The previous chapter pictured God’s judgments against spiritual Babylon and the world. In this chapter we find God delivering His people from evil forever.
Verses 1–3: A Great Voice
In vision John heard a great shout from a vast throng in heaven, singing a song of triumph. This represents those who have gone through the last great crisis victoriously. They had gained the victory over the beast and his image.
The real halleluiah chorus: Hallelujah means “Praise ye the Lord.” God’s people are rejoicing over their deliverance. In the same way, ancient Israel sang hallelujah psalms when they were delivered from the hands of the Egyptians. See Psalms 104–109.
Songs of joy: Angels and unfallen beings sang a song of joy when our world was created. See Job 38:4–7. The song of Moses celebrated Israel’s deliverance at the Red Sea. See Exodus 15. This song will be sung by the saints who are delivered in the final crisis. See Revelation 15:2, 3.
Verses 4–6: Everyone Sings
It appears that those who begin the song have come out of the final crisis. But then they are joined by “a great multitude” representing the redeemed of all ages. They all joined in the jubilant song together.
Verse 7: The Marriage of the Lamb
The main reason for this celebration in song is that the saints are now with Jesus. The wedding festivities have begun. Christ, the Bridegroom, and His church, His bride, will be brought into an eternal union. The fall of Babylon needed to happen before this grand and glorious marriage took place.
The patient Jesus has waited for His bride. He now comes to the earth to receive her. He will then take her to the place He has prepared for her. See John 14:1–3.
The New Jerusalem is also called the bride of Christ. See Revelation 21:9, 10. The New Jerusalem is the home of Christ and His bride. In the same way, the term “church” is in reference to both a building and the people.
Preparing to be Christ’s bride: “His wife hath made herself ready,” indicates that the bride makes herself ready by permitting Christ to make her ready. She must have His beautiful and righteous life both imputed and imparted to her. She will have God’s law written in her heart and mind. See Hebrews 8:10: 10:16. She will have the faith of Jesus. See Revelation 14:12.
Verse 9: The Banquet
When Jesus presents His bride to the Father the marriage is consummated and the wedding supper or marriage banquet begins.
Verse 10: Worship God Only
John was so awed by the vision that he fell at the feet of Gabriel and began to worship him. Gabriel refused to receive worship because he is himself a created being, or creature. He told John to worship God. How different this attitude is from the beast power that receives worship. Imagine that, the greatest of all angels refuses worship, but a mortal and fallible human being accepts it.
Verses 11–16: War Before the Wedding
We are now brought back to the war that must precede the wedding. Jesus is here described as “King of kings, and Lord of lords.” Revelation 19:16. He is coming on a symbolic white horse with the armies of heaven to defeat Babylon in the battle of Armageddon.
A war that is just: White is symbolic of purity and justice. The Rider, Jesus Christ, is “Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.” Because He is pure, His war is just. He exercises justice against the unjust forces of Babylon.
Clear vision: Christ’s eyes are as “a flame of fire.” He can see all. He knows every thought and motive. To judge justly He must possess these qualities. And He does.
Many crowns: Jesus has many crowns because He is ruler over all. After all, He is the King of kings. Crowns represent sovereignty and royalty.
The pure and just weapon of the Word: This is the same sharp two-edged sword mentioned in Revelation 1:16. The same Word that pricks the heart and conscience and cuts sin out of the character will also slay those who refuse to confess, surrender, and abide by God’s Word.
Rod of Iron: In the end, the Shepherd rules. Jesus is both King of kings and the Shepherd of His flock. He has cared for them throughout the centuries on earth, and now they are with Him forever.
All capitals: Christ’s title as “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS,” is given in all capitals. The counterfeit to Christ’s kingdom is spiritual Babylon. Her title is also given in all capital letters, “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATION OF THE EARTH.” Revelation 17:5. This emphasizes the two choices the last generation must choose between. Individuals are either choosing Christ or antichrist [the harlot church].
Verses 17, 18: The Great Supper
Babylon is not having a supper, she is the supper. She had given herself over to seducing spirits and the doctrines of devils. Now the birds will eat her dead carcasses.
There are two great suppers. The first is called “the marriage supper of the Lamb.” The second is “the supper of the great God.” All are invited to the first, but most find themselves at the second. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” We have all been called, but few accept Christ’s invitation. Upon this decision rests our eternal destiny.
Verses 19–21: Babylon Loses
The dragon, the beast, and false prophet are the three great divisions of Babylon in Revelation 16:13, 19. The false prophet is the same power as the second beast of Revelation 13, which deceives the world by false miracles and cause the world to worship the first beast and receive the mark of the beast. The beast and the false prophet, representing Catholicism and apostate Protestantism respectively, oppose the people of God and the three angels’ messages. As a result, they are lost.
The Lake of Fire: It is at the close of the millennium that the beast and the false prophet and all the enemies of God are cast into the eternal flames of the lake of fire, which is the second death. See Revelation 17:8; 20:9, 10, 14, 15. The statement that they “both were cast alive into the lake of fire,” indicates that they continued to fight against God to the end. Sadly, when the millennium is over, they will again take up the sword against God and try to take the New Jerusalem.
But at the Second Coming of Christ, the beast and the false prophet will come to an end for leading the world astray. They will not rule for the next thousand years upon the earth as they falsely teach. Rather, they face the wrath of God in the seven last plagues, which also sets the world into flames.
None of the wicked survive: At the second coming of Christ the rest of the wicked will be slain by the brightness of His coming. See 2 Thessalonians 1:7–9; 2:8; Jeremiah 25:33. Some will no doubt perish during the plagues, but the rest are slain when Jesus has arrived the second time.
As powerful and dominating as the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet may appear in the end of time, they are nonetheless mere men. They are fallible and mortal. They will teach for commandments the traditions of mere men. But they do so against the direct command of God. As such, they are destroyed.
On the other side of the equation, the righteous are seen in heaven. The blood of the saints is avenged. The marriage of Christ and His church is complete. Will you take the time to be there?
Think of what it must mean to be married to Christ.
Am I faithful to Christ?
Do I desire His presence?
Am I willing to do all things, even the little things in life, to make Him happy?
Does He have my highest thoughts and deepest affections?
Am I doing all that I can to prepare for His soon return?