Revelation 19:1-21 Part 8

REVELATION 19:1-21 Part 8 


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.


Next Lord’s Day is the last Sunday in January, and I’d like all of our members to be here if at all possible.  We’ll serve communion, which is important to our sanctification and our welfare as individual believers, and as families of believers, and as a Church of Jesus Christ.  We’re finding out so much more about how to “remember” Him, and what to anticipate from Him!  And we’re nurtured and strengthened in times of difficulty.

And the last Lord’s Day in January is a rather important date, as well, because it marks the end of five years of preaching the Revelation.  I checked the date; and the first sermon came on the last Sunday in January, 2007.

It’s hard to imagine, since it seems like it was such a short time ago that we were right here discussing whether to do this!  Since then I’ve been involved with the book every day – seven days a week; and you’ve heard two hundred and fifty hours of preaching (give or take a few) – most of them directly from the Revelation… a few here and there from related texts in support of it.

It’s been an awesome five years, and a bit overwhelming at times – spectacular all the time; and the text that we’re in right now, and that which is coming next, is the most wondrous and exalted yet!

If it’s possible to be sad, we’re saddened only when the thought occurs that dispensationalist Churches never get the opportunity to hear the text of John’s letter exposited in its own context.  So they don’t receive the assurance that our Lord provided to the early Churches; and they don’t have the anticipation and expectation of Christ’s continuing work of saving the world!


Howard tells his friends that what we’re doing here is like being in seminary.  As you know, I’ve been to seminary… four years of it!  Three years of Greek; two years of Hebrew; systematic theology; Church history, Biblical ethics, etc; and a number of worthless courses in practical religion and how to construct and deliver a sermon!

But I can tell you right now that I didn’t learn any of this in seminary.  I never learned anything that would teach me, or help me, preach through the Revelation of Jesus Christ!  We’re learning it together as we go!

Seminary is elementary school; it’s like learning the multiplication tables so you might learn to be a physicist when you grow up!  Students just don’t learn how to do this in seminary. 

A few of those who enter seminary, having previously been grounded in the Faith, usually come out with some skills.  However, the ones who are newer Christians basically learn how to occupy a pulpit and do whatever it takes to hold on to it!

As far as the seminary degree is concerned, most everybody else’s master’s degree can be earned in a year.  But a master’s degree from seminary takes three or four years.  Most other post graduate degrees take a year of study and thirty to thirty-six course hours.  But a seminary master’s degree requires a minimum of a hundred and twenty five course hours (at least it did at Reformed Theological Seminary).

Yet it all proved to be only rudimentary… almost “introductory”.  It didn’t seem like that at the time, of course; but – once again, you don’t learn what we’re doing here in seminary.  All four years of it, and all I ever heard about The Revelation was whether somebody considered himself pre-mil, a-mil or post-mil; but nobody ever really knew, because nobody ever learned how to approach it! 

(We’re going to learn more about what it means to “know” in just a little while.)  But the approach to John’s Revelation of Jesus Christ remained mysterious!  Except for an occasional quote from it, nothing was ever said about it; and there were no classes, or courses, on how to preach it!

And so we’re learning how to do it together – as we go!

And for that I’m grateful.  I’m being taught at the same time you are.  And if I had it to do all over again, I’d do it the same way.  And the reason would be that the books in which we’ve spent most of our time demand that we hear, and address, the whole Bible in its perfect continuity and in its own context.

If it hadn’t been for one or two seminary professors with fire in their bellies for the whole Gospel of Jesus Christ, we probably wouldn’t be on the course that we’re on.  All of us would probably be hearing sermons with three points of practical religion and a poem… twenty minutes start to finish!

But you’ve made it possible for us to do what we’re doing here – something no school teaches you how to do.  And for that I’m so thankful.  If you weren’t here, none of us would be learning these things.  And none of us would be assured of the will and purpose of God and the continuing work of the King of Kings; none of us would have confidence in the continuity of God’s Word; none of us could have full assurance in the salvation wrought on our behalf; none of us would have the expectation of a saved world and our resurrection in Him; none of us would know what it means that God SO loved the world that He gave His only Son!!!!

Nearing the conclusion of five years of preaching through John’s Revelation of Jesus Christ, we’re now hearing what John wrote to the Churches concerning the active presence of the Son of God in the glory cloud at the end of the age.  It is just as Jesus told His disciples it would be – as written in Matthew’s Gospel.

As the Father’s judgment of the harlot is just and righteous, so Kurios Almighty God the Son is faithful and true to carry out the sentence pronounced (just as it was prophesied).  And as the heaven is opened for John to see Him in His imminent Parousia, his description is much the same as it was six hundred years before, when the Parousia of The Christ was prophesied!

One with eyes as flames of fire appeared to Daniel and spoke to him of the last days.  And He showed Daniel a scroll with seven seals, a scroll of the mystery of God which would be opened at the end of the age to reveal all that God had decreed for those last days.

And apostle John sees (chapter six) the sacrificial Lamb of God open the seals of that scroll there in the last days. 

And at the opening of the very first seal, John is shown the coming King of Kings, with the covenantal bow of Almighty God, ride out on a white horse – overcoming and to overcome, the opening of the seals revealing all that would come to pass quickly.

And in chapter eighteen, John hears the details of the judgment of God upon the harlot Israel.  And in chapter nineteen John sees the glory cloud open.  And there He is – seated on the white horse, eyes aflame, ready to carry out that judgment.

He’s also ready, with all of His “holy ones”, to bring all the nations into submission to His divine authority.

As John writes, all of the afflicted remnant of the tribes of Jacob have been freed from the oppressor, and they’re scattered throughout the nations in the little Churches.  They belong to The Christ; and He comforts them and assures them in this letter that this is all of God.  Don’t fear.  Hold the testimony of Jesus.  Keep His Commandments. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords is their new temple; and they are His new Jerusalem – His new Israel.

And as the river of living water flows into the nations and peoples and tribes and tongues from under the new temple of God, the kings and peoples of the earth will all one day acknowledge Him as King and Savior of the world.  And there will be a time of peace and prosperity such as has never been experienced in the history of the creation.  It’s God’s will and purpose; and He will be glorified in His creation!

This is the view of the Parousia/appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ that John is shown; and it continues through verse sixteen of our text.

As John continues to describe (verse twelve) what he sees concerning our Lord’s imminent Parousia, he writes: “many diadems on His head, having a written name that is known by no one but Him….”

I mentioned earlier that we would pursue, this morning, what God’s Word means by the word “to know”.

Listen to what John was shown earlier, as he wrote in Revelation twelve:


“Then a great sign in the heaven was made visible: a woman sun-clothed, the moon underneath her feet, a crown of twelve stars on her head, having in her belly, crying out travailing and pained to bring forth.

Then another sign in the heaven was made visible: and lo, a great fiery dragon having seven heads and ten horns and on its heads seven diadems, and its tail draws the third of the stars of the heaven and cast them into the earth.  And the dragon stands before the woman who is about to bring forth, that when she brings forth it might devour the child.

And she did bring forth a son, a male who intends to rule all the nations by means of a rod of iron; and her child was hastened away to God and to His throne.”


And then in Revelation thirteen:


“Then I saw a beast having ten horns and seven heads arising out of the sea; and upon its horns there were ten diadems, and a blasphemous name on its heads.

The beast that I saw was like a leopard, its feet as a bear, and its mouth the mouth of a lion;  and the dragon did give it its power and its dominion and great authority;

and one of its heads as having been fatally wounded and its stroke of death healed, the whole land was caused to marvel after the beast.”


In contrast to the imitation diadems on the heads of the dragon and the beast there in chapters twelve and thirteen, and in contrast to the blasphemous name falsely acquired by the beast, here is what John is shown at the Parousia of the Lord Jesus Christ:


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.


So, in contrast to the diadems (the gold headplates) of the serpent and the beast; and in contrast to the blasphemous name taken by the beast, John is shown, here in our text, the only One to Whom the diadems belong; and He is the only One Who “knows” the Name!

The diadems are fake… imitations to blind the eyes of the false prophets of Israel and all those remaining in the land. 

And the NAME….  The beast has acquired a blasphemous name.  It is blasphemous because the beast can’t “know” it.  There is only ONE Who can know that Name; for there is only ONE Who “owns” it!  And it is blasphemous for the beast to acquire it and use it; because it doesn’t belong to the beast!

The beast, having blasphemously acquired the name, the false prophets of Israel then held up banners with the image of the beast for all to acknowledge and obey.  So neither the beast, nor the false prophets, nor any remaining in the land “knew” that Name!

Therein is the truth in an otherwise undecipherable statement by John, that at our Lord’s appearance, He had a Name written that was known by no one but Him.

Even though the beast had blasphemously acquired it for its own purposes, it didn’t know it!  Even though the false prophets of Israel worshipped the beast, they didn’t know it.  And even though all those remaining in the land worshiped its image, they didn’t know the Name… because there was only ONE Who was identified by that Name!  So, at His Parousia, no one is to know that Name but Him!

As I promised earlier, I want to spend a little more time with you about this, because there are two different words in the Greek new testament translated “to know”; and they are used in different ways, and in different contexts, in order to differentiate the subtle nuances found in the Hebrew prophetic Scripture regarding the word “to know”.

Starting right at the beginning, here is what Moses wrote in Genesis chapter four:


“And the man knew Eve, his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said: `I have gotten a man by YAHVEH.”


Just for your own interest, the Hebrew word “gotten” sounds like the name “Cain”.  And then when Seth was born, the Hebrew word for “appointed one” sounds just like the Hebrew name “Seth”.  And Seth was the one (the appointed one) through whom the “seed” was preserved!

But the point here is that, in one sense, Adam “knew” Eve.  After all, she was created from his body.  She was there; he could see her.  So he had “knowledge” of her.  However, in another sense, by his “knowing” her she had “gotten” a man.  It’s an example of the subtle differences in the use of the Hebrew word: ‘to know”.  And it involves the meanings that God gives to His use of the word.

Now, here’s what the Psalmist writes in Psalm one:


1)    Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

2)    but his delight is in the instruction of YAHVEH, and on his law he meditates day and night.

3)    He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

4)    The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

5)    Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;

6)    for YAHVEH knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.


YAHVEH “knows”….

The way Hebrew differentiates the meanings of the word “know” is quite evident here, as well.  Not only is it obvious to God as to how His people proceed with their lives… that is, what they do, how they act, how they speak, how they conduct themselves at home or at work, etc.; but He also “knows” the way because it is His instruction… it is HIS “way”; it belongs to Him; it’s HIS instruction.  His “way” is required of His people.  He “knows” that way.  “YAHVEH” knows the way of the righteous.  He knows it because HE provided it, you see.  He appointed it.


Now listen to Jesus as recorded by Matthew in chapter seven of his Gospel:


15) “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

16) You will know them (recognize them) by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

17) So, every good tree bears good fruit, and the bad tree bears bad fruit.

18) A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.

19) Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

20) Thus you will know them (recognize them) by their fruits.

21) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of the heaven… but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in the heaven.

22) On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’

23) And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of iniquity.’  (I never knew you.)


Our Lord brought those subtle differences in the Hebrew word “to know” into the Greek language (as He was always wont to do) as He taught His disciples from the prophetic Word.  He said that He will not know the workers of iniquity!  He has never known the workers of iniquity!

On the one hand, we “know”, or recognize, the existence of a good tree because we can see that the fruit that it bears is good.  And we can know – recognize – when fruit is bad fruit, that the tree is a bad tree.

But the Lord knows the ones who belong to Him; and He does not know those who don’t belong to Him.  Of course there isn’t anything that God doesn’t know.  But this reveals a difference in the way God uses the word “to know”.

And here is the apostle John as he writes in chapter ten of his Gospel:


1)    “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.

2)    But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

3)    The gatekeeper opens to him. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

4)    When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

5)    A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”


“He calls His Own sheep!”

He is the Owner of His sheep.  And because He is their Owner, He knows them; and they know His voice and they follow Him!  The sheep don’t know the voice of one who isn’t their Owner; so they don’t follow him.

And here’s the apostle Paul as he writes to the Churches in Rome….. chapter eight:


28) … and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose.

29) For those who he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

30)  ...and those who he predestined he also called, and those who he called he also justified, and those who he justified he also glorified.


Paul is very specific as the writes to the Roman Churches that God knew those Who belonged to Him “afore”….  He foreknew them. They belonged to Him; and He predestined them and called them and justified them and glorified them by rebirth into the glorious body of Jesus Christ!  And they are His brothers!  And we who belong to Him “know” that because God said it!

Lastly, here’s the apostle Paul as he writes in second Timothy chapter two:


19) God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows  His Own,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”


Paul most assuredly does not say that God observes mankind and sees who has decided to accept Jesus, or those who have invited Jesus into their hearts, or those who have a “spiritual awareness” and admit that there is something higher than themselves, or those who echo some “formula” for becoming a Christian, or those who say that they “believe in God”.

What Paul says to Timothy here is that God knows the ones He owns – the ones who belong to Him.  And the ones He knows are commanded to flee iniquity!  That’s the firm foundation, Paul says; and it stands!  It is the “seal” of the Gospel!  “The Lord knows His Own”!  Let everyone who names His Name flee from iniquity!

As we bring all of this back to verse twelve of our text, there is only One who knows His Name; He is the only One to Whom it belongs, you see.

All else who falsely wear the diadems, blasphemously claiming the name, don’t know the name.  And those remaining in the land who worshiped the image of the beast obviously didn’t know the name, for had they known it, they wouldn’t have worshiped the beast who blasphemously took it!

At His Parousia and judgment upon the land, only the One to Whom the Name belongs knows it; and He knows it because He owns it!  It’s His and His alone!

Only His sheep know His voice and follow Him.  They don’t know the voice of the false prophet!  They are foreknown by Him, and they knew His Name and His voice!  And they followed Him.  But those remaining in the land don’t know His name and His voice.  They followed the prophets of the beast that blasphemously took the name for itself!

And the “written” name is: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (verse sixteen)… a name falsely acquired by the beast – in an imitation of the dragon!

The dragon, in all its vengeance against triune God for having been cast down from God’s tabernacle in the heaven, has proclaimed itself king of kings and lord of lords (in outright defiance); and it has given the beast “great authority”.  And the beast is the very “image” of the dragon.

You see, satanos – in vengeful defiance of Almighty God, Father Son and Spirit – has produced an “image” of itself just as our Lord Jesus Christ is the “Express Image” of The Father.

And satan (the serpent of old) has bestowed its authority (and its acquired name) upon its beast-image, which calls itself king of kings and lord of lords – the ruler of this world!  And it’s a blasphemous name because it doesn’t know the Name.  And the false prophets of Israel follow it because they don’t know the Name.  And all remaining in the land follow it because they don’t know the Name.

None of those who remained in the land were the foreknown sheep who Jesus came to seek and to save.  All of those remaining in the land follow the one who has falsely – and defiantly – acquired the name for itself.

None of those remaining in the land knew His Name when He appeared in Israel; none of those remaining in the land knew His voice when He called.  They didn’t belong to Him, so they didn’t know Him!  When Jesus was asked by His disciples why He spoke to them in parables, He quoted His Own Word through Isaiah: that their eyes remained blinded and they ears remained deafened… in order that they not see and hear; in other words that they not know Him.

And here, as John writes in our text forty years later, at our Lord’s imminent appearance in the glory cloud, He has a written Name that no one knows but Himself.

Therefore the ones remaining in the land had followed, and bowed down to, the one who had blasphemously taken that name for itself.  They did not know the written Name.

There is a great deal more for us here that John wrote to the Churches regarding the imminent appearance of Jesus Christ at His Parousia; and, of course, we’ll continue it next Lord’s Day.

We’ll see that He was “called” The Word of God.  However, at His Parousia He has a written Name.  It is holy writ for all to see; a Name that the dragon, nor the beast, nor the false prophets of Israel, nor the ones remaining in the land know.  It does not belong to them; it only belongs to Him!

And it is: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.