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Keys to Revelation – Chapter 18
AUTHOR: Capoccia, Tony
PUBLISHED ON: May 12, 2003
DOC SOURCE: CCN
PUBLISHED IN: Bible Studies

                        Keys to Revelation – Chapter 18

Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (C) 1978 by the New York
International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

          BIBLE TEXT                                  COMMENTARY

REV 18:1  After this I saw another        [After this] – The revelation of
angel coming down from heaven. He        chapter 17.
had great authority, and the earth
was illuminated by his splendor.          [another angel] – Not the same angel
                                          of chapter 17:1, but one that has a
                                          a special purpose of announcing a
                                          revelation of judgment.

                                          [great authority] – This angel has
                                          the authority of the Almighty God
                                          to herald the pending judgment on
                                          the evil world system that has as
                                          its seat, the city of Rome.

                                          [earth…illuminated] – The angel
                                          came directly from the presence of
                                          God and just like Moses, he too
                                          reflects the Glory of God (see
                                          EXO 34:29-35).  But Moses saw a
                                          veiled Glory because he was human,
                                          however, this angel is a spirit and
                                          could experience more of God’s
                                          brilliant Glory.

                                          So bright was the angel’s reflective
                                          light that the earth was illuminated
                                          by it.  It may very well be that all
                                          Christians will someday, be able to
                                          reflect the Glory of our Savior.  In
                                          fact, Revelation 21:23 reveals that
                                          in the New Jerusalem, our final
                                          home, all light will come from the
                                          Glory of God and the Lamb, Jesus
                                          Christ.

REV 18:2  With a mighty voice he          [mighty voice] – It is not only a
shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon      voice that announces, but one that
the Great! She has become a home          announces God’s message, and in this
for demons and a haunt for every          case, it is one of judgment.
evil spirit, a haunt for every
unclean and detestable bird.              [Fallen! Fallen is Babylon] – The
                                          evil world system is being judged
                                          and the result is the collapse of
                                          this antichristian world order that
                                          was determined to defeat the purposes
                                          of God throughout the generations of
                                          mankind.     

                                          [home for demons] – The city of Rome
                                          is to receive the same fate as the
                                          ancient city of Babylon (ISA 13:20-
                                          22).  Although the original Babylon
                                          was once destroyed, the Babylonian
                                          sinful and wicked lifestyle lived on
                                          in societies around the globe, but
                                          finds its utter demise in the final
                                          and complete destruction of the city
                                          of Rome and its World Empire.

                                          In the ruins of Rome, not only will
                                          birds roost, but demons and evil
                                          spirits will make their home. This
                                          is fitting, since mankind was so
                                          proud of Rome and its influence over
                                          the rest of the world. Now she lies
                                          utterly desolate, her beauty is
                                          replaced with the horrible ugliness
                                          of demonic beings.

REV 18:3  For all the nations have        see comments on REV 17:2
drunk the maddening wine of her
adulteries. The kings of the earth
committed adultery with her, and
the merchants of the earth grew
rich from her excessive luxuries.” 

REV 18:4  Then I heard another            [another voice] – Most likely another
voice from heaven say: “Come out of      angel that speaks on behalf of God.
her, my people, so that you will
not share in her sins, so that you        [Come out] – An urgent call for God’s
will not receive any of her              people to separate from the judgment
plagues;                                  about to fall on Babylon.  One should
                                          note that up until this point it has
                                          been God’s will to have His people in
                                          the darkness of Babylon, in order to
                                          be light to the those living in sin.
                                          But the time of God’s grace is ending
                                          for the world as He begins to unfold
                                          His judgments. 

                                          This calling out of God’s people
                                          most likely is the physical removal
                                          from the city of Rome that God is
                                          about to destroy.  This idea is very
                                          similar to the calling out of Lot and
                                          his family from the city of Sodom in
                                          GEN 19:12-17.

REV 18:5  for her sins are piled up      [sins…piled up] – God does remember
to heaven, and God has remembered        sin, but only the sins of the unsaved
her crimes.                              person, of cities, nations, and the
                                          world.  However, when a person is
                                          born again, God takes all of their
                                          sins and charges them to the sinless
                                          one Jesus Christ.  Therefore, it is
                                          impossible for God to remember the
                                          sins of the redeemed since they have
                                          been acquitted of every sin!

REV 18:6  Give back to her as she        [her own cup] – In REV 17:4 we see
has given; pay her back double for        her cup being a “golden cup…filled
what she has done. Mix her a double      with abominable things and the filth
portion from her own cup.                of her adulteries.”  Now this same
                                          cup that she gave to the world is now
                                          given to her, but now filled with a
                                          double portion of judgment for her
                                          crimes.

REV 18:7  Give her as much torture        [torture] – Rome has given to itself
and grief as the glory and luxury        much luxury and pleasure while giving
she gave herself. In her heart she        to God’s people torture and grief for
boasts, ‘I sit as queen; I am not a      many generations.  Now the wrath of
widow, and I will never mourn.’          God will give to this wicked world
                                          a double portion of torment and grief
                                          as a fitting judgment.

                                          [I sit as queen] – Rome and the whole
                                          antichristian system believed that
                                          they were apart from God and had no
                                          accountability to anyone.  They had
                                          not known that they were always the
                                          creatures that Christ had created
                                          (see COL 1:15-16) and that all of
                                          their sins were being held against
                                          them for a coming day of judgment.

                                          [I will never mourn] – So typical of
                                          the attitude of the world today. They
                                          think that they are in control of
                                          their lives.  That they can avoid all
                                          problems by their insurance and other
                                          protection programs.  They think that
                                          even death will simply bring eternal
                                          sleep.  Little do they realize that
                                          every breath and heartbeat is given
                                          to them by the precious Lord Savior
                                          Jesus Christ.  Death will bring much
                                          mourning and torment, that will last
                                          forever.

REV 18:8  Therefore in one day her        [in one day] – In one 24-hour period
plagues will overtake her: death,        these judgments will come, much
mourning and famine. She will be          like the sudden judgment that came
consumed by fire, for mighty is the      upon Belshazzar the very night he
Lord God who judges her.                  saw the “finger of God” on the wall
                                          (DAN 5:30).  It could be an attack
                                          by a nuclear missile or simply fire
                                          from heaven, either way, it will have
                                          come by the will of God.

REV 18:9  “When the kings of the          [weep and mourn] – The nations of the
earth who committed adultery with        earth mourn the passing of the great
her and shared her luxury see the        world system of Babylon, symbolized
smoke of her burning, they will          by the burning of the capital city of
weep and mourn over her.                  Rome.  Note they are not weeping over
                                          their sins, but rather over the loss
                                          of the capitol city of sin.

REV 18:10  Terrified at her              [terrified at her torment] – They see
torment, they will stand far off          the devastation and realize that this
and cry: “‘Woe! Woe, O great city,        “city of power” was wiped out so
O Babylon, city of power! In one          quickly, giving evidence of a much
hour your doom has come!’                greater power.

REV 18:11  “The merchants of the          [no one buys] – These are merchants
earth will weep and mourn over her        who really mourn over the lost trade
because no one buys their cargoes        rather than the millions killed in
any more–                                the devastation.

REV 18:12  cargoes of gold, silver,
precious stones and pearls; fine
linen, purple, silk and scarlet
cloth; every sort of citron wood,
and articles of every kind made of
ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron
and marble; 

REV 18:13  cargoes of cinnamon and        [bodies and souls of men] – Could be
spice, of incense, myrrh and              the prostitution of men and women in
frankincense, of wine and olive          the last days, for surely this is the
oil, of fine flour and wheat;            direction of this present world. It
cattle and sheep; horses and              is also possible that in addition to
carriages; and bodies and souls of        prostitution, that there is a return
men.                                      of the slave markets.

REV 18:14  “They will say, ‘The
fruit you longed for is gone from
you. All your riches and splendor
have vanished, never to be
recovered.’ 

REV 18:15  The merchants who sold        [stand far off] – By satellite TV
these things and gained their            they could stand “far off” and still
wealth from her will stand far off,      see the destruction of Rome.
terrified at her torment. They will
weep and mourn 

REV 18:16  and cry out: “‘Woe! Woe,
O great city, dressed in fine
linen, purple and scarlet, and
glittering with gold, precious
stones and pearls! 

REV 18:17  In one hour such great       
wealth has been brought to ruin!’
“Every sea captain, and all who
travel by ship, the sailors, and
all who earn their living from the
sea, will stand far off. 

REV 18:18  When they see the smoke        [see the smoke] – So great is the
of her burning, they will exclaim,        burning of this city that even from
‘Was there ever a city like this          such a distance these ships could
great city?’                              see the smoke and the glow of her
                                          burning.

REV 18:19  They will throw dust on
their heads, and with weeping and
mourning cry out: “‘Woe! Woe, O
great city, where all who had ships
on the sea became rich through her
wealth! In one hour she has been
brought to ruin! 

REV 18:20  Rejoice over her, O            [Rejoice over her] – While the world
heaven! Rejoice, saints and              mourns over the destruction of the
apostles and prophets! God has            capitol city of evil, the Christian
judged her for the way she treated        is to rejoice!  Surely, we have asked
you.'”                                    God to judge this wickedness in each
                                          generation and now God answers our
                                          prayers.  All of us agonize over the
                                          abortions, adulteries, immoralities,
                                          murder, thefts, and drug use of our
                                          generation, however in this verse we
                                          can find hope, for the day of justice
                                          is coming. 

REV 18:21  Then a mighty angel            [With such violence] – Speaks again
picked up a boulder the size of a        of the suddenness and completeness
large millstone and threw it into        of the judgment.
the sea, and said: “With such
violence the great city of Babylon
will be thrown down, never to be
found again. 

REV 18:22  The music of harpists
and musicians, flute players and
trumpeters, will never be heard in
you again. No workman of any trade
will ever be found in you again.
The sound of a millstone will never
be heard in you again. 

REV 18:23  The light of a lamp will
never shine in you again. The voice
of bridegroom and bride will never
be heard in you again. Your
merchants were the world’s great
men. By your magic spell all the
nations were led astray. 

REV 18:24  In her was found the          [found the blood] – God holds Babylon
blood of prophets and of the              and this city of sin responsible for
saints, and of all who have been          the deaths of all the saints and the
killed on the earth.”                    prophets.  Rome is also judged guilty
                                          for all the murders on the earth.

                                          Truly this evil world system deserves
                                          all of these judgments.  This passage
                                          of Scripture holds much encouragement
                                          for Christians when faced with the
                                          overwhelming wickedness of this
                                          generation.

Tony Capoccia
BIBLE BULLETIN BOARD
Box 130
Shreveport, LA 71110
Modem (318) 949-1456
300/1200/2400/9600 Baud

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