Lesson 363:

Revelation 19:7 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.

Weddings are celebrated in almost every culture of the world. They normally follow a period of engagement, when plans are made for a lifetime of love and devotion. The long awaited day finally arrives, and the two become one.

This is nothing less than a reflection of Christ and his church. [A] man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31-32), wrote Paul. 

We are now in the engagement period, when the church prepares for her wedding day. She is faithful to her groom because of their mutual love. She also grows in holiness (2 Corinthians 7:1) because she wants to please him. And we know that he will be pleased because his reaction is already recorded: as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you (Isaiah 62:5), wrote Isaiah.

My wife was absolutely stunning on the day we were married. Her physical beauty was striking, and no expense was spared on her gown. When I saw her walking up the isle, she literally took my breath away. 

Jesus chose an unlikely bride, but the church is getting ready. The greatest bliss a couple has ever known is only a hint of what will be ours forever. 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.

Revelation 19:11-16 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. 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. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 

The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 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. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

The greatest warriors the world has ever known are nothing compared to Christ. He is the ultimate warrior who conquers all his enemies. The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name (Exodus 15:3), wrote Moses. This was not obvious when Jesus was blessing little children (Mark 10:16), and teaching people to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39). But when he returns to execute his wrath, none will be more fierce. 

His enemies will be like bursting grapes beneath his feet as he treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. And his enemies’ blood will flow as high as the horses’ bridles (Revelation 14:20), wrote John. Whoever is not afraid of Jesus Christ should read the end of his story.

Revelation 19:17-21 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, 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.

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. But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet. . . . The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 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 hatred of sinners toward God is normally veiled, but here it is on display, as they gather to oppose the Lord at his return. In contrast to the wedding supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9), the birds of the air are invited to the great supper of God [to] eat the flesh of kings, and all who oppose the Lord (Revelation 19:17-18). All the carnage of all the wars that have ever been fought, will be nothing compared to the carnage at Christ’s return.

Revelation 20:1-3 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

When Christ returns, the devil will be bound for a thousand years to keep him from deceiving the nations. This period is called the millennium, and it precedes the eternal state. It is also described by the prophets as a time of great peace and prosperity. 

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. . . . They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:6-9), wrote Isaiah.

Likewise, The days are coming, declares the Lord, when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills . . . . They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit (Amos 9:11-14), wrote Amos.

And again, They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid (Micah 4:3-4), wrote Micah.

We should think of Jesus Christ, ruling the world from Jerusalem, during a time of unprecedented prosperity. But paradise is not completely restored. Children will still be born with sinful natures, and they will not be content to have Christ rule over them, even in a perfect environment.

Revelation 20:7-8 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations.

Once again the nations will assemble against Christ, and once again they will be defeated. [F]ire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Revelation 20:9-10). Now it’s time for Judgment Day. 

Reflection and Review
How should the church prepare for her wedding day?
Why is the world so opposed to God?
What do you think of the millennium?