Continuing God’s destruction of Babylon which began in Revelation 17, chapter 18 details the destruction of economic Babylon.
Welcome to our study of the Book of Revelation. And before we go any further, I just want to address an insidious rumor that I'm still hearing out there on the streets. It's the rumor that the Book of Revelation is hard to understand, but drivel say we for you see, the word Revelation means that something has been revealed. And the first words of this book tell us exactly who it is that's being revealed. It's the revelation of Jesus Christ.
And God wanted us to read this book so much that he promised anyone who would take the time to read and respond to it a special blessing. And we find that in Revelation chapter one, verse three, let's claim it together. It says, Blessed is he or she who reads the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written in it for the time is near, but God knew they would still be those who would say, It's just too hard to understand. So to make this book simple, to understand, the Lord also included an easy to follow outline. And we find that in Revelation chapter one, verse 19, let's read that the outline begins with these instructions.
Write the things which you have seen. That was the resurrected and glorified Jesus in chapter one. Then Jesus tells John, I want you to write the things which are that refers to the Church age, which began on Pentecost around 32. Ad continues to the present day and is prophesied in chronological order in chapters two and three. And then lastly, Jesus says, John, I want you to write about the things which will take place after this events that will unfold after the Church age ends.
Now, when does the Church age end? In Revelation chapter four, verse is, Let me read it to you. John writes, after these things, I looked and behold a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard that was Jesus in chapter one was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, Come up here and I will show you things which must take place after this. And up John goes, serving as a picture of the Church who will be raptured to be with the Lord.
And then Jesus takes all of chapters four and five to make sure we don't miss the fact that the Church is with Him in heaven before he pours out his wrath on the Earth. And that wrath begins to be poured out in Revelation chapter six, and continues all the way up to Revelation chapter 19. That time period is known as the Tribulation. It's seven years long, and Revelation 616 tells us that those on the Earth in that time who have rejected Jesus will understand that it is Jesus who is judging them, and they will refer to it as the wrath of the Lamb. So chapter one introduces the focus of Revelation Jesus Christ chapters two and three take us through the Church age up to the present day.
The Church goes up in chapter four. Verse is we see her in heaven safe and secure with Jesus in chapters four and five. And then wrath comes down in chapter six. It lasts, as we said, all the way up to chapter 19, at which point Jesus returns to the Earth in the event known as the Second Coming, which is going to happen next week, at least in our study of the Book of Revelation, I should have been more clear. So don't miss it.
I'll give you a little preview. If you love Jesus, here's how your story is going to end. And they lived happily ever after. Thank you Jesus, for that. Well, last time we learned that chapter 17 and 18 are parenthetical.
That means the pause button has been pushed on the main narrative so that an angel can reveal to John the Lord's judgment of Babylon through events of the Tribulation. And for the sake of clarity, if you missed our previous study, here's what you need to know about Babylon. The term Babylon can be a bit confusing because it is used in scripture to refer to something literal, something abstract and mystical, and sometimes both simultaneously. Literally, Babylon is a city located in the presentday country of Iraq. It is one of the most notable cities of antiquity, serving as the capital of empires and a cultural center of the world for centuries.
In the abstract and mystical sense, Babylon refers to the world system, all the systems established by the world's current ruler, Satan. We're talking about the world's systems of finance, government, religion, sex, entertainment, values, all of secularism. It's all Babylon. Mystically Babylon was the birthplace of paganism and the first world Empire. It was ruled by the world's first tyrant, who we talked about in our previous study as well.
It was a man named Nimrod. Last week, Chapter 17 detailed God's judgment of religious Babylon. This week, Chapter 18 will detail God's judgment of economic Babylon. The world's economic system is not impartial. It is not amoral.
God's judgment of it is going to reveal that he considers it to be a great evil. I believe the world's financial system is one of the clearest evidences that man is not good and cannot save himself. We mastered global travel and trade. Instead of using it to solve inequality and elevate the human race, we used it to exploit the poor on the other side of the globe, creating a new class of modern-day slaves, putting even children to work. And why?
Because we realized that thanks to these innovations, we could have more and pay less for it. While corporations became even wealthier and profit margins expanded, we created that system. We turned medicine into big business, creating a world where thousands of people die every day from diseases that we can cure but don't because the poor can't afford the medications. We created an agricultural economy where warehouses full of food rot in order to keep their market value inflated while people starve within a day's journey by boat or plane under Satan's influence. We, the fallen people of the Earth, created this system. Not God - us, collectively.
And that system is so big, it's so wicked, it's so intricate, that none of us will ever be able to truly reform it. We won't. The best we can do is replace it with a different kind of evil system like communism. That's why we hope and pray and long for the day when Jesus rules the Earth as King because he is the only good King. Communism is not the answer.
Socialism is not the answer. Capitalism is not the answer. Jesus is the answer. We need a good King. We need the only good King to come and reign over the Earth.
Write this down as your first fill-in, and then I'll explain it a little bit more before we get into the text. Revelation 18 details God's punishment of economic Babylon, the world's financial system. Revelation 18 details God's judgment of economic Babylon, the world's financial system. And as best we can tell, God will accomplish this by destroying the literal city of Babylon. Now, that statement can be a bit challenging for some to accept, because if you hop on Google Earth and take a look at the satellite view of Babylon today, you'll find that it consists of ancient ruins visited by less than 1000 Iraqis per year, farmland.
Because of its proximity to the Euphrates River and a few small towns, there is not a lot going on there right now, and there's nothing big currently planned. While several pastors and authors claim that Antichrist will rule his Empire from Babylon, there's nothing to indicate that in the biblical text. Rather, we see Antiochus occupying the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, desecrating the Holy of Holies by using it as his throne room. And yet, I believe the text of Revelation 18 points to a literal Babylon being destroyed and her destruction resulting in the collapse of the world's economic system. Now, how is that possible, even hypothetically?
Well, I'm obviously speculating, but I think of the relationship between Washington, DC and New York. Washington, DC is the legislative capital of the USA, but New York City is essentially her financial capital. It's entirely feasible that Antichrist could designate Babylon the financial capital of his Empire. Imagine all transactions being processed through a software system headquartered in Babylon, a system that prevents anyone from buying or selling without the Mark of the beast. Imagine a new type of exchange being established, their exchange being established there as well, where all stocks and commodities trading, all global shipping transactions, all individual and corporate banking pass through Antichrist's financial servers.
But why would Antichrist build that in Babylon? Because, as we've discussed previously, while Jerusalem is God's sacred location on the Earth, Babylon is Satan's. The significance of both cities is far greater than we realize. Much, much more important, Revelation 18 describes a literal Babylon being destroyed and her destruction resulting in the collapse of the world's economic system, perhaps because the software systems controlling global trade will be wiped out. Think about this.
All currency will be digital at that time, and it will simply cease to exist. When God judges economic Babylon, it will be vaporized. I believe that's the kind of idea being presented in this chapter. But as always, you come to your own conclusions. In terms of the timeline, it appears the judgment of economic Babylon unfolds around the same time as the 7th and final bold judgment.
Revelation, chapter 16, verses 17 through 19 are on your outline, and they described that judgment. Thusly. Then the 7th angel poured out his ball into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were noises and thunderings and Lightnings, and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the Earth. Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and great Babylon was remembered before God to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
And with that, let's get into the details of the text, because while there are lots of theories about the end times, many of them fall apart. When you get into the details of Scripture, this chapter is certainly not black and white, but as always, the details give us greater clarity as to what's really going on. Let's read together. In verse one, it begins with after these things. So after being shown a vision of the destruction of religious Babylon, John is shown another vision.
I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the Earth was illuminated with his glory. If you'll recall the bold judgments we talked about, how they will likely unfold in rapid succession very close to the end of the tribulation, creating a cumulative effect rather than each judgment ending before the next one begins. That means that when this angel appears, Antichrist's Empire will still be in darkness because of the fifth bowl judgment. The appearance of this glorious angel will be even more striking as it pierces that overwhelming darkness. Verse two, and he the angel cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird.
This is another pronouncement of judgment on Babylon, another proleptic statement, and everyone who dwells on the Earth will hear these words. The judgment pronounced back in Revelation 14 eight will soon be complete. In this context, the word bird is being used as an additional term for demons and foul spirits. It's intended to convey the filthy nature of scavenging birds who hang around places of death and destruction. And it's interesting that the angel calls Babylon a prison for every foul spirit and a cage for every unclean and hated bird.
It seems that at the end of the tribulation, God is going to gather all the demonic entities that have been permitted to roam the Earth in the tribulation and imprison them in the area of Babylon in preparation of their imminent destruction. Antichrist and the false Prophet will not be imprisoned in Babylon. God has a different plan for dealing with them. Verses Three For all the nations underline all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her, fornication the Kings of the Earth have committed fornication with her. Economic Babylon and the merchants of the Earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.
We talked about this in our previous study. Every man and woman were created by God to worship him, and because we derive our meaning from that which we worship, he would not be a good God if he instructed us to worship anything other than him. He is the best thing for us and the only source of true life in existence. When a man or woman chooses to worship something or someone else, God likens it to Harlotry, he considers idolatry to be spiritual adultery. In chapter 17, God addressed the idolatry of false religion.
Here in chapter 18, he addresses the idolatry of material wealth. God addresses those who worship money, the God called Mammon. In the scriptures we see the phrase all the nations used. The whole world has been and will be seduced by economic Babylon and the lure of material wealth. The biblical event that best parallels this chapter is ancient Babylon on the night she was taken by Cyrus the Great.
The story is found in Daniel chapter five, and it documents Belchazar, a hedonistic and arrogant King throwing a lavish party. Despite being aware of Cyrus presence just outside the city walls, Belshazzar wasn't at all concerned because Babylon's walls were famously impregnable. A river ran through the city. They had so many supplies, it was said the city could survive a 20 year siege. Everyone in Babylon assumed they were untouchable.
Well, if you know the story, you know that God crashed the party, wrote his judgment with his own finger on a wall, and then inspired Cyrus to cut off the flow of the river, allowing his army to walk under the walls of Babylon. Bell Shazar and his pagan nobles were killed that very night, and Babylon fell. That's the picture here. Babylon will once again think herself impregnable indestructible, and God will bring it to nothing in just one day. Here's the Council God gives those who have turned to him in the tribulation and are still alive on the Earth at this time.
Verse Four and I heard another voice from heaven saying, Come out of her. Come out of Babylon, my people, lest you share in her sins, unless you receive of her plagues. I have the words of God underlined in my Bible. There God says, Get as far away from Babylon as you possibly can because I'm about to destroy her. It's similar to the instructions that were given to Lot and his family to flee the city of Sodom.
God's call to his people to come out of Babylon is timeless. It applies to us today. We live in Babylon, yet we are called to not be of Babylon. I'll say that again. We live in Babylon, yet we are called to not be of Babylon.
The New Testament declares this over and over again, and I put some of those references on your outline for you to look up later. I'll highlight one example for you. When Jesus is praying for his disciples before he is arrested, he prays this to his heavenly Father: "They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by your truth."
Your word is truth. If you're going to follow Jesus, you must view yourself as being not of the world. That means that although we live in this world for now, we don't live and work and build and store up stuff as though this is our forever home. But how do we practically live in this world without getting caught up in this world? How do we use money but not be used by the world's money?
Jesus' request of his heavenly Father on our behalf gives us the answer. He prayed, sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth. In the tribulation, God's Word will give direction to believers just as it does today. It lays out a path, a way of living that allows us to live in Babylon without becoming part of Babylon.
How do you avoid getting caught up in religious Babylon? Believe and practice what the Word commands regarding financial matters. Make a note of this. God's Word illuminates a way to live in Babylon without becoming part of Babylon. God's Word illuminates a way to live in Babylon without becoming part of Babylon.
God says that if we embrace Babylon as our home, we will end up joining her in her sins and receiving the natural consequences of doing so. That's what God means when he says, "Lest you share in her sins, unless you receive of her plagues." Sin always leads to destruction and death, literally and mystically as well. So, if you embrace a culture that loves sin, destruction, and death, those things sin, destruction and death are going to show up sooner or later in your life, in your relationships, in your finances. This is the same warning God repeatedly gave the Israelites, and they never seem to listen.
God warned them, don't intermarry with the surrounding pagan cultures. Don't mingle with them because you will be seduced by their wickedness and join them in it. We talked about this a couple of weeks ago when we talked about how pastor fall don't think too highly of yourself. Don't think you can take fire in your lap and not be burned. Don't fall in love with Babylon because you won't change Babylon, but Babylon will change you.
Let me say that again. You won't change Babylon, but Babylon will change you. According to the Scriptures, Babylon will stand until Jesus tears it down. Therefore, until that day we are called out of Babylon. Verse five.
For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities underline that word remembered. When you give your life to Jesus, you receive forgiveness for every sin you've committed and will commit. That debt was paid by Jesus on your behalf on the cross. Those sins are not hanging over your life, and they will not follow you into eternity. Thank God for that.
But the sins of those who reject Jesus hang over them, never disappearing into the passage of time, but rather waiting for the inevitable day of judgment. The Lord says that the sins of Babylon have piled up like a tower reaching to heaven, demanding a response from him. God remembers every evil committed by Babylon and those who have fornicated with her. He remembers every genocide, every abuse, every disease that could have been cured, every slave traitor, every bit of human oppression and exploitation, and he will judge it all. He will judge it all.
Verse six render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works in the cup, which she has mixed, mix double for her. In other words, because Babylon's wickedness was extraordinary, it is just that her punishment be extraordinary as well. In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously in the same measure give her torment and sorrow, for she says in her heart, I sit as Queen and am no widow, and will not see sorrow. Therefore her plagues will come in one day, one day death and mourning and famine, and she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her. Verse seven describes the appeal of economic Babylon, the reason people worship and fornicate with her.
It's the enticement of living luxuriously and having a life where wealth insulates and protects you from the trials of life experienced by ordinary people. It's the lure of glory and prestige feeding the insatiable appetite of one's ego. And yet the Lord declares that Babylon will be utterly burned with fire, and those who worship her are destined for a similar fate in eternity. Would you make a note of this? Verse eight tells us that economic Babylon will burn to the ground in a single day.
It will burn to the ground in a single day. Verse nine. The Kings of the Earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, Alas, Alas, that great city, Babylon, that mighty city, for in 1 hour your judgment has come. Notice that the Kings of the Earth and the merchants do not mourn in repentance or lamentation over their idolatry. They mourn over the destruction of Mammon, the God they devoted their lives to serving.
Verses nine and ten and 15 and 16 are the strongest indicators that we're talking about a literal city as the Kings of the Earth and the merchants are described, watching from a distance as Babylon Burns, fearing coming any closer lest they share in her fate. This is clearly describing the destruction of a literal Babylon, not just a mystical Babylon. We also see the word city used repeatedly in this chapter, and there are several Old Testament prophecies that foretell the permanent destruction of a literal Babylon. For example, I put it on your outlines. Isaiah prophesied Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the caldhean's pride will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
It will never be inhabited, nor will it be settled from generation to generation. Nor will the Arabian pitch tents there, nor will the shepherds make their sheep folds there. How did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah? By raining fire and brimstone from the sky. That's what's going to happen when Babylon is utterly burned with fire.
We also know Isaiah's prophecy hasn't been fulfilled yet because there are people living in Babylon right now. But when God is through judging her as described in Revelation 18, nobody will ever set foot there again. Verse eleven and the merchants of the Earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore. The merchants of the Earth, those who sell things, won't mourn over their sin, they won't repent. They'll mourn over the loss of their wealthy customers because the world financial system will be eviscerated, it will cease to exist.
Apparently, the elites of the world were the ones these merchants were selling to. We know that because we're told in the next two verses what kind of items these merchants were selling. It says, Merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and Scarlet, every kind of Citron wood, every kind of object of Ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron and marble and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep. Verses and chariots and bodies and souls of men. This list includes things like gold and silver, diamonds, the finest fabrics, the most expensive and exotic building supplies, Ivory, specialty woods and metals, marbles, et cetera, the most expensive spices and fragrances, the best wines, the purest cooking and baking ingredients, livestock, exotic cars, private jets.
And then you reach this strange phrase, bodies and souls of men. Greek scholars generally agree that bodies should be translated slaves. The phrase souls of men refers to the essence of a person, their life, their mind, their heart. The scholars that I agree with Deduce that these terms are being used together to point to sex trafficking. That's what we're most likely talking about.
The items on that list are almost all highend items enjoyed by the world's elite, and we'll revisit that later in verses 14 God speaks this judgment over economic Babylon and those who worship her. The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all. Those who worship wealth will be left with empty hands and empty souls. Those who rejected Jesus longed for the fruit of material wealth. Those who love Jesus longed for the fruit of the Spirit which is love that produces joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and selfcontrol.
Verse 15 the merchants of these things who became rich by her will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing and saying, Alas, Alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple and Scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls. For in 1 hour underline this such great riches came to nothing. Every shipmaster, all who traveled by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea stood at a distance and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, what is like this great city? They threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and wailing and saying, Alas, Alas, that great city in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth, for in 1 hour she is made desolate. And here's how the Saints, the Church, you and me are told to respond.
Verse 20 Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you Holy Apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her. Apparently if you love the Lord, if you love righteousness, then you will rejoice when the world economic system comes tumbling down. We will rejoice when the righteousness of heaven invades Earth and triumphs over evil. We will rejoice when Jesus is exalted and the way is made straight for his return to reign his King over the Earth. Verse 21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying Thus with violence, the great city Babylon shall be thrown down and shall not be found anymore.
This angel is creating a visual metaphor of what Babylon's destruction will be like. A millstone was about four to 5ft across and about 1ft thick. And this angel throws a millstone into the ocean. There's a massive sudden impact, and then this millstone disappears beneath the waters, never to be seen again. So shall Babylon's final destruction be.
Verse 22 the sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore. And the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you anymore. If a rebuilt Babylon becomes the world's financial capital, it will certainly attract the elite. And from this verse we learn that until she's judged, Babylon will be filled with the sounds of parties and entertainment in the great tribulation much like Babylon while Cyrus was waiting just on the other side of their walls.
Verse 23 the light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For underline this your merchants were the great men of the Earth. Now isn't this an interesting bit of Bible prophecy? Babylon will be destroyed in an age when the great men of the Earth are not Caesars emperors or Kings, but merchants, Titans of industry who acquire their wealth and power by fornicating with Babylon. I know it's hard to imagine such a time, but it's what the Bible says.
Write this down. Babylon will be destroyed in an age where the great men of the Earth are merchants, I. E. Businessmen. Babylon will be destroyed in an age where the great men of the Earth are merchants.
For your merchants were the great Amen of the Earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. Everyone who doesn't belong to Jesus will fornicate with economic Babylon because they will be seduced by the appeal of material wealth. Verses 24 and in her was found the blood of prophets and Saints and of all who were slain on the Earth. If you haven't noticed by now, Babylon in all her forms hates God and those who worship him. I find verse 24 interesting because God declares that not only is Babylon guilty of the blood of the prophets and Saints, but also all who were slain on the Earth.
Babylon in all her forms is what stirs up humanity to hate and murder and destroy. It knows exactly how to manipulate our flesh and bring out the worst in us. You know, there's an old saying, public policy makes the world go round. I'm sorry I messed that up. I meant to say democracy makes the world go round.
That's not right either. Honest business makes the world go round.
Now I remember the saying, is it's money that makes the world go round? I think pretty much everybody now understands that the world we live in does not function as it appears on the surface. The direction of the world is not determined by democratically elected politicians. And if you're a Christian, you should definitely be aware of this because Scripture tells us that Satan is pulling the strings behind the scenes and he uses people to do it. One John 519 tells us the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked.
One, if you're concerned about powerful people trying to take over the world and seize control by fornicating with economic Babylon, you need to remember what the Bible says. Paul writes in Ephesians six, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts, of wickedness in the heavenly places. Stopping evil people will not bring down economic Babylon because the driving forces behind it are spiritual. We must understand this. We need to learn how to fight in the spiritual arena using weapons like prayer and worship and the declaration of God's word.
I said this earlier, but I want to say it again. According to the Bible, according to God, Babylon in all her forms will exist and only grow in power between now and the end of the tribulation. She will not be stopped until Jesus steps in and destroys her. I can't think of anything more foolish than spending one's time, money and energy working against the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. If God has ordained it, it's going to happen.
It's going to happen. So what are you saying, Jeff? Are you saying we're just supposed to do nothing? Are we supposed to not resist evil? I'm not saying we're supposed to do nothing.
Far from it. I'm saying that Jesus has revealed in his word what we are called to do, how we're called to live, and how we're called to fight. Jesus told his followers, including you and me, do business until I come. In other words, Jesus said, be about my business until I come. That means don't check out, don't hide in a bunker, don't build a compound and disappear, no matter how appealing that might sound right now, live for Jesus according to his word and represent his Kingdom wherever you find yourself.
We are heavens, ambassadors, and we are called to shine the light of God's Kingdom in our little spheres of influence. We're called to bring mercy and Grace and justice to our little spheres of influence. Our relationships, our marriages, our families, our churches, our social circles, our workplaces, our schools. Jesus said, you are the light of the world. A city that is set on a Hill cannot be hidden, nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lampstand.
And it gives light to all who are where in the world? No, it gives light to all who are in the house. In the house. When you're immature in the faith, you get frustrated when you hear that and think, Well, I want to do something bigger. I want to bring a revolution that changes everything.
I want to kick Babylon out of my country. When you become mature in the faith, you look at your relationships, marriage, your family, your Church, your social circle, your workplace, your school. And you think reflecting the light of Jesus in these places is more than enough of a challenge to keep me busy for the rest of my life. Every now and then, God calls us to walk through a door that leads to somewhere of incredible influence. But that's not the norm.
For 99 point 99% of the time. Our calling to represent heaven is in our little sphere of influence spiritually. It has been night on the Earth since Adam and Eve fell into sin. It's night right now. It's dark on the Earth, and it will only turn today when the light of the world Jesus Christ returns to usher in the new day of his millennial Kingdom.
Don't try to find a light switch that will illuminate the whole world. Try to let your light shine in the little sphere of influence that God has given you. That's the call. That's the call. In verses seven, we read of the arrogance of those who have placed their trust in the world in wealth.
She says in her heart, I sit as Queen and am no widow and will not see sorrow. That sounds a lot like the tone struck by the Last day's Church, the age we're living in back in Revelation 317 22. Do you remember what Jesus said to the Church at Laudicea, the Church that loved the world system? Turn with me if you would. Back to chapter three, verses 17 and let's read it together.
This is Jesus speaking Revelation, chapter three, verse 17. He says, you say I am rich, have become wealthy and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed, and anoint your eyes with Islam, that you may see as many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me to him who overcomes. I will grant to sit with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my father on his throne. He who has an ear led him here. Let me just remind you of some basic truths about material wealth. It cannot satisfy your soul.
It cannot bring you peace with God, and it's all going to burn in the end, and you can't take it with you. Jesus said, what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and he loses his own soul? And Jesus told this parable, the ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself saying, what shall I do since I have no room to store my crops? So, he said, I'll do this, I will pull down my barns and build greater.
And there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, soul, you have many goods laid up for many years. Take your ease, eat, drink, and be mercy seat. God said to him, fool, this night your soul will be required of you, then whose will those things be which you have provided? So is he who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.
God says, "The man or woman who devotes their life to the pursuit of wealth while ignoring me is a fool because they refuse to recognize the realities of life, death, and eternity." And to the believer, Jesus says, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on Earth where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal." Jesus doesn't say, "Don't worry about acquiring treasure." Jesus says, "Store up for yourself treasure in eternity, where you'll be able to enjoy it forever."
How do you do that? By offering God everything in your life and asking Him, what do you want me to do with this? And as we hear Him answer in his word and by his Spirit and we obey Him, we store up for ourselves treasures in heaven. If you're worshiping material wealth, you are worshiping Mammon, and the destiny of your God is documented in Revelation 18. You may not expect the Book of James to have any connections to the judgment and destruction of Babylon, but it was undoubtedly inspired by the Lord to address everything we've been studying today.
Just listen to this. Let me read to you the first eight verses of James chapter five. Listen to this. Come now, you rich. Weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you.
Your riches are corrupted and your garments are moth eaten, your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Do you remember back in our study of Revelation chapter six, when the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the first four sealed judgments, wrote out following Antichrist in war was famine and poverty across the Earth? And there was a strange verse, Is there, that said, do not harm the oil and the wine? We talked about how even in the midst of global poverty, the rich, the elite just get richer.
And James is talking when he says about your gold and silver corroding, the idea is that it's just sitting there unused. You don't even need to use it. And it testifies against you before the Lord, because while people are starving, you've got rooms full of gold and silver that you don't need. Those who fornicate with Babylon's economic system, are willing to get wealthy through the pain and suffering of everybody else. James continues, Indeed, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the Reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Saba Oth.
That means the Lord of hosts. Isn't that interesting? God specifically takes note of the elite's practice of gaining wealth by mistreating and underpaying their employees. And God cares. China has hundreds of thousands of unjustly imprisoned men and women working in factories.
Places like India, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Vietnam have long ending practices of mistreating workers in factories. But you don't even have to go that far anymore. Just do some research into what's going on in our local Amazon warehouses. The abuse of workers, the exploitation of workers happens all over the world because greed is a global phenomenon, not a cultural phenomenon. And God sees it all.
He sees it all. James continues, you have lived on the Earth in pleasure and luxury. You have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. God says, you spend your life in the pursuit of luxury and ease. The truth is, you're like a pig who thinks he's ending a life of endless buffets when the reality is that you're just being prepared for the slaughter you have condemned.
You have murdered the just. He does not resist you. The just man does not take vengeance into his own hands. He leaves it to the Lord. The wicked, wealthy man thinks he's getting away with taking advantage of the just man.
But Revelation 18 tells us, the Lord sees, the Lord remembers, and the Lord will judge in light of that, James addresses you and me, and I put this on your outlines. Therefore, in other words, because of everything I've just told you in light of what I've told you, be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the Earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and later reign. You also be patient. Establish your hearts for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
I'm so thankful that the Lord has given us his word and made these things plain to us the secret knowledge that the world's elite believe they have. It's nothing compared to what God has revealed to his adopted sons and daughters. For you and me. God has pulled back the curtain and revealed to us how the world really works and where the world is really going. And I'm so thankful the Lord has revealed to me the emptiness of Babylon.
I'm so thankful that the Lord has invited me to instead store up treasure in heaven Church. Don't fall in love with money. Don't fall in love with money. God tells us that we will be rejoicing when this world's economic system is destroyed. Don't fall in love with something that will never satisfy and is destined for destruction.
Use money for the glory of God. Be generous. Do good in the midst of Babylon. If handling your money and your business with integrity costs you, it's only costing you here on the Earth. You're gaining treasure in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy.
Write this down. This is how I'd close this little thought, and then I've got one more for you. Christians view everything they have as belonging to the Lord. Christians view everything they have as belonging to the Lord. And Christians want God to use everything they have for his glory.
Christians want God to use everything they have for his glory. Let's live like that. Let's be light in the darkness of Babylon. Trust in the Lord, hope in the Lord, be fulfilled in the Lord. He is coming soon.
So store up treasure in heaven, do business until he returns and rejoice that the day will come when Babylon will be destroyed and we will watch it happen in the presence of the Lord. Hasten the day. Hasten the day. Jesus, come quickly. Here's the good news.
His Kingdom is coming next week because we're going to be studying chapter 19 which is the second coming in the Book of Revelation. And you don't want to miss the Second Coming, do you? You don't want to miss it. I can't wait. Here's what we've got left coming up in Revelation, the Second coming, the Millennium when Jesus rules on the Earth and makes all things new and heaven, heaven.
I want to personally invite you to some of the most lifechanging Bible studies you'll ever have the chance to be part of. Not because I think I'm amazing, but because what God's word is going to reveal is amazing. Would you close your eyes as I read one last bit of Scripture to you is the biggest obstacle for you in the area of money, trusting God to take care of you. And if so, you need to memorize what I'm about to read to you. Many of you know it, but many of you don't know it, if you get my meaning.
Jesus said, I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food and the body is more than clothing. Consider the Ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn, and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one qubit to his stature?
If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow, they neither toil nor spin. And yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe? You owe you of little faith and do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind for all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things, but seek the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added to you do not fear, little flock for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the Kingdom sell what you have and give alms provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old a treasure in the heavens that does not fail where no thief approaches nor moth destroys for where your treasure is there your heart will be also.
Let's pray Father as always thank you so much for your word and thank you for your promise and the reminder that you are a loving and good Heavenly Father who takes care of his children who knows what we need and loves to provide it. And Lord, we want to be children whose treasure is in heaven so I pray right now if there's just anything in any of us that is chasing after material wealth being hypnotized and seduced by Babylon Lord would he reveal it to us? Would you forgive us Would you lead us to repent and would you shift our focus back on you thank you, Lord that we are a blessed people Because we have you we are rich in the only ways that actually matter we have you so we're rich in love we're rich in Grace We're rich in peace thank you that you love to give good things to your children so Father, I pray right now and in this moment that by your spirit you would just touch every single one of our hearts and remind us that you are good and you are better then everything that the would he offering Jesus we love you thank you for loving us first keep our minds on you it's in your name we pray Amen.