The People's New Testament, B.W. Johnson, , at sacred-texts.com
rev 19:0SUMMARY.--Rejoicing in Heaven. The Bride Preparing for the Bridegroom. The White Horse and the Word of God. Conquering the World for Christ. The Great Battle. The Beast and the False Prophet Taken. Cast into the Lake of Fire.
After these things. Following the preceding scenes.
I heard a great voice of much people. These songs of rejoicing and thanksgiving are seen in Revelation whenever any great triumph or blessing is about to come. See Rev 5:13; Rev 7:12; Rev 11:15; Rev 12:10.
For true and righteous are his judgments. This is shown by the judgments on the spiritual Babylon.
And the four and twenty elders. See Rev 4:4, Rev 4:6, and notes at close of that chapter.
And a voice came forth from the throne. Not "out of the throne," as in the Common Version. The speaker is not indicated. It is a call to praise the Lord.
I heard . . . a great multitude. This is in response to the call from the throne.
The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. This is demonstrated in the overthrow of the wicked.
For the marriage of the Lamb is come. The blessed union of the Lord with his chosen Bride, the Church. The consummation of this marriage is described in Rev 21:2.
His wife hath made herself ready. The Church has to prepare herself for this event before it can take place. The Lord will not accept a bride who is not purified and fit for the Heavenly Bridegroom.
To her was granted. By divine grace.
That she should be arrayed. She must be arrayed in spotless white. What this white raiment is not left in doubt. It is woven by the pure and holy lives of the saints.
And he saith unto me, Write. This always implies a very important message.
Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. The blessing is upon those who have a part in the blessedness of this holy union. Those will be called who have wedding garments pure and white of fine linen. See Rev 19:8.
And I fell at his feet. In this passage and in Rev 22:7-8, the apostle offers worship to a fellow creature, an angel. In each place the prohibition is prompt. This episode is introduced in order to teach the sinfulness of all creature worship. It is likely that the fact that the fate of a great apostate church, in which worship is offered to its human head, is being declared, is the reason why here this symbolical act occurs. Man created in God's image is to worship only that which is divine.
The testimony of Jesus. The angel declares himself of thy brethren. In Rev 22:9, he adds, "of thy brethren, the prophets." Here the explanation is added that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. In testifying of Jesus the angel became one of the prophets.
And I saw the heaven opened. This implies the opening of a new vision. See Rev 4:1; Rev 11:19. Where a former vision is continued the formula is "After these things." We now have a series of pictures symbolizing the closing events that inaugurate the Millennium. The first of these is the one before symbolized by the angel that flies through heaven with the everlasting gospel, but now presented in a grand vision of the triumphant march of the Word of God.
Behold a white horse. Always the symbol of conquest and triumph. See notes on Rev 6:2.
He that sat upon him called Faithful and True. It is the Lord, who comes as the Word of God. His conquests are effected by the word, but the march is really the march of Christ.
His eyes were as a flame of fire. See note on Rev 1:14.
Upon his head were many crowns. Diadems. All kingly authority is concentrated in his hands. He is King of kings.
A name written that no man knew. Probably the new name of Rev 2:17, a name which will be disclosed to those invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev 3:12).
He is arrayed in a garment sprinkled with. See Revision. The word in the best Greek MSS. is not Bebammemnon ("dipped"), but "sprinkled." The usual idea is that the sprinkled blood is that of his conquered enemies. I believe that the thought is the sprinkling of his own blood, the blood through which he conquers.
And the armies which were in heaven followed him. These armies are the armies of the saints, purified, holy, a conquering host, led by Christ to victory.
Out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword. See note on Rev 1:16. This symbolizes the word by which he achieved his conquests.
He shall rule them with a rod of iron. See notes on Rev 2:27 and Rev 12:5. This implies not a stern, but a firm and lasting rule.
He treadeth the winepress. He shall inflict God's judgments on the sins of the earth. See notes on Rev 14:17-19.
He hath on his vesture and on his thigh. This probably signifies that the name was written on his vesture, even on his thigh. The Greek may be so translated.
King of Kings. Of the various titles given to Christ in this passage this is the highest and marks him as supreme. There are four titles given in the passage: (1) in Rev 19:11; (2) Rev 19:12; (3) Rev 19:13, and (4) in Rev 19:16.
And I saw an angel standing in the sun. And riding with the sun in his course. From this position in the heavens and riding through the heavens he can call all the fowls of heaven together.
Unto the great supper of God. Unto the feast for birds of prey caused by the carnage of God's judgments on his enemies.
That ye may eat. The picture drawn is that of the terrible slaughter of a mighty defeat, which leaves the earth covered with the slain of every degree. The conflict meant is that named in next verse.
I saw the beast. See notes on Rev 13:1-10. This beast represents the world power opposed to Christ under its changing forms. The Roman Pagan Empire, and the Roman Papal secular power, are two forms. But it continues even after these forms pass away. The form in which it will manifest itself in this conflict will be better known when the fulfillment takes place. The beast marshals the kings of the earth as his supporters to oppose the Lamb and his armies.
And the beast was taken. It is the beast's last appearance. He is now finally overthrown.
And with him the false prophet. The false prophet, the beast, and the dragon have been named in Rev 16:13 as calling the kings of the earth to the battle of Armageddon. See notes there. This is the same conflict. Here the result of the conflict is given.
That wrought the signs. This description identifies the false prophet. He is the lamb-like dragon of Rev 13:11, the false spiritual despotism, the apostate church. This false prophet is now taken.
They twain were cast alive into a lake of fire. In Rev 18:8 it is said that Babylon shall be burned with fire. Here the false prophet, both symbols of the same power, is cast into the lake of fire. The symbol indicates utter destruction. What is cast into this lake is seen no more.
And the rest were killed with the sword of him, etc. This is probably symbolic. If these who had been sinners and supporters of the powers of evil were incapacitated for that support longer, it would be their death (separation) from that cause. It may be that this remnant were converted by the word.
And all the birds were filled, etc. If this is a symbol its signification is that the victory was complete.