Are the monetary and economic events we witness today in alignment with Bible prophecy? As we have already outlined in Part I, we would say yes, without reservation.
However, are these developments that we are witnessing today specific fulfillment of Bible prophecy? Here we must have a more nuanced answer: Yes, we can point to developments that will “enable” specific fulfillment of Bible prophecy in the future. In this sense, we can consider these developments as being “prophetically significant.”
However, we must be very careful in pronouncing any event as a specific “fulfillment” of prophecy. That would require us to be exactly sure about the specific moment and action that is envisioned in any prophecy statement in the Bible.
Therefore, we must differentiate between a prophetically significant development and a prophetic fulfillment. They are not the same, and that is why we must be ultra-careful in our pronouncements about prophecy.
For example, consider the developments of globalism and globalization. Fulfillment of Bible prophecy (which may be yet future) requires that these global developments must occur first. Were this not so, it would not be possible for future prophecy to be fulfilled. If there were no globalism, how would it be possible that Israel “[…] shall not be reckoned among the nations” (Numbers 23:9); that world rulers will “band together against the Lord” (Psalm 2:2-3); or that God’s last-day judgments could be enacted as a “global” punishment?
Here we have pointed out a situation where the specific fulfillments of the prophecies involving a “globalized” humanity likely have not yet occurred, even though the rapid trend of globalization can be considered “prophetically significant,” as it is a process that eventually enables the specific fulfillment of prophecy. There are many more such supporting examples that could be examined that distinguish between fulfillment and development.
To cite one example, consider the ongoing debate as to whether the final 10 kings (mentioned and depicted 10 times in Scripture) will come from the nations of the European Union (EU). This may indeed happen. We obviously know that this 10-nation union has not yet come into existence. However, there have been many that pronounced developments in Europe as being fulfillments of prophecy, notably so when Greece joined the European Community (a predecessor to the EU) as its 10th member in 1981. Not surprisingly, some prophecy scholars excitedly interpreted the 10-nation European Community as the “fulfilled prophecy” of the advent of the 10 kings.
That proved to be an overzealous opinion. These interpretations were wrong. Today, the EU has 28 members … soon to be 27, should Britain carry through its decision to exit. Given the many stresses that the European Union is facing today, it is highly plausible that the current membership configuration will change … perhaps splitting into two separate groups … or complete collapse … or, plausibly indeed, a group of 10 could emerge. We cannot know in advance.
An additional challenge presents itself. For example, we can point to events and processes of perhaps hundreds of years ago that have served to set the foundations of today’s globalism and globalization. However, over longer periods of time, such trends can experience “ebbs and flows”—two steps forward, one back … etc. Significant reversals can cause shortsighted observers to deny the “prophetic significance” of longer-running developments.
One such reversal may be underway now with respect to globalization. Quite a number of global observers lament recent declines in global trade volume growth, a broad shift to trade protectionism, and a general unwinding of established financial capital flows. However, this apparent reversal is yet modest to date … certainly not the scale of the reversal that occurred as a result of WWI. The “Gilded Age” of globalization, anchored by the British currency, experienced a harsh reversal at that time.
Yet, the decline of globalization at that earlier time (or presently) did and does not negate the long-term trend of globalization. One would be wrong to make the pronouncement that the advance of globalization has ended and therefore is no long “prophetically significant.” Short-term trends can be notoriously misleading. In any case, today’s state of globalization and globalism is already so advanced that any reversal would not delay the fulfillment of prophecy.
We then pose this question: Just which stage of the coming together (and perhaps yet future break-ups) of the European Union could legitimately be identified as a fulfillment of Bible prophecy? We would say none. Yes, a union of 10 kings will indeed form, because that is what the Bible clearly says will occur. However, how and when it will occur, we cannot say.
Prematurely pronouncing “prophetic fulfillment” invites ridicule of Christian prophecy. Much more ominous, Satan keenly takes advantage of our abuse and misuse of prophecy. This couldn’t be more tragic, as prophecy is one of the greatest gifts given to the Jews and Christians. The Lord Himself chose to prove “that there are none beside Me” (Isaiah 45:5), as He is the only One that has reliable foreknowledge. Prophecy provided proof that Lord Jehovah is God. Therefore, Satan has sought to completely invalidate the importance of Bible prophecy in the eyes of the secular world.
Endtime Connections to Today and Babylon
We are convinced that events and trends that we observe today or which have occurred in past years and centuries, are in alignment with Bible prophecy. We see these global trends as being “enablers” of the future fulfillment of prophecy. Many of these apply to the economic realm of our day.
For example, James, the half-brother of Jesus, uttered a number of prophecies about “last day” economic conditions. He spoke of the misery that is coming upon the world’s rich people. Moreover, he prophesied that wealth would deteriorate. Speaking to the “rich,” he said: “Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes” (James 5:2). In ancient times, the quality of clothes displayed one’s status and wealth. (Mercedes Benz automobiles had not yet been invented.)
James also prophesies that the rich people’s “gold and silver are corroded” (verse 3), and that they have hoarded wealth in the last days, as well as a number of other economic imbalances that we will not deal with here.
Both the hoarding of wealth and the corrosion of wealth are certainly conditions that can be measured today. A related preoccupation with wealth and materialism is shown in the Bible’s depiction of Babylon the Great. This account is suffused with corruption and the idolatry of wealth and materialism. In the heyday of commercial Babylon, the Bible says that its merchants are the world’s most important people. Mission workers, priests or anyone not influential in the world of trade and money, by definition, do not qualify as important people in that era.
Furthermore, the Bible says that the great influence of these important people will help lead the world astray. “Your merchants were the world’s important people. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray”(Revelation 18:23).
Just who are considered to be the most important people in the world today?
Without a doubt, today’s financial systems are “Babylonish”—most particularly in the sense that its roots do go back to the ancient Babylonian period (i.e. 2,000 BC, not to be confused with the later Chaldean neo-Babylonian period of Nebuchadnezzar’s time).
Assyriologists (archaeologists that specialize in studying the history and linguistics of ancient Mesopotamian cultures) have uncovered many financial records from this time period. In fact, over 90% of unearthed tablets record financial and commercial transactions. Most people may not realize that to this day, the Babylonian “commercial” influence is still all around us in many ways.
Consider that our economies still operate on the very foundation of the ancient Babylonian numerical system—the sexagesimal. It is based on the number 60. Have you ever wondered why there are 60 seconds to the minute; 60 minutes to the hour? Why, when we buy 12 donuts, we still use the ancient Babylonian term for a “fifth of 60”—a dozen? Despite there being 365.25 days to the year, it was not uncommon that bond interest was calculated on a 360 day year.
Among many other Babylonian commercial legacies to our day, is the fact that the ancient Babylonians invented mortgages and mutual funds. There are other connections.
Who are the world’s most important people today? Most certainly, anyone who has great influence over trade, commerce and wealth would qualify by the values and mores of our time. Currently, given the slavish attention to the utterances of central bankers, they would certainly qualify as candidates for the “world’s most important people.” Similarly so, the corporate executives that manage the world’s largest companies. These continue to become larger and more concentrated, some of them with workforces greater than the populations of entire countries.
When Will Babylon Fall? When Comes the Final Financial Collapse?
While Babylon the Great represents a composite of mankind’s corruptions and evils, it involves idolatries with global trade and material wealth. The Book of Revelation states that God will deal with Babylon the Great. It will abruptly collapse. Says the Bible, it will be thrown down suddenly, never to be found again. “In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!” (Revelation 18:17).
Is the fall of Fall of Babylon therefore related to the fall of mankind’s financial system, which so many people fear today?
(In Part III, we will comment on the timing of the final collapse of mankind’s financial systems and its relationship to the fall of Babylon the Great.)
About the Author: Wilfred J. Hahn is a global economist/strategist. Formerly a top-ranked global analyst, research director for a major Wall Street investment bank, and head of Canada’s largest global investment operation, his writings focus on the endtime roles of money, economics and globalization. He has been quoted around the world and his writings reproduced in numerous other publications and languages. His 2002 book The Endtime Money Snare: How to live free accurately anticipated and prepared its readers for the Global Financial Crisis. His newest book, Global Financial Apocalypse Prophesied: Preserving true riches in an age of deception and trouble, looks further into the future.