The Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
SUMMARY.--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.
of Revelation describes some of the events that precede the full
acknowledgment of the reign of Christ among the children of men. These
have been partly described in preceding chapters. In
the apostle points out the mighty
strides of the gospel of Christ. In succeeding verses he announces the
fall of Babylon, a mighty event is more fully described in succeeding
the gathering of the united hosts of the dragon, the beast, and the
false prophet, to the battle of Armageddon is pointed out. This is the
battle in which shall take place the final overthrow of the allied
powers which have exerted so malign an influence on the earth. But
before this catastrophe is fully explained the apostle brings in an
delineation of the great spiritual apostasy under the form of a Harlot,
then changes the symbol to a city, alludes to its fate, and in an
episode, pictures the mourning over its destruction. In chapter 19, the
opening part is a picture of heavenly rejoicings over the great victory
about to be won, and then the events that lead up to the great battle
1-5. 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
5:13; 7:12; 11:15; 12:10.
2. For true and righteous are his judgments. This is shown by
the judgments on the spiritual Babylon.
4. And the four and twenty elders. See
at close of that chapter.
5. 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.
6, 7. 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.
7. 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
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
8, 9. 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.
9. And he saith unto me, Write. This always implies a very
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
10. And I fell at his feet. In this passage and in
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
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.
11-16. And I saw the heaven opened. This implies the opening of
a new vision. See
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
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.
12. His eyes were as a flame of fire. See note on
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
a name which will be disclosed to those invited to the marriage supper
of the Lamb
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. Out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword. See note on
This symbolizes the word by which he achieved his conquests.
He shall rule them with a rod of iron. See notes on
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
16. 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
and (4) in
The sublime imagery of this passage portrays the spiritual march and
conquest of Christ. A purified church, following Christ, holy and true,
shall carry the word in triumphant power to the nations. The armies of
the saints, all united under Christ, led by him, strengthened by him,
hence invincible, are marching to the great final conflict with the
hosts of evil.
17, 18. 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.
18. 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
19-21. I saw the beast. See notes on
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
20. 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
as calling the kings of the earth to the battle of Armageddon. See
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
the false spiritual despotism, the apostate church. This false prophet
is now taken.
They twain were cast alive into a lake of fire.
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.
21. 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.
THE COMING OF CHRIST.
The coming of Christ, pictured in his chapter, has been seized upon by
the advocates of his visible coming before the millennial period which
is described in the next chapter. They insist that the passage embraced
describes a personal coming which shall be visible to the eyes of all
men, and which is the coming so often referred to in the Scriptures. To
this it might be objected: (1) That the language of this description is
all the language of symbolism. None expect that, when the Lord comes,
he will be riding on a white horse with an army following him riding on
white horses, and having a name "written on his vesture and on his
The language is undoubtedly symbolic. (2) If this be his coming to
judgment of which he spoke in
Luke 21:27; Matt. 25:31
and described by Paul in
1 Thess. 4:16,
Revelation does not rightly describe it. He declares that he shall come
on the clouds of heaven preceded and heralded by the trump of the
archangel. The coming described in Revelation is not evidently the one
meant by our Lord. (3) This personal, visible coming of the Lord is
always associated with the Last Judgment. See
1 Cor. 15:23; 2 Thess. 2:8,
etc. The Scriptures only recognize one visible Return or Coming
of Christ. Now, the Last Judgment is not reached in Revelation until
we come to
Here it is placed after the Millennium. Hence, we must conclude that
the Visible Return of the Lord does not take place before the
Millennium, and that
describes a coming in power, the power of his Word, but not a visible
coming. (4) Is it objected that in
nothing is said of the coming of Christ? It is said
that when the Lord comes he shall be seated on the throne of judgment
John sees this throne and the Lord sitting on the throne. He does not
describe here his coming, but shows him already come and engaged in