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“DESTROY Those Who Destroy The Earth”

Who are these whom God will destroy?  Isn’t this pronouncement harsh?!

You find the above stark pronouncement in the book of Revelation.

Then the 7th angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’

And the 24 elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshipped God, saying:

‘We give you thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come, because you have taken Your great power and reigned.

‘The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that You should reward your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth.’ (Rev 11:15- 18.)

Who are those who destroy the earth? Aren’t you destroying the earth if you drive a motor car? Your car produces fumes that contribute to global pollution. It runs on ‘fossil’ fuel which is derived from oil beneath the earth. Massive quantities of oil have been pumped out from beneath the earth’s crust to fuel society’s insatiable demand for energy. Industrial technology depends upon oil to keep its ‘wheels’ turning. And the byproducts of the industrial age are polluting the planet and slowly destroying life upon it. In some instances, that degradation is not slow, but is rapid! Earthquakes can result from the removal of all this oil which acts as a cushion for seismic activity.

Aren’t you responsible by taking part in this system?

I know some Christians who are quite radical in their approach, and who take the view that they should not participate at all in this world’s system, for the above reasons. They don’t want to be held accountable by God for destroying the planet He created so perfectly.

But does God hold you accountable for the earth’s destruction simply because you were born into this evil system as an unavoidable consumer?

In short: no. I will explain why.

You are not the architect of this world’s evil system based on selfishness, greed and hatred. Satan is. But if you subscribe to those values, then God does hold you accountable.

Satan designed the economic system of this evil age (2 Cor 4:4) and he influences people who love his ways (Eph 2:2). The ones whom God will destroy are those who approve of the ways of this world and desire (or do not hate) its evils as you once did like all godless people:

...among whom we also once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others (Eph 2:3).

The Spiritual Root Of Ruin

I’m sure you have heard it said that although we, as Christians, are in the world, we are not part of the world. However, some argue that even Christians ARE a part of the world, if we partake of all the physical aspects of what are required for us to make a living and to feed our families.

But God is not as concerned about what you do physically per se, as WHY you do it. What are your spiritual motives? That is the critical factor.

The area now covered by the Sahara Desert was once green forest or grassland. Then, millennia ago, trees were felled to make way for large tracts of arable land. Wheat and other crops were grown in vast acreages to feed the population of world- dominating empires – the Roman empire and other kingdoms who were before her.

Gradual changes to the ecosystem occurred. Eventually climate was upset and the area became a desert. It has been expanding a few miles each year ever since.

What fuelled that destruction and set a course in motion that became irreversible? You might be surprised at the cause — wrong spiritual attitudes!

Rulers of empires cared little for the welfare of their subjects. They cared much more for their own avarice, power, control, and self-glorification.

At the root of all destruction, somewhere you will find three ‘cardinal’ sins:

...the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 Jn 2:16).

Lust, greed, and pride.

These sins set a course in motion that leads to ultimate ruin. The situation may be as disparate as deforestation of the Amazon rainforest and binge- drinking of Britain’s wayward youth, yet the cause is in what John pinpointed so concisely.

How can you curb such degradation? God’s law is the way – obedience to God’s commandments (Matt 19:17). But you can’t force it on anyone. All people have to choose. And since most people choose to go the wrong way, eventual destruction of earth is the natural climax.

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war... (Jas 4:1,2).

Warfare – The Big Destroyer

The censure in Revelation 11:18 is against all those who have chosen to desire the wrong way – the self-centred way. They do not care about God. They have chosen to pursue their own course, one that defies Him, which refuses to submit to His law of love (love toward Him and toward others), and which pridefully asserts itself instead.

No wonder the nations are angry when Jesus steps in to assert His authority! (Rev 11:18a; Ps 2:1.)

They have just killed the two God-appointed witnesses (Rev 11:7) who have decried all the sins of the nations without restraint (11:3). Symbolically, God’s two witnesses are dressed in sackcloth, to depict the message of repentance they preach for 1260 days. But do self-willed people want correction? No way! It makes them wild with fury!

Psalm 2 graphically describes the contention. And Revelation 11 repeats the outcome.

Revelation’s climactic prophecies include chilling accounts of the horrendous results of warfare. Who has not heard of Armageddon? And before that, with its macabre statistics (9:15-18; 14:20; 16:16), there are the symbols of rivers and seas of blood (16:3,4), of scorpion-like locusts (9:3) emerging from industrial smoke (9:2), tormenting people for five agonising months (9:5). The rest of the imagery unavoidably points to the machinery of war (9:9). The one who is invisibly king over these forces of destruction is Satan (9:11).

When people choose the route of sin which leads to war, destruction is the terrible result. Warfare is the biggest single destroyer of our good earth. Its spiritual root we have already identified.

So, if you are going that wrong way, you too are a candidate for destruction as God justly decrees. But if you have chosen to obey God from your heart, even though it is impossible for you to physically extricate yourself from the evil system we live in, God will save you. It’s His gift to the pure in heart.

John saw in vision why God has determined to obliterate those who stand against Him in that day:

...they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries [drug-taking and occult practices], or their sexual immorality or their thefts (Rev 9:21).

They refused to change and do right. They loved to practice evil. Destruction is their just reward.

Why The Day Of Destruction Is Decreed

It shouldn’t surprise us that there is a day coming that will burn as an oven, to devour all who devour the earth (Mal 4:1). Jesus is coming the second time to conquer.

But who can endure the Day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderer’s soap (Mal 3:2).

Jesus, the Word of God, promises:

I will come near you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against sorcerers, against adulterers, against perjurers, against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, and against those who turn away an alien — because they do not fear Me (Mal 3:5).

...And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble, and the day which is coming shall burn them up... (Mal 4:1).

Wickedness in any form will not be tolerated then. God will reward the righteous. It is:

...the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth (Rev 11:18).

A very under-rated principle in our lawless age of easy believism – or ‘grace, grace, and more grace’ – is the fact that each person will be rewarded according to what they did in this life, whether good or evil!

And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and the books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works (Rev 20:12,13).

Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (Jas 4:4).


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. 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, and the world is passing away and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever (1 Jn 2:15-17).

Malcolm B Heap, Nov 2006

Copyright: Midnight Ministries, PO Box 29, Aylesbury, HP17 8TL, UK