Australian Bible Church – March 4, 11, 2007
Revelation 19 and Co.
A CONTINUATION OF THE THRUST AND BASE OF THE
OF AUSTRALIA ON BIBLICAL LINES …
Setting the Sights,
This World's Mistress,
Marriage of the Lamb,
Mop-Up and Millenium
I PRIME EVENTS
i) The Forceful Woman of the World goes - Rev. 18:9-19:6 (cf. 17:15-17,18). Always a spiritual harridan, she has deceived kings, slaughtered saints and had a reign on the beast: now that her end has come, her very city, Rome (17:9) is doomed, her power despoiled, and the beast blights her. Divinely deemed "the great harlot" (19:2), "who corrupted the earth with her fornication", so that God "avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her", picking up from Revelation 17:4, where she is called "the mother of harlots", she is a massive slayer of saints, indeed "drunk with the blood of the saints", and spreader of "the abominations of the earth" (17:5-6).
The mother of harlots in other words, begets more of them, in her own spirit and temper and trade, and such are Ignorance, by which for centuries she sought to REMOVE the knowledge of the Bible (cf. Cook and Martin's Story of the Light that Never Went Out, which details many such things in Britain in particular), the Bishop of London even seeking to quash Tyndale's English translation by burning it in quantities, and in so doing, giving the money which enabled him, indirectly, to pay for and manufacture many more, duly imported. On this, see Psalm 119:13, 20.
Ignorance allowed much confusion and concoction of evils, religious cocktails and tales, the very stuff of 'harlotry', sin habitually using ignorance, wilful or otherwise, to dash the truth; and what more critical in truth, than the Gospel! (cf. II Cor. 11, Galatians 1). Another child of the mother of harlots is Total Subjection as a condition for spiritual life, like a harlot who demands fealty to herself at all cost; and this has been a major feature of the Jesuits, relative to the papacy, and an implicit feature of the Unam Sanctam which asserts that "it is altogether necessary to salvation for every creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff."
You CANNOT of course serve two masters (Matthew 5:24), and one being God with the provision of personal satisfaction for sin, and the other but a human creature and sinful, they are disparate to the point of infinity. There is, said Christ, but ONE, and no one else may have a place (Matthew 23:8-10, Proverbs 30:6), and the mastery is written in its Gospel and its revelation, not changeable in the least (Galatians 1, Revelation 22), or subject to any addition.
There being only ONE master and teacher, so that NONE may so much as spiritually be called 'father' (Matthew 23:8-10), this sort of ADDITION is an alternative god, so that it draws like a harlot, those who mix their 'marriage' to the Lamb with a carriage with the papacy, which not being God, constitutes a parallel to the Baals of old, who were 'lords' also. Other such children of harlotry would be elements such as Equivocation, famous Jesuit principle (contra Colossians 3:9), where truth is not the criterion but the objective is deemed to determine morality; and this begets more like it in other places, such as the Liberals who defiled the Bible and whose slithery tongue misled many churches, having done strong service in a similar cause!
Visions of angels (cf. the prohibition in Colossians 2:18, of such fealty, such trembling religious acceptance) are another way of intruding into the word of God, and the Mormons show an affiliation to this with Moroni, no less than does Rome with her visions. This is another child of the temper of Rome. Other christs, such as that in the Koran, the radicality of Liberalism, Neo-Orthodoxy, constructions imagined by man and not wrought from the historical record, christs without deity, or variable gods, these too are linked.
Such is her motherhood and such are some of her spawn, incorporated in the mystery of Babylon, of which Rome is the centre and 'mother', Babylon itself the ancient exemplar (cf. SMR pp. 946ff., 729, 1032-1088H).
ii) The Marriage of the Lamb - Rev. 19:7-10
By contrast, we observe in 19:10 the spirit of authenticity - the angel who speaks to John is not the Lamb: for it is not functionaries, but the Lord alone who is to be worshipped, and Christ is Lord. His will, word and ways, wisdom are immutable, beautiful, eternal. Do not worship ME, says the exalted angel, for "the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy". Yet as God multiplied visions of truth (Hosea 12:10), so man has multiplied ways of avoiding Him. Wafers, glasses, angels, books, canons of corrupt churches or States, meditations - they vie for a following.
Yet there is no way but Jesus Christ (John 14:6), and there is NO OTHER NAME of access (Acts 4:11-12). The cut-off is simple, eternal and clear. “WORSHIP GOD,” says the angel, forbidding John to worship him, “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” The testimony of truth is all about Jesus, who is the truth, and the very spirit of it focusses Him, and none other. ONLY Christ IN all creation can be worshipped, since He created it! He came into it, as an author into a book (Colossians 1:15ff.) Other names (cf. Acts 4:11-12) are an index of spiritual harlotry, and such pre-occupations are for the children of Babylon.
iii) The Fine Linen - present in the marriage as also in the host at the advent of the Lord of Lords, coming once more to earth, this time to rule (cf. I Thess. 3:13) with His saints, marks out the wedding participants; and the ensuing Divine Response to the lords of sin is categorical - Rev. 19:8,14ff.. This advent is in a way like a Wedding Reception, the aftermath of the wedding: but among those to whom He comes on earth, there is much mourning! (Revelation 1:7).
iv) The Five Names of the Lord Jesus Christ appear (Revelation 19:12-16), and one more is cited, this one known only to Himself, since God can be regulated and manipulated by none, inviolable, intractable, true, The five are Faithful and True, Lord of Lords and King of Kings, the Word of God. So great is the Lord that His very Word is personal, and lives for ever.
v) The End of the Spiritual Fraud practised for millenia, is exposed: confronted at the conclusion, it looks as it has always been: cheap - Rev. 19:19-21; but its cost and payment is dear.
vi) The Millenial Demonstration with the General Resurrection - 20:1-6, now appear, with bondage bonded! The wonder of divine rule appears (as in Isaiah 11, 65, Psalm 72); and 20:4 has a message for those to be resurrected; for here are all whose worship has been of the Lord, and not of the bestial building which this world loves (cf. I Thessalonians 4, Revelation 7).
vii) The Revolt that Terminates Global History makes its last yearning endeavour to supplant God - 20:7-10. It fails and heaven and earth now removed (20:11), we see the Judgment sit. Sin cost the earth!
2 PRIME STRESS
Fine Linen Rev. 19:8,14 cf. 7:13-14
In Revelation 7 we have already seen that the whiteness of this costume has a reason: it is washed in the blood of the Lamb (7:14), more potent cleansing than any, adequate in all things, free and available without impediment, once repentance and faith operate (Romans 3:23ff.). It is this very fine linen, the righteousness of God Himself, clothing the saints (cf. Isaiah 61:10), which now gleams and glisters, white and bright, impacting as the Lord terminates the rebellion of the Ages (Revelation 19:14ff., cf. Psalm 2).
Fine Word Rev. 19:10
The fear of the Lord is present in the emphasis on not worshipping the informant, however exalted, for THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS IS THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY. That is, the very essence and nature, the inspiration and the dynamic of prophecy has as its key and foundation, its feature and its copestone, one great feature, the testimony of Jesus; for this is where the washing of the robes occurs, whence the Light comes from and here the Temple is to be found! It is to be found in the Lord and the Lamb, one God (21:22, 5:8ff., 2:8, Isaiah 44:6, 45:18, 43:10-11, Psalm 96:5). As in John 1:1, grammar requires that the subject lack the article, to show which it is in such a case, so that it reads, "God was the word", inverted for emphasis, As Isaiah 43:10-11 shows, before God was no God formed, no, not even in His domain, an EL, that is, one mighty: He knows not any; and there is of gods, no other; for all the gods of the nations are 'idols' as Psalm 96 declares. One God is there and HIM ONLY are you to serve, as Christ told Satan (Matthew 4).
Finery Defiled Rev. 19:2,20-21,20:10
The false prophet and the beast, with the devil, are dispatched, and those with the mark of the beast are thrust through with light, as darkness is when it must go! Revelation 16:13ff. has already shown us the evil spirit emanating from the false prophet, the beast and the devil. It comes out of the mouth of the former two, as in the preaching of Communism, and of all false religious prophets, whose words are intoxicating wine to the deluded, who drink deep, and find the bottom.
unite errors, try to swallow up truth,
create divisions because of men, slight God,
debase the Cross,
become subservient to death, seek to rupture the resurrection,
proceed by prevarication and live light-free, by their wits, which being
dimmed by sin,
With the devil, these are arch-enemies of the human race. Thus the sources, beast, devil and false prophet, in unholly alliance against God with their forces (at war with God - Revelation 19:19) end with their inflamed passions under just judgment. The devil after a millenium in which his vicious deceits no more give deadly dynamism to the misled nations (20:3), tries again, only to find his own level, base beyond vision! (as in vii above). In all denial of truth, is torment; lies do not sit well in the light, nor does darkness on man or spirit.
3 PRIME FIGURE
Rev. 19:11-12,16 cf. 5:13, 21:22:23, 22:1
The Lamb is the Temple and the Light, worshipped forever is the one Trinity. Beginning and end of creation, eternal Redeemer of His people (Hebrews 9:12), His is the deity, for there is no other, nor ever will be. Mistaken identities have plagued the globe, but then it ought not to be too difficult to discern between the infinite and the finite, the Redeemer and the redeemed, Creator and creation, between the Source and Security, the ruin of rebellion and the rejoicing of spiritual surrender to the sublime deity.
When you are in Him, then the contained, controlled, ordered sequence of events such as we see here, and have seen these millennia, has much challenge, but no doubt; and if there are rapids to course, there is a swift Saviour to guide; and if the end is to come, then it is well ended that goes, and well made that comes.
Faithful and True is the name of the Lord, and finding this out is better than all discoveries, sweeter than all content, being an exercise in truth and a finding in life, abundant despite a bubbling world, and eternal despite this world's demise. Finding the truth of His promises, of His premises, the strength of His presence and the power of abiding in Him with joy is a treasure in life.
Revelation 21:3-5 points to the new order, not of man, but in the Lord, for new people, in Christ.
I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is
with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.
God Himself will be with them and be their God.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.
There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ ”
Jesus Christ is not only the prime figure then, but now, for in Him and through Him is our salvation, justification and sustaining, as by the Spirit of God (John 14:26), He fulfils His Messianic commission, forsaking for a time the very form of God (Philippians 2) to take the form of man, so that many of mankind might take the place of children of God.
Revelation 22:17, accordingly, shows a continual accompaniment to the pale horrors of what is first dislocation and then severance from the Lord as the progressive program unfolds, which shows the full extent of divorce proceedings, when even ransom is too little, and rebellion shakes its head like a horse's mane, in pride.
"The Spirit and the Bride say,
'Come!' And let him who hears say 'Come!'.
What is as a river in heaven (Revelation 22:1), is on earth as streams in the desert (Isaiah 35:1-6); for the world is becoming a spiritual desert, just as much of the Sahara remorselessly extends southward, and in it man glories in the spiritual drought, imagining in his delusions, that it is a lake.
Yet real streams of the power and Spirit of God are as available now as in former times, and the end of the race does not remove the water which runs with us who seek Him. In accord with this Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 35, just as Israel is now literally in its floral production, blossoming as the rose, so are the streams of the Spirit of God freely available BECAUSE Christ has paid (cf. Isaiah 55, Romans 3:23ff.).
Indeed, in Isaiah 44:3, in the very midst of the massive Messianic prophecies of 40, 42, 49-55, there comes this word, and its pith is to one as to all, for as Isaiah 42:6, 49:6 show, the Gentiles are not lacking in the divine gift of new life.
"I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground;
I will pour My blessing on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring."
Indeed, they will spring up, and
"One will say, 'I am the LORD's', another will call himself by the name of Jacob,
another will write on his hand, 'The LORD's ...' "
Here is that same outpouring of the Spirit of God of which Isaiah 32:15-17 speaks, where
"The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness,
quietness and assurance for ever";
and Christ, in John 7:38, is intimating that out of the midst of the believer "will flow rivers of living water," while again, He declares that it will be "in him a fountain of water springing up to everlasting life" (John 4:14).