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.