Wedding Supper of the Lamb

WEDDING SUPPER OF THE LAMBand his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:7b-10)

The Wedding – Bible scholars have long debated whether the wedding will take place in Heaven or on earth. While the difference may not seem that important (the focus is the event itself, not necessarily the location), the interpretive problem might be resolved by comparing the wedding described here to weddings in the first century. A wedding normally included three stages: Continue reading “Wedding Supper of the Lamb”

After Babylon Falls

PRAISEAfter this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” And again they shouted: “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.” The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: “Amen, Hallelujah!” Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!” Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come… (Revelation 19:1-7a)

After This – With the martyrs vindicated, the scene shifts from mourning on the earth to rejoicing in Heaven(1)After this” means Continue reading “After Babylon Falls”

Justification of God’s Judgment

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JUSTIFICATION OF JUDGMENT – “Your merchants were the world’s great men. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray. In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth.” (Revelation 18:23b-24)

Revelation 18:24 should be compared with Revelation 17:6 and Matthew 23:35. Satan has often used religion and business to persecute and slay the people of God. During the first half of the Tribulation, as the anti-Christ rises to power, religious, political and economic Babylon will all work together in opposing the Lord and His people. It will seem to many that God does not care. But at the right time, in the fullness of time, the Lord will bring vindication to His people by destroying both “the harlot” and the great city. God may be patient with His enemies, but when He does begin to work, He acts suddenly and thoroughly.(1) God is neither premature nor tardy. He is always timely (at just the right time).

Three reasons for Babylon’s downfall are given as justification:

Greatness Measured by Wealth – “The merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.

Spiritual Apostasy – “By your magic spell all nations were led astray.”

Persecution of Those She Could Not Lead Astray – “In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and all those who have been killed on the earth.”(2)

Previews of Coming Attractions – Chapters 17 and 18 provided additional insight and information concerning the earth’s major religious, economic and political movements during its final seven years. The stage is now set for the climax of the Book of Revelation—the second coming of Christ (Revelation 19).(3) At this point, the religious, political and economic system of the beast has at long last been destroyed. All that remains are for Jesus Christ to come from heaven and personally meet and defeat the anti-Christ and his armies. This He will do. Then He will establish His righteous kingdom on earth.

Until that day, the important question for us is: Are we citizens of “Babylon” or citizens of heaven?(4)

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References

  1. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 616). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  2. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 595). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  3. Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 973–974). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  4. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 616). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Never Again

NEVER TO BE FOUND, HEARD OR SHINE AGAINThen a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: “With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again. The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No workman of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again. The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. (Revelation 18:21-23a)

The casting of the millstone into the sea indicates the suddenness of God’s judgment on the empire of the Beast. Some Bible students see in this millstone the return of Christ, as pictured in Daniel 2:34–35, 44–45 (“the rock was cut out, but not by human hands…it will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will endure forever”).(1)

It also symbolizes the completeness of the judgement.(2) In Jeremiah 51:63–64, the prophet is commanded to hurl a stone into the Euphrates and declare that Babylon would likewise “sink to rise no more.” The stone referenced here is the kind of millstone that was turned by a beast to mill grain. It is so heavy that it could not be retrieved from the sea (Mark 9:42).

The eerie silence that follows in Babylon also means that the devastation is complete.(3) All her mighty works of industry, craftsmanship, political power, and artistic skill are brought to nothing (see also Jeremiah 25:9–11). She has played the harlot and worshiped the beast rather than devoting her skills and energies to God and to the Lamb.(4) Note the repeated “never again” statements in Revelation 18. When God declares no more, there is nothing man can do to change it.(5)

Up Next – Justification of Judgement.

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References

  1. Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 849). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  2. Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible (Re 18:21). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
  3. Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (Re 18:21–22). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  4. Dockery, D. S., Butler, T. C., Church, C. L., Scott, L. L., Ellis Smith, M. A., White, J. E., & Holman Bible Publishers (Nashville, T. . (1992). Holman Bible Handbook (p. 802). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  5. Wiersbe, W. W. (1992). Wiersbe’s expository outlines on the New Testament (p. 849). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Laments Over Babylon’s Fall

LAMENT OF THE KINGS, MERCHANTS & SEA CAPTAINS – “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: “‘Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come!’ “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more—cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men. “They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’ The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn and cry out: “‘Woe! Woe, O great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’ “Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city?’ They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out: “‘Woe! Woe, O great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin! (Revelation 18:9-19)

Who Mourned – The mourners are those who had been bewitched by Babylon’s spiritual fornication, who had shared in her sensual pleasures, and who had gained from her wealth and trade.

Kings of the Earth – They were the kings of the earth, whom she had seduced into idolatry and who had shared in her tyranny.

Merchants and Sea Captains – They were the merchants and sea captains who got rich by selling and transporting her goods.(1)

The imagery here is Continue reading “Laments Over Babylon’s Fall”

Proclamation From Heaven

PROCLAMATION FROM HEAVENThen I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup. Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.’ Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her. (Revelation 18:4-8)

Come Out of Her – The warning “come out of her” is reminiscent of Continue reading “Proclamation From Heaven”

Proclamation of the Angel

PROCLAMATION OF THE ANGELAfter this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” (Revelation 18:1-3)

When the Proclamation is Given – The final verses of Revelation 17 (before) warn of Babylon’s impending fall. Revelation 18 (after) gives the details of its destruction. While John received visions (before) that would happen in the future (after), he wrote down what he saw after seeing the vision. Thus, Continue reading “Proclamation of the Angel”