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