REVELATION

Chapter 19



With Chapter 19 begins the conclusion of this extraordinary vision that was given to John.  A vision that foretells the end of Satan and the minions he controls. 

At this point in the narration by John, the great prostitute of religion and idolatry has been destroyed never to rise again, and we are now, in the next few chapters, told how that old dragon, the instigator of all the havoc brought on mankind, is done away with also. 

However, even thought Satan is still functioning at this point in the explanation by God, of His plan concerning mankind in the stream of Biblical time, it is also a period of great rejoicing in the spiritual realm of God.

Again let us remind all that Revelation is symbolic.  The symbolism represents events predicted in the past, most of which have already occurred; even so, we are now in this chapter into prophecy that is yet to unfold.  Perhaps it would be easier to understand the symbolism of Revelation with the memorial of the last supper.  When you eat the bread and drink the wine, the bread and wine do not actually turn into flesh and blood; however, they do represent or symbolize the literal actual flesh and blood that was sacrificed by the only begotten Son of God here on earth.  In other words, the symbolism relates to an actual event, which is not only spiritual but physical as well.

Chapter eighteen has just told us of the time still to come when Babylon the great is to be destroyed, and chapter nineteen carries on from there.  It should be noted that what is about to be explained is happening at the same time Babylon the Great is being destroyed.  But for the sake of clarity each is spoken of separately.

Rev 19:1

After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, NIV

 

  This is the same great multitude that no one can number in heaven. They are not strangers to us, for we have heard from them twice before in chapters 7 and 14 of Revelation.

Rev 7:9-10

9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

10 And they cried out in a loud voice:  "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." NIV

But this time the great heavenly multitude are singing out praises for a different reason:

Rev 19:2

For true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants."  NIV

The saints that were beheaded for the word of God they preached when on the earth, had been told to wait a bit longer for the vengeance or vindication of the word of God.  It has been all along the vindication of God’s word, which was the vengeance they have been seeking.  But now with the destruction of Babylon the Great, they do not have to wait any longer.  For God “…has avenged on her the blood of his servants."  Now the saints that died for the word of God have been avenged, because that word has been proven to be the word of the Almighty, and it is that word that causes the destruction of Satan.  

Rev 19:3

And again they shouted: "Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever." NIV

 Does “The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever” mean that the fire that destroyed her burns eternally?  Yes, but like everything else in Revelation, it means it will burn forever in a symbolic manner!  The fire will symbolically burn forever because the fire that destroyed the great prostitute was truth, and truth will ever be present in the Kingdom of God, and that truth will always be the fiery truth of refinement, and therefore always be present; which is what "the smoke goes up forever" means.

Rev 19:4

The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: "Amen, Hallelujah!" NIV

Notice that the four beasts or angels are now referred to as four living creatures.  This is because they have been clearly identified as angels of God (see Ezekiel) and they represent the wind or actions of the Almighty on the earth concerning all its inhabitants.  The Almighty, upon all who exist on the earth, is now bestowing life liberally.  Also notice that they, the four living creatures, along with the 24 elders worship God, “Who was seated on the throne.”

Now again, we hear from the voice of him who sits on the right hand of the Almighty. This is the same voice that we heard in  

Rev 18:4

Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; NIV

We learned then that this is the voice of the Son who sits on the right hand of the Almighty and who directs this wrath of God. So this voice that we have already shown as Christ is now saying

Rev 19:5

Then a voice came from the throne, saying: "Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!"  NIV

If it seems strange to you that Christ is referring to His Father as "His God" as He sits at the right hand of His Father, then take notice that He does this throughout Revelation.  In fact, He spoke of His Father as "His God" four times in one verse in an earlier chapter of Revelation.

Rev 3:12

Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. NIV

From slave to king, that voice of Christ is telling us to worship His father… His and our God!

“Praise our God”

Rev 19:6

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah!  For our Lord God Almighty reigns!  NIV

 

Again we hear from the great multitude that uncountable number of faithful and true Christians praising in loud shouts that herald… Hallelujah, God Almighty reigns.

Why are they saying that God Almighty reigns when Christ was given that authority as Lord of Lords and King of Kings? 

Eph 1:22-23

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,

23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.  NIV

Why did God place all things under the reign of His only begotten Son?  The answer to that is in the next verse and the key to that verse is “to reconcile to himself all things”

Col 1:19-20

19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,

20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. NIV

When you accept the Son and the sacrifice He made for us, you accept the Father, and, through the acceptance of the Father and the Son, you gain a spiritual peace even now today in this world that at present is still controlled by Satan.

It speaks of the Almighty reigning in verse 6 of this chapter in Revelation because of our old friend time.  For the Bible here, is speaking of things that God said, at the beginning of Revelation that must take place, which includes the battle of Armageddon at the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ. After that final testing time, the Son will return to His father what His Father has given to His Son, so that God Almighty can be all things to all men.

1 Cor 15:24-28

24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.

25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

27 For he "has put everything under his feet." (Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ.)

28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

NIV

Now unless you assume that Christ is to destroy “all dominion, authority and power” in heaven, then it is obvious this applies to the earth.

"The last enemy to be destroyed is death" verifies what was just said for death is prevalent on the earth not in heaven.  Now to those that believe that the universe will be destroyed, ask yourself why God would destroy something His Son reigns over when there are no enemies left.  Why God would destroy something he was very pleased with when He created it.  Why he would destroy something he has gone to great trouble to reconcile to Himself.

Gen 1:31

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day.  NIV  

Col 1:20

“…and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven,”

                                                                                                                                                                           

But most of all you should ask yourself… Did God have to alter His plans and destroy the universe because of something man did?  If that were so, that would make man so powerful that God Almighty had to give up something He was very pleased with because of an act of two people and an a fallen angel.  It would also mean that God's original plan was faulty to begin with, which is exactly the reason Satan wants you to believe this.  None of which is true, and in spite of that kind of foolishness, God's plan was, like everything else He does, perfect from the start and needed no alteration because of anything either man or angel did or could do.

The universe had a distinct purpose to begin with, and will continue to serve that purpose as long as God exists.  The reason this earth was placed in the universe was to supply a home for mankind to perpetuate their species for the sole purpose of supplying spiritual sons that would be adopted by God from that earth.  Now because of this we are taken back, in the next verse, to the beginning of that all-inclusive powerful reign of the Son.

Rev 19:7

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!  For the wedding of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready. NIV

The bride, spoken of here, represents the true faithful followers of Christ down through the ages.  We know this because the next verse tells us so.

Rev 19:8

Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear."  (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) NIV

Notice they are referred to as saints (all true Christians are referred to as saints in the Bible) and the fine linen given to them means they are recognized as having performed righteous acts.  At this point it should be noted that there is a difference between people or beings without sin and people or beings that are righteous.  We are without sin by the action of Christ, not by the actions of ourselves.  On the other hand, those that have proven themselves righteous do so because they followed the teachings of Christ to the letter.  To understand what is being said here, think of Abraham who was considered righteous because of his perfect faith.  Abraham’s righteousness had nothing to do with sin, but had all to do with pure faith.  If our faith is pure, then it is righteous, and we cannot sin anymore.

1 John 3:8-9

No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. NIV

In fact why don’t we look at this scripture within the context of the whole statement being made about righteousness? 

1 John 3:7-10

7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.

8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work.

9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.

10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother NIV

Now it is common for people to say we cannot be perfect because we weren’t born perfect.  Well we weren’t born doctors either, does that mean we can’t learn to be doctors?  We weren’t born with a love for our brothers either; does that mean we cannot learn to love our brothers?

Concerning this love of ones brother Christ said…

Matt 5:48

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. NIV

If it were true, that because we were born imperfect in an imperfect world, we couldn’t be spiritually perfect, would Christ have told us to be so?  It is for this reason that the messenger of God says, in the next verse…

Rev 19:9

Then the angel said to me, "Write:  Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" And he added, "These are the true words of God." NIV

“These are the true words of God."  The whole Bible is the true words of God.  Why then is this angel saying this at this time?  He is focusing on the true words of God because he is pointedly telling us that no one can crash this wedding!  You cannot get in to this wedding unless you have an invitation.  You cannot get in unless you have oil in your lamp, which we will shortly read of in Matthew chapter 25.  It is because that John realizes what he is being told by this messenger from God that he does the following.

Rev 19:10

At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." NIV

Now it is obvious why the angel is telling John to worship only God.  But he is also saying that he is a fellow servant of God, and as such, he is telling John to recognize that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”  For an explanation of this let us first reread:

Rev 19:7

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!  For the wedding of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready. NIV

And now let us couple that with Rev 21:2

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.  NIV

It is clear that these two scriptures are speaking of the same thing… the bride of Christ.  Now let us look at the parable of the ten virgins.  This parable from Christ, concerns the prophesy of who will be the ones that make up that bride.

Mt 25:1

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. KJV

Notice that Matthew is accenting the kingdom of heaven. 

In ancient times, weddings began with a feast at the brides home; then she followed her husband to her new home, and the parable is about ten virgins that carried lamps to make sure they did not lose their husbands in the dark.  That it is speaking of ten virgins means they are alike, sisters in virginity, which is speaking of them as being innocent and not being corrupt to start with.  We could therefore view them as all being Christian. 

Matt 25:2

And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. KJV

Becoming a Christian does not stop one from being foolish.

Matt 25:3

They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: KJV

In other words, they did not store up for themselves treasures in heaven, which is another parable from Christ that has bearing on this parable.

Matt 25:4

But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

The wise took extra oil with them and were prepared for a wait or delay.  Listen to what our Lord has told us concerning this.

Matt 6:20-23

20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.

23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!  NIV

Or as Paul said…keep your eye on the prize.  But let us return to the parable of the 10 virgins.

Matt 25:5

While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. KJV

There is of course a very good reason that the time for this wedding appears to be delayed, for we see time far differently then God does. However, it is mainly because The Almighty wants everyone to come under his wing.

2 Peter 3:8-12

8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. KJV

Notice God wants everyone to be given a chance “to come to repentance” He has commanded us to forgive 7 times 70, why would He do less?

But why, one might ask, would this wedding be in the middle of the night, so that there would be those that fall asleep or slumber while waiting for the groom?  The reason has been declared by the word of God, for it clearly tells us… “…The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night;” KJV (2 Peter 3:10) Does this mean that Christ will literally come at night?  No, and remember the parable of the ten virgins is just that a parable.  A parable is a story with a moral behind it. Parables are not to be taken literally.  Understanding this let us continue with this parable concerning the bride of Christ.

Matt 25:6-9

6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

8 And the foolish said unto the wise, give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.

9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

This is why Christ said at this time there would be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Those that were waiting for this day find they are not prepared for it, for they have ignored the warnings given. Their hearts were not on the treasure they had.

Matt 25:10-13

10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

And while we are waiting, we must do so as true Christians following the commands of Christ and doing our best to be perfect in spiritual righteousness like His father.  Only then can we be sure of the oil in our lamps.  Only then can we be sure the door will not be closed to us.

Rev 3:7

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. NIV

Can we be sure of this?  Yes we can, because we have been told so. Christ states, in the letter the above scripture is from, that for those that follow his commands he has placed an open door.  Not only that, he goes on to say…

Rev 3:10

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.  NIV

He does this by resurrecting them to heaven, which would mean they would be exempt from the consequences of the battle of Armageddon, the battle that represents the final test of mankind on earth. 

Rev 20:6

Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and will reign with Christ for a thousand years.  NIV

One might take note here that being a holy nation of priests is the promise that was given to Israel by God to begin with.

Ex 19:5-6

5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,

6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' these are the words you are to speak to the Israelites." NIV

Well, it is argued, that was a promise to Israel under the old covenant.  What makes anyone think it applies to Christians under a new covenant?  Peter answers that:

1 Peter 2:9-10

9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.  NIV

That mercy is the promise of eternal life, even though as a sinner, you were condemned to death under the curse applied to the earth when Adam and Eve rebelled against God.

So here again the family of God in Rev 20:6 are being told the same thing, that they…

“Will be priests of God…” not only that but they “Reign with Christ for a thousand years.” Well, the question that arises with that statement is, reign with Christ over what?  Where!

This is explained in the next verse of Revelation 19:

Rev 19:11

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. NIV

“With justice he judges and makes war.” Obviously Christ is not going to make war against the righteous in heaven, so it has to apply to those on the earth.  Since the first resurrection refers to those that are resurrected directly to heaven as spiritual brothers of Christ, then Rev 3:10 would clearly be so, for they would have already passed the test.

Rev 3:10

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. NIV

Who is going to be tested?  The scripture above tell us…“The whole world to test those who live on the earth.”

This first resurrection by the way began right after Christ was resurrected.

Matt 27:50-53

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.

52 The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.

53 They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.  NIV

Notice verse 52 above.  This is Matthew telling us the events at the moment of death of Christ.  Christ had told us all along that the kingdom of heaven was near.  He instructed His apostles to preach, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near”.   It surely was… and the saints began to rise to eternal life at the moment assigned, which was right after the resurrection of Christ just as was promised by our Lord. At the moment that Christ was resurrected, the New Heaven began.  What was new about it?  What was new was that it had a new ruler assigned by the Almighty who we know is the Son of God.

This is why we, that are alive today, have such a special opportunity in that we can become spiritual brothers of this ruler whom the Almighty has deemed worthy to perform that function as king and eternal high priest.

Rev 19:12

His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. NIV

If you recall, we are again seeing the rider who was sent forth with a crown conquering and to conquer.  He is that conquerer, He is the eternal High Priest, He is the one that brought salvation, He is the one that brought the final law of grace along with the new covenant, He is the king of the kingdom of God, all these and more are the crowns he wears.

We are now taken into the final battle of all this, which is known in the Bible as Armageddon.  More will be explained about this battle in Revelation, but this chapter is summarizing it for us and showing who will lead this battle for the creator.

Rev 19:13

He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. NIV

“He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood…” because His blood represents or symbolizes the purification that his blood brought to those that believe in and follow him.

Rev 19:14

The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. NIV

When Peter attacked the servant that was sent to arrest Christ and cut off his ear, Christ stopped Peter and healed the ear of that servant.  He said to Peter:

Matt 26:52-53

52 "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.

53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? NIV

Twelve legions are 60 thousand angels, folks.  That is far more than enough, considering that a single angel would have been quite sufficient to do the job.  However, the point here is that Christ is telling Peter and all other Christians that battle as we see warfare is not what is intended by the Almighty.  We see this verified by the next verse.

Rev 19:15

Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. NIV

Again this is not something new, but something we have been told in the Bible would take place.  We were told this way back in Daniel.

Dan 2:44-45

44 "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.

45 This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands- a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.

"The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy."  NIV

The iron scepter in Rev 19:15 represents the commands of God, and we are being told he will enforce this for all mankind.  That, “He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty” is reiterating the fact that Christ is the one that carries out this wrath.

Rev 6:16

And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand

Rev 19:16

On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. NIV

This verse is to make sure that everyone knows it is the “Only begotten Son of God” that is leading this final battle against Satan and all he has established.  For the system Satan has so carefully put together over the ages, is about to be completely destroyed.

Rev 19:17

And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, "Come, gather together for the great supper of God, NIV

That this angel is standing in the sun means he is about to carry out an order from God concerning the earth and its inhabitants.  We should be used to this association in Revelation, for when angels are about to do something on the earth they are related to the earth in some way such as…

Rev 10:1

Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven. He was robed in a cloud, with a rainbow above his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs were like fiery pillars. NIV

Now this angel in Rev 19:17 is calling out to all the birds of the earth to gather together for a great feast.  Since verse 17 ends in a comma, lets put it together with verse 18, because they both are the same thought.

Rev 19:18

so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great." NIV

The birds represent nature, the glory of the created earth swallowing up the last remnants of Satan’s system or world.  For we are being told here of the end of Satan and his world and all that he has put together.

Rev 19:19

Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. NIV

Who is this beast? 

Rev 12:9

The great dragon was hurled down-that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. NIV 

So we can see it is Satan and all the forces on earth that he controls, the kings their armies, and all the supposed mighty men of the earth.  Everyone in Satan’s camp, both great and small are part of the beast spoken of in the Bible.

Rev 19:20

But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. NIV 

The false prophet spoken of above is the great harlot Babylon the Great, which we have seen in a previous chapter, was destroyed. 

Do not be confused with time here for all these events are actually happening in the same space of time, but they are being related separately so we can be aware of the fate of each.

Rev 19:21

The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. NIV

It can be pointed out here that “The sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse,” is the sword of truth we learned of in previous chapters.  It is the sword that cuts to the heart of any matter.

Who are “The rest of them” that are cut down with this sword?  They are the kings, the armies, the mighty men etc.  But they also include another group not mentioned.  That group is those that thought they could sit on the fence and not commit themselves one way or the other.  The point here is… there is no fence.  You are either in the camp of the Almighty, as part of his family, or you are in Satan’s camp.  Let us repeat what was just said…

There is no fence to sit on.

Luke 11:23

"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters." NIV



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