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The City God is Building - The Book of Revelation
Week 16, 2018
Next we will cover:
After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God!
For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her."
Again they said, "Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!"
And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, "Amen! Alleluia!"
Then a voice came from the throne, saying, "Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!" (NKJV)
Now we come to some of the most exciting prophecies of the end of the age and of the unfolding of the age to come—the kingdom of God coming to the earth.
First we see a great rejoicing that the Lord has judged the great harlot that had so corrupted the earth, and that He has avenged the blood of all of His saints that were slain by her. We are told that the smoke from her destruction will rise forever. “Forever” is not quite an accurate translation of the Greek word aion. It is more accurately and often translated, “age” or “ages.” Nonetheless, we can conclude from this that the smoke from her destruction will be obvious for a long time.
As the next age is the millennium reign of Christ on the earth, we could conclude that the smoke from the destruction of this harlot church will be obvious through that age. Why is this important? Because the lessons of this most terrible episode of human history must be remembered and learned for all time.
Next we see that the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures before the throne of God join the worship for this great event of the destruction of the great harlot. Then the exhortation comes from the very throne of God for all servants of the Lord to join the celebration. That is how the destruction of this harlot is seen in heaven—it is a cause for great celebration.
So, how should this affect us now? Obviously, it is right to rejoice at the destruction of evil. We also see that the ones who lament the destruction of this great harlot are those who had business interests with her. Again, there is a reason why the “mark of the beast” is an economic mark that determines whether we can buy, sell, or trade with the present powers of this age. If we are for or against something based on business interests, then we are wide open for deception and ending up on the wrong side.
In Revelation 18:4, the call goes out for God’s people to “come out of her.” First, that indicates that God’s people are in this “Mystery Babylon,” also called “the great harlot.” History reveals that during the times of the greatest corruption and evil being done by this system, some of the greatest saints arose within her, and remain within her to this day.
One of the most truly remarkable Christians in the Middle Ages was Francis of Assisi. Even his critics wrote after his death that before him, the beatitudes were considered an ideal for the age to come but that it was not possible to attain such spirituality in this age. This could not be said after Francis because he truly lived the beatitudes of Christ. Remarkably, this great saint lived during a time of some of the most corrupt popes, some of whom were his friends. How could this be? Well, didn’t Jesus teach that it was not those who were well who needed a physician?
Then we have a multitude of some of the most effective evangelists in history who were Catholics but preached Jesus, and the Holy Spirit was mighty within them. It is well documented that most of these moved in the power and gifts of the Spirit like the apostles did in the beginning. Some converted and discipled whole nations on a level that has not often been duplicated.
Pope John Paul II was one of great Christian leaders of our time. His courage and prophetic stand against Communism helped shatter the Iron Curtain and set hundreds of millions of people free from the worst human bondage. He had a remarkable gift of healing and miracles and exhorted all Catholics to seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit. The result was over one hundred million born-again charismatic Catholics.
So, is it time to call the true saints out of this system? As we read in Revelation 18, it was a great angel, or messenger, that made the proclamation that “Babylon is fallen.” It was after this that the Lord’s people were told to “come out of her.” This has not happened yet, so it is not time to call God’s people out. It is my opinion that this will not happen until there is a new wineskin not of the nature of that system to call them into.
So what should we do now? Seek the new wineskin and seek the “new Jerusalem,” the city that God is building.
next week 17