One of the prominent phenomena of the Last Days is the emergence of Babylon the Great, the great commercial colossus that is depicted in Revelation 18 (please also see comments on this topic in this issue’s Signs of the Times column). Its emergence is also foreshadowed and prophesied in the Old Testament. The prophecies applying to Tyre, Jericho and Egypt, for example, all provide an anodyne for the final golden cup filled with the vile toxins of commercialism and materialistic idolatry.
Yes, there assuredly is much debate on the general topic of endtime Babylon, aspects of which we have often commented upon. However, for the purpose of the topic at hand, we need not stop to consider these many views. Here, we only want to focus on one additional aspect of endtime Babylon(s)…namely, the “inseparability” of the two Babylons.
What is meant by the inseparability of two Babylons? How can there be two, and yet they are inseparable? Actually, this was the very question put to me the first time I ever spoke on the topic of Babylon mentioned in Revelation 17 and 18. At the time, I was unprepared. The question was this: Where do you see the break between the Babylon mentioned in Revelation 17 and the one mentioned in chapter 18? I was caught rather flatfooted, as I had simply assumed that they were different Babylons since they were treated in separate chapters and had slightly different names in some Bible translations.
While I still hold to the view that they are different Babylons — in other words, alternate dimensions or at least different perspectives of the last-day Babylon emergence — I also hold to the view that they are inseparable. While this might seem contradictory, it is not. Basically, it is two Babylons1clandestinely in bed together, in effect becoming one. I say clandestinely because most people — surely including many who claim to be Christians — are blind to this emerging union. For the most part, it is a relationship that has been conducted under the covers and in secret, although less so recently. The harlotry is becoming ever more open. From the religious side, it is a union that has been blessed by an increasing number of Christian denominations and religious movements.
Jesus Christ clearly said that there are two separate masters — God and Mammon (Matthew 6:24). You can serve only one. Either you love the one or the other. While God promises to be near and never to forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), Mammon has masterfully honed its attractions to accurately and lethally target the fleshly affections of mankind. These temptations are also near and with us. Who does not agree that the lures of Mammon are lustrous and inveigling? Its apparent entreaties and promises of security are so tempting, immediate and incessant.
But, here is the danger: This apparently unbridgeable gap between God and Mammon offers one of the biggest, exploitable marketing opportunities even known to mankind. How can one have the assurance of being righteous and spiritual and not pass up the chance for rich comfort and lucre from the horn of Mammon?
If you can figure out a way to convince people that they can both worship God and sup with Mammon at the same time, you will meet certain success. This is not a new discovery. It is a gimmick that has worked in past history every time, right from New Testament times, only now it is institutionalized and unfolds on a global scale.
The merging of God and Mammon — figured as religion and materialism, faith and globalization in bed together — is the final capstone of mankind’s deception that is reflected in the religious and commercial Babylons shown to rise in illicit cahoots in Revelation 17 and 18. It is the final, global religion. As such, that may be why the two Babylons in these chapters are presented as one, unbreakable continuum.
Where is the evidence, people might ask. Is this happening today? It assuredly is…and in many ways.
There are numerous channels and multiple feedback loops in this present-day progression. For example, we see an enormous convergence in the world under the rubric of “ethical investing.” It has found a huge alliance within religious circles. Such new organizations as the International Interfaith Investment Group (3IG), which claims to wield some $10 trillion in wealth and 7% of the inhabitable real estate on the planet, are pushing for a purer and better world with the power of money. Also, the “green” movement has bridged alliances with religious groups through such organizations as the Association for Religion and Conservation (ARC). Again, money is the blunt truncheon being used to bring about change and religious reform.
Also, within so-called Christianity there are many movements in this direction. Various prosperity gospels (material comforts in the here and now), Reconstructionism, Kingdom Now and many other ideologies risk consorting with the deadly and deceitful embrace of Mammon. We do not doubt that there are sincere and godly people who may be swept up in these ideologies and who come by their ignorance innocently. However, there are certainly also wolves and entities masquerading as “angels of light.”
While we greatly respect good scholarship, it is also academics that have come to the aid of human lust through the introduction of new theories that “revise” Biblical teaching on idolatry and materialism. For example, such organizations as the influential Acton Institute seem to exist solely to validate capitalism and free-market economics as a Biblically-endorsed system. To the contrary. God has never endorsed any human system.
Any religious movement that claims to build a ‘kingdom” on earth is sure to be fostering ideologies that promote earthly citizenship rather than heavenly citizenship. Jesus Christ could not have been clearer on this point, saying that His kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36). Furthermore, He pointedly asked: “When I return, will I find faith upon the earth?” (Luke 18:8). It is a prophecy enfolded in a rhetorical statement. In fact, it is probably the most indicative of the very few prophecies that specifically apply to the Church.
Sadly, Christians (denominations, movements and individuals) and Christian look-alikes — namely, religious developments deliberately conspired by the Enemy to be an imitation — today risk either falling for or trafficking in the lures of both Babylons.
1. The title of this article has no connection to Alexander Hislop’s work of 1858, The Two Babylons.