Revelation 18

Sunday Morning Bible Study

May 27, 2011


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved?

The apostle John found himself caught up into heaven before the throne of God.

He saw Jesus take a scroll from the hand of God that had been sealed with seven seals.

As Jesus broke each seal and unrolled the scroll a little further, events begin to take place, the seven year period we call the Tribulation, the time of God’s wrath.

We’ve now made it to the end of the seven years. God’s wrath has been poured out and we’re seeing the final judgment take place, specifically on this thing called “Babylon”.

In chapter 17, we talked about Babylon as a false religious entity, enticing the world away from the worship of God.

Religious Babylon looked way too similar to the Roman Catholic Church.

This week, we’re going to look at Babylon as the center of materialism – what we call “the world”

It’s possible that Babylon will be a literal city, it’s possible that it might be speaking of a nation, but I lean toward Babylon speaking of an entire world-wide system – the thing we call “the world”.

As believers, we have three main enemies in life:

Satan, a spiritual being, hates you and has a lousy plan for your life.

Your flesh is that part of you called the “sin nature”, that part of you that loves to disobey God and will be with you until you get to heaven.

The World is this invisible system around us that works against us.  Today we’ll call it “Babylon”.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote about the “world” at Christmas time, 1940 –

Just as time-lapse photography makes visible, in an ever more compressed and penetrating form, movements that would otherwise not be thus grasped by our vision, so the war makes manifest in particularly drastic and unshrouded form that which for years has become ever more dreadfully clear to us as the essence of the “world.” It is not war that first brings death, not war that first invents the pains and torments of human bodies and souls, not war that first unleashes lies, injustice, and violence. It is not war that first makes our existence so utterly precarious and renders human beings powerless, forcing them to watch their desires and plans being thwarted and destroyed by more “exalted powers.” But war makes all of this, which existed already apart from it and before it, vast and unavoidable to us who would gladly prefer to overlook it all.
Metaxas, Eric; Timothy J. Keller (2010-04-20). Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (p. 373). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
We are living with this “world” all around us.  We aren’t right in the middle of a war like Bonhoeffer was in 1940, but we are living in a world just like the world before WWII.

18:1-24 Babylon’s Fall

:1 After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory.

:1 authorityexousia – power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases; physical and mental power; the power of rule or government

:1 illuminatedphotizo – to give light, to shine; to enlighten, light up, illumine

:1 glorydoxa – opinion, judgment, view; in the NT always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory; splendor, brightness

:2 And he 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!

:2 fallenpipto – to descend from a higher place to a lower; to be thrust down.  Aorist

:2 demonsdaimon – a god, a goddess; in the NT, an evil spirit

:2 prisonphulake – guard, watch; of the place where captives are kept, a prison

:2 foulakathartos – not cleansed, unclean

:2 cagephulake – guard, watch; of the place where captives are kept, a prison

:2 uncleanakathartos – not cleansed, unclean

:2 hatedmiseo – to hate, pursue with hatred, detest; to be hated, detested

:2 Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen

The repeating of the phrase is done to show that this is something that will absolutely happen.

When Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream –
(Ge 41:32 NKJV) —32 And the dream was repeated to Pharaoh twice because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.

Isaiah had a vision about the fall of Babylon, and though he is speaking primarily of the fall of ancient Babylon, the language is still the same:

(Is 21:9 NKJV) And look, here comes a chariot of men with a pair of horsemen!” Then he answered and said, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen! And all the carved images of her gods He has broken to the ground.”

:2 has become a dwelling place of demons

Jeremiah also had a prophecy about the fall of Babylon.  It was talking about ancient Babylon, but also sounds like the fall of this future Babylon:

(Je 51:37 NKJV) Babylon shall become a heap, A dwelling place for jackals, An astonishment and a hissing, Without an inhabitant.
jackalstanniyn – dragon, serpent, sea monster

The Old King James translates this “dragons” in Jeremiah.  Ironic that John speaks of “demons” in Revelation.

תַּן (tan). Dragon, whale. (ASV RSV NIV “jackal,” except in Ezk 29:3; 32:2, where ASV and NIV read “monster” and RSV reads “dragon.”) The word tan is attested to only in various pl. forms, the most common being tannîm, which was translated by KJV throughout the ot as “dragon, whale” through confusion with the unrelated sing.. form tannîn “sea monster” (q.v.). The same confusion exists in the Masoretic text itself in Ezk 29:3; 32:2, where the context demands that tannîm be rendered “sea monster” or the like. The jackal (Canis aureus), a scavenger that feeds on carrion was often observed in the ot period as roaming about in the ruins of abandoned cities and so was almost always used as a symbol of desolation and of divine judgment against sinful nations and individuals.

I wonder if the sense is this – since this world system we are calling “Babylon” is already filled with demons, after the judgment that is all that’s left – demons.

:3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”

:3 fornicationporneia – illicit sexual intercourse; metaph. the worship of idols

:3 committed fornicationporneuo – to prostitute one’s body to the lust of another; to commit fornication; metaph. to be given to idolatry, to worship idols

:3 merchantsemporos – one on a journey, whether by sea or by land, esp. for trade; a merchant as opposed to a retailer or petty tradesman

:3 abundancedunamis – strength, power, ability

:3 luxurystrenos – excessive strength which longs to break forth, over strength; luxury; eager desire

:3 merchants … rich … luxury

The language speaks of the attraction of the material world.


The danger of wealth

The world system of Babylon is attractive because it promises is to make us wealthy.
As Americans, we think it’s our right to become wealthy.  Be careful.  There is danger with this concept.
Jesus said,
(Mt 6:19–21 NKJV) —19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

If heaven is what you care about, then thieves can’t touch what is precious to you.

If your treasures are what’s here on earth, you worry about how to keep it all safe.

When Jesus met the “rich young ruler”, He had a disturbing thing to say to him:
(Mt 19:21–24 NKJV) —21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

The difficulty with wealth is that it can become more important to you than God. 

Paul told Timothy:
(1 Ti 6:9–10 NKJV) —9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

In the Lord of the Rings, the ugly character called Gollum wasn’t always so ugly.  He was once known as Smeagol before he found that golden ring.

Play Smeagol clip.

What a great picture of how the world tempts us and ruins us.

Is it wrong to have money?  Not at all.  Money can be a tool that you can use for God’s work.  Paul also told Timothy:
(1 Ti 6:17–19 NKJV) —17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

The treasure that God has blessed you with can be a tool, if we learn to allow ourselves to be guided by God instead of our money.

:4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.

:4 lest you sharesugkoinoneo (“with” + “fellowship”) – to become a partaker together with others, or to have fellowship with a thing

:4 plaguesplege – a blow, stripe, a wound; a public calamity, heavy affliction, plague,

:5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

:5 have reachedakoloutheo – to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him; to join one as a disciple, become or be his disciple; side with his party

:5 has rememberedmnemoneuo – to be mindful of, to remember, to call to mind; to make mention of

:5 iniquitiesadikema – a misdeed, evil doing, iniquity

:5 her sins have reached to heaven

You could say that God has literally “had it up to here”.

Sometimes we wonder why certain people seem to get away with evil deeds.  We wonder what God is waiting for.

God is giving people time to repent.  There will be a day when complete judgment will come, but God is not going to perform a “rush to judgment”.
There’s a reason:
(2 Pe 3:9 NKJV) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

God is slow to respond now because He wants to give people a chance to turn around.  But there will be a day when He’s finished with patience.

:6 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.

:6 Renderapodidomi – to deliver, to give away for one’s own profit what is one’s own, to sell; to pay off, discharge what is due; to render account; to requite, recompense in a good or a bad sense

:6 repaydiploo – to double

:6 doublediplous – twofold, double

:6 mixedkerannumi – to mix, mingle; to mix wine, water; to pour out for drinking.

:7 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.’

:7 lived luxuriouslystreniao – to be wanton, to live luxuriously

:7 tormentbasanismos – to torture, a testing by the touchstone; torment, torture

:7 sorrowpenthos – mourning

:8 Therefore her plagues will come in one day—death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.

:8 utterly burned with firekatakaio – to burn up, consume by fire

:8 strongischuros – strong, mighty

:9 “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,

:9 will weepklaio – to mourn, weep, lament

:9 lamentkopto – to cut, strike, smite; to beat one’s breast for grief

:10 standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’

:10 Alasouai (“oy”) – alas, woe

:10 mightyischuros – strong, mighty

:11 “And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore:

:11 merchandisegomos – a lading or freight of a ship, cargo, merchandise conveyed in a ship; any merchandise

:11 buysagorazo – to be in the market place, to attend it; to do business there, buy or sell

:12 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;

:12 silkserikos – from Ser (an Indian tribe from whom silk was procured, hence the name of the silk-worm); made of silk; silk, i.e. the fabric, silken garments

:12 woodxulon – wood; that which is made of wood

:12 citronthuinos – the citrus, an odoriferous North African tree used as incense, prized by the ancient Greeks and Romans on account of the beauty of its wood for various ornamental purposes

:12 objectskeuos – a vessel; an implement

:12 ivoryelephantinos – from elephas (elephant); of ivory

:12 marblemarmaros – a stone, a rock; marble

:13 and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men.

:13 fragrant oilmuron (“myrrh”) – ointment

:13 fine floursemidalis – the finest wheat flour

:13 cattlektenos – a beast; esp. a beast of burden; used for four legged animals as opposed to fishes and birds

:13 chariotrheda – a chariot, a type of vehicle having four wheels

:13 bodiessoma – the body both of men or animals

:13 soulspsuche – breath; the soul

:12 merchandise of gold and silver

This is a sample of all the “stuff” of the world.  It sounds like the best shops at the Brea Mall.

:12 bodies and souls of men

This might be speaking of the evils of human slavery.

It could also be speaking literally, the condition of the soul.
If you make it your life’s goal to have as many possessions as possible, your soul is in trouble.
(1 Jn 2:15–17 NKJV) —15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
There’s the old bumper sticker that says, “He who dies with the most toys wins”.
That is the lie of the world.
The truth is that “He who dies without God loses”.

If you have a choice between God and toys, which do you choose?

:14 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.

:14 fruitopora (“late” + “hour”) – the season which succeeds summer, from the rising of Sirius to that of Arcturus, i.e. from late summer, early autumn, our dog days; ripe fruits (of trees)

:14 longed forepithumia – desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden, lust

:14 richliparos – from lipos (grease); things which pertain to a sumptuous and delicate style of living

We like “rich” things don’t we?  Like ice cream?

:14 splendidlampros – shining; brilliant; clear, transparent; splendid, magnificent

The “fat and shiny” things will be gone.

:14 rich and splendid

Literally, the “fat and shiny” things will be gone.

:14 the fruit that your soul longed for



Longing for the wrong things can get you into trouble.
Catching Monkeys
Trappers in Africa (see Monkey treats) have developed a very simple way of catching monkeys.  They will take something like a gourd or a coconut, and attach it to a tree with a rope or chain.  Then they bore a small hole in the other end of the coconut, just large enough for a monkey to stick its hand into.  Then they fill the coconut with “monkey treats”.  When the monkey puts its hand inside the coconut, he grabs a handful of treats, and as long as he holds onto the treats, he is unable to pull his hand back out of the coconut.  Monkeys are quite greedy little creatures.  They will not let go of the monkey treats.  The trappers can easily capture the monkey.
I have found a video of this principle in action, filmed live in New York City.
Play Catching a monkey in NYC

What are the “monkey treats” that you find tempting?  Are you able to let them go?  Why don’t you?

:15 The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,

:16 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!

:16 Alasouai (“oy”) – alas, woe

:16 adornedchrusoo – to adorn with gold, to gild

:17 For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’ Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance

:17 in one hour

We’ve seen this phrase now several times.  It speaks of a sudden, quick destruction.

It’s in contrast of the “week” of the Tribulation, which lasts for seven years.

:17 came to nothingeremoo – to make desolate, lay waste; to ruin, bring to desolation; to despoil one, strip her of her treasures

It’s the word that is often used to describe the deserts in southern Israel, the “wilderness”.

A great city turned into a waste land.

:17 shipmasterkubernetes – steersman, helmsman, sailing master

:17 who travelhomilos – a multitude of men gathered together, a crowd, a throng

:17 sailorsnautes – a sailor, seaman, mariner

:18 and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like this great city?’

:17 shipmaster … ship, sailors … sea

This might just be speaking of how goods and merchandise is “shipped” around the world, like UPS and such.  Or it could be speaking literally of seamen.

Play Babylon map clip.

If these are literal ocean going sailors, then this is another clue that this is probably not talking about the literal ancient city of Babylon, which may be located on a river, but is also 300 miles from the Persian Gulf.
Jerusalem itself isn’t located on the sea, but is a good 30 miles inland up in the hills.
Even Rome is not on the coast, but is located 15 miles from the Mediterranean.
Perhaps “Babylon” is speaking more of this world-wide system of “stuff”.

:19 “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 one hour she is made desolate.’

:19 threw dust on their heads

An ancient custom for mourning.

:19 dustchoos – earth dug out, an earth heap; dust

:19 Alasouai (“oy”) – alas, woe

This is the third group of people to cry out.  First was the “kings” (18:10), then the “merchants” (18:16), and now the “sailors” (18:19).

:19 wealthtimiotes – preciousness, costliness; an abundance of costly things; metaph. worth, excellence

:19 made desolateeremoo – to make desolate, lay waste; to ruin, bring to desolation; to despoil one, strip her of her treasures

:20 “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!”

:20 Rejoiceeuphraino – to gladden, make joyful; to be merry, to rejoice; be delighted with a thing

:20 have avenged

Literally, “God has judged your judgment from 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.

:21 mightyischuros – strong, mighty

:21 millstonemulos – a mill stone

A mill consisted of two stones, an upper and an under one.  The larger stone was the stationary one on the bottom.

Whether this is the upper or lower millstone, they are hefty pieces of stone that would make a huge splash.

It’s possible this could be a reference to –

(Je 51:63–64 NKJV) —63 Now it shall be, when you have finished reading this book, that you shall tie a stone to it and throw it out into the Euphrates. 64 Then you shall say, ‘Thus Babylon shall sink and not rise from the catastrophe that I will bring upon her. And they shall be weary.’ ” Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.

I also wonder about –

(Mt 18:1–11 NKJV) —1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. 6 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes! 8 “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire. 10 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.
Jesus is saying that even worse than Babylon’s punishment of drowning with a millstone is the punishment that comes from offending a child and keeping them from Jesus.

:21 violencehormema – a rush, impulse; that which is impelled or hurried away by impulse



The angel giving John an example of what it will be like then this “Babylon” is judged.
I think God has been giving the world examples of a lot of the things in the Tribulation period in the last 80 years.

The examples aren’t the reality, but they are a sort of foreshadowing of what is to come.

I see the rise of Hitler as a great example of what will happen with the antichrist.
Play Hitler clip.  This is from 1933, when many people of the world thought that Hitler might be a good guy who would fight the communists.

Hitler didn’t rise to power as an obviously evil man.  At first he had many people thinking that he was the best thing that ever happened to Germany.

He spoke to the German people about having pride in their nation, he spoke like an evangelist, he even called on God for help.

The swastika didn’t start off as a symbol of “evil” like we take it today in western culture. 

The swastika was an ancient Hindu symbol of “good luck”.

The origin of the swastika seems to come from ancient India and China, and was meant to be a sort of good luck charm, a symbol of “well-being”.

In Hinduism and Buddism, it is still used as a symbol of good luck or, “that which is associated with well-being”.

Look at the swastika found in a tile floor in ancient Cyprus from the 4th century AD.  Note the star of David in the same design.  And a cross.

Hitler took what was meant to be a symbol of good, and used it to as part of his deception to gain people’s trust.

The world will see the same kinds of things with the antichrist.
I think the more recent terrorist attacks and the destruction of the World Trade Center as being another picture from Revelation – of the chapter we’re in now.
Warning: I’m going to show you a video that will be disturbing for some of you.  It’s only 26 seconds long.  Brace yourselves.

It’s Memorial Day.  We should remember our soldiers.  We should remember the reason we are fighting.

Play 911 Tower video.  Pray for our nation.

The World Trade Center – smoke rising from a place where the world traded goods is a picture in miniature of what John is describing.

I don’t see the tragedy of 9/11 as a judgment by God on America.  It was a cowardly act by terrorists.  But it gives you the picture of sudden destruction and the outcry (the “oys”) of those watching it.

: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.

:22 harpistskitharodos (“guitar”) – one who plays the harp and accompanies it with his voice

:22 musiciansmousikos – devoted to and skilled in the arts sacred to the muses; specifically, skilled in music

:22 flutistsauletes – a flute player

:22 trumpeterssalpistes – a trumpeter

:22 crafttechne – of the plastic art; of a trade

Much of the entertainment industry is part of what we would call the “world”.

: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.”

:23 bridegroomnumphios – a bridegroom

:23 bridenumphe – from a primary but obsolete verb nupto (to veil as a bride, cf Latin "nupto," to marry); a betrothed woman, a bride; a recently married woman, young wife; a young woman

:23 great menmegistanes – the grandees, magnates, nobles, chief men

:23 sorcerypharmakeia – the use or the administering of drugs; sorcery, magical arts

:4 Come out of her


The Christian and the World

Some people have tried to deal with the world by running away from it.
They set up survival hideouts or live in monasteries.
Yet Jesus told us that we were to be lights in the world.
(Mt 5:14–16 NKJV) —14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

How can we tell the people of the world about how Jesus died for them, and about knowing God, unless we are in this world?

We are to be in the world but not of it.
The problem comes when we allow our lives to be influenced by the world instead of us influencing the world.

Lot and Sodom. (Gen. 19)

When Abraham and his nephew Lot split up to go their separate ways, Lot chose to live in the Jordan valley.  He even found a nice little house in a city called Sodom.
The problem with Lot living in Sodom was that it seemed he didn’t make any difference in Sodom.  In fact he became a bit too accustomed to Sodom.
When God decided to judge the city of Sodom, He sent two angels to take Lot and his family away from the city.

When the wicked men of the city wanted Lot to allow them to have sex with the angels, Lot responded by offering them his own daughters.


When Lot tried to convey the warning to his family …

(Ge 19:14 NKJV) So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.

Lot had lost his credibility.  Apparently he seemed to be no different than everyone else in Sodom.

When Lot finally leaves with his family, his wife can’t tear herself away from the grand life of Sodom.

She turns back and turns into a pillar of salt.

When he’s finally a safe distance away, his own daughters conspire to commit incest with their father.

We need to be careful about allowing too much of the world’s influence into our lives.  Paul wrote,
(2 Co 6:14–18 NKJV) —14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” 18 “I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.”
The Call of the Barnyard
A flock of wild ducks were flying in formation, heading south for the winter. They formed a beautiful V in the sky, and were admired by everyone who saw them from below.  One day, Wally, one of the wild ducks in the formation, spotted something on the ground that caught his eye. It was a barnyard with a flock of tame ducks who lived on the farm. They were waddling around on the ground, quacking merrily and eating corn that was thrown on the ground for them every day. Wally liked what he saw. “It sure would be nice to have some of that corn,” he thought to himself. “And all this flying is very tiring. I’d like to just waddle around for a while.”  So after thinking it over a while, Wally left the formation of wild ducks, made a sharp dive to the left, and headed for the barnyard. He landed among the tame ducks, and began to waddle around and quack merrily. He also started eating corn. The formation of wild ducks continued their journey south, but Wally didn’t care. “I’ll rejoin them when they come back north in a few months, he said to himself.  Several months went by and sure enough, Wally looked up and spotted the flock of wild ducks in formation, heading north. They looked beautiful up there. And Wally was tired of the barnyard. It was muddy and everywhere he waddled, nothing but duck doo. “It’s time to leave,” said Wally.  So Wally flapped his wings furiously and tried to get airborne. But he had gained some weight from all his corn-eating, and he hadn’t exercised his wings much either. He finally got off the ground, but he was flying too low and slammed into the side of the barn. He fell to the ground with a thud and said to himself, “Oh, well, I’ll just wait until they fly south in a few months. Then I’ll rejoin them and become a wild duck again.”  But when the flock flew overhead once more, Wally again tried to lift himself out of the barnyard. He simply didn’t have the strength. Every winter and every spring, he saw his wild duck friends flying overhead, and they would call out to him. But his attempts to leave were all in vain.  Eventually Wally no longer paid any attention to the wild ducks flying overhead. He hardly even noticed them. He had, after all, become a barnyard duck.
Edited from More Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice.  Copyright 1995 by Youth Specialties, Inc.

Beloved, don’t get entangled with this world.  God wants us to be able to fly, not get stuck in the mud of the barnyard.

God has provided a way of victory, a way to “conquer the world”.
(1 Jn 5:4–5 NKJV)4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
It is your faith in Jesus Christ that can give you the victory over the world.
Only Jesus is strong enough to help you break free from the ungodly influences that the world wants to put on you.