Revelation 19 and 20

Christ return is one of the first things prophesied, listen to what Enoch said from the book of Jude 1:14,15

Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, “Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy ones 15 to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

Enoch was not a Jew, he was so righteous he simply walked into heaven yet he spoke accurately of Christ return with all of us

19:1 After this, I heard what sounded like a vast crowd in heaven shouting,

“Praise the LORD!

Salvation and glory and power belong to our God.

2 His judgments are true and just.

He has punished the great prostitute

who corrupted the earth with her immorality.

He has avenged the murder of his servants.”

3 And again their voices rang out:

“Praise the LORD!

The smoke from that city ascends forever and ever!”

All the religious systems that were responsible for the murder of the tribulation believers have been destroyed. These first three verses are simply a summary of the last two chapters

4 Then the twenty-four elders and the four living beings fell down and worshiped God, who was sitting on the throne. They cried out, “Amen! Praise the LORD!”

This is the last reference to the 24 elders from here on we will see them as the bride. The 24 elders do not co-occur with the bride which I believe strengthens our argument that the 24 elders are the church

5 And from the throne came a voice that said,

“Praise our God,

all his servants,

all who fear him,

from the least to the greatest.”

6 Then I heard again what sounded like the shout of a vast crowd or the roar of mighty ocean waves or the crash of loud thunder:

“Praise the LORD!

For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.

So much here we see are praise and worship to the Lord

7 Let us be glad and rejoice,

and let us give honor to him.

For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb,

and his bride has prepared herself.

8 She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.”

For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people.

9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.”

This is the first of two suppers. The bride here is not Israel….Israel in the book of Hosea is a prostitute, God calls her back to himself but this is not Israel, Israel is also considered divorced Revelation 17 The harlot said “I am a queen and am no widow,” In Isaiah 54, Jeremiah 3, Hosea  2 she is portrayed as being divorced in Lamentations and Isaiah 54. A priest could not marry a divorced woman, Christ is the high priest. Jesus is the bridegroom and the church is the bride. Jesus made this promise in John 14:1-4

Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”

The “you” here is the church

The wedding ceremony – explain

Payment of purchase price

Bride is set apart

Bridegroom goes to Father’s house to add a room

Bride does not know when he comes

Bridegroom showing up is a surprise 

Wedding – 7 day feast

10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said, “No, don’t worship me. I am a servant of God, just like you and your brothers and sisters who testify about their faith in Jesus. Worship only God. For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus.”

Angels do not allow themselves to be worship…in Joshua 5 where we see the being telling Joshua to take off his shoes this is holy ground, he allowed himself to be worshiped so we know it is Jesus…everything in scripture is about Jesus

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war.

The coming king…you can see this revealed in Psalm 2, 45-47, 58-68, 

Just as a reminder in Luke 4 when Jesus read from Isaiah 61:1,2 he does not read the whole verses he does not read this phrase “the day of God’s anger against their enemies.” The whole first part was for that day and us now but this final part is for this time we are reading..

12 His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. 13 He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God.

The crowns here are diadems, authorities, kingdoms….he is the “word of God” in the flesh. Remember Jesus had the blood of the enemies on him

Isaiah 63: 1-4 describes Jesus in a different way

Who is this who comes from Edom,

from the city of Bozrah,

with his clothing stained red?

Who is this in royal robes,

marching in his great strength?

“It is I, the LORD, announcing your salvation!

It is I, the LORD, who has the power to save!”

2 Why are your clothes so red,

as if you have been treading out grapes?

3 “I have been treading the winepress alone;

no one was there to help me.

In my anger I have trampled my enemies

as if they were grapes.

In my fury I have trampled my foes.

Their blood has stained my clothes.

4 For the time has come for me to avenge my people,

to ransom them from their oppressors.

It goes on from there but you get the idea

14 The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses.

The bride is dressed in white linen that we saw earlier

15 From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress.

Jesus doesn’t literally have a sword coming out of his mouth but what do we know is the sword of Spirit? The word of God Ephesians 6:17, Hebrews 4:12 quick and powerful. It is God’s word that strikes down the nations holds them accountable for what they have done. God’s word decimates his enemies, there is no struggle here, this is not even a battle really…God declares and it is done. Rule with rod of iron…used four times to describe Jesus.

Can you imagine the fierceness and the wrath of God?

We will be there with Him when this happens…he doesn’t need us to do battle why we are wearing priestly linen where there is to be no sweat

16 On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

His thigh is with this type of warfare is where a soldier would have his colors or distinctiveness for warfare

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, shouting to the vultures flying high in the sky: “Come! Gather together for the great banquet God has prepared. 18 Come and eat the flesh of kings, generals, and strong warriors; of horses and their riders; and of all humanity, both free and slave, small and great.”

This is a different supper…not something where we want to enjoy…the carnage of the destruction…Ezekiel 39 has similar language this is why some combine this and the Gog Magog thing but I think this is more just such a common site with battles

19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army.

Can you imagine the stupidity of this…perhaps this is showing the world leaders head wound.

Read Psalm 2 if you can this week it will show you this fulfilled as the Lord is discussing this with Jesus and the world in rebellion

20 And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

This burning never ends and they are thrown alive into this fire when Satan will end up in about 1000 years

21 Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies.

Once again, Jesus doesn’t need our help, the nations are destroyed by the word of God and this is ancient warfare picture of the vultures eating the dead

I want us to pause for a second to look at something…this is something yet future  Zachariah 14: 1,2 

Watch, for the day of the LORD is coming when your possessions will be plundered right in front of you! 2 I will gather all the nations to fight against Jerusalem. The city will be taken, the houses looted, and the women raped. Half the population will be taken into captivity, and the rest will be left among the ruins of the city.

It says “all nations” that means even the US will eventually turn its back on Israel. We are not seen in prophecy. Will we be so weak because of the twin deficit budget and trade bring us down…will we be the victim of some warfare catastrophie? But I do worry when we turn our backs on Israel what will happen to us…

Watch what happens in verse three and 4

Then the LORD will go out to fight against those nations, as he has fought in times past. 4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. And the Mount of Olives will split apart, making a wide valley running from east to west. Half the mountain will move toward the north and half toward the south.

There is a fault line in Israel that is just waiting for the pressure of Jesus foot

The next chapter deals with the millennium 20 This topic is covered also in Isaiah 58

Luke 1:32-33

He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

The throne of David did not exist during Christ ministry on earth. If you are a preterist (believing all these things have already happened) how do you justify the fulfillment of that prophecy.

2 Samuel 7 David was promised by God to have a throne forever…it can not be applied to the church this is separate issue….there is the bride and the restoration of Israel who has accepted Christ. It is simply important to realize that God does not lie and that He keeps his word for generation after generation

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. 2 He seized the dragon—that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for a thousand years. 3 The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterward he must be released for a little while.

Just as a reminder chapters and verses we have in our Bible were devised by Stephan Langton the arch Bishop of Canterbury in the early 13th century. They are not inspired but they do help us conveniently but like these verses they are in an awkward place. These verses really belong to the last chapter.

Notice it is simply one no name angel that throws Satan (chapter 9) into the pit, Jesus doesn’t need to do it, just one no name angel. Satan is not a counterpart to Jesus. 

Notice too where does all the deception of the nations come from?  Satan so our prayers for the nations are affective because it is not man we are dealing with but Satan himself…He is the author of confusion

Do you remember the demons in Gerasenes  let’s visit another mention of this pit

Luke 8: 26-33

As soon as he saw Jesus, he shrieked and fell down in front of him. Then he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Please, I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For Jesus had already commanded the evil spirit to come out of him. This spirit had often taken control of the man. Even when he was placed under guard and put in chains and shackles, he simply broke them and rushed out into the wilderness, completely under the demon’s power.

30 Jesus demanded, “What is your name?”

“Legion,” he replied, for he was filled with many demons. 31 The demons kept begging Jesus not to send them into the bottomless pit.

32 There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby, and the demons begged him to let them enter into the pigs.

So Jesus gave them permission. 33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned.

4 Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus and for proclaiming the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They all came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 This is the first resurrection. (The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years had ended.) 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years.

The first and second resurrection are categories not events

The first resurrection began with Jesus in the garden tomb, then also Matthew 27:52,53 is part of this resurrection many who were godly were also raised from the dead. It includes the raptured saints, and it includes the tribulation saints 

The second resurrection is later at the end of the 1000 years

Daniel 12, John 5, Acts 24 references these events

Notice that once again these are part of the redeemed for they are priest and reign as kings

2 deaths 1- separation of the body from the soul, 2nd death the separation of the soul from God….we don’t have any understanding of what that means

During the millennium creation has changed Zachariah 4 and Isaiah 35, we get the impression from those that the curse of Genesis 3 is lifted (Isaiah 11:6-9), Isaiah 65: 17-25 

There will be crops, grown, land ownership, there will be death and sin but it will be fruitful. It is not where righteousness dwells but it is where righteousness is enforced.

This could be the most difficult time for mankind because man will still sin even though Satan is bound, no shortages, everyone has the knowledge they need, there is perfect justice…all the excuses of why man sins have been taken away but mankind will still sin and rebel.

We get the impression that death is for unbelievers only. 

Read the last 9 chapters of Ezekiel (40-48) all nations come to the temple to worship there. It describes the millennial temple

7 When the thousand years come to an end, Satan will be let out of his prison. 8 He will go out to deceive the nations—called Gog and Magog—in every corner of the earth. He will gather them together for battle—a mighty army, as numberless as sand along the seashore.

This is not the the Ezekiel 38 passage because that happens before the 2nd coming of Jesus. So what is it doing here….it could be idiomatically by this time this is a proverbial reference saying something like what happened before or it could be that somehow a demonic force Gog has survived on the earth for the millennium and when Satan is loosed he is loosed too and is able to rise up people who wish to stand against the Lord as one last great battle

9 And I saw them as they went up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded God’s people and the beloved city. But fire from heaven came down on the attacking armies and consumed them.10 Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

The army doesn’t even have a chance…once again God destroys this army…can you imagine people living on the earth during Christ 1000 year reign and wanting to oppose him. We know people will be able to sin….how much of sin is unrelated to anything demonic….notice that Satan is thrown into the lake of fire where the beast and the false prophet 1000 years later are still there burning this final time is forever

11 And I saw a great white throne and the one sitting on it. The earth and sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. 12 I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. 14 Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. 15 And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.

There are two judgements that is why this is called the great white throne. The first is the judgment seat (Bemis, Bema) of Christ 2 Corinthians 5:10

“For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.”

This is kind of a judgement like in the Olympics to judge what award you get. Every Christian will be awarded for what they have done here on earth…all who are saved receive their rewards for faithful service

Here we see the “unsaved” dead…because they do not have salvation they are judged according to their works versus God’s perfection.

Hades (hell) is a temporary place. What we are witnessing here is the second death…if we are born again, our second death took place as we surrendered our lives to Christ but this second death is an entirely different thing it is the separation of the soul from God…apart from a relationship with Jesus no one’s name could appear in the book of life

What happens when you die?  Most people believe in heaven and hell but everyone has a soul that continues but over 70 million people are unsure what determines where they go. 2/3 believe they are going to heaven but aren’t sure how that is happening

If we examine the beliefs of those who believe they are going to heaven 

43% believe because they have accepted Jesus as their Lord and savior

20% because they have tried to obey the 10 commandments

20%  are a good person and won’t allow anyone to go to hell

10% don’t know

7% God is loves all people so everyone makes it to heaven

Among born again

10% believe a person can be reincarnated after death

29% believe it is possible to communicate with the dead

50% contend that a person can gain salvation based on good works with multiple options

Atheist and agnostics 

50% believe every person has a soul and that heaven and hell exist

12% believe accepting Jesus probably makes life after death possible

Luke 16: 19- 31 if we have time..this is not a parable in parables people don’t have names

Next week we wrap it all up