Final Victory with Christ

Final Victory with Christ

Rev. 17:14 … “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”

Although this statement occurs two-thirds of the way through the Book of Revelation, it is nevertheless the one that states its central theme. Essentially it says that, though Christ has many opponents in the world, He shall in the end be victorious over them all. Furthermore, He will share His decisive victory with those who are His “called,” His “chosen,” and His “faithful.”

This final book of the Bible is universally declared to be the most difficult to interpret and understand. However, if all of the puzzling symbols and cryptic statements are studied in the light of the text above, their general sense can be deciphered even if their specific meaning remains obscure or even hidden. Whatever the grotesque beasts and fantastic beings pictured in the visions represent, it is clear they are enemies of Christ and devoted to the destruction of His church. But our featured text emphasizes that none of them shall gain the victory. They shall all go down in utter defeat, because the Lamb is too powerful for them. They might gain control of the lords and kings among men and marshal their strength against Christ, but they shall altogether fail, since Christ is “Lord of lords and King of kings.”

This seventeenth chapter speaks of such enigmatic figures as the woman sitting on a scarlet beast, a beast which “was and is not,” and the ten kings “who have not yet received a kingdom, but … receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.” In an extended and intensive study of Revelation, I would labor to suggest specific interpretations of these figures and then defend my conclusions. But in this brief article that is an impossible task. It is nevertheless obvious that these beings signify dangerous enemies of Christ and His church. The woman was devoted to killing Christians, for v. 6 says she was “drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the witnesses of Jesus.” The beast was allied with this wicked woman in persecuting Christians, because in v.3 we see that it carried her upon its back. Its own wickedness is indicated by wearing “blasphemous names” to the extent that it was “full” of them. The ten kings were in perfect league with the beast since v.12 says they “receive authority … with the beast for one hour.” And v.13 adds, “These have one purpose and they give their power and authority to the beast.”

We can say that, in general, the great harlot, the scarlet beast, and the ten kings are symbols of the combined forces of the anti-Christian world that pervade the earth. They are the instruments through which Satan works to try to destroy Christ and annihilate His church. They include evil governments, false religions, gross immorality, and all people who support or participate in these things. When v.14 declares that “these will wage war against the Lamb,” the demonstrative pronoun “these” is referring directly to the evil forces being represented.

The great consolation and joy of every Christian is that no matter how foreboding these powers might seem, they are doomed to certain destruction. In their wicked energy and malice they will indeed “wage war against the Lamb,” but the Lamb (Jesus) “will overcome them.” He will bring them down in utter defeat, for that is the meaning of the word “niksei” which is here translated as “will overcome.” These enemies will be removed eternally from the presence of those who are the “called and chosen” of Christ. No more will they persecute those who are faithful to their Savior. This passage, therefore, is telling us where to turn to be on the winning side when the last scene of the last act of the great human drama is finally played out.

-Burton Whited


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