The Revelation of St. John lifts a corner of the veil covering the Divine design of elevating creation to a still newer and higher level. However, this creative plan is implemented through the grim ordeal of a forced war provoked by the forces of evil.
For God any war against the created beings is unthinkable because the forces are absolute incommensurable. This war is waged and lead by Jesus Christ the Man who discharges the will of God. Jesus derives his powers from His holiness. But so far as his enemies fail to realize that, they hopes to win.
The symbol of the Inferno is – "might is right."
The symbol of God is – "right is might".
The crux of Christianity's entire tragic history is that truth and right are manifested and realized in conditions when the enemy is stronger. Said of those who paved the way for Michael's triumph in the battle against the dragon:“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death” 12:11.
The power of holiness may be manifested only after its attestation, as confirmed by sacrifice, attains the required fullness. Even during the holy war the forces of evil concentrated in the beast from the abyss, gain significant, though, temporary, victories; indeed for three and a half years it usurped power over the earth. “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and power as given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations” 13:7.
“Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” 13:10.
To be weaker than the enemy, to be defeated by him, yet not forego one's testimony and retain fidelity and faith are all that is capable of conceivable future victory. Thus, Jesus glorifies the church at Philadelphia:“For thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” 3:8.
The souls of those slaughtered for God's word, when they cry out for vengeance, are told "to rest a little while longer”:“Until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled” 6:11.
The last victims of this holy war are those "who had been beheaded for the sake of God's word" (20:4
) and also "the two witnesses" who exercise the power of the elements in the war against the beast from the abyss (11:3-13).
They fill to the brim the cup of testimonies and make the manifestation of power possible.
The symbolism of the holy war permeates the entire contents of the Revelation from the naming of Jesus as “Almithy” (“Pantocrator” in Greek), which derives from the Hebrew Sabaoth as ruler of hosts and armies. He “in righteousness judged and wages war”
. He is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (19:16)
. The seven stars in His right hand (1:16) is symbol of global authority as was depicted on Roman coins. The sharp sword issuing out of the mouth, symbolizing preparedness to do battle. The message to the seven churches so similar to imperial edicts sent the proconsuls (in this case the angels of the seven churches) during preparation for an all-out battle. The seven trumpeting angels stem from the biblical story of the impious city of Jericho destroyed by the blowing of trumpets (Josh.6:1-20)
as commanded by the "captain of the host of the Lord" (Josh.5:13-15).
Biblical tradition requires that before the beginning of a holy war the warriors and their commander purify themselves, pray to the Lord and ask counsel of the Lord (Judg. 20:23-28; 1 Kgs.14:37, 23:2-4).
In the Revelation this is done during the Liturgy which is performed in the heavens (ch. 4 & 5).
The scroll with the seals that the One seated on the Throne hands to the Lamb may be regarded as God's mandate setting out the plan and purpose of the war. The very breaking of the seals in the sixth chapter signify the stages of the real battle. The archer rider with the bow on the white horse rides forth "to conquer" (yet this is not Jesus who is equipped with sword, not bow). Given to the second rider is the "power to take peace from the earth"; the third rider causes famine; the fourth leads death and Hades close behind. When the fifth seal is broken the souls of the slaughtered for God's word rise up to fight; with the breaking of the sixth seal the elements of nature join the fray, and when the last, seventh seal is broken furnished the detailed disposition for the final decisive battles and their course.
After what proceeds when the sixth seal is broken, many believe the end of the world has come:“And said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” 6:16-17
Yet that is but the beginning of crucial developments: "there was silence in heaven for what seemed half an hour" (8:1)
, after which the seven angels blow their trumpets in succession. Each trumpet heralds a new phase in the war gradually embroiled in which are more and more powerful elemental, human, angelic and demonic forces. The blowing of the seventh trumpet signals the decisive stage when joined are the central personages, to wit: Michael, the dragon, the beast from the abyss, the beast from the earth and the two witnesses. Nature's destructive powers broaden out with "the woman robed with the sun"
clearly opposed to the "great whore" or "the woman mounted on the scarlet beast" (17:1-8)
to the impious cults and godless civilization of resurgent Babylon (18:1-24).
The grand apocalyptic war, whose events we are yet unable to comprehend, proceeds with alternating success, until joined is Jesus Christ in all His human might that has increased beyond measure between the Gospel and apocalyptic epoch.“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war…His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean” 19:11…14.
Who is the enemy?“And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army” 19:19.
Though nothing more is said that is quite adequate.
Indeed after Mother Earth in her wrath destroys Babylon, capital of the impious kingdom, most of the allies of the "vile" king evidently desert. However those wallowing deepest in evil resolve to make the last stand.
What do they rely upon?
On that God, who by one breath can destroy the whole of the Cosmos and create a new one, will not intervene. For that matter do they really believe in the genuine God? Can a perverted mind encompass the basic truth of being that the entire world was created by the One God, moreover dwelling outside of this world? Or that with one act of Creation, there can be no basic matter from which to create the world, and no basic spatial dimension within which He would dwell? That generally there was and would be nothing save for God and His creation?
Anyone able to encompass this revelation which is beyond the reach of the created mind's own efforts, will necessarily hearken to the voice of the Angel enunciating an eternal gospel when he declares: “Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” 14:7.
The enemy knows that he will dealing "solely" with Jesus the Man, and in his mad fury, intoxicated by his evil powers, thinks to win, or at least force a draw, surrendering heaven to Jesus and reserving the earth to himself.
In this fight the combined magic powers of evil are opposed by Logos, by the True Word issuing out of the mouth of Jesus like a two-edged sword.
Victorious will be he who more profoundly comprehends the fundamentals of creation, who exercises greater away over the fundamental energies of the created world. However, true knowledge is gained only by one of chaste heart who sincerely subordinates his own volition to God's will.
Anyone who abandoned God is an inwardly split personality, and his entire
knowledge, however vast, is bound to ring false on the basic. His efforts to get his faulty knowledge to work are doomed.“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth” 19:20-21.
Proceeding from this account Jesus seems to fly over the enemy's legions, without touching the earth, which thus accords with the gospel prophecy:“For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other [part] under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day” Lk. 17:24.
This is the end of Holy War for possesing of Earth.