TODAY’S READING: REVELATION 18-22
The fall of Babylon (chapter 18); the Second Coming of Christ (chapter 19); the Millennium (chapter 20); the New Heaven, New Earth and New Jerusalem (chapters 21-22).
HIGHLIGHTS & INSIGHTS:
Beginning in chapter 6, John has brought us four different times through the Tribulation Period which, of course, culminates with the Second Coming of Christ:
•1st account – The OPENING of 7 SEALS. (6:1-8:1) •2nd account – The SOUNDING of 7 TRUMPETS. (8:2-11:19) •3rd account – The REVEALING of 7 PERSONAGES. (12-14) •4th account – The POURING of 7 VIALS. (15-16)
It is a very important key to recognize that chapters 17 and 18 do not advance the events of the Book of Revelation beyond chapter 16. These two chapters actually provided the commentary and explanation of two key verses. Chapter 17 is the explanation of chapter 14 and verse 8 where John says, “And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Chapter 18 is the explanation of chapter 16 and verse 19 where John says, “And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” Understand it this way: Rev. 17 is a MYSTERY form of Babylon where she is a RELIGIOUS system. Rev. 18 is a LITERAL form of Babylon where she is a COMMERCIAL city (both a political and economic system).
Chapter 19 is the revelation of the greatest event in human history – the Second Coming of Christ, or “the Day of the Lord.”
1. IT IS THE EVENT TO WHICH ALL OF GOD’S WORD IS POINTING.
We have seen this from the very beginning of our 365 Days of Pursuit. The theme of the Bible is the Day of the Lord. We read about it in almost every single Book of the Old Testament, either specifically, or in picture form. It is “that day” when the Lord Jesus Christ finally receives the glory that is due His name!
2. IT IS THE EVENT OF WHICH ALL OF GOD’S PROPHETS HAVE BEEN PREACHING.
That’s not just my guess or opinion! That is specifically what the Bible says in Acts 3:20-21 –“And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of ALL HIS HOLY PROPHETS since the world began.” See what event Jude 14 says Enoch was preaching about thousands of years before the First Coming of Christ!
3. IT IS THE EVENT FOR WHICH ALL OF GOD’S PEOPLE ARE PRAYING.
In fact, Jesus said it is actually to be the first request of prayer: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10; Luke 11:2). It becomes the number one prayer of your heart when you recognize that it will be the first time since Adam sinned in the Garden that the Lord Jesus Christ will receive the glory He deserves, and in that day, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:9-11).
4. IT IS THE EVENT AT WHICH ALL OF GOD’S HOSTS WILL BE PRAISING.
That is what Rev. 19:1-7a describes. We will praise him because His SALVATION has been fully EXEMPLIFIED (19:1). We will praise Him because His JUSTICE has been fully EXECUTED (19:2-4). We will praise Him because His SOVEREIGNTY has been fully EXERCISED (19:5-6).
5. IT IS THE EVENT FOR WHICH ALL OF GOD’S CHURCH HAS BEEN PREPARING.
This is the day when our marriage to the Lord Jesus Christ will be consummated. We will be wearing then the wedding garment that we prepared through the ability our Bridegroom gave to us to live righteously (19:7-8).
John takes the remainder of chapter 19 (verses 11-21) to describe this “greatest event in human history.” By the time the chapter comes to a close, everyone gets exactly what they deserve. The Lord Jesus Christ finally gets the glory He deserves as King of kings and Lord of lords. The beast (Satan in a human body, the Antichrist), his false prophet, and all of his followers will get what they deserve as they are cast into the “lake of fire.” Everyone gets exactly what they deserve — everyone! With one exception, however: US! Because God is merciful, He won’t give to us what we deserve, because what we deserve is to be cast into the lake of fire with everyone else. Because God is gracious, He will give to us what we could never deserve: eternity with Him! Can somebody say, “AMEN!”?
Chapter 20 is awesome. It reveals the Lord Jesus Christ spanking the devil like a two-year old at K-Mart, exercising the power and authority that has always been His, as He sets up his millennial (1000 year) reign. This is “that day” (the “seventh day”) that the Father “blessed” and set apart for Himself (i.e. “the Lord’s day”) as a day of rest way back in Genesis 2:1-3, that II Peter 3:8 revealed would be a thousand year day that would come after 6000 years of toil, in which there would be no evening and morning (see the memory verse from Week #1). The remainder of chapter 20 describes the fierceness of the final judgment we commonly refer to as the Great White Throne Judgment. The description is nothing short of horrific, as will be the event itself.
Policitians in these last days have been talking about a “New World Order.” Revelation chapter 21 describes “God’s New World Order.” John reveals that there will be a New Heaven that will be inhabitated by the “Gentiles,” a New Earth that will be inhabited by the “Jews,” and a New Jerusalem that will be inhabited by “the church of God” (I Cor. 10:32).
Chapter 22 concludes with seven practical responses to the Book of Revelation, and to the conclusion of the revelation of God’s Book (the Bible!):
1. Trust the Truth of God you hold in your hand. (22:6, 18-19) 2. Live with the imminent return of the God of Truth in your thinking. (22:7a, 12a, 20a) 3. Do the Truth of God you know in your mind. (22:7b, 14-15) 4. Worship the God of Truth you have in your heart. (22:8-9, 13,16) 5. Share the Truth of God entrusted to your stewardship. (22:10-11,17) 6. Work in response to the Truth of God you have received. (22:12) 7. Walk in the grace of the God of Truth until He comes for you. (22:20b-21)
May we all say with John, “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus”! (22:20b)
I say with John, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (22-21)