Reading through the Bible together

Thursday, July 9, 2015

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Rev 19 divides nicely into two halves. The first half raises us suddenly to the sights and sounds of heaven in absolute ecstasy. Wave after wave of “hallelujahs” thunder forth from celestial choirs. The twenty-four elders manage to find a brief pause during which they can shout their own hallelujah. God is praised because “true and just are his judgments” against the prostitute who not only corrupted the earth with her adulterated dogma but also shed the blood of God’s true servants. He is praised again because He now reigns unchallenged as “our Lord God Almighty.” And once more, because “the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.” She is clothed in a gown which “stands for the righteous acts of the saints.” Whatever righteousness she has was bestowed on her by her betrothed, the Lamb. 
 
The second half takes us once again to the Battle of Armageddon. John is given a graphically symbolic vision of Jesus coming to earth, riding on a white horse and leading the angelic armies of heaven. He comes to do battle with the nations and their spiritual heroes, the dragon, the beast and the false prophet. He comes bearing four names. He is called “Faithful and True.” Faithful to His covenant and true to His beleaguered people, He comes to rescue them. He “is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.” When He came the first time as the Word of God, His robe was soaked in His own blood, the fountain of our salvation; now, it is dipped in the blood of those who have rejected that one and only means of their salvation. His third title is “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” The kings of the earth have no option before His glorious presence but to fall on their knees and cast their crowns before Him. And fourth, “He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.” No matter how much we may know about Jesus, there will always be an element of the unknowable, of divine mystery about Him, inviting us to know Him more.
 
Vv. 19-21 tell of the destruction of all opposing forces—except the dragon. He, and his final end, are the subject of the next chapter.




Garth Bainbridge
Greater Sydney Conference
Australia