Sunday, 27 June 2021
The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. Revelation 18:23
The state of fallen Babylon continues to be described by the mighty angel. The great harlot, the city of apostasy and wickedness, has seen her end. As such, the angel next says, “The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore.”
There will be enduring darkness in her. In the modern world, almost everything is lighted by electricity. Even the most remote villages have it for an hour or two a day. Not only will that not be the case, but even lamps fed by oil (as the Greek word means) will not be found there. The contrast to the Light of the World, Christ, is made evident. She rejected Him, and now she finds only darkness.
Next, it says, “and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore.” The words are reflective of the words of Jeremiah, but – surprisingly – they refer to Judah when it was to be destroyed by Babylon –
“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 lamp.” Jeremiah 25:10
The difference, however, is that the next verse in Jeremiah says that this would continue for seventy years. The state of Babylon the great will be forever. Never again will the happy sounds of the bridegroom and the bride be heard again. And the explanation for this starts with the angel, saying, “For your merchants were the great men of the earth.”
The sentiment is similar to that given concerning Tyre in Ezekiel 27. The great and noblemen of the earth were those who traded with Babylon. Now, with their trade ended, there will never again be a reason to return to what once was. Babylon will stand desolate and ruined because of her actions. As the angel then states, “for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.”
The Greek more appropriately reads, “for in your sorcery.” Rome, and the place where the Vatican stands, could not be better described than this. Their teachings and doctrines are like a drug-induced spell upon the people.
Roman Catholics around the world reject Scripture when it conflicts with church dogma. They are seduced into harlotries with prayers to Mary and the saints instead of to God through Jesus – the one appointed Mediator between God and man. They constantly mix profane doctrines into the faith. On and on it goes. No opium den on earth could be more effective at stealing away the minds of people than the aberrant doctrines found there.
And more directly, the scope of her heretical teaching flows out to almost all nations on the earth, perfectly describing the state and level of her deceptions.
Life application: Babylon’s very mode and method of continuation is ended. And why? Because the great of the earth whom she deals with are the “movers and shakers” who are perceived to have control of everything they touch. They are the tycoons, the behind-the-scenes controllers of trade, commerce, communications, and so on. And their ways have been cunning and devious.
It is evident that this includes a host of troubling sins such as magic arts like astrology, horoscopes, tarot cards, palm readings, and even false religious rites. Black magic, Santeria, numerology, occult practices, idolatry, spiritualism, and so on. They can all be included in this. Any type of religious conduct which isn’t in accord with what the Lord has designated can be added to the list.
Further, the word certainly must be considered to include the use of drugs. Opiates, narcotics, and so forth, that produce altered states of mind are a part of their merchandise, and they are exported to the people of the world. This deceives the people into believing in the lie of escape from reality.
Drug use is actually a way of having people lose contact with their Creator. It causes them to focus inward and towards selfish fulfillment of addictive desires. The connection between various mafia-related organizations that deal in such things to the RCC has long been noted.
These drugs are also used when mingled with spiritual practices. In this sense, they not only deprive people of a relationship with the Creator, but they drive people into adulterous religious avenues. As you can see, the sins of Babylon are many and the punishment for them is complete and final.
For those who are willing to step away from the false religious expressions and practices and come to Christ, they will find true grace and life in a biblically established relationship with God. That relationship is based on adherence to Scripture as the rule and guide of the faith, and Scripture is what tells us of God’s offer of peace and right relationship with Him. It tells us of JESUS.
Jesus, You have released us from our lives of sin and addiction, and we ask that you continue to hold us safe in Your arms, keeping us from returning there. Please use us to lead others away from these things and toward you as well. Without You, our lives are like small ships tossed about on great waters of turmoil. Be with us and guide us, O Christ. Amen.