A huge ship sails into Fremantle, dwarfing all other ships as well as buildings around the port.
The aircraft carrier USS Constellation has a crew of some 6,000 men and women
It carries some 70 warplanes which guzzle up nearly 4 mil. litres of jet fuel every five to six days
The firepower of this carrier could wipe out the entire city of Perth with little trouble.
Such carriers and battle groups project a physical image of the might of US power anywhere in the world
Before such military and political might the Church of Christ seems insignificant
What if such might was to be focussed on the destruction of the Church? What hope would we have?
For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22 If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:21-22)
- AWESOME POWERS THREATENING THE CHURCH
- THE MIGHTY ROCK AND THE BRITTLE STATUE
- CHEERFUL SAINTS
Readings reproduced on this page:
The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1996, 1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan
Revelation 18:1–19:2 (NIV84)
1After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor.
2With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird.
3For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”
4Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;
5for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.
6Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup.
7Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.’
8Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.
9“When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her.
10Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: “ ‘Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come!’
11“The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more—
12cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble;
13cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men.
14“They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’
15The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn
16and cry out: “ ‘Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!
17In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’ “Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off.
18When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city?’
19They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out: “ ‘Woe! Woe, O great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin!
20Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you.’ ”
21Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: “With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again.
22The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No workman of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again.
23The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world’s great men. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray.
24In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth.”
1After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
2for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
Daniel 2:24–49 (NIV84)
24Then Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to execute the wise men of Babylon, and said to him, “Do not execute the wise men of Babylon. Take me to the king, and I will interpret his dream for him.”
25Arioch took Daniel to the king at once and said, “I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can tell the king what his dream means.”
26The king asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar), “Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?”
27Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about,
28but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you lay on your bed are these:
29“As you were lying there, O king, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen.
30As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than other living men, but so that you, O king, may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.
31“You looked, O king, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance.
32The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze,
33its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay.
34While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them.
35Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.
36“This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king.
37You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory;
38in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.
39“After you, another kingdom will rise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth.
40Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others.
41Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay.
42As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle.
43And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.
44“In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.
45This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. “The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy.”
46Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him.
47The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.”
48Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men.
49Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court.