Many Hebrew words relating to blood, wine, and cup in the Old Testament have nearly identical meanings as their Greek counterparts in the New Testament. When there are differences, such differences will be noted.
We’ve seen that the wrath of God and His treading of the winepress in the latter days were spoken of by Old Testament prophets, particularly Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Joel.
The word ‘cup’ in the Bible can mean a vessel that can contain either blood or wine. However, in the current context cup will mean one’s ‘lot or portion.’
“He (Jesus) went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.’” Matthew 26:39
As we approach the Book of Revelation, the cup is predominately filled with abominations, such as idolatry, or God’s wrath in dealing with such.
Just prior to the seven last bowl judgments, several angels make profound proclamations, either appealing to the called or describing devastation for the rejecters.
After an angel announced the everlasting gospel, a second angel announced the judgment of idolatrous Babylon.
“…Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Revelation 14:8
‘Wrath’ in the above means violent passion. ‘Wrath’ in the Greek is also synonymous with ‘anger,’ ‘vengeance,’ and ‘indignation.’
Babylon is the center of idolatrous worship and has made all nations drunk with spiritual adultery (fornication). Fornication can also be expressed as infidelity to one’s marriage partner. And recall, in the Book of Hosea, Israel is said to be betrothed to God; while in the New Testament, the church is the bride of Christ.
Then one of the seven angels who had the last bowls told John that he would explain the judgment of the great whore.
“Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” Revelation 17:1b-2
The angel explained that the waters on which the harlot sits are peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues, i.e. people groups from all the earth.
Then there is the physical Babylon which will also be judged.
Another angel descending from heaven had a similar warning.
“…Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons…for all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” Revelation 18:2b-3
This passage describes the predominant activities of the harlot’s fornication, or spiritual adultery. It is materialism; it is placing the economy as a nation’s first priority; it is pursuing wealth above all things; it is choosing the material and transitory over God.
Babylon, the harlot, is the system and place; the beast (anti-Christ) is the ruler of the final earthly gentile kingdom before the return of Christ. John explains the relationship between the harlot and the beast.
“…And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.” Revelation 17:3
It is extremely interesting that the ten horns (the ten nations comprising the seventh and final kingdom) will destroy the great harlot.
“And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.” Revelation 17:16-17
Thus, the harlot will be destroyed by the ten nations of the final world kingdom.
Just prior to Babylon’s judgment another voice from heaven proclaimed:
“Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4b
The warning stands today.