Read: Revelation 17
Do not love the world or the things in the world. (1 John 2:15)
Revelation 17 to 19 repeats the story with a new player. The multi-headed red beast of Revelation 13 is an old empire that disappears, then revives near history’s end. The beast is a one-world government. It is not the Roman empire nor the European Union. Again, it’s a mistake to try to match up current events with these passages, and it is more fruitful to look at patterns of history.
The beast has a rider. She is a prostitute, overdressed in purple, scarlet, gaudy jewelry. Puppet kings are her lovers. All are drunk. Not on wine but on the blood of martyrs. She is “Babylon the Great,” symbol of evil ever since Nimrod built his tower (Gen. 11). She sits on many waters, representing her global nature.
The prostitute represents this city’s culture—arts, industries, commerce, transportation, media, education, entertainment. She is arrogant—she lusts for money, fame, sex and pleasure. She’s a parasite on rural areas, and cruel to the poor. But she is also seductive! People want what she offers. The global city, its government and false religions hate each other (taxes, laws, crime) and will destroy each other. Globalization has a dark side. Into this darkness our light must shine. God’s order to his people in ancient Babylon is our mandate. “Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jer. 29:7). —Ruth Siemens
As you pray, pray for your city, or the cities around you.
About the Author
Ruth Siemens was a campus minister with IVCF/IFES, then started Global Opportunities to prepare professionals to work and witness in secular employment abroad.