Category Archives: REVELATION 19

Rejoicing because of the judgement of the harlot; rejoicing that the marriage of the Lamb is come; the revelation of Christ to earth, and the judgement of the beast and the falce prophet

REVELATION 19

REVELATION 19

Survey of the chapter
In 18:20 the call came to the heavens, and in particular to the holy apostles and prophets, to rejoice that God had judged the great whore. In this chapter we have the response to that call. There follows the description of the coming of Christ to judge, and the consequences for the armies of the beast.

Structure of the chapter

(a) Verses 1-6 Rejoicing that the judgement of the whore has taken place
(b) Verses 7-10 Rejoicing that the marriage of the Lamb has come
(c) Verses 11-16 Intervention by our great God and Saviour
(d) Verses 17-21 Invitation to the supper of the great God

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE BOOK OF THE REVELATION CHAPTER 19, VERSES 1 TO 10:

19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:

19:2 For true and righteous are His judgments: for He hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hand.

19:3 And again they said, Alleluia And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

19:5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great.

19:6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.

19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

(a) Verses 1-6 Rejoicing that the judgement of the whore has taken place

19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:

And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven- on earth the whore dominated “peoples, multitudes, and nations, and tongues”, 17:15. These were the Devil’s people, but now God’s people rejoice in heaven over His triumph. They are no longer divided into nations and language-groupings, for such things are not relevant in heaven. Despite being “much people”, they rejoice with one great voice, united in their praise of God.
Saying, Alleluia- this is the equivalent to the Old Testament “Hallelujah”. meaning “Praise to God”. That which the psalmist anticipated is coming to pass.
Salvation- God alone could rescue the earth from the tyranny of the whore, and at last He has done it, and the salvation is attributed to Him alone.
And glory- the whore sought glory for herself, but this has come to an end, and glory is given only to God.
And honour- whereas glory is official, honour is moral, and indicates that God has dealt with the whore in a manner compatible with His character. A whore is by definition dishonourable, but she has not been dealt with after her character, but after God’s. He has met and defeated dishonour by honour.
And power- the whore had built up power and influence over the centuries, but it has all come to nought now that God has exerted His rights, and destroyed her.
Unto the Lord our God- the earth at this time will be filled with those who worship a man as god, and by so doing, ascribe god-hood to Satan, which is what he has striven for from the outset. He has been completely defeated, and now heaven is filled with those who recognise His claims over them, and give worship to Him.

19:2 For true and righteous are His judgements: for He hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hand.

For true and righteous are His judgements- those in heaven rejoice that Gods judgements are true to His nature, the one true God, and are also strictly correct. He can never be bribed, as the kings of the earth had been so as to give allegiance and honour to the whore. He can be relied upon to assess things without any miscarriage of justice. After all, He Himself is the Absolute Standard of justice and truth.
For He hath judged the great whore- not only does heaven rejoice that God is true and righteous in His judgements, but that He has put that judgement into effect. For long centuries, in His wisdom, this did not happen, but now it has. The time has come for the Bride of the Lamb to be revealed to earth, and her rival must be removed first. The judgement of the great whore is in chapter 18, where she is likened to a city, so the city and the woman are the same, and the two chapters speak of the same system. In chapter 17 it was the damage she inficted on men, but in chapter 18 it is the destruction inflicted on her by God.
Which did corrupt the earth with her fornication- none only was the whore responsible for corrupting the morals of men, she also enticed them away from God, and ultimately paved the way for antichrist to be worshipped. When Israel went into idolatry, the prophets often spoke of it as adultery, for the nation was the wife of Jehovah. Here, fornication is in view, for the nations had no relationship with God to break off.
And hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hand- ever since the time of Babel, the Babylon-principle has been behind the events of earth, and in particular, the persecution of the true people of God. At last the time of recompense for the accumulated evils of the centuries has come. We have read in 18:24 that “in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth”.

19:3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

And again they said, Alleluia- this double ascription of praise shows the fervency of their feelings, and it is an Alleluia that shall resound throughout all eternity.
And her smoke rose up for ever and ever- if the ascription of praise lasts for ever, so does the remembrance of the wicked system centred in Babylon. But she will only be remembered as a burning wreck, not as a beautiful bride, as in the case of the Lamb’s wife.

19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne- those who administer for God, and those who guard the interests of the earth both worship God for what He has done in judging the great whore, for they know she was a threat to God’s interests, and to those of the men of earth also.
Saying, Amen; Alleluia- they add their Amen to what the saints in heaven say, and follow up with their own Alleluia, for they know what went on behind the scenes through the centuries. This is the last time the four and twenty elders are mentioned specifically, although they are probably meant by the “they” of 20:4.

19:5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great.

And a voice came out of the throne- since this voice calls to all God’s servants, which encompasses angels and men, the voice cannot be of an angel or a man. Could we say it is the metaphorical voice of the throne, that which sums up the demands of that throne? There had been voices from the throne in 11:19. On the other hand, the voice does say “our God”, suggesting it is a real person speaking.
Saying, Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great- this is probably a call to believers on earth to join in the praise of heaven. In particular it would refer to the remnant of Israel, and also to the multitude of Gentiles saved out of the Great Tribulation.

19:6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude- there is a three-fold description of the praise of this company. It is a multitude, so it is people that are praising. Like those in heaven in verse 1, despite being many they speak with one voice.
And as the voice of many waters- again there is one voice, but this time the over-powering sound is noticed. They drown out all competition.
And as the voice of mighty thunderings- this is the awe-inspiring nature of their praise. Like a mighty thunder roll, it demands attention.
Saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth- this is the fourth Alleluia of the chapter, and impresses us with the exuberance of the heavenly singers. Before, the praise was to do with God’s judgements, so in a sense was for negative things. Here it is plainly positive, as they rejoice in the reign of the one who has shown Himself to be all-powerful. The long reign of the Devil and his agents is over, and the kingdom of God is about to manifest itself on the earth. This has been anticipated throughout the book, for instance in chapter 11:15. Indeed, it has been anticipated from the very beginning of time, for the Lord Jesus spoke of “the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”, Matthew 25:34. Alas, the Prince of this world, the Devil, sought to establish his kingdom instead. He is now seen to be utterly frustrated. Instead of being on the throne, in 20:3 he is shut up in the deepest dungeon.

(b) Verses 7-10 Rejoicing that the marriage of the Lamb has come

19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him- if the kingdom of God is about to be manifest, and Christ is the one manifesting it, then those who shall reign with Him must be prepared. The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him”, 2 Timothy 2:12. This is a cause of great rejoicing, and a reason to honour God, for He has worked through the centuries to achieve this object, even of forming a company to be the bride of His Son. He said at the beginning that it was not good that the man should be alone, and this was true of the first Adam, and also of the last Adam.
For the marriage of the Lamb is come- in the Old Testament, the nation of Israel was the wife of Jehovah. He had drawn her to Himself into the wilderness, and proposed to her at Sinai, and she accepted. The nation was unfaithful to Him, however, and instead of being true to the covenant, in the words of Jeremiah 31:32, “which My covenant they break, although I was a husband unto them, saith the Lord”. The major way in which they broke the marriage-covenant of Sinai was by descending into idolatry, thus breaking the first two commandments. The prophets likened this to adultery. In a future day God will make a new covenant with the nation of Israel, totally different to the law-covenant at Sinai. It will be a grace-covenant on the basis of Calvary.
Now however, the nation having rejected Christ, God had revealed His plan to provide a bride for Christ personally, suited to the fact that He has become man. He has purchased Himself a bride at Calvary, for “Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it”, Ephesians 5:23.
And His wife hath made herself ready- in Israel under the betrothal system, from the time a woman was espoused to a husband, she was legally reckoned to be his wife. We see this in the case of Mary and Joseph, for the angel spoke of “Mary thy wife”, Matthew 1:20, even though they were not married. This was because they were betrothed. This is why it is the Lamb’s wife that has made herself ready, even though the wedding has not yet taken place. The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians to tell them “I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ”, 2 Corinthians 11:2.
There is a real sense in which the Lamb has made her ready, for He has loved, purchased, sanctified, cleansed, nourished and cherished her, to use the phrases found in Ephesians 5. The Lamb Himself is without blemish and without spot, 1 Peter 1:19, and it is necessary for her to be this also, so that she may be meet or suitable for Him. He will ensure that He can present the church to Himself, a church that is glorious, “without spot or wrinkle or any such thing”.
Since the church has been espoused or betrothed to one husband, it is important that her affections be not divided. So the wife must make herself ready by being loyal and true to her beloved, and not allowing anything to come between them. She must also prepare for her wedding day. In olden times, an unmarried woman was called a spinster, for she was reckoned to be preparing her trousseau, spinning and sewing so that she could be acceptable to her husband on the wedding day. So it is that true believers are engaged in those things which will contribute to the beauty of the bride on the wedding day.

19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white- that which she had prepared was approved by heaven, and she was allowed to wear it. It was the custom in the east for the wedding guests to be given a wedding garment. See Matthew 22:1
, but the bride here has provided her own. It is of fine linen, the product of earth, yet it was the material that was used to clothe the priests in the tabernacle and temple, so it is the choice of heaven. These garments are not soiled with the defilements of earth, but they shine in all their stunning whiteness.
For the fine linen is the righteousness of saints- this signifies the accumulated works of the saints as they have given expression to their faith by the doing of works. They had not been saved by works, but had been saved unto good works, Ephesians 2:10. Many if not most of those works had been hidden, but now the time has come for them to be put on display, not for the glory of the bride, but the bridegroom.

19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

And he saith unto me, Write- special attention is drawn to the next statement by the word “write”. John had been instructed to write in a general way in 1:11, but twice the command comes again. In 14:13 John was commanded to write the blessing for those who die in the Lord. Here the blessing is to be called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb- there is no record of this taking place in heaven, so the supper is on earth, even though the marriage ceremony is in heaven. Those called or invited to the supper are the saved of the Old Testament, and the Tribulation Period, summoned to wonder at what God has done during this present age. John the Baptist described himself as the friend of the bridegroom, but he that had the bride was the bridegroom, that is, Christ, John 3:28-30. In the ages to come God intends to “show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus”, Ephesians 2:7. The millenial age is the first of those ages. It will begin when Christ comes with the church, when “He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe”, 2 Thessalonians 1:10. The world will be amazed at the beauty of the bride, and this will be to His glory, for He has made her what she is.
And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God- this may refer to the sayings throughout the book which have the character of blessings, one of which has just been spoken. They are seven in number as follows:

1. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand”, 1:3.

2. “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth”, 14:13.

3. “Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame”, 16:15.

4. “Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb”, 19:9.

5. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years”.

6. “Blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book”, 22:7.

7. “Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city”, 22:14.

John has just heard the central one of these seven blessings, and the prospects that these blessings from God hold out, has overwhelmed him. So much so that he forgets himself, and as the next verse says, falls down to worship the one who brings the sayings, as if he is the one who is doing the blessing, and not God.

19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

And I fell at his feet to worship him- it is remarkable that John, of all people, should fall down to worship a creature, especially as the call had come in verse 5 to all God’s servants, to praise Him. John had recorded the words of the Son of God when He said, “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement unto the Son: that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father”, John 5:22. One of the prime ways in which the Father is honoured is when His creatures acknowledge that He alone is worthy of worship. So if the Son is to be honoured in the same way as the Father, then no other must be worshipped. John has forgotten this in the excitement of the moment, as such momentous events are bought before his eyes. Sadly, he will repeat this mistake in 22:8,9.
And he said unto me, See thou do it not- John is met with an immediate rebuke. As a heavenly being, the one who is speaking to John had seen the rebellion of Lucifer take place, when a creature sought the worship that is only due to God. He had seen the disastrous consequences of that rebellion, and he knew that it was going to be duplicated on the earth, with a man sitting in the temple of God claiming Divine honours for himself.
I am thy fellowservant- as an spirit-creature, he was a servant of God. But he was the fellowservant of John, and by describing himself like this, he gently rebukes him again. To be a servant of God is by definition to be a worshipper of God, and no-one else. The tragedy with Israel was that they served idols.
And of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus- not only is this one a fellowservant of John in his day, but will also be fellowservant of those in the tribulation age whom the Lord calls “these My brethren”, Matthew 25:40. They will face the great pressure to do what the Lord Jesus refused to do, namely, worship Satan, for the antichrist, who will be dominant in their day, in seeking to sit in the temple as God, will in fact be attracting worship to the evil one himself. In such a dark day, the testimony to who Jesus is will be found in the hearts of these he calls his brethren, so they work together, in their respective spheres, for the sake of the cause of God.
Worship God- this command is not just for John’s benefit, but for all, believer or unbeliever. God deserves the worship from His creatures that being their Creator demands. The apostle Paul wrote of the folly of those who, refusing the obvious testimony of creation to the power and glory of the Creator, turned to the worship of the creature, Romans 1:18-23. Believers, of all people, should ensure that they give God His due, for He is their God, and they owe everything to Him.
For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy- the essence or vital part of prophecy is not so that we may have our curiosity about the future gratified. Rather, it is that Jesus, the man after God’s own heart, may be glorified and enhanced in our minds. If He is, then we shall not make the mistake of worshipping an angel. Very near the end of the book John is told, “I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches”, 22:16. Perhaps this suggests that the “he” of verse 9 is the angel of Jesus.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE BOOK OF THE REVELATION CHAPTER 19, VERSES 11 TO 21:

19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.

19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself.

19:13 And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God.

19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

19:15 And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

19:16 And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

19:17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;

19:18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

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

19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

(c) Verses 11-16 Intervention by our great God and Saviour

19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.

And I saw heaven opened- this is the beginning of the actual manifestation and revelation of Jesus Christ to the world. He has been hidden from the eyes of men for so many centuries, but now He is going to be unveiled. The boy-king Joash was hidden in the temple, then there came the moment when he was revealed, 2 Chronicles 22:12;23:11. Throughout this book there have been partial revelations, whether to John in chapter 1, or to the churches in chapter 2, or in chapters 4 to 18 as He intervenes and judges the world for its wickedness and rebellion. Now the time has come for Him to intervene in person.
And behold a white horse- He had ridden into Jerusalem on an ass, the preferred mode of travel for princely men, but now He is riding a war-horse, as He comes out to do battle with the forces of evil. That the horse is white is a reflection on the character of the rider, who has no stain on His character. It also makes Him the more conspicuous.
And He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True- in 6:1 the antichrist was seen on a white horse as he came to delude and deceive. This one deceives none, for He is faithful to people and true to His God, whose cause He upholds.
And in righteousness He doth judge and make war- the first time He came He rebuked those disciples who wanted to call down fire upon men, Luke 9:54-56, for, as He said, “The Son of man came not to destroy men’s lives but to save them”. Now it is different, for grace has been spurned, and God’s patience has become exhausted. There is nothing left but judgement. The apostle Paul was summoned by the philosophers to Mar’s Hill in Athens. Now Mars was one of the Roman false gods, who was to them the god of war. When Paul had spoken to them, having exposed idolatry as illogical, he announced that God “now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead”, Acts 17:31. The children of Israel sang on the banks of the Red Sea, “The Lord is a man of war: The Lord is His name”. When the Lord Jesus comes, (He who is God manifest in the flesh), the real God of war will burst upon the scene, and will judge the world in strict justice.

19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself.

His eyes were as a flame of fire- this speaks of His all-discerning and all penetrating ability in judgement. He will burn up all that He sees to be contrary to God.
And on His head were many crowns- there are two words for crown used in the New Testament, this one, “diademata”, which signifies an inherited crown, and the other, “stephanos”, which denotes an earned crown. He has a right to both, but here He comes with all the authority that comes because He is who He is. All judgement has been given to Him because He is Son of God, John 5:22, and because He is Son of man, verse 27. He is also King of Israel, a Divine title, Isaiah 43:15, and the Judge of all the earth, Genesis 18:25. Isaiah wrote, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: And the government shall be upon His shoulder: And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”, 9:6.
And He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself- this is a very personal name that He has been given for the occasion, perhaps denoting a particular feature of His character that will be especially relevant at the time. That no man knows it shows it is not written for all to see, but is hidden away on His person.

19:13 And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God.

And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood- it might seem strange that He comes out of heaven like this. We know from Isaiah 63:1-6 that His garments will be red with the blood of the slain after He has judged men, but John is describing His appearance as He comes out of heaven. When Joseph’s brothers sold Joseph, they deceived their father into thinking that he was dead by showing him Joseph’s garment which they had dipped in the blood of a goat. Years later, when Joseph brought upon both his father and his brothers a time of tribulation, (we might call it the time of Jacob’s trouble, see Jeremiah 30:7), they remembered what they had done to Joseph, even though they did not yet know it was Joseph that was dealing with them. They had his blood on their conscience, so that when trouble came, they immediately thought it to be judgement because of their treatment of Joseph. A similar thing is happening here, as the world, and in particular the nation of Israel, are reminded by His vesture of the way they shed the blood of God’s Son.
And His name is called The Word of God- John had begun his writings with the statement that “In the beginning was the Word”, John 1:1. He then went on, “And the Word was made flesh”, verse 14. So he referred to Christ in eternity, then Christ incarnate, and now he is telling us that, as He comes into the world again, His name is called the Word of God. Everything He was before is still intact. Every word He spoke before is still true and relevant. He came to bring life to men, hence the apostle calls the gospel “the word of life”, 1 John 1:1. But now He is coming to bring wrath and judgement.

19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses- this is the event the Lord Jesus referred to when He said “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory”, Matthew 25:31. Enoch had foretold this, Jude tells us, when he prophesied “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgement upon all”, Jude 14,15. The armies of the antichrist, even though they have Satan on their side, will be no match for the angel-armies of heaven. They too will be on white horses. What an awe-inspiring sight for the believers on earth, and a great comfort as at last they see Christ intervening on their behalf. But how devastating for the followers of antichrist as they realise that their judgement has come.
Clothed in fine linen, white and clean- Christ will not defeat like with like. He will meet and defeat the Lawless One with pure justice. His armies are therefore clad as He is, being in full agreement with Him. They do not come, however, with their vesture dipped in blood, for He alone was crucified and slain.

19:15 And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword- this is figurative language, of course, and tells us that when He comes again His speech will be of a different sort than when He came the first time. Men marvelled then at “the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth”, Luke 4:24. Now it is words of judgement and war. Isaiah had spoken of this when he foretold that “with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked”, 11:4. And the apostle Paul also wrote, “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming”, 2 Thessalonians 1:8. Isaiah’s word “breath” is equivalent to Paul’s word “spirit”, and since the sword of the Spirit is the word of God, Ephesians 6:17 , then the sword out of His mouth is His word in the power of the Spirit. The sword is a symbol of justice, so the word is the word of justice.
That with it He should smite the nations- the disciples had asked in Gethsemane, “Shall we smite with the sword?”, thus indicating that at least one other than Peter had a sword with him, (as is confirmed by Luke 22:38, “Lord, behold, here are two swords”). But the use of the sword was rebuked by the Lord in that situation. This showed that His kingdom would not be brought in by force of arms, as he explained to Pilate, John 18:36,37. But it will be brought in by the administration of justice. The nations of the world will have sided with the antichrist, (even though some citizens from those nations will have refused to do so), and it is these that Christ shall judge. He shall sit upon the throne of His glory, (men gave Him a cross of shame), and before Him shall be gathered all nations, Matthew 25:51,52. He shall use the sword of justice against them in judgement, and thus smite them.
And He shall rule them with a rod of iron- looking further ahead to His rule, we are told here the nature of His control over the nations. It will be strict and inflexible. David had foretold that the Messiah would “break the nations with a rod of iron”, Psalm 2:8. Daniel saw the successive Gentile forms of rule under the figure of an imposing image, which Christ would break in pieces when He came, Daniel 2:44. So He shall break Gentile dominion, and then establish His own, which none shall break.
And He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God- this is the third metaphor for judgement. The first was a sword, the symbol of justice, the second a rod, the symbol of power, and now the winepress, the symbol of crushing defeat. John has already graphically described the way in which the vine of the earth is cut down and cast into great winepress of the wrath of God, 14:17-20. The winepress is outside of the city, so the grapes are trodden in the same place as His blood was shed. This explains why the anger of God is fierce, because of the treatment they gave to His Son long before, and the fact that largely they have not changed their opinion.

19:16 And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written- there are two names written, one that no-one knows except Himself, and this one, “King of kings and Lord of Lords”. He is called two names, “Faithful and True”, and “the Word of God”.
“King of kings and Lord of lords”- the title King of kings is on His vesture, telling us that kingship is compatible with His character. After all, He was born king, and has all the features that a king should have. But it is also written on His thigh. Now the psalmist spoke of the Messiah girding His sword upon His thigh, and in His majesty riding prosperously, Psalm 45:3,4. So perhaps “King of kings” is on His vesture, and “Lord of lords” is on His thigh, where normally the sword would be. We know, of course, that His sword is out of His mouth, showing it is no natural sword, but a spiritual one, well able to defeat the spirit-lords that are goading on the kings of the earth. When writing to warn the Corinthians not to tamper with idolatry, Paul spoke of “gods many and lords many”, so lords and gods are the forces of evil. Christ is far superior to both earthly kings and spirit forces. He rules over kings, and dominates lords.

(d) Verses 17-21 Invitation to the supper of the great God

19:17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;

And I saw an angel standing in the sun- as a spirit-being, an angel is not affected by the heat of the sun. But if this is literal, would anyone see him? Probably the thought is that he positioned himself in the heavens so that he was directly in line with the sun, the object being to draw attention to what he was going to say. The birds of the air would be specially sensitive to changes in the sun.
And he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven- by this is presumably meant those that normally fly high in the sky. In other words the birds of prey that soar and glide far from earth, but which have such keen eyesight that they are able to see their prey from a great distance.
Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God- 500,000 Golden Eagles pass through Israel via the Jezreel Valley per season, and they are but one of the many species of scavenger birds that do so. The call is to the carnivorous birds, that they come to feast on the flesh of men as they are slain by the sword of the Coming Victor. In His Olivet Discourse, the Lord said, in connection with His coming to earth, “For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together”, Matthew 24:28. He is coming as the “Great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ”, Titus 2:13. As Saviour to those who are in great need of deliverance at this time, and as the Great God to destroy His enemies.

19:18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men- the kings of the nations gathered against Christ shall personally be present on the battlefield, such is their hostility to Him. The captains and mighty men, the champions like Goliath, shall be ready to fight, as will the rank and file of the army. They are only there because they pledged allegiance to the antichrist by accepting his mark.
And the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them- the Valley of Jezreel is an extensive plain, where the cavalrymen of the world have fought each other for centuries.
And the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great- such a vast collection of armies needs extensive backup resources, and the personnel to handle it. They will be enlisted from every level of society, and will have the common aim of opposing Christ at His coming.

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

And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies- the final confrontation between good and evil. The antichrist is also called the Man of Sin, and the old preachers used to say that “the sin of man will result in the Man of Sin”. Here is the full development of what man is in Adam, and it is in direct conflict with the Last Adam, Christ Himself. There is no mention of the false prophet being on the battlefield, but he is taken with the others in the next verse.
Gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army- a clear manifestation of what the apostle Paul wrote about man, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be”, Romans 8:8. They little realise that the force against them is spiritual, and that the ordinary rules of engagement do not apply to this battle. The kings of the earth had gathered together against Christ when they crucified Him, and now they are repeating it, showing they have not learnt their lesson. Psalm 2 is being fulfilled completely now, for “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall He speak to them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure. Yet have I set My king upon My holy hill of Zion”, Psalm 2:4-6.

19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him- in chapter 13:4 the question is asked, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? Here is the answer to the second question, for the beast is no match for the Lamb, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. The power by which the first beast operated, and the power by which the second beast did miracles, is not enough to rescue themselves from the wrath of the Lamb. There is no battle, for the result was decided at Calvary, where Christ destroyed the forces of evil. This is but one demonstration of it.
With which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image- the only reason these two succeeded in gaining the allegiance of men is that the natural mind gravitates to error. So since they used falsehood to promote their cause, they succeeded, but only for a time, because the promise about Christ was that would “send forth judgement unto victory”, Matthew 12:20. This is Matthew’s quotation of Isaiah’s words, “He shall bring forth judgement unto truth”, Isaiah 42:3. Truth shall be victorious at last, and those who promote falsehood, and those who believe it, shall alike meet their certain doom.
These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone- notice there is no process of assessment, for their sin is so obvious that there needs to be no process. The lake of fire is the same as Gehenna, the final abode of the devil and his angels, together with all who have sided with them against God. Isaiah spoke of Tophet, a place of rejection, (the word means “spitting out with contempt”), and he said, “the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it”, Isaiah 30:33. It appears from Jeremiah 19:6 that Tophet was also called the Valley of the son of Hinnom, and this is where the word Gehenna comes from, the equivalent to the particular New Testament word for hell which means the Lake of Fire.
It is appointed unto men once to die, but these go straight into the lake of fire. Either this means they are both resurrected men, who have died once already, or they are the exception that proves the rule. Elijah went to heaven without dying, and so did Enoch, so they are the two exceptions on the righteous side. The apostle wrote of this event, “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming”, 2 Thessalonians 2:8.

19:21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of His mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse- that is, all the others which make up the kings and people of the army, are slain. There is no battle as such, but instant death.
Which sword proceeded out of His mouth- so they die through the word He speaks. They could have had eternal life through His word, but chose not to, and sided with the enemy by listening to his deceptive lies.
And all the fowls were filled with their flesh- this is the ultimate disgrace, to be left on the battlefield for the birds of prey to feast upon. No burial, and no means of remembering them. (This strongly suggests that the destruction of Gog and Magog is at another time, for Ezekiel 39:11-17 describes the burial of the bodies after that battle). Notwithstanding the fact that their bodies will be eaten up, they shall certainly come back in resurrected bodies to stand before God and hear His stern judgement upon them.

9