As we complete our year of reading and blogging on the New Testament, I want to thank all of the readers and your faithfulness in following the sometimes ramblings of a “still learning” disciple. We finish Revelation this week, and that will be the topic of my blog. As a commercial – next year I will be blogging on the 16 prophetic books in the Old Testament in 2016 – “16 in 2016.” If you are interested – I will begin with the book of Daniel, so read five chapters during the week, and follow along if you desire.
Okay, now with the book of Revelation, of which there is no shortage of commentary or opinion – we finish with chapters 18-22. When we look at the difficult previous chapters [16-17] the Wrath of God is being poured out on the unrepentant left behind. The saints have been removed in chapter 14:14-16; the seals and the trumpets have been completed; last trumpet in 11:15; actually if you look at these to aforementioned passages, you find that they are describing the same thing. This also occurs in our passage this week. the chapters of 12-14 reflect the wrath of God poured out from a different perspective. It is from the Demonic or Satanic position. The Bowls are the wrath of God described from a mankind perspective. The struggle with many “prophets of today” is that they break their own rules of interpretation. If a parable is a parable for example, the entire pericope is a parable; we do not have liberty to change the literary rules of interpretation – having said that prophecy is prophecy, if it is symbolic, we cannot then change midstream and start ascribing literalness to the symbology. At the close of chapter 17; the Lamb of God is victorious. The armies of the world have been defeated by “his breath,” with the final victory on earth is complete, the scene shifts to heaven. in Chapter 19 – the wonderful scene in Heaven is the marriage of the Lamb [Jesus] to His Bride [the Church]; as indicated, blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast.
There is a saying “you can’t fix stupid” this applies to Satan – He even though defeated; will not quit. Word for Believers; Satan doesn’t die, he just strives for another day. But his tactics never change. The Beast and the False Prophet are judged and cast into the lake of fire. All is well right, no more evil right? I wish I could say yes; but chapter 20 reflects a different answer. Even though Satan is bound and chained, cast into the bottomless pit – and Jesus refining for 1000 years; we find that given the opportunity to deceive and lead astray from God; Satan will attempt to do so. Now we could ask the question, why the 1000 year wait? I really do not have the answer for that; all I know is when the 1000 years is up; Satan again tries to deceive the nations and is then cast into the lake of fire. The Wrath of God is poured out on ALL ungodliness; that means heavenly and earthly. While the earth had been judged, Satan had to be finally once and for all eliminated.
As a side note; many may ask am I Pre-, Post- or A- millennial? In other words does Jesus come back before the 1000 year reign, afterwards, or do we just progress into a Utopian realm? My answer is this – I do not agree with making a long drawn out doctrine based on one verse [20:7]; at what point did we switch from prophetic to literal in this chapter? Scripture says that Jesus will reign – what does that mean; I don’t know, nor does anyone else. Somethings of the bible are left a mystery. The point is did Jesus reign? Yes indeed, the adversary Satan is eliminated! I get the same question from people about whether I am pre, mid, post tribulation in reference to the Rapture. As I previous took the position that we will/are going through tribulation times now; the seals and trumpets ate that tribulation – when the 7th and last trumpet sounds; the saints are carried home! Only in American Christianity are we so enamored with Jesus coming a 2nd time – the rest of the World is still discovering He came a 1st time!
Chapter 20:11-15; the day in court for all. Books are opened up, the deeds of all people, then the Lambs Book Of Life is Opened up. We are judged out of the books our deeds, this in reality will condemn all of us, but we [believers] have an Advocate, a defense – Jesus pleads our case with evidence that He, Himself provides. The Father declares that we are not guilty; our faith and trust in Christ as the Savior, we depend on His works not our own! Now even though we are children, we still will have accountability for how we lived in faith [sanctification], which is the basis of our rewards. “Death and Hades” give up the dead. The 2nd resurrection, imagine what that would be like to be given a glimpse of Heaven, knowing you are not staying. God is so just and righteous, He gives every soul their day in court. Hades, [Luke 16:19-31] has two sides, at the resurrection of Jesus, the Abraham side was emptied. [Ephesians 4:7-8] Hades, the Rich man side still is torment and suffering, but nothing to be compared to Hell [Gehenna].
In the last two chapters we are given a “restoration” view. All is New, the old has passed away [2 Cor 5:17]. New Heaven and Earth. Order has been restored, man is now one with his Creator. The Garden is in view again, the Tree of Life is available to all to eat. Sin and Satan have been eradicated!
But the is a warning, no not the adding or subtracting of the prophecy; I am Coming Soon! We do not know when, but we do know He will. Who will He find being faithful when He comes? I pray it is me and you!