We have now come to the final showdown; the last battle between earthly forces of evil and Jesus with the armies of heaven. It is D-Day and the Heavenly Warrior storms the beaches and defeats the beast and the false prophet. It is important to note, as NT Wright points out, that the military imagery here is symbolic and not to be taken literally. Some crazies anticipate a real physical battle with actual military weapons when reading and interpreting this passage. These kooks take military metaphors and make them literal. The Bible, however, takes military language and makes it metaphorical. This is a depiction of a real defeat, but it is not a description of actual occurrences. Evil will certainly be overthrown. Not, however, with an earthly military campaign. This is a spiritual conflict. It is fought with spiritual weapons. …
Revelation has been chock full with great acts of power. We’ve seen giant locusts, great dragons, hailstorms, earthquakes…all manner of powerful acts throughout the book. So, here we are at the climax. Jesus and the powers of light are set up head to head with the monster and the powers of darkness. Here it is, the confrontation to end them all.
Jesus does it with a word. Literally. Jesus speaks and the armies fall over dead. No swords, no hailstones, no plagues, no giant insects. He speaks, and it’s done. Just like that.
Just like God speaks creation into existence at the beginning. Just like God speaks the incarnation. Now God speaks judgment, and it is done. Just. Like. That.
Who knows how will things will shake down this November.
Who knows what the result of Egypt’s “election” will be.
Who knows where the NASDAQ will be next week.
Who knows how the new Spider-Man movie with compare to the Tobey Maguire versions.
Who knows what will happen at the”end the world” (not with a bang, but a whimper?)
But seriously, isn’t it soul satisfying to know that in the end God wins and God reigns. We can have complete confidence in the victory secured by the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Amen and amen.
If you have ever prepared or eaten the Middle Eastern pastry Baklava? If you have, you know how many layers it takes to comprise this wonderful dessert. Layer upon layer of phyllo dough encased with more layers of ooey gooey nuts, butter and honey. Oh so good!!
Well I find this passage is oh so good and filled with layers of meaning. God’s victory reigns and the monster is finally dead, thrown into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur (verse 20). NT points out that you think the victory is the defeat of Rome, when actually it is the dark forces behind Rome and all the other pagan empires. And the dark forces behind Rome are the evil ones who work for the accuser or Satan himself. And the solution to defeating Satan himself is Jesus. That’s about four …
In this section of The Revelation we’re treated to an image of the final battle and the defeat of the beast monsters. Jesus shows up on a white horse, surrounded by a heavenly army and birds feast on the flesh of God’s enemies. The common interpretation of these verses suggests that there will be a violent bloody conflict at the end of time, involving wholesale slaughter by Christ and his angelic hosts against non-Christians and demons. I understand why this interpretation is so common. At first blush, the text can be read like that. But, I have some lingering questions:
1. Jesus is here portrayed as a rider on a white horse. But, how is he predominantly depicted elsewhere in The Revelation? As a slain-lamb, right? How can the slain-lamb now take vengeance on his enemies? How can Jesus finally stop …