Babylon stands as a symbol of three systems in the Bible. They are Political, Religious and Economic systems without God. The destruction of all three in the future are described in Revelation.
Chapter 17 describes the fall of the religious system, chapter 18 talks of the fall of the economic system and chapter 19 talks of the fall of the political system.
They ultimately fall because they tend to function without God. Finally they will make war against the Lamb; but will be defeated.
As you look at Genesis, Babylon was the one of the first places where a kingdom was set up; especially by Nimrod. The plain in Shinar (that is Babylonia) after the flood was the place where people started to build a tower. There the Lord confused their language. Why?
Because one reason at least was that it was a unified attempt by men to do things together without God. That spirit is still working in man. To do things by their own choice without God.
Babylon can also stand for pride of the human heart. Nebuchadnezzar was humbled by God for his arrogance and pride. He had said: “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”
But God caused him to live like an animal away from people “until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone he wishes.”
In the Book of Daniel we find the story of Shadrach, Mesach and Abednego. There a gold image is set up so that people are to worship it at the sound of all kinds of musical instruments. Those who do not worship will be thrown into the blazing furnace.
This is a kind of religious worship of today. Idols of wealth, prosperity, health, success etc. are promoted. And people fall down and worship. But is God in it? No. Then where is He? He walks with His children, who refuse to bow down to such religious systems and idols, in the furnace.
Now let us look at the economic system without God. James warns the rich people that their gold and silver is going to corrode because they “have hoarded wealth in the last days.” They also have done much injustice to make this wealth. These kind of things is going to lead up to the mark of the beast, 666. “He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.”
The point is that this was written nearly 2000 years ago. The prophecy is about to be fulfilled. The signs are everywhere. You have paperless money today: Credit cards and Debit cards and Social Security and Permanent Account Numbers. And technology has advanced to such extents that getting such a mark (maybe a small electronic chip inserted into your skin that can be processed by a scanner) is a clear possibility.
But again it is about trade; isn’t it? The GATT treaty was signed by majority of the countries of the world comprising of capitalists, socialists and communists. For the first time in world history all these types of governments united under the umbrella of trade. So the world is getting ready for the final war with the Lamb.
The spirit of Babylon rules in the world today. We live in the midst of it. Political, Religious and Economic systems would have nothing to do with God in the near future. It is difficult living for believers. They are powerless to fight these systems because they are powerful beyond imagination and the spirit of Antichrist rules them.
This is one of the things that Paul had in mind when he wrote: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
But one thing you can do. Ask and plead with God that the spirit of Babylon, the spirit of pride that leads you to do things without God, may not be present in your heart!