- Rev. 19:6-22:21
Today we conclude our study of both the book of Revelation and the Bible. What a beautiful and fitting end to GOD’s story! (This history is, after all, HIS-story.) Today’s text begins with the continuation of the celebration by those in heaven because of GOD’s defeat of Babylon the Great, which I understand to be referring to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish system under the Law of Moses, as I have previously mentioned. First, there is the beautiful wedding supper between Jesus and His bride, the church. An angel commented, “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!“
Heaven opened and Jesus sat upon a white horse. This is what the Scripture says:
11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
(Rev. 19:11-16 NIV)
Then Jesus defeated those who made war with Him. An angel seized Satan and bound him with a chain and threw him into the abyss. The text says that Satan remains bound for 1,000 years, after which he would be temporarily released. I understand the 1,000 years here as not a literal measurement of time, but a means of saying, “For a really long time.” During this time Satan is bound, those who were killed for their allegiance to Jesus were resurrected and reigned with Jesus in heaven.
After the “1,000 years”, Satan would be released and will go out and deceive the nations for a short time and gather them together for battle. Their number will be like the sand of the seashore. John saw this multitude encircle the camp of GOD’s people, but fire came down from heaven and devoured the attackers. Then John saw Satan thrown into hell where he will be tormented for eternity.
Then, John saw a great white throne and GOD sat upon it. The dead were judged according to their deeds. Then Death and Hades (the realm of the dead) were thrown into hell. The lake of fire (hell) is the second death. Everyone whose name wasn’t written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Then John saw a vision of the new heaven and earth, which is described as the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from GOD as a bride for her Husband. Here’s what the text says:
1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
9 One of the seven angels…said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11 It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. … 14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
…16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be [about 1,400 miles] in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17 The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick. 18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. … 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.
22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. …On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. … 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
(Rev. 21:1-22:5 NIV)
To this glorious picture of paradise, Jesus adds His closing invitation and warning:
12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”
(Rev. 22:12-16 NIV)
Finally, John concludes with a warning to anyone who would add to or take away from the words of the book of Revelation. These are John’s—and the Holy Spirit’s—closing words:
20 He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.
(Rev. 22:20-21 NIV)