Mystery of the Woman
By Arlen L. Chitwood
An Angel Standing in the Sun
Announcing the Great Supper of God
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…
And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves unto the supper of the great God;
That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
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.
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: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh (Rev. 19:11, 16-21).
The first three chapters in this book have dealt principally with the harlot in Rev. 17:1-19:6 residing in the kingdom of the Beast, followed by the harlot’s destruction. The first part of this closing chapter in the book will continue with a number of related thoughts on the same subject as the previous three chapters, then move on to Christ’s return and the destruction of the kingdom of the Beast.
God’s Two Firstborn Sons in the Old Testament
The introduction of the nation of Israel in Scripture, along with the supply of a continuing wealth of information pertaining to this nation, is seen at a time much earlier than man might think or imagine.
For example, in Ex. 12:40, 41, Israel is seen sojourning in a land throughout the four hundred thirty years leading up to the beginning of the nation’s existence — a sojourn which began at the time Abraham left Ur of the Chaldees, thirty years prior to the birth of Isaac.
Or, in Heb. 7:9, 10, Levi is seen as having paid tithes in the loins of Abraham (his great, great grandfather), at the time Abraham met Melchizedek in Genesis chapter fourteen (Heb. 7:9, 10), again, prior to the birth of Isaac.
Thus, a nation which would not exist until four hundred thirty years had passed is seen in the loins of Abraham at the time he left Ur at the age of seventy. And matters regarding Israel in this respect can be taken back even farther than the preceding, much farther (e.g., Shem, nine generations preceding Abraham).
(For additional information in the preceding realm, refer to Chapter VI, “The Selfsame Day,” in the author’s book, WE ARE ALMOST THERE.)
Information regarding the nation of Israel begins in Genesis much earlier than Abraham’s birth in chapter eleven, or actually even the account of that stated about Shem in chapter nine.
Information regarding Israel in Scripture actually begins at that time when the Spirit of God moved upon the ruined creation in Gen. 1:2b and continues from that point throughout the first 2,000 years of human history, preceding the birth of Abraham, the father of the nation of Israel (Gen. 1:2b-11:26).
References to or events pertaining to the nation, centuries and millenniums prior to the existence of the nation, can easily be seen in passages such as Gen. 3:15 (the Seed of the woman [Israel]), or the typology of Cain and Abel (Gen. 4:1ff), or that of Noah and his family passing through the Flood (Gen. 6:1-8:22), or that stated about Shem in relation to Ham and Japheth. (Gen. 9:25-27).
But how can things pertaining to Israel be seen beginning with the earth’s restoration and continuing into man’s creation in the opening verses of chapter one?
Note five verses of Scripture in four New Testament books:
“Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews” (John 4:22).
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist [‘all things have been established,’ ‘all things hold together’]” (Col. 1:16, 17).
“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [‘in the person of’] his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds [‘brought into existence (arranged) the ages’]” (Heb. 1:2).
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [the Beast], whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).
In the first of the preceding references, “salvation” is clearly stated to be “ of the Jews.” This is the nation which brought forth the Saviour, Who, in the fourth and last of the references, was “slain from the foundation of the world” (which takes one back to the time of Gen. 1:2b ff [cf. I Peter 1:19, 20]).
(How can one son [Israel] be present at a time prior to that son’s existence? That has already been addressed after one fashion, but it can also be addressed by asking, How could Christ have been slain at a time prior to His incarnation and the events of Calvary?
Then, who slew Christ at the time seen in Rev. 13:8 — “from the foundation of the world” [i.e., from the time of events in Gen. 1:2b ff]? Only one person could possibly be seen as the slayer; only the other son could have committed this act, as seen in the typology of Cain slaying Abel in Gen. 4.
Christ was the Paschal Lamb, the paschal lamb was given to Israel [Ex. 12:1ff], and only Israel could slay the paschal lamb. It matters not whether the event occurred at the time of the restoration of the ruined material creation or 4,000 years later at Calvary. The same two individuals — the same two Sons — have to be involved. There is simply no other way for the event to occur at any time in history.
Suffice it to say that “with God all things are possible” [Matt. 19:26].)
Then note the other two previously quoted references, the second and third references, which have to do with God’s actions in relation to the whole of the matter, with nothing occurring apart from His Son.
Any time God’s work is seen in Scripture (e.g., His restorative work occurring over six days time in Gen. 1:2b ff), His Son, “slain from the foundation of the world,” has to be seen as well, for nothing has ever occurred or ever will occur apart from the Son. And this is the One Whom the nation of Israel would bring forth and slay, though the Son both existed and was slain prior to this time.
“Salvation” is not only “of the Jews,” but “Neither is there salvation in any other [a reference to the One Whom Israel brought forth]” (John 4:22; Acts 4:12) — inseparable references to both of God’s two firstborn Sons.
To separate God’s two firstborn Sons in Biblical studies (Ex. 4:22, 23; Heb. 1:6) — dealing with one apart from the other — is simply not possible. This is one reason that the same Scriptures are, at times, used of both (e.g., Hos. 11:1; Jonah 1:17 [cf. Matt. 2:15; 12:38-40]); and to see one Son (Christ) apart from the other son (Israel) in the restoration account, beginning in Gen. 1:2b, can only be a completely improper way to view the matter.
Beginning revelation pertaining to Israel has to be seen in Scripture in Gen. 1:2b ff, for the work was done completely in connection with and through the One in Whom salvation (restoration) lies; and this Son (Christ) cannot be separated from the other son (Israel), in whom salvation (restoration) lies as well.
Then, note Genesis chapter two where details pertaining to man’s creation in chapter one are given. And these details have to do with the bride being removed from the body.
In the historical account, in the type, Adam was put to sleep, his side opened, and God took from his opened side a part of his body (a rib), from which he formed the woman, Eve. Then God presented the woman back to the man as a helpmate; and, through this act, the woman, formed from a part of the man, completed the man.
And the antitype is easy to see. The second Man, the last Adam, was put to sleep on the Cross, His side was opened, and out of His opened side flowed the two elements which God is presently using to form the bride — blood and water — pointing to the present high priestly work of the Son (a cleansing, on the basis of His shed blood on the mercy seat in the heavenly sanctuary).
Then, once the bride has been removed from the body (the Spirit’s work during the present dispensation), and the bride subsequently revealed (through decisions and determinations resulting from the judgment seat), the bride, formed from a part of the Son’s body, will be presented back to the Son as a co-heir, a helpmate, helping the Son in His millennial rule; and, through this act, in line with both the type and Heb. 2:10, the bride will complete the Son.
Now, note something about the preceding. None of this can exist apart from Israel. According to Romans chapter eleven, Gentiles, who do not have a God (Eph. 2:11-13), have been grafted into the only nation with a God (through being “in Christ,” a Jewish Saviour [v. 24]), the nation which brought forth the Saviour, the only nation which could do so, for “salvation is of the Jews.”
Thus, Israel is not only seen in Genesis chapter one, but in chapter two as well.
Then the nation is seen throughout chapter three in the account of man’s fall, necessitating salvation, with the account of Israel slaying Christ in the typology of Cain slaying Abel in chapter four. And material in chapter four, both before and after the account of Cain slaying Abel, provides a complete history of the nation of Israel, 2,500 years before the nation even existed.
Then, none of the events in chapters five through eight could have occurred apart from Israel being seen throughout — Enoch being removed from the earth alive, with Noah and his family then passing through the Flood, foreshadowing the Church being removed prior to Israel passing through the Tribulation.
As previously seen, nothing occurs apart from the Son, which, in reality, as also previously seen, would have to include both Sons — both Christ and Israel. And aside from the preceding, the typology surrounding Enoch couldn’t exist apart from Israel, for, apart from Israel, there could be no Church to be removed in the antitype.
And this could be continued through subsequent chapters leading to Abraham’s birth (chs. 9-11a), but the preceding material should be sufficient to get the point across. God’s work through One of His firstborn Sons simply cannot occur apart from the Other firstborn Son being seen as well.
(Note how this takes care of a quite-popular, erroneous teaching in Christendom today — the teaching that the Church has supplanted Israel in God’s plans and purposes, with God being through with Israel.
If something such as the preceding has occurred, after any fashion, then Christians can forget about everything, including their very salvation.
God’s work through One Son is not seen, it cannot exist, apart from the Other Son. Apart from a connection with both Sons — a Jewish Saviour, brought forth by the nation of Israel, with Christians seen grafted into a Jewish trunk — there can be no salvation, or anything else, aside from eternal ruin and damnation [Rom. 11:1-26].
And the truth of the preceding can be seen throughout the first eleven chapters of Genesis, then continuing with the birth of Abraham in Gen. 11:27 and progressively moving throughout the Old Testament.
Note just one example — that of Shem, in relation to Ham and Japheth in Gen. 9:25-27. Shem was the only one of Noah’s three sons possessing a God. The other two sons, without a God, could only possess a connection with God one way — by going to the son in possession of a God, by going to Shem and dwelling “in the tents of Shem” [the words used in Scripture to denote the only way of partaking of that possessed by Shem].
Shem’s lineage in this respect can be traced through Abraham nine generations later, then through Isaac, Jacob, his twelve sons, and the nation of Israel. All of the other nations on earth can trace their lineage through either Ham, Japheth, or Shem’s lineage through individuals other than Abraham Isaac, Jacob, and his twelve sons.
And, exactly the same conditions exist today in relation to the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth — conditions which can never change. “Israel” is the only nation on the face of the earth with a God, all of the other nations are as described in Eph. 2:11-13 [without a God (cf. Ps. 96:5)], and the nations are left with only one choice if they would have any connection with or access to God. They must go to the one nation with a God, to a Jewish Saviour Who is God. There is no alternative.
Now, note what would happen if Shem were removed from the picture in Genesis chapter nine, or if the nation of Israel were removed from the picture today [which are two ways of saying the same thing].
That needs to be thought through — thought about long and hard — before giving credence to what so many Christians are stating today about God being through with Israel, seeing the Church replacing Israel in God’s plans and purposes.)
Now, keep the preceding thoughts pertaining to Israel in mind when moving through that part of the Book of Revelation dealing with the Tribulation and beyond, extending into the Millennium (6:1-20:6).
Scripture specifically refers to the Tribulation as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” Jer. 30:7). And the purpose for the Tribulation, in relation to this time of trouble, is to bring Jacob (Israel) to the place of repentance, in order that the six things listed in Dan. 9:24 can be brought to pass.
Israel occupies center-stage during this time. And not only does Israel occupy a position of this nature at this time, but also during the time immediately following when Christ returns, along with the ensuing Millennium, and even during all of the ensuing ages beyond.
In the Old Testament, Israel is seen as the wife of Jehovah, who involved herself in harlotry (among other forms of disobedience), whom God divorced, and drove out among the nations to effect repentance.
And, as well, Israel is also seen in the Old Testament as the one who will one day be brought to repentance, with God’s plans and purposes ultimately being worked out through this nation.
This is the complete story of Israel as presented in the Old Testament Scriptures, stated in a very succinct manner.
With that in mind, and with Scripture spending quite a bit of time in the Book of Revelation dealing with a harlot woman during “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Rev. 12:1-17; 17:1-19:6) — completely in line with God dealing with a harlot woman during the same time in the Old Testament (Lev. 26:39-42; Isa. 1:21-2:5; Jer. 3:1-4:31; 30:1-31:40; Ezek. 16:1-63) — the proper identity of the harlot woman in the latter part of the Book of Revelation becomes a simple matter to ascertain.
In fact, as evident from the preceding, through comparing Scripture with Scripture, the Scriptures will clearly identify the harlot, leaving no room for anyone to question the harlot’s identity (refer to the three previous chapters in this book).
Revelation 17:1-19:6 provides exactly the same picture seen so many times in the Old Testament. And apart from seeing this section of Scripture in the Book of Revelation dealing with this subject — i.e., seeing this section dealing with Israel relative to the nation’s harlotry [which is inseparably connected with God’s central purpose for having Israel pass through this time — to effect Israel’s repentance] — then Israel’s harlotry is not even seen being dealt with in this book.
This would put “the time of Jacob’s trouble” in the Book of Revelation completely out of line with the reason for the existence of this time. In short, as previously seen, this would put the Book of Revelation out of line with Old Testament revelation.
In this respect, a correct, proper understanding of Rev. 17:1-19:6 cannot be overemphasized, which is why so much time has been spent in this book dealing with this section of Scripture.
Error, particularly at this point in the book, can lead to error elsewhere. And the whole thing can end up causing a person to possess erroneous thoughts on other related passages of Scripture, sometimes numerous related passages, literally closing the Scriptures in this whole overall realm to one’s understanding.
Or, on the other hand, a correct handling of this section of Scripture can lead to correctly understanding numerous related passages of Scripture elsewhere, opening the Scriptures in this whole overall realm to one’s understanding.
The Scene in Heaven, The Heavens Opened, Then…
The scene in heaven over the harlot’s destruction — burned with fire — is one of rejoicing. Only after this has occurred can matters continue to the point seen at the end of the chapter — the destruction of Gentile world power, with God’s purpose for bringing Israel into existence then being realized in all its fulness.
(Note that events in Rev. 17:1-19:6 present a complete picture of the harlot in and of itself, which, time-wise in the text, begins about the middle of the Tribulation [Israel residing in the kingdom of the Beast after all seven heads have been crowned] and extends to that time when Israel is cleansed of the nation’s harlotry.
And Israel being cleansed of her harlotry [the harlot woman destroyed by fire, with the virtuous woman arising as a phoenix out of the ashes] will not occur until after Christ returns and the nation is dealt with in a final sense in this respect [probably by Elijah, who, along with Moses, will accompany Christ back to the earth].
For additional information about Moses and Elijah accompanying Christ when He returns, refer to the author’s book, COMING IN HIS KINGDOM, particularly Chs. III, IV.
The order of events relative to Israel will be:
1) Israel brought to the place of repentance near the end of the Tribulation [calling upon the God of their fathers for deliverance, though not knowing the identity of their Deliverer at this time].
2) Christ’s return [accompanied by Moses, Elijah, and the armies of heaven (angels)].
3) Subsequent dealings with Israel then brought to pass [which will include Israel’s salvation when they look upon the One Whom they pierced (Zech. 12:10-14), Israel’s harlotry becoming a thing of the past, never to exist again (Jer. 30:14-17; Rev. 19:3), the restoration of the Jewish people to their land, and the theocracy restored to the house of Israel under a new covenant (Jer. 30:18-22; 31:8, 9, 31-33)].
Thus, don’t attempt to read Rev. 19:1-21 in a completely chronological fashion, for the material has not been structured this way. Nor has the whole of that seen in Rev. 6:1-19:21 been structured in a chronological fashion, which is where so many go astray in this book — trying to see a chronological sequence of events in places where they don’t and can’t exist.
A proper chronological sequence of the events seen occurring different places in the book is not necessarily seen in and ascertained from the passages themselves. Rather, this chronology of events can be seen by comparing Scripture with Scripture — seeing a chronology of events as revealed elsewhere, allowing one to then know the proper sequence of the different events in Rev. 6:1ff.)
Revelation chapter nineteen presents two suppers which will occur following the close of the Tribulation (deipnon, the Greek word translated “supper” in both instances, refers to the principle meal of the day, usually observed toward evening).
In the first part of the chapter, immediately following the shouts of hallelujah and praise in heaven at the end of the Tribulation (vv. 1-6) — a jubilation, mainly because of Israel’s repentance, the destruction of the harlot, and the Son’s impending reign — the marriage supper of the Lamb is seen (vv. 7-9).
Then, immediately afterwards the heavens are opened, and Christ, as “King of kings, and Lord of lords,” comes forth with His armies to tread “the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” And this treading of the winepress on earth allows “the supper of the great God [lit., ‘the great supper of God’]” to occur (vv. 11-21).
Thus, two successive suppers are seen in chapter nineteen — one in heaven preceding Christ’s return, and the other on earth following His return. And the two suppers are completely different in nature, though both are inseparably connected with the Son’s impending reign over the earth.
(The adjective, “great” [Gk., megas] in Rev. 19:17, describing a supper [describing God in the KJV] is used eighty-two times in the Book of Revelation, describing numerous things [e.g., 1:10; 2:22; 5:2, 12; 6:4, 10, 12, 13, 17]. The word megas though is never used to describe God in this book, unless this verse in ch. 19 is the exception.
A couple of Greek manuscripts do have the word megas describing “God” rather than “supper” in this verse [including the Textus Receptus, the main Greek text used for the KJV, accounting for the KJV translation]. However, the vast majority of manuscripts have the word megas describing “supper,” accounting for the translation, “the great supper of God,” in almost any English translation since the 1901 ASV.
The word megas appears one-hundred fourteen times throughout the rest of the N.T. [Matthew through Jude], and the word is used only seven times throughout this part of the N.T. to describe Deity — three times to describe Christ in Messianic passages [Matt. 5:35; Luke 1:33; Titus 2:13], twice to describe Christ as High Priest [Heb. 4:14; 10:21], once to describe Christ as the great Shepherd of the sheep [Heb. 13:20], and once by the Jewish people to describe Christ as a great Prophet [Luke 7:16].
The Septuagint [Greek translation of the O.T.] uses megas mainly for a translation of the Hebrew word gadol. This word is used some five hundred times in the O.T., but, as in the N.T., the word is used only sparingly to describe Deity [e.g., Ex. 18:11; Deut. 7:21; 10:17; Ps. 47:2; 99:2; 138:5].)
In connection with Christ returning through an opened heaven as “King of kings, and Lord of lords” to tread the winepress, an angel is seen standing in the sun (v. 17). And this angel cries out with a loud voice to all the birds of the air (land animals as well in the same scene from Ezek. 39:17) to come, gather together, and partake of “the great supper of God” — a supper which will consist of “the flesh of captains…mighty men…horses…all men, both free and bond, both small and great…the kings of the earth, and their armies” (vv. 18, 19a).
(In both Ezek. 39:17 and Rev. 19:17, the cry is to “all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven,” not just the carrion birds. And the same is true of the land animals in Ezek. 39:17 — “every beast of the field.”
According to the scene presented when the third and fourth seals have been broken in Rev. 6:5-8, depicting conditions during the latter part of the Tribulation, extending into the time of Christ’s return, hunger existing among animal life at that time may be such that even non-carnivorous animals will be found partaking of this “great supper.”)
The angel standing in the sun, uttering this cry, stands within that used in a metaphorical sense in the Book of Revelation to symbolize the center of governmental power (cf. Rev. 6:12; 8:12; 12:1; 16:8). And the symbolism used in Rev. 19:17 is introduced by and reflects back on the previous six verses, depicting Christ returning through an opened heaven as “King of kings, and Lord of lords.”
The right to take the sceptre and rule the earth at this time will have previously been given to the Son by the Father (Dan. 7:13, 14; Rev. 11:15; cf. Dan. 4:17, 25; 5:18-21; Matt. 20:23). And the angel standing in the sun — standing in that symbolizing the central governing authority — is seen announcing this fact.
(A similar scene occurring at the time of Christ’s return was depicted earlier in the book, in Rev. 10:1, 2 — the angel with the seventh trumpet, whose “face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire,” coming down from heaven and placing “his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth.”)
Then, from this point, the call goes out to all the birds of the air to come and feast upon that which is about to remain of Gentile world power when it comes against the King in Jerusalem, seeking to prevent Him from taking the sceptre and assuming the throne, seeking to prevent Him from assuming that which will then be rightfully His.
Following this call, both the Beast and the False Prophet are taken and cast alive into the lake of fire. Then the Gentile armies of the earth — which will have dared to follow the Beast, as he led them against the King in Jerusalem, along with restored Israel in the land — will be trodden under foot as Christ treads the winepress (vv. 19-21; cf. Rev. 14:14-20; 16:13-16).
These armies will consist of such vast numbers in that day — myriads of myriads, referring to large indefinite numbers (Rev. 9:16) — that blood will flow in places to a depth coming up to a horse’s bridle. And this slaughter will extend over a distance of about one hundred and eighty miles (Rev. 14:20).
This is how the Times of the Gentiles will be brought to a close when Christ returns — centrally because of the outworking of the principles set forth in Gen. 12:1-3 and Israel’s God-appointed position among the nations in Gen. 9:26, 27; Ex. 4:22, 23. And the manner in which this will occur results in that which Scripture refers to as “the great supper of God,” with trampled Gentile world powers left on the mountains and plains of Israel for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field to devour.
A Succinct Account, A Previously Detailed Account
It may appear strange to some reading Rev. 19:17-21 that no more space or detail has been given at this point in the book to that which will occur relative to Gentile world power when Christ returns. After all, this is the grand climax of some 2,600 years of Gentile rule, with Israel about to take the sceptre and realize her God-appointed position among the nations, which was made known through Moses almost 3,500 years ago (Gen. 9:26, 27; Ex. 4:22, 23). But the whole of the matter at this climactic place in the Book of Revelation is stated in a very succinct manner — five verses, or a total of eleven verses if one begins with Christ returning through the opened heavens in verse eleven.
Previously in this book, the same subject was dealt with several times after somewhat the same succinct manner (ref. 9:13-21; 14:14-20; 16:12-16). Just the bare facts are given any place in the book, with very little added detail. Again, the lack of space and detail given to this climactic end of the Times of the Gentiles in a book which brings Scripture to a close, completing God’s revelation to man, may appear strange to some. But that should not be the case at all.
The space and detail concerning the matter has already been given throughout numerous passages in the Old Testament, passages covering whole chapters at times. In fact, this is the direction toward which everything moves throughout all ten chapters of the Book of Esther, or all twelve chapters of the Book of Daniel, with Israel emerging in the end as the nation holding the sceptre once again.
The whole of the matter is a major subject of Old Testament prophecy, and everything about how the Times of the Gentiles will end has already been covered by prophet after prophet in minute detail. If all the Scriptures written about this subject in the Old Testament were brought together, one would have a word picture so complete and detailed that it would defy description.
Thus, when arriving at this closing place in the Book of Revelation — the book closing the complete canon of Scripture — nothing needs to be given beyond a simple announcement and description, connecting that stated with the Old Testament Scriptures.
The same thing could be said about the 1,000-year reign of Christ in the following chapter. The whole of the matter — from events which will occur following the binding of Satan at the beginning of the Millennium to events which will occur preceding the loosing of Satan at the end of the Millennium (vv. 1-3, 7ff) — is stated in three verses (vv. 4-6).
Why only three verses to cover events during 1,000 years of time which the whole of creation has been moving toward since the restoration of the earth and man’s creation and fall 6,000 years ago?
The answer is the same as that previously seen concerning the lack of detail in this book surrounding the end of the Times of the Gentiles. All of the events surrounding the coming 1,000-year reign of Christ have already been covered by prophet after prophet in minute detail throughout the Old Testament, beginning in the opening two chapters of Genesis. And all that needs to be stated in this closing book of Scripture is simply an announcement that the time which the prophets had previously spoken about has now come.
And exactly the same thing could be said concerning a word picture drawn from the Old Testament Scriptures pertaining to Christ’s millennial reign that was previously said about a word picture drawn from the Old Testament Scriptures pertaining to the end of the Times of the Gentiles. If all the Scriptures in the Old Testament bearing on Christ’s millennial reign were brought together, one would have a word picture so complete and detailed that it would defy description.
Thus, if details are needed about the end of the Times of the Gentiles, as well as Christ’s millennial reign, the Old Testament is the place to go, not the Book of Revelation. By the time John wrote the Book of Revelation, the prophets had already spoken and provided all of the details which God wanted man to know. And, accordingly, the Spirit of God simply moved John to provide, in a very brief manner, comments on that which had already been provided in great detail.
These comments would be comparable to placing a brief epitaph on a tombstone on the one hand (the end of the Times of the Gentiles) and placing a brief caption on a picture of a sunrise on the other hand (the beginning of the Son’s millennial reign).
The Old Testament closes in Malachi chapter four after a manner covering the same subject in essentially the same succinct way that it is covered in the Book of Revelation. And this would be for the same reason seen in the Book of Revelation. When one arrives at this chapter in Malachi, the prophets have already spoken, and nothing further needs to be added.
The first verse of this final chapter in Malachi reflects on the end of Gentile world power, and the second verse reflects on Christ’s subsequent reign, with the remaining four verses dealing with both, but ending with the latter.
And that is exactly what is seen in chapters nineteen and twenty of the Book of Revelation, preceding the eternal ages beginning in chapter twenty-one.
Israel and the Nations — Old Testament, New Testament
The picture concerning Israel presented by Moses, the Psalms, and the Prophets throughout the Old Testament is that of a nation separated and set apart from all the other nations for purposes having to do with these nations. And these purposes had to do with the salvation and blessings of those comprising all the other nations, as Israel became God’s witness to these nations and exercised the rights of the firstborn, within a theocracy, in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (cf. Gen. 12:1-3; 13:14-18; 15:5-21; Ex. 4:22, 23; 19:5, 6; Isa. 43:1-10).
All of this was in the offing under Moses and Joshua as Israel was led out of Egypt and established in the land within a theocracy. This is how Israel was to “serve” God as His firstborn son (Ex. 4:23).
And that which occurred over centuries of time (about eight hundred years) — a refusal to be God’s witness (e.g., Jonah in the type, refusing to go to Nineveh), further disobedience, harlotry — resulted in God eventually uprooting His people from their land, driving them out among the nations to effect repentance, and removing the sceptre from Israel’s hand and giving it to the Gentiles.
This is one major subject seen throughout the Old Testament. But there is another major subject seen throughout the Old Testament as well, having to do with Israel’s repentance and restoration, followed by a realization of the nation’s calling as set forth in the beginning. And this, of course, necessitates the end and destruction of Gentile world power, with the theocracy being restored to Israel and the sceptre being returned to Israel.
All of the different facets of this whole overall story — past, present, and future — can be seen different places throughout Moses, the Psalms, and the Prophets. Each writer presents different things about different parts of a word picture which can be seen in its completeness, exactly as God desires man to see it, only by comparing Scripture with Scripture.
No one book presents the complete picture. This is seen only by bringing together that which the Spirit of God moved all of the Old Testament writers to record (cf. II Peter 1:20, 21).
This is what the Old Testament is about, and there is an emphasis throughout the Old Testament on the latter part of the story — Israel’s restoration, the nation realizing her calling, and the Gentile nations of the earth subsequently being reached by and blessed through Israel. And this emphasis, of necessity, involves a previous end to the Times of the Gentiles and the destruction of Gentile world power.
This is seen in typology beginning as early as the Flood during Noah’s day in Genesis chapters six through nine, or the destruction of Nimrod’s Babylonian kingdom in Genesis chapter eleven, or the battle of the kings during Abraham and Melchizedek’s day in Genesis chapter fourteen. That seen in later Scripture in Psalms chapters two and eighty-three would be two other accounts, presented in a different manner; and that seen in Isaiah chapter fourteen would be another. Then there’s the Book of Daniel, which presents different facets of the matter throughout,continuing through the minor Prophets.
An almost endless list of other similar references could be cited, and many are dealt with in earlier parts of this book.
The Old Testament, in this respect, is a treasure trove of information revealing the mind of One with infinite wisdom and knowledge — the One Who created and exercises sovereign control over all things — as He makes known His plans and purposes regarding man, the earth, and ultimately the universe.
It has all lain in the bosom of the Old Testament for millenniums, and all who have mined its treasures throughout this time have taken nothing away.
All is still exactly where Moses and the Prophets left it after penning this Word, and all is still exactly where any and all who have mined its treasures have left this Word as well.