Babylon is about to get fucked up – Revelation 16-19 (NTiR)

Bible and magnifying glassIt is getting harder to keep track of what is happening in Revelation. Everything seems to happen again and again. Angels unleashing major carnage on the earth. The sun and moon first turning black as cloth, then red as blood, then green as cheese. Or something like that.

All I know for certain is that God is letting an eternity’s worth of wrath loose upon the earth, and mankind is getting screwed. Take the trials of Lot, add the plagues of Egypt, and throw the Angel of Death into the mix. What do you have?

God’s love.

Chapter 16

It is time for the angels to pour god’s wrath onto the earth. These sound a lot like what happened when the seven seals were open, and definitely sounds like the signs that were shown in The Seventh Sign. So I am just a little confused. Not that this matters much, especially when there are seven bowls full of destruction to write about!

  • The first angel poured his bowl onto the earth. A sore appeared on everyone who had the mark of the beast, or who worshipped the beast’s image.
  • The second angel poured his bowl into the sea. The sea became like the blood of a dead body, and everything that lived in the sea died.
  • The third angel poured his bowl into the rivers. Water in all of the rivers and springs turned to blood.
  • The fourth angel poured his bowl onto the sun, which then burned people with its fierce heat. (Global warming?)
  • The fifth angel poured his bowl onto the beast’s throne. The beast’s kingdom was plunged into darkness.
  • The sixth angel poured his bowl on the Euphrates river, which then dried up completely.
  • The seventh angel poured his bowl into the air. God roars “It has happened!” and then there’s a powerful earthquake.

Chapter 17

More imagery, but this time one of the angels of the bowls provides an instant translation. That was very nice of him! John sees the notorious prostitute Babylon sitting at the edge of many waters. The angel says this prostitute is the mother of all detestable things, and the waters she sits on are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. When the time comes, the beast will leave the woman abandoned and naked.

An 1800s Russian engraving depicting the Whore...
Image via Wikipedia

John is then carried off into the wilderness, where he sees a woman. She is wearing the finest of clothing and jewelry, but holds a gold cup filled with detestable things. The woman is drunk on the blood of true believers. This woman represents the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.

The woman sits on top of a seven-headed, ten-horned beast. The heads are the seven mountains on which the city rests. The are also seven kings. In a sentence that could be ripped straight from Tolkein, “Five of them have fallen, one is living, and the other has not yet come.” The beast is actually the eighth king, and will be destroyed with the other seven.

The ten horns are also kings. These kings have not received their kingdoms yet. They have one purpose: to give their authority to the beast.

Chapter 18

There is one thing that is absolutely, positively, 100% obvious in the book of Revelation: the city Babylon is going to get fucked up when the world ends. Plagues of death, misery and famine will strike the city all in the same day. The city will burn to the ground. Merchants everywhere will cry and mourn, since the city’s destruction means the destruction of commerce throughout that region of the world. The city is destroyed, as is industry.

Chapter 19

We are at the beginning of the end. There is celebration in heaven at the fall of Babylon. Everyone in heaven sings their praises to God. And everyone rejoices because it is time for the wedding of the lamb and the church.

Heaven once again stands open, and at the gates is a white horse ridden by Faithful & True. The rider wears a robe that was dipped in blood. The robe has “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” written on it. The rider has a secret name written on himself, and his name is the Word of God. To quote from the Gospel of John, “In the beginning, the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” That all kind of flows together nicely.

The white rider leads the armies of heaven. A sharp sword comes out of his mouth (we heard of the mouth and sword thing earlier) and he uses this to battle the beast and the armies of the earth. In the end, the beast was captured. The beast and its false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire; the rest of the beast’s followers die by the sword of the white rider.

Up next: One resurrection, two deaths and a thousand years

New installments of The New Testament In Review will be posted each Tuesday and Thursday. The new posts will always be on my blog, http://biffster.org. The entire series is accessible via http://biffster.org/ntir. If you are one of my Facebook friends, you can get an advance preview on my Facebook page. You can also follow me (@biffster) on Twitter to be alerted to new posts.

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