Devotional Guide: Rev 19-22

Devotional Guide: Rev 19-22 June 2, 2023

Monday: Read Revelation 19:11-21; Psalm 96, 98

Today’s reading begins what I have called the “bridge section.” Rev 19:11-21:8 is a bridge between the accounts of the two women/cities: the Great Prostitute (17:1-19:10) and the Bride (21:9-22:9).

One of the keys to understanding the story of the book of Revelation is that the throne of God begins in heaven (4:1-3) but by the end of the story, the New Jerusalem comes down to the new creation (21:10). When it comes down, heaven and earth will be one again! This is when the Lord’s Prayer will be fulfilled:

“Your kingdom come.

Your will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven” (Matt 6:10).

Before the New Jerusalem descends to the earth, the Beast, the False Prophet, and the Dragon must face judgment. This is the role of 19:11-21:8.

In today’s reading, John describes Christ at His return (11-16) and then the judgment of the Beast and the False Prophet (17-21).

John begins his description of Christ’s return with “and behold a white horse and One sitting on it” (11). The description of Christ as the One who is sitting astride “a white horse” portrays Jesus as a divine warrior. We must, of course, recognize that Jesus is a warrior but not like the nations. He wages war in “righteousness” (11). Righteousness in the biblical text often means, as it does here, justness and fairness. Note that He is called, “Faithful and True” (11).

That Jesus does not wage war like the nations is also evident in that Jesus’ only weapon is the sword, which comes from His mouth (15).

Finally, “He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood” (13). The fact that His robe is “dipped in blood” before He has returned surely indicates that it is His own blood!

Today’s reading then closes with the description of the final judgment of the Beast and the False Prophet (17-21).

Questions to ponder/discuss:

  • Read Ps 96:1-13 and Ps 98:1-9. Why is the Psalmist rejoicing? (hint: note 96:13 and 98:9).
  • Why is the Psalmist so elated that the Lord is coming? (hint: note 98:9).
  • We must remember that most people in history have been on the losing side of empires. They are the ones upon whose backs empires have flourished. For them, the coming of Christ cannot come soon enough. After all, the coming of Christ is when their oppression will end.
  • Spend some time in prayer asking both for the Lord to come and for you to be ready for His coming.

Tuesday: Read Revelation 20:1-15; Matt 6:25-34

After describing the return of Jesus (19:11-16) and the judgment of the Beast and the False Prophet (19:17-21), John now presents the judgment of Satan.

The judgment of Satan, however, occurs in two stages. In the first stage, he is bound for “a thousand years” (2-3) only to be released (7) for a short time. In the second stage, Satan wages war against Christ and the people of God (8-9) only to be thrown into “the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also” (10).

In the middle of the description of the binding and the final judgment of Satan (4-6), John interjects a note regarding the fate of the souls under God’s altar who were crying out for justice in 6:9-11. We learned in the account of the destruction of Babylon the Prostitute (19:1-10) that the justice which was due them has come. Now we are told, “They came to life and they reigned with Christ” (4).

The passage ends with a description of the Great White Throne judgment (11-15). The context suggests that this is the judgment day for the unrepentant.

Questions to ponder/discuss:

  • There is little question that the meaning of the millennium (1,000 years) in 4-7 is among the most debated passages in Scripture. Instead of debating when the millennium happens and what it means, what if we simply reflected on the text and what its message is: namely, those who “overcome” will reign with Christ and “the second death has no power” over them? (6).
  • Reflect upon Jesus’ words in Matt 6:25-34 and Rev 20:4-6. What do these verses mean for you?

Wednesday: Read Revelation 21:1-8; Rom 8:19-23

In 21:1-8, John sees the New Jerusalem coming down (2), but then he hears that “the tabernacle of God is among men” (3). It is critical to recognize that John’s primary concern in his depiction of the New Jerusalem is not the splendor and gloriousness of the city for the sake of itself, but what it means for the people of God.

Perhaps the most significant feature of the New Jerusalem is that it represents the dwelling place of God among His people (3)! In fact, in 22:4 it says that we, “will see His face.”

In 21:1, John notes, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.” It is important to note that a “new heaven and a new earth” does not mean the destruction of the present heaven and earth. In Christian theology, it means the resurrection and restoration of it. Just as God raised Jesus, so He will raise us. And, according to Paul in Rom 8:19-23, He will also raise and restore the creation. This is why God says from the throne, “Behold, I am making all things new” (5).

That there is “no longer any sea” (1) indicates that all which is opposed to God and His creation is destroyed: remember, the sea is where the Beast comes from (13:1). That there is no more sea indicates that there is no more death or anything that opposes the work of God. What is destroyed, then, as 21:4 says, is “death” and all that accompanies it.

John then reiterates that all of this is what awaits the one “who overcomes” (7). Unfortunately, those who do not overcome will experience the “second death” (8). Barbara Rossing affirms, 21:8 is “meant as a wake-up call to exhort the audience to repentance and faithfulness.”[2]

Questions to ponder/discuss:

  • Too often Christians understand 21:1 in the sense that God is going to blow this creation up and make a new one. They then use this misunderstanding to justify a lack of concern for the creation and the world. But the Bible most certainly calls us to care for the creation. In fact, Rev 11:18 says that God will “destroy those who destroy the earth.” Creation care, which is often discarded by some as a secular, pantheistic concern, is very much in accord with Christian theology. Adam and Eve were made to care for the garden (Gen 2:15). And, as we will look at in tomorrow’s study, if the New Jerusalem is the restoration of the creation, then we should understand that it represents the fulfillment of God’s desire in Gen 1-2. How does understanding this impact your view of creation?

Thursday: Read Revelation 21:9-22:9

Today’s reading brings us to the climax of the biblical story. In 21:9-22:9 John details the new creation by describing a garden-like city/temple. For John, this new garden-like, city-temple comprises the entirety of the new creation.

It is important to recognize that the New Jerusalem is “the bride, the wife of the Lamb” (9). Of course, the Bride stands in stark contrast to the Great Prostitute (17:1-19:10).

John’s description of the city, which is not actually a city but a description of the glorious presence of God among His people, as if it were a city, begins with its key feature: “having the glory of God” (11).

That the city represents the place where the people of God dwell for eternity in the presence of God is evident by the abundant use of the number twelve in the description of the City. The city has twelve gates (12) and twelve foundation stones (14, 19-20). The city measures “12,000 stadia”[3] (16). And its’ wall measures to “144 cubits” (17).[4] And there are “twelve gates” (21), which are “twelve pearls” (21).

John also notes that the city has no temple, “for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (22). What John means, of course, is that there was not a building to house God, because God dwells throughout the entire city. The whole place is a temple. That this entire city is a temple is supported by the fact that it measures to a perfect cube just as the Holy Holies (16; see 2 Chron 3:8).

Questions to ponder/discuss:

  • The New Jerusalem most certainly represents the restoration of God’s presence among His people.
  • John’s description of the New Jerusalem alludes to the Garden of Eden. The city is, in fact, Eden restored. What features of the New Jerusalem are intended to remind us of the Garden of Eden?
  • The coming of the new creation at the return of Christ is most certainly the “blessed hope” (Tit 2:13) that is meant to encourage us to persevere. We must also recognize that the New Jerusalem has already begun. That the NT teaches that the New Jerusalem has already begun is evident in that we already have the Holy Spirit within us. This is why the NT affirms that we are the temple of God (1 Cor 6:19; 2 Cor 6:14-7:1; Eph 2:18-22.
  • If the New Jerusalem has already begun, then what does it mean for us today? Does it not mean that we should live in accord with the ways of the New Jerusalem and not the ways of the world? Does it not mean that we should strive for the justice that characterizes the New Jerusalem? Does it not mean that we should strive for the peace that will characterize the New Jerusalem? What are some other things that are true of the New Jerusalem that we might also strive for in the present (NB: striving for something does not mean that we will attain it in the present. At the same time, the fact that we might not attain it is not a sufficient reason for not striving towards it).

Friday: Read Revelation 22:10-21

John is encouraged “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near” (10). The nature of an apocalypse is the “unveil” not to hide.

That the time is near alludes to 1:3. It does not refer to a future time, but to the fact that what is depicted in the book of Revelation has already begun. Of course, the book of Revelation centers on Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. In 5:9, we were told that because He has already died and risen again, He is worthy “to take the book and to break its seals.”

John issues a final exhortation to “everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book” (22:18). First, he notes, “if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book” (22:18). Then he adds, “and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book” (22:19).

We must remember that this exhortation is written for the people of God. John’s concern is over the false prophets who will add or take away from the message of God. Essentially, the concern is with how we live. This means that we do not adopt teaching that denies the charge for the people of God to “Come out of her” (18:4)—take away from the words of the book. And that we do not accept any teaching that says we can compromise with Babylon—adding to the words of this book.

Questions to ponder/discuss:

  • The book of Revelation has seven promises of blessings. Read the seven promises of blessing (1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14).
  • The first and the sixth promises are for those who “keep” (22:7; 1:3) or obey the words of the book because they are “faithful and true” (1:3; 22:6). There is only one problem: those who obey the words of the book will encounter suffering and possibly even death. This leads to the second promise of blessing: “blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on” (14:13). This leads naturally to the third promise of blessing: “Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame” (16:15). The fourth promise of blessing reminds us that those who are “invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” are blessed (19:9). The fifth promise of blessing reminds us that we are “blessed and holy,” that we have “a part in the first resurrection,” and that we “will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years” (20:6). The sixth promise of blessing, which reiterates the first promise, brings the story full circle and again reminds us “blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this Book” (22:7). The seventh promise of blessing adds, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city” (14). After reading these promises of blessing again, what are your thoughts on the message of the book of Revelation?
  • The book closes with “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (21). Make that your prayer each day as you approach the next year!


As you enter the final week of the study, I want to say “Congratulations”! I pray that you have been edified by this study and that you will be a blessing to others. In fact, I would encourage you to do the study again next year and to get others to join you!

If you have just discovered this series, note that there is a devotional guide for every book in the NT on the website. Just search the “Archives” and then choose “Devotional guide.”


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[1] This guide is meant to be done either as a group study over the course of 2 or 4 meetings (Day 1-5; 6-10; 11-15; 16-20), or as a private devotion over the course of 4 weeks (or a calendar month—5 lessons per week).

[2] Rossing, Two Cities, 156.

[3] My translation. When looking at numbers in the book of Revelation it is important to note the number in the Greek and not its modern equivalent.

[4] Again my translation.


About Rob Dalrymple
Rob Dalrymple is married to his wife Toni and is the father of four fabulous children, and two grandchildren. He has been teaching and pastoring for over 33 years at colleges, seminaries, and the local church. He has a PhD in biblical interpretation. He is the author of four books (including Follow the Lamb: A Guide to Reading, Understanding, and Applying the Book of Revelation & Understanding the New Testament and the End Times: Why it Matters) as well as numerous articles and other publications. He is currently completing a commentary on the book of Revelation titled, “Revelation: a Love Story” (Cascade Books, pending 2024). You can read more about the author here.

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