JEREMIAH 50,51; REVELATION 17

(Reply to Sister Leonard)

We presume it is not expected that we should examine and compare all that is contained in these very lengthy chapters of Jeremiah, with what is contained in the portion of Revelation referred to, but simply and briefly reply to the inquiry in regard to their connection. What was prophesied by Jeremiah was in reference to ancient Babylon literally, and his fearful predictions were fulfilled to the letter in the destruction of that magnificent city, the slaying of her king and his nobles by the Medes and Persians, and the utter overthrow of the imperial government.

The destruction of Mystery, Babylon, recorded in Revelation 17. is a presentation, in highly figurative language, of the wrath and vengeance of God, which is held in store, and soon to be poured out upon antichrist.

Ancient Babylon, in her rise, progress, wickedness and final overthrow, was unquestionably designed as a type of the organized powers of the man of sin, the son of perdition, that should be arrayed against the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the gospel dispensation. Hence the name Babylon is applied in Revelation to what is elsewhere in the New Testament called “That Wicked,” “whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish.” (II Thess. 2:8-10) The very name Babylon signifies confusion, and is probably derived from the circumstance of God’s confusing the language of those enterprising, industrious, hard-working parties who had united their efforts to build a tower whose top should reach to heaven. In this grand enterprise three prominent objects were intended to be secured: First, to open a common thoroughfare from earth to heaven, without the humiliating necessity of being saved by grace. Second, to defeat the wisdom of God, should he again attempt to deluge the earth; and last, but not least, to erect a lasting monument of the capability, enterprise and zeal of men. But in a way quite unbooked for by them, God confounded their language and defeated their stupendous project. The tower lacked just about as much of reaching to heaven as all the inventions and works of men are doomed to fall short of saving sinners independently of the grace of God. It has always been the pride of antichrist in all her forms and organizations to boast of her own exploits, of what she has done, means to do, and of her free agency in opening avenues to heaven. Thus the king of Babylon exulted in the palace, of his kingdom: “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” But, “While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken, The kingdom is departed from thee.” (Daniel 4:30,31) In the vain and wicked imaginations of his heart he had said, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds: I will be like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:13,14) But the Lord of hosts has said he would rise up against Babylon, and sweep it with the besom of destruction.

In all these particulars it is easy to trace the spirit, the pride, the vain and lofty imaginations of antichrist in every age. From this ancient and widely renowned city, with its broad and towering walls, its gates of brass and mighty fortifications, in its oppression of Israelitish captives, its invasion of Jerusalem, its desecration of consecrated vessels of the Lord, its widespread dominion and its provinces, all prefigured “that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” (Rev. 17:18) But in the parallels presented by Jeremiah and John, in the chapters before us, the destruction of the typical and the antitypical Babylons, are more particularly described, and show the retributive vengeance of God in their awful doom. And as at the time of the destruction of the former, God called his captives out of the former Babylon, so, in connection with the final destruction of Mystery, Babylon, John heard a voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” From which we infer that there are some of the Lord’s captive children now in Babylon and she is speedily to be destroyed; God now commands them to come out of her.

Middletown, N.Y.,
March 15, 1862.

Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 5
Pages 163 - 165