Epistle of Jesus #15: Hallelujah In Heaven, Hell on Earth Revelation 19Video
MS Word Document
Introduction: The Lamb Wins
Haddon Robinson writing in the Daily Bread, tells a story that took place back in the late 1980. “Spontaneous celebrations of freedom erupted all across Eastern Europe in the late 1980s as atheistic and tyrannical governments suddenly disintegrated. One of the more unusual displays of liberty took place in Czechoslovakia on November 27, 1989.
Although church bells had not been heard in that freedom-starved nation for 45 years, at noon that day every church bell in the country began to ring. The pigeons were as startled as the people. A sign placed on the front lawn of a church in Prague summed up the joy of the moment. It read simply: The Lamb Wins!
Today in the 19th chapter of Revelation, we are going to see through John’s eyes the final and ultimate victory of the Lamb of God as Jesus return to earth for the last battle of the Tribulation.
Review- The Judgement of God and the Salvation of God
The Seals, the Trumpets, the Vials. One series of judgments leading to the next series of judgments, the 7th seal reveals the 7 trumpets and the 7th trumpet reveals the 7 vials.
And haven’t the judgments been terrible, haven’t they been beyond anything that has been seen or can be imagined today? Often when natural disasters strike in our day and time, things like hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, or terrible plagues or hellish wars, we hear people asking the question why did God do that? Why did God allow that? Let me say this, unless the Bible declares that God has done something like that then you better be careful blaming Him. Be careful blaming the One you need to make it through those horrific events, because in your misplaced anger you will not turn to the only One who can help you through.
Those things happen in this world because sin has been introduced into this world, because even creation has been tainted and the terrible price of sin can be felt even on a global and universal basis. Its foolish in this time to blame God for the disasters that happen every year, but when the Tribulation begins, the Bible then very clearly tells us that God is judging and His judgement encompasses catastrophes of weather, plague, war and even falling mountains and stars. All the world will know because the angels of heaven will declare it. “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!”
And today we have reached the end of all those judgments. Only one thing is left, a great and terrible battle, the battle of Armageddon. But before that battle can start, there must be some things that take place in heaven.
Heaven Sings - Revelation 19:1–10
The Songs of Heaven
There are three songs sung in these opening verses.
Alleluia, For The Harlot is Judged (vv. 1–4).
Praise, For the Lord God Reigns (vv. 5–6).
Rejoice, For The marriage of the Lamb is come (vv. 7–10
Alleluia, For The Harlot is Judged (vv. 1–4). 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. 4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
This is the Hallelujah Chorus of Revelation, four times in these opening verses we hear the host of heaven sing out, Hallelujah!
The first Song of Hallelujah is sung because the Great Harlot, the anti-religion, the persecutor and killer of God’s people has been destroyed as we studied last week. Revelation 18:24, “And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
These songs are a direct response to Revelation 18:20 “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.” These songs of heaven are the rejoicing of those who have waiting for so long for the justice of God to fall. For the wrong to be made right. For the truth and might of God to be fully revealed upon the one who has persecuted His beloved.
The next song of heaven is in vss. 5 and 6. It flows directly from the song of vss. 1-4.
Praise, For the Lord God Reigns (vv. 5–6). 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. 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.
Don’t you feel the power of John’s description? I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, the sound of a high crashing waterfall, the symphony of a mighty thunderstorm” What John is describing is the near deafening song of Praise to God.
Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!
The word Alleluia, or Hallelujah, is taken directly from the Hebrew. This word and the word Amen are both Hebrew words and are the oldest words still in common use today. Hallelujah is a compound word, formed from two words other Hebrew words, hallel, which mean “praise,” and jah, which is a short form of the word for God. Hallelujah means, “Praise God!”
But I know you already knew that. You’re all a bunch of old Hebrew scholars yourselves. Let me show you something I didn’t realize. In Psalms 111 and 112, where we read, “Praise Ye the Lord” in the Hebrew that is the word Hallelujah. From Psalms 146 to 150, each psalms begins and ends with Hallelujah. Now, I didn’t know that until I researched this sermon. Isn’t great to learn new things and isn’t even greater leaning them from God’s Word? You know what that makes me want to say? “Hallelujah”
Listen to Psalms 150
Praise ye the LORD. (Hallelujah)
Praise God in his sanctuary:
praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts:
praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the sound of the trumpet:
praise him with the psaltery and harp.
Praise him with the timbrel and dance:
praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
Praise him upon the loud cymbals:
praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD.
Praise ye the LORD. (Hallelujah)
There is one more song to be sung and it is vss. 7-10
Rejoice, For The marriage of the Lamb is come (vv. 7–10). Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 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. 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.
This is the song announcing the marriage of the Lamb. The great chorus of heaven sings out and rejoices because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and she has made herself ready. She has been granted to dress herself in fine linen, bright and clean for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
The marriages in Jesus’ time usually had three major events. First there was the marriage contract, decided by the parents while the bride and groom were still children. There had to be proper payment for the bride, the more desirable the bride the greater the dowry. When the dowry was paid and the contract agreed upon then the couple were already considered legally married, which is why the Bible talks about Mary being espoused to Joseph and being found with child. That would be adultery even though that had not been through a marriage ceremony.
2nd, when a couple had reached a the right age, the second step in the wedding took place. This was a ceremony in which the bridegroom accompanied by his friends would go to the house of the bride and escort her to his home. Only those who were ready to go to the wedding would be permitted to go with the bridegroom.
3rd and finally, the bridegroom would bring his bride to his home and there they would celebrate with a marriage supper or feast..
Jesus of course is the bridegroom, and the true church is the bride. The contract was part of the New Covenant draw by God the Father and Jesus The Son. The dowry, the bride price paid, was the life of Jesus given upon the cross. The rapture is the groom coming back for his bride and the guests and here in Revelation 19 is the wedding feast. This is the last act of the church age and the last action that must be completed before Jesus returns as Messiah and King.
The angel tells John, “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. These are the true sayings of God.” When John sees all of this and when John hears all of this, he falls at the feet of the angel and the angel stops him and says, “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.” He is telling John that he the Angel has no power, no prophecy but that it all because of God. Worship God, he says and he reminds John why he is there. “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” This is the epistle of Jesus, not an angel, no matter how great. It is all about Jesus, it is all from Jesus and it will all come to pass by Jesus.
You know why I think John fell at the feet of the angel? I think it happened because John had just heard and seen the end. After all the visions, all the judgments, all the terror, all the blood of the saints, all the prayers of the saints, its over and the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
It’s over and the persecution of the church, the bride of Christ has been avenged. Jesus the bridegroom has taken rightful vengeance upon the Great Harlot that has beaten, persecuted, imprisoned, martyred and murdered His bride.
Remember where John is actually out as he sees these visions? He’s not in heaven yet. He’s back on earth, he’s on the isle of Patmos, left there to die by the Roman Emperor. Remember who John is? The last living apostle, all his fellow apostles are dead. His spiritual family on earth under threat from the same powers that banished him to die. How hopeless it must of seemed on that dark, miserable slab of volcanic rock not even a mile wide.
But now, he has seen the end. He has seen the bride dressed in fine white linen, because she did not fail. She triumphed, she was victorious over all the world’s worst attacks and threats. She is dressed in white, a white that represents the righteous acts of the saints. John sees it and he collapses in gratitude, in relief, in exhaustion, in thankfulness. I think he tried to give thanks and praise to the angel we read about back in Revelation 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters.
He simply collapses in gratitude at what he now sees is the true, unchangeable end for God’s people and for the Bride of Christ.
Paul tells the Ephesians in 5:25-27, that Jesus gave himself for the church, his bride and that through His power and grace she has been sanctified, and cleansed Bride of the Lord. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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 what John now sees, no wonder he is overcome.
Heaven Opens - Revelation 19:11-16
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
The Hero of Heaven
On these verses One of the authors I was reading as I prepared for this sermon said, “This paragraph has always seemed to me almost too overwhelmingly glorious for exposition.” – Wycliffe Bible Commentary. How do you do anything but just sit back, watch, listen and try not to miss any detail of what is taking place before the eyes of John?
After the emotional events of John seeing and hearing the hallelujah chorus in the opening of the chapter, after seeing the wedding feast of the Lamb, with the Bride arraigned in white made ready to stand with Jesus. After his emotional collapse before the angel, he is given no time to recover but suddenly “I saw heaven opened and behold a white horse and the rider was called Faithful and True.”
Then John begins to list the name and description of the rider of the white horse. This is the rightful and true rider of white horse, Revelation 6 opens with a rider on a white horse, but he is anything but Faithful and True. That was the Anti-Christ, the false messiah and the world welcomed him, but now comes the rightful rider, now come Jesus, the faithful and true and he comes in righteousness to make war upon the armies of the Beast as they storm Jerusalem.
His eyes were as a flame of fire. There is fire in his eyes showing wrath and purpose.
On his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
WA Criswell said of this phrase, “That refers to His essential deity, the incommunicable, unpronounceable, unknowable name of God. No man can know God. Finite as we are, restricted as we are, the essential deity of God is something a man cannot enter into, but (only) the Lord God who is coming!”
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: This signifies the terrible battle that is about to take place, the slaughter, the carnage and the righteous rage of the one who rides the white horse.
His name is called The Word of God. ὁ Λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ. Seven times in the Bible the word Logos is used to describe Jesus. It is John’s particular name for Jesus. It describes him as the direct and divine expression of truth and God the father.
John sees the armies which were in heaven, all the armies, the army of angels, the host of heaven with Michael and Gabriel their captains. The armies of Israel with Joshua and David their great and fearless captain, and the armies of the Bride, led perhaps by Peter, the fisherman but now rightfully taking up a sword of the Lord.
The armies followed after Jesus, also riding white horses, and their uniform is fine linen, white and clean.
And though the armies of heaven ride with Jesus, it is Jesus who leads and it is Jesus who destroys the armies gathered against Jerusalem and in the valley of Armageddon. John sees that “out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron. He destroys the might of the armies of the world and then like the ancient kings that took possession of Israel in the Old Testament. He now takes possession of the nations of the world. He has defeated them with the sword of his mouth, with a single spoken word coming from the Rider on the white horse and all the power of all the worlds mightiest armies, all the destruction of their most terrible weapons are crushed. Just one word.
Remember it was the spoken word, the brought the universe into existence and that same unfathomable, inexhaustible, all-consuming power will be turned on this army of over 200 million. No wonder earlier in Revelation we read that the blood would run as deep as a horse’s bridle. That broad valley will be filled by the blood as He treads the enemy down like a winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
The Prophets of God have long before seen the visions of this day.
Isaiah 11:4–5 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
Isaiah 63:1–6 1 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. 2 Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? 3 I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. 4 For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. 5 And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. 6 And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.
Joel 3:9–17 9 Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: 10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. 11 Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. 12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. 13 Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. 14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
Zechariah 14:1–5 1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
Zechariah 14:12–13 12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. 13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.
His Eternal Title
And as John watches, perhaps as the Lord Jesus ride past him to fight the last battle of the Tribulation, he sees a name written on His clothes and running down the legs of that vesture, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
As if to remove any doubt, to lift any confusion, to show the foolish, sinful, hateful, rebellious world who it truly is that is coming with all the armies of glory. This is Jesus of Nazareth, this is the lowly Jew you rejected. This is the one who treated as an lunatic and mocked, this is the one you saw as a fool and walked away, this is the one you told yourself was only a myth, this is the one you branded an outlaw and crucified. This is the One who now returns in all His glory and power, all his brightness and authority. This is God the Son, this the King of Kings, this is the Lord of Lords.
You’ll never see him as anything else after this day!
Hell Fills - Revelation 19:17-21
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
The Justice of Heaven
In one decisive moment, the armies are slain and all that remains is for the scavengers of the air to come and feast on their flesh.
In one decisive moment the great military leader of the earth, the man who had all the power of Satan the great Dragon, all the power of he armies of the world at his command is seized and along with the false prophet thrown alive into the lake of fire. The Bible tells us that two men were taken to heaven without dying Enoch and Elijah and now here it seems the scales are balanced for two are thrown alive into the Lake of fire.
The battle is over and all that is left is the slaughter and the scavenging. What a terrible waste, what Hell on earth, but what a victory and what a rejoicing in Heaven.
You know where I want to be on the Day of the Lord? I’ve only ridden a horse about three times in my life, but when the Day of the Lord comes, just after the wedding feast. I want to hear Michael, or Joshua or Peter call out, “Mount Up and Ride!” or maybe it will be more Old Testament sounding like “Ye Armies of the Heaven, Arise and ride forth to battle for our Lord and King.” I like that better.
I want to be on the winning side of heaven. I want to be on that white horse, dressed in white linen watching as my Lord rescues His city, his nation, and his people. Don’t you want to ride to the rescue of Jerusalem with Jesus?
You know where you don’t want to be? On the losing side of this battle. For if all the power of all the assembled armies or all the earth can’t stand before a single spoken word of the King of King and Lord of Lords, what can you do against Him. Why would you resist Him, why would you rebel against the one who loved and died for you? Why would you ignore the One who has given so much to reach out to you? How can you stand when your rejection brings Him in his wrath and judgment against you?
Make sure this morning, make sure, absolutely sure, you have made a conscious choice to be on the Lord’s side, the winning side of eternity.