Introduction

Don’t rush through these verses to get to the return of Christ upon the white horse accompanied by His armies, otherwise you will miss something equally as important. These verses are not merely a passing introduction to what is to come in the rest of chapter 19, but are actually a formal conclusion to something that not just all believers, but the whole of heaven has been waiting for ever since Jesus’ first ministry on earth. It is important to note that as the fulfillment of all of God’s Word and plans since before the foundation of the earth come together, that the whole of heaven celebrates their fulfillment in three specific things, a list which might not match your own as a follower of Christ, but should.

 

First read v.1-10

1After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; 2BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER.”

 

3And a second time they said,

“Hallelujah! HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER.”

 

4And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!”

5And a voice came from the throne, saying,

“Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.”

 

6Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. 7Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”

 

8It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

9Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”

10Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

 

Rev. 18 vs. 19

Remember, in the original manuscript there were no chapter or verse markings. How do many of the elements in Rev. 19:1-10 mirror what came before in Rev. 18?

  • “Fallen, fallen is Babylon on the great!” (18:2) vs. “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns”. (19:6) The final and permanent fall of one kingdom gives way to the rise and permanent establishment of the other.
  • “Come out of her, my people”. (18:4) vs. “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb”. (19:9) God’s people’s time at the hands of the harlot Babylon comes to an end and their reward as His Bride begins.
  • Of the self-proclaimed queen it is pronounced she will get “double according to her deeds” (18:6-7) vs. the Bride of Christ “clothed in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints”. (19:8) The deeds of one woman invoke judgment and condemnation, the deeds of the other woman bring reward and salvation.
  • It is predicted that Babylon “will be burned up with fire” (18:8) versus “Her smoke rises up forever and ever”. (19:3) Temporary, earthly judgment is but a reflection of permanent, eternal judgment to come.
  • Both “the kings of the earth” and “the merchants of the earth” (v.9-20) pronounce four woes (v.10, 16) vs. the whole of heaven celebrating four hallelujahs. (v.1-10) Those on earth mourn the judgment of God that has come upon them and the end of everything they knew, while those in heaven celebrate that judgment as the fulfillment of God’s Word and the beginning of everything God has promised.

These two chapters are like the opposite sides of the same coin. Whereas Rev. 18 is the earthly perspective of those who are coming to terms with the futility of their hopes placed in the ultimate earthly kingdom of Satan, Rev. 19 is the heavenly perspective of those exact, same events which cause all their hopes to materialize in the fulfillment of God’s Word to establish His kingdom forever.

1After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; 2BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER.”

 

3And a second time they said,

“Hallelujah! HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER.”

 

4And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!”

 

6Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. 7Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”

[Read v.1-4, 6-7]

Q: What is the greater thing that “the great harlot” represents?

A: She represents the world system which primarily exploits the use of sin to corrupt everyone she can and to persecute and kill all those she cannot.

Q: So what is the greater thing being celebrated by the hallelujahs in v.1-4?

A: The judgment and victory over sin.

Point: Ever since the Garden of Eden every problem has been the result of man’s fall to sin. In order to return to God’s original intentions for creation and the original state of Adam and Eve, sin must be vanquished. Although the Flood in Noah’s time was a judgment of God which temporarily eliminated all the sinners on earth, it did not eliminate sin which quickly returned among Noah’s descendants.

Q: What is the second reason there is joy in heaven?

A: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns”. (v.6)

Q: Who has been reigning on earth to this point?

A: Scripture clearly tells us that Satan is currently the “god of this world”. (Jn. 12:31; 2 Co. 4:4) This has been exemplified in Revelation as Babylon the world system controlled by the satanically-possessed Antichrist.

Point: When people ask why a loving God would allow evil things to happen on earth, we have to explain to them that it is Satan who is the god of this world causing these things, and the reason the true God of love relents in setting things right is because of His love for those who have not yet accepted Him. When God brings all things to justice He must also bring justice—eternal condemnation—upon those who reject Christ His Son as their Savior. The true loving God relents at bringing an end to the activities of the god of this world because of His love for the unsaved.

Q: What is the third reason there is joy in heaven?

A: “…for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready”. (v.7)

Point: There is joy in all of heaven who celebrate the fulfillment of the top three things which embody the fulfillment of all of God’s Word and promises: the judgment and end of sin, the establishment of God’s kingdom, and the presentation of the Bride to the Bridegroom.

Application: Our position as the Bride of Christ is not merely a sideshow or minor theme in the scheme of God’s plan, but one of the most important and anticipated events in the whole history of God’s plan. It fulfills God’s original intention of man’s place and relationship with Him.

2BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER.”

 

3And a second time they said,

“Hallelujah! HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER.”

[Read v.2-3]

Q: What might be significant about the these three quotations from the Old Testament?

A: They are representative of the entire Word of God.

 

Revelation 19
OT Reference
Category
“BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS…” (v.2)
Ps. 19:9
"The Psalms"
… HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER.” (v.2)
Dt. 32:43
"The Law"
HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER.” (v.3)
Is. 34:30
"The Prophets"

 

Point: After His resurrection, Jesus instructed His disciples in all of God’s Word. The Tanakh, or what we now call the Old Testament, placed all of its 39 books into one of three categories: the Law (or Torah), the Psalms (which included all the books of wisdom and history), and the Prophets (all four major and twelve minor prophets). By quoting something from each category, the greater meaning is that ALL of God’s Word has come into its ultimate and final fulfillment.

“These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled”.

— Lk. 24:44

Application: The joy in heaven over the judgment of sin, the reign of God and the Bride of Christ is a celebration of the fulfillment of the entire Word of God.

1“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3If 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. 4And you know the way where I am going.”

[Read Jn. 14:1-4]

Q: How is this related to our reading in Revelation 19?

A: The marriage supper of the Lamb is the ending—the fulfillment of what was originally begun—established here. The disciples to whom Jesus was originally speaking and the 1st century Jewish believers who first read John’s Gospel would have all understood that Jesus was clearly speaking as the Bridegroom to His Bride.

Q: How did a Jewish marriage take place at this time?

A: In three distinct stages: (1) The betrothal (engagement), (2) the marriage feast/nuptials, and (3) the consummation.

Q: How did this marriage process begin?

A: With a contract. From this point on they were legally considered as married even though it would still require completion of all three stages.

Q: During the first stage of betrothal, after the contract was established, what did the bridegroom do?

A: He went away to his father’s house. Property was handed down in each family through the sons, so the bridegroom would go and prepare an addition to his father’s property for his wife and family to live.

Q: How long was the bridegroom away?

A: Until his father gave his approval that the work was complete. (Hint: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.” – Mt. 24:36) The bride did not know the exact day or hour the bridegroom would return but only knew the general time as it drew near. (Hint: “…so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” – Mt. 24:33)

Q: When did the bridegroom usually make his surprise return?

A: In the night because when living in desert conditions, it is much more desirable to travel during the night than the day. Scripture repeatedly speaks of the Bridegroom coming at night as in the Song of Solomon, the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Mt. 25:1-13), or simply that He will come “as a thief in the night”. (Mt. 24:43; 1 Th. 5:2; 2 Pe. 3:10; Rev. 16:15)

Q: What happens when the Bridegroom returns?

A: Very quickly the invitations go out for the wedding feast, the second stage of the process.

Point: Jesus’ promise in John 14:1-4 works in exactly this way:

  • We are already under contract with Him, what we call the “New Covenant”.
  • He has gone to prepare a place for us in His Father’s house and He will return when the Father determines.
  • We will not know the day or the hour, but as Jesus said we will recognize the time is near so that we can not only anticipate it but be ready for it.

Q: What does the bride do in the mean time until the bridegroom returns?

A: She remains faithful to him, doing the necessary things in preparation for his return. (Hint: “…His bride has made herself ready” and to clothed “in fine linen” which are “the righteous acts of the saints”. –Rev. 19:7-9)

Application: The marriage supper of the Lamb is the fulfillment in heaven of what began with our relationship with Christ first initiated here on earth.

1Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying,

2“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. 3And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come.

4“Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.”’ 5But they paid no attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, 6and the rest seized his slaves and mistreated them and killed them. 7But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire.

8“Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ 10Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests.

11“But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, 12and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. 13Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14For many are called, but few are chosen.”

[Read Mt. 22:1-14]

Q: In the Parable of the Wedding Feast which provides insight into what takes place during the second stage of the marriage process, who are the two basic types of people illustrated?

A: Those who accept the invitation and those who do not.

Q: What is the basic behavior which characterizes those who do not accept the invitation?

A: There are those who ignore it in favor of pursuing the interests of their personal life (v.5) and those who rebel and persecute the messengers carrying the invitation. (v.6) It is a picture of those who reject Christ by ignoring the message altogether and those who reject Christ by trying to silence those carrying the message.

Q: What is the basic behavior of those who accept the invitation?

A: There are those who are “dressed and ready” and those who are not.

Q: How do we know that this represents those who believe in Christ and prove it by the life they lead versus those who believe in Christ but continue to live exactly as they did before in the behavior of their old life?

A: Because Rev. 19:7-8 explains the meaning of the wedding clothes and, therefore, why the king found the guest in v.11-14 to be deficient.

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

— Revelation 19:7–8

Q: How do we know that it is not just any and every “good deed” that counts, but only those in alignment with His Word and ways?

A: That is the meaning of the clothes being “bright and clean”, that they are the result of “the righteous acts of the saints”, not just any and every act.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

— Ephesians 5:25–27

Application: The Bride makes herself ready not by simply believing that the Bridegroom will return, but proving it by putting His Word into practice so that she is sanctified—devoted exclusively to Him.

9Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”

[Read v.9]

Q: Why is it called the marriage supper of the “Lamb”? Why not “the marriage supper of the King” or “the marriage supper of the Messiah (the Anointed One)”?

A: Of all the many titles of Christ, “the Lamb” is a particularly important one because it originated in eternity past and is to be emphasized in eternity future.

    1. At the beginning of the Gospel of John, John the Baptist first declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” (Jn. 1:36) It is the primary identification of His First Coming and the work He would do on the cross. It is His identity at His First Coming.

    2. When the Apostle John is taken up to heaven, he first sees Christ as “a Lamb standing, as if slain”. (Rev. 5:6) From Rev. 13:8 we understand that Jesus as the slain Lamb existed since “the foundation of the world”. It is His identity in eternity past.

    3. At the end of Revelation the Bride is described as “the wife of the Lamb” (Rev. 21:9), the Apostles are described as “the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Rev. 21:14), there is no temple in the New Jerusalem because “the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Rev. 21:22), there is no need for the sun or moon anymore because “its lamp is the Lamb” (Rev. 21:23), and throne is described as “the throne of God and of the Lamb”. (Rev. 22:1, 3) It is His identity in eternity future.

This title embodies the fulfillment of the hallelujahs of Rev. 19 as to the end to sin, the establishment of God’s throne and the marriage to His Bride and eternally testifies to Christ’s love and the price He paid for His Bride.

Q: How does this title inspire Believers to simultaneously see the future through the past and the past through the future?

A: We are always looking back at the cross where the Lamb of God took away our sins and from which point on we are living every day in preparation of His return and the marriage supper which will place us forever together.

Application: The work of the Lamb on the cross is our daily assurance He will complete the next stage of our relationship at the marriage supper of the Lamb set before us.

10Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

[Read v.10]

Q: What is the angel saying to John about the authority of the information he has been giving to John?

A: It is just like the Word Christ has spoken through the Law, the Prophets and Apostles. Just because it is coming through an angel does not mean it has a higher authority than any other Word of Christ spoken through man.

Q: What then is the test of all prophecy?

A: The degree to which it conforms with ALL of Christ’s Word. “Prophecy” does not have the ability to nullify or change any basic doctrine or teaching of Christ. In fact, every basic teaching and doctrine of Christ “is the spirit of prophecy”—that is, confirms its authenticity.

Point: This is why every strange End Times doctrine or theory is betrayed by someone who commits basic errors in foundational areas such as salvation, sanctification, the gifts of the Spirit, God’s plan for Israel, and so forth. Their aberrational End Times beliefs actually betray their aberrational doctrinal beliefs.

Application: The Bride does not need a “new” Word but simply to put into practice the Word she has already been given.

 

Overall Application

  • Are you living like a faithful bride, knowing that the Father could send the Son back to you at any time?
  • Are you living up to the terms of your “marriage contract”?
  • Are you living for this life or the next? Are you like those who are too busy with the things of this world to bother with the invitation?
  • Are you dressed and ready?
  • Are you fixated on fulfilling the whole Word of Christ already given to you?
  • Do you understand that if all of heaven is anticipating the marriage supper of the Lamb that it should not be a trivial expectation for you personally? End