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:
Previously: I fell at his feet to worship – Revelation 19:10
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.
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.”
Rev. 19:1 – After this I heard something like the loud voice of a vast multitude in heaven, saying: Hallelujah! Salvation, glory, and power belong to our God, 2 because His judgments are true and righteous, because He has judged the notorious prostitute who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality; and He has avenged the blood of His slaves that was on her hands. 3 A second time they said: Hallelujah! Her smoke ascends forever and ever! 4 Then the 24 elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who is seated on the throne, saying: Amen! Hallelujah! 5 A voice came from the throne, saying: Praise our God, all His slaves, who fear Him, both small and great! (HCSB)
Salvation, glory, and power
John hears a “vast multitude” in heaven praising God. Some commentators say these “heaven dwellers” make up a choir that sings of the Lord’s attributes and great works. This likely is the vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language we encounter in Rev. 7:9. They are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night (Rev. 7:15). They also may be the ones the beast from the sea speaks against as he blasphemes God’s name and His dwelling (Rev. 13:6). But the evil one and his minions cannot harm these saints or disrupt their joyous celebration.
“Hallelujah” is a transliteration of a Hebrew word exhorting people to praise the Lord (Heb. halelujah = praise Yah). It is rendered Allelouia in the Greek text and is found 22 times in Ps. 104-150 and four times in Rev. 19:1-6. It is a familiar term in Old Testament prayer language that is documented here in a Christian sense for the first time, according to Jurgen Roloff in Revelation: A Continental Commentary: “Its original meaning was that of a call to praise God, which the worshipping community answers with its praise. However, gradually it developed in Judaism into an independent formula of praise (e.g., Tob. 13:17; 3 Macc. 7:13). The original meaning still flickers through here: the singers summon themselves and others to praise God by means of the Hallelujah. In postbiblical Judaism the perception was represented that this acclamation was reserved for the end time” (pp. 210-11).
Some commentators note that while David spoke 103 sections of the Psalms, he only uttered Hallelujah when he saw the fall of the godless. This fits well with what we see in Revelation 19. Those who witness the fall of Babylon are summoned to join the praise of God, who has defeated His foes.