Revelation 18 -- Is Jerusalem Babylon the Great? The desolation that came upon the house of Moses was exactly what Jesus had said would happen when He warned the Pharisees of the destruction that would come upon Jerusalem (Mat 23:33-39).This section begins with the words after these things. The things referred to were the ten kings of 17:16 who were hating the whore Babylon and making her desolate. The ten kings of the beast Rome hated Jerusalem the whore and did eat (devour) her flesh (17:16). This prophetic language linked the wicked queen Jezebel with the wicked queen Jerusalem.
Revelation 18 -- Jerusalem Babylon the Great – sermon video audio notes
Revelation 18 - Jerusalem Babylon the Great – sermon video audio notes
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Revelation 18 -- Jerusalem Babylon the Great -- sermon video
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Revelation 18 -- Jerusalem Babylon the Great – sermon audio
Revelation 18 - Jerusalem Babylon the Great – sermon notes
Revelation 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
1 This section begins with the words after these things. The things referred to were the ten kings of 17:16 who were hating the whore Babylon and making her desolate. The desolation that came upon the house of Moses was exactly what Jesus had said would happen when He warned the Pharisees of the destruction that would come upon Jerusalem Mat 23:33‑39). The ten kings of the beast Rome hated Jerusalem the whore and did eat devour) her flesh 17:16). This prophetic language linked the wicked queen Jezebel with the wicked queen Jerusalem.
2Ki 9:36 Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel:
2Ki 9:37 And the carcass of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel. (emphasis) added)
Jezebel had the amazing ability to stir the hearts of people against the righteous 1Ki 21:8‑14). This was exactly what Jerusalem did against the righteous. She stirred the hearts of the whole world to persecute the righteous Christians. However, the ten kings hated the whore, made her desolate and naked, ate her flesh, and burned her with fire. The reason is that God had put it in their hearts to do exactly this. This fulfilled His will and fulfilled His word 17:17). The time and moment came!
John saw what He called another angel which came down from heaven. The language is intended to link the Son of man with the angelic host. The language is clearly speaking of the Lord. He has great power. Power is the word exousia Greek) and is nearly exclusively used in the gospels and New Testament to describe Jesus and those He sent forth to do His will Mat 7:29; 9:6, 8; 10:1; 21:23‑27; 28:18; Mark 1:22, 27; 2:10; 3:15; 6:7; 11:28‑33; 13:34; Luke 4:32, 36; 5:24; 9:1; 10:19; 12:5; 19:17; 20:2; John 1:12; 5:27; 10:18).
Mat 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Joh 5:27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. (emphasis) added)
To John the messenger with great power authority) is linked to Jesus Christ the Son of man. This angel also was brilliant in His light. John says the earth was lightened with his glory. Naturally Jesus Christ is the light that came into the world, which is one of Johns favorite descriptions of Jesus John 1:9; 3:19; 8:12; 9:5; 11:9; 12:46).
Joh 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
However, the light for the world is also a term used for the host that follow Jesus Mat 5:14; Luke 16:8). John’s allusion for his readers was devised in such a way that links this mighty angel with the Lord Jesus, but also links it with the Church and Body of Christ. It was Jesus who said He would come in the clouds and destroy Jerusalem, and in verse 21 this angel will throw the millstone. This signified the destruction of the great city, at which time the holy apostles and prophets rejoiced. God worked vengeance for them v. 20, 21). The angel is Jesus Christ the Son of man. However John desired that his readers recognize the angelic force of heaven and earth which included the church.
Revelation 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
Revelation 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.
v.v. 2, 3 The allusion linking the Lord and His church to this angel continued. He cried mightily with a strong voice Mat 27:46, 50, Mark 15:34, 37; John 5:25, 28; 10:3‑5, 16, 27; 11:43; 1Th 4:16; Rev 1:10, 12, 15; 3:20; 4:1). John had already spoken of this voice, which he recognized so well. The same voice was mentioned in Revelation 1:10, there translated as a great voice. Also the church was to teach and repeat all things whatsoever He commanded Mat 28:20). The word translated great in 1:10 and strong in 18:2 are the same in the Greek. The word is megas. It is the mega voice that will be heard at resurrection John 5:25, 28; 1Th 4:16). It was the voice Lazarus heard while dead in the tomb John 11:43). It is the voice the sheep of the Lord hear John 10). It was the voice John began hearing in Revelation 1:10 and continued to hear either from the Lord Himself or echoed through His messengers. It was the voice of the Lord being echoed, repeated, and quoted by the fellow servants of Jesus Christ.
The strong voice said Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen. The great city was first referred to and its identity made clear in 11:8 saying, the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Again the term great was used to describe the city that polluted the earth with her fornication, referred to here as Babylon. Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication 14:8). Again the city was called great in 16:19. John records, great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. Here, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots, the city more full of sin than Sodom, Mat 10:15; 11:23, 24; Mark 6:11; Luke 10:12) is fallen, is fallen. The double emphasis is as if it were a Verily, verily of the Lord.
The city that had been chosen to be the capitol of righteousness and the dwelling of God had become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. The priesthood that was intended to mediate between God and man mediated between man and devils. The city that should have been the dwelling place of the Spirit of the living God was the hold of every foul spirit. Every imaginable evil that could possibly be done in a city was done in this city. It was called Sodom and Egypt. It was the city where also our Lord was crucified 11:8). If fact it was a city that not only allowed evil, but it was a cage or prison of every unclean and hateful bird. There was no separation from the clean and unclean in the priesthood. Jesus likened the judgment to come upon that wicked generation to a house of unclean spirits.
Mat 12:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and, behold, a greater than Jonah is here.
Mat 12:42 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
Mat 12:43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
Mat 12:44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
Mat 12:45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
The land of Judah and the city of Jerusalem was not the habitation of the precious dove, but of hateful birds and vultures. The proof of this was 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. To maintain her place and nation, she fornicated with Rome, John 11:48) and she killed the Christ.
The nations drinking the wine of her fornication were discussed in 17:2 see discussion). The ground nations) drank the blood of the saints as the nations martyred those of Jesus. In so doing they drank the wine of the wrath of her fornication. The land had become far more interested in maintaining trade relations with the world than maintaining purity toward their God. The Temple worship had become nothing more than a money making and a money changing prostitution house in the eyes of the Lord. The temple itself was not a house of prayer, but a den of thieves (Mat 21:12; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46; John 10:8). This was spoken of in all four Gospels:
Mat 21:12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
Mat 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Joh 2:14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
Joh 2:15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;
Joh 2:16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. (emphasis) added)
Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Revelation 18:5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
v.v. 4, 5 By now anyone who has read this far into this writing understands that this is not a book about the end of the world planet), but rather about the end of Moses and the beginning of Christianity. It is not about the rapture of the church, but about the overcoming church. The church was not raptured in chapter 4 pre‑tribulation), nor chapter 14 mid‑tribulation). This can be said with assurance, because Gods people are still in Babylon. Another voice from heaven, said Come out of her, my people!
The Lord had given specific and clear instructions concerning the destruction of Jerusalem. He told them when they saw Jerusalem compassed with armies abomination of desolation) to depart out Luke 21:21) of Jerusalem and the area. Jesus said if His people were anywhere in Judea to flee Mat 24:16)! Do not attempt to get stuff out of the house. Do not even go home and get your clothes if in you are in the field. Come out of her because, then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be Mat 24:21).
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 Judea 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.
Mat 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
Mat 24:20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
Mat 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. (emphasis) added)
Luk 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
Luk 21:21 Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
Luk 21:22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
Luk 21:23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
Luk 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (emphasis) added)
Jesus said that those remaining in Judea and Jerusalem would fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations. Jesus Himself said Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles Luke 21:24). The Voice of the gospels told His people to flee Judea. The Voice of Revelation said, Come out of her my people!
The message the church proclaimed from the years of A.D. 30 to A.D. 70 was Come out of her. Come out of Judaism! Save yourselves from this untoward generation Acts 2:40). People needed to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ Acts 2:38) separating from, and dying to, the Mosaic law. The message was, Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved Act 4:12). Jerusalem, though religious, was unclean! The apostle Pauls admonishment to believers to not yoke with unbelievers included, not yoking with unclean religious. Paul said, Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you 2Co 6:17).
By not separating and coming out of Jerusalem they would be partakers of her sins and receive of her plagues. The allusion is to Sodom. The angels of the Lord were sent to Sodom to speak a message to the people of God to come out.
Gen 19:12 And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:
Gen 19:13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.
Gen 19:15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. (emphasis) added)
The angel said get out of Sodom For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it… Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. To those of the wicked great city spiritually called Sodom the angel says be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. Jesus said, Them which are in Judea flee. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be! Luke 21:21; Mat 24:21).
The angel told Lot, The cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it Gen 19:13). The Lord told Abraham only verses prior The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous, I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me Gen 18:20, 21). In Revelation the angel said to John and those in the great city where our Lord was crucified, (11:18) For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Exactly as the sins of Sodom piled up to heaven so greatly that they came before the face of the Lord, this same allusion, given by John, is of the sins of the harlot piled unto heaven. Her sins are before Him and He remembered her iniquities.
Revelation 18:6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
6 From the thought of her sins reaching unto heaven the angel with the strong voice says, Reward her as she rewarded you. Reward is apodidomi Greek) and means to give. The declaration is eye of an eye … Give back as given to!, says the angel. This was in the marriage covenant made at Sinai between the people and the Lord.
Exo 21:23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,
Exo 21:24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
Exo 21:25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
Her sins reached to heaven and great eye for eye lex tallionis) is necessary, just as it was for Sodom. The angel was crying to the Lord God, the Husband is to reward her as she has rewarded you!
Not only eye for an eye for her wickedness, but double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. Works ergon meaning toil was worthy of double reward. Her wicked works actually stole and maliciously took from God. The Lord does not use one for one in His economy of restitution when the act was malicious.
Exo 22:4 If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.
Exo 22:7 If a man shall deliver unto his neighbor money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man’s house; if the thief be found, let him pay double.
Gen 20:7 Now therefore restore the man his wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.
Gen 20:14 And Abimelech took sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and women servants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife.
Lev 6:5 Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.
Exo 22:1 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.
In Revelation 18, the angel having great power and by who’s presence the earth was lightened Jesus Christ and His Church) demands with His great voice legal restitution. The cup which she hath filled fill to her double. He asked to allow the punishment to come forth as the Lord had declared through His prophets upon Jerusalem.
Jer 25:15 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it.
Jer 25:16 And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them.
Jer 25:17 Then took I the cup at the LORD’S hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me:
Jer 25:18 To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day;
Jer 25:28 And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink.
Jer 25:29 For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts.
Jer 51:7 Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD’S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.
Jer 51:8 Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.
Eze 23:31 Thou hast walked in the way of thy sister; therefore will I give her cup into thine hand.
Eze 23:32 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou shalt drink of thy sister’s cup deep and large: thou shalt be laughed to scorn and had in derision; it containeth much.
Eze 23:33 Thou shalt be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment and desolation, with the cup of thy sister Samaria. (emphasis) added)
Jerusalem, who was the queen, became the great whore. She took maliciously from her Husband and fornicated with the nations. Her justice is already declared, thus the great angel said, Reward her even as she rewarded you.
Revelation 18:7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
Revelation 18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
7 She said in her heart I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Jerusalem thought that her covenant with the Lord God made her the queen. She knew that He was alive thus she was no widow. He would deliver her she thought. She was deceived. She only glorified herself. She only gratified herself. That was what she said. However, what the angel said about her was far different.
Because this is what she thought and because she brought no glory to her Husband, much torment and sorrow give her was the prayer of declaration made by the great angel. The outworking of the prayers and declaration brings a Therefore. That therefore today is a known fact. In A.D. 70 her plagues came. It was the day of the Lord. He had His day in court. Upon Jerusalem came death, and mourning, and famine; and she was utterly burned with fire for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
The day of the Lord was discussed in 1:10 see discussion). The angel declared this judgment called plagues would come in one day. The specific day it was, is called the day of the Lord. The day of the Lord does not speak of Sunday. Rather, the day the of Lord is the day God exacted His judgment upon Jerusalem. The phrase day of the Lord is used 23 times in the King James Version Isa 2:12; 13:6, 9; Jer 46:10; Eze 13:5; 30:3; Joe 1:15; Joe 2:1; 2:11, 31; 3:14; Amo 5:18 twice), 20; Oba 1:15; Zep 1:7, 14 [twice]; Zec 14:1; Mal 4:5; Act 2:20; 1Co 5:5; 2Co 1:14; 1Th 5:2; 2Pe 3:10). Below are a few quotes:
Joel 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come.
Isaiah 13:6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
Isaiah 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
Acts 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:
2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
As one can obviously see, it is the time prophesied by prophets of both Old and New Testaments. Many of the above references are allusion links that John used throughout this Revelation. It is the end of the age world ‑ Mat 24:3) for Judaism as was then known.
Isa 2:12‑3:1 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low…. For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water.
The numbers of scriptures relating the day of the Lord to Jerusalem are numerous. A few are listed here for reference and to add validity to this interpretation of what the angel here declares:
Zep 1:11 Howl, ye inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the merchant people are cut down; all they that bear silver are cut off.
Zep 1:12 And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil.
Zep 1:13 Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof.
Zep 1:14 The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.
Zep 1:15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,
Zep 1:16 A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers.
Zep 1:17 And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.
Zep 1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. (emphasis added)
In the next few verses the merchants mourned over the destruction of the whore. This was exactly what Zephaniah declared in Zephaniah 1:11. Jerusalem was searched by the Lord in this day as He searched Sodom for the righteous. When none are there, the city is destroyed. Notice that Zephaniah recorded how the people say in their heart….v 12) that the Lord will not do them harm. That is what the harlot says in Revelation 18:7. The day of the Lord was well defined in Zephaniah 1:15, 16 which states That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. Though referred to as a day it was actually a specific period of time. It is used in context with the termination of a society. The reference is not toward Sunday, but toward the terrible day of the Lord. It is a day of weapons and the Lords indignation to destroy. It is a day to howl! It is the day the Lord will lay the land desolate see words of Jesus Matthew 23:38).
Isa 13:5 They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.
Isa 13:6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
Isa 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. (emphasis added)
It is the day of vengeance see words of Jesus Luke 21:22). Jerusalem, who was to be the queen, is now Babylon.
Jer 46:10 For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates. (emphasis added)
Specifically to Jerusalem, the following passage was given. Then, as today, people thought they wanted the day of the Lord. Today we call this day the rapture. This is when the just are taken and the unjust are left, or so we think and are told. The ones wanting this could have a huge surprise as do those of Jerusalem. Harken to the words of the Lord:
Amo 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.
Amo 5:19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.
Amo 5:20 Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?
Amo 5:21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.
Amo 5:22 Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.
Amo 5:23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.
Amo 5:24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
Amo 5:25 Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?
Amo 5:26 But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.
Amo 5:27 Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts. (emphasis) added)
The Lord said, I hate, I despise your feast … Neither did He enjoy their songs, etc. Their worship was nothing more than idol worship of images, which they made for themselves. They would go into captivity. Jerusalem did this for a final time in A.D. 70.
The nation, and its capitol Jerusalem, had become a nation not desired. It would be spoiled and divided. The nations came against Jerusalem to battle, the city was taken, the houses rifled see Zep 14:2). Captivity took thousands.
Zep 2:1 Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired;
Zep 2:2 Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD’S anger come upon you.
Zec 14:1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
Zec 14:2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
The Lord promised that prior to that great and dreadful day, He would send Elijah. This is why Elijahs coming was a land mark to the nation. They looked for Elijah because it marked the end of the day of Moses:
Mal 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
This is why the disciples asked the Lord about Elijahs coming. The conversation is shown below.) It is also necessary to remember that Elijah came also at the Mount of Transfiguaration Mat 17:3, 4). To fulfill the Scriptures concerning the day of the Lord, Elijah must come first see Mat 11:14; Mark 9:4‑13; Luke 1:7).
Mat 17:10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
Mat 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
Mat 17:12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
Mat 17:13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
Elijah did come. Also the day of the Lord came. Elijah came in John the Baptist. The Messiah, Christ, King, Son of man came immediately after John in Jesus. Then came the day of death, and mourning, and famine. Jerusalem was burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
Revelation 18:9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
Revelation 18:10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
v.v. 9 We are now told of the effect the fall of the whore had upon the nations. The kings, or kingdoms, of the earth bewail her and lament for her. The reason they lamented was because they saw her judgment come. If such a magnificent city, and a long lived nation, could be so quickly thrown down, then their nations too would be judged. These kingdoms of the earth committed fornication with her. The fear which came upon them can be related to todays AIDS virus. The destructive disease, transferred through fornication, is deadly. Standing afar off and watching the disease work is a horrible experience for those who have not fornicated with the diseased person. However, think of the fear experienced by those who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with the diseased person. To them, watching the torment is a horrible fear. It is only a matter of time for those kings of the earth.
Revelation 18:11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
Revelation 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 thine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
Revelation 18:13 And cinnamon, and odors, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
Revelation 18:14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.
Revelation 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,
Revelation 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!
Revelation 18:17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
Revelation 18:18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
Revelation 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.
v.v. 11‑19 The tremendous trade and economic center that Jerusalem was is overlooked today. This can be quickly adjusted in our thinking when we remember that three times every year every Jewish family came to Jerusalem for three feasts. The people were to save a portion of their tithe for this journey and with it they could purchase “whosoever thy soul lusteth after Deu 14:26). It is to this passage the great angel makes allusion:
Deu 14:25 Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose:
Deu 14:26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household (emphasis) added)
The people came with their money and acquired any and all the things listed in Revelation 18:11‑14 ‑ gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, cinnamon, and odors, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men, and the fruits that thy soul lusted after. Deuteronomy 14:26 said, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, and then gives a lengthy list. John wrote a list and then says, the fruits that thy soul lusted after.
The great angel with the great voice, Jesus and His church who give light to the world) declared there will be no more feasts to attend! This will be because there is no temple. Moses is over! The people of God are the dwelling place and temple. The merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more. Her desolation ended commerce for many traders and merchants who capitalized on people. These were made rich by using the harlot. Jerusalem laid desolate. No trade of any magnitude took place in her for nearly two millennia. The great angel said even the sea merchants cried as they watched the harlot burn. They said, in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, and cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! 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.
The merchants did not weep because a nation and society terminated. They did not weep because over a million people died. They wept because the place where they were made rich was removed and they would not get her money and pleasures anymore.
The great angel told John what the merchants said. They said the great city was made desolate. The merchants echo the words of Jesus from Matthew 23:38, Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
Three times in this chapter the great angel used the phrase one hour. John also used this phrase in 17:12 to describe the short time the ten kings received power from the beast. The phrase was intended to, and alluded to, the suddenness of the judgment upon Sodom. The merchants watching the smoke of her burning from afar, was an allusion to Abrahams experience watching Sodom and the plain cities burn. And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace Gen 19:28).
Josephus writes of the entire city and land being on fire:
Cestius… gave leave to the soldiers to plunder, and set fire to the city, although it was of admirable beauty, and had its houses built like those in Tyre, and Sidon, and Berytus. After this he overran all the country, and seized upon whatsoever came in his way, and set fire to the villages that were round about them, and then returned to Ptolemais.
And who is there that does not know what the writings of the ancient prophets contain in them, ‑ and particularly that oracle which is just now going to be fulfilled upon this miserable city? … It is God therefore, it is God himself who is bringing on this fire, to purge that city and temple by means of the Romans, and is going to pluck up this city, which is full of your pollutions.
So Vespasian marched to the city Gadara, and took it … He came then into it, and slew all the youth, the Romans having no mercy on any age whatsoever; and this was done out of hatred they bore the nation … He also set fire, not only to the city itself, but to all the villas and small cities that were round about it … and out of some of them he carried the inhabitants as slaves into captivity.
Accordingly, as the people were now slain, the holy house was burnt down, and the city was on fire, there was nothing further left for the enemy to do… Nor was there any place in the city that had no dead bodies in it, but what was entirely covered with those that were either killed by the famine or the rebellion; and all was full of the dead bodies of such as had perished, either by the sedition or by that famine.
So he gave orders to the soldiers both to burn and plunder the city; who did nothing indeed that day; but on the next day they set fire to the repository of the archives, to Acra, to the council‑house, and to the place called Ophlas … the lanes also were burnt down, as were also those houses that were full of dead bodies of such as were destroyed by famine.
Fire also sent upon temples was here represented, and houses overthrown and falling upon their owners: rivers also after they came out of a large and melancholy desert, ran down, not into a land cultivated, nor as drink for men, or for cattle, but through a land still on fire upon every side.
Jerusalem was burned! They cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
Revelation 18:20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
With the destruction of the religious system that killed the Lord and murdered the saints, heaven did rejoice. The holy apostles rejoice. The prophets rejoice. The reason for the rejoicing was because God hath avenged the apostles and prophets. The murdering system that tried to destroy the church was itself destroyed. For that reason they rejoiced. Matthew Henry says,
How universal this joy would be: heaven and earth, angels and saints, would join in it; that which is matter of rejoicing to the servants of God in this world is matter of rejoicing to the angels in heaven. 
It is time to rejoice when that which attempts to destroy the church is destroyed by the Lord God of heaven.
Revelation 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.
v.v. 21 A mighty angel came to John. This appears to be a different angel than the one described in verses 1 and 2. Later in 19:10 this angel will not allow John to worship him thus it is not the Lord as described in verses 1 and 2.
Allusion after allusion is seen here. One allusion from the Old Testament was when Jeremiah had his servant Seraiah cast a stone into the midst of the Euphrates. A scroll was tied to the stone which described the destruction to come upon Babylon of old:
Jer 51:58 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labor in vain, and the folk in the fire, and they shall be weary.
Jer 51:59 The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah into Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. And this Seraiah was a quiet prince.
Jer 51:60 So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, even all these words that are written against Babylon.
Jer 51:61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When thou comest to Babylon, and shalt see, and shalt read all these words;
Jer 51:62 Then shalt thou say, O LORD, thou hast spoken against this place, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever.
Jer 51:63 And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates:
Jer 51:64 And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.
Because Pharaoh commanded the babies of Gods people cast into the river Exo 1:2), the Lord did cast Pharaoh and his army into the sea Exo 15:4, 25). Psalm 140:10 speaks of the wicked and says Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits that they rise not up again. John the Baptist speaking to the Pharisees said, And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire Mat 3:10). Jesus speaking of ministry says, Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire Mat 7:19). Giving a lesson and instruction on prayer Jesus said to His disciples, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done Mat 21:21). Mountains are symbolic of places of worship, both true and false worship.
One of the more powerful allusions is in Mark 9:42. Jesus said, And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. Jerusalem was the cause of the offense and injury to many of the Lords little ones that believed in Him.
The scroll of the marriage covenant was tied to a millstone the symbolic act of Jeremiah 51:63) and cast into the abyss see discussion 9:1). The thought of cast into the sea is associated with the abyss deep) given clearly in the Old Testament Scriptures. It was from the abyss or deep the flood came to destroy the wicked in the days of Noah Gen 7:11; Mat 24:37, 38). The abyss deep) can be opened Gen 7:11) or closed Gen 8:2) by the Lord. It was from the abyss that Pharaoh’s army was destroyed Exo 15:5, 8). The depth abyss) is the boiling place of leviathan Job 41:31) and from the bottomless pit the beasts comes of Revelation 11:7. Down into hell and with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
The thought of found no more at all does not mean it would not exist, any more than literal Babylon was found no more. The meaning is that as the wife of God, the covenant people, it shall be found no more at all. The house was laid desolate. The temple was destroyed. It will never be renewed. A new covenant bride, the Church, made herself ready.
Revelation 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
Revelation 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.
22 The angel spoke to John words that allude to several Old Testament passages from Jeremiah concerning the judgment of Israel. The nation was no longer the light of a candle. The nation’s purpose was to project the wonderful God of gods to the earth. The earth was to be filled with the knowledge of the Lord. Instead the bride became a harlot and a witch and a murderer. The Lord God removed her light from the world.
Jer 25:10 Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.
Jer 25:11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. (emphasis) added)
There was a new light and a new Bride. Jesus clearly proclaimed this concerning His Church and His Bride as He says, Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid Mat 5:14). Jesus said, As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world Joh 9:5). Now His Bride was the light, not the nation from Sinai.
The primary thought is that the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee. The voice of harpers, and musicians, and pipers, and trumpeters are the sounds of joy in a house. These sounds of joy were removed because the marriage was terminated. The Lord ended His covenant and left forever the woman of Sinai.
Jer 7:30 For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it….
Jer 7:34 Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.
Jer 16:9 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.
Jer 16:10 And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt shew this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee, Wherefore hath the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?
Jer 16:11 Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshiped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law;
Jer 16:12 And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me:
Jer 25:9 Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.
Jer 25:10 Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.
Jer 25:11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.
The reason the bridegroom will not be heard again is given here in Revelation 18:23. The wife of the Lord became a witch and by her sorceries were all nations deceived. The emphasis of Revelation is not political. The emphasis is always relational and spiritual. The apostate nation gave itself to other nations in harlotry. It turned to manipulation and witchcraft to maintain its position and riches rather than to her husband the Lord. Rome is not the emphasis of this section of Revelation. Rome is not this Babylon, as the last verse in this chapter will clearly show. Judah and Jerusalem, and their broken covenant with the Lord God, was the emphasis. Rome was never the voice of the bridegroom. However Judah was and Jerusalem is seen in Scriptures as the mother from Sinai:
Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
At the destruction of the nation in A.D. 70 the covenant was terminated. That was the day of the Lord. The Song of Moses had been sung and ended. There is a new Bride and a new mother. She is the heavenly Jerusalem. The mother of us all:
Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Gal 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
Revelation 18:24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
24 This verse gives clear understanding as to who this Babylon was. Jesus Christ in His last confrontation with the Pharisiacal system in the temple, only days prior to His crucifixion, said that Jerusalem was guilty of all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias.
Mat 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Mat 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
Mat 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
Mat 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Mat 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
Rome nor any other city or nation could be judged for the blood of the prophets, saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. Jesus clearly said it would be Jerusalem who would be judged and laid desolate. He also said this judgment and desolation would come upon this generation Mat 23:36). Natural Jerusalem, once the projection of the glory of God, now becomes a desolate, judged, harlot.
Contemporary Theological View s)
Revelation 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
Jimmy Swaggart believes that this Babylon is literal where the Babylon of Revelation 17 is spiritual. He believes the city will be destroyed on the eve of the Battle of Armageddon. He says that chapter 18 is speaking of a mystery religion while chapter 18 is speaking of a literal city. This literal city Babylon will become the chief center of demon operations after the rapture. This will be the main cause of her fall.
As I write these words, the world has just witnessed the destruction of Saddam Husseins military forces. If our interpretation of the eighteenth chapter of Revelation is correct and Babylon as described in this chapter is a literal city, the following will ultimately happen in the Euphrates Valley.
When the dust clears concerning the leadership in Iraq, the country will change from military expansionism to commercial activity. Babylon will be rebuilt and will quickly become one of the great trading and commercial areas in the world. With the gulf area controlling nearly 60 percent of the worlds known oil reserves, there is no limit to the commercial possibilities.
Dispensationalist believe that ancient Babylon, the one that Saddam Hussein rules, must be rebuilt to some marvelous grandeur. They know that the Bible describes that it would be rebuilt after the destruction of it, and after the Babylonian captivity of Gods people. To make their doctrine work it must be rebuilt again. They call this interpretation the law of double reference. I will quote Tim LaHaye on this subject.
Isaiah 13 and 14 and Jeremiah 50 and 51 describe the destruction of Babylon as being at the time of the day of the Lord. A careful reading of these four chapters will reveal that the prophecies concerning the destruction of Babylon in the Old Testament use the law of double reference; that is, they refer to the overthrow of Babylon the enemy of Israel in the seventieth year of their captivity. But since Babylon is the headquarters of the world’s governmental, commercial, and religious systems in opposition to the will of God, the second reference in these prophecies has to do with the day of Jehovah, or the Tribulation Period.
The ancient city of Babylon was destroyed just as Isaiah 13 and 14, and Jeremiah 50 and 51 said it would be destroyed. However, to make their doctrine work it must be destroyed again. They create this law of interpretation which they call the law of double reference. No place in the scriptures does it say that ancient Babylon will be the headquarters of the worlds governmental, commercial, and religious systems in opposition to the will of God. That is, unless we do a double reference. It was in Daniels day, but it is not today.
For the city of ancient Babylon to become what it must be, to accomplish what they say it will accomplish, it must be rebuilt. It is behind times with only a few modern facilities. Governmental officials and especially their antichrist, would only have the best facilities. They are not available in the Babylon of Saddam Hussein.
Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
Dispensationalist have a very difficult time explaining the question of who are these people called by the Lord my people. Our interpretation is clear. Jesus told the people that when they saw the armies encompass Jerusalem to flee Luke 21:20). Get out of her my people, Jesus said. Their theory is very different. Some of the questions they must answer are: Why would Gods people remain in such a vile city? Why are they there anyway because the rapture has happened? They should be in heaven, right? How do they exist? Because the only ones who can buy or sell are those with the mark of the beast on their hand and forehead? Interesting is it not? Here are some explanations.
I have laughed at Gary G. Cohen, but he did pretty well on this one.
Despite these and other clear commands professed believers still today remain in modernistic churches shrouding their disobedience in the claim that somehow they are doing good. So too in the Tribulation Period some who have turned in their hearts to God will still be living in Babylon as did Lot in Sodom…God cries for them to come out just as the angel appealed to Lord Gen. 19:12‑25). 
Not bad! But what about the mark? And what about the rapture? What about all that do not worship the beast and his image being killed? Well, Dr. Gary Cohen simply does not deal with those issues. He goes to the next verse.
What about Jack Van Impe? What does he have to say about who these people are? Well, he just doesn’t comment at all on verse 4. He goes on to verse 5 and says:
The believers of the Tribulation hour‑‑those who trusted in the shed blood of the Lamb and refused the mark of the beast‑‑are told to come out of her [and partake not] of her [evil deeds]. They are to live holy lives in the midst of a cage [full of] unclean and hateful bird[s] whose sins have reached unto heaven and caused an abominable stench in the nostrils of the Almighty. They are to be careful of materialism and to refrain from illegal gain through the love of the delicacies of this world.
Jack doesn’tt help us at all. He gives us a bunch of baloney and religious talk, but no answers. Where did these people come from? How did they avoid death? How did they avoid the mark? How do they survive without he mark? Does no one turn them in to the authorities? There is no help from Phillips either,
The few believers still left on earth are warned to have nothing to do with the city. Babylons trade and traffic is accursed by God, and Gods people must resist all the enticements offered them to enter her Vanity Fair. A special voice from heaven warns them away.
So with his rule of no buying and selling without the mark of the beast and his effort to compel all to worship him and his image, the government of the Antichrist will no more be able to stop the Gospel than the chief priests, the Pharisees and King Herod were in the time of the apostles!
Christians imprisoned will be visited by Christians who help them. Christians who are hungry because they cannot buy or sell will be fed by other Christians, as Jesus will remind them later Mat 25:11‑40). Hated, persecuted, imprisoned, Christians will yet multiply rapidly until there will be a multitude no man can number of all nations and tribes.
Rice says there will be Christians imprisoned. Not so. They will either receive the mark or be put to death. Also, what about the removing of the Holy Spirit from the planet? How can a person be saved after the rapture or after the removing of the Holy Spirit?
Other Related Sermons:
 JosepJosephus, Wars of the Jews, Book II, XVIII, 9, page 494
 Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, II, 1
 Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book III, VII, 1
 Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, VI, 2
 Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VI, VI, 3
 Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book VII, V, 5
 Matthew Henrys commentary On The Whole Bible
 Jimmy Swaggart, The Prophecies and Symbols of Revelation, page 147
 Jimmy Swaggart, The Prophecies and Symbols of Revelation, page 148
 Tim LaHaye, Revelation Illustrated & Made Plain, page 239
 Dr. Gary G. Cohen, Revelation Visualized, page 268
 Dr. Jack Van Impe, Revelation Revealed, page 245, 245
 John Phillips, Exploring Revelation, page 223
 Rev. Finis Jennings Dake, Revelation Expounded, Tenth Printing July 1991, page 256
 Robert W. Wall, New International Biblical Commentary Revelation, page 215
 John R. Rice, Behold He Cometh, page 263
Handling Difficult People
Difficult people exist in every area of our lives. We must handle difficult people, or they will handle us.