"And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." (Rev 18:1-2)
The angel was so bright that "the earth was lightened with his glory."
This tells us that the lower personality (the earth) is going to be faced with such a display of higher light and truth that it cannot be denied or ignored. That message that faces the carnal self is the great whore of "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen...." "Fallen" comes from the Greek PIPTO which is in the Aorist tense which does not have an English equivalent. It can refer to either past tense as is translated here or it could indicate an ongoing happening. In other words, it could indicate that Babylon was falling in the days of John and is still falling.
There are two falls of Babylon to consider here. The first occurs within the life of the individual disciple. This is a sure interpretation that will eventually happen to each pilgrim upon the path. He finds that he needs money for a number of legitimate reasons. Among them are to be happy, to feed and cloth himself and his loved ones, and even to be of effective service to God and humanity.
To obtain this money he often has to prostitute himself and perform labors that he does not like. Some of these may require some dishonesty or may even contribute to enslavement of others or an unfair wage. For a long period of time he may justify himself and tell himself it is worth betraying his inner impulses for the greater good. After all, money is essential is it not?
Eventually the disciple discovers that he cannot be a true spiritual servant of the Christ and be a prostitute at the same time. Often with misplaced idealism he will reject money altogether and take some sort of vow of poverty. This does not free him from the Beast however and sooner or later he must find the proper balance. When he does, the prostitute in him "falls" and he goes forth with a new vision and determination to earn all his money with total honesty, harmlessness and in a way that benefits the whole. He will have no desire to accumulate wealth for the lower self but to dedicate what he has to building the kingdom of God.
The outward interpretation tells us of a fall that the world itself will have in connection with money. The socialist idealism of the world sees money, the free market and capitalism as a great evil and is fighting to destroy it. Eventually the money systems of the world will fall, but this will not yet free us from the Beast. For a time we will be under its control more than ever as it seeks to force goodness and equality down our throats.
As Babylon is falling we are told that it becomes "the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird."
"Devils" here comes from DAIMON, which can be interpreted to mean a false god or an inferior being taking the place of God. In the "fallen" view of money, where it is prostituted, it indeed becomes a false God, even to the bearing of a man's image on its face and to forcing many to work for it with greater zeal than they work in the service of God and humanity.
"The hold of every foul spirit...."
"Hold" comes from PHULAKE, which more literally means "prison."
To have to labor for money at a job that runs contrary to the individual's soul is like being in a prison and puts many in a "foul" mood or spirit.
"Of every unclean and hateful bird."
The unclean birds are like vultures that wait for other competitive lives to die so they can eat their corpses.
We have heard that business is a "dog eat dog" world and there is a lot of truth in this. Many business people are like vultures in that they will rejoice in the death of a competitor (or even cause it) and pounce upon its corpse and consume its assets. This they often do with no regard to those who have lost their jobs and will suffer.
Someday this will end and for a time, under a more socialist system things will get worse, but eventually a new cooperative system will arise where service to the whole is the prime directive rather than profit at any cost.
Neither socialism, capitalism or money are good or evil in themselves. As concepts they are all neutral. Instead, it is how they are put to use or implemented that determines the good or bad of them.
The common phrase is "money is the root of all evil," but the Bible words it more accurately by saying "The love of money is the root of all evil." (1 Tim 6:10)
Money itself is neutral and people leave out the most important phrase "love of money" when quoting this important scripture.
The whore of Babylon has a "love of money" which has a priority above the love of fellowmen.
The whore of Babylon is not evil because she makes money or promotes free enterprise, but because she loves money and will do anything to get it.
To see the prostitute from Revelations at work today one merely has to look at any vacuum that would be repulsive to fill. In each case we see that the vacuum does not remain empty for long.
For instance, if there is a demand for child porn and it is possible to circumvent the law on the matter, it will not be long before some prostituting individuals come out of the woodwork and fill the need. They will wind up making lots of money and doing irreparable damage to children on the way. Their love of money outweighs their sensitivity toward children.
After Gulf War One when the people of Iraq were in dire need of money and medical supplies prostituting capitalists from around the world made under-the-table deals with Saddam Hussein that shortchanged the people and caused the deaths of innocent men, women and children.
During World War Two when the freedom of the world was at stake prostituting capitalists from the Allied nations made deals with Hitler and the Axis powers only to enrich themselves.
The point is this. If there is a need and money is to be made filling that need, prostitutes will come out of the woodwork to fill the need to matter how disgusting or hurtful it is to their brothers -- even to the destruction of civilization.
Now some misuse of money is very obvious, but others are not.
It is not evil to use money to fill your basic needs of happiness. There's nothing wrong with buying a nice home, car and amenities that make your life better. Just buying things, by themselves does not make a person in cahoots with the prostitute of Revelations. It is when the person loves money more than he loves his fellow men and women. When money is loved above people then the person will not much question where the money comes from. If it comes from drugs that ruined peoples lives then that is fine to the person who loves money.
In real life the prostitute makes good money, but many who are not prostitutes do also. The difference with the prostitute is she loves money to the extent that she will do most anything to get it and this is the great evil that consumes the whore described in Revelations.
Unfortunately there are enough financial prostitutes in the world to create great evil in every country on the planet.
The idealists see this flaw and seek to destroy the system that makes this prostitution possible and implement a socialist system where all are equal.
The problem is that both sides are dominated by the authority of the Beast and care not for the free will of average humanity.
It is free will that must triumph in the end and when freedom rules the best possible system will prevail.
"Givers have to set limits because takers rarely do."
-- Irma Kurtz, Cosmopolitan Magazine, September 2003
Copyright © 2009 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved