Thursday, July 12, 2012

Understanding the Book of Revelation: The Praise and Armageddon

                 Chapter 19 describes the praise in Heaven and the war at Armageddon.


                Hallelujah is two Hebrew words combined. Hallelu means praise and jah is a shortened form of Jehovah. Therefore, hallelujah means praise Jehovah. In contrast to the mourning of the world over the destruction of Babylon we now have rejoicing over her destruction by those in heaven. This burst of praise is in response to the answer to the saints’ prayers because God has judged the great city for the way she has treated them. God made Rome rightfully pay for killing and tormenting His people. 

The Marriage

                Verse 7 mentions the bride of Jesus. Christ’s wife is the church, all believers from all ages. We can see this in the parable of the virgins in Matthew 25. We can take a look at the marriage customs of the Hebrews. First is the betrothal. This is considered more binding than our 'engagement'. The terms of the marriage are accepted in the presence of witnesses and God's blessing pronounced upon the union. From this day groom and bride are legally husband and wife (2 Corinthians 11:2). Next comes the interval between betrothal and the wedding-feast. During this interval the groom pays the dowry to the father of the bride if this has not yet been done (Genesis 34:12). Sometimes the dowry is in the form of service rendered (Genesis 29:20). Then comes the procession at the close of the interval. The bride prepares and adorns herself. The groom, arrayed in his best attire and accompanied by his friends, who sing and bear torches, proceeds to the home of the betrothed. He receives the bride and conveys her, with a returning procession, to his own home or to the home of his parents (Matthew 9:15; Matthew 25:1). When the groom had to come from afar, the feast was at times spread at the home of the bride. Finally there is the wedding-feast, which includes the marriage supper. The usual festivities last seven or more days. The bride is the church and Christ the bridegroom. The church is betrothed to Christ and Christ has paid the dowry for her with his own blood. The interval of separation is the current dispensation during which the bride makes herself ready. At the end of this dispensation the Bridegroom accompanied by his angels comes to receive his bride and the wedding feast begins. It does not last a few weeks but throughout eternity. In Christ the bride was chosen from eternity. Throughout the Old Testament dispensation the wedding was announced. When Christ assumed our flesh and blood; the betrothal took place. The price, the dowry was paid on Calvary and now after an interval, the Bridegroom returns and the wedding supper of the Lamb begins Even now Jesus is preparing a place for his bride who he will come back for and who will be with him forever. The reason why the bride wears white in verse 8 is because of her purity and righteousness. It is just like at a wedding here on earth. The bride wears pure white during her first wedding because she is pure. 

The Rider on the White Horse

                In verse 11 Christ becomes the fighting General to fight against the Antichrist and his army at Armageddon. He designates himself as 'the faithful and true witness' in the letter to the church in Laodicea. His eyes are flames so that He may carry out judgment on mankind. He wears crowns because of His glory and royal authority. He has a name written which no one knows but Himself because there are certain aspects of Christ that we have not yet experienced and only He knows. He wears a garment dipped in blood in verse 13 because He has tread the winepress of God and he sacrificed himself for mankind. 

                The armies in Heaven are the overcoming believers. The sharp sword that comes out of his mouth is not an actual sword but it is words of judgment used against the nations. In verse 15, to shepherd is to rule. An iron rod signifies strong power. Therefore, Christ will shepherd with strong power. Christ’s garment signifies righteousness and his thigh represents standing strength. His title is on his robe so all can easily see it. 

The Feast of God

                In verses 17 and 18 the bodies of all types of people will be offered to the flying creatures. This is from Ezekiel's prophecy about Gog in Ezekiel 39:4, 17. You can also look at David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17:46, 'Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel'. Verse 19 is referring to the battle at Armageddon, the valley of Jehoshaphat, near Jerusalem. The Antichrist and the false prophet will be the first cast to Hell with Satan. The rest will suffer the words of God’s judgment.

No comments:

Post a Comment