In Revelation chapter 18, God declares the immediacy and intensity of Babylon’s final judgement. And yet, at the very same time, Babylon is bragging about her own claim to spiritual righteousness and authority. (Please note: Babylon stands for the spiritual hypocrisy of those claiming to be Christian, but yet they live under the power of Satan’s temptations. So Babylon is noted as being an unfaithful spiritual harlot, even though she claims to be the Church, the bride of Christ.)
So speaking of Babylon, Revelation declares:
“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.” ~ Revelation 18:7
In the Old Testament the wicked Queen Jezebel claimed to be lawful Queen of the King of Israel. But she was a pagan and never should have been allowed to be Queen. Before her final judgement, she attired herself as a queen, and not a widow (even though her husband was already dead.) So she boldly presented herself out the window of the City tower in order to try to intimidate Jehu, the one who was appointed to destroy her. By her actions and her appearance she said “I sit a queen and will see no sorrow.” But Jehu commanded that they throw her down. And her blood sprinkled on the tower wall and on the horses. (See 2 Kings 9:30-37 and Revelation 14:19-20)
Also in the Old Testament, when the King of Babylon glorified himself instead of God, the final judgement was declared against him and his kingdom. A hand from God wrote the final judgement upon the wall of the King’s palace. And the Kingdom of Babylon was destroyed that very night! (See Daniel chapter 5)
Spiritual Babylon represents the hypocrisy of fallen Christianity. For years now, and especially today, there is a true ministry that is declaring the truth of the Revelation message. A message that exposes the fallen condition of a fake Christianity that is full of hypocrisy. This fake Christianity includes Roman Catholicism (including its Orthodox counterparts) and all the divided and fallen sects of Protestantism.
“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.” ~ Revelation 18:8
This is how it was described in the Old Testament when the physical city of Babylon was destroyed. She was especially destroyed because it was part of God’s vengeance against her for what she had done to his true people.
“Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; he will render unto her a recompence. Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad. Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed. We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies. The Lord hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God. Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of his temple. Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes: for the Lord hath both devised and done that which he spake against the inhabitants of Babylon.” ~ Jeremiah 51:6-12
How was spiritual Babylon (fallen Christianity) made rich and powerful in the past? Because the King’s and moneymakers of this world would flirt with her hypocrisy in order to make themselves rich. They first did this with the Popes and Bishops. And then they did this also with the leadership of Protestant sects.
“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.” Revelation 18:9-10
Three times in Revelation 18 it states that this final Judgement has come “in one hour.” Here in verse 10, and also in verses 17 and 19. Three times to emphasize the speed and finality of this judgement. And when a true message is preached against fallen Christianity, any honest soul will never want to return to Babylon. Her power of deception will be broken for them.
The reasons that the King’s and merchants are so sorrowful: because they can no longer justify their own selfish wickedness based upon claiming to be “Christian.” Their power to deceive by hypocrisy has been broken also. No one with any sense of right or wrong wants to be associated with the hypocrites any more!
“And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more” ~ Revelation 18:11
The market for false Christianity’s hypocrisy has been dried up, because anything of any true spiritual value has been removed from all the false Christian organizations. Even the Presidents, Chancellors, and kings of our modern day can’t effectively justify their hypocrisy any longer. They are openly wicked and perverse before the whole world.
These next scriptures describe Old Testament riches, that used to be part of the Israelite Kingdom and Temple worship. As such, today they represent spiritual riches, as every type in the Old Testament has a spiritual counterpart in the New Testament.
But the complaint of the “kings and merchants” is that these things have all been spoiled and taken away.
“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.” ~ Revelation 18:11-13
Yes, Babylon’s riches also includes the souls they have enslaved under their control. For years spiritual Babylon has kept many souls enslaved to sin through the deception of their many doctrines. Through these doctrines they keep people in fear, and they teach them that they can still be a “Christian” and continue with sin in their hearts and lives.
People think their salvation comes from their membership in an earthly religious organization. Therefore they are afraid to leave it. Additionally, they are afraid of what other people and their family would think of them. But salvation is dependent upon the faithfulness of your relationship with Jesus Christ, first. It is not tied to an earthly church. Your true spiritual riches come from Jesus Christ changing you. Not from an earthly church membership.
So Revelation plainly states that the days of living a hypocrite’s life are over! All your fake spiritual riches have been taken away: forever!
“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 18:14
Here, and six more times, for a total of seven times (see also verses 21 through 23), Revelation chapter 18 states that all these spiritual riches will be found “no more at all in thee!” Repeating this statement seven times determines the completion of this judgement. Therefore these ”merchants” are in mourning because of the final loss of the gains from their deception.
“The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, 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! 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, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! 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.” ~ Revelation 18:15-19
Does a judgement message against all sin and hypocrisy make you feel spiritually desolate? Is all your hope wrapped up in your association or membership in some church? If so, cast off the fake garments of religion and ask Jesus Christ to forgive you and give you new clean heart. Forsake the fake harlot Babylon and become part of the pure and faithful bride of Jesus Christ.
Note: this diagram below shows where the eighteenth chapter is within the full Revelation message. The judgment messages of chapter 18 are also part of completing the purpose of God to destroy the influence of hypocrisy. To better understand a high level view of Revelation, you can also see the “Roadmap of Revelation.”