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Notes for

The Revelation

Chapter Nineteen

1. As it was when the book was opened, so it is when it is shut - there is a great anthem of praise for the love and justice of God. See chapter 5:13.

Heaven now prepares for the greatest event in the history of the universe - the exodus of Christ from heaven to collect His bride from the earth. What we call the first resurrection.

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2. The phrase "for ever and ever" normally means for the life of the thing or person being discussed. Here it means that the lesson learnt during the great controversy will never be forgotten. Some examples are:-

Exodus 15:18

The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.

Psalm 145:2

Every day will I bless You; and I will praise Your name for ever and ever.

Exodus 21:6 The treatment of a slave

Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or to the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.

Leviticus 24:1-3 The lamps in the sanctuary

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, Command the children of Israel, that they bring to you pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually. Without [outside] the veil of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from the evening to the morning before the LORD continually: it shall be a statute for ever in your generations.

Leviticus 25:29-30 The selling of a house

And if a man sell a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year may he redeem it. And if it be not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city shall be established for ever to him that bought it throughout his generations: it shall not go out in the jubilee.

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3. The "multitude" of dead saints who rose with Jesus at His ascension, shown here as "elders" and "beasts", plus the two translated ones Enoch and Elijah, join with the crowd from the universe in praising God because the reading of the book is finished.

Ephesians 4:8

Wherefore He [the Spirit] says [in the Old Testament], When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive [or, a multitude of captives, margin], and gave gifts to men.

Psalm 68:17-19

The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive: You have received gifts for men; yes, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them. Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah [Selah means: Stop, and think prayerfully on what you have just read.]

At long last, with the book finally read, understanding has come to God's people regarding the deeper issues of the great controversy.

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4. Jesus speaks to hand back the authority to God, and all worship the Father.

1 Corinthians 15:27-28

For He [the Father] has put all things under His [the Son's] feet. But when He [the Father] says all things are put under Him [the Son], it is manifest [very clear] that He [the Father] is excepted, which did put all things under Him [the Son]. And when all things shall be subdued to Him [the Father], then shall the Son also Himself be subject to Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

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5. Long awaited day! The "bride"may now be present in person at the wedding, so the "bridegroom" leaves His Father's house to go and collect her. Every one in the universe joins in this chorus.

Jesus leaves heaven in all His glory to call His dead saints from their graves. The living Christians on earth trim their lamps in anticipation.

Isaiah 61:10-11

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth her bud, and as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

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6. This is what God has been trying to tell us all through the ages. See Matthew 25:10. The simple truth is that only by being "married" to Christ can we have a place in heaven and in the new world. Nothing else is required for our title, no works, no payment, no penance. Our fitness, however, is another matter!!

2 Corinthians 11:2-3

For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one Husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

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7. We are not to worship angels. They delight in helping us but do not require anything other than a simple "thanks".

Hebrews 1:13-14

But to which of the angels said He at any time, "Sit on My right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool?" Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

Neither should we worship any man, no matter what his position is in the church. Respect for worldly position is the most any Christian may give.

Acts 10:25-26

And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, "Stand up; I myself also am a man."

Acts 23:2-5

And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. Then said Paul to him, "God shall smite you, you whited wall: for sit you to judge me after the law, and command me to be smitten contrary to the law?"

And they that stood by said, "Revile you God's high priest?" Then said Paul, "I wist [knew] not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of the ruler of your people’."

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Special Note: The testimony of Jesus

Revelation 12:17

And the dragon [Satan] was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed [the last generation], which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 1:9

I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for [speaking] the word of God, and for [having] the testimony of Jesus Christ.

What is this testimony?

It is having the ability to prophesy, or speak correctly of and for God, as the angel told John in the verse we are looking at (Revelation 19:10). It is being able to speak the word of God with the authority of infallibility, because God has spoken to the prophet/angel and he/she is merely passing on His words.

In all ages God's appointed witnesses have exposed themselves to reproach and persecution for the truth's sake.

Joseph was maligned and persecuted because he preserved his virtue and integrity.

David, the chosen messenger of God, was hunted like a beast of prey by his enemies.

Daniel was cast into a den of lions because he was true to his allegiance to heaven.

Job was deprived of his worldly possessions, and so afflicted in body that he was abhorred by his relatives, and friends; yet he maintained his integrity.

Jeremiah could not be deterred from speaking the words that God had given him to speak; and his testimony so enraged the king and princes that he was cast into a loathsome pit.

Stephen was stoned because he preached Christ and Him crucified.

Paul was imprisoned, beaten with rods, stoned, and finally put to death because he was a faithful messenger for God to the Gentiles.

And John was banished to the Isle of Patmos "for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ."

These examples of human steadfastness bear witness to the faithfulness of God's promises - of His abiding presence and sustaining grace. They testify to the power of faith to withstand the powers of the world. It is the work of faith to rest in God in the darkest hour, to feel, however sorely tried and tempest-tossed, that our Father is at the helm. The eye of faith alone can look beyond the things of time to estimate aright the worth of the eternal riches.

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8. Jesus is shown on a white horse to represent the purity and justice of His mission. Consider the church in its infancy when it went out to the world with the whole gospel message.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 A picture of the advent

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep [in death], that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with [or by] Him.

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

He has a name which no man knows yet. There is a side to His character that we have not seen! Yet we know Him as the Word of God (among many other names), for He has the spirit of prophecy more than any other being in the universe. Remember these words?

Daniel 10:21

But I [Gabriel] will show you that which is noted in the Scripture of truth: and there is none that holds with me in these things, but Michael your Prince.

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9. He makes "war" in righteousness which means that He "fights" in a certain way - with His mouth. This is why He is described as having a sword coming out of His mouth, for this is how our God fights, with words.

The armies of heaven follow Him, both human and angelic, for this is the greatest day in history.

He rules with a rod of iron, the strongest metal known to John. We know it now as the rod of love and justice which nothing can break.

Psalm 2:7-12 The thought as written in the Old Testament

I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to Me, "You are My Son; this day have I begotten You. Ask of Me, and I shall give You the heathen for Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."

Be wise now therefore, O you kings: be instructed, you judges [leaders] of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little.

Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.

Matthew 10:32-36 The region of the conflict

Whoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven. But whoever shall deny Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father which is in heaven.

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

Proverbs 1:23-33 Here is the truth of it

Turn you [repent] at My reproof: behold, I will pour out My Spirit to you [to lead you], I will make known My words to you.

Because I have called, and you refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but you have set at nought all My counsel, and would [have] none of My reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear comes.

When your fear comes as desolation, and your destruction comes as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish comes upon you, then shall they [the rejecters] call upon Me, but I will not answer. They shall seek Me early, but they shall not find Me: for that they hated knowledge [and still do], and did not choose the fear of the LORD [when it was available]: they would [have] none of My counsel: they despised all My reproof.

Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

But whosoever hearkens to Me [now] shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

This situation is known as "Esau's repentance". He repented of his deeds when he felt the result of them, but he refused even then to allow God to change his character. He wanted his cake and be able to eat it too!

Hebrews 12:16-17

Lest there be any fornicator, or profane [worldly] person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For you know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of [way of] repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

God has warned us over and over again that there is a time in our lives when He will not be able to help and save at all. That time is:-

1. When the unpardonable sin is committed, by seeing the Spirit of God as an enemy and welcoming Satan as a deliverer. Under these conditions, each time the Spirit approaches the rejecter runs away into the arms of the deceiver!

2. By dying unrepentant. So strong is the hold of "the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2) on a sinner (death is a separation from God - a separation from Life) that it cannot be broken even by the last resurrection. (It is elsewhere called "the mystery of iniquity". 2 Thessalonians 2:7). The rejecters will come up from their graves without a change of heart and will desire only to continue their way of life even in the face of certain death. (Rather like the confirmed smoker of today.)

When #1 of these conditions has been met by ALL the living rejecters, and ALL the living Christians have settled into the truth so that they cannot be moved from it, then Jesus Christ can do no more. There will be no more confession of sin for Him to attend to in the heavenly sanctuary, no more sinners who will repent, and His work there is over. He will remove the priestly garments He put on when He went to heaven after the resurrection, and replace them with His kingly robes. See Hebrews 8:1.

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10. That He is a High Priest, and the only mediator in the gospel, will be readily admitted; but the order and manner of His various services must be determined by the Scriptures.

The apostle Paul states that He is a priest after the order of Melchisedek, that is a kingly priest, on the throne of the Majesty in the Heavens, a minister of the sanctuary and true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man. Hebrews 8:1-2. Of course this is the antitype of the earthly sanctuary, of the tabernacle pitched or made by man.

Paul also affirms that if He were on earth, He would not be a priest for the evident reason that the priests of the earthly sanctuary were of the tribe of Levi, while our Lord sprang out of Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood, and of which no man gave attendance at the altar. Hebrews 7:13, 14; 8:4.

This will correct a mistake very often made, that the priesthood of our Lord commenced on earth. If He had entered on the work of His priesthood at His baptism, as has been said by some, He would have acted with those who were types of Himself; and if as a priest He had officiated in the temple, it would have been to make offerings typical of His own.

That Christ was a "prophet, priest, and king," many of us have learned; but comparatively few ever learn the true relation these offices sustain to each other.

He was "that prophet" while on earth; and Paul's testimony given above shows that He filled no other office during His ministry here.

Many suppose that His priesthood is connected with that kingdom which is given to Him as the Son of David. But this is utterly forbidden by plain Scripture declarations. Aaron had no kingship, and David had no priesthood; and Christ is not a priest after the order of Aaron (Hebrews 7:11), so is He not a king on the throne of David during His priesthood.

It is "after the order of Melchisedek," who was both king and priest, that Christ is a priest on His Father's throne. At different times, He occupies two different thrones (See Revelation 3:21).

The throne of his Father in Heaven, which He now occupies as priest, "He shall have delivered up" at His coming. 1 Corinthians 15:23-28.

Then, in subjection to His Father, He will take His own throne, called also the throne of David, on which He will reign forever - without end. Luke 1:32-33.

But then He will no more be a priest, His priesthood being altogether on the throne He now occupies. The reader is requested to examine these points carefully, as a misunderstanding of them has given rise to much confusion in the theological world.

The distinct offices of our Lord Jesus Christ are Prophet, Priest and King. No two are filled at the same time, but they succeed each other.

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11. The seven LAST plagues are falling during this time and so the angel draws attention to this by calling on the vultures.

The wicked have been, and are being, destroyed, and their dead bodies are lying upon its surface. The wrath of God in the seven last plagues is being visited upon the inhabitants of the earth, causing them to gnaw their tongues from pain and to curse God. The false shepherds among the professed Christians are the particular objects of God’s wrath (His inability to protect) because they have known clearly what they have been doing.

Jeremiah 25:30-36

Therefore prophesy you against them all these words, and say to them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter His voice from His holy habitation; He shall mightily roar upon His habitation; He shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD has a controversy with the nations, He will plead with all flesh; He will give them that are wicked to the sword, says the LORD.

Thus says the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground. Howl, you shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, you principal of the flock: for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and you shall fall like a pleasant vessel. And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape.

A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and an howling of the principal of the flock, shall be heard: for the LORD has spoiled their pasture.

Their eyes have consumed away in their holes, and their tongues in their mouths, while they stood upon their feet in a plague He is powerless to prevent. The results of 6,000 years of rejection have caught up with the final generation and all He can do is save His followers!

Zechariah 14:12-13

And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.

After the saints had been delivered by the voice of Jesus, the rejecting multitude will turn their rage upon one another. Most of those not killed in the preceding plagues will die at the hands of their fellows. The survivors of that struggle will all perish in the last plague, the enormous hailstones. The earth will appear to be deluged with blood, and dead bodies will be from one end of it to the other. The surface of the earth will look like a desolate wilderness. Cities and villages, shaken down by the earthquake, will lie in heaps.

Mountains will have been moved out of their places, leaving large caverns. Ragged rocks, thrown out by the sea, or torn out of the earth itself, will be scattered all over its surface. Large trees which have been uprooted will be lying over the land.

Now is the time to escape that. Now, while mercy lingers and the voice of the Spirit can be heard.

Hebrews 3:12-19

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today;" lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end; while it is said, "Today" if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: however not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

But with whom was He grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? And to whom swear He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not?

So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

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12. By the "beast" is meant all the false religions of the time. They have made an uneasy connection with the "kings" or governments of the earth as we saw at the very beginning of this book. Daniel 2:43. The time has come for the "stone" to vanquish their efforts. Although they "gathered together" they are "taken" in the mesh of lies and deceit they have woven.

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13. Although the false religions, Catholic and Protestant alike, are described as being cast into the lake of fire, they are NOT destroyed at that time. Kept close to God by His power they must await the final outcome of their efforts. Those individuals who had united in reviling God's holy day and in uplifting one of their own making, must one day face the anger of those whom they have deceived over the centuries. The system of self-seeking is not yet finished - Satan and his angel followers are also left alive on earth to contemplate their fate.

The "remnant" cannot stand the words of truth which have come forth from the mouth of He who sits on the white horse, and welcome their death.

Revelation 6:14-17

And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"

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