The Call to Come Out of Babylon, Revelation Chapter 18 Verses 4-8 (NASB)

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    And I heard another voice from HEAVEN, saying,

While the voice from HEAVEN was addressing the tribulation saints directly, the same call rings out to all "my people" throughout all time.

This couplet of verses speaks so strongly on its own that no exposition will be given.

    "COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE,
    • that you may not participate in HER SINS and
    • that you may not receive of HER PLAGUES;
    for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
Come out from her, my people, so that you may not share in her sins, neither participate in her plagues (Isaiah 48:20 ; Jeremiah 50:8). For her iniquities (her crimes and transgressions) are piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her wickedness and [her] crimes [and calls them up for settlement]. (Jeremiah 51:9) The Amplified Bible

"Come away from her, my people. Do not take part in her sins, or you will be punished with her. For her sins are piled as high as heaven, and God is ready to judge her for her evil deeds. New Living Translation
My people, you must escape from Babylon.
Don't take part in her sins and share her punishment.
Her sins are piled as high as heaven.
God has remembered the evil she has done.  Contemporary English version.

Get out, my people, as fast as you can,
so you don't get mixed up in her sins,
so you don't get caught in her doom.
Her sins stink to high heaven;
God has remembered every evil she's done. The Message version.

    "Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her DOUBLE according to her DEEDS;
This is consistent with the judgment awarded in crimes where "breach of trust" has been committed (Exodus 22:1-4-7-9). Obviously, the Babylonian evil system is very corrupt at this time and trust is nonexistent. Interestingly, the crimes are so disguised as pleasure that when they are committed they don't appear to be "payment". If one listens to advertising, you hear phrases such as "you earned it", "wouldn't you look good in .....", or "everyone else is doing it (so it must be OK, implied)". But it really is an evil payment.

From a spiritual viewpoint, this is the repayment the martyrs sought (Revelation 6:9-10). The martyrs asked when this would happen; here in chapter 18, the time has come.

As for God's chosen people, this payback is prophetically described in Jeremiah 51.

    in the CUP which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her.
So deep is the evil in the world during these times that to extract the "proper vengeance" (Romans 12:17-21) from Babylon, the judgment is doubled. As a sidelight to the Romans passage, the "evil" is to be overcome with GOOD. This is not GOOD done by the few believers who remain and have not been martyred, but rather this is the GOOD that is God (Luke 18:18-19-30). It is the GOOD of which humans gained knowledge by eating/internalizing the fruit of its tree (Genesis 3). We don't know what happens to the tree of the knowledge of GOOD and EVIL after the Genesis incident. However, one could imply that the tree of the knowledge of GOOD and EVIL is finally removed or destroyed at this time. That is, the double portion of judgment (the GOOD) overcomes the EVIL she has mixed in the same CUP.
    "To the degree that she
    • GLORIFIED HERSELF and
    • LIVED SENSUOUSLY,
There is pride to make oneself pretty. If one is told how pretty they are enough times, the head swells and the (pretty) person becomes GLORIFIED. Contrast this with Hebrews 5:1-5-10 .... Christ was NOT GLORIFIED in this manner.

To LIVE SENSUOUSLY has strong sexual overtones. After all, this Babylon did play the HARLOT with the kings of the earth (verse 3).

    to the same degree give her TORMENT and MOURNING;

TORMENT here is TORTURE to a maximum of pain. Symbolically, it is the kind of flame that is forever burning in Hades (Luke 16:19-24-31). With the maximum spiritual pain comes the MOURNING. This is in direct contrast to the new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:4).

    for she says in her heart,
               'I sit as a QUEEN and I am not a WIDOW, and will never see MOURNING.'

This phrase is used in Isaiah 47:1-11. This prophesy may have been directly given for this endtime.

The phrase 'says in her heart' denotes this is a huge spiritual denial. This isn't reality she is looking at but rather a boastful pride which counts on the king(s) of the earth to keep her status as QUEEN. One could interpret this as 'the government will take care of us (spiritually too)'. Obviously, her role as QUEEN lasts only as long as the king(s) want her to last (verses 9 and 10). In the Mideast, inheritance and status comes through the male side of the family. This Babylonian woman brags that she never will lose her husband(s) and hence see MOURNING.

In the Old Testament, when Jerusalem forgot God, Jeremiah compares Jerusalem as a WIDOW (Lamentations 1:1-11). In similar manner, we, believers, are the bride of Christ (Revelation 21:9); however, ours is eternal life and not this QUEEN's false bravado as the next verse shows.
    "For this reason in one day HER PLAGUES WILL COME,

The reason is the Babylonian pride that visibly shows itself in glorifying oneself (previous verse). Self becomes the idol or god and this is the quickest way to "irritate" God (Exodus 20:1-5-6).

In the case of Belshazzar, as Daniel saw this in Daniel 5:17-30-31, the judgment happened very quickly later that night. So, too, this judgment happens "in one day". Babylon will be destroyed as fast as Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed according to Isaiah 13:17-22.

    *    pestilence and mourning and famine, and

Judgment Loss of Weakens Reference
pestilence righteousness spirit 2 Samuel 24:10-17
mourning joy/comfort will Nehemiah 8:1-10-12
famine sustenance body John 6:22-40

Combine these weaknesses and death results both physically and spiritually.

    *    she will be burned up with FIRE;

Anything which turns us away from God will be tested (1 Corinthians 3:10-13-15).
Anything related to the pride/glorification will be consumed (Hebrews 12:18-29).
Anything seen by Jesus Christ will be judged (Revelation 1:14).

    for the LORD GOD who JUDGES her IS STRONG.
Many times Babylon is referred to as GREAT (verses 2, 10, 19, 21) and thus implying STRONG. But the LORD GOD IS STRONG eternally (implying greater than Babylon). The LORD GOD will complete what was started in the seventh trumpet (Revelation 11:15-18).
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright The Lockman Foundation, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 Used by permission."

References to the Revelation of Jesus Christ are in bold italics. All other references are in bold only