(A28), Babylon: The Free Market Economy and the Catholic Church, (S. Dobbs, 2003):

The following information may help those who pray for discernment over this word: I have to admit that I found writing this word up quite difficult and ended up rearranging part of it in relation to Yun, (a Chinese Christian evangelist), in order to help with this. Later I noticed that this had interfered with the anointing on the word, it was as if I had added a layer of human control over the prophecy. By then I had lost my original notes and I have, as yet, not got around to praying about this and returning the word to the order in which God gave it me. Needless to say I have not done this again with any other prophecies.

Revelation 17:4 & 5, “The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH,” (N.K.J.V).

Introduction: In 2003 I believe the Lord gave me a series of prophetic insights relating to the symbolism of Babylon from the book of revelation. These came to my mind one at a time, in fractions of a second. I did not deduce these things logically, the whole thing happened far too fast for that to have been possible. I’ve described how this came about to help the reader weigh this up for themselves. First though I thought it best to note the difference between Babylon and the Beast. Please read Rev Ch 17 & 18, it will be hard to follow this word if the reader is not familiar with these chapters. (All scriptures in these notes are taken from the N.K.J.V of the bible).

Babylon and the Beast: If we read Rev Ch 17 v3 and other scriptures we can see that although Babylon and the Beast are in some ways mutually supportive they are in fact two separate things. Babylon is the prostitute and the Beast is the seven headed ten horned monster on which she sits. Most Christians would I think agree with my belief that the Beast symbolises both the antichrist and the global empire that he will rule in the very end times. If we read Rev Ch 16 v 16 we can see that the antichrist and other leaders of the Beast Empire will hate Babylon and will destroy her with fire at the end of this age. The beast and Babylon are therefore clearly separate things.

Background: A friend and I used to debate this issue. He thought Babylon symbolised the Catholic Church. This used to seem a little absurd to me because I’d met several Catholics who were genuine Spirit filled believers. I’d thought that Babylon symbolised the worlds free market system. This was because Rev 18 v11 states that it is the worlds “merchants” who will mourn when Babylon falls. Later I discovered that most bible scholars have also held one or other of these same two views concerning Babylon, i.e. Babylon either symbolising the Catholic Church or the worlds system of commerce and industry. These two different interpretations appear at first to contradict one another.

Revelation insights: I’ll explain these as they came, one at a time. Firstly I felt prompted by God to read Revelation Chapter 17 and 18 again. As I did so the Holy Spirit immediately showed me how relevant my friends interpretation of Babylon had been, particularly Rev Ch 17 v 6, “I saw the woman, “(Babylon)” drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” I already knew that the Catholic Church had persecuted believers who did not submit to the Pope in the past but this was the first time God had shown me how relevant this was. Prior to this I had thought it was probably just a coincidence. I understood that the Lord was showing me here that Babylon did indeed symbolise the historic institution of the Catholic Church after all.

The second revelation, which followed, related to John Wesley and George Whitfield. It revealed that my original interpretation of Babylon symbolising the worlds system of trade and industry was also correct. I suddenly saw that the difference of opinion between my friend and I paralleled a disagreement Wesley and Whitfield had once had on a different issue. They had each held to different doctrines concerning salvation. One had thought this was simply down to the freewill response of individuals to the gospel, whilst the other had argued that it was predestined entirely by God alone. Without me understanding the depths of this theological debate the Lord showed me that both of these men had been right but that each had seen a different part of this truth and from a different perspective to the other. I saw that both of them had however been blinkered from taking on board what the other had seen, as each had assumed they themselves had understood the entire truth concerning salvation. The Lord was pointing out to me here that in a similar way my friend and I had seen a different part of what Babylon symbolised. That in fact Babylon symbolised both the institution of the Catholic Church as well as the worlds system of commerce and industry.

The next revelation related to Babylon as the prostitute. It centred around a vision that brother Yun (a Chinese Christian evangelist) had received whilst in prison, (this is contained in the Christian best selling book of 2002/3 “The Heavenly Man”). Brother Yun had been arrested by the Communist authorities in China for evangelising and because he was a leading figure in the rapidly growing Chinese house church movement. His vision from God came in two parts. Firstly he had seen the Chinese authorities pour scorpions and stinging insects on him. This symbolism came to pass shortly afterwards when he was subjected to a prolonged period of torture in an attempt to get him to deny the faith. Yun resisted this and remained loyal to Christ. In the second part of his vision he had seen a beautiful wholesome looking prostitute beckoning to him with open arms and offering comfort. This symbolism came to pass after Yuns season of torture had ended, when the Chinese authorities turned to a different tactic. His torturers then offered Yun a position as one of the main leaders of the state controlled church in China. Yun then realised this was what the prostitute in his vision had symbolised. After being tortured this offer was very tempting. Yun would still have been able to confess and worship Christ but would have had to submit to certain restrictions such as not being allowed to engage in any more evangelism. Yun resisted this temptation and remained in prison instead. I saw there were parallels here between the prostitute in Yuns vision, (the State controlled church in China), the way the leaders of the Catholic Church had compromised their faith in the days of Constantine (Emperor of Rome) and prostituted the Catholic denomination, and Babylon the prostitute in the book of revelation.

The Lord reminded me of the fact that the Bishops of the Catholic Church had also been tortured and imprisoned because of their faith in the days of Constantine. They had then been offered freedom from persecution if they allowed the Catholic Church to come under the authority of the Roman Empire. Unlike Yun though the Catholic Bishops had given into temptation. They had embraced the prostitute and received the comfort and security that she had offered. The Lord showed me that in so doing the Catholic Church had prostituted itself and had as a result been infiltrated by the prostitute Babylon. From then on in many ways it became another manifestation of Babylon. [It is perhaps worth pointing out that in his book Yun states that there are many good and sincere Christians who attend state controlled churches in China. Likewise many genuine believers have attended Catholic churches as well. It is the historic institution of the Catholic Church that Babylon the prostitute symbolises, not necessarily the individuals who fellowship there.]

[A brief history of the Catholic Church is needed here to help explain what I had seen in more detail. As I understand it, in 312 Constantine, the Emperor of Rome, issued an edict bringing the persecution of Christians to an end. He claimed to have converted to Christianity. It is likely that this claim was for political reasons, though (to help the Roman Empire and its peoples remain a cohesive united force). As he also remained the head priest of pagan religions as well this throws doubt on the sincerity of his conversion. Soon after he had announced his conversion he proclaimed himself the arbitrator between the different Christian groups, i.e, the person who would decide how disputes would be settled in the church. This in effect made him the overseer and head of any Christian group that accepted this.  This was clearly not right, even if Constantine’s conversion had been genuine scripture teaches that a recent convert cannot become a leader in the church let alone the overall leader, (see Tim 3.6). The bishops of the Catholic denomination, (many of whom carried the scars from recent persecutions), did however accept this. The Catholic group were, from then on, in submission to Emperor Constantine and became incorporated into the state of Rome. God showed me that once the Catholic denomination had compromised in this way it then became another manifestation of Babylon].

The last revelation I received was that there was a direct link between the two manifestations of Babylon, between Babylon being the worlds system of commerce and industry as well as the institution of the Catholic Church.

What the Holy Spirit showed me was that the Catholic bishops had compromised their faith in this way so that Catholics could live peaceful lives, earn a living and engage in commerce and industry within the Roman Empire, free from persecution. Commerce and industry was the other interpretation of Babylon. By compromising the faith in order to trade and engage with Babylon the Catholic Church had been infiltrated by Babylon and had become another manifestation of Babylon as a result. This then was the way these two different manifestations of Babylon were linked, the way the worlds system of commerce and industry linked to the historic institution of the Catholic Church.

One of the results of this compromise was that the catholic bishops gained political power within the Roman Empire and were then used by satan to persecute other believers who would not accept rule from Rome. After the fall of the Roman Empire the Catholic Church gained even more influence in Western Europe and continued these persecutions. Hence my friends understanding of Babylon symbolising the Catholic Church and the relevance of the following scripture;

Revelation 17; 6 “I saw the woman Babylon drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus” (N.K.J.V).

[It is perhaps important to keep a balanced outlook concerning the Catholic Church. I hold to the view that although it compromised its stand for Christ in Constantine’s day and then persecuted other believers, much of what was of God nonetheless remained. For example, it defended the doctrine concerning the deity of Christ and it preserved older copies of the bible through the years. Many Catholics have also been genuine Christian believers. God saves those He chooses to, or those who are open to Him, no matter which church group or organisation they belong to, or how compromised it has become. As Eph 2 v8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves it is the gift of God”.]

In Summary: The Lord showed me that Babylon symbolised both the worlds system of commerce and industry as well as the historic institution of the Catholic Church and that these two manifestations of Babylon were directly linked to one another as described above.

 

S. Dobbs, Typed up in Nov 2004.