John’s seventh and final vision is both amazing and beautiful, yet it is also amazingly controversial. From an apocalyptic point of view, it is the crowning jewel of Christian Theology, but from an eschatological point of view, it creates as much confusion in the present time as any other passage in Scripture. In fact, whole systematic theologies have been created around the first six verses, systematics that change one’s view of everything else in the New Testament, systematics that are boldly asserted and fiercely defended… and that simply don’t work.
In order to avoid as much of this confusion and divisiveness as possible, our study of this section will take a somewhat different tack than we have been following in the last several sections:
First, since Revelation 20-22 has a parallel passage in Ezekiel 37-48, we will look at it as a parallel. You might remember that we saw e “Second Exodus” earlier in Revelation; what we have in 20-22 is a second deliverance from captivity.
To study the section accordingly, here is the plan:
First, we will focus on the individual elements of John’s vision, focusing primarily on chapter 20. Here as you will see, there are five elements drawn from the Old Testament, and they are the binding of Satan, the resurrection, the Millennial reign of Christ, the judgment of Gog and Magog, and the New Jerusalem.
Second, we will compare John’s vision to that of Ezekiel and draw conclusions about John’s intended meaning.
Finally, we will examine more closely John’s climactic vision of the New Jerusalem in 21-22.
The adventure begins when we get together next time, see you there!