Thursday, April 17, 2014

#40daybible Day 39 (Rev. 17-22)

And so we come to the final reading of our 40 day Bible experience, Revelation 17-22.

Some notes:
  • The woman in Revelation 17 is a different woman than the one in Revelation 12. The woman in Revelation 12 gives birth to the Messiah and may be true Israel. But this woman is "Babylon," a code name for Rome.
  • It's very hard not to conclude that the symbol of the beast is built off of the emperors of Rome. Surely the churches of Revelation would have thought of Rome when they heard of seven hills. And how easy it would be to think of Augustus, Tiberius, Claudius, Caligula, and Nero when Revelation mentions 5 kings who have fallen. There was a year with three emperors that probably doesn't count (69). Vespasian would then be the sixth king and Titus the seventh. The eighth would then be Domitian, traditionally the emperor when Revelation was written or at least finished.
  • Revelation 18 seems to look to the fall of Rome, in the first instance, perhaps a foreshadowing of some future foe?
  • Revelation 19 is once again the final battle between Christ and the forces of evil. Jesus wins.
  • Revelation 20 gives us the millennium, not an exact number I suspect. Christ will reign on earth. Revelation does not picture eternity in heaven but on a new earth.
  • But Satan will ultimately be judged, as will all the dead, cast into the lake of fire.
  • Then there is a new heaven and a new earth in Revelation 21. A new Jerusalem descends from heaven but there will be no temple in the new city.
  • Revelation 22 closes the apocalypse, the letter, and the prophecy. No one must add to or take away from the words of Revelation ("this book of prophecy").
Some words to end on:
  • Then he told me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this scroll, because the time is near. Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy." (Rev. 22:10-11)
Here endeth the reading.

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