Revelation (Ch 19-20)

Chapter 19 contains a scene of the the marriage of the Lamb and his Church in heaven; before the Throne, praising God, “Alleluia!”

The scene of the multitude of beings moves from heaven down to the earth; the people of triumph of the saints over Babylon, and their thanksgiving to God because of his judgements on her; and a battle between him and his and her enemies, with the beast and false prophet both cast alive into the lake of fire and brimstone.

Revelation 19

1 And after these things I heard a great voice of a multitude of people in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power, unto the Lord our God, — this multitude is in heaven, saying “Alleluia!” an Hebrew expression which signifies “praise ye the Lord,”

— since he has judged the great harlot John heard the songs of the righteous and saints to rejoice at her overthrow, and a mighty angel had expressed her ruin in the strongest terms, with reasons accompanied.

2 for true and righteous are His judgements: He hath judged the great whore who corrupted the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hand.” — his judgements, his sentences, are just and true; they have been rendered in accordance with his promises; and they are just and righteous, and therefore called judgements; God’s judgements.

3 And again they said, “Alleluia!” And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. — by the words “Praise ye the LORD” as in Psalms 106:1;

— hallelujah! the great harlot is cast into the abyss of fire and brimstone; as smoke rose, she was burned with fire; it looks as if Rome, like another Sodom and Gomorrah, would sink into a sulphurous burning lake.

4 And the four and twenty elders and the four living beings fell down and worshipped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!” — the scene is still in heaven as the twenty four elders and four living creatures, who worship God, assent to what had been before said, and join in praising the Lord.

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.” — and ye that fear him, both small and great; whether greater or lesser believers, fathers, young or old; Jews or Gentiles, or of whatsoever nation, kindred, or people; from Psalms 115:13, “He will bless them that fear the Lord, both small and great.”

6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, and the voice of many waters, and the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. — the voice of a great multitude; still in heaven;

— even of all the servants of the Lord, and them that fear him, small and great; a vast multitude of converted Jews and Gentiles, from all parts of the world, who in answer to the voice out of the Throne, God’s Throne in heaven, came with songs, dances and energy, lift up their voices in praise to God, both for their own redemption, and for the downfall of Babylon;

— saying, Alleluia; or praises the twenty four elders and four living creatures, the 144,000 and the great multitude; and this is the fourth time the same word of praise is used in this context.

7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give honor to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.” — for the marriage of the Lamb is come; that is, of Christ, the Son of God, with the Church more especially;

— first was a secret betrothing of all the elect before the world began; and there is an open espousal of every individual of them at conversion; but the public and general solemnization of the nuptials will not be until now before the personal reign of Christ;

— the bride, moreover, is clothed in the most gorgeous wedding-garment, all pure white and shining with brilliancy. It is a pure, precious dress of honor, the dress of a bride worthy to ruin with him.

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. — “the marriage of his Lamb is come, and the wife is prepared” and that her preparation is by her own merits and works of righteousness; the context is still in heaven;

— these saints are those that passed God’s judgement; and are found justified, also because of their excellency; so other Scripture uses the word in the plural: the Targum on Zechariah 3:4 paraphrases the text, “I will clothe thee” זכוך, “with righteousnesses.”

9 And he said unto me, “Write: ‘Blessed are they that are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said unto me, “These are the true sayings of God.” — and he saith unto me, write; what follows, because of the importance of it, and that it may be regarded and remembered:

— the person speaking is either the voice from the Throne, Revelation 19:5 or the angel that attended John all along, and showed him this revelation, Revelation 1:1 asking John to write them down.

10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said unto me, “See that thou do it not! I am thy fellow servant and one of thy brethren, who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” — so this is the angel speaking, one of the ministering spirits or angels; he being a servant of the same Lord as John; for angels are not to be worshipped.

11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. — this is Christ on a white horse, with a sword (verse 15 below: “a sharp two edged sword”), not with a bow that the beast had, conquering and to conquer; will fully execute judgement to the utter destruction of all his enemies.

12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written that no man knew, but He Himself. — he is the King of kings, and Lord of lords; his eyes were as a flame of fire and on his head he had many diadems, many crowns;

— Greek, “diadems”: not merely (Greek, “stephanoi”) garlands of victory, but royal crowns, as King of kings.having a name written which no one knows but himself, and clothed with a garment bespattered with blood.

13 And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, and His name is called, The Word of God. — and clothed with a garment bespattered with blood, or else in the blood of his saints, he now comes to avenge; or rather in the blood of his enemies, with which he appears as stained; and his name is called “The Word of God”

— his name is The Word of God; a name none fully knows but himself; only this we know, that this Word was God manifest in the flesshe; and was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; the metaphor is taken from persons treading in a winepress, whose garments are stained with blood of grapes; see Revelation 19:15 below.

14 And the armies which were in heaven, clothed in fine linen white and clean, followed Him upon white horses. — see, the context is still in heaven; upon white horses; with sharp swords instead of bows;

— they had served Christ in his Gospel, which some of them had preached, and all professed, and had maintained the purity of doctrines and practices, and now triumphed in Christ, and along with him, riding upon horses of the same colour with his, as being his princes and nobles, and whom he had made them kings as well as priests.

15 And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword with which He shall smite the nations, and He shall rule them with a rod of iron; and He treadeth the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. — the context is still in heaven, but is moving toward the earth;

— “a sharp two edged sword” and that with it he should smite the nations on the earth; and those that have adhered to Babylon, and have drunk of the wine of her fornication;

— and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; use them with the utmost severity; the phrase is taken out of Psalms 2:9 a prophecy of the Messiah.

16 And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written: King of kings, And Lord of lords. — which will well suit him now when he shall be openly King over all the earth; the great army of heaven, consisting of the troops of all the elect, takes part in the triumph of their Conqueror;

— as KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; to show that he was really possessed of an enormous dominion over all the princes and kingdoms of the earth as his mouth proceeds a sharp double-edged sword, that with it he should smite the nations, and himself will rule them with an iron rod.

17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God, — this is on the earth;

— for not only will the corpses of the enemies of the Lord lie unburied on earth, in itself one of the worst misfortunes which men knew of, but their bodies should become the prey, the food of the birds, mainly the vultures that fly in the sky above.

18 that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.” — Come, gather yourselves to the great feast of God;

— and their dead bodies made meat for the fowls of mid-heaven, that is, the sky, feeding on dead flesh; that they may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of general, the flesh of mighty ones, the flesh of horses, of those that sit upon them, and the flesh of all free as well as of slaves, both small and great;

— this is a ghastly announcement, all the more so because of its finality. In a most commanding and conspicuous position the angel with this command is placed, in order that all hearers should realize and appreciate its importance; these wicked will be given to the evil spirits, to the devil and his angels, to be destroyed and tormented forever.

19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army. — and John saw the beast; or perhaps the remains of the papacy and her harlotry daughters perhaps, or their kings and which, though it may chiefly regard as the remains of their idolatry, or may take in any of the Mahometan powers, which may join together in this battle; the beast will survive for a while after the downfall of his seat, Babylon or Rome.

20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who wrought miracles in his presence, by which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire, burning with brimstone.

— it seems like the beast, the Roman empire; and the pope, the false prophet were not destroyed until now; perhaps they fall earlier and captured but were not totally eliminated until now;

— both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone; which is the second death, Revelation 21:8. The severe punishment of antichrist, considered in both his capacities, civil and ecclesiastic, is expressed by being “cast into a lake of fire”;

— not material fire, but the wrath of God, which will be poured out like fire, and will be intolerable; and by this lake “burning with brimstone”, which, giving a nauseous stench, aggravates the punishment; the allusion seems to be to the place where Sodom and Gomorrah stood, which is become a sulphurous lake, and is an emblem of the vengeance of eternal fire.

21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, whose sword proceeded out of His mouth. And all the fowls were filled with their flesh. — all the fowls were filled with their flesh; any remains are now eliminated; eaten by the fowls and hyenas feasting on them.

Revelation 20

Chapter 20 contains the binding of Satan, the saints’ thousand years’ reign with the Messiah, the loosing of Satan again, the destruction of him, and the Gog and Magog army, and the last judgement: the angel that is to bind Satan.

1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. — coming down from heaven, this angel appears with key of the bottomless pit: the abyss, the same out of which the beast ascended.

2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. — that old serpent; so called with respect to his cunning and subtlety, as well as his antiquity, being from the beginning of creation, having beguiled first, Adam and Eve, and later, the whole humanity;

— with the great chain he had in his hand: the devil is in chains now, is under the power of divine Providence, and can do nothing without divine permission;

3 And he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled; and after that he must be loosed a little season. — Satan will be bound for a thousand years;

— this is the Millennium reign, the sixth thousand years of the world should had passed; this year by Jewish reckoning is 5783, and so another 216 more years to go to the seventh thousand year; whereas Ussher’s figures since creation of Adam in 4004 BC are already 27 years (1996-2023) off the cliff;

— and after that he must be loosed a little season; a small space of time, in comparison of the thousand years; how long it will be exactly, cannot be said; but because of the decree of God, who has so appointed it, for the glorifying of himself, in the salvation of his people, and flashing forward a thousand years later to the final destruction of the devil, and the Gog and Magog army.

4 And I saw thrones and they that sat upon them, and judgement was given unto them. And I saw the souls of them that had been beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the Word of God, and who had not worshipped the beast, nor his image, nor had received his mark upon their foreheads or on their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

— and judgement was given unto the saints; that is, power, dominion, regal authority, possession of a kingdom, answerable to their character as kings, and to their position, sitting on thrones, Daniel 7:22;

— for more on some individual martyrs because of the Word of God and because of the testimony of Jesus, see Jewish Martyrs; Christian Martyrs

5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. — this must be a first general resurrection; for the 24 elders, the 144,000 and a great multitude from the nations (Revelation 7:9) which no man could number must have already been resurrected way before this time, even before the Secong Coming;

6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. — this first general resurrection occurs at the beginning, or before, of the Millennium so that they will rule with Christ for a thousand years.

7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, — this loosing of Satan is for a trial and testing of people born and coming into life during the Millennium;

— they have never been tested or judged to be worthy, not yet; so “when the thousand years are expired” it was their turn; and that it is the same judgement upon any unbelievers for their characters; in this fiery trial God intends to purify their performance and faith from all dross to make them strong.

8 and shall go out to deceive the nations to the four quarters of the earth — Gog and Magog — to gather them together for battle, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. — Gog and Magog, in Ezekiel are said expressly (Ezekiel 38:6; Ezekiel 38:15) to come from the north quarters and the north (Ezekiel 38:6; 38:15; 39:2);

— but here “the nations to the four quarters of the earth” Gog and Magog is more of a generic name, not quite the same which are mentioned in Ezekiel 38:2-3 though there is an allusion to them, as these are from the four corners of the earth; so the Scriptures speak of a Gog and Magog to signify any rebellion that will come up against Jerusalem in the days of the Messiah, by whom they shall be destroyed.

9 And they went out over the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. — the breadth of the earth; either the whole earth, or the land of Israel;

— just as Gog and Magog are said to cover the land of Israel, as a cloud, Ezekiel 38:16 and it may be observed, that the very phrase of רחב ארצך, “the breadth of thy land” is used in the land of Israel, in Isaiah 8:8;

— and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them; both material fire; with this the earth and the bodies of the wicked then upon it, will be burnt at the end of the thousand years.

10 And the devil who had deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are; and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. — Satan will be “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone the second time, this time to be tormented day and night forever; the beast and the false prophet are already there Revelation 19:20;

11 And I saw a great white throne and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them. — the great white throne appears only after the thousand years are over;

— John never saw this in all the chapters written before this; so this is a new revelation.

12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. — notice, they were judged not according to their faith, but “according to their works” that is, what commandments (foremost the Sabbaths among the others) they believe and what they had done with them.

13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works. — and the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and hell gave up the dead that were in them; and they were judged, every one according to their works; repeated for emphasis;

— but were judged according to their work, not their faith; that is, if it were just faith and not work, many would have been saved, but they were not, unfortunately. Faith without work is dead; James 2:26;

— broadly, in the NT time, God’s people are collectively known as the Churches of God (1Corinthians 11:16, 1Thessalonians 2:14, IIThessalonians 1:4), their strengths and problems are named and spelt out with some amazing details in Revelation 2-3; whereas Satan’s collections are generally known as of the Synagogue of Satan;

— and the sign of God’s people is the keeping of God’s Sabbaths: “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, ‘Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am the Lord who doth sanctify you” Exodus 31:13;

— a Question for all Sunday keepers: with all the Scriptures and other resources available in your hand, and if you couldn’t be trusted in figuring out a simple issue as to when the Sabbath is, how could you be raised as kings, who need to judge far more complex issues; or as a priests, who would be teaching others during the Millennium what the Sabbaths laws are among others?

14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. — death and hell were thrown into the lake of fire;

— these two great enemies of mankind that have dogged its footsteps ever since the first sin, they will be disposed of forever in a punishment which fits their crime: This is the second death, the lake of fire. From this death all children of God are free, since they are partakers of the first resurrection, since the second death, eternal damnation, has no power over them.

15 And whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. — but as for the wicked: and if anyone was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire; the absence of any one’s name from this book, however, means that he is condemned forever to the place where their worm will not die, neither will their fire be quenched, and they will be an abhorrence to all flesh;

— in the Book of Life are recorded the names of all those that are saved by the Lamb; for them not even death can separate from the love of God which is in his Son, the Messiah, our Lord. Amen.

~ by Joel Huan on January 20, 2023.

One Response to “Revelation (Ch 19-20)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 19 and 20 ~ HERE […]

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