7/10/18 Revelation 19:1-10 “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth”
Revelation 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 – following on from the events of Ch.18 (the fall of the Babylonian merchandising empire; the finance and trading centre of the world) in the same way that Ch.18 follows on from the events of Ch.17 (the fall of the whore of Babylon: the religious centre of the world). That is, the 7th bowl of wrath has been poured out, and Babylon has come in remembrance before God (Revelation 16:19).
Now it is finished (“It is done” – Revelation 16:17) and the victory is about to happen. That event for which the whole world has been labouring in birth pangs has now arrived; the new creation is imminent! The release of God’s people from their bondage to sin. Babylon is fallen and satan’s empire has fallen with it.
Romans 8:21-23 – 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23 And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.
The great voice of many people in heaven probably refers to those in
Revelation 18:20 – Rejoice over her, [thou] heaven, and [ye] holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
Alleluia – praise the Lord
salvation – deliverance; preservation; salvation; of Messianic salvation; future salvation for God’s people.
glory – praise, glory, honour; magnificence; majesty; personal excellency of God the majesty; the kingly majesty which belongs to him as supreme ruler.
honour – a valuing by which a price is fixed; the price paid or received for person or thing bought or sold; honour which belongs to or is shown one; of the honour which one has by reason of rank and state of office which he holds; deference, reverence.
This is now their rejoicing in God who has avenged His people.
Revelation 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.
true – alethinos (that which has not only the name and resemblance, but the real nature corresponding to the name, in every respect corresponding to the idea signified by the name, real, true genuine; opposite to what is fictitious, counterfeit, imaginary, simulated or pretended; true; veracious; sincere)
righteous – righteous, observing divine laws; innocent; faultless; guiltless. Not just seen to be obedient to the law, but staying within the law because that is God’s very nature to do so.
For God’s judgments are genuinely true and absolutely right according to His laws, for He has judged the mega-whore (megas porne) of Babylon (Ch.17 & 18) who corrupted (or destroyed) the earth with her fornication (adultery; defilement through illicit sex), and He has avenged (vindicated those wrongfully treated; dealt out justice to the wrongdoers; protected, defended His people) the blood of His servants which was shed by the hand of that mega-whore.
Babylon has shed the blood of God’s saints and prophets and God has righteously given them blood to drink (probably representing their own blood as per Armageddon etc).
Revelation 16:15-16 – 5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. 6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
Babylon has reaped what she sowed (Galatians 6:7) and has been treated in the same way she has treated others (Matthew 7:12). The Jews understood the law to mean an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth (Matthew 5:38), from
Exodus 21:23-25 – 23 And if [any] mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, 24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
The law was probably based upon Genesis 9:6 – Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
God does not change, nor does His law, ever. Only the context of the law changes.
Babylon is referred to as the whore 6 times in Revelation, here, 4 times in Ch.17 (once translated as “harlots” in Vs 5) and again in Revelation 19:2.
Revelation 19:3 – And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.
Alleluia (praise the Lord) is repeated for emphasis.
The smoke of Babylon burning – see also Revelation 18:9 & 18.
The grammar indicates that it should actually read “And her smoke rises up for ever and ever”, a present active tense. That is, that which is burning is never fully consumed, but just continues to burn for all eternity; thus her smoke rises up for ever and ever. The burning never stops!
for ever and ever (for aeons and aeons)– This phrase is found 13 times in Revelation; here it refers to the smoke of the burning of Babylon. Elsewhere in Revelation it includes reference to the dominion of God; the eternal life of God; the worship of God; blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God; the reign of God, and the reign of God’s people. It also refers to the smoke of the torment of those who worship the beast and his image and take the mark of his name (Revelation 14:11) and the torment of the devil, beast and false prophet in the lake of fire and brimstone (Revelation 20:10).
Revelation 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.
Amen – surely of a truth; verily; an expression of absolute trust and confidence.
four and twenty elders – as noted in Revelation 4:4; 4:10; 5:8; 5:14; 11:16; and here in 19:4.
four beasts – (four creatures) as noted in Revelation 4:6; 4:8; 5:6; 5:8; 5:14; 6:1; 7:11; 14:3; 15:7; and here in 19:4.
These 24 elders and 4 creatures join in this praise and worship session. It seems that whenever these beings come into the narrative it is generally associated with praise, worship and honour of God and His Christ.
Revelation 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.
Whose voice is it? Some say Christ, others say God in general, yet others say this cannot be specifically determined.
servants – doulos (servant; bondman; slave; attendant)
fear – phobeo (fear; terror; to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience)
small – mikros (small; little; of size, space, age, time, quantity or of rank or influence)
great – megas
It is interesting that if doulos should mean slave as MacArthur no doubt describes it, then how could such have a mind to worship God if He had to order them to do so first! Servant: yes! Slave: no!
Note that fear here refers to the fear of the Lord as in the following passages:
Job 28:28 – And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that [is] wisdom; and to depart from evil [is] understanding.
Psalm 111:10 – The fear of the Lord [is] the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [his commandments]: his praise endureth for ever.
Proverbs 14:27 – The fear of the Lord [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.
Acts 9:31 – Then had the churches rest throughout all Judæa and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
It is clear that the fear of the Lord here is not an unreasonable terror but instead a great respect for the exalted position and authority of God over all His creation.
Revelation 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.
great multitude – mega-crowd
This is the chorus that puts the backing to all the praise and worship session that has already been noted above. The lead singers are all involved, and now this mighty choir joins in like a massive harmonious backing for the singing. They all have one message though: Praise God, for the Lord God omnipotent (all powerful – translated “Almighty” in the other 9 NT occurrences) is exercising His kingly authority.
Revelation 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 (rejoice exceedingly) and rejoice (be exceeding glad), and give honour (splendour; glory; pre-eminence; magnificence; kingly majesty; most glorious condition; translated “glory” in Vs 1 above) to Him (Lord God omnipotent – see Vs 6 above), for the marriage (or wedding feast) of the Lamb has come (made its appearance; become established; has begun?) and his wife (generally accepted in the NT as the Church) has made herself ready (prepared herself).
New Jerusalem is also described as being like a bride adorned for her husband, but the context does suggest that this is a separate situation.
Revelation 21:2 – And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
hath made herself ready – prepared as per God’s requirements: to accept the invitation to the feast; to be ready and waiting when the bridegroom appears; to be wearing the correct apparel.
All who come must be ready when God calls.
Matthew 24:42 – Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
And from the parable of the 10 virgins:
Matthew 25:12-13 – 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
All must be properly equipped (including the right clothing).
Matthew 22:11-14 – 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast [him] into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14 For many are called, but few [are] chosen.
And many who think they are called will not be chosen (also see Matthew 22:14 above).
Matthew 7:21-23 – 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Revelation 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.
This is a description of the clothing required of the bride, that she wear fine linen (symbolising priestly service to God), clean (pure) and white (shining; brilliant; transparent; splendid; magnificent) (symbolising cleanliness and purity) for the fine linen is the righteousness (or “righteous acts or deeds”) of saints (holy ones or set-apart ones; those set apart for service to God).
fine linen, clean and white – or “bright, clean, fine linen”
We may come boldly before the throne of grace because we are accepted as being of the righteousness of our Saviour Jesus (Hebrews 4:16).
Blessed are those who die in the Lord for their works follow after them.
Revelation 14:12-13 – 12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed [are] the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
Revelation 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.
Who is speaking here? It isn’t clear but some logically suggest the angel of Revelation 17:1. The next verse does define this speaker as an angel or similar creature of God.
are called – kaleo (called; called by name)
Blessed (How happy!) are those who have been called to the marriage supper (evening meal) of the Lamb. And the angel said to John, “These words (probably to do with the book of Revelation) are the true sayings of God (or truth from God). (or These words are true of God.)
Revelation 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 John fell at the feet of such a mighty being to worship him, clearly because this angel was such a glorious creature in John’s eyes. But the angel tells John to not worship him because he is merely a fellowservant (syndoulos) of John and all others who have the testimony of trusting in the salvation of Jesus alone (and clearly many of whom have been martyred for their testimony). He tells John to certainly worship God, though, in place of the angel, for the testimony (witness statement) of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
Angels are sent as ministering spirits to mankind (the heirs of salvation).
Hebrews 1:13-14 – 13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
We are worship God alone and none other, for such glory as worship is due God alone.
Isaiah 42:8 – I [am] the Lord: that [is] my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
Note that John later on again is told not to worship the angel (because of its glory and splendour, no doubt) who brings the messages of God to him.
Revelation 22:8-9 – 8 And I John saw these things, and heard [them]. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. 9 Then saith he unto me, See [thou do it] not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
Note that John probably didn’t consider for one moment that this speaker was Christ, for he records that he wanted to worship the angel bringing the message here.
The redeemed saints are equal to the angels in some respects as Jesus said in the following:
Luke 20:36 – Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
the spirit of prophecy – the pneuma (spirit; breath) of propheteia (prophecy; declaring the purposes of God through divine inspiration, whether by reproving and admonishing the wicked, or comforting the afflicted, or revealing things hidden; esp. by foretelling future events; prediction of the future; the speech of Christian teachers called prophets)
For the spirit of prophecy is based upon the testimony one has of Jesus and His salvation. Prophecy does not necessarily involve only a pronouncement of future events, but can be a statement of your faith, your testimony, a witness statement of the work of God in your life, or even the teachings of godly Christian teachers.
There are so many commentaries and allegedly learned opinions on Revelation that you’d think it easy to get some that actually interpret it logically and rationally. But, there are far more who would rather take an allegorical view (that it is largely symbolic), or historical view (that is has already taken place in the past), or parallel view (that it is a spiritual world view as opposed to our physical world view). Why is there so much effort expended to try to take our attention away from the undeniable fact that Revelation is very much applicable to our physical world, yet still largely in the future? The answer lies in the way cults see and interpret such events.
Cults always have an extra-biblical revelation from their god to define more clearly their heresy. This includes the book of Mormon, the writings of Ellen White, the Watchtower society material, and, of course, the writings of Calvin. Every cult relies upon its particular interpretation to determine what to teach to its members. Cult members are not trained to test or question anything; rather they are strongly encouraged (usually strongly influenced or even forced) to accept what their extra-biblical revelation material teaches as truth. When they defend their heresies, they do not come from the reasonable or logical point of view, but instead defend their doctrines from their cult documents. When they are questioned regarding their beliefs, they generally are unable to explain rationally why they should believe such but instead use their cult documents to justify everything. Understanding of their doctrines is not a strong point; instead, they are taught to “know” the answers often off by heart. Their doctrines are commonly taught by rote (constant repetition), especially of their basic key doctrines. And, because cults are false religions which worship false gods, then demons are certainly involved in their learning processes.
So it should come as no surprise to find that cult members are very difficult to shake from their cultish beliefs. They usually cannot understand reason but instead “know” their answers so well that no matter what you say, no matter how persuasive you might be, they just won’t “see” what you are trying to say because their “knowledge” overrides all else. They “know” they are right! Literally, they just cannot be told anything other than what their cult has defined as absolute truth.