As we begin to wind down the book of Revelation, there are a number of threads we need to see masterfully woven together if this story is going to be complete and meaningful to the Christian. So far in revelation we have seen this cry of the saints to be vindicated, but God hasn’t vindicated them yet. We have seen evil destroying the world, persecuting the church and deceiving the nations, but not destroyed. In fact, every chapter further in the book it appears that evil is strengthening and the faithful are shrinking. And Christ has been pictured at the beginning of the book as victorious and exalted but in the intervening times, we may have wondered if this is really so – where is Christ, why hasn’t he done something yet.
Today, these three threads will be woven tightly into the story in a way that every believer can appreciate and rejoice. So lets begin today in the Church Age, or what revelation calls the 1000 years.
- The Church Age – 1000 years (Rev 20:1-6)
- Literary placement – Between 2 Final battles
i. one in Rev 19:11-21 where Beasts, living humanity are judged
ii. one in Rev 20:7-15 where Satan doomed and dead are judged
iii. Rev 20:1-6 is back up in the story again to our day and after it is the final judgment
- A mill because
i. Christ is enthroned now (Mt 28:18, Acts 2:36, Eph 1:20-22, Rev 1:5)
- Mt 28:18 – All authority given to me
- Acts 2:36 – God made Jesus both Lord and Christ
- Eph 1:20-22 – Christ is seated in heavenlies above all rule, power, authority
- Rev 1:5 – he is the ruler of kings of the earth
ii. Today you will be with me in paradise – every Christian ascends to heaven immediately at death (first resurrection – Rev 20:6)
iii. 1000, like all numbers in Rev is symbolic number, complete number
- Christ reigns until he hands the kingdom over to his Father
iv. Mk 3:27 Bind the Strongman
- Binding is a form of limiting.
- Satan is bound from totally deceiving the nations until the appointed time
- Hope for Gospel to touch people now.
v. 2The 2:1-11 Man of Lawlessness
- Is restrained v.6
- But mystery of lawlessness is at work v.7
- We live in the midst of partially fulfilled longing, so we continue to cry out for our final redemption, vindication, for the complete destruction of sin and its vestiges.
- Evil isn’t marching to victory – Judgment against 1, then 2, then all three! And unbelievers too!
- Unholy trinity – Dragon, beast (of sea), false prophet (harlot, beast of earth)
i. Rev 18 – Harlot is judged, destroyed
ii. Rev 19 – beast and false prophet are destroyed (worldly govt. and religions/cultures….)
iii. Rev 20 – dragon and all the people of the earth (govt/culture) destroyed
- This a literary devise John employing to assure us that complete, total destruction judgment is coming upon all that opposes God.
- Must be the same judgment because there is never a battle actually fought in Rev 18, 19, or 20, though the people in each are pictured as destroyed, then cropping back up again, only to be destroyed, then cropping up again only to be destroyed completely!
i. Rev 19:20 all idolaters thrown in lake of sulfur
ii. Rev 20:9 all idolaters consumed by fire from heaven
iii. Rev 20:14 idolaters thrown into lake of fire
- Saints vindicated riding behind Christ (rev 19:14)
- Evil destroyed
- Christ is here, present, alive and yet still coming
- Here is Christ Jesus
(Rev 1:13-14) “someone ‘like a son of man’ dressed in a robe reading down to his feet, golden sash around his chest. His head white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.”
- Mounted on a White horse
i. If mounted on donkey the King came in peace – Zech 9:9-10, Palm Sunday
ii. If mounted on horse the King comes in war –
- 1. Prov 21:31 “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.”
- Here we have the Lord on a horse, victory is assured
- Robe dipped in blood (v.13) = Guaranteed Victorious
i. Not metaphor to his blood, though it is powerful
ii. Is a metaphor to the blood of his enemies spilled even before he rides
iii. Armies following dressed in white/clean linen
- The faithful believer doesn’t have to worry about the work of war, Jesus does it. We simply come to the battle dressed in righteous acts (Rev. 19:8)
iv. He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty (v15d)
- 1. (Is. 63:2-3) Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? 3 “I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing.
- Spoken of Edom, God punished her. Why?
- Faithful and True (19:11)
i. Relied upon, Able to carry out all God’s plans – not my will but yours be done
ii. True representation of the Father, divinity to the world – anyone seen me, seen Father
- Eyes like Blazing Fire (19:12)
i. Penetrating, nothing hidden kept secret, dark will be revealed
ii. Passionate zeal for the Lord
- Head with many crowns (19:12)
i. Totally sovereign over every sphere imaginable
- Name (19:12)
i. Unknown name (v.12c) – Like YHWH from Moses
ii. Word of God (v.13b) – living and active, penetrating bone/marrow
iii. King of kings and Lord of lords (v.16b)
- Armed with Sword out of his mouth (19:15)
i. Words of God govern creation – man not live on bread alone, but every word comes from mouth of the Lord
ii. Words sustain
iii. Words bless – Abraham, David, Woman caught in Adultery…
iv. Words punish & Judge –
- With justice (lit. righteousness) he judges and makes war (v.11c)
- Righteousness – in accord all good, holy, pleasing….
- (2Th. 2:8) And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.
- treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty (v.15d)
Jesus is riding forth. He is coming to the rescue. He is bringing all things under his feet. Can’t forget this as we come to the end of the story.
- Living in the Victory
remembering who Jesus is. Just like the book of Revelation opens with a marvelous description of “someone ‘like a son of man’ dressed in a robe reading down to his feet, golden sash around his chest. His head white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire” (Rev 1:13-14). So also the story concludes its final chapters by reminding us of who Jesus is.