“And the light of a lamp shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee; for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.”
Who is this light in Babylon that John refers to? Jesus said that born again Christians are the light of the world. Anyone who has repented and received Jesus Christ becomes that light! But now this light no longer shines in Babylon. The bridegroom and the bride are only a voice in the past. Jesus and His followers can’t be seen or heard anymore, for Jesus came just prior to the 70th Week and removed His people from the earth. Also, those in Babylon who became Christians during the 70th Week, have physically departed the land, for God told them to come out of her before He destroys it with fire and tidal waves.
“For thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by their sorceries were all nations deceived.”
Today there are many businessmen who claim to be the light of the Lord in America. However, they better fit the description of John who says America’s merchants were the deceivers of the nations. For being successful in business in America is too often equated with Christianity.
Babylon’s businessmen are famous worldwide and looked upon with respect and admiration by the natural man. They are considered great because of the empires of wealth they possess. The unsaved person looks at wealth and financial success as a sign of greatness, even godliness. What deception! Even the Christian is tempted to judge a person’s level of faith by their worldly success.
The church at Corinth was sharply rebuked and admonished by the apostle Paul, for they were judging and measuring Paul’s faith by such carnal standards. They considered Paul a fool and a failure in this faith because they were rich now, full now, and reigning as kings in this life, and Paul wasn’t. They considered themselves great businessmen in Christ, and were ashamed of Paul, who lived without most of his life. But who had the real faith, based on the real truth? Was it the rich famous Corinthians or the poor persecuted Paul? Study the story in I Corinthians 4.
What is the sorcery which led to the deception of the world? Sorcery is the employment of witchcraft and magic to illusion the people. How can sorcery be used in a business sense? What is being used in the world as an aid in selling merchandise? Remember, magic has a mesmerizing effect on people. Sorcery and magic create a false impression which is based on distorted truth. These merchants of Babylon have made themselves great and wealthy through magical mesmerizing practices. Is the sorcery John alludes to the practice of advertising?
Virtually every businessman in America advertises his products or services. The art of advertising is big business in itself. Huge amounts of money are spent to portray products and services as something everyone must have. Most major schools in America train and equip men to help businessmen become bigger through advertising techniques. These techniques and the motives behind them are usually distorted.
The predominant motive in American business is to make a profit through the selling of goods and services. That motive is held and taught in all circles. It saturates every level of our culture. But is it the right motive for businessmen: This may sound strange and foreign to most people, including many Christians, but the sole motivation for any business should be to “glorify God.” Paul said that in whatever we do in word or deed, do all in the name of Jesus, (Colossians 3:17). This includes buying and selling of products. The profit motive in business exposes the lust and desire for money, not the love of God.
When businessmen are operating from a desire to make more money, they will invariably exaggerate or lie about their product or service. This is sorcery in a business sense. It is corrupt and all of Babylon awaits the judgment of God for such deceitfulness and treacherous behavior.
In America, television, newspaper, and billboard advertising is very deceptive and has a hypnotic illusionary effect on the viewer. Products are presented in such a light that the natural heart can’t resist the temptation. Products are held up to the public as the source of joy, hope, and love. Consequently, merchandise has become a god, an idol of the masses. America has become a land filled with gods and idols of worship, (Jeremiah 51:38). For example, we are led to believe through these demon inspired commercials, that if we drink a certain kind of whiskey, smoke a certain brand of cigarette, drive a certain make of car, recline in a certain style of chair, wear a certain fragrance of perfume, then we will experience more joy and happiness. We will be more accepted by others.
This deceitful practice is called “image advertising.” Merchants paint a picture of what everyone should want or be. They then tell the viewer that their product is a necessary part to achieving the desired goal. Many ministries in America have copied and conformed to this image advertising technique. Not only is the conformity to secular “Madison Avenue” techniques a blasphemy, but the “image of Jesus” presented to the public is not the Jesus of the Bible. Many Christians in their eagerness to save the world have advertised a Jesus who is more acceptable to the world system. They portray a Jesus who winks at sin and is silent about Hell.
Advertising has become the worldwide medium used to increase the wealth of America’s merchants and ministries. Most every nation has radios and television networks. This type of advertising, coupled with the profit motive incentive, has its roots very deep in America. All these advertisements succeed in doing is to entice the human lust and greed in people.
Most of America’s giant corporations have subsidiaries in other nations. America’s business is the world’s business. American products are household names around the world.