Rev. 19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:
Rev. 19:2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
“After these things” – After the pouring out of the final judgments and the revelation of the destruction of Babylon
This chapter opens with a great praise and worship service in heaven in celebration of the destruction of Babylon in consequence of her evil influence on man throughout millennia through the deceptions of the false religions she birthed.
John hears a great voice (indicates that the sound is in unison) of much (a very large number) people in heaven. That is a real comfort considering the words of Jesus recorded in Matthew.
Matthew 7:13–14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
Although few relative to the whole will make it to heaven, there will be a great number of people who do respond in faith to God’s provision for them and who reject the deceptions of Satan. The voices of the believing multitude are unified in spirit as they give praise to the “Lord our God.”
“Alleluia” – an adoring exclamation
“salvation” – rescue, deliverance, safety, health (physically or morally)
“glory” – very apparent glory, dignity, honour, praise, worship
“honour” – value, esteem of the highest degree, dignity itself, precious
“power” – force, miraculous power, ability, abundance, strength, violence, mighty/wonderful work
“Lord” – supreme in authority, controller, Master (as a respectful title)
“God” – the supreme deity
This multitude of the redeemed are expressing verbally in the best terms they know their adoration, thankfulness, worship and recognition of God as their Savior and Master.
“true” – true (as not concealing)—as opposed to hidden, ignorance or lack of awareness
“righteous” – equitable (in character or act), innocent, holy, just
“equitable” – fair, unbiased, impartial
They go on to affirm God’s actions/judgments regarding the “great whore” (Babylon) and avenging the blood of his servants “at her hand.” He didn’t conceal His judgment. He was totally aware of her actions all along, contrary to the impressions of many on earth throughout history. This makes me think of the verses in 2 Peter 3:3-4: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
He was totally fair and unbiased, holy and just in His judgment. Those judged brought that judgment upon themselves. They made the choice to reject God and His provision for them.
John 3:17-19 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
What does it mean to avenge something? To retaliate for unjust treatment; to carry out justice. Webster’s puts it this way: “to exact satisfaction for by punishing the injuring party; to vindicate by inflicting pain or evil on a wrongdoer.”
This brings back to mind the pleas of those under the altar in Rev. 6:10-11 – And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
Again, it jumps out that they weren’t rebuked for wanting vengeance to be taken. It was a right attitude because they were expecting that vengeance to come from God; they weren’t expecting to accomplish it for themselves. The true servants of God/Jesus had suffered, and many were killed under the authority and direction of the leaders of false religion that found its roots in the power and deception of Satan.
Rev. 19:3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.
This verse is just an exclamation point to the truth of the previous verses. Those in heaven want to emphasize their love and adoration for their Savior and King.
“her smoke rose up” – Who and what is this referring to? Babylon, the great whore, the smoke of her judgment (from hell) will be there for eternity. This brings back to mind the verses in chapter 14 – Rev. 14:10-11 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Again, I take comfort in the fact that this constant reminder of judgment, which may include some of our loved ones, is for the eyes of the Lamb and the holy angels. I think we are going to be so absorbed in our relationship and service to our Father and Savior that we will be oblivious to any type of distraction.
Rev. 19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
John reminds us of the 24 elders and the four creatures whose purpose it is to worship God before the throne continually. This is definitely an appropriate time for that praise and worship. They are giving their exclamation point to the praise expressed by the multitude of the redeemed.
Rev. 19:5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
John then hears a voice emanating from the throne that encourages ALL God’s servants, those that fear Him, to praise Him. The voice is not identified. He says, “Praise our God.” The owner of the voice claims God as his own God as well as the God of those who are His servants and those that fear Him.
What does it mean to “praise” God? According to Webster’s, it is:
Who is being encouraged to express their praise? “His servants (slaves by choice).” The use of the word “and” indicates another group of people—those who “fear Him.” This is all happening in heaven; Christ hasn’t departed for His glorious appearing yet. This seems to indicate that although all those in heaven have been justified by faith, not all those in heaven chose to yield themselves as “servants” to God.
1Corinthians 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
“Both small and great” seems to refer to the status or esteem in which these people were regarded while on earth; however, it is more likely a reference to heavenly consideration in context.
“ye that fear him” - This is a subject I have thought about from time to time. It would seem that this person was busy and active, yet none of his works passed the test of being performed “as unto the Lord.” It would seem that they were done “as unto self.” That is something from which I often ask the Lord to protect me. I am so prideful. It is something I have to guard against constantly. I enjoy praise and appreciation. My desire is to be God’s vessel, to be used wherever He can use me for His glory, and to serve Him from a pure heart without thought to self. I so want to have treasure to place at His feet to show my love and gratitude for His sacrifice and provision for me.
Rev. 19:6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Rev. 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Now John describes another voice--one that He is trying to describe to us with comparisons as indicated by the words “as it were” and “as.” This voice is described as the sound of a “great multitude,” as the “voice of many waters, and as the “voice of mighty thunderings.” It’s a voice that has been encountered several times in the study of Revelation. The following verses support the thought that this voice is from the Supreme Being, God the Father, honoring the Son.
Psalm 104:7 At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.
Daniel 10:6 His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
Jeremiah 10:10 & 13 But the Lord is the true God, He is the living God….When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.
Jeremiah 51:16 When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth: he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.
The redemption of creation is complete and the “prince of this world” has been defeated. The Son is going to take his rightful place on His earthly throne and rule as King of kings and Lord of lords.
It is time for the public ceremony of the marriage of the Lamb; the bride is prepared and waiting to be revealed. Point is made that she has been granted (“given and received” from the Greek) the privilege of being robed in fine, clean, white linen—evidence of the righteousness bestowed by Jesus upon all believers. I can’t help but be reminded of the words of Isaiah, the encouragement given in the letters to the churches and the vision of the raptured believers before the throne.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Revelation 3:5, 18 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels….I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Revelation 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands….
“Let us” – God the Father will rejoice with the redeemed of the ages and the angels in heaven as His Son takes the position of honor He so richly deserves and publicly reveals His bride, those that are part of “the church.”
The following verse is a description that Paul is using as he shares his heart with the Corinthian believers concerning their relationship to Christ.
2Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
I think one of the most convincing passages to me regarding the church as the bride of Christ is found in Ephesians. Paul is writing to the Ephesian believers regarding their relationship to Christ and states specifically in verse 32 that the truths being presented in the preceding verses regarding husband and wife are applicable to “Christ and the church.”
Ephesians 5:23-32 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
How can the wife make herself ready?
John 6:28-29 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
Acts 13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Colossians 3:12-14 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
2Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
2Peter 1:5-7 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
The beautiful truth is that though there are things we can do to honor the Lord and grow in faith, our righteousness is provided by our Savior, our heavenly husband.
2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
He loves us, has redeemed us, and presents us without blemish before the Father clothed in His own righteousness.
Rev. 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
The bride is given fine linen to wear, pure and white. I love the entry for the word “white.”-- 2986. lampro/ß lampros, lam-prosę; from the same as 2985; radiant; by analogy, limpid; figuratively, magnificent or sumptuous (in appearance):—bright, clear, gay, goodly, gorgeous, white.
This fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. It has nothing to do with our “good” works. This righteousness has been imputed to us by Jesus.
Romans 4:5-7 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Rev. 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
My first instinct was to reference the one speaking to the last voice speaking—which was that of deity, but verse 10 makes it clear that that is not the case. John was specifically instructed to write down the following blessing. Blessed (happy, fortunate, well off) are those who are called (urged, bidden, commanded) to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Since the church is the bride, I conclude that all those invited to the marriage supper are the Old Testament and tribulation saints.
The Greek indicates that this is a costly, expensive meal. Clearly, it is. It required the shed blood of the Savior, the Son of God, as a prerequisite to its ever being held. Then John is assured that all that he has been told is truth from the heart of God.
This is a good point to make note of some of the prophetic insights we can glean from the Jewish wedding ceremony.
The Father chooses the bride.
John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
The bride accepts and loves the groom.
John 16:27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
The law requires a bride price that is paid by the Father and reflects the value of the bride.
1 Corinthians 6:20“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
After the betrothal, the Groom goes to prepare a home for His bride.
John 14:2–3 ….I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
The Father determines when the Groom is to take His bride.
Matthew 24:36–37 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
The bride anticipates the coming of her Groom.
Titus 2:12–13 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ….
Rev. 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
John seems to be overwhelmed by the revelation at this point, so he falls to a position of worship before the messenger. That pictures one of the weaknesses of believers in the church today; we tend to mix up the messenger with the message and the One the message proclaims. The angel is quick to correct John and instruct him to worship God. Oh that those in leadership in our churches today would do the same!
I liked the insight from Chuck Smith’s commentary:
“You see it is a apart of man to need and want to worship something, and man seems to find it easier to worship an object that he can see rather than an object that he cannot see. And so this is the hang-up of man as Paul said in Romans one, "They worshipped and served the creature more than the creator." Man gets hung up and he stops short. He sees the glorious creation of God and he worships the creation, rather than the creator.
And so John is making the same mistake and the angel corrects him and says don't do that. I am a servant of God just like you are. You worship God. And if you are wise and involved in any kind of ministry at all when attention and adulation and these kinds of things come your way, you will be wise as the angel and say, ‘Don't worship me. Worship God.’ God doesn't want you taking credit for the work that He does, receiving glory for His work.”
John Walvoord expressed it well as he commented on the last part of verse 10: “This means that prophecy at its very heart is designed to unfold the beauty and loveliness of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
The messenger explains to John that he is a fellowservant; he serves the same master as John. The speaker also claims the relationship of brother, which would indicate another Jew, except that the Greek indicates that this term can be applied literally or figuratively. The fact that this relationship of brother indicates one that “has the testimony of Jesus” would imply that this speaker could also give personal witness regarding Jesus. The Greek goes on to imply that this speaker could have been a martyr for his testimony.
Then John is told that the testimony (or witness or record of truth) about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (foretelling). This is a truth that was stated by the prophets as well as by Jesus.
Isaiah 46:9-10 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
Isaiah 48:5 I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.
John 13:19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.
John 14:29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
Rev. 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
John now sees heaven open and a rider emerge astride a white horse. He recognizes the rider. It is He who is called Faithful and True (trustworthy and transparent), the One who comes in righteousness to judge and make war—for all the morally correct reasons that He embodies as God. This can only be Jesus and is supported by the scriptures below.
John 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.
Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
2Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.
Rev. 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God.
Jesus is returning to judge those on planet earth and to “make war” with Satan and his armies. I really liked a quote I found attributed to Merrill Tenney: “Because He is faithful He must discharge His office as judge, not shrinking from the administration of discipline or punishment where it is needed. Because He is true He cannot alter the standards of God which condemn sin. Favoritism and laxity cannot be found in Him, for He is the perfect administrator of justice in a world where injustice has long since reigned. . . . The meekness of Calvary and the sternness of Armageddon may seem inconsistent, but wherever sin exists, they may both be found.”
Rev. 19:12 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, but he himself.
As John continues to describe the returning King, John compares His eyes to a flame of fire; He is angry with righteous anger and intense with purpose. I loved the comments Tony Garland made in his commentary regarding the eyes of Jesus.
“His eyes are singled out as being like a flame of fire. This evokes the image of a gaze which instantly pierces the deepest darkness to lay bear all sin. It is a reference to His omniscience, omnipresence, and judgment. There is no evil activity of men which Jesus does not see. There is no den of iniquity so dark that Jesus is not there. There is no work of man which will go unjudged by His piercing gaze. Truly, God is an all-consuming fire.”
Psalms 90:8 “Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.”
Job 34:21–22 “For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.”
Hebrews 12:28–29 “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.”
John also notes that He is wearing a wreath of many crowns and displays a name that only He knows—a special name between Father and Son. The Greek indicates that this name is a descriptive title concerning His authority and character that is gratifying and joyous.
Philippians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
What a contrast to the man that was mocked with a crown of thorns, beaten to a pulp and murdered on a cross. He will return on a magnificent horse as a mighty conqueror wearing a royal circlet of crowns proclaiming His power and authority.
Rev. 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
I think it is significant to note that John describes Jesus when He appears as wearing a garment that is soaked and stained with blood. I think it represents His own shed blood as well as the blood of all those who died as martyrs for their faith in Him. The prophet Isaiah adds a bit more information.
Isaiah 63:1–3 Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.
This seems to indicate that Jesus indeed goes first to Bozrah to deliver the believing remnant who have been under His protection there for the last 3.5 years of the tribulation before proceeding on to the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem to face the armies of Satan and Antichrist.
“His name is called The Word of God,” Jesus, the sole source of our deliverance.
John 1:1&14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Jesus is God in flesh—fully God and fully man.
Rev. 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
Jesus is not alone; He is followed by the armies of heaven. They are dressed in fine linen, white and clean. What a stark contrast to the garment of the Captain of their faith. At this point, I cannot discount any of the servants of God in heaven as part of this army—angels or redeemed ones.
Zechariah 14:5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
1Thessalonians 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
Jude 1:14–15 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (The Greek references a “myriad” or indefinite number.)
Who are the saints? Verse 8 above indicates that those who comprise the church, the bride of Christ, are some of them. Paul affirms this in his letter to Colosse.
Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Note the stark contrast between the garment worn by the LORD Jesus and the armies of heaven. It is very clear that we are there as witnesses only to His victory. The battle is His alone. Zechariah’s prophecy was clear in declaring that the battle belongs to the LORD.
Zechariah 14:2–3 “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.”
Zechariah also emphasizes that it is God who has gathered all the nations to battle. The Antichrist just thinks he is in control.
Rev. 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
What is the Lord’s weapon of choice? His word. The only weapon necessary in this battle is the spoken word of the Son of God.
Isaiah 11:3–4 “And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.”
2 Thessalonians 2:8 “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming….”
It is more powerful than any force that could ever be developed by man. It is God’s word that upholds and sustains creation.
Hebrews 1:1–3 “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power….”
Who is He going to smite with His sword? The heathen nations that have allied themselves with the Antichrist.
The next phrase says He will “rule them with a rod of iron.” The Greek for the word rule means “tend as a shepherd.” The shepherd’s rod was used to control the entry to the sheepfold for process of counting, examining, and protecting; only those that belong to Him will be allowed to enter His kingdom. This means that there will be those who belong to Him caught up in this battle.
I think this is what Jesus is referencing as recorded by Matthew.
Matthew 25:31–34 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world….”
“Treading the winepress” pictures a judgment against His enemies. The winepress was used to completely pulverize the grapes in order to collect the juice from which wine was made. This is a picture of righteous judgment of intense and fierce passion, punishment and vengeance on the part of Almighty God—the absolute and universal sovereign, the Omnipotent.
Rev. 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
John completes his description of the returning King by telling us that the garment Jesus is wearing is engraved or emblazoned with His name—KING of kings and LORD of lords. This title emphasizes that there is only one King and one Lord of heaven and earth—Jesus.
Rev. 19:17 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 midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
Rev. 19:18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
John sees an angel “standing in the sun.” When I looked at the Greek, it would make better sense to me to say that he saw an angel standing in a great light in the east. He is issuing an invitation to the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven to come to a great supper of the flesh of dead men and horses. It sounds awful unless you are a carnivorous bird. It is also a statement being made before the battle is ever fought—in fact, it is a declaration of victory before the fact. “Supper” indicates “the chief meal (usually in the evening); feast.” God is the one hosting/serving the meal. This meal will include the flesh of kings, captains, mighty men, horses, soldiers, free men and slaves, small and large. The angel standing in the sun sounds like it could be indicating a morning announcement to an evening meal.
These verses seem to go hand in hand with the following verses from Ezekiel. (See journal on Ezekiel 39.)
Ezekiel 39:17-20 And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.
Yes, these verses in Ezekiel are in the latter part of the two chapters that detail the attack against Israel by the armies of Gog. Personally, I believe this attack will probably precede the seven-year tribulation period. However, I believe that verse 17 marks a jump in time to the final battle of the Armageddon campaign—similar to Isaiah 61:1-2, the passage that Jesus read from in the synagogue in Nazareth. He stopped reading at a comma that has represented almost 2000 years at this point in time. Revelation 19:17-18 seems to be a mirror passage to this one in Ezekiel—though not as detailed. As you can see, the next verse in Ezekiel (v21) declares that this sacrifice is followed by God “setting His glory among the heathen.”
Ezekiel 39:21–22 “And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.”
Verse 22 adds that the house of Israel will know without a shadow of a doubt that the LORD is their God from that day forward. I believe that is a reference to the new heart that God gives them when Jesus returns to establish His kingdom.
Ezekiel 36:26–28 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.”
I believe this is the truth that Paul was referencing in his letter to the Romans.
Romans 11:26–27 “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”
Rev. 19:19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
John then views the beast, the antichrist, and the kings/rulers on earth, and their armies gathered together to make war against the Kings of kings and Lord of lords and His armies. Where have they gathered for battle? In the Valley of Armageddon.
Revelation 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Rev. 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Rev. 19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
I think it is significant to note that no record is made of actual conflict. The first recorded act of this conflict is the capture of the beast and the false prophet immediately followed by their being thrown alive into the “lake of fire burning with brimstone.” You would think that this would mean their total destruction, but Rev. 20:10 indicates that they will continue in a state of tormented existence for eternity. Daniel supports the fact of the beast being cast into fire.
Daniel 7:11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
It stood out to me that the torment of hell will not be to the physical body; that will be destroyed. It will be the torment of the essence of one’s being—the soul and spirit.
The really sad part is that this pair had been able to deceive so many into receiving the mark of the beast and worshipping him. They had the choice of believing the truth or the deception, and they chose the deception—just like Eve did. How did these deceived people meet their end? By the sword proceeding out of Jesus’ mouth—His Word. The victory is God’s alone; not one of His soldiers had to lift a finger. They just accompanied Him in victory.
John also makes the point that it is the false prophet that is primarily responsible for deceiving those that had taken the mark of the beast and worshipped his image with the miracles he was able to perform. I think that this is a truth that many in the church today tend to ignore. The prevalent school of thought today is that “seeing is believing.” Satan and his forces are well aware of that weakness as a point of attack to deceive people and move forward their agenda. Scripture is everywhere clear that our fight is against spiritual forces that can perform miracles and lying wonders.
Deuteronomy 13:1–3 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
2 Thessalonians 2:7–10 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2 Corinthians 11:13–15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
Note that Paul was very clear in telling the Thessalonians that the mystery of iniquity was already at work in their day. I believe that these works will continue to manifest themselves more openly as the time for the end approaches.
Hebrews 10:24–25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
No one knows the day or hour of the return of Jesus, but we are certainly expected to understand the time of its approach.
Hebrews 10:24–25 “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
Personally, I think Satan has an even greater understanding than we do.