Sermon Transcript: Raise a Hallelujah

6/20/2021 Jeff Schwarzentraub 44 min read

- This morning, I wanna talk about the word hallelujah. Hallelujah. I was thinking about the word hallelujah this week, and where I first learned it. And I think where I first learned the word hallelujah was in VBS as a little kid. I remember sitting on pews in the church, and they had a few kids over here on this side, and they had a few kids over here on this side, and they sang a song that went something like this, hallelu, hallelu, hallelu, hallelujah praise yes the Lord, you know it, right? And when you got to your part you stood up, and then you'd sit down while the other person said praise the Lord and then in the middle, it kind of switches, 'cause it goes, praise ye the Lord, hallelujah, and everybody would mess that up, even though it's not that hard.

But that was my recollection of the word hallelujah. I didn't know quite what hallelujah meant, but it reminded me of a smell of a church, it reminded me of pews, it reminded me of perhaps things that you say in a church, or maybe if you're one of those radical Christians, when the pastor's preaching and something hits you just right, you yell hallelujah. And then everybody looks at you like, why are you doing that?  I didn't really know what the word meant.

The word means praise the Lord. Hallel comes from the Hebrew, it means to praise. Ya is short for Yahweh or the Lord. It means praise the Lord. Praise the Lord and hallelujah are exactly synonymous with one another. Even in your Bible, you see it all the way back in the Psalms in Psalm chapter 150, where it ends by saying, "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord." It says this, it says, "Praise the Lord, praise God in His sanctuary, praise Him in His mighty expanse, praise Him for His mighty deeds. I mean, you could really read this Psalm and say, hallelujah, hallelujah in His sanctuary. Hallelujah in His mighty expanse. Hallelujah for His mighty deeds. Let everything that has breath hallelujah. That's what hallelujah means. And hallelujah is a word that is the same in every single language. And it not only gives us the opportunity to celebrate and praise the Lord things that He's doing in the church but it gives us an opportunity to praise the Lord simply for who He is. Is God worthy of all of our praise? Is God worthy of all of our honor?

I mean, even if God would have done nothing, just His being, just His righteous, holy being is worthy of all of our praise. So to say hallelujah means praise the Lord. So today in the message, we called it Raise a Hallelujah. That means elevate the praise of His name. That means raise it up and let Him know how worthy He is. So this message is gonna be participant oriented, too. So every point that I have, at the end is hallelujah. And when you hear me say that, then you'll say back hallelujah. So you want to practice so you're ready for the message? Hallelujah.

- [Congregation] Hallelujah.

- Okay, we're ready now, so now we can get started. And where we're picking up today is in the book of Revelation chapter 19. And many people falsely say this is when Jesus comes back. He's been gone for seven years, now He's coming back either with His church or for His church. But friends, we know already from studying this that in Revelation chapter 10 when we saw a strong, mighty angel come and step His foot on the land and on the sea, that with the rainbow around His head, that's Jesus, He's already been back on the earth at the blowing of the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11. He's already here, and what has He been doing? He's been conquering His enemies. He's been working out His salvation. He's been doing all these things, and that's why what you're gonna see in this text is how the armies have gathered. We'll try to put it all together, and what Jesus is gonna do at some point is go back and take all of us who have been raptured and resurrected and bring us back with Him. And that's the picture that you're gonna see today. And you're gonna see it and you're gonna say hallelujah. You're gonna want that day to be today. But one day you'll get to experience that if you're a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, as we go through this message today, I'm gonna give you four reasons why it's worthy for us to praise the Lord. So if you have your Bible open to Revelation chapter 19, let's get started this morning by beginning to read this text, notice what it says. It says, "After these things, I heard something like 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 24 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.' Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder saying, 'Hallelujah, for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.'"

And as we get started in this text, in this first section you're gonna see this first point that I'm gonna make. So get ready to respond to me when I make it. And I'm gonna tell you this, that we raise a hallelujah because Christ the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Hallelujah.

- [Congregation] Hallelujah.

- Christ our God the Almighty reigns, hallelujah.

- [Congregation] Hallelujah.

- He's worthy of all of our praise. He's ruling and reigning, He's showing Himself. Jesus Christ is ruling and reigning now, we just don't see Him visibly. He's not living out the theocracy and the monarchy that is coming, but make no mistake about it, Our Lord the Almighty reigns. Notice what it says, it says, "After these things," it's a continuation of what we've been seeing. What we've been seen in chapters 15 and 16 are the bowl judgments being poured out on the planet during that 30-day period of time that the prophet Daniel told us about in Daniel chapter 12. And then we saw in 17 and 18, we saw the fallen world system. We saw the fallen world's religion. Everything's done after these things. At the very end of that 30 days, here's what we see. We see the Lord Jesus Christ ruling and reigning, and we hear this great multitude in heaven.

Now, heaven is opened up. For those of us who have been resurrected and raptured prior to this time, that's where we are. And here's what we're gonna be saying. Hallelujah, salvation and glory and power belong to our God. One reason we say hallelujah is His glory is worthy. Just His nature and who He is is worthy. When you see the Lord, you may not know what to say, you may not know what to do. A good response will just be hallelujah.

- [Congregation] Hallelujah.

- I mean, that will be what we say when we see Him, because words will not be able to describe the vastness of His glory. There's no human preacher, pastor, no human being that could describe the glories of our King and how awesome He is. We can get glimpses in God's Word. We can get pictures in God's Word. But when you're standing there seeing it, there are no words that will be able to describe how incredible it is.

Some of you have taken trips and visited places that you've never been before. Maybe you've never been to the ocean and people try to tell you here's what the ocean's like, but then when you go stand on the beach and you look at the ocean for the first time, you're like, "Whoa, that's greater than I thought." This year our family got to travel to the Grand Canyon. Heard about the Grand Canyon many times, seen pictures of the Grand Canyon many times. Very different standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and looking over all of it and saying, "Whoa." The Grand Canyon is nothing. That's just a result of the flood.

God's glory is so awesome and so mighty and so reverent and so worthy that when we see Him, many of you would say, "Pastor Jeff, you did a horrible job explaining how glorious God was actually going to be," because there's no human words to describe it. It's what your heart yearns for. It's what your heart aches for. His glory is worthy, 'cause He's reigning.

Notice this, His character is meritorious. Notice verse two. "Because His judgments are true and righteous." That comes from Psalm 19:9. "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." His character is meritorious. When God makes a promise, He always keeps it. God is always true, God is always righteous.

There are things that happen on this side of heaven we do not understand. There are things that happen on this side of heaven where the enemy whispers in our ear and says things like this, "If your God were so loving, or if your God cared, then why would this happen?" And do you want to know the answer? Does anybody want to know the answer to that? Anybody ever asked that question? If God's so good, then why this? Here's your answer, because your thoughts are not His thoughts, nor are your ways His ways. For His thoughts are higher than the heavens. He thinks about things you don't see, and one day when you get to see the other side of the tapestry that the Lord has woven together you will say, "He was right, that was right, that was good."

Now, on this side of heaven there will always be things that happen where we would say that's not the way I would have done it. I don't understand why God did it that way. Why did He have to take my friend early? Why did my grandma have to die? Why did my daughter or son die? I don't have answers for that. The answer is God's ways are true and righteous and just and He's never going to apologize for anything because God's perfect, our God is perfect. I mean, that's what we see here. Not only is He ruling and reigning, His glory is worthy, His character is meritorious.

Notice this, His judgment is final. His judgment is final. When the Lord makes a ruling, it's over. We saw at the end of that last verse, "He has avenged the blood of His bond servants on her," and notice this, number three, verse three, "And a third," I'm sorry, "And a second time they said, 'Hallelujah, her smoke rises up forever and ever.'" If you look in Psalm 34:10 you'll see that. Revelation 14:11, we read this earlier about the smoke and what the smoke represented. It said, "The smoke of her torment goes up forever and ever. They have no rest day and night.  Those who worshiped the beast and his image and whoever receives the mark of his name."

God's judgment is final, punishment is eternal. That's happening. We want to say on our side of heaven, I mean there's things that can happen to us where we want revenge, I want to see them get theirs. My boss was unfair to me. My parents didn't treat me right. My coach did that wrong. God, go get them, right? Here's the reality, for all those who have not trusted in the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His death at Calvary and His resurrection from the dead, God's vengeance is coming, and the Lord says, "Vengeance is mine." And when God makes a ruling over those who have not repented of their sins and trusted in Him, it is final.

I mean, you think about God's character. God's perfect in all of His character and His judgment is final. And notice this, His dominion is everywhere. His dominion is everywhere. Do you see how people are saying praise the Lord for all of this, all the beings around the throne, all of us? Praise the Lord, praise the Lord that He's gonna make everything right, that He's gonna wipe away every tear from your eye, that He's gonna see that justice is completely served. That's who He is, and notice His dominion. His dominion is everywhere.

Notice this, "And the 24 elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne, saying, 'Amen, hallelujah.'" Truly, truly, hallelujah. The Lord is worthy. Who's doing the worship? Remember in Revelation chapter four and five? We spent significant time on the four living creatures and the elders around the throne and all of the beings that are worshiping that are not human, just all the angelic forces. And they're all sitting around saying, "Worship your name, God, you are so worthy, Lord. You're the one, you have dominion over the whole earth. You have dominion over the whole heavens. Everyone is worshiping you." Every voice is for the Lord, that's who He is.

And notice this final one, His kingship is reigning. It says, "And I heard a voice from the throne saying, 'Give praise to our God, you His bond servants." Who's His bond servants? Who's His bond servants? That's us, that's everyone who's trusted in Him from every generation, that's all of God's people. "Give a call from the throne saying, 'Give praise to our God all you His bond servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.' Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder saying, 'Hallelujah, for the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.'"

Last time we read about this great multitude was at the beginning of the rapture and the resurrection at Jesus Christ's second coming in Revelation chapter seven, starting in verse nine, where John writes, "After these things I looked, and behold a great multitude which no one could count from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands." That's the resurrected and raptured body of Christ. That's what's going on.

And what's going on here, right prior to Jesus' going back into heaven from where He's been on the earth, gathering all of His saints from every generation and bringing us back with Him, what's going on? There's a voice coming from heaven that says, "Praise the Lord and give hallelujah to His name because the Lord our God the Almighty reigns." Who's God? He's our God, He's our God.

Remember Thomas after the resurrection? Thomas after the resurrection for some reason wasn't with the other apostles when Jesus appeared to them the first time. And when the other 10 began to tell him, "Hey, we've seen the Lord," he said, "I'm not believing that unless I can put my hands in His hands, unless I can put my hand in His side, I'm not gonna believe it." What happens? Well, about a week later, Jesus shows up, comes through the walls again and He says, "Thomas, come here, put your hand in my hand, put your hand in my side, stop doubting and believe." And what does Thomas say? "My Lord and my God."

There's a difference between knowing that God exists, there's a difference between knowing that Jesus Christ is a lord versus him being your Lord, being your personal God. See, Christ came to die on the cross for the sins of the world so that you could personally appropriate that, so you could personally have a relationship with God. He shed His blood so you could personally know Him.

Here's the question, I'm not asking you about all your religious knowledge, I'm saying, do you have a relationship with God through the person of Jesus Christ? Would you be able to say today, "He's my Lord"? Would you be able to say today, "He's my God"? Or would you say, "I go to church with my parents"? Or would you say, "My grandparents go to church and sometimes I visit with them"? Or would you say, "I've had an encounter with God where I felt something before"? Or would you say, "No, I know Him. He's the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only does He know my name, I know Him, too." Hallelujah, like that's what it means. Praise the Lord because He wants to be in relationship with us. And we raise a hallelujah because our God the Almighty reigns, hallelujah.

- [Congregation] Hallelujah.

- That's who He is, that's who He is. Let me give you the second point here. We also raise a hallelujah because Christ the Lord makes His bride ready. Hallelujah.

- [Congregation] Hallelujah.

- It's the Lord who makes His bride ready, hallelujah.

- [Congregation] Hallelujah.

- I mean, look at this in verse seven, it says, "Let us rejoice and be glad and give glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and the bride has made herself ready." There's gonna be this huge wedding banquet. There's gonna be this huge celebration. And it says this, that the bride's ready now. The bride's ready. How many by show of hands have ever been to a wedding before? How many of you know it doesn't start until the bride's ready? Okay, no bride, no wedding, right? I mean, the groom can stand there all day long. If there's no bride coming down, there is no wedding. At this point in time, the bride is ready.

And so if that's the only verse we would have, we would begin to think, well, what did I do to make myself ready? How did I get ready? I'm not worthy for that bride groom, because here's the problem. Ladies, when you get married, you get to marry an imperfect man. No amens. Just track with me for a second, you get an imperfect man. Now, he may be a man that loves the Lord and he may be trying and he's trying to be transformed and love Lord, but he's still imperfect.

- [Congregation] Amen.

- Okay, thanks. But when we meet our bridegroom as the body of Christ from every generation, He's perfect, we're not. So what in the world did we do to make ourselves ready? I mean, as His bride, we would say, I'm not worthy of wearing white. I know my life, I know my sin, I know what I've done. There's no way with His piercing eyes that sees everything He would want me, that's why I love the next verse.

Notice verse eight, "It was given to her," that's the bride, "to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints." Who got the bride ready? The groom did. How did He get her ready?' By declaring her righteous.

See, "There is no one righteous," Roman says, "no, not one. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." But it is the Lord who declares us righteous in Romans three. And to be declared righteous means this. If you've been declared righteous, righteous means that you've been justified. Justified means just as if you had never sinned. That's how God sees you.

Another way of looking at it's the other side, just as if you've always been righteous. When God looks at you as part of His bride, because of your trust in His shed blood, He sees you, God the Father sees you through the lens of His Son, so He sees you as what? Perfect, righteous, holy, good. Isn't that good to know? Because I think for some of us as we're coming down the aisle someday to meet our groom, the Lord Jesus Christ, we're gonna be like, "I don't know if I'm belong here. I don't know if I'm..."

If you've trusted in Jesus Christ's shed blood and His death on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins and His resurrection of the dead, you are worthy. Not because of anything you've done, but because of God being the one that made you ready to meet Him. Isn't that good news? I mean, I love in our Bible, amen, it's worthy of praise. Jesus' half-brother Jude, at the very end of the Book of Jude, which is only one chapter, says this, right before the Book of Revelation, "Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority before all time and now and forevermore."

Who's the one that's gonna bring you through the finish line? Jesus Christ, and why? Because you trusted in His provision for the forgiveness of your sins. So He's declared you righteous. He's gonna give you a robe of righteousness, clean and white, perfect linen, which are the righteous acts of the saints.

Now you say, "Well, how have my acts been righteous?" Because once you have Christ on the inside, He begins to work His life out through you. He has you doing righteous things in preparation of the marriage that is to come. And marriage is the union that all of us will have with the Lord Jesus Christ. No longer will we be praying to Jesus. We will be talking with Jesus. We will be spending time in the presence of Jesus. He will be there with us. We will be united with Him forever. He's the one that makes us ready.

Now, if you understand this, this is free of charge, this is a little extra today, it's because you came to church, this is exactly what we see in the mystery of Christ and His church when it comes to the husband and wife relationship in Ephesians five and what He calls the husbands to do to their wives. And on Father's Day, I feel this is appropriate. It says in Ephesians 5:25, "Husbands, love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her." Well, how did He give Himself for the church? Most would say, "Well, He died." That's one thing He did, but guess what else He did? He suffered, He was rejected. He was spit upon, He was beaten. He was rebelled against, and He loved his bride anyway.

And it says husbands we're to do the same thing so that what? So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word that He might present to Himself the church in all of His glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she would be holy and blameless." In the same way that Christ is preparing His bride to be holy and blameless in front of the Father, what are husband's called to do with their wives? Love them in the same way that Christ loved us so that when we present our wives to the Lord, we present them in such a way that they're more holy, godly, and righteous than they ever were before they married us.  That's what it means.

That's what Christ is doing for us. We're called to do the same thing, if we're married, for our wives. And He's coming to make His bride ready, that's what He does. Back to the text in Revelation 19. He said, "Then 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 the true words of God.'"

Now I had a mom that used to tell me this when I was a kid and I didn't get invited to somebody's birthday party or an event, my mom would say something like this, "Jeff, when you're not invited, you're not wanted." Now you see where I got all my compassion. So who's invited? 'Cause I don't remember seeing an invitation anywhere. I mean, who's invited to this marriage supper of the Lamb? Who gets to come, who gets to go here?

Sometimes when we're invited to special events or different things, we think, "Man, that's awesome. I got invited, you didn't." Here's who's invited, the world. You are invited. If you're not there, it's by your own volition because you chose not to come, because you decided not to repent of your sin and trust Jesus Christ to be the Lord of your life. If you're not at the marriage supper of the Lamb, it was your choice, right? It was your choice, because God so loved who? The world, He loves you, He loves you.

The reason I stand at the end of every service and tell you that you are loved as it's on the authority of God's Word that He loves you. Even if you reject Him, even if you never come to Him, He still loves you, that's who our God is. That's His character. You're invited to come. Everybody's invited to come.

But we see in Matthew 24 and 25, many people are invited to come, they never receive the invitation, they never take it. I'm too busy with the things in this world. I'm not ready, I'm not ready now. I don't want to do this today. He says, "Blessed are those who are invited."  You're invited.  Have you RSVP'd? Have you repented of your sin and made Jesus the Lord of your life personally? That's the RSVP to Christ's invitation.

And then notice verse 10. He said, "Then I fell at his feet." So whoever's doing the talking here, John the apostle, falls at his feet to worship him. We see apostles in the New Testament were sometimes, Peter or Paul, people wanted to worship them because of the great acts they were doing. Like, "No, no, no, it's not us. It's Christ in us doing this, don't worship us." We see the same thing here. "Then I fell at His feet to worship Him, but He said to me, "Do not do that." You know what that means?

You and I were not put on this world to be worshiped. There's this pull in our hearts that we want people to recognize us. There's a pull in our heart that we want people to recognize our gifts and talents. There's a pull in our heart for some people that they almost want to be worshiped and they almost want to have a following. You weren't created for that. You were created to give worship to the only one that's worthy of a following, the Lord Jesus Christ. Don't worship me, worship Him. Don't look at me, I'm broken. I'm see-through, I'm not perfect. There's only one that's worthy, the Lord Jesus Christ. "Don't do that," he says, "I'm a fellow servant of yours and your brethren," or brother.

And watch this, "Who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. What in the world is the testimony of Jesus? What is the testimony of Jesus? It's the entire Bible is the testimony of Jesus. From creation all the way to culmination at the end. It's a testimony to Jesus. His prophets that came and preached the Word, His life, His sinless nature, His fulfillment of the law, His death on the cross, His resurrection from the dead. All of that is the testimony of Jesus. That's the spirit of prophecy. That's why when you read the Word of God, study the Word of God, memorize the Word of God, meditate on the Word of God, be taught the Word of God, and the Word of God richly dwells in you, there are times where you feel something on the inside. That's the Spirit of God on the inside speaking to you about who you are and who God is. That's the spirit of prophecy. It's the testimony of Jesus.

Look at all He's done. Nobody else has a spirit of prophecy, only Jesus Christ. And His testimony is the spirit of prophecy. But notice this, we as His servants, we are testimonies of His testimony. When we trust Christ and we believe that this Word of God reveals the true nature of the Lord Jesus Christ and we submit our lives and surrender our lives to the Lordship of Christ, then we are testimonies of His testimony.  We don't die on a cross for anybody else's sin. No, we can't do that, we're not God. But because of our belief that He did that for us, then everywhere we go we're little testimonies of who He is. And that testimony is the spirit of prophecy.

Let me give you an example. Sometimes when you go to church, sometimes we do it here, we did it on Easter, you hear a testimony from a human being. Here's what Christ has done in my life. I believe He died for me and rose from the dead. And since I believe that, here's what He did for me. Here's what He's continuing to do for me. And when we hear stories like that, we think in heart, "Hallelujah, praise the Lord." Because the spirit of the testimony is the spirit of prophecy. We resonate with that. So when we hear a testimony of someone that was healed or we hear a testimony of someone that was saved or we hear a testimony someone whose marriage got put back together or we hear a testimony of someone that is no longer bound by drugs and they're freed up, we hear a testimony of someone that's living with joy and peace on the inside that was all tied up in knots before and we hear that testimony, it's a spirit of prophecy that bears witness to the fact that Jesus Christ is alive. That's why whether you've been saved for 50 years or five minutes, you have a testimony.

Remember in John nine the blind guy that saw? Remember his testimony? The guy had only been saved for minutes. He hadn't been trained how to talk about your life before Christ, what happened, after. Here's what he said as he was getting poked by all the religious leaders who didn't want Jesus to have a testimony, here's what he said. He goes, "All is this, I was blind and now I see. And Jesus Christ did it, deal with it." That's the spirit of prophecy. That's the spirit of prophecy.

This week I happened to be at Alpha, I got invited to Alpha this week, it worked out for me to go, and this week was on healing prayer. The Word was taught and then there were some testimonies of some people in our church who were skeptical about the fact that God did that or still does that. And then they shared some of their stories about God's healing power in the life of their child. And then I got up and told stories about how years ago I was really skeptical and kind of walked through the fact that I do believe God heals. And sometimes He chooses to and sometimes He doesn't choose to and it's all to His glory and we can't demand for Him to do something. That doesn't mean He has to do something, but He still does. And He still can if He so chooses. And then we started praying, I think we started praying at about 7:20 in the evening. And I remember I looked up when we were done praying, it was five minutes to 10 and I was like, "Where'd all the time go? That was awesome." And I haven't heard testimonies back but I would almost guarantee that there were some people that got healed on Wednesday night during our prayer time. I believe that, and somebody's gonna come forward and tell me and in a few weeks, I'll tell you this is what happened. That's the spirit of prophecy.

When we see not only Jesus's testimony through the Word of God that reveals to us that He is the Christ but other people that have believed that, that are living it out and seeing God continue to work, they're a testimony of the spirit of prophecy. And isn't it good news?

Isn't it good news that God is the one who makes us ready? Because I think sometimes we come to church, and here's what we falsely think. I heard that sermon, I was so convicted. I'm gonna go work on that. I'm gonna work on it, I'm gonna slug that one out. I'm not really good at this. Or I get really angry or I say bad words, or I do drugs or I'm immoral in my thought life. I'm gonna fix all that. Here's my words for you, good luck.

Good luck, if you as a sinner that has no hope can fix yourself, then Jesus Christ' death on the cross means nothing. It's by faith that God changes us, not by our works. And by faith as God changes us and gives us a true identity, then He begins to work things out in and through us. It's not commitment to my works, it's trust in the fact of who God is and what He can change and transform in and through me. Isn't that good news? That's great news. It means even as a believer I'm not spending my life as a believer trying to do good work so that God will be pleased with me. God couldn't be more pleased with me because I've already trusted His Son. And what I'm doing is being authentic with who God's showing me that I am and who He's showing me that I am not and what needs to change. And I'm confessing that before Him. And I'm saying this, "Lord teach me to love what you love. Teach me to hate what you hate. Because right now my behaviors are not aligning with who I truly am in you, but I want them to. Can you make the change in me? I'm willing to change anything. If you show me what to do, I'll walk your way. And over time, I'm gonna trust that you'll move me out of where I am and into the life that you desire me to be."

That's good news, because the Christian life, unlike any other religion in the world, is not about you doing good things for God or getting a pathway to heaven. The Christian life is about Christ in you, the hope of glory. So the Holy Spirit comes and dwells richly in you. And then He's the one that wants to take over and take over your life and use you for great and mighty things which you could never have done on your own. But it's only through His grace that those things happen. That's why He's the one who prepares us for that day. That's great news as far as I'm concerned. He's our God, He's the Almighty, and He reigns. He makes His bride ready.

Notice number three, this is awesome, this is one of my favorite passages in the whole book. Raise a hallelujah, because Christ the Lord uses His Word to strike down the nations as His armies watch. Hallelujah.

- [Congregation] Hallelujah. I mean, listen to this. He uses His Word to strike down the nations as His armies watch," hallelujah.

- [Congregation] Hallelujah.

- Now, I remember what it was like when I played sports, what it was like to get ready for a big game, what it was like to come out of a tunnel, what it was like for all those different things. And my heart started beating fast and all these emotions go through your mind. I feel that same way every time I read this text in Revelation chapter 19, starting in verse 11 through 16. I mean, I can feel the same pulse. Now, picture this, Christ has been on the earth. He got back here in Revelation chapter 10. He was here for the blowing of the last trumpet in Revelation chapter 11. The bowl judgments now are being poured out over that 30 days while He's gathering the remnant of Israel, taking them back to Jerusalem. He's protecting them during the bowl judgments. Now, at some point in time He's returning to heaven to get all of us who have believed in Him in every single generation that is with Him with resurrected bodies to let us witness the final act of the bowl judgments as He takes over ruling and reigning on planet Earth. He's like, "I don't want you to miss this." He's like, "I want you to have a front row seat for this." I mean, you talk about 50 yard line seats for the Super Bowl, that's nothing compared to what you're about ready to witness here. I mean, this is gonna be awesome.

Notice this, "And I saw heaven opened." If the text stopped right there, that would be awesome. If we could just see heaven open and see everything in heaven, but it doesn't stop there. "And behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war."

Now, we talked about a white horse back during the seal judgments in Revelation chapter six, and the white horse represented the antichrist that was going out, this is a different horse. This is a different king, this is the Lord Jesus Christ. How do you know that? We're gonna see it unpack, but notice this. He's called Faithful and True. There is no other but Jesus Christ who is faithful and true. There's no other, this is Jesus Christ on a white horse, on a steed getting ready to come back.

And notice what it says, "He judges and wages war." That means He condemns and He's picking a fight. He's picking a fight. We think of Jesus as meek and mild and Mary held Him and Mary did you know and all these kinds of things. And that's true, and Jesus humbled Himself and became human and was dependent upon Mary and Joseph and neighbors. And He grew in wisdom and knowledge and stature. And He humbled Himself to the point of death, even death on a cross. Make no mistake about it, that was the Creator of the universe. That's the God of all gods who had always existed. And when we see Him in this picture, just similar to how we saw Him in Revelation chapter one, this is our mighty King, this is our mighty warrior. He's not coming back saying, "Okay, who believes in me and who doesn't," He's picking a fight with all of those who for generations have said, "I refuse to worship you," and in their heart have refused to repent.

And we saw even during the trumpet and the bowl judgments all of the different people in the world that were saying, instead of repenting, what were they saying? They were hardening their heart and they're like, "I want nothing to do with you." And this scene is Jesus' response to that. "I've been patient, I've been patient, I've been patient."

The Bible says that God bears great patience with everybody, not wanting any to perish, but for all to come to know Him. Understand this, love is patient, Jesus is patient. Right now today, I'm telling you, Jesus loves you. He's patient with you. Even if you're sinning, He's patient. There's coming an end to His patience. This is the end of His patience. And when His patience is over, He's not coming back saying, "I'm done being patient," He's coming back to pick a fight.

I was thinking about this. I played on a championship, a couple of championship high school football teams, and we had a song we would sing every time we won, which my senior year was 14 times in a row. And one of the verses of that song, which I can't repeat, was we would talk about the team we were playing and how we started a fight. And that's the way we viewed it. Every time we were out playing somebody else was picking a fight with them. Like, we're gonna win, there's no doubt. They can't say things, they can say whatever they want in the newspaper, they can do whatever they want in the newspaper, but we're gonna win. I remember in the semi-final game of my senior year, in the pregame, which we never won a pregame 'cause we weren't allowed to talk or do anything. We had to do it all inside. It was like a military academy where I went kinda. And their team came on to our field and they were waving big flags. All their fans were in the stadium. And I'll never forget, one of their offensive linemen took the biggest flag they had and just put it right into the middle of our 50 yard line and it was blowing in the wind and their fans went crazy. And I remember thinking in my heart, "Oh no you didn't." And I remember telling the other team, "That's the last time they're gonna cheer all day." And we whupped them. You can win the pregame, we're gonna win the game. You don't get any points for winning the pregame.

Everything we've been reading about now is pregame. Everybody getting all hyped, everybody getting all ready to go. Everybody hallelujahing up. But make no mistake about it, when we get to Revelation chapter 19:11, the game's on and Jesus Christ is coming back as King of kings and Lord of lords. And He's picking a fight. And notice what you see here about Jesus. It says His eyes are a flame of fire. That's not the first time we've seen that. We saw that in Revelation chapter one, what does that mean? They're penetrating, He sees everything in the whole world. He's seen every deed you've ever done. He sees whether you're repentant and eagerly awaiting His return or you're rebellious and you're not. He sees it all, nothing is hidden from His sight. All is laid bare.

I think about driver's licenses, you know when you go in and get your driver's license, they ask you your eye color. Blue, brown, hazel. I've never seen fire. I mean, this is fire. Can you imagine what fire looks like in somebody's eyes? It's what Jesus is gonna look like. His eyes are a flame of fire and on His head are many diadems. Diadems are crowns. Now, why is He wearing more than one crown? I'll tell you why, because he's the King of kings. He's the Lord of lords. It means there's no other crowns, He's wearing them all.

You picture this like in a championship bout for boxing or UFC or something, they have what's called a title belt. And if you win the championship, what do you do with that belt? You don't wear it, it's not like you go to work on Monday with this big belt, what do you do? You hold it up. You show the world that I'm number one in the world, just by standing there. This is what those crowns represent. When you see Him, every king in the world will know there are no other kings. This is now a theocracy, this is now a monarchy. This is nobody else ruling except the Lord Himself. It won't matter who the president is. It won't matter who the leaders of states are in other countries. There will only be one leader on planet Earth,, and everybody will know that it's Jesus Christ our Lord. Isn't that awesome?

I mean, that's what we're gonna see. It's His title belt for the world. That's why He's wearing all the crowns. Notice what else we notice. "And He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself." So who knows His name? I've seen commentaries try to figure it out. If somebody figures out His name, what does that mean, if nobody knows His name? They're wrong, we don't know. God's telling you you're not gonna know. And I think about all the names of Jesus. There's over a hundred names of Jesus in the Bible. There's the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the Author of Life, the Author of Salvation, Emmanuel, the Way, the Truth and the Life, the Light of the world, the Chief Shepherd, the Chief Cornerstone, the Son of Man, the Son of God, the True Vine, the Word of God. They're just myriads of words to describe Jesus. Apparently there's one written on Him that nobody knows except Himself. So should we spend any time trying to figure out what it is or just believe the Bible? Let's just believe the Bible. There's some name that He hasn't told us that we're going to see someday but that we don't know right now.

And then I love this part, verse 13, "He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood and His name is called the Word of God." You say, "How do you know it's Jesus?" Because Jesus is the Word of God. Now, why is His robe dipped in blood? I mean, how can it possibly be dipped in blood? Pre-tribulationalists will say this, "This is when Jesus comes back to planet Earth." If He's been in heaven for seven years, then how did His robe get bloodied? Some people will say, "That was the blood from Calvary." When Jesus rose from the dead, there was no blood on His robe, so where'd the blood come from? Post-tribulational people will say, "Yeah, it was the blood of Calvary" or "We don't quite know." I think we can know because from our position as a pre-rapture position, we believe Jesus has already been on the earth destroying His enemies.

If you have your Bible, turn to Isaiah chapter 63. I won't read the whole thing, but this is just one unfulfilled prophecy in the Old Testament that I believe is happening during those final 30 days. I actually preached on this when I was in seminary and had no clue what I was preaching, but I do now. When Jesus sets His foot on the land and on the sea, He's gonna start in Edom, and notice what it says. "Who is this who comes from Edom with garments of glowing colors from Bozrah? This one who is majestic in His apparel, marching in the greatness of His strength. 'It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.'" That is the Lord. "Why is your apparel red and your garments like one who treads in the wine press?" In other words, how come your robe's dipped in blood? Here's His answer, "Because I have trodden the wine through alone and from the peoples there was no man with me. I also trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath and their life blood is sprinkled on my garments and I stained all my raiment, for the day of my vengeance was in my heart, and my year of redemption has come."

Why is Jesus' robe dipped in blood? Because He's been killing all of His enemies. The picture I get of Jesus, I was gonna show this this morning, but there were some words I couldn't edit out. It's like Braveheart, Jesus that's going back to heaven. But instead of His face being half-blue, His robe is drenched in blood. We as His saints are all wearing white. Jesus is wearing white, but Jesus has got coagulated blood on His, and why? Because He's already been trampling His enemies on planet Earth.

And that is why the nations are gathering to fight against Jesus. Why in the world would they gather to fight against Jesus if He's been in heaven for seven years? How would they even know it's Jesus? They know it's Jesus because they saw Him at the rapture and the resurrection, the whole world saw who He was. And then He's been back down to the planet fighting all of His enemies. And so they're gonna be deceived into fighting against Jesus. That's why His robe is dipped in blood, because He's been fighting His enemies, amen?

"And His name is called the Word of God." And notice this, I love this, "And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen." Well, who's clothed in fine linen? The Bible said we were, so what are we? We're His army, the church of Jesus Christ. The saints of every generation are Christ's army. We are not a hospital for sinners. We are not a country club for saints. We are an army of the living God, that is who we are, amen?

And notice how we're dressed, we're dressed in fine linen, white and clean, we've already read that, and we're following Him on white horses. Now, I love this, I haven't told my kids this yet, 'cause they want me to get a horse for them. You're gonna get a horse. Jesus is gonna give you one, just not now. And it's gonna be white and you'll be riding on him. So not only will Jesus be coming out of the sky on a horse, you'll be on a white horse too all duded up in white linen, representing the righteous acts that God has done in and through you, declaring you righteous and worthy of witnessing this final battle at Armageddon. Isn't that awesome?  Can you picture what this is gonna be like?

I've had the experience of running out of a tunnel in front of thousands of fans.  I've never had the experience coming out of heaven with the King of kings and Lord of lords riding on a white horse with me on a white horse coming right behind like.... I mean, this is awesome, this is awesome.

And notice what it says. "From His mouth comes a sharp sword so that with it He may strike down 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."

If you want to sing, "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory Of the Coming of the Lord," this is where it comes from. "Trample down the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored." This is where it is. This is Jesus coming out as conquering King, and notice this, "And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords." You ever see those guys come out for like a UFC match or a title boxing match and they have their robe and sometimes on their back they have a name that's representative of who they are? When Jesus comes, He's got a name written on Him, King of kings and Lord of lords. I don't know how it's written. I don't know if it's written on His robe. It says it's written on His thigh. Is He all tatted up? I don't know, I just know that this Jesus that we're gonna see is unlike most of the pictures of Jesus that we've been shown. This is a different picture. Precious Moments hasn't captured this picture of Jesus yet. They make a Precious Moments that looks like this I'll buy it and put it on my desk, I promise you.

This is Jesus in all of His glory coming back who is mighty to save, and how is He gonna do what He does? He's gonna do it all with the Word of God. He's gonna do it all with the Word of God. It's the Word of God that's so powerful. Some people think that this book, these 66 books that make up one Bible, the only good it has is to look good and get a good cover for and collect dust. Others think it may be good to carry to church. But if you really understand what the Word of God is, there's power in the Word of God. This Word of God is Jesus.

Now, why do I tell you that it's the Word of God? Because when we see that out of His mouth comes this sharp sword in verse 15 that we read so He may strike down the nations, it's not just a sharp sword. It's not as if Jesus is gonna go around and slay millions of people one by one. It's His word that's going to go forth.

Why do we start in the book of Genesis? How was the world created? God spoke His Word and it was. And I'm not ashamed of that. I believe that because the Bible says that God created the world in six days and goes to great length to say that He created it in six days, I have zero problem believing that. No problem, because you know why? Because I'm not ashamed of the Word of God. I don't have any problem believing that Jesus Christ is the only God. I have no problem believing He died on the cross and rose from the dead. I have no problem believing in the global flood that happened in Noah's day. I have no problem believing everything I'm reading is going to come true just the way that I'm reading it, why? Because I'm not ashamed of the Word of God.

Here's what Jesus says, just listen. "Anyone who is ashamed me and" what? "My words, when I come, I'll be ashamed of him." Most of us don't believe the power of God's Word because even when we read the Word, we're like, "Well, that can't be true, and "You don't know what scientists are saying." Here's my response to that. I really don't care what scientists say, because Jesus Christ has spoken. And if He's spoken, it's true. And good science will always back the Word of God. It always does. There's nothing in the Bible that's not logical or reasonable or ready. And how's He gonna destroy all of the enemies of His? How is He gonna strike down every single nation? With this, with His Word. It's gonna happen quicker than the creation week happened. This battle is gonna last like two minutes? It doesn't say, it's gonna be fast. It's not gonna be this big battle of Armageddon where there's people fighting back and forth. You don't even get to participate other than to watch it. It's Jesus doing all the work. His Word is going strike down all the nations, why? Because His Word is powerful, and what's He gonna do? He's gonna rule and reign without a peer. That's what it means when He's gonna rule them with a rod or iron. And His wrath is going to be completely unleashed.

Notice this, notice this. "Then I saw an angel standing in the sun and he cried out with a loud voice saying to the birds, which fly in in mid-heaven, 'Come assemble for the great supper of God.'" Now, hold your finger there and go back to the bowl judgments in Revelation chapter 15. Do you remember the sixth bowl judgment? It says, "The sixth angel," this is Revelation 16:12, "The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river the Euphrates and its water dried up so that the way would be prepared for the kings of the East." And we're like, "Well, that doesn't seem like that big of a deal just that he dried up a body of water."

But what was going on? There's an invitation for all the kings of the world to come and fight King Jesus, and they're gonna lose. It's an invitation to their death, because notice what happens in verse 13 of chapter 16. "And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast, who is the antichrist, and out of the mouth of the false prophet three unclean spirits, for these are the spirits of demons performing signs which go out to the kings of the whole world to gather them together for the war, the great day of God the Almighty."

So what's the sixth bowl judgment do? It dries up the water and deceives the kings of the earth that they have a fighting chance against Jesus. They're gonna come do battle against Jesus. That's where we are right here, right at the end of the sixth seal. I'm sorry, sixth bowl judgment. Right at the end of the sixth bowl judgment. They think they're gonna have a chance. And God is gonna use His Word to strike down the nations as His armies watch, and then this final one.

Let me give you a final raise a hallelujah. Raise a hallelujah because Christ the Lord inflicts punishment on the unholy trinity, hallelujah.

- [Congregation] Hallelujah.

- Now, you gotta say that a little louder, because Christ the Lord inflicts punishment on the unholy trinity, hallelujah.

- [Congregation] Hallelujah.

- There you go, we're talking about Satan, we're talking about the antichrist, and we're talking about the false prophet. Notice what happens in verse 18. He asked them to come assemble for the great supper of God. There's an angel standing in the sun.

Now, how does that work? You talk about some massive, he's not standing on the sun, he's standing in the sun. I've been told that's very difficult to do. And he's not burning up, he's not going anywhere. He's calling all to this great feast, "All the birds which fly in the heavens, so 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 those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves and small and great." What's he saying? There's gonna be a slaughter in this battle unlike any slaughter that's ever happened. So an angel calls all the birds in the sky and all the birds of the air, "You want to come gather around Megiddo because this battle of Armageddon's gonna leave so much food for every one of you vultures and every one of you birds that eats all that leftover food. Just come, it's gonna be a feast, because there's gonna be more death in that battle than in any other battle that's ever taking place in the history of the world." And it's gonna happen that fast.

Notice verse 19. "And I saw the beast," that's the antichrist, "and the kings of the earth who followed him and their armies assembled to make war against him who sat on the horse and against his army." Here comes the showdown. All of those on the earth have now gathered to fight Jesus. They're looking upward, they think, "This is our time. We're gonna take Him and His bride out." And it's not gonna go well. It says, "And the beast was seized," that's the antichrist, "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."

Now watch this, they're not killed, they're thrown alive into the lake of fire, why? Because all judgment is eternal. Make no mistake about it, all judgment is eternal. Meaning if you're not right with God today, like right now in this moment is the moment you want to get right with God, why? Because it's not just you're gonna die and go into the earth. You're gonna be tormented forever and ever. All throughout this book we see their smoke goes up. Their torment goes up for how long? Forever and ever, as long as eternal life is is how long eternal torment is. And there is never any crossing over. It's not like you can be in hell for a million years or two million years and just say, "I get it, I'm so sorry." No, it's forever. You're in hell for a billion years and you wake up, hell will just be getting started for you. Like forever, 'cause we're talking about an eternal God. The beast, the antichrist who seemingly ruled the world and his false prophet, who was deceiving everybody, cast alive into the lake of fire.

And what happened to the rest of them? "And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse." So who does all the killing? Jesus, you don't kill anybody. Jesus does all of the killing and He does it fast. And notice this, "And all the birds were filled with their flesh." You're gonna have vultures that are gonna be cruising around like, "Oh, can't eat another bite. It's way too much." That's what this is gonna be like. There's gonna be a slaughter unlike any slaughter. All you will have done is witness it coming out of heaven and all of the vultures and all of the ones that are birds of prey eating all this flesh are gonna be so full they're not even gonna want seconds or thirds, they're gonna be stuffed. Because there's that many who have died. And Jesus Christ is the one who's gonna do it all.

Now, that's the beast and the false prophet, but I got to tell you about this, 'cause we'll get there in a couple of weeks when I'm back in the pulpit. But you've got to see that this is a continuation in chapter 20 of everything that we're doing. It's an unfortunate chapter break. Because notice this, "Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven holding the key of the abyss," which we talked about was that great pit, "and a great chain was in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon," that's Satan, "the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan and bound him for a thousand years. And he threw him into the abyss and shut it and sealed it over him so that he would not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were completed. After these things, he must be released for a short time."

What do you see? You see the unholy trinity being punished. The antichrist, the beast and the false prophet thrown alive into the lake of fire. What happens to Satan? He is gonna be put into the abyss. He won't be able to deceive the nations any longer until the end of the millennium, which we'll talk about, at the end of the thousand years, he'll be let loose for a period of time, and believe it or not, he's still gonna be able to deceive some who were born during the millennium until he finally gets thrown into the lake of fire, too. We'll see that in chapter 20. But make no mistake about it, this is a continuum.

Now, some people like to say, "No, no, no, no. Chapter 20 is not a continuation. It's just talking about the fact that Satan right now is bound to an extent." To which I would say, what are you talking about? I mean, the more I walk with Jesus, the more I feel Satan's breath on my neck. He is deceiving people now. He is taking people by the millions to hell now. He is against you now. He is trying to break up your marriage. He is trying to break up your celibacy, if you're single. He's trying to break up relationships. He's trying to break up your work. He's trying to steal, kill, and destroy. He's alive. Please don't tell me that Satan is bound right now. That's, I won't say anything, he's not. He is active, he's real. If you don't believe it, start living for Jesus greater than you are right now and you will believe it. He's alive.

At this point in time God's gonna say, "Now, for a thousand years I'm ruling and reigning. You can't touch anybody." But he's gonna get let loose again at the end of the thousand years, try to usurp Jesus' ruling, and then he will be thrown into like of fire forever and ever amen. But notice this, Jesus Christ rules, Jesus Christ reigns, Jesus Christ is worthy. He's worthy of all your hallelujahs. He's worthy, I mean, when you hear this, when you read this there should be something inside of you that's like hallelujah. What you have coming is greater than anything you'll ever see on planet Earth.

Now, I get it, some of us, we're in the process of buying homes, some of us are in the process of maybe getting a new car or a new job, or maybe we're getting married or maybe we started dating somebody new. And there's these things that happen. Or maybe it's the birth of a child or the birth of your first child. Those are all wonderful things to celebrate. They're all blessings from the Lord, enjoy them. But if you enjoy that more than what you just heard this morning, you're missing out on what's most important. Because I'm telling you, on my calendar and what's coming, I got nothing better than this. And I look forward to the day that I get to get on my horse with my kids, who will say, "Thank you, daddy," and start coming out of heaven on a horse with Jesus to watch Him take over and rule this planet, where there will never again be anybody who will deceive you or lie to you or hurt you. Because our King, Jesus, as King of kings and Lord of lords will reign forever and ever amen. Isn't that good? Hallelujah, would you stand with me?

Lord, we give you all the praise. We give you all the praise. Lord, we want to raise our hallelujah. We want to sing out to you right now and tell you that you're worthy. If you're here today and you've never trusted Christ, make this moment yours, and you can tell Him right now, Jesus, I believe you're God. I believe you died for my sins and that you rose from the dead. And right now I will turn from my sin and I turn to you. Come into my life and be my Lord and savior. And Lord, for all of us who are believers, we celebrate you. We raise our praise to the Lord because you and you alone are worthy. And Lord, we're gonna sing this as loud as we can because you are worthy of all of our praise. We give you all praise, all glory and all honors as we elevate your name and raise a hallelujah. In Jesus' name amen and amen. Can we give God praise this morning?

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