There are two places all of humanity can make reservations in revelation: You will either have dinner with the Lamb or you will be dinner for the birds. The truth is God is not willing any should parish and all have been invited to the banquet and as Jesus said in Matthew 22:14 “many are called, but few are chosen.” In that same parable Jesus explains why they were not allowed into the wedding even though they were invited as they “did not have on a wedding garment” they were not clothed in the righteousness of Christ but came instead in the filthy rags of their own good works. Paul wrote of this in Philip. 3:9 saying that he wanted to “be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith”.
Vs. 1-10 The marriage of the Lamb
Vs. 1 The words “after these things” indicates the timing of what John sees and hears which is after the destruction of both the religious as well as the commercial religious system. Its destruction brings forth praise to God in heaven and this is the first of four times in six verses that the word “alleluia” appears (first appearance in N.T.). The word is a Hebrew word that means praise only to Jehovah and there are four things that the multitude praise as belonging exclusively “to the Lord our God”:
- Salvation: Salvation is an exclusive property of God. Nothing and no one can save us, deliver us apart from God. Mankind loves to put stock in their intellect, works and prosperity with regards to their salvation. Some trust in little idols they make to save them to which God spoke through Jeremiah saying, “where are your gods that you have made for yourselves? Let them arise if they can save you in the time of your trouble”. God’s judgement of religion will forever demonstrate that the things that mankind trusts in to save them will be unable to do so.
- Glory: Again, mankind has sought glory in that which they possess as well as that which they accomplish but in heaven only what God possess and accomplishes will be praised. James wrote the truth of this in chapter 1:17 saying, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the father of lights”.
- Honor: The word here for honor is a word that means to value and in heaven we will see that only God’s works and ways have value. I’m personally looking forward to praising God on this front, as I will finally be able to see what I can only do so by faith now. I think we will look over His dealings in our lives and say in praise, “That was valuable!”
- Power: Finally, we will praise Him for His ability to accomplish ever thing in our lives. So much of God’s working in our lives is a mystery and can only be understood in the framework of His nature as we cannot always comprehend the value in the situations or circumstances we are placed in. But why does He not let us in on what He is doing? Well, it is because He wants us to learn to trust Him not based upon our comprehension of circumstances but rather upon understanding who He is!
Vs. 2 There is no rejoicing over the destruction of religion apart from praising God upon His attributes. We shall all sing praise to God of His judgments because they are:
- True: God’s judgments are based not upon speculation but rather upon what is true, He alone is all knowing and everywhere present. God will never have to say, “Hey I’m so sorry for that judgment I missed the call on that!”
- Righteous: The word here means “equitable” in other words the punishment will always fit the crime as He will never give out too much or too little! You see we ought to start with what we know to be true about God and not try to figure out how what we are going through is just.
God is going to deal with the religious system that killed those who proclaimed the truth, and He will do so according to truth giving out that which is equitable.
Vs. 3-4 The smoke of God’s judgment upon this religious system rises forever as an eternal monument of God’s judgment of self-righteousness and those of us in heaven will proclaim “so be it praise the Lord”.
Vs. 5-6 The phrase literally reads “keep praising our God” as God who has been reigning in heaven is now reigning over the earth as all have been put under His feet.
Vs. 7-8 At most weddings, it is the bride that receives most of the attention but here it is the Groom, and the bride is here not because of a list of things she has accomplished but rather because she has embraced the Grooms love for her. There is a puzzling statement in this verse dealing with the marriage of the Lamb in light of the rapture of the bride and that is why are they just now getting married if she has been with the Lord for seven years? Interestingly enough the Jewish wedding was different than the one we do today as it consisted of three parts:
- Betrothal: This was a written legal document where the groom agreed to be joined with his bride is about a year. Usually, he brought a gift as a seal of this pledge tell he came back for her and paid the “bride price”. During that year she was to be ready as he could at any moment and would be making her wedding dress often out of material the groom had provided. The groom was at his father’s house preparing a place for them that where he was she would be also. The groom himself did not know the day or the hour of his wedding and when asked could only respond “only my father knows the day and the hour”.
- Wedding day: As the days passed usually in autumn around harvest time the bride would notice that the “little mansion” was nearing completion so she would ware here wedding dress and tell her friends to get ready as the groom may coming at any moment. Sure, enough he would set off with his friends throughout the city warring crown and scented garments she would leave her home to join the celebration as they wound their way around the streets until they arrived under a canopy. The ceremony consisted of reading the agreement and their friends and family giving benedictions exalting the groom and his bride. Finally, they were led into the wedding chamber where the marriage was to be consummated.
- Wedding feast: Finally, there was a feast that lasted seven days where for the only time in their lives they would be waited upon as if they were a king and a queen on the final day there was a great feast called the marriage supper.
It is exactly what we see here as the church has been celebrating for seven years and now is having the great feast as they start their life forever with the Groom. The bride is warring the cloth of the Grooms righteousness having “put on” His royal robe of righteousness which is gifted to us and is through this grace that we have any right acts!
Vs. 9-10 The angel proclaims the blessing of those who are untied to the Groom. Can you imagine this moment? John is so overwhelmed that he falls at the feet of the messenger but is told not to do so because he is just a fellow servant and to worship God, then he tells them that all prophecy is the unveiling of Jesus. We are far too prone to worship messengers instead of whom they proclaim, the beauty and grace of our Lord which the spirit of prophecy.
Vs. 11-21 The return of the Lamb
Vs. 11-16 This is the 2nd time John sees an open door into heaven, in 4:1 John sees into heaven to behold the Father and the Son on the throne as he is caught up. Here John is now caught up to see but Jesus is ready to come down. Isaiah the prophet wrote, “Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence”. (Isa. 64:1) In 6:2 the rider on the white horse is the antichrist here the rider is the true Christ. At Jesus 1st coming He came riding a donkey a sign of peace here He comes riding a white horse a sign of war. Four names identify the rider of which we know only three:
- Vs. 11 “He who sat on him was called Faithful and True”: The context of this name points to the “righteousness He judges and makes war.” Which speaks of how He administers justice. In fact, He can be nothing less than this in all His dealings, yes He deals with us in accordance with His love, but He also does so according to His faithfulness and truth. Jesus has never and will never do anything that is not true, and we can count on this. I’m afraid that far too many people are devoted to that which is false and believe the most important thing is that they are devoted but the most important thing is not mere devotion alone it is devotion to the truth!
- Vs. 12 “He had a name written that no one knew except Himself”: This name that no one knows except Himself has to do with “eyes like flames of fire and on His head many crowns”. His eyes have penetrating knowledge and His crowns speak of complete authority, both of which relate to His omniscience and His omnipotence. I can’t help but wonder in light of chapter 4:10 if the many crowns are the ones in which He gave us, and we lay at His feet? The mystery of this name is one which we will spend all of eternity discovering. There is so much about our Lord that we do not know and will enjoy finding out.
- Vs. 13-15 “His name is called The Word of God”: His name is identified with the fact that He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood all of what he has done can be summed up in His sacrifice. John wrote in his gospel in the first chapter; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Then in the 14th verse he said, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” In the 21st chapter of Revelation He refers to as the Alpha and the Omega, which is the first and last letters in the Greek alphabet, in other words He is the final word on truth and what is right. The armies of heaven come with Him not to fight, as the armies of the world will be defeated by the word out of His mouth. Thus, they are there watching His victory which He had won at Calvary be culminated here. Just as Paul said in 2 Cor. 10:4-5 that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”. Neither will Jesus’ be! Jesus’ weapon of Judgment then will be the Word of God, which is what He is.
- Vs. 16 “He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS”: Finally, we see the fourth name given to Him which reveals that there is none above Him and no appealing to another judge. The buck will truly stop with Him and I’m thankful for that.
Vs. 17-21 Now if you don’t want to go to dinner with the Lamb then you will be dinner for the birds and in fact be declining Jesus’ invitation you are accepting to be gathered together for the supper of the great God, and you will apparently become “bird food”. Amazingly John sees this angel standing in the sun, which is around 150 million degrees Fahrenheit, so I don’’ think anybody will be missing with this fellow. It will matter not a person’s social standing they will be judged based upon what they have done with regards to receiving Jesus’ invitation to His wedding feast.
All the armies of the world converge on the plain of Jezreel valley to fight against each other but when they see Jesus coming they turn their weapons upon Him, which is what their commander, and chief has always wanted. The beast is captured and along with the false prophet are cast alive into the lake of burning fire where they will remain for 1,000 years and then be joined by satan, his demonic force of fallen angels and those who refused to love the truth and so be saved. The rest are killed by the word of God, which proceeds from the mother of Jesus.