The Return & Marriage - Revelation Chapter 19

 Jamma Mokhriby


We concluded our previous study on the Book of Revelation titled, "Babylon's Two & Three" at verse 24 of Chapter 18.
Chapter 19 :1-6 then open with a display of resounding praise in heaven to the Lord for His having destroyed Babylon. Four times the word "Alleluia," which translated from the Hebrew means, "Praise God," is heralded throughout the realm of heaven.
For the fifth time in the book of Revelation we are shown the twenty-four golden crowned elders of the Church giving praise and rejoicing (Rev. 4:10-11, 5:8-9, 7:11-12, 11:16-18 & 19:4). A great multitude seen gathered before God's throne are described as sounding like many waters and mighty thundering. It is the time of the consummation of both the woeful seventh trumpet which began to sound in Rev. 11:14-15 and the seventh bowl full of God's wrath found in Rev. 16:17.
Verses 7-9 of Rev. Ch. 19 then reveal facts concerning the marriage of the "Lamb," who is Jesus Christ.
John the Baptist understood the unique role of Jesus as the bridegroom in John 3:29. It should be noted that in this verse John did not identify his own position with Christ as being one with the Bride, but as a friend, a best man we might say. It should also be noted that John the Baptist was the last of the Old Testament prophets to address Israel before the dispensational change to the Church Age was brought about by Jesus Christ's ministry, death and resurrection.
Revelation 19:7 reveals to us that after God receives praise for the destruction of Babylon the marriage of the Lamb [will] come, and His wife will have made herself ready.
Ephesians 5:23-27 testifies that it is the Church's faith in Jesus that has enabled Christ to prepare her without spot or wrinkle for this most holy of unions.
There is no act of works or suffering, as some suppose, that can make a believer more worthy or acceptable in their union to their Savior. A believer will never be more justified and righteous before the Lord then on the day they were first saved by the blood of Jesus.
There are some who believe the Church is a distinct entity apart from the Bride. There are others who believe the Church is a separate class that makes up the Bride along with the martyred saints of the Tribulation Period.
Interesting discussions can be held on these different views but for brevity, we will be presenting our position from the Scriptures that the Church is recognized in the role of the Bride of Christ. To determine who is considered the Bride of the Lord, we only need to find out who is betrothed to Him at present, that is, engaged.
According to Scripture found in II Corinthians 11:2 the Apostle Paul made it unquestionably clear that the Church at Corinth was identified as part of the chaste virgin espoused to Jesus Christ.
In Ephesians 5:29-32 Paul shares the deepest of spiritual insights regarding this holy engagement. He presents this glorious revelation by expounding on the miraculous mystery of the union of man and wife in comparison to the blessed moment which will consummate the holy union, "concerning Christ and the Church."
We are told in Genesis 2:24 when a man is joined to his wife in marriage they "become one flesh." In heaven the final preparation of the Church will have been made when sinful flesh will have been forever changed and glorified for her husband.
By these truths we maintain that those who make up the Bride of the New Testament will be every believer in Jesus Christ who had their faith in His Divine name since the time John the Baptist concluded his ministry (Lk. 16:16), until the moment the Church is Raptured to heaven (I Thess. 4:15-18).
The Church will then reside in heaven for approximately 7 years after the Rapture beholding the Bridegroom in His majesty. She will have gotten to know and understand Him as was never possible before her glorification at the Rapture.
Revelation 19:7 reveals that the precise time when the marriage will take place is near the close of the Tribulation Period after Babylon is destroyed and before Jesus Christ returns to the earth. This is supported by the Bride no longer being referred to as a virgin espoused to Jesus Christ, but instead as "His wife." Truly this is a marriage made in heaven.
Verse 8 then shares that the Church will be arrayed in heavenly, woven wedding apparel that will have a direct relationship to "the righteous acts of the saints." We are only left to wonder how one's radiant clothes will reflect the favor of God.
Verse 9 then speaks of the invitations to the marriage supper of the Lamb." We are shown that at this point in time the celebration is still to be a future event. It is an indescribable, glory shouting, joy filled wedding feast that is held sometime after the marriage. We have a similar practice we call a "reception."
There is no evidence found in verse 9 that would indicate that this wedding feast will be held in heaven at the time of the marriage and the illustration of this wedding supper found in Matthew 22:1-14 would indicate that this most blessed event of God will take place after the wicked and unfaithful are thoroughly dealt with.
This takes place after Jesus and His beloved have returned to the earth at the close of the Tribulation and after Christ's Millennial Reign. This most holy of celebrations will greet the dawn of eternal perfection.
The wedding "feast" is not a rushed affair, but is an event that God the Father plans to have His worthy guests from all the ages attend. Not all believers will be granted to attend the marriage which we are certain will take place in heavenly Jerusalem, but no sanctified believer of any age, in our opinion, will lack an invitation to the wedding feast of the Lamb. This includes Old Testament believers, the saints who will still be surviving upon the earth after the Tribulation Period has ended, and all of their godly children who will be born during the Millennium. The guest list is made up of every believer not counted among the saints who make up the Church. John the Baptist will not miss this glorious gathering.
In the final chapters of the Book of Revelation we will explain in greater detail Israel's relationship to God the Father as the forsaken wife and restored bride. We will also conclude our study on the marriage supper of the Lamb.
In Rev. 19:10 we find the Apostle John is so enraptured by the vision of his prophesied place with Christ as His Bride that he bows down in worship at the feet of the angel who shared this revelation with him. He is quickly corrected of this emotion invoked error by this angel, which was one of the seven who had earlier poured out the bowls of God's wrath (Rev. 17:1).
The angel then reminds John of the origin of his vision telling him to "Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." This concluding statement should serve as a serious warning to believers who denigrate, hinder or misrepresent the proclaiming of Bible prophecy.
Verses 11-21 of Rev. Ch. 19 then conclude the judgment of the seventh trumpet and the seventh bowl with the glorious return of Jesus Christ to the earth.
Verses 11 & 12 then describe the appearance of the Lord as He rides down from heaven on His white horse and reveals to us that He will have a name that is unknown to us at present. Psalm 33:8 reads, "Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him." Verse 14 reveals that armies of heaven follow Him also riding upon white horses and that they are clothed in the fine linen of the righteous acts of the saints, according to verse 8.
Jude verses 14, 7 & 15 tell us, "...Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints to execute judgment on all."
At His first coming Jesus came riding upon a donkey. When He comes again He will appear in the clouds on a celestial steed. We are told in Isaiah 66:15-16 that there will not only be white horses, but heavenly chariots will appear as the Lord comes with fire and whirlwinds to a world shrouded in unearthly darkness.
Verses 13, 15 & 16 confirm for us that it is the Lord Jesus Christ that leads this heavenly army of saints when we are told that, "His name is called the Word of God" (see Jn. 1:1 & 40, and that, "out of His mouth goes a sharp sword," (see Rev. 1:16). He is undisputedly the "king of kings and Lord of lords' and we are told that after, "He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God," He will rule the nations with a rod of iron. This means with a swift and punishing response to evil. Jesus first came as a servant, Lamb, He returns as a Lion-King.
We were told that it is Christ "Himself" and not His saints who sheds the blood of the wicked upon the earth. It is significant to this point when we are told that His robe will be dipped in blood. In Isaiah 63:2 the Lord was asked, "Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress?" The Lord then answers in verses 3 & 4, "I have trodden the winepress alone, And from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trampled them in My fury; Their blood is sprinkled upon my garments, And I have stained all My robes. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, And the year of My redeemed has come."
As Paul reminded us of the Lord's desire in Romans 12:19, "Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
Jesus warned in Luke 12:4 & 5, "And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who after He has killed, has power to cast into Hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him." Jesus was speaking of Himself. It is He who is the avenger and the judge.
Verses 17-21 of Rev. Ch. 19 describe the day of this final great battle when Jesus returns.
We are first told that an angel who stands in the sun will call all the birds of prey to the place where this battle will occur. They are called to come and feast upon the flesh of the ungodly at "the supper of the great God."
This is presented in stark contrast to "the marriage supper of the Lamb" which still waits upon the appointed day the Father of Jesus has chosen. "The supper of the great God" will take place in Israel at Armageddon (Mount Megiddo) according to Revelation Chapters 14:20 & 16:14 & 16).
Revelation 19:19 is one of the great mysteries of the Bible. It is a puzzle to ascertain just who it is the armies of earth believe they are fighting when they join with the Anti-Christ, "to make war against Him who sat on the horse (that is Jesus Christ) and against His army (the host of heaven)."
It is our opinion that they do not recognize that they are preparing to wage war with the Son of God and an army of immortal beings, but instead are deservingly victimized by a great deception (II Thess. 2:9-12).
When the massive oriental army of Rev. 16:12 is seen marching to join the Battle of Armageddon, we are told in verses 13, 14 & 16 that they are gathered at Megiddo by demonic powers "performing signs."
It is of interest to note that back in January 3, 2000 a Denver Post article which headlined, "...UFO sightings cause a stir among Chinese" reported that, "At the beginning of 2000, China is astir with sightings of other worldly visitors. Such sightings are treated with unexpected seriousness in this country usually strait jacketed by its communist rulers."
Could the great deception which gathers the armies of the world at Megiddo be due to a belief that they are going to do battle with vulnerable aliens which are invading the earth? Perhaps so. Please see our Rapture Watch Message, "Alien to the Truth."
Zechariah 14:2-11 tell us that on that day half of Jerusalem will be under captivity when the Lord returns with all His saints to save her from her enemies. His feet will touch down upon the mount of Olives and the Jews will flee to safety through a mountain valley that will form when the mount spits in two.
It will be a day of unusual lighting unlike anything witnessed before. It would appear that the light, which will be seen through a great darkness, will engulf the whole earth. This Holy light will radiate from the glory of the Son of God and His host of heaven, "as the lightening comes from the east and flashes to the west..." (Matt. 24;27).
The wicked will be supernaturally brought to Megiddo to meet their fate at the hand of God while those who came to believe in Christ are left to inherit the earth as in the days of Noah (see Matt. 13:38-43, 24:37-42 & 5:5).
Jesus will then save His beloved Jerusalem and living waters will flow out from her. "Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited" because the lord has declared in Zechariah 8:3 that He will "dwell in the midst of Jerusalem."
Verses 20 & 21 then end Ch. 19 of the Book of Revelation by revealing that the False Prophet and the Anti-Christ will experience a kind of anti-Rapture with their being cast alive into the eternal Lake of Fire. They will not first be killed, nor will they go and wait in Hell for their final judgment.
Hebrews 10:31 proclaims, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." And thus will the prophecy of Daniel 8:25 for the defiant Anti-Christ be fulfilled where we were told, "...he [that is the Anti-Christ] shall even rise against the Prince of princes [Jesus], but he [Anti-Christ] shall be broken without human hand."
The rest of those who had not turned to Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins are then killed by the sword of Christ at Armageddon. Then will the birds which were called together by the angel standing in the sun of Rev. 19:17, consume the remains of the fallen wicked. (See Rapture Watch Message, "Understanding Matthew 24").
Let us never forget, "...He who is coming will not tarry (Heb. 10:37).
This moment, whosoever wants to, can receive God's promise of complete forgiveness for all their sins by believing in Jesus Christ who shed His atoning blood upon the cross almost 2000 years ago. The opportunity to be included in the marriage to the Lord of all Creation is still open. One day soon the offer will forever be withdrawn (Jn. 3:16).