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96. Revelation 18: “Past, Present, and Future Judgement”

Mission Teens Drug Rehab Center in Norma, NJ -Evening Chapel Service on 12/29/2018

(edited December 2021)

 

As an introduction to chapter 18, here is a VERY BRIEF outline of the Book of Revelation from chapters 1-17. I admit that I have been and still am, very often, confused by a lot of this material! Actually, the whole Bible is beyond me in so many ways, but it’s harder to hide it here in Revelation. Still, I CAN tell you this, I have found that it IS all very much worth studying. So, first, let’s review what the Apostle John wrote about prior to chapter 18:

 

Book of Revelation Chapter Summary from Chapters 1-17

Chapters

Summary

1-2

Here we find messages for a few churches here on Earth back in John’s day. The messages are prophetic, as is the entire Book, but here it is also personal, relevant, and specific to each group of worshippers.

 

 

3-5

The Crucified and Resurrected Jesus is seen in Heaven being worshipped by Angels and Believers. They worship up Him up there by the same Spirit of God that is here with us tonight!

 

 

6-11

Judgement of this world described by seals on a scroll, riders on horses, sounding trumpets. The consequence that each of these initiates is explained in detail.

 

 

12-16

Many supernatural characters are introduced – Beasts, Angels, a Dragon, etc. They are all described and explained. (Please don’t ask me to explain them much further, because I can’t. . . maybe my ignorance should bother me more than it does! But, remember that futurists were looking for the Prophet Elijah to return before the Messiah could back in Jesus’ day. But Christ blew all their minds by identifying his cousin, John the Baptist, as Elijah! I think there will likewise be many, many surprises for all of us at the End of Time. . . whether we now claim to understand these prophesies or not! That’s my opinion, anyway.)

 

 

17

Babylon is introduced as a prostitute. Not as we would apply that term literally to a person today, but as a massive city of false and deceiving forces which entice many people away from their Creator.

 

That brings us to chapter 18, and our study for tonight. In this chapter John continues to describe God’s reaction to the corrupt city and His final judgement on Babylon:

 

Verses 1-3:And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.”

 

My best guess is that the Babylon referred to here is something like the worst of our commercial and political systems here on the Earth. Maybe our own personal sinful natures, also.  And, today these systems can push most of us around quite easily. At this, however, the forces of Babylon will not be able to push back against God and His Holy Angels.

 

Verses 4-5:And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”

 

The BEST TIME to begin pulling out of Babylon is NOW! I think that this call is meant for all of us to obey, right now by receiving Jesus and His Kingdom into our hearts. Are you living for Christ today, or for Babylon?

 

Verses 6-8:Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.”

 

Physical pleasure, accumulating money, food, comfort, and all this current world attempts to offer each of us is temporary. It has an end, a bitter end.

 

Verses 9-11:And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,  Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:”

 

The more attached we are to this world, the more painful and shocking its final judgement will be. That’s something I desperately need to remember to as I approach my own lifestyle today! And I don’t always remember it.

 

Verses 12-13:The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.”

 

Can the world own you, own your soul? I could say yes, at least, I can say it about me. It has owned me and still pulls at me. That is why I need a Savior, not just on the day I got saved back in 1980, but every hour of every day. Babylon wants me back! And something in me wants to go, even though I know in my heart that it is not the way that God is leading me. Pray for me, and I’ll pray for you!

 

Verses 14-16:And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt 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, And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!”

 

I can easily see myself among these men, saying these things, defeated and LOST. And so I would be, except for God’s mercy shown to me in Christ.

 

Verses 17-19:For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,  And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.”

 

We who believe today are seeking something new, a Heavenly City and our rightful Eternal Home. Babylon can’t offer you that!

 

Verse 20:Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.”

 

This is the group we want to be rooting for when that Day comes, wouldn’t you agree?

 

Verses 21-24:And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.”

 

 

We ALL have to choose sides, sooner or later. And we can’t serve God properly in the here and now until we can see this world for what it is. Not what it appears to be now, but what it is going to be revealed to be in the end. Don’t be fooled by the slick packaging and the promotion campaigns of our world system. And don’t be led by your own worst cravings, either. And yes, I know that’s far too easy to say and just too hard to do sometimes. Beloved, if your life experience is ANYTHING like mine, you need victory over darkness right now! And Revelation chapter 18 has taught me this week that those present spiritual victories in Christ are leading us to ultimate victory!

 

Now, we have no more time or energy to go on into Revelation chapter 19, and I appreciate so much your attention and patience with me tonight. But if we could, we would see that John is going to remind us that judgement is not all that is happening at the end of this world. There is also going to be a huge party! It will be the culmination of a celebration that has begun already, and continues on daily in the heart of everyone who believes. Let’s pray.

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