28 December 2017 Bible Reading
The marriage of the Lamb has come. A wedding is taking place. The Lamb is pictured as the groom. The bride is pictured as the people of God. The bride has made herself ready through their righteous deeds. This is a picture used in other places in the New Testament to show the relationship of God’s people with the Lamb. “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:25–27). Jesus also describes the kingdom of God in terms of a wedding feast (Matthew 22:1-14). This matches the words of the angel in verse 9, “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” These are the true words of God. Being joined to the Lamb is the most important thing and it is the great promise of God to be in relationship with him.
John sees a white horse ridden by One called Faithful and True. In Revelation 6:2, the white horse did not represent purity, but rather victory. In regards to the great multitude in Revelation 7:9, they wear white robes symbolizing victory because of their faithfulness. His eyes are like a flame of fire and on his head are many diadems. He has a name that no one knows but himself. Further, he is clothed in a robe dipped in blood and the name he is called by is The Word of God. The language makes it evident that this is Jesus the Christ. Jesus calls himself the faithful and true witness to the church of Laodicea in Revelation 3:14. The description of eyes being flames of fire is applied to Christ in Revelation 1:14 and 2:18. Earlier in the book of Revelation we saw Jesus wearing seven crowns. Now he is pictured as wearing diadems. The beast has been vanquished and he is wearing those diadems on his head showing he has conquered it. Verse 11 shows he is the one who makes war in righteousness. Further, his robe is dipped in blood or sprinkled in blood. This imagery comes from Isaiah 63:1-6 showing God trampling the enemies.
Following him are the armies of heaven, clothed in fine linen that were white and pure. The sharp sword coming out of his mouth was seen in Revelation 1:16. He is going to strike down the nations and rule with a rod of iron. This is a reference to the messianic prophecy in Psalm 2:9 and Isaiah 11:4. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God. We saw this predicted in Revelation 14:17-20. This image of Christ acting in the anger of the Lord against the disobedient nations and peoples. The name written on his robe and thigh is “King of kings” and “Lord of lords.” It is interesting that these names are located on his thigh. The thigh was the location of the sword and it was also the place where oaths were made (Genesis 24:2,9; 47:29).
Before the battle has begun, the result is certain. The circling of vultures overhead indicates the coming doom. Thus, John looks and sees the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against Christ and his army. This is a reminder from Revelation 16:14 where the kings of the earth were gathering at Armageddon. Armageddon symbolized a battle where earthly kings die.
This chapter has a message of encouragement for Christians of all times. The marriage to the Lamb has come and we make ourselves ready for this marriage to the Lamb with our righteous acts. Christ rules with all power and might over the nations and peoples of the earth.
12 A revelation, Yahweh’s word concerning Israel. Yahweh, who stretches out the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him says: 2 “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of reeling to all the surrounding peoples, and it will also be on Judah in the siege against Jerusalem. 3 It will happen in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all the peoples. All who burden themselves with it will be severely wounded, and all the nations of the earth will be gathered together against it. 4 In that day,” says Yahweh, “I will strike every horse with terror, and his rider with madness; and I will open my eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. 5 The chieftains of Judah will say in their heart, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in Yahweh of Armies their God.’ 6 In that day I will make the chieftains of Judah like a pan of fire among wood, and like a flaming torch among sheaves; and they will devour all the surrounding peoples, on the right hand and on the left; and Jerusalem will yet again dwell in their own place, even in Jerusalem. 7 Yahweh also will save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of David’s house and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem not be magnified above Judah. 8 In that day Yahweh will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem. He who is feeble among them at that day will be like David, and David’s house will be like God, like Yahweh’s angel before them. 9 It will happen in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10 I will pour on David’s house, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they will look to me[a] whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and will grieve bitterly for him, as one grieves for his firstborn. 11 In that day there will be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. 12 The land will mourn, every family apart; the family of David’s house apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; 13 the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of the Shimeites apart, and their wives apart; 14 all the families who remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.
13 “In that day there will be a spring opened to David’s house and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness. 2 It will come to pass in that day, says Yahweh of Armies, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they will be remembered no more. I will also cause the prophets and the spirit of impurity to pass out of the land. 3 It will happen that, when anyone still prophesies, then his father and his mother who bore him will tell him, ‘You must die, because you speak lies in Yahweh’s name;’ and his father and his mother who bore him will stab him when he prophesies. 4 It will happen in that day, that the prophets will each be ashamed of his vision, when he prophesies; neither will they wear a hairy mantle to deceive: 5 but he will say, ‘I am no prophet, I am a tiller of the ground; for I have been made a bondservant from my youth.’ 6 One will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’
7 “Awake, sword, against my shepherd,
and against the man who is close to me,” says Yahweh of Armies.
“Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered;
and I will turn my hand against the little ones.
8 It shall happen that in all the land,” says Yahweh,
“two parts in it will be cut off and die;
but the third will be left in it.
9 I will bring the third part into the fire,
and will refine them as silver is refined,
and will test them like gold is tested.
They will call on my name, and I will hear them.
I will say, ‘It is my people;’
and they will say, ‘Yahweh is my God.’”
19 After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation, power, and glory belong to our God: 2 for true and righteous are his judgments. For he has judged the great prostitute, who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality, and he has avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.”
3 A second said, “Hallelujah! Her smoke goes up forever and ever.” 4 The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne, saying, “Amen! Hallelujah!”
5 A voice came from the throne, saying, “Give praise to our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, the small and the great!”
6 I heard something like the voice of a great multitude, and like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of mighty thunders, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns! 7 Let us rejoice and be exceedingly glad, and let us give the glory to him. For the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready.” 8 It was given to her that she would array herself in bright, pure, fine linen: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
9 He said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” He said to me, “These are true words of God.”
10 I fell down before his feet to worship him. He said to me, “Look! Don’t do it! I am a fellow bondservant with you and with your brothers who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy.”
11 I saw the heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it is called Faithful and True. In righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has names written and a name written which no one knows but he himself. 13 He is clothed in a garment sprinkled with blood. His name is called “The Word of God.” 14 The armies which are in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in white, pure, fine linen. 15 Out of his mouth proceeds a sharp, double-edged sword, that with it he should strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He treads the wine press of the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 He has on his garment and on his thigh a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
17 I saw an angel standing in the sun. He cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the sky, “Come! Be gathered together to the great supper of God, 18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, 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 and slave, and small and great.” 19 I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him who sat on the horse, and against his army. 20 The beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who worked the signs in his sight, with 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 that burns with sulfur. 21 The rest were killed with the sword of him who sat on the horse, the sword which came out of his mouth. All the birds were filled with their flesh.
147 Praise Yah,
for it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant and fitting to praise him.
2 Yahweh builds up Jerusalem.
He gathers together the outcasts of Israel.
3 He heals the broken in heart,
and binds up their wounds.
4 He counts the number of the stars.
He calls them all by their names.
5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power.
His understanding is infinite.
6 Yahweh upholds the humble.
He brings the wicked down to the ground.
7 Sing to Yahweh with thanksgiving.
Sing praises on the harp to our God,
8 who covers the sky with clouds,
who prepares rain for the earth,
who makes grass grow on the mountains.
9 He provides food for the livestock,
and for the young ravens when they call.
10 He doesn’t delight in the strength of the horse.
He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 Yahweh takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his loving kindness.
12 Praise Yahweh, Jerusalem!
Praise your God, Zion!
13 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates.
He has blessed your children within you.
14 He makes peace in your borders.
He fills you with the finest of the wheat.
15 He sends out his commandment to the earth.
His word runs very swiftly.
16 He gives snow like wool,
and scatters frost like ashes.
17 He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
Who can stand before his cold?
18 He sends out his word, and melts them.
He causes his wind to blow, and the waters flow.
19 He shows his word to Jacob;
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
20 He has not done this for just any nation.
They don’t know his ordinances.
31 The words of king Lemuel; the revelation which his mother taught him.
2 “Oh, my son!
Oh, son of my womb!
Oh, son of my vows!
3 Don’t give your strength to women,
nor your ways to that which destroys kings.
4 It is not for kings, Lemuel;
it is not for kings to drink wine;
nor for princes to say, ‘Where is strong drink?’
5 lest they drink, and forget the law,
and pervert the justice due to anyone who is afflicted.
6 Give strong drink to him who is ready to perish;
and wine to the bitter in soul:
7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty,
and remember his misery no more.