Revelation Explained

This site contains my personal views on Revelation. I will be teaching through the book verse by verse. My teachings will be from a conservative evangelical background.

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Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Monday, March 31, 2008

Mourning for Babylon

"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, 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 judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: 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, 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. 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." (Revelation 18:9-14 - King James Version)

When God destroys this city, the rulers of the world will mourn. They will miss the pleasures and luxuries that they enjoyed there. Her destruction will make them sad.

However, they will mourn her from afar. They will not go to her aid. They will simply watch her burn. They do not want to suffer the fate of her residents. The destruction is so sudden that the rulers describe it as occurring in one hour.

The items listed in verses twelve and thirteen are all luxuries. During the last part of the Tribulation, most people will be struggling just to survive. Those connected to the government will be living well. With the destruction of the capital, no one else will be able to afford these things. There will be no market for them.

Babylon will have enjoyed fine jewelry, the latest fashions, expensive furniture and ornaments, spices, perfumes, strong drink and exotic foods. It will also attract those whom it can use for their pleasure: people so desperate that they will sell themselves to survive. The citizens of this city will use them like slaves, like animals, and think nothing of it.

This city will never again enjoy those things after which she lusted. Those who supplied this city's desires and became rich will also stand afar off and mourn. They will not try to help but be sad that no one will buy their goods any longer.

Both the rulers and the merchants will be sad because Babylon is destroyed. Not because they cared about the city. They will be sad because her destruction will be bad for them.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Commercial Babylon Destroyed

"Repay to her what she herself has paid [to others] and double [her doom] in accordance with what she has done. Mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed [for others]. To the degree that she glorified herself and reveled in her wantonness [living deliciously and luxuriously], to that measure impose on her torment and anguish and tears and mourning. Since in her heart she boasts, I am not a widow; as a queen [on a throne] I sit, and I shall never see suffering or experience sorrow--So shall her plagues (afflictions, calamities) come thick upon her in a single day, pestilence and anguish and sorrow and famine; and she shall be utterly consumed (burned up with fire), for mighty is the Lord God Who judges her." (Revelation 18:6-8 - Amplified Bible)

Verses six through eight make it clear that what happens to this city is according to justice. It is the result of their own wickedness.

God will do to them what they have done to others. What she has made others drink, she will drink in double portion. The misery, torture and death that she has caused will be brought upon her. According to how she has lifted herself up, and exalted herself and lived in luxury while others suffered, so will be the measure of her downfall. This city will think itself invincible, secure and strong. God will destroy it in one day.

The fifth bowl of God's wrath will bring darkness upon this city. The seventh bowl will bring her complete destruction. Revelation chapter sixteen verse nineteen tells us that God will remember great Babylon and “give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath!”

The great earthquake of that day will destroy the city and the volcanic activity that follows will bring more death and destruction. The city will burn.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Come Out of Her

"Just then I heard another shout out of Heaven: 'Get out, my people, as fast as you can, so you don't get mixed up in her sins, so you don't get caught in her doom. Her sins stink to high Heaven; God has remembered every evil she's done.' " (Revelation 18:4,5 - The Message)

John hears another voice from heaven. He does not tell us whose voice it was. The context would suggest that it is the voice of Jesus.

God's people are called upon to remove themselves from the city of Babylon. This call is a warning for those who will live during the Tribulation to avoid compromise with the government, system and religion of the Anti-Christ. Its application, however, extends to all Christians who live at any time. We are to avoid becoming a part of the worldly and immoral society in which we live.

Those Christians who compromise or ignore the social evils of their society will soon fall victim to the sins around them. Their morals will slip and soon they will be in bondage to sinful habits that will greatly limit their ability to serve God. Such things may destroy their testimony and even their lives. “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins!”

Jesus warns that those who ignore his warning face the same destruction as is reserved for this city. Lot and his family suffered because they were living in Sodom when God destroyed it. They lost all their possessions. Lot's wife lost her life. It is dangerous to continue a love affair with the things of the world.

People may think that God does not see their sinful ways. They may think that judgment and eternal punishment are outdated concepts. They may continue in wickedness for a long time. But God sees. He remembers. And his wrath will fall upon this world. It is certain. We should not doubt it.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Commercial Babylon

"After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, 'Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.' " (Revelation 18:1-3 - New American Standard)

Chapter seventeen of Revelation dealt with Religious Babylon. This represented the great united world religion that will exist during the first part of the Tribulation. This system will eventually be destroyed by supporters of the Anti-Christ and replaced by the worship of the Anti-Christ. Some commentators believe that chapter eighteen describes the same religious system.

However, most commentators take the position that chapter eighteen is dealing with commercial Babylon. This will be a city which reaches a position of world wide influence and power during the Tribulation. This will likely be the capital of the world government. Some believe that this city will be on the site of ancient Babylon in modern day Iraq. Others believe that it will be Rome. Rome is more likely but it could be any city selected by the Anti-Christ as his capital.

We are not told who this angel is. His description indicates that he is an angel of great authority and responsibility. There is much that we do not know about the positions and duties of angels.

This angel speaks in the past tense announcing the fall of Babylon. John freely mixes past, present and future tenses in this chapter. This should not be considered strange in prophetic writing.

Babylon was the capital city of the great Babylonian Empire. in the book of Daniel, it is the first of the five great Gentile powers. It represents the wicked immoral system of this world as opposed to the kingdom of God. In this chapter it represents the capital of the great world government of the Anti-Christ.

This city will be a place of much occult activity. Its ruler will be possessed by Satan. Demons will come and go constantly. It will be given over to witchcraft, astrology, drug addiction, immorality and corruption.

All nations will submit to the power of this city. The authority of the Anti-Christ will be world wide. All the world's rulers will visit this place and partake of her immoral pleasures. The large multi-national corporations will supply all for which this city lusts. Wealth will flow in from all the nations, and will be spent on luxuries. While the rest of mankind suffers under the terrible disasters of the Tribulation, this city will enjoy prosperity and unrestrained revelry.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Prostitute Destroyed

" 'This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction. The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.' Then the angel said to me, 'The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God's words are fulfilled. The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.' " (Revelation 17:9-18 - New International Version)

The angel says that the woman sits upon the seven mountains. This would seem to indicate that her headquarters will be in a city that is built on seven hills. Ancient Rome was built on seven hills. This is most likely the location. Although there are other possibilities that have been suggested, one of which is Jerusalem.

The angel then speaks of seven kings. Five are past. One existed during the time of John, One is yet to come. The Anti-Christ will be the eighth and the seventh.

These seven kings represent the seven world empires. The five that are past are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia and Greece. The one that existed when John wrote was the Roman Empire. The seventh will be the kingdom of the Anti-Christ. The eighth will be the kingdom of Satan ruling through the body of the Anti-Christ.

During the early stages of the Tribulation, there will be ten rulers who will support the Anti-Christ in his rise to power. They will be fully committed to the Anti-Christ. Many have suggested that these will be European rulers. This is a strong possibility, although one or more of these may rule in another part of the world.

Verse fourteen skips forward to the Battle of Armageddon. Then, Jesus will once and for all overthrow all his enemies and all those who oppose the truth. The saved will return with him at the time of this battle.

The ten kings who support the Anti-Christ's rise to power will see the influence of the world's religious system as a potential threat to their plans and to the authority of the Anti-Christ. They will wait for the right time to destroy the prostitute.

After the resurrection of the Anti-Christ, they will act. They will establish a new religion centered around the worship of the Anti-Christ. Once it is fully established, they will turn upon the great prostitute and destroy her. This will happen sometime after the middle of the Tribulation. During the last part of the Tribulation, all people will be required to worship the Anti-Christ or be killed.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Drunk with the Blood of the Saints

"And I saw the woman drunken from the blood of the saints, and from the blood of the witnesses of Jesus, and I did wonder -- having seen her -- with great wonder; and the messenger said to me, `Wherefore didst thou wonder? I -- I will tell thee the secret of the woman and of the beast that [is] carrying her, which hath the seven heads and the ten horns. `The beast that thou didst see: it was, and it is not; and it is about to come up out of the abyss, and to go away to destruction, and wonder shall those dwelling upon the earth, whose names have not been written upon the scroll of the life from the foundation of the world, beholding the beast that was, and is not, although it is.' " (Revelation 17:6-8 - Young's Literal Translation)

Once this world-wide religious system is established, it will persecute all those who will not conform to it teaching. It will be intoxicated with blood. The blood of true Christians will be addictive. The more she kills; the more she will desire to kill.

John is amazed by this prostitute. He admires her beauty and wealth and is repelled by her evil and immorality.

The angel tells John that he will explain to him the vision that he has seen. To some commentators, the angel's explanation is just as difficult to understand as the vision itself. However, if we keep in mind an overview of the Tribulation events, things will come into focus.

The angel says that the beast was, and is not and yet is. This beast is the Anti-Christ. In what way does this strange description apply to him. In chapter thirteen we studied the Anti-Christ. Three times in that chapter, John mentions a fatal wound that the Anti-Christ receives. Satan will resurrect the Anti-Christ by possessing his body and animating it. It will be an imperfect imitation of the Resurrection of Jesus.

So the Anti-Christ was alive. Then he died and is not. Then Satan resurrects him and he yet is.
This also explains the reference to the bottomless pit and perdition. Satan will ascend out of the pit to possess the body of the Anti-Christ. At the end of the Tribulation, all those whose names are not in the Book of Life will go into perdition.

The entire world will honor the Anti-Christ when he is resurrected. Only the saved will see things as the truly are. Only the saved will understand what has actually occurred.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Woman on the Beast

"And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness: and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet-colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stone and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations, even the unclean things of her fornication, and upon her forehead a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." (Revelation 17:3-5 - American Standard Version)

The beast is the Anti-Christ. This ungodly religion and the Anti-Christ will be partners. They will assist each other as one seeks to rule the world spiritually and the other seeks to rule the world politically. They will unite their efforts early in the Tribulation.

Verse four is a picture of great wealth. In New Testament times, purple and scarlet dies were expensive. Only the wealthy could afford such colors. So this religious system will be very wealthy.

The golden cup represents the teachings of this religion. On the outside, it looks good and beautiful. However, the truth is that it is full of wicked and immoral teachings and practices. In God's eyes, this religion will be dirty and disgusting. From God's view, there will be nothing good in this religion.

The name of this new religious order is a mystery. It is something that must be carefully considered.

She is Babylon. Babylon was an ancient city. Its ruins are in modern day Iraq. This city is considered to have grown out of Babel. Babel is man's first city and is described in Genesis chapter eleven.

There are many parallels between the Babylon of Revelation and the Babel of Genesis. Both seek to unite mankind politically and spiritually. Both are opposed to the truth and to God. Both are destroyed by God.

This Babylon the Great will be the mother of all false religions. All of them will unite under her leadership.