Babylon, the Developing World System, is Threatening Every Nation on Earth
The world is heading toward a final violent encounter between two economies: the economy of Satan and the economy of God. I use the world “economy” in its biblical sense. It comes from the Greek word oikonomia which refers to the administration of a household under a person’s headship. Paul uses the term in Ephesians 1:10 referring to “an administration suitable to the fullness of the times.” These two economies are completely opposed to one another as they are the expressions of their respective heads. Satan, the god of this world system, is the head of one and God is the head of His administration.
In the book of Revelation Satan’s fully developed world economy is referred to as the “great harlot” and “Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth” (17:1, 5). God’s finished economy is referred to as the New Jerusalem and “the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (21:2, 9). The metaphors depict these two economies as two clear opposites: a great harlot vs. the righteous wife of the Lord Himself. They are represented as two cities — Babylon and the New Jerusalem.
It appears that during this present age there will be some careless participation by God’s people in the great harlot economy. Because of this, God sends out the decree “Come out of her my people so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues” (Rev. 18:4). This is a warning just prior to the final destruction of Babylon the great. This corrupt economy is about to be destroyed and God’s people are warned to get out while they can. This might be compared to a vast economic meltdown that destroys a complete economy and people invested in it are warned to get out or they will go down with it.
Some commentaries maintain that Revelation chapter 17 speaks of a “religious” Babylon while chapter 18 alludes to a “political” Babylon. They make this distinction because they see a religious component developing in the form of apostate Christianity and a political component in the form of the move toward a one-world government. I am taking the position that there is one great harlot system whose influence affects both spiritual and political systems on earth expressed in Revelation 17 and 18. This is the world system, the designed administration of Satan which encompasses all religious, cultural, and political expressions.
In chapter 17 John wrote
I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (3–5).
This woman, who represents Babylon, is riding on the beast that has been referred to previously in Revelation 12:3 as the great red dragon in the great heavenly sign. The dragon also has seven heads and ten horns no doubt referring to the coalition of nations who will be his duped partners in scandal (13:1, 3). The fact that the woman is riding on the beast indicates that the beast, who is the Antichrist, controls the rider. It is clear that the beast and the coalition of nations hates her and will be responsible for her destruction: “And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire” (17:16). The Antichrist and his coalition will destroy the economy of Babylon when she is no longer needed for their purposes.
It may seem strange to some that the Satan inspired Antichrist would hate and destroy the very evil world system that he had inspired for all of earth’s history. The angel who announces this destruction shows clearly that it is in the plan of God: “For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled” (Rev. 17:17). The ten horns or nations and the beast, the Antichrist will hate the harlot and instigate her destruction because they will have a “common purpose” and that is total world control.
In that total world control, the beast, inspired and empowered by Satan, as he gains complete control of the world’s economy, will institute a system that will require all people to be marked in the hand or forehead before being able to buy or sell (Rev. 13:16). In other words, all people will be required to worship the beast and receive the mark before they can buy or sell food or anything else. The world dictator, the beast, will require that “. . . no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name” (Rev. 13:17). We see this tactic being developed through technology even now.
When the great harlot Babylon the world system is destroyed, this is the reaction that will be seen from all who benefitted from her provisions:
And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargoes any more — cargoes of gold and silver and precious stones and pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet, and every kind of citron wood and every article of ivory and every article made from very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives (Rev. 18:11–13).
I have no idea how this destruction of the world system, Babylon, will be accomplished. Will the major powers of the world like China, Russia and the United States be involved in a major war? Will there be military attacks on the major cities of the world including New York, Beijing, and Moscow and others? Will there be an electromagnetic pulse caused by a rogue nation that destroys the infrastructure of nations? We can’t know how this will happen but we do know that “God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose” (17:17).
Today’s world is shaping up much like the years before the great flood when peoples’ hearts were so corrupt that they were “continually evil” (Gen. 6:5). The world will become increasingly corrupt under the influence of Satan and the world system he is presently inspiring. This includes the governments, economies, religions and cultures of the world that are quickly turning their backs on God and embracing cancel culture, racial hatred, atheism, evolution, disdain for life, sexual deviance, lawlessness, and much more, all of which is moving the world toward a time when one powerful person controlling a coalition of major nations will come to the rescue offering himself as the world’s solution.
We see this happening today as major demon-inspired billionaires with economic and political clout are becoming more blatant in their move towards open borders and executive orders that defy the will of the people. Slowly, pressure is being applied to countries to abandon the proven measures that have kept evil under control. The constitutional safeguards of balance of power, consent of the governed, freedom of speech, religion, freedom to protest and much more are being abandoned in favor of dictatorial mandates introduced with COVID-19 as the justification. The recent events in once democratic countries like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States show an obvious trend toward dictatorship. This development feeds directly into the plans of Satan who will use the great Babylon system and the coming Antichrist to fulfill his desire to rule the world.
These words are not written to instill fear into the hearts of followers of Christ but to alert you to what is coming. We are not dealing with mere politicians and rich human powerbrokers. We must follow Paul’s inspired advice to
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:11, 12).
Satan is a schemer and he uses tactics that the Holy Spirit will reveal to us if we are listening. Knowing that this is a spiritual war involving Satan and his minions, enables us to be alert to what is happening all around us. The Babylon system is developing before our eyes and we need to have ears to hear what the Spirit is telling us in these days of misinformation and deception. Alertness is crucial but the desire to obey God in these troubling times is key. The command to “Come out of her my people” is going forth. We must listen and obey.