Pastor Scott Netzel – June 15, 2017
Threefold Hallelujah Over Babylon’s Fall
1 After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, 2 for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
3 And again they shouted: “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.”
As we saw in the last chapter, the fall of Babylon is complete, and we continue this with the great celebration of the saints, shouting and singing in thanksgiving for the final and complete fall of the city that has been a nest of idolatry, lewdness and cruelty. They give the honor of salvation, glory and power to the Lord, praising his truth and his judgement.
4 The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: “Amen, Hallelujah!” 5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God,
all you his servants, you who fear him, both great and small!”
6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
The harmony of the saint’s voices are joined by those of heaven. Even the four creatures fall to their faces and worship the Lord. The sound is large and loud, like peals of thunder and rushing waters.
7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)
And here we see the marriage of Christ with his church, as described in Matthew. She is dressed in clean white clothes to signify the holiness she represents.
9 Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
10 At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.”
The angel tells him to write that those who are invited are blessed. The apostle is so overwhelmed by all of these wondrous sights and the very glory of what he sees; he falls at the feet of the angel. He is in awe of the sight of the wedding and it’s preparations. But the angel refuses the worship, letting him know that he, himself, is a servant only – just as he is. He does not want the apostle to be guilty of idolatry. He reminds him that the only being worthy of worship is the Lord God and all of this is in testimony of him.
Luke 4:8 (NIV)
8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”
1 Samuel 7:3 (NIV)
3 So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.”
Matthew 4:10 (NIV)
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
The Heavenly Warrior Defeats the Beast
11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.
Jesus now appears as a heavenly warrior, for he is the only one whose name can be “Faithful and True” and “the Word of God”. He comes riding a white horse and wages war and judgement with justice. He has eyes that are blazing with an intensity like fire, and his head carries the weight of much authority (as the crowns signify). His robe is dipped in blood, whether his own, or that of his enemies, it is not specified. He leads all the armies of heaven into battle (angels and saints), and they also wear white linen and ride on white horses, showing that they are also pure and clean of sin. His mouth carries a sword (God’s written word) and he strikes down the nations with that sword. This is where the winepress of God’s fury takes place. Just incase we are unsure of his identity – his name is written on his robe and on his thigh – KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.”
An invitation is given to all the birds that they should come and watch the battle, and then be provided with the flesh of all those who have fallen – whether great or small. All stature and circumstance comes to nothing in these last days. All the things that meant so much; wealth or fame – they are all reduced to nothing but food for the birds of the earth.
19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.
The beast and the kings of the earth unite to defend themselves against Jesus and the armies of heaven. But it is for nothing. The beast is captured and the false prophet who followed him is also captured. The false prophet had done signs and wonders to deceive people so they would receive the mark of the beast and worship it. These two are thrown in the fiery lake of burning sulfur, and all their followers are killed with the word of God and their flesh is eaten by birds.