Revelation 19

We need to keep big picture in mind and not get too bogged down in detail.
On occassion we need to step back and gaze from afar and catch those big picture elements.

The Big Picture
Church gets beat up again, again, again.
See Revelation chapters 2, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13.

This should not surpise us as elsewhere in the New Testament we see this type of thing happening time and again.
See 1 Peter 4:12-13 - we are not to be surprised, we are to rejoice!
These two verses wrap up Revelation.

In Revelation 19 we see tears and mourning replaced with joy and gladness.
Hallelujah - Babylon is fallen!
Babylon will never rise again Revelation 18:21
Babylon which symbolises all powers and world views which stand in defiance against God and His people and will stop at nothing to keep you from Jesus will one day be destroyed.

Revelation chapters 6 to 19 provide a heavenly view of the ground level picture from chapters 2 to 3.
We see the enemy's tactic of imprisonment and possible martydom.
We see the tactics of the beast and false prophet (false & seductive teaching).
We see the use of beauty and seduction to trap us.

Four reasons why God's people rejoice
These follow the word Hallelujah in Revelation 19:1

(1) They see God's justice and His vengence (Revelation 19:2).
Some have a problem with God's displays of justice and righteousness as much as His displays of grace and mercy.

(2) Babylon's destruction is irreversible (Revelation 19:3).

(3) Babylon's destruction brings heaven and earth together (Revelation 19:4-5).
There is an invitation for all God's servants to join the refrain and worthship.
Culmination of prayer "Our Father, ..., your Kingdom come, you will be done".

(4) Babylon's destruction ushers in the marriage of the lamb (Revelation 19:6-8).
We finally get to see the bride in Revelation 21, but the date is set and it is secure.

The Fourth Hallelujah

Revelation 19:6 it is a unique voice, great multitude.
Reminds us of Revelation 19:1.

It is also described as a roar of many waters, this is how Jesus is described in Revelation 1:15.
Also sounded like mighty peals of thunder reminds us the four living creatures in Revelation 6:1.
Is this a further description of the sound of the multitude or something else - the voice of the angel in v9?

It is a declaration that God reigns with no rival - He already reigns.
The time has come when His reign has no rival - fulfillnent of Psalm 2 (frequently quoted in New Testament).

In Revelation 19:8 we see that the bride is clothed by the groom.
We see this promised in Revelation 3:5, 6:11, 7:9.
What are these 'righteous deeds'?
These garments are given - they are not acts of personal achievment.
The righteous acts are given by faith in the lamb, and faithfulness to the lamb.
This is spoken of in Isaiah 61:10.

Revelation 19:9 contains Revelation's fourth benediction - "Blessed are those ...".
There are seven benedictions in the book of Revelation, but these are not alone.
"Lord God Almighty"- occurs seven times.
"Every tribe, tongue, nation"- occurs seven times.
"One who sits on the throne"- occurs seven times.
"Christ"- occurs seven times.
"Jesus" - occurs 14 (two times seven) times.
"Lamb" - occurs28 (four times seven) times.

In Revelation 19:9 we also have a feast.
Feasts are important in God's story.
In Old Testament God's people called to celebrate 7 feasts.
Passover, unleavened bread, weeks, first fruits, trumpets, day of atonement, tabernacles.
God's people feasted and they feasted well.
They were called to party in order to celebrate and remember - we are called to do the same.
Jesus often used the analogy of a feast to speak of the Kingdom of God, in particular weddings.
Jesus was challenged over this - Luke 5:34-35, don't fast at a wedding!
Jesus' first miracle was at a wedding.
The Bible begins and ends with a wedding.
Ephesian 5 - marriage a mystery which refers to Christ and the Church.
There is no marriage in heaven, all marriages are a shadow of the great one to come.
... our wedding a type / natural precursor.
In Isaiah 25:6 we also see a description of this great feast.

We are totally redeemed and looking good, wearing fine white linen.
At the head of the table is Jesus.
Faith replaced with total sight.
Faith and hope not needed - love continues.

We need to be challenged - what are we expecting to see in Heaven?
Is seeing our loved ones again be all we want - or we do want to be with the lamb?

We are called to worship only God, even if someone comes to with roar of multitudes Revelation 19:10.

The Four Names
We have had four hallelujahs, these are followed by four names.
These are the names of the one (Jesus) who makes the destruction of Babylon and the following feast so certain.

(1) Revelation 19:11 Faithful and True
This is the fourth time in Revelation that Heaven is opened (see chapters 4, 11, 15).
White horse - signifies triumphant military achievement / victory.
Faithful - also means genuine. Reminds us of Revelation 1:5.
We can stake our very lives on Jesus - He is faithful, genuine and true.
Be comforted that it is one who is faithful and true who judges.
He judges in righteousness and makes war.

(2) Revelation 19:12 Name of Mystery
Beast has 7 crowns, dragon has 10 crowns, Jesus has many crowns.
Eyes like fire - nothing unseen, they see through us.

Name of mystery has a two-fold meaning
(a) Reminds us of promise in Revelation 2:17.
(b) Naming something suggests power and rule. See Genesis 2.
Jesus changed names of his disciples.
We see this further back with Abraham, Sarah, Jacob.

This speaks of the otherness of Jesus.
In Heaven we are fully refined / glorified, but not divine.
Jesus is immeasurable, but we are not.

(3) Revelation 19:13-15 Word of God
See how John began his gospel : John 1:1-14
The word of God is oftened likened to a sharp sword.

Note that Jesus is called the "Word of God".
Christianity is not an intellectual endeavour,  but a personal interaction.
We must beware danger of becoming pillars of truth, but losing love for Jesus (Revelation 2:1-7).

(4) Revelation 19:16 King of kings and Lord or lords
This makes the outcome of the battle (Revelation 19:17-21) so certain.

The battle

There is only one King and one Lord.
Victory certain, the birds invited beforehand.

Destruction all encompassing - all of humanity marked by the beast.
There is a distinguishment between beast and the followers.

This is another feast.
In the first feast invited people come, in the second the people are the feast.

Compare with Ezekial 38-39.
Is this a literal, physical, battle? Many think so.
See also Revelation 17:14.

Seven reasons why battle may not be literal.

(1) Because of what writer wroteRevelation 19:11.
White horse is symbol of victory, they would not be ridden into battle.
The white horse would be ridden on way back home, as celebration of the victory.

(2) Because of what the rider is wearing Revelation 19:13.
Robes are not worn into battle.
Robes worn by Kings and priests.

(3) Because of what the army rode and wore Revelation 19:14.
Riding white horses and wearing fine linen - not battle attire!

(4) Because of what the rider fought with Revelation 19:15.
He made war with righteousness and he fought them with the word of God.
It is not a literal sword coming out of Jesus' mouth.

(5) Because of what the riders robe is dipped in Revelation 19:13.
Where is Jesus as he is being observed by John in this text?
Jesus is in heaven - in heaven before the supposed battle, in heaven his robed dipped in blood.
The armies of God following Jesus on white horses - they have not reached the battle yet.
In Revelation 5:5-6 John heard a lion but saw a lamb looking like it had been slain.
Such a lamb would have blood on it - it would be the lamb's own blood!

(6) Because the battle has already been fought.
Jesus did not ride a white horse - he rode a donkey.
A battle which culminated with the cry "it is finished" John 19:30.
Jesus triumphed at the cross Colossians 2:15.
Hebrews 2:14 By his death Jesus broke the power of the devil.
Revelation 1:7 Reaction when people see the pierced one coming.
The battle has already been fought and victory secured.
Do not belittle the cross.

(7) Because looking at Revelation 19 no actual battle takes place.
In Revelation 19:19 we see people gathering, people in defiance.
Jesus shows up and its over.


This chapter may not depict a final battle, but it does depict final judgement for all peoples who stand in defiance of the lamb. It is certain, He is coming. How will you present yourself to Him when he appears - clothed in a lifetime of defiance, or clothed in a righteousness which is yours in Jesus? He is coming.

This is the 'big picture', not only of Revelation, but of the whole Bible. He stumbled on the way to the cross, but He rode away victorious. He invites us to the table at the feast, he does not force us - will you come? Psalm 23:5.

John, the guy who wrote Revelation, summarised the purpose of the Gospel he wrote, with the words "I've written this so that you may believe ... and have life ..." John 20:31. Without excuse, not dependent on my understanding, looking to HIm who is faithful (genuine) and true Revelation 19:11. Stay "Trusting God when you don't Understand".

Further Reading

Revelation 16:1-8
Revelation 18:9-19
1 John 2:15-16
Revelation 18:20-24; Matthew 18:1-9
Galatians 5:16-25