Revelation: Chapter 19
As seen in the chronology of Revelation, John is viewing all of these many events from several vantage points, in heaven, on earth, the bottomless pit, and the lake of fire. The events of this chapter are also contemporary with those described in the page on this site describing Revelation 16, which covers the pouring out of the seven bowls, and Revelation 18, which describes the final and complete destruction of commercial Babylon.
This chapter brings us to the end of the tribulation period. There are several events described in Revelation 19:1-21 that cover the period from the rapture to Christ's return, when He conquers all of His enemies and establishes His millennial kingdom. At the very end of the tribulation are four distinct events that sound the end of the tribulation:
- The pouring out of the 7th bowl of God's wrath on the world, Revelation 16:1-21
- The cup with a double portion of God's wrath given to the destruction of commercial Babylon, Revelation 18:1-24
- The battle of Armageddon with the 200,000,000 man army, Revelation 19:1-21
- Jesus Christ's return when He places His feet on the Mount of Olives, Zechariah 14:3-4
It is anticipated, and an opinion, that these four events will occur in rapid sequence. This could occur in a matter of weeks, with the battle of Armageddon concluded within a short moment. The order of events as presented are also an opinion. However, this chapter shows that there is a pause in activity in the throne room of God for Great celebrations, Revelation 19:1-10:
- For the judgments that had taken place
- For the praise and worship of God
- For the marriage of the Lamb has come
|1-6||The great praises to God|
|7-9||The bride of Christ and the wedding preparation|
|10||John's reaction to all these events|
|11-16||The return of the King of kings|
|17-18||The call to all the birds to their feast|
|19-21||The battle of Armageddon|
The beginning of this chapter reveals the great celebrations, worship and praise to God that likely eclipse the first time John saw the great activity about the throne room of God, Revelation 4:1-11 - 5:1-14. The great songs of praise lead up to a crescendo at the announcement of the wedding of the Lamb. Leading up to this moment are four verses of a song, which all contain the word Alleluia, meaning “praise the Lord!” Revelation 19:1-10. It happens that this is the only time in the New Testament the word Alleluia is used, but it is used many times in the Old Testament. The source of these great sounds of joy John hears came from many people in heaven, who would consist of:
- Old Testament saints waiting for their resurrection, Daniel 12:1-3, 13
- The church (the circumcision and uncircumcision), 1Corinthians 1:8-9, Ephesians 2:6
- Those who died after the resurrection and snatching away of the church, 1Thessalonians 4:13-18, 1Corinthians 15:51-58
- The great tribulation saints who have died, Revelation 14:12-13
In Revelation 19:1, the term "after these things" is again used, but in a different way than described in Revelation 4:1. In this case, it announces the end of the seven years of tribulation, since the pouring out of the seventh bowl judgment on earth, Revelation 16:1-21, Revelation 17:1-18, and Revelation 18:1-24 and Revelation 19:1-21. This chapter provides important highlights on key elements that were not captured in the previous chapters on the tribulation. The events concerning commercial Babylon in Revelation 18:1 (after these things), followed those events described in Revelation 17:1-18, which was all about the harlot mystery Babylon. The events in Revelation 19:1-2 follow the destruction of Commercial Babylon. John also reports that he heard the sounded of a roar from a great multitude in heaven shouting "Hallelujah," which is a transliteration from Hebrew meaning, "Praise the Lord!" This is the time that the whole creation has looked forward to since the fall of Adam, Romans 8:18-25.
"Salvation and glory and power belong to our God". The key to the identity of the multitude singing this "Hallelujah" chorus is found in these last few words in Revelation 19:1. Who but the saints of the Lord could shout out the praise for the salvation that the Lord gave to mankind? The Blue Letter Bible provides insight in the Greek word used to describe God's glory, which is evident throughout scripture. God's power has likewise been demonstrated throughout scripture.
In Revelation 19:2-3, the saints in heaven continue to shout the praises of God. They acknowledge and witness the truth and righteousness of God's judgments against the earth and mankind, now that the judgments have ended. The highlight of this praise was God's judgment against the harlot, Babylon, who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. God also avenged the blood of His servants. All saints of God are instructed to put aside vengeance, for it is the Lord's, Romans 12:19-21, Luke 18:7-8. Also, the tribulations saints who were before the throne, and who asked God when their blood would be avenged, have finally seen this come to pass, Revelation 6:9-11. Satan was behind the great whore, and destroyed her when His man, Antichrist, was ready to be thrust forward onto the world scene, Revelation 17:15-18, but its spirit of corruption continued. The hosts in heaven shout out again with praises as a witness of God's vengeance for His saints in that the smoke from Babylon's demise will go up forever and ever. The second verse begins with Alleluia, Revelation 19:3. They praise God that the smoke of her judgment, mystery Babylon, will rise up as a remembrance of God’s wrath and vengeance over her, will last for eternity.
In Revelation 19:4-5, there are several shouts of praise that emanate from heaven. The 24 elders and the four living creatures fall down and worshiped God, who is sitting down on His throne, no longer in the temple filled with smoke, Revelation 15:8. They are endorsing the praise of all the saints. They begin by first saying AMEN, which means “let it be.” Then, for the third time, they say Alleluia. A voice came from the throne, which is arguably the Holy Spirit, John 16:13-14, saying to all saying "Praise our God, all servants who fear Him, both small and great." Another voice was heard, which is arguably the Son, Jesus Christ, John 12:27-28, Revelation 1:12-15, Revelation 14:1-2, and shouts saying "Hallelujah!, For our Lord God Almighty reigns."
In Revelation 19:7-8, an announcement is made concerning the bride of Christ. Revelation 19:6 indicates that there was a great multitude with Christ, whose identity is found in Revelation 7:9-17. These are the tribulation saints, Revelation 7:14. They are ever before the Lamb, Revelation 7:15a, and they serve the Lamb, day and tight in His temple, Revelation 7:15b. It is arguably the tribulation saints who are shouting out to the heavenly hosts, Psalms 134:1-3, "To rejoice and be glad, and Give glory to God". They announce that the wedding of the Lamb has come. The bride has made herself ready, which is the church, not the tribulation saints, 2Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 2:10, Ephesians 5:25-27. The bride is dressed in fine linen, which stands for the righteous acts of the saints, Revelation 19:7-8.
The wedding depicted in this chapter was put in motion almost two thousand years ago by the Lord Jesus Christ and the work He did on all mankind's behalf on the cross. He established the new covenant, and founded the church to become His bride. John the Baptist was the one to declare this relationship between the groom and the bride, John 3:26-30. The Lord also mentioned this, Matthew 9:14-15. The betrothal custom of the Jews during the Lord's first advent parallels the events of Christ, His church, the rapture, His millennial reign, the new heaven, new earth, and new Jerusalem, as shown in the following process:
- The man would find the one to marry, John 15:16-17
- A bride's price with a marriage contract, Luke 22:14-1
- Drink the cup wine, Luke 22:20
- The decision was the woman's to drink, accepting the new covenant with Christ, or reject His offer and free gift, John 1:12-13, Romans 5:15-18
- The man would leave and prepare a place as a bridal chamber, John 14:1-4
- Only the groom's father determines when the bridal chamber is completed, Mark 13:32-37
- During that time, the woman would wear a veil as a woman waiting for her husband 2Corinthians 1:21-22
- She would keep an oil lamp trimmed if he came like a thief in the night, Luke 12:37-40
- She is now set apart, and bought with a price, 1Corinthians 6:19
- When the wedding party was close enough to the bride's house, someone had to shout, 1Thessalonians 4:14-18
In Revelation 19:9, those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb are blessed.
|1||Revelation 1:3||Blessed are those who read, hear, and do what is written in this prophecy|
|2||Revelation 14:13||Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on|
|3||Revelation 16:15||Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes on him|
|4||Revelation 19:9||Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb|
|5||Revelation 20:6||Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection|
|6||Revelation 22:7||Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book|
|7||Revelation 22:7||Blessed are those who wash their robes that they may have the right to the tree of life and go through the gates into the city|
This is mostly likely a millennial long celebration and supper, since a thousand years is as one day, 2Peter 3:8. This is the time that the Lord spoke about during his Olivet Discourse concerning the 10 virgins, Matthew 25:1-13. Five were prepared for the Lord's return at any moment, whereas the other five did not have sufficient oil for the night nor trimmed the wicks of their lamps. Only the five wise virgins were allowed into the wedding banquet, the others who arrived late were not allowed in. The Lord also described this event at another time concerning the wedding banquet and the invitees who were unwilling to attend, and so he went out to the people and invited them. Only one appeared without a wedding garment, and he was kicked out, Matthew 22:1-14. Finally, in the Psalms there is mention of the Lord's Queen, Psalms 45:9
In Revelation 19:10, John must have been completely overwhelmed to hear and see these heavenly sights. To hear the great noise of all of the hosts in heaven shouting out the praises to God, and hearing the shouts of praise to the Father from the throne itself had to of been an unimaginable experience. Then, in seeing the preparation of the bride of Christ, John's reaction was incomprehensible exultation, and he fell at the feet of the angel to worship him. John was immediately rebuked for this misplaced worship. This is the same angel whom the Lord had sent to John to give what the Father had given Him, the revelation of Jesus Christ, Revelation 1:1. The angel corrects John immediately, and identifies himself as a fellow servant with the testimony of Jesus. He then instructs John to worship God.
The angel also states that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, which began immediately after the fall of Adam, and upon the judgment of God. The first of the prophecies to mankind was God's plan of salvation to bring about a new relationship with the Lord. This was to be brought about through the woman's seed, Genesis 3:14-15. Everything between that passage to the end of the book of Revelation is all about Jesus Christ, and restoring God's relationship with mankind that was ruined by sin. Remember, the book of Revelation was given by God to His Son, Jesus Christ, who then gave the revelation to His angel to give to John, Revelation 1:1. Jesus Christ is the center and focus of scripture and prophecy, Revelation 19:10.
In Revelation 19:11, John now sees heaven open and before him was Christ on a white horse. This is similar to the time that John saw the door open to heaven and he was called up to view the events that followed the church age, the tribulation, Revelation 4:1. Now John sees heaven open up again, but this time it is to let the Lord and His army return to earth, rather than to call John (and the church) to His presence. This second time that heaven is opened, which signifies the end of the tribulation and the beginning of the millennial reign of Jesus Christ as He comes to claim the dominion given Him by the Father, Daniel 7:13-14, Psalms 110:1-2, the time has come, Habakkuk 2:2-3, Psalm 45:1-6. Another important point to establish is that this white horse and its rider are not the same as the white horse described by the opening of the first seal, Revelation 6:1-2. The opening of the first seal revealed the Antichrist as a false peace giver who was bent on conquest. However, here in Revelation 19:11, Christ is shown in this chapter as Faithful and True. Christ is judges with righteousness and makes war upon the unrighteous.
In Revelation 19:12-13, John describes how he now views the Lord as He returns to the world. John observes the victorious Christ returning to a rebellious world to establish His rule over the whole world. In contrast, when John first saw the glorified Christ at the beginning of the revelation, John did not see the Lord prepared for battle against His enemies, he saw the glorified Christ among the candles that represent the church, Revelation 1:12-14. At that time, he observed the Lord:
- Like a Son of man, Revelation 1:13
- Dressed in a robe down to his feet, Revelation 1:13
- With His head and hair white like wool, Revelation 1:14
In Revelation 19:12, John sees Christ where:
- His eyes were like blazing fire, Revelation 1:14, Revelation 2:18, but now He returns to earth to judge the world, Revelation 19:12
- His head had many crowns, Psalms 8:3-8, Hebrews 2:5-9
- He had a name written that no one knew but He himself, Psalms 8:9
- He was dressed in a robe dipped in blood, Isaiah 63:1-3
- His name is the Word of God, John 1:1.
- A name that only He knows, Revelation 19:12, Psalm 8:9
In Revelation 19:14, the armies of heaven follow the Lord, and they are also riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen. These are the saints of the Lord.
In Revelation 19:15-16, a sharp sword extends out of the Lord's mouth to strike down the nations. With the breath of His lips, He will slay the wicked, Isaiah 11:4, and He will consume with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy His enemies with the brightness of His coming, 2Thessalonians 2:7-8. This is similar to an event at the arrest of Jesus, when those who were sent to arrest Jesus, and they fell down at just the Lord's response, I am He, John 18:4-9.
There is a great deal of descriptive language used in scripture concerning all the aspects of the judgment that is executed at the Lord's return. Some of what has been written is:
- He treads the winepress that is the fury of the wrath of God Almighty against His enemies, Revelation 19:13, Isaiah 63:1-6, Joel 3:12-17
- The Lord alone treads the winepress in His anger, and treads down His enemies in His wrath.
- The blood of His enemies spatters His garments, and stains all His clothing
- The Lord pours out the blood of His enemies on the ground
It is the Lord who will do the fighting, since only His clothes are stained with blood. The Saint's clothing is fine linen, white and clean. The Lord's authority over the world is written on His robe and thigh: King of kings and Lord of lords. The Lord will rule the world with an iron scepter, Psalm 2:6-9, since the world during His millennial reign will be populated by believing and unbelieving individuals. Following the battle of Armageddon, the Lord will give the rule over His kingdom to His saints, the people of the Most High, and to His church, Revelation 2:24-27, Revelation 19:13, Daniel 7:21-22, 25-27, Isaiah 63:1-6.
Out of the Lord’s mouth is a sharp sword to strike down the nations, Revelation 19:15, where:
- This fulfills the opening of the sixth seal, Revelation 6:12-17
- This is the day of vengeance, Isaiah 61:2
- With the breath of His lips, He will slay the wicked, Isaiah 11:4
- The Lord will consume with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of His coming, 2Thessalonians 2:7-8
- Those who came to capture Jesus and take Him to the High Priest, fell down at His word, John 18:4-9
On his vesture and on his thigh is written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, Revelation 19:16. He will rule them with an iron scepter, Psalm 2:6-9, Revelation 12:5, and give the same authority to the believers in the church of Thyatira, Revelation 2:27. Christ then promised to pass His kingdom and dominion to those in the church of Thyatira who did not follow the doctrine of Jezebel. The doctrine of Jezebel allowed idolatry and ignored God’s laws concerning meat offered to idols, Revelation 2:20-27. Then He offered to those in the church of Laodicea to sit with Him on His throne, to only those that overcame Revelation 3:20-21, 1John 5:4-5.
In Revelation 19:17-18, John now sees an angel standing in the sun. He cries out to all the birds flying. They are to gather together to eat the flesh of the mighty and the low, all who came to battle against the Lord. There is no respect of person in this carnage. This is similar to the invitation to the birds to feed on the flesh of the invading armies into Northern Israel in Ezekiel 38:1-23 - Ezekiel 39:1-29, Ezekiel 39:17-20.
In Revelation 19:19-21, John now sees the beast (Antichrist) and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the Lord. With the pouring out of the sixth bowl, the river Euphrates was dried up to facilitate the movement westward of the 200,000,000 man army, who had a divine appointment set by God, with the blowing of the sixth trumpet, Revelation 9:13-19. At that time, Satan, the Antichrist, and the false prophet were seen spewing out frogs from their mouths, to gather the kings of the whole world to battle against the Lord, Revelation 16:12-14, Revelation 9:13-16. The Antichrist and false prophet were captured and thrown alive into the lake of fire and sulfur, Revelation 14:9-11. The rest of those in the armies will be killed by the sword of the Lord's mouth, and none survived. There will be no POWs or refugees, only a 100% casualty rate on the side of the Lord's enemies.
The reason for naming Armageddon an event is evidenced in Revelation 19:20. In the previous verse the armies are assembling, then suddenly in this verse the Antichrist and false prophet are cast alive into the lake of fire. There is no glory in defeat, no mention of a fight or battle, both men are suddenly and without fanfare thrown into the fire for eternity, as seen in the judgment of the beast in the throne room of God, Daniel 7:9-11. They are treated differently, in that they will not appear before the great white throne judgement, where every other unrighteous person ever born into this world will appear, Revelation 20:11-15. Their judgement occurs before the throne room of God. The thrones of those in judgment are assembled about the throne of God, the ancient of days, as described by Daniel, Daniel 7:8-11. Both men have their day in court, as other men, and books are opened to reveal the righteous judgment of God, Daniel 7:10. The actions of the Antichrist and false prophet are succinctly stated and their fate is executed immediately, Daniel 7:11. They are the first to occupy the lake of fire, Revelation 20:10
After the Antichrist and false prophet were thrown alive into the lake of fire and brimstone, Revelation 14:9-11, 19:20, the rest of those in the armies were killed by the sword of the Lord’s mouth, and none survived, Revelation 19:21. There will be no POWs or refugees, but there will be a 100% casualty rate on the side of the Lord’s enemies. All the fowls will be filled with their flesh. John said that the Lord’s name was the Word of God, Revelation 19:13, and He was seen with a sharp sword from His mouth to smite the nations, Revelation 19:15. God created all things by Jesus Christ, Ephesians 3:9. By Christ all things were created in heaven, earth, visible and invisible, thrones, dominions, principalities and powers, all things were created by Him and for Him, Colossians 1:16. Now, He is the judge, executing judgment upon His enemies, and He saves Israel and Jerusalem, Isaiah 33:1-24, John 5:22-30.