Summary: When was the last time you said, "Hallelujah!" and meant it? Hallelujahs are rare in the Bible until Rev. 19. What’s all the praise about? Look and see!
The Grand Finale of God’s Word
The Wicked Woman Falls and the Righteous Woman Rises
What do you think about weddings? When I performed the wedding for my son and his bride, weddings took on a new meaning to me. There I stood, a father joining his only son and his beautiful bride in marriage. It all hit me later. This lovely bride of my son is about to enter my family.
At the wedding, the father of the son becomes the new father of the bride . She wears my name, just as my son does.
When Tim and Stephanie made their promises and stated their vows and gave their rings, the greatest blessing was knowing that she is a faithful Christian and a young lady of great character and spiritual dedication. Twenty years of prayers for the wife of my son were answered that day. And Stephanie took on my name when she took the name of my son. She became part of our family. Her life will either honor or dishonor our family name.
Woe to the man who marries a faithless woman that practices wickedness. She can never bring honor to the family or the name she receives. (Woe to the woman who takes the name of a faithless, wicked man. She and her children will pay a terrible price).
In this week’s lesson, Revelation describes a woman who is powerful because of her association with evil. She is decked with wealth and filled with immorality. She kills the saints and rides the beast of hell. She is the prostitute who gives herself to the rulers of the earth, and her wild living and party spirit knows no boundaries. Her life is filled with the cheap thrills of wickedness. Whose wife is this harlot? Whose name does she bear? She is filled with adulteries. She is drunk from the blood of the saints. Finally she falls, never to recover. Only her shame endures. The very evil that empowers her devours her as her lovers and those that used her cry over their personal losses at her demise. God’s hand is clearly in her fall.
Then, in marked contrast, from above comes a shout of joy. A loud resounding, four-fold, “Hallelujah!” is shouted from a multitude of celebrating saints, the twenty-four elders, the four living creatures and all the servants of God both small and great. The wicked woman is fallen, gone. Now another woman rises before us. Who is this beautiful woman dressed as a bride? She has received her garments from God. Instead of Babylon, she is the new Jerusalem!
Now the wedding announcement of the Lamb to His bride is declared. Jesus, the Son of God, takes a bride who has prepared herself in righteousness and splendor.
Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb!!!
May we be among the celebrating saints that gather in this glorious feast!
Read chapter 17-18
Take some time here, dear student, and look carefully at each one of these. Do not become too concerned with the explanation of who these are, but just think about what God’s word is revealing about the evil ones here and their friends and what happens to them.
Who do you see in these chapters? Find and list the characters that you see and make a brief note to sum up who they are and what they are doing:
(As an example of what I want you to do, here’s the first one):
1. One of the 7 angels who had the 7 bowls, he shows John the harlot and explains what John sees.
Notice that the angel tells John an explanation of the mystery. He makes it very clear that the woman and the beast represent certain rulers and places. The woman is “the great city.” The beast’s heads and horns are hills and kings. The waters are nations, languages, and peoples. What are all of these doing?
How would you describe their relationship with God?
Dear student, whether or not we can ever pinpoint the exact places and rulers this is speaking of, we can clearly tell how they stand before God and what happens to them.
Look at the three announcements from heaven that you hear in chapter 18. What is each heavenly announcement about?
1. (verses 1-3)
2. (verses 4-8)
3. (verses 21-24)
Dear student, what do you think about all this? What message is in this for you and me today that seems to come to the forefront? Write what you hear God saying about the consequence of a person who involves himself in evil. What warnings come out of this passage about the way evil works against itself?