In the previous verses (18:9 – 19) we read John’s account of how this judgment, or the fall of Rome was going to affect those who have allied themselves to Rome. In the remaining verses (21 – 24) we will see how Rome’s collapse happens from within, resulting in all business, art, and customs coming to an end.
Vs 21: Another mighty angel appears and takes a “huge millstone” and throws it into the water, never to be seen again. This represents the fall of Babylon (Rome). She will be cast out, forever lost and no one will ever be able to see this great city again. The angel violently throws the millstone into the sea. This emphasizes how quickly and astonishingly the judgment of God will be accomplished not only upon an ancient city but the entire ungodly and anti-Christian world who opposes God.
Vs 22 – 23: John describes the effects of the sudden overthrow of Rome. He describes numerous characteristics of everyday life in Rome that cease to exist.
Vs 23b: One of the reasons for this judgment was because of the deception of the nations, which Rome had accomplished by means of sorcery. It is unlikely that this means the actual practice of magic for the advantage of business, however dark magic was widely practiced in Rome. It is meant to indicate in a larger sense the art of deception by which Rome had enamored the nations into a fraudulent means of security, which led to merchants and allies viewing Rome as the eternal city.
Vs 24: The angel speaks about the blood of Christian martyrs that flowed in the streets of Rome. Rome’s guilt extends to all who have been slain upon the earth because she is the reigning sovereign of the entire world.
Vs 1 – 5: The “Song of Victory” breaks out in heaven which contrasts with the woes of the kings, merchants, and seafarers lose everything as a result from the fall of Rome.
Vs 6: John hears a sound like the sound of a vast crowd, like the roar of a mighty ocean waves, and the crash of thunder. Such a spectacle is appropriate for the proclamation that God has at last proven his worldwide reign on earth.
Vs. 7: The heavenly choir resumes its song of praise with the exhortation.
“Time has come for the wedding...” In biblical times a marriage involved two key factors… the betrothal and the wedding ceremony. These two were usually separated by a period of time during which the future bride and groom were considered husband and wife and as such were under the contracts of faithfulness. The wedding began with a procession to the bride’s house, which was followed by a return to the house of the groom for the marriage feast. By analogy, the church, espoused to Christ by faith, now awaits the (second-coming) when the heavenly groom will come for his bride and return to heaven for the marriage feast that lasts throughout eternity.
Vs 8: The prostitute who was once adorned with fine clothes and jewels is now in tatters and destitute is contrasted with the church (the Bride of Christ) that is now attired in linens of pure white. It is explained to John that the linen represents the good deeds of the saints.
Vs 9 – 10: John is told to write, “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” The church portrayed as both the bride and the guests who are invited to the wedding.
Overwhelmed, John falls and worships the angel, most likely mistaking the angel with Jesus. Immediately John is told not to worship him because he is a mere servant of God. Such an act of worship is unsuitable because the angel is also a fellow servant with John.
Vs 11: Without warning heaven opens and suddenly there appears a white horse whose rider (named Faithful and True) is ready to wage a righteous war and end the present age.
Vs 12: John describes the rider. The first thing that John describes about the rider on the horse is that his eyes were like flames of fire. This represents that nothing can be hidden from the Messiah. Upon his head are many crowns. This is an apparent contrast to the seven crowns of the dragon and the ten crowns of the beast out of the sea. Many crowns indicate unlimited power. He is King of kings; all authority is his.
“A name written on Him...” The most common understanding of this name is that it is a secret name whose meaning is hidden from all creation. It expresses the mystery of Christ. There will always be a mystery about Jesus that humanity will never fully grasp or understand.
Vs 13: The robe dipped in blood of that belongs to Jesus is not his own, but the blood of the enemy spilt in the war. This blood-stained robe symbolizes the victory of Jesus in the coming war.
Vs 14: One would think the heavenly army is composed of angels, but more likely refers to the “called, chosen and faithful” in Revelation 17 and this would certainly include the faithful martyrs. The “finest pure white linen” points to the righteousness of divine retribution.
Vs 15: “Strikes down nations with sword” - The sword represents the conquering power of his judgment through word. This is not a literal sword, but it is a fatal pronouncement that goes out like a sharp blade from the mouth of Christ.
“Rule with an Iron scepter” - To rule with an iron scepter means to obliterate rather than to govern in a harsh manner. Just like the shepherd, he not only leads his flock to pasture but defends the sheep from predatory animals. His rod is a weapon of retaliation. Jesus’ rod is a scepter of iron; that is, it is resilient and unbending in its judgment.
 Mounce, R. H. (1997). The Book of Revelation (p. 339). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
 Mounce, R. H. (1997). The Book of Revelation (p. 347). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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