Read for This Week’s Study: Revelation 17; Jer. 51:13; Exod. 28:36-38; Rev. 13:1-8; Rev. 13:18; Rev. 16:2-12.
Memory Text: “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. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities’” (Revelation 18:4-5, NKJV).
The sixth plague causes the symbolic drying up of the Euphrates, as the disillusioned people of the world withdraw their popular support from end-time Babylon. As we saw in last week’s lesson, the shattering of her power will be preceded by extensive demonic activities counterfeiting the work of God (Rev. 16:13-14). The demonic activity will be successful in uniting the wicked in preparation for the battle of Armageddon.
At the outset of the final battle, a great earthquake occurs as part of the seventh plague. The earthquake shatters the unity of Babylon and splits it into three parts (Rev. 16:18-19). End-time Babylon is portrayed as a city, signifying the short-term union of political and religious powers of the world in opposition to God’s people. This unity is shattered, causing the breakup of end-time Babylon.
We must keep in mind that Revelation 16:19 only announces the political collapse of end-time Babylon. Chapters 17 and 18 tell us how this collapse actually will happen. Before describing the demise of end-time Babylon and the reasons for its fall (Rev. 17:12-18:24), Revelation 17 describes this end-time apostate religious system, this time in terms of a harlot riding a scarlet beast. In association with her daughters, the harlot Babylon, riding the scarlet beast, seduces the world against God (Rev. 17:1-11).