Summary of Revelation Chapters 17-19

The End Times

In my last post, we explored Revelation 19:11-21 ~ The Rider on the White Horse ~ Part 3.  In this post, we continue our practice of summarizing the Four Views from the previous segment in our exploration of the Revelation of Yeshua to Yochanan and an introduction to the Millenial Rule of Yeshua.

Summary of Revelation Chapters 17-19 [1]

These chapters describe the conclusion of the careers of Yeshua’s earthly enemies, the Anti-Messiah and the False Prophet.

Historicist Approach:

Historicists see this segment as a protracted celebration of the future downfall of papal Rome.  Yeshua is seen riding forth in victory, making further conquests through His Word throughout the world.

Preterist Approach: 

On Preterist suppositions, Bavel maybe Rome, the imperial city, which was to be sacked and destroyed by its subject nations. Otherwise, Bavel represents apostate Jerusalem, sacked and burned by the Romans.  The choice between these options rests upon the decision whether the second half of Revelation has turned attention from the fall of Jerusalem to the fall of Rome. There is no consensus on this point.

Futurist Approach:

Futurists differ as to the identity of Bavel.  It may be the ancient Bavel in Iraq, or ancient Rome revived in the last days. It may represent the Roman Catholic Church or some world council of churches that have defected from Yeshua and persecuted His followers.  Regardless of the exact identification, these chapters exult in the corrupt system’s demise and foresee the victorious return of Yeshua from heaven in Chapter 19.

Idealist Approach:

The Idealist interpretation sees Bavel as the seductive world system, described in terms reminiscent of Rome, its chief expression of Yochanan’s day.  This system seeks both to seduce and to persecute the Kehilah but will succumb to the power of Yeshua either at His Second Coming or gradually through the progress of the Besorah.

Summary of Revelation Chapters 20 ~ The Millennium[2]

What is the meaning of the “1,000 Years”?   When do these events occur?

Our study of Revelation to this point has taken the form of comparison of the Four Views in interpreting the events prophesied in Chapters 4 through 19.  Those views were based on entirely different assumptions as to the time frame, geographical extent, and the duration of the judgments depicted as seals, trumpets, and bowls of wrath.

For many readers, however, the most interesting question to be resolved in the book of Revelation concerns the meaning of the final chapters, and particularly chapter 20.  Unfortunately, the Four Views cannot be applied to these final chapters.  The interpretation of these final chapters comprises what is arguably the chief controversy in eschatological studies, if not in all evangelical theology.  Consequently, we will switch gears and examine Three ViewsPremillennial, Amillennial and Postmillennial Approach.  A summary of those views is:

Premillennial Approach:

  • The binding of HaSatan is yet future. It will take place when Yeshua returns.
  • The 1,000 years are a literal period during which Yeshua will reign on earth from Jerusalem, with His people.
  • The loosing of HaSatan will bring the Millennium to its climax, followed by the resurrection and judgment of the wicked at the Great White Throne.
  • The new heavens and new earth will be created after the Millennium, i.e., 1,000 years after Yeshua’s Second Coming.

Amillennial Approach:

  • The binding of HaSatan represents the victory of Yeshua over the powers of darkness accomplished on the execution stake.
  • The 1,000 years is symbolic of an extended, indeterminate period, corresponding to the age of the Kehillah (now).
  • HaSatan will be loosed briefly to wreak havoc and to persecute the Kehilah at the end of the present age.
  • The fire coming from heaven and consuming the wicked is symbolic of Yeshua’s Second Coming.
  • The general resurrection and judgment of the evil and the good will occur at Yeshua’s Coming, followed by the creation of new heavens and a new earth.

Postmillennial Approach:

  • Some interpret the chapter essentially as do the Amillennialists, but with an added note of optimism about the success of the Besorah in the present age.
  • Others see the binding of HaSatan to represent a future point in time when the successful preaching of the Besorah will efficiently have reduced HaSatan’s influence to nothing.

In my next post, we’ll dig a little deeper into the Premillennial, Amillennial and Postmillennial Approach before actually delving into the content of Chapter 20.

Click here for PDF version.

[1] Material in this post is taken from “Revelation: Four Views, Revised & Updated” by Steve Gregg. Notations in brackets, if any, are my comments.

[2] Ibid.

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