Saturday, August 10, 2013

Revelation - Chapter 19

A Study of the Book of Revelation
Chapter 19

The first 10 verses of Revelation 19 are closely linked to the events of Revelation 18:20-24.  Note that Revelation 19:1 begins with the words, And after these things. After the destruction of Babylon the whole tenor of the book of Revelation becomes that of rejoicing, for the King is coming.

This chapter deals with the marriage supper of the Lamb and the second coming of Christ.
Marriage ceremonies of today and of the Bible days are entirely different.  In biblical times the important phase of a marriage was the negotiations that went on prior to the actual wedding.  The bride and groom may or may not have met each other.  The groom met with the bride’s father and together the deal was made for the upcoming wedding.  The parents of the bride would agree to pay a certain amount of money to the groom for him to take their daughter off their hands.  On the basis of this agreement the wedding date was set.

When the day arrived the groom would come to the bride’s home with the best transportation he could afford and as the mother of the bride would stand there weeping and the bride’s father would stand there looking on, the groom would take the bride away with him.  In that act, they were officially married.

They didn’t have wedding ceremonies like we have today.  The marriage feast was to celebrate the event of the marriage, and this was held at the home of the groom.  The groom’s friend’s gathered first, and the friends of the bride waited outside until the groom arrived at his home with his bride.  Once the bridegroom entered with his bride, then the bride’s friends all entered and they joined together in the wedding celebration.

The celebration lasted from 1 to 10 days, according to the wealth of the groom and the provision that had been made for the celebration and the feast.

These were the customs in biblical times.  The things we conclude from this are as follows - no ceremony, no ritual, no pronouncement of a preacher can really make a marriage go.  The thing that makes the real marriage is the volitional decision of the man and the woman to love each other and forsake their own homes in order to form a new home.

After the resurrection, during the seven year Tribulation, the bride selected and the marriage of the Lamb will take place. When Christ returns to the earth, the bride along with the church saints and all believers will be with Him.

The marriage of the Lamb takes place somewhere in the air during with time the seven year Tribulation is going on in the earth.

At the end of the Tribulation, the Lord returns to the earth with His bride to fight the Battle of Armageddon and set up His kingdom.  This kingdom is called the Millennium, the 1,000 year reign will be the great celebration feast for the marriage.

Christ and His Bride
A.    Jesus is referred to as the bridegroom (John 3:29)
B.     The church is His bride (Eph. 5:23-32)
C.    John the Baptist is the friend of the bridegroom (John 3:29)
D.    The church is espoused or betrothed to Christ (2 Cor. 11:2)
E.     Christ paid the price for the church, His bride (Acts 20:28; Eph 5:25)
F.     Christ has returned to His Father’s house and is there preparing a place for His bride (John 14:2)
G.    Christ will one day return for His bride and take her back to His Father’s house (John 14:3)
H.    Remembering the four groups of people who accompanied the wedding procession of the Hebrew marriage, let us not 1 Thess. 4:16.
a.      Torchbearer - He is the light of the world and carries the torch as He comes for His bride.
b.      Shouters
c.       Singers
d.      Musicians
I.       After receiving His bride, Christ will return with her to His Father’s heavenly home, and there the marriage and the marriage supper will take place (Rev. 19:7-9)
J.      Guests at the marriage and marriage supper of the Lamb will include:
a.      Israel.
b.      Old Testament saints.
c.       Church age saints who were not faithful in service.
K.    It is possible that the marriage feast will continue during the thousand years of Christ’s millennial reign.  If this is so, then the Tribulation saints will be included as guests.

1. ¶ And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 

The song of praise by the angels, the 24 elders, the 4 living creatures, and the multitudes of heaven includes praise for God’s righteousness in judging Anti-christ’s evil system of worship, as well as praise for avenging the blood of so many Tribulation believers martyred by Babylon.

“After these things” - after the seven vials of judgment had been poured out and the judgment is over.
“I heard” - refers to a specific point of time.
“A great voice of much people” - a large group of people.
“In heaven” - notice where they were.
“Saying” - either singing or shouting.
“Alleluia” - praise to the Lord.

Note the difference in spelling this word Alleluia or Hallelujah. This comes from the fact that in the Hebrew language, they have the letter “H”, but in the Greek they do not.  The word comes from the word hallel and it means “praise the Lord.”

This singing group is in Heaven and they are oriented to grace, no jealousy, no pride, no mental attitude sins, no old nature.  All have resurrected bodies and all have perfection, so praising the Lord is just the natural thing for them to do in Heaven.  They all have new bodies like that of Christ.  The Bible says that when we see him, “we shall be like him” (1 John 3:2).  All legalism is gone; there will be no do-gooders, no self-righteous people.  So alleluia means a mental attitude of grace.

When we look upon God realizing how we got there, and it was not our own merits, we will truly praise the Lord.

Today, people half-heartedly say, “Praise the Lord,” but in Heaven it will be genuine.

There are four words spoken by these people.  Let’s look at them:
1.      Salvation - this word is first in the list because this is the way we get there.
a.      This speaks of the cross of Christ.
b.      Salvation is free to all - everyone that goes to Heaven must have it. Christ is the door.
2.      Glory - (Rom. 3:23)
a.      This term refers to the ten essence qualities of God.
3.      Honor - refers to the principle of grace. It means God does the work and we receive the credit for what He does.  God gets the honor for all that man has been able to do on the earth.
4.      Power - means that it was through God’s ability that this task was accomplished.  Where did power come from? It came from God and these people in Heaven very well understand that.

2. For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. 

“True and righteous are His judgments” - This refers to the character of God.  God’s actions and judgments are always built on truth and righteousness.

1.      Every action of God is perfect.
2.      God cannot be unfair.
3.      God was fair when dealing with Adam and Eve and when He sent Noah’s flood.
4.      God is always fair when He deals with us and He will be fair when He sends the judgments in the last days.  You can rest assured, He will be fair when He judges ecumenical (one-world) religion, the great whore and He will certainly be fair when all unbelievers are in hell.

“For He hath judged the great whore.” - The great whore is anti-Christ and his false system.  He is the one who placed his statue up in the temple in Jerusalem.  At this point in time, God has already judged this great whore.

The last part of verse 2 tells us of the wicked actions of this anti-Christ.

3. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. 

“Again they said, Alleluia” - The saints are still praising the Lord.

All the cults of the earth and all false religion will be removed and God’s people can truly praise the Lord.

“And her smoke rose up for ever and ever” - speaks of the perfect environment that will come when all evil is destroyed.

4. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. 

Here is the praise of the angels.

The 24 elders and the four living creatures refer to those who are in command.

“Worshipped God that sat on the throne.” - The one sitting on the throne is Jesus Christ.
“Amen” - means I believe it.
“Alleluia” - the angels are praising the Lord.

5. ¶ And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 

Here we have a voice of praise coming from the throne.

“Small” refers to angels and angelic creatures.
“Great” refers to men “saints”. In eternity, men will be far higher than angels (Heb. 1:2).

When Christ died on the cross, it was a low point, but it was a high point for us because it was our salvation.  It was His low point because it was His humiliation.  Then he arose from the grave, ascended and sat down at the right hand of God.  In that moment, His humanity became superior to all angels.  This was the first time humanity was higher than angels and we will one day be superior to angels.

6. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 

The end is near.  Excitement and expectancy are in the air.  The great heavenly hallelujah chorus has begun.

“I heard”. John  was permitted to listen.
“Voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters.”  This is a very large group of people shouting and singing praises unto Jesus Christ.
“Alleluia.” Praise the Lord.
“Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” This is none other than Jesus Christ.

This is the angelic choir and is oriented to grace.  This singing will last through the 1,000 year reign.

“Omnipotent” means He is all powerful and can do all things.  He has accomplished all things.

7. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
In conjunction with this great song of praise is the marriage supper of the Lamb.  Gathered around the Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ, are those who are His bride.
At the Rapture of the church, prior to the Tribulation Period, we are joined in marriage to the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.
Now the wedding supper or feast, which always followed the wedding ceremony after a brief interval, takes place.
“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him.”  The us in this verse refers to those mentioned in the first six verses.
“For the marriage of the Lamb is come” at exactly the right time on God’s calendar of events.
“And His wife.” Here is the bride selected and chosen from the faithful church saints.
“Hath made herself ready.” This should read “she has been made ready.” She has been made ready by the blood of Christ and her love and faithfulness to Him.  Her service to Him and her worship of Him is part of her “being made ready”.
8. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
“And to her.” This is the Bride of Christ.
“Was granted” means was allowed or permitted.
“She should be arrayed” means she is clothed.
“Clean and white” refers to her robe.
“For the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”  Notice here it says righteousness of saints.  

This is the only place in the Bible you find this phrase and it shoul read righteous acts or deeds of the saints.
So this teaches us in order to be the Bride of Christ, there must be some righteous deeds.  This teaches me that not all who have their names on church rolls will be in the Bride of Christ.  I believe this teaches that those in the Bride of Christ will have practiced some godly living, faithful living, and some righteous living.
In a joyous celebration, we who are the saints of God, raptured up to heaven before the Tribulation, stand before the Lord as bride before Bridegroom arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
Our labors for the Lord, found worthy at the Judgment Seat of Christ, now clothe us. And, from our vantage point in heaven, we join in praising the Lord of Glory, for the great harlot has been overthrown.
With this the stage is set for the most dramatic entrance in history. With the tone of Revelation changed from somber to jubilant, the way is prepared for the Second Coming of Christ.
He is about to come as the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. What a joyous day that will be when the seven years of Tribulation are ended, judgment upon the earth is over, and Jesus Christ comes as the Prince of Peace to reign in peace.
9. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
Here we see the invitation extended to the friends or guests.
“And he saith unto me, Write.” John is instructed to send out the invitation.
“Blessed” means happy, and a great joy to be there.
“They which are called.”  This means happy are those that are invited to be a guest.  Please read John 3:29.
Who will the guests be?  They will be the Old Testament saints, those saved during the church age and were not a part of the bride of Christ and those saved during the Tribulation period.
“Marriage supper of the Lamb.”  This is the great wedding feast.  There are many suppers discussed in the Bible including fellowship suppers and the Lord’s supper.
“These are the true sayings of God” means these are my true promises.
10. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Here we see John’s response.  John got excited and fell to worship the angel.  The angel rebuked John and told him not to do it.
The angel identified himself and said, “I am thy fellowservant” and fellowservant of thy brethren.
“Worship God” means it is a command.
“For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”  This is telling us to learn of Christ, learn His doctrine and know about Him and love Him through the knowledge of prophecy.  You cannot know Jesus apart from the entire biblical record and prophecy is a great part of that record.

The Triumphal Re-entry as KING OF KINGS 11-16
Take a deep breath.  We are about to consider the most mind-boggling event of history past, present, or future.  The great harlot Babylon has been over-thrown.  There is fantastic rejoicing and praise in heaven, for the blood of the saints is avenged.  Yet this rejoicing only foreshadows the event which immediately follows, the Second Coming of Christ to this earth.  
No imagination can quite visualize this scene which the saints of all the ages have longingly anticipated.  It is marvelous.
Christ first came to earth in the form of a baby in Bethlehem.  There was no room for Him in the inn and therefore He was born in a stable.  This coming was quiet, on a silent night.  He came to die for our sins.
One day soon He will come again to lead to heaven all who know Him as Savior.  He will not come to earth at this time, but only into the clouds, where we are caught up to meet Him.  His coming is accompanied with the sounding of trumpets, perhaps heard only by those who are born again, whose ears are tuned to the trump of God.
But the event portrayed here is neither the coming of the Lord as a baby or His coming in the clouds to rapture His church.
It is His second coming to earth, and He will do so as KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.  He will come to wage war against the Beast and the False Prophet.  He will come to end the years of awful tribulation. He will come as the Mighty Warrior.
11. ¶ And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
John was permitted to get a panoramic view.
Imagine this dramatic moment. Suddenly the heavens part, not to permit entrance, but to permit the Lord Jesus and His armies to ride out of heaven to do battle with the forces of Antichrist. 
“Behold” means to look suddenly.
As if the opening of heaven were not dramatic enough, Christ will ride a white horse through the opening in the skies. There will be no mistaking Him for the Antichrist, who rode a white horse in Revelation 6:2. This is the real conqueror. This is Christ, the Son of the living God.
“A white horse.”  Remember the Bible must be interpreted in the light of the time in which it was written.  The white horse has through all the ages been ridden by conquerors.  Great kings, emperors and rulers rode white horses.  The riding of the white horse was always significant of victory.  In that time, white horses were rare and only the elite had them.
“He that sat upon him was.”  This is Jesus Christ riding His horse.  He is the victor.
The one riding the white horse in Revelation 6 is the anti-Christ, but here it is the Lord of lords and King of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Was called Faithful and True.” Called means in eternity past God gave Him a name that is above every name and that name is Faithful and True and that name will continue forever.
Faithful and true are two characteristics of God.
“And in righteousness” means that God always deals in that which is right.
“He doth judge” means that Christ will judge every unbeliever.
“And make war” This is the Battle of Armageddon.  Notice who it is that makes war.  It is Christ and it also means Christ is the winner.
Notice the graphic description of the Divine General who rides the white horse in verses 12-16.
12. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Here is a description of how Christ returns and how he looks.
“Eyes were as a flame of fire” - speaks of His justice and judgment.
“On his head were many crowns.”  In biblical times, rulers, kings and emperors wore crowns, but here Christ is coming as King of the universe.
“And he has a name written that no man knew, but he himself.”  This refers to the fact that a side of Christ’s personality will here be revealed which the unbeliever did not know about.  The unbelievers will be shocked.  This will not be the meek and mild Jesus that most think of.  Here, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord.
13. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
A vesture was a Roman mantle or long flowing robe.  A Roman soldier had to be in charge of at least 1,000 men before he could wear the vesture, but here Christ is wearing one and is in complete charge of the universe.
“Dipped in blood.” Read Isaiah 63:1-4 and Revelation 14:14-20.  This refers to the fact that His vesture was dripping with the blood of those He had killed on the battlefield.  This is the Battle of Armageddon and notice that Christ does all the fighting.  The ones with him will not fire a shot.
“And his name is called The Word of God” means the logos of God and logos means more than “word”.  John wanted to join the Jesus of time with the God of eternity.  Logos means the first word, the original thought and power.  Before any thing was, Jesus was there (the logos of God).
14. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
“Ane the armies which were in heaven” - The armies of Heaven are all the redeemed of the ages.  Notice we are called an army because we are with our commander and He is engaged in battle.
“Followed him upon white horses.”  This refers to the saints of the ages riding white horses because we are the victors.
“Clothed in fine linen white and clean. This refers to the fact we are clothed with the perfection of God. (Clothed in fine linen refers to the best God has.)
“White and clean” refers to the fact we will have no sin nature and no human good.
We will be riding with Him in this battle, but He does all the fighting.
15. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
“Out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword.” He does the fighting.  Sharp sword is His perfect judgment. 
“Smite the nations.” Notice that nations are still around at the second coming of Christ. God has always used nations to balance power.
“Rule them with a rod of iron” means ruling in His perfect discipline and perfect justice.
“Treadeth the winepress.”  This means His actions will be like a man of old tramping in a winepress pressing out the blood of the grapes.
“Fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” speaks of fervor God brings about this judgment.
16. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
“He hath on his vesture.”  This is His tallit (prayer shawl). This means it is written and stands forever.
“And on his thigh a name written.”  His name will be written for the world to see on His Jewish prayer shawl.
Roman generals wore a banner with the names of the nations they had conquered.
“KING OG KINGS.”  This is His name written and refers to His humanity.  This name will be on the corner of the tallit.
“LORD OF LORDS.” This too is His name and refers to His deity.  This name will be on the corner of the tallit.
17. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
“And I saw an angel standing in the sun.” John was permitted to see a very special angel.
“And he cried with a loud voice.”  John was permitted to hear the voice of this angel.  “Loud voice” speaks of loud, clear and precise voice.
“Saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven.” This angel is crying aloud to the vultures and buzzards that fly in the heavens.
“Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God.”  This will be the supper of the ages for these vultures.  This very bright angel was standing and not sitting because of the terrible sight that was before him.
18. That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
The vultures and buzzards were invited to eat and drink.
Notice there are seven classes of people involved in this judgment supper.
1.      Kings - these are the wicked rulers.
2.      Captains  - these are military men.
3.      Mighty men - these are political leaders.
4.      The flesh of horses - this refers to the equipment of the warriors.
5.      Those that sat on the horses - this refers to the men in the armies.
6.      Free men - this refers to the upper class of men.
7.      Bond men - this refers to the lower class of men.
Notice there are seven groups of them and this speaks of total judgement.
19. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
“I saw the beast and the kings of the earth, and their armies.” This speaks of the anti-Christ and the revived Roman empire and their army of the unsaved.
“Kings of the earth” also speaks of the king of the north (Russia), the king of the east (China), the king of the south (Arab), and the king of the west (revived Roman empire).
“Gather together to make war.”  The devil makes his last stand.
This battle is the Battle of Armegeddon.
“Against him that sat on the horse”  This is Christ.  Can you imagine people trying to fight Christ?
“And against his army.” This is us, the redeemed of all ages. 
This will take place in the valley of Megiddo.
20. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
“The beast was taken.” This is the dictator of the revived Roman empire.
“And with him the false prophet.” This is the dictator of Palestine.
“That wrought miracles” means they were miracle workers. Always beware of miracle workers.
“With which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast.” This tells us the way the anti-Christ deceived people and persuaded them to take the mark of the beast.
“And worhsipped his image.” This is the statue the anti-Christ placed in the temple in Jerusalem and demanded the world to fall down and worship.
“These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”  Notice the beast and false prophet were cast into the fire.
“Lake of fire.” This is the final place of torment for the devil and every unbeliever.
21. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

“Remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse.” This statement is in the past tense and you can see what happens to the unbelievers.
“Which sword proceeded out of his mouth.” This is the way they were slain, with the power of the mouth of Christ.
“And all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” The vultures and buzzards had a feast and their stomachs were filled.
Clark, Neal. Survey of the Book of Revelation. Pensacola, Florida: Thee WFBI Press, 1999. Print.
Falwell, Jerry. Liberty Commentary on the New Testament. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty Press, 1978. Print.

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