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. There is a celebration in heaven because evil has not triumphed.
We hear the praises from the nations who declare God as their salvation. The angels also all sing out in praise for the salvation, glory, and power of God.
His judgment of the prostitute who tarnished the earth with her infidelities is a true and just judgment.
In this crowd we also hear the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures as they sing, “Amen, Praise the Lord!”
We hear a voice from the throne inviting the whole earth to join in response of praise to God.
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. weddings in the near east is appropriate to help us get a better feel as to what is going on. A wedding celebration in Jesus’ time could last as long as a week. It was truly a festive celebration. From what we gather there was no religious ceremony that precedes the celebration. We do know the groom would get dressed up in his best outerwear and go to the parent’s house of the bride. He was accompanied by friends, musicians and torch bearers if it was nighttime. He received his bride from the parents and a celebration followed (signing of a contract or document of sorts did occur). In the evening the bride was escorted to the nuptial chamber by her parents, and the groom by his companions or the bride’s parents. On the next day the festivities were resumed, continuing for seven days. It was a festive time and the whole community celebrated it. The groom was the one who footed the bill and was expected to provide enough food and drinks for the whole party. To run out of supplies would be a huge embarrassment to the groom. It was possible for legal action to be taken against a family if they failed to provide enough food and drink for their guests.
By analogy, the church, espoused to Christ by faith, now awaits the (second-coming) when the heavenly groom (Jesus) will come for his bride and bring heaven to earth for the marriage feast that lasts for all eternity.
his bride has prepared herself. The bride, the wife, or the woman, here is the reverse of Babylon, the depraved woman. The white robe is symbolic for one’s standing before God. The readers are warned that sin contaminates their garments, thus making them unfit for entrance into God’s presence. Hence, they must wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb by receiving the benefits of Christ’s death. Thus, the cleansing allows access into the New Jerusalem. The white robes are given as a promise of resurrection for those who were martyred. Being clothed in splendor was a traditional way to refer to resurrection.
Vs 8: The prostitute who was once adorned with fine clothes and jewels is now in tatters and destitute is now contrasted with the church (the Bride of Christ) that is 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. In Revelation those invited to the Lamb’s wedding feast enjoy God’s kindness; they are “called” and “chosen” The Lamb’s wedding feast is gracious, in contrast to the “banquet” on the battlefield in the next scene, where the allies of evil are defeated and are devoured by birds.
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 sees a rider on a horse, the Messiah, Jesus Christ. John describes this rider’s 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 all kings; all authority and power are is his and his alone.
“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: According to Craig Koester, “There are two principal interpretations concerning the source of the blood. The most probable is that this is Christ’s own blood. Revelation says that Jesus’ blood advances God’s kingdom by delivering people from sin. Jesus’ blood makes the robes of the redeemed white, like the robes of those who follow him into battle. His blood also brings victory over evil, and here he defeats the satanic beast and false prophet. Since Christ appears in a bloodstained robe before the battle begins, the blood must be his own. A second interpretation is that it is the blood of Christ’s enemies. Revelation’s battle scene draws on Isa 63:1–3, in which God is portrayed as a warrior who has trampled the winepress of wrath so that his robes are red with the blood of his enemies. Since Jesus tramples the winepress in Rev 19:15, one might assume that his robe too is spattered with his adversaries’ blood.” 
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. Their “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.
This final picture of ruling with an iron scepter can also remind us of the words of Jesus who calls himself the Good Shepherd in the Gospels.
Jesus the Good Shepherd
John 10:14 - 18
Vs 14 - 15: “I am the Good Shepherd…” Jesus knows those who belong to him. Take a moment and let that sink in. If you are a believer in Jesus, it is because He called you by name, He chose you to be part of His flock; He willingly died for you so you can have an abundance of life.
The word “know” is an intimate word. It isn’t a general, “yeah I know her”, but has also been used as a Jewish idiom for intimate intercourse between a male and female. It is a type of “oneness”. Jesus is one with his flock.
Our relationship with Jesus could/should be the same as the relationship between the Father and the Son.
Vs 16: “I have sheep that are not of this fold…” refers to Gentiles. The Jew’s thought salvation was reserved for them alone because they were God’s chosen race. However, Jesus tells us there are some sheep who are not of this fold who will hear his voice and respond. Thankfully Jesus expands his folds to us who are not of the Jewish fold.
Vs 17 - 18: The Father and the Son’s love are directly linked to Jesus’ death and resurrection.
This is a very interesting passage to me because Jesus GIVES HIS LIFE (it is not taken from him) to be raised again. Jesus’ death AND resurrection has always been the plan. It has always been plan A, B & C. The resurrection was not something God thought of after Jesus was crucified. Jesus went to the cross knowing he would live again.
Verse 18 tells us so much about the death and resurrection. You have probably heard a discussion or read an article about “who killed Jesus?” Was it the Romans? Was it the Jews? Was it sin? Was it humanity? The answer is none of the above. Jesus was not killed; he gave his life… He laid it down. He did it on his own accord. Jesus had/has authority over death. He submitted to it on his terms. In the same sense Jesus has the authority for resurrection. This authority was given by the Father.
If Jesus has the authority over death and the resurrection in his life, can you trust he has authority over them in yours? Do you believe Jesus is willing and able to raise you up on the last day? We have no reason to fear death because death is subject to Jesus, and we are in Jesus, so death has no dominion over us. Sure, we will all die one day but we also live in the hope and expectation that we will also be resurrected through the authority of Jesus.
 Mounce, R. H. (1997). The Book of Revelation (p. 347). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
 Craig R. Koester, Revelation: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, ed. John J. Collins, vol. 38A, Anchor Yale Bible (New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2014), 756.
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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