Revelation 18:15-19

Audio Links

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Video Links


Rev 18:15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
Rev 18:16 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!
Rev 18:17 For in one hour so great riches is come to naught. And every ship master, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
Rev 18:18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
Rev 18:19 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.

Introduction

If we read these words and we forget that they are all addressed to “he that hath and ear” within “the seven churches of Asia”, then these words will mean no more to us now than they did while we were the inhabitants of Babylon.
It is clear to all with “eyes to see” that the vision of Tyre in Ezekiel is one and the same as the vision of Babylon here in the book of Revelation. We are those who must “live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, and both the “lamentation upon the king of Tyre”, and the “proverb against the king of Babylon” proceed out of the mouth of God.

Isa 14:3 And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,
Isa 14:4 That thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!
Eze 28:11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Eze 28:12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

Let’s notice these two visions which “are one” have in common. Both are said to be situated on the waters.

Eze 27:1 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
Eze 27:2 Now, thou son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyrus;
Eze 27:3 And say unto Tyrus, O thou that art situate at the entry of the sea, which art a merchant of the people for many isles, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty.
Eze 27:4 Thy borders are in the midst of the seas, thy builders have perfected thy beauty.

Now look at what we are told of Babylon.

Rev 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
Rev 17:2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
Rev 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
Rev 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

Babylon sits on “many waters” which are said to be ” peoples, and multitudes, and nation, and tongues“. Tyre is “situate at the sea… thy borders are in the midst of the seas” and is “a merchant of the people for many isles.”
As Joseph told the Pharaoh “the dream is one”, so too, is the vision of the “lamentation of Tyre” and the “judgment of the great harlot”, Babylon The Great, is one and the same.

Rev 18:15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,

In our last study we saw that “these things”, which are so numerous and which are enumerated in great detail, are all symbols of all that Babylon has to offer us to “conform us to this world” and to keep us from obeying these words:

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [ is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Babylon is said to “make the merchants of the earth rich through the abundance of her delicacies”.

Rev 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

So too, does Tyre makes the “merchants of the earth” rich through her merchandise.

Eze 27:22 The merchants of Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants: they occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold.
Eze 27:23 Haran, and Canneh, and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, [ and] Chilmad, [ were] thy merchants.
Eze 27:24 These [ were] thy merchants in all sorts [ of things], in blue clothes, and broidered work, and in chests of rich apparel, bound with cords, and made of cedar, among thy merchandise.
Eze 27:25 The ships of Tarshish did sing of thee in thy market: and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the midst of the seas.
Eze 27:26 Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas.
Eze 27:27 Thy riches, and thy fairs, thy merchandise, thy mariners, and thy pilots, thy calkers, and the occupiers of thy merchandise, and all thy men of war, that are in thee, and in all thy company which is in the midst of thee, shall fall into the midst of the seas in the day of thy ruin.
Eze 27:28 The suburbs shall shake at the sound of the cry of thy pilots.
Eze 27:29 And all that handle the oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships, they shall stand upon the land;
Eze 27:30 And shall cause their voice to be heard against thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their heads, they shall wallow themselves in the ashes:
Eze 27:31 And they shall make themselves utterly bald for thee, and gird them with sackcloth, and they shall weep for thee with bitterness of heart and bitter wailing.
Eze 27:32 And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and lament over thee, saying, What city is like Tyrus, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea?
Eze 27:33 When thy wares went forth out of the seas, thou filledst many people; thou didst enrich the kings of the earth with the multitude of thy riches and of thy merchandise.
Eze 27:34 In the time when thou shalt be broken by the seas in the depths of the waters thy merchandise and all thy company in the midst of thee shall fall.
Eze 27:35 All the inhabitants of the isles shall be astonished at thee, and their kings shall be sore afraid, they shall be troubled in [ their] countenance.
Eze 27:36 The merchants among the people shall hiss at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt beany more.

Truly “the dream is one”, and Babylon and Tyre are one.

Gen 41:26 The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one.

In like manner, the merchants of Tyre are the false prophets with their false doctrines which we have believed, and the merchants of Babylon are the very same false doctrines of false prophets within us. The visions are one.

Rev 18:16 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!
Rev 18:17 For in one hour so great riches is come to naught. And every ship master, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

“The fine linen is the righteousness of the saints”, but in Babylon and in Tyre we have brought, “all manner of precious woods… and brass and iron and marble, into the temple of God, and we have turned God’s temple into Babylon, “a den of thieves”.

Rev 18:12 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,

Likewise “the kings of the earth” of both Tyre and Babylon, are not literal kings, but are symbols of those doctrines of Tyre and Babylon, which appeal to the flesh of the beast which we all are. We are all the friends of these “kings of the earth” through our attractions to the daughters of the kings of the earth, with whom we, just as Solomon did, are “by little and by little” led away from our first love, into serving the God’s of Solomon’s wives, who were the daughters of “the kings of the earth”, those things of this world, which cling to us and rule over us, while we are in Tyre, or in Babylon.

Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Jas 4:5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

By placing the love of this world above his love of God, via the influence of his many wives, Solomon, as the Old Testament shadow of each of us, “left his first love” to gain “the friendship of this world”, thus developing “enmity with God” and becoming “the enemy of God”. Here is how it all happened.

Eze 27:33 When thy wares went forth out of the seas, thou filledst many people; thou didst enrich the kings of the earth with the multitude of thy riches and of thy merchandise.
1Ki 11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;
1Ki 11:2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
1Ki 11:3 And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.
1Ki 11:4 For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.

These “many strange women” are not literal women, but they are the doctrines of “that woman Jezebel”, who is within us all while we are subject to her ways while we are in Babylon. Babylon does not believe that being friends of this world makes us enemies of God. Babylon truly believes that it is possible to please the wives of Solomon and still be God’s friend. Babylon’s mantra, concerning the doctrines of “that woman Jezebel”, is “Unity in the essentials and tolerance in the nonessentials. Of course it is always the leaders of Babylon who will tell you and me what is essential and what is nonessential.
But Christ will have no part of such spiritual fornication and gives us these words.

Rev 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
Rev 2:21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
Rev 2:22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
Rev 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

“He which searcheth the reins and hearts… will give unto every one of us according to our works”, and will judge all of Babylon within us until we distance ourselves from all that Babylon is, as we will see Babylon is this way:

Rev 18:18 And [ the merchants of these things] cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
Rev 18:19 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.

“One hour” is just another way of saying that when we see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place… he must continue a short space… restraining the coming of Christ… till he be taken out of the way”.

Mat 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Mat 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
Mat 24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
Mat 24:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

Why would we want anything from our old sin- filled house, and why would we want the clothes we wore in the sinful “field” which is this fleshly world?

Mat 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
Jdg 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

We are all in the world before we come out of it, and we all have spotted garments, before we are given “fine linen clean and white”.

Mat 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

But we do not see ourselves as being in Babylon at first. Like Job and like King Solomon, while we are in Babylon and Tyre making merchandise of God’s “gold, silver, and precious stones”, we see ourselves as the best thing God has going. Look at these two sections of scripture:

Job 29:1 Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,
Job 29:2 Oh that I were as [ in] months past, as [ in] the days [ when] God preserved me;
Job 29:3 When his candle shined upon my head, [ and when] by his light I walked [ through] darkness;
Job 29:4 As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God [ was] upon my tabernacle;
Job 29:5 When the Almighty [ was] yet with me, [ when] my children [ were] about me;
Job 29:6 When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil;
Job 29:7 When I went out to the gate through the city, [ when] I prepared my seat in the street!
Job 29:8 The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, [ and] stood up.
Job 29:9 The princes refrained talking, and laid [ their] hand on their mouth.
Job 29:10 The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth.
Job 29:11 When the ear heard [ me], then it blessed me; and when the eye saw [ me], it gave witness to me:
Job 29:12 Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and [ him that had] none to help him.
Job 29:13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.
Job 29:14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment [ was] as a robe and a diadem.
Job 29:15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet [ was] I tothe lame.
Job 29:16 I [ was] a father to the poor: and the cause [ which] I knew not I searched out.
Job 29:17 And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.
Job 29:18 Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply [ my] days as the sand.
Job 29:19 My root [ was] spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch.
Job 29:20 My glory [ was] fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand.
Job 29:21 Unto me [ men] gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel.
Job 29:22 After my words they spake not again; and my speech dropped upon them.
Job 29:23 And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide [ as] for the latter rain.
Job 29:24 [ If] I laughed on them, they believed [ it] not; and the light of my countenance they cast not down.
Job 29:25 I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, as one [ that] comforteth the mourners.

This is but one of three chapters detailing just how much Job thought of Himself. Here is how these three chapters end:

Job 32:1 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes.

So God corrects Job, and admonishes him for condemning God for “His wonderful works to the children of men”,

Job 40:1 Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said,
Job 40:2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct [ him]? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
Job 40:3 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
Job 40:4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
Job 40:5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.
Job 40:6 Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Job 40:7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
Job 40:8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
Psa 107:21 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Psa 107:22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
Psa 107:23 They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;
Psa 107:24 These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.
Psa 107:25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.
Psa 107:26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.
Psa 107:27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.
Psa 107:28 Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses.
Psa 107:29 He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.
Psa 107:30 Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.
Psa 107:31 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Our ‘righteousnesses’ are as filthy rags to our Creator.

Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Now compare all of these scriptures, which seem to be speaking of someone else, to these words which are specifically addressed to you and me as “he that hath and ear to hear” in the book of Revelation.

Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

It is the very things we value which are the precious things of Babylon, which, just like Job’s righteousness and our righteounesses, are filthy rags to our God and which keep us in Babylon and separated from our own Creator.
Here is the Old Testament version of “in one hour she is made desolate”:

Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
Job 1:13 And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:
Job 1:14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:
Job 1:15 And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
Job 1:16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
Job 1:17 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
Job 1:18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:
Job 1:19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
Job 1:20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
Job 1:22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

Here is this same story in its condensed version in the New Testament.

2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [ of the Lord, verse 2] shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
2Th 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he [“that man of sin” verse 3] might be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [ withholdeth] will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

“Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” Here is what Paul told these Thessalonians when He was with them. He told them the same thing he had told the Corinthians.

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

It is our own concept of what makes us righteous which is all the precious things of Babylon. These customs and doctrines of men are the merchandise which convince us that we ourselves are “rich and increased with goods, and in need of nothing” when in reality we “are naked and miserable and blind”.
Next week, Lord willing we will finish this 18th chapter, and we will understand why we are granted to rejoice at the destruction of our own Babylon within us.

Rev 18:20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
Rev 18:21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
Rev 18:22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;
Rev 18:23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
Rev 18:24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

Other related posts