THE MERCHANT SHIPS AT SEA - REVELATION 18:17
THE MERCHANT SHIPS AT SEA
Sunday, October 24, 2021, the Year of Our Lord
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
At Wednesday night prayer, I noticed an article about a “ghost ship” being tossed up out of the sea in Daugavgriva, Latvia (north eastern Europe/Baltic Sea) from coastal erosion (10/18/21). I then remembered seeing a news article (last week) of multiple ships being tossed up on the isle of Iwo Jima due to earthquake activity. I also remember Johnny Enlow prophesying about increased seismic activity in the earth, encouraging the church to watch and see. I believe I was quickened by the Spirit that the ships being tossed up from the bottom of the sea are a sign of the merchant ships parked in our harbors.
Revelation 18:17: For in one hour, so great riches came to nothing. Every ship-master, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance.
In Revelation 17, an angel invited John to come and see the great harlot, mystery Babylon, who manipulated the kings of the world. In this vision, an angel did most of the talking while John listened.
In Revelation 18, the theme of great Babylon’s downfall is continued, but it is now presented in terms of the destruction of a great mercantile city.
In John’s day, Rome was the center of world commerce---‘Rome was the whole world and all the world was Rome’ (Spenser). What is here portrayed is not merely the doom of an ancient city, but the sure collapse of all human organization, commercial and otherwise, that leaves God out of its reckoning.
As I began to study the scripture on ships, the “Ships of Tarshish” were quickened to me. “Ships of Tarshish” metaphorically means merchant ships in general. Ezekiel 27 would also apply to the present “sign” of God’s dealings with the merchant ships
I believe the giant mercantile city, Mystery Babylon, to be the commerce of the world system. We have heard the Biden Administration speak repeatedly about an “over the horizon” plan. It is my personal belief that their liberal ideology is of the spirit of antichrist with the agenda to over-throw and destroy the economic strength of the U.S.A. and ultimately the world. If the U.S.A. falls off that fiscal cliff, the whole world’s economy will fall, thus creating a one world government and a one world economic system.
The U.S.A. has been blessed by God in prosperity and power. However, if we have an economic collapse which is the pre-meditated “over-the-horizon” plan, then the spirit of antichrist will control our nation under the guise of socialism. On August 24, 2021, Kamala Harris announced “we should do our Christmas shopping early.” Yes, this was all planned as part of the “over-the-horizon” plan.
Rev. 18: 11-17a: The merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her (Mystery Babylon). No man buys their merchandise any more. The merchandise of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine line, purple, silk, scarlet; all Thyine wood; all manner of ivory vessels; all manner of vessels of most precious wood; of brass, iron, marble, cinnamon, odors, ointments, frankincense, wine, oil, fine flour, wheat, beasts, sheep, horses, chariots, slaves, souls of men and the fruits that your soul lusted after are departed from you. All things which were dainty and goodly are departed from you and you shall find them no more at all. The merchants of these things which were made rich by her shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing. Saying, alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet and decked with purple, scarlet, gold, precious stones and pearls! In one hour so great riches has come to nothing. Every ship-master, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance.
Okay, so we are not fully there yet. However, unless the LORD moves, this is where we will be and as warned by Kamala Harris, the shelves of the merchants will be empty by Christmas. How could this happen? So many great ships! So many great ports! A great transportation system, all shut down. I am here to declare today that this is intentional by the transportation department.
In chapter 17, it was the kings who mourned for Babylon, now in chapter 18, it is the merchants’ turn to lament the destruction of commerce. They grew rich off the extravagances of Babylon.
One commentator writes that Nero spent $100,000 to import roses from Egypt for a single banquet. Another emperor spent 20 million dollars on food alone in a single year. These numbers are nothing compared to the extravagant spending of this administration and of the government of this nation with our indebtedness in the trillions.
Among the items on the shopping list are the bodies and souls of men, with people traded as slaves for merchandise. The sex trade and number of illegal immigrants pouring into the U.S.A. is a sin against the souls of mankind.
The shipping industry is in financial shock. The maritime moguls are amazed to see so many fortunes go down the drain. Everything on Rome’s wish list had to be imported, generating a tremendous flow of goods. So great was this flow, that all those in the maritime industry benefited, right down to sailors, fishermen and pearl divers. Like the kings and merchants, they stand off and watch the smoke rise from burning ruins, overwhelmed that it happened so fast.
Mystery Babylon stands not for a specific power, but more generally for world-power in opposition to God---the empire where God’s people live in exile. In Chapter 18, Babylon is pictured as the financial systems of the world that leaves God out of its reckoning. It is an imperial dominion whether in religion or government which sets itself against the Lord and against his anointed (Ps. 2:2).
Verse 20 is a strange verse and hard for us to comprehend as we watch the judgments over our nation.
Revelation 18:20: Rejoice over her heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets; for God has avenged you on her.
Like the apostles and prophets of old, we have cried out to the Lord for the salvation and redemption of the lost as well as the fulfillment of the LORD’s kingdom purpose for our nation. We must trust God with his dealings! Some will feel that believers are being told to rejoice over the suffering of the unsaved people involved with the harlot. But God is not like that. It is the destruction of the world system with the satanic way of life that calls for rejoicing. It is akin to hating the sin, but not the sinner.
In the judgments of God, rightly considered, the people of God can properly rejoice, but they will rejoice with trembling, remembering that His judgments begin with His own household.
The force of the imagery and drama in Revelation is strongly felt because of the deliberate contrast drawn between Babylon and the New Jerusalem, which is presented as the Bride of Christ (19: 6-9; 21:1-27).
It seems unnecessary to mention that the Babylon in chapter 18 is identical with Babylon of chapter 17. However, there are some commentators who have tried to make a distinction between them.
The prophecies in Revelation speak of ‘MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” This mystery Babylon is the spirit of Babylon which means “confusion; Babel - “to overflow with oil; It is also rendered as “gate of Bel (Bel was the supreme deity or god in the Babylonian pantheon); court of Baal, chaos, vanity, nothingness.” Babylon was the most influential power on earth. Just as the wealth of Mystery Babylon is the most influential power on the earth today.
Our southern border and cities have become an altar of Baal, in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom. Children, sons and daughters are being sacrificed for money as they are being abandoned and left on the border, used as decoys for drug trafficking, sex trafficking and human smuggling. Children are being abused sexually and left to die on our southern border with no law authority in America to arrest and punish the evil. Lawlessness with murder abounds in our cities. The plague, pestilence, sword and famine now cover our nation. Let us tear down the altar of Baal.
Jer. 32:35: They built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.
To the Jew, Babylon represented a man-made religion that was demonic in nature with a lifestyle that was abominable in the sight of God. Jews came to apply the name Babylon to any city that shook its fist in the face of God. Babylon is “the mother of harlots” who has dominated peoples, multitudes and nations. This spirit of confusion that pervades all man-made religion and governments has become a habitation of demons and foul spirits. Babylon is pictured as a prostitute (representing a false union which cannot satisfy) who seduces people away from the true and living God, captivating the souls of men.
This is not the first time a city has been described as a harlot. Nineveh was such a city, who betrayed nations with her harlotry and charms (Nahum 3:4); as well as Tyre and Samaria. Here the reference is to Rome’s domination of the Mediterranean world.
Ezekiel 27 is the lament over the ruin of Tyre and her loss of her earthly splendor. The passage dwells on the worldwide trade, commerce, and material wealth of Tyre.
Ez. 27: 24-30: These were your merchants in all sorts of things, in blue clothes, and embroidered work, and in chests of rich apparel, bound with cords, and made of cedar among your merchandise. The ships of Tarshish did sing in your market, and you were replenished and made very glorious in the midst of the seas. The rowers have brought you into great waters. The east wind has broken you in the midst of the seas. Your riches, fairs, merchandise, mariners, pilots, calkers, occupiers of merchandise and all your men of war that are in you, and in all your company which is in the midst of you, shall fall into the midst of the seas in the day of your ruin.
The east wind is the wind of judgment. The wind here is the Holy Ghost controlling and determining all things. The prophecy set forth in Ez. 26-28 have been fulfilled with UN-mistake able literalness. A complete study of Ezekiel 27 reveals those who bought and sold with Tyre exemplify the Mark of the Beast (Rev. 13: 13-18). The reaction of the sailors and pilots are the same as in Revelation 18.
Ez. 27:30: They shall cause their voice to be heard against you, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their heads. They shall wallow themselves in the ashes.
Rev. 18:19: They cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing….
The passages in Jeremiah 50-51 and Isaiah 46-47 read almost word for word with Revelation 17, 18 and 19.
We will be finishing our one-year study of Jeremiah in a few weeks. Sadly, we have watched as the sins of our nation align with the sins of Judah and the nine nations.
With regard to the Church, the divine command is clear: Come out of her, my people, that you are not partakers of her sins, and that you do not receive of her plagues (Rev. 18:4).
The Lord’s judgments are unto victory and the glory of the LORD JESUS CHRIST as he comes in His glory. Let us join with the apostles and prophets and rejoice as we watch the Hand of the Lord over the nations. We have been saved. We are being saved. And we will be saved. It will be great glory for His church and judgment on the wicked that they may repent and be saved.
I go back to the sign of the ships from the past known as “ghost ships” being thrown up from the seas. I believe this is a sign for us to look and see God’s dealings with the ships of the sea. He has given us his Word and his dealing with sin throughout history. In him there is no variableness or shadow of turning.
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries Church
Scripture from K.J.V. and N.K.J.V.