City of Servants, People of Perishing

“After these things I heard, as it were, a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,

“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God;

BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS;

for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality,

and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER.”

And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! HER SMOKE RISES UP FOREVER AND EVER.”

And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying,

“Amen. Hallelujah!”

And a voice came from the throne, saying,

“Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants,

you who fear Him, the small and the great.”

And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude

and as the sound of many waters

and as the sound of mighty peals of thunder,

saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him,

for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”

And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean;

for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

And he said to me, “Write,

‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’”

And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”

And I fell at his feet to worship him.

And he said to me, “Do not do that;

I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus;

worship God.

For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse,

and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True;

and in righteousness He judges and wages war.

And His eyes are a flame of fire,

and upon His head are many diadems;

and He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself.

And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God.

And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean,

were following Him on white horses.

And from His mouth comes a sharp sword,

so that with it He may smite the nations;

and He will rule them with a rod of iron;

and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written,

“KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

And I saw an angel standing in the sun;

and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven,

“Come, assemble for the great supper of God;

in order that you may eat the flesh of kings

and the flesh of commanders

and the flesh of mighty men

and the flesh of horses

and of those who sit on them

and the flesh of all men,

both free men and slaves,

and small and great.”

And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies,

assembled to make war against Him who sat upon the horse,

and against His army.

“And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet

who performed the signs in his presence,

by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast

and those who worshiped his image;

these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.

And the rest were killed with the sword

which came from the mouth of Him who sat upon the horse,

and all the birds were filled with their flesh.”

I am not a preterist, meaning that I don’t think that all of the prophecies in Revelation came to pass in the first century. However, the more I waltz the more I move in that direction. I am a partial preterist. That is, I believe some of the prophecies in Revelation have been fulfilled. The problem is that I wouldn’t suggest that all of Revelation is prophecy in the way we think of prophecy. In other words, Revelation is an unveiling of God’s inner-workings, all of which are timeless. Just as the law has never saved anyone, the law will never save anyone. There are certainly times and events that God works differently to people, but they fit into God’s eternal words. For instance, did everything change when Jesus died on the cross? Yes, it did, for us not God. Did the end of animal sacrifices end in 70 AD? Yes, but they never did anything in the first place. Romans 4 reminds us it was faith, not the work.

Revelation 19 is an example of this. Once again we see the two distinct peoples with two distinct plans. No, not the Church and Israel, but the apostate Israel, made up of a multitude of tongues and tribes and times. And true Israel, made up of a multitude of tongues and tribes and times. The tares and wheat, the self-righteous and the made-righteous, the perishing and the purchased, beast followers and Lamb followers, are the ones in mind in the entire book. If one looks closely at the phrasing and wordings, Revelation 19 is a summation of the rest of Revelation. We see the church and the not-church. The bride and the uninvited guests.

The only question is, which one are we? Are our minds set in heaven with the mark of God and the Lamb on our foreheads? Or are they set on earth by the mark and image of the beast on our foreheads? Like we read in the last chapter that focused more on the beast followers than the Lamb followers, are our foreheads marked by, “very costly wood and bronze and iron and marble, and cinnamon and spice and incense and perfume and frankincense and wine and olive oil and fine flour and wheat and cattle and sheep, and cargoes of horses and chariots and slaves and human lives.” Or are our (I should rewrite that–it is a tongue twister–even in my mind) minds set on “the marriage supper of the Lamb”? Or will we be consumed by the “great supper of God?” (Two distinct peoples with two distinct suppers.) Do we proclaim “Hallelujah! her smoke rises up forever and ever,” to the things of this world?

We will soon be ending, but not finish, the missives on Revelation. After that, I intend to examine Matthew using the CAGED method, to show that Jesus is the true Israel and believers are betrothed to him thus becoming true Israel themselves. As today’s text also makes mention. Today we will get a sneak peek into the true Israel with a snapshot of the”re-telling” of the law in Matthew 6.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. “The lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Revelation 18 and 19 are a behind the scenes look at the contrast of the two peoples. One, though persecuted and powerless, will reign forever with the King Lamb, and the others will pay double for their debauchery with the beast and the dragon.

There you have it, a short missive on Revelation 18. By looking at a few things the rest of the text unfolds using the CAGED method. We remember what we have learned within the context and apply it to today’s Scripture. The book is re-unfolding before our eyes. One last thing that we touched on last time. Look at what the angel, who told John to worship God alone, says; “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” What was Christ’s testimony, trials and tribulations or tickled ears? Look for Jesus in Revelation.

Jesus rules Revelation like he rules the nations at his coming. Food for thought.