Questions about specific scriptures

ID #1021

In Rev. 18:4 "Come out of her my people..." Can you please clarify how this heavenly warning to Babylon the Great fits in with the rapture timing (before or after?) and if God speaks to the elect, the Jewish remnant or to those who come to Christ after the rapture.

This passage in Rev 18 is in the center of an episode where the angel takes John and explains about the fall of Babylon.  Rev 16 finishes the bowl judgments which are the final outpouring of God's wrath, and then in chapter 17 and following, it is like a flashback where the angel is describing some of the imagery that has been talked about. 

For instance, Rev 17:7-14 describes the Antichrist (or the beast).  The angel seems to describe the Antichrist as one of seven historical kings who rises from the Abyss.  It says he "once was, now is not," but will come.  Now I am not trying to give you a lesson on the Antichrist, I am trying to explain that these passages are not in chronological order.  This is like the angel is saying, "Now you have seen what is going to happen, let me go back and explain some of it to you."

Babylon symbolizes the governmental center of the Antichrist's dominion.  Whether it is a literal city, the actual resurrected Babylon, or refers to an entire country is not clear.  But at some point Babylon - whatever it is - will be destroyed.  The "my people" probably refers to Jewish people - because the scriptures tell us that by the end of the 70th week of Daniel only 1/3 of the Jews will be left.

Zec 13:8-9 (NIV) In the whole land," declares the LORD, "two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. {9} This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are my people,' and they will say, 'The LORD is our God.'"

This is significant that the remnant of Israel will only be 1/3, because that means that 2/3 of Israel were either hunted down and killed by Antichrist, or chose to align themselves with him. So, this plea to "come out of her" could be addressed to the 2/3 of Israel that will perish.

Also, this admonition to "come out of her" could be the same type of warning that Jesus gave in Matthew 24 when he said after the Abomination of Desolation to flee Jerusalem. 

Is this before or after the rapture? I believe that it is probably afterwards, due to the implication of judgment and the indication that it is the wrath of God that is befalling Babylon. We know from scriptures like 1 Thess 5:9 and 1:10; and Rev 3:10 that God's people will not endure God's wrath. Therefore, I see God's people as having already been rescued by the rapture.

Please understand this is my opinion - the scriptures are not real clear in this instance and I am giving my interpretation based on the surrounding events.

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Last update: 2008-11-25 17:30
Author: Elbert Charpie
Revision: 1.0

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