ARMAGEDDON

The several wars in Revelation all present the same final assault by Satan against the saints of the Lamb.

We often read the visions of Revelation as if they are presented in chronological sequence, an assumption that creates difficulties when interpreting the several battle scenes depicted in chapters 11, 12, 13, 16, 19, and 20. Do they portray different “final battles” that occur at different times, or is the same war presented from different perspectives?

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THE DRAGON’S WAR

In Revelation, the language of “war” is used metaphorically to portray the attacks of the “beast” against the saints.

The book of Revelation uses “war” and related terms to illustrate Satan’s attacks against the followers of the “Lamb.” It shows no interest in conventional or nuclear warfare between nation-states. Instead, the “Dragon” strives mightily to annihilate the church before his allotted time expires, and, to do so, he employs deception, compromise, and persecution.

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OVERCOMING SAINTS

In the book of Revelation, overcoming saints persevere in the “testimony of Jesus” no matter the cost, “even unto death.”

Two themes are repeated frequently in Revelation – “witness” and “overcoming,” and they are closely related. Beginning with Jesus and his own “martyrdom” on the Cross, his followers are summoned to persevere in his “testimony,” and in this way, they also will “overcome” and emerge victorious in the city of “New Jerusalem.” They must “overcome, even as he overcame.”

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THE GREAT EARTHQUAKE

The final day of wrath will be characterized by unprecedented celestial and terrestrial events, including the final “great earthquake.” 

In four separate passages, Revelation refers to the coming “great earthquake,” and each time locates it on the day of God’s final “wrath.” Chaos in the heavens and unimaginable seismic shifts on the earth will mark the arrival of the “Day of the Lord,” the Great Dénouement when God vindicates His people and punishes His enemies.

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THE GATHERING

There is coming a final gathering when the saints will be assembled before Jesus in glory, but the wicked will be collected and cast from his presence.

The New Testament portrays the coming day when both the righteous and the unrighteous are “gathered” before Jesus, the former for vindication, and the latter for condemnation. And consistently, this event is linked to the “arrival” of Jesus at the end of the age and the resurrection of the dead.

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The Last Days in light of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus

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