Revelation Chapter Eighteen
Introduction to Chapter 18Thus far in this study, we have expounded quite thoroughly on the spiritual implications in Revelation. Many of these come together in this chapter and will briefly be referenced throughout the exposition, but spoken of more plainly as we have built a good foundation of Biblical Truth and understanding. One last topic that should be expounded upon that will also help us later on in our understanding of Revelation Chapter 21, is a brief look at the building of God's physical houses, that represent the spiritual Eternal House of Jesus, who Himself is the temple (Revelation 21:22) and the true believers who makeup the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2) (Revelation 21:9-10). For the purpose of this study, we will focus primarily upon Solomon Temple.
Study (1 Chronicals Chapter 17 and 22).
We learn from these references that David desired to build the Lord an house, but God did not allow it as David was a king during war time.
The Lord does promise David that his seed shall build the Lord an house, as he will be a man of rest, and his kingdom in his days shall be at peace. This is a twofold prophesy, speaking of the physical temple that David's son Solomon had built, but looks to the root and offspring of David who will build the eternal spiritual house above. David set the plans and gathered the materials in preparation for the building of the temple for
his son, just as the eternal Godhead had planned before the foundation
of the world in preparation for the Son of God to build an house
that shall be established forever. Interestingly, Our Lord Jesus' trade before He entered into His ministry was as a carpenter (Mark 6:3).
The temple that Solomon built was temporal as God allowed the Babylonians to destroy it due to the Israel's unfaithfulness, but during its existence, it served the purpose to represent the types and foreshadows that pointed to Jesus Christ and His salvation plan, bringing in God's plan, bringing in God's peculiar treasure, which is the true believers (Exodus 19:5-6) (1 Peter 2:4-10) (Matthew 13:44).
The visible church has the same purpose, which is God's external representation upon earth used as a vessel or means to bring in the true believers, also referred to as peculiar treasure (1 Peter 2:5). Spiritually, the corporate churches are made up of similar materials as Solomon's temple, with Jesus as the foundation (1 Corinthians 3:9-17). The non-believers in the congregations are represented by the wood, hay,
and stubble, and will be revealed that they were Christians by name
only, as they will be burned up at the judgment. On the other hand,
the Gold, Silver, and precious stones will be refined by the fire and figuratively used in the building of the New Jerusalem
(Revelation Chapter 21), see also (Ephesians 2:19-22).
In Summary, Solomon's building of the temple during his reign of peace time represents Jesus building the invisible church during the peace time of the New Covenant. The destruction of Solomon's temple by the Babylonians represents the destruction of the corporate churches during the tribulation period (Matthew 24:1-2, Jesus referring to the corporate church, and not the buildings of the temple at the time). This explains why GOd refers to the apostate church as Babylon, and the tribulation as the time of Jacobs trouble (Jeremiah 30:4-9). In both instances, a remnant shall be saved even through the physical houses are destroyed. Amen.
We will also note the we of the terms of buying and selling which spiritually signifies giving and receiving the Gospel without price
(Isaiah 55:1-2). We also see the terms merchants and merchandise. True believers are merchants and are made rich when they are saved
(2 Corinthians 9:11) (Ephesians 3:8), after all, believers are made to joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). Jesus however, is the great merchant who laid down His life in order to purchase His merchandise of great price (Matthew 13:45-46) (2 Corinthians 8:9).
See also (Proverbs 31:10-31, which the virtuous woman seems to represent the church, the Bride of Christ). Jesus bought the whole world in order to get out His treasure (Matthew 13:44) (John 3:16)
Another term we will come across are the ships, shipmaster, and sailors who trade by sea. To understand this we must look again to the Old Testament where God makes reference to Tyre and Sidon. These were seaports located just outside of Israel. From these seaports located just outside of Israel. From these seaports, merchant ships went all over the known world to bring gold, silver, precious stones, and all manner of valuable goods were called ships of Tarshish, possibly because Tarshish was a major seaport on the far coast of the Mediterranean Sea. From this seaport, perhaps much merchandise was loaded on the ships that brought merchandise to Tyre and Sidon for delivery to Jerusalem. In any case Tyre and Sidon are written about particularly in (Ezekiel Chapter 26-28) as a picture of the New Testament church as it sent the Gospel into all the World. The gold and other valuable cargo that came into Jerusalem by means of these ships are the believers who were brought into the kingdom of God (Ezekiel 27:25), but the next verses inform us the ships are wrecked (Ezekiel 27:29-31) we see the sailors standing upon the land lamenting the destruction of Tyre. Note the parallel language in (Revelation 18:9-19). These merchants were the true believers during the churchage who had been active in the churches in bringing the Gospel. They had become rich in spiritual blessings as they engaged in this
activity in obedience to God's command to send the Gospel into all the world.
At the beginning of the Great Tribulation, God removes the candlestick from the churches. No longer do they have a gospel that God would bless as it preached in the churches. This is because the Holy Spirit is no longer there applying the Gospel to the hearts of people to save them. Effectively, the ships of Tarshish have been wrecked. The true believers who have a great spiritual concern to bring the true Gospel are driven out or have left the churches in obedience to the command to come out of Babylon. Yet they weep and wail because they are witnesses of the awful fact that God has begun to pour out His judgment on the churches.
Incidentally, while looking at Tyre and Sidon as a portrait of the New Testament churches, we might note a solemn statement, see
(Ezekiel 28:2). This verse summarizes the churches. They are to be humble servants of God, faithfully preaching only what the Bible teaches, instead they glorify themselves (Revelation 18:7), rather than glorify He who is worthy to receive glory and honour and power (Revelation 4:11). Any doctrine that is taught by a church that is not in agreement with the Bible, and yet, it is taught by a church that is not in agreement with the Bible, and yet, it is taught as Biblical truth, places the preacher in the position of trying to be God. For example, when a doctrine is tested by its faithfulness to a Confession rather than its faithfulness to the Bible,
the theologians in the church are taking the place of God
(2 Thessalonians 2:4-5) See also (Ezekiel 28:6-8).
When the Gospel plan of God shifted from the Old Testament to the New Testament church, there was much resistance by the synagogue leaders.
When Jesus was made the last and perfect sacrifice, no longer was the temple in Jerusalem to have any part of the Gospel focus. No longer was the focus upon the synagogues, but to the churches that began to spring up all over the world. This same resistance will appear as those in the churches refuse to obey God's call to come out of the great whore during the tribulation.
Finally we see the terms that great city, Note: Hebrews 13:14, which we have already thoroughly expounded upon, see study notes on
Revelation 17:18, and also one hour, which represents the whole tribulation period. See study notes on Revelation 3:10.
1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
great power/earth lightened with his glory appears to represent Jesus who judges the world with righteousness (Psalm 96). The judgment sent upon the house of God, as Satan takes his seat in the congregations.
2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the
habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit,
and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen direct Old Testament quote on the judgment of the Babylonian Kingdom (Isaiah 21:9). Note: The Old Testament gives us many
pictures of the judgment of God upon Israel and the Nations.
As we have previously covered, God will use the heathen to judge His people for disobedience, then God will deliver His true believers and recompense vengeance upon their persecutors (Jeremiah 51:5-10).
Jeremiah Chapters 50 and 51 give great detail using similar language alluding to the Judgment upon the Apostate church, and a call for the true believers to come out of her (Babylon).
is become since the fall of Adam, the world has been a habitation of devils, foul spirits, etc... The church was a place for believers to come together and separate themselves
from the company of spiritual fornications (1 Corinthians 5:9-13). Jesus teaches us that the corporate
church would always be mingled with true believers and unbelievers,
"Wheat and Tares" (Matthew 13:24-30), and eventually it would become
completely leavened, that is apostate (Matthew 13:33). Our study of the seven churches in Revelation chapters 2 and 3 also revealed this truth. This seems to give us a definite understanding that Babylon refers to the Apostate church, and is not a Political reference or some actual specific city (Isaiah 1:21-24) (Lamentations 4:11-12) (Psalm 29:1-2) unclean and hateful bird (Mark 4:4) (Mark 4:15) (Jeremiah 5:24-31)
3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of
her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed
fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are
waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
all nations Christ, universal Gospel during the Churchage
drunk of the wine defined as the "wrath of her fornication"
(Jeremiah 51:7). This is a spiritual reference, not physical drunkenness. See (Isaiah 29:9-12) See also (Isaiah 28:7-8) (Proverbs 23:29-35).
fornication (Isaiah 23:17)
kings of the earth the true believers
have committedpast tense, the true believers who had come out of the apostate churches (Revelation 18:4)
merchants of the earth are the "are" should have been translated "were", so like the kings, this is past tense. Sending forth of the Gospel is portrayed as merchandising. See Chapter 18 introduction.
waxed rich rich at salvation in Christ Jesus
delicacies Strongs (4764) Stenos-stresses the results of one who strains at labor and has excess to purchase above the ordinary; hence a delicacy Strenos is the greek word for luxury. Spiritually, believers live in luxury. All their sin debt has been paid, and we live luxurious with Christ for all eternity.
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.
come out of her my people this is a stern warning for the true believers to come out of the apostate churches (Jeremiah 51:5-10) (Isaiah 52:11-12)
(2 Corinthians 6:14-18) (Note: 1 Corinthians 5:9-10).
In the past, God has often called His people out of their place
(Genesis 45:9) (Genesis 46:3) (Jeremiah 21:9) (Jeremiah 24:5)
(Jeremiah 29:16-18) (Jeremiah 38:2-3), and one day He will call us up out of this place into our eternal state (1 Corinthians 15:51-53)
(1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Note: Jesus also commands the believers to come out of the Apostate churches (Matthew 24:15-16) (Luke 21:20-21)
plagues true believers are in no danger as they are eternally spiritually secure as the Lord Jesus has made full payment for their salvation.
Those who do not obey God's command to come out of the apostate churches must question their salvation. Even if there may be true spiritual bread and water (that is the
true Gospel) in the apostate churches, during the time of the tribulation, the Holy Spirit is not in their midst applying the word to men's hearts as God has removed His
candlestick, and allows Satan to take his seat in the congregations (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).
Remember the tribulation is a time of Spiritual Famine of "Hearing" the word of God (Amos 8:11-12) (Acts 28:26).
Also earlier we noted that God will pour out the latter rains during the second part of the tribulation, and multitudes no man can number will be saved right up to the Lord's return, but it won't be in the churches.
5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
sins have reached unto heaven See (Jeremiah 51:9)
God hath remembered her iniquities Our Lord is patient, but not forgetful. He will eventually judge, and His judgements are righteous. God is more than fair and His
Long-suffering is made known in the description of His nature (Exodus 34:6), His dealing with sinful men (Romans 2:4), His desire for man's salvation (2 Peter 3:9)
(2 Peter 3:15), and reveals the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto Glory (Romans 9:22-24).
6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
reward her even as she rewarded you See (Jeremiah 50:15)
double unto her under the law, the caretakers of another person's property had to pay double restitution in the case of theft, either by the caretaker himself,
or by the thief (Exodus 22:7-10). God applies this law upon the
whore (Romans 2:12), those who are part of the apostate churches, who have stolen the truth, killed the true caretakers, and polluted the House of God with abominations that have caused it to become a desolations that hace caused it to become a desolation (Isaiah 40:2).
the cup which she has filled filled of abominations and filthiness of her fornication. See study notes Revelation 17:4.
7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
Note: Similarities to the Laodicean church (Revelation 3:17)
glorified herself another trait of the Apostate church. Jesus alone is to receive Glory, not men (Jeremiah 17:5-8)
lived deliciously or luxurious Strongs (4763) Streniao from (4764) see study notes (Revelation 18:3 (4764) delicacies) Those who remain in the apostate
churches believe they live luxuriously in the Salvation of the Lord, but they are deceived. This seems to be apparent in those who teach prosperity Gospels, who are
becoming wealthy in this world off of the backs of those who buy into their false message, blaspheming and abusing the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. These phoney
ministers are nothing, but New Testament Pharisees. Woe unto them!
(Matthew chapter 23)
I sit a queen, and am no widow even though Jesus Christ has left the building, the apostate churches still identify themselves with Royalty, and are in strong delusion to the judgement that awaits them as their iniquities reach unto heaven (Isaiah 47:7-9).
shall see no sorrow they believe in prosperity Gospels that claim all Christians shall see no sorrow, which is totally contrary to the teachings of our Master
(John 15:18-20) (John 16:33). The apostate church is not even aware it is in tribulation (1 Thessalonians 5:3). They are so deceived that they are totally blinded to the
Judgement that awaits them, and to the fact that they have actually made a covenant with death and hell
8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
come in one day the day of the Lord, or Judgement Day
Lord God who judgeth her Satan ruling in the churches is Judgment sent of God (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12), but they will be made fully aware of their situation on that great day of the Lord (Matthew 7:21-23).
9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
have committed/ lived these kings have (past tense) partook in the spiritual fornication of the congregations until they obeyed the command to "come out of her"
lament for her true believers lament the fall of the great city (corporate churches), and is hard to fathom (Isaiah 1:21-24)
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgement come.
Standing afar off true believers do not back into the house
(Matthew 24:15-18), but shall behold the judgement as they shall remain upon the earth during the tribulation period (Matthew 24:22).
that great city Babylon the apostate church, referred to as the woman (Revelation 17:18)
one hour the judgment during the tribulation period See study notes Revelation 3:10
11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
merchants weep, no man buyeth true believers weep and mourn as no one is buying their merchandise (the true Gospel)
See study notes Chapter 18 Introduction
12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk,
and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels
of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour,
and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses,
and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
merchandise of gold, silver, precious stones etc... valuable goods that represent true believers, indicated lastly by... "souls of men" see study notes Chapter 18 Introduction
souls of men salvation is no longer a part of the Apostate church as it is spiritually bankrupt.
14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed
from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly
are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.
lusted Strongs (1937) epithumeo- to set the heart upon i.e. long for (rightfully or otherwise) also translated as desire. During the church age, the desire of the believers' hearts was the salvation of the souls of men. They desired truth in the congregations, and "goodly" people.
find them no more at all God's judgement leaves the churches empty of true believers. Physically they may appear rich, but again they are spiritually bankrupt with no future remedy.
15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
merchants made rich by her the true believers, who received the riches of Christ in the midst of the true church. See (Revelation 18:11).
16 And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
was clothed in fine linen, purple etc... was, past tense, indicating at one time the great city (the church) was clothed with the salvation of Jesus and true believers. This verse is also a key that unlocks truth, confirming proper interpretation. See study notes Revelation 17:4, Revelation 11:8
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning,
saying, What city is like unto this great city!
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping
and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein
were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason
of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
ship master, ship, etc.... see study notes Chapter 18 Introduction. See also (Proverbs 31:10-31), which the woman seems to represent the church.
Note particularly (Proverbs 31:14) (Proverbs 31:18) (Proverbs 31:24) relating to the context of discussion. Also note the redemption of the terms "one hour" and "great city" putting emphasis upon the tribulation church made desolate (Revelation 18:19) referred to as the Abomination of Desolation in (Matthew 24:15) (Mark 13:14).
20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
God hath avenged you on her vengeance is the Lord's work, as He is Just and Holy (Romans 12:17-21) (Hebrews 10:26-39) (Revelation 19:1-2). It is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you (2 Thessalonians 1:5-12)
21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with
violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down,
and shall be found no more at all.
millstone see (Jeremiah 51:63-64) a millstone is used to grind wheat, which will no longer be of any use in a church that only contains tares (Matthew 13:24-30)
22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers,
and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee;
and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be
found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone
shall be heard no more at all in thee;
voice of harpers etc.... see (Jeremiah 25:10-11) all the true believers have left the building
sound of a millstone see study notes Revelation 18:21
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in
thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in
thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
candle no light (Revelation 2:5) no Jesus (John 8:12)
voice of the bridegroom see (Jeremiah 16:9) the bridegroom represents Jesus (John 3:29), whose voice will no longer be active in the hearts of believers, as He has called them at leaving behind only goats (John 10:27)
bridethe true believers
(Revelation 19:7-8) (Revelation 21:2) (Revelation 21:9) (Revelation 22:17)
merchants were the great men of the earth the church age merchant were great men as they bough and sold (spiritually) the true Gospel. The apostate church merchants buy and sell false gospel. See study notes (Revelation 13:17)
sorceries see study notes (Revelation 9:21)
all nations deceived See (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) (Revelation 20:3) (Revelation 20:7-8)
blood of prophets, saints, and all that were slain upon the earth this covers all the righteous blood shed upon the earth.
The so called "spiritual elite" have always been the great enemy of Christ and the true believers (Matthew 23:34-35) (Luke 13:33-34)
(Revelation 17:6) also note (Jeremiah Chapter 19)