SUMMARY OF CHAPTER 19
Here we see the point in salvation history when the Church has received Her last member and is now complete in Her members of the elect of God. And then once that happens the battle of Armageddon begins to take place when the Devil makes one last failed attempt to destroy the Church. I also went into detail about Armageddon in the lesson on chapter 15-16
1 After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, 2 for his judgments are true and just; he has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication, and he has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” 3 Once more they cried, “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.” 4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who is seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 5 And from the throne came a voice crying, “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.”
Here we see all those in Heaven celebrating the fall of the empire Babylon the great Harlot, which is symbolic for the world system. Many of the saints in Heaven suffered under the same kind of forces when they were alive on earth, and many even suffered death from it.
6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; 8 it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure”– for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. 9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”
The marriage supper is an event at the end of time when the Church will be complete in Her members, and the very last of the elect has been added. Jesus mentions this marriage supper of the Lamb in Matthew 22:2-14, and also especially when He said, “I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 8:11).” Right now the Church is still in a sort of an engagement or courtship with the Lord until the end of time when she will be complete and ready for “when he (Jesus) delivers the kingdom to God the Father (1Cor. 15:24).”
10 Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
The most important thing that we need to recognize here is that John was not giving divine worship to this angel, but a lower kind that shows honor to those who are very holy, because John would not make that mistake and give divine worship to an angel, much less do it twice as we see he did in Rev. 22:8. The angel saw St. John as one of the foundations of the Church, the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 13:23), and one of the sons of thunder (Mark 3:17). And the angel probably felt a little awkward getting honored like that from such a bulwark of the Church, so he told John not to.
BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON (also Rev. 16:13-21; 20:7-9)
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many crowns; and he has a name inscribed which no one knows but himself.
The white horse and the rider are the same ones found in Rev. 6:2, and they signify the Church-white horse, and Christ-the rider. His name that no one knows but Himself is obviously incomprehensible, so I see no need to try to “reveal” it.
13 He is clad in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.
His robed dipped in blood shows that He bears the marks of the Passion. Jesus is called the Word by St. John in the beginning of his Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1,14).” He called Him Word because Christ the Word proclaimed to us the things of the Father, just as every word and speech proclaims the thoughts of the mind. He is also called the Word to show that the Word is co-eternal with the Father. Just as it is impossible to say that the mind ever existed without words, so too is it impossible that God the Father ever was without the Son.
14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, followed him on white horses.
The armies of heaven are the angels whom Jesus refers to, “For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done (Matt. 16:27).”
15 From his mouth issues a sharp sword with which to smite the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, King of kings and Lord of lords.
The sword signifies the right of authority and the Word of God (Heb. 4:12). He is given the title of King of kings and Lord of lords because He is subject to no one, but all are subject to Him because “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:10-11).”
17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly in midheaven, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, 18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” 19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who sits upon the horse and against his army. 20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had worked the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulphur. 21 And the rest were slain by the sword of him who sits upon the horse, the sword that issues from his mouth; and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.
This is a graphic scene of the devastation of the wrath of God and the angels, which left many bodies dead to where the birds feasted on them. Those slain by the sword from the mouth of the Lord means that the Lord will strike them dead by simply willing it to happen or even speaking it. The Antichrist and the False Prophet are seen here being thrown into the Lake of Fire. As we see from Rev. 20:9, fire comes down from Heaven and devours what is left, and then Satan is thrown into the Lake of Fire with the Antichrist and False Prophet.