Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Revelation Studies|
Chapter: Rev 17
Passage: Rev 17:1-6
A. Find Out:
1. What is to be shown? v.1
2. What have kings and people done with her? v.2
3. Where did the Spirit carry John? v.3a
4. Who was there and how is she described? v.3-5
5. What has she in her hand and what has she done? v.4b,6
6. On what does she sit? v.3b
From its earliest days the city of Babylon was known as a centre of idol worship and man-centred activity (see Nebuchadnezzar for example in “Daniel's Story” in this series). In verse 5 “Babylon the Great”, must be a city or, more likely, a godless and humanistic system of thinking, commerce or rule in the world. “She” sits on many waters (v.1c), is across the nations of the world, but is seen in reality to be in a dry, arid and lifeless place (v.3a).
First “she” is referred to as a prostitute and an adulterer. Now both these sorts of people sell or give themselves to other people for illicit purposes, purposes contrary to the will of God. This great system or ideology has mingled with all the godless aspects of the world and has encouraged all the inhabitants of the world to do the same. “She” is dressed up and gaudy, she has made herself look good in the eyes of the world but all she has been involved in has been evil, unclean and against the work of God, and has even killed many Christians. It sits on, or is supported by a beast that has the same number of heads and horns as Satan (12:3) and his beast from the sea (13:1), so it is supported by a demonically inspired confederation.
Chapter: Rev 17
Passage: Rev 17:7-18
A. Find Out:
1. How is the beast described? v.8,11
2. What are the seven heads? v.9,10
3. Who are the horns and what is their aim? v.12,13
4. What will they do and with what result? v.14
5. What will be the relationship of beast to woman? v.16
6. Why? v.17
A difficult and complex passage! Let's pick out essentials. Most space is given to the beast which appears to make use of the woman for its own purposes, to war against Jesus and His people. It appears that the beast is a confederation or alliance of groups or leaders that has been seen in the past and will be seen again in the future, indicating more about their nature than specific personages. “Hills” may simply be raised-up-places of rule, not necessarily in one geographical location in the world, but spread around the world. The “city” which is the woman (v.18) is more likely to be a world-wide grouping of people (we now live in a global communication village and individual cities have lost their individual importance).
Reference to a “king” is more likely to refer to a rulership, meaning a body or group rather than a single individual. Increasingly the symbolic pictures seem to indicate corporate world-wide activity where groups operate together and we would do well to watch more at this level for these things to be fulfilled (yet time and the Lord alone know the truth of these things).
Chapter: Rev 18
Passage: Rev 18:1-8
A. Find Out:
1. What was the next angel like? v.1
2. What had Babylon become? v.2
3. What had happened? v.3
4. What was then instructed and why? v.4,5
5. What is going to happen to her? v.6,7a
6. What had she thought and so what will happen? v.7b,8
First a senior angel comes to declare the truth about the state of Babylon. Who or whatever Babylon is, it has become filled with powers of darkness, is corrupt and evil and has involved all the nations and national leaders in these same things. Twice is mentioned the material prosperity that flourished in this environment (v.3c,7b) and such prosperity had bred a sense of superiority and invincibility. Such was the terrible state of this being.
Then comes a cry to all believers to come out from it. It is going to be judged and if we are part of it and rely upon it, first it questions our own state of spiritual health, but second it means we will also suffer from the things that will happen to it.
Finally comes the command to give to Babylon what she has given to others. She will be destroyed as she has destroyed others. She will find that she is not so mighty as she thinks for she has to contend with Almighty God before whom she will appear and easy target for His judgement. Her pride will be brought low!
Chapter: Rev 18
Passage: Rev 18:9-24
A. Find Out:
1. Who will first weep and why? v.9,10
2. Who will next weep and why? v.11-13
3. What do they see has happened? v.14-17a
4. Who next weeps and why? v.17b-19
5. What is said about the church and Babylon? v.20, 24
6. What is happening to Babylon and why? v.21-23
The actual destruction doesn't seem to come until verse 21 but the reactions to the destruction are anticipated in the prior verses. First the leaders of the world who had totally integrated with her mourned that the city of POWER (v.10) had fallen. Within her organisation there had obviously been great power for them, which will go!
Then the business community will mourn over their loss of WEALTH at her downfall, for they had become rich in material things through her. Note in verse 13 that they had also traded in the bodies and souls of men. Such a business world (even as we see today) doesn't only deal in goods, it requires the very lives of those who are trading. How many today have their entire waking hours taken up with their work, having become slaves to it.
Then the transport and communications people of the world will grieve for they too had become rich because of the trading across the world. In each case there is a mourning for the loss of immense wealth generated (and subsequent power) from its activities. However its activities also include the attack on the church and killing of Christians who stand for righteousness.
RECAP "The Fall of Babylon" Revelation 17 & 18
In this third group of 4 studies we have seen :
In these two chapters we have viewed this mixture of human and demonic agencies that make up “Babylon”, an association, confederation, ideology or system, that is godless, evil, unrighteous and totally materialistic. This “Babylon” will capture the hearts of world leaders and the business world, and indeed the only way to counter it is to be a child of God, given over to the will and purposes of God
1. Materialistic, humanistic godlessness has its origin with Satan
2. Man-centred thinking is always godless and leads to evil
3. The aim of materialism is wealth and power and is godless
4. Evil will always seek to attack good that shows it up.
5. The light shines in the darkness but will not be overcome
Thank the Lord that He is Sovereign Lord over all the events of the earth. Ask Him for the grace to cope with not giving way to the lies of the enemy.
PART 4 : "The Coming King"
In this next Part there is a distinct change. Until now we have been observing the activities of the world and the enemy in the midst of judgements from heaven. In these next two chapters we will see the Lord coming in power and bringing His rule over the enemy and over the world - He is THE Lord! This is now a revelation of Jesus on the move in a very open and obvious way!