Revelation: a vision of a new world
Today’s passage is Revelation 19:11-21:8. This section contains seven visions of ultimate reality. It contains the concept of the millennium, which has been interpreted in numerous ways. So some believe in an actual millennium, a thousand year period in which Satan is bound and the saints rule on the earth, while others see this period as entirely symbolic.
Vision 1>the captain of the armies of heaven
This rider on the white horse immediately fills the scene with his divine presence. He is the Word. He is Faithful and True. He is King of kings and Lord of lords.
Vision 2>his victory is sure
God has made his preparations. There is no question about their outcome. Michael Wilcock, The Message of Revelation, page 185
Vision 3>his enemies are doomed
Vision 4>the Devil
If we look around us at the world today, it certainly seems that Satan is still alive and well on planet earth. Evil has not been bound. We can see it at work everywhere. And so it appears that this time of binding is still to come. Although as Wilcock points out, ever since Jesus came to the earth, this work of binding has begun and happens each time someone turns away from evil to God and each time and in each place that the Kingdom comes and God’s will is done.
There will at some point be a last outbreak of evil before Jesus comes in power to claim the whole earth and everything in it for his own.
Vision 5>the church
And so it follows that in this age, God’s people already reign as kings and priests. They have been set free from Satan’s power. They live as part of an alternative kingdom in which God’s will is done. They live life to the full with resurrection power.
Vision 6>the last judgement
This sixth section corresponds to the sixth section in every scene so far. This is where everything as we know it comes to an end.
The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Revelation 20:12-13
It’s the ultimate reckoning. No one can escape divine justice, although those whose names are written in the book of life have nothing to fear.
Vision 7>the new age
The seventh section looks beyond the end to what is to come. We find glimpses of eternity here. Here’s a vision of a new world, still recognisably a world but radically renewed.
This beautiful revelation hints at what we have to look forward to in the world to come.
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:1-5