The very best chapters are ahead of us. We have reached the eighteenth week in our Sunday school class on the book of Revelation with only four following (chs. 19-22). Chapters 17 and 18 are dedicated to the final destruction of the Antichrist’s kingdom. The Babylonian empire will be utterly destroyed. It will never-ever rise again.
Specifically, chapter 17 addresses the ecumenical one-world religion of the Antichrist; and chapter 18 deals with the one-world economic empire of the Antichrist. Old Testament prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesize about this day repeatedly (cf. Isa 13:19-22; 14:22-23; Jer 50:13, 39; 51:37).
All God-less religion is an act of human rebellion. Beginning with Babel, the monument to human pride, any place characterized by false religion is a Babylon. From Genesis to Revelation, it represents the head of all worldly resistance to God. Dr. Walvoord breaks this down for us in his commentary on the book of Revelation:1
The subject of Babylon in the Scripture is one of the prominent themes of the Bible beginning in Genesis 10, where the city of Babel is first mentioned, with continued references throughout the Scriptures climaxing here in the book of Revelation. From these various passages, it becomes clear that Babylon in Scripture is the name for a great system of religious error. Babylon is a counterfeit religion that plagued Israel in the Old Testament as well as the church in the New Testament, and which, after the apostolic days, has had a tremendous influence in moving the church from biblical simplicity to apostate confusion.
Nimrod was the founder of Babel, later called Babylon, and leader of the rebellion against God in attempting to make a city and a tower that would reach to heaven (Genesis 10-11)… [it] was a monument to human pride and an express act of rebellion against the true God. In judging this act, God confounded the language of the people and the city was named “Babel,” meaning “confusion” (Gen. 11:9). The city, later named Babylon, had a long history.
There are obvious parallels in the rise and fall of Babylon in its various forms of Scripture. As introduced… Babylon, historically symbolized by the [prideful] tower reaching to heaven, proposed to maintain the union of the world through a common worship [of self] and a common language. God defeated this purpose by confusing the language and scattering the people.
Ecclesiastically, Babylon is symbolized by the woman in Revelation 17, who proposes a common worship and a common religion… Politically, Babylon is symbolized by the great city of Revelation 18, which attempts to achieve its domination of the world by a common market and a world government. These are [all] destroyed by Christ at His second coming (Rev. 19:11-21).
The triumph of God is therefore witnessed historically in the scattering of the people and the unfinished tower of Genesis 11, and prophetically in the destruction of the world church [of Antichrist] by the killing of the prostitute of Revelation 17 and the destruction of the city of Revelation 18. With the graphic description of Babylon’s fall contained in chapters 17 and 18, the way is cleared for the presentation of the major theme of the book of Revelation, the second coming of Christ and the establishment of His glorious kingdom.
Don’t miss the point of this book. God will have the last Word in human history, not man. That Word is none other than Jesus Christ the Judge returning to usher in the eternal state. I can’t wait to tackle those final chapters!