|The Marriage Supper: a Time of
Revelation Chapter 19
Verses 1-10 (NASB)
What things? The judgment and total annihilation of the whore called
have found from our studies of the last two chapters, Babylon is
the collapse of the global economy. But it is more than that. It is
also the spiritual (evil) motivators that are destroyed. These
motivators are greed, envy, anger, idolatry, and so on.
Most scholars tend to write about the harlot as only pertaining to the
unbelieving world and/or those who did take the mark of the beast (Revelation
13:11-18). I would suggest that the judgments in chapters 17
are aimed squarely at organized churches and religions. It is clear
that the Revelation of Jesus Christ
written to seven churches (Revelation 1:11),
18:4-5) are not to be playing
footsie (and a whole lot of other things) with the harlot.
I heard, as it were, a LOUD VOICE of a
GREAT MULTITUDE in HEAVEN, saying
Scholars are divided as to whom the GREAT MULTITUDE are. Some say this
is the heavenly host of angels¹; others say this is the same GREAT
MULTITUDE of tribulation saints in Revelation
7:9. For all we know it may be a merged choir of all heaven's
occupants; angels, redeemed/raptured saints, the 24 elders and the 4
living creatures (verse
It does contain one of the mysteries of heaven, however, in that, we
really don't know the language of heaven. It is unified and can be
spoken by all listed previously and by fetuses and young children who
were not able to or had learned to speak. Spirit-filled believers can
testify to talking with God the Father in another tongue or prayer
language. But one can only wonder at how the spiritual nature of an
unborn fetus, for example, can participate in this LOUD VOICE?
"HALLELUJAH! SALVATION and GLORY and POWER belong to our
This is the first time that HALLELUJAH is used in the New Testament.
Literally translated it means "Praise Him Who Is". In the Old
Testament, this same HALLELUJAH is translated "Praise the Lord" as in Psalm
We see GLORY and POWER in Revelation
given to Jesus Christ because He is Worthy. Here SALVATION is added to
confirm the completion of His Worthiness. Furthermore, this is the
response to the command given in Revelation
SALVATION: We can find SALVATION in no other than Jesus Christ (Acts
4:5-12). But the full meaning of SALVATION here is to include
redemption of the earth from the sin curse as we discussed in the
chapter 5 verse studies.
GLORY: This is the essence of God. As Moses experienced it (Exodus
33:17-23), the GLORY of God contains GOODNESS, NAME OF THE
GRACIOUSNESS, and COMPASSION. When one comes to understand
worship God's GLORY, one will not have any other gods (Exodus
POWER: So POWERful is the GLORY of God, that one becomes afraid of its
34:29-35). This is not being afraid like being scared, but
like having a holy respect for God. We are to "FEAR GOD" was the
conclusion "The Preacher" came to (Ecclesiastes
In this verse, we have the three spiritual aspects the GREAT MULTITUDE
have in common. Yet how little is heard about these aspects from our
present day leaders. If our leaders are to "shepherd" us into eternity,
then I think we should be prepared in these three aspects so that we
won't feel out of place in heaven. Or to make this even more personal,
when was the last time you shared with someone about SALVATION or GLORY
or POWER as you have experienced it in your life?
because HIS JUDGMENTS are TRUE and RIGHTEOUS;
This is the third time we hear that HIS JUDGMENTS are TRUE and
are the other two times).
When something is repeated for three times in Revelation, the statement
is to be considered of high importance. TRUE and RIGHTEOUS are
requirements to be able to JUDGE. Thus, these JUDGMENTS can only be
GOD's JUDGMENTS. We, even as redeemed believers, do not qualify yet (Luke
For a contrast to what is TRUE, Jesus gives us an example about the
devil in John
8:31-44-47. Along with the lying comes deception (2
4-7-11). Believers are warned to not be taken in by the
deception to the point of not acknowledging that Jesus Christ came in
the flesh. There are so-called Christians today who are trying to
downplay this TRUTH. They are in line for HIS JUDGMENTS.
has JUDGED the
GREAT HARLOT who was corrupting the earth with her IMMORALITY,
God certainly doesn't
HARLOT to be GREAT; only GOD is GREAT. Thus this verse is for human
consumption. Humans have a tendency to idolize people they "look up to"
or those who have wealth or political power or religious stature. Many
so-called Christians succumb to this temptation. They have become
corrupted with her IMMORALITY. They have rationalized their "Christian"
status with their desired social status even after being specifically
command to get away from the HARLOT (Revelation
). So strong is the corruption that many times
don't even recognize it or take steps to remove themselves.
Just a side note, most of the Bible truly is about and for Abraham's
descendants. But here "corrupting the earth" makes the JUDGMENT for all
and 2) He
has AVENGED the
BLOOD of His BOND-SERVANTS on her."
Here we finally have the answer to the
martyr's request in Revelation
list of those avenged is given in Revelation
This translation is the only one to use the expression BOND-SERVANTS
here. The other translations just use SERVANTS. For a brief discussion
on a BOND-SERVANT, please refer to Revelation
And a second time they said, "HALLELUJAH!
Praise to the One Who Is -- twice indicates this is the highest honor
we can give for our salvation (verse 1).
Additionally, this time the PRAISE is for the complete victory over
Babylon. No longer are these Babylonian practices (primarily economic)
found within the body of believers. Instead the ones who removed
themselves from Babylon (Revelation
are totally committed to living by faith (Luke
Her SMOKE rises up FOREVER and EVER."
This confirms that Babylon, global economy and politics, are completely
destroyed. The "ANY LONGER"s in Revelation
18:21-23 are permanent no matter how the devil and beasts
to survive. The prophesy in Isaiah
34:5-10-15, if you believe that it is talking about this
there aren't any noblemen (economists or politicians) who can put whole
system back together again in a recognizable form. The earth has been
prepared for the 1000 year reign of Christ (Revelation
SMOKE is all that is left of what was thought to be of substance. As
such, it is a symbol of complete destruction and previously just the
sight of it caused
What a contrast here,
though, the sight of the SMOKE is cause for a burst of PRAISE!
Note that the duration, FOREVER and EVER, is the same amount of time
that those who took the mark of the beast will be tormented (Revelation
And the twenty-four ELDERS and the four LIVING CREATURES fell
down and WORSHIPED GOD
The twenty-four ELDERS generally are believed to be representative of
the redeemed believers in heaven. Neither the ELDERS nor the LIVING
CREATURES are mentioned in Revelation after this. After the marriage of
the redeemed believer (bride) to Jesus Christ, (the revealed One,
bridegroom) takes place (verse
is no need
between the two --- they have become ONE (Ephesians
here on out, the Revelation truly is the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
On the other hand, the four LIVING CREATURES have positions around the
THRONE of God. They continually acknowledge or WORSHIP God for the
total and complete GOOD that God is and that is why they continually
say "AMEN" (Revelation
CREATURES, by being so close
to God, appear to see everything (Revelation
5:8-10). Since they are
full of eyes, front and back and within (Revelation
understand what the complete destruction of Babylon (evil) means. It is
as if they are to heaven as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
is to the earth (Genesis
2:15-17). Even as we, today, cannot find the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil, so too in heaven after this
verse, the four LIVING CREATURES are not heard from again. That is not
to say that they are removed from their position around the THRONE.
who sits on the THRONE saying,
Please refer back to Revelation
4 for the
details of this place in
When the word of God, whether as the Law (Nehemiah
8:1-12) or Salvation
15:3-7) or Judgment (this portion of Revelation), the
or should be "AMEN" and "HALLELUJAH!". Israel's sins and punishment
106) can be thought of as a microcosm of the whole earth's
iniquities and punishment. When the final realization of what God did
to save His chosen people, the people are to say "Amen. Praise the
And a voice came from the THRONE, saying,
John hears a voice coming from the THRONE. It probably isn't either
God's or Jesus' because of the way "GIVE PRAISE TO OUR GOD" is worded.
The area around the THRONE is fairly crowded or intense (see previous
PRAISE to OUR GOD,
It should be noted that this command to "GIVE PRAISE to OUR GOD" is for
a select group. The use of the pronoun, OUR, shows that this is a
unified group, His bond-servants, who are to PRAISE HIM. Otherwise,
the command could have been generic, "GIVE PRAISE TO GOD".
all you His
The THRONE is surrounded by this group of BOND-SERVANTS. To be a
BOND-SERVANT implies one who is totally committed to God for eternal
life. Since this portion of scripture comes after the fall of Babylon,
this group, more specifically, probably are those who did come out of
her, Babylon (Revelation
18:4-5). The New
Testament has many examples
19:23-30) of how
difficult is will be for people who believe they are materially
independent from God to reach this position around the THRONE. Even
today, they bring that same attitude within the organized church. The
penetration of material independence is so great that many churches
seem to function just fine without putting too much faith/trust in God.
This FEAR is a holy respect for God. One would think that PRAISE and
FEAR do not go together, but PRAISE rises up out of respect. This is
the way Psalm
112:1-6 describes this PRAISE and FEAR relationship. In fact,
all is considered (as the Preacher did in Ecclesiastes
12:13-14), all that matters is to "fear God and keep His
commandments". The Preacher goes on to say that this applies to every
the small and the great."
Material status is uniquely earthly and has no place around the THRONE.
Around the THRONE, we all will be His BOND-SERVANTS and share equally
in His blessings (Psalm
115:12-13-18). Take a moment right now as you have studied
verse and just "Give
PRAISE to OUR GOD!"
And I heard, as it were,
Thus, this is the combined voices of the Bride and the Bridegroom whose
marriage will soon be celebrated (next verse).
voice of a great multitude (the
Redeemed as in verse
sound of many waters (as
mighty peals of thunder
(as Jesus in Revelation 14:2
The happy couple shouts, "Praise to the One Who Is"! The kingdom has
been delivered to God the Father, the Almighty (1
15:20-24-28). The fall and complete destruction of Babylon
(materialism) also fulfills the earth's redemption process (Revelation
For the Lord our God, the ALMIGHTY, REIGNS.
This isn't like the wedding vows you hear in churches today, but this
is a vow, nevertheless, which recognizes the KINGLY AUTHORITY of God,
the Father. As One Couple (Philippians
3:17-21), they recognize God using His fullest and mightiest
the ALMIGHTY (Revelation
you are among the REDEEMED, then someday,
you, too, will take this vow.
The word, REIGNS, really would have been better translated, "has begun
to REIGN." This is the beginning of God's kingly REIGN over
earth both spiritually and physically (Revelation
The "us" is the happy couple celebrating their marriage (see previous verse).
groom always has given GLORY to
Him (God, the Father - John
5:17-47). So this request is mostly likely a reminder for the
- REJOICE and
- BE GLAD and
- give the GLORY to Him,
MARRIAGE of the LAMB has come and
believer in Christ, the
engagement period leading up to this marriage begins. This is a
spiritual marriage and has nothing to do with the physical urges that
drive so many of the earthly marriages (Matthew
Note that "the LAMB" is previously used for Jesus Christ in the
His BRIDE has made herself READY."
Who is the BRIDE? From a Revelation viewpoint, she is
As one can see, there is no distinction as to race, religious
affiliation, social status, or wealth. Thus for the BRIDE to make
herself READY must be something other than that. It is left to the
reader to determine how the BRIDE has gotten herself ready.
- Those who came out of Babylon (Revelation
- Those who are not defiled by women (Revelation
- Those who didn't take the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:16),
- The tribulation martyrs (Revelation
- The overcomers (Revelation
2:11, and Revelation
- Those who occupy the new Jerusalem (Revelation
- Those who are wearing bright and clean linen clothes (next verse).
An interesting sidebar here: while the BRIDE is referred to in the
feminine form here, it probably is to reinforce the concept of believer
procreation. That is, it is the female side of human beings which bears
the child. In the same manner, believers beget other believers when the
Gospel is proclaimed with the help of the Holy Spirit (John
3:1-5-21). This partially explains why it seems more
male believers to witness to others about Salvation. They aren't use to
being child bearers.
And it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen,
bright and clean;
The BRIDE is permitted to be dressed in a bright and clean fine linen
wedding dress. More than that, to be able to be the BRIDE, she must be
dressed like this (Matthew
22:1-14). John confirms that she truly is dressed like this (Revelation 21:2).
This also signifies the priestly role that the BRIDE will play (Revelation 1:6
5:10). In the Old Testament, the priest's robe or ephod was
fine twisted linen (Exodus
28:1-6-43). The material of the ephod is symbolic of:
Exposition of The Revelation of Jesus Christ", Ella A. Rust,
Jesus Christ is both the GROOM and
High Priest (Hebrews
9:11-14) and is dressed like this (Revelation
19:11-14). If the groom and BRIDE are to be a married couple,
she, too, must be pure and clean (2
for the fine linen is THE RIGHTEOUS ACTS of THE
What are the characteristics of these RIGHTEOUS ACTS?
There is a paradox here. We cannot be saved (or become the BRIDE) by
works (RIGHTEOUS ACTS) (Ephesians
2:8-10). Salvation only happens by faith in Christ Jesus
Yet here at the marriage feast, what we are wearing is what we did
(RIGHTEOUS ACTS) after we accepted Christ by faith.
- They are the result of exercising faith, e.g.
3:21-28 and Romans
- They are performed in the power of the Holy Spirit by
4:17-30 and Romans
- They are the effect, not the cause, of being in
And he said to me, "Write, `BLESSED are those who are invited
to the MARRIAGE SUPPER of the LAMB.'
The speaker probably is the angel in Revelation
17:1 who had shown John the destruction of Babylon
globally). He goes on to show the other side: the MARRIAGE SUPPER of
the LAMB. The sight must be so awesome that John is standing
there grasping for anything he can relate this to. Apparently, he can't
find anything so beautiful, and so the angel has to remind him again to
This "BLESSED" is the fourth one in the
the list in Revelation
variance among scholars as to whom are the invited. Some suggest that
the BRIDE is not at the MARRIAGE SUPPER. In Jewish weddings, the bride
was brought to the groom at the end of the MARRIAGE SUPPER. So the
invited must be guests. Interpreting this says that the believers saved
under grace, i.e. after Christ's resurrection and up to the rapture are
not the ones invited. That would leave pre-Christ's resurrection and
after rapture believers as the invited. This distinction may be reading
too much into this verse; rather, it probably means the invited are
those who have attained salvation regardless for age period. God
doesn't want any to perish (2
3:8-9-13) and the MARRIAGE SUPPER is for the living.
Furthermore, Jesus in Matthew
8:5-11-13 indicates there is no distinction between Jews or
Gentiles at the SUPPER. This doesn't take anything away from the status
the Jews hold as God's chosen people.
In a sense, everyone is invited to the SUPPER as everyone's name is
written in the book of life to begin with. We choose to "uninvite"
ourselves by having our name erased from the book of life (Revelation 3:5).
actions or life style
or life motivations then indicate our choice (James
4). If we choose to be an enemy of God, then we certainly
going to be invited to the MARRIAGE SUPPER. The SUPPER is for the
invitation is the knock on the 'church' door (Revelation
3:20).....we choose to answer the knock or not.
And he said to me,"These are TRUE
WORDS OF GOD."
This seems so obvious to us, but John has seen and written about so
much caused by the devil or deceiver (Revelation
12:9), that he may have wondered whether this MARRIAGE SUPPER
one of the devil's deceptions (Mark
13:14-22-23). Thus it is entirely appropriate for the angel
confirm that the invitation to the MARRIAGE SUPPER is authentic and
This expression is used twice more in the Revelation (Revelation 21:5
22:6). Heaven must be so awesome
and different due to the absence of evil that John has to be assured
that this is NOT a deception. All uses of this expression surround
glimpses of the new heaven.
And I fell at his feet to worship him.
Clearly John is very human and totally out of place during the vision
of the MARRIAGE SUPPER. He did what many who have had this kind of
brush with purity and righteousness (see Matthew
17:1-6-8 for example) have done. Except here, Jesus
involved in the SUPPER, so John falls down at the angel's feet and that
is not good. First, we must WORSHIP GOD and not angels. The worship of
angels defrauds the worshipper of their desired goal (Colossians
And he said to
me,"Do not do that; I am a FELLOW-SERVANT of yours and your brethren
who hold the TESTIMONY of JESUS;
The rebuke is firmly given with sweet humility. The angel is a created
being with the purpose to serve God and by extension the redeemed (ones
who hold the TESTIMONY of JESUS). These who hold the TESTIMONY of JESUS
are the same ones with whom the dragon (devil) is making war (Revelation 12:17).
Angels are very aware of their position in heaven. Apparently, they,
too, at one time were given a choice: Serve GOD or join the devil
(dragon -- Revelation
12:7-9). This angel chose to serve God and, in turn, the
Interestingly, John doesn't fully understand what he has done wrong
because he will do it again (Revelation
WORSHIP GOD. For the TESTIMONY of
JESUS is the SPIRIT OF PROPHESY."
It is clear where our worship is to be directed: GOD. Anything
else is idolatry
and violates God's forever commandment (Exodus
20:4-6). The angel here acknowledges that the God he knew
creation was also sent to earth to assume a human form (denoted by the
use of the name JESUS -- Luke
1:26-31-38 and Matthew
1:18-25). The angel emphasizes God as the triune God. WORSHIP
(the Father). For the TESTIMONY of JESUS (the Son) is the SPIRIT (Holy
Spirit) of PROPHESY. Soon this Holy Trinity will be doing away with the
Unholy Trinity (devil himself, Revelation
20:10; beast, verse
In a sense, angels, too, do a form of prophesy (Revelation
¹ MacArthur, John Jr.,
Moody Press, Chicago, page 196
from the NEW
AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright The
Lockman Foundation, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975,
1977, 1995 Used by permission."
References to the Revelation of Jesus
Christ are in bold italics. All
other references are in bold