• | Chris McCann
  • Audio: Length: 28:35 Size: 6.5 MB
  • Passages covered: Revelation 19:1-2, Revelation 7:9-11, Revelation 6:9-11, Revelation 18:24, Acts 15:19, Acts 25:25.

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Revelation 19 Series, Part 1, Verses 1-2

Good evening and welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Revelation.  Tonight is study #1 of Revelation chapter 19 and we are going to read Revelation 19-1:

And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:

In this verse we find a vivid picture of the people of God lifting up the name of God in praise.  The word “Alleluia” is a word that is only found four times in the New Testament.  All four times it is in Revelation, chapter 19.  It is a word that is derived from the Hebrew word which means, “Praise Yah” or lift up the name of the Lord.  It is basically saying, “Praise the Lord.” 

This comes after a chapter in which God has pronounced judgment upon Babylon, which represents the kingdom of Satan, the unsaved in the nations of the world.  And it goes on to say why God is being praised: “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God.”  It is a triumphant lifting up of the name of God for the glorious victory He has won; the salvation of God is complete; He has pronounced judgment on the world and He has defeated Satan, his constant enemy, and the kingdom of Satan in this world.  Now it is time for God to be praised.

The language where it says, “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven,” is very similar to the language found in Revelation, chapter 7, where God has said that “twelve thousand” were sealed from each of the “twelve tribes” of Israel, totaling “144,000,” which represent the firstfruits unto God, all those God saved during the 1,955 years of the church age.  Then it goes on to say in Revelation 7:9:

After this I beheld…

Actually, the Greek words are the same as in Revelation 19:1, where it said, “And after these things.”  It is the same underlying Greek text.  Again, it says in Revelation 7:9:

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude…

Also, in our verse in Revelation 19:1, it said, “And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven,” and the two words “much people” are a translation of the same two Greek words translated as “great multitude” in Revelation 7:9, so we have additional agreement between the two passages.  It goes on to say in Revelation 7:9-10:

… which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God…

It is just as we find in Revelation 19:1: “Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God.”  Then it says in Revelation 7:10-12:

…which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

First of all, we have the great multitude that is lifting up the name of God by saying, “Salvation to our God,” and then they exalt and magnify His name by pointing out the glorious attributes of God – His glory, His wisdom, His honor, His power, and so forth.  Actually, we have the same attributes listed in Revelation 19:1:

And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:

By the way, the “great multitude” are all those God saved out of the little season of the Great Tribulation, the second part of the Great Tribulation when God sent forth the Latter Rain to save scores of millions of people to complete His glorious salvation program.  He saved tens of millions all over the earth outside of the churches and congregations; as soon as they were saved, they had their citizenship in heaven and they were seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.  The great multitude in Revelation 19:1 are said to be “in heaven,” but let us not think that some of them cannot be present upon this earth.  They can be counted “in heaven” and, yet, still be living on the earth.  It says: “Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God,” and these are some of the same things that were mentioned in Revelation 7.  And, certainly, God is worthy of praise and worthy to have His name exalted. 

He is the only worthy one.  When people try to lift up the names of other people, we cringe, or we should cringe.  People of the world do this all the time, but the true believer cringes and it just does not sit right with us because we realize that we are sinners; we have all offended God and none of us are worthy of praise.  That is why Psalm 115:1 says, “Not unto us, O JEHOVAH, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory.”  As that wonderful hymn says of God, “great things He has done,” so we desire to magnify His name, lift up His name and not another.  We certainly do not want to lift up another man or our own name.  We abhor that idea and we despise the thought of having our own name lifted up.  God has given us a new heart and a new spirit and He has placed within us an ongoing desire to do the will of God, which includes praising or lifting up the name of God: “Alleluia, praise God.  Praise the Lord.”  We do not seek our own glory or our own things, but the things of others.  Remember that verse in the New Testament that says, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”  We esteem others better than ourselves.  In the first instance, we are to consider the things of God and we would esteem God as the One better than ourselves and the One we want to lift up and, of course, we would want to treat others better than ourselves. 

It is pride when man tries to lift up the name of another man or when man tries to lift up his own name.  It is pride and it is not fitting or appropriate.  We do not deserve it.  We are dirty, rotten, filthy sinners.  What do we deserve according to God’s Word and the law of God?  We deserve death and we deserve to be destroyed for evermore.  What great thing have we done that is worthy of any glory or honor or praise of ourselves?  Someone might say, “Well, we do desire to do God’s will now and is it not a good thing when we keep His commandments and when we go down the right path and do the things He would have us to do?  Yes, it is good and right, but it is also our duty.  We are not doing anything special or worthy of praise and honor.  We are doing what we should do because we have been “bought with a price” and we ought to serve God and we ought to do things the way He would have us to do them.  Yes, God is the only One that is worthy and it is not sinful for a man to lift up the name of God as it would be a sinful thing to exalt another man or to exalt oneself.  It is not sinful to lift up God’s name because He is deserving and worthy of all praise we can offer.

Let us go on to Revelation 19:2:

For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

We know that Revelation chapter 19 is following chronologically from chapter 18.  But the chapters in the Book of Revelation do not always follow chronologically, but since God pointed out in chapters 17 and 18 that Babylon was the great whore or harlot and Revelation 18 began by declaring, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen,” we know it was the time of her judgment.  The time had come and, here in verse 2, God is saying He has “judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication.”  So in chapter 19 the theme continues to discuss the judgment of Babylon or the final judgment of this world.  Now this is additional confirmation (and there is lots of it) that Babylon represents the world because God says He has judged and avenged Babylon and as we continue in this chapter we are going to see that it will speak of the marriage supper of the Lamb, which is Judgment Day on the world.  It will speak of casting the beast and his armies into a lake of fire, and so forth, and it all fits together and harmonizes with the time “immediately after the tribulation.”  It is the time when God turns His attention to Babylon, figuratively, upon the kingdom of Satan to bring about the final judgment of mankind.

Now it says here that God “hath judged” and “hath avenged,” so it is in the past tense in both cases, so that means the judgment on Babylon has already occurred and the vengeance has taken place on Babylon.  Since we are presently living in the world during the time of its judgment, can we say that God “hath judged” the world or “hath avenged” his servants?  Can we speak in the past tense presently since the judgment is still ongoing?  We know God began judgment on May 21, 2011 and the judgment continues over a prolonged period of time and it very likely will conclude on October 7, 2015.  In other words, can we read Revelation 19 right now as something that God “will do” at the conclusion of this prolonged period of judgment at the end of the world?  Or, can we use the “past tense” that God has judged and has avenged His people already?  Actually, both are correct.  God has judged (past tense) and avenged His people (past tense), while it is also in progress as Judgment Day continues to unfold in our day.  Both are correct.  God did judge mankind on May 21, 2011 and that is in the past.

The Greek word translated as “judge” is Strong’s #2919 and it is also translated in a couple of different ways.  Let us go to Acts 15:19:

Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

This is the early church council that was held in Jerusalem to decide the doctrine of the church concerning the Gentiles and the word “sentence” is a translation of the same Greek word translated as “judge” in our verse.  So it could read, “Wherefore my judgment is, that we trouble not them.”  That helps us to understand the word a little bit better.  For instance, when someone comes before a judge and a jury has found them guilty and the judge is going to assign the punishment, he “sentences” the person that committed a crime.  The judge’s sentence may be that the individual may spend the next 10 years in prison, so when that individual leaves the court room he has been “sentenced” (past tense) and, yet, he still has to carry out his 10 years in prison.  So it is a past judgment and, yet, it is an ongoing judgment and that is similar to what God has done.  God sentenced the world on May 21, 2011 (when He shut the door of heaven) to a period of prolonged judgment in which no one will become saved.  The “righteous in Christ” will remain righteous and the saved will remain saved, but the spiritually “filthy” will remain “filthy” and they will never be translated out of the darkness and into the light.  So the sentence has been cast and it will remain – they have been sentenced.  Every unsaved individual has been sentenced, but it is just a matter of carrying out the penalty.

Also, it says in Acts 25:25:

But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and that he himself hath appealed to Augustus, I have determined to send him.

This is Festus speaking and he is trying to make a judgment concerning the Apostle Paul and he says, “I have determined to send him” to Caesar Augustus.  The word “determined” is a translation of the same Greek word that is often translated as “judged.”  Here, it is a determination and that is what a judgment is and that is why when the elect are standing before the judgment seat of Christ, the judgment is a “determination.”  And the “determination” can be, “I find no fault in this man,” as Pilot said of Jesus.  There was innocence and no guilt and that will be the determination of God concerning every one of His elect that had their sins paid for in Christ from the foundation of the world, but God has brought His elect before His judgment seat to “make manifest” that their sins were paid for by causing them to go through this period of judgment on the world.  He has kept the elect in the world and living upon the earth at the time of the final judgment of mankind and in that manner the elect are “appearing” before the judgment seat of Christ.  Yet, at the completion of the time period the determination will be one of “innocence” for all those whose sins were paid for because they have no sin.  Their sins are gone.  They were paid for by Christ and they are free and they do not have to answer for their sins and, therefore, at the end of the period of Judgment Day, which is very likely 1,600 days, God will lift them up because they are righteous before Him.  He has judged the “quick and the dead.”  He has found the “quick” (the living) sinless because the penalty for their sins had been paid. 

At the beginning of Judgment Day on May 21, 2011 God had determined the judgment of every human being that was living upon the earth: “You are one of my people and I have saved you.  You are not one of my people and I have not saved you.”  Let us go back and read what I referred to earlier, in Revelation 22:11:

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

This is the “judgment” with which God has judged Babylon already.  As it says in Revelation 19:2:

For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

Let us just go to one more passage to see how God is answering these Scriptures in Revelation, chapter 19.  It says in Revelation 6:9-11:

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

The implication is that since the “little season” represents the Great Tribulation period, it is as if He is saying, “You rest until the Great Tribulation period is over.”  During the Great Tribulation many were driven out of the churches and this means they were spiritually killed, according to the Bible.   The end of the Great Tribulation is the end of Babylon’s rule, as the seventy years typified the Great Tribulation.  Then God turned His attention to Babylon (to the world) and He judges and avenges the blood of His servants.  Remember we read in the last verse of Revelation 18, where it said, “And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth,” and now is the time of the vengeance of God for all the blood going all the way back to Abel and throughout the history of the world that has been shed by the kingdom of Satan.