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Read Introduction to Revelation

 

“Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.” And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh”


Now we come to the destruction of the armies of the world at the last great battle. This is the war to end all wars. This war will end civilization as we know it. The battle of Armageddon follows the second Coming of Christ. The battle begins before He comes. When He comes, He will end the war by military prowess.

19:17

Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God,

An angel calls for vultures to come to have a great feast of soldiers supplied by God. This is a slaughter of the armies of the world, the Battle of Armageddon in the land of Palestine (Ezekiel 38,39; Joel 2; Daniel 11; Isaiah 24).

The “supper of the great God” is very different from the marriage supper of the Lamb (19:9). The supper of God is the destruction of the armies of the world on earth. The marriage supper of the Lamb is a celebration of the saints in heaven.

19:18

“that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great”

The plentiful menu for vultures consists of flesh of kings, captains, mighty men, horses and their riders, and finally all sorts of people.

19:19

And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

The ruler of the Revived Roman Empire will build up his troops to fight against the army of Christ. This is “the battle on the great day of God Almighty” (19:14, 19-21). Two million soldiers gather together to make war with the Lamb.

19:20

Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.

In the battle, Christ captures the ruler of the Revived Roman Empire and his false prophet. This signals the final defeat of Satan and his program for earth.

These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Jesus throws both the ruler of the Revived Roman Empire and the false prophet alive into the fiery lake of burning brimstone (sulfur). Up to this time in history, no one is in the lake of fire. They were in Sheol (Hades). This fiery lake is a place prepared for the Devil and his demons (Matthew 25:41). Homo sapiens will not occupy that lake until later (20:14-15).

19:21

And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh

Jesus kills the remaining armies with His sword. This is a picture of Jesus as a Mighty Warrior, not the normal depiction of Him by the media or even evangelicals themselves.

Principle:

God consistently holds in tension His justice and His love.

Application:

The same Bible that depicts God as love also demonstrates His righteousness, justice and truth. God is a God of grace, but that grace has run its course for world history. At this point in history [chapter 19], there is no more grace. God gave abundant opportunities for mankind to accept His grace. Human beings in obstinacy refused God’s grace. God’s longsuffering finally comes to an end. “Pay day someday” has finally come. God now enters the final judicial phrase of His sovereignty over earth.

The book of Revelation presents the plain, bald facts of the Bible. To keep these things from people is to be unfaithful to reality and to God’s Word.

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