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Revelation  ◦   Chapter 18

1After this, I saw another messenger coming down from heaven — symbolizing the Godly origin of his message. He had the great authority and power of truth, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor.2With a voice reverberating throughout the earth, he shouted: "Babylon the Great is a fallen system of religious tradition, fable, and falsehood distorting the truth about God! Every demonic distortion about God, every evil attitude toward God, and all filthy and destructive heart-motives find their home with her,3for she intoxicates the world with her pagan views of God, maddening them with her adulterous idea that God coerces and must inflict punishment if not properly appeased. Earth's leaders corrupt themselves with her by practicing her methods, and people not anchored in God's kingdom of love, and those who wander from philosophy to philosophy, fill their minds with her smorgasbord of lies."

4Then I heard another voice calling from heaven, saying: "Come out of her, my people! Leave that confusing mess of evil thinking so that you will not share in her spiritual sickness and rebellion, and so that you will not receive the suffering she has chosen;5for her violations of God's design for life have piled up to heaven, and God diagnoses her condition accurately.6She will reap what she has sown: all that she has done will come back on her–with double intensity–from her own evil condition.7Her suffering and torment will be every bit as great as the self-flattery, indulgence, and reward she gave herself. She deceives herself and flatters herself in her heart and saying to herself, 'I am a virtuous and righteous queen. I am not dead in sin. I have nothing for which to grieve or repent.'8But in one day, the reality of her diseased condition will overcome her: necrosis, overwhelming grief and disintegration will be her end. She will be consumed by the fire of God's presence–the fire of truth and love–and all her lies and selfishness will be eradicated, for mighty is the Lord who diagnoses her as terminal."

9When the leaders of earth — who took her in their embrace, practiced her methods and fed on her smorgasbord of lies — see the results of the truth burning through her and rising before them like smoke, they will cry and mourn.10Terrified at the agony of mind and the suffering she experiences when the fires of truth burn free, they will try to distance themselves from her, hoping to avoid the truth themselves. They will watch and cry, "Poor Babylon the Great! Despite all your coercive power, in one hour your doom has come!"

11The peddlers of her lies and those marketing her distorted views will cry and mourn over her because no longer does anyone buy what they are selling–12whether presented with gold, or the silvery tongue of deceit, or served as a string of pearly white stones, or dressed up in fine clothing, or hidden beneath fine wood carvings, or bronze, or iron, or marble sculpting–their lies will not sell.13Whether sweetened with sugary words, or made fragrant with flowery acts, or attempted to be made digestible like olive oil, flour or wheat, or domesticated like cattle, sheep or horses, or made to appear useful like a carriage, or even if presented as healing the body or giving life to the soul–no one will buy their lies.

14They will say, "The time when you would retire, enjoying the fruit of your work, is gone. All you worked to accomplish is gone, all you value is vanished, and your lies will never work again."15The peddlers of her lies and methods–those who enriched themselves from her–will be terrified as they see her torment and will try to get as far from her as possible. They will wail and mourn16and cry out: "No! Oh no! O great city, you appeared rich, well dressed, organized, powerful, and in control;17but in one hour all your strength and all your power is ruined!"

All her spiritual advisors, pastors, church leaders, those who navigate the seas of life, and all who earn their living by leading people, will try to get as far away from her as they can.
18When they see her suffering from the burning truth, they will cry out: "Was there any other organization, method or system we could have followed? No city was like her!"19They will be covered in shame and wail in grief as they anticipate their fate. They will cry out: "No! Oh no! O great city — great system of worldly ways — in which all who had a scheme advanced themselves by plying her ways! But in one hour she has been exposed and ruined!

20"Rejoice, O heaven, for she has been exposed as false! Rejoice, healed children of God, ambassadors and spokespersons of God! For God was right when he diagnosed her as 'terminal' for the way she treated you.'"

21Then a mighty angel picked up a massive boulder and threw it into the sea–symbolic of the kingdom of Jesus the Rock being established upon earth. The angel said, "With such overwhelming shock and awe will the truth overthrow the great city of Babylon, and it will never rise again.22People will never sing songs or live lives to honor you again. No person will work to promote you again. No further lies, deceit or poisonous tale will be produced in you again.23No enlightenment will seek to shine in you again. The voice of love will never be heard in you again. Your sales team and marketers were the leaders of the world. It was by your trickery, deceit and mystical ways that all the nations were led astray.24You killed God's spokespersons and friends, and your methods caused the death of all who have been killed on earth."