Study Series 16 Lesson 5: Revelation – Chapters 14 thru 16 and Sub Study: Armageddon

Study Series 16 Lesson 5: This study covers chapters 14 through 16 and goes into numerous topics such as:

Chapter 14:
REVELATION 14:1, THE LAMB ON ZION: “I looked and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion.”  To say that John’s allusion to Zion is theologically loaded is a huge understatement.  Zion is associated with the salvation of the remnant (Joel 2:28-32), the establishment of the Kingdom and the New Covenant (Isa. 2:2-4), the destruction of the old “heaven and earth” (Isaiah 24), the time of the resurrection (Isa. 24:19-25:8), the coming of the Lord for the ultimate judgment/deliverance of Israel (Isa. 59; 61), and virtually every Messianic and eschatological motif one could imagine.

REVELATION 14 AND THE 144,000: “I looked and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty four thousand.”

Twice in the Apocalypse, the 144,000, are mentioned.  The significance of the 144,000 for the dating and application of the Revelation seems to be lost on all but a handful of commentators.  The referent to 144,000 is symbolic of the righteous remnant. The number 12 multiplied by hundreds is symbolic of perfection.

John did not say that the 144,000 were the first fruit of some far distant time.  He did not say that they were to be the first fruit of a different preaching of a different gospel message.  The idea of the term “first fruit” has a temporal significance that cannot be mitigated.  The 144,000 were simply the very first Hebrew Christians, and this has profound implications for not only the dating of the Apocalypse, but for many of today’s eschatological paradigms.

John saw that the 144,000 were to come out of the Great Tribulation (7:14).  If the 144,000 were the first Christians, and if they were to endure the Great Tribulation, then if follows undeniably, that the Great Tribulation was to occur in the first century generation.  Of course, this is precisely what Jesus predicted in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:21-22).  You cannot divorce the 144,000 from the Great Tribulation.  No other generation can ever be “the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb” (Rev. 14:4), than that first century generation.  Patently, the Great Tribulation was in the first century.

REVELATION 14:14-20, THE TIME OF THE HARVEST: According to John, the “harvest of the earth” would be at the judgment on Babylon.  It is the sin of Babylon that has caused the time of harvest to come. The city and the earth (land) are inseparable.

REVELATION 14:20, THE FLOWING OF THE BLOOD: John says the blood flowing from Babylon’s judgment, “came out of the winepress, up to the horses bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.”  Allphin correctly notes, though, that 1600 furlongs indicates “the theater of war” (Visions, 173).  Ogden notes that the measurement of 1600 furlongs, “filled the entire land of Palestine from north to south” (Avenging, 300).  Russell says, “There is probably an illusion to the geographical extent of Palestine in the ‘thousand and six hundred furlongs’ so that we may regard the symbolical description as equivalent to the statement that from one end to the other the land was deluged with blood”. ( J. S. Russell, Parousia, (Grand Rapids, Baker, 1878) 475.)


Chapter 15:
REVELATION 15:1-5, THE EXODUS MOTIF: In the vision of chapter 15:1-5, the Exodus motif of Revelation is continued and emphasized.  In an earlier Study Series we saw that the opening of the seals hearkens back to the Law of Blessings and Cursings.  Chapter 7 presented the Exodus motif and the 144,000 in the heavenly realm on their way to the “promised land.”  Chilton observes, “John pictures the saints rejoicing at the water’s edge like Moses and the Israelites after the original Red Sea crossing.” (Vengeance, 384).  Swete says the vision shows, “Their exodus from the spiritual Egypt (11:8) has led them through the Red Sea of Martyrdom which is now exchanged for the Crystal Sea of Heaven.”

REVELATION 15:8, CONSUMMATION OF VENGEANCE, AND ENTRANCE INTO THE MOST HOLY PLACE: In Revelation 15, John sees the veil gone, and the Most Holy Place is open.  This signified that man could now approach God – but there was a problem.  No man could actually enter the Most Holy Place until, “the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed” (15:8).  God’s wrath would be completed when judgment fell on Babylon (Rev. 16:17-19).  Therefore, full heavenly access to God would be opened when God’s vengeance was completed against Babylon.


Chapter 16:
REVELATION 16:6, PERSECUTOR OF THE PROPHETS: That the “prophets” (Rev. 16) refers to Old Covenant prophets is substantiated by the fact that the book of Revelation is about the fulfillment of what the Old Covenant prophets foretold.

Jenkins has noted, “The book of Revelation is the work of a Jew saturated with Old Testament prophecy.”  (Ferrell Jenkins, The Old Testament in the Book of Revelation, (Marion, Ind., Cogdill Publications, 1972) 21.)  He also says, “Westcott and Hort list over 400 quotations from the Old Testament in the Apocalypse.  Swete says that of the 404 verses in Revelation 278 contain references to the Jewish scriptures” (ibid).

Revelation 10:5-7 says there was to be no more delay in the fulfillment of the mystery foretold by the prophets.  The significant thing about this is that Revelation 10 is a direct echo of Daniel 12.  The book of Revelation quotes, cites, and alludes to the prophecies of Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Zechariah, and Malachi, etc… Revelation is concerned about the time when the prophets would be vindicated and rewarded (11:15-18)


** In addition, we also delve into Sub Studies on:

He will Avenge Them Speedily: a brief examination of Luke 17-18, because of its timing and correlation to the vindication of the martyrs at the coming of the Lord.

Armageddon, “The War” of the Great Day of God: Revelation 16:14-16 speaks of the kings of the earth gathered to “Har-Megiddo” for “the war” (ton polemon) of the Great Day of God.  The use of the Greek article “the” war, informs us that what is being discussed is a well known event.  The reference to a singular “the war” in Revelation 16:14, 19:19, 20:8 is significant.  The war of 20:8 comes at the end of the millennium.  However, “the war” of 16:14 and 19:19 comes at the judgment of Babylon.  Thus, the judgment of Babylon, during the Parousia, occurs at the end of the millennium and Parousia.

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