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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

The World of Babylon Is Fallen


< Revelation 18:1-24 >

"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.' 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. 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.' 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.'"



Exegesis

Verse 1: After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory.

Through the servants whom God sent to this earth to do His works, people can hear the sermons of God's blessings and curses. To be freed from all their sins and unhappiness, therefore, all of you must receive into your hearts and believe in the Word of the spiritual blessings of Heaven preached by the servants of God.


Verse 2: 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!"

In the phrase "Babylon the great is fallen," the word Babylon is used by the Bible to refer to the secular world. In the Old Testament, for instance, we find the story of the Tower of Babel, a tower built by the mankind seeking to defy God by garnering together their own strengths, which was then brought down by God for this reason. When the above passage says that Babylon the great is fallen, it is telling us that this world would be fallen. There are some people who might think, "This world is standing just fine now, and so how could it ever fall?" But God is telling us here that when the plagues of the seven bowls are poured one after another, He will bring down this world just as He had brought down the Tower of Babel.

What, then, is the reason why this world would be destroyed by God with the plagues of the seven bowls? It is because the people of this world would have united themselves with the Antichrist in murdering the born-again saints who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and it is because they would have thus stood against God to their very end. It is also because this world would have become "a dwelling place of demons."

Why would this be the case? Why, that is, would this world have become a dwelling place of demons? It is because when the end times come, many people would surrender to the Antichrist and turn into this evil one's servants by receiving the mark of Satan from him.

In the Scripture, Dragon is used to refer to Satan, and demons to the servants of the Dragon. Thus, when it says here that the world has become a dwelling place of demons, it means that the Antichrist, a servant of the Dragon, would fully occupy the world. The world of the end times will face the age of extreme tribulations when the plagues of the seven bowls are poured on it. This world will become a world of the Dragon, and demons will run rampant as if the whole world belonged to them. And this world will fall down rapidly, brought down by the final plagues of the seven bowls poured by God.


Verse 3: "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."

Just as the verse says here, literally "all the nations" on the earth have drunk of the wine of the wrath of the world's fornication. In other words, the people of this world have thought of this world as God, and believed in and followed it as such. They have loved the world more than God. This world has thus become a hotbed of sin, and its people have lived their lives drunk in sin.

The result, therefore, is the fall of the world brought down by sin. Because people have loved and followed the world like God, He will destroy them with His punishment of the plagues of the seven bowls. Everyone living in this world will ultimately be destroyed by these seven great plagues brought by God and be cast into hell.

God is giving us His clear warning that everyone who does not believe now in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord will face the plagues of the seven bowls in the end. You must remember that if you do not believe in this gospel and continue to stand against God despite His warning, you will not only be punished by the plagues of the seven bowls, but you will also receive the eternal punishment of hell.

People must realize, therefore, that they have to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit now, in order to escape from God's great and terrible plagues, and they must return to the faith in the true gospel of the water and the Spirit as soon as possible.

Though many kings and merchants of the world have amassed great wealth with its material abundance, they will all end up weeping, lamenting, mourning and wailing when they see this world crumbling down with the great plagues brought by God.

So, we must all never forget that we have to preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to everyone, and that we have to live our lives by looking toward the new millennium. We must lead everyone to the gospel of the water and the Spirit, so that every mankind may escape from the great plagues.


Verse 4: 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."

"Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues." This is the Word of God spoken to His saints. The saints must not, in other words, belong to the world of the end times and live their lives as its slaves. Even those who had already become saints before, if they fall into the sins of the world of the end times, they will not be able to avoid being judged by God with His fearful plagues. God is telling all the saints, in other words, to not garner His wrath by ending up as the slaves of the world.


Verse 5: "For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities."

God indeed remembers all the sins and deeds of this world and waits only for its judgment day. With the sudden appearance of the Antichrist one day, destruction will soon cover the entire world just as God has planned. Yet there are still some people who believe that this world would not be destroyed, but that it would last forever.

This world will not, however, last as they think, but be destroyed suddenly by the plagues of the seven trumpets and of the seven bowls brought by God. When the end times come, God will bring tribulations to everywhere in the world and destroy it. We must thus be diligent in our lives of faith to the very end, holding steadfast to our faith that the Kingdom of Jesus Christ will indeed come.

Before God commands His angels to pour the seven bowls on this earth, the sins of the world would have become so rampant and widespread that it more than deserves to receive God's judgment. God will therefore remember its sins, and hold its destruction no longer. Moreover, the Antichrist and the worldly people would be persecuting God's people, coercing the saints to deny their faith, and making martyrs out of them. When these things happen, this world will face the plagues of the seven bowls.


Verse 6: "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."

It is written here, "Render to her just as she rendered to you." To whom does this "she" here refer? This refers to this world, namely sinners living in it, the Antichrist, and Satan. It tells us that God will pay them back just as they had brought persecution, torment, tribulation and death to the saints.

Verse 6 also says, "in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her." This is God's command given to His angels to punish all the false religions of the world that had led people to hell by spreading the Devil's lies. It means that God will bring His wrath and punishment on today's Christianity for its sin of giving false teachings, mixing the Word of God with the teachings of Satan, and thereby leading people to the Devil. Therefore, Christians who do not believed in the gospel of the water and the Spirit will receive the same punishment of sin as the secular people of the world.


Verse 7: "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.'"

God says here to repay the sins of these prideful people with torment and sorrow. To all the religious people of the world who are not born again, and to the unbelieving, secular people of the world, God will ask after their sins and punish them.

Yet they remain prideful, saying to themselves, "I sit as a queen, and am not widow, and will not see sorrow." God will therefore bring to them the plagues of their destruction. With the great plagues brought by God, they will all suffer the sorrow of losing all their worldly possessions and their beloved ones, all at the same time.


Verse 8: "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."

With the advent of the seven plagues, the plagues of death, mourning and famine will come to this world in one day. The Antichrist and all his worldly followers will thus be punished to burn forever in hell.


Verse 9: "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,"

The people and kings of the world will witness with their own eyes their world being engulfed in fire and earthquakes and destroyed by the plagues of the seven bowls. The kings of the world will therefore weep and lament, wailing for their loss.


Verse 10: "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.'"

The people who had not believed that this world would fall will be struck by fear when they see the whole world actually crumbling down right before their eyes. On a world glittering so much with its beauty, God's judgment will descend in one day, and it will be fallen all at once.


Verse 11-13: "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."

Who could buy or sell anything when the world's destruction is at hand? The merchants of the earth, too, will weep and mourn over the loss of their world. When God pours the plagues of the seven bowls, no one in the whole world would be buying anything. This world will never be reconstructed again, and only the Kingdom of Christ will be built on its ruins.

Here is a list of the extravagant merchandises that people have adorned themselves in luxury to this very day. But all these things will become useless in just one day, and no one will ever again seek after such worldly things. All these things are what the worldly religions trade in. The religions of the world have done everything imaginable for their love of money, not hesitating to sell even souls for a penny.


Verse 14-18: "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?'"

People will therefore never be able to see any of their worldly possessions again.

The merchants who had become rich through this world will weep and wail as they see their world crumbling down. They will wail in desperation, for when the world falls, they, too, will fall with it, and all their amassed possessions will disappear in just a day.

When the religions built on the worldly wealth fall, the people of this world will find themselves lamenting, "alas, alas!" International traders and shipmasters crisscrossing the world will also wail. These people will cry out in desperation, "What civilization ever built by the mankind has been greater and better than that of today?"


Verse 19: "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.'"

Seeing the world brought down by the plagues of the seven bowls, all those who had thought that this world would last forever will be wailing in great sorrow. Those who still remain in this world will be weeping and lamenting as they witness the whole world being destroyed all at once with the plagues of the seven bowls brought by God, but all their crying would be of no use, for by then this world and everything in it would have ended already. If they have the strength to cry then, they should be wailing now over their own fate, that they are bound to hell because of their sins, and they should believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit to be delivered from their eternal destruction.


Verse 20: "Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!"

The raptured saints in the air will rejoice when the plagues of the seven bowls are brought, because with these plagues God would avenge them all. It is only right that God would thus pour the terrible, great plagues on His enemies.


Verse 21: 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."

God says here that this world will never be seen again, as a millstone is thrown into the sea. Our Lord will then renew the whole universe and all things in it, and fulfill His work of turning this earth into the Kingdom of Christ.


Verse 22: "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."

When the plagues of the seven bowls end, no sound of music that people had heard in this world before will ever be heard again, nor will the sound of the hammering of craftsmen be heard.


Verse 23: "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."

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When the plagues of the seven bowls are completed, this world will never again see the light of a lamp, nor hear the voice of bridegroom and bride any longer. The deception of the sorcerers of the world will also end, for the world would have ended.


Verse 24: "And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth."

The reason why God would pour the great plagues of the seven bowls on this earth is because Satan's servants would have shed the blood of His prophets and saints.

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