Summary: Sometimes it can seem like the bad guys are winning and standing on the side of goodness seems pointless. But God has promised that, when the time is just right, He will bring about the fulfillment of all things, including the banishment of evil. Therefore, we have hope, and our life story finds fulfillment in God’s grand story of the renewal and restoration of all things.
An Outline of Revelation by Louis Brighton
- Introduction (1:1 – 3:22)
- The Prophetic Message (4:1 – 22:5)
- The Inaugural Vision of Heaven (4:1 – 5:14)
- The Prophecy (6:1 – 16:21)
- a. First Sevenfold Vision of History from the Cross to the End (The Seven-Sealed Scroll) (6:1 – 8:5)
- Second Sevenfold Vision of History from the Cross to the End (The Seven Trumpet-Angels) (8:6 – 11:19)
- Interregnum: The Cosmic War between Christ and Satan, between God’s Saints and the Forces of Evil (12:1 – 14:20)
- Third Sevenfold Vision of History from the Cross to the End (The Seven Censer-Angels) (15:1 – 16:21)
- The Conclusion: The End and the New Heaven and New Earth (17:1 – 22:5)
- Epilogue (22:6-21)
Background: Much of the Book of Revelation is written in symbolic language. The tricky part is trying to figure out what those symbols mean. To help us do that, we use the clear passages of the Bible to interpret those that are unclear. As we do that, we can see that there are wonderful messages of hope from God to us in this book of the Bible.
Key concepts in this passage:
- The Thousand Years: A thousand years is referred to six times in this passage but not elsewhere in the Bible. Here are 3 different views of what it means.
- Premillennialism: Jesus returns before (“pre”) the 1,000 year reign, establishes His kingdom on earth and rules for 1,000 years. There are 2 versions of Premillennialism depending on whether it is understood that Jesus comes back before the tribulation (“pre-trib”) or after (“post-trib”).
- Postmillennialism: The godly influence of the Church leads to a 1,000 year Golden Age of moral goodness. Jesus returns after (“post”) that 1,000 year period.
- Amillennialism: The 1,000 year reign is understood as a symbolic period of time that began with Jesus’ ascension and ends with His Second Coming and the Final Judgment. This Bible study is written with an amillennial perspective.
For a chart of the different perspectives about the Millennium, click here.
- The Binding of Satan: With an amillennial perspective, the understanding is that when Jesus suffered and died on the cross to pay the full cost of forgiveness for all people, He also defeated Satan and bound him in hell so that his power was restricted.
- The First Resurrection: Refers to the new life that Jesus creates within us when we believe in Him. (See 2 Corinthians 5:17)
- Reigning with Jesus: Refers to having Jesus as our King and sharing His royal influence of love and grace throughout all Creation
- The Defeat of Satan: Near the end of time, Satan is released from his bondage and allowed to gather his evil forces for a final assault on God, His Church, and all that is good, ushering in the final tribulation. Satan and all his evil forces are defeated and banished from this world forever.
Ice-breaker question: What are some things that you would describe as evil?
Read: Revelation 20:1-10
- In verse 2, Satan is referred to as a serpent. What previous time in Biblical history does that hearken back to? (See Genesis 3.)
- How much worse would things be if Satan was able to operate freely in this world?
- How is life after we start believing in Jesus like a resurrection?
- How does God’s promise that Satan and all his evil forces will be defeated and banished one day bring you comfort?
- What are some particular aspects of evil that you want to end soon?
- What do you think life will be like when there is no evil?
- Until that happens, how can we be influences for good in this world where evil is still a reality?
- What habits or practices can help us to guard against evil in our interior world?
This Bible Study focuses on the same passage as the sermon on Nov 10/19 from Walnut Grove Lutheran Church, Langley BC.