“And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” – Revelation 14:8
Do your eyes glaze over when the conversation turns to government? Well, this teaching is not entirely about government, but it is part of it. Please bear with me. What the Bible has to say about this topic is very important. What does it say? It says, Babylon is going down! What? So what? What’s Babylon? What does it have to do with government? Why is it going down? How does that affect me? What? Confused? Disinterested? Please read on.
It’s pretty hard to avoid the topic of government today. This last general election has thrown our nation for a loop. Hillary supporters are still licking their wounds and defying the results. They were satisfied with the direction the nation was going under fellow compatriot Barrack Hussein Obama. Trump supporters are wanting justice for those they see as corrupt. They want to get on with making America great again. It’s gotten so bad that we can’t even enjoy sports anymore what with players kneeling and standing and fans taking sides. The news media has lost all sense of actual news reporting. Main stream media news is more like a shout down. It seems there’s no civility in any walk of life. You have to think about what color you wear out the door each day because if you dress in red or blue could lead to an unwanted argument or even violence. It all wears you down doesn’t it? Why is it like this? How have we come to this point?
Government affects the way we live. Government makes a difference. We are living through a historical moment in our nation and the world when government is front and center. Socialism, (or Communism lite) and Capitalism are squaring off against each other. These forms of government have risen to the top of societal considerations. Whatever side you choose you can bet that information is scarce and propaganda is aplenty. There’s not a whole lot of truth circulating. And what truth there is, is manipulated by whichever side it falls against. All this lends itself to being misled and manipulated. I’m no fan of Vladimir Lenin, but he got one thing right, there’s a whole lot of “useful idiots” running around.
In the United States of America, we have been blessed with a Federal Republic and constitutionally representative democracy. Our government, according to Abraham Lincoln, was designed to be a “Government of the people, by the people, for the people,” and he felt such a government “shall not perish from the Earth”. Our government was designed with checks and balances because those who created our system of government knew that humanity tends to be corrupted by power. That’s true regardless of the governmental system in question.
John Adams stated, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” This is why the Founding Fathers of the United States of America did not shy away from inclusion of references to God. The Declaration of Independence starts off, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” To our Founders government was not “God,” government was an instrument of God to govern people and maintain peace and promote prosperity.
The Founding Fathers of the United States fought a bloody costly war with the monarchy of England. They knew all too well the oppressive nature of human government. They fought against the bondage of colonialism. They didn’t feel they were properly represented though they were required to pay more than what they felt was their fair share of taxes. The weight of oppression grew too heavy to bear and the cry went out, “Give me liberty or give me death!” Built into the soul of our nation was a fear and wariness that government tends toward tyranny.
As precious freedoms were won in battle and the nation of the United States took form, the economical system best suited to these freedoms flourishing was capitalism or free enterprise. From the start, our nation has sought to rely more on individual self-determination than the intrusiveness of government. We lean toward self-governing more than governing by a “Big Brother.” In capitalism, theoretically, a person can excel in proportion to their willingness to work. Good products sell, bad products do not. And supply and demand direct people in their industry. Theoretically, everyone in this capitalist system would have equal opportunity to prosper.
The Declaration of Independence had written into it that “All men are created equal.” In order to secure and assure the equality and prosperity of the people of this new nation, a constitution was written. It was a laborious and hotly debated effort. But after prayer and a concerted effort an incredible piece of human achievement was completed. The Constitution of the United States of America begins: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” This is heady stuff. The Constitution is an incredible achievement. It has been successful in achieving its purported purpose. There is one problem with it though, it is lived out by people, fallen people, sinful people.
In such philosophical climate where people in theory are free and equal, yes, prosperity can be determined by work. The only problem was that not everyone accepted that everyone was indeed “equal.” There were prejudices. When people are seen as “equal” in word only and not treated equally in reality, the result is injustice. Some people were seen as more equal than others. This resulted in unfair labor practices. Some people were favored over others. Some people were discriminated against. There was inequality. There was manipulation and intimidation. Like any other system with fallen sinful human beings, there were serious flaws.
Prejudices were acknowledged from the start of the birthing of our nation. But the prejudices were not reconciled. Reconciliation of prejudice, (and in particular slavery) was sacrificed for the sake of creating a nation. The nation’s birth took priority over this human sinful inconsistency. Eventually, a civil war was fought to resolve the issue. (It was a civil war about federalism versus States rights too, but slavery was the greater sin in question here.) And even after the civil war, it has taken years, decades, more than a century, to continue the fight to establish that indeed, all men are created equal. Capitalism and free enterprise are not without their issues.
What was started with great potential and hope has been chipped away at by the hardships of Civil War, World Wars, other wars, Depression, and a host of life situations that have caused people to doubt their Creator as well as their Constitution. The Church, caving in to the lust for societal credibility and acceptance, sought higher education rather than deeper consecration to God. Large portions of the Church looked to alternatives to the Word of God for instruction. This was the most egregious sin of the Church. The Word of God is living, active, powerful (Hebrews 4:1). Without the Word of God, the Church was reduced to being too often dead, directionless, and dull.
There were revivals like the First Great Awakening that fueled the birth of our nation. There were some who heeded God’s call to, “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16). Too often the response of the people to that call was, “We will not walk in it.” The revivals were too few and far between and they were too often without lasting effect. The Church without the living Word of God becomes lifeless. Over time ministers educated in schools and seminaries that denied the veracity and authority of scripture, led to ministries that lost touch with God. Ministries became more oriented to a “social gospel” rather than the promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the salvation of souls. And some churches didn’t even care about a social effort. Like the church at Ephesus, the Church left its first love. When you leave your first love Jesus, as a church, you’re lost.
There was a trickle-down effect in all of this. The Church lost her footing in society. The Church that stood for nothing fell for anything. And ultimately the Church fell out of contention for the hearts of people. The Church lost its position of influence. This caused a vacuum that was filled by alternatives to God and His word. Every form of alternative to God, every form of godless alternative, was given consideration and credible standing in our nation.
Over time, the absence of the Church in societal forums led to the liberalization of the public education system as well as influence of atheism and world views other than a Christian Biblical world view. Our nation for many decades has been headed in the wrong direction; to a cliff in front of a deep dark chasm. More and more the calls are becoming louder and louder to remove “In God we Trust” from our monuments and money. There is a babelesk spirit to peck away at the signs of God in our nation and in this world. History is being redacted to carve out the influence of God.
Fast forward to our day and we see more and more government is worshipped by people. Got a problem? Government can fix it. Need something, government will provide it. There are people today seeking office and control that are playing to the sinful natures of the populace. Socialism, or government as “God,” is enticing the hearts of people with promises of free education, free health care, free food, free everything. There is even talk of not having to work but instead everyone being given a set universal salary. With the rise of Artificial Intelligence and robotics a day is fantasized about where human life will be one big vacation. It’s absurd. But its presented as possible. The worshippers of government never mention how all this free stuff is going to be paid for or provided, but they offer it just the same. How such promises will be fulfilled isn’t much of a concern to those who in reality, in truth, never intend to actually follow through and deliver on their promises. They just want power. Once they’re in, they have a whole strategy to stay in, to deeply embed themselves in government. They want to bring down this nation and resurrect it in their own images.
Jesus said, “For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light” (Luke 8:17). And elsewhere in God’s Word it says, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13). And in our day, recently, there is more and more awareness of clandestine government machinations.
We hear talk and see evidence of a “Shadow Government,” of agencies bound together by secret oaths and controlling intimidating fear tactics who answer pretty much to no one but themselves regardless of the nation they operate in. We hear of Luciferian conspiracies or devil worship and all kinds of heinous atrocities perpetrated against the weakest and most vulnerable of society. We are told of privileged elite perpetrators that have no fear of ever being brought to justice. How much of this is true? Time will tell. Time, we hope, will show what is fiction and what is reality.
Then there is the “Deep State” system behind government which is motivated by the worship of money, power and greed. The more you look into human government, the more corruption you find. Governmental entities that may have begun in more pure motives, tend to decline into the darkness of various forms of sin. That is because where there are humans, there is sin.
Of course, there are those who deny any of this is reality. But what can’t be denied is that, government, of people, by people, and even for people, involves sinful people, and sinful people always fall short of God’s glorious ideal.
But what does all of this have to do with “Babylon”? In the book of Revelation, when the culmination of all things is revealed, there is an entity called “Babylon,” that falls. “And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Revelation 14:8). The fall of Babylon is so certain that the angel proclaims it as having occurred. This is a warning for anyone who would put his or her hope in an earthly and human system of any kind. “The wrath of her fornication,” is the righteous wrath of God that will come against the fornicating ways of Babylon.
Babylon traces its origin to the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). Babel was man’s first recorded united effort to do something independent of God. Their first initiative was to try and reach the heavens. Babel is the beginning of religion; man’s efforts to explain their reality apart from God and His revelation. Such religion is self-deifying at its root. Babel is also the beginning of government and politics, or man’s effort at self-governing rather than God governing. Government without God grows, it grows to control every walk of human life. Babylon is purely secular as well as sacrilegious. Babylon is life without the God of the Bible.
God warns in scripture that all such efforts are futile (cf. Psalm 2). Socialists, communists, capitalists, democrats, republicans, libertarians, federalists, and any other ists can try to defy God and eliminate Him from human life, but they will never succeed. Government is not God. Humanity needs God; they need God in Christ and the Gospel. Government cannot fill the need that humanity has. Humanity has a God-shaped void that only their Creator God can fill.
God laughs at attempts to eliminate Him from society. God is as essential to humanity as the air we breathe and the food we eat. But more importantly, God is relationally essential to humanity. Humanity was created in the image of God. The Triune God is relational. His triune nature of Father, Son Jesus, and Holy Spirit is eternally interpersonal. God interacts among Himself.
God created humanity “in His image” (Genesis 1:26). God is totally self-sufficient because of His nature. But human beings are not God; they cannot interact solely with themselves and feel complete. Only God can do that. God did not create humanity out of need. He created humanity out of the pure creative desire to create. God would not have been less if He did not create us.
But Human beings, created in His image, need to interact with others. That’s how we were created. Human beings need a spouse, a family, friends, interactions. Our relationships are what makes us who we are and brings satisfaction to life. The one essential relationship for every human being is a relationship with God. Human beings can get by without some relationships, but they can’t get by without that one essential relationship with God. Sin however, has severed that one essential relationship.
Sin separates humanity from the one essential relationship with God (Isaiah 59:2). When our first parents chose to disobey their Maker, sin entered the human race in the Garden and severed humanities’ relationship with God. That relationship killing sin spread to all humanity and took deep roots in the heart of people. In Genesis 6 we are given insight into the origins of such sin as angelic beings sexually intercourse with human beings producing a nearly all-encompassing overwhelming infection of the earth’s population. So severe was the infection with sin that God judged the earth with a Flood. “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). And so, the LORD determined judgment of the earth was in order. Noah alone “was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9). Noah alone “found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8). Everyone else turned away from God. Everyone else was deserving of judgment. “So the LORD said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them” (Genesis 7). Think of how bad things must have been to make God Almighty regretful about His creation.
Even after the Flood sin prevailed. Sin continued to have its ill effects until in Genesis 11 we see human beings make their first concerted effort to set up a society separate from the influence of the Living God. Here we see the exaltation of human industry in the discovery of thoroughly baked bricks (Genesis 11:3). Here we find humanity exalting in their own creative ability. Creativity is great and fulfilling and purposeful, but it loses its meaning when performed separate from the Creator. Here is the beginning of secularism. Here is human invention separate from God and hopeful of achieving new heights without God. Here is self-governing based on self-reliance. Here is beginning of thinking God has nothing to do with the way we make a living or the way we build.
The ziggurat structure built by these babel-onians had religious connotations. But this was a new religion. Maybe the fallen angels involved with the broader fall that led to the Flood, maybe they had something to do with this stairway to heaven. This structure was an instrument to read the stars. These self-governing people would form a world view separate and devoid of the Creator of their ancestors. They threw away the Creation account of their ancestors and chose to follow a rebel. The Biblical genealogy speaks of “Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD” (Genesis 10:8-9). Extra Biblical sources tell us this Nimrod was a hunter of men. Babylonian annals speak of him as mighty man. He is the first human leader in self-governing humanity. There is a whole cockamamie religious pantheon associated with Nimrod and Babel and what it evolved into, Babylon.
What religious influence these first Babylonians sought from this point on was an alternative to the God of the Bible and the truth of His Word. Since that time, the secularization of society and sacrilegious spiritual alternatives to the One True God by fallen humanity have been a “Babylon” afront to the Living God. And really, there can be no doubt that Babylon is something pushed by the first rebel Lucifer.
Lucifer “the shining one,” or the devil tried and failed to usurp the throne of Almighty God (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19). God cast him down to earth. He is the first fallen one. And while he has been decisively cast down, his sin of pride blinds him to his eternal destiny. Lucifer’s maniacal self-delusions drive him to continue to attack his Creator at every opportunity. Therefore, a spirit of Babylon is pushed by Satan throughout history. If Satan can’t usurp God’s throne, he will seek the worship and allegiance of as many of God’s created beings as possible. Satan is consumed with a lust to be worshipped. He fulfills that lust through secularism and the sacrilegious.
But Babylon in its many forms is futile. God reveals to us that in the end it will fail. We see Babylon’s climactic fall in the later stages of the revelation of Jesus Christ. “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication” (Revelation 14:8). Babylon is a cheap trick. Babylon lures people away from the LORD. Babylon sells secularism. Babylon offers religion without relationship with God. Babylon is a cheap prostitute selling herself to people all too eager to shake off what they feel are shackles. But God’s “shackles,” are in reality scripture light to dispel their darkness and truth to expose their lies.
It’s important to know that Babylon and all those who follow this Godless way, is going down. Babylon is a lie. Babylon and the spirit of it pushes the idea that God isn’t real and if He is, He isn’t the only God. Babylon and the spirit of it says God, Almighty God, the God of scripture, the Creator, is not essential, is not necessary. Babylon contends that the God of the Bible is a lie. Babylon tries to turn the tables. Wherever there is a lie, you can be sure Satan is involved. Jesus said of Satan, “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44).
The lie of the devil brings into question the truth of God. “Has God indeed said?” (Genesis 3:1). This leads to outright rejection of God and His truth. “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). The Liar brings into question the loving motives and caring concern and protective Shepherding of God. “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5). And that is the root of Babel and Babylon. The lie of the devil is that God can’t be trusted, that He’s wrong, that He’s trying to keep something good from you. And if God isn’t faithful enough to be trusted, isn’t all-knowing enough to be obeyed, and isn’t loving enough to want what’s best for us, then He isn’t worth knowing. Satan wants us to conclude God isn’t necessary and we don’t need a saving relationship with Him. Babylon is a way of thinking and way of life that says, “I don’t need God. I don’t want God. God is irrelevant.”
My friend, that is a lie. And the truth is that Babylon and all such fallen sinful dark thinking is one day going to fall. Babylon is a cheap Cracker Jack prize in comparison to the rich eternal life of fulfillment and joy offered by God. The Godless religious alternatives of Babylon only lead to groping in the dark with no hope of finding. The Godless secularism pushed by Babylonish thinking leads to poverty not prosperity. That’s true for individuals as well as nations. Babylon and all its ways and all those who choose its ways, is going down. Government is important, and we should be involved, but it isn’t the answer. What President Trump echoed in a recent speech is true, “Government is not God.” Babylon is going down folks.
But what’s the alternative to the way of Babylon? Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Jesus is the way to life, real life (John 14:6). Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). The word “know” here is translated from the Greek term ginosko. The idea of this word “know” in the original language meant to become aware, perceive (as in “seeing is believing”), to understand, to be conscious of, to see something or someone as it/they truly are (not merely opinion or speculation).
When this word is used in the sense of knowing someone it means:
- To know someone personally
- To be personally acquainted with someone
- To trust someone
- To have a friendship with someone
- To have an intimate personal relationship with someone
It is possible to know personally the only true God and His Son Jesus Christ. You don’t have to climb Babel to understand the universe. You don’t have to retreat into self or empty yourself of thought. The cheap alternatives to the One True God are dead ends. What you need is Jesus! Jesus will fill what’s empty in you. Jesus will answer your BIG questions. Jesus will show you what real life, abundant life is all about. And it all starts with connecting with your Maker.
It can get really tiring in the climb up Babel. It’s a climb that has no end. It’s a climb that is a dead end. But there is One who speaks truth, a truth that can set you free. Jesus tells us those who sin are slaves of sin, but He has a truth that can set us free from sin (John 8:31-36). Jesus is the answer, the solution to what you’ve been searching for. And the Answer begins with knowing Jesus. Do you know Jesus?
The Good News is that we can have a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. We can end the drudgery of the pointless Babylonian death march. There is a Guide, a Shepherd who wants to comfort you and lead you and help you. There is a Lover of your soul. That Person is Jesus. And it’s true, you can have a relationship with Jesus. You can know Him. He’s not dead, He’s alive! And what’s even better is that, entering into a relationship with God in Christ is as simple as ABC: Admit/Ask, Believe/Receive, and Confess/Call.
First Admit your sin and ask God’s forgiveness for them. Our sins separate us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). And we all have sinned and fall short of what it takes to enter heaven (Romans 3). We need to admit this truth before God. Once we admit our sin before God we need to ask God’s forgiveness for our sins. This implies turning from our sins to God (i.e. repentance). This is humbling but necessary. We come to Him on His terms not our terms. We come humbly before God who is Awesome and Holy.
Second, believe in Jesus and His atoning work. Jesus and Jesus’ atoning work on the cross alone, not our efforts or works, is the basis for God’s forgiveness of our sins. Ever wonder why the Father forgives our sin when we ask Him to? He just looks at our sin in the shadow of the cross of His Son Jesus, and He lovingly forgives our sin.
The wages or consequences of our sin is death. Jesus died on the cross in our place, paying our punishment for sin. God offers us salvation from our sins freely as a gift of His grace through Jesus’ death on the cross (Romans 6:23). We are saved from our sins because of His work not our work. To believe, trust, or put our faith in Jesus as Savior is not a “work,” it is God’s grace working in us (Ephesians 2:8-9). Once we believe in Jesus and His atoning work, we believe and receive forgiveness for our sins based on Jesus and His work.
God has a just basis to forgive our sins because of Jesus justifying work on the cross on our behalf. Jesus paid our death penalty on the cross for us. He’s the only One qualified to do that. Jesus took our sins on Himself on the cross and when we trust in Him and His work, He offers us His righteousness to be put to our account (cf. Isaiah 53; 2 Corinthians 5:21). God did this for us in Christ because He loves us. God is Love with a capitol “L” (e.g. John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:8 and 16).
Lastly, Confess and call. We confess our sins to God and receive His forgiveness (1 John 1:9). But we also confess Jesus to those around us; we tell others about Jesus; we call others to follow Jesus too. These are not works that lead to salvation. This is a fruit or evidence that salvation has genuinely taken place in us. The Bible states, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).
No rebel or rebellion on this planet scares or even remotely concerns the God of Heaven. It only saddens Him that His creation chooses to reject His love. It saddens Him to see those He loves reject Him. It saddens Him to see those He sent His only Son to redeem, at the cost of His life, reject Him and persist to do so. Babylon is a grievous sin before God. No human effort of rebellion moves His heart to concern for His sovereign rule. God is not challenged by humanity or any created being. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11). He desires all to be saved from their sin and to spend eternity with Him (1 Timothy 2:4;2 Peter 3:9). But if humanity and any other created being persist in rejecting Him, a time will come when He enforces His law on the rebels. Babylon is going down. Babylon is going to fall. Don’t go down with it. Don’t put your trust in government. Don’t put your faith in alternatives to the God of the Bible. Jesus said “He who is not with Me is against Me” (Luke 11:23). You either know Him as Savior or you do not. Indecision is decision. Babylon is going down. Don’t go down with it. Do you know Jesus? Make sure.
 Patrick Henry