Search results for: Revelation 19

Revelation 19: Download the free study

We are nearly through with our verse-by-verse study of the Book of Revelation, focusing on four major views of the so-called Apocalypse of John.

You may read the commentary to date either by clicking on End Times or Revelation in the drop-down menu to the right.

Whether you’re a preterist, who sees the events of Revelation as fulfilled in the first centuries of the Christian era; a historicist, who views the events of Revelation as unfolding throughout the course of history; a futurist, who sees most of Revelation as yet unfulfilled; or an idealist, who sees Revelation setting forth timeless truths concerning the battle between good and evil, there are important truths the Lord reveals to all of us in this book.

We would do well to approach Revelation with caution — and with great anticipation, knowing God will fulfill all His promises to us. We also should be comforted by the fact that Revelation is the only book in Scripture specifically promising a blessing to those who hear its prophecies and keep them.

Download the commentary on Revelation 19:

Revelation 19:1-10

Revelation 19:11-21

 

 

 

The beast and his armies defeated – Revelation 19:17-21

Previously: The rider on a white horse – Revelation 19:11-16

The scripture

Rev. 19:17 – Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out in a loud voice, saying to all the birds flying in mid-heaven, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of commanders, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of their riders, and the flesh of everyone, both free and slave, small and great.”

   19 Then I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and against His army. 20 But the beast was taken prisoner, and along with him the false prophet, who had performed signs on his authority, by which he deceived those who accepted the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21 The rest were killed with the sword that came from the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. (HCSB)

The beast and his armies defeated

Next, John sees an angel standing on – or some translations say in – the sun. He cries out in a loud voice to the birds, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of commanders, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of their riders, and the flesh of everyone, both free and slave, small and great” (vv. 17-18).

We should note a stark contrast between this supper, in which the fowls of the air are summoned to feast on the corpses of the wicked (and their horses), and the marriage supper of the Lamb, in which believers enjoy intimate fellowship with the Bridegroom. As in Jesus’ parable of the wedding feast for the king’s son, those who are not dressed appropriately for a marriage feast are cast into outer darkness, while those who respond positively to the king’s invitation, and willingly wear the white linen robes the king provides for all guests, enjoy the comforts of the royal court (see Matt. 22:1-14).
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The rider on a white horse – Revelation 19:11-16

Previously: I fell at his feet to worship – Revelation 19:10

The scripture

 Rev. 19:11 – Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse! Its rider is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a fiery flame, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knows except Himself. 13 He wore a robe stained with blood, and His name is called the Word of God. 14 The armies that were in heaven followed Him on white horses, wearing pure white linen. 15 From His mouth came a sharp sword, so that with it He might strike the nations. He will shepherd them with an iron scepter. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty. 16 And on his robe and on His thigh He has a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. (HCSB)

Then I saw heaven opened

For a second time in Revelation, John sees both heaven opened and a white horse. But the visions are not the same. In Rev. 4:1, after obeying the command to write to seven churches in Asia Minor, John sees an open door in heaven and is invited to “Come up here” where he is shown what must take place after this. Now, in Rev. 19:11, he sees heaven opened once again and views the climax of these events. In a similar fashion, John has seen a rider on a white horse in Rev. 6:2, and he sees a rider again now. But they are very different riders.

While some commentators argue that the riders in both passages depict Jesus, the differences between the riders indicate otherwise. In fact, the only similarity is that both characters are riding white horses. It’s more likely that the rider in Rev. 6:2 symbolizes the quest of Rome’s neighbors, particularly the Parthians, to expand their empires, leading to war (red horse), famine (black horse), and epidemic disease (pale horse). Or, as futurists contend, the rider depicts the Antichrist of the end times.
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I fell a his feet to worship – Revelation 19:10

Previously: Those invited are fortunate – Revelation 19:9

Rev. 19:10 – Then I fell at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow slave with you and your brothers who have the testimony about Jesus. Worship God, because the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (HCSB)

I fell at his feet to worship

In verse 10, John records, “Then I fell at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘Don’t do that! I am a fellow slave with you and your brothers who have the testimony about Jesus. Worship God, because the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’”

In Exodus 20 the Lord tells His people to have no gods beside Him. He instructs them to make no idols for themselves and prohibits them from bowing down before them or worshiping them, “for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” (v. 5). Throughout the history of Israel, God seeks to protect the integrity of His relationship with His people. The worship of Yahweh as the one true and living God is not designed to feed some massive divine ego; rather it is to ensure an intimate relationship with the One who created us, loves us, provides the balm for our sin, and ensures us a place at His banquet table in heaven.

God is never pleased with the construction of idols and will share His glory with no other creature. One clear sign of Jesus’ claim to deity is that He never refuses to be worshiped. In addition, He forgives sins, which only God can do; He calls God His Father, making Himself equal with God; and He admits to holy anticipation of the day in which He will once again receive the glory He shared with the Father before the world began. Jesus, as the God-man, is the only human worthy of worship.

If idols are not to be worshiped (Paul says they represent demons), neither are humans or even angels. Paul and Barnabas are grieved in Lystra when they are mistaken for the gods Zeus and Hermes (Acts 14:8-18). The angel in Rev. 19:10 is quick to rebuke John for falling at his feet in worship: “Don’t do that!” John is told. Despite the warning, John repeats the mistake in Rev. 22:9, attracting another reprimand from the angel, who says, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow slave with you, your brothers and prophets, and those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”
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Those invited are fortunate – Revelation 19:9

Previously: The marriage of the Lamb has come – Revelation 19:6-8

The scripture

 Rev. 19:9 – Then he said to me, “Write: Those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb are fortunate!” He also said to me, “These words of God are true.”  (HCSB)

Those invited are fortunate

In verse 9 John is told, “Write: Those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb are fortunate!” But who are the ones invited? The bride, of course, is the church, so who are the guests? There are several views. One view is that the invited guests are the Old Testament saints. Another is that these are heavenly beings – angels, cherubim and seraphim – who gaze with wonder upon the work of God in redemption and yet are not the objects of salvation (see 1 Peter 1:12). Yet another view is that the invited guests are those who have responded positively to the gospel message. “If a person accepts the ‘invitation’ and goes to the marriage feast of the Lamb, his faith will make him part of the wife (the church). It is called a feast because it endures, beginning on the evening of the wedding and continuing for days” (HCSB Study Bible, p. 2225).

While there is merit to each of these views, the last view seems consistent with Jesus’ parable of the wedding banquet in Matt. 22:1-14. In the parable, a king hosts a wedding celebration for his son. The invited guests, who initially say they will attend the banquet, change their minds when the king’s servants are sent to summon them to the festivities. Some, in fact, treat the servants harshly, killing them. Enraged, the king sends forth his army to destroy these insurrectionists. Since Jesus’ immediate audience is made up of the religious leaders of His day, the parable no doubt refers to Israel, which has dishonored both God the Father and His Son. In the parable, Jesus prophesies events that will happen 40 years later, when the temple is destroyed, Jerusalem is sacked, 1.1 million Jews are killed and the nation of Israel ceases to exist.
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