“May the things of this world so lose their power over us.” Watchman Nee
Welcome to 2022 and by the way, have you noticed Babylon is falling all around us? Babylon was an ancient, pagan city (underneath today’s Iraq) featured repeatedly in the Bible. Not only is it a place where important history happened, like Daniel in the lion’s den, it is also a symbol in scripture of everything anti-God in this present world. Babylon is falling. Forgive my abruptness; it comes from urgency in my spirit. An urgency to encourage and challenge fellow God chasers to divest themselves of any thought, speech, or behavior more in line with the gods of this world than with the kingdom of the one true God.
I believe God is putting this same message in the mouths and minds of other writers and speakers also, because the time grows short. He will send out the same idea in a variety of ways because he designed us all uniquely and wants to reach broad audiences. This year-long series will be my little part. The way God brought “Babylon Falling- Grace Rising,” to me as a theme for this year, was by entwining two key scriptures during my devotions. The first is Revelation 18 in which John describes the literal and metaphorical falls of Babylon. Here’s a small part of this dire warning to God’s children.
Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast. 3 For all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.”
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying,
“Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins,
The second passage is found in Titus 2:11-15 where Paul instructs Titus to teach the churches on Crete about grace’s role in instructing us how to turn our backs on ungodly living and worldly longings. That is one of God’s purposes in offering us salvation and grace, to teach us how to live godly lives amidst the ungodly and prepare ourselves to spend eternity with him.
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”
God impressed me with the idea that we are most likely going to watch titans of the world’s systems, aka Babylon, fall in 2022. To the degree that Christians are entangled in ungodly ways with those worldly giants, we too will see setbacks, falls and grave disappointments. Remember always that Jesus asked us to be in the world but not of it.
Babylon’s demise began over the last several years and accelerated in the last few months. This is quite noticeable if you are watching and interpreting world events through scriptures and the insights of other, wise God-followers, not allowing yourselves to be told what to think, feel and know by worldly media. Christians must be ultra-discerning and cautious as to who you allow to shape your ideas and world view.
Babylon is getting caught up in the fire of God’s righteous judgements in real time. Here’s but a few samples of some mighty who fell during the last year alone.
Ghislaine Maxwell, partner to Jeffrey Epstein in one of the largest human trafficking and blackmail enterprises in the world, was recently found guilty on five counts of federal law regarding sex trafficking. These two have been running their business for decades. The flight logs for Epstein Island are available online and filled with politicians, CEOs, and elite from the worlds of Hollywood, the music industry, and professional sports. These are people who visited Maxwell and Epstein on a remote island where we now know children were tortured and abused regularly. We do not know at this time what the participation of all these people was in these activities, and indeed some may be entirely innocent, but I believe we are about to find out. Many believe that Maxwell is but the first domino to fall. A witness in her case identified Prince Andrew, of England’s royal family, as a perpetrator in crimes against minors. Babylon’s sexual immorality and perversions are falling out for all to see.
The number of CEO’s abruptly resigning in 2020- 2021 from massive corporations like Amazon, Twitter, Walmart, CNBC just to name a few of thousands, is record breaking in American business history. Do your own research yourself and see. (Don’t use google as it is highly censored right now. I recommend Duck Duck Go.) Sorry folks, but CEOs don’t just resign en masse to golf more. The business enterprises of Babylon are shaking, and many are falling.
Hollywood is on life support and not expected to ever return as it once was. Producers, actors, directors, and others in the industry are declaring the movie production side especially, to be dead as we once knew it. Experts cite two primary reasons. First, all the Covid restrictions kept people out of theaters for many months. Second, people were already staying away from movie theaters in the highest numbers ever because they are no longer interested in movies that are heavy handed with political agendas. The entertainment arm of Babylon is collapsing in on itself.
In this world currently, all pillars of society, education, government, business, family, entertainment, arts, and media and even religion are dominated or heavily influenced by Babylon’s values. This is not so different from the Roman world in which Jesus lived. So, when he said, “Be in this world, but not of it,” he didn’t speak from an existence within a God-centered Shangri-La where his followers were at the top of the food chain setting policy and making laws.
The Apostle Paul understood Babylon’s lure and frequently wrote about the separated, holy lifestyle God expects to be the norm for his children. In the book of Titus, Paul urges Titus to be deliberate and authoritative in teaching the many churches on the island of Crete about how God followers should behave. Cretans had a horrible reputation in the ancient world. In Titus 1:12, Paul quotes a well-known prophet of the day who says Cretans are “liars, evil beasts, and lazy gluttons.” Paul agrees with that description.
Paul tasked Titus with teaching lying, evil, lazy, gluttonous, new believers how to reject godless behaviors and worldly passions to live holy, sanctified lives. If God expects that of people like the Cretans, isn’t he expecting at least the same from all of us, who weren’t necessarily raised by wolves? This is one of the functions of God’s grace.
The original Greek in Titus 2:11 creates a picture of grace as a loving teacher, methodically training students up in what they need to know. How wonderful of God to teach us through his grace methods as opposed to the punitive, harsh practices that some teachers and professor’s use.
In 2022, I am challenging myself and you to carefully examine our relationship with the world. We will look at the various foundations and aspects of society, consider Babylon’s influence on them and ask ourselves some hard questions. My goal is never to judge or condemn but always, always to bring light, grace and hope to complex topics and provoke righteous conversations.
I’ll be releasing a Bible study on the book of Titus, a handbook for holy living, sometime in February to help us with this. I believe we need to become graciously ruthless in evaluating our relationship with this world. Others from outside our culture, like missionaries, easily see the infiltration of Babylon into many areas of an average Christian’s life here in America.
Since childhood, my conversations with missionaries who feel safe enough to be authentic, always wind up expressing the same idea about how they feel about their furlough times in the United States. In short, most can’t wait to get back to the field for several reasons, but one is always the exhaustion they feel trying to cope with and navigate their way through the worldly behavior and customs of American Christians. Ouch. Lord, give us eyes to see and ears to hear it for ourselves.
Is it your desire to be used by God to maximum capacity in 2022? If so, I invite you to join me in this journey of untangling ourselves from Babylon’s tentacles. Some of us are drowning in the world and don’t realize it. Down through the centuries, the people God uses in the most significant ways are usually considered odd by the culture around them. Recently, Jim Caviezel, the actor who played Christ in Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion of the Christ,” said this at a gathering of believers. “You were not made to fit in. You were designed to stand out.”