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Revelation 17-22

12/22/2018 - 12/24/2018 - Revelation 17-22

A Devotional Journey 
    led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
 
                        Chapters 17 and 18 present the final fall of the great human empire arrayed against God.  Once again John’s revelation could come to an end and seemingly is about to, when in chapter 19, a rider on a white horse goes out for the final destruction of all who oppose God.  The rider is clearly Christ and the result of this foray is the capture and destruction of the beast and all who bear His mark (that is, those who have chosen Satan over Christ).
                        Chapter 20 brings a new vision, this some kind of summary of all that has and will happen.  The thousand years is so difficult to interpret that it has divided Christians into diverse camps:  particularly 1) those who believe the 1,000 years is to be taken literally (after all the symbolism of the book) and will occur before Christ can return for the final judgment and 2) those who believe the 1,000 years is figurative and reflects a general description of God’s work in salvation through Christ and up to the last days when Satan will be loosed for a short time (which could be 2,000 years or more!).  In the end, whatever the interpretation of the 1,000 years, God utterly destroys Satan and all who support him, and does so without any fighting (if one carefully reads 20:9.  Then the dead are judged and the Kingdom of God is revealed.
                        Chapters 21 and 22 describe the new Kingdom and era of God’s eternal rule.  The important points are:  1) there will be no more suffering, pain or tears for those who have been faithful in spite of persecution and suffering; 2) Christ’s return will occur soon (22:7) – a fact which argues against the literalism of those who see in the 1,000 years some kind of hiatus stopping Christ from carrying out the final judgment.
                        The ending of Revelation is as encouraging and joyful and the beginning promises it will be. 
 
                        Are you encouraged by reading Revelation?  One suggestion:  do not read all the speculative and human reworkings of the book of Revelation which pose as fiction, yet provide far more interpretation on reality and the final things of God than any human should feel free to assert.  Listen to the words of John on this point:
                        ‘I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book:  If anyone adds          
anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.  And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
                        The Bible is open to all of us and I commend you for reading it through this year.  May the encouragement, guidance and peace of God be yours as His Word is assimilated into your heart and life.  It is a great joy to have participated in this exercise. 

8 A. Eugene Pearson 2010