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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Rampage of Sin

Sin pervades the institutions of men.

The Heart of God: The End in Sight (5)

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27

Read and meditate on Revelation 13, 17 and 18.
Sin on earth affects even the institutions by which people and nations organize their lives. We should expect that governments, religions, and other human institutions will join in the fight to oppose the Ruler of kings, as He goes forth conquering and to conquer.

For reflection
1.  The beast described in chapter 17 probably represents human government in corrupt form. What about this beast suggests that? What is this beast’s purpose? But (v. 17) Who is in charge of this beast and its raging? How should we understand the word overcome in verse 14?

2.  How many different ways is it clear that this beast is opposed to the covenant purposes of God? Do we see indications of this in governments today? Explain.

3.  We first meet this beast in Revelation 13, where a second beast is described as collaborating with the first (vv. 11ff.). This beast represents false religions. How can you see that? What are some examples of false religions in our day? Do all false religions necessarily look like religions? Explain.

4.  “Babylon” in chapter 18 represents both Rome as an empire and the “world city” which Augustine referred to as the City of Man. God’s people are called to “Come out of her..” (v. 4). What does this mean? Can we completely “come out” from this city? But what can we do to fulfill this command? Why should we?

5.  The collapse of the City of Man leaves the world in mourning and lamentation (vv. 9ff). Why? What does this suggest both about the power and the priorities of the City of Man? Are all these things evil in themselves? What makes them evil? How should the citizens of the heavenly Kingdom respond to the collapse of the City of Man?

The history of the world, and of cultures, nations, and societies, is a history of struggle. Men’s hearts, pervaded by sin and wickedness, seek the good things of the earth to satisfy their needs and desires. Their pursuit of things leads to wars, ravaging of the earth, and corruption and strife. God will bring all this to judgment. Meanwhile, the Lord’s “witnesses” must persevere in their calling to live righteously and proclaim the Kingdom of God. In what ways does your church equip its witnesses to live for the Kingdom in the midst of the City of Man?

Closing Prayer
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling.
There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge.

Psalm 46.1-7

T. M. Moore

Two books can help you gain a fuller understanding of the terrain we will be covering in this series. Kingdom Documentsprovides a concise overview of the primary teaching of the Old and New Testaments, and shows, through early Church creeds, how our forebears understood the primary teachings of God’s Word. (click here to order). I Will Be Your Goddevelops more fully the idea of God’s covenant and leads us to consider the practical implications of our covenant relationship with God (click here).

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course,
Introduction to Biblical Theology, offers a parallel study of our theme in this series, using brief video presentations and the workbook God’s Covenant: An Introduction. All courses at The Ailbe Seminary are available without charge.

We are happy to be able to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in this series by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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