A vision: wealth and luxury

In my vision I saw another angel come down from heaven. He had great authority and the earth was lit up by his splendour.

He gave a mighty shout: “Babylon is fallen—that great city is fallen! She has become a home for demons, a hideout for every foul spirit, a hideout for every foul vulture and every foul and dreadful animal. For all the nations have made themselves drunk on the wine of her immorality. The kings of the earth have committed adultery with her and, because of her lust for luxury, the merchants of the world have grown rich.”

Then I heard another voice calling from heaven, “Come away from her, my people. Don’t take part in her sins, or you will be punished along with her. Her sins are piled as high as heaven and God won’t forget her evil deeds. Do to her as she has done to others. Double her penalty for all her crimes. She poured out a cup of terror for others, so pour out twice as much again for her. She glorified herself and lived in luxury, so match it now with torment and sorrow.
She boasted in her heart, ‘I am queen on my throne. I’m no helpless widow and I have no reason to mourn.’ Therefore, these plagues will overtake her in a single day—death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for the Lord God who judges her is mighty.

“When the rulers of the world – those who committed adultery with her and rejoiced in her luxury – see the smoke rising from her charred remains, they will weep and mourn for her. Standing at a safe distance while appalled by her torment, they will cry out, “How terrible, how terrible for you,  O Babylon, you great city! In a single moment God’s judgment has come upon you.”

The merchants of the earth will also weep and mourn, for there will be no one left to buy their goods. She purchased vast quantities of gold, silver, jewels and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet cloth; things made of fragrant wood, articles made of ivory and objects made of priceless wood; bronze, iron, and marble. She also bought cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses and carriages—and also human slaves.

“The fancy things you loved so much are gone,” they cry. “Your luxuries and splendour are now gone forever, never to be seen again.”

The merchants who became wealthy by selling her goods will stand at a distance, terrified by her great torment. They will weep and cry out, “How terrible, how terrible for that great city! She was clothed in finest purple and scarlet linens, decked out with gold, precious stones and pearls! In a single moment all the wealth of that great city has gone!”

All the captains of the merchant ships and their passengers, the sailors and all those who make their living from the sea will stand at a distance. They will cry out as they watch the smoke ascend, “Where is there another city as great as this?” They will weep and throw dust on their heads in their grief, and they will cry out, “How terrible, how terrible for that great city! The ship-owners became rich by transporting her great wealth across the seas. In a single moment it is all gone.”

“Rejoice over her judgment, O heaven! Rejoice you people of God! Rejoice you apostles and prophets! For at last God has judged her for your sakes.”

Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a huge millstone. He threw it into the ocean and shouted, “Just like this, the great city Babylon  will be thrown down with violence and will never be found again. The sound of harps, singers, flutes, and trumpets will never be heard in you again. No craftsmen and no tradesmen will be found in you again. The sound of the mill will never be heard in you again. The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voices of brides and grooms will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the most important people in the world and you deceived the nations with your spells. In your streets flowed the blood of the prophets and of God’s holy people, and the blood of all who have been slaughtered on earth.”

John

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