CHAPTER 19 PART 1
WHAT IF ??
You stumble out of bed, switch on the TV, and, instead of the latest war or some major news story, the announcer reports “JESUS CHRIST WILL RETURN TONIGHT AT 7pm? Of course, it won’t happen, but what if we did know it was the last day. How would you react? Would you be in a hurry to say, “I’m sorry” to someone? Or would you rush to tell a neighbor or loved one of the importance of it? On Sunday, we sing “Jesus is coming again” but on Monday it is forgotten.
All the horrors that John has written about in this book are now past. Babylon has been destroyed. Darkness is turning to light. There is singing and look who is doing the singing.
Hallelujahs open this chapter. This word, Hallelujah, occurs 4 times in the first 6 verses. This is the only time it is used in the New Testament. And it is reserved for the final victory. But interestingly, it occurs quote frequently in the book of Psalms. It means “Praise the Lord”.
Two suppers are recorded in this chapter. The great battle of Armageddon is also recorded here. Armageddon will be different from any war man has ever experienced in history. Supernatural events that we cannot comprehend will take place.
Jerusalem will not escape destruction even though it is 100 miles from the battle. Zachariah 14:2 says this, “I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it. The city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.”
All the cities of the earth will fall under judgement at the time of the 7th Angel. (Revelation 16:17-21.) However, there will be a spiritual awakening such as we have never seen before. In the time of Moses, God delivered Israel out of Egypt in a miraculous way. In the time of Armageddon, He will do the same for His people. The Jews will experience a mass conversion. It will be the greatest “Jews for Jesus” rally in all history. Zachariah 12: 8, 9 has this to say, “on that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the House of David will be like God, like the Angel of the Lord going before them. On that day, I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem”. Romans 11:26, “and all Israel will be saved.” How exciting that will be. In Matthew 23: 37-39 Jesus told the Jews that they would not see him again until they welcomed him as the blessed one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Now let's look at the 19th chapter of Revelation.
19:1 and after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven saying “Alleluia; salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God:
after these things -- indicates a chronological progression of events. After the events of the great tribulation. A great voice of a great multitude. This is a worship scene in heaven.
Hallelujah the great tribulation is over. Jesus is coming. The church is to be united with Christ in marriage. Five times the shout of praise echoes throughout heaven. Hallelujah because Jesus is coming to judge. Hallelujah because the wicked are finally going to be removed from the earth. Hallelujah because Jesus is finally going to reign.
There is great preparation for Jesus’ return. Who's doing the singing? Angels, Old Testament Saints, church Saints, tribulation Saints. All! How can the saved in heaven be so happy when sinners are condemned? Until now the redeemed have been delivered from the power and penalty of sin. Now they are delivered from the very presence of sin.
(Psalm 104:35) May sinners vanish from the earth and the wicked be no more. Praise the Lord, Oh my soul, praise the Lord.” can you just imagine ole John's eyes filled with tears as he watches this celebration? “Amen, Hallelujah” – this is a universal language. They are the same words in every language.
“True story” A young war bride during World War II was on her way to the United States on a ship. She could not speak the English language and therefore had no one to talk to. standing on the deck feeling very lonely, a couple walked up to her and to ask her a question. She did not know what to say because she did not understand them, so she just smiled and shrugged her shoulders. When suddenly the couple realized what the problem was, and the lady said Hallelujah, to which the war bride’s smile broadened and she answered “Amen”. Thus began a relationship in which the couple began teaching the woman enough English words that she no longer felt isolated.
V. 2 For true and righteous are His judgments for he has judged the great whore which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and his avenged the blood his servants at her hand.
3. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up forever and ever.
4. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
Isn't it interesting that those in heaven who have perfect knowledge, and perfect knowledge and perfect understanding are able to say that
God's judgments are true and right? The harlot church deserves to be judged. The wicked deserved to be judged. “He hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hands”
Notice the scripture says He has avenged, Not the believers. Believers are forbidden to avenge themselves (Romans 12: 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written. Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” the 24 elders, for the first time, sing, Hallelujah. Who are the elders representing? The church. This is the last time the elders appear as elders because the church is to become the bride.
Question: who actually owns the earth? God. Who made it? God. It is rightly his, right? He had dominion over it, right? WRONG! why not? What did God do with it? He gave it to Adam to have dominion over. Remember in genesis? Then how did Satan gain control of the earth? Adam relinquished it when he sinned in the garden. So now: God owned it, gave it to Adam, (the first Adam) . Adam sinned, forfeited it to Satan.
Now God, in the form of the savior, Jesus Christ, is coming back to reclaim it for himself.
V. 5 and a voice came out of the throne, saying, praise our God, all ye his servants, and he that fear him, both small and great.
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.
A voice came out of the throne, saying, praise our God. Notice the call to praise comes directly from the throne of God, because the Lord Jesus is preparing to take control of this world. But before Christ returns to the earth, there is going to be a wedding, and you and I as believers will be part of it do you realize that You are going to be a bride someday? WOW, isn't that wild!!!! This Hallelujah /Amen chorus is a prelude to the most magnificent wedding festival ever.
V.7 let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him, for the marriage of the lamb is come and his wife has made herself 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 the Saints.
This will be the most thrilling experience that believers will ever have. The church-the body of believers-all the way from Pentecost to the rapture, will be presented now to Christ as a bride for marriage. What a beautiful picture of love and adoration we find here in these verses. The marriage takes place in heaven.
Read Ephesians 5: 25- 27 for a picture of the relationship of Christ and the church. “Marriage of the Lamb is come” This marriage is a marvelous picture of the joining together of Christ and the church. Notice that the Old Testament Saints are not included-only the believers- during the church age are included. Even John the Baptist designated himself as only a friend of the bridegroom. The church has a unique relationship with Christ. He loved the church and gave himself for it. (John 17: 23- 26). The wonderful thing is that we are going to know him, really know him for the very first time.
“The fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” we will be clothed in Christ’s righteousness forever. Our own righteous acts on earth, can be used only once- to adorn the wedding gown. After the wedding, the dress is laid aside. The elders place their crowns at His feet.
Question: why is it the wedding of the Lamb? Why not call him by any other title? there are 700 or more titles that we know Him by. Think back. It is the Lamb that we fell in love with, not the king, or creator, or Lord. We fell in love with Him as the Savior who shed His blood for us.
v.9 and he said unto me, write, “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said unto me, “these are the true sayings of God.”
10. And I fell at his feet to worship him, and he said to me, see thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
The marriage takes place in heaven. The supper takes place on the earth. Invited guests -who are they? Israelites and Gentiles who enter the Millennium, the ones that are saved during the tribulation, and the Old Testament Saints.
Can you imagine a supper that lasts 1000 years? At the end of the 1000years millennial reign the church is still seen as the bride. Imagine a honeymoon which lasts 1000 years. Yet it is only the beginning. In Bible times, the length of the wedding supper depended upon the wealth of the one hosting the feast. Since the Father owns it all, the supper will be the longest in history. Who will be present at this grand occasion? The center of attention will be the bridegroom, Jesus Christ. But He is not complete without the bride, the church, then there will be the other invited guests. Israel. Saints, who survived the tribulation. Resurrected Old Testament Saints.
John has been watching this scene with interests and he is so overcome that he falls on his face before the Angel, and the Angel tells him, back in verse 10, “Don’t do that!” because he said I am just like you, a fellow servant, and I am your brother. I have the testimony of Jesus also. Worship God for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Prophecy is not fortune telling, it is not astrology, or even good guessing. Prophecy is a Person. Every religion has a “person” who is worshipped.
After the marriage in heaven, the next great event is the return of Christ to the earth. THE KING IS COMING!!!!! What a wonderful song that we sometimes sing in worship. And it means just what it says. He's coming as King. He will not come until after the church has been raptured and after the earth has undergone the great tribulation. Now He comes to the earth and His bride is with Him….so let the reception begin….. next week.
See you then, precious friends. We will either be celebrating “up there” or “down here” so let the praise begin. Love Y’all,