Victory Is Declared
The harlot has been judged and the martyrs have been avenged. These are the martyrs who had cried out “How long?” (Revelation 6:10). Shouts of praise, “Alleluia” rise up. The word “alleluia” is found only here and in the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament. It literally means “praise God.” God is praised for the salvation, the glory, and the power that belongs to Him. God is praised for His judgments. Then a third hallelujah is given with “amen” added. Amen, which means “So be it,” indicates that it has been completed.
The first two praises come from the great multitude in heaven, who have died and gone on before. The third praise comes from the cherubim and the 24 elders. Then God calls from the throne for praise and from a great multitude comes thunderous praise. Most take this to be the people of the earth (Revelation 17:15).
Under the Old Testament, the nation of Israel was the bride of God (Jeremiah 3:20; Isaiah 54:1). She was divorced because of her adultery (Jeremiah 3:8). A new, virgin woman takes her place (II Corinthians 11:2).
The persecutions had interfered with the growth and development of Christ’s bride. This can now continue unimpeded. In a sense, this whole age is the marriage feast of the Lamb. Each new Christian, upon baptism, is joined to Christ. They enter a covenant relationship with Christ, much like a marriage relationship. However, the bride, the church, is not complete until all who will have joined. The final marriage is yet to be, this is the engagement time, much like the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13).
John is again commanded to write what he has seen and given assurance that the words are true. But John falls down in worship before the speaker. Why he did so is a mystery. Surely John knows that only God is to be worshiped (Matthew 4:10). However, the warning is clear and needs emphasizing. Idolatry comes in many forms. God alone is to be worshiped. Historically it is interesting that after these triumphs, the church strays and the corruption takes on forms of idolatry – just what God warns against.
Jesus, the Conquering Warrior
John sees heaven opened and sees Jesus riding in on a white horse. As we mentioned before, a white horse was used for a conqueror (Revelation 6:1-2). His eyes are like fire; in other words, penetrating. He sees all, even through darkness (Revelation 1:14; 2:18). Upon his head are many diadems, indicating that he rules over many kingdoms. The truth is that Jesus rules the world. He is head over all things (Ephesians 1:22). Satan wore seven crowns, the sea beast ten crowns, but Jesus wears many more. With the number not specified, it indicates an unlimited rule. Jesus’ garments are dripping in blood, meaning he just returned from battle (Isaiah 63:1-6).
Jesus has a name written on him that only he knows. In other words, no man can fully grasp who Jesus is; yet, we are then told that his name is the Word of God (John 1:1) and later we are told that the name written on his robe and thigh is “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”
He is followed by a heavenly army (Ephesians 6:10-18). From his mouth comes a sharp sword, with which he smites nations (Isaiah 11:3-5). Notice that this cannot be the end of the world since the nations still exist to be smitten. He rules with a rod of iron (Psalms 2:8-9). He treads the winepress of God’s wrath.
A feast is declared for the birds of prey to celebrate the triumph over God’s enemies (Ezekiel 39:17-20). Those respected are given a decent burial, but the despised are left for the wild beasts and birds to eat.
The enemy, though defeated, has not given up. The beast (the government of Rome) and the false prophet (the false religion of Rome) are cast into a lake of fire. The others who followed after them are killed by the sword of Christ’s mouth and are eaten by vultures.
Finally, the source of all these problems - the dragon himself (Satan) is locked up in an abyss for 1000 years. His work is restricted, though not ended. The purpose of the binding is so he will no longer deceive the nations. Just before the end, he will be released for a short time. The thousand years is symbolic and not a precise measurement of time. One thousand represents all of a kind (Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalms 50:10). In this case, it means all the years remaining in this age.