Revelation - Lesson 17

Fallen Babylon (Part 2)

The lesson explores the concept of Fallen Babylon, drawing upon the Book of Revelation and its symbolic language. It addresses the question of how to navigate a world that threatens to compromise one's integrity before God. The central theme revolves around the transformative power of the cross, which liberates individuals from the illusions of the world. It emphasizes that accepting the cross leads to a profound understanding of both oneself and the world.

Lesson 17
Watching Now
Fallen Babylon (Part 2)

I. The Cross as Liberation

A. The transformative power of the cross

B. Accepting the cross in our lives

C. Christ's sacrifice and its impact

II. The Spiritual Life

A. Christ living within us

B. Unity and wholeness

C. The Christian life as not world-denying

III. Identity Theft and False Selves

A. The world's distortion of our true identity

B. Finding our deepest truth in Christ

C. Love as the deepest ground of our being

IV. The Harlot and the Beast

A. The great city's rule over the kings of the earth

B. The downfall of fallen Babylon

C. Spiritual impurity and uncleanliness

V. Spiritual Fornication

A. Nations and kings' involvement in spiritual fornication

B. The allure of luxury and wealth

  • There is a wide range of interpretation of the book of Revelation because of the nature of visions. When John writes Revelation, he uses a pool of images that are familiar to him and his readers and we need to take into account what the images meant to people at the time.
  • Apocalyptic literature is based on the idea that the natural order is set within a larger content of a spiritual reality and that the dynamics of the spiritual realm play themselves out in the physical realm.  Apocalypse is a message from God regarding what God is about and what he is going to do.

  • The occasion for writing Revelation was the vision John had and the situation of the seven churches. John is trying to describe a scene in which various scenes are being played out simultaneously. John emphasizes the importance of living out your theology, as opposed to only being doctrinally correct.

  • John had a vision of the Son of Man. He had a message for the church at Ephesus.

  • Messages for the churches at Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamum.

  • Messages to the churches in Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis and Philadelphia.

  • A message to the church at Laodicea and a vision of Jesus as a Lamb who shares the throne with God.

  • A vision of God the creator and the redeemer Lamb.

  • A vision of the seven seals.

  • A vision of the seven trumpets.

  • This lesson dives into the idea of encountering God in the world, warns about the destructiveness of sin, and presents a powerful angelic figure symbolizing God and Jesus as triumphant over fallen Babylon, with a mysterious aspect of the vision.
  • A vision of the seven trumpets. Chronology of the origin and development of the teaching of the rapture and dispensationalism.

  • A vision of how the death of Jesus on the cross has made it possible for us to be in relationship to God.

  • The description of the nature of Satan's war against God's children and in contrast to a description of God's redeemed.

  • A vision of the seven bowls.

  • A vision of fallen Babylon.

  • In this lesson, you gain insights into the concept of Fallen Babylon and the transformative power of the cross. It emphasizes that accepting the cross liberates you from the world's illusions, allowing you to accept your own falsity as healed and yielding to the Holy Spirit's action. The lesson challenges the idea of choosing between the world and Christ, proposing that you can choose both simultaneously, seeking unity, wholeness, and love at the deepest level of your being.
  • Dr. Mulholland answering questions from the students.

  • A vision of the victory of the Lamb and discussion of the wrath of God.

  • A vision of the New Jerusalem.

  • Dr. Mulholland's lesson delves into God's love as the core of self-discovery. False self obstructs the truth. True self blooms in faith, openness, trust, and yielding to God, shifting focus from ego to divine presence. Embrace this shift, become citizens of a new Jerusalem in a fallen world.
  • A vision of the people of the New Jerusalem.

  • John wrote the book of Revelation as a call to radical discipleship as faithful citizens of God’s new Jerusalem in the midst of a fallen Babylon world. There is no video for this lecture.

Revelation is a vision of Jesus the Messiah. John focuses on the profound depths of what God has done, is doing, and will ultimately consummate in and through Jesus. A second central theme in Revelation is the role of the cross in what God has done and will accomplish. The contrast and interaction of the "New Jerusalem" and "fallen Babylon" is also a significant theme in Revelation. Videos for lectures 7, 8 and 9 are not avialable yet. Lecture 23 was recorded in audio only. 

We think that the title of the devotional book that Dr. Mulholland reads from at the beginning of some of the lectures might be Merton's Palace of Nowhere by James Finley. Unfortunately, Dr. Mulholland is deceased so we can't confirm this. 


Dr. Robert Mulholland 
Fallen Babylon (Part 2) 
Lesson Transcript


Good morning. Oh. Oh. What do we do when the world threatens to rob us of our own essential integrity before God? What can be the solution to such an all embracing illusion? How are we to be free from it? Merton answers by saying The cross is the great Christian answer to the world is a problem. 


The cross is liberation. The cross is the only liberation from the servitude to the illusions which are packaged and sold as the world. The cross transforms the world. Once the cross has been accepted fully in our life, then we can begin to make sense about this whole entity. The world. What does it mean to allow the cross to be fully accepted in our lives? The cross is where Christ gained all by losing all. It is rare, as Paul says, Christ did not deem equality with God something to be grasped back. Rather, he emptied himself and took the form of a slave being born in the likeness of men. Jesus took the world upon himself. He became flesh, and in his death he healed flesh and redeemed it. He inter penetrated himself with our collective weakness. He allowed himself to be engulfed by it, brought to nothing, poured out into an emptiness from which he rose victorious, calling us to share in his cross that we might share in his eternal life. By accepting the cross in our lives, we come to accept our falsity as healed, and we come to yield to the Spirit's action in us. The Spirit who draws us to die with Christ, that we might rise with Him. The spiritual life is the life of Christ living in us, and Christ is God who has inter penetrated all our falsity and claimed our weakness as his own. It is in our debts to self understood as our participation in the death of Christ, that we realize that the question of choosing the world or choosing Christ is in fact a completely misguided question. Do we really renounce ourselves in the world in order to find Christ? Or do we renounce our alienated and false selves in order to choose our own deepest truth in choosing both the world and Christ at the same time? If the deepest ground of my being is love and don't pay, that is. 


Then in that very love itself. And nowhere else will I find myself and the world and my brother and my sister in Christ. It is not a question of either or, but of all in one of wholeness, whole heartedness and unity which finds the same ground of love in everything. Is probably what Paul had in mind when he says that Christ is in this new creation. He says In Colossians, Christ is all and in all. I think very often we. We think of the Christian life as a world denying life. You know in Paul in first time would be for Paul has a wonderful passage there he's talking about people who are world denying. You know they they abstain from from food and prohibit marriage has a list there. And he says everything created by God is good and nothing is to be rejected. If you always has those ifs and if it is received with Thanksgiving more than it is sanctifying by the word of God and by prayer. And I think what Paul means there by Thanksgiving is not just, oh, gee, thanks for that. But rather thanks for. God himself. Thanksgiving is is an act of abandonment of ourself to God only the abandoned heart is truly thankful. You see, the false self is thankful only when things go its way. A whole different level of thankfulness. And I think Paul is dealing to dealing with us there. And he says when when all creative things are received with thankfulness, then they are sanctified by the word of God. And that is they they take their place in our life in the way in which God created them to be there. Which they cannot as long as we are illusions, as long as we are false selves. 


One of an idea I'm toying with is, you know, one of the things you run across all the time these days is identity theft. Well, we're all victims of identity theft because the world has stolen our true identity, life with Christ and God and told us something else is our identity. So in a sense, we're all victims. Okay, let me try these last few. Here. I think I'm getting a number of them. David Shoemaker. David is not here. Okay. Jeremy Spain, our guest. German. Melanie is here this morning. Yes. And Jessica. Right. And Jeffrey Waters. Yes. And Cindy. Mm hmm. William. Mm hmm. And Jeremy. I think I'm almost got them all. We'll see. But we. Before I forget it, we will not have class next Tuesday, a week from today. I'm speaking in Nashville, so I'm not figured out yet how to be two places at once. So you can you can have an extra hour and a quarter to work on your projects. And that's a reminder, you know, that the Eschaton is drawing near. So I'll try to remind you again Thursday of it, especially for those that might not be here this morning. One, I want we've already dealt with with this section here, but I wanted to come back and point out one thing to you that shows us the way John is using his imagery in a very polyvalent kind of way. Notice in 17 one, he says, I will show you the judgment of the great Whore, the great harlot who is seated on many waters. And then you get down to three. He carried them away in the spirit, into the world, into a wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast. It was full of blasphemous names and seven hands and heart. 


And you want to stop that? Now, wait a minute. John, where is she seated? You know, if you see it on many waters or as you see it on this beast, because John has located her in two different ways. Well, it may be clarified somewhat for us when we get down where the the angel explains things to John. I'm here. The where we. Yeah, we got it down to seven, I think. The angel asked John why he's so amazed. You're going to tell him the mystery. So the beast that we do this, too, is one of those to come. Yeah. We're down to verse nine then, are we? Yeah. Yeah. And this calls for a mind that has wisdom. The second time John said that the other was back with 666. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated. And that one is a fairly clear imagery because Rome is built on seven hills. So pretty clear that John was referring to one harlot is seated on Rome and that Rome is the incarnation of man. Notice how he does again. He surfaces imagery right in the same verse. Also, there are seven kings. You know, you want to say, Wait a minute, John. Are they seven hills or are they seven kings? And John would say, Yeah. They're both of whom of now. The seven Kings of whom five have fallen. One is living. The other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must remain only a little while. As for the beast that was and is not and is an eight. It is an eighth. And it belongs to the seven and goes away to destruction. Now it's really getting confusing. Now, who are the five kings that he's talking about? Well, they're different ways to enumerate this. 


But if you think of the Roman emperors, the first emperor would be Augustus. Now some enumerations go back and begin with Caesar. But Caesar never really achieved empire. He was moving in that direction when he was assassinated, but he never really became the emperor of an empire. So Augustus is really the first emperor. So you start with Augustus. Augustus was from, well, 31 B.C. to 14 A.D., a long reign. Augustus is succeeded by Tiberius, so Tiberius would be number two, and he reigned from 1482 37 A.D.. Gaius or Caligula was the third who reigned from 4737 to 41. Claudius would be the fourth. He ran from 41 to 54 until he was assassinated by Nero's mother to put Nero on the throne. Nero then, would be the fifth who reigned from 54 until he committed suicide in 68. So five have fallen. So this would locate John. You see, right in the midst of this point in history, one is living. The other has not yet come. When it comes to remain a little while and then there's an eighth, there is also part of the seven. Now when when Nero committed suicide, I think I mentioned back when he saw the city split in three parts that Rome fell into civil war. There were three different factions vying for the control of the empire. And you have what's called the Year of the Three Emperors. And you had also see Galba also in battalions. Galba was the first one to come into power. His faction sort of gained control for a few months, so he would be the sixth and the seventh has not yet come off. Ortho was the seventh and says when he comes he will be remain on while he remained for one month. 


Then he is replaced by battalions. So that would be the eighth, which is also part of the seven. So these these last three emperors are sort of lumped together with the Julio-claudian line, although not none of them are really legitimate successors to the Julio-claudian line. They're lumped together in that way primarily, I think, because with Vespasian who becomes the emperor in 69, you have a new dynasty, you have a new family in control of the empire, probably the ones after Nero. Again, Galba Galba also on show and battalions. The allies us. Oh, yeah. Until the days of Augustus and Tiberius Augustus, his he was proclaimed emperor in 31. Now, you got to remember that that Augustus and Antony shared the empire from about 42 B.C. down to 31. But then when they when they defeated Brutus and Cassius and Philip II in 42, they divided the empire between themselves. Augustus took the Western Empire and Anthony took the East. Then, about ten years later, they have a falling out. And so they go to war with one another. And Augustus defeats Antony and Actium and then pursues him to Egypt, where he finally catches up with him and kills him. That's where Cleopatra commits suicide and all that sort of stuff. So it was in 31 when he became the sole emperor of the Empire. So usually his date is from from 31 and 31 to 14 8031 B.C. in 1480. And then have areas this 14 to 37. So it would appear that John is is working right within this period of time. And yet he doesn't mention the ninth Battalion. So it would appear that that John is writing right in the time of this civil war where he he knows these three factions are operating. 


And of course, notice in verse 11 how he links them again, back with the beast, just so you don't lose sight of this. Then the ten horns. He is not going to explain the seven heads. Seven heads are the seven Kings. The pen horns in verse 12. Our ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour together with the beast. And here again, John is indicating that Rome is not the last in the sequence of harlot. Remember that we saw last week that the harlot is the mother of harlots. John realizes that that fall in Babylon is going to have more incarnations in history than Rome. Rome is not the last incarnation of all in Babylon that there are others yet to come. And I think he's is doing the same thing here. Remember, in the Hebrew School of Images, ten is the number of totality as well. Seven and ten basically operate in the same way, primarily a building of Ten Commandments. And to have a a Jewish community, there had to be ten men. That was that was called the meaning. That was the minimum number. In order for there to be a worshiping community and or to have any community activity of any sort. And if you look in the Mishnah, one of the interesting things is there is that the presence of of ten worthless men work let's not worthless work less. O ss. And the purpose of these ten worthless men is that they are always available to come together. Make sure that you have the minimum number for any kind of community action or decisions. So it's just sort of the way they build their tradition. So you see ten how ten is significant in the Jewish pool of images. 


And and here you've got ten horns. Our ten kings, we're not every three kingdoms, there's going to be a, you know, a fullness or fulfillment of these. And they receive authority as king for one hour, very brief time together with the beast. So, again, these are in some way incarnations of Satan's rebellion. You say they are future incarnations of Fallen Babylon, and these are united in yielding their power and authority to the beast. Again, we see what's behind this. They will make war on the lamb, and the lamb will conquer them before he is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. And those with him are called chosen and faithful. So John is seeing that these successions of calling them Babylon's incarnation will continue putting Christians in tribulation, where John and his readers are presently experiencing tribulation. They're experiencing at the hands of Fallen Babylon, Rome. That's going to continue. But notice the lamb will conquer them. Here's another use of the word conquering. Remember, we've seen that everywhere. Conquering is either the lamb or the believers, other than those two instances in Chapter 11, where no one in Chapter 11 one, Chapter 13, where the beast conquering really is its undoing. What appears to be a victory is really its loss. So the lamb will conquer the Emperor. He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings. We've already seen a couple of times, John, as mentioned, this chapter one and again in Chapter 11, that the victory has already been won. So whatever happens in the future will just be a future manifestation, just as these future kingdoms are a manifestation of the fall of Babylon. They will also be future manifestations of the victory. Garden is already one in Christ, but the LAMB has already won a victory. 


And those with him are called chosen and faithful. That is the Christian community. Now we're going to come to the waters. He says. The waters which you saw. Yeah. The waters that you saw where the horror seeded Highland seeded our peoples and multitudes and nations and languages. And there again is the one of the statements that John uses to describe the citizens of Babylon. So not only is is the harlot seated upon the political power structure, she is also seated upon the population following Babylon. So so John is using this dual imagery, you see, to indicate that that fall in Babylon is manifested not only in the leadership, not only in the rulers, but also in the people, that the whole structure is an incarnation of fallen Babylon. Then in 16 is where it really gets interesting. John says, and the ten horns that you saw. They and the Beast will hate the harlot. They will make her desolate and naked. They will devour flesh and burn her up with fire. For God has put it into their heart to carry out his purpose by agreeing to give their kingdom to the beast until the words of God will be fulfilled. Now, here is where John sees that falling in Babylon carries within it the seeds of its own destruction. You see these ten horns, these ten kingdoms, they and the beast. And of course, they are, you know, intimately associated with the beast. They're an incentive to incarnation. They will hate the harlot. Make her desolate and naked devour her flesh burner up with fire. And I think what John is portraying here is the essential nature of the rebellion and of falling in Babylon is an incarnation of Satan's rebellion. Remember, the essence of Satan's rebellion is is blasphemy against God. 


Remember, we've already seen this again, has blasphemous names, just as in chapter 13. And with the nature of that blasphemy, we've seen it twice in chapter 13, again in chapter 16, the Three Blasphemies of the Beast, the Three Blasphemy of Babylon and Blasphemy. God do not acknowledge God. They blaspheme God's name. They do not allow God to be God, and they blaspheme God's dwelling. That is those who dwell in heaven. That is the faithful community, those who are long gone to be gone on God's terms. So the essence of Paul in Babylon is the total absolute rejection of God as God, which of course means we become God. We take God's place. And that is that is the. Clue to ultimate disaster. Because that is unreal. That is not the way the world operates now. It is not the way the universe operates. You see, when we when we are not centered in God, we are the center. We become eccentric. And what happens to something that is eccentric? What happens to a wheel? It's not centered. The hub, not right in the center. You're going to get a pretty rough ride. Sooner or later it's going to come apart. So what John is seeing here is that every incarnation of Fallen Babylon, these and future incarnations don't take that pan literally. No, go back. There's wrong. And then there's this one. And this one. This one. This one saying we're number ten now. Now, don't work that way. You know, again, using imagery is not giving us literal identification. There's going to be a full totality of incarnations of Form of Babylon, not just ten. So here John is see that that within the Babylon itself is this inherently implicitly destructive dynamic. That is at war within itself in the sense that it tears itself apart. 


And of course, that follows from the fact that there is no center of reality. You know, if rebellion against God is the center, then that that is a scattered center is not really a center. And so it's inherent within fallen Babylon that it will crumble. Because at the core it's hollow, you could say. And I think this is what John is pointing to, he says, for God has put it into their heart to carry out his purpose. You see, God has structured. Human existence. In a context of a spiritual reality where when we turn away from that reality, we enter into a course that leads to ultimate destruction. And so when John is seeing is that this is just the outworking of the reality and the way God has created human existence. Individual human existence. Corporate human existence. That it ultimately fails because it is not centered in the reality that God has created it to be centered in. So God put it into their heart, he says, to carry out his purposes. You know, you've got to be careful with that one. You know, it's not like God is is making people do evil things. No, it's that this is written into the very fabric of our being. And if we are beings who have removed God from the center, if we do not find our identity in God and find our identity in things other than God, then we are on a road to destruction. We are we are, in a sense, carrying out, you know, God's purpose. In a negative sense because this is the way God has created. Things to be. So that, you know, if you take that glass of poison and drink it, there's going to be consequences that you have no control over. 


If we step outside of that reality, out of life centered in God, there are consequences over which we have no control. And those consequences are destructive consequences. Until the words of God will be fulfilled. And there the question is, is Don John talking simply about, you know, the outplaying of this destructiveness to its final conclusion, or is he saying that God's final consummation of all things he could be dealing with both here? It's not clear. And then he says, The woman you saw is the great city that ruled over the kings of the earth. And of course, in John's day, that would be wrong. Although again, John could be John could be working at two levels here again. You see, if you think of the great city as historical Rome that works. But he also could be thinking of the great city as fallen Babylon, the spiritual entity of fallen Babylon that is incarnated in wrong and is successively incarnated in all of the subsequent fallen Babylon that had been through history. And maybe here. I guess more in favor with The first is that you have Rome. Who is this really? An agent of the beast and the dragon. And then when it when it really becomes no longer useful reason, the dragon turn. Tear it apart and move on to whatever else is going to be useful for their purposes. And I mean, that shows the nature of the political society and of people, no matter how good it's been, as soon as they realize it's not good for them, they'll turn and destroy it. Yeah. And we'll say, I'll illustrate this in. We get into 18, you see, trying to continue with the same realization in his vision. Ben John says after this. 


I saw another angel coming down from heaven. Having great authority. The Earth was made bright with his splendor. He called out with a mighty voice falling, fallen this Babylon, the great same praise we saw back in chapter 14. Now, of course, the question is, you know, who is this great angel? You know, the the not great the angel with great authority. The earth was made bright with its splendor. John doesn't give us a whole lot of indicators here. We've seen that some of these angelic beings are very clearly Jesus. In chapter ten, he sees this angel whose voice is like a lion roaring. His feet are like flaming bronze, his face shining like the sun. He uses several of the images he uses in Chapter one of his vision of Jesus to describe an angel. Here he doesn't do that. But the idea of great authority, and particularly the Earth, made bright with his splendor. Again, you have an image of brightness, which is an image for God, that it's very likely that this angel also is Jesus. Remember, John, John is using what we call Angela Morphic Christology. That one of the Jewish messianic expectations was that the Messiah would be an angelic being. Probably spinning off of the son of man Messiah who was also a heavenly being. So if that's the case, this maybe it's not clear. We don't have enough indicators to make sure. But the idea of great authority and make right with this splendor certainly point at least in that direction. And he calls out with the mighty boys fallen, fallen Babylon the great, it has become a dwelling place of demons, a haunt of every foul spirit, a haunted every foul bird hunter, every foul and hateful beast. 


And the the word that he uses that is translated on here really is the word lock, which means prison. I'm not sure why they translated it. Hon, You see, you have to lock for, like, a block up here. Prison. Which I think is what John is talking about, that, you know, fallen Babylon is imprisoned within. It's rebellion. You know, we we tend to think. Of. Turning away from God. As becoming free. You think you're, well, obeying God. And I'm not free to do what I want to do. The thing is, is that what you want to do? If it's outside of God, isn't it self-destructive? It's not freedom. It's imprisonment. And I think John is is playing upon this by using this word. And it's unfortunate that they used haunt, as, you know, as a translation. Because fool arcade games prison. So it is it is a place where where all these demons, foul spirits, foul birds, foul and hateful bees. It is where they are in prison. Yeah, right. What's the Greek word again for like. I like it. This one here. Thank you. Well, okay. If we're like. Well, okay. Now, also, when John talks about demons, foul spirits and foul birds and foul and hateful bees against the the word that he uses here is aka far too hard to refer to, which means unclean. And here again, you see, we got to understand this. In Jon's Jewish pool of images, you see anything? Anything that is apart from God, anything is turned away from God, is unclean and of course, makes anyone who comes in contact with that unclean as well. And I think sort of interesting that, you know, you've got the unclean spirit and then unclean birds. And I'm not sure whether the John is playing upon this or not, but, you know, in cities. 


Where birds are around what the birds do. You know, you got bird droppings all over everything, you know, over the cornices of buildings and over statues and whatever. And of course, birds are unclean, so birds droppings are unclean, which means, by implication, the city is unclean because you've got these unclean birds dropping their droppings all over the city. I'm not sure whether John played with that or not, but you're making it pretty clear that that that fall in Babylon is a pretty unclean place. Then for all the nations have drunk the wine for fornication. Kings of the earth have committed fornication with her. Virgins of the Earth have grown rich from the power of her luxury. Now, remember, fornication here is primarily spiritual fornication and spiritual adultery. They have turned away from their union with God. Using the marriage imagery of God is the where the bridegroom is the bride. We're the bride, Jesus the bride. And of course, the Old Testament imagery where God is the husband and in Israel is the wife. So the idea of fornication here is not limited. True to physical sexuality. This is this is spiritual fornication. Turning away from God. And of course, the line of the wrath of her fornication. Remember, we've already seen the wrath of the voter wrath that turning away from God. Is to step off the edge of spiritual gravity. Is there's not God's wrath is a vindictive, punitive, retributive kind of thing. It's just a consequence. I'm putting our lives out of harmony with reality. And this is what following in Babylon is non-U.S.. And so the wrath of her fornication is the consequence of committing this spiritual adultery. And now notice what he does in verse three here. The kings of the Earth have committed fornication with the merchants of the Earth have grown rich from the power of her luxury. 


So here you have the political and the economic dynamics. Which John is is now going to play upon as he as he moves forward. But then there's sort of a an aside here. I heard another voice from heaven saying, Come out of her, my people, so that you do not take part in her sins and so that you do not share in her plagues. And of course the plagues are the consequences of the sins of turning away or sins or heaped high is heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. So here, here is the call again in a sort of a different frame, what John has been using. But the idea that we are not to be part of fall in Babylon. We are not too to be engaged with fallen Babylon. Worldview. Value. System. Lifestyle. Or particularly what we saw in Chapter 13, that that perceptual framework that has no place for God and the lifestyle that results from that perceptual framework were to be apart from that. Rendered to her as she herself has rendered repay her double for her deeds, makes a double draft for her in the cup. She next. And here again you see it. You get the idea of the inherent destructiveness of fallen Babylon's activities. That that what she has missed has consequences and that she experiences those consequences. Yeah. Ryan The Voice. Andy, let me back up here a minute. The voice in for this says another voice. Another voice from heaven. Yeah. And this into it was already said. Yeah. What you might have here. Remember, we've seen that. We've heard voices from the throne. Well on the throne. Our God and the lamb. So is the other voice, you know, the lamb, the first voice being gone? It's hard to say. 


My suspicion would be, you know, just sort of logically, the first boys, the first boys would be God. The second boys could very well be the lamb, because it is the lamb who has redeemed us out of form in Babylon. So the idea of you will come out of her, my people. Certainly could correlate with Jesus with the lamb, because the lamb is the one who has redeemed us out of all of Babylon and made us citizens in Jerusalem. But here again, you see you've got a. Going back to the seven letters, particularly those ugly and bad churches who are in various ways accommodating themselves to the dynamics of foreign Babylon. You see this This would be a reminder to them of what Jesus had said to them in their specific letter, you know, to not try to have it both ways or to not try to Christianize Babylon, you see. As she glorified herself lived luxuriously. So give her a like measure of torment and grief. The consequence of this kind of self-reference to, you might say, indulgent way of being. So it's in her heart, she says, I rule as a queen. I am no widow. I will never see grief. And here a lot of this imagery in chapter 18. John is picking up out of our Jeremiah just read Jeremiah 51. Now there it's dealing with Babylon. You know, the historical Babylon. And so John is picking up the same kind of imagery that he sort of keeps touching down upon all the way through this chapter to talk about this entity fall in Babylon. So here, here's Babylon thinking, you know, I'm invincible. Nobody, nobody can do anything against me. Therefore, her plagues will come in a single day. Pestilence and morning and famine. 


She will be burned with fire. Or mighty is the Lord God who judges her. Now here, John. Focus is first on the Kings and nine and ten he dealing with political authority. The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived in luxury with her will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning. They will stand far off in fear of her torment and say, Whoa, whoa, you translate translated, alas, But we are going to keep the wall. Because when we had those three you all earlier saying, Whoa, whoa, the great city, Babylon the mighty city, four in one hour, your judgment has come. And then the merchants as interesting, the John gives only two verses to the political power structure. But notice firsthand they will stand far off. They're not going down the tubes with her. Paul in Babylon is crumbling. They're getting out of the way. Ostensibly just waiting for the next incarnation to come along so they can move back in. And this is what I've set out in response to his question earlier. You know, this is exactly the way things work. I. What happened when communism fell? When the Soviet Union came unglued. In many of those communist countries. Well, let's take an example. I was in Bulgaria about two months after everything came unglued. The Communist Party in Bulgaria simply re defined itself as the Social Democratic Party, and everything continued just as it had before. You know, now, yeah. The the the macro structure of empire, you know, of of the Soviet Union was no longer there. But as far as they were concerned, it was business as usual. And they just redefined themselves and things went on and things didn't go on very well either. 


It was horrible conditions. They told us we were driving and they told us to be sure to have enough gas to get in and out of Bulgaria because getting gas here was almost impossible. And we saw gas lines miles long when a gas station would get gas here with a huge line, people would stay in line all night long, you know, hoping that they there might be some left by the time they get up to the gas pump. And they were they were having to to ration electricity. I mean, a sector of the city would be the electricity would be taken away from that sector for like 4 hours. And then it would come back on the next sector would have 4 hours off and it just cycled around. So. And when you when we checked into our hotel, they told us now there would be no electricity from this time till this time. So you try to plan your your agenda around when you would have electricity for those things where you needed electricity. So there really had been no change at all in what was going on in the culture. It's just, you know, they were no longer, quote, communist, unquote. They were now Social Democrats. In an attempt, of course, to, you know, to win curry favor with the Democratic West so that perhaps they could, you know, get money support. They're continuing the same thing. So, you know, it's a it's a good illustration of what John is saying here. That the political power structure is standing off bemoaning the fact that that which had sustained them has gone. But why are they standing off? Why? Why haven't they gone the tubes with falling in Babylon? Also notice the two. Whoa, whoa, whoa. 


We're going to see it again. Remember in the angel, in the bird and the eagle flying in heaven at the end of chapter eight. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Three woes to fall in Babylon at the next three Trumpet. When we got to the the fifth trumpet, the first of all, we passed the six drum at the second. Well, we got the seventh trumpet. There was no third wall. And here again, you've just got two rows. And I think it's carrying the theme that John was putting forth in the seven trumpets that is falling. Babylon Third war is not yet come. The third row is when God consummate the victory that is won in the cross or, you know, when fallen creation comes to its end. That will be the third wall for fall. And Babylon respect that. That's why you you have you have only two rows here. Now, the next group that he looks at are the merchants. And. We notice that the merchants get all sorts of press. The Kings get two verses. But notice the merchants and it goes all the way down, I think down to about verse 19 or 20. A huge extent here. The merchants of the earth. I remember Earth. You got kings of the Earth, merchants of the Earth. Earth is falling in Babylon. The merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her. Says no one buys their cargo anymore. Not just their cargo. Cargo of gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple silk, scarlet, all kinds of scented wood, all articles of ivory, all articles of costly wood, bronze, iron, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, olive oil, twice flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots. Slaves. And they translated human lives. But. Get out of there. 


I've been doing. They translate a human life. Look what it is to us. Anthropocene. Human souls. Now. Took the word for so in certain circumstances can be translated life. I'm not sure that's the best translation here. Now, if you look at that, at the cargo, you know, the the wares of these merchants, these are luxury items. These are the prerogatives of the wealthy. And of course, the whole economy, you see, is is built upon this kind of stuff. A lot of these things are from far away, you know, brought over the the trade routes. Now, the thing is, at the end, when you get to 13, you see what's a distinction between slaves and human souls. I think what John is seeing in his vision is that human beings. Become commodities. Hmm. Hmm. Here is the reduction of humanity to things. And of course, this is exactly. The dynamic of fallen Babylon when when I play God in my life. Others become objects in my world. Basically you become things to be manipulated for my purposes, for my agenda, for my desires, for my wants, my needs. So, so far in Babylon. Inherently treats humans as things. As commodities. And I think that's what John is saying is the sort of the bottom line. If he had all these other things, all these other luxury goods. And they come to the bottom line. And what really, you know, here here is gaining the whole world and losing your soul. Which is exactly what Jesus was saying. And what John is seeing. You see, this is exactly what happens in Fall of Babylon. You know, you can gain the whole world, all of these luxury, injurious goods, indulging yourself in all of these things, but you lose your soul. 


Yeah, very. So 14 is like a parallel on a play on that when he says fruit for what your soul has longed for. I'm here. Wonder what the yeah in the phrase there in in in 14 the food for which are so long here we see that indulgence as we sit here we see that and that desire to possess all of these things. Because you see one of the dynamics of Fall in Babylon. That is very prevalent in our fall. Babylon is you are what you possess. You see your possessions. Give you status. And if you're in a certain social status, then you have to have certain possessions to authenticate your social standing. So that's another dynamic of this. But I think at the heart of it simply is greed, not wanting for ourself. And it seems that I mean, the merchants dealing with the slaves land and human souls, I wonder if it's a play of the Hebrew nefesh with the entirety of the self in mind. These merchants are really trying to possess people, and that's what fall in Babylon is doing, is not just possessing a part of things, it's trying to possess the entire person. And people aren't just buying and selling things or buying or selling themselves. Yeah, not just other people. They're also trying to they're trying to keep themselves, but they're managing to sell it off in the process. Yeah. And I think I think that's why just before human souls, you have slaves. Why aren't they the same? No, they're not the same. You see, he's. He's taking it one step further. Yeah. In fall in Babylon, humans are treated as commodities slaves. You see. But underneath this whole indulgent structure is the human soul. You've lost your soul. 


This be an explanation of why there are so many verses dedicated to the merchants or to what seems to be a majority of the structure. I think so. I really particular eyes. Yeah. You know, Jesus says where your treasure is there where your heart be also. What's he dealing with there. You see one of the inherent dynamics of the full self? Is it possessiveness? Because it has to possess things to authenticate its identity or to protect its identity. You know, this is part of the protectiveness of the false self. Yeah. Also more, I guess, historically, too, that period is the big reason people were selling themselves to emperor worship was not because of the political, but because the economical to be a part of the the trade guilds. Sure. Sacrifice. Yeah. That's where I think Babylon got most of it. Not through wanting political office. Yeah. And remember we saw in The Second Beast in chapter 13 that unless you have the mark, you can't buy or sell. So here you get the economic piece brought in again. No. So what John vision you see are some of the very, you might say, the very practical consequences of the fallen Babylon way of life. That it is inherently a self reference way of life. It seems to indulge itself. That seems to be in control of the world. It seeks to play God. And the result is yes, you can gain the whole world. You know, you can have all these luxury goods which are lost your soul. And I think he makes that clear as the question and parry answer is either fruit for which or so long. Has gone from you. And why is that? Why is that over there like that? Let me get that blue off in there. 


I'm not going to do it. Okay. There we go. Okay. Yeah, it is literally the, you know, the fruit of the desires of your soul. And again, see, he's picking up soul. To emphasize this. I fled from you. And all your donkeys in your splendor are lost for you never to be found again. Then the merchants of these wares here, he he has to, you might say, to aspects of the economic order. Well, that business that you pick out the merchants again and we'll come to the second one in a moment. The merchants of these wares who gained wealth from her. Now, isn't that interesting? You think they gain wealth from the wares? They gain wealth from her. That is, they gain wealth from falling. Babylon's indulgence and possessiveness. I mean, how much of our economy. It's based on indulgence. How much of the advertising industry is playing upon indulgence? And possessiveness. If you have this, you will be somebody. If you have this, you will be somebody. If you have this. If you have it. So you can see that what John is seeing here is exactly what we're living in. We're living in the same kind of fallen Babylon world. Where the corporate or communal false self is identifying itself by what it has. And by being able to have what it wants. Not what it needs, what it wants. And so the merchants who gained wealth from her will stand far off Notice they're standing far off. Remember, the Kings stood far off. Here are the merchants standing far off. Weeping and mourning aloud. Whoa, whoa. There's the two walls again. The great city. Clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet. Remember, purple is the color of the uppermost class, the Emperor and the senatorial families. 


Scarlet is the color of the next class, not in the equestrians or here. Here are the upper crust, you might say, of Rome, clothed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, adorned with gold and jewels and with pearls. Here, here again is is wealth. Possessiveness four In one hour all this wealth has been laid waste. You get the merchants saying the same thing as the kings. The political power structure and the economic power structure you see are bemoaning the demise of fallen Babylon. Because the source of their political power, the source of their economic power has gone off the table, so to speak. Chris, any significance to the one hour? Is that just a general? I think it's the idea of, you know. Quickly. Quickly. Yeah. You know, this this didn't this isn't something that happened over a long period of time. Boom! There it is. Okay. And I think it probably plays back in some way, presuming that the image in Chapter 13 of a great city fallen into three parts, broken into three parts, is reflecting the Civil War. Know the three factions that broke out, the Civil war that broke out after Nero's suicide. You see if that and that you know, up to that moment. The Roman Empire looked absolutely impervious to any disruption and like that here it was thrown into civil war. So it could be that John is playing off of the same dynamic at this point, but one ours the idea of very quickly. And the ship, masters and seafarers and the sailors. Now, here, here what you've got is the Teamsters Union, so to speak. These are those who transport all of these goods. So it's sort of a subset of the economic order. It's not that you got three different orders here. 


You're dealing with the economic order is is expanded to take in not simply the people at the top of the economic pecking order, the merchant, but also the, you might say, the suppliers. And those who transport the materials. And here, of course, ship the ship masters and seafarers and sailors really our primary because most of the luxury goods for Rome came by sea. You know, you're you're trade routes, trade routes down into Africa, trade routes across to India, trade routes to China all ended at the Mediterranean, where the goods would be put on a ship and taken to Rome. So, you know, sort of the last stage of getting the things there was by sea. And so these were an essential part. And you might say these these without this link, it'd be very difficult to get all that stuff to Rome. I mean, you have to transport it all the way around the Black Sea and all the way around the Mediterranean or what have you. Whereas put on the ship, boom, it's right there. So they they stood far off, just like the kings and the merchants and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning. What city was like? The great city. And they may have some different dynamics here. And they threw dust on their heads as they wept and mourned crying out wall while the great said, There's two walls again. Whoa, whoa. The great city where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her. Well, in one hour, she has been laid waste. And so here we see the political and economic order. Particularly the economic order, how it is a manifestation of the acquisitiveness and possessiveness of farming, Babylon's way of life, way of being. 


And but again, standing far off, you know, they're just waiting for things to go down. Maybe the Soviet Union is or Russia is a good example here because. Before communism fell, the economy of Russia was. Basically nonexistent. I mean, know, they're wonderful five year plans and everything. He just had totally destroyed any kind of of initiative. And, you know, one of the jokes was that employees pretended to work and employers pretended to pay them. You know, I mean, the economy is in horrible shape. Well, so what was keeping the Russian economy afloat was the black market. It was the Russian mafia. And after communism fell, they moved in with a vengeance. And it has been very difficult for for the for the Russian government to get in control of the economy. Because the mafia, the black market was the economy. He was able to just stand off, watch communism, go down the tubes and go right into the vacuum and take over. So so John is, you know, he's seeing the way foreign Babylon works. You know, the the the details may be slightly different with each generation of fallen Babylon, but the essential dynamic is still there. Yeah, right. With the mortal wound in Revelation 13. At they stand back, they see that there's going to it's going to be this collapse. Like there's some something in the hair like that. This is the system's going to die. And so they stand back and they jump back in it, you're saying? Yeah. Brian's question is, how does this relate to the mortal wound? Remember, the beast had a mortal wound that was healed. I think it does relate in that what John is seeing in his vision is the inherent. That? Well, that fall in Babylon is inherently self-destructive. 


That, that. And of course, the reason for that is manifested in God's judgment. You know, in the cross. That judges the whole structure of fall in Babylon as being unreal. You know, it is by its very nature. Doomed to destruction. So yeah, it has a mortal wound. And yet falling in Babylon keeps on going as though nothing had happened. And I think this is probably a good illustration of it. You know, here's the mortal wound. You know, it goes down the tubes because it is absolutely contrary to the way God has created human existence to to live. But. Here. Here are these people that are, you know, not going down, just waiting to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. There is a notice in these parallels more than I've ever noticed, and then spun it neat in 17 and 19. Both have the waste. And I'm just thinking that, you know, that greed that you're talking about, that that whole system is its downfall. It is the downfall of the whole community and the nations around it. Hmm. Yeah, the whole system. Yeah, exactly. Then. Then John sees the other side of the picture. Rejoice over her or heaven. And you. Saints and apostles and prophets for God has given judgment for you against her. Then a mighty angel took up. Is this the same mighty, mighty angel as the first one being in the chapter? We can't be sure, but a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying With such violence, Babylon, the great city will be thrown down and will be found no more. Now this. This is straight out of Jeremiah 51, because Jeremiah sees this great angel throwing this millstone into the sea, which is, you know, historical Babylon. 


Now, this is fallen Babylon. Now notice we've John has seemed to just be telling us. About the fall of fall Babylon and its demise. And yet now he speaks in the future tense. And I think what John is doing is is again indicating, well, the mortal wound that was healed idea, you know, that there's there's going to be successors of fallen Babylon but. At the end, there will be the final demise of Fallen Babylon. There will be the final victory and consummation of God's victory. And that's what is emerging here, is that when fallen in Babylon, you know, this great millstone is thrown into the sea and will be found no more. There's going to be an end to the sequence of harlots. It's going to be an end to the sequence of kings. And then you get a whole list of things. The Sound of Harpists Minstrels, flutist trumpeters will be heard in, you know, more and any artisan of any trade will be found in, you know, more. The sound of the millstone would be heard and you know more. The light of the lamp will be seen in. You know more will shine in, you know, more The voice of the bridegroom and the bride will be heard and you know more. For your merchants were the magnates of the earth and all the nations were deceived by your sorcery. Now, notice here, when John is describing the final demise of the final incarnation of Fall in Babylon, notice he deals again with the merchants. That was the Kings. But with the merchants. Your merchants were the magnates of beer. They're really Greek as they're your merchants. We're the great ones of the earth. Of course, you usually think of the political leaders, the emperors, the kings, as the great ones of the earth. 


I think what John is seeing here is that the political dynamics are simply a veneer. On the surface of the economic, but the economic really is the heart. And this is probably why Jesus talks about money more than anything else. You know where your treasure is there. Will your heart be also? I think John is is seeing the same dynamic. And then then he points to the some of the causes of this. You see, we're in you. They were deceived by your sorcery. And here a different term. She uses sorcery here instead of fornication. Here. Here is a, well, sorcery. The way the word is used in the world of John's day. Sorcery was a means for manipulating the world. And others. You know, it was a a means of controlling the world around you and those in that world. And of course, What's that mean? That means you're treating the world and others as objects to be manipulated for your agenda, for your purposes. And. Duckman, what do you think? Just quickly, 19. But do you think the reason why Jan doesn't mention the Kings and the power in 18 is because later on in 19, he talks about the power of kings when they actually confront Christ. I don't know. Because, you see, before we get to that, we're going to get to the end of the vision of the harlot. Mm hmm. And then the next is in that heavenly vision that begins in 1911. So I'm not sure whether you can, you know, make that connection. You'd think that since he does start with the Kings here and then the merchant, that if he wanted to focus on them at this point, you would do that. And he just doesn't. And I think because where you've seen the huge amount of press that merchants get their economic gets as opposed to the two lines of the the kings get. 


So I think it's probably another emphasis on the economic dynamic as being one of the primary dynamics. And in you was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all women slaughtered on earth. So here here is the primary cause of her judgment that in her slaughtering of the prophets in the Saints. You see, it is a manifestation of fallen Babylon's attempt to eradicate reality manifested in the crucible through the citizen. New Jerusalem are a constant thorn in the side of fallen Babylon. Because faith the New Jerusalem citizenship. Manifest in the presence of fallen Babylon, the unreality of that world, that its perceptual framework is flawed and its value system is faulty, and its lifestyle is a destructive lifestyle. And of course, those whose power. Depend upon the dynamics of all of Babylon and brief the political and economic powerbrokers. You see, they are very sensitive to anything that is going to undercut or undermine. Their position. And so the citizens of New Jerusalem experienced tribulation at the hands of fallen Babylon. So inform and babble on this found the blood of the prophets, of the saints, and of all who have been slaughtered on the earth. Uh, not quite 915, but that's probably a good place to stop at this point. And we'll start with 19 on Thursday. Have a good day.