1 And [kai] after [meta] these things [tauta] I saw [eido] another [allos] angel [aggelos] come down [katabaino] from [ek] heaven, [ouranos] having [echo] great [megas] power; [exousia] and [kai] the earth [ge] was lightened [photizo]
with [ek] his [autos] glory. [doxa] KJV-Interlinear
these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great
authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. NASB
The doom of Babylon, and the impact that Babylon has on humanity and history are all tied together in this chapter.
Compared to God, all of creation, all of the angels, all of humanity, and especially all of mans plans are as nothing. Like a drop from a bucket, Isa. 40:15. Like a speck of dust yielding no weight on a set of scales, Isa. 40:15. Nothing, meaningless, nothingness, Isa. 40:17.
This is what all of mans accomplishments, even if added together from all of human history, add up to - nothing.
If history has seen several trillion peoples born into this world, and even if only a few tens of millions have accomplished anything in their individual lives, then what does that make you, a single individual?
Compared to the whole of history, each one of us is vastly less than a speck of dust, if all of human history combined makes up just a single speck of dust.
And yet, from the time of Babylon, humanity, following the pattern of Satan's arrogance, has presumed that they can do better than God. A few elites along the way, believe that they could do better for all, than tens of millions of individuals making decisions on their own, independent and separate from everyone else.
And yet every time government and would be kings, celebrities and politicians get it in their heads that they can regulate society and life, then all of life suffers and sinks into a dismal chasm of heartache.
From generation to generation society has risen and fallen in the roller-coaster ride of human idealism, never learning from their mistakes, driven by endless philosophies and arrogance, and the world has paid the price over and over.
From the very beginning, the Bible has taught the principles of independence and individualism, honor and patriotism, truth and justice, freedom and liberty. And Satan has pursued the opposites in elitism and slavery, regulation and prejudice, lies and deceit.
But there will come a day, when all of the falsehoods of life will cease to have power over anyone.
And that is the announcement of this angel starting out chapter 18.
John lived 1900 years ago. None of these events had taken place by his time. None of these events have taken place even in our own current time. They are all still future. Chapters 6-18 pretty much summarize the rapid flood of judgments that will come from God during those final seven years of history, known as the Tribulation.
What John has been seeing is a vision. The vision is not the actual events nor the actual people, but a visual representation of the events that are going to occur.
And by this time in the vision, the world is in darkness, and filled with the horrible circumstances of starvation, zero economic production, and death throughout the world. The horrors and suffering, though we have described them, are really much worse and beyond description.
And in contrast, John sees yet another angel. This is an angel, 'allos,' meaning another or one of the same type. Similar to the angels which John has been seeing throughout his visions.
And the contrast, is that this angel has tremendous glory and light and presence.
The world is dark and dead, as it were. That is the accomplishment of Satan's and mans plans. Satan just wants to defeat God and be better than He, while man has the presumption that he can make a better world for himself after the pattern of Babel, and he cannot.
This angel is like any other created being. He is less than a speck of dust. And yet even he as a single individual, has greater glory in lighting the whole world, than all of history's accomplishments.
Remember that this is a vision, and the symbolism which John is seeing and writing about, so that we can see the contrasts.
Even one individual (perhaps you) who has accepted and pursued Gods plan, is greater than all of human history, because human history is a sum total of nothing. And none of us needless to say, can compare to God in all of His glory.
But you need to understand that in Christ, there is infinitely greater splendor, than in all of the world.
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