Revelation 18 posts:
5: Second Angel’s Proclamation (18:1-3)
6A: Warning Voice from Heaven (18:4-8)
6B: Voice from Heaven Continues! And the Crash? (18:9-11)
6C: No More Trade, No More Luxury (18:12-20)
7: A Mighty Angel’s Millstone (18:21-24)
Appendix 4: Rise of the Merchant Class (Colonial Era)
Appendix 5: Rise of the Merchant Class (20th Century and Beyond)
6A: Warning Voice from Heaven (18:4-8)
4 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.
5 “For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
6 “Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her.
7 “In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’
8 “Therefore her plagues will come in one day–death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.”
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.” (18:4)
The remainder of chapter 18 records what is spoken by a “voice from heaven”. Since it is “my people” who are being addressed, then we could assume that this is the voice of God; or perhaps it is the voice of Michael the archangel, who is called “the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people.” (Daniel 12:1)
This “voice” has a lot to say but starts off with a warning. This is not a warning for the Harlot to repent. It’s already too late for that (“for her sins have reached to heaven” – 18:5). It’s a warning for those who are following the Light of Christ and are dwelling in the Harlot nation(s) to escape.
The meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those persecuted for righteousness’ sake, these are the people of God. (Matthew 5:3-10) If they are innocent of wrongdoing, then why should they have to suffer for the Harlot’s sins? Like Lot and his family in ancient Sodom and Gomorrah, they are warned and guided to flee to places of refuge.
Where such places could be is anyone’s guess. A different country? A city flat well stocked with supplies? Or a place far away from the cities? (Cities could become very dangerous to live in as America’s prosperity declines.) But “where God guides He provides”… and protects.
A question to consider: has God already given some warning about the catastrophe to come? On September 11, 2001, New York City saw the destruction of the World Trade Center buildings. What escapes the world’s attention about this event is the fact that three towers collapsed – the Twin Towers, plus a third 47-storey building called Tower Seven. It is obvious that this third building collapsed as the result of a controlled demolition (since it wasn’t hit by the airplanes). So it would make sense that the other two collapsed in the same way. And this is the straightforward conclusion of knowledgeable experts in engineering, architecture, and demolition work. (See here for one of many articles on this subject.)
And the next conclusion? Obviously, something fishy was going on. The American government must have known about it beforehand, even planned it for some reason. And what was the reason? If we look at what happened afterwards, it’s not hard to tell. The 9/11 catastrophe provided the pretext needed to invade Afghanistan, and especially Iraq. The American people and lawmakers were upset to the point that they were willing to give their approval for the military to go on a renewed rampage in the Middle East.
Regardless of what one believes about how the Towers collapsed, there is no getting away from the fact that it made a good excuse for war with Afghanistan. Iraq too got caught in the American war fever and, on the flimsiest of excuses, was devastated – even though, contrary to government claims at the time, that nation had no connection with the Saudi hijackers nor did it possess weapons of mass destruction.
But as long as America could keep her foothold in the Middle East for awhile longer, she could control the oil markets and payments that continued to flow into the American treasury; the weapons industry was happy; Israel was happy to see her enemies under attack; even the owner of the buildings was happy. (Apparently, the buildings had become a “white elephant”, and it was far more profitable to collect the insurance from the buildings’ destruction than to keep maintaining them.)
What can be said then of a government that is willing to resort to such a monstrous deception and the destruction of so many lives, just for the sake of its own self-interest; and then has the nerve to hide self-righteously behind the façade of protecting democracy, Christianity, and the American way of life?
The whole Twin Towers tragedy should be a warning light to conscientious folks that something is terribly wrong with the American system. How can such fraudulence, deception, and warmongering tactics be tolerated for much longer by other nations in the Earth… or for that matter, by the Almighty Himself?
A heartbreaking aspect about the Twin Towers tragedy: why has there been so little soul-searching, no attempt to understand the grievances that led up to it?
For strategic, military and economic reasons, it is vital for the US government to persuade its public that their commitment to freedom and democracy and the American Way of Life is under attack. In the current atmosphere of grief, outrage and anger, it’s an easy notion to peddle. However, if that were true, it’s reasonable to wonder why the symbols of America’s economic and military dominance – the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon – were chosen as the targets of the attacks. Why not the Statue of Liberty? Could it be that the stygian anger that led to the attacks has its taproot not in American freedom and democracy, but in the US government’s record of commitment and support to exactly the opposite things – to military and economic terrorism, insurgency, military dictatorship, religious bigotry and unimaginable genocide (outside America)?…
[from The algebra of infinite justice by Arundhati Roy, 29 September 2001, The Guardian]
Besides the Twin Towers tragedy, other “warning lights” have shone. For example, a profound message called the “Warning Prophecy” came out all the way back in 1965 and was distributed all over the U.S. in the late 1960’s and early 70’s. Another similar prophetic message appeared about the same time and was distributed in pamphlet form (a raw revelation with the title “America the Whore”). Both messages predict with uncanny accuracy, 50 years ahead of time, what is going on in our world now… and what the future holds. (See Footnote for some of the text and background of these messages.)
Those who wake up to what is happening in America should certainly try to flee or find places of safety as best they can.
And this turmoil coming in America mirrors to some extent what happens in the Beast and False Prophet’s empire. In that new world order will come enforced worship of the Antichrist and his barren utopia. The faithful followers of the Light of Christ, those who desire to continue worshiping the Almighty, will need to flee from the forces of this final empire of the Beast.
“The woman [God’s people of faith] fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there… from the presence of the serpent [the “dragon” who controls the Beasts]”. (12:6,14)
These final years at the End of the Age will be trying times for the people of faith – whether they be living in the devastated Harlot nation(s) or in the totalitarian tyrannies of the Beasts. But it will also be a time of marvelous manifestations of God’s power (as noted in Revelation 11) during that final, stormy era before the Return of Christ.
And as the Revelation Book promises, the Second Coming of Christ in great power and glory in the Battle of Armageddon will usher in the Kingdom of God on Earth. Then will be established righteous government, peaceful coexistence between nations, war outlawed, and many other benefits that we can barely imagine right now. (19:11-16, 20:1-4, and many others)
For her sins have reached to heaven (18:5)
If “her sins have reached to heaven”, then that means it’s the end of the line. All that’s left is God’s judgment. Regarding the question of “her sins”, there is plenty of material in Appendix 3 to answer that, to show that the U.S. really has gone past the point of no return and fully deserves what’s coming.
God has remembered her iniquities (18:5)
It’s almost human nature to lack a useful sense of history. Each generation has to re-learn all over again what the previous generation had learned. The past is hidden for the most part from us, simply because we didn’t live through it, but also because governments tend to sanitize their nations’ history in a favorable light, presenting via their educational system and media outlets a glossed-over version that ignores much of its unsavory past.
What experience and history teach is this: that people and governments have never learned anything from history.—Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
However, although the new generation may not “remember” its unsavory past very well, God remembers. And in this case, He hasn’t forgotten the accumulation of atrocities and warmongering and other crimes committed by the Harlot.
If the reader feels he or she needs to get a better grasp of past American history, again Appendix 3 offers a number of informative articles to study on that subject.
Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. (18:6)
We may wonder, is the “voice” still speaking to the people of God? At this point in time, the Beast and Ten Horns will be fulfilling God’s purpose in destroying the Harlot (according to the angel who spoke earlier in 17:17). We might assume then that the voice is addressing the Beast and his Horns.
But the “voice from heaven” had started off by addressing “My people”, the followers of the Light of Christ. They are the ones who see through America’s hypocritical façade and are grieved at her terrible testimony, by which “the name of God is blasphemed.” (Romans 2:24). But are they the ones to make war against the Harlot? Not likely, but perhaps God will use some of them to influence the Beast and his Ten Horns to “fulfil His purpose”… of giving the Harlot a “double” portion of the “cup” (of wrath) that she has handed to other nations and peoples. (17:17)
When we take a look at what has happened in nations like Japan, Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and elsewhere, and if the Harlot is to receive a “double cup”, then there is every reason to sense an ominous foreboding about the future fate of this nation.
In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow (18:7)
That America has “glorified herself and lived luxuriously” hardly needs explaining and is covered already in the various news articles in Appendix 3. America has blinded herself to the fact that her luxurious living has caused immense suffering in the world. But the “torment and suffering” that she has inflicted on others, she will receive “in the same measure”. “God is not mocked; for whatever a man [or nation] sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7).
For she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ (18:7)
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18) Pride and self-glory make it difficult to see the “hand-writing on the wall”. After World War 2 America rose to superpower status, and after the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union, became the world’s sole superpower.
Like so many past empires, America’s supremacy has warped her thinking, so that “she says in her heart, I sit as queen… and will not see sorrow”. She is like an aristocrat who owns and controls the resources and labour of her tenants (many nations in the rest of the world). They do all the work, and she, by means of her financial skull-duggery, reaps the benefits.
Our rulers are held captive by their own mindset – they are still living in the heyday of their power and cannot reconcile themselves to the fact that an era is coming to an end. They are determined to hold on to the insignia of power, even if their ramshackle empire is a bit frayed around the edges. They are still living inside the bubble of fake prosperity and breathing air permeated by their own hubris [pride].
(from “The American Empire: A Finale“ by Justin Raimondo, 23 March 2009, Antiwar.com)
Therefore her plagues will come in one day–death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire (18:8)
We’ve already learned that the Beast and Ten Horns will “make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.” (17:16) Now we are given some added information that the Harlot’s judgment will come quickly – “in one day” – and will be thorough – “utterly burned with fire”. A tragic picture.
For strong is the Lord God who judges her (18:8)
With 700+ military bases scattered throughout the Earth and a huge arsenal of weaponry, it might seem difficult to comprehend how such a great armed stronghold could suffer such colossal defeat. But strong as the bully Harlot is, she is not stronger than God.
And from the looks of it, God has hired a bigger “bully” to carry out His designs. The new and powerful Russian steamroller is ready to roll after several years of upgrading its military and strengthening its economy; and, according to what is described in Revelation 17-18, will one day roll over the Harlot.
In recent times America has foolishly wandered into Russian territory and tried to control that nation as she had done with so many others in the past. (See relevant articles here, here, and here.) But this time, she is provoking a stronghold – the Beast and his Ten Horns – that has the capacity to retaliate and even has God’s permission to do so. “For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose.” (17:17)
In 1965 Virginia Brandt Berg, one of America’s early radio evangelists, was awakened from a sound sleep by the voice of the Lord, and told to write the following message:
Turn your eyes toward Memphis, for out of it shall come the Great Confusion!
The author of Confusion is even now marshalling his forces for this Great Confusion!
He is gathering his forces from a great nation and Eastern nations, friends that will join with him.
So sudden will be the Great Confusion, that it will cause a mighty widening of the eyes of those who have not discerned the signs of the times. But be ye not deceived! Be prepared! And be not deceived by the Great Society, for it will come to travail and then bring forth the Great Confusion!
Be prepared! Even now, the skies are red, red with warning, and black, black with clouds gathering for the Great Confusion which is almost upon you!
[from The Children of God website]
The “Great Society” is a term from the 1960’s used by President Lyndon Johnson to describe the U.S. and his plans for social uplift of the nation. The “great nation and eastern nations” we see now are most likely Russia and China rising up in opposition to U.S. dominance in both economic and military realms. The “author of Confusion” is a term for the leader of the forces of spiritual Darkness – Satan and/or his earthly agents (who are known in the Book of Revelation as the Beast and False Prophet). The only mysterious aspect about this message is the meaning of the term “Memphis”. Is it literal or symbolic? At any rate there is enough information in this prophetic message to help us see accurately, more than 50 years later, what is coming on the world scene.
Another dedicated follower of Christ, who led the Jesus Revolution of the late 1960’s and early 70’s, was inspired to write an article (titled “The Great Whore”)… after being prompted by the Spirit, “It is not fair to withhold the truth from the people!” Following are some excerpts:
. . .She [America] is certainly the head and leader of world Capitalism, and when she falls, the whole world capitalistic System is bound to fall with her! As she is the greatest and strongest enemy of world Socialism, her fall could result in nothing less than the ultimate triumphant succession of a socialistic one-world Government, such as predicted in Revelation 13 and 17 and elsewhere in the Bible!
American affluence is the dream of every country the world over, and her luxuries, sins and violence, from her music to her crimes, are imitated by nations around the world!
[America] has wreaked more destruction of war on the world than any other nation in history… She is the greatest warmonger the world has ever known, and the greatest destroyer they will ever see!–And even so shall be her own destruction!
(from “America the Whore” lecture by David Berg, March 1973)
These messages foresaw way back in the 1960’s and 70’s the condition of America and what would happen to her. How much further along has the situation degenerated and moved closer to its tragic end result.