I've always been puzzled by a verse in Revelation. LOL, more than one verse, but this one really gets me. At the fall of Babylon, we see in the threefold woes that are uttered, that a healthy economy in luxuries had been ongoing. Far from the economy being dead, as many suppose, it traded in all the world's luxuries as if nothing untoward was happening. The rich still exist but the poor comprise most of the world. We also know that the economy is massively different, being under the control of one man, the Beast (antichrist) as revealed in Revelation 13. But the rich still buy things. We know from Revelation 6 that many are not rich but are really are devastatingly poor, unable to even afford more than a loaf of bread which equals a whole day's pay. For the rich, they keep on keeping on with their consumerism of ridiculously luxurious items. Except for one particular luxury item in the verse at the end:
Revelation 18: 9-13
Threefold Woe Over Babylon’s Fall
“When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. 10 Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry:
“‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,
you mighty city of Babylon!
In one hour your doom has come!’
“The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore— cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and human beings sold as slaves."
I could not understand how this could be, though I believe it totally because God's word is inerrant. But I had thought slavery was pretty much stamped out. There is indentured servitude in informal form, and children sold as sex slaves. But organized slavery today, though it exists is the smallest number than it ever has been in history, is rare. 12-27 million people are purported to be slaves today. Most are debt slaves, largely in South Asia, who are under debt bondage incurred by lenders, sometimes even for generations, according to Wikipedia. But then again, I don't know why I am surprised that slavery as indicated in the Revelation verse would not be a going boom to the economy. It is the natural end to the philosophy of Darwin, and simply an extension of abortion and euthanasia. There is no regard for life if you adhere to those philosophies or engage in those activities. Life means nothing. Further, the bible tells us that life will mean less than nothing:
"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. (Mark 13:12)
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them." (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Jesus said, "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold." (Matthew 24:12). Lawlessness here in this verse translated from the Greek is 'sin' or total and complete disregard for God's laws. People who totally dismiss God will be more liable to disregard the soul of the person inhabiting the body, and just kill it. Or sell it. It's an "it," not a person. Then today I read this:
Egyptian Cleric: Poverty Can be Solved by Selling Humans ‘Like Groceries’
"Over the past week, a video has surfaced featuring prominent Egyptian cleric Salafi Shaykh Abi-Ishaq al-Huwayni. In a translation posted by Al Mutarjim on his blog Translating Jihad, al-Huwayni is quoted as advocating jihad (he says it’s “a real pleasure”) and encouraging listeners to ease financial problems through the capture and sale of human beings (he says they can be sold “like groceries”)."
Here is a translation from the video which is at the link. Sounds like he has thought long and hard about this. I mean, he has a mini-economy in people going on there in that twisted head of his:
Here’s the translation in copy form:
"We are in the era of jihad. The era of jihad has come over us, and jihad in the path of Allah is a pleasure. It is a real pleasure. The companions (of the Prophet) used to compete to (perform jihad). The poverty that we’re in—is it not due to our abandonment of jihad? But if we could conduct one, two, or three jihadist operations every year, many people throughout the earth would become Muslims. And whoever rejected this da’wa, or stood in our way, we would fight against him and take him prisoner, and confiscate his wealth, his children, and his women—all of this means money. Every mujahid who returned from jihad, his pockets would be full. He would return with 3 or 4 slaves, 3 or 4 women, and 3 or 4 children. Multiply each head by 300 dirhams, or 300 dinar, and you have a good amount of profit. If he were to go to the West and work on a commercial deal, he would not make that much money. Whenever things became difficult (financially), he could take the head (i.e. the prisoner) and sell it, and ease his (financial) crisis. He would sell it like groceries. Of those who are–" and the video is abruptly cut off.
I am writing about that verse for the first time, and inevitably the Spirit gives deeper understanding each time I read it. But for now, we take at face value that there will be an economy in human commerce in the Tribulation. Slavery. Dead ahead.