Many of the prophecies (messages from God) in Revelation chapter 18 and 19 come originally from Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51. Jeremiah wrote down his prophecies about Babylon in a scroll (the ancient form of a book), which he handed to Seraiah. Seraiah was going to Babylon as an official of King Zedekiah of Judah (Jeremiah 51:59-64).
Jeremiah told Seraiah to read the scroll aloud when he reached Babylon. Then, Seraiah must tie the scroll to a stone and he must throw it into the river Euphrates. The scroll would sink with the stone into the river, and it would never rise again. In the same manner, Babylon will suffer complete defeat. The city will fall down, and nobody will ever rebuild it.
In the same manner, John saw a strong angel, a special servant of God, who threw a great stone into the sea. It was a heavy stone of the kind that people use to make grain into flour (compare Mark 9:42). The angelís message was the same as the message that Jeremiah gave to Seraiah. Babylon would certainly suffer complete defeat, and nobody would ever rebuild it.
In history, Babylon has not suffered a defeat like that. King Cyrus of Persia defeated Babylon, but he did not destroy it. Alexander the Great, of Greece, destroyed the city but people continued to live there. During many centuries, the city slowly lost its importance until nobody was living there. So, the prophecies that God gave to Jeremiah and John are still for the future.
The Book of Revelation shows that the proper time for these prophecies to happen is immediately before Christís return. These prophecies are not just about the ancient city called Babylon. They are about the kind of power that Babylon used to control the world. They are against the selfish use of human effort, that the devil uses for his own purposes. Every evil system in this world must end before Christís rule on earth begins.
Next part: The end of a great city (Revelation 18:22)
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© 2016, Keith Simons.