Babylon lies in ruins as rejoicing and praise break out in Heaven because God’s deliverance has come and He has avenged the murders of the believers in the Tribulation. Therefore, all glory and honor belong to God alone. He is the One Who judges truthfully and righteously. The smoke of Babylon’s destruction symbolizes the final, complete and irreversible nature of this destruction. The smoke of physical destruction of Babylon will eventually cease, but not the spiritual destruction – it lasts for all eternity.
The angels began the song of praise in verse 1 and were joined by the twenty elders and the four living beings, both, you will recall, are angels themselves. Then all believers are commanded to join the song of praise to God. And finally, a voice from Heaven declared the omnipotence of God. Believers in the age in which we live are also commanded to sing and make melodies in their hearts to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:19-20)
The word for praise in Greek is “espainos,” which means approval or commendation. Therefore, when we praise God, we are saying that we approve or commend God (not that He needs our approval or commendation) for all the wonderful things that He has provided for us through His Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible says that there are at least three ways in which we can bring praise to God.
Praise of His glory means that we are praising His attributes and ways, Who and what God is and His character exhibited through Jesus Christ in the life of the advancing believer. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Revelation 19:7-10 speaks of the marriage of the Lamb (Jesus Christ) and the marriage supper of the Lamb. Christ’s bride is the universal Church from the Church Age. As an awaiting bride, she will be adorned in fine, white linen, which represents the righteousness of the believer. Notice also, in verse 14 the armies of the Lord are dressed in the same clothing. It is the believer who will be called to the marriage supper. This may include not only believers from the Church Age, but also friends of the bride, such as Old Testament believers and tribulational believers. (Ephesians 5:23-33)
When a person believes in Jesus Christ as Savior, God the Holy Spirit imputes (credits) God’s own righteousness to that person. The Greek word for impute is “logizomai” and it means “to reckon” or “to take into account.” “Credit to one’s account” is another good rendering of the word from the Greek. God’s righteousness is never achieved as a result of human effort and is completely undeserved. God does not credit His righteousness to the believer because he has earned it or because he deserves it. Like eternal life, God’s righteousness is a gift.
John then falls at the feet of the angel in a position of worship and is rebuked by the angel. The angel sights the fact that he is merely a servant of God like John and a brother to John in the sense that they are both part of God’s family (though in a different way). The angel tells John to worship God because all true prophetic sayings are from God and ultimately about the progressive revelation of Jesus Christ. The angel, like John, was merely a messenger. (I Peter 1:11)
Revelation 19:11-16 describes the Second Coming of Jesus Christ at the end of the Tribulation. There is no question that Jesus Christ has come to execute judgment upon the remaining satanic forces, which include unbelievers. The description of the Person on the white horse is clearly a description of Jesus Christ – faithful, true, righteous judge, eyes of fire, crowns on His head, the name written that no man could understand, clothed in a robe dyed by dipping it in blood and His name is called the Word of God.
Jesus will come with His armies of believers and angels clothed in fine, clean, white linens and they will also be riding white horses. Ready for war, Jesus Christ need only speak the word and nations will be destroyed. He will come to execute the wrath of God through fierce battle. And, He will destroy His enemies with a rod of iron and tread them down in battle. He is the Kings of kings and the Lord of lords and no one can stand against Him.
Revelation 19:17-21 describes the Battle of Armageddon. It will be the final battle for those upon the earth during the Tribulation. The angel will cry with a loud voice and gather the birds to feast upon the dead after the Battle of Armageddon is complete. The Anti-Christ and the False Prophet will be seized and cast into the Lake of Fire. The remaining unbelievers will be destroyed by Jesus Christ and the birds will eat their flesh.
At salvation all judgment is removed from the believer. Faith in Christ removes all condemnation. Christ was judged in our place and therefore the believer will not be judged. The word for judge in Greek is “krino” and means to sentence or to condemn. At physical birth every member of the human race is condemned because of Adam’s original sin. This condemnation can be removed only by faith in Christ. He took our condemnation (judgment) on the Cross and paid the penalty that was demanded by the justice of God. (John 3:18; Romans 8:1)
The word for sin in Greek is “hamartia” and literally means, “missing the mark.” There are three types of sin in the Bible. Imputed sin is Adam’s original sin imputed to the entire human race at physical birth. It is this sin that separates us from God (spiritual death). (Romans 5:12, 6:23; I Corinthians 15:21-22) Inherent sin is the sin nature inherited at physical birth by every member of the human race passed down genetically by the father. (Romans 5:12,18,19; Psalms 51:5) Personal sin is not imputed to the human race, but is committed after physical birth because of the sin nature and personal volition. (Psalms 32:2; Romans 4:8; II Corinthians 5:19)
Adam’s original sin results in two types of death: physical death, which is the separation of the soul from the body and spiritual death, which is separation from God for all eternity. This means that the human race lacks the righteousness necessary to have a relationship with God or to enter Heaven. (Romans 3:23; Isaiah 64:6) Inherent sin is the sin nature, which resides in the cell structure (flesh) of every human being. A person is not a sinner because he commits personal sin; he sins because he possesses a sin nature. (Romans 5:19; James 1:13-15) Personal sin results from succumbing to temptation from the sin nature. Every person chooses to sin from his or her own volition. (Romans 7:15-20; I John 1:8-10)
The Scriptures are clear that physical death and spiritual death are results of Adam’s original sin. Therefore, Jesus Christ had to die both physically and spiritually on the Cross. It was Christ’s death on the Cross that paid the penalty for Adam’s original sin. This judgment satisfied the justice of God and faith in Christ secures forgiveness forever. The Bible says, “In Adam all die, but in Christ shall all be made alive.” (I Corinthians 15:22) “Death” in this passage refers to spiritual death and “alive” means spiritually alive. Physical death could also be in view here since faith in Christ as Savior assures the believer a glorified body for all eternity.
Christ also paid the penalty for inherent sin. The power of sin in the life of a believer can be broken, but only on the basis of Christ’s payment for inherent sin. Positionally, the believer is secure forever since he possesses eternal life and is kept by the power of God. However, experientially the believer still possesses a sin nature. (John 3:16; Romans 8:8-10; II Corinthians 5:17)
Since the sin nature is not eradicated at salvation, the believer continues to sin. (Romans 8; I John 1:8-10) These sins are called personal sins and were also imputed to Christ and judged. At salvation personal sins are forgiven and forgotten by God. (I John 2:2; Ephesians 1:7) However, there must be a solution to post-salvation sinning. God, in His magnificent way, has provided the solution. After salvation, the believer simply names, admits, or acknowledges his personal sin directly to God and is forgiven and cleansed. Not only does He forgive the sins we name, He cleanses from any unknown or forgotten sins. (I John 1:5-10)
Jesus Christ was judged for all sin, imputed, inherent and personal. He paid the penalty by His substitutionary spiritual death on the Cross. (Matthew 27:26; John 19:30) Forgiveness of sin means deliverance from the penalty of sin and the complete removal of sin. The word in Greek for forgiveness is “aphiemi” and means “to send forth” or “to send away”; a perfect description of what God does with our sin.
The good news for any believer, even in the Tribulation, is that he will never be judged for his sins. He will, however, be evaluated at the Judgment Seat of Christ regarding the things he did as a believer (execution of the spiritual life, etc.)