The Apocalypse – Chapter 19
In this chapter we see a further account of the triumphant song of angels and saints for the fall of Babylon, Rev. 19:1-4. Then follows the marriage between Christ and His church proclaimed and perfected, Rev. 19:5-10. Another warlike expedition of the glorious head and husband of the church, with the success of it, Rev. 19:10-21
Fine Linen, bright and clean was given her to wear We have nothing of which we can boast, of that we can be sure. From inside to outside there is nothing Which is entirely pure. The more we know ourselves, The more we see how filthy we are. Our best deeds and intentions are impure From our Lord we cannot hide a single scar. Without the cleansing of the Blood It is impossible to be white. The garments here are not only spotless But brilliant and shining bright. Whiteness alone has a tendency to become dull Pale and ordinary almost common-place. So it is possible for us to be good and yet To lack the divine luster that we see in Jesus’ face. God’s desire is that we should be pure and bright. Usually glory and tribulation, Are linked together in scripture Often both are manifested in the same situation. Jesus was crowned with glory and honour He took the suffering that should have been mine. We must therefore not be afraid of affliction It is in the days of difficulty that we will shine. By the late Andrew Feakin [passed away 16th March 2019]
Keys – Christ on a White Horse
- The judgments of Christ are true and righteous
- He is to be praised for the truth of His Word, and the righteousness of His providential conduct
- The surest way to have continued deliverance is to give God the glory of what He has done for us. Praising God for what we have is praying in the most effectual manner for what is yet further to be done for us. The praises of the saints blow up the fire of God’s wrath against the common enemy.
- The robes of Christ’s righteousness are ascribed for justification and imparted for sanctification.
- True believers had washed her robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. These her nuptial ornaments she did not purchase by any price of her own, but received them as the gift and grant of her blessed Lord.
- “Worship God, and Him alone.”
- Christ is faithful and true to His covenant and promise, righteous in all His judicial and military proceedings. He has a penetrating insight into all the strength and stratagems of His enemies. His dominion is large and extensive and He wears many crowns, for He is King of kings, and Lord of lords.
Heaven Exults over Babylon
After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honour and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!” Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!”
To her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen
And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Christ on a White Horse
Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
The Beast and His Armies Defeated
Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”
And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
With this they begin, they go on, and with this they end
Henry says – Here we have the form of thanksgiving from heaven, Alleluia, praise You the Lord. With this they begin, with this they go on, and with this they end (Rev. 19:4). Their prayers are now turned into praises, their hosannas end in halleluias. They praise Him for the truth of His Word, and the righteousness of His providential conduct, especially in this great event—the ruin of Babylon.
When the angels and saints cried Alleluia, her fire burned more fiercely and her smoke ascended for ever and ever, Rev. 19:3. The surest way to have our continued deliverance and completed is to give God the glory of what He has done for us. Praising God for what we have is praying in the most effectual manner for what is yet further to be done for us. The praises of the saints blow up the fire of God’s wrath against the common enemy.
A concert of heavenly music
There is a blessed harmony between the angels and the saints in this triumphant song, Rev. 19:4. The churches and their ministers take the melodious sound from the angels, and repeat it. Falling down, and worshipping God, they cry, Amen, Alleluia. As this triumphant song ends the marriage-song, begins, Rev. 19:6.
There is a concert of heavenly music. The chorus was large and loud, as the voice of many waters and of mighty thunderings. God is fearful in praises. There is no discord in heaven, no jarring string, nor key untuned, but pure and perfect melody.
The marriage of the Lamb has come
This song is sung for the reign and dominion of that omnipotent God who has redeemed His church by His own blood, and is now in a more public manner betrothing her to himself. The marriage of the Lamb has come, Rev. 19:7. Now comes the description of the bride and how she appeared in fine linen, clean and white, which is the righteousness of saints. The robes of Christ’s righteousness are ascribed for justification and imparted for sanctification. The stola, the white robe of absolution and adoption, and the white robe of purity and universal holiness. She had washed her robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. These her nuptial ornaments she did not purchase by any price of her own, but received them as the gift and grant of her blessed Lord.
The marriage-feast is next declared to make all those happy who were called to it and accept the invitation. A feast made up of the promises of the gospel, the true sayings of God, Rev. 19:9. These promises, opened, applied and sealed by the Spirit of God are the marriage-feast. The collective body of all those who partake of this feast is the bride, the Lamb’s wife. They eat into one body, and drink into one Spirit, and are not mere spectators or guests, but merge into the mystical body of Christ.
You have the testimony of Jesus
The apostle fell down at the feet of the angel overwhelmed and overpowered by the vision. What honour he offered to the angel: He fell at his feet, to worship him. This prostration is a part of external worship, it is a posture of proper adoration. But the angel refused it, and this was with some resentment: “See that thou do not do it; thou art doing a wrong thing.” He gave a very good reason for his refusal: “I am thy fellow-servant”. I am a creature, equal in office to you, though not in nature. I, as an angel and messenger of God, have the testimony of Jesus, a charge to be a witness for Him and to testify concerning Him. You, as an apostle, have the Spirit of prophecy, with the same testimony to give.
The angel directs him to the true and only object of religious worship; namely, God: “Worship God, and Him alone.” This fully condemns both the practice of the papists in worshipping the elements of bread and wine, and saints, and angels. Also the practice of others who do not believe that Christ is truly and by nature God, and yet pay Him religious worship. This shows what wretchedness all their evasions and excuses are which they offer in their own vindication. They here stand convicted of idolatry by a messenger from heaven.
He has a penetrating insight into the enemy’s stratagems
No sooner was the marriage solemnized between Christ and His church, the glorious head and husband of the church is called out to a new expedition. This seems to be the great battle that was to be fought at Armageddon, foretold Rev. 16:16. The seat of this Great Commander is heaven where His throne is. His power and authority are heavenly and divine. Here He is described as sitting on a white horse, to show the importance of the cause and the certainty of success. Christ is faithful and true to His covenant and promise, righteous in all His judicial and military proceedings. He has a penetrating insight into all the strength and stratagems of His enemies. His dominion is large and extensive and He wears many crowns, for He is King of kings, and Lord of lords.
His armour is a vesture dipped in blood, either His own blood, by which He purchased this mediatorial power, or the blood of His enemies, over whom He has always prevailed. The Word of God is His name, a name that none fully knows but Himself. Yet this Word was God manifest in the flesh; but His perfections are incomprehensible by any creature.
Saints follow His conduct
He commands (Rev. 19:14), a very large army, made up of many armies. Angels and saints followed His conduct, with armour of purity and righteousness—chosen, and called, and faithful. The weapons of His warfare were—A sharp sword proceeding from His mouth (Rev. 19:15), with which He smites the nations. These being either the threatenings of the written word, which He is now going to execute, or His word of command calling on His followers to take a just revenge on His and their enemies. These enemies of which are now put into the wine-press of the wrath of God, to be trodden under foot by Him.
The signage of His authority is His coat of arms—a name written on His vesture and thigh, King of kings, and Lord of lords. This asserts His authority and power, Rev. 19:16. An invitation is given to the fowls of heaven, that they should come and see the battle, and share in the spoil and pillage of the field (Rev. 19:17, 18). This great decisive engagement will leave the enemies of the church a feast for the birds of prey, and that all the world should have cause to rejoice in it.
Kiss the Son
As the battle commences the enemy engages with great fury, headed by the beast, and the kings of the earth; the powers of earth and hell gathered, to make their utmost effort, Rev. 19:19. The victory is of course gained by the great and glorious head of the church. The beast and the false prophet, leaders of the opposition are taken prisoners and cast into the burning lake. Incapacitating them of molesting God’s church and His followers any more. The beast’s followers are given up to military execution, and made a feast for the fowls of heaven.
Though the divine vengeance will chiefly fall upon the beast, and the false prophet, yet it will be no excuse to those who fight under their banner. Since they would fight for them, they must fall and perish with them. Be wise now therefore, O you kings, be instructed, you rulers of the earth; kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish from the way, Ps. 2:10, 12
At Jesus first coming, He was the suffering Servant. At His second Jesus is the conquering King. He will make His arrival on earth with the armies of heaven with Him.
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
Prayer for the Day
Father, we come to You. We thank You that the judgments of Christ are true and righteous. You are to be praised for the truth of Your Word, and the righteousness of Your providential conduct. May we continually give You the glory of what You has done for us. Thank You that in praising You for what I have I may yet receive what is yet further to be done for me. May my praises blow up the fire of Your wrath against the common enemy.
I praise You that my robes have been washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. These I cannot purchase by any means of my own, but I can only receive them as a gift and as granted by my blessed Lord. They are ascribed for my justification and imparted for my sanctification. I thank You that Christ is faithful and true to His covenant and promise, righteous in all His judicial and military proceedings. I trust You for You have penetrating insight into all the strength and stratagems of the enemy. Your dominion is large and extensive and You wears many crowns, for You are King of kings, and Lord of lords. May I “Worship God, and Him alone.” In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Christ on a White Horse