POST OVERVIEW. Exploring the implications of the two doctrinal truth we discovered in Post #626 (2/22/2023). Doctrinal Truth 1: The Resurrection of the saints occurs on the last day. Doctrinal Truth 2: The coming of the Lord Jesus occurs on the last day. This post will explore the implications for Revelation.
In a recent post (#626, 2/22/2023), our exegesis of verses from John 6 along with careful study of 1 Thess. 4:15-17 (and other verses) had revealed two significant doctrinal truths. First, the Resurrection of the saints occurs on the last day and second, the coming of the Lord Jesus also occurs on the last day. These two truths have profound implications for our understanding of many of the eschatological passages in the Bible, because now when we see a passage involving the coming of the Lord, we know that this occurs on the last day. Likewise for passages displaying the resurrection of the saints, we know that these events are occurring on the last day. This post will examine passages from the book of Revelation in light of these “last day” truths and will demonstrate how being able to identify when these events occur helps us better interpret Revelation.
THE REVELATION PASSAGES CONSIDERED
REVELATION 20:1-7 AND THE THOUSAND YEARS. The first passage we will consider is Revelation 20:1-7 and the matter of the thousand years. Our OBJECTIVE in this mini-study of these verses is to determine when the thousand years occurs or at least when the thousand years definitely does not occur in light of one or both of these two doctrinal truths.
By way of background, there are many believers who hold to a view of the end of the age which places the thousand years of Revelation 20 after the coming of Christ. But we have discovered the doctrinal truth that the coming of Jesus is on the last day. Therefore, it is impossible for the thousand years to occur after the coming of Jesus.
This leads to the following conclusion:
Any view of the end times that sees the thousand years of Revelation 20 as occurring after the coming (παρουσία) of Christ is incorrect, because that view is in conflict with an established doctrinal truth.
REVELATION 6:12-17. This is the great day of the wrath of the Lamb, which, of course, is a picture of the coming of Jesus on the last day. So, this occurs on the last day.
REVELATION 11:11-13. In a scene reminiscent of Ezekiel 37, we see the saints rising to their feet and ascending heavenward. This is a figurative picture of the Resurrection, which occurs on the last day.
REVELATION 14:19-20. Although this text does not explicitly mention the coming of Jesus, we know from Rev. 19:15 that, in His coming, Jesus is the One who “treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty,” and here in Rev. 14 we see the same “great wine press of the wrath of God” (14:19). It is certain that these two texts (Rev. 14:19 and Rev. 19:15) describe the same event and that, although not mentioned in Rev. 14:19, Jesus is the one who produces the blood from the wine press. This event occurs on the last day.
REVELATION 19:11-21. The Rider on the white horse! This is the climactic scene in the book of Revelation as Jesus comes to strike down the nations that oppose Him and to throw the beast and the false prophet (and Satan, 20:10) into the lake of fire. Again, the last day.
SUMMARY OF REVELATION PASSAGES – TWO FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES
Before we leave Revelation to see other last-day passages in the Scriptures, we should consider the significance of what we have discovered. Answering the “when does this occur?” question is one of the most challenging features of a study of Revelation, but by establishing doctrinal truths and then interpreting the text on the basis of those truths, we have been able to answer the “when” question for some very important passages and thus to develop two foundational principles for interpreting Revelation.
- The period of time called THE THOUSAND YEARS in Revelation 20 does not occur AFTER the coming of the Lord (as proven above). and
- Because events of the last day appear in at least four different chapters throughout the book, we know that Revelation is not to be interpreted in chronological order. Instead of reading these visions as sequentially arranged, the student must examine the content and the context of each vision to determine when it occurs and where it fits with the other visions.
In the next post, we will continue to explore the implications of these two “last-day” doctrinal truths in other eschatological passages of Scripture.
Soli Deo gloria rmb 2/24/2023 #627