Mouth, Twenty Two Times Over

Audio Version

In the Book of Revelation, you can distinguish the godly from the ungodly by what comes out of their mouth, or goes into it. Do not take my word for it, though. Study it out for yourself.

Matters of the Mouth

But I will help you. You might do a book-wide word study. As you might expect, one key word you need to study is mouth. In Revelation, the word mouth appears twenty-two times. To save you a lot of time, I will list every instance now:

1:16 2:16 3:16 9:17 9:18 9:19 10:9 10:10 11:5 12:15 12:16 (twice)

13:2 (twice) 13:5 13:6 14:5 16:13 (three times) 19:15 19:21

Here is the word in Greek.

Now I will list in narrative order whose mouth is referenced, and what is said or done:

1. Christ – who has a two-edged sword coming from his mouth.

2. Christ – who will fight against the heretic Nicolaitans with the sword of his mouth, unless they repent.

3. Christ – who might vomit out the lukewarm messenger from the Church of Laodicea.

4. The Chimæra Cavalry – from the mouths of whom come fire, smoke, and sulfur (reminiscent of and probably referential to the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah – see Genesis 19:24-29).

5. The Chimæra Cavalry – who slay a third of humanity with the fire, smoke, and sulfur that comes from their mouths.

6. The Chimæra Cavalry – who have power in their mouth and in their serpent-like tails.

7. John, the Narrator – in whose mouth the small scroll will be as sweet as honey.

8. John, the Narrator – in whose mouth the small scroll was as sweet as honey.

9. The Two Martyr-Witnesses – from whose mouth comes fire, which devours their enemies.

10. The Dragon-Serpent Satan – who hurls water like a river from his mouth, in order to sweep away the woman, the mother of the male child Christ.

11. The Earth – which opens its mouth to swallow the river hurled from the mouth of the dragon.

12. The Dragon – whose mouth-hurled river of water is swallowed by the mouth of the Earth.

13. The Beast from the Sea – whose mouth was like a lion’s mouth.

14. The Beast from the Sea – who has a mouth like a lion.

15. The Beast from the Sea – who was given a mouth to utter arrogant words and blasphemies.

16. The Beast from the Sea – who opens his mouth in blasphemies against God, his name, and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven.

17. The 144,00 Soldier-Saints — in whose mouth no lie is found, for they are blameless.

18. The Dragon – from whose mouth three unclean frog-like spirits proceed.

19. The Beast – from whose mouth three unclean frog-like spirits proceed.

20. The False Prophet – from whose mouth three unclean frog-like spirits proceed.

21. Christ – from whose mouth extends a sharp sword, with which he strikes the nations.

22. Christ, the Rider on the White Horse – who slays the armies of the Beast and the Kings of the Earth with the sword from his mouth.

In Revelation the Dragon does not emit fire.

Here are some of my observations and interpretations:

Notice that a sharp double-edged sword comes from Jesus’ mouth. A reference to Isaiah 49:2 and Hebrews 4:12, the sharp double-edged sword is the Word of God, and is alternatively a surgical tool or a lethal weapon.

Fire comes from the mouths of the Chimæra Cavalry and from the mouth of the Two Martyr Witnesses. Fire most often symbolizes the Holy Spirit of God in Revelation. The fiery imagery probably references Deuteronomy 4:24 and Hebrews 12:29, both of which say that God is a Consuming Fire. Thus the Holy Spirit might well be the deadly, devouring fire that issues from both the Chimæra Cavalry and the Martyr Witnesses. If so, the Cavalry and the Witnesses could be one and the same entity, that is, the Church. That which issues from the mouth of the Church consumes or devours its enemies. This notion definitely does not work if taken literally: The Church does not and should not go around physically incinerating its opponents with fire. However, it does work if taken figuratively: When we are faithful witnesses, we do bring an ego-exterminating, life-transforming, Spirit-empowered message. Yes, we do. At least, we ought to.

The small scroll is the unique revelation contained in the Book of Revelation. This, in particular, is what John was given to internalize, to write, and to narrate. The small scroll reveals what the end of Daniel conceals, that is, important details about and instructions regarding the eschaton, the end of the age.

The dragon-serpent Satan does not breathe fire. On the contrary, he spews or, more literally, hurls water from his mouth. Is that because the dragon wants to extinguish transformative flame of the Spirit? Yes, I believe so. The dragon-serpent wants to quench the fire of the Spirit.

The Earth opens its mouth and swallows the river of water from the dragon-serpent. Historically, Satan’s attempts to silence and to kill the servants of God has often been frustrated by obedient, courageous acts of earthly concealment. Sometimes the scriptures have been buried or hidden away. Sometimes the messengers of God have hidden themselves in the wilderness or underground. Sometimes innocents have similarly been protected from would-be assailants.

The Beast from the Sea has a mouth like a lion. He utters arrogant boasts and blasphemies. This hubris means that the evil political autocrat of the hour will invariably resort to deception, coercion, violence, and destruction. Every generation has at least one such antichrist. An ultimate antichrist, known in Revelation as the Beast from the Abyss, will be someday be revealed. This antichrist will be particularly intent upon and adept at silencing the Church.

The 144,00 soldier-saints are shown to be blameless by what comes from their mouths. This is the Church at rest in heaven and in victory. These are the elect saints who have already completed their course. These are those who have overcome the Dragon by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and by loving not their lives, even unto death (see 12:11). These are the same victorious saints who will return to Earth someday with Christ.

The Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet comprise an end-times pseudo-trinity. In chorus and conjunction, the three will somehow emit three unclean frog-like spirits from their mouths. I have to admit that I do not understand exactly what this means, other than to say that this pseudo-trinity seems to deliver a particularly potent, deceptive final message or call.

And finally, we circle back to the conquering King of Kings, Jesus Christ, who ultimately overcomes and slays his enemies with the sharp sword from his mouth (19:20-21). The fact that Christ removes his enemies ought not surprise us. And given Christ’s actual and utter righteousness, that fact should not even bother us. It is as it ought to be. He is entirely good and deserving. Therefore, no one should stand in opposition against him. As the King of Kings, Christ must eventually rid his kingdom of all would-be rivals, and eliminate all his enemies. The only question is how a rebel meets his or her end. Will an individual rebel die in submission to Christ’s word or die in defiance to it? Will you voluntarily die to yourself in contrite surrender to the Word of God? Or will you go down asserting your own righteousness in defiance to Christ? The first sort of death, though it does indeed entail death to the ego, turns out to be not much of a death at all. The one who dies in voluntary submission to the Word of Christ does not suffer complete personal annihilation, but instead emerges a transformed person. Those who have yielded to Christ will testify that their submission to his authoritative word was well worth the temporary pangs of death. Alternatively, the second sort of death — the unyielding, defiant death — is a much deeper death, where no hope of escape is mentioned, and the certainty of exacting punishment is assured. In the end, no one will oppose Christ any longer. If Christ were in any way unrighteous or unworthy, that claim would be entirely disturbing and unnerving. But Christ is altogether good and righteous. He is wholly deserving of our allegiance and of our ready submission. Someday Christ will subdue and eliminate all his enemies. That is very good news.