Revelation: Things Are Not As They Seem – Part 14

A Tale of Two Revelation 17:1-19:10 July 10th, 2016


I. A text of COMPARISON and CONTRAST. (17:1-19:10)

II. A tale of two WOMEN…
A. The PROSTITUTE of the BEAST. (17:3-6)
B. The BRIDE of the LAMB. (19:6-9)
C. Powerful IMAGERY and IMPLICATIONS. (18:4-5; 17:5)

The section of Revelation is one of the most difficult to understand. Instead of trying to figure out all the specific details, I want to step back and take a look at the big picture of the passage. What we see when we do that is that John, through the Holy Spirit, is showing the vast difference between the way of the Lamb and the way of the beast. He uses some pretty graphic language to shock us awake in order to keep us from being seduced by the world.

1. What are your initial reactions after you read this passage?
2. The people of God are to be the bride of Christ, but the beast tempts us to
commit adultery with Babylon. What are the subtle ways you are tempted to adopt a babylonian way of thinking?
3. How do you react when you learn the graphic sexual language that John uses in 18:4? If someone were to read that passage literally today in a church service what would happen?

III. A tale of two CITIES…two WAYS of LIVING…
A. Babylon EMPIREof the BEAST. (17:18)
B. A culture of POWER and POSSESSIONS. (18:9-19; Gen 11:4)
C. Zion BRIDE of the LAMB. (19:1-10)

The idea of a city is the central aspect of society. Cities represent our culture, the way that we choose to do things. They are were people meet and new ideas are explored. Every city also has an underlying way of thinking an ethos. Vancouver, British Columbia is very different from Dallas, Texas. John helps us to understand the culture of the new Jerusalem by illustrating it against the backdrop of Babylon.

4. Is it really that simple? The way of the Lamb or the way of the beast? If its
that black and white why do we miss the boat so often?
5. Is Jeff saying that wealth and power are always wrong? How do we live in the wealthiest, most
powerful region of the world and still follow the Lamb?
6. What is the greatest obstacle that keeps you from responding to others in
sacrificial love? How can you move past that?

IV. A tale of two RESULTS…(18:1-19:10)
A. The IMPLOSION of EVIL. (17:15-18)
B. The VICTORY of GOD. (18:8; 18:21-19:3)

Last week we saw that you reap what you sow. That truth is replayed in this text. We see that the nature of evil is that it eventually implodes upon itself. This is the way God has planned it, for as our text says, …He is Lord of lords and King of kings… (17:14)

7. Share a story where you have seen evil implode upon itself.
8. What are the implications of the victory of God for those who have benefited from Babylon? What does that say to us?

B. The SUBTLE pull of BABYLON.

So how do we apply all of this today? First, we have to realize that what we
believe about God cannot be separated from the way that we live. And the subtle challenge to that is that we often drift into patterns of behavior without thinking about the beliefs that underlie them. Surrender can be scary, but the call of Jesus is to not be afraid…

9. What areas of life do I subtly separate what I believe from how I live?
10.What areas of surrender do I fear? How can I let the love of God overwhelm those fears?