Scripture Focus- Revelation 19:1-10
Revelation opens in Chapter 1:1 The revelation of Jesus Christ that God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. The Apostle John is given a vision of the Risen Lord. The Lord identified himself in vv17-18 when he said, Don’t be afraid. I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but look- I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.
Chapters 2-3 The Letters to the Seven Churches of Revelation
Chapters 4-5 The Throne of Heaven and the Lamb of God
Chapters 6-19 The Tribulation
Chapter 19 The Marriage Supper, the Second Coming of Jesus
Chapter 20 The Millennial Reign of Christ
Chapters 21-22 Final Judgment, The New Creation, New Jerusalem, Eternity (Heaven and Hell)
From Chapters 6-18 the scene focuses on earth and God’s judgment on the sinful world. Now, in Chapter 19, the scene shifts back to Heaven. This section is the bridge between the Tribulation and the Millenial Kingdom.
Hallelujah! The Hebrew word for hallelujah appears 50 times in the OT. The Greek word for hallelujah appears only in Revelation in the New Testament. Both mean “praise the Lord.” Hallelujah appears in the Old Testament in response to God’s judgment. Psalm 104:35 May sinners vanish from the earth and wicked people be no more. My soul, bless the Lord! Hallelujah!
Praise to the Lord, is in response to who he is and what he has done.A great multitude will gather before the throne of God in the presence of God. In a victory celebration, all heaven will offer praise. John describes it as the voice of a vast multitude, like the sound of cascading waters, and like the rumbling of loud thunder. This is the biblical “Hallelujah Chorus.”
These verses focus on five reasons there will be praise in Heaven.
Reason #1 There will be praise in heaven because of God’s salvation, glory, and power. V1
v1 After this signals the beginning of a new vision. This vision follows the destruction of Babylon in Ch 17-18 and precedes the second coming of Jesus Christ.
The loud voice is that of angels, in a vast multitude. The saints join in the praise a bit later on.
Salvation for God’s people has been accomplished, which draws our attention to the story of redemptive history.
God, Man, Sin, Promise, Salvation, Eternal Hope
Regeneration-new birth brought about by the Holy Spirit
Justification-God declares the believer to be righteous
Sanctification-the believer is set apart to God
Glorification-the culmination of salvation
Glory and power have been displayed for all to see.
God’s glory is rooted in his holiness, his weightiness. God’s glory is the beauty of all that comes from his character, his nature, who he is. God is alone infinitely perfect, infinitely great, and infinitely worthy.
Isaiah 6:3 Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!
God’s power is complete over all things. God is omnipotent- omni meaning all, potent meaning power.
Ephesians 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the mighty working of his strength.
Reason #2 There will be praise in heaven because God’s judgments are true and righteous. V2
The true and righteous nature of his judgments will be seen in the destruction of the wicked. Through all of history, since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, there have been injustices, inequities, and unrighteous wickedness.
Jeremiah prophesied in the OT about a time when the Messiah would come and bring righteousness and justice on the earth.
Jeremiah 23:5 Look, the days are coming- this is the Lord’s declaration- when I will raise up a Righteous Branch for David. He will reign wisely as king and administer justice and righteousness in the land.
Judgment will come in the destruction of the notorious prostitute, Babylon, for bringing suffering on the people of God. Her adultery is seductive and brings unholy alliances with the entire world.
God will avenge the blood of his servants. The martyrs under the fifth seal asked God how long it would be until he would avenge their blood, Ch 6:10. The blood of the saints is mentioned in 16:6, 17:6, and 18:24.
According to Open Doors USA-255 Christians are killed every month, 104 are abducted, 180 women are raped, 66 churches are attacked, and 160 Christians are detained without trial and imprisoned.
In 2015 a gunman walked into Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon on the edge of the Cascade Mountains. He shot a professor point blank, and then lined up students one by one and told them to state their religion. Are you a Christian?, he would ask them. If you are a Christian, stand up. Good. Because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second and he shot and killed them.
1 Corinthians 12:26 Says that we are one body. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoiced with is.
God will vindicate all who give their lives for him, rather than betraying their faith.
This will only be the beginning of the eternal consequences for all who rebel against God.
Reason #3 There will be praise in heaven because rebellion will be ended. V3
They said Hallelujah again, and said, Her smoke ascends forever and ever.
Judgment is final and cannot be reversed. This is reminiscent of what happened in Sodom and Gomorrah. Because of the wickedness of the cities, divine judgment was passed on them. Genesis 19:24-25 Then out of the sky the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah burning sulfur from the Lord. He demolished these cities, the entire plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and whatever grew on the ground. Abraham, v28 looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of the plain, and he saw that smoke was going up from the land like the smoke of a furnace.
Hell is described as the place of unquenchable fire (Matt 3:12), eternal fire (Matt 25:41), a place where thirst is not quenched (Mark 9:44-45), everlasting destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:9), a lake of burning sulfur where the wicked are tormented day and night forever (Rev 20:10).
Every human being is created to live eternally.
Hell drives us to the holiness of God. Hell demonstrates the extent of God’s love in salvation. People who will spend eternity in hell will do so because of their sin, they will not be able to blame God.
Reason #4 There will be praise in heaven because God reigns. Vv4-6
The 24 elders and the four living creatures proclaim Amen! Hallelujah!
The Lamb of God took the scroll from the right hand of God. The 24 elders and 4 living creatures fell down and sang of the worthiness of the Lamb. This time, they honor God for his judgment. This is their last appearance in the Book of Revelation.
Psalm 106:48 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, Amen! Praise the Lord!
The voice heard from the throne calling on the servants of God to praise him is probably an angel because he uses the phrase, our God.
Included are all of his servants, the ones who fear him, both great and small.
Psalm 150:1-6 Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud crashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
There is a common phrase currently used in some churches to refer to the congregational worship time as a “worship experience.” I could not disagree with the use of this phrase any more than I do.
Worship is not an experience. Worship is not about you and me, about what we get, or about a performance, or an emotional experience. Worship is about what we give, and we give glory to God. Worship is a way of life. Colossians 3:17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Reason #5 There will be praise in heaven because the marriage supper of the Lamb will come. Vv7-10
vv7-9 Let us be glad, rejoice, and give him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has prepared herself. She was given fine linen to wear, bright, and pure. For the fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints.
In the Bible, marriage is used to describe the relationship of saints to God. In the OT, Israel is pictured as the unfaithful wife of God who he promised to restore in the future. In the NT, marriage is used to describe the relationship between Christ and the church. The church is regarded as the pure bride waiting for the arrival of her heavenly bridegroom. She prepares herself for the arrival of the bridegroom. The fine linen represents the righteous acts of the saints. These righteous acts are possible because of the grace of God.
Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Wedding customs in the time of Jesus had three major parts:
First, a marriage contract was signed by the parents of the bride with the bridegroom. The parents of the bridegroom would pay a dowry to the bride or her parents. This began the betrothal period- what we would call an engagement today.
Second, around a year later, the bridegroom would go with his friends to the bride’s home. The bride would know to expect him and, along with her friends, they would go back to the bridegroom’s home.
Third, was the marriage supper itself, which could go on for several days. What is in view here in Revelation 19 is the third part. The first two parts have already taken place. The first part is when each individual believer places their faith in Jesus. The blood of Christ secures that salvation and we are betrothed to Christ. We wait for and watch for the return of the Bridegroom. The marriage supper will follow.
This is similar to the Parable of the Wedding Feast in Matthew 22:1-14, or the Great Banquet in Luke 14:15-24. A king prepared a wedding banquet for his son. People were invited, but when the table was set and the time came, those invited refused to come. The servants of the king were mistreated and killed. The king sent an army to avenge their death. He sent out invitations to anyone his servants could find, and the wedding hall was filled. The king is God the Father, the son is Jesus Christ, Israel received the first invitations. The prophets and many others were mistreated and killed. The message then went forth to the end of the earth.
V9 Then he said to me, “Write: Blessed are those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb.”
To whom does God extend an invitation to the marriage supper of the Lamb? All the world, all creation.
Mark 16:15 Jesus said, Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.
Who will accept the invitation to the marriage supper of the Lamb? Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord for salvation.
Romans 10:13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
These words of God are true.V9
John fell at the angel’s feet to worship him, but he said don’t do that, I am a fellow servant who holds firmly to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, because the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Revelation 19 is a good introduction of what is about to be revealed, the second coming of Jesus, the focus of the entire message of Revelation.