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Wk12 revelation 20 and the question of the millennium
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Wk12 revelation 20 and the question of the millennium

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  • 1. Revelation 20 and the Question of the Millennium
  • 2.
    • There is a fourfold ending to the book of Revelation that reflects the structure of Ezekiel 37-48. (1) Resurrection of God’s people (Rev. 20:4a; Ezek 37:1-14), messianic kingdom (Rev. 20:4b-6; Ezek. 37:15-28), final battle against Gog and Magog (Rev. 20:7-10; Ezek. 38-39), and a final vision of the new temple and new Jerusalem (Rev. 21:1-22:5; Ezek. 40-48) (Beale, Revelation, 1012). John is structuring the end of his vision like that of the climax of OT prophecies.
  • 3. Review
    • Dispensational Premillennial : chs 1-3 deal with the church after which the saints are raptured (4:1) “come up here” refers to the church that is taken out of the world. “The middle section of the book deals with Israel on earth (4-19) during a seven year period of great tribulation that does not affect the church, because it is in heaven with Christ. At the battle of Armegddon in Ch 19, Christ brings with him the raptured Christians and establishes a Jewish millennium in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. The Christian saints rule with Christ during this thousand-year period. At the end of this time, Satan is released from his confinement for a final rebellion” (Elwell, Encountering the New Testament, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998, pp 380). Finally, he and his cohorts are judged and throne into the lake of fire.
  • 4.
    • Premillennial: The book relates to the life of the church. “The persecutions are to be experienced by the believers up to the time of the end, when they will be delivered from the power of antichrist by the return of Christ (ch 19). There will be a resurrection of believers at the time of Christ’s second coming, followed by a millennium, and then a final judgment of unbelievers at the ‘great white throne’ (20:11-15). After that a new heaven and a new earth are instituted, and the eternal day dawns.” (Elwell, Encountering the New Testament, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998, pp 380).
  • 5.
    • Postmillennialism: “…through the preaching of the Gospel the world will be gradually won to Christ. In this way the idea of the millennium is fulfilled. The age of the church is the millennium, where righteousness and justice throughout the earth…After the world has been made worthy of Christ, he returns in glory to the world he has saved—hence the name ‘postmillennialism,’ Christ returns after the millennium” (Elwell, Encountering the New Testament, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998, pp 380).
  • 6.
    • Amillennial : (Origen, Augustine, Luther, and Calvin) “It rejects the idea of a literal thousand year reign of Christ after his return at the end of the age…the millennium is fulfilled in a spiritual fashion in the ministry of the church during this present age…Revelation is understood to be a description of the life of the persecuted church that will end with Christ’s second coming, at which time there is a general resurrection of everyone, the saved and the lost alike. The last judgment takes place and a new heaven and a new earth are inaugurated as the home of the believers. The lost are cast into the lake of fire.” (Elwell, Encountering the New Testament, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998, pp 380).
  • 7. Questions that your view of Rev 20 must answer.
    • How do we interpret the visionary sequences of Revelation? Literal or figurative
    • Does chapter 19 precede chapter 20 in chronological order?
    • If chapter 19 does follow 20 in chronological order, then how do we explain the defeat of evil in Rev 19?
  • 8.
    • In other words what nations are left for the dragon to deceive?
    • In what way is the Devil bound?
    • How shall we understand the 1000yrs?
    • Who are the ones that sit on thrones?
    • In what sense do the saints come to life?
    • How do we understand the first resurrection and the second resurrection?
    • Who are the nations?
    • What relation does Rev 12 have to Rev 20?

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