Revelation 19:1-10

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST

INTRODUCTION:

I remind you that Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:19 provides us with an outline of Revelation.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:19 - Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

The things which thou hast seen refers to Revelation of Jesus Christ 1

The things which are refers to Revelation of Jesus Christ 2-3

The things which shall be hereafter, i.e. following the church age, refers to Revelation of Jesus Christ 4-22

The tribulation is found in Revelation of Jesus Christ 4-19

The millennium is found in Revelation of Jesus Christ 20

The eternal state is found in Revelation of Jesus Christ 21-22

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19 provides the link between the great tribulation and the millennium. The link is the second coming of Christ.

First of all we see -

I. THE ALLELUIA OF THE SAINTS IN HEAVEN - 19:1-3

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:1-3 - (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: (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. (3) And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

After these things implies after the completion of the seventh bowl judgment, which concluded the seventh trumpet judgment, which, in turn, concluded the seventh seal judgment. It indicates after the fall of Babylon in all its forms, i.e. at the very end of the great tribulation just before the second coming of Christ.

I heard, which means that John heard, a great [or loud] voice of much people in heaven.

By a great voice John means a loud voice.

Much people suggests that it was a good-sized or large crowd.

Although the identity of this crowd is not revealed, it is distinguished from the twenty-four elders who represent the church age saints; and it occurs close to the end of the great tribulation, just before the second coming of Christ. This great crowd may, therefore, be comprised of tribulation saints who have been martyred.

In heaven indicates where this good-sized crowd was located and refers to the heaven where God dwells.

What they were saying is Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God.

Alleluia, which means praise the Lord, ascribes salvation, glory, honor, and power unto the Lord our God. In verse 2, it also declares God's judgments upon Babylon to be true and righteous.

Salvation refers to the deliverance God affords His people. God is the only One Who is able to deliver people from their sins and save them for all eternity.

Glory is the brightness, radiance, or splendor which belongs to God exclusively. The sum total of all the glory that exists belongs to God and is being ascribed to Him.

Honour has to do with God's value. It is inestimable, and all preciousness belongs to Him. As such He is to be honored, and all the honor that exists is to be given to God.

Power likewise indicates that the sum total of all power, might, or strength that exists belongs to God.

Unto the Lord our God indicates that it is exclusively to the Lord God Himself that salvation, all the glory, all the honor, and all the power in existence be given to the Lord our God rather than to someone else.

Our before God makes Him personal. Although it is not revealed who comprises this group represented by our, it at least includes all the saved people who are in heaven. It may likewise include angels and the four living beings.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:2 For [i.e. because] true and righteous are his [i.e. the Lord our God's] judgments: for [i.e. because] he [i.e. the Lord our God] 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.

By true John means that God's judgments are in accordance with truth. He has made no mistakes or errors in judgment, and He never will. He has never punished an innocent person for something He mistakenly thought this person did. He has never spanked the wrong child. His omniscience always gives hope to those who are innocent that they may cast themselves on Him and receive justice.

By righteous John means that God's judgments are always characterized by what is right, upright, or just. God is always right and righteous rather than wrong and unrighteous. His judgments are always in accordance with absolute truth, and He will never be wrong in what He does or in the way He does it. His judgments are always deserved.

By his judgments is meant God's judgment against people, God's condemnation, or God's punishment that follows His judgment.

The fact that they are his judgments indicates that they come from the Lord God Himself rather than from someone else and that He is ultimately responsible for them.

For [i.e. because] he hath judged the great whore provides the reason for praise being given to God in verses 1-2.

He hath judged means that God judged or administered justice to.

The great whore refers not only to religious or ecclesiastical Babylon which was destroyed in chapter 17 but also to political and commercial Babylon in chapter 18. It refers to the whole system known as Babylon in all its forms. The system has been seen throughout human history and has opposed God and all that is His, including the people of God. The great whore is the great prostitute or the great harlot. Ecclesiastical Babylon in chapter 17 is referred to as the great harlot in 17:1.

Which did corrupt the earth with her fornication refers to the great harlot or whore.

The tense of did corrupt indicates continuing or repeated action in the sense of was corrupting, was ruining, used to corrupt, used to ruin, repeatedly corrupted, or repeatedly ruined.

What she corrupted was the earth. There was no place on the earth where her corrupting influence, ruination, or spoiling did not spread.

With her fornication indicates how Babylon was corrupting the earth and implies by means of her fornication, by means of her unchastity, or by means of her immorality. Her immorality was spiritual rather than physical. People were caught up in her religious practices but never worshiped the God of heaven or received His Son as their personal Savior from sin and its consequences. In 17:2 the kings of the earth are said to have committed fornication with the great harlot, ecclesiastical Babylon; and in 18:3 the kings of the earth are said to have committed fornication with political and commercial Babylon. At the same time the reader is reminded that many religious practices have involved gross immorality. It seems that Babylon in all its fullness and wickedness is in view in verses 2 and 3 and that John was not distinguishing between ecclesiastical and political or commercial Babylon.

Hath avenged indicates that God took vengeance for or punished.

What God had by this time avenged is the blood of his servants, which is literally the blood of His slaves and implies the blood of His servants or slaves (which had been shed).

At her hand implies direct agency in the sense of by her hand. It means that the great harlot whom God has judged is responsible for the deaths of many of God's servants. As a result, God eventually takes vengeance on Babylon by destroying her. It is an answer to the prayer of the tribulation martyrs in Revelation of Jesus Christ 6:9-10 .

Revelation of Jesus Christ 6:9-10 - (9) And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: (10) And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

Her smoke rose up for ever and ever is literally, Her smoke rises up (continuously) for ever and ever. It is a reference to the judgment of Babylon. It cannot refer to the city itself because it has been destroyed and will be consumed when the heavens and the earth are destroyed.

Again suggests another time. It is literally a second (time).

They said refers to the large group in heaven mentioned in verse 1.

Alleluia is the same word used in verse 1, meaning praise the Lord.

Her smoke refers to the smoke which was produced as a result of the destruction of both ecclesiastical and political or commercial Babylon in chapters 17 and 18.

Rose up is ascended. Although it is yet future, its fulfillment is so certain that it can be spoken of as having already occurred.

For ever and ever means that there will never be an end to it. It is clear that this must refer to the people in the world system known as Babylon, whether ecclesiastical or political and commercial, who will spend eternity in the lake of fire rather than to the city of Babylon. The city itself will be destroyed after the millennium when the earth and all that is in it is destroyed before the new heavens and earth are created. It is a perpetual judgment of the people who engaged in Babylon's wicked deeds.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 21:1 - And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

II Peter 3:10-11 - (10) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (11) Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation [i.e. conduct] and godliness.

Second, we see -

II. THE ALLELUIA OF THE TWENTY-FOUR ELDERS - 19:4

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

The four and twenty elders are the twenty-four elders who were introduced in Revelation of Jesus Christ 4 . They are representatives of saved people from the church age.

The four beasts are the four living beings who were also introduced in Revelation of Jesus Christ 4 . These are the ones who are in and around the throne who cease not saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

Fell down and worshipped God is fell down and did obeisance to God, fell down and prostrated themselves before God, or fell down and did reverence to God.

God that sat on the throne is God Who is sitting on the throne of heaven and not some lesser god. It is God the Father.

Saying, Amen; Alleluia.

By amen they mean truly or so be it. They are hereby acknowledging agreement with the praise that has been given to God in verses 1-3.

This is the third time that Alleluia, which means praise the Lord, has been used in the first four verses of this chapter.

In the third place we see -

III. THE FINAL ALLELUIA OF THE GREAT MULTITUDE - 19:5-6

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:5-6 - (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. (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 indicates that the throne in heaven is the source of this voice. Although the events of this verse have not yet taken place, they are so certain of fulfillment that they can be spoken of as though they have already occurred.

Saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.

Praise our God is be praising our God or continue praising our God. It leaves those to whom it is said with no choice. They must praise Him.

All ye his servants is all the slaves of Him and refers to all saved persons.

And ye that fear him implies Indeed (or in fact) the ones who are fearing Him (or who are standing in awe of Him) (i.e. of God the Father).

Both small and great refers to their status in life as being unimportant or important and includes all persons in between. The instruction means that all of God's servants who stand in awe of Him (and every one of them in heaven does indeed stand in awe of Him!) are to be praising God.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:6 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 [i.e. because] the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude is similar to another phrase in verse 1 which was translated, And . . . I heard a great voice of much people.

Multitude is crowd.

And [i.e. both] as the voice of many waters, which suggests that the voice was very loud. Whether the many waters are of a mighty, rushing stream, of a large waterfall, or of the crashing of waves onto the ocean shore, water can make a lot of noise.

And as the voice of mighty thunderings likewise suggests and as violent thunders or as loud thunders. Repeated lightning strikes nearby can be deafening.

Saying introduces what the voice of the great multitude was continuously or repeatedly saying; Alleluia [i.e. Praise the Lord!] for [i.e. because] the Lord God omnipotent [which refers to God the Father] reigneth [i.e. reigns or is reigning].

In the fourth place we see -

IV. THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB - 19:7-8

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:7-8 - (7) Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for [i.e. because] the marriage [i.e. the marriage supper] of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. (8) And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for [i.e. because] the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Note that the same word translated marriage in this verse is translated marriage supper in verse 9, and marriage supper is its meaning here in verse 7.

Let us is understood with be glad, with rejoice, and also with give in the sense of let us be glad, let us rejoice, and let us give. It is the voice of the great multitude in verse 6 that is speaking, and they are exhorting or urging each other to action.

Let us be glad means let us rejoice.

Likewise, let us rejoice means let us be glad, let us exult, or let us be overjoyed.

Let us give suggests let us bestow or let us grant.

Honour suggests glory, praise, recognition, fame, or renown that the Lord God Omnipotent deserves for all that He is and for all that He has done.

To him is to the Lord God omnipotent.

For the marriage of the Lamb is come is because the marriage supper of the Lord Jesus Christ has come. It is the wedding celebration or the wedding banquet. It is that part of the marriage that may take place for many days, the number of which depends on the wealth of the family, after the bridegroom has gone to where the bride lives and takes her back to his home. This is illustrated in John 2:1-11 in the wedding in Cana of Galilee.

John 2:1-11 - (1) And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: (2) And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. (3) And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. (4) Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. (5) His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. (6) And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece [i.e. twenty to thirty gallons each]. (7) Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim [this would not allow anything else to be added to the water]. (8) And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. (9) When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, (10) And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. (11) This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

And his wife hath made herself ready.

His wife refers to the Lamb's bride, which is the church.

Hath made herself ready is made herself ready or prepared herself. Just prior to the second coming of Christ, the bride is ready. Prior to the rapture, however, the bride was not yet ready.

The text does not say where the marriage [i.e. the marriage supper] takes place. It only announces that the marriage [i.e. the marriage supper] of the Lamb is come.

Many have assumed that the marriage supper of the Lamb occurs in heaven.

However, since this occurs at the end of the Great Tribulation, which is immediately climaxed and succeeded by the Second Coming of Christ, it seems better to understand that the marriage supper takes place on earth during the millennium. It is in connection with the Second Coming to the earth itself.

It is significant and in keeping with the concept of a pretribulational rapture that those in the great multitude composed of tribulation saints should regard the wife of the Lamb as a group separate from themselves.

I remind you that the word for marriage is translated marriage supper in verse 9, and this is its meaning in verse 7.

It is important to note that the bride is already the wife of the Lamb. What is announced in Revelation of Jesus Christ 19 is not the wedding union but the wedding feast or the marriage supper.

Although marriage customs varied in the ancient world, usually there were three major aspects:

1. The marriage contract was often consummated by the parents when the bride and groom were still children and not yet ready for marriage. The payment of a dowry was often a feature of the contract; and when the contract was consummated, the couple were actually legally married regardless of how young they were.

This aspect of the marriage of the Lamb is pictured by the salvation of the individual believer.

2. At a later time when the couple had reached a suitable age, the bridegroom, accompanied by his friends, would go to the house of the bride and escort her to his home. This is illustrated by Matthew 25:1-13 .

Matthew 25:1-13 - 1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

This aspect of marriage recorded in Matthew 25 is referring to the second coming of Christ when He delivers Israel rather than to the rapture, but it is also pictured by the rapture of believers at His coming in the air.

3. Then the bridegroom would bring his bride to his home and the marriage supper, to which guests were invited, would take place. We have already seen this aspect of marriage in John 2:1-11 .

The marriage supper of the Lamb will take place on the earth following the second coming of Christ. It will be during the millennium and may last throughout the entire millennium.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for [i.e. because] the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

In verse 8 a beautiful picture is drawn of the holiness and righteousness of the church in that hour, for the bride is described as arrayed in fine linen, clean and white.

The bride is the New Testament Church. She is pictured as a virgin awaiting the coming of her bridegroom (II Corinthians 11:2 ).

II Corinthians 11:2 - For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

In Ephesians 5:26-27 Christ is said to be carrying on a present work within His church that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word with a view to the future presentation in glory as stated in verse 27: That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. This is the present work of sanctification.

To her was granted refers to the Lamb's bride and means to the Lamb's bride was given.

That she should be arrayed is that she should put on herself or that she should wear.

What she should be arrayed in, what she should put on herself, or what she should wear is fine linen, clean and white. Fine linen is the material of which her clothing should be made, and it should be clean and white, symbolizing her purity and her virginity.

The reason the bride of Christ should wear clean and white linen is introduced by for [i.e. because]: the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

The fine linen is the righteousness of saints means the fine linen represents the righteous deeds of the saints. The before righteous deeds suggests all the righteous deeds or the sum total of the righteous deeds of the individual saints, and the before saints in the Greek text indicates the sum total of all the believers who comprise the bride of Christ.

The saints is a term used to refer to all believers in the church age.

Finally, we see -

V. THE BLESSEDNESS OF THOSE INVITED TO THE MARRIAGE SUPPER - 19:9-10

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:9-10 - (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. (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.

Those invited to the marriage supper are truly blessed.

The wife is distinguished from the attendants at the wedding in verses 7-9, the wife apparently being the church and the attendants at the wedding being the saints of past and future ages.

He saith unto me is he says to me (i.e. to John), but the speaker is not identified.

What he says is, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.

The tense of write indicates that John is to write at once and without delay.

Blessed means fortunate or happy. This is the fourth of seven times in Revelation where John uses the term blessed to describe God's people and what they are like or at least what they should be like.

Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb is, Blessed are the ones who have been invited unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. The invited guests are here distinguished from the bride herself.

The marriage supper is the wedding banquet and is the same Greek word which was translated marriage in verse 7.

Of the Lamb indicates that it is not just anyone's marriage supper. It is the Lamb's, the Savior's, the Son of God's, the Lord Jesus Christ's marriage or wedding supper. What a wonderful experience it is going to be!

And he saith unto me is identical to the introductory words in this verse. John will use the same phrase again in verse 10.

He saith unto me is he says to me (i.e. to John), but again the speaker is not identified.

What he says is, These are the true sayings of God. It may mean that these sayings which God said are true, or it may also mean that these are true sayings from God. There is really very little difference in meaning. Regardless of whether it means that God has said them or that they are from God, meaning that God is their source, they are both true. God's sayings are always true and always come from Him.

True suggests that these sayings are in accordance with truth. About which sayings is John speaking? Might it be the entire book of Revelation? Certainly. Might it be limited to the sayings in verses 7-9 regarding the marriage supper of the Lamb? Yes, it might. Is John making the statement, or is the speaker making the statement to John affirming the truth of what he is telling John? It is the speaker, whoever he is, who is affirming what is being said to John. Verse 10 makes it clear that this speaker is not God or Christ when John falls down to worship him and is told not to do it.

Sayings is the word ordinarily translated words, and sayings are always made up of words.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:10 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.

I fell at the feet of the speaker indicates where John fell, and to worship him indicates the purpose for which John fell at the speaker's feet. It was for the purpose of worshiping him or in order to worship him. Still John does not identify the speaker. Is it possible John did not know who he was? Certainly. What is clear is that God chose not to identify the speaker for us. For John to be able to fall at the speaker's feet, the speaker had to be present with John; and John had to be able to see him. Did John not know that he should not be bowing down to worship someone who was less than God? Certainly he knew this. So why did John bow down to worship this person? One can only speculate, but he is going to have to wait until he gets to heaven to know for certain if his speculation is correct. Although the identity of the speaker is not made clear, he is apparently an angel.

And he said unto me appears for the third time in verses 9-10.

Again he is the speaker, and me is John.

See thou do it not means that John is not to be bowing down to worship him. Inasmuch as John had already fallen down at his feet and may have actually begun worshiping him, John had to stop what he was already in the process of doing.

As indicated by the italics, thou do it has been supplied by the translators to aid the understanding of the English reader. This is a good example of why occasionally adding words to aid the understanding of the English reader is a necessary practice as long as the words added are placed in italics. If the italicized words were omitted, the words see . . . not would mean stop seeing and would make absolutely no sense in this context. The context demands that the meaning be that John must not be worshiping this speaker, as the italicized words make abundantly clear.

The speaker identifies himself somewhat by saying in reference to himself, I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus.

I am thy fellowservant means I am your fellow slave, John.

The speaker is also the fellow servant of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus.

Of thy brethren is literally of your brothers, implying that John's brothers are fellow believers along with John. It does not mean that the speaker is one of John's fellow believers as the comma, which is not part of the Greek text, might suggest.

That have the testimony of Jesus means that John's brothers are saved persons who have received the testimony about Jesus and were saved as a result. As Christians they also share this testimony about Jesus with others. The fact that the speaker is not only John's fellow servant but also the fellow servant of John's fellow believers strongly suggests that he is an angel. It must be remembered that all of John's brethren or fellow believers have the testimony of Jesus. There is no such person who is John's brother or fellow believer who does not have the testimony of Jesus. Moreover, John is instructed to worship God because the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Worship God means that it is God Who is to be worshiped rather than the speaker. Furthermore, it is not just any god that John is to worship; it is the God of heaven, the God of the Bible, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. Certain things are proper toward fellow humans; other things, such as worship, are proper only toward God and His beloved Son, beloved both by God and by believers.

For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy is explanatory as is indicated by the word translated for.

The testimony of Jesus is the testimony about Jesus.

Spirit may refer to the Holy Spirit, or it may mean a disposition or a state of mind, almost in the sense of an attitude of mind; but it likely refers to the Holy Spirit.

Prophecy is the gift of prophecy or the gift of prophesying. The meaning of the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy is apparently that the purpose of the Holy Spirit's gift of prophecy, i.e. of imparting divine revelation to someone (rather than of merely foretelling future events) is that he might testify to others about Jesus. In the same way, the Scriptures, which are the completed revelation of God and which were given by the Holy Spirit, all testify about Jesus from Genesis to Revelation.