Revelation 19:1-21 Part 5

REVELATION 19:1-21 Part 5


1)    After these I heard as a great sound of a multitude in the heaven saying “halleluia the salvation and the glory and the power of our God,

2)    for His judgments are true and just; for He judged the great harlot that corrupted the earth in her fornication and avenged His servants’ blood at her hand.”

3)    Then again they declared “halleluia!  Her smoke ascends into the ages of ages.”

4)    Then the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped The God seated over the throne, saying “Amen!  Halleluia!”

5)    Then there came forth a sound from the throne saying, “all you His servants, the small and the great who are afeared, extol our God!”

6)    Then I heard as sound of a multitude and as sound of many waters and as sound of mighty thunders saying “halleluia!  Kurios the Almighty God reigns!

7)    Rejoicing and celebrating we will give Him the glory, for the wedding feast of the Lamb did come!  And His betrothed did ready herself!

8)    And it was given to her that she be arrayed in pure, bright linen; for the fine linen is the righteousness of the holy ones.”

9)    Then he says to me, “write: ‘blessed the ones called to the wedding feast of the Lamb’”; and says to me, “these true words are from God”.

10) And I fell before his feet to pay homage to him, and he says “see you not do that, for I am the fellow servant of you and your brothers who hold the testimony of Jesus; for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

11) Then I saw the heaven opened and, lo, a white horse; and seated upon it One called Faithful and True, and He judges and wages war in righteousness,

12) His eyes as flaming fire, many diadems on His head, having a written name that is known by no one but Him.

13) He was clothed about – the raiment blood-spattered, and His Name called The Word of God,

14) the armies in the heaven – clothed in pure white linen - following Him on white horses,

15) a sharp sword proceeding from His mouth, that with it He would smite the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron.  And He treads the winepress of the wine of the wrath – the vengeance of Almighty God.

16) And He has a name written on His raiment and on His thigh: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

17) Then I saw one messenger standing in the sun; and it cried out – a great sound – saying to all the birds flying in mid-heaven: “Come!  Gather to the great feast of God

18) that you may eat the flesh of rulers, the flesh of commanders, the flesh of the strong, the flesh of horses and of those sitting upon them, the flesh of all – both free and slave, small and great.

19) Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered to wage war with the One sitting upon the horse and His army;

20) and the beast was seized (and with it the false prophet that did the signs before it by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and paid homage to its image); both were cast alive into the lake of fire, being burned in brimstone;

21) and the remaining ones were killed with the sword of the One sitting upon the horse – that which proceeded from His mouth; and all the birds were gorged from their flesh.


First this morning let’s re-establish the fact that what John is being shown here, from the viewpoint of God and His covenant, are events that are yet to be but are to come to pass quickly!  And they are events that are repeatedly prophesied throughout the Scripture.  And the remnant of the house of Jacob (now scattered among the Gentile nations) are to be made aware that all of this is imminent; and they are to expect it, eagerly anticipate it, and be comforted in the fact that it is all of God!


That’s very special, isn’t it?  In conditions in which everything looks to be “random”, to be assured and comforted that it is all “of God” - “by God”; in conditions in which everything looks dire and threatening to the very existence of the whole world order, to be comforted that it is “of God”… it isn’t random; it isn’t accidental.

And no matter whether man takes credit for the causes or the consequences or the solutions (as they usually do), God’s people are to examine everything through the mind of Christ.  (That’s what we’re supposed to have, by the way.)

In the Isaiah nine passage that we read last week, God told Isaiah that a child would be born, and that He would not judge by what He sees; and He would not judge by what He hears.  But He would judge by the Truth and the Justice and the Righteousness of God.

The mind of Christ… that’s what we are to have.

There should be nothing that we see with our eyes that isn’t judged by the Truth and Justice and Righteousness of God.  There should be nothing that we hear with our ears that isn’t judged by the Truth and Justice and Righteousness of God.  It’s the mind of Christ, you see.

God’s people of the first century, in all of the turbulence and upheaval, were comforted and given assurance in this letter - the Revelation of Jesus Christ – that it was all “of God”, and that He was judging in Truth and Justice and Righteousness!  They were to rest in Him and “wait” on Him in expectation; for there was nothing outside of His will and purpose!

That’s what Isaiah said – remember?  Although God had revealed to him, in detail, all that would occur in the “Day of YAHVEH”, yet he was to go and prophesy and do signs and wonders in Jerusalem and the land.  Even though their eyes would be blinded and their ears would be deafened by the prophecy and the signs and the wonders, he was to go and do them.  And Isaiah said he would “wait” on YAHVEH.  Later on he said he would wait “patiently”.  You see, he was assured and comforted in the Truth and Justice and Righteousness of God.

When we see all that goes on; and we hear what’s being said, we are to examine it all in the light of God’s sovereign will and purpose.  There shouldn’t be a statement made or a philosophy espoused that isn’t judged by you from that standard!  There shouldn’t be a cause or event or movement that isn’t judged by you from that standard!  And should the world look like it’s crumbling into chaos (like in the time of the original Churches), we should be comforted and assured in the Truth and Justice and Righteousness of God!

As the text here is read in the Churches of the first century, the events shortly to take place are all decreed by God and prophesied in the Scriptures; and they are (variably) called “the end of the age”, and “the last day”, and “the day of YAHVEH”.  And as the events of the “end of the age” occur, the Churches are to understand it all in the light of what is revealed to John in this letter.  And they are to “wait” on YAHVEH; they are to be comforted in that God is judging in Truth and Justice and Righteousness; and they are to examine everything they see and hear by the will and purpose of God… as found in the decrees of God and His prophetic Word.


There is a sequence of events here in chapters eighteen and nineteen… events that are to come quickly.  And the Churches would read that Jerusalem and the land have been declared “ready”.  As you remember, that declaration was made by God the Son.

Then, as in a court of law, there were many witnesses to God regarding her guilt, including the blood of all of the “holy ones” through history.  They cried out to God that He would avenge them.

Then John writes the “charges” that he heard against Israel.  And they are 1) she has corrupted all the nations of the earth by her fornications and, 2) she has poured out the blood of God’s holy ones on the land.  Then the pronouncement of “guilty of all charges”; and the judgment is rendered.  The harlot will die by the sword and burned in fire and brimstone; and the smoke of her burning will be a satisfaction to God into the ages.

Then (here at the beginning of chapter nineteen), having heard the judgment pronounced, the entire host of God’s tabernacle erupts with “halleluias” – praises to YAHVEH for His salvation and His glory and His power! 

All of His prophetic Word had said it, you see!  And now He has judged in Truth and Righteousness and Justice!  And therefore all of His bondservants are to fear Him.  All He has said is True!  And it is all imminent!


Then in verse six of our text, there is a fourth “halleluia”, for Almighty God The Son, Xristos Kurios, has saved His people; and He has now assumed all authority in the heavens and the earth (as prophesied); and He is ready to go forth to His further work of “overcoming” and saving the world!  And the prophesied Word regarding Him and His further work is also True and Just and Righteous!  And John is shown what the essence of that work will be.  And the view of what will come to be will take us through verse sixteen.


I think it very interesting, and especially revealing, that what John hears (in verse six) is three mighty sounds from the heaven.  Heretofore he has heard these sounds “singularly” (i.e. one at a time).  But now, as our Lord’s further work is praised by the host of the tabernacle, what emanates from the host to John’s ears is the “three” – the three sounds, all at the same time!

We’ve mentioned many times before that here in the capstone of the Revelation, nothing is insignificant; for it is the “fullness” of all that was previously written.  And John is careful to write that all three of the sounds from the tabernacle shout “halleluia” regarding all that the Christ has done and all that He is about to do!

First, He has saved His elect from the tribes of Jacob; second, He has faithfully obeyed the Father all the way to the cross and has received the nations as His inheritance and was crowned King of Kings; and third, He is about to go forth to overcome the world!

The great cosmic “halleluia” is “as the sound of a multitude”: it is also “as the sound of many waters”; and it is “as the sound of mighty thunders”.  John writes that the sound is “as” all three.  He purposely writes all three.


Listen once more as I read from verse six:


“Then I heard as sound of a multitude and as sound of many waters and as sound of mighty thunders saying “halleluia!  Kurios the Almighty God reigns!


Kurios is the name by which the New Testament writers refer to the reigning almighty God The Son.


But the reason John writes all three of the great sounds of the host of the heaven is found in verse ten where he writes: “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”.  The prophetic Word is the testimony of Jesus!  He IS the Word; and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.

And as John the baptizer – the prophet/forerunner of Jesus – said: “Lo the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world!”  The testimony of the Law and the prophets is Jesus The Christ of God.

All three of the sounds (here in verse six) are purposefully written here by John, for they – all three – recall the testimony of Jesus.

Listen to what Daniel writes as he is made aware of all that is to occur… all the way to the “fifth Kingdom” – the Kingdom of God the Son.  What he sees and hears is Jesus as He appears and identifies Himself as Archangel Michael – One “as God”.  He says:


5)    Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and lo, a man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold….

6)    His body was as beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as flames of fire, and his arms and his feet as polished brass in color, and the sound of his words as the sound of a multitude.


That’s what John writes here as the first sound of the halleluia – the sound of a multitude.

Then John writes that the halleluia was as the sound of many waters.  And it is not coincidental that that’s exactly what Ezekiel writes (chapter forty three) as the new temple of God is prophesied to the people of Israel while they were in captivity in Babylon.  And the new temple is compared to the old one that was filled with every abominable thing imaginable.

Listen to Ezekiel’s prophecy about the filling of the new temple, which is the body of the risen Christ:


2)    And lo, the glory of the God of Israel will come from the way of the east, and His voice [is] as the sound of many waters, and the earth will shine with His glory.


The figure that Ezekiel hears and writes to Israel has to do with the dawning of a new day as the Light of Christ arises as the dawn and glorifies The Father as He lights the world.  The sound of His voice is as the sound of many waters as He speaks to the nations and tongues and tribes of the earth.  This is the new temple, you see – the body of Jesus Christ.  And here in verse six the halleluia that John hears, he writes that it is as the sound of many waters… obviously referring to the prophecy of Ezekiel.

And John also hears the sound as the sound of thunder.  And the inclusion of this sound from the heaven is a direct reference to the prayer to God that is written in 1 Samuel chapter two.  Here it is:


8)    The pillars of the earth are YAHVEH's, and on them he has set the creation.

9)    He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness, for not by might shall a man prevail.

10) 10)The adversaries of YAHVEH shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in the heaven.  YAHVEH will judge the ends of the earth; and He will give strength to his king - exalting the horn (the Kingship) of his Anointed One.


The sound as of thunder is the sound of the Presence of the King of Kings as He proceeds in His further work of ruling over the nations and peoples and tongues and tribes of the earth… judging all the way to the ends of the earth.  It was a prayer to YAHVEH, written by Samuel; and here the prayer is answered in the thunderous “halleluia” by all the host of the heaven; for Kurios, Almighty God, reigns to the ends of the earth!

Once again we’re made aware of the consistency and the perfections of the Word of God, aren’t we?  In one statement about the sound emanating from the tabernacle, John collects prophecy from Samuel (a thousand years before the birth of Christ), and from Isaiah (seven hundred years before the birth of Christ), and from Ezekiel (four hundred and seventy years before the birth of Christ).

The sound of the “halleluia” (praise YAHVEH), “Kurios the Almighty God reigns” takes His people all through the prophetic Word concerning God’s Anointed One – His King!

And along with His people in the first century, we are strengthened in The Faith.  We are comforted – as they were!  And we are given assurance in the Truth and Justice and Righteousness of our God.  And (as they were) we are given to anticipate the full completion of the work of the Savior of the world.

When He first appeared in Israel, John the baptizer recognized Jesus as God’s Anointed, the promised King - the prophesied Savior of the world.  First, however, Jesus came for the lost sheep of the house of Jacob – the remnant to be saved before the prophesied destruction of Israel.

And Jesus was the Lamb of God – the paschal Lamb prophesied in the Passover, the One to be taken and bound to the horns of the altar and sacrificed to the Father for the sins of the world.

He is also the covenantal bridegroom Who promised to come for His bride.  But when He arrived He found that His betrothed was a harlot; and there was no one who had prepared for the wedding festivities!  So He sent His bondservants out to find those who would come.

And we know from the Scripture that these who were found and who came to the festivities were the lost sheep of the house of Jacob – the promised remnant of Israel who Jesus came to seek and to save, previously called “The Daughter of Zion” in the prophetic Word; also called the “Bride of Christ” – the Church scattered among the nations!

He is also the “Seed of the woman” promised in the first paradise, and promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and promised to David, and preserved throughout history from the vengeance and enmity of the serpent.  And, as such, He was born of a virgin whose ancestry is traced through King David – all the way back to Adam and his son Seth; and was worshiped by Gentiles at His birth.

He is also the One Who was crucified by the offspring of the serpent; and Who was raised out of death and hades to ascend to the Father in order to be crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords and be given all the nations as His inheritance.  And He is the One Whose risen human body constitutes the new heritage of the human race – guaranteeing the eternality of humanity in Him, and guaranteeing the eternal destruction of the cursed humanity in Adam.  That is God’s Truth and His Justice and His Righteousness!

And He is the One Who is explicitly prophesied in the Scripture to subdue the nations and submit them to His authority by the Sword of His mouth and His rod of iron.  The covenantal council determined this before the foundation of the earth.  Therefore He is called Wonderful Counselor.  He is the Savior of the world for the glory of the Father.


As you can see, all of this is prophesied in the Scripture; and therefore His testimony is the spirit of prophecy (verse ten)!  He is the Strong Right Arm of YAHVEH, and the Word of God without Whom nothing was made that was made (John’s words at the beginning of His Gospel).  The Word is “of Him”; the Word is “by Him”; the Word is “about Him”.  The Word IS Him; the very essence (the spirit) of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus.


As we proceed in the text, what we now see in the three verses following the great sounds of the ”halleluia” (verses seven, eight and nine), is the Wonderful Counselor Who counseled before the foundation of the world to be the sacrificial Lamb of God foreshadowed in the Passover and in the entire sacrificial system.  And John heard what was said to him: “these are the true words of God”.

Let’s hear the three verses once more.  Verses seven, eight and nine:


7)    Rejoicing and celebrating we will give Him the glory, for the   wedding feast of the Lamb did come!  And His betrothed did ready herself!

8)    And it was given to her that she be arrayed in pure, bright linen; for the fine linen is the righteousness of the holy ones.”

Then he says to me, “write: ‘blessed the ones called to the wedding feast of the Lamb’”; and says to me, “these true words are from God”.


Now, you may remember that an interim sermon was preached in November in preparation for this chapter nineteen of The Revelation. It was preached specifically for these three verses.  It was Jesus’ parable of the wedding festivities recorded in Matthew chapter twenty-two.

Since the twelve tribes of Jacob were, with all the people’s affirmation, betrothed to YAHVEH at Sinai, and the sacrificial lamb prophesied in the feast of Passover and in the sacrificial system, and the entire prophetic Word urging all Israel to prepare for the coming of God’s Anointed, in the fullness of the time the Promised One arrived and nobody expected Him… nobody had prepared for Him… and nobody showed up!  In fact, all Israel had committed harlotry continually during the betrothal!  And when He arrived they were either apathetic, or they hated Him.

So, in the parable, since the celebration and feasting was all prepared and ready, the servants were sent out to “gather all who they did find, both evil and good.  And the wedding feast was filled….” (verses nine and ten of the Matthew text).  And they all were given white linen wedding garments!

These are the “called ones”, you see… the ones of the house of Jacob who God had kept for Himself.  When they were found and called, they followed the sacrificial Lamb of God into Jerusalem – as He was to suffer and die at the hands of the priests and elders of Israel.

These “called ones” were the sick and the blind and the crooked and the dispossessed and the harlots and tax collectors.  They weren’t “invited” to the wedding feast… they were “called” and given the white robes of righteousness – the righteousness of The Lamb of God.  They were the seed of the woman preserved through history by YAHVEH – the “remnant” of Jacob; the “Daughter of Zion” who Jesus had said He came to “seek and to find”.

It was the “Daughter of Zion” that came to the wedding festivities; it was the “Daughter of Zion” that was given the white robes of virginity, for the “fine linen is the righteousness of the holy ones” (verse eight of our text).

It was the “daughter” of the harlot that Jesus kept for Himself of the house of Jacob.  She was the one for whom the Paschal Lamb shed His blood.

She did not anticipate His coming; she did not prepare with joy and expectation when all Israel was called to the festivities; she was cursed and depraved mankind – many of them living as the dregs of society; others living as wealthy land owners, tax collectors and harlots.  She only came to the wedding feast when Jesus sought her out and found her and called her!  She came to the wedding feast of The Lamb, and she was given the white linen garments of righteousness.

These three verses (seven, eight and nine of our text) are John’s confirmation to all the Churches that the Paschal Lamb of God provided righteousness to the unrighteous, you see.  In order for the daughter of the harlot to be present at the wedding festivities, she had to be clothed upon with righteousness!  She had to be declared virginal – the white, linen garments being indicative of the virginity required of one who was betrothed at Sinai!  The blood of the Lamb of God covered her sin and satisfied the wrath of God in order that she might be an acceptable bride.

“Rejoicing and celebrating we will give Him the glory, for the wedding feast of the Lamb did come” (verse seven).


Let me give you the very heart of the matter here.  It’s of the nature of the great covenantal matters that we so often mention; for the analogy of the bridegroom and the bride (which is revealed even more fully in the last chapters of The Revelation) – (the analogy) begins to be revealed in the Garden of Eden.

The first man, created in the image of God, was given a helper “meet” for him (appropriate for him).  And God declared them “one flesh”.  But God cursed this seminal father of all mankind, for his wife sinned against God (becoming the harlot of the serpent) and enticed Adam to do the same.  Thereafter all mankind was a cursed and depraved race, incapable of righteousness before God.

But God promised a “seed”.  And throughout history He kept a seed of depraved mankind for Himself (as promised to Abraham and to the house of Jacob).  And that “Seed” was born a man in the fullness of the time.  It was the Lamb of God (the Paschal) prophesied in the Passover and the sacrificial system provided to the twelve tribes of Jacob.  God had also promised that the seed would include a remnant of the house of Jacob that would be saved in the Day of YAHVEH.

In the Truth and Justice and Righteousness of God, that remnant was sought out and found and called by the Lamb of God and Savior of the world.

And on that Passover day of gross darkness, the Father abandoned and cursed the paschal Lamb in a sacrifice to Himself in order to satisfy Himself that there had been complete justice – that full payment had been made.

The first beneficiaries of that sacrifice were the remnant of the house of Jacob – the Daughter of Zion.  The Man – God the Son – God-man arose out of death with all of His people IN HIM.  He was the second Adam; and His people were ONE FLESH in Him… no longer of the flesh of Adam.

And therein is the analogy of the bride, you see.  The one-flesh union of Christ and His people is prophesied right there in the creation narrative!  Adam and his wife were of one flesh (as were all who proceeded from them).  And in the resurrection, the Christ and those who belong to Him are of one flesh – that of the second Adam.  And His righteousness is their righteousness.  His righteousness is the white, linen garment of virginity.  They are made clean and acceptable to be made one flesh with Him; and the curse of God no longer applies to them; for they are rebirthed into a new heritage… the heritage of God the Son.  They no longer belong to the cursed race of Adam.  They belong to the race of Christ the Second Adam. 

So John hears: “the wedding feast of the Lamb did come!  And it was given to her that she be arrayed in pure, bright linen; for the fine linen is the righteousness of the holy ones” (verses seven and eight).  “Blessed are the ones called to the wedding feast of the Lamb” (verse nine).  “Kurios the Almighty God reigns!  Halleluia!


Then John is told (verse ten) that the messenger isn’t to be worshiped, since the message was sent to John by God.  Worship God! The messenger is only a “fellow-servant” of John and his brothers!

The messenger is a “fellow-servant”; but it doesn’t include itself in the brotherhood!  The messenger isn’t of the body of the risen Lamb of God… just John and his brothers!  What a powerful distinction to be made!!

Only once in the four Gospels does the term “brothers” appear.  Jesus never once called His disciples “brothers” until after His resurrection.  And that’s because there was no union of Christ and His people before the resurrection.  His disciples were not yet “of the family of the Second Adam” until His resurrection.  There was no forgiveness of sin and rebirth into Him until death and the curse of God were overcome.

But John takes special note here of the words that he heard; and he writes it just so, in order that the Churches would read it and understand that this messenger was not of a cursed race; it was not therefore a participant in the resurrection of the Lamb of God; it was not present at the wedding feast of the Lamb; it was not rebirthed into the very family of God the Son….  It was a servant of Kurios the Almighty God like John and his brothers who hold the testimony of Jesus and keep His Commandments, but it did not have the supreme honor of union with Christ – being one IN HIM – being a member of His family!


Lastly, the testimony of Jesus is the spirit (the breath) of prophecy; it is the very “essence” of the prophetic Word.  The Law and the prophets “breathe” the testimony of Jesus from beginning to end.

Those of us who belong to the Christ (holding His testimony – keeping His Commandments) are adoptees into His family and made brothers of His.  Although as Gentiles we are not of the original elect of the tribes of Jacob, nonetheless we too are draped with the white garments of the righteousness of Christ; we too are rebirthed out of our cursed and depraved heritage in Adam and in union with Christ as brothers of John and the other apostles and brothers of the remnant of Israel; and we too are given faith as a gift and justified before God.

This too is the Truth and Justice and Righteousness of God.  And this too is the testimony of Jesus - the spirit of prophecy.