Revelation 19

 

                                      The King Triumphant

 

The great conflict of the ages is almost over.  Babylon is gone forever, and the nations

of the ungodly are retreating to their final stand at Armageddon.  The dragon and the

beast and the false prophet are themselves en route to lead their followers into the last

great battle of the long warfare between heaven and hell.  They have dispatched their

legions of wicked spirits (ch.16:13-14) to gather all the kings of the earth and their

armies to the climactic confrontation at the great day of God Almighty.  The hordes

are assembling in the tremendous column extending across Israel, from Armageddon

to Edom, and there have already been sieges and skirmishes throughout the land,

especially at Jerusalem (see discussion on ch.14:18-20).  Preparations for the battle are

also underway in the heavens.  The holy angels are there, and the raptured saints are

there, and all have been watching the terrible judgments on the earth, knowing that

they very soon will also march forth to follow their King as He returns to earth.

John, in the spirit, is also there.  After observing and recording all the awful plagues

on earth, and then the final fiery holocaust at Babylon, it is with great relief that he

turns now to see the heavenly throng, exulting and rejoicing at the throne of God in

the temple in the city in the heavens.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

Chapters 19 and 20 bring the climax of the Book of Revelation: the return of Christ to

establish His Earthly Kingdom.  But first, the first five verses show heaven's response

to the judgment of the harlot.  The multitude in heaven praises God for judging the

great whore (Babylon, the harlot) and avenging the blood of the martyrs (7:9-17).

The word Alleluia is the Greek equivalent of Hallelujah, and means "Praise Yahweh"

or "Praise the Lord" (Psalms 106; 111-113; 117;135; 146-150). The eternal smoke

symbolizes the permanence of Babylon's destruction (Isaiah 34:8-10). Amen derives

from a Hebrew word meaning "to be firm," and may be translated "truly" or "so be it."

This chapter is one of the most dramatic in all the Bible. In it, the Church, the Bride of

Christ, is the guest of honor at the marriage of the Lamb in heaven (v.1-10) and returns

with Christ in His triumphal Second Coming (v.11-21). It is the only chapter in the New

Testament where this word "Alleluia" is found, and it appears four times. The people

mentioned here are distinct from the other beings in heaven, for they are singing a song

that includes mention of salvation. This scene incorporates believers-the Old Testament

saints, the Church age saints, and the Tribulation saints. Together they join this great

chorus proclaiming. "Alleluia!"  The scene now shifts from the earth where it has been

since chapter 6, to heaven.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

1 “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:” 

And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying;

after these things I heard, as it were, a great voice of a great multitude, etc. The

usual introduction to a new phase of a vision (see ch. 4:1, etc.). The “great voice,”

as usual, characteristic of the heavenly utterances (see ch.5:2, etc.). Again, we are

not told whose the utterance is. It may well be that of all the heavenly inhabitants

and saints in glory (compare ch. 7:9). As usual in the Apocalypse, at the termination

of a description of the last judgment comes the triumphant song of the heavenly

host (compare ch.7:9-17; 11:17). Thus the account of the conflict between God

and the devil, which was begun in ch. 12., is here concluded at v. 8; after which

the narrative takes a fresh departure, once more returning, as it were, to the

beginning, and tracing anew this warfare. The remaining portion of the book

is analogous to the latter part of Ezekiel. Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and

honor, and power, unto the Lord our God; Hallelujah; the salvation and the

glory and the power belong to our God. Η τιμή - hae timae - the honor -  found

in several cursives, is omitted in א A, B, C, P, etc. So also with the word

“Lord.” Hallelujah — “Praise ye Jehovah” — is found in Psalm 135:1

and elsewhere. It is translated in v. 5 of this chapter, as is John’s

custom (see on ch.9:11). It has been remarked that the word

“Hallelujah” is chiefly used in connection with the punishment of the

wicked; in which manner it is also used here. (For a similar ascription of

praise, see ch.4:11, etc.)

 

In the last chapter, we saw the terrible destruction of commercial and political Babylon

symbolized by its capital city of Babylon. Now the scene totally changes to heaven.

We hear the voices of the redeemed. This "great voice" here is because of the number

of people speaking. It is not the magnitude of each voice. These words of praise here

are focused on the Lord Jesus Christ. The redeemed are the ones who are praising.

There are not enough adjectives in the dictionary to say enough about what Jesus

has purchased for us all.  The marriage of the Lamb and the marriage supper of the

Lamb "in heaven" (vs. 6-9) are evidence of the Church being in heaven prior to the

return of Christ to earth. Christ is the Bridegroom at the marriage and His Church is

the Bride. The word "church" (ἐκκλησία - ekklaesia) appears nineteen times in

Revelation 1-3, and does not appear again until ch.22:16, emphasizing the absence

of the Church from the earth during the judgments of chapters 4-18.  Here in v. 1,

it is most likely the voices of angels. The redeemed saints are not told to praise our

God until v. 5. Heaven rejoices because salvation has now come for God's people and

with it the power and glory which belongs to God. (discoverrevelation.com)

 

Often before had John heard the heavenly multitude sound forth in a great chorus,

but never quite like this.  This is the mighty “Hallelujah Chorus,” when the

innumerable host in the heavens spontaneously break forth in a great response

of praise.  “Hallelujah,” like “Amen,” seems to be one of those words which is

the same in many languages.  In Hebrew it comes from hallal (“praise”) and Yah

(short for Jehovah), thus meaning “Praise ye the Lord.”  It is used twenty-two

times in the Book of Psalms and, in particular, is both the opening and closing

exhortation in each of the last five psalms. In the New Testament it occurs only

in this one chapter, being used four times in v.1-6.  It may well be, in fact, that

this unique occurrence in the New Testament, when there is so much else in

the New Testament that could warrant the same doxology, is intended

specifically to tie these “hallelujah psalms” to the same great scene in the

heavens which John is describing here.  The context would certainly fit. 

The Book of Psalms is divided into five “books,” each of which ends with

an epilogue in the form of a doxology (see Psalm 41:13; 72:19; 89:52; 106:48;

145:21).  Then, the last five psalms correspondingly provide a beautiful

epilogue to the entire Book of Psalms, exhorting men and angels and all

creation to praise the great Lord and Savior.   In any case, there is much

for which to praise the Lord in this great assembly in the heavens.  They

have already praised Him for His creation (ch. 4:11) and for His redemption

(ch.5:12-13).  Now they can praise Him for complete deliverance and salvation

as well.  When praising Him for His creation, they ascribed to Him glory and

honor and blessing.  When praising Him for His redemption, they ascribed to

Him power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing.

Now, finally, they are able also to praise Him for salvation.  Not only is the

redemption price paid but they know beyond any further uncertainty that

Babylon is fallen and the whole satanic empire is collapsing before their eyes. 

Therefore they cry out that salvation, as well as glory and honor and power,

belong to the Lord.  This great cry had already been heard by John much earlier

in the tribulation period when he had been given the vision of the tribulation’s

end, with the multitude of tribulation saints praising the Lord for His salvation

(ch.7:10, 12).  Now the vision is rapidly being fulfilled, with the souls of these

martyred saints joining with all the resurrection saints and the angelic hosts, in

THE GREAT SONG OF PRAISE!   (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”  For true and

righteous are His judgments. This reason for the worship of v. 1 is similar

to that in ch.16:7 and 15:3. 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. A second reason for the worship of v. 1. Corrupt the earth;

 as in ch.11:18, where a form of the same verb is used (compare also Jeremiah 51:25).

Her fornication; her unfaithfulness and deceit (see on ch.14:4, 8). The prayer of

ch.6:10 has now been heard (compare also ch.18:20).

 

It appears that those who were redeemed were looking on from heaven and approving of

the destruction of Babel, because the Messiah was bringing justice and righteousness to the

world.  There is a reassuring tone here telling the Lord that He was justified in His judgment.

They have long waited for the time when God's justice would triumph. Now that time had

come.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

The ascription of praise continues with the testimony that God has acted in perfect

righteousness and truthful judgment in His awful vengeance on Babylon.  There are

no doubt many of squeamish temper and equivocal discernment who would recoil

today at the ferocity of the divine anger against Babylon, not understanding or

caring about the atrocities inflicted on God’s people by Babylon nor her blasphemies

against His holy name.  Of similar character are those in this present dispensation

who moralize against capital punishment for cold-blooded murders.  (It seems to

me that progressivism wants to sin with impunity! – CY – 2015)   But these who

have experienced both Babylon’s wickedness and God’s holiness have no such

supercilious reservations.  They know that God has already been almost infinite in

His longsuffering and that His plenteous mercy has been both unwanted and

unrequited.  Babylon and all her inhabitants are iminently deserving of every last

dreg of the bitter cup of judgment they have been compelled to drink, nor would

any further mercy or call to repentance have availed an iota.  Again there is a last

reminder of Babylon’s spiritual harlotry, corrupting and destroying nation after

nation, age after age, with her deadly apostasy and rebellion against the Creator. 

Unnumbered multitudes of lost souls, inhabiting the eternal lake of fire (perhaps

this will be one time that the maxim, “misery loves company” will no be in vogue!

CY – 2015), will be there because of the seductions of Babylon’s man-exalting,

nature-worshiping, evolutionary pantheism. And the long plea for God to avenge

His own elect (Luke 18:7-8) has finally been heard and answered.  “Vengeance is

mine; I will repay,” the Lord had promised (Romans 12:19).  The impatient saints

had cried, “How long?” (Revelation 6:10), but God alone has known when His

patient long-suffering would no longer avail against the stubborn hearts of men. 

THE TIME HAS FINALLY COME  and nothing is left for beast-marked earth-

dwellers except “a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation,

which shall devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:27). 

                                                                The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

3 “And again they said, Alleluia And her smoke rose up for ever and

ever.”  goeth up. The “smoke” is that of the burning of Babylon, mentioned in

ch.18:9, 18. The final nature of this judgment is indicated by the closing words.

 

This is saying that this judgment is permanent and is similar to the language that God used

in Genesis 19:28. This is just a statement telling us it will never be built again.This

destruction of the last, most powerful empire in history marks THE END OF MAN’S

DAY!  The rebellion that had begun in the Garden of Eden is finally ended. Never again

will  there be more false religions, worldly philosophy, injustice or unrighteousness.

Then entire sorry results of human depravity will finally be vanquished.

                                                                                    (discoverrevelation.com)

 

The second “Hallelujah” resounds throughout heaven.  The brief but deeply felt

doxology thus begins and ends with the hallelujah cry, just as do the five hallelujah

psalms (Psalms 146:150).  While the heavenly multitudes are still rejoicing over the

fall of Babylon, John interjects the sad observation that the smoke of the burning

city will continue ascending eternally.  The literal city was indeed burned with fire

(Revelation 18:8), but its own literal fires will not burn forever.  In fact, as noted

in the preceding chapter, the ruins of Babylon will eventually disappear beneath

the encroaching sea.  While it was burning, however, the plume of smoke rose to

great heights in the atmosphere.  Like the water vapors ascending from the falling

water levels, ascending high above the troposphere to reestablish earth’s primeval

vapor canopy, the column of smoke, heated more and more by the intensified

radiation of the sun, will be propelled finally above the stratosphere and into outer

space, its particles never falling again to earth.  BABYLON IS TO BE SO

COMPLETELY WIPED FROM EARTH’S MEMORY  that even the particles

of soot produced in her burning are to be translated ever farther away from earth.

In a secondary sense, the statement also applies to Babylon’s inhabitants.  When

these, along with other unsaved souls, are resurrected for the last judgment, they

will be cast into the lake of fire, there to burn forever.  The Lord Jesus Himself said,

and repeated it twice, that in that fearful destination, “their worm dieth not, and the

fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44, 46, 48).  Of those who would worship the beast and

receive his mark, and this company certainly included the Babylonians, the angel had

already warned that “the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever”

(ch.14:11). They also, like the ever-ascending smoke of Babylon’s burning, are to be

translated to the farthest reaches of the universe, “punished with everlasting destruction

from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power” (II Thessalonians 1:9). 

Before this dreadful day comes – and it will come, exactly as John has written – let

everyone still residing in Babylon, that is, in “Mystery Babylon,” the false religion of

the apostate world, no less than in the future literal restored Babylon, capital of the

beast’s world empire, heed the urgent warning of the mighty voice from heaven:

“Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye

receive not of her plagues” (ch.18:4).  The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

4 “And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and

worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.”

 (On “the twenty-four elders” as representing the Church of God,

and “the four living beings” as typical of creation, see on ch.4:4, 6.)

God that sitteth (present tense, as in v. 3) on the throne; as He is

described in ch.4:2 and 5:13. Amen; Hallelujah (see Psalm 106:48).

 

As the hosts in heaven finish their great testimony of praise, all their leaders prostrate

themselves before the glorious presence on the throne.  The twenty-four elders represent

all the redeemed saints, and the four cherubim represent all the holy angels, so all in

heaven worship God through them.  To worship, in the Bible, means to bow down to

the will of God, acknowledging that what He says is true and what He does is right

Many and long had been the years when it seemed that God didn’t care about the

sufferings of His people nor about the blasphemies of Babylon, and many had even

claimed that God was dead.  How often has a discouraged believer, pressed hard by

bitter circumstances and unable to see the way out, cried out to God in tears, seeking

to understand the mysteries of His will and the reasons for His seeming silence.  Such

a time is designed for true worship, bowing down in obedient faith, even when the

way is dark and the reason fails.  The will of God may be difficult, but the will of

God is best, and one day God’s will is to be fully manifest in all its PERFECT

WISDOM!   Finally, when God’s gracious long-suffering has run its full course,

Babylon will vanish, all prayers will be answered and His kingdom will come. 

And in that glad day, with tears of joy and songs of praise, will every last saint

in heaven worship God.  Nor could any words be more fitting or more heartfelt

as an expression of universal worship than the two universal exclamations,

Amen, Hallelujah “So be it – praise the Lord!”  No longer can there ever be

any question that God’s will is perfect.  He is long-suffering, not willing that any

 should perish, but the day of the Lord will come! (II Peter 3:9-10).  The Hallelujah

Chorus in the heavens continues, and is rising now to a grand climax, as the realization

of what is about to happen surges through the multitudes. 

                                                            (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”

And a voice came out of the throne, saying. Ἐκ ek -  out of, is

found in א, P, 1, 34, etc.; ἀπό - apo - forth from, is supported by A, B, C, etc.;

while B reads οὐρανοῦ - ouranou - heaven, instead of θρόνουthronou - throne.

It is possible the direction rather than the source of the voice is intended. It is

impossible to say to whom the voice should be attributed (compare ch.10:4, 8, etc.).

As an invitation to the Church to praise God, we might expect the voice to be that

of one of the elders. Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him,

both small and great, א, C, P,  omit the first “and,” thus reading: “ye His servants,

ye that fear Him,” etc.  The first words are a repetition of the “Hallelujah” of v. 1.

The following phrases are found in Psalm 134:1; 115:13.

 

The speaker isn't identified but is probably an angel and refers to God as our God.

His instructions are to praise God.  The redeemed in heaven are called God's

"Bond Servants" and this is the group being addressed here to add to the other

three mentioned groups.  The small and the great mean everyone which includes

all human categories and distinctions. All redeemed are told to praise God.

                                                                        (discoverrevelation.com)

 

The voice out of the throne is most likely that of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. 

The “voice from heaven” of ch. 18:4, calling to “my people,” was certainly that

of God, though it may not be certain which of the three divine Persons of the

Trinity, as was the “voice from the temple” (ch.16:1) and the “voice from heaven”

of ch.11:12.  Here, however, the voice comes from the royal throne itself, where God

is seated (see the previous verse).  The Lamb is said to be seated on the throne, with

the Father (ch. 3:21; 5:13; 7:15,17; 22:3).  The identification of the voice as that of

the Savior is further confirmed by the command to praise God. In the Book of Psalms,

the great “praise book” of the Bible, the first occurrence of the verb “praise” (Hebrew

hallal) is at Psalm 22:22, right at the very climax of the suffering of Christ on the cross,

as described prophetically in that great messianic psalm.  At this point, the suffering

Lord cries out, “I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the

congregation will I praise thee.  Ye that fear the Lord, praise him” (Psalm 22:22-23).

In the midst of “the great congregation” will the slain Lamb thus become our great

“praise leader,” exhorting all the servants of God, those who fear Him , those who are

His spiritual seed (compare Psalms 22, 25, 30) to praise Him.  All the redeemed will

be “His servants” there, no matter how great or small had been their position in their

previous earthly lives; and His servants shall “serve Him” in that new earth which He

will create, forever (ch. 22:3; Isaiah 65:18).  But first there will be a great time of praise

in His presence, and then the wedding, where they will be established to “ever be with

 the Lord”  (I Thessalonians 4:17).  The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude. This is

the response to the invitation just uttered in v. 5. Again “the voice of a

multitude,” as in v. 1. And as the voice of many waters. That is, in its

suggestiveness of great power and magnitude (compare ch.1:15; 14:2;

Psalm 93:3; Jeremiah 51:16). And as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying.

A repetition of the idea contained in the preceding clause. The case of the

participle is doubtful; A, P, and others have λεγόντωνlegontonsaying –

many cursives א has λεγόνταςlegontas - λεγούσωνlegouson - the nominative

λέγοντε legonte -  is found in B and others. Alleluia: for the Lord God

omnipotent reigneth. (On “Hallelujah,” see v. 1.) These words connect

the present passage with ch.17:14. They exhibit, as it were, the culminating

reason for this adoration of God. He has exhibited His almighty power in the

overthrow of Babylon, who said, “I sit a queen;” and in the overthrow (which

has yet to be narrated more fully) of the kings of the earth.

 

So vast is this group that they are without number. These are the faithful. When this

great multitude begin to praise God, the volume would be so great as to sound like

"mighty thunderings".  This name used here, pertaining to our Lord, is a very strange

one.  This is the only place in the Bible where the word "omnipotent" occurs.

Omnipotent means almighty: having unlimited power. When you couple that with

"Lord", which means supreme in authority, and "God", which means supreme deity;

you have an overwhelming understanding of Who this is. Then we look at "reigneth". 

This has no time element attached.  It means continually reigns.  At this point the evil

world system has been completely destroyed and God's kingdom has come into its fullness.

                                                                                     (discoverrevelation.com)

 

John then hears, in response to Christ’s exhortation to the great congregation, a

mighty chorus of praise resounding through the heavens.  The words “great multitude”

here are the same Greek words as for “much people” in v. 1 (also the same as in ch.7:9).

Their praise now is not merely for their own personal salvation and deliverance from

Babylon.  No longer focusing on themselves, they rejoice in the very fact of God’s

glorious person and His rightful place on the throne of the cosmos.  The voice of the

Lord had been like the sound of many waters (ch.1:15; 14:2) and like mighty

thunderings (ibid.), and now the sound of the praises of His redeemed hosts

displays the same majestic quality.  The saints have been made like Him

(I John 3:2-3; Philippians 3:20-21) and even the very tones of their united

voices echo the same beautiful doxologies.  This is the fourth and final “Hallelujah”

of this chapter (and of the New Testament).  The great testimony that follows the

“Hallelujah” speaks of the kingdom of God and the marriage of the Lamb. 

Similarly, the five great hallelujah psalms which climax the Book of Psalms,

each beginning with “Praise ye the Lord” (that is, in Hebrew, hallelujah),

also have as their primary themes THE COMING ETERNAL REIGN OF

GOD OVER THE UNIVERSE and His unending union and fellowship

with all His creation,  especially the redeemed saints.

                                    (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

 

                                    The Marriage of the Lamb

 

The nineteenth chapter of Revelation is surely one of the mountain-peak chapters of

Scripture, as well as one of the most magnificent in all literature.  From the great

Hallelujah Chorus in heaven to the long-awaited union of Christ and His Bride,

then on to His glorious return to earth and finally to the cataclysmic battle of the

ages, this amazing chapter proceeds from one majestic theme to another, climaxing

in the termination of the long, sad day of man and bringing in the glorious kingdom

of God on earth.  The second of these grand themes is introduced by the heavenly

chorus, as the time nears for THE HEAVENLY BRIDEGROOM  to be united in

ENDLESS BLISS to HIS BRIDE, a Bride whom He had purchased long ago,

with His own blood on Calvary, as the spotless Lamb of God.  Finally His Bride

is ready and the marriage song begins.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

7 “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage

of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.”

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him; let us rejoice and be

exceeding glad, and let us give the glory unto Him. Alford reads δώσομεν

dosomen -  we will give, with א, A. P, 36; but the Textus Receptus  δῶμεν -

domenlet us give, which is found in א, B, 1, 7, 38, Vulgate, Cyprian,

Primasius, is to be preferred. For the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His

wife hath made herself ready. This is somewhat anticipatory; the full vision of

the bride of the Lamb is reserved until ch. 21. But the rejoicing

over Babylon and the harlot naturally suggests the allusion to Christ’s

faithful Church, just as the vision of ch.7 is suggested by the

concluding words of ch.6. “The marriage of the Lamb” is the

figure under which is depicted that complete union between Christ and His

faithful Church, which will be consummated at the last day, when Satan has

been overcome and sin destroyed. It stands in contrast with the fornication

of the harlot — the union of the spiritually unfaithful portion of Christ’s

Church with the powers of the world (see on ch.17:1-2).

Alford remarks, “This figure, of a marriage between the Lord and his

people, is too frequent and familiar to need explanation (compare in the Old

Testament, Isaiah 54:1-8; Ezekiel 16:7, etc.; Hosea 2:19, etc.; and in the New

Testament, Matthew 9:15; 25:1, etc.; John 3:29; Ephesians 5:25, etc.).”

This symbol of the wife or bride indicates the redeemed, who have already in

several places been alluded to in this book (ch.7:9; 12:1; 14:1; 17:14,

“they that are with Him”). The saints have made themselves ready by

enduing themselves with the robe of righteousness (v. 8).

 

The heavenly praise continues, this time for a call for gladness, rejoicing and giving God glory

for a fifth reason, the marriage of the Lamb has come.  The marriage of the Lamb: The wife or

bride of Christ is the church (Matthew 22:2-14; John 3:29; II Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians

5:25-32).   And the marriage is the eternal union of the church with Christ following the

Rapture (I Thessalonians 4:17). The fine linen, clean and white, represents the righteousness

of the church, which has now been judged and purified at the judgment seat of Christ

(I Corinthians 3:12-15: II Corinthians 5:10).  In ancient times, a marriage was the single

greatest celebration and social event in the biblical world. Preparations and celebrations

were much more elaborate than those of today. And they also lasted much longer.

They were in three distinct stages:

 

·         the first involved the betrothal or engagement. This was an arrangement

       by both sets of parents, was legally binding and could only be broken by

       divorce. Then there was a time of preparation as the groom prepared for

                his bride.

 

·         second was the presentation which was a time of festivities just before the

       actual ceremony. Those festivities could last up to a week and sometimes

       even more depending on the economic or social status of the bride and groom.

 

·         Lastly was the wedding ceremony during which time the vows were exchanged.

                The same imagery of a wedding picture's the Lord's relationship with His Church.

 

                                                                                                                (discoverrevelation.com)

 

After praise, joy comes.  The “great multitude” in heaven had echoed forth its great

doxology, praising the Lord for His mighty power and His imminent reign.  But then

the awareness that His kingdom is about to come suddenly brings the realization, as it

were, that His holy marriage is also about to come, and this causes gladness and joy

unspeakable.  Yet in all their joy, they are careful also to ascribe honor to the heavenly

Father of the Bridegroom.  The Son whom He loves has been given to the Bride whom

the Bridegroom loves.  Age after age, He has waited, but at long last the Bride is ready,

the marriage date is set, and the marriage feast is being prepared.  The grand union of

time and eternity, of man and God, has always been portrayed by the very institution

of marriage itself.  (Thus the abomination of gay marriage and the legalization

thereof; there is no way that same sex marriage can be reconciled by God’s Word.

CY – 2015)  When man and woman were first created, God made man’s body

from the physical elements of His created cosmos, then woman’s body from the

living flesh and bone of man (or, perhaps, from the blood, which sustains both

flesh and bone) and then the solemn pronouncement was made: “Therefore shall

a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they

shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).  This passage was taken literally by the

Lord Jesus Christ and then used by Him as the basis of His teaching that marriage

(therefore also the institution of home and family) was intended by man’s Creator

to be permanent and monogamous (see Matthew 19:3-8; Mark 10:2-12).  Even more

significantly, the Apostle Paul showed that marriage was not only permanent but

was a picture of the indissoluble and perfect union of Christ and His Church. 

This is the theme of the beautiful passage in Ephesians 5:22-23.  For example:

“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” (Ephesians 5:25-27). 

And then, quoting from the Genesis record: “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” (Ephesians 5:30-32).

Although this beautiful simile finds its fullest and ultimate expression here in the

New Testament union of Christ and His Bride, the Church, it is familiar throughout

the Bible.  For example, the Lord referred to the people of Israel as His own wife,

whom He loved dearly but who often was an unfaithful and adulterous wife.  The

prophecy of Hosea is largely built around this concept.  After rebuking Israel for her

unfaithfulness, the prophet says: “And she shall follow after her lovers, but she

shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then

shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me

than now” (Hosea 2:7).  Then, when Israel finally returns to the Lord (as we have already

seen will happen during the tribulation), the Lord will gladly receive His erring “wife”

back into His loving fellowship.  “And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will

betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and

in mercies” (Hosea 2:19-20).  Similarly Jeremiah says: “Behold the days come, saith

the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house

of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that

I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant

they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 31:31-32).

Isaiah also uses the same figure: “For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is

His name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel: The God of the whole earth shall

He be called” (Isaiah 54:5).  In the New Testament, the Church is symbolized as the pure

and faithful Bride of Christ: “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”

(II Corinthians 11:2).  Whether a clear cut distinction should be made, in interpreting

this great future wedding, between Israel as the restored wife of the Lord and the

Church as the virgin Bride of the Lord has long been a matter of disagreement

between expositors.  Although there is surely a difference between an adulterous wife

and a chaste bride, so far as the figure of speech goes, there is not such a clear

distinction between actual individual believers before Christ and after Christ. 

There were many godly and faithful Jewish believers in ancient times just as there

are multitudes of compromising carnal Christians today.  Whatever fine distinctions

may be warranted at this great future gathering, surely the primary truth is the final,

perfect eternal union between Christ and His people.  All sin will have been purged

and cleansed, and full fellowship reestablished, as far as the resurrected saints are

concerned, whether Jew or Gentile.  Probably the restoration of the earthy people

of Israel (that is, those who survive the tribulation and enter the millennium in their

natural physical bodies) is a sort of earthly reflection of the heavenly union between

Christ and all glorified believers.  The restored wife on earth may thus be a type of

the newly married Bride in heaven.  The testimony is also given that “His wife hath

made herself ready.”  On the earth the unfaithful wife, Israel, will have prepared

 herself through the purifying furnace of affliction in the great time of introspection

in the wilderness, to which she had fled from the face of the dragon (ch.12:6).  When

Christ returns in power and great glory to His people, and they look on Him whom they

pierced (Zechariah 12:10), they will completely submit to Him in full repentance and faith.

At the same time, in heaven, at the judgment seat of Christ, all the raptured saints of the

ages will have been purified and made like Christ (I John 3:2-3; Romans 8:29).  In the

figure, the Bride will have put on her appropriate bridal garments, prepared to meet her

Bridegroom and to be joined forever to Him.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”

And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine

linen, clean and white; and it was given unto her that she should array

herself in fine linen, bright [and] pure. The double nature of the process is

here set forth. “It was given her,” the power comes from God (compare

ch. 13:5, etc.), and yet “she arrays herself;” the action is still

voluntary. (On “white linen,” see on ch.4:4; 7:9; 15:6.) The

following words are a sufficient commentary. This verse appears to contain

the words of the writer, the heavenly song having ceased at the end of v. 7.

For the fine linen is the righteousness of saints; the righteous acts of

the saints. That is, their former righteousness, exhibited in fidelity to God

and hostility to the world, obtained and retained by the grace of God, now

forms their chief glory. So “their works do follow them” (ch.14:13).

 

The fine linen the bride is clothed in represents the righteous acts of the saints.

Just as I said, these robes have been made white by the blood of the Lamb.

This "righteousness" was not ours until we received the Lord Jesus into our

lives and took on His righteousness. Our own righteousness had been as filthy

rags, but Jesus replaced the filth with His righteousness. (Isaiah 64:6)  Just like,

as many other places in the Bible, "her" does not mean just women, it is the

bride. All believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are the bride of Christ, whether

they are male or female.  I would like to say a few words about this "fine linen".

In the tabernacle in the wilderness, the High priest wore a very ornamented robe

with a breastplate of all sorts of jewels when he represented God to the people;

but when he went into the Holy of Holies, he wore pure white linen. You see,

all of the fineries of the world mean nothing to God. This tells us something about

our approach to God. Salvation is simple. It is not complicated, just bare all to God.

He knows all there is about us already. We do not have to pretend to be something

we are not. He accepts us plain and simple.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

The fine linen garments, white and clean, of course speak of the full preparation of the

Bride to accompany her Bridegroom.  The old clothing has been abandoned and all is

new and pure as she enters His holy presence forever.  “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,

my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation,

He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with

ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10). The Bride’s

old garments of self-righteousness, which once had seemed so fine and attractive, had

become in her sight like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6), and she had gladly put them aside for

the pure white linen provided by her Savior.  “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are

become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another,

 even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God”

(Romans 7:4).  Whenever a man or woman receives the matchless gift of salvation

offered by the Lord Jesus Christ, this is the way it is.  He saves us, not by our works,

for we are His workmanship created unto good works (Ephesians 2:9-10).  Then, in

turn, the good works in which He has before ordained that we should walk become

the “righteousness of saints.”  The word here is plural and could better be translated

“the righteous deeds of saints.”  Here is a paradox, yet a paradox which is utter reality. 

No believer is saved, or made fit to enter his Savior’s presence, by virtue of his righteous

acts.  Yet, once having been saved by grace through faith, he then is both enabled and

constrained to walk in righteousness (John 1:12), and these righteous deeds in some

marvelous transmutation become the clean white linen robe of righteousness provided

by the Savior for His people.  Mystery or no, IT WILL BE BLESSEDLY REAL IN

THT DAY!  In unfathomable grace, the Lord Jesus will reward us for all righteous acts

done in His name, and these will equip us to stand in His presence.  Yet these very acts

are ONLY BY HIS ENABLING  identifying in some wonderful way with garments of

salvation and robe of righteousness which He himself has purchased and provided for

His Bride.  Furthermore, all sin and remnant self-righteousness will have been exposed,

judged, and cleansed at His judgment seat in the heavens (II Corinthians 5:10).  Thus

will His wife make herself ready, and accompany her Lord in clean raiment.

                                                                                The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they

which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb; which are bidden

(Revised Version). Compare the command in ch.1:11 and 21:5, and

the prohibition in 10:4; compare also the expression in ch.14:13,

“Blessed are the dead,” etc. It almost seems as if the writer has in his mind

the connection of ideas indicated by the words quoted above on v. 8,

“Their works do follow them.” The figure of the “marriage supper” is

rather a new symbol than the continuation of the symbol of the bride;

though very probably suggested by it. For those who partake of the

“marriage supper” are those who constitute the bride, viz. the faithful

Church of God. Compare ch. 3:20, the words which are spoken by

the “Amen, the faithful and true Witness” (ibid. v.14): “If any

man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup

with him, and he with me.” It is impossible to say who the speaker is that

thus addresses John, except in so far as may be gathered from v. 10.

And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.  Compare the words

of ch. 3:14, quoted above, and ch.21:5; also the “Yea, saith the Spirit” of ch.14:13.

(On the word “true,” see ch.3:7.) These words have been restricted to different

portions of the Apocalypse by different commentators; but it seems best, on the

whole, to understand them as referring to the whole series of visions

connected with the harlot and Babylon and the faithful bride of Christ.

 

Those who are invited to the marriage supper are Israel, who will turn to Christ

in faith during the Tribulation (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Zechariah 12:10; 13:9; and

Romans 11:25-27).  The marriage supper of the Lamb represents the millennial

kingdom of Christ, which will take place on earth following the return of Christ

(ch.20:4; Matthew 25:1-13; Luke 14:15-24). The Jewish marriage consisted of

three major elements:

 

(1) the betrothal;

(2) the presentation; and

(3) the marriage feast (supper) as was discussed just before.

 

Figuratively, with reference to the church,

  1. The betrothal takes place on earth during the church age;
  2. The presentation will take place in heaven following the Rapture (v.7); and
  3. The marriage feast will take place on earth following Christ's return with

        the church.  

                                                                                        (discoverrevelation.com)

 

 

Since the closest possible antecedent of “he” is apparently the “voice from the throne” (v. 5),

it may be that the Lord Himself is renewing His command to John at this point to write what

he was seeing and hearing.  More likely, however, the instruction came from the angel (see v. 10). 

This was to be the true record of future history, to be written for the guidance and encouragement

of all the generations of Christians who would come after John.  That which he was specially

admonished to write at this point was the fourth of the seven great “beatitudes” of Revelation. 

It would become a great blessing and strength to all the suffering saints through the ages,

exhorting everyone who would be a member in Christ’s growing Church (His Bride) to

anticipate their glorious future union with the heavenly Bridegroom.  And again the figure of

the “marriage” or “marriage supper” is used to depict that union.  The “marriage” of the Lamb

is mentioned in v.7, and the “marriage supper” of the Lamb here in v. 9, but both the usage of

these words and also the wedding customs of John’s time regarded the marriage and marriage

feast as essentially the same.  The betrothal was normally arranged by the parents long before

the actual wedding.  The marriage contract was effected by the payment of a dowry by the

brides’s parents.  Months, or perhaps years, later when the bride and groom were ready for

marriage, the date for the wedding feast would be set.  At the appointed time, the

bridegroom and his friends would set forth from his home to her home to claim his bride.

There she, his chaste virgin bride, would await his coming with her own friends, all virgins,

who would accompany her to the wedding supper, sumptuously provided at great expense

by the father of the bridegroom.  Upon the arrival of the bridegroom, the bride would be

surrendered to him by her parents, and he would carry her back to his own home with

great joy and anticipation.  They would be followed by their friends, who would then

join them in the happy wedding celebration at the home of the groom’s father.

From that time on, the bride and groom were united, never to be parted until death if God’s

ideal plan for marriage were accepted and followed by them.  Thus did the marriage supper

consummate the marriage.  It is this beautiful custom which apparently is in view here in this

striking picture of the marriage of the Lamb.  The marriage had been engaged long ago when

the heavenly Father essayed to claim a Bride for His Son from the world of lost mankind. 

In this case, however, the Bride had no dowry to offer for a husband and was quite unworthy

of such a wedding.  Therefore the Son offered to pay the price Himself.  He became the Lamb

of God, taking away the sin of the world (John 1:29), and His shed blood became the purchase

price that made the Bride fit to enter the home of His Father.  The garments of salvation, her

robes of righteousness provided by Him, replaced her own filthy rags, and she became His

espoused Bride.  It was a long time, however, before He could actually go forth to claim His

Bride.  Finally the day had come and He had received her to Himself from the home of her

parents, taking her with Him to the place of the wedding. The time en route (corresponding

to the time between the “rapture” and the actual wedding supper) would be a time of

fellowship and also a time of further cleansing and purification in His presence

(corresponding to her appearance at His judgment seat).  But now, at last, it was almost

time for the wedding.  The figure of the wedding feast is familiar in the parables

of Christ.  For example, in the parable of Matthew 22:1-14 (also Luke 14:16-24) Jesus said:

“the kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son. 

And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would

not come.”  The major thrust of this parable, of course, is directed against those who refuse

Christ’s invitation ALL HAVE BEEN INVITED TO HIS WEDDING, but most people

decline His gracious call.  Whatever the excuse, it does not satisfy the king, and He sends

into the highways and hedges to find those who will come to the wedding.  When the

wedding feast is finally ready, “the wedding was furnished with guests” (Matthew 22:10).

Further, the host provided all with the proper garments for the wedding, no matter how torn

or filthy may have been their own clothing. When one man appeared at the feast without

a garment, however, he was cast out.  He, like all the others, had been invited and had

rejected the formal terms of the invitation, preferring instead to participate on his own

terms, rather than those of the host.  This is impossible, of course, and he will therefore

be cast out with all those who had refused even to come at all.  A different, though

related, emphasis is found in Christ’s parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). 

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps,

and went forth to meet the bridegroom.  And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.”

The foolish virgins were shortsighted, too much concerned with their immediate interests

and comforts to prepare for the great privilege of participating in the wedding of the king. 

They had not declined the invitation and, in fact, were planning to be in the entourage of

the bride herself, but were simply careless and self-centered, not being sufficiently concerned

to make adequate preparations for the great opportunity they had been offered.  The generous

host would send the needed garments for their clothing, but not the oil for their lamps.  They

had ample time to prepare but SLEPT INSTEAD,  (ARE YOU ASLEEP TODAY? – CY –

2015)  and the bridegroom came upon them  unawares.  “And while thy went to buy, the

bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: AND THE

DOOR WAS SHUT!   To the foolish virgins, when they finally came, He said, “I know you not”

(Matthew 25:10, 12).  In the one parable, many are EXCLUDED from the wedding BY THEIR

OWN CHOICE!    In the second parable, half of those who want to come are EXCLUDED

BY THEIR OWN NEGLIGENCE!   Those who do get there are there:

 

·         by their own choice,

·         by their submission to the terms of the invitation and

·         by virtue of their diligence in making the needed preparations. 

 

All three are apparently essential qualifications for those who come to the great wedding supper.

Many interpreters believe the oil for the lamps symbolizes the Holy Spirit, with the excluded virgins

representing those professing Christians who are not truly born again by the Spirit.  This is doubtful,

however, for two reasons.  First, there is no specific reference anywhere in Scripture which states

that oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit.  Specifically, in this parable of the ten virgins, there is no

suggestion that the oil, as such, is a symbol of anything at all.  Second, the presence or absence of

the Holy Spirit in an individual does not depend upon his own effort, but the parable speaks of the

need for going to the market and buying the oil.  Every true believer receives the Holy Spirit at the

same moment he receives Christ’s “garment” of righteousness, through his faith in Christ as Savior,

and nothing else.  At the same time, “faith without works is dead” (James 2:20).  Genuine faith is

evidenced, first of all, by a spiritual “wisdom” which is careful, rather than careless, toward the Lord. 

The word “wise” in the parable of the virgins is the Greek φρόνιµοι  -  phronimoi wise - which

means, literally, “thoughtful.”  The word “foolish” (Gr. µωραὶ  - morai) has the sense of “heedless.” 

The foolish virgins demonstrated that they did not really know the Lord (and, therefore, He knew

them not) by their attitude of indifference toward Him.  In summary, the consistent teaching

of the parables and of all relevant Scripture is that those who will participate in the great

wedding feast of the Lamb are all those who have responded in true saving faith to the

gospel invitation, manifesting outwardly that inward faith by an attitude of thoughtful

concern for the things of God.  They are all clothed in clean, white linen, which speaks

of the “righteousness” of the saints (v.8).  But what distinction, if any, is to be made

between the guests at the wedding and the attendants of the Bride, or between these

and the Bride herself?  Many and ingenious have been the interpretations proffered,

but it is significant that none of these are offered in the biblical texts themselves.

It is certain that all who were saved, both before and after Christ, will be with Him,

eating and drinking with Him in the kingdom of God “And I say unto you, That

many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac,

and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 8:11; see also Luke 13:29).  “But I say

unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink

 it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29).  Furthermore, the New

Jerusalem is identified as the Bride of Christ (ch.21:9-10), no doubt because it is the

ETERNAL HOME of all who are saved (ibid. v.24), those who collectively constitute

His Bride.  But this city has twelve gates, inscribed with the names of the twelve tribes

of Israel, and twelve foundations, in which are the names of the twelve apostles of the

Lamb (ibid. vs. 12, 14).  This surely means that within the city are both the redeemed of

ancient Israel and the redeemed of the later Church of Christ.  And this in turn must mean

that all of these are somehow a part of “the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”  The Bride, therefore,

represents and includes all her attendants and all the wedding guests as well.  The symbolism

in the parables cannot be pressed beyond its purpose. The real message is that all believers

in the true God, both Creator and Redeemer, of all the ages, will one day be restored to

perfect fellowship with Him and united with Him forever.  Glorious will be the great

wedding feast, and blessed indeed are all who are called unto it.  Whatever distinctions

may exist between the saints of the pre-Abrahamic period, the saints in Israel before Christ,

the saints among the Gentiles from Abraham to Christ, the saints of the tribulation, and the

saints in the churches from Christ to the rapture (and no doubt these will continue to be

identifiable groups even in the ages to come) such distinctions are secondary to the great

primary truth that all will be there by virtue of THE SAVING WORK OF CHRIST and

their personal trust in THE TRUE CREATOR GOD and His provision of salvation. 

There is only one God (not one God identified with Israel and one God associated with

the Church) and THAT ONE TRIUNE GOD WILL BE IN PERSONAL FELLOWSHIP

FOREVER WITH ALL THE REDEEMED OF ALL THE AGES!   He will dwell with

them in the Holy City forever (ibid. vs.2-3).  The blessedness of the great union and the

feast accompanying it is so great and so important that it is emphasized again to John

that these sayings are true, FOR GOD IS THEIR AUTHOR!  On two later occasions

is a similar testimonial assertion made (ibid. v.5; ch.22:6), and all three speak of the

blessedness of the redeemed in glory.  Such promises are deemed by God to be of such

paramount importance as to warrant A SPECIAL SURETY THAT THEY ARE

FROM GOD HIMSELF!  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”  And I fell at his feet to worship him. The same thing

happens again in ch.22:7-8, and this makes it improbable that John imagined

the angel to be Christ Himself, as some think. More probably John

was so overwhelmed with the tremendous character of the revelation just

made to him, that in his humility he pays undue reverence to the angel who

had communicated it to him. This reverence may not have been exactly of

the nature of that which he would render to God; but it is evident, from the

reproof of the angel, that it was more than could be becomingly and safely

paid to a created being. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am

thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of

Jesus; saithI am a fellow servant with thee and with thy brethren, etc.

So the apostles styled themselves (Romans 1:1; II Peter 1:1, etc.).

(On “hold the testimony of Jesus,” see ch.1:2, 9; 12:17.)

Worship God. Such also is the command of our Lord (Matthew 4:10).

For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Like the words of

v. 8, these words are probably an explanation added by John. To

prophesy is to understand and proclaim the truth concerning God,

especially in the face of prevalent ignorance or opposition; this is also what

is meant by holding “the testimony of Jesus.” The angel in revealing these

visions, the martyrs in openly professing Christ, John in receiving and

handing on the Apocalypse, were prophesying. Thus it was that the angel

announces himself to be the fellow servant of  John, and a fellow servant

with the prophets, and with those “who keep the sayings of this book”

(ch.22:9).

 

John here was so awed by all of this that he fell at this angel's feet from v. 5 to worship him.

Then the angel quickly tells John not to worship him. Only God is to be worshiped (ch.22:8-9;

Acts 10:25-26).  The "testimony of Jesus" IS WHAT THE WHOLE BIBLE IS ABOUT!

WITHOUT JESUS,  there would be no salvation! The Old Testament points forward to Jesus,

beginning in Genesis. The New Testament is the "last will and testament" of Jesus, and to receive

our inheritance, we must read the will.  If you preach on prophecy, you are bringing the testimony

of Jesus.  If you understand the testimony of Jesus, then you must preach and prophecy so that

others may live.  This testimony here is not Jesus giving it, but we believers who testify of the Lord.

Whoever this angel is, he too, had the testimony of Jesus. (discoverrevelation.com)

 

So magnificent was the mighty angel who had conducted John through the great scenes, and

so overwhelming his revelation, that the apostle felt a sudden compulsion to bow down in

worship before him.  John later made the same mistake again (ch.22:8-9).  On both occasions,

the angel reminded him that only God should be worshiped.  No created thing or being –

not even the greatest man or most exalted angel – is ever to be worshiped, for worship

(that is, literally, “bowing down” to do the will of another simply on the basis of his

intrinsic power and authority) BELONGS ONLY TO GOD!  This was, indeed, a mighty

angel, but he would only claim to be a fellow servant, with John, of the One to be worshiped. 

Angels are merely “ministering (that is, serving) spirits” (Hebrews 1:14).  In fact, the angel

here claimed actually, literally, to be a fellow slave of John’s, so wholly dedicated was he

to doing God’s will.  Like John and his Christian brethren, the angel himself maintained

and proclaimed the same “testimony of Jesus” which they proclaimed, nothing more.

This phrase is very significant, with a different connotation than the somewhat more

common phrase “testimony of Christ,” or “testimony of Jesus Christ.”  The emphasis here

is on His human name and thus the testimony has specifically to do with His humanity. 

The angel knew full well the fact of Christ’s deity.  In fact, he knew and believed that

He was nothing less than the Creator, so that “all the angels of God worship him”

(Hebrews 1:6).  Of His deity there was no question, but that God would become man

was hard to believe and would need the faithful and consistent testimony of both holy

angels and godly men.  It is this testimony that is opposed by the rebel angels, the

demonic spirits, and it was for this “witness of Jesus” (μαρτυρίαν marturian - the

same Greek word as testimony) that the tribulation saints had been beheaded (ch.20:4).

It was the spirit of opposition to this inestimable significant truth of the incarnation

(the Word made flesh, as per John 1:14) that John in his epistle had already recognized as

the spirit of Antichrist (I John 4:3), and now he had seen Antichrist himself seeking to destroy

all who maintained the testimony of Jesus Christ (ch.12:17).  The “testimony of Jesus” is

the spirit of true prophecy.  It contradicts the testimony of false prophets.  “Beloved,” John had

warned, “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits, whether they are of God. . . . Every spirit

that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth

not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God” (I John 4:1-3).  “Who is a liar but he

that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son”

(1 John 2:22).  It was for his faithful proclamation of this testimony that the mighty angel

desired John to recognize him, not the marvelous revelations concerning the future judgments

which he had been privileged to show John.  To him, the most amazing of all revelations was

that THE ALMIGHTY CREATOR HAD BECOME THE MAN JESUS, TO SAVE HIS

PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS!  The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

 

                                               The King of Kings

 

The saints have now all been called to the wedding feast and provided with the proper

garments, fine linen, white and clean.  But the supper itself must be held on earth, and

the earth is still in bondage to the kings of the earth, and they in turn to the dragon and

the beast and the false prophet.  Babylon has been destroyed, but the armies of the kings

have been assembled at Armageddon.  They know that Christ is about to return and are

determined to wage a final, all-out battle to prevent His regaining sovereignty over the

earth. Not only are the multitudes of human armies assembled there.  All the

principalities and powers of darkness are also there, following their master, Satan, the

god of this world.  They know their time has come, and the climactic battle of the ages

is about to be joined.  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse. A

new vision now opens, which is, however, part of the preceding series,

commencing at ch.13:1. The destruction of certain forms of

evil — typified by Babylon and the harlot — has been declared; the final

overthrow of the dragon has yet to be related, though there may be no

such separation in the actual infliction of these punishments as there

necessarily is in the relation of them. The warfare now to be described

must be understood to be that which is taking place between the hosts of

Christ and Satan throughout the period of the world’s existence. The

heaven opened (compare ch. 4:1). A similar figure has been already

employed in the first seal vision (ch.6:2). It has been pointed

out that the same image is employed at the beginning and at the end of the

description of the warfare between Christ and the devil. He who is the First

and the Last, the Alpha and Omega (ch.1:8), rides forth conquering and to

conquer (ch.6:2). And He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True,

and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. Even the participial

construction here employed connects this account with ch.6:2. “Faithful and True”

are the titles applied to our Lord in ch.3:14, which see. In righteousness He

cloth judge; compare Isaiah’s prophecy of Christ: “But with righteousness shall

he judge the poor” (Isaiah 11:4); compare v. 2 of this chapter. The purposes of

this expedition are “to judge and make war.”

 

In these next six verses, (11-16) we are swept up into the triumphal entourage of redeemed

saints in the heavenly procession with the King of Kings. Jesus Christ comes to make war

on Satan, the Antichrist, the False Prophet, and the kings of the earth. He rides on a white

horse and has on His head "many crowns." When this war with Satan is over, He becomes

the absolute ruler of the earth.  Notice several things about the description of our Lord's

return.

 

·         First, it will be public, obvious, and not restricted to a small group.

        He says His coming will be like lightning that flashes from the east

        to the west. Everybody will see it, and there will be no hiding it.

·         Second, He says it will occur "immediately after" the Great Tribulation.

·         Third, His return will be accompanied by "mourning" on the part of "all

        the tribes of the earth" - the mourning of sadness on the part of the Jewish

        nation, that it so long rejected Christ as Messiah, as well as the mourning

        of despair on the part of the ungodly, who reject Him as King even as He

        appears in the sky.

 

Again as we saw in chapter four, a door opened in heaven. This opening of heaven is not to

go in, but is the opening for Jesus and His followers to come out. The door to heaven has

never been closed for the Christians to enter in. The "horse" symbolizes war, and the fact

that it is "white", symbolizes victory. White, also, symbolizes holiness and righteousness.

This tells us that this war is a holy war, and JESUS IS VICTORIOUS!  Just the fact that

"Faithful and True" are capitalized, lets us know that this figure is God the Son who has

been made Lord of Lords and King of kings, Jesus is the Judge. He is always faithful to

His promises and what He speaks is always true.  This white horse is not that of 6:2.

Here the True Messiah returns in victorious conquest. He is Faithful to His Word and

promises. He will fulfill the twofold role of judge and warrior. His judgment of the

earth will be totally righteous (ch.5-7; here v.2; Psalms 96:13).  We are assured that

His judgments are right. He has been sitting at the Right Hand of the Father in heaven,

but now He is about to set up His kingdom here on the earth.  The most detailed

description of the Second Coming was given by our Lord Himself - “For as the

lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the

Son of Man be.”  (Matthew 24:27)   Immediately after the tribulation of those days

the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from

heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man

will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see

the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He

will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together

His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31)

                                                                                    (discoverrevelation.com)

 

John several times before had seen “heaven opened,” but never a scene like this.  Emerging

from the temple in the city in the heavens appeared a great white horse and a majestic Rider,

with all the armies of the gloriously arrayed saints following him (v.14). This is evidently the

same symbolic horse and Rider that John had seen going forth “to conquer” at the very

beginning of the tribulation (ch.6:2) and now he sees Him setting forth in the great event

of final conquest.  The earlier vision had not specifically revealed His identity, but here

He is openly proclaimed as THE FAITHFUL AND TRUE ONE with His war of victory

based on perfect righteousness and His punitive judgments founded on divine holiness.

He is called Faithful and True because He is “the faithful and true witness, the beginning

 of the creation of God” (ch. 3:14).  He will keep His Word, for His Word is true; He is

very faithfulness and very truth.  (God revealed Himself to Moses as being “ABUNDANT

IN TRUTH!”  (Exodus 34:6)  And because He is true and faithful and must act in

righteousness, He must finally, after long ages of grace and mercy, become the Judge

and the Warrior.  As the Judge, He has PRONOUNCED THE SENTENCE; as the

Warrior, HE WILL CARRY IT OUT!  The rebels have been condemned (in fact, have

condemned themselves, by deliberate choice (The Greek word for choice is αἵρεσις

- hairesis - heresy)(The word denotes - a choosing, a choice - then that which is chosen

and hence an opinion, especially a self- willed opinion, which is substituted for submission

to the truth and leads to division and formation of sects.  (I think it most interesting and

informative that in the so called modern contemporary world that HERESY = CHOICE –

and the significance of the willfulness of PRO-CHOICE – that it is apparent that they

can turn into political planks on which some dare to run in defiance of scripture

[compare II Peter 2:1-3] – see Galatians Charles Haddon Spurgeon – The Greatest

Fight in the World – this web site -  also the sermon A Call to Godly Living

 by Charles Stanley aired on TV June 20, 2009   - I recommend both – Spurgeon’s work

is only four pages – Dr. Stanley’s message probably 45 minutes  - BOTH WILL

EXPLAIN A LOT ABOUT HERESIES - CY – 2009; 2015) -  now they must be executed.

This is the first of three magnificent names accorded the Lord Jesus as He returns to earth in

power and great glory, as ascribed in this section. 

 

  • His name is Faithful and True; then
  • His name is the Word of God (v. 13), and finally
  • His name is recognized as King of kings and Lord of lords (v. 16).

                                                                                The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”

His eyes were as a flame of fire; and his eyes [are] a flame of fire. Again as in

ch.1:14. “Fire” is the type of purity and judgment (see Psalm 97:3; Isaiah 47:14;

66:15; Amos 5:6; I Corinthians 3:13, etc.; ch.3:18). And on His head were many

crowns; and upon His head [are] many diadems. ΔιαδήματαDiadaemato.

“kingly crowns “ (compare ch.12:3; 13:1), because He now comes as a King

to judgment. The plurality of “crowns” points to His character as KING OF

KINGS!  (see ch.17:14; compare ch.13:1). And He had a name written, that

no man knew, but He Himself; hath a nameno, one knoweth. Evidently the

“new name” of ch.3:12, the significance of which John is unable to comprehend

(see on ch. 2:7; 3:12). From the connection with the preceding clause,

we naturally infer that this name was written upon his forehead (compare

ch.7:3; 16:1); but the writer does not explicitly state this.

 

"Eyes" show wisdom, and these, like "flames of fire" can see right into the soul of man.

This "fire" here speaks of purity and judgment. The crowns indicate total sovereignty

and authority (contrast ch.12:3; 13:1). The secret name expresses the mystery and

greatness of the person of Christ (ch.2:17; 3:12; here vs.13,16; Philippians 2:9 -11).

There was a secret name on the stone underneath the breastplate of the high priest

worn into the Holy of Holies. This was the unspeakable name of God. This name

here is similar to that name. It is a name that no one knew except our Lord.

In ch. 3:12, we studied about this name the Lord will put on us. 

                                                                                                (discoverrevelation.com)

 

There is no room for doubt as to the identity of this conquering Commander on the great

white steed.  His eyes are the same eyes of flame John had seen in the beginning (ch. 1:14)

when he recognized Him as the Son of man.  But now adorning His snowy white head were

many diadems.  These crowns were not the same crowns which the elders had cast at His

feet (ch.4:10), nor did they include the crown given Him when He first rode forth to conquer

(ch. 6:2).  These latter are translations of the Greek στεφάνοςstephanoscrowns whereas

the crowns He is wearing as He parades in triumph are the crowns (Greek διαδήματα

diadaemata  - diadems) which had once been usurped by the kings of the earth (ch.12:3;

13:1; 17:9-12).  No longer will alien rulers despoil His creation.  It is He whose right it is

(Ezekiel 21:26-27), not only as Creator but also as Redeemer.  As the Lamb, He was the only

one worthy to break the seals on the scroll conveying ownership of the earth (ch.5:9),

unleashing the great series of purging judgments that had finally wrested control from the

rebel kings.  Now He wears their crowns as He rides forth in triumph.  “Gird thy sword upon

thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.  And in thy majesty ride prosperously

because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible

things” (Psalm 45:3-4).  It is apparently across these diadems that a name was written.  John

could see the writing, but he could not decipher it.  Nor could anyone read this name, written

evidently in characters of some angelic script, beyond the learning of mortal men.  It was not

one of the other names ascribed to Him in this passage (vs. 11,13,16) for all these names are

all well known to believing men.   It is probably the name which is above every name

(Philippians 2:9), not the name “Jesus” but the name “given to Jesus” (ibid. v.10,

literal meaning), when He was raised from the dead and exalted “far above all principality,

and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this

world, but also in that which is to come.” (Ephesians 1:21).  The names assigned to

the Lord Jesus Christ in Scripture are many and beautiful (such as:

 

·         the Light,

·         Master,

·         Messiah,

·         King of Israel,

·         Son of man,

·         Son of God,

·         Lamb of God,

·         Prince of Peace). 

 

But all of them together cannot exhaust the infinite meaning of HIS INEFFABLE NAME!

We know Him in many wonderful attributes, but we can never know HIM IN HIS

INCOMPREHESIBLE FULLNESS!    HE IS ALL IN ALL and we, even in the

glorious resurrection, can never learn everything concerning Him, though no doubt

OUR KNOWLEDGE OF HIM WILL CONTINUE TO GROW THROUGHOUT

ETERNITY!   THE FULLNESS OF HIS MIGHTY NAME ONLY HE CAN KNOW!

                                                                                The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

13 “And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is

called The Word of God.”  And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood;

and He [is] arrayed in a garment, etc. The idea here is evidently derived from

Isaiah 63:3, “I have trodden the wine press 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” (compare  v. 15). Probably the similarity of this

passage has caused the reading, “sprinkled with blood,” which is found in a

few manuscripts. In the original passage in Isaiah, the blood is doubtless

the blood of his enemies; but it is possible that there is here a reference to

the blood of Christ Himself, which He shed in His warfare with Satan. And

his Name is called The Word of God. Only in John’s writings does

this title appear — a strong argument in favor of his authorship of the

Apocalypse (compare John 1:1; I John 1:1). This cannot be the “name”

of v. 12, which, as there explained, is unknown. This Name, the Word of

God, is appropriately used when He is going forth to judgment.

 

This is not representative of the blood Jesus shed on the cross, but is a picture of judgment,

not redemption. This is the blood of His slaughtered enemies. This is not His first battle,

but His last. He has fought for His people through out redemptive history and His "war

clothes" bear those stains. The blood represents the judgment of Christ's enemies (ch.14:14-20;

Isaiah 63:1-6).  Over and over in these lessons, I have given the Scriptures where the word

of God took on the form of flesh and dwelt among us. In the book of John 1:1 we read about

the Word of God.  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the

Word was God." Jump down to v.14. "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." We also see here, that this Word (JESUS) WAS, IS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE THE

WORD OF GOD!  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

The blood-dipped vesture, of course, speaks of the shed blood of His enemies.  As noted before,

the great valley filled with the armies of the kings will flow with blood to the bridles of the horses

(ch. 14:20), and He is seen as riding triumphantly through this vale of slaughter.  Beginning from

its southern end in Edom (Isaiah 63:1), He rides north to Jerusalem and on to Armageddon,

red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat (ibid. v.2).

 There is a fine mixture here of graphic symbolism and stark reality.  The heavenly horses may

be symbolic visions, of course, and so may be the blood-dipped vesture.  But the slain

multitudes are real, and the conquering Redeemer is real.  This is the “glorious appearing

of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).  This is the great “sign of the

Son of man in heaven” when all men “shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of

heaven with power and great glory,” and “all the tribes of the earth shall mourn”

(Matthew 24:30).  As the majestic Rider reaches Jerusalem, “His feet shall stand in that

day upon the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4), and the mountain will split in two. 

“And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill

this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:7). “But who may abide the

day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s

fire, and like fullers’ soap” (Malachi 3:2).  “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from

heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know

not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Thessalonians 1:7-8).

In His glorious appearing, it is appropriate to remember that the mighty Conqueror is none

other than THE INCARNATE WORD OF GOD!  It was by the Word of the Lord that the

heavens were made (Psalm 33:6) and the αἰῶνας aionasages; periods of time -were framed

(Hebrews 11:3).  It is by the same Word that the heavens and earth are kept in store (II Peter 3:7). 

That Word which was in the beginning (John 1:1) is also the Omega, and will dwell forever with

His people (ch.21:3-6; John 1:14).  The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

14 “And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white

horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” which arewhite,

pure. These armies are not merely the angels, but the “called, chosen, and

faithful” of ch.17:14, “the bride” who are described as being arrayed in white

in ch.6:11, and v. 8 here.  Those commentators who consider that the angels

only are intended, and not the saints, forget the double nature of the vision;

it is not only a description of Judgment meted out, but also of a war waged.

 (On “white” and “fine linen,” see previous chapters.)

 

This is speaking of the Battle of Armageddon.   The armies may be:

 

  • angels (Zechariah 14:5; Matthew 26:53);
  • the raptured church; or
  • all the inhabitants of the heavenly Jerusalem: angels, the church, and

        spirits of Old Testament and Tribulation saints (Hebrews 12:22-24).

 

They will share in Christ's victory and glory (Roman 8:18-19). The linen symbolizes

righteousness (v.8)  Here we see the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ following, these

are the called, chosen, redeemed, THE BRIDE.   The whole army is on "white horses". 

They have white horses, because they have overcome the devil. They are washed in

THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB!   They have on pure white linen for the righteousness

of Christ. This army has been in heaven waiting for the wrath of God, on the ungodly,

to be over. (discoverrevelation.com)

 

Like a mighty general conducting his triumphant armies through the streets of an earthly capital,

the victorious Rider is followed by a tremendous stream of warriors, all in gleaming white

uniforms and all on beautiful white horses.  The fine linen apparel symbolizes the righteous

deeds of all these followers of the Lamb (v. 8) and the whole procession is a glorious vision

vouchsafed to John to indicate to him and to us the unprecedented MAJESTY AND

GLORY OF THE LORD when He finally returns to earth.  Although the horses and white

linen armor may be symbolic (and perhaps even these are literal; God could surely create

divinely-energized creatures of whatever type He chooses), they do speak of a great victory

and glorious homecoming which will literally take place on the earth.  Both the Lord Jesus Christ

and all the multitudes of the redeemed will descend from the region of the throne in the sky,

from where the Lord Jesus has been directing the events of the tribulation period, and will

engage the armies of the beast in a brief climactic battle to consummate the judgments and to

establish His kingdom here on earth.  This glorious coming of the Lord with His saints has been

prophesied since the dawn of history.  “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied

of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints [or “myriads of 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” (Jude 1:14-15).  The great event was likewise

foretold by the prophets of Israel“Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those

nations. . . . And the Lord shall be king over all the earth:  in that day shall there be one

Lord, and His name one!” (Zechariah 14:3-9).  “Let the saints  be joyful in glory. . . .

Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword  in their hand;

to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people. . . . To execute

upon them the judgment written: this honor have all the saints” (Psalm 149:5-9).

Likewise had it been prophesied by the Apostles: “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” (I Thessalonians 3:13).  What a magnificent procession that will be, when all

the angelic host of heaven and all the multitudes of redeemed and purified saints of God

accompany THEIR VICTORIOUS REDEEMER  back to earth again!  After long ages of rule

by the old serpent, the god of this world, with his powers of darkness and his legions of

Christ-rejecting human dupes, the diseased and fevered earth will finally be scoured and

purified (II Peter 3:12-13), and CHRIST WILL REIGN SUPREME!

                                                                                                The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”  And out of his month goeth a sharp sword, that with it he

should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a red of iron.

The description is still similar to that given in ch.1:16; 2:12, 16). (For the

last clause, see ch.2:27; 12:5; and compare Isaiah 63:3.) The symbolism is

descriptive of warfare, victory, and judgment. “He” is emphatic: “he shall rule

— no longer the kings of the earth. The nations; in the sense of the ungodly

(compare ch.16:19, etc.). And He treadeth the wine press of the

fierceness and wrath of Almighty God; the wine press of the wine of the

fierceness of the wrath, etc. In ch.14:10 we have the figure of “the wine of the

wrath” of God, and in  ibid. v.19 that of the “wine press of the wrath;”

here the two are combined (compare Isaiah 63:3, quoted on v. 13).

 

The sword from His mouth depicts judgment through His spoken Word (1:16; 2:12,16;

Isaiah 11:4; II Thessalonians 2:8). The Bible says that it is so sharp that it can divide the

soul and spirit.  Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and

sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and

spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents

of the heart."  Smite the nations: Christ will destroy all unbelievers (v.21; Matthew

25: 41,46;  II Thessalonians 1:8-9). Rod of iron: Christ will subject all nations to Himself,

and destroy all His enemies (Psalm 2:8-9; I Corinthians 15:24-25). Winepress: See

ch.14:17-20.  Words relating to wrath and anger are found fifteen times in Revelation.

We see how powerful this Word is. This "rod of iron" that He is to rule with just

means that His law is ABSOLUTE and UNWAVERING. He never changes.

When we see this "treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath",  This wrath

of God is for three and a half years of Tribulation, then after those, another  three

and a half years that is call the Great Tribulation, making a total of seven years of

GOD’S JUDGMENT AND WRATH!  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

John had seen this sharp sword before (ch.1:16), the piercing sharpness of the lethal words

of judgment leaping from the mouth of the wrathful Son of man.  Isaiah also had prophesied

of this: He shall smite the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips

shall He slay the wicked” (Isaiah 11:4).  “[That wicked one] the Lord shall consume with

the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (II Thessalonians

2:8).  The “sword” is, specifically, a saber or a long, broad cutlass.  Symbolically it can be used

for any weapons of intense battle, and here of course it refers to the fiery words of judgment

from the Lord.  The “nations” to be smitten thus are the Gentile nations (“Gentiles” and

“nations” are translations of the same Greek word, ἔθνος - ethnos).  The Jewish nation will

already have undergone its own judgment during the “day of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7),

the tribulation period, and will have accepted Christ as their long-rejected Messiah when He

returns.  During the imminent millennial age, these Gentile nations will be ruled with a rod of

iron (see also ch. 12:5).  The word for “rule” is actually shepherdizeor “pastor.”  Christ

will be their pastor, but He will demand absolute obedience.  It will be a dictatorship of love,

but a dictatorship nonetheless.  The terminology comes originally from Psalm 2:8-9: “I shall

give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy

possession.  Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron.”  This promise was given by the

heavenly Father to His Son (ibid. v.7) but the Lord Jesus also extended it to each person

that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end” (ch.2:26-27).  As the psalmist noted:

“This honour have all His saints” (Psalm 149:9).  Once again there is a return to the figure of

the overflowing winepress and the blood-dipped vesture.  This was the graphic picture of

ch. 14:14-20, but here we are told specifically that the one who treads the winepress is

CHRIST HIMSELF!   Further, He treads it alone (Isaiah 63:3), so that only His vesture is

dipped in blood.  The winepress depicts the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  The

word for “fierceness” (Greek θυμοῦ -  thumou) is also translated “indignation” and “wrath.” 

The word here for “wrath” (Greek ὀργῆςorgaes) is also rendered “anger,” “indignation”

and “vengeance.”  Thus the two terms are essentially synonymous and express with doubled

intensity the unleashed ferocity of a long-suffering God, whose unrequited patience has

endured for ages the wickedness and rebellion and blasphemy of the men and women HE

HAD LOVED AND HAD SOUGHT TO REDEEM!   “Because I have called, and ye

refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at naught

all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will

 mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction

cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you” (Proverbs 1:24-27).

A mighty wind will sweep through the long valley where the armies of the millions are gathered,

the sharp sword striking forth from the mouth of the offended King.  Bursting arteries will spew

their blood until the great trough flows in blood and the press is full.  “Put ye in the sickle, for

the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for THEIR

WICKEDNESS IS GREAT!”   (Joel 3:13).  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

16 “And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING

OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”  And He hath on his vesture and on

His thigh a name written. What this means is doubtful. The following suggestions

have been made:

 

  • The name, written at length, is written partly upon the vesture and

            partly upon the thigh itself, where the garment would (in an equestrian

            figure) fall away from the thigh.

  • The name is written on the vesture, even (καί - kai - and) on that part of

      it which covers the thigh.

  • On the thigh, as the place where the sword usually hangs.
  • A reference to the custom of engraving the name of the artist upon the

            thigh of a statue.

 

KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. As in ch.17:14 (but inverted),

where, as here, it portrays the victorious career of Christ over the “kings of

the earth.”

 

KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS: Christ has universal sovereignty. This expresses

His sovereign triumph over all foes and His absolute rule in His soon to be established Kingdom.

(ch.17:14; Deuteronomy 10:17; Daniel 2:47; I Timothy 6:15).  There are approximately ninety-seven

names throughout the Bible that the personage that we know as Jesus is used. The name He was

called at the time had to do with the circumstance at hand. Here He is coming to the earth to take

over as Supreme Ruler, so He is called by the name "KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS"!

                                                                                                                                (discoverrevelation.com)

 

Here is yet another wonderful name of Christ, written both on His blood-dipped vesture and

also, in lieu of a two-edged sword, upon His thigh (compare Psalm 45:3).  In the days of His

flesh, the minions of earth’s greatest king had cast lots for His vesture (John 19:24); now His

vesture dripped with the blood of all such blasphemers and was inscribed with the testimony

that He was King over all such earthly kings and Lord over all terrestrial lords.  He needed

no sword at His thigh, like earthly conquerors, because His sword proceeded out of His mouth,

so here also was placed the glorious ascription.  This title was used earlier by the Apostle Paul

speaking of the future “appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Paul seemed to glimpse this very

scene: “Which in His times He shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings,

and Lord of lords” (I Timothy 6:14-15).  Speaking earlier of these earthly kings, while writing about

the harlot Babylon, John had recorded the testimony of the angel.  “These shall make war with

the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings”

(ch.17:14).  HE IS KING OF TIME AND KING OF SPACE, KING OF ALL CREATION! 

How can mere creatures,  whether men or angels, or even Satan himself, presume TO

OPPOSE HIM?  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

                                    The Great Battle of Armageddon 

 

The spirits of demons, working miracles, have now persuaded all the kings of the earth to

send their armies to Armageddon (ch.16:13-16), there to be ready to fight their great

Enemy, in one final desperate attempt to confirm the beast as king of the earth, and to

enthrone Satan as king of the cosmos.  They know Christ is about to descend to earth,

and they have experienced His awful judgments, one after the other.  But THERE IS

NO LONGER EITHER DESIRE OR OPPORTUNITY TO BE SAVED,  so they

must either fight or perish.  And so they march and skirmish with the people of the

lands and fight with the remnant Jews in Jerusalem, and wait fearfully for the heavens

to open and Christ to come. (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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;”

And I saw an angel standing in the sun. That is, in mid

heaven (as in ch. 8:13, etc.); in a place befitting his glory, and

also whence he can appropriately issue his summons. And he cried with

a loud voice. As is usual in all the heavenly utterances (see ch.5:2, etc.).

Saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven; the

birds that fly in mid heaven (Revised Version) (vide supra); see

Ezekiel 39:17, et seq., for the origin of the imagery here employed.

Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great

God; come, be gathered together unto the great supper of God (Revised

Version). Not, of course, the “supper” of v. 9, but rather a contrast to it;

that supper which is reserved for the ungodly, at which they form the prey.

The language is employed in filling in the accessory details of the central

image, and must not be pressed too far in particular directions; e.g.

 

An angel speaking in a loud voice invites all of the birds to feed on the results of the carnage

which will shortly take place. This angel is declaring Christ's victory before the battle even

begins. A similar passage is found in Luke 17:37 stating: wherever the corpse is, there the

eagles (vultures) will gather.  This "supper" that this speaks of, is right after the battle of

Armageddon.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

An invitation had gone out long ago to come to the marriage supper of the Lamb, and many

had responded.  Now an invitation is issued to another feast, the supper of the great God,

but what a difference in the two suppers!  The guests at the one are the redeemed saints of

the ages, joyfully feasting in the presence of the Redeemer.  Those invited to the other are

the birds of prey and the carrion-eating foul from all over the world, and their dinner is to

be the flesh and blood of the slain multitudes at Armageddon.  The angel who called out this

amazing invitation was “standing in the sun.”  Perhaps this means, merely, that the angel was

in the sunlight, or else standing on the earth with the sun behind him but it would seem

unnecessary to mention it at all if that were the meaning.  More likely, the angel was actually

in the sun.  Angels are commonly identified with stars in the Scripture, and it is not far-fetched

to suppose this angel has his own assignment, in God’s great dominion, on the sun itself.  As

such, he would have special concern for the earth, since it is energy from the sun that maintains

the physical and biological processes taking place on the earth.  It may well have been this same

angel who was responsible (see ch.16:8-9) for causing the sun to heat up so severely during the

latter days of the tribulation period.  But the task of cleansing the earth of the awful carnage

at Armageddon will be more than unaided solar energy can accomplish, no matter how much

intensified.  Accordingly, he calls out in a mighty cry, reaching all the way from the sun,

capable of being heard and understood by the hawks and ravens, the crows and vultures,

from all over the world.  The call is to a great gathering-together of the fowls of the heavens. 

The armies of the heathen had first been gathered together (Joel 3:2, 11; Zephaniah 3:8;

Zechariah 12:3; 14:2; here ch.16:16) on the ground, in a great column from Bozrah in Edom

up through the valley of Jehoshaphat and over the plains of Jezreel at Armageddon.  Now

the birds of prey also begin to gather together, but in the air, circling over the masses of

humanity stretched out below them, darkening the sky and undoubtedly filling the hearts

of the armies on the ground with great gloom and dread.  “For wheresoever the carcase is,

there will the eagles be gathered together” (Matthew 24:28).  “Hold thy peace at the presence

of the Lord God: for the day of the Lord is at hand: for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice,

He hath bid His guests” (Zephaniah 1:7).  (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

 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.”   (compae the description in Ezekiel 39:17). All men;

that is, all the ungodly. Compare the description of the same event at the

conclusion of the seal judgments (ch.6:15). The whole account

indicates the widespread and complete nature of God’s judgments,

which none shall be able to escape.

 

What this is saying is that for those lying out there dead in the valley of Megiddo, it

will not matter whether you were a general or a private. The birds will not know the

difference. With God, there has never been a distinction. He is not impressed with

your position in life. The birds will eat them all.  This reveals the extent of the massive

slaughter. To have one's unburied body left as food for birds would be the ultimate

indignity, especially for the mighty military commanders and the proud kings. The

same fate awaits the God hating rebels everywhere in the world. 

                                                                                                discoverrevelation.com)

 

Mighty kings and mighty warriors, great men and small men, all men, will become carrion

for the vultures.  Thus will the haughtiness of men be brought low.  “For the day of the

Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is

lifted up; and he shall be brought low” (Isaiah 2:12).  This scene is very similar to that

described in Ezekiel 39:17-20.  “And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God; Speak

unto every feathered foul, 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.”  Because of the similarities, many commentators

have taken the battle of Gog and Magog, of which this Ezekiel passage is an aftermath, to

be the same as the battle of Armageddon.  This is very unlikely, however, though the one

may well be intended as a type of the other.  One is on the mountains of Israel, the other on

the plains of Armageddon and in the valley of Jehoshaphat.  One includes all the animals of

the land, the other only the men and their horses. 

 

  • The destruction in the first is caused by divinely controlled nature,
  • the second directly by Christ Himself

 

Further, as discussed in ch. 6, the battle of Gog and Magog almost certainly will take place

 at the beginning of the tribulation, Armageddon at its end.  Reports have been widely

published stating that there has been a great increase in the population of such birds of

prey in recent years in the lands of the Middle East.  Whether or not this is really so,

there are indeed two great banquets due one day soon to be spread for the birds of the air:

 

  • one of the armies of Gog,   (I heard of Vladmir Putin speaking this day on the

        situation in the Middle East – CY – September 29, 2015)

  • the other those of the beast.

 

                                                                (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”  And I saw the beast; viz. that described in ch.13:1,

typical of the hostile world power. And the kings of the earth, and

their armies. The kings summoned by the unclean spirits of ch.16:13-14,

typical of the forces which the beast employs in his spiritual

warfare with God. The armies are the adherents of the beast, described in

ch.13. — the ungodly, those who follow the world rather than

God. Gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the

horse, and against his army. Gathered as described in ch.16:14

and v. 17 of this chapter. Again (as in v. 7) a double operation.

The gathering is voluntary on the part of the wicked (ch.16:14),

and yet it is overruled by God, and made to serve His ends

(v.17). Him that sat on the horse; Christ (see v. 11).

“His army” consists of the faithful followers of Christ. They are here

pictured as a heavenly army (v. 14), because the victory which they

achieved is the leading feature here depicted, but their warfare took place

while they were on earth (compare 14:13). The war (with the article); viz.

that war which is perpetually waged between the powers of light and

darkness, and which will not be terminated until the great judgment.

 

This beast is the Antichrist, the leader of the last and greatest empire in human history.

The kings of the earth are those ten kings who rule the ten sectors which the Antichrist's

worldwide empire is divided in to.  The Antichrist has gathered his armies to do battle

with Jesus and His army. The formidable and seemingly invincible armed might of the

beast, with all of its firepower, now awaits the arrival of the Rider on the white horse.

Ever since the beginning of time, the armies of God and the armies of the devil have

been in mortal combat. The flesh and the Spirit have been in combat also. Isaac (Spirit)

and Ishmael (flesh) are still in mortal physical combat through their descendents in

Israel today. (Genesis 21:8-10)  This Scripture above is speaking again of the battle of

Armageddon  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

The last time the beast and the kings of the earth were seen together was as recorded in ch.17:13,

where the kings had deeded their power and strength over to the beast.  This was at the middle

of the tribulation so that, for the last three-and-a-half years, the beast had been essentially king

of the world.  Under the impact of the ensuing bowl judgments, the beast and the false prophet,

as instructed by the old dragon, had finally sent forth their call to all the kings to gather their

armies together to Armageddon (ch.16:13-16).  Shortly thereafter, the great capital city at

Babylon had been destroyed, and all these kings of the earth had mourned greatly over her

loss (ch.18:9-10).  But now they are all gathered together at Armageddon, with their hosts

extending in great multitudes down past the Dead Sea deep into the ancient territory of the

Edomites, awaiting the coming of Christ and His army of saints from heaven.  The dragon

also is there, with all his demonic hordes, poised for one last mighty assault on the King of

creation, still hoping against hope that God can be defeated.  The day of final confrontation

is almost here.  “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord

 is near in the valley of decision” (Joel 3:14).  (I still remember my pastor at Oak Hill
Baptist Church, Somerset, Kentucky, Howard Prather, in the early 1960’s preach from

this passage!  God’s Word never returns to Him void!  Isaiah 55:11 – Like Abel,

Bro. Prather, “being dead, still speaketh.” Hebrews 11:4 – CY  - 2015)  “Come near,

ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein;

the world, and all things that come forth of it.  For the indignation of the Lord is upon

all nations, and His fury upon all their armies: He hath utterly destroyed them, He hath

delivered them to the slaughter.  Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall

come up out of their carcasses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood!”

(Isaiah 34:1-3).   (The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”  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; that wrought the signs in his sight (Revised Version). Here we

have described the destruction of the earthly manifestations of Satan’s

power; the means by which he seeks to achieve his purposes, and which we

have interpreted as the hostile world power and self deception (see

on ch.13.). The whole account contained here in vs. 11-21 is a brief

recapitulation of the whole period of warfare between Christ and Satan,

with special attention given to the final overthrow of the powers of evil. It,

therefore, covers the same ground as the vision of seals, and then that of

the trumpets, then that of the vials, and afterwards that of the beasts, each

occupies. The chief difference is that in all those visions the everyday

conflict is more particularly described; whereas in this passage the

termination of the conflict is specially brought before us. The same ground

is covered in the next chapter, advancing, however, one step further, and

showing us THE FINAL PUNISHMENT OF SATAN HIMSELF, AS

WELL AS HIS INSTRUMENTS!  ch. 20:10). These both were cast alive into

 a lake of fire burning with brimstone; they twain were cast alive into the

lake, etc. (On “brimstone,” etc., see on ch. 9:17-18. Compare ch.20:10,14-15;

21:8) This “lake of fire” is the place of punishment for Satan and his hosts;

not the place in which he at present works and reigns — which is described

as the abyss (ch.9:1; 11:7; 17:8; 20:1, 3).  (“loosed for a season” – I believe

this is why things have changed so rapidly in my lifetime.  Our nation has

gone from a God-fearing people to self-worshipping secularism in a very

short time.  In the late 1960’s, Marion Duncan, pastor of Second Baptist

Church in Hopkinsville, preached a series of sermons on the last days.

He used the traits mentioned in II Timothy 3:1-5, in which there are

seventeen to eighteen different characteristics of the people of the end

times.  Why I am mentioning this is the tremendous impression it made

on me, looking forward to a time which seemed quite far-fetched at the

time, but now, a half century later, is being fulfilled in my lifetime.  Bro.

Duncan would read from II Timothy one trait, and then read the first

half of Revelation 20 with each one of them.  So we heard of the

great deception of Satan each Sunday.  He would end his sermon,

asking a question based on Revelation 20:7-8, “IS HE LOOSE?”

There was great affect on me and others, as the Holy Spirit witnessed

of this truth to us!  - CY – 2015)

 

But before the battle can even begin, it's over. Not only that, but those two demonically

empowered leaders, Antichrist and False Prophet, are dealt a terrible blow. Those two

are thrown alive into the lake of fire.  The false prophet and the beast were used of

Satan to perform his evil deeds. As the two most evil, vile and blasphemous people

who have ever lived, it is fitting that they should be the first two to arrive in that

awful place. And they will be there by themselves for a thousand years until the

devil joins them at the end of the millennium. Then at the second resurrection

(the second death) THEY WILL BE JOINED BY ALL UNBELIEVERS

FOR ALL ETERNITY!  This is the first mention in the bible of the "lake of fire".

This is the final hell and the ultimate destination of Satan, his angels (or demons)

and the unredeemed.  (Hell was not designed for man, but for the devil and his

angels.  Man has gotten too involved with Satan and in making their bed with him,

will lie with him!  CY – 2015)   Hell has always existed, but this is hell's final form.

Unlike Hades which was a temporary holding place, this is the final permanent place

for incarceration and punishment.  We see here, the total victory over the beast and

the false prophet. This shows here that the "KING OF KINGS" throws them into

the "lake of fire". This "brimstone" is sulfur. (For a better understanding, compare

the brimstone emphasized and shown about Sodom and Gomorrah on

arkdiscovery.com.  – CY – 2015)  This is final victory over the earthly manifestations

of Satan's power.  (discoverrevelation.com)

 

The multitudes in the armies of the kings of the earth had placed great faith in their leader,

the beast, believing that he would indeed prove out to be greater than Christ.  They had

been willing even to receive the mark of the beast, knowing that this choice would

irrevocably cut them off from any subsequent desire to change their minds and turn

to Christ (ch.14:9-11).  To a considerable degree, they had been influenced to make this

fateful decision by virtue of the charismatic personality of the beast and the amazing

miracles wrought by his lieutenant, the world’s preeminent religious leader and prophet. 

This false prophet had persuaded men that he could even give life to the great image of

the beast set up in the temple at Jerusalem, so that all men should bow down to this image,

either the prototype image in Jerusalem or the replicas of the image installed in household

shrines all over the world.  With the beast and the false prophet there to exercise their brilliant

leadership and miraculous powers, respectively, the earthly armies still hoped desperately that

the Lamb and those following Him could be defeated when they descended from their great

space platform in the skies.  Furthermore they knew that the dragon whom they worshiped

(ch.13:4) was also there with all his hosts.  Despite the circling vultures and the fresh memory

of the global earthquake and the fall of mighty Babylon, somehow they still hoped that they

would be delivered.  The Devil that deceived them, through the demonic miracles of the

prophet, still held sway.  How unspeakably terrifying, then, to see their great leaders suddenly

and unceremoniously snatched from their midst!  Whether Christ dispatched a band of angels

to take them or whether they were simply caught up in response to His omnipotent Word is not

recorded.  Whatever the means, these two mighty men, the most powerful and most feared men

in all the world, were gone.  The assembled multitudes were suddenly left exposed and helpless,

with no one to lead them.  Their confusion and fright were unbounded, as they watched in an

absolute trauma the grand approach of the armies of heaven.  But their fright was nothing

compared to that of the beast and the prophet, as they were suddenly seized and translated

at unimaginable speed to a vast fiery lake boiling with brimstone.  There, while still alive in

their human bodies of flesh and blood, they were hurled into the flaming cauldron, where

they would remain throughout eternity.  This is the first specific mention in Scripture of the

lake of fire, at least by this name.  Needless to say, the location and character of this terrible

place has been the subject of much controversy throughout the centuries.  Are the fires in the

lake literal or symbolic?  If they are literal fires, how can human bodies continue to exist in them

forever?  If they are symbolic, what do they symbolize?  Would God leave such an important

figure of speech unexplained, if indeed they are figurative?  The lake of fire is clearly not the

same place as Hades, or Sheol, which terms are often translated as “hell” in the New and Old

Testaments, respectively.  This is obvious by the fact that the unsaved dead in Hades are first

resurrected from Hades and only then cast into the lake of fire (ch.20:13-15).  As we have already

seen (note discussion on ch.1:18; 9:1). Hades is a great abyss in the center of the earth, where the

spirits of unsaved men are confined until the “second” resurrection takes place (ch. 20:5-6, 13). 

Furthermore, there are apparently hordes of demonic spirits confined there as well, in compartments

of Hades called Abaddon and Tartarus (see discussion on ch.9:1-3, 11, 16-18).  Wherever the lake

of fire may be, the beast and the false prophet will become its first occupants.  Later the Devil and

all unbelieving men and women will join them there  (ch.20:10, 15).  The concept of a place of fire

into which ungodly men and women will ultimately be consigned does appear occasionally in the

Old Testament.  Isaiah says that the Lord will make new heavens and a new earth and, in the

same passage, says that as far as “the men that have transgressed against me” are concerned,

“their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched” (Isaiah 66:24).  Daniel said,

concerning the beast: “I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given

 to the burning flame” (Daniel 7:11). In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself

spoke of this place of “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41),

into which shall also be cast the unsaved.  He spoke of this place as “hell,” a place of “fire that

never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark

9:43-48).  The word for “hell” in these passages is not Hades, but gehenna.  This place of

unquenchable fire is clearly identical with the “everlasting fire” and the “lake of fire.”

Christ also spoke of gehenna in a number of other passages as well.  “Whosoever shall say,

Thou fool, shall be in danger of [gehenna] fire” (Matthew 5:22).  “Fear him which is able

to destroy both soul and body in [gehenna]” (Matthew 10:28).  See also Matthew 5:30; 18:9;

23:15; Luke 12:5.  There are also a number of other references in the New Testament, to these

everlasting fires.  For example: “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so

shall it be in the end of this world.  The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall

gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast

them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:40-42). 

The chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable” (Luke 3:17).  There is no question, therefore,

that the Bible teaches that the ultimate destiny of all the unsaved is to be cast into the

“everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).  Furthermore this

fiery environment is to be their eternal prison.  Those who are incarcerated there will 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” (ch.14:10-11).

The beast and the false prophet are thus evidently the very first to be cast into gehenna, the

lake of fire.  As the greatest and most blasphemous of all human rebels against their Creator,

they will be given the distinction of being the first to be separated forever from His presence. 

Initially they will be taken to gehenna by the holy angels, and in their presence and in the

presence of the Lamb whom they have despised, they will be “tormented,” a word which

comes from a root meaning “placed under foot.”  Their knees must bow and their tongues

confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11), and then they “shall be punished

with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power”

(II Thessalonians 1:9).  Following this, in other words, the Lord and His angels will withdraw

forever from their presence, leaving them in this unending torment of bitterness and defeat,

like “wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever” (Jude 1:13).

Initially they will be cast alive into the lake of fire.  Assuming that the fire is literal fire

(and in view of the abundance of Scriptures referring to this fire, as listed above, it would be

presumptuous to think otherwise at this point), their bodies will be quickly burned up and

they will die, in the physical sense.  This is confirmed in Daniel 7:11.  “The beast was slain,

 and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.”  However, their spirits, like those

of all men, are eternal spirits, initially created in the image of God.  As unsaved spirits, these

wicked men, like the evil spirits of the fallen angels, will then continue to occupy the lake of

fire forever.  For a thousand years, they will be its sole occupants, and one can well imagine

their unspeakable loneliness, the bitter recriminations, the implacable hatred which will consume

their thoughts during this period.  We will reserve discussion of the nature and location of the

fiery lake, however, until the section on ch.20:10-15, when all other lost spirits will join them there.

The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

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.”  The remnant; that is, the adherents of

the beast, the “armies” of v. 19. (For this description of Christ, see vs.11, 15.)

Spiritual death is inflicted upon those who have proved themselves

hostile to God. The last sentence emphasizes the nature of the punishment

by the reference to the indignity offered to their bodies after death.

 

Then all of the rest who were with the Antichrist and the false prophet will then be

destroyed and the rest of those gathered to fight against Christ.  Then suddenly it

will be all over. Actually there will not be any war at all as we think of war. There

will be just a word spoken from the Rider who sits on the white horse. That's THE

SAME ONE who spoke the heavens and the earth into existence at the very beginning.

 

  • The One who spoke to a fig tree and it withered away.  (Matthew 21:19:20;

        Mark 10:20-21)

  • Who spoke to the howling winds and heaving waves and the storm clouds

        vanished and the waves were stilled.  (ibid. ch. 4:35-39)

  • Who spoke to a legion of demons in a man and instantly they fled.

        (ibid. ch.5:1-13)

 

Now by His Word, the Beast is stricken where he stands. The false prophet windbag

from the pit is stilled. Then they're hurled into the everlasting flames. Then another

Word and all of the panic stricken armies stagger and fall down dead.  (Compare

the reaction of Judas and his entourage in John 18:1-6)  Then all the birds ate and were

filled with the flesh of those who were killed.  The rest of the unredeemed throughout

the world will be judged at the sheep and goat judgment which takes place at this time.

(Matthew 25:31-33)  This is not just defeat, but is physical death for those who followed

the beast and the false prophet. The Word of God defeated them. They actually die in the

battle of Armageddon by the Words of Christ and not by an easy death as scripture tells

us that the blood in that valley ran up to the horses bridles, about four to five feet deep for

the entire length of the 184 mile valley.  (See pictures in ch. 16 – this web site – CY – 2015)

                                                                                                                (discoverrevelation.com)

 

When their great leaders, the supposedly invincible king and his miracle-working seer

(the Scriptures call them the beast and the false prophet), were suddenly seized and carried

away from their command post, the armies which had followed them were left in utter

dismay and confusion.  This is the scene particularly foretold in Luke 21:26-27.  “Men’s

hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the

earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.  And then shall they see the Son of man

coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”  Knowing now that all hope was completely

gone, the frightened multitudes will await their own fate.  They will not have to wait long. 

A mighty cutting wind sweeps across their ranks, up the 180-mile column of massed men

and horses, proceeding like a slicing sword directly from the powerful Word of the majestic

Rider as He rides up from Edom.  Like grapes trampled in a winepress, the blood bursts

from their veins and death is instantaneous.  Soon the great trough is flowing with blood

and His vesture dips therein while He treads the winepress alone.  The spirits of the slain

multitudes depart into Hades, there to await the judgment of the great white throne.  This is

the great climactic battle of the ages, long foreseen by the prophets.  “The Lord at thy right

hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.  He shall judge among the heathen,

He shall fill the places with the dead bodies; He shall wound the heads over many countries”

(Psalm 110:5-6).  “The wicked shall be turned into hell [i.e., sheol], and all the nations that

forget God” (Psalm 9:17).  The language of Isaiah’s prophecy is awesome: “Their slain also

shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall

be melted with their blood. . . . The sword of the Lord is filled with blood . . . for the Lord hath

 a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea(Isaiah 34:3-6).

The prophet Jeremiah gives a similar message: “I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants

 of the earth, saith the Lord of hosts. . . . The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter His voice

from His holy habitation; He shall mightily roar upon His habitation; He shall give a shout,

as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. . . . Thus saith the Lord

of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised

up from the coasts of the earth.  And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of

the earth even unto the other end of the earth”.  Earth” in this passage could legitimately, and

probably better, be translated “land,” as, for example, in Jeremiah 25:20 – “the land of the Philistines”:

they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground”

(Jeremiah 25:29-33).  Through Zephaniah the Lord had pronounced: “I will bring distress upon men,

that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord: and their blood

shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.  Neither their silver nor their gold shall

be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by

the fire of His jealousy: for He shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land”

(Zephaniah 1:17-18).  See also Zephaniah 3:8.   It is apparently at this time, as the conquering Christ

comes up from Edom to Jerusalem, smiting all the assembled armies as He comes, that the Jews who

have returned to Jerusalem finally will receive Him as their Messiah and Savior.  The prophet Zechariah

tells us about it: “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that

burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together

against it.  In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with

madness. . . . And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come

against Jerusalem.  And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem,

the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and

they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as

one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. . . . In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house

of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. . . . They shall call on my

 name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God”

(Zechariah 12:3-4, 9-10; 13:1, 9).   It is probably at this time that He will stand triumphantly on

Mount Zion, with the 144,000 chosen Israelites, who will have returned to Jerusalem with their

Jewish converts from their sojourn in the wilderness (ch.12:6; 14:1).  He will also “stand in that

day upon the mount of Olives” (Zechariah 14:4), from which He had ascended long ago

(Acts 1:9-12), thereby triggering the great earthquake which will open the healing springs and

rivers (Zechariah 14:4, 8).  Whether or not He then will continue on up to Armageddon, to complete

the trampling of the winepress, as it were, we are not informed, but the awful slaughter is indeed

quickly accomplished.  Millions upon millions of dead bodies lie fallen upon the ground, awash in

their own blood.  “For by fire and by his sword WILL THE LORD PLEAD WITH ALL FLESH

and the slain of the Lord shall be many” (Isaiah 66:16).  Then will the great cloud of ravenous birds

swoop down from the heavens gorging themselves on the flesh and blood of the once high-and-mighty

rebels against a long-suffering God.  Gradually the earth will be cleansed of its pollution, leaving the

bones soon to disintegrate and scatter with the winds.  The terrible scene of carnage and death depicted

in these verses may at first offend the sensibilities of those who think of God only as a loving and

patronizing grandfather.  He is indeed a God of great mercy and forgiveness, not willing that any

should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  (II Peter 3:9)  His love for a lost world is so

great that as THE SACRIFICAL LAMB OF GOD He suffered and died on the cross to save

men from their sins    But when they adamantly refuse His salvation, denying His Word and

blaspheming His name, there must one day come a time of reckoning.  “To every thing there is

a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).  The time is surely

coming when God’s great purpose for His creation must be brought to ITS CONSUMATION

 and this requires that it BE PURGED FROM SIN!  The Revelation Record – Henry Morris)

 

 

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