The Destruction of Economic Babylon

Sermon Text:
Revelation 18

I need to correct something I taught in our previous study. The outline of the book of Revelation is such that from Revelation 6 through 19 the chronological sequence of Tribulation events is “interrupted” by interludes or explanatory breaks in the action (e.g. Rev. 7:1-17, 10:1-11:14, 12:1-15:4, 17:1-18). The phrase after these things (meta; tau:ta) is the signal in the Greek text that the sequence of events is resuming.

In our previous study I stated that chapters 17 & 18 were an interlude following the chronological sequence of the 7 Bowl Judgments revealed in chapter 16. That is incorrect. Chapter 18 begins with the phrase after these things (meta; tau:ta) indicating that the sequence of events is resumed in chapter 18 (Unfortunately, the ESV mistranslates this phrase as “After this.”

Chapters 17 & 18 both deal with the destruction of Babylon; chapter 17 with the destruction of ecclesiastical Babylon (the one-world church) and chapter 18 the destruction of commercial Babylon (the economic system of the Antichrist). Careful observation of the text makes clear that these are separate and distinct events. Here are two significant ways in which these events differ: Ecclesiastical Babylon will be destroyed by the Antichrist and 10 king coalition (17:16), but commercial Babylon will be destroyed by God (18:4-8).

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