Rev 19 – Christ Returns – The Tribulation Ends – Judgment Follows

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I. Opening Video Information. End Times Signs – Jesus is Coming. May 7, 2016. OTG Ministry.

II. Introduction. It is at the end of the Great Tribulation that Israel is being attacked by all of the nations of the world at the Battle of Armageddon; the USA is one of those worldly attackers. The Jews see no way out of their impending destruction. Israel, and Jews everywhere, have denied Christ for centuries, but now they call on Him to save them, which our Lord does. Christ descends from heaven with angels, and with the born again believers in Christ whom were resurrected or raptured prior to the beginning of the tribulation, and then taken to Heaven where they have been waiting for this prophetic event for the salvation of God’s chosen people (Deu 14:2). This article will discuss the second coming of Christ, where He will stand on planet earth. We will also take a close look at those whom will come with Christ to save the Jews, whom will include resurrected and raptured Messianic Jews.

III. Preview of Rev 19.

A. The events of Rev 19 are identified in verse order, as follow: The Marriage of the Lamb (7-8); The Marriage Supper of the Lamb (9); The descent of Christ from Heaven with the raptured and resurrected believers of the church age and the angels, for the Battle of Armageddon (Rev 11-16…Zech 14:5, Matt 24:29-31; Rev 17-21…Isa 66:15-17, Mark 13:24-28, Luke 21:25-27, Zech 12:2-3, Zech 14:1-6,12-17…Zech 12:16-17 is a glimpse of the following Kingdom Age, which is also known as the thousand year millennial reign of Christ). (The Ryrie Study Bible discusses the referenced verses).

B. With some repetition, at the second coming of Christ from heaven to stand on planet earth, the Tribulation comes to a close. In Rev 19 Christ returns to Earth to judge sin and to set up the prophesied Kingdom Age, also known as His thousand year millennial reign. Accompanying Christ, will be the living born again believers in Christ whom were caught up to heaven in the rapture of the church prior to the tribulation (John 14:2,3,6; 1 Cor 15:50-54; 1 Thes 4:13-18). Also, with the returning Christ, will be the born again believers which died during the church age (prior to the tribulation), and were resurrected from death immediately prior to the living believers being raptured. At the time of the rapture, Christ will come in the air but will not stand on planet Earth. Those saints returning to earth with Christ will rule and reign with Him over those which will have survived the tribulation and whom will be present on earth during the Kingdom/Millennium; the Kingdom will immediately follow the Tribulation. In future articles we will discuss more about the survivors of the Tribulation. We will also discuss the Old Covenant saints and the martyred tribulation saints, as to their ruling and reigning with Christ in the Kingdom Age. Be sure to read the closing summary of this article.

IV. Rev 19 NASB Text and KJV Study Bible Comments (unless otherwise noted).

A. Rev 19:1-5. Text.

1 After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; 2 because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.” 3 And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever.” 4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 5 And a voice came from the throne, saying, “Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.”

B. Rev 19:1-5. Comments.

19:1 “After these things.” MacArthur Study Bible. This is a time key. After the destruction of Babylon at the end of the Great Tribulation, just before the kingdom is established (chap. 20). This section bridges the Tribulation and the millennial kingdom.

19:1. XR Zech 14:5, “all the saints with you.” The Moody Bible Commentary. This term could refer to angels or perhaps to previously raptured believers, returning with their Lord to defend Israel.

19:1–5. Chapters 19 and 20 bring the climax of the Book of Revelation: the return of Christ to establish His millennial kingdom. But first, these five verses show heaven’s response to the judgment of the harlot. The multitude in heaven praises God for judging the great whore (Babylon, the harlot) and avenging the blood of the martyrs (cf. 7:9–17). The word alleluia is the Greek equivalent of hallelujah, and means “Praise Yahweh” or “Praise the Lord” (cf. Pss. 106; 111–113; 117; 135; 146—150). The eternal smoke symbolizes the permanence of Babylon’s destruction (cf. Is. 34:8–10). Amen derives from a Hebrew word meaning “to be firm,” and may be translated “truly” or “so be it.”

C. Rev 19:6-10. Text.

6 Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.7 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.” 8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he *said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he *said to me, “These are true words of God.” 10 Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he *said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

D. Rev 19:6-10. Comments.

19:6–8. Omnipotent: God is all-powerful, and reigneth over His universe. The marriage of the Lamb: The wife or bride of Christ is the church (cf. Matt. 22:2–14; John 3:29; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25–32), and the marriage is the eternal union of the church with Christ following the Rapture (cf. 1 Thess. 4:17). The fine linen, clean and white, represents the righteousness of the church. The marriage supper of the Lamb represents the millennial kingdom of Christ, which will take place on earth following the return of Christ (20:4; cf. Matt. 25:1–13; Luke 14:15–24). The Jewish marriage consisted of three major elements: (1) the betrothal; (2) the presentation; and (3) the marriage feast (supper). Figuratively, with reference to the church, (1) the betrothal takes place on earth during the church age; (2) the presentation will take place in heaven following the Rapture (cf. v. 7); and (3) the marriage feast will take place on earth following Christ’s return with the church (cf. vv. 11–14).

19:9. MacArthur Study Bible. 19:9 Blessed. See note on 1:3. those who are called. This is not the bride (the church) but the guests. The bride doesn’t get invited, she invites. These are those saved before Pentecost, all the faithful believers saved by grace through faith up to the birth of the church (Acts 2:1ff.). Though they are not the bride, they still are glorified and reign with Christ in the millennial kingdom. It is really differing imagery rather than differing reality. The guests also will include tribulation saints and believers alive in earthly bodies in the kingdom. The church is the bride, pure and faithful—never a harlot, like Israel was (see Hos. 2). So the church is the bride during the presentation feast in heaven, then comes to earth for the celebration of the final meal (the Millennium). After that event, the new order comes and the marriage is consummated (see notes on 21:1, 2). true sayings of God. This refers to everything since 17:1. It is all true—the marriage will take place after judgment.

19:10. KJV Study Bible. Worship: Only God is to be worshiped (cf. 22:8, 9; Acts 10:25, 26). Spirit of prophecy: The person and message of Jesus is the essence of all true prophecy.

E. Rev 19:11-13. Text.

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

F. Rev 19:11-13. Comments.

19:11–13. This white horse is not that of 6:2. Here the True Messiah returns in victorious conquest. He is Faithful to His Word and promises. He will fulfill the twofold role of judge and warrior. His judgment of the earth will be totally righteous (cf. 16:5–7; 19:2; Ps. 96:13). The fire depicts glory and judgment. The crowns indicate total sovereignty and authority (contrast 12:3; 13:1). The secret name expresses the mystery and greatness of the person of Christ (cf. 2:17; 3:12; 19:13, 16; Phil. 2:9–11). The blood represents the judgment of Christ’s enemies (cf. 14:14–20; Is. 63:1–6). The name Word of God presents Christ as the revelation of God Himself (cf. John 1:1, 14; 1 John 1:1). In His first advent, Jesus especially revealed the love and grace of God (cf. John 1:17; Rom. 5:8). But in His second advent, He will reveal the holiness, justice, and judgment of God (cf. Heb. 4:12).

G. Rev 19:14-16. Text.

14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

H. Rev 19:14-16. Comments.

19:14. John F. Walvoord Revelation Commentary. Accompanying Christ on His second coming are those described as “the armies which were in heaven.” Some, such as J. B. Smith, have limited this army to the church, the Bride of Christ, on the basis that it is described as clothed in fine linen, white and clean.301 There is, however, no reason to limit this to the church, though the church is arrayed in fine linen. The church is not alone in having righteousness in the form of righteous deeds, and it is more probable that here not only the saints but also the holy angels are meant.

19:15–16. The sword from His mouth depicts judgment through His spoken Word (cf. 1:16; 2:12, 16; Is. 11:4; 2 Thess. 2:8). Smite the nations: Christ will destroy all unbelievers (cf. 19:21; Matt. 25:41, 46; 2 Thess. 1:8, 9). Rod of iron: Christ will subject all nations to Himself, and destroy all His enemies (cf. Ps. 2:8, 9; 1 Cor. 15:24, 25). Winepress: See 14:17–20. Words relating to wrath and anger are found 15 times in Revelation. KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS: Christ has universal sovereignty. He is King over all who call themselves kings, and Lord over all who call themselves lords (cf. 17:14; Deut. 10:17; Dan. 2:47; 1 Tim. 6:15).

I. Rev 19:17-18. Text.

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.” 19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

J. Rev 19:17-18. Comments.

19:17, 18. The supper of the great God is different from the marriage supper of the Lamb (v. 9). Here, God calls the fowls or birds of the sky to gather to eat the flesh of those who have died in the Battle of Armageddon (cf. 16:14, 16; 19:21; Ezek. 39:17–20). All men indicates “all kinds of men”; not everyone at Armageddon will be an unbeliever (cf. Matt. 25:31–46).

K. Rev 19:19-21. Text.

19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

L. Rev 19:19-21. Comments.

19:19–21. The armies of the beast and of the kings of the East (and of all the earth) will gather in Palestine at Armageddon (cf. 16:12–16). Christ will immediately defeat and capture the Beast and the false prophet (cf. ch. 13). These will become the first inhabitants of the lake of fire (cf. 20:10). The rest of the kings and armies will be killed by the Word of Christ, and will be eaten by the birds (vv. 17, 18). The unbelieving survivors of the Tribulation will be judged by Christ and also sentenced to everlasting fire (cf. Matt. 25:41, 46).

V. Summary.

A. It is in this 19th chapter of Revelation that “the church,” will be identified, “as such,” for the last time in the Bible. Consider the things that must happen preceding the events of this chapter, in regard to born again believers in Christ.

John 14:2,3,6. Christ told His disciples that he will go to prepare a place for them in Heaven, and that He will return for them and take them back to Heaven with Him. Vs 6 tells of the catching up of the saints of the church age, dead and alive. Judas died before the church age began. Relating scriptures are 1 Cor 15:50-54, where those whom are resurrected or caught up will be given bodies and souls that are perfect and eternal. 1 Thes 4:13-18 explains that deceased believers will be resurrected prior to living believers being caught up/raptured.

1 Cor 6:2. Raptured and resurrected believers will rule and reign with Christ during the Kingdom/Millennium when they return to earth with Christ.

2 Cor 5:10. The Judgment Seat Of Christ. HCSB. “For we must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, so that each may be repaid for what he has done in the body, whether good or worthless. (We will discuss this event below.)

Rev 19:7-8. The Marriage of The Lamb to the Bride of Christ occurs after the rapture and resurrection have taken place. The Marriage takes place prior to the Bride being taken to Heaven by Christ, where her dwelling place has been prepared by Him (John 14:2-3). No bride would be taken to her dwelling place by her groom, where the groom would then read his list of grievances about his bride to her.

Rev 19:11. The Bride of Christ, and angels, will now descend from Heaven to earth for the Battle of Armageddon. There is no promise to Old Covenant believers about their being involved in the rapture, the marriage of the Lamb, or the return from Heaven to earth for the Battle of Armageddon at the end of the tribulation. We will discuss the things that are promised to the Old Testament saints in following articles. The Bride of Christ (church age believers) will be present in Heaven while the things of the Tribulation are taking place on Earth. Only born again believers have a place in Heaven (John 3:3). The tribulation relates to unbelieving Jews (Jer 30:7), and to unbelieving Gentiles (1 Thes 4:16-17). There is no reason for a born again believer in Christ to come under the judgments of God, none of which will make a believer “more holy or more born again.” The purpose of the tribulation is to draw unbelieving Jews to faith in Christ (Matt 23:38-39; Zech 12:10).

B. Consider the Church, the Bride of Christ, in relation to the Judgment Seat Of Christ.

2 Cor 5:10. Those whom have been resurrected or caught up will be judged for eternal rewards (The HCSB has a good translation for this Judgment Seat of Christ event). It is important to know that only “the Bride of Christ” will be judged for rewards at this event, and should be respected for having such a distinction. The Bride will be perfect in body, soul and spirit, and will be on her way to the marriage of the Lamb.

2 Cor 5:17 HCSB. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.” The old thing that has passed away is our sinful spirit. After we have been born again, we have a new and perfect spirit.

2 Cor 5:21 HCSB. “He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Once we have been born again, our spirit is as righteous as the Spirit of Christ.

Col 1:27 HCSB. “God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” After we have been born again, the Spirit of Christ dwells within our spirit; this is our “only hope” of eternal life.

1 John 1:5 HCSB. “Now this is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him.” If our spirit would not be as pure as the Spirit of Christ, we would not be able to dwell within the Spirit of God.

John 14:16-17 HCSB “16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you.” The Holy Spirit of God dwells within the spirit of every born again believer in Christ.

John 14:20 HCSB. “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you.”
The Spirit of Christ dwells within the Spirit of God the Father; the Spirit of God the Father, dwells within the Spirit of Christ; the Spirit of Christ dwells within our spirit.

C. The Judgment Seat of Christ is not a place for unbelievers, or for determining salvation or loss of it; it is a place where believers receive spiritual rewards. Once we have been born again our spirit is as pure as the spirit of Christ, and dwells within the Spirit of God, “Father, Son and Holy Spirit,” permanently.

John 10:27-30 HCSB. “27 My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.” Once we have been born again, we can not be unborn.” Once the Holy Spirit takes up residence within our spirit, nobody can force the Holy Spirit out of our spirit….not even us.

D. Consider what some may think about the Judgment Seat of Christ. After we have been raptured, will Christ, our Groom, read His list of grievances about us, to us, “His Bride,” (1) on our way to the Marriage of the Lamb, (2) or, on our way to the dwelling place in Heaven that He made for us, (3) or, on our way from heaven to earth to the Battle of Armageddon, (4) or, will it be at the end of the tribulation when the Old Testament saints and the Tribulation saints receive their rewards (Rev 11:18)? Think about it.

E. Consider 2 Cor 5:10. Those whom have been resurrected or caught up by Christ will be judged for eternal rewards (The HCSB has a good translation for this Judgment Seat of Christ event). It is important to know that it is “the Bride of Christ,” that will be present at this event, and should be respected for having such a distinction. The Bride will be perfect in body, soul and spirit, and will be on her way to the marriage of the Lamb, and on to Heaven with Christ. The Bride will accompany Christ from Heaven to Earth to be a part of the Battle of Armageddon, and then will rule and reign with Christ. Only believers whom have been born again, and having been given a perfect body and soul, will be present at the Judgment Seat Of Christ. Concerning those who are “called to the marriage feast” on earth during the millennium, it is not the bride (the church) “that is called,” but the guests; the bride doesn’t get invited, she invites. Those called will be the survivors of the tribulation that have accepted Christ and have entered into the Kingdom Age/Millenium. The sin problem, that each and every born again believer has to confront, is referred to by the Apostle Paul as “indwelling sin;” it is the result of our soul (mind) having not been born again until when the resurrection or catching up of the saints occurs. At the time of our new birth, our spirits were made worthy to dwell within the Spirit of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. At 1 Cor 15:50-54, our souls and bodies are made worthy to go on with Christ to everything beyond that event.

Romans 7:18-25 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. 19 For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin that lives in me. 21 So I discover this principle: When I want to do what is good, evil is with me. 22 For in my inner self I joyfully agree with God’s law. 23 But I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this dying body? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin.

1 Corinthians 15:50-53 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)

50 For I assure you, my brothers, it is utterly impossible for flesh and blood to possess the kingdom of God. The transitory could never possess the everlasting. 51-53 Listen, and I will tell you a secret. We shall not all die, but suddenly, in the twinkling of an eye, every one of us will be changed as the trumpet sounds! The trumpet will sound and the dead shall be raised beyond the reach of corruption, and we who are still alive shall suddenly be utterly changed. For this perishable nature of ours must be wrapped in imperishability, these bodies which are mortal must be wrapped in immortality.

VI. Closing Video.

A. This video reveals details of Matt 23:38-39 and Zechariah 12:10.

B. Paul Wilbur, whom is a Messianic Jews, led the worship in this video in Jerusalem, Israel, at the Feast of Tabernacles, in the year 1998.

Paul Wilbur Baruch Haba Blessed Is He Who Comes. Dec 12, 2010. Juan Rodriguez.

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