Heaven rejoices over the destruction of Babylon and prepares for the Second Coming, including the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Well, it is March 2022 when I'm recording this video. And despite all the crazy things going on in the world right now in the area of frivolity, there is a fascinating debate unfolding. The question at hand is, are there more wheels or doors in the world? The question, of course, is ridiculous, perhaps even as ridiculous as the rumor that the book of Revelation is hard to understand. But fatuity say we for you see, the word revelation means something has been revealed.
And the first words of this book tell us exactly who it is that's being revealed. It's the revelation of Jesus Christ. God wanted us to read this book so much that he promised anyone who would take the time to read and respond to it a special blessing. And we find that in Revelation, chapter one, verse three, let's claim it together, as we always do at the beginnings of our studies. It says, Blessed is he or she who reads.
And those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written in it for the time is near, but God knew they would still be those who would say, It's just too hard to understand. So to make it simple to understand, he also included an easy to follow outline. And we find that in Revelation, chapter one, verse 19, Jesus tells John, First, I want you to write the things which you have seen. That was the resurrected and glorified Jesus in chapter one. Secondly, Jesus says, John, I want you to write about the things which are that refers to the Church age which began around 32 ad on Pentecost, continues to the present day and is prophesied in chronological order in chapters two and three.
And then third, and lastly, Jesus tells John to write about the things which will take place after this future events that will unfold after the Church age comes to an end. Now, where does the Church age end? That takes place in Revelation, chapter four, verse one. Let me read it to you. After these things, John says, I looked and behold a door standing open in heaven.
And the first voice which I heard, that was the voice of Jesus in chapter one, was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, Come up here and I will show you things which must take place after this. And up John goes, serving as a picture of the Church who will be raptured to be with the Lord. And Jesus takes all of chapters four and five to make sure we don't miss the fact that the Church is with Him in heaven before he begins pouring out his wrath on the Earth that has rejected Him. And as that wrath is being poured out, Revelation 616 reveals that those on the Earth will know and understand the source of their judgment, identifying it as the wrath of the Lamb. Who is the Lamb?
In Scripture, it's Jesus. So chapter one, introduces the focus of Revelation, Jesus Christ, chapters two and three take us through the Church age up to the present day. Then the Church goes up. In chapter four, verses one, we see her safe and secure in heaven for all of chapters four and five before wrath is poured out on the Earth, beginning in chapter six. That wrath continues for a period of seven years known as the Tribulation, and is documented in chapter six through 19, at which point Jesus returns to the Earth with his Saints in the event known as the Second Coming.
And the good news is that if you love Jesus, then your story is going to end with the words and they live happily ever after. Well, today's study finds us in chapter 19 at the end of the Tribulation, religious and economic Babylon have fallen. We saw that in chapter 17 and 18. The seal trumpet and bold judgments have concluded. The armies of Antichrist and the armies of the North, south and east are coveting at Armageddon.
The surviving Jewish population of Israel is hiding in Petra and the our creation itself groans and longs for has arrived the return of the King, also known as the Second Coming. To help us keep the big picture in mind over our next few studies, I put this on your outline. I want to point out five things that will take place at the Second Coming. Firstly, Jesus will defeat all forces of evil, freeing the Earth of Satan's influence. Secondly, Jesus will reveal himself to Israel and their relationship will be restored.
Thirdly, Jesus will remove everyone on the Earth who has rejected him. Fourthly, Jesus will host the marriage supper of the Lamb, where he will be joined to his bride, the Church. And then Fifthly, Jesus will inaugurate. He will initiate the millennial Kingdom and begin his reign over the Earth from Jerusalem. And we'll discuss each of these developments in greater detail as we journey through the text of Revelation chapters 19 and 20 over these next few studies.
Let's start doing that right now. In Revelation, chapter 19, verses one, it says, after these things, after the destruction of literal and mystical Babylon, John says, I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven saying, Alleluia Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God. For true and righteous are his judgments, because he has judged the great Harlot who corrupted the Earth with her fornication and he has avenged on her the blood of his servants shed by her. We saw that unfold in chapter 17 and 18. And here we see heaven rejoicing again at the demise of Babylon.
This great multitude of voices likely belongs to the Angels as it appears, the Church responds in verses four and is called to rejoice in verse. In verses three, again they said, Hallelujah, her smoke rises up forever and ever. That phrase just means her judgment. Babylon's judgment is final and it's irreversible. Verses four and the 24 elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne saying Amen, Hallelujah.
You may recall from our study of chapters four and five that the 24 elders represent the Royal priesthood of believers, consisting of Old Testament Saints and the Church. The word Amen means so be it. The word Hallelujah or Alleluia is a compound word. Halal is the Hebrew word for praise, and yah is one of the Hebrew names or terms for God. So when you put them together as halalyah or Hallelujah, it simply means Praise God or praise the Lord.
The first time the phrase Praise the Lord, Alleluia Hallelujah appears in scripture is in Psalm 104, verse 35. I put it on your outlines. Take a look at what that verse is. It says, May sinned be consumed from the Earth and the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord. Isn't that interesting? Even more interesting is the fact that the phrase appears only four times in the New Testament and they're all right here in Revelation 19, where the people of God celebrate the destruction of Babylon and God's righteous judgment of the wicked. If you and me are going to be men and women of faith, we're going to have to become experts at speaking these two phrases in every situation of life. So be it, and praise God.
Amen. And Alleluia those are the words, the sentiments, the prayers that flow from the hearts of mature believers. Mature believers recognize that apparently when we have full understanding in heaven, we will approve of everything God does and everything that he's ever done. When we're shown the full picture, we will all say, True and righteous are your judgments, O Lord. And mature believers here and now are able to say, I have faith in the judgment of my God because I have faith in the character of my God.
So where I don't understand yet, I choose to simply say Amen, Hallelujah, because I know that sooner or later I'll end up saying that anyway, so I might as well say it right now. In faith, mature believers recognize the pattern of God's goodness and faithfulness in their lives when they doubt God and are proven wrong by his faithfulness. Mature believers actually take note. The immature believer never recognizes the pattern. It doesn't matter how many times they doubt God and are proven wrong by their faithfulness.
Immature believers never learn, never recognize that God is faithful. So in honesty, which description fits you? Are you confident in the character of your heavenly Father? You can be because he loves you more than you could possibly imagine. He's faithful, he's faithful.
He is faithful, and he deserves your trust. Would you make a note of this? Mature believers know God's character and are therefore able to say Amen and Hallelujah in faith. In every circumstance of life. I'll say it again, mature believers know God's character and are therefore able to say Amen.
So be it, and Alleluia praise God in faith in every circumstance of life. This chapter can be a bit awkward for some people because clearly we believers who are in heaven are glad that all this is happening. And this causes some to ask, how can a loving God and the Kingdom and the people of a loving God be happy about wrath being poured out on people like this? I don't want to shock you with horror stories in this message, but I will say this. You should get yourself a copy of Fox's Book of Martyrs and spend an evening reading about what those who have hated Jesus across the centuries have done to believers simply because they love Jesus.
I hope that you all have some idea of the atrocities that ISIS and their counterparts committed against Christians in the Middle East within the past decade and what's going on in places like Nigeria, China, and North Korea today. The Book of Revelation speaks of a coming time when God will say, Enough, my family is all accounted for. The only ones left are those who will never receive me. So all that justice we've been putting off, all that justice that has been delayed because of my mercy need no longer be delayed. And all of heaven, including you and me, won't say, oh, that's so unfair, or just wait longer.
Anyway, we'll say it's about time. Amen. And Hallelujah verse Five Then a voice came from the throne saying, Praise our God, all you, his servants and those who fear him, both small and great. And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters, and as the sound of mighty thunderings saying, Hallelujah, for the Lord God omnipotent reigns. Handel's famous Hallelujah Chorus was inspired by this text, the moment when heaven roars with praise over Jesus destruction of Babylon and his imminent return to the Earth.
Verses Seven Let us be glad and rejoice and give him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready. In other words, the Church is ready to step into her destiny as the Bride of Christ. Verse eight and to her the Church it was granted. Would you underline that word? Granted, because it means it was given, it wasn't earned, and to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright.
For the fine linen is the righteous acts of the Saints. What are you wear to the greatest party the universe has ever seen? Scripture tells us that the only thing to be seen in will be righteousness. We will be robed in righteousness by Jesus. Isaiah 61 Ten it's on your outline declares, I will greatly rejoice in the Lord.
My soul shall be joyful in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of Salvation. He has covered me with the robe of righteousness. Jesus gives us his righteousness to wear in the presence of His Father, making us beautiful and freeing us from every trace of guilt and shame. And that is our reality right now. We are robed in the righteousness of Christ right now.
We look like Jesus to our Heavenly Father right now. But it'll get even better because when we are translated, when we receive our new resurrected bodies, those bodies will be sinless. We will actually be able to be righteous actively. What I'm saying is that our righteous works won't be like filthy rags, as Isaiah called them forever. Are the Angels righteous?
Absolutely. Are the Angels righteous only because of Jesus? No, they're not robed in the righteousness of Jesus. They are righteous because they were created without sin and have remained faithful to the Lord. When we are translated into our resurrected bodies, we will be recreated without sin and be able to faithfully serve the Lord in righteousness.
We won't need imputed righteousness forever. The Lord's plan is to clothe us in intrinsic righteousness for all eternity. I know this can sound scandalous, but it's true. It's what the Bible teaches. And as I've shared before God's, scandalously.
Good plans for us are summed up in one John three, two, where our brother John writes, Beloved, now we are children of God and it has not yet been revealed. What we shall be future tense. But we know, we know this about our future, that when he is revealed, when Jesus is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as he is. However good you think God's plans for you are, I promise they're even better verse is then he. The angel who was still with John from chapter 18 said to me, Right, blessed are those who are called.
The literal term is invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said to me, These are the true sayings of God. Here we have the famous marriage supper of the lamb. And when the angel says, These are the true sayings of God, he's simply saying, you can bet your life on this, it's going to happen. The Bible describes the relationship between Jesus and his Church as the relationship between a groom and his chaste pure bride.
The Church is not a guest at this wedding. The Church is the bride. So who are those who are invited to this wedding? Well, I put these on your outlines as well. Firstly, all those who died in faith under the old coveting will be there.
We're talking about Saints like Abraham, David, the prophets, etc. And their spirits have been with the Lord in heaven since the death and resurrection of Jesus. However, they have not yet received resurrected bodies. As best we can tell from the scriptures, it appears old Covenant Saints will receive their new bodies at the second coming, that they might participate in the wedding. And the millennial Kingdom.
The next group that will be invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb is Tribulation Saints, those who place their faith in Jesus after the Rapture and either died in the Tribulation, were martyred in the Tribulation, or were alive on the Earth at the end when Zeus returns at the Second Coming. Tribulation Saints will also be at this wedding. And then the third and final group that will be at this wedding is Redeemed Israel, 144,000 and all ethnic Jews who will turn to Jesus after the Rapture, including those who repent when he appears to them at the Second Coming. And by the way, when he does that, all Israel will repent who are still alive on the Earth at that point. There are some amazing parallels between a traditional Jewish wedding and the destiny of the Church as the bride of Christ.
It's a little bit difficult to verify all this information if I'm going to be honest, because if you go to contemporary Jewish sources, there are traditions that have come in that had nothing to do with what was taking place to two and a half thousand years ago. And it's really hard to nail down all the details on this. So if you're aware that I'm off on something here, it's not my intent to do so just shoot me an email and let me know. But no matter what the big picture and the big ideas stand here and I can vouch for those we've talked about this before, but it's worth walking through again. In a traditional Jewish wedding, the father and son would identify the location where they believed the perfect bride resided.
It could be their own small village, it could be a few villages up the road, or it could even be further away. The bride would be chosen by an intermediary on the behalf of the groom. It could be his father, it could be a servant, it could be a relative, et cetera. Assuming the woman was agreeable to marrying the man, the intermediary and her father would negotiate a marriage contract, which would include a purchase price, what some cultures call the dowry. That price would be established based on three factors.
First, the father's wealth. If the father of the groom were a rich man, he would pay a high price so as to not appear cheap. Second, the bride's worth. If she were beautiful or otherwise gifted, her price would be higher. Thirdly, the grooms work.
In some cases, it was up to the groom to pay the price. If the father was not around. If the woman was willing and the price was satisfactory, the couple would become engaged betrothed. Even though they were not yet married, they were joined together in a legal binding agreement. At that point, the bride would be considered set apart, which is literally what the word sanctified means.
She had a future husband even though she was not yet with him. She belonged to him next, the bridegroom would return to his father's house, where he would prepare a room for himself and his future wife. By building an addition onto his father's house. The bride, both families and all their friends would be able to monitor the Construction's progress by just walking past, and it would tell them how close they were getting to the wedding day. Eventually, the time would arrive when the man would put the final touches on the room addition.
Everybody would notice this and word would get to the bride, who would then gather her friends and begin getting herself ready for the wedding. The bride wouldn't know what day of the week it would happen, but she would pretty much know. She wouldn't know what day it would happen, but she would pretty much know what week it would happen. Based on the progress of the construction, she had to keep herself ready and her bridesmaids would help her do that. It was a bit of a game because the bridegroom would make it his goal to surprise her.
We don't really do that today. I think if the groom tried to surprise the bride with a ending, he would probably get murdered and the wedding wouldn't go on as planned. The groom, however, would only leave to get his bride when his father said, It's time, go get her. When that time arrived, the groom would wait for nightfall, suit up, and begin his processional toward his bride's house, accompanied by his friends and family, who would be blowing trumpets, shouting and cheering and rejoicing. When the bride heard the trumpets and the shouting, she would rise, receive a blessing from her father, and go out to meet her groom accompanied by her bridesmaids.
Now, culturally, if you were in the village and you saw this, you would stop what you were doing and join the procession cheering it along. So as the procession traveled through the village, it would get larger and larger. The groom would finally arrive at his bride's house to collect her and take her back to his father's house for the ending ceremony. That ceremony wouldn't be where promises were made, but rather where the agreement, the contract, the Covenant that had been agreed to earlier would simply be read again and a blessing pronounced over the couple. The wedding feast would immediately begin and would last for seven days.
During those seven days, the newlyweds would do no work. They would simply enjoy the festivities and spend time together in their room. They would be dressed and treated like royalty, and if the father was wealthy enough, he would even provide special clothing for all the guests. The ending feast, as I said, would last for seven days, but the marriage supper was a specific event that took place at the end of the seven days. This also allowed time for guests from further away to receive word that the wedding festivities had commenced and make the journey to join the celebration now, if you've been around the Bible for more than a year or so, the prophetic parallels should stick out pretty clearly.
God chose us to be the Bride of Christ. We were chosen before the foundations of the world. We have been purchased at the highest price, the precious blood of Jesus. That's the value God has placed upon us. Jesus made His Church beautiful.
By the way he loved her. He loved us all the way, from death to life, from wickedness to righteousness and sinfulness to spotless beauty. We are now sanctified. We are set apart as the soon to be Bride of Christ. We have the contract, the word of God that assures us he is coming for us.
Jesus has returned to His Father's house, heaven to prepare a place for us. One Peter. One describes our longing and our expectation over the arrival of our groom, Zeus Christ. It says in this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold, that perishes though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Now listen to this, whom, having not seen you love, though now you do not see Him yet believing you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.
While Jesus prepares a place for us, it's our job to be ready for his imminent return. So we watch for the signs that he has revealed in His Word. We watch and we see that construction, so to speak, is almost finished. Everything is in place and we recognize that he could come for us at any moment. When he comes for us, he's going to take us back to His Father's house to be with Him.
How long did the wedding feast last? Seven days. How long will the Church be tucked away in heaven with Jesus while the Tribulation unfolds on the Earth? Seven years. That is why the marriage supper of the Lamb takes place at the end of the seven year Tribulation and not at the beginning of the seven year Tribulation.
Jesus told his disciples, in my Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself. That where I am. There you may be also make a note of this.
The groom is Jesus and his bride is the Church. The groom is Jesus and his bride is you and me. The Church While some believe the marriage supper of the Lamb takes place in heaven, I believe it takes place on the Earth following the Second Coming Armageddon, the spiritual eyes of Israel being opened by Jesus and the wicked being removed from the Earth. I hold this view because there will still be some believers on the Earth when Jesus returns. Additionally, Israel will be reconciled to God.
Are these two groups going to be excluded from the marriage supper of the Lamb even as guests? That doesn't seem like a reasonable assumption to me. Verse ten, John says, And I fell at his feet to worship him. So John fell at the feet of this angel. But he said to me, See that you do not do that.
I am your fellow servant and of your brethren who have the testimony of Zeus worship God for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. This is standard operating procedure for Angels in the Bible. Whenever anyone tries to worship them, they always tell them to stop and worship God. Instead, they know that they are simply messengers and only the Lord is deserving of worship. To point out the obvious, the Bible makes it clear that we don't worship Angels.
We don't worship Angels. However, people regularly responded to Jesus in like manner, falling at his feet, kneeling before him, et cetera. And not one time did he respond by saying something like, don't worship me, I'm not God. So when Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses tell you that Jesus was just an angel, the only problem with that is the Bible, because Jesus accepted worship that belonged to God. And that is something Angels never do.
Zeus received that worship because he is God. So write this down. The Angels don't accept worship because they are not God. Jesus accepts worship because he is God. He is God.
When the angel says the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, he's saying that everything Jesus says, everything he testifies to, is destined to happen. It's a given. If Jesus prophesied it, it will happen. You can bet your life on it. If life is difficult right now, if you're in a season of tribulation, if there seems to be no answers or explanation from God, would you make Amen Hallelujah your prayer in this season?
Take some time to worship the Lord today, tomorrow, and in the coming days and weeks, and speak out in faith prayers that say, Amen, Hallelujah. I trust you, Lord, because I recognize the pattern of your faithfulness in my life. I recognize it. I see it. I take note of it.
Make some time to take Communion and be reminded that God's love for you was proven with his own blood. So you need not doubt his compassion and his care for you. If you'll do that, I believe you'll find your burden less. You will find your burden lightened. You'll experience a peace coming over your mind.
Not because you suddenly understand everything or why everything is happening, but because you suddenly remember that you don't need to understand why everything is happening. You understand enough. You understand that God is good. Your Heavenly Father knows what you need, and he loves you. My goodness, he loves you so.
Amen. Hallelujah. So be it. Praise God, let's pray together. Would you buy your head and close your eyes?
Lord, thank you as always for Your word and thank you for the promise of what is to come that time when your Church will be joined together with you and it will just be celebration and joy to a degree in a measure that we cannot even fathom. But Lord, as we find ourselves on the Earth here and now dealing with the trials and the difficulties of life. Lord, would we say the same thing now that we will say when we are in Your presence? Amen. And Hallelujah, so be it.
Praise God. Not because we understand everything yet, but because we know one day we will. And because we know that right now we can understand your goodness. We can understand that you are gracious and loving and kind and you love us with the love of a perfect father who wants nothing but the best for his children. So, Lord, may we not be quick to forget your faithfulness in our lives.
Rather, may we be quick to remember all the times in the pastor we've doubted and ended up putting our foot in our mouths. Because you proved yourself once again to be faithful. Lord, I pray for anyone who's listening to or watching this who is in that cycle of doubt, fear, anxiety. And then you come through and prove yourself faithful yet again. Lord, I pray that they would take note that they would recognize the pattern that they would understand they've seen enough of you to have faith.
Lord, would you just fill every mind with your peace right now? Not a peace that comes from knowing what's going to happen next but a peace that covet from knowing you Father would you lift every trace of anxiety, every burden, every worry, every person wrestling with a decision or a situation where they don't know what to do. Lord, you're with us and that is enough. That is enough So Lord, we bless you and we love you we confess that you are good only ever and always we love you it's in Your name we pray. Amen.