(18.4)         And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 

1. We have already noted that the antichrist and his followers have destroyed religious Babylon, probably because her usefulness had ended. Now we see the warning that goes forth just prior to the destruction of commercial and political Babylon. 

2. Before we examine this verse closely, note once more the difference between religious and political Babylon. There was no warning in chapter 17 before religious Babylon was destroyed. Why? Because it was not God Who destroyed her, but the antichrist. Here, as God prepares to destroy political Babylon, He gives a warning to His Own. 

3. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people   The voice referring to His audience as “my people” persuades me that the speaker is either God the Father or the Lord Jesus Christ. Only deity can refer to them as “my people.” 

4. Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” 

The call to separation has come to the people of God in every age. It came to Abraham (Genesis 12:1); to Lot (Genesis 19:12-14); to Moses (Numbers 16:23-26). “Go ye forth of Babylon” (Isaiah 48:20), said God to His people Israel. “Remove out of the midst of Babylon” (Jeremiah 50:8). “Flee out of the midst of Babylon” (Jeremiah 51:6). “My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the LORD” (Jeremiah 51:45). And in the New Testament we read, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. . . . Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord” (2 Corinthians 6:14,17). “Neither be partakers of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure” (1 Timothy 5:22). 

God’s people are not of this world system (John 17:14,16). When professing Christians ally themselves with Babylon, or with any other worldly society, on the pretence that they are going to give a testimony and attempt to change those who are in it, they violate the plain teaching of God’s Word. The reason why is plain.[1] 

5. Judgment is about to fall, so God’s people are warned to flee for their lives so they are not engulfed in the destruction that is about to occur. 

(18.5)         For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. 

1. Consider the difference between saved and lost. To the saved God promises “their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”[2] The sins of the unrepentant, however, God will remember forever, and forever will He hold it against that person who refused to turn from sin and come to the Lord Jesus by faith. 

2. Keep in mind that this Babylonian system of political power and commercial activity is an interconnected network of real people. These are people working in concert that are referred to. In addition, in the course of their pursuit of money and power they have willingly opposed the plan and purpose of God to satisfy their lust for power and their greed for wealth. For these sins and upon these people God will pour out His wrath in judgment. 

3. “O pastor, are you against free market capitalism?” No, I am against free market capitalists who will not be restrained from their pursuits by God’s laws. The economic system that we normally think of when we refer to capitalism is the freest and most liberating approach to production and livelihood ever seen. Capitalism is what people naturally do to earn a living when you leave them alone and do not impose unnecessary government mandated requirements upon them. 

4. But what happens when a man conducts his business in such a way that his love for money overrides his moral obligations and duties as a keeper of his fellow man? For example, there was the British East India Company, who did everything they could to keep missionaries such as William Carey out of India in the latter 17th and early 18th centuries. Why so? If the Indians became Christians they felt they would then have to treat them right, which would cut into profits. Keep the missionaries out to keep the Indians Hindu. 

5. “Is it wrong for a Christian to go into business?” Absolutely not. However, your responsibilities as a Christian should never give way to your obligations as a businessman. The term is Christian businessman, not businessman Christian. Being a Christian comes first. 

6. What will happen to commercial and political Babylon at the end of the great tribulation will be the result of unbridled greed and a lust for power that forever puts to rest what Paul meant by the statement to Timothy, “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” Moreover, God will severely judge those with great wealth, who had great opportunities to do right, but who served themselves rather than God or their fellow man. 

(18.6)      Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. 

1. We live in a day when every man says in his own heart, “You can’t get away with that. I’ll sue for what you did. I’ll get my revenge.” 

2. There are certainly times when lawsuits are in order. After all, our system of laws includes provision for civil suits being brought against those who have wronged you, with our government providing a legal way for wrongs to be righted. That said, Christians must be careful to remember that vengeance is not ours to exact. 

3. Turn to Romans 12.18-19: 

19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 

4. What does it mean to heap coals of fire on someone’s head? I am not sure, but I do know this: Vengeance is the Lord’s. Therefore, when you seek vengeance upon someone you are usurping God’s role in that other person’s life and setting yourself up as the judge and final authority concerning business which God says is His alone to deal with. 

5. In Revelation 18, we see some measure of the Lord’s vengeance. What injustice has been done to you in the marketplace? God will repay twofold. How have you been cheated by the merchant? God will get even. How about that lemon you bought with your last bit of savings and are unable to get satisfaction for? Be confident that God will recompense. And in verse, 7 we see it happening.

[1] Lehman Strauss, The Book Of The Revelation, (Neptune, New Jersey: Loizeaux Brothers, 1963), page 308.

[2] Hebrews 10.17

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