Revelation Chapter 16
The Prophet Micaiah
This coming concerted action is a reminder of the Micaiah account in 2 Chronicles 18. Micaiah was put in prison just like John the Baptist, another type. The direct tie-in between the experience of Micaiah and Revelation 16:13–16 is strikingly powerful but too complex to explain here in depth. The details will be more readily observed as they approach fulfillment in the not-too-distant future.
Simply stated, the Micaiah account records that the kings of Israel and Judah considered whether to join forces and enter battle against a common enemy, the king of Syria. Prior to battle the kings of Israel and Judah sought reassurance and counsel from four hundred false prophets of Jezebel, all of whom, under the leadership of Zedekiah the prophet, the son of Chenaanah, encouraged King Ahab to attack the Syrians at Ramoth-gilead. Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, then asked, “Is there not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we might inquire of him?” King Ahab responded that, yes, there was one more prophet, Micaiah, but complained that that prophet never had anything good to say about the king. Evidently, when inquiry was made of Micaiah, his attitude was one of humorous sarcasm and a cynical parroting of the very words the four hundred false prophets had used: “Go up to Ramoth-gilead, and prosper: for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king.” King Ahab realized Micaiah intended this reply to be known as false approval. In effect Micaiah was saying,
“Go ahead and take the advice of the others since you are so headstrong and determined to do your own will anyway.”
Micaiah followed up with the narration of two visions, the second of which was as follows: “Hear the word of the Lord; I saw the Lord sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. And the Lord said, who shall entice Ahab . . . that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one spoke . . .after this manner, and another . . . after that manner. Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will entice him. And the Lord said unto him, wherewith? And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, thou shalt entice him [Ahab], and . . . also prevail: go out, and do even so. Now therefore [Micaiah is speaking], behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of [all] these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil against thee.”
In spite of these remarks by the Lord’s true prophet, both kings went forth to the disastrous conflict.
The lying spirits in the mouths of the beast, the dragon, and the false prophet (Verse 13) will lead these systems to the battle of Armageddon, to the “battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Verse 14). Only the Micaiah class will stand in notable opposition.
In an effort to warp the judgment of these last ones, the religious and civil leaders will call attention to the wholesale consensus of opinion (the majority opinion) of those in sympathy with the ecumenical sophistry, and they will urge the faithful not to be dissenters. The attitude of Christians should always be as Micaiah’s: “What[ever] my God saith, that will I speak” (2 Chron. 18:13).
King Jehoshaphat’s being in league with King Ahab during the decision-making process furnishes the backdrop to another Old Testament prophecy that describes the setting for the future great battle as the “valley of Jehoshaphat”; all nations will be gathered to this figurative location, also described as the “valley of decision” (Joel 3:2,12,14). A decision is to be made: whether or not to go to battle. The decision will be in the affirmative, resulting in defeat.
The Authorized King James Version translates Verse 16, “And he [that is, God] gathered them together” to Armageddon, whereas the Sinaitic renders this passage,
“And they [that is, the three spirits] gathered them [the unholy triumvirate] together.”
Which is the correct view?
The Sinaitic version is preferable, although to some extent both thoughts are true if the Micaiah account is carefully analyzed.
In no sense did God actually speak through the medium of the false prophet, Zedekiah, in the deception to go forth to battle. From beginning to end the divinely inspired allegory narrated by the true prophet, Micaiah, was not in the least deceptive in itself, for the prophet clearly intended to continue speaking—to get the message straight—but in a manner familiar to those acquainted with the ways of the Orient.
It is quite possible, therefore, that prior to the fulfillment of Revelation Chapter 17, warning will be given of the dire results of going to battle, but regardless of admonition such a course will be pursued.”
We move on to the Seventh Plague in our next post.