Revelation - Lesson 19

The Lamb's Victory

A vision of the victory of the Lamb and discussion of the wrath of God.

Lesson 19
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The Lamb's Victory

  • There is a wide range of interpretation of the book of Revelation because of the nature of visions. When John writes Revelation, he uses a pool of images that are familiar to him and his readers and we need to take into account what the images meant to people at the time.
  • Apocalyptic literature is based on the idea that the natural order is set within a larger content of a spiritual reality and that the dynamics of the spiritual realm play themselves out in the physical realm.  Apocalypse is a message from God regarding what God is about and what he is going to do.

  • The occasion for writing Revelation was the vision John had and the situation of the seven churches. John is trying to describe a scene in which various scenes are being played out simultaneously. John emphasizes the importance of living out your theology, as opposed to only being doctrinally correct.

  • John had a vision of the Son of Man. He had a message for the church at Ephesus.

  • Messages for the churches at Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamum.

  • Messages to the churches in Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis and Philadelphia.

  • A message to the church at Laodicea and a vision of Jesus as a Lamb who shares the throne with God.

  • A vision of God the creator and the redeemer Lamb.

  • A vision of the seven seals.

  • A vision of the seven trumpets.

  • This lesson dives into the idea of encountering God in the world, warns about the destructiveness of sin, and presents a powerful angelic figure symbolizing God and Jesus as triumphant over fallen Babylon, with a mysterious aspect of the vision.
  • A vision of the seven trumpets. Chronology of the origin and development of the teaching of the rapture and dispensationalism.

  • A vision of how the death of Jesus on the cross has made it possible for us to be in relationship to God.

  • The description of the nature of Satan's war against God's children and in contrast to a description of God's redeemed.

  • A vision of the seven bowls.

  • A vision of fallen Babylon.

  • In this lesson, you gain insights into the concept of Fallen Babylon and the transformative power of the cross. It emphasizes that accepting the cross liberates you from the world's illusions, allowing you to accept your own falsity as healed and yielding to the Holy Spirit's action. The lesson challenges the idea of choosing between the world and Christ, proposing that you can choose both simultaneously, seeking unity, wholeness, and love at the deepest level of your being.
  • Dr. Mulholland answering questions from the students.

  • A vision of the victory of the Lamb and discussion of the wrath of God.

  • A vision of the New Jerusalem.

  • Dr. Mulholland's lesson delves into God's love as the core of self-discovery. False self obstructs the truth. True self blooms in faith, openness, trust, and yielding to God, shifting focus from ego to divine presence. Embrace this shift, become citizens of a new Jerusalem in a fallen world.
  • A vision of the people of the New Jerusalem.

  • John wrote the book of Revelation as a call to radical discipleship as faithful citizens of God’s new Jerusalem in the midst of a fallen Babylon world. There is no video for this lecture.

Revelation is a vision of Jesus the Messiah. John focuses on the profound depths of what God has done, is doing, and will ultimately consummate in and through Jesus. A second central theme in Revelation is the role of the cross in what God has done and will accomplish. The contrast and interaction of the "New Jerusalem" and "fallen Babylon" is also a significant theme in Revelation. Videos for lectures 7, 8 and 9 are not avialable yet. Lecture 23 was recorded in audio only. 

We think that the title of the devotional book that Dr. Mulholland reads from at the beginning of some of the lectures might be Merton's Palace of Nowhere by James Finley. Unfortunately, Dr. Mulholland is deceased so we can't confirm this. 



Dr. Robert Mulholland


The Lamb's Victory

Lesson Transcript


Because that just looks like the best one of the Transformers wanting to spend more time. That's right. I like to justify it. I think it makes sense with the Sun, though. And you said it's better than school. I don't know. I'll be interested. I guess your body get used to it. But it's so much better if I get my sleep solid. Oh, I don't know if it's a habit or if it's that I get into that. Like I get through things like that that I don't know what's going on. Oh, actually. What made you decide to buy our video player? Oh, it is that it's about 9 hours indoors and it always enjoyed playing Einstein. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Of course, now that you've got, like, maybe you did that. I think so. I just. Yeah, I know, but that's what I mean. Like, you would have it looked like really just, like, really got shorts. But you don't have that much. Right. Every year in the library. And I was like, Oh, just like, okay, where are you? Are you sorry? But this is just like, It's funny. Yeah, like I was working for extra. Extra last year, was in high school, I think probably like I thought it was I didn't know. I probably get paid for every year, you know? Yeah, well, I don't do it myself. Was, you know, at home and it came back and nobody was like, Oh, here, in case you like it. Good morning. Morning. Know, I remember I didn't have a whole lot of voice last Thursday. I don't have much more now, but went the doctor in December and had pneumonia, so. Oh no. Oh, I'm recovering. Hopefully for religious persons, life is essentially a journey in which one sets out to quench your thirst, not simply to know that a God exists.


But to drink directly from God's own life into which we are bonded in the depths of our being. The fulfilling of this desire is the realization of the true self. The rigid the religious life moves in two directions that are ultimately ultimately revealed as one. There is a vertical direction which arises from the root awareness of a bond with transcendence. There's also a horizontal direction arising from the fact that we do not go to God in isolation from others, but only with others as our brothers and sisters. And underlying both the vertical and horizontal directions are religious experience. There is a paradox that in Christ the horizontal and vertical meet and become one. In realizing that union with God is achieved in and through union with others, we see that the religious person is basically a loving person. The religious person loves others, not simply out of personal inclination or an arbitrary external law, but rather because they intuit God's presence in the presence of the other. Paul. Paul says that in Colossians, that in this new creation, Christ is all and in all. Hmm. And I think that's what really is driving that here. Selfless love for others sets the religious person free, restores them to their self and gives them as they give themselves in compassion and concern. We are made for God and grow in Union with Him in and through our loving union with others. Yet in the face of this, we still find ourselves filled with selfishness. We discover a wound deep within us. We bear the weight of an ontological disorientation, a frightful inability to root out the death dealing narcissism that impregnates our being, making our best intentions impotent. And so the religious person cries out for help.


Jesus is God's answer to our cry, and He has identified himself with us forever. He has transformed us from within. Loving our weakness and through his cross making our weakness our strength. Jesus gives us the Spirit and so makes us one with God. It is the spirit that allows us to see and to love. Another is to love Christ. In as much as you have done it under one of the least of these. Pray with me, please. Gracious, loving God. We thank you for. For this reminder that our relationship with you and our relationship with one another are simply two parts of a single reality. But we cannot love you without loving others. And we cannot love others without loving you. Not truly. And yet has our brother reminds us we find within ourselves that. That residue of selfishness that. Would seek to. Control others, manipulate others, judge others. Treat others as something other than human. We give you a thanks and praise that you have entered into even that darkness with your light. And by your spirit are redeeming us and renewing us and regenerating us in your own image. That truly, we may come to love you with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and love others as ourselves. In your name, we pray. Amen. Amen. There's just a few I need to check on here and make sure I've got everybody. Nancy, starting back at the beginning. Daniel. Right, Right. Got it. Okay. Ted Eller, come and see. Ted, come in. I think I know who Ted is. And Jonathan. Right. Jonathan. Hot, right? Got it. Yeah. And Jonathan George. Right. Got it. Brandon Lewis. Okay. David Shoemaker. Right. Okay. Jeremy Spain hour. Okay, Jeremy. And Jeffrey Waters. Okay. Jeffrey Yes.


Jeffrey. Okay. And Jeremy's Zirkle. Right now. I think I'm just about got your. See if this holds over the weekend. Okay. We come now to be the last. Yes. Sorry. Come on. I wanted to get the pumped into the speakers back here. You're kind of quiet this morning. Yeah. Is there any way to get speakers on it? He says no. I'll try to shout louder. I was an extra careful. If I. If I run out. And there's one seat up here. With. With 1911, if you remember our sort of a map, a revelation that we had with the last of those three core heavenly visions, remember, chapter four and five was the first core of heavenly vision where John saw God the Creator and Chapter four, God the Redeemer, and Chapter five, The LAMB. And then in. 1119 to 255 was the second. Heavenly vision. Remember, the first one began with the door open in heaven. 1119. God sees the temple and John sees the temple in heaven. Open. Now here we come to the third and the last of those heavenly visions where John sees heaven open. So again, it's sort of an expansion. You see the door, the temple, and now all of heaven is open. And there was a white horse and his riders called Faithful and True. Now, remember, this is the exact same description that we saw in the first rider and the seven SEALs, The first of the four horsemen, remember, was was identified or introduced in exactly the same phrase. When you look at the Greek, you'll see that it's exactly the same phrase in both places. Now, if you remember back to that first seal, that one of the characteristics of that first rider, which we hypothesized was Jesus, is that he went forth conquering and to conquer.


And I think what we're going to be seeing now in this part of Chapter 19 is the amplification of what that conquering was all about. You know, at that point, John is back in chapter six in the fur seal. John doesn't give us any clue whatsoever. Just, you know, he went forth conquering and to conquer. And of course, you can read all sorts of things into that. And all sorts of things have been read into that. Now, when we get over here. We discover what the nature of that conquering is. And of course, remember, John is is utilizing good rhetorical style. He introduces it back there and in six one or six two, and when he comes here, you see, and then reintroduces Jesus in exactly the same terms, you see his hearers. They go back to six one and two are not. Now we're going to get the answer to what that was all about. So here you see we're getting the answer. And then John says in righteousness, he judges and makes war. And of course, if you ever studied, you know, just war theology, you know, this is one of the verses that is often used to to justify just war, to support just war. It really is a horrible misunderstanding what's going on here. It doesn't mean that Jesus makes war justly. Rather, it is that his righteousness is what warns against all that is unrighteous. It does not have to be an active engagement. You see, just by the by the reality of who he is, by the reality of his righteousness, all that is unrighteous crumbles in the face of that reality. And of course, it is that righteousness which by its very nature judges all that is an unrighteous.


How can you tell something is unrighteous? Because it is not like this. It is not like Jesus. So we're not dealing here with, you know, with Jesus taking up arms and nuclear weapons and all sorts of stuff and beating up on the unrepentant sinners. You say it is that his righteousness, the very nature of his being. You see is that is the standard by which all is judged and is the reality against all that is false crumbles. So that when John says in righteousness, he judges and makes war. This is what we're dealing with here. His eyes are like a flame of fire. It makes it pretty clear we're talking about Jesus, because remember back in chapter one, one of the characteristics of Jesus, the vision John has in chapter one is that his eyes were like flaming fire. And here we have his eyes are like, We like a flame of fire on his head, our many diagrams. Now that gives us a clue. And fortunately, the new revised standard has done well with it. Remember I mentioned way back at the beginning, there are two different words for Crown. One is Stefanos. That is the king's crown. And then the other is the anima and the plural diadem on top of them. Some translations have just translated both of those as Crown all the way through, which is really unfortunate. Now, where have we seen diagrams that anybody remember at all? Hmm. I didn't meet the woman. Yeah, I'm on the horns of the beast. Oh. The nine arms are on the horns of the beast. And now you see on his head are many diamonds. It's sort of picking up. You see that we get we're beginning to get a clue now.


We get it's going to become clear in a few verses where we're getting a clue now that the nature of his conquering is over the beast. You see, he has the beast now that he has taken the beast, right? That so he has you know, we're getting a preview and he's already defeated the beast. Yeah, I. MC Which word is it that's used in a promise to the church in Smyrna with the crown of life? STEFANOS Yeah. Mm hmm. Yeah. The only the only place where Stefanos is used absently, you might say, is on those horse Locust Scorpion figures back there in chapter nine. But it says they have something like Stefanos and they're not Stefano, Whereas the other uses of Stefanos is not like it's they have, you know, crowned golden crowns. And he has a name inscribed that no one knows but himself. And of course, remember in the Hebrew poll of images name has to do with the nature of. The name. And so I think what John is indicating here. It's very important for us because we. We have a tendency, particularly in theological education, to think that we can encompass God within our intellectual, rational concepts and constructs. We cannot do that. We cannot do that. Jesus has a name that no one knows but himself. We cannot get our minds and our understanding and our reason and our logic around the reality of Jesus or of God. And I think that's what John is is indicating here. He is clothed in a robe, dip in blood. Now this is often misunderstood in interpretation. The idea is, well, this this is the blood of the enemies. But remember how John uses robe? You know, the redeemed have white robes. They've washed their robes in the blood of the lamb and made them white.


That the robe is the outer manifestation of the inner reality. You seem to have the white robe is to have the word of God shaping your inner being, which means you have the witness of Jesus in the way you live your life. You have that white robe. You see that manifest, the inner reality. So with John using robe in that way, whose blood is this? His own? It is his own blood. Now, you see what John is doing here. Remember, we saw back in chapter 12. With with God is the woman that what John is seeing is the essence of God's nature is cruciform love. And what we're getting is a variant version of this here, a very variant illustration of this. You see that Jesus nature. We've just seen his name that no one knows about himself, but something of that nature has been manifested in the cross. The his his has. He is clothed in a row, dipped in blood. John, a very new article this week. I can't remember the professor's name from London. He's passed away, but he claims at the break he wouldn't make a break at 1911 because he would see this crisis victorious march. And he compared it to a Roman march of a victorious conqueror that the conqueror would come riding. And he takes it from Josephus and a couple other sources. The imagery that John may be using to bring Christ in and his army marching behind him. Are you familiar with that or. Yeah, it's the image of Roman triumph. The problem here is, is that we haven't had the battle yet. A Roman triumph was was given to a general after the great battle had been won, after the decisive victory had been won in the Senate, would vote him a triumph.


Sort of. It's sort of the Roman equivalent of the Congressional Medal of Honor. I think here you see the battle hasn't been fought yet. He addressed that because he said the battle was fought on the cross. And so therefore, we're telling already the victorious conquered. But yeah, but in in if you're using that that kind of Roman imagery you see then then this would be dissonance because this has to happen after. I would agree with him. Yeah. You know that. He's already won the cross is the victory. Exactly. Yeah, but I don't. I just don't see the same dynamic. For instance, in, in that image that we were looking at in Pennsylvanians, you know, where Paul is speaking of the return of Jesus in terms of of a triumph, you know, with the promise being sounded before and everybody going out to meet the triumphant to see that that works there because you've got all of the basic pieces of a triumphal procession. Hear about. The only peace you have is the armies of heaven wearing fine linen, you know, following behind you. We're following. You're following him on on white horses. Right. I don't. I just don't think it works. Well. No, there was another hand. Somewhere was a town. It's kind of similar to the scene. I'm not necessarily asked this question to argue or to question you, but when Jesus says I come not to bring peace, but with but to bring a sword. How would we not confused when Jesus said something similar as that? How would we not confuse the blood not being his own? But it's actually something else because the battle hasn't happened yet. Is that how you would argue that? Possibly. Well, I think you have to take that other passage and put it back into its context.


Okay. We have not come to bring peace, but a sword I've come to set of father against his son and mother against her daughter. Mother in law Against her daughter in law. A person's enemies will be those of their own household. And in the context in which that we have received that word, what Jesus is talking about basically, is that there is a deeper reality for identity than the family identity. Okay. Does that mean in his day, your family was the center of your identity? Okay. Okay. And what Jesus is pointing to not only there, but in some other passages, you know, anyone who comes to me does not hate his mother or father, you know, is not worthy of me, is not telling. That's not a warrant for hating our parents. Right. What he's pointing to is using very strong language because he's dealing with a very deeply rooted understanding of identity in the Jewish culture. Your family is the center of your identity. Jesus saying, No, no, your family is not the center of your identity. God is. And so he uses extremely strong language like not peace, but a sword, and then talks about family relationships again. Okay. Thank you. Okay. Where was I? Yeah. The robe dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God. And here's where we're very clear. It's Jesus. You see, Although the eyes of flame of fire are a pretty good clue, going back to chapter one. But his name is called the Word of God. So he is the word. And of course, here is one of those connectors again to the gospel. Here we talked about way back at the beginning and it's question whether the author of the gospel in the letters is the same as the author of Revelation.


There's a lot of these little internal hints like this. You know, it's only John's gospel where Jesus is the word beginning with the word. The word was with God. The word was God. You know, he was in the beginning with God. The word became flesh and wealth among us and so forth. Sola, why do you think we have a contrast of the first verse? First of all, telling us that we can saved and then the next person telling us. I know it's not the same name. Yeah. There you go. Yeah. So this question is, how come no one knows the name in verse 12? And now here in verse 13, we're told what his name is. But of course his name is the word of God. But can we get our minds around that reality? Particularly if we think think of this in the in the terms that John used his word in his gospel, that the word is God. Then again, you're dealing with a you might say, a cipher for God that still does not give us 100% knowledge of of God. Then help. And then the armies of heaven wearing fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. Now, of course, we've seen the image of white is an image of the redeemed and of heavenly beings and of course, of Christ himself. But the question here is, you know, who is this Hermie? Well, we got a pretty good clue because they're wearing fine linen, white and pure. Just back up earlier into chapter 19, remember the bride? It was given to her to be clothed with fine right linen. And then we were told what that is. Remember the righteous deeds of the saints? So this army.


Is we? We are the army. Because we've been told that we are robed in white garments. Right. And these are the righteous deeds of the saints. By the way, that that is a further reinforcement, that the garment is the outer manifestation. See, the garment is the deeds, the actions, the the living out of the reality of that relationship with God. And following him on white horses. Now. Here. Here we have to sort of. Think around this. John, remember, is writing to these seven churches. I mean, that's his primary audience. His primary intended audience are the seven historical churches. But the issue, remember, that we've seen is that they are being called through John's vision. They're being called to a life of faithful discipleship as citizens of New Jerusalem in the midst of a fallen Babylon world. And of course, it's with Fall in Babylon or with, you know, the dragon or the serpent who is incarnated in the Beast, etc., that that that Jesus is warring. And of course, we've already seen the wars over and the battle has been won. The victory has been won. But you see, there's this ongoing conflict. Remember, the beast has the mortal wound, You know, that's the cross. But that was healed, that oxymoron. So so that the rebellious order continues to operate as though it had not been defeated, Which means that's why faithful citizens of New Jerusalem, in John's vision, are experiencing tribulation at the hands of whole of Babylon. So that in that experience you see they are continuing the. You might say the warfare. Of Christ with that rebellious order. They are the extension and since they are the extension of the victory. And you remember in the seventh seal where where the incandescent prayers of the saints and the prayers had been through the sacrificial fire.


The angel then cast them into the earth and the earth is shaken with God's presence, lightning thunders voices. And in the great earthquake and Earth, remember, is falling in Babylon. So that in some sense, you see, it's the image that Paul uses. John doesn't use the words, but what he's talking about is the church is the body of Christ. We are the continued presence or the new mainstay, the ongoing reality of the incarnation in a fallen world. We are those in whom God dwells for the redemption of that world. And that life being the body of Christ can very easily become a cruciform life for us as well, you see. As we engage the powers of darkness that control the world. So I think this is what John is sort of pulling all together here in envisioning the church as on the army of heaven, wearing what fine linen, white and pure. Now. We'll see. In the next chapter, we're going to pick up this idea of a heavenly context for our life, not in an other worldly kind of way, though. We're we're engaged in this conflict with home about right here. And then I. From his mouth comes a sharp sword. Remember, we saw that image back in chapter one again. So, John, as you see, John's pulling out many of these images of Jesus in chapter one and bringing them back here to make it perfectly clear who this writer is. From his Malcolm to sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. He will rule them with a rod of iron, tread them tread the wine press and the fury of the wrath of God, the Almighty. And you see how John is pulling together a lot of different images here.


The rod of iron image, of course, is a messianic image from the Psalms. And the idea there again, is the same, you know, in righteousness. He judges and makes war in the in the Roman world. Iron was the hardest thing there was. A rod of iron didn't bend. You know, you got hit with a rod of iron. It didn't bend around your head. Your head broke. Again, it's that idea of an invincible, implacable reality against which other things crumble. And so you were truly ruling the nations with a rod of iron. Is that know here. Here is the ultimate reality. By which all will be judged. And the reality against which all that is unrighteous, all that is false crumbles. Correct? Yeah. An orchestral reference. Ruth and Rod and nothing and it's not song to. Yeah yeah, yeah. I'm St John's picking up you know salt or skelter imagery here and it appears in several places It's rod of Iron idea. Yeah. But it came through, saw him to it, it came to be associated with the, with the Messiah because the nations you know laughing and you know nations rage you know, and God against the Lord and against his Messiah and he were rolling with Radovan. Yeah. So that then be that imagery. Would that be almost like Richter talks about sacred picking up secular imagery. I'm just four for this rod of iron. Like a lot of iron would have been a like a symbol of power and authority. Well, yeah, it's assuming that that kings would have. Symbol of power and authority. But particularly here in the sense see it's sort of tying into his previous image of in righteousness the act is the idea of rod of iron is I'm bendable you know it is implacable and I suspect there's something of that image going on in the Old Testament use as well.


It shatters the vessels fading question. He uses a lot of Old Testament imagery. And what I want to know is, is he actually seeing this in his vision? And that sparks of a memory like, oh, this is this is what this is saying in the Old Testament. Here it is. This is right in front of me right now. Or you just see something. And it's not really that. But to better understand that he goes back and takes images from the Old Testament. That's a good question. In my mind, my thinking on this is that. Particularly when you see John using some of his equals imagery of Ezekiel's vision of God, you know, the Chariot and all of that. A lot of pieces of that John picks up. But not in the same way that that that Ezekiel does it. And of course we've seen this with other imagery picks up Daniels for Beasts and melds them into a single beast. I think that what John is experiencing in his vision is the same reality that Ezekiel and Jeremiah and Daniel and others were experiencing in their visionary experiences. The difference is for John, you see it in the first verse. This is an apocalypse case with Chris. Do you see those prophets? We're looking forward to the time when God would send his Anointed One to restore the Kingdom of Israel. John sees it has been done. And so and I think that's one of the reasons why he takes their imagery. And always melds it. You always molds it in a different way. And I think simply, too, to ensure that his readers understand this isn't exactly the same, you see, because in Jesus. This has been done. But the reality of these seeing of God is the same reality.


I don't think that that Ezekiel, you know, was literally seeing what he says. He said it was like. It was just like John does. It was like. It was like it was hands. It was as if they're using imagery to try to capture a reality that human language is incapable of capturing. You have to deal with images that at least point in that direction in some way. Does that help? A little bit. But like, when he's. When he's actually writing. Writing Revolution. Yeah. Like this sea recording is recording what he saw. And I know you can't really put into words what you saw, but you can do your best. Describe it. Or a sea just like. Well, this really didn't happen this way, but it was kind of like, what is your. So I'm going to write with it. I'm going to make an alternate version with is where you're on the right track there. John's problem is he has been told to convey this experience to the readers. How am I going to do that? I mean, John said, look, how am I going to do that? What will communicate this to them? Well, he's got available to him this wonderful pool of images you see that are associated. Many of them are associated with, you know, visionary experiences of the prophets. And so his readers can can plug in to these visions. But John wants to make sure that they don't plug into them back in that old mode. You see, I'm looking forward to something that has already come. And this is why when he in his epistolary introduction, you know, God and the Holy Spirit are introduced very briefly, you know, grace to you and peace from the one who is who was and is to come from the sevenfold spirit before the final and from Jesus the Messiah, the firstborn from the dead, the ruler of the kings of the Earth who loved us and is cleanses from our sins by as blood is made us a kingdom in priest huge long attribution of who Jesus is.


Why? Well, remember, as we looked at that, all of those dynamics, our dynamics that point to the fact that in Jesus God has begun the restoration. And see, this is you might say this is the overarching reality for John, if in which he is trying to convey his visionary experience using imagery prior to that point pointed the head to this event. John is using the same imagery to say it has happened and here's the consequences of it and what it means for New Jerusalem living in a fallen Babylon world. Does that help? Okay. Okay, let's see. So you got the sharp sword. And of course, that that's a very early Christian image, you know, of the word the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. So we just seen he is the word and you've got the sharp sword coming from his mouth again to strike down the nations. Well, if the sword is the word capital W you see the truth, the reality of God. Again pieces and pick em up. Horn slashing. You see, the very presence of that reality cut through the falseness of Fall in Babylon. It reveals the unreality of Fall in Babylon because of its sharp reality. Ruling them with a rod of iron. We just talked about that trend, the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God, the Almighty. And we've already talked about this idea of the wrath of God. You see, when when we turn away, when we step off the edge of the, you know, the spiritual gravity, we step out of our relationship with God. We step into a destructive way of being created for loving union with God. And we move away from that. We we have gone into a destructive mode.


And of course, from that from the side of those experiencing this destructiveness. They describe it as the wrath of God. But as we've seen, you see that the wrath of God is not punitive and retributive going back to the balls of wrath. But they did not repent. But they did not repent. John says it twice after the fourth bowl. After the bowl, they did not repent. Instead, what do they do? They blaspheme. They blaspheme God. They blaspheme God's name. They blaspheme the God of heaven. The same three blasphemies as those of the beast. So so that the wrath you see is the experience that those who have turned away from that loving union will experience in the disintegration and the brokenness that they experience. And then attributing it, using it using human wrath as a model, saying, well, you know, God is beating up on me. No, no, the purpose is the same way. You know, when we have pain in our body, what do we do? You know, we we go to a doctor, we try to find out what's going on. You know, after after I left class last last Thursday, I went home, went to bed and, you know, had a fever of 102. And my wife said, you're going the doctor. The doctor. And we found out it was pneumonia. But we're not that wise spiritually when we begin to experience the pain in the torment and the anguish of our spiritually destructive way of being in relationship with God. What do we do? We try to find the right pill to take care of the symptom instead of going to the cause. And of course, you know, often, well, this is the wrath of God, guys beating up on me for that.


No, no. The spiritual pain is supposed to serve the same purpose, intended for the same purpose as physical pain. You are waking up to the fact, hey, there's a problem here, folks. Let's get to the source of this. You know, when I went to my doctor, you know, he listened to my lungs and he said, you know, you got pneumonia. You know, you didn't say, you know, just go back and live your life. You know, he gave him indication to deal with the cause of the problem. And this is what the wrath of God is all about. I mean, what we speak of is the wrath of God. But they did not repent. They did not repent. And so, again, it's another image for Jesus as that implacable reality, that unmentionable reality. Of of God against which all that is false. Crumbles or experiences torment. Dustin. I sure that's. You unpack the wine press? Oh, yeah. He's picking up from back in chapter 14. You know, where you had the harvest of the earth and it was put into the wine press of the wrath of God. Oh, yeah. It's the same image. Yeah. Men on his robe and on his thigh. He has a name inscribed, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And again, this goes back to chapter one. There the phrase is the ruler of the kings of the Earth. But this is the same as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Another another messianic image, of course. And so here's another Sola. Here's another description of his name. You see, he's got a name that no one that no one knows except himself. But then he's the word of God. And now he's king of kings and Lord of Lords.


So this is a very messianic idea. But also here is the one who has. Achieve the victory over all of those kingdoms over Babylon. View John's imagery. So that's a rather extensive description of Jesus that. Yeah. William Why? Why does it seem to almost be like tattooed on his thigh? Oh, yeah. Good. Good question. Yeah. In the Hebrew tradition, you have a very interesting image that keeps appearing that that when when one person takes an oath to another, he puts his hand under his thigh. And sort of it's sort of a we don't know what's behind me. I don't know what's behind that. I know that Dr. Richter's unpacked that in some way or not, but as far as I know, it's it's mysterious. You know, we we really don't know what the origins of this are, but apparently the meaning of this is that that you it's sort of like saying, you know, cross my heart and hope to die. And, you know, I mean, it it is it is making a commitment to this oath that you're taking that you are not going to break this. Okay. So. So here I think it's another way of describing, you know, this unchangeable reality of of God's realm, I mean, the unchangeable truth of God that is not going to change. So you would grab another person and another person's style, almost like a handshake, but we don't know. Okay. We don't know what's going on there. But anybody who discovers, please let me know publicly. Okay. Then Jon, Jon's his is the scenery shifts. He's been looking at Jesus then. I saw an angel standing in the sun. With a loud voice. He called to all the birds that fly and made heaven come and gather for the great supper of God to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of camels, the flesh of the mighty, the flesh of horses and their riders, the flesh of all, both free and slay, both small and great.


So it's going to be this great banquet and obviously it's going to be a great slaughter. Then I saw the Beast and the Kings of the Earth with their armies. Now we've just seen that the writer is the king of kings. Here's the beast with the kings of the earth, with their armies gathered to make war against the rider on the horse and against his army. And of course, remember, if you go back into chapter 17, we saw the harlot and see on the Beast and then the Ten Kings and they made war with the lamb. But the lamb conquered them. So again, you see, Jared is pulling a lot of these sort of threads that he is placed in in the in the account, and he pulls them back in together here at this point. And it's this was John's vision is very typical of of Jewish wars in our own time. The beast was captured. Where's the war? You know, you have these these Israel war where they wipe out their enemy in 60 hours or something like that. So here, here's fallen Babylon, the beast and the kings of the earth. Their armies gather to make war against the rider on the horse and against his army. Now, of course, you remember we are his army. So here's part of the context of Jon's readers. You know, being faithful citizens in New Jerusalem, in the midst of this falling back, the beast was captured and with it the false prophet, where it performed in its presence. The signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast. Those who worshiped its image. Now, here is the point at which that second beast in Chapter 13 gets identified as the false prophet.


And then you have to tie this back. You see the Chapter 16 where John talks about the beast in the false Prophet. Again, he he says something there that where the false prophet come from, you get over here. And the readers of the heroes of this say, Oh, that's what it's all about. And then you see, it's a way of paying all the way back to those two beasts in chapter 13 and what we learned about them. So so John is is weaving together all of these threads of his vision. And these two, the Beast and the false prophet, were thrown alive in the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. Now, this is interesting. In the next chapter, we're going to see Satan is thrown into the lake of fire. And we're going to see that in Haiti thrown into the lake of fire, but it doesn't see them thrown alive. Only the beast and false prophet are thrown alive or in Greek living in the lake of fire. What's going on here? Well, just do what John's readers had to do. Just hold that on the back burner for a few minutes. But we're going to find out what it's all about. But see, again, he makes a statement that when What was this got to do with anything? Why? Why are they still alive? And then the rest. Were killed. The rest, of course, is the whole horde of fallen Babylon. The rest were killed by the sword. The rider on the horse. The sword that came from his mouth. Again. See the word? And all the birds were gorge with their flowers. So here is this, you know, fall in Babylon is destroyed. And remember, we saw back in Chapter 11 where we saw that vision of the law and prophets being consummated in the cross.


We remember the totality of fallen humanity. Nine names of humans. 7000 died. Okay, Here is a reprise of that in a different kind of imagery. Yeah. Mm hmm. Excuse me. With the. The sword that's coming from his mouth. It. For all intents and purposes, it seems to be indicating actual death, indicating that that this sword, this judgment that comes from Christ or the righteousness of Christ going against that results in more than just moral judgment, but results in real death, spiritual death. Yeah, I think this takes me one more time explaining the I just got lost in the chapters. Never really explain The beast has being the false prophet and the connection back with with chapters. Yeah, sure. We back it up here a minute. In in chapter 13, you have this first piece that comes from the sea, and its characteristic is blasphemy. The second beast comes from the earth and it does signs on behalf of the first beast that leads those who gallop on the earth. And every time they kill people who worship the beast and make an image of it, etc., and receive the mark. So the clue here is in its presence the signs by which he deceived those. And of course, it ties. It's also back to the mark of the beast and worshiping the image. So all of those things together are pointing us back to things that are stated in the context of that second beast in chapter 13. So what John is doing is just saying, okay, now we're going to call that second beast the false prophet now. Okay. Okay. Then you go back to chapter six. So you see, and he talks about the beast and the false prophet. And you wonder, who's this false prophet guy? Is he? Now we get the explanation of it, and it ties all three of these together.


Okay. Then. It's unfortunate that they put in a break here because, you know, well, okay, we're done. 19 put that on the shelf now where we got. Now, this is all part of the same thing. Okay. Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand. The key to the bottomless pit boosts the abyss and the great chain. Any clues as to who this might be? Who has the keys of death in Haiti? Jesus, Jesus. Remember the first thing Jesus says, I was dead. I'm alive forevermore. And I have the keys of death in Hades. So most likely this is Jesus. Another, you know, again, B image as an angel. As we've seen John doing this, he used the dragon, that ancient serpent who is the devil and Satan. There's all those titles from Chapter 12 and bound him for a thousand years. Threw him into the pit lock and sealed it over him so that he now hear the translations really fail us because it's a very important tool to do this exactly as John has put it in the Greek. What it says in the Greek threw him into the pit, locked and sealed it over him so that he might not deceive the nations. Those who get no Greek look across and you see the subjunctive mood in order that he might not see the nations until whenever the thousand years are ended. You say? Not again. You got the subjunctive mood. Right. Now. Now, what's going on here? Well, first of all, again, if where the thousand years is introduced in verse two, he bound him for a thousand years. That's a good translation. There's no definite article there. It's just killer at a thousand years. Now, in Greek.


Greek does not have an indefinite article like we do in English. Do we use a or an. We didn't have that. So the presence or the absence of the definite article becomes significant when you have the definite article. You're talking about a very specific entity. When you do not have a definite article, you're talking about some sort of general reality. So when John introduces this image of a thousand years, he doesn't say the thousand years. He says a thousand years. Now that suggests that John is using imagery. Also the fact that he says whenever the thousand years should be ended, now he's talking about a literal calendar thousand years. He wouldn't say that you would use the indicative mood when. And we know exactly when 1000 years from now is, you know, it's going to be. 8:50 a.m., April 23rd, 3009. I mean, we can determine with precision exactly when 1000 years from now is going to be. Rajan uses this indefinite mood in Greek whenever it should be ended. Okay. Now, what's the the role of a thousand years in Jewish imagery? Well, it's rather rather interesting. You all know the Somme, the 90th Somme with God. A thousand years isn't an hour as a watch in the night and watching light it as a thousand years. Peter picks it up with the Lord. Thousand years as a day. Days as a thousand years. What's going on with that imagery there with the psalmist is working with you see is the largest conceivable unit of time in the Jewish mine and the shortest a watch in the night and a thousand years. So it suggests that the way that imagery is used means this a large indefinite period of time, something like what we call an era or an era, you know, rather indefinite periods, but large pieces of time now where we get proof of this, I think is in Ecclesiastes.


In Ecclesiastes six six. In the Hebrew, it says, Even if a man should live a thousand years twice. Your translation is probably, say, 2000 years. That's not what the Hebrew says. Now Hebrew can say 2000. Elsewhere in the Old Testament, about 2000 horses, 2000. Talents of silver, 2000. There's 2000 that even can say 2000. The same way we can say 2000. But at this point, the right place can see six, six. The writer says even if a man should live a thousand years twice lifetimes, which suggest you see that what we're dealing with is in the Hebrew mind. A thousand years is the largest conceivable unit of time. You don't think of 2000 years. So even if a man should live to eons, you see something like that. So with that as as background and that's about the only Old Testament instrumental imagery we get here in the fact that John introduces it not with specific the thousand years and the fact that it has an indefinite end. Suggests we're not dealing with a calendar thousand years. We're dealing with an image. And when we drop down to to look at when this ends, we get down to verse. Or seven, rather, John says. And whenever those are, you can read the Greek go across Sky Houghton. You say you want to say when it'll be hotter. But and whenever the thousand years should be ended. Now, of course, here he is. Now he uses the definite article with the thousand years because he's referring back to this period that he's already introduced. Now it becomes a specific entity that has been introduced earlier. So again, you see you've got this this idea that we're dealing with an in an indefinite period of time. Which means what? We have to look at what what begins it and what ends it, not what begins.


It, obviously is this binding of Satan. But also notice it doesn't say that he's locked into this bottomless pit so that he cannot deceive the nations. It doesn't say that he's locked into this final episode. He will not deceive the nation's. It says he's locked into this violent place so that he might not see the nations. Which leaves open the possibility that he might deceive them to. And of course, this goes back to that that passage. You know, beware, you're your enemy. The devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom we may devour. Paul says We fight not against flesh and blood, against principalities and powers, against a world ruler of the present darkness, the spiritual forces of wickedness, etc., etc., etc.. Well, how if Satan is bound? How is this going on? Well, the nature of the binding, you see, is that he might not be see the nations as long as anyone is bonded to Christ. Satan cannot deceive them. But if we choose not to be bonded to Christ, then we are fair game. Satan can see us. So the binding of Satan. Is the cross. Now, let me shift over to, uh, let's see. I want. Let me do this first. We saw back in 16, you know, that the Armageddon or Armageddon, what we've got here is a two phase. The first phase of this Armageddon is the cross. Remember, Jesus is. Rho is in a robe, dipped in blood. There's a cross through. Phase two is what we're going to see in 27 to 10, where you see Satan thrown into the lake of fire. And then in the meantime, we've got verses 121 six. Now you know the millennium. Now let's look at this binding of Satan.


Remember our picture of the rebellious hoarder way back at the beginning. You know that in Hades is the foundation. Satan is the ruler of that realm. The beast and false prophet are the incarnation of Satan's rebellion in the human world. And we've now seen that. That's why our worldview that rejects God and the lifestyle that results from it. You know, those two beasts and then Fallen Babylon is the human community that worships the beast in its image and receives its mark, etc.. What happens if the beast and false prophet are removed from the picture? Satan's control over the citizens of fallen Babylon is broken. This is why back there in chapter 19, John says that the beast and false prophet are thrown living into the lake of fire. You see, it is possible for them to continue to hold humanity in the destructive bondage of Satan's rebellion. If we choose to go that road. Road. But if we follow the land. Wherever he goes, if we become citizens of New Jerusalem. Satan's power. Satan has no power over us. Satan cannot deceive us. As long as we abide in here in the land. As long as we are faithful followers, as long as we have his name and his father's name written on our forehead, remember that we're that we are pervasively Christ in God centered beings rather than self-centered self reference beings. So you see what John is is wrestling with here. And it's it's another it's another dynamic of that oxymoron. In chapter 13, The Beast has a mortal wound. It is here. John. If the beats. You've saying the beats and false prophet so far because they're live still have that possibility of influence. Right. And so if that's the case, it's almost like saying they can't come to us in a sense, but we have to go to death in Hades to be influenced by them with that.


And that's probably pushing a little too far, John, saying, you know, they can't come to us, but we have to go to them. Well, in a sense, that's true. I mean, whenever we. Reject gone as God in our life. Whenever we fail to bow worship and cast the crown to use John imagery, you say we have already put ourself on the other side. Because we have rejected God is God. We've not allowed God to be God on God's terms in our lives. Which means. What we're really doing is manifesting the three blasphemies of the Beast, know the worldview, the perceptual framework of the very first beast that rejects God totally. And of course, the consequence of that is going to be the lifestyle that has no reference to God whatsoever. But that's I mean, that's where I was going with it. Yeah, I'm not I mean, like you hear people saying when they come to a salvation and stuff that their life prior to Christ was a living hell. And so it was. It's like you're saying to deny Christ is stepping in. You know, Chris, I'm maybe I'm just a little slow today. Could you explain the or maybe not just today, but could you explain the relationship again between if the beast and false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire, what's now the relationship between the citizens of fall in Babylon and Satan? Oh, they still are worshiping the beast in its image and they have its mark on the forehead in the right hand. I mean, their perceptual framework is still full of rejection of God. And their lifestyle. You know, the right hand still is a life that has no reference to God. Okay. Saying it did. Okay, let's take let me back up your myth and.


Loses control. Now at the other end. Right. So the cross is is the binding and that that's what begins this thousand year image is. And in John's. Here's another connection in John's gospel. Jesus says as he stands in the shadow of the cross now is the judgment of this world. Now is the ruler of this world cast out? Jesus. Jesus is saying there, the cross is the victory, the cross is the judgment. Now let's go down to the chapter two, chapter two, verse seven and see what happens. The other end of the thousand year period. And we'll go back and look at what goes on in the middle next week whenever the thousand years should be ended. This is that indeterminate thing. Satan will be released from his prison. Notice there's no jailbreak here. He will be released. You don't release himself. Jon is using the the Hebrew passive to indicate God's action. You know, God put him in there. God let him out. Well, why on earth is God going to let Satan out the prison? Well, it comes out to deceive the nations At the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, Ezekiel's image of, you know, the enemies of God's people in order to gather them for the battle for battle. Bear is numerous as the sands of the sea. They marched up over the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the Saints, their beloved city. Then fire falls from heaven and consume them. Satan's release. Is simply. In order that he and the hordes of fallen Babylon might be thrown into the lake of fire. The release of Satan is in, you might say. I was going to say Prelude, but we've got to be careful to try to put in chronological time to the events here.


The Fire from Heaven is the second coming. It's the image that Paul uses in first as colonials. Where Christ returns in flaming fire. Christ is the holiness of God. You see, the burns against all is unholy. And of course, the fire image is again a God image in the Hebrew pool. And then see the devil who had deceived them first hand was thrown into the lake of fire in Sulfur, where the beast and false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night, forever and ever. But notice, see, he's not thrown living because here is the end. Here is the final consummation of the victory that was won on the cross. How does the torment. Forever and ever. You've talked about this multiple times. About the wrath of God. How many times take human wrath? And when you think of torment, you think of something actively taking place. Not as much just the consequences of what they're doing, which is kind of what I'm getting from your wrath of God description that it's just the consequence of God's wrath. You know, I remember back in chapter 14, those three angels, good news, bad news you choose and then the you choose. You know, if anyone receives the mark of the beast, they will be tormented forever in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the lamb. And, you know, I tried to unpack that for you. It's a very interesting image of heaven, I mean of hell, because John locates hell, so to speak, right in the center of heaven. And the way I've come to understand that is to all of us, all humanity is created for an eternal relationship with God. To live forever in the presence of a holy God as a holy person is eternal joy and delight.


To live forever in the presence of the Holy God as an unholy person is eternal torment. It's sort of like my gravity image. You'll see, Perry. There's much ado about the devil in hell being his kingdom. And I like to lift out these passages so that that hell is the future reality for saying that it's the final kind of done deal there. And so how did. How do people twist this to to assume that Satan has a kingdom? Because if indeed he is bound by the cross in this period, he is bound here on Earth. Yet his influence is over those who worship him still. And then this is just the final gantlet. Jesus comes back and it ends it for good. You know, the leash is short. So how do how do people. Is it just a milton thing with the Satan, you know, crowned in hell or. Yeah. Well, because we saw at the very beginning, you know, in John's initial vision of God in chapter four, where was the whole rebellious order? It was that sea line glass underneath God's feet. John, all the way through has been very careful to indicate we're not dealing with some sort of spiritual dualism here. You know, equal and opposite good and evil, but rather that evil is under the sovereignty of God. You know, it's the mystery of the Odyssey. I mean, how can God be all powerful, all good, and, you know, allow this new to exist? You know, we unpack that a little bit earlier, but this is what we're dealing with here. But now, see, John is seeing the consequence of the final the final scene, you might say, of God's redemptive purpose in the cross. There was another hand over here in Boston and Tom.


Could you impact this the way that your how you the way you just explained? How could you unpack that a little bit as to kind of the pastoral ramifications when it comes to evangelism, obviously? How how would you explain this often to wrestling with whether or not they want to have a relationship with God and be a lay person as well? In fact, a lot of more. Well, I think that. At the heart of evangelism has to be. Love. Scaring people into the kingdom is not an adequate means of evangelism, because then you've got a deity who is this rational, vengeful god. And if you don't straighten up, he's going to beat up on you. You know the God loves you. That God's love is cruciform love. You know, love. Love must be the heart of any true Christian evangelism. And then I think to to help people, you know, realize in the light of that love. Why that love is cruciform love. The nature of their condition. And the anguish they are experiencing, the torment, the disruption, the disintegration, the brokenness of their life as a consequence of having turned their back on that love. And that God is calling us back into always calling us back into that relationship. To restore. To renew. To heal the liberate the cleanse. That helps or not. Tom, I was going to ask if you could fill in the next 6 minutes, if you could build a little bit more on this concept that you're saying that I'm paraphrasing you, of course, that hell is in a reality in heaven. Okay. I'm having trouble with that because of Jesus saying in Matthew seven, depart from me, you evil doers. And his whole teaching of the time at the end of Matthew, whether it be the ten virgins, the great wedding banquet, and you know, and there will be weeping in there will be cast out of the city.


So it's and or even the the story of Rich Man and Lazarus there's obviously not together but a distance this chasm between Abraham's bosom with Lazarus and the rich man. So I'm just kind of having a hard time keeping everything consistent. So how do how, how do you how did you resolve that with. I think what we're dealing with is, is you're you know, you're on you're on one side of the line or the other. Right. You're still in the presence of God. Okay, you say. So. So the sheep and the goats, you know, the sheep end up on the God's side of the line. The goats end up on the non-gun side of the line. We do. Lazarus and the rich Man. You know, Lazarus is on the right side of the line here. On the God side of the line, the rich man is on the non-gun side of the line, and they're talking to each other. You know, here we've got heaven, heaven and hell, so to speak, you know, communicating with one another. Abraham and the rich man. I think Jesus imagery in that parable, you know, is very consistent with what John is, the way he is imaging this in chapter 14. Very I think what helps here, what helps me here is that it's Satan in the beast, in the false prophet that are thrown into hell first, and then you have the two thrown. Judgments. And then in the end, to hell, yeah, death in hell are destroyed and destroyed and thrown into the lake of fire. Yeah, they're thrown into the lake. Everything ends up there. And that helps me because it just. It points more to a spiritual separation than an actual goal to understand. Yes, we tend to think in terms of geographical separation rather than spiritual separation.


It seems like the battle of God or Jesus puts Satan in the fire and all that, but Satan never does anything back to God. It's always through God's people or the people. That's how Satan fights his battle. You know? Okay now. So what we what we see here and one of the thing I want to notice, notice in verse nine, the boards of Fallen Babylon, they might drop over the face of the earth and surround the camp of the saints, the beloved city. Where is the Christian community in the last moment of human history? They have not been raptured. They are right there in the center of the action. And in fact, it looks as though in Babylon is about to finally win. They have completely surrounded the camp of the Saints. The beloved city from a home. We've all been left below. And then you see the fire falls. Okay, Now we got to go back then next week and we'll look at what goes on between the cross and the second coming, because that's what John deals with in verses 4 to 6. So we'll go back and pick up there and look at that. Yeah, I think you'd mentioned this to me earlier, and I'm not quite sure what you were going to say, but you mentioned something about when the projects are bigger, are they still do on the fifth? No, they're doing the last Thursday of class, which is about three weeks from today. I think the 12th, I believe it is. Right next Monday. Next Friday. A I guess it'll be the 14th on the 14th for this day. And the weary world rejoice is that you have another nine days. But also, remember, you have only three weeks.


I was I was about. Oh, that's a lot. That's about that's four, seven days. I thought they had I have a good week on Thursday. What was the.