Revelation Chapter 19
In chapter 19, God will deal with the beast, the false prophet, and the armies of the world system. He has already judged the harlot/whore. Verse 1... And 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:
Verse 2.. For 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. (PC) All the way through we have had this affirmation that the judgments of God are true and righteous. And I think that this has been declared all the way through, because this is one of the areas that Satan constantly challenges concerning God, the fairness of God's judgments when he deals and meats out His judgments upon man. There are always those who are ready to challenge the fairness of it. There are always those that say, "What about the people that haven't heard? What about little babies?" and so forth. God is going to be fair and just. This is the declaration that is made all through the period of judgment, "true and righteous are thy judgments, O Lord".
The concept that Satan brought to Eve in the Garden of Eden was that God was not fair, that God was trying to hold her back from something that was beneficial, that God was somehow trying to protect Himself. He had His own self interest at heart when He told Eve not to eat of the tree. That God is holding back something good and He really isn't fair to you was the insinuation behind Satan's remarks. All the way along the fairness of God's judgment has been challenged.
I don't know what God is going to do in a lot of cases. I do know that whatever He does will be absolutely fair. "True and righteous are thy judgments, O Lord." Never worry about the righteousness of God's judgments. You can be worried about the righteousness of my judgments. I sometimes make snap judgments. I sometimes judge without having all the facts in hand, and so my judgments are often wrong. And I have to apologize sometimes for my judgments. That is something that God will never have to do, apologize. It will never happen. "True and righteous are thy judgments, O Lord."
Verse 3.. And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. Verse 4.. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshiped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
Verse 5.. Then a voice came from the throne, saying, "Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!" Verse 6.. And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!
Verse 7... Let 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. " And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And 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.
(PC) Now the Lord in the end here is really putting a lot of emphasis upon the fact that these are true sayings. Over and over we will find this repeated as we approach the end of the book, these are the true sayings of God. You can believe this. You can trust in this that these are the true sayings of God.
It is interesting to me how that God took such pains to protect the innocence of Jesus Christ at the crucifixion. Judas returned the money to the priests saying, "I betrayed innocent blood" (Matthew 27:4). Pilate said, "I find no fault in Him. I have examined Him. I find no fault in Him" (Luke 23:14). The thief said, "We are here because we deserve to be here, but this man has done nothing amiss"(Luke 23:41). God is making sure that you know that Jesus is innocent as He hangs there on the cross. It is not for His crime or guilt. It is for your sin that He is dying.
So we see the proper wedding garment is to be fine linen, clean and white. We are also told that the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness. Romans 3:21-22 says But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: And 3:25 Whom God hat set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26.. To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. So the fine linen is the righteousness of Jesus Christ which is imputed to us when we believe. When we trust in, when we rely upon, when we cling to Him!
In Matthew 22:11-14 it says... And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Apparently someone showed up without the fine linen which is the righteousness of saints or Christ in us and was escorted out from the marriage supper.
(PC) What is the righteousness of the saints? Paul, the apostle said as he was recounting to the Philippians his past credits as a Jew, "Hebrew of the Hebrews, circumcised the seventh day, the tribe of Benjamin, a Pharisee, concerning zeal persecuting the church", but he said, "Those things that were gain to me", those credits that I had, those brownie points, "I counted loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, for whom I suffer the loss of all things and count them but refuse that I may know Him and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness which was of the Law", circumcised seventh, eighth day and so forth, not having that righteousness which was of the law, "but now having the righteousness which was of Christ through faith" (Philippians 3:5-9).
So, it is the righteousness of Jesus Christ that is imparted to me through my faith in Jesus Christ. God accounts my faith for righteousness. So, I will be clothed in linen, pure and white and clean. And the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. That righteousness that God puts on my account because I believe in Jesus Christ. So it is imputed righteousness given to you by your faith in Christ. It is not a righteousness of works. It isn't that you have been faithful in your devotions, and you have witnessed to so many people, and read so many chapters of the Bible, and spent so many hours in prayer, and you have done all of the religious devotional things, not that at all. I am accounted righteous by God because I believe and trust in Jesus Christ. There is the basis for my righteousness. That is good. If my righteousness were dependent upon my keeping the Law, or keeping rules or regulations—
Let's say that we said that every day you should be reading five chapters out of the Bible. Every day you should be spending twenty minutes on your knees in prayer. Every day you should witness to at least two people. Every day—and we set up these rules for righteousness. Then you may be very good all week long, and you put your little star behind each of the categories each evening. Yes, all my gold stars, but Friday you blow it and you didn't get your prayer time in. Too bad, your unrighteousness Friday night. Just hope the Lord doesn't come Friday night. You might get left. No. My righteousness is not on such a tenuous thing as my faithfulness to devotions or works or whatever. My righteousness is something God accounts and imputes to me because of my faith in Jesus Christ. Thank God.
Verse 10.. And 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. All of creation and history points to Jesus. The future is in His hands. So the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
(PC) Now, John like so many people, we want to worship the instrument that God uses to bring His knowledge or love or grace to us. One of the great dangers of being in any kind of ministry where God is using you, one of the great dangers of exercising any spiritual gift, is that people so often look at the instrument that God uses. They begin to admire the instrument. They begin to worship, in a sense, the instrument that God has used. And here is John falling on his knees before the angel that is giving him all of this revelation and he is so overawed and thrilled with what is in store for him he falls at his feet to worship him. And he says to him not to do that because he is a fellowservant, but to worship God.
(PC) You see it is a apart of man to need and want to worship something, and man seems to find it easier to worship an object that he can see rather than an object that he cannot see. And so this is the hang-up of man as Paul said in Romans one, "They worshipped and served the creature more than the creator." Man gets hung up and he stops short. He sees the glorious creation of God and he worships the creation, rather than the creator.
And so John is making the same mistake and the angel corrects him and says don't do that. I am a servant of God just like you are. You worship God. And if you are wise and involved in any kind of ministry at all when attention and adulation and these kinds of things come your way, you will be wise as the angel and say, "Don't worship me. Worship God." God doesn't want you taking credit for the work that He does, receiving glory for His work.
Verse 11... And 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. 12.. His 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. A name that no man knew could mean that no one has power over him. Ancient magicians claimed that they could influence someone if they knew their name.
13.. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14.. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15.. And 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. 16.. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
(PC) Now, this vesture dipped in blood is probably a reference to Isaiah sixty-three. It is not his own blood, but the blood of his enemies that he tramples as he tramples out the rebellious. Isaiah sixty-three says, "Who is this that comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength?" And that is the question the prophet asks and Jesus answers, "I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save." The prophet asks, "Why are you red in your apparel, and your garments like those that have been treading in the wine vat?"
It used to be that they put the grapes in the vat and then they would crush them with their feet. They would have a big dance and party, as they would crush all of the grapes, they would get the juice out of them. And you could imagine the grape juice stains all over your clothes after having spent a day treading the wine vat therein. The wine vat actually with your feet pressing down all of these grapes, you can imagine what your clothes would look like.
"Why are you red in your apparel, and your garments like the ones that have been treading in the wine vat?" He answers, "I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in my anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed is come"(Isaiah 63:3-4).
(PC) So, He is coming to bring an end of man's rebellion. He is coming to trample the wine vat. There will be here upon the earth millions of people who have gathered together to war against Him at His coming. The whole Middle East area of Israel all the way through the land from the Valley of Megiddo clear on down to Edom will be crowded with the vast armies of the world. They will probably number into the hundreds of millions. There is a scripture that would indicate maybe two hundred million.
And that is when the blood will flow to the horses bridle all the way through the Valley of Megiddo clear on down to Edom through the valley of Jehoshaphat as they gather together against the Lord and His anointed. And there will the second Psalm come into play. "Why did the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing, for they have gathered together against the Lord and against His anointed, saying, Let us break His bands asunder, let us cast off His law from us; but He who sits in the heavens will laugh for He will have the nations in derision."
And so here we see Him, clothed in a vesture dipped in blood. And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword by which these rebellious armies are destroyed. That is He destroys them with His word.
Verse 17.. And 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; That 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. And 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. And 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 worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And 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.
In Ezekiel it says that it will take 7 months just to bury the dead from a great slaughter. That is different from the slaughter of Revelation 19:17. The slaughter of Ezekiel 39 happens at the beginning of the tribulation period. The slaughter of Revelation 19:17 happens at the end of the tribulation period.
So now the end of the beast and the false prophet both cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. The rest are prepared to be dinner for all the fowls. It doesn't say that they were cast into the lake of fire at this point. So their judgment is still future. This will happen at the end of the thousand year reign of Christ when death and hell will be cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Rev. 20:14