Revelation
1-8 The Marriage of the Lamb 9-15 Heaven Opened 16-21 The Beast and the Antichrist Are Judged
The Marriage of the Lamb

1After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; 2because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.” 3And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever.” 4And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 5And a voice came from the throne, saying, “Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.” 6Then I heard [something] like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. 7Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride [lit wife] has made herself ready.” 8It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright [and] clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

V11After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God;. The first words, “after these things”, introduce a new part, which at the same time directly connects to what is previously said. When the judgment over Babylon has been fully taken place, an enormous response comes from heaven. All who are in heaven form an awesome choir and express as out of one mouth their great joy about God and His judgment over Babylon. The first word that John hears is “hallelujah!” For the first time in the book and in the whole New Testament you hear this word sounding. So it is sparingly used.

The word means ‘praise Jahweh’ and is therefore an appeal to worship God. Worship always has a cause. If you learn something of Whom God is, concerning His works and His ways and you are impressed by it, when it moves your heart, it causes you to worship Him. This is what happened, for example to Abraham when God told him about His plans with him and Sarah (Gen 17:1717Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear [a child]?”). Worship is not the experience of having lofty feelings through music with ecstatic expressions.

The word appears four times in verses 1-61After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God;2because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.”3And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever.”4And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!”5And a voice came from the throne, saying, “Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.”6Then I heard [something] like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. and not anywhere else. In the Old Testament the word appears more often and especially in the Bible book of Psalms. There it is always spoken out on the earth, while here it is said in heaven. The first time you find it in Psalm 104:35. Psalm 104 speaks prophetically about the millennial kingdom. Here in Revelation 19 the time has come that the millennial kingdom is established and a visible content is given to ‘hallelujah’.

God is being honored and praised as the One to Whom “salvation” belongs. The point here is the coming of the ultimate and full salvation of everything that He Himself had planned to save (1Pet 1:55who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.). In that salvation His “glory” and His “power” become visible. This is the salvation that He has worked with the power which is His own.

V22because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.”. There is absolutely no doubt that His judgments are ”true” and ”righteous”. This goes for all judgments, but these characteristics are specifically praised with a view to the judgment over “the great harlot”. The word ‘harlot’ stresses again her unfaithfulness which was great and deep. His truthfulness and righteousness become very clear in the judgment over her who has sinned in such a general and specifically horrible way.

She “was corrupting the earth” as a whole, all men on it, “with her immorality” and she has made especially God’s “bond-servants” to be a target of her wickedness. She deserves the judgment in all areas. With the judgment because of her abuse of God’s servants, God answers the supplication of the martyrs in chapter 6:10, who asked Him to avenge on her their blood. The day of vengeance has come (Isa 61:22To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
).

V33And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever.”. For the second time God is being worshiped; this time because the judgment remains “forever and ever” and there will never be a repeat of the performance of the great harlot ever more. “Her smoke” is the smoke of the great harlot. The rising up of the smoke indicates that this judgment is a permanent remembrance (cf. Isa 34:8-108For the LORD has a day of vengeance,
A year of recompense for the cause of Zion.
9Its streams will be turned into pitch,
And its loose earth into brimstone,
And its land will become burning pitch.
10It will not be quenched night or day;
Its smoke will go up forever.
From generation to generation it will be desolate;
None will pass through it forever and ever.
). A smoke that rises up to God speaks of the satisfaction that God’s love and holiness find in the judgment. You see that in the sacrifices that speak of Christ. With relation to the judgment over the ungodly, only an eternal punishment fulfills God’s holiness.

V44And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!”. The elders and the living creatures are mentioned here for the last time (the first time was in chapter 4:4). They fall down before God to worship Him as Judge. They have also fallen down to Him as Creator (Rev 4:44Around the throne [were] twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones [I saw] twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads.) and as Savior (Rev 5:1414And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.). The judgment over Babylon is the cause to express themselves in an “amen, hallelujah” (Psa 106:4848Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
From everlasting even to everlasting.
And let all the people say, “Amen.”
Praise the LORD!
). The ‘amen’ is a confirmation of the judgments, which is to underline them. The ‘hallelujah’ draws the attention again to God as the One Who is worthy of being worshiped.

V55And a voice came from the throne, saying, “Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.”. Now “a voice came from the throne”. All judgments have always come out from the throne. With the judgment over the great harlot a point has been reached that the throne can make an appeal to praise God. Everything that God does will be for the glory and praise of His Name. Everything that He says and does reflects His glorious features. And everything that is visible of God causes all who hear Him to praise Him. That also goes for His judgments. His judgments prove His righteousness, one of His many impressive characteristics.

The throne, the symbol of God’s government, appeals to “all … His bond-servants” to praise Him. It is an appeal to all who have served Him faithfully on earth, whether they have been ‘small or great’ therein. They have served Him with the fear of God. This fear is not scare, but respect.

V66Then I heard [something] like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.. For the third time John hears a voice. It is the voice that reminds him of three things: “a great multitude … many waters and … mighty peals of thunder”. It is not an unordered mixture of sounds, like a busy market place with screaming people and honking cars. There is harmony in the ‘great multitude’. The ‘many waters’ indicate an impressive and irresistible power. The ‘mighty peals of thunder’ are the all dominating messengers that accompany the acceptance by God of His kingship.

The great multitude here includes all heavenly citizens, apart from the church that will be mentioned in the next verse. For the last time the “hallelujah” sounds and this time in relation to the acceptance by God of His kingship. He has started to reign, a government which He exercises by His Son.

V77Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride [lit wife] has made herself ready.”. The mighty choir of voices with a multiple sound cries out to itself to be happy and to rejoice and to give God glory. The reason is that “the marriage of the Lamb has come”. This happy event is on God’s schedule. Now the false bride, the great harlot, has been judged, the time has come for the wedding of His Son.

Prior to the coming of the millennial kingdom of peace, the wedding has to take place first. Then the bride can on the side of the Bridegroom follow Him publicly in order to reign with Him. That is actually God’s intention. Though it is remarkable that it is His wedding, for with every wedding on earth the attention is drawn to the bride. Here it is different. All attention is paid to Him.

The bride is here called “His wife”. Yet she remains to be the bride (Rev 21:22And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.) forever. She is wife and bride (Rev 21:99Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”). That she is forever bride means that she will keep the glory as bride for the heart of the Lord Jesus forever. Therefore she will never put off her wedding robe. She is arrayed in it and “has made herself ready” to be His wife. The next verse describes what her robe consists of.

V88It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright [and] clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.. The robe consists of “the righteous acts of the saints”. There is nothing unrighteous on that robe. Though, you may say: the saints have also committed unrighteous deeds, not only righteous ones, haven’t they? Exactly because of that the judgment seat of Christ is that important (Rom 14:1010But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.; 2Cor 5:1010For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.). As soon as the church has been caught up, your life, and the life of every believer, will be judged in all its particularities in God’s light. You will appear there in a glorified body and therefore it cannot possibly have anything to do with eternal judgment. The Judge is no one else than your Savior, Who gave His life for you. How could you possibly still perish?

The appearance before the judgment seat is intended for you to be brought into agreement with God’s judgment about your life. You will then be able to know as you have been known (1Cor 13:1212For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.). You first need to know how you have been judged by the Lord, in order to be able to judge or reign over other people. Everything you have done in the body, will be revealed, even all the motives of your heart (1Cor 4:55Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, [but wait] until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of [men’s] hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.). You only will love Him even more by that (cf. Lk 7:4747For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”).

Maybe you will see righteous acts in the robe of which you did not think that they were righteous acts. Conversely, things may be absent of which you thought them to be an important contribution to the robe. The question for you and me is now: To what extent do I contribute to the beauty of that robe? Will there probably be acts that will be consumed by the fire (1Cor 3:1515If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.), which will cause that there will be nothing left for the robe?

When we speak about our righteous acts, then we speak about the side of our responsibility. Through our deeds we do or do not contribute to the robe. But there is also the other side, which is the side of God’s grace that has worked in us, so that we may do good deeds. In a song it is written: ‘Whatever good that we have done, it was all achieved through Your grace.’ That reflects well what is written here, that the robe has been “given” to her. That proves to you that everything you have contributed to that robe is ultimately the work of God’s grace.

When the bride appears on the scene, her brilliance will be great. What she wears has been given by God. What she shows are the purity and cleanness of God Himself (cf. Eze 16:1414Then your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of My splendor which I bestowed on you,” declares the Lord GOD.). “Fine linen” is a precious textile, more precious than the linen with which the angels are clothed (Rev 15:66and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple, clothed in linen, clean [and] bright, and girded around their chests with golden sashes.). Mind the contrast with the robe of the great harlot (Rev 17:44The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality,; 18:1616saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls;).

Now read Revelation 19:1-8 again.

Reflection: In which way do you contribute to the wedding robe?


Heaven Opened

9Then he *said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he *said to me, “These are true words of God.” 10Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he *said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” 11And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it [is] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12His eyes [are] a flame of fire, and on His head [are] many diadems; and He has a name written [on Him] which no one knows except Himself. 13[He is] clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white [and] clean, were following Him on white horses. 15From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.

V99Then he *said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he *said to me, “These are true words of God.”. For the fourth time (out of seven times) John is ordered to write down “blessed” (Rev 1:33Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.; 14:1313And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, “Write, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them.”; 16:1515(“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.”); 20:66Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.; 22:7,147“And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”14Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city.). This ‘blessed’ is related to those who are invited to take part in “the marriage of the Lamb”. The only element of the wedding that is mentioned here is the marriage supper.

The invitees cannot possibly be unbelievers. Neither are they the believers from after the rapture of the church, for those haven’t got their resurrected bodies yet. Their resurrection will only take place after the appearance of the Lord (Rev 20:44Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I [saw] the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.). Nor can they be the bride, for a bride is not supposed to be invited.

The invitees are no one else than the Old Testament believers, the friends of the Bridegroom (Jn 3:2929He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full.; Mt 9:1515And Jesus said to them, “The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.). Among the invitees are people like John the baptist, Abraham and Sarah, Moses, Deborah, Elijah, Daniel, all together men and women of God for whom we have deep respect. Isn’t it an unimaginable and inconceivable grace of God that you and I are allowed to be a part of the bride when you compare yourself to such people?!

Then John receives a confirmation that everything is true. It looks like too good to be true. He can hardly believe his eyes. It looks as if that’s the reason why it is told to him once more as an explicit emphasis that it is no more than the “true sayings of God”. There is no need for him to doubt whether he sees or hears it right.

V1010Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he *said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”. John is impressed by the scene in such a way that he falls down to worship the heavenly messenger. The angel corrects John directly and says that he must not worship him, but God. God alone is worthy of worship. That is what the Lord Jesus also said to the devil during the temptations in the wilderness (Mt 4:1010Then Jesus *said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”).

John forgets for a moment that the angel also is a creature. But the angel does not forget it. Good angels do not want honor for themselves, nor do devoted disciples (Acts 10:25-2625When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and worshiped [him].26But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am [just] a man.”). Only evil angels, and also evil people, want people to honor them (Col 2:1818Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on [visions] he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind,). The angel puts himself on the level of John, not as an apostle, but as “fellow servant”. And he is not only a fellow servant of John, but also of all the “brethren” of John. These brethren have “the testimony of Jesus”, just like him. Therefore the brethren of John are believers from both the Old and the New Testament. The testimony of Jesus binds them together.

‘The testimony of Jesus’ may imply the testimony ‘regarding’ Jesus, which is a testimony that is all about Jesus, the testimony of which He is the contents. It may also imply the testimony ‘that comes from’ or ‘that goes out of’ Jesus, the testimony that He gave when He was on earth and which He continues to give, however, through His servants. Whether it is about Him personally or about what He has said, everyone who has this testimony, meaning has accepted it, has life from God.

In the phrase “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” a significant characteristic of prophecy is given. Prophecy is not just a foretelling of the future. To know all kinds of things about the future may be considered food for your intellect, but it really is not food for your heart. Real benefit from a study of the future which the Bible tells us, is only the case when you see that in the prophecy it is about the Lord Jesus. The prophecy bears witness of Jesus. In the prophecy it is all about Him. The name ‘Jesus’ indicates that He is the humiliated One. The prophecy shows that He Who was once on earth in humiliation and was rejected, will reign in glory. But it is the same Person. In the prophecy it is all about Him and Him alone and not about knowledge of events.

V1111And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it [is] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.. After a long parenthesis, running from chapter 17:1-19:10, we go back to the historical facts here. In the parenthesis you have seen together with John the judgment over the great harlot and the great Babylon, in connection with a description of the true bride and the marriage of the Lamb. The portion that now follows connects to chapter 16:13-16, where the nations are gathered at Armageddon for the battle. These nations return later in verse 1919And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.. The battle itself is described in verses 19-2019And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.20And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. (see also Rev 17:1414These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him [are the] called and chosen and faithful.”), while in verses 17-1817Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God,18so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.” the result of the battle is already given in advance. The rest of the verses (verses 11-1611And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it [is] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.12His eyes [are] a flame of fire, and on His head [are] many diadems; and He has a name written [on Him] which no one knows except Himself.13[He is] clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.14And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white [and] clean, were following Him on white horses.15From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.16And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”) are focused on Him Who as the only One fights, although there are armies that follow Him in His going to the gathered enemies.

In order to show John this interesting scene, heaven is opened. The opening of heaven mocks all materialistic and rationalistic dogmas that assume that there is nothing outside the visible. When heaven is opened and Christ appears, clothed in battle outfit, there is no more denial of a super-terrestrial reality. God enters out of His world into the world of man (Mic 1:33For behold, the LORD is coming forth from His place.
He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth.
). The Lord Jesus comes in majesty to earth where He was once rejected, in order to take the place that is ascribed to Him.

In the New Testament there is mention of an opened heaven five times (Mt 3:1616After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove [and] lighting on Him,; Lk 3:2121Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened,; Jn 1:5151And He *said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”; Acts 7:5656and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”; Rev 19:1111And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it [is] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.), each time in connection with Christ. When heaven is opened before the face of John, he sees “a white horse” (cf. Rev 6:22I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.), the sign of victory. On the horse he sees Someone Who is characterized by the names that He wears. Those names indicate how He will operate. The work that He does is judging and making war in righteousness.

He is called “Faithful and True”. These names characterize Him in the execution of God’s plan with the world (cf. Rev 3:1414“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:, where Christ is called by these names, in contrast to the unfaithful Christianity). Judgment and war are the first acts with which He will execute God’s plan, but He will do that in a totally different way than man acts. He is the righteous Judge and “in righteousness He judges and wages war”.

V1212His eyes [are] a flame of fire, and on His head [are] many diadems; and He has a name written [on Him] which no one knows except Himself.. The description makes you think of a description which you have come across at the beginning of this book (Rev 1:1414His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire.). The Lord Jesus is described there in His judgment of the church because of her unfaithfulness. He is described here as the One Who judges the unbelievers, namely the beast and the false prophet. The “many diadems” that He wears on His head, go far beyond the ten crowns of the beast (Rev 13:11And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns [were] ten diadems, and on his heads [were] blasphemous names.) and the seven of the dragon (Rev 12:33Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads [were] seven diadems.). His royal dignity is not to be compared with any other dignity. These crowns show a dignity and glory that will be visible for everyone and which will constrain admiration.

In addition He has “a name written” which will be readable by everyone, but of which He alone knows the profound meaning. Whatever will be seen and admired of Him, there will nevertheless be aspects of His Person that remain hidden for us, creatures. It regards to aspects that He Himself alone and the Father know (Mt 11:2727All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal [Him].).

V1313[He is] clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.. His robe being “dipped in blood”, means that He will come to exercise revenge (Rev 14:2020And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.; Isa 63:1-41Who is this who comes from Edom,
With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah,
This One who is majestic in His apparel,
Marching in the greatness of His strength?
“It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.”
2Why is Your apparel red,
And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press?
3“I have trodden the wine trough alone,
And from the peoples there was no man with Me.
I also trod them in My anger
And trampled them in My wrath;
And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments,
And I stained all My raiment.
4“For the day of vengeance was in My heart,
And My year of redemption has come.
). The blood is that of His enemies, not of the martyrs and less of His own. Then you hear His name. That name is “the Word of God”. This name you also find in another writing of John (Jn 1:1,141In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.14And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.). It means that He is the full revelation of God, in both His life on earth and in His eternal existence. He alone reveals God’s love as well as God’s holiness and righteousness. He also judges as the Word. He does everything in accordance with God’s Word, because He Himself is the Word of God.

V1414And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white [and] clean, were following Him on white horses.. The Lord Jesus will not appear alone. There will be armies that follow Him. These armies consists of all glorified saints (Zec 14:55You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD, my God, will come, [and] all the holy ones with Him!; Jude 1:1414[It was] also about these men [that] Enoch, [in] the seventh [generation] from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,; Col 3:44When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.; 1Thes 3:1313so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.). You can derive that from the description of their clothes (see verse 88It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright [and] clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.). Also angels will accompany Him (2Thes 1:77and [to give] relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,; Mt 25:3131“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.), but they will not ride on horses. The airspace will be filled with an enormously dazzling army. What to John is an impressive spectacle, will be terrifying to everyone on earth.

V1515From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.. He shall strike the nations with “a sharp sword” which comes “from His mouth”. He alone has a sword, the armies do not. With this sword He will execute the judgment and He, Who is the Lamb, will pour out His wrath over His enemies (Rev 6:1717for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”). There is no mention of a furious battle, there is nothing mentioned about any opposition. How could that be when the Lord of hosts appears in armor and acts in power and majesty? His arm grants Him power and He does not need anyone’s help (Isa 59:16b-1816And He saw that there was no man,
And was astonished that there was no one to intercede;
Then His own arm brought salvation to Him,
And His righteousness upheld Him.
17He put on righteousness like a breastplate,
And a helmet of salvation on His head;
And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing
And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.
18According to [their] deeds, so He will repay,
Wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies;
To the coastlands He will make recompense.
; 63:33“I have trodden the wine trough alone,
And from the peoples there was no man with Me.
I also trod them in My anger
And trampled them in My wrath;
And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments,
And I stained all My raiment.
).

Although the armies are with Him He personally executes the sentence. After the execution of the judgment He will reign and they will also reign with Him. He does that like a shepherd that herds his flock. The judgment is general and it spares nothing and nobody, which is indicated by the treading of the “winepress”.

Now read Revelation 19:9-15 again.

Reflection: Mention some differences between the bride and the invitees for the wedding.


The Beast and the Antichrist Are Judged

16And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” 17Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.” 19And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 21And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

V1616And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”. Once more a reference is made to a written name of the Lord Jesus and also to the spot where that name is written. His name is written “on His robe”, which refers to His outward appearance. Clothes are what people see of one another. Clothes represent the conduct that a person shows and which others observe. With Him His name shows His deeds.

His name is also written “on His thigh”. The thigh is the place of power and strength. He who is struck on the thigh, is struck in his might and will become limp (Gen 32:25,3125When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him.31Now the sun rose upon him just as he crossed over Penuel, and he was limping on his thigh.). His name is the title that God also has (1Tim 6:1515which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords,), yet another proof that the Lord Jesus is God. He is the “King” par excellence, the absolutely highest Ruler. Therefore He is also the “Lord” par excellence, the absolutely highest Overlord.

V1717Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God,. Even before the war has started (the war is described only in verse 1919And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.), the outcome is already been announced. This result is announced by an angel that is standing in the sun. The sun forms the decoration, the background of his words. This decoration gives his words the power of the glory of Christ Himself, who soon will shine like the Sun in the kingdom of peace.

All the birds of heaven are allowed to feast on the victims of the war. They are invited for this “great supper” which God has prepared for them. This supper is in huge contrast to the marriage supper of the Lamb (verse 77Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride [lit wife] has made herself ready.”). In the one supper you see a delicious supper in heaven, in the other supper you see a horrible supper on earth.

V1818so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”. The flesh that the birds is given to eat is mainly human flesh. There is furthermore only mention of “flesh of horses”. The emphasis of the word ‘flesh’ (repeated five times) reminds us that any human and natural power whatsoever cannot do anything against God, for “all flesh is like grass” (1Pet 1:24-2524For, “All flesh is like grass, And all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, And the flower falls off,25But the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word which was preached to you.). During their life these people were to be distinguished by all kinds of walks of life. That distinction is not to be found in death. The birds only see corpses which means food for them. By being given as food to the birds means that these humans will have no funeral. And having no funeral means that these enemies are being sacrificed to a permanent shame (Rev 11:99Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations [will] look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb.; 1Sam 17:4646This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,).

The angel mentions the different categories, in order to clarify that this supper has been effected by the judgment of God that He has executed without discrimination. His judgment has come over all these different ranks and classes and horses of which they made use, because they all together were in the service of sin. Besides, there will be one more judgment in which there will be a distinction and where every person will be judged according to his works. That is the judgment before the great white throne (Rev 20:1212And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.).

V1919And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.. John sees how the beast and his followers are preparing themselves with their armies for the war against Christ and His own. Christ is the Captain, He is at the front. Their battle is mainly focused on Him. But also those who are with Him are the target of their hatred. They think in their arrogance that they are ready for the war against the Lamb and His followers. In their audacity they fool themselves to be unconquerable and are blind for His almighty power.

V2020And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone.. Without a single action of war, two hostile captains are caught and thrown in hell, without them having died the physical death. The beast, who is the political leader of the antichristian Western-Europe, and the false prophet, who is the religious leader of the apostate Israel, have no defense at all. In their lives they were closely related to one another and they are that also in the judgment that Christ executes over them. The false prophet was the dodgy henchman of the beast who deceived people to receive the mark of the beast and to worship his image.

It all looked very successful, but here all their bragging and every impression of invincibility (Rev 13:44they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?”) are totally destroyed in one action of awesome power. They form an exception among all other unbelievers. They are actually thrown into hell without any form of trial, while other unbelievers will first be sentenced before the great white throne. Contradictory exceptions, in the circle of the believers, are Enoch and Elijah who as the only ones were caught up to heaven without dying.

V2121And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.. The hostile armies suffer a different fate than their two captains. The Lord Jesus kills them “with the sword”, which is His Word, that goes out of His mouth. By His Word He creates (Psa 33:66By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
And by the breath of His mouth all their host.
) and by His Word He breaks in pieces (Jer 23:2929“Is not My word like fire?” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?). After this judgment the event happens for which the angel appeals in verse 1717Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God,. There is so much to eat that all birds become saturated.

Now read Revelation 19:16-21 again.

Reflection: Which people are being judged in this portion and what is their judgment?


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