The Demise of the one world market system Pt. 2

Revelation 18

Jerry A Collins




*      How devastated will the city of Babylon become?

*      Why does God choose to destroy this city?

*      What is the contrast between the world and heavens response?


So Revelation 17 & 18 are devoted to Babylons fall A heavenly hallelujah chorus rings out after Babylon’s defeat 19:1-3. What Babylon is John referring too? This Babylon is the same one whose end-time existence and subsequent annihilation were predicted by Isaiah 13-14, Jeremiah 50-51 and Zechariah 12-13. She is described by John in Rev 17:18 as a city of worldwide importance—one literally existing and rebuilt for the last days vss 4-5. Zechariah described the future rebuilt city this way. Revelation 17 & 18 are similar. Both say that Babylon is the “great city” headed for destruction. Both specify that she will be burned. Both name God as the ultimate source of her destruction. Both describe Babylon as a literal city of splendor, wealth and luxury. Both say she possesses a cup. Both reveal that Babylon commits fornication with the kings of the earth causing all the nations of the earth to fall into a drunken stupor. In both Babylon persecutes God’s people and kills many. Babylon past was proud and independent and the Babylon of the future John writes will mirror her past vs 18:7. Here, then, we receive the final information about the announcements about this city already given in 14:8 & 16:19! Babylon, too, is more than a city. She represents the whole materialistic world system where wealth increases and morality decreases. Like the first time this city asserted it’s independence from God “come let us build for ourselves a city and a tower whose top will reach into heaven” Gen 11:4 and desired to glorify herself rather than God “and let us make for ourselves a name” Gen 11:4, so, too, the final Babylon will do the same. In both cases God judges the city.


John immediately sees a powerful angel descending from heaven with (1) great power or authority—probably indicative of the importance of the judgment pronounced. Evidently his task required this great authority. (2) his great glory which illumined all of the earth—probably suggests that he had just come from God’s presence (Ex 34:29ff; Eze 43:2). (3) he cries out with a great or mighty voice with an announcement that will astound the world and but accolades in heaven! Repetition of ‘fallen’ emphasizes complete devastation of this city. The greatest city on earth becomes annihilated and laid completely low. So low in fact, that demons, evil spirits and unclean animals make it their home. Babylon is demonic to the core. Isa 13:21-22 says ‘desert creatures will lie there, jackals will fill her houses, there the owls will dwell and there will the wild goats will leap about, Hyenas will howl in her strongholds, jackals in her luxurious places—reminds me of Jurassic Park when returning to see devastation of the complex. The whole world has participated in her revelry and do so to the very end both the kings political power and the merchants for economic power associated with this city. Debauchery, sensuality, greed, murder, and intrigue characterize this pursuit of wealth and affluence.


This voice instructs God’s people to separate themselves from her. First, to avoid getting caught in her judgment vs 4. Leave and forsake the enticements of idolatry, luxurious living, and violence of the city. Her plagues will be devastating and there is no guarantee that the believer will escape if he stays. Don’t have Lot’s wife’s attitude wanting the worldly city that God destroys. Second, abandon Babylon for God is about to judge her sin vs 5. Her sins are like the bricks used to build he tower of Babel Gen 11:3-4. They, too, have accumulated so they finally catch heaven’s attention. God has noticed as pronounced in 14:8 & 16:19 and He has remembered her sins. The judgment to come in vs 6-7 will pay back Babylon fully for her wickedness, pride and self indulgence. God will retaliate (Mt 7:2; Gal 6:7-8) she will reap in a compounded fashion what she has sown. The cup she used to seduce the nations will become the instrument of her own punishment. There is a point of no return with God where His mercy ends! Third, abandon Babylon because of her pride vs 7. Her claims to superiority and independence echo ancient Babylon (Isa 47:7-9; Ezek 27:3). The ‘one day’ of ve 8 could mean that or express suddenness. The plagues may be that of 16:20-21 and this rebuilt city will lie in burning ruins—like 9/11 crashing towers and engulfed city. She will collapse suddenly not decline gradually. 3. THE WORLD WILL MOURN OVER HER DESTRUCTION 9-19

The kings of earth mourn 9-10 World government leaders will see this collapse of the city and it’s worldwide system that enabled them to live luxuriously and lament  in misery at the speed of and character of her demise. They grieve over her broken strength.

The merchants of earth mourn 11-17 This is largest lament indicating the main emphasis was economic—even politics is for controlling economics. Their wailing greater than the kings because of amount of loss of customers--suggesting extensive trade in world market of tribulation. Most of these items were luxuries in John’s day. 7 categories (precious metals and gems, clothing, furnishings, spices, food, animals and implements and people) of 29 items. They mourn the loss of commerce and the wealth it brought to them vs 17.

The sea people will mourn 17-19 Here we have (1) helmsmen (2) passengers (3) sailors (4) fishermen and divers. They also lament the destruction of this commercial and economic center. In all 3 cases they marvel at the swiftness, the complete devastation and stand at a distance wailing over the demise of this great city! Leaves us wondering how we would feel if our luxuries suddenly gone up in smoke. It all depends on where you place them.


Heaven rejoices 20 What a contrast with the earth dwellers. That which cause bitter misery for one is a source of exultation for another. God brot this judgment to vindicate his saints, his apostles and prophets all who suffered and predicted vindication. God’s word is true!

Judgment is permanent 21-24 It is impossible for a millstone to rise to the surface so too Babylon. Many things will end—rejoicing, production, activity, industry, entertainment, weddings. Hustle and bustle replaced with silence! All because of seductive deception of luxurious living! The final nail in coffin was murder of God’s people.


(1) We are headed for a market system used by Antichrist’s world system during the tribulation. That system will favor sexual immorality and living in luxury and they usually go together—las vegas for instance.

(2) To come out of the world means to avoid its sexual immorality and living in luxury. That is, living on more than you need.

(3) The problem with luxurious living is that it makes one insensitive to his spiritual condition and to the suffering of the world while consumed with self pursuits.

(4) Focusing on materialism—whether sex or luxury—tends to ignore the message of God or persecute His messengers.

(5) The remedy for us is to think on earth as they think in heaven—namely that luxury here is destined to burn so don’t live for it or get caught in it’s appeal!