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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 19

Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NTLuscombe's NT Commentary

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Introduction

Introduction

The first part of this chapter is actually a conclusion to the previous one. The first few verses describe the joy and celebration of the saints at the destruction of Babylon, mother of harlots.

We have seen the doom of one of the three “frogs” that lead Satan’s army on the attack against the people of God. The mother of harlots, the great harlot, the great city of fornication, Babylon is down. Now, it is time for the people faithful to God to declare, “One is down. Two more to go.”

In this chapter we will learn the fate of the beast (persecuting governments) and the false prophets.

Some have thought that this describes a judgment that will take place on earth, before the second coming. I believe, as we near the climax of this vision, we are seeing the beginning of the end. Imagine watching a movie where a gang of outlaws is being chased by the sheriff. Toward the end of the movie, the sheriff begins to “pick off” the gang members, one at a time. Finally, there is no one but the leader of the gang of outlaws left to arrest and put in jail.

This is where we are in the book of Revelation. We have met the gang. We have learned the wicked things they have done. Now God is picking them off, one by one and sealing their fate. By the time this chapter ends, all that is left is to bind Satan and seal his eternal fate.

Woodruff states, “The purpose of this vision is twofold. First, it assures us that the church has been established. Then it compares the destiny of the church to that of the beast and the false prophet. Because the church has been established, man has a way to avoid the plagues of the great harlot (18:4) and the final destruction of the beast and false prophet (v. 20).” (1, 338)

Verse 1

1 After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God!

A. There is great rejoicing in heaven. The entire host, a great multitude, are honoring and praising God for his victory over Babylon.

B. All power, honor and glory belong to God.

Verse 2

2 For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.”

A. God is righteous. His judgment is true and upright. When God avenges the blood of the saints, all will agree that God did what was right and proper.

B. Keep the faith. God will avenge the blood of those harmed by this general of Satan’s horde. Many have followed in her footsteps. They will all be punished.

Verses 3-4

3 Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!” 4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!”

A. Babylon is suffering in the smoke of hell. She and her cohorts will suffer.

B. The 24 elders and the four living creatures are around the throne. They join in the rejoicing and worshiping of God.

Verse 5

5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!”

A. We are servants who seek to remain faithful. There is immorality all around us. There is filth and corruption everywhere.

B. How do we keep or garments white in the midst of all this? That is the challenge before us.

Verse 6

6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!

A. The angelic host, the 24 elders, and the four living creatures are now joined by the great multitude of all the saints.

B. God is omnipotent. We serve an Almighty God. He reigns. He is on the throne and in control.

C. NOTE: The sound of many waters and mighty thunderings are descriptions of the volume of the host of humanity joining together to praise God.

Verse 7

7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”

A. It is time to celebrate. This is not just a time to be happy. It is more than just a party.

B. It is time to celebrate the marriage of the Lamb. The time for the marriage has come and the bride (church) has made herself ready for the wedding.

Weddings

Some comments about the customs of the typical Jewish wedding of this era will be helpful. The comments here about the marriage feast and the marriage of the Lamb and his bride (the church) are based upon the custom of this time. There are at least four areas of importance.

1. Engagement . Coffman writes, “The betrothal, which often took place as much as a year before the actual marriage, was fully equivalent legally to the marriage itself; during this period of waiting, the bridegroom was absent preparing a place for the bride (as in Joh_14:1-13 ), and any infidelity upon her part was considered as adultery.” (5, 442) The church is the bride of Christ. We are engaged, and waiting for the wedding. ( 2Co_11:2 )

2. Invitation. As the time of the wedding is approaching, the bride and groom invite many guests to come for the wedding. In Mat_22:4 ; Mat_22:9 the king is bidding many to come to the marriage. This is a parallel with Christians inviting people to come to the gospel.

3. Garments . As people come to the wedding, a garment is given. To make sure there not any uninvited guests, the king comes in and looks around to make sure all the guests are in their proper attire for the wedding. Those without the correct garment are removed. ( Mat_22:11 ) The parallel with the church is this: When we are baptized, we put off the garments of the flesh and put on the white garments. Our task to keep our white garment white and ready for the marriage.

4. Feast . We have been invited to the feast. This will take place in heaven. This will occur when the church, now waiting for the bridegroom to come, is taken to the home the groom is preparing. ( Joh_14:3 )

Verse 8

8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

A. The church, the true and faithful church, is dressed in fine linen. Their garment is clean, bright and white. There are many references to show that white is the color of purity and cleanliness. ( Isa_1:18 ; Psa_51:7 ; Dan_12:10 ; Rev_3:4-5 ; Rev_3:18 ; Rev_7:14 )

B. Jesus will not come to claim a bride that is dirty, unkempt and not ready. Christ is looking for spotless, wrinkle-free, pure white garments. ( Eph_5:27 )

C. Each Christian received a white garment when they were baptized. How is your garment now? Is it wrinkled, soiled, or spotted? Is it still clean, unblemished and smooth? Do you look like you need to do some washing and ironing or do you look like you are ready to attend the marriage of the Lamb of God?

Verse 9

9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”

A. Here is another of the seven beatitudes in the book of Revelation. There is a blessing pronounced on those who are called, accepted, and ready to attend the marriage supper.

B. This supper is not the Lord’s Supper or communion, which Christians observe to remember the death of Christ. This is the celebration of the wedding. It takes place when Jesus comes for his ready and waiting bride.

Verse 10

10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

A. John began to worship the angel bringing this announcement. The angel instructs John to get up. Angels are not to be worshipped. They worship God. So should we.

B. Cornelius began to worship Peter. He was told to stand up. Peter is also a man. ( Act_10:26 ) Our Lord is God and we are to worship Him only.

C. The angel here is also a fellow servant, along with the brethren. (See 1:9)

Verse 11

11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.

A. Heaven opened up. A white horse appears with Christ as the rider. The focus is on the rider. The rider is named Faithful and True.

B. He is the judge. His judgments are righteous.

C. He is also the captain of our salvation, the leader of the army of God. He is ready to make war. Some have great difficulty here. It is argued - How can the prince of peace come to make war?

D. We must understand this is not a literal war of men, weapons and bloodshed. This is a spiritual warfare. All Christians are in this war. We are fighting evil (immorality) and corruption in high places. We are not fighting flesh and blood. Our war is against principalities and powers in heavenly places.

Verses 12-14

12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.

A. These verses give a graphic description of Jesus.

 He is on a white horse . His name is Faithful and True. He is the judge. He is the leader of the army (11)

 His eyes are alive with the flame of fire . He wears all the crowns. He has a name that only He can wear. (12)

 He wears a robe dipped in blood (His death on the cross). He is called the Word of God. John uses this term in his gospel and in the first epistle. ( Joh_1:1-4 ; 1Jn_1:1-3 ) (13)

 He has an army of soldiers clothed in white clean linen . The whole army is on white horses. (14)

B. All of these terms are descriptions of Jesus.

Verse 15

15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

A. He speaks and we are judged. ( Joh_12:48 )

B. His judgment will fall upon all the nations. Jesus rules. He is the king.

C. He is also the judge. He will tread the winepress of God’s Almighty wrath.

Verse 16

16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

A. Jesus is the “King of kings, and Lord of lords.”

B. To better understand these phrases, replace the word “of” with the word “over” and you will see that Jesus is King over all kings. He is Lord over all lords.

Verse 17

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God,

A. The end is near. For the church, the waiting for the bridegroom is about over. It is almost time for the great supper.

B. The invitations have been sent out. You are invited to get ready. Are your garments white, wrinkle-free, spotless? Are you ready for the wedding?

C. If you have to “get ready” then you need to get started, NOW!

Verse 18

18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”

A. The time is coming that the army of faithful soldiers of Christ will mete out judgment on the wicked.

B. All kinds of men will be lost - 1) kings, 2) captains, 3) mighty men, 4) free people, 5) slave people, 6) small people, and 7) great people.

C. All those who harmed Christians will be ruined.

Verse 19

19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

A. We are about to see the beast of persecuting governments and the beast of false religions.

B. The civil governments, ruled by the kings of the earth, and their armies try to oppose the King of kings. They will not succeed.

Verse 20

20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

A. Here is what God says will happen to the beast and the false prophet.

B. They are cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.

C. The beast (persecuting civil governments) and false prophets (false religious teachers) are cast in the eternal pit called Hell. Along with them are all who followed them, received the mark of the beast and worshipped his image.

Verse 21

21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.

A. Finally all the rest of Satan’s army are destroyed. This is the end.

B. The three generals have now been defeated. Next is Satan, himself.

Bibliographical Information
Luscombe, Manly. "Commentary on Revelation 19". Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mlc/revelation-19.html. 2021.
 
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