Saturday, September 15, 2012
The Ultimate Triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ over His Enemies
In my study of the final battle in Revelation 19:11-21, I was led to its Old Testament background of Ezekiel's prophecy in chapters 38-39, on the judgment of the wicked nation, Gog, for her role in attacking God's people. The parallel is that, just as God has judged Gog for her wickedness in going against His old covenant people, Israel, so also Christ will judge the wicked beast and the false prophet together with the kings and rulers and peoples of the nations whom they've gathered to battle against Him and His new covenant people.
Then I came across this beautiful concluding comment on Ezekiel 38 by Dr. Peter C. Craigie,
Thus Ezekiel's portrayal of a final and great battle is a projection onto an apocalyptic screen of the battle that has always existed in our world between good and evil. His picture is extracted, as it were, from the framework of all human history and painted now on this single canvas. And the prophet's portrayal of events in these gloomy chapters is, at bottom, an extraordinary statement of faith; ultimately, the world's evil will be conquered by the direct intervention of God in the world's affairs.
Indeed, the outcome of the final battle has been revealed in Revelation 19:20-21 and Revelation 20:10. By the power of the sharp sword that comes from the mouth of Christ, the one who rides on the white horse (Rev. 19:11), who is called 'The Word of God' (Rev. 19:13), and whose name written on His robe and on His thigh is 'the King of kings and Lord of lords' (Rev. 19:16), the enemies of God - the beast, the false prophet, and the dragon, together with their followers - will be thrown forever into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.
One pastor has rightly concluded that the battle portrayed in Revelation 19:19-21 will end in the ultimate downfall and defeat of all of God's enemies as His just punishment for their wickedness, thus vindicating the cause of His people and relieving them from all their troubles and fears. He says,
In the end, all those who were portrayed as enemies of God, the harlot in Revelation 17-18, the beast, the kings of the earth who stood with the beast, the false prophet who deceived and performed miraculous signs in the name of the beast, as well as any and all who worshiped the beast, they are all defeated and destroyed in the scene that is before us. The beast and his prophet are said to be thrown alive into the lake of fire (sulfur). This emphasizes the severity of God’s judgment and punishment upon those who deliberately conspired against Him and persecuted His church.