Discover the Book - Nov. 2, 2008








The 18th chapter of Revelation gives us a road map for the coming economic collapse of the World. By learning the lessons God laid down in His Word, we can see what response He desires from His servants not only in the ultimate collapse (the topic of Revelation 18) but also in any other reversals, downturns and recessions, depressions and panics that precede the big and final crash.

That is what Revelation 18 is all about. God disrupts everyday life. This chapter defines the judgment of God upon a society, which worships the creation, the technology, the pleasures, the comforts and this entire world, instead of the Creator.

Revelations18:20-24 “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!” 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.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.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 your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.24 “And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.”


In Revelation 18 there are seven elements of the worldly system Jesus ends. These are a cause for rejoicing, as they will no longer cause earth-dwellers to ignore him. What specifically does the Lord end? Here are the elements worldliness is built upon:


1. A WORLDLY PERSON FINDS THEIR IDENTITY IN THIS WORLD NOT IN HEAVEN. (v. 21b) They dress like the world, they act like the world and they are drawn toward the world. And God is erasing their identity.


2. A WORLDLY PERSON FINDS THEIR ESCAPE THROUGH AMUSEMENTS, ENTERTAINMENTS AND PLEASURE SEEKING. (v. 22a) This is the distraction factor. They are so captivated by movies, music and all they never engage with the Living and abiding Word of God. And God is turning off the music.


3. A WORLDLY PERSON USES WORK, CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENTS, AND EVEN DAILY LIFE AS A WAY OUT OF SPIRITUAL RESPONSIBILITIES (v. 22b) You have met them, they are so wound up in their work they are inconsistent in worship, they miss a lot of fellowship, they do not get to stay around enough to exercise their spiritual gifts in the body of Christ. Even the needs of daily life such as food and housing can keep them away from heavenly living. And God is stopping the cycle of life.


4. A WORLDLY PERSON IS TIED TO THE TECHNOLOGY, SCIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE OF THIS WORLD NOT THE NEXT (v. 23a) It is amazing how captivating the blur of technology has become. In the industrialized world there has been a blind acceptance and intoxication of humanity by convenience. And God is cutting short the technology.


5. A WORLDLY PERSON IS TIED TO SOCIAL LIFE, PARTY LIFE, THE CALENDAR AND HOLIDAYS (v. 23b) This is the person that lives for the weekend. This is the person who goes from one social event to another. Life is just an endless party, and God is stopping the party.



6. A WORLDLY PERSON IS TIED TO THEIR FINANCES, TO THEIR WEALTH AND TO THEIR POSSESSIONS (v. 23b) These worldlings find their greatness in money and stuff. They live to acquire and hold and enjoy things. And God is going to erase their assets.


7. A WORLDLY PERSON IS INTOXICATED BY THE WORLD. (v. 23c) This last section speaks of drugs and sorcery. This can include alcohol as well as drug induced witchcraft. And God is going to end it all.


What will this be like on Earth? Have you ever thought about it? In Revelation 18: 23 we find some amazing words: “The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore . . . In 20th century terms, this verse says the power grid is shut down. It says no power, no electricity; no technology that uses electricity will be running. Revelation 18 marks the end of the World, as we know it and it calls for us to ask ourselves a few questions based on this Scripture.

We are faced with the very intriguing possibility that the comfort and conveniences of our civilization may become briefly impaired in the not too distant future. Think back to 75 short years ago. Most people had no electricity, saw no television, heard very little radio, didn’t use banks very much, worked all day, and prepared or even raised, their own food. These same people lived in small houses, heated the houses by fire, carried much of their water from a well to use in their homes, stayed very close to home because travel was difficult, and so on.

Then came the explosion of technology, which gave greater comforts but charged higher and higher fees for maintenance. The electricity, which feeds technology, became vital. The speed of technology became critical and so on. What has happened to us is we are technologically dependent! Think of what many of us have lived through. The pace of change has been astounding. We now travel at the speed of sound, we communicate at the speed of light and we clothe ourselves and live with materials made at the molecular level. Western society has grown into an inescapable interdependence with machines, which can be greatly disrupted by any non-linearities.


What might happen eventually to us as Christians? Probably what has happened all along the way to servants of the Lord since the beginning, you and I may be called on by God to actually suffer! Listen to a modern day saint who is suffering.


This is a Vietnamese Pastor’s wife story.


I believe Mrs. Nguyen Thi An (a fictitious name) can claim a rightful companionship with Paul. Though she has lost everything, she has all things in One. They have taken her husband, her home, and her belongings, yet her contentment they cannot take.

Mrs. An's husband was a pastor in Vietnam. When police closed their church, he was thrown into prison. Without official papers, she and her children were forced to live on a balcony outside an apartment. Yet her faith has forged a sanctuary out of her surroundings, from which she greets us:

My Dear Friends,

You know around here we are experiencing hardships, but we thank the Lord He is comforting us and caring for us in every way. When we experience misfortune, adversity, distress and hardship, only then do we see the real blessing of the Lord poured down on us in such a way that we cannot contain it.

We have been obliged recently to leave our modest apartment and for over two months have been living on a balcony. The rain has been beating down and soaking us. Sometimes in the middle of the night we are forced to gather our blankets and run to seek refuge in a stairwell.

Do you know what I do then? I laugh and I praise the Lord, because we can still take shelter in the stairwell. I think of how many people are experiencing much worse hardships than I am. Then I remember the words of the Lord, "To the poor, 0 Lord, You are a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat" (cp. Isaiah 25:4), and I am greatly comforted....

Our Father ... is the One who according to the Scriptures does not break the bruised reed nor put out the flickering lamp. He is the One who looks after the orphan and the widow. He is the One who brings blessings and peace to numberless people.

I do not know what words to use in order to describe the love that the Lord has shown our family. I only can bow my knee and my heart and offer to the Lord words of deepest thanks and praise. Although we have lost our house and our possessions, we have not lost the Lord, and He is enough. With the Lord I have everything. The only thing I would fear losing is His blessing!

Could I ask you and our friends in the churches abroad to continue to pray for me that I will faithfully follow the Lord and serve Him regardless of what the circumstances may be? As far as my husband is concerned, I was able to visit him this past summer. We had a 20-niinute conversation that brought us great joy....

I greet you with my love.

Mrs. Nguyen Thi An


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