Study Notes

Revelation 19:1-20:15

19:1-6 Four Hallelujahs And An Amen

Three groups say "hallelujah." First, a great multitude, the same multitude we first saw back in chapter seven. These were the people that were saved during the Tribulation as a result of the witnessing of the 144,000. A countless group from every nation, tribe, people, and tongue. They were martyred - killed for their faith in Jesus Christ.

Next, we see the 24 elders - the church - falling down and worshipping God at His throne, affirming the statement of the great multitude, saying "Amen, Hallelujah!"

Amen-ing and hallelujah-ing with the great multitude and the church are four living creatures. We have seen them earlier, in chapter four - the same creatures described in Ezekiel chapter 10 - they are the cherubim.

All three groups are saying, "hallelujah." In Greek the word is Al-lay-LOO-ee-ah. In Hebrew, it is "Haw-LAL Yaw." Yah is the shortened form of Yahweh (or Jehovah), the name of God. So it means "Praise Yah," or "Praise the Lord."

The verb "praise" is in the imperative, the command form of the verb "halal." It literally means, "praise YE the Lord," the command, "Hey you: praise the Lord." So, although most people say it as a form of praise from themselves, most properly used, it is an instruction or command for the hearer to praise the Lord.

The response to the first hallelujahs is an amen. Another word used frequently by people who don't entirely understand what it means. As we discussed in chapter three, amen is "am-ANE" in Greek, "aw-MANE" in Hebrew. It means "absolutely, firmly, faithfully true." When you say "amen," you are positively agreeing with what has been spoken.

It is interesting to do a word study of the word "amen." What you will find is that its Biblical usage is not for the end of a prayer, but for agreement with what someone has spoken. People said amen when the Law was read, when someone gave thanks, or when someone wanted to strongly affirm what they had just said. The only prayer I know of in the entire Bible that ends with "amen" is the Lord's prayer in Matthew (6:13), of which the last line is believed by most scholars to have been added later. Luke does not record that Jesus said amen at the end of this prayer.

So, I am not trying to get you to stop saying amen at the end of your prayers. What I am pointing out is that the person in the pew saying "amen" to a point that the preacher makes is actually far more Biblical in his usage of the word.

19:7-9 The Marriage Supper Of The Lamb

The marriage of the Lamb has come. This is the time when the bridegroom and the bride are joined together for eternity. Paul the apostle wrote,

Eph. 5:22-32 Wives, {be subject} to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself {being} the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives {ought to be} to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; 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 should be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also {does} the church, because we are members of His body. FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

It sounded like Paul was talking about husbands and wives. And of course he was, but the higher lesson what that the church is the bride of Christ. And the mystery that is revealed here is the special, supernatural secret of marriage: God created marriage to be a witness, a testimony of Jesus! A picture of how Christ is, and how the church should be. You see, when a man behaves like Christ towards his wife - loving her unconditionally, cherishing her, providing for her, even sacrificing his life for her, he is accurately portraying Jesus Christ to the world. When a woman submits to her husband's authority, then she is portraying the proper way that the church should be submitting to Christ. Together, the couple present a portrait to the world of a testimony of Christ.

The bride, the church, will one day be married to Jesus. Paul wrote in 2Corinthians,

2Cor. 11:2 ...I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.

We know that God's will is for a woman to preserve her virginity for her husband. To be pure and undefiled for her wedding day. God's desire for the church is the same. We must not be taken in by false teachings that lead us "astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ." (2Cor 11:3). Are you keeping yourself pure and undefiled for your wedding day in heaven?

Clothed In Fine Linen

The wedding dress on that day will be of fine linen, bright and clean. This linen is described as the righteous acts of the saints. A better translation of the word would be, as the King James states, "the righteousness of the saints." How have we gained righteousness? Not by our works, but through our faith in Christ (Rom 3:22; Phil. 1:11; 3:9; etc.).

19:10 Worship God

John is so overwhelmed by this incredible scene, he falls down at the angel's feet in worship. But the angel will not allow it. Angels are not to be worshiped. They were created by God, and they refuse to be glorified. The only angel who ever wanted to be worshiped was named Lucifer.

The angel redirects John's worship, telling him, "Hey, I'm only a servant, just like you. I'm just the messenger of this prophecy. But the spirit, the gist, the focus of prophecy is Jesus - worship Him."

19:11-16 The Names Of Christ

These verses list three different names of Jesus: a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. (v.12), His name is called The Word of God (v.13), and on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS" (v. 16).

Jesus will one day be called by a new name. We know this from chapter three, when He told the church in Philadelphia,

Rev. 3:12 'He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God... and My new name.

The Word of God and King of Kings are not new names for Christ (1Tim 6:14-15; John 1:1). The name that no one yet knows is the very same name He will write upon us.

The Armies Which Are In Heaven

Following Jesus on white horses are the armies which are in heaven (Jude 1:14-15; Zech 14:5). Who are they? We know that the armies include angels, for Jesus said,

Matt. 25:31 "...when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.

2Ths. 1:7 ...the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire

But the church will be part of those armies as well:

Col. 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

1Ths. 3:13 so that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.

We will return with Him. These are the two times that the door of heaven is opened in Revelation. The first time at the rapture of the church (4:1), the second time when we return to earth with Him.

19:17-21 Making War Against Christ

There are two meals in this chapter - the first was the wedding supper. We will eat that with Christ at his table. The second is the great supper of God, where it will be the birds that eat. They will eat the flesh of the men that attempt to kill God at Armageddon.

Everyone, that is, except the beast and the false prophet. They are personally and specifically thrown alive into the lake of fire.

20:1-3 satan Is Bound

Not only the henchmen, but the ringleader is brought to justice as well. An angel grabs satan, binds him with a great chain, and throws him into the abyss for a thousand years, after which he is released for a short time. We will see why when we get to verse seven.

20:4-6 The Souls Came To Life

The souls that had been killed during the Tribulation because of their faith in Christ were in heaven all this time. They had not received their glorified bodies as the church did at the rapture. Now they "come to life," as John puts it. They have not been "soul-sleeping," but simply did not have earthly bodies until now.

They are part of the first resurrection. The first resurrection is not an event, but a group of people. A group that consists of the faithful saints beginning in the Old Testament, and continuing until the last person is saved in the Great Tribulation.

A Thousand Years

The thousand year period is mentioned in verses 2,3,4,5,6, and 7. (In Latin, the term it is "mille," meaning "1,000," and "annum," meaning "year." "Mille annum" is where we get the term "Millennium.")

The Millennium is the reign of Christ on earth for 1,000 years. We have read so much about this kingdom. It is when Israel will finally inhabit the land that was promised to her.

It is also called "the period of the restoration of all things" - when the earth will be restored to its original form.

Isa. 11:6-9 And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze; Their young will lie down together; And the lion will eat straw like the ox. And the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

The Lord will be present on the earth:

Isa. 2:2-4 Now it will come about that In the last days, The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways, And that we may walk in His paths." For the law will go forth from Zion, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.

Remember that we will be ruling with Him. The parable in Luke 19 tells us that, based on our faithfulness with what He's entrusted to us in this life, He will put us in charge over cities in the Millennial kingdom.

Now, we know that we'll be in sinless, imperishable, glorified bodies.

1John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.

But the human race will be continuing. People will be born. People will die.

Isa. 65:20 "No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his days; For the youth will die at the age of one hundred and the one who does not reach the age of one hundred shall be thought accursed.

But people will also sin. Human beings struggle with temptation to sin from three areas: the world, the flesh, and the devil. The world will be a utopia - there won't be any pornographic billboards, no drug pushers downtown. So the world won't be a temptation. The devil will be bound, so that won't be a problem. But men will still be in their flesh, and that will be the source of their temptations. People will still sin, and that is the reason for the rule of the rod of iron. Even during this glorious age, the perfect society, man is still a sinner.

20:7-9 A Final Rebellion

And because earthly man will still sin, he will have one final choice. At the end of the millennium, satan will be released for a short time. He will deceive the nations one final time. They will actually believe that they can throw off the rule of God from them.

While the resurrected church is in charge of cities, remember that the we were told in chapter 14 that the 144,000 were on Mt. Zion with Jesus - they follow Him wherever He goes. They will be ministering to Him in the Millennial temple on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Apparently, the Millennial temple, the city of Jerusalem, the 144,000, and Jesus Himself, are the target of this massive uprising.

They will be devoured with fire from heaven.

20:10 The Lake Of Fire

The devil will finally be thrown into the lake of fire. This lake burns with brimstone, a place of eternal torment. God made this place for the devil and his angels. Jesus said it is

Matt. 25:41 "...the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels"

This is a place of outer darkness, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

20:11-15 The Great White Throne judgment

Now, at the end of the millennium, the final judgment takes place. Everyone who has ever died stands before the throne of God. Everything that you have ever done in your life is written in books. And those books will be opened. You will be judged according to your deeds. If you are found to be a sinner, you will be thrown into the lake of fire.

The Bible tells us that

Rom. 3:23 ...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Rom. 6:23 ...the wages of sin is death...

The only way to avoid being judged by your deeds is to have your name written in the book of life. How can you get your name in there? You need to be born again, asking Jesus Christ to forgive you of your sins, and to come into your life to be your Lord.

Rom. 6:23 ...The free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


The Wine Press

The Wine Press of the wrath of God is a vivid and graphic picture of God stamping out His enemies. It isn't exclusive to Revelation - the prophets have written about this long before:

Joel 3:12-13 Let the nations be aroused and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, tread, for the wine press is full; The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great.

As we read back in chapter 14, the angels will be throwing those who fight against the Lord into the winepress of the wrath of God.

Rev. 14:19-20 And the angel swung his sickle to the earth, and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses' bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.

Jesus Himself will be the one treading on these "grapes." We read a graphic account of this in Isaiah 63, when the Lord is asked about His garments:

Isa. 63:2-4 Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press? "I have trodden the wine trough alone, And from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My anger, And trampled them in My wrath; And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, And I stained all My raiment. For the day of vengeance was in My heart, And My year of redemption has come.

Thrones & judgment

Who is this "they" sitting on the thrones? These that are upon the thrones are the 24 elders, that first showed up in chapter four. As we examined closely in chapter four, the 24 elders represent the church in heaven. It says that judgment was given to them. Remember in our study of 1Corinthians, when the Christians at Corinth were suing one another in court, Paul rebuked them, saying,

1Cor. 6:1-3 Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, matters of this life?

When the apostles were arguing amongst themselves about who was the greatest, Jesus told them

Luke 22:29-30 ...Just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

And He promised the church in Thyatira,

Rev. 2:26-27 'And he who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the NATIONS; AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received {authority} from My Father;

The saints will judge the world. How's that for responsibility?

The Second Death

The Bible teaches that there are two deaths: The first is physical, the second is spiritual. The first death occurs when your soul is separated from your body. The second death occurs when your soul is separated from God.

The second death is basically God granting people their earthly wish: to be apart from God. People who live their lives wanting nothing to do with God will spend eternity that way.

Now, if you don't want to die twice, you have to be born twice. Jesus said,

John 3:3 ..."Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

1Pet. 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

If you're born once, you'll die twice. But if you're born twice, you'll only die once.

Gog & Magog

Gog and Magog are an intricate Bible study requiring much time and study. For our study here, suffice it to say that they include the people from the land we know as Russia, as well as the demonic influence behind them.

Earth & Heaven Fled Away

Jesus has promised,

Matt. 24:35 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away."

After all the massive destruction during the Tribulation, the earth is restored during the Millennium. But after the nations again rise up against God, He decides that it's time for a fresh start. In chapter 21, we will read,

Rev. 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.

This was prophesied long ago, as the Lord spoke through Isaiah the prophet,

Isa. 65:17 "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind.

That word "create" is "bara" in the Hebrew, which means to make out of nothing (as opposed to making out of existing materials). God isn't making the old earth new, He's destroying the old earth and making a completely new one out of nothing. So, you can spend your life saving the earth, but it's going to be destroyed. Or you can spend your time doing something that is truly eternal - studying the Word of God, which will never pass away.

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