Day 357 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue Revelation.
Revelation 19 – The redeemed have praised God for His work of saving them (chapters ; ; ; ). Now the redeemed join the inhabitants of heaven to celebrate the visitation of God’s justice through which the final deliverance has been brought about.
Marriage is ultimately about Jesus and the church (Ephesians 5). Now that the marriage of the Lamb has come, the people of God, figuratively called virgins in Revelation 14:4, are a pure bride clothed in fine linen, bright and pure. The fine linen symbolizes righteous deeds (7:9, 13–14). Such deeds in Revelation refer to faithfulness to “the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus” (1:2, 9; 6:9; 11:7; 12:11, 17; 14:12; 19:10; 20:4)—that is, the true gospel, and rejection of idolatry and sexual immorality.
At long last, Jesus comes to save His people through the judgment of their enemies. Unlike every antichrist or satanic beast, Jesus is Faithful and True.
Jesus is able to save because He knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), and He will reign in a way that is worthy of trust: in righteousness He judges and makes war. He will slay His enemies with the sword that comes from His mouth (the power of the word of gospel truth represented in 1:16; 2:12, 16; 19:15). Because the battle has not yet begun, the description in verse 13 that He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood seems to refer to His own blood from His death on the cross rather than to the image of Isaiah 63:3, where the divine warrior wears a robe spattered with the blood of his enemies. People will either be saved by the blood of Jesus through faith in Him or they will be judged and will pay for their sins with their own blood. One way or another, all sin will be punished.
John is encouraging persecuted Believers to keep the faith, to reject the world-pleasing idolatry that would end their persecution, and to keep the commands of God and avoid sexual immorality. He has shown them how Satan, the beast, and the false prophet have used the wicked world as a prostitute to sell what could be had for free in covenant with God (Revelation 13 and 17). Now John shows the beast and false prophet captured and thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur in 19:20. Strengthening Believers in the conviction that the deceivers will one day be judged is a powerful argument to be vigilant against deception and to adhere to the truth.
How does this encourage you to persevere?
Revelation 20 – The argument for vigilance against deception continues in verses , where Satan is seized and bound for a thousand years, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer (as he was doing in 12:9 and 13:14). During the thousand years in which Satan is bound, those slain while he was deceiving the nations ( ; , ) are raised from the dead to reign with Jesus ( ). These who truly believed the gospel which persevere them through the persecution (described in ; ; ) are now raised from the dead to receive their reward. The rewards received (chapters ) correspond to the promises made to those who conquer (chapters ), encouraging the churches to overcome and receive what has been promised.
After the final rebellion (verses 7–10), the dead are judged according to what they have done. This judgment is in keeping with the moral order of God’s universe, and is not in conflict with the gospel of grace. Indeed, the very same verse speaks of the book of life, which contains the names of those who are saved. God, then, who has written their names there, is ultimately responsible (rather than the Believer’s’ works) for their salvation. We are saved by grace through faith in “the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (1:2, 9).
Those who are saved have “overcome” sin by faith in Jesus (1 John 5:4–5). They have made white their heavenly robes by washing them in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:14), so that the crowns of the best of these are cast at the feet of Jesus, who alone is to receive glory (4:10–11). At the same time, those who have been truly saved have clearly demonstrated their salvation by grace through a faithful and transformed life, even through tribulation.
How does it encourage you to know that evil and Satan will not win?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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