The Revelation of Hope
Introduction – In this Session we will complete Revelation Chapter 16, and complete the 7 Bowl Judgment Cycle. We begin some of the most exciting prophetic spiritual imagery found in the Revelation, and we will see that the end of Revelation 16 is the perfect on ramp into Revelation 17 through Revelation 18 which details the fall of the Roman Empire and future Babylon’s of the world that stand against the kingdom and people of God in all ages.
a) When we consider the battle of Armageddon (HAR-MEGIDDO in Hebrew), we need to note that this place does not literally exist. HAR in Hebrew means Mountain, and MEGIDDO refers to the Plain of Megiddo. There is literally no MOUNT MEGIDDO in Judea. The closest mountain adjacent to Megiddo is Mount Carmel.
b) What we have here is a play on words that the Hebrew mind would have connected to Mt Carmel and the Plain of Megiddo.
c) Carmel is symbolic of the revelation of God to His people and the defeat of Jezebel’s false prophets of Baal. Reference 1 Kings 18 for details.
d) Megiddo is the place in the history of Israel where wars were fought, kings were judged and kingdoms either rose or fell. These are some examples in Scripture of these concepts. Joshua 12:21 – Joshua defeated Tanaach the king of Megiddo when he lead the conquest of Canaan. Judges 5:19-20 – Deborah defeated the kings of Canaan at Megiddo. 2 Kings 9:27 – Ahaziah, the King of Judah (Ahab’s disobedient grandson), was killed at Megiddo by Jehu’s army. This is an example that being allied with evil always leads to death and defeat. The last mention I want to use as an example is the death of Josiah in 2 Chronicles 35:20-25. Josiah had deliberately disobeyed God’s command not to fight Pharaoh Neco, King of Egypt at Megiddo. Josiah was shot by an arrow in Megiddo and died from his battle wound. After that Judah began their decent into idolatry and spiritual adultery that lead to their exile form the land.
e) Another notable Scripture mention is Zechariah 12:9-11 – “And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. “In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. – In these verses we are encouraged to look forward to a future eschatological event that gives us the imagery of mourning of Israel for rejecting Jesus as Messiah when He returns.
f) Therefore we can see the following themes associated with Carmel and
Megiddo. False prophets are defeated, evil kings are defeated, righteous prophets are promoted, righteous kings are exalted, and all the nations of earth are judged by God. Armageddon is multi-layered symbolism for the sure defeat of the enemies of God.
a) The Seventh Angel pours his bowl on the air. This is the Divine judgment on the satan’s realm of influence. Ephesians 2:2 – in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
b) Greek – AĒR – the air, particularly the lower and denser air as distinguished from the higher and rarer air – The definition of this Greek word points to the reality that satan and demons dwell in lower heavens, not the OURANOS of God.
c) It is done! – Greek – GINOMAI – verb – to become, i.e. to come into existence, begin to be, receive being – This is the language of finality. Seven is the number of completion, rest from works, and the divine number of God. Here we see the prophesied the complete destruction of the devil and his realm.
a) Verse 18 points us the spiritual shaking of ungodly realms. Reference Hebrews 12:25-29 for the interpretation. “See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.”
b) Verse 18 details the complete shaking of everything ungodly or contrary to Him so that His kingdom is established without hindrance. The Temple in Jerusalem was shaken in 70 AD, and at the Second Coming of Jesus, all will be shaken again as He establishes His eternal rule on earth.
a) The Great City is a reference to Jerusalem. Reference Revelation 11:8 for the identification of the Great City.
b) The Great City into 3 parts reminds us of the Lord’s 3 fold destruction of Jerusalem in Ezekiel 5:1-2 -“As for you, son of man, take a sharp sword; take and use it as a barber’s razor on your head and beard. Then take scales for weighing and divide the hair. “One third you shall burn in the fire at the center of the city, when the days of the siege are completed. Then you shall take one third and strike it with the sword all around the city, and one third you shall scatter to the wind; and I will unsheathe a sword behind them. Here we see the final fulfillment of this prophecy in AD 70.
c) The cities of the Gentiles/Nations collapsed – We see imagery that causes us to see a fulfillment in the First Century as well as future fulfilment when all evil is defeated by God at the end of the New Covenant era.
d) God remembered Babylon the Great – This is a reference to the Roman Empire. Peter uses this idiom in 1 Peter 5:13. We know from history that the Church imputed the title of Babylon to the Roman Empire as way to connect it to the biblical historical wickedness of that city. Peter wrote 1 Peter in Rome before his crucifixion by Nero. God remembered the persecution of His people by Nero and the subsequent Roman Emperors as well as all persecutions in every age.
e) The identity of Babylon the Great as the Roman Empire is important to us as the remainder of Revelation details the historical fall of Rome and through the fall of historical Rome, we see the wider eschatological vision of the fall of the Babylon represented throughout the ages until the return of Christ.
a) Verse 20 gives us the symbolism that nothing is ever hidden from the Lord. Just as the Roman Empire afflicted great persecutions on the Church, all acts of evil towards the people of God will be called to account by the Godhead.
b) Reference Revelation 6:16 – and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;
c) Hebrews 9:27 – And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,
d) We see that everything is called to account by God, and that is why vengeance belongs to Him and not to us. It is important to note that all of the references point to the future at the end of the age. In the present covenant, the Lord is relating to humanity in grace, love, forgiveness, mercy and restoration.
a) Here is a parallel to the plague of hail on Egypt in Exodus 9:18-26. We also see a parallel in Joshua 10:11 when the Lord hurled large hailstones on the Amorites to defeat them. The thought here is that God will completely defeat His enemies and the enemies of His people.
b) Josephus gives us an interesting account of huge stones being hurled on Jerusalem. “The stone missiles weighed a talent and traveled two furlongs or more, and their impact not only on those who were hit ﬁrst, but also on those behind them, was enormous. At ﬁrst the Jews kept watch for the stone – for it was white – and its approach was intimated to the eye by its shining surface as well as to the ear by its whizzing sound. Watchmen posted on the towers gave the warnings whenever the engine was ﬁred and the stone came hurtling toward them, shouting in their native tongue: ‘The Son is coming!’ Those in the line of ﬁre made way and fell prone, a precaution that resulted in the stone’s passing harmlessly through and falling in their rear. To frustrate this, it occurred to the Romans to blacken the stones so that they could not be seen so easily beforehand; then they hit their target and destroyed many with a single shot.”
c) They cursed God because of the PLĒGĒ (Greek – wound, blow, stripe), not plague in the sense of a disease. Cursing the Almighty is useless and reveals the hardness of heart of those who have determined to resist His LOVE.
As we begin Chapter 17, we a contrast of 2 brides. The False Bride and the True Bride of Christ contrasted as one being a harlot and other a virgin; the Bride of Babylon versus the Bride of Christ.
Source Material: Don Walker – The Beast of Revelation White Paper Josephus.org David Chilton – Days of Vengeance The Apocalypse Code – Hank Hanegraaff G. Davis Dean – The Revelation of Jesus Christ Blue Letter Bible.com Preterist Archive.com Charles Taylor – Commentary on the Book of Revelation George Eldon Ladd – Commentary on the Book of Revelation George Eldon Ladd – The Gospel of the Kingdom Loraine Boettner – The Millenium Harold Eberle – Victorious Eschatology Holman Bible Dictionary Strongs Concordance NIV – Interlinear Greek New Testament- NASB – Interlinear Greek New Testament Jonathan Welton – Raptureless George Peter Holford – The Destruction of Jerusalem Wikipedia Rapture Fever – Gary North The Prophets Dictionary – Price Vines Expository Bible Dictionary