Sermon 2428. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD'S DAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 1895.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, AUGUST 21, 1887.
"And he said unto me, Write, 'Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.'" Revelation 19:9.
You will perceive that there was an exhortation to John to "Write." Why was he especially to write these words down? I conceivethat it was, first, because the information here recorded was valuable-"Blessed are they which are called unto the marriagesupper of the Lamb." It was worth while that this new beatitude should be recorded, so the angel of God said to the Apostle,"Write." It was also to be written because of its absolute certainty-"These are the true sayings of God." This blessednesswas not a thing to be spoken of once and then to be forgotten, but it was to be recorded so that future ages might see thatit is surely so, assuredly so beyond all question! God has bidden this record to be written in black and white, yes, engravedas with an iron pen and lead in the rock, forever-"Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb."
It was to be written, no doubt, to bring it under our consideration as a thing worthy of being weighed, a text to be read,marked, learned and inwardly digested-not merely spoken to John by the angel of God, but written by the Apostle at the expressorder of the Spirit of God. Lord, did You say to John, "Write it," and shall I not read it? Did you bid the beloved disciplewrite it and do You not, thereby, virtually bid me consider it and remember it? Lord, by Your Spirit, write this message onmy heart, "Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb."
I find that my text is succeeded, as well as preceded, by something remarkable-"He said unto me, These are the true sayingsof God." Lest any doubt should arise in our minds about the marriage supper of the Lamb, or about the fact that many are calledto that supper, or about the blessedness of such as are called, the angel says, "These are the true sayings of God." Somethings appear to be too good to be true. We frequently meet with sinners, under a sense of guilt, who are staggered by thegreatness of God's mercy. The Light of the Gospel has been too bright for them! They "could not see for the glory of thatLight," as Paul said in describing the appearance of Christ to him when on the road to Damascus. So, "to make assurance doublysure," that we may not question its truth because of its greatness, we have this solemn declaration especially certified byorder of the Lord, under the hand and seal of the Spirit of God-"These are the true sayings of God." O Sirs, the Lord Christwill come again! He will come to gather together His people and to make them forever blessed! And happy will you be if youare among that chosen company! If you shall meet the King of Kings with joyful confidence, you shall be blessed, indeed!
You noticed that I read parts of two chapters before I came to my text and I did it for this purpose. The false harlot-churchis to be judged and then the true Church of Christ is to be acknowledged and honored with what is called a marriage supper.The false must be put away before the true can shine out in all its luster! Oh, that Christ would soon appear to drive falsehoodfrom off the face of the earth! At present it seems to gather strength, and to spread till it darkens the sky and turns thesun into darkness, and the moon into blood. Oh, that the Lord would arise and sweep away the deadly errors which now pollutethe very air! We long for the time when the powers of darkness shall be baffled and the pure Everlasting Light shall triumphover all! We do not know when it shall be-
"But, come what may to stand in the way, That day the world shall see,"
when the Truth of God shall vanquish error and when the true Church shall be revealed in all her purity and beauty as theBride of Christ-and the apostate church shall be put away once and for all and forever!
Time rolls wearily along just now, apparently, and some hearts grow heavy and sad, but let us take courage. The morning comesas well as the night and there are good days, not so far off as we have sometimes fancied-and some of us may yet live to seetimes which shall make us cry, "Lord, now let Your servants depart in peace, for our eyes have seen Your salvation." Whetherwe live till Christ comes again, or whether we fall asleep in Him, many of us know that we shall sit down at the great weddingfeast in the end of the days and we shall partake of the supper of the Lamb in the day of His joy and Glory! We are lookingacross the blackness and darkness of the centuries into that promised millennial age wherein we shall rejoice with our Lordwith joy unspeakable and full of glory!
I. I will no longer delay you from the text. And in meditating upon this august marriage festival, I want you to notice, firstof all, THE DESCRIPTION OF THE BRIDEGROOM.
There is no marriage without a bridegroom. There is no marriage of the Church without the appearance of Christ and, therefore,He must be manifested. He must come out of the ivory palaces wherein He hides Himself, today, and He must appear in His Glory!And when He shall appear, what shall be His title? Notice it- "Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supperof the Lamb."
This term- "the Lamb"-seems to be the special name of Christ which John was accustomed to use. I suppose he heard it, first,from that other John called the Baptist, when he said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world." Isaiahhad compared the Christ to a lamb brought to the slaughter, but he had not really called Him "the Lamb of God." This belovedJohn, who knew the Master better than anyone else, seemed to love constantly to call Him by this most expressive name.
Now, if in any Book of the Bible we might have expected that our Lord would not have been called the Lamb, it would have beenthe Book of the Revelation. It might seem as if the name, "the Lion of the tribe of Judah" might appropriately have been usedevery time, and the name of, "the Lamb," have been dropped. The name, "the Lamb," seemed suitable for Jesus here below, despisedand rejected of men, led to the slaughter, dumb and patient beneath the hands of cruel men. The name, "the Lamb," seemed suitablefor Gethsemane, Gabbatha and Golgotha-but John calls the Savior by this name many times all through this Book of the Revelation!He writes constantly about the Lamb, the Lamb in the midst of the Throne, the Lamb leading His people to living fountainsof water. And now the angel tells him to write about the marriage supper of the Lamb!
This is the more remarkable because, at first sight, it may seem incongruous to blend these two things together-the Lamb anda marriage supper. But the incongruity of figures must sometimes be allowed in order to make more apparent some master Truthof God which must not and cannot be veiled for the sake of correct rhetoric! It sometimes happens that language becomes aburden to thought-great thoughts will break the backs of words and crush them into the dust. So it happens that comparisonsand metaphors crack and break, like rotten wood in the wind, under the stress of some great master thought which rules thewriter's mind. It matters not whether it is congruous in figure, it is suitable enough in fact that the wedding at the lastshould be the marriage of the Lamb!
What do I infer from this? I gather, in a word, just this, that Christ anywhere, even in His highest Glory, still wishes usto regard Him as the Sacrifice for sin. He desires to be viewed by us in His Character as the Lamb slain from before the foundationof the world. This is a Character which He never lays aside and it is as the Lamb that He will manifest Himself in the consummationof all things when His Church is perfected!
First, as the Lamb, He is the one everlasting Sacrifice for sin. Where is the lamb that God has provided for a burnt offering?It is Jesus! Where is the morning and evening lamb to take away Israel's guilt? It is Jesus! Where is the lamb that bleedsand dies, that with its blood the lintel and the two side posts may be smeared to secure the inmates of the house from thedestroying angel in Egypt? It is Jesus! All His life, and in His death, He was no lion, no beast of prey-He was the gentle,suffering, sacrificial Victim, dying that we may not die, presenting Himself a Sacrifice acceptable unto God!
Now, because Christ was the Lamb, suffering for sin, and because He delights to remember that He was our Sacrifice, thereforeHe is seen in that capacity in the day of the gladness of His heart. He links the memory of His grief with the manifestationof His Glory-and as He was a Lamb to redeem His Church, so does He appear as a Lamb in the marriage supper of His Glory! Onereason why He does this is because He is especially glorious in the Character of the Lamb of God. I cannot conceive of ourLord Jesus Christ as ever being less than infinitely glorious, but, dear Friends, if there is ever a time when we can appreciatethe splendor of His Character more fully than at other times, it is when He is on the Cross-when He dies, "the Just for theunjust, that He might bring us to God."
Tell me not of all the Glory which surrounds Him now in the midst of the Throne-I cannot conceive any Glory exceeding in brightnessthe Glory of His self-denial, the Glory of His taking upon Himself the form of a Servant and, being found in fashion as aMan, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross. The glory of men consists in what they are prepared to sufferfor others. The glory of a king must lie, not in the crowns he wears, but in what he does for his subjects-and Christ's Gloryis most seen in His sacrifice for sinners! "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."But Christ laid down His life for His enemies. When the Lord Jesus Christ put on the bloody shirt in Gethsemane. When He bedeckedHimself with the five bright rubies of His wounds. When He was adorned with the crown of thorns and, last of all, when Hewas decorated with that robe of blood as the soldier pierced His side, then it was that He was more illustrious than at anytime before or since in the eyes of those who think aright! This is the star in His sky, no, the sun that eclipses all thestars-that Jesus loved, pitied and had compassion even to the death upon the sons of men! So, in the day of His marriage,He comes out, again, in this highest and noblest of Characters- especially glorious as a Lamb! It is as a Lamb that He celebratesthe marriage supper with His Bride, the Church.
Brothers and Sisters, I think that it is very appropriate for Christ to appear in Glory as a Lamb, because it is as the Lambthat He has most fully displayed His love to His Church, to which He is espoused, and to which He is to be married at thatLast Great Day. Beloved, the marriage supper is a feast of love-there, love is at home. So Jesus, that He may reveal Himselfin His love best of all, appears as a bleeding Sacrifice on the day of His love's triumph. I do not know how to talk aboutthis great theme, but this Truth of God rests in my heart and makes me feel more glad than I can tell. It lies like a cakeof sweet perfume upon the altar of my soul and burns there with the soft bright flame of love. And I rejoice to know thatin the day when Jesus takes His Church by the hand and leads her Home to His Father's house, He will appear in that Characterin which He most of all has shown His love to His beloved. You see most of His love when you see most of His griefs and mostof His condescension-and, therefore, in that Character does He appear at His marriage supper.
There is one other thought before I leave this first point. It is as the Lamb that Christ is best loved of our souls. At anyrate, you feel your affections most drawn out toward Him who suffered in your place. Tell me, you who know Him most, you wholove Him best, is it not so? You have seen Him on His Throne, but you have fallen at His feet as dead, for the sight has beentoo much for you! But when you have seen Him on the Cross, oh, then your heart has melted while your Beloved has spoken toyou and you have said, "He has won my heart. Now He has completely mastered me-I must love Him now." So then, you see, onthe day of His marriage, when He would be best loved, Christ comes unto His Church robed in that garment in which He appearsmost lovely in her sight, and He draws out at that marriage supper, more fully than ever He did, all the love of all His redeemedfor whom He laid down His life!
Now, you who care not for my Lord as a Substitute and a Sacrifice, will you be at the marriage supper when He appears as theLamb? It is as the Lamb of God that you reject Him! You are willing to take Him, you say, as a Teacher, or as an Exemplar,but as the Sacrifice for sin you will not have Him. Then, neither will He have you! In that great day, as you have disownedthe vicarious Sacrifice, He who was that Sacrifice will disown you! There will be no marriage between your soul and Christif you will not have Him as the Lamb, for that marriage feast is to be the marriage of the Lamb, and of none else. As longas this tongue can move and these lips can speak, I will preach nothing to you but Jesus Christ and Him Crucified-that He,who knew no sin was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him! I know no Savior but that Christ,"who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree," and who, "when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down atthe right hand of the Majesty on high," and now in Glory bears the marks of the great Propitiation by which His people aresaved!
II. But now, secondly, I have to speak a little upon THE MEANING OF THE MARRIAGE SUPPER-"Blessed are they which are calledunto the marriage supper of the Lamb." What will that marriage supper be? There will come a time when all God's redeemed shallbe saved.
There will come a day when all who have died shall have been raised, again, from the tomb, and those who remain alive shallhave been changed, so that their corruption shall have put on incorruption, and mortality shall have put on immortality. Thenwill the Church be perfect and complete. No one member will be missing. There will be no spot or wrinkle remaining in her.Then it shall come to pass that Christ will celebrate this marriage supper, which will be the bringing of the people of Godinto the closest and happiest union with Christ their Lord in Glory.
Even now the Lord Jesus Christ is no stranger to some of us, and we are not strangers to Him. Yet there shall come a day whenwe shall see Him face to face and then we shall know Him with a clearer and fuller knowledge than is possible for us today.What that bliss will be, I cannot tell. Oh, the ineffable brightness when we shall see the face of Jesus! Oh, the unspeakablesweetness when we shall hear His voice! Oh, the amazing bliss when He shall manifest Himself to us in all His Glory! And therewill come such a day for all whom He has redeemed, for all who trust Him and rest in His atoning Sacrifice. That will be themarriage supper of the Lamb!
That feast will be, like most other marriage suppers, the fulfillment of long expectation. Our Lord has waited long for Hisperfected Church. He espoused Himself to her before ever the earth was, but there was much to be done before she was preparedfor the marriage. The Bridegroom, too, had to leave His Father and become one with His Bride by taking upon Himself our humanity.For our sake He quit the thrones and royalties of Heaven that He might be bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh-and hereHe was born, and here He lived, and here He died! But still, the Bride was not ready-and it is not till you come to this chapterthat you read, "The marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife has made herself ready." Souls have to be saved-new-created,blood-washed, sanctified, perfected-and the whole of them must be gathered to make up the body of Christ's Spouse. And whenthat is done, and she is all complete, the expectations of the Christ will be fulfilled at that marriage supper. O Beloved,you do not know the longings of the heart of Christ for that day of glory! For this He lived! For this He died! For this Hecontinually pleads that all for whom He shed His precious blood might be His in that day! That day is fast coming and whenit arrives, then will be the wedding feast above.
Then will be, also, the day of the open publication of the great fact of mutual love and union. At this moment Christ lovesHis Church and He is one with her, but the world, as a whole, does not know it. It does not know either Him or her, nor doesit care about them. But the day shall come when Christ will bring His hidden people into the light of day! "Then shall therighteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father." And then shall the Christ, Himself, also be manifested,though long hidden! Oh, what a day that will be when the eyes of the entire universe shall be turned in one direction andthe glorious Christ, in the splendor of His Manhood and of His Godhead, shall take the hand of His redeemed Church and, beforemen and angels and devils, declare Himself to be one with her forever and forever! That will be the beginning of the marriagesupper of the Lamb-it will be the publication to all of the great fact of mutual love and union!
Moreover, the picture of a marriage supper is intended to set forth the overflowing of mutual delight and joy. There is toomuch joy for two! They are so happy that they invite others to come in and share the banquet. So, in those days, how delightedthis blessed Christ and His Church will be with one another! How the Church will rejoice in Him! How He will rejoice in theChurch! What hallelujahs will they raise to Him and oh, with what delight will He look upon all His people and see in themneither spot, nor wrinkle, nor any such thing-because His blood has cleansed them and His Spirit has perfectly sanctifiedthem! Of old it was written, "The Lord your God in the midst of you is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over you withjoy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over you with singing." But what will that rest of love be and that singing ofthe Christ over His blood-bought ones when they are all before Him, and all made like unto Himself to reflect the Glory ofGod!
Brethren, to add just one other thought, that marriage feast will be the grandest display of Christ's magnificent generosityin a banquet. If people ever make a little more show than on other occasions, it is usually at a marriage feast. And oh, whata show Christ will make that day! Depend upon it, there will be no little show when He shall come in the Glory of His Father,with all the holy angels with Him, and with the very clouds of Heaven to be the dust of His feet! Then shall His Church comebefore Him in all the glory He has given to her. Her raiment shall be of worked gold. There is no luster, no beauty, no excellencethat can be compared with that which Christ will put upon His Church! She will admire Him and He will admire her. She willbless Him and He will bless her. Oh, I talk but feebly about lofty things that need a poet's eye and a poet's tongue! No,put away your poetry-the most sober language that can be uttered might better fit a theme in which the highest sublimitiesmust be simplicities! I want you all to believe that there is to be a day when all the chosen seed, blood-bought and saved,will make one body-and Christ shall come and glorify them with Himself in a union that shall never know an end, though theages roll along forever and for ever!
III. Now, thirdly, I must speak a little about THE PERSONS WHO ARE CALLED TO THIS SUPPER. Who are the people who are calledto this great marriage feast?
In one sense, you are all called to it. O my Hearers, there is a call of the Gospel to each of you! We are bid to preach itto every creature under Heaven and we do preach it, leaving none of you out. "Whoever will, let him take the Water of Lifefreely." "Whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." The call, "Behold, the Bridegroom comes," is to thefoolish virgins as well as to the wise, and if you do not come, it is not because you were never invited and never entreatedto come to Christ! By the Spirit of the living God, I implore you men and women to seek the Savior's face! I may never addressyou all again, as perhaps I have never addressed some of you before, but by Him that comes in the clouds of Heaven I entreatyou to fly to Jesus, the great and only Savior! Seek His Grace, now, that you may see His face with joy in the great day ofHis appearing!
But this is not exactly what the text means, for, although there is a blessedness in being called, it curdles into a curseif, being called, sinners refuse to come to the Savior. Who, then, are they who are specially called to this marriage feast?Well, first, they are those who are so called as to accept the invitation. Have you come to Jesus? Are you trusting Him? Willyou have Him? Does your heart say, "Yes"? Then, He is yours! There was never any unwillingness in Christ to receive the guilty.The unwillingness is in you-and if the unwillingness has gone from you, since it never was in Him, take Him and have Him forever!Take Him and have Him tonight! When Abraham's servant wanted to take Rebekah to Isaac, her mother and brother said to her,"Will you go with this man?" So would I say to any young man or woman I may be addressing, "Will you go with Christ? Willyou have Christ?" If so, He will have you! If you are willing to have Him, you are among those who are called to the marriagesupper of the Lamb!
To help you to judge yourself, here is another test. Those who are called to that marriage supper love the Bridegroom. Hewill have no enemies at His banquet! Do you love Jesus? Does your heart leap at the sound of His name? Timid trembling woman,do you love Him? You cannot speak for Him, but you could die for Him? Ah, well, if your heart goes after Him, His heart haslong ago gone after you and you shall be at the marriage supper! I tell you more-you shall be a part and parcel of His Bridein the day of His appearing!
Again, those who are called to this supper are made ready. Are you made ready? You remember that the man who came to the weddingfeast was bid to put on a wedding garment-have you put on the righteousness of Christ? Has Christ put on you His sanctification?Are you changed in heart? Without holiness no man shall see the Lord! Has the Grace of God renewed you? Then you are one ofthose who shall come to the wedding-among the blessed who are called to that great marriage feast!
You may help to judge yourself by answering one more question. Have you any desire to go to that marriage feast? Do you lookfor Christ's coming? There are some who are altogether unconcerned about it-they do not care about Christ or His coming-itis all nothing to them, an airy nothing! O my Hearer, I trust that you are not of that opinion! But if you are looking forand hastening unto the coming of the Son of God. If your faith is resting on His first coming and your hope is in His secondcoming-if you see your sin put away by His coming as a Sin-Offering-and then your sorrow put away by His coming as your Bridegroom,then, dear Heart, be sure that you would not have these drawings towards Him unless He had drawn you to Himself! He is drawingyou-therefore, run after Him!
IV. Now, lastly, let us think of THE BLESSEDNESS WHICH IS ASCRIBED TO THOSE WHO ARE CALLED TO
THIS MARRIAGE SUPPER.
I know that I am speaking to many who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb and I want you, my dear Hearers, to enjoyyourselves, for you have a prospect which blesses you even now. If you are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb, thetext says that you are blessed and truly blessed you are! "Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of theLamb." If you had an invitation to see the Queen, tomorrow, some of you who are wonderfully loyal would think a great dealof it, and you would be saying to yourselves, "Well, we are going home tonight to a very narrow room in a very poor cottage,but we have something great in prospect tomorrow! And oh, think of this, you who are poor, you who are pained, you who arevery weak, you who are cast down-within a short time your eyes "shall see the King in His beauty and the land that is veryfar off."
It may be only a few days, or weeks, or months-certainly only a few years at most-and we shall all share the Glory that awaitsthe Church. And the Glory of our dear Lord who loved us, and gave Himself for us, will be ours, and ours forever. I know thatyou put this great event far away and say that it is a long way off. But it is not, it is close at hand! Suppose it were notto come for a thousand years? Yet what is that but the twinkling of an eye, very soon over? The older men get, the shortertime seems to be! When I was a child, a week seemed to be a very long time. You who have grown old know that a year seemsto come and go before you are aware of it. You can say with Job, "My days are swifter than a runner: they flee away." Yetwhat matters it if we have to wait 50,000 years for our bliss? We who have believed in Christ have the absolute certaintythat we shall, one day, stand in the midst of the splendor of Christ's wedding feast! The nuptials of a king are usually somethingvery grand, but what will the marriage supper of the King of Kings and Lord of lords be-when He who is the Son of the Highestshall take to Himself His fit companion-when it shall no more be said of the Man, Christ Jesus, that there was found no helpmeet for Him, but when He shall take His Church, made out of His own flesh and shall welcome her unto Himself to go from Himno more forever?
I shall be a part of that Church and you who believe will be a part of that Church-and we shall all have great honor in beingcalled to such a future. What bliss to be there! What joy to be there, not as spectators, but as part of the Bride that shallthen be taken by her Husband! My Soul, you shall swim in happiness, you shall dive in seas of inconceivable delight by reasonof your union with Christ and your delight in Him and His delight in you! I know no better idea of Heaven than to be eternallycontent with Christ and Christ to be eternally content with me! And all this will happen within a very little time. Therefore,lay aside your cares, dismiss your fears, murmur no more. Such a destiny awaits you that you may well be content.
I have heard that when Queen Elizabeth once carried the crown, while she was a young princess, she found it heavy as she boreit before her sister, but one said to her, "You will like it better when you wear it, yourself." So, we have to carry, everyday, a weight for Christ, but oh, when the crown is put upon our own heads and we are in Paradise with Him, we shall forgetthe light afflictions which were but for a moment, as we enter into the enjoyment of the far more exceeding and eternal weightof Glory! I want you, if you can, to enjoy yourselves while you think of the honor which is to be put upon all Christ's peoplein being married to Him-
"One with Jesus, By eternal union, one,"
partakers of His name, His estate, His Glory, Himself! He shall make us to sit with Him upon His Throne, even as He has overcomeand sits down with His Father upon His Throne.
Remember, too, we shall be blessed at the marriage supper because no fear will mingle with our enjoyment. It has been wellobserved that if men and women could know all that will happen to them in the course of their married life, they might, perhaps,not think a wedding day such a happy day, after all. So soon may love grow cold, so often may promises be broken and unkindnesstake the place of affection, that it is but a dubious joy that surrounds the wedding feast. But once with Jesus at the banquetabove, there will be no such fear! Here, I may have a fear lest my love to Him should not be true, lest, after all, my followingof Him should be but temporary and not the consequence of the new life within. But once up there, we shall raise no more questions!We shall be exposed to no more dangers, we shall no more dread backsliding and apostasy. Once there, we shall be-
"Far from a world of grief and sin, With God eternally shut in."
Once there, every pain and tear and fear will have gone forever-that will be a glorious wedding feast, indeed!
My beloved Hearer, will you be there? If there were no Hell, the loss of Heaven would be Hell. If there were no To-phet, tohave missed Christ's wedding feast were a Gehenna, black enough. If there were no worm that dies not and no fire that nevercan be quenched, this were damnation deep enough-to have missed the kisses of Christ's mouth and the joy of the everlastingoneness in His Glory. Do not miss it! I charge you, do not miss it. When some of us shall be flying through the gates of theNew Jerusalem, I trust that we shall hear you as we pass by and, pausing for a moment to ask, "Who is there?" you will answer,"I am here, brought to know Christ by your ministry." That shall make another Heaven to add to our own Heaven! Everyone thatwe shall see there, converted by the preaching of the Cross by our lips, or through the printed sermons, shall multiply ourbliss and make us yet happier-and forever and ever happier, still, in your happiness and joy!
I have finished my discourse, but I do not like, somehow, to go home with this thought in my mind-perhaps some of you willmiss this bliss! The muster roll will be read, but your name will not be there! Can you bear that thought? Remember that ifyou are not blessed, you are cursed! If you find not Heaven, you are lost forever! You have often joined with God's peoplein singing-
"I love to meet among them now,
Before Your gracious feet to bo w,
Though vilest of them all!
But can I bear the piercing thought-
What if my name should be left out,
When You, for them, shall call?" You cannot be left outside the wedding feast if you have trusted in Jesus! Then trust Himat once! Rest in that Lamb who will be your Bridegroom and at whose marriage supper you shall be present to praise the Gloryof His Grace forever and ever! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: REVELATION18:20-24; 19:1-18.
May the Spirit of God take away the veil from our eyes while we read what was revealed to the beloved Apostle John! Here wehave the prophecy of the destruction of the great anti-Christian system of Babylon, which, being interpreted, is and can benone other than the apostate Church of Rome!
Revelation 18:20-24. Rejoice over her, you Heaven, and you holy Apostles and Prophets; for God has avenged you on her. And a mighty angel tookup a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be throwndown, and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and ofpipers, and trumpeters shall be heardno more at all in you; and no craftsman, of whatever craft he is, shall be found any more in you; and the sound of a millstoneshall be heard no more at all in you; and the light of a candle shall shine no more shine in you; and the voice of the bridegroomand of the bride shall be heard no more at all in you: for your merchants were the great men of the earth; for by your sorcerieswere all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of Prophets, and of saints, and of all who were slain upon the earth.Now, after the false church is put away, the true Church of Christ shines out in all her glory and purity!
Revelation 19:1-4. And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in Heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and Glory, and honor,and power, unto the Lord our God: for true and righteous are His judgments for He has judged the great whore which did corruptthe earth with her fornication, and has avenged the blood of His servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia. Andher smoke rose up forever and ever. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that saton the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. Heaven and earth are equally glad and they unite to adore the living God when the greatapostasy-that has so long cursed the nations-is hurled into the sea!
5, 6. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all you His servants, and you that fear Him, both smalland great. And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mightythunder, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God Omnipotent reigns. And His great power is never better seen than in crushing thepowers of darkness and putting the hosts of evil to the rout.
7-10. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife has made herselfready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousnessof saints. And he said unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saidunto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See you do it not:I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God; for the testimony of Jesus isthe spirit of prophecy. All worship, therefore, of saints and angels is a gross error, not to be tolerated for a moment! Johnwas mistaken in falling down to worship the angel and he was speedily rebuked. And his mistake was quickly corrected. Thereis no doctrine that needs more to be preached, just now, than this message of the angel, "Worship God." Neither crosses, norcrucifixes, nor holy wafers, nor anything that can be seen or handled must be worshipped- "Worship God." We still need tohear God's mighty voice proclaiming from Mount Sinai the great Law. "You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall notmake unto you any engraved image, or any likeness of anything that is in Heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, orthat is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I, the Lord your God, ama jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hateMe; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My Commandments."
11. And I saw Heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon Him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousnessHe does judge and make war. Behold your Savior, the Champion of the cause of truth! His war is not that of the carnal weaponand of garments rolled in blood. It is a spiritual warfare, but He wins a more glorious victory than ever sword or gun couldgain.
12-14. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, butHe Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies whichwere in Heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. All His true ones, all His faithfulones, all His saints, whether ministers or not-the heavenly armies-"followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen,white and clean." Holiness is their armor, light is the panoply that they wear as they go forward to this holy war.
15. And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, He puts down vice and evil of every kind, not with the sword of steel, but withHis Word-"Out of His mouth goes a sharp sword"-
15, 16. That with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treads the winepress ofthe fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORDOF LORDS. For this Son of God whom we worship, this Jesus of Nazareth, is Master of all! All power is in His hand. He is,"KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."
17, 18. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midstof Heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that you may eat the flesh of kings, andthe flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh ofall men, both free and bond, both small and great. By this highly figurative language, we are to understand that when Christgoes forth to war in battling for the truth, and His true followers come after Him, their victory will be certain- and theslain of the Lord will be many! We look not for carnage and bloodshed to establish the Kingdom of Christ in the earth, butthis Revelation gives us a picture of the utter overthrow and destruction of all forms of error through the power of the everlastingGospel of Jesus Christ! Amen, so let it be!
Would God that the King of Kings would mount His white horse at once and that all His people would follow Him! He will doso at the right time and then the victory shall be unto God, and to the Truth of God, and to love, and to peace and holinessforevermore.