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XXIII The Return of Jesus Christ in Revelation

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Revelation's depiction of the return of the Savior occupies parts of chapters 19 and 20. My interest in that depiction centers on understanding why it's so brief and, frankly, so devoid of color and …

Revelation's depiction of the return of the Savior occupies parts of chapters 19 and 20. My interest in that depiction centers on understanding why it's so brief and, frankly, so devoid of color and detail. My conclusion: John's Revelation serves as a training manual, not a highlight reel of victory parades, as wonderful as they will be. First, we have to endure and overcome . . .

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    • 1. XXV: THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST THE LION THIS TIME f tion o c Produ OG A the sk op orksh W Revelation 19+20: Promises Kept http://www.visualbiblealive.com/stock_image.php?id=47365
    • 2. As we work our way backwards in the book of Revelation, we come to John’s presentation of the actual return of the Savior. Chapters 19 and 20 continue to maintain the end of the book’s story order presentation of events.
    • 3. I’m just filler . . . you know, ‘No hyperlinks for you till Slide 4!” Did I mention I’m sitting atop handmade sheets?? Grammy-builts. Class-A!
    • 4. Basic Information LICENSING: I grant a Creative Commons license made of the following elements: You may freely share and adapt this work provided you give me credit–(website info fine!), your efforts have no commercial application and you share extracted/ redacted work with others. God bless and have fun! IMAGES: By Subscription: http:// www.instonebrewer.com/bpg2009/ frames.htm?members/member_page.php VISIT: skOG Workshop Headquarters at www.lennyhoy.com for other items of interest. Slide Array Table of Contents TITLE PICTURE: http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/File:Second_Temple.jpg SIR ROBERT ANDERSON : http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ File:SirRobertAnderson.jpg By Permission: Creative Commons Licensing as noted (see TITLE PICTURE at right for instance) EMAIL: leonard.hoy@gmail.com
    • 5. WE NOW WORK INTO THE NEXT SECTION, A 3-PART NARRATIVE UNIT Introduction Letters to the Seven Churches The Story of the Tribulation Doom of Babylon Christ’s Return The Millennium Great White Throne Judgment The Eternal City Final Message
    • 6. SOME OPENING THOUGHTS Part One:We All Wait For The Return
    • 7. A LONG-AGO PROMISE And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” Acts 1: 10+11
    • 8. A LONG INTERVAL “This gospel of the kin gdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matt 24:14 “But the one wh o end, he will be s endures to the aved.” Matt 24 :13 ver is coming? For e e of H ere is the promis “Wh continues just as p, all fathers fell aslee since the ning of creation.” egin it was from the b II Peter 3:4 and ly , ho m Lord n fro The Lo O rd is no ng, refrai lo our n g ts count s “How will You vengin well o lownes low about H i s p ro m s, b u t i II Pete rue, g and a e who d t s patie r 3:9 nt towa ise, as some dgin n thos v 6:10 rd y o u ju ... od o h?” Re blo art e the
    • 9. AN ENDURING HOPE ope an h essed our bl or the glory of f ooking g of the ...l Christ arin e r, he app d and Savio t o great G . . Titus 2:13 . Jesus d 13. But w e do not w ant you to brethren, be uninfo about tho rmed, se w h o a r will not gr e asleep, ieve as do so that yo the rest w 14. For if u h o h a ve n we believ o e that Jes again, eve us died an hope. n d rose have falle so God will bring w n asleep i ith Him th n Jesus ose who I Thessalo nians 4:13 +14 12. Be lo fiery o ved, do not rdeal a b mong e surprised upon y you, w a ou for hich co t the your te so me ings ot m strang e thing sting, as tho es of th gs n you; 1 ugh 3. but were h nce thin to the appen the su sura n of degree ing to ffering e as victio s of Ch that yo rejoicin is th con ris u shar g e w faith , the His glo , so that als t, keep on o at th ry you No ed for 11:1 e reve 1 Pete may re lation r 4:12joice w hop . Heb of 13 ith exu n ltation see .
    • 10. Caution: Speculation Alert: In my opinion, even Jesus waits with gathering emotional intensity for The Day, His Day . . . 32. “Now learn the pa rable from the fig tree: when its branch has a lready become tender and puts forth its leave s, you know that summer is near; 33. s o, you too, when 36. “Bu t of that you see all these thing day and s, recognize that one kn ows, no h He is near, right at the t even t our no door. h e a ve n he ange , nor the Matthew 24:32+33 ls of Son, bu Father alone. t the Matthew 24:36 . . . whose exact date may well remain known only to the Father!
    • 11. Support for Speculation: The Father tells the waiting Son, “The hour to reap has come!” 14. Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. 15. And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle and reap, for the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16. Then He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth, and the earth was reaped. Revelation 14:14-16
    • 12. PROMISES KEPT CHAPTER 19: THE RETURN OF THE KING
    • 13. PROMISES KEPT CHAPTER 19: THE RETURN OF THE KING 1. After these things I heard somet hing like a loud voice of a great m ultitude in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Sa lvation and glory and power belo ng to our God; 2. because His judgments ar e true and righteous; for He has ju dged the Great Harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, an d He has avenged the blood of His bond-ser vants on her.” 3. And a second tim e they said, “Hallelujah! her smoke rise s up forever and ever.” 4. And the twentyfour elders and the four living crea tures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 5. And a voice came from the thro ne, saying, “Give praise to our God , all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.” 6. Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the soun d of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord ou r God, the Almighty, reigns.
    • 14. PROMISES KEPT CHAPTER 19: THE RETURN OF THE KING Hmmm. . . . before we can get to Chapter 19’s triumphant declaration of Christ’s reign, readers celebrate God’s victory over a female entity called ‘The Great Harlot’. I hope this prelude raises your curiosity with regards to this figure. We’ll spend considerable time on her in the next section, Revelation 14-19. Indeed, we must, for the Bible devotes considerable space and text to her activities. Shouts celebrating God’s triumph over her shall ring in our ears as we descend with a returning Christ to reclaim the planet.
    • 15. PROMISES KEPT CHAPTER 19: THE RETURN OF THE KING
    • 16. PROMISES KEPT CHAPTER 19: THE RETURN OF THE KING 7. “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made Herself ready.” 8. It was given to Her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the Saints. 9. Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’”
    • 17. ELEMENTS IN REVELATION 14-19 CHAPTER 19: THE RETURN OF THE KING A couple of things to note about this. 1. See how late in the narrative we encounter the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. As a POST Tribulationist, I’m hardly surprised :) 2. The Bride “has made Herself ready”. She is allowed to “clothe Herself in white” as a tribute to Her righteousness. Hmmm . . . . Odd phrasing, that . . . As a POST Tribulationist, I look at what the Tribulation Saints have endured, have overcome and I see this phrasing as a tribute to their faithfulness in the spiritual battle of the ages. “Made Herself ready”, indeed! Revelation 12:11 lauds these Saints, “And they (the Saints) overcame him (Satan) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” 3. Who are those who are invited to the ceremony? Every candidate I entertain as a possibility seems not to fit. Sorry. Another question I can’t answer. Got tons of’em.
    • 18. PROMISES KEPT CHAPTER 19: THE RETURN OF THE KING who sat He rse, and o s nd wage a white h a ld, e judges nd beho H a ; ousness opened, diadems hte en ig ny av , and in r I saw he d are ma ue ea 11. And Himself. ul and Tr on His h d pt thf f fire, an ws exce alled Fai o no e on it is c e a flame no one k alled Th c ar h name is Him whic His eyes n His war. 12. written o od, and o e ped in bl as a nam dip and He h d h a robe white an thed wit , cl o fine linen 3. He is a in 1 . , clothed th comes en od ou le m His m ord of G e in heav W hich ar He will ru . 15. Fro d sw es tions, an he armie hite hors t na 14. And wrath of Him on w own the d rce ing ay strike re follow of the fie m e clean, w ine press with it He at ew s a name th th ha e treads word, so high He H st sharp s iron; and nd on Hi a of H i s ro b e ” th a rod And on them wi LORDS. 6. F mighty. 1 LORD O Al GS, AND God, the IN NG OF K I ritten, “K w
    • 19. ELEMENTS IN REVELATION 14-19 CHAPTER 19: THE RETURN OF THE KING A couple of things to note about this passage. It is short. Very short. Six verses. Powerful imagery, to be sure, but comprised of only six verses. By contrast, God allots two chapters and numerous allusions to the Harlot and her operation, characteristics, doom and etc. Only six verses to the return of Jesus Christ. WUWT? A. Perhaps the rule of thumb is this: We get prophetic coverage about things we need to face as challenges while still on earth. We have work to do down here and need to know the terrain and the adversary. B. Even what the Bible does tell us of heaven seems designed to guide us while still on earth to faithfulness, righteous action and sound attitude, not diminish the importance of our calling here on earth or undercut our determination to live out that calling to the fullest. C. And besides, how on earth are any mere words going to depict something as awesome as the Return of Jesus Christ?
    • 20. oticing a pattern . . . . N Check out these depictions of Christ’s return: 1. Daniel 7:13-14 A formal scene in which God the Father presents His Son with dominion over the kingdoms of the earth. 2. Matthew 24:29 Christ depicts His own return as involving ‘clouds’ and ‘power’ and ‘glory’ and trumpets and a gathering together of the faithful from the far ends of heaven to the far ends of earth. 3. I Corinthians 15:50 Paul describes the return only to assure us that the return involves a resurrection of the dead. 4. I Thessalonians 4:13 Paul describes the return to clear up the sequence of the resurrection and the rapture of the saints. 5. Revelation 19:11-16 The actual return depicted with Christ as the center of attention. A word picture in six short verses!! The Bible methodically uses sparse imagery to describe Christ’s return.
    • 21. Most statements of Christ’s return seem to have the purpose of establishing certain facts, not providing us with lurid and graphic pictures. That Ch rist doe s, return ( Acts 1:1 in fact, 0+11) ints rist returns with the Sa That Ch or 24:29, Mark 13:27, I C (Matthew ) Thess 4:13, Rev 19:14 15:50, I uthority a es with e the m hrist co to receiv ) That C Father :13+14 7 m His Daniel ( fro at last. m kingdo That Christ returns with purpose and intent to: 1. Restore Israel (Zech 12-14, Daniel 12) That Christ returns with relief 2. Avenge the Church (II Thess 1, Rev14-20) from a time of great desperation (Zechariah 14:1, Matthew 24:29, 3. Judge the earth (Isaiah 24) Rev 19:11, Isaiah 24:20, Daniel 4. Slay the AntiChrist (Daniel 11+12, Rev 19) 12:1) 5. Establish His kingdom on earth (Dan 12, Rev 19+20, Zechariah 12-14)
    • 22. It seems to me that God gives us information about His Son’s return on a “NEED TO KNOW” basis,of Christ’s return basis. Most statements not a “WANT TO KNOW” Tha t Christ 1. seem to have the purpose of Both faithful Jews and Tribulation Saints need to know thatturn for a in fa of re they’re indoes, timect, (Acts 1: great distress and certain they reach the establishingtesting beforefacts, not end of their challenge. 10+11) 2. providing us with lurid craftedgraphic need to know certain kinds Descriptions of Christ’s return seem and to meet our of information. pictures. A. Yes, believer, Christ WILL return! He will return! hrist returns with the Saints That C B. Yes, you will face extremities of despair and doubt w 24:29, Mark 13that time! unknown before :27, I Cor (Matthe C. Christ will return just uthorityou think all is 15:50, I Thess 4:13, Rev 19:14) when y lost. a es with e tauthority from His Father to defeat the forces of Hell D. Christist com with final he returns hr at C fix this er to receiv 13+14) Thand Fath planet. His niel 7: a f m E.roBeliever,t God. has not forgotten you. You will be remembered and avenged, last (D a That Christ returns with purpose and intent to: ngdom restored, resurrected, raptured, rewarded and returned. This world ki rescued, 1. Restore Israel (Zech 12-14, Daniel 12) will be rebuilt in righteousness by a King who remembers your name. 2. Avenge the Ch (II Thess 1, Rev14-20 ThaF. Oh, Believer, yourelief endure. You will endure urch you will overcome and) you t Christ returns with can and 3. Judge the earth (Isaiah 24) from a time celebrate your victory on a Sea of Glass singing your heart out in will of great desperation 4. Slay the AntiChrist (Da l 11+12, Rev 19) (Zechariah 14:1, Matthewsatisfaction with all God has worked nieyou and through you gratitude, joy and 24:29, in 5. Establish His kingdom on earth (Dan 12, Rev 19:in the very-most worst of times. 11, Isaiah 24:20, Daniel Rev 19+20, Zechariah 12-14) 12:1) G. His victory is ours. God Himself thrills to your faithfulness, your endurance and your love. He who knows the secret of every heart knows what you’ve done in His name and with His power and His gifts.
    • 23. We leave the brief sketch of Christ to reflect on His purpose: Victory over Hell’s pawns–the Beast, the False Prophet and the nations which have allied themselves to them. 17. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, as semble for the great supper of God, 18. so that yo u may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of com manders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the fles h of all men, both free men and slaves, and sm all and great.” 19. And I saw the beast and the ki ngs of the earth and their armies assembled to m ake war against Him who sat on the horse and ag ainst His army. 20. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived th ose who had received the mark of the beast an d those who worshiped his image; these two w ere thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns w ith brimstone. 21.And the rest were killed with th e sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.
    • 24. PROMISES KEPT CHAPTER 20: INTO THE MILLENNIUM
    • 25. WE NOW WORK FURTHER INTO THIS 3-PART NARRATIVE UNIT Introduction Letters to the Seven Churches The Story of the Tribulation Doom of Babylon Christ’s Return The Millennium Great White Throne Judgment The Eternal City Final Message
    • 26. PROMISES KEPT CHAPTER 20: INTO THE MILLENNIUM Satan Bound for 1000 Years A perio d witho interfer ut Satanic ence!!! 1. Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3. and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.
    • 27. PROMISES KEPT CHAPTER 20: INTO THE MILLENNIUM 4. Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. 6. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years. Let’s see . . . Satan bound for 1000 years; we rule and reign for 1000 years; the second resurrection takes place after the 1000 years . . . And as a POST-Tribulationist, may I point out that this late moment hosts the FIRST resurrection??? Just saying . . I think God plans for 1000 years of ruling and reigning on earth . . . literally!
    • 28. PROMISES KEPT CHAPTER 20: INTO THE MILLENNIUM Satan Unchained 7.When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8.and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9.And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10.And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Again with the 1000 years! I think this is a REAL chunk of time And, why one might well ask? A thousand years-worth of generations have lived under Christ’s benevolent rule. They were FORCED to act righteously and (oh, horrors!) endure the benefits that follow righteous living. Now, here at the end, Satan tests them as he tested Job in the OT. Do they really love Christ’s rule? Satan gathers an army of those that do not!
    • 29. PROMISES KEPT CHAPTER 20: INTO THE MILLENNIUM Satan Unchained 7.When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, 8.and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore. 9.And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10.And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Oh, and notice the word “ALSO”. The use of ‘ALSO” asks the reader to cast reflectively back in the narrative to remember that, for 1000 years, the AntiChrist and the False Prophet have been waiting in Hell for Satan’s final arrival. This word “ALSO” justifies our treating Chapter 20 as a continuous narrative, laid out in story-order. The word’s inclusion here all but forces us recognize the literal reality of the 1000 year rule of Christ on earth. The Millennium, so called, is REAL!
    • 30. WE NOW WORK TO THE THIRD ELEMENT OF THIS 3-PART NARRATIVE UNIT Introduction Letters to the Seven Churches The Story of the Tribulation Doom of Babylon Christ’s Return The Millennium Great White Throne Judgment The Eternal City Final Message
    • 31. PROMISES KEPT CHAPTER 20: INTO THE MILLENNIUM The Great White Throne 11.Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15. . . . . This is our promised ‘second resurrection’. I have much to say about this event. See “ALL BOW DOWN” for starters, an earlier presentation in this series. Then go to “THE NATIONS”. It should not surprise you to discover I see this event a leetle differently than the average evangelical bear. One of two possible judgmental outcomes is clearly stated in the text: Hell. Is Hell the only outcome of these hearings? Let’s look at vs. 15.
    • 32. 15. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Rev 20:15 OK, we know what happens to a resurrected soul whose name is NOT found in the Book of Life, the text tells us directly! Can we fairly infer that a) some resurrected souls DO have their names in the Book of Life and the I think b) these are therefore admitted into heaven? so. Let me tell you w hy . (C l ic k now.)
    • 33. THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGMENT: MORE THAN A MERE SENTENCE HEARING I can logically infer some souls have their names in the Book of Life and do gain admittance to Heaven based on Rev 20:15. In support, I see people from the “nations” in the Eternal State; how else can they have gotten there if not via this route? Romans 2:12-16 provides the legal basis for their admittance. Christ bore their sins, too! and He it is who weighs their conscience against their ignorance of both Law and Grace.
    • 34. PROMISES KEPT Search the CHAPTER Table of Contents s In for Other Offering This Series 20: INTO THE MILLENNIUM Now, before we look at what led up to the return of our Savior, I feel the need to nail down the relationship between two distinct periods: Chapter 20’s Millennium, so called, and the Eternal State of Chapters 21 and 22. You may want to investigate this relationship OR you may want to continue backwards in Revelation and see what led up to Christ’s return. Next: XXVI The Millennium and Eternity OR: XXVII On The Edge of The End