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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

The Kingdom to Be Reigned by The Omnipotent


< Revelation 19:1-21 >

"After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, 'Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.' Again they said, 'Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!' And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, 'Amen! Alleluia!' Then a voice came from the throne, saying, 'Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!' And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, 'Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.' And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, 'Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'' And he said to me, 'These are the true sayings of God.' And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, 'See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.' Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, 'Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.' And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh."



Exegesis

Verse 1: After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God!"

The passage describes the saints praising the Lord God as their marriage day with the Lamb approaches. Our Lord God has given the saints their salvation and glory, so that they may praise Him for a good reason. The raptured saints in the air therefore continue to praise the Lord God, for so great is His grace of delivering them from all their sins and their inevitable condemnations.

The word "alleluia" or "hallelujah" is a compound word conjoining the Hebrew words of "halal," meaning praise, and "Yah," meaning "Jehovah"-its meaning, therefore, is "praise Jehovah." In particular, Psalms 113-118 of the Old Testament are called as the "Hallel of Egypt," and Psalms 146-150 are called as the "Psalms of Hallel."

These "Psalms of Hallel" are songs that had accompanied the joy and sorrow of the Jewish people, giving them strength in times of sadness and tribulations, and sung as songs of joy in times of salvation and victory. These songs were also sung whenever the praise of "hallelujah" can be sung only to God. The reason is because the Lord's judgment of the great plagues rendered on this world is true and righteous, and because salvation, power, and glory belong to only God.


Verse 2: "For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her."

That the Lord God will avenge the saints by pouring the plagues of the seven bowls on all the religionists of the earth and all the unbelievers is the true and righteous judgment of God. Because the religionists of this world had murdered the sinless and righteous servants of God, they, in return, deserve to be condemned to eternal death by God.

Have the servants of God ever done anything on this earth to deserve to be killed by the worldly religionists? Of course not! Yet all the religionists of the world have united in their scheme to murder the children of the Lord God. As such, God's pouring of the plagues of the seven bowls on these murderers is just, which also manifests the righteousness of God.


Verse 3: Again they said, "Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!"

The saints are praising the Lord God in the air because the day of their wedding with Jesus, who has become the Lamb, has approached.

"Her smoke rises forever and ever." This refers to the smoke coming out of this world destroyed and burnt by the great plagues of the seven bowls poured by God. It shows us that this world would never recover from its ruins because its destruction will be fatal and eternal.


Verse 4: And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, "Amen! Alleluia!"

The fact that the marriage day of the saints with the Lord Jesus has approached is such a glorious event that the 24 elders and the four living creatures in Heaven worship and praise the Lord God sitting on His throne. This is why all the servants of God are praising the Lord God in the air.


Verse 5: Then a voice came from the throne, saying, "Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!"

Because the Lamb's marriage day with the saints is such an unspeakably great joy for all His servants and the saints who have been saved by believing in the Lord God, the voice from the throne commands them all to praise God. The time has now come for the servants of God and all His saints to rejoice and praise the Lord.


Verse 6: And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!"

This verse tells us that as the time for the reign of the Lord God has approached, it now is time for His saints and the servants to receive their eternal peace, joy, and the blessings that flow like a river. This is why they are praising the Lord God. The saints are praising our God in the air even as the great plagues continue on this earth because the time has come for them to be reigned by the Lord God-that is, it is now time for God to glorify all His saints. The sound of the saints' praise at this time is like the sound of thunderings and of many waters. The marriage supper of the Lord's Kingdom thus begins with the beautiful praise of the saints.


Verse 7: "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."

Now that the plagues of the seven bowls brought by God are ending, this verse tells us that the time has come for all the saints to be glad and rejoice. The saints are glad and rejoice here because the day has arrived for them to marry our Lord and live in His Kingdom. To live with the saints, our Lord God has prepared His New Heaven and Earth, the holy city and its gardens, and all glory and wealth, and He is only waiting for them. From this time and on, the saints are to reign with the Lord forever.


Verse 8: And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

The Lord has given the saints new garments, which are made of fine linen. Anyone who lives serving the Lord God is clothed in these garments. God clothes the saints, in other words, in the garments of Heaven. These heavenly garments of fine linen are not wet with sweat. This tells us that the fact that we have become the Lamb's brides is not because of our man-made efforts and investments, but because of our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord God.

In distinctive contrast to the scarlet and purple garment worn by the Antichrist, this fine linen is the precious linen used to make garments for priests and kings. Free from sweat, the white, fine linen shows us that the ones who are clothed in God's grace and His righteousness have now become His people.

By the phrase, "for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints," it is meant that the ones who became saints by the grace of salvation given by the Lord God gave glory to God with their martyrdom by the Antichrist and his followers in defense of their faith. "The righteous acts," in other words, refer not the righteousness of the Law, but to the saints' martyrdom in defense of their precious faith. Likewise, all the brides of Jesus Christ of the end times are the martyrs who, to defend the chastity of their faith in the Lord, had stood up to and fought against the Antichrist and his followers while on this earth.

To prepare for their faith of martyrdom, all the saints must be nourished for the first three and a half years of the Great Tribulation, for when these three and half years are over, they will indeed be martyred.


Verse 9: Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'" And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God."

When the plagues of God are ended in this world, the Lord God will invite all the saints to the marriage supper of the Lamb (the Kingdom built and reigned by the Lord), and He will allow them to live in the Kingdom of Christ. Those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb here are the blessed ones. Our God has told us that He will not fail to fulfill this Word of promise. The day will finally come when the saints are to marry the Lord. Our Lord will return to this earth to carry away His brides, who have been cleansed of all their sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. And the Lord He will live with His brides forever and ever in His Kingdom.

The saints' union with the Lord is completed when they are raptured by Christ, at which time they are to receive endless glory and rewards in the Millennial Kingdom. Hallelujah! I praise and thank the Lord God who has made us His people.


Verse 10: And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."

The saints must give all these glories only to the Lord God. The One who is to receive all worship and praise from the saints is solely our Triune God.

The phrase, "For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy," means that the testimony and prophecy of Jesus come through the Holy Spirit.


Verse 11: Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.

When the end times come, our Lord God, riding on a white horse, will fight against Satan with His righteousness and bind him by throwing him into the bottomless pit and the lake of fire.

Here, the name of Jesus Christ is "Faithful" and "True." The word "Faithful," meaning that Christ is trustworthy, expresses His truthfulness and fidelity, while the word "True," meaning that He is free from falsehood, tells us that Christ would overcome the Antichrist with the righteous judgment of God.


Verse 12: His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.

That the Lord's eyes are "like a flame of fire" tells us that He has the power to judge all. The phrase "on His head were many crowns," on the other hand, means that our Lord always triumphs over Satan in His fight against him, for He is the omniscient and omnipotent God.


Verse 13: He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

Our Lord will avenge the saints on their enemies by judging these enemies of His, who had stood against Him, with His fierce wrath. This God is none other than Jesus Christ Himself. Just as He had promised with His Word, our Lord indeed came to this earth in the flesh of a man, was baptized by John to bear all the sins of the world, carried them to the Cross, and made the sins of the entire mankind disappear.

The "robe dipped in blood" This blood does not refer to Christ's own blood. It refers to the blood of the enemies being splattered onto the Lord's robe as He brings His fearful judgment of wrath to them and tramples them with His feet of power.

"The Word of God" refers to Jesus' character. Because our Lord does everything by His powerful Word, He is named as "the Word of God."


Verse 14-16: And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

The army of the Lord God always serves His works, clothed in His glorious grace.

God will judge this world with the Word coming out of His mouth. Our Lord has always promised us with the Word of His mouth, and He always fulfills these promises with His power. The One who judges the world and destroys Satan is Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords.


Verse 17: Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, "Come and gather together for the supper of the great God,"

This world, along with Satan and his followers, will ultimately be destroyed by Jesus Christ. The Bible describes the destruction of this world as God's great feast.


Verse 18: "that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great."

This Word tells us that because the whole world and everyone in it would have been put to death by the time the great plagues of the Lord God are ended, the birds flying in the sky would fill their bellies by feeding on their carcasses. They would do so because God would have poured the great plagues of the seven bowls on this world. Our Lord told us, "For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together (Matthew 24:28)." In the end times' world, there will be only destruction, death, and the punishment of hell for the sinners. But for the saints, there will be the blessing of reigning in the Kingdom of Christ.


Verse 19: And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

To their very end, the Antichrist, Satan's servant, and his followers will stand against the servants of God and His saints and try to win over them. But because our Lord is the King of kings, He will seize the Antichrist and the false prophet, throw them into the lake of fire, and kill all their servants with the sword of His Word.


Verse 20: Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.


The "Beast" here refers to the Antichrist. The "false prophet" is the Antichrist's servant who, by performing miracles and signs, turns people away from faith in the Word of truth. Our Lord God will destroy Satan, the Beast (the Antichrist), the false prophet, and the followers of Satan who had worshipped the idol of the Antichrist and stood against God, against the saints, and against the gospel of the water and the Spirit.

The "lake of fire burning with brimstone" refers to hell. Hell is different from the bottomless pit. While the bottomless pit is where the forces of Satan are temporarily bound in, the "lake of fire" is the place of their eternal punishment. In particular, fire and brimstone have always been used in the Bible as the instrument of God's punishment and judgment.

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After this world is destroyed, our Lord will return to this earth with the saints, destroy Satan and his servants first, and then open the Kingdom of Christ. The saints will then live and reign with the Lord in the Kingdom of Christ for a thousand years to come.


Verse 21: And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.

This world was created by the Word coming out of the mouth of our Lord God; likewise, the enemies of God will all be destroyed by the Word of judgment coming out of His mouth. The Kingdom of Christ will then be established on this earth. The saints, therefore, must place their hope in the Kingdom of Christ and give glory to God by fighting against Satan, the Antichrist and his followers, and by embracing their martyrdom with faith.

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