Category Archives: REVELATION Part 7

God’s final judgements and the destruction of Babylon.



Chapter 15:5 to 19:10.

Christ reveals Himself as vindicator of the Old Testament prophets.

God had spoken through the prophets in Old Testament times, and they had announced the following things:

1. The judgement of men in the Day of the Lord because of their rebellion. This is the subject of Revelation 16.

2. The judgement and destruction of Babylon. This is described in chapters 17 and 18.

3. The coming of Christ in glory to destroy His enemies and set up His kingdom. This is the subject of chapter 19.

So the events of these chapters vindicate the prophets, despite the passage of many centuries since they spoke the words.


 15:5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:

15:6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.

15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

15:5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:


We come now to the beginning of the sixth and final part-revelation of Christ before He comes in person. It tells of unrelieved and unparalleled judgement of the most severe kind, constituting the “great and notable day of the Lord”, one day the prophets marked out as being especially terrible. Yet even in such a time, the promise is, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”, Joel 2:32. A promise reaffirmed in the New Testament in Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13.

In chapter 11:19, the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament. This is immediately prior to the details chapter 12 about Israel’s preservation in the wilderness, and the rule of the beast in chapter 12. There is the assurance that God’s rule is still operative, and He will be faithful to the nation with which He has entered into covenant.

At the dedication of the temple in Jerusalem, Solomon “brought up the ark of the Lord, and the tabernacles of the congregation…and the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place…” 1 Kings 8:4,6. At this point in Israel’s history, the tabernacle, (the moveable wilderness structure), recedes, and the ark remains. At the captivity, the ark recedes too, for all the vessels of House of God were taken to Babylon, 2 Chronicles 36:18. With the government of the earth now in the hands of Gentiles, and with God as the God of heaven, Daniel 2:44, it is appropriate that the symbol of the Divine Presence and rule should not be mentioned amongst the vessels that were carried away.

Here in verse 5 there is no mention of the ark, for the emphasis is on testimony. The tables of stone were called the testimony, and instead of the assertion of God’s faithfulness to His covenant with Israel, (appropriate in chapter 11 as it leads into chapter 12), there is the assertion of the abiding character of the commandments He gave in testimony to men. They flout His laws at their peril, as they are about to find out. The heavenly temple is called the tabernacle of the testimony, thus linking the idea of the wilderness tabernacle with the kingdom temple. But the point is that in each building there was the same ark- God’s testimony as unchanged. And so it is in the days of the seven angels.

15:6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.

The seven angels are the ones already mentioned in verse 1. Both there, and here, they are said to have the seven plagues, yet they are not given the bowls containing these plagues until the next verse. Perhaps the thought is that they have the plagues as far as the purpose of God is concerned, but are not actually authorised to execute the judgement until handed the bowls by the living creature.

As befits those who act for God, they have pure and white linen robes, for God’s judgements are always righteous, and free from any impure motive. They are princely and dignified in their demeanour, too, for their breasts are girded with a golden girdle. They are not girded around the waist as if for menial tasks, but act confidently and unhurriedly, (for if running was in view, they would gird up their loins), carrying out the will of God in judgement.

15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

As the bowls of wrath are especially to execute severe judgements on the earth and heavens, it is fitting that a representative of these hands the angels the bowls, thus indicating that those close to the throne know this to be the will of God- it is not a maverick action on the part of those out of line with His will.

The fact that God liveth for ever and ever is specially mentioned here.

15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

The glory and power of God are now combining to execute fearful judgements upon the earth. None could enter His presence to plead with Him to restrain His judgements, but they are poured out without pity upon the godless world of men, as they range themselves against Him is wilful and calculated rebellion. The climax of six thousand years of earth’s history has arrived, and the God’s patience has finally been exhausted.

The word fulfilled reminds us that the time of full judgement has arrived. The seven last plagues fill up the wrath of God, as verse 1 says, and not until they have been poured out will His anger be satisfied. This consists first of all of seven angels bearing the seven last plagues in their bowls or vials of wrath. These are summoned by the seventh trumpet blower. Again the seven are divided, four, affecting the earth, and three, affecting the spirit world. Again, there is a parenthesis between numbers six and seven, albeit a short one.


16:1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

16:2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

16:3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

16:4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.

16:5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because Thou hast judged thus.

16:6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and Thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

16:7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Thy judgements.

16:8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give Him glory.

16:10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,

16:11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

16:12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

The first plague is on the earth, and men who have worshipped the beast and have his mark in recognition of his claims, are afflicted with a grievous sore.

The second is more general, for it results in the sea becoming like the blood of a dead man, and every sea-creature, being unable to breathe, dies. In the first trumpet judgement all the grass had been burnt up. Perhaps men had turned to harvesting the sea as a result. Now this is denied them, and they begin to starve.

The third plague turns the waters of rivers and fountains to blood, so extreme thirst will overcome men, especially bearing in mind the next plague. The waters become blood as just recompense for shedding the blood of God’s saints.

The fourth plague afflicts men with sunstroke, with all its accompanying pain. They blasphemed God’s name still further, however, and refused to repent.

The fifth plague is more spiritual in character, being directed at the antichrist’s seat of government, showing what God’s thoughts about him setting up Babylon as a rival centre to Jerusalem. They now gnaw their tongues with pain because of the accumulated torments inflicted upon them.

The sixth plague has to do with the drying up of the Euphrates so that the kings of the east may be gathered together for Armageddon.


Between the sixth and seventh plague there is a most solemn parenthesis. Three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the three evil personages opposing God at this time. They work miracles, and gather men to the great battle of Armageddon, for their destruction. The other two parenthetical passages concerned God’s messengers, whether the 144,000 or the two witnesses, showing that in the midst of wrath He shows mercy. These messengers, however, come from the devil to deceive. Is this the strong delusion the apostle Paul wrote of in 2 Thessalonians 2:11?


16:13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

16:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

16:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.

16:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

The seventh plague was poured out on the air, the means of man’s life. How terrible to be judged by God with suffocation! Belshazzar was accused of not glorifying the God in whose hand his breath was, so his breath was withdrawn that night, Daniel 5:23,30. These are God’s final acts of wrath, and He announces the fact in the words “It is done”. There follows a great earthquake, Jerusalem was divided into three parts, the cities of the nations fell, and Babylon came into remembrance before God.


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:

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.

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.

17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.

17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

17:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

17:12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

17:13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

17:17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.


It is clear from a comparison between Jeremiah’s prophecy about the downfall of Babylon in chapters 50 and 51, with Revelation 17 and 18, that a literal city is in view. Jeremiah is speaking about the city of his day that was responsible for the destruction of Jerusalem, but this prefigures a more solemn day when God takes account of the fact that all of earth’s ills since the flood have stemmed from that city. The words of God are “Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunken”, Jeremiah 51:7. Revelation 17:2 is an obvious reference to this, speaking of “being drunk with the wine of her fornication”. Fornication in this setting meaning unfaithfulness to God expressed in idolatry. That idolatry is founded on the concept of the Mother and the Child. The child being, in Babylonian mythology, the Husband of the Mother. So the child become the expression of the father, for he is the father reincarnated. This is a blasphemous imitation of the truth that the Son of God has come by way of incarnation to express the Father. He could say in truth, “He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father”, John 14:9. This system is represented most clearly in our day by the Catholic System, but as these chapters indicate, she has daughters, and it is striking how that the Popes in recent times have reached out to the religions of the world. She is the mother of harlots.

In the last days Antichrist will set up his throne there as King of Babylon, and thus it will be the place where opposition to God is concentrated. Before He can rightfully set up His kingdom centred at Jerusalem, the Lord must deal with the rival city, which has been Satan’s headquarters from the beginning. It should be noticed that the woman in the vision does not ride on the beast, as if she is in control, but simply sits on it, as one who is prepared to be taken along by it. (In 1825 Pope Leo XII struck a medal bearing his image on one side, and on the other a woman holding a cross in her left hand, a cup in her right hand, and the inscription “Sedet super universum”, meaning, “The whole world is her seat”). This suits the purpose of the beast for a time, for he knows that superstitious religion has a hold upon men. But when the moment comes for him to reveal himself as the sole object of worship, (as Nebuchadnezzar did before him, Daniel 3), then he will no longer need the religion of Babylon in that way, and will destroy it. When he does this he unwittingly will be serving the Lord’s interests.


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.

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.

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.

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.

18:5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

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.

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.

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.

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,

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.

18:11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

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,

18:13 And cinnamon, and odours, 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.

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.

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,

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!

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,

18:18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

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.

18:20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

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.

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;

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.

18:24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.


Whereas in chapter 17 there is the emphasis on the alliance between politics and religion in opposition to God, in chapter 18 we are clearly shown that there is a commercial element to this rebellion. Those who mourn the destruction of Babylon are the merchants and shipmasters who by that time will control world trade. Thus God destroys the whole world system that is opposed to Him, and which has produced the Antichrist.


 19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:

19:2 For true and righteous are His judgments: for He hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hand.

19:3 And again they said, Alleluia And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

19:5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great.

19:6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.

19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.

19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself.

19:13 And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God.

19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

19:15 And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

19:16 And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

19:17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;

19:18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

19:19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army.

19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

20:5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.



Chapter 19:1-10 records events immediately prior to the coming of Christ as King of Kings. In verses 1-4 there is great joy expressed in heaven because of the judgement of the religious system that for so many centuries had deceived the people of the world.

In verses 5-8 we read of the preparation for the bride of the Lamb for the marriage of the Lamb.

In verse 9 John is assured that to be invited to the marriage supper is a blessed thing, and also that the things he had been guided to write were “the true sayings of God”, despite the awesome matters revealed in his book.

In verse 10 the apostle is so over-awed at the matters brought before him, that he fell at the feet of the angel who spoke to him. There was an immediate rebuke from the angel, as he disclaimed any glory for what had been revealed to John. This part of the prophetic writing ends appropriately with the truth that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”. In other words, the spirit or essence of the prophetic writings is that Jesus, the despised Nazarene, is at the centre of them, and that God will bring to pass all His purpose through Him.