BibleAsk Team

What is the great city of Revelation 16:19-21?

The apostle John wrote: “Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great” (Revelation 16:19-21).

What is the great city?

The great city, in this passage, refers to mystical Babylon (Rev. 17:5, 18; 18:10). Mystical Babylon, at the end of time, will consist of the papacy, apostate Protestantism, and modern spiritism (vs. 13, 14). At the voice of God (Rev. 16:17; 17:17), this threefold union of fallen religious establishments will lose its unity and power to act. The “cities of the nations” refer to the political organizations of earth which are represented in vs. 13, 14 as “the “kings of the earth.” Thus, the political forces of earth will all lose their unity and goal that united them under the sixth plague (vs. 14, 16; ch. 17:13, 17).

The world will attack mystical Babylon

At that time, there will be a dreadful awakening among the nations as God’s voice is heard with the command to deliver His children from their enemies. Now, the former components of the universal religio-political combine of ch. 16: 13, 14 begin to fight among themselves, and the “ten kings” of ch. 17:12–16 take revenge upon mystical Babylon (Rev. 17:17). And the hosts of earth will turn with anger upon their leaders who deceived them and upon one another with the same weapons that they intended to destroy God’s people. The result will be great conflict and violence everywhere (Rev. 14:20).

The second coming of Christ will destroy the wicked

At the second coming of Christ, the armies of heaven will descend and His wrath will fall upon the wicked. The earth will shake with a “mighty and great earthquake” (v. 18). God will send hail on the earth as a punishment to its inhabitants (Joshua 10:11; Eze. 13:11, 13; Isa. 28:17, 18; 30:30; Eze. 38:22; Rev. 11:19). And for the third time those upon whom the plagues fall will curse God, thus exhibiting their clear un-repented rebellion against Him, even in the midst of His severe judgments (vs. 1, 9, 11). “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches” (Revelation 16:15).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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