Revelation Chapter Nineteen Part III

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The Sword of the Spirit
Is the Word of God

Revelation 19:13  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

A vesture is a generic word for an article of clothing. Different translations render the word several ways: a robe, cloak, tunic, jacket, garment, kaftan, habit, coat, mantle, the vestment of a priest, etc. Some of those terms represent outer clothing worn over the regular clothing people wore.

If we view images of ancient petroglyphs of men in Biblical times, we find that robes were the most common type of clothing or vesture worn by men in that period. Many were elaborate, especially among the rich and powerful, but the poor usually wore rather plain robes. Here we see the glorified Jesus, thus his clothes are anything but plain. His apparel, which, according to Isa 63:1 is glorious or splendid, and has blood on it.

Most translations use the word “dipped” to explain the extent of the blood there. Others use washed, covered, sprinkled, stained, baptized, dyed, soaked, and probably other synonyms. In order for us to have a better understanding, let us look at the actual Koine Greek word used, and its context.

The word rendered dipped by most translations is βεβαμμένο, bebammeno, “dipped”, which is the perfect (past tense) passive participle, which, in this case, is also the accusative case (an object of a verb or preposition) of the root word, βαπτω bapto: immerse, dip, dip in, tinge, dye, moisten, stain, tinge.

The passage in Isaiah 63:1-3 is a parallel of our passage: “Who is this who comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah, he who is splendid in his apparel, marching in the greatness of his strength?” “It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.” “Why is your apparel red, and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?” “I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me; I trod them in my anger and trampled them in my wrath; their lifeblood spattered on my garments, and stained all my apparel.

In the Isaiah passage above, quite a few commentators consider this to be a prophecy of Messiah coming in victory after destroying His enemies (this author included). There is good reason to understand it that way. Let us discuss the reasons why some have come to that conclusion.

In several places in scripture we find that Edom has mistreated the nation of Israel, which are God’s people. In Old Testament Scripture there are two general types of people. They are God’s people—those that He has chosen for his own people who have faith and trust in Him, and the other group includes all other people. The two groups are known by many as Israelites (or, in today’s language, Jews) and Gentiles. God chose the Isrealites through no importance of their own. Their election is the will of God and no one else because He has chosen them. In the past, He often poured out his wrath on their enemies and Edom was an enemy of Israel.

Edom, under the rule of Esau, the brother of Israel (Jacob), and his progeny, have persecuted, attacked, and derided Israel, and allied with other nations that attacked Israel (Eze 35:5), God’s chosen people. Thus Edom is symbolic of all the Gentile nations that were enemies of Israel, and therefore, the enemies of God. Accordingly, God has cut off Edom (AKA Mount Seir) forever (Ob 1:10; Eze 35:2-4).

After the advent of Christ, even until today, there are also two types or groups of people. The first group is composed of those Jews and Gentiles saved by the blood of Jesus and the grace of God (Rom 9:6, 11:16-17; Php 3:3; Gal 3:7, 3:14, 6:16). All other people are in the second group, which is composed of Jews and Gentiles not saved by the blood of Christ; they are the condemned (Joh 3:18; Php 3:18,19) unless they repent and believe the Gospel (Mar 1:15; Act 2:38, 3:19). They are under the judgment of God (Joh 3:19). Thus, Edom is symbolic of the second group. Which includes all peoples in the world who are opposed to Yahweh God and His Christ.

As we already observed, several commentators consider Isaiah 63:1-3 to be a prophecy of Messiah coming in victory after destroying his enemies. It is, therefore, a dialogue between an observer and the triumphant Messiah returning from a battle with Edom or another enemy of Israel. However, it is a prophecy of a future event. This prophecy is truly relevant to our current passage in Revelation; the imagery has significant similarities to that event.

The Battle in Isaiah was against Edom, which exemplifies the enemies of God and His Messiah. The Battle in Revelation is against Christ’s (and therefore Yahweh’s) enemies. They have rejected Him and worshipped the dragon (which is the Devil & Satan; Rev 20:2), the beast, and his image (Rev 13:4,12,14). They are those that are not saved by the Blood of Christ. Yes, current unbelievers belong to the Devil and serve him (2 Cor 4:4; 1 Joh 2:19), thus they are Christ’s enemies (Mat 12:30; Luk 11:23; Joh 3:18). They are just as condemned as those who will worship the dragon, the beast, and his image.

In our verse, we see Christ adorned with a blood spotted garment He is mounted on his horse and accompanied by the armies of Heaven advancing into the battle. The battle is alternately termed the winepress of God’s wrath, which is a metaphor for the destruction of God’s enemies. (Isa 63:3; Rev 14:19,20; Rev 19:15). Since the winepress is a metaphor for the destruction of God’s enemies this blood on Christ’s vesture is from His enemies in this battle.

Revelation 19:14  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean

In Rev 19:8 we read that fine linen represents the righteousness of the saints. Who are the saints? They are those that believe in Jesus Christ and who are purified by His blood and set apart to Him because of His righteousness that He has imputed to them. (Rom 4:22,23,24; 2 Th 1:10; Jude 1:14) In other words, the saints are Christians, which include both saved Jews and saved Gentiles. (See the notes on Rev 8:4)

The fine linen in which the wife of the Lamb (the saints, 2 Cor 11:2; Rev 21:2) is attired in Rev 19:8 (KJV) is clean and white, which is the righteous acts of the saints. Additionally, we see that “the armies which were in heaven” are also clothed in the same fine linen, white and clean. The clear inference is that the saints that are clothed in fine linen are a part of those armies that follow Christ into battle, since both the saints and the armies are attired in the same way. Furthermore, Rev 17:14 tells us that the called, chosen, and faithful are with the Lord Jesus when he goes to ‎war with the kings of the earth. The armies in heaven that follow Jesus into battle include the risen saints attired in fine linen.

Revelation 19:15 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.

What does this sharp sword out of His mouth represent? “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12). Jesus is the Word (Joh 1:1,14) The sword is the Words of Jesus; He will speak and His words will bring destruction (Isa 11:4; Rev 1:15; 2:16). The sword is also the scriptures (Eph 6:17; Heb 4:12).

What does the rod of iron represent? According to Thayer, the word, rendered “rod” can indicate several things: a staff, a walking ‎stick, ‎a twig, rod, branch, a shepherd’s staff, etc. ‎However, when applied to kings, and Jesus is King, ‎it may indicate the severest, most ‎rigorous rule of a dictator, or it can refer to a ‎king’s scepter. Jesus is the King of ‎kings. We should apply the rod of iron to the severest rule as well as to the scepter since both ‎indicate absolute power—the power over life and death (See Esther 4:11; Psalm 2:7,8,9; Rev 2:27).‎

Using the rod of iron to dash the nations into pieces and clay shards ‎(Psa 2:9; Rev 2:27) means judgment; judgment on an enemy or on a lawbreaker. It also applies to God’s wrath on impenitent sinners that refuse His grace.

Jeremiah 19:11 prophesies God’s judgment on Jerusalem that its destruction will be like one breaking pottery. This alludes to the complete destruction of that city in 597 BC, under Nebuchadnezzar, and in 70 AD by Titus Vespasian. Those destructions are microcosms of the coming destruction we read about in this chapter of Revelation

As the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gather to make war against Him, ‎Jesus will defeat them with the sword of His mouth, that is, His words. When those armies attempt to mount an attack, He will defeat and rule them ‎with this iron scepter, which indicates His total absolute power over all of them. Then he will ‎tread the winepress of God’s wrath. In other words, he will slay His enemies (see Rev 19:21).‎

Revelation 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

A better rendering of this verse will shed some light on it. The Greek is και εχει επι το ιματιον και επι τον μηρον, kai echei epi to imation kai epi ton meron, “…and He has upon His robe, and even upon His thigh” (Robertson’s Word Pictures)

This indicates that the inscription was emblazoned on the part of His garment that covered his thigh. It does not indicate that the inscription was applied to His garment and additionally applied to the actual thigh of His leg. His actual thigh would be covered by His clothing (probably a robe) and not visible beneath that clothing.

Even upon His return in power and glory at the Second Advent, many will still doubt Him. Many will stretch out their hands against him or shake their fists at Him (Job 15:25; Dan 5:23; Mal 3:13; Mat 24:9,30; Luk 21:17; Mar 13:13; Tit 1:16) and deny that He is the King of kings and Lord of lords when He returns (Tit 1:16). The reason this inscription will be emblazoned on His clothing is so that all will see.

Deny Him or not, all will know that he is the King of kings and Lord of lords when He returns. (Rev 17:14; Psa 72:11; Pro 8:15-16; Isa 45:23; Dan 2:47; Rom 14:11; Php 2:9,10,11; 1Tim 6:15).

Revelation 19:17 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;

The phrase “standing in the sun” could be translated several ways. The preposition, ἐν, en, translated “in” here, can be translated into several English words. Translators had to decide which preposition to use to clearly represent what the original language intended. In this case several words were possible. According to Strong’s Greek Concordance, the preposition represents “a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state).”

Here are a few possible translations of ἐν: in, on, by, with, at, etc. If we were to use “on” the sun, that would mean the angel was physically standing on the sun itself, which is very unlikely. If we used prepositions in, by, or with the sun, that would place the angel in or near the position of the sun in the day time. That is the meaning of the phrase, that the angel is seen high in the sky like the sun is seen in the middle of the day. From that location, and because of the brightness of the angel (Zec 1:12; Luk 2:9; 24:4-5), he would be in the best position to call out to the predator and carrion birds

John quoted from Ezekiel 39:17, associating this battle with the one described in Ezekiel 38 and 39:

And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.

This supper has been rendered several ways in different translations. Examples are, banquet, feast, dinner, etc. The Greek word is used to denote the chief meal of the day, which is usually consumed in the evening. That is why there is a variety of English words used in the translation mostly about meals eaten in the evening.

All the birds” Not all birds are meat eaters. Some are seed eaters, others nectar consumers, others only consume insects, most of which do not have the ability to tear flesh away from a carcass and eat it. In parallel phrases in 1 Sam 17:46 and Eze 39:17-20, the Scriptures also include wild animals with the birds. Ezekiel wrote that all kinds of birds and all wild animals are called to this supper. This, of course, is possible if God were to supernaturally give all the birds and all the wild animals the capability of tearing and eating the flesh of carcasses. However, it is more likely that hyperbole is being used here, as in many places in Scripture, to draw attention to the seriousness and scope of God’s wrath.

We must note here that the battles of Ezekiel 38-39, Armageddon (Rev 16:16), here in chapter 19, and even in Revelation 20:9, are all related.

Let us note that there are two suppers mentioned here. The first is the Marriage supper of the Lamb, to which the entire body of believers in Christ are invited. This marriage supper will be nothing our imaginations can ever dream of, for as the Apostle Paul wrote, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (2 Cor 2:9). The second is the supper of the Great God, to which the angel invites birds of prey to consume the dead bodies of Christ’s enemies.

Revelation 19:18 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.

This continues the quote from Ezekiel 39:18-20:

“Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.”

See also Jer 34:18-20 Where God pronounces a similar judgment on the “princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land (Jer 34:18)” that broke the covenant they had with God:

And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof, The princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, which passed between the parts of the calf; I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of them that seek their life: and their dead bodies shall be for meat unto the fowls of the heaven, and to the beasts of the earth.”

These are the remains of the kings of earth and their armies from the whole world gathered together in Revelation 16:16, 19:19, and 20:9 in an attempt to defeat the omnipotent Christ. All those gathered against Christ will be destroyed: free men, slaves, small and great.

Revelation 19:19 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.

This is a recapitulation of Revelation 16:13-16 (see the notes there), and Revelation 20:8-15, is a recapitulation of both verses. See also Zec 15:3-5, All three verses are different views of the same conflict. The kings and their armies are gathered by the three demonic frog-like spirits (Rev 16:13). To recap, those frog-like spirits are demons that are sent forth from the Dragon, the beast, and the false prophet to gather the armies against Christ. The Hebrew word for frog is צפרדּע, tsephardea, a noun. It comes from the verb צפר, tsaphar, which means “to skip about.” That may well be one reason why John chose the word frog, because these demons skipped about to gather the armies against Christ. However, John may also have had in mind the Egyptian plague of frogs (Exo 8:6).

Is it difficult to imagine that men would gather together in armies to fight Christ? How could any man, knowing the power of God, ever hope to defeat His Christ? Many Westerners, especially socialists and Leftists, are professed atheists. They pooh-pooh what Christians believe. Yet many seem to really believe in the spirit world of the dead and in such things as life on other planets. Some believe that UFOs are the spacecraft of aliens that evolved on another world though they refuse to believe in God.

Many atheists actually hate the idea of God and His Christ because they despise the idea of an all-powerful God telling them what to do, regulating their morals, etc. They want to be left alone with their do-as-you-will immoral lifestyle. Atheism is about power, individualism, and absolute control over their own moral proclivities. Sexual mores are a powerful influence over folks that do not want God to regulate their sexual lifestyles.

Because of those things above, Satan has deceived unbelievers into believing that he, Satan or Lucifer, is the real God of creation (Isa 14:13 ) and Yahweh or Adonai is subservient to him. Satan, through his proxy the Man of Sin, “opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” (2 Thes 2:3-4).

As we saw with Mystery Babylon, where “all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxury” (Rev 18:3)

Those folks will not want to give up the things they can see and hold described here “cargoes of gold, silver, jewels and pearls, fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet, all kinds of scented wood, all articles of ivory, all articles of costly wood, bronze, iron, and marble, cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, olive oil, choice flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, slaves—and human lives” Rev 18:12-13).

That is the lifestyle they crave; they covet the sinful fruit their souls long for. They do not want to give up all the dainties and splendor that is the lifestyle they had with the Beast but without God. They are completely ignorant of the fact that the glories of Heaven way outstrip the worldly riches the nations crave (Revelation chapters 21 and 22; . It is not difficult to believe that these folks would stand up against the One they hate and try to defeat Him.

Islam professes a belief in Christ, but their Christ is much different than our true Christ. Their Christ, Isa, exhibits many attributes of our Antichrist. When our true Christ returns, many of the Muslims would believe that He is a false prophet but not their Isa. That would induce them fight against the true Christ, believing that their God, Allah, would give them the victory over this supposed usurper. Thus it is quite believable that there are many people that would join these armies to destroy the One they believe to be their enemy.

Revelation 19:20 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 worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Here are some descriptions of the fire at the end of the age:

  • The beast and false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire and will be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Rev 20:10)
  • Death and Hell will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:14)
  • The lake of fire is the second death (Rev 20:14)
  • All those not found in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev 20:15)
  • The cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake of fire (Rev 21:8)
  • The everlasting fire is prepared for the Devil and his angels (Mat 25:41)
  • In the Furnace of Fire will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Mat 15:30).

The everlasting fire, hell fire, furnace of fire, the fire prepared for the Devil and his angels, the lake of fire burning with brimstone, the lake of fire and brimstone, and the lake of fire are all the same fire. The fire that comes down from heaven (Rev 20:9) is the same type of heavenly fire as the lake of fire. Will it be a fire like that on earth when oxygen rapidly combines with fuel creating fire? No. That fire is temporal and it gives off light and heat. The fire at the end for the age is permanent, and burns even in total darkness (Mat 25:20), and is also hot (Luk 16:24).

Revelation 19:21 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.

The remnant are the armies that remain after the beast and false prophet are cast into the fire. Jesus then slays them with the sword of His mouth. Does the Lamb return with a literal sword projecting from His mouth? No. The Word of God is the Sword of the Spirit. This Sword is Jesus’ Word. He speaks and destroys these armies just as He spoke and the Universe came into existence. Jesus is the Word and He speaks the Word. See John 1:1-14.

This is finally the Supper of the Great God, see Ezekiel 39:17-21. The birds gorge upon the bodies from the army of the Dragon. That they are filled with the flesh of the dead bodies tell us that the flesh is no more. It is the end of the enemies of God so there will be no more war—all the armies would have ceased to exist. We will read of this battle from another perspective in the next chapter.

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