22 March 2016

BSF 2015-2016: Revelation 19

After seeing so much death, destruction, and judgment, the last several chapters of Revelation offer a beautiful picture of what awaits believers at the end of the world!

In chapter 19, John heard praise erupting from a great multitude in heaven. He heard the word “hallelujah” four times. Hallelujah means “praise Yahweh,” which is an Old Testament word for God.

First hallelujah praised God for bringing salvation and judgment. The second hallelujah praised God because Babylon (evil) was defeated and destroyed. The third hallelujah was the joy of the 24 elders and the four living creatures as they worshiped God. All of this praise celebrated who God is, what He has done, and what He will do. We can praise God in the same way today. Praise naturally erupts when we see who God is and what He has done.

The fourth hallelujah praised God because the wedding of the Lamb had arrived. This is the celebration of believers joining with Jesus. Jesus is the bridegroom, and His Church is the bride. We will have a full, perfect union with Jesus because sin no longer will exist.

God uses marriage throughout the Bible to explain His union with His Church. The marriage of Ruth and Boaz shows that our marriage to Jesus is about rescue and redemption. The marriage of Hosea and Gomer reminds us about the pain of spiritual adultery. Several times on earth, Jesus referred to Himself as the Bridegroom. There are many other passages that use marriage as a picture of our union with Christ.

John must have been overwhelmed by the four hallelujahs and the visions he was receiving from God. An angel got his attention and instructed John to write these things down. John reacted by worshiping the angel. The angel rebuked him, and called himself a fellow servant with John. This is a reminder that God alone is worthy of our worship. All glory belongs to God.

Next John saw a Rider on a white horse coming from heaven. This is Christ, our Warrior King, coming from heaven with His heavenly army behind Him. He has come to execute the fierce wrath of God.

I loved the following points from our lecture! John compared his vision in Revelation 19 with what he saw during Jesus’ first coming to earth:

  • At Jesus’ first coming, He had eyes full of compassion. At His second coming, Jesus’ eyes are like blazing fire.
  • At Jesus’ first coming, He wore a crown of thorns. At His second coming, Jesus wears many crowns on His head.
  • At Jesus’ first coming, He was an ordinary person with an ordinary name. At His second coming, Jesus has a name no one knows except Him.
  • At Jesus’ first coming, He wore a robe covered in His own blood and the soldiers gambled it away. At His second coming, Jesus wears a robe dipped in His own blood for redemption of believers and judgment of unbelievers.
  • At Jesus’ first coming, John wrote that Jesus is the Word of God. At His second coming, Jesus’ name is the Word of God. At Jesus’ first coming, Jesus came to reveal God in human flesh. At His second coming, Jesus reveals the revelation of God in final judgment.
  • At Jesus’ first coming, He was forsaken by even His closest friends. At His second coming, a heavenly army dressed in white rides on white horses and accompanies Jesus.
  • At Jesus’ first coming, a sword pierced His side. At His second coming, Jesus has a sword in His mouth, which He will use to strike the nations.
  • At Jesus’ first coming, He carried no weapons. At His second coming, Jesus carries an iron scepter to rule and reign with absolute power and justice.
  • At Jesus’ first coming, He bore the full wrath of God against sin. At His second coming, Jesus will exercise God’s wrath against the nations. (The wine press is a picture of judgment.)
  • At Jesus’ first coming, the soldiers mocked Him as king. At His second coming, Jesus is worshiped as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Previously, Jesus was a victim; now He is the victor.

Finally, John saw an angel calling for the leaders of the earth and the birds to come together. The beast and the leaders of the earth wage war against Jesus. But the beast and the false prophet are captured and thrown into the Lake of Fire. Their followers are killed, and the birds gorged on their flesh. God’s enemies became a feast for scavenger birds. Those who reject the invitation to the wedding supper will become the main course at God’s Supper.

Things to Think About
  • Jesus will return to conquer His enemies and claim His people as His bride.
  • Jesus has absolute, complete authority to reign in the world and in our lives.
  • Eternity for unbelievers begins with fire and death. Eternity for believers begins with a wedding feast and continual rejoicing.
  • This is a story of two suppers. Which one will you be invited to attend – the wedding supper of the Lamb or God’s supper of destruction?
  • History culminates with a hallelujah, a wedding, and the reign of King Jesus.

This Week’s Memory Verse
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war.” Revelation 19:11 NIV