Title: THE KING COMES TO CLAIM HIS KINGDOM
Text: Revelation 19:1-21
How the world is going to end has been mankind’s major question for centuries. Historians have studied the past hoping to find a clue to understand the future. Philosophers have tried to penetrate it but have not found the key. No wonder our mixed up world has turned in desperation to astrology and spiritualism to find the answers to questions of the future. But here in this chapter we find the events that wrap up human history at its end.
Chapter 19 opens with a great multitude in heaven shouting, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, because His judgments are true and righteous!” A second time the host of heaven erupts with “Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!” The 24 elders and the four living creatures join in and shout, “Amen! Hallelujah!” Finally this stirs a response from the throne: "Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great." Then in one unified voice, the multitudes of all of them join together like the sound of many waters and thunder, saying, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!” Folks, this is Heaven’s hallelujah chorus!!! And what is it that brings on this great swell of voices that captivates every creature and being of Heaven? It’s the return of the King to claim His Kingdom!!! Can you say, “Hallelujah!” too? Read Text.
1. What does the word “hallelujah” mean? (Praise the Lord.) The word is used in Ps. 106:1.
Insight: Ancient writers consider the word an angelic word that cannot be fully reproduced in any language of man. One of them, Augustine, says it embodies all the blessedness of Heaven. But for sure, what the kings, merchants and shippers on earth lament because of destruction of Babylon, Heaven celebrates as divine celebration. Babylon’s fall begins the regeneration of the earth. Wars will be no more. Injustice will be done away with. God’s enemies will be powerless. And indeed the Lamb will be established as the King of Kings. Isa. 25:1-2
2. Finally, after 6 verses of praise erupting in Heaven unlike anything John has heard previous to this point, comes the explanation for all worship: "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’s the announcement of a wedding. Who is the groom? Hos. 2:19-20; 2 Cor. 11:2 Who is the bride? Eph. 5:28-29, 32
Insight: Our marriage to Christ is the result of the eternal gift of the Father. The betrothal began when you first believed in Jesus. He took us to be His and gave Himself to be ours so that we could say, “My beloved is mine and I am His.” The marriage means that all who believe in Him shall enter into His house and provision forever and ever. The Lamb is the one husband who remains true to His bride forever. Ordinarily the focus of a wedding is the bride, but here the attention is focused on the Groom.
3. After a wedding, ladies who did not attend often ask, “What did the bride wear?” What is the Lamb’s bride wearing and what does it symbolize? (Fine, white linen, symbolizing His purification of her.) Eph. 5:26-27; Mk. 9:2-3
4. Our text says, “…for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready." Why do you think the Bride is more ready at this time than any time previous in history?
Insight: The fires of purification have burned strongly. She has put away all evil and is now altogether faithful. What petty things that have divided the Church in the past are put away. She stands as a unified body of believers…and she is ready for His return. Phil. 1:6
5. The one who told John to write the blessed words of the marriage invitation brought awe to John and he fell at his feet to worship him. Whoever it was rebuked John and said, “Don’t do that!” Why was that? (This was an angelic servant, not Jesus. Only God is to receive worship.) Deut. 6:13 Is the worship of angels wrong? Col. 2:18; Rev. 22:8-9
6. Next in John’s vision Heaven was opened and an ominous rider on a white horse and all the host of Heaven on white horses behind him came pouring forth. Never before in the course of history has Heaven opened it’s doors so wide, nor will there ever be an event equal to this one. What is the name of the rider on the white horse? (Faithful and True, no one knows his name by him, the Word of God, King of Kings, Lord of Lords.) Who can we conclude this rider is? (Jesus.)
Insight: How appropriate for this rider to be named Faithful and True. The earth has been reeling under the rule of the Antichrist. He promised prosperity, but now the economic system of Babylon is in ashes. The Antichrist promised safety under his rule, but the final bowls of wrath have devastated the earth. Indeed he is not true…he is a false Christ who has deceived the whole earth. How appropriate that He is named the Word of God, for letters make up words, and Jesus truly is the Alpha and the Omega…letters in the divine alphabet. How appropriate He is named King of Kings and Lord of Lords, for He comes to be victorious over all of them.
Insight: There is no need to try to guess what Jesus’ “secret name” is…but I marvel that even in Heaven we shall learn new things about our Lord Jesus.
Insight: In Jesus’ final week on earth, he rode upon the foal of an ass. He was meek and lowly like the domestic animal, for He came to yield Himself as the atonement for man. But when He comes again, He rides a martial white horse, for this King Christ coming to reclaim His Kingdom!
7. The description of Jesus when He returns is awesome and pregnant with meaning. What do each of these represent: Eyes as a flame of fire? (All seeing judgment mixed with wrath.) Many crowns on His head? (He has conquered all the kingdoms of the earth and they are now under His rule.) Robe dipped in blood? (The blood of his foes.) Isa. 63:1-6 Sharp sword in His mouth? (Word of God.) 2 Thes. 2:8 Rod of iron? (His rule over the earth.) Ps. 2:8-9
8. Who gets to ride with the Lord of Lords when He comes in His conquest? 2 Thes. 1:6-8; 2 Thes. 1:10; Jude 1:14-15 Will it be necessary for this massive army of Heaven to fight? Rev. 19:21; John 18:6
9. I find an amazing thing here in verses 18 & 19: after all the magnitude of judgments that Heaven has poured out upon the earth, the beast, the kings of the earth, and all the armies of mankind are gathered together to do war against the rider on the white horse. Think about this for a moment. What must be going on in their mind to do such a foolish thing?
Insight: They have a confidence as never before, because never before has there been a combination of forces. They must have a daring resolve of spirit that they can confidently pull this off. They have no question in their mind that they can pull off a victory over the King of Kings. They foolishly think they are ready to do battle even with Him who calls Himself Almighty. How great…how great…how great is the deception Satan has upon the minds of those whose soul belongs to him!
10. How long does this battle last? How does it turn out?
Insight: This massive, unmatched army in the history of mankind turns out to be a slaughter. What they think will be a defeat over Christians and the One we call our Lord, God views it as a huge potluck dinner for a bunch of scavenger birds! This event has several names: a great supper, Armageddon, and the great winepress of God’s wrath.
11. What is the judgment of the leaders of this revolt? (They were not killed; that is too merciful a judgment – they are thrown ALIVE into the Lake of Fire.) Dan. 7:11; Ps. 11:6 What happens to those who followed their leadership? (They are killed by the Word of the Lord.) Who else is going to the Lake of Fire? Rev. 20:10, 15
Those who adore the Beast will share the Beast’s fate. They are all mortals and there is no salvation for them. In terrible brevity of a few spoken words, their lifeblood flows out of them. What a terrible price to pay for shutting a God of love out of your heart! On this day, the God of love judges all evil! Ezekiel 38:21-23