1And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 2For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
This is the numberless multitude from Revelation 7:9. The church is praising God for the end to persecution at the hands of the Jews. The pure bride is praising God for the triumph over the whore (Hebrews 13:4), the woman praising God for triumph over the dragon.
3And again they said, Alleluia And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.
The praise is given because the destruction of the persecutors is for all time, it is a complete destruction.
4And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
The praise is given by the whole Kingdom, both Old and New Testament, for the fulfillment of God’s promises in both Testaments to bring about full salvation for all humans.
5And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
This is the voice of one of the angels, a herald with the authority of God calling all to praise Him. We know its not Christ because of verse 10.
6And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
This herald, with the authority of God (has a voice like that of God’s) praises Jehovah because the Lord God Almighty reigns and this is seen in the events of the keeping of the promises to fulfill them.
7Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Praise God for the marriage of the Lamb and the bride has taken place and she has made herself ready for the marriage feast (gamos - what we might call the wedding reception as opposed to gameo – the actual marriage or wedding). Note that the church is already called the Lamb’s “wife” as opposed to “espoused” or “betrothed”.
8And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
The purity of the bride is that of a virgin, clean of sin as the Christians are pure, washed in the blood of Christ. There is much to be said here of the righteousness of Christians, their purity, the contrast of sinner vs. saint.
9And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
10And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
John attempts to worship the messenger, but the messenger says no, I’m a servant to Christ like you, one of your brothers. This visionary angel represents earthly Christian messengers that would take the prophecy out to the church at large. He tells John to worship God because this book, this testimony is the essence of Biblical prophecy. It is the climax of all Biblical prophecy.
11And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Christ from Revelation 1:14; Revelation 2:18. The many crowns are those cast before the throne Revelation 4:4; Revelation 4:10. They represent the authority Christ has over all those who have submitted to Him.
13And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
The priestly vesture of Christ is immersed in blood indicating His sacrifice as the Lamb. This verse is referred to by John later in John 1:1-3,14. Jesus is the Word. Jesus is God.
14And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
These are the Christians going out to conquer the world through the gospel. This is another reason to view the image in chapter 6 as a precursor to the fall of Jerusalem. The gospel was preached to the Jews and as many as could be converted were. The army of the rider of the white horse is distinct from that of the other riders which were the various Roman legions.
15And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
A. out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations:Edit
B. he shall rule them with a rod of ironEdit
This is Christ ruling with the gospel (a scepter and a corrective rod used against sheep who have gone astray), which is the New Law, with which He rules all nations, both Jew and Gentile: Psalm 2; Isaiah 11:4; Revelation 2:27.
C. he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.Edit
Christ is the one who has brought about the destruction just covered.
16And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
I doubt any question this is Christ. It is nearly self evident and certainly a basic truth of the gospel.
17And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
The messenger of Christ speaks and the message is interesting to me. All of the birds of heaven are called to the supper of the great God. Christ’s wedding feast is equated with the destruction of Jerusalem. The wedding reception or feast, a celebration of all that is new, is pictured as the end of all the old (Hebrews 8). I had never thought of this until typing this just now and it is, to borrow a word from a new friend of mine, profound!
19And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
This is essentially a recap or summary of what has gone before. Rome and Judah were set to make war against Christ and the church.
20And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
They lost. The sea beast, the earth beast, were cast into the lake of fire. This is emblematic of a cessation of persecution (not an end to Rome or the Emporer worship). [Historically, when Nero died, Vespasian took focus away from persecution of Christians and instead he focused on consolidating the Empire and cooling the rebellions throughout it.]
21And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
There were none left that could harm the church which was fed and grew from the end of the persecutors.
In Truth and Love.