Revelation 18:4

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. Revelation 18:4

The mighty angel has spoken concerning the fallen state of Babylon in the previous verses. Now it says, “And I heard another voice from heaven.” Because of this, it is generally assumed this is not the same entity (meaning the Lord) as the Angel who has just been speaking. Thus, one or the other cannot be the Lord.

This would be an incorrect assumption. The angel introduced in 18:1 is clearly tied to the Lord of the Old Testament as cited from the passage from Ezekiel. Thus, it is Jesus. However, this is also the Lord Jesus as is evidenced from the next words. He is “saying, ‘Come out of her, my people.’”

The voice is clearly the Lord even though it is “another voice from heaven.” This can be determined in several ways. First, the word “my” means that the Lord is speaking to His people words of warning and petition. Obviously, this does not mean they are His people yet. But they are people who think they are following Him, but who have been swayed by Mystery Babylon. If they will just come out of her and to Him, they will be His people.

Secondly, if this were a chronological account, they would not be, nor could they be, His people because they would have taken the mark of the beast. That would preclude their salvation. And thirdly, according to verse 18:2, Babylon has fallen. Thus, the words now in 18:4 precede its fall, demonstrating that the words are not chronological.

The Angel of verse 18:1 is the Lord Jesus performing His role as the destroying Angel as is revealed in several Old Testament passages. The voice from heaven in 18:4 is the resurrected Lord Jesus, in heaven at this time, and who is calling out through His word to the people of the world. This will continue through verse 18:8, and then it will return to the thought of Babylon having been destroyed. Thus, verses 18:4-8 are a parenthetical insert into the narrative.

The words of the voice of this verse, and some points in several coming verses, closely reflect the sentiment of Isaiah 51 –

“Flee from the midst of Babylon,
And every one save his life!
Do not be cut off in her iniquity,
For this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance;
He shall recompense her.
Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand,
That made all the earth drunk.
The nations drank her wine;
Therefore the nations are deranged.” Jeremiah 51:6, 7

The Lord is calling out to those who are united with “Babylon the great” to come out of her “lest you share in her sins.”

This continues to confirm that it is now referring to those of the church age. The petition is made. The word has been given. The Lord is calling out to His people (they are only potentially His people until they actually come to Him) to be spared what is coming. The sins of Babylon the great have been heaping up for eons, and the cup of her iniquity has been filling throughout the entire period. Eventually, judgment will come, and she will be destroyed. Of those who don’t come out of her, the verse finishes with, “and lest you receive of her plagues.”

The church is not a building. The church is the people of God. Paul shows us this in Philemon –

“To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow laborer, to the beloved Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:” Philemon 1:1, 2

Likewise, Babylon the great is a body consisting of people. When Babylon the great is judged, she will receive plagues. In this, her people will also receive plagues. It is now, while there is time to flee from this great harlot, that the Lord calls out for His people (those He died for) to come out of her.

Life application: Jesus is calling to those whom He foreknew from the foundation of the world to separate themselves from Babylon the great. God’s people are His people regardless of when they live, and He has, throughout every age, sent prophets and wise men to call the world to turn to Him. This is confirmed by Jesus’ own words in Luke 11:49-51 –

“Therefore the wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,’ 50 that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.”

Yes, from the time of Abel until the closing of the Old Testament period, and then following through to our current time, there has been a call for God’s people, by God’s messengers, to turn to Him and come out of the world in order to be separate and holy to God. This call is also directed to apostate religions.

As denominations grow old and/or wealthy, they naturally turn inward and away from the gospel. When this happens, the fire of sharing the true message is replaced with complacency and ease. God would have each one of us truly evaluate our place and mode of worship against the only standard by which it can be gauged – the Holy Bible.

If people were simply willing to read, study, and contemplate their Bible, there would be both a great revival in the hearts of the people and a mass exodus from denominations and practices that have fallen away from biblical tenets. But… it is so much easier to sit in a pew once a week and not have to think for oneself. And so, we cool to the things of God, and we sit in ease and luxury. All the while, God is speaking to us – “Come out of her, My people.”

The Lord is the Head of the church, and He will purge those parts of His body which are of no value. When He does, the people who comprise those parts will be cast off. And the separation will be self-inflicted. The choice is given to each of us to heed the call and be attentive to His word.

Quoting the books of Isaiah and Ezekiel, Paul writes the following to the Corinthians in hopes of their removing themselves from the corrupting influences of the world and of false religion –

“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty.”  2 Corinthians 6:17, 18

O weak and faithless soul, are you willing to turn from a congregation you love if it isn’t properly handling God’s word? Which is more important to you – Christ or your comfortable church home? God will be a Father to you, if you will only heed His ongoing call. The church is not a denomination or a building. The church is the people of God. Being a part of that body comes through faith in Christ alone. It comes through faith in JESUS.

Lord, today – yes, right now – we ask that You show us the error of any incorrect teaching or rite which is being taught or practiced in our churches. Give us the willingness to stand against such things, and to proclaim the truth in hopes of correction, or to walk away from them and leave them to their own devices. May we be responsible and choose Christ over all else. Amen.