"Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."
Revelation 19 - Quick Links
Revelation 19:1 - After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God!"
John's attention is drawn toward Heaven after Babylon's destruction, when he hears a loud unified voice of a great multitude in Heaven erupting in praise to the Lord. Earlier, we saw a great multitude of Tribulation saints in Heaven praising God for His salvation, glory, honor, and power among other themes:
Revelation 7:9-14 - After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen." Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?" And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
As discussed in Revelation 4:8, the four living creatures, who represent the Old Testament saints, and the twenty-four elders, who represent the Church saints also praised God in a unified voice for His glory, honor, and power because He is the Creator of all:
Revelation 4:8-11 - The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!" Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: "You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created."
The Lord created all things so that He might have "preeminence," or absolute dominion over all, made possible through His work on the cross (Colossians 1:16-20). Salvation also belongs to the Lord because He paid the price on the cross as the sacrificial Lamb of God:
Revelation 5:8-13 - Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth." saying with a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!" And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!"
"Alleluia" is a transliteration of the Hebrew phrase "hallelujah" that means "praise the Lord." This phrase is found 24 times in Psalms 104-106, 111-117, 135, 145-150 and 4 times in Revelation 19 (curiously we find the same numbers in the 24 elders and the 4 living creatures):
Revelation 19:1-6 - After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, "Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her." Again they said, "Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!" And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, "Amen! Alleluia!" Then a voice came from the throne, saying, "Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!" And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!"
So, while the earth dwellers are lamenting saying "alas!" or "woe!" over the Lord's judgment (Revelation 18:9-19), the redeemed saints in Heaven praise Him for it with "alleluia!" The Hebrew phrase "hallelujah" translated "praise the Lord" in the following psalm fits with the context of what is unfolding on the earth in the Lord's judgment on the wicked:
Psalms 104:35 - May sinners be consumed from the earth, and the wicked be no more. Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD!
As we will see in the next several sections, the multitude of redeemed saints give praise to the Lord because He will avenge and reward his servants, destroy His enemies, and establish His kingdom on earth. This scene parallels the "coronation of the King":
Revelation 11:15-18 - Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and reigned. The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth."
As discussed in Revelation 11:15-18, the "coronation of the King" is part of an interlude that gives us more information about the activities in the last half of the Tribulation:
Recall from the "Revelation Introduction," an interlude gives us more information or a different perspective to the narrative. In other words, an interlude is a background story to the narrative, with clear indications that each interlude reaches back or forward in time, and generally returns to where the primary narrative left off. So, the "coronation of the King" in Revelation 11:15-18 gives us more information about the narrative scene in Heaven in Revelation 19, where Jesus is about to return to the earth to judge His enemies in wrath and reward His servants.
Revelation 19:2 - "For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her."
The Lord judges in truth and righteousness:
Deuteronomy 32:3-4 - For I proclaim the name of the LORD: Ascribe greatness to our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He.
Psalms 19:9-10 - The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Psalms 96:10, 13 - Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns; the world also is firmly established, it shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples righteously...." For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with His truth.
Psalms 119:137-138, 142, 160 - Righteous are You, O LORD, and upright are Your judgments.... Your testimonies, which You have commanded, are righteous and very faithful.... Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is truth.... The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.
Isaiah 16:5 - "In mercy the throne will be established; and One will sit on it in truth, in the tabernacle of David, judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness."
Jeremiah 4:1-2 - "If you will return, O Israel," says the LORD, "Return to Me; and if you will put away your abominations out of My sight, then you shall not be moved. And you shall swear, 'The LORD lives,' In truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; the nations shall bless themselves in Him, and in Him they shall glory."
Zechariah 8:7-8 - "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; I will bring them back, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. They shall be My people and I will be their God, in truth and righteousness.'"
The Lord's judgments are true and righteous because they are just, meaning the verdict is accurate and the punishment fits the transgression. For example, after the second and third Bowl judgments, the Lord gives the earth dwellers only blood to drink because they shed the blood of His saints:
Revelation 16:5-7 - And I heard the angel of the waters saying: "You are righteous, O Lord, the One who is and who was and who is to be, because You have judged these things. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due." And I heard another from the altar saying, "Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments."
The Lord's judgment on Babylon fulfilled His promise to avenge His servants martyred at the beginning of the Tribulation by the earth dwellers who follow the "great harlot" Babylon:
Revelation 6:9-11 - When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
Recall from Revelation 17:2, the "great harlot" will make the nations "drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication," which means she will entice the nations to follow idols in spiritual harlotry, leading to global moral corruption or depravity, and then to God's judgment. The "great harlot" also becomes drunk with the blood of the saints, directing those who follower her to commit demonic, irrational, senseless murder due to her depravation and rebellion against God:
Revelation 17:1-2, 6 - Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, "Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication...." I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.
Therefore, God's vengeance against the earth dwellers for His saints is righteous:
2 Thessalonians 1:6-8 - ...since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Revelation 19:11 - Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.
This great multitude in Heaven praises the Lord in response to His final judgment on those who persecuted and martyred His servants:
Deuteronomy 32:43 - "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement for His land and His people."
Revelation 18:20-21 - "Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!" Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, "Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore."
The multitude in Heaven again praise the Lord saying: "Alleluia!" for taking vengeance on the "great harlot" Babylon, whose smoke from her destruction will rise up forever. The earth dwellers will first follow the "great harlot" until the kings of the earth destroy her (Revelation 17:15-17), and then they will follow and worship the beast and take his mark (Revelation 13:14-17). Recall that God will pour out His wrath with fire and brimstone on those who reject Him and take the mark of the beast in the Tribulation, and the "smoke of their torment will ascend forever and ever":
Revelation 14:8-11 - And another angel followed, saying, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."
As discussed in Revelation 14:11, the continual ascending smoke shows that the beast worshippers are eternally tormented - "their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched" (Isaiah 66:24, Mark 9:43-48). Torment is the process whereby those who reject Christ's atoning sacrifice continually burn in God's refining fire to pay the price for their sin. Their spirit bodies, or their "worm," act as a perpetual fuel for the fire to burn. The smoke is a byproduct of torment or the process of destruction - there is no annihilation, but eternal suffering. These tormented souls have "no rest day or night," which reinforces the fact that their torment is eternal and never ends.
God will send eternal judgment on the beast worshippers, but we see in Revelation 14:8 that He will also judge the "great harlot" Babylon for corrupting the earth with her fornication. God will avenge His martyred saints and judge both the leaders of the harlot religion and the beast worshippers who are responsible for persecuting and killing the saints in the Tribulation. Note that the smoke of the "great harlot" also "rises up forever and ever" which shows that the leaders of this harlot religion will suffer the same eternal torment as the beast worshippers. God will also destroy the city itself with fire:
Revelation 18:9-10 - "The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.'"
Babylon's destruction is so great, and the smoke and fire so hot, that the kings of the earth physically have to stand at a distance because they fear getting engulfed in the tormenting flame. These kings may survive the "torment" of the city's destruction, but soon they will suffer the eternal torment because they gave their power and allegiance to the beast (Revelation 17:17).
Revelation 19:4 - And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, "Amen! Alleluia!"
Recall from Revelation 4:8 that the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures represent the redeemed saints before the throne of God in Heaven. In every scene of praise in Revelation we see one or both groups falling down in worship:
Revelation 4:9-11 - Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: "You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created."
Revelation 5:13-14 - And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!" Then the four living creatures said, "Amen!" And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.
Revelation 7:11-12 - All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen."
Revelation 11:16-17 - And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and reigned."
As discussed in Revelation 4:10, the Greek word translated "worship" literally means "to kiss towards." It comes with the meaning to pay homage, show devotion, or reverent adoration. Recall from Revelation 1:7 that "amen" is a Hebrew declaration used at the end of benedictions throughout the New Testament. "Amen" is also the standard ending to prayer which means "so be it" (Numbers 5:22), and is often translated as "truly" or "verily," and in Revelation 19:1 we saw that "alleluia" is transliterated from the Hebrew "hallelujah," and is also translated "praise the Lord."
Revelation 19:5 - Then a voice came from the throne, saying, "Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!"
After the seventh angel pours out his bowl, a loud voice is heard from the throne in the temple in Heaven:
Revelation 16:17 - Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!"
This is the voice of God because no one else could enter the temple since the glory of the Lord filled it with smoke until the seven Bowl judgments were completed at the very end of the Tribulation, where we currently are in the narrative of our study:
Revelation 15:8 - The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.
The passage below explicitly states that the voice from the temple is the Lord speaking at the time of His vengeance:
Isaiah 66:6 - The sound of noise from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the LORD, who fully repays His enemies!
It might seem odd for Jesus to tell His servants to "praise our God," as He is also of the Godhead deserving of praise, but Jesus directing people to worship "our God" is no different than instructing them how to worship the Father, as Jesus often did during His ministry:
Matthew 5:16 - Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 22:36 - "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'
Luke 11:1-2 - Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples." So He said to them, "When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
John 4:23-24 - "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
God's servants who praise and fear Him are from all statures, walks of life, and nationalities - commoner and noble, poor and prosperous, young and old, small and great:
Revelation 14:6-7 - Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people - saying with a loud voice, "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water."
Psalms 148:11-14 - Kings of the earth and all peoples; princes and all judges of the earth; both young men and maidens; old men and children. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for His name alone is exalted; His glory is above the earth and heaven. And He has exalted the horn of His people, the praise of all His saints - of the children of Israel, a people near to Him. Praise the LORD!
Psalms 22:23-29 - You who fear the LORD, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, and fear Him, all you offspring of Israel! For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from Him; But when He cried to Him, He heard. My praise shall be of You in the great assembly; I will pay My vows before those who fear Him. The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek Him will praise the LORD. Let your heart live forever! All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the kingdom is the LORD's, and He rules over the nations. all the prosperous of the earth shall eat and worship; all those who go down to the dust shall bow before Him, even he who cannot keep himself alive.
Psalms 115:11-16 - You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield. The LORD has been mindful of us; He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel; He will bless the house of Aaron. He will bless those who fear the LORD, both small and great. May the LORD give you increase more and more, you and your children. May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth. The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD's; but the earth He has given to the children of men.
Revelation 11:18 - "The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth."
God's servants have a reverent fear of Him, and their natural response is to praise Him:
Revelation 15:4 - "Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested."
The "fear of God" leads to salvation:
Psalms 27:1 - A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalms 85:9 - Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land.
Isaiah 33:6 - Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; the fear of the LORD is His treasure.
Malachi 3:14-18 - "You have said, 'It is useless to serve God; what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked as mourners before the LORD of hosts? So now we call the proud blessed, for those who do wickedness are raised up; they even tempt God and go free.'" Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name. "They shall be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him." Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.
Acts 13:26 - "Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent."
Unfortunately, many people both "small and great" and of all classes and nationalities of people choose not to fear God. Many will reject His offer of salvation, worship the beast, die in rebellion against God, and become separated eternally from Him:
Revelation 13:15-17 - He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Revelation 19:17-18 - 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, 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."
Revelation 20:12, 15 - And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.... And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 19:6 - And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!"
As discussed in Revelation 19:1, the voice of the multitude in Heaven praising the Lord is the unified voice of the redeemed saints. The sound of the voice of the great multitude is like the sound of many waters and mighty thunderings. The Lord's voice is also described like many waters (Revelation 1:15, Psalms 93:3-4, Jeremiah 51:16, Ezekiel 1:24, 43:2) and like mighty thunder (1 Samuel 2:10, Job 37:2-5, Psalms 18:7-14, 77:16-20). But we also see that the living creatures have a thunderous voice and the 144,000 have a voice like many waters and loud thunder like the Lord, which indicates that the saints will be given a loud voice like their Redeemer:
Revelation 6:1 - Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, "Come and see."
Revelation 14:1-3 - Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father's name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps. They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.
This is the fourth and last time the redeemed saints praise the Lord saying: "Alleluia!" They praise the Lord God for His omnipotence. The Greek word translated "omnipotent" is translated "almighty" elsewhere in Scripture and can mean ruler of all, the one who holds all, and the one exercising absolute dominion and sovereignty with unrestricted power, as discussed in Revelation 1:8. The Lord has always had dominion and sovereignty over His creation and the world and has paid the redemption price to restore it. But the Lord has also given leeway for Satan and man to rule over the world until He returns to judge and evict His enemies and establish His kingdom on the earth:
1 Corinthians 15:24 - Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.
It will certainly be a day for the saints to praise the Almighty, when He wields His power to reign and judge on the earth in righteousness because His will is going to finally be done on Earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:9-10, Luke 11:2):
Revelation 11:16-17 - And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and reigned."
1 Chronicles 29:11-13 - Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. "Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name."
Psalms 47:6-8 - Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with understanding. God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne.
Psalms 96:10 - Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns; the world also is firmly established, it shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples righteously."
Psalms 146:10 - The LORD shall reign forever - Your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!
Isaiah 24:21-23 - It shall come to pass in that day that the LORD will punish on high the host of exalted ones, and on the earth the kings of the earth. They will be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and will be shut up in the prison; after many days they will be punished. Then the moon will be disgraced and the sun ashamed; for the LORD of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders, gloriously.
Luke 1:31-33 - "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."
Romans 15:10-12 - And again he says: "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!" And again: "Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!" And again, Isaiah says: "There shall be a root of Jesse; and He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in Him the Gentiles shall hope."
10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
Revelation 19:7 - "Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready."
Recall from Revelation 5:5, Jesus is the sinless kinsman redeemer to Adam, therefore, Jesus is able to redeem and reconcile mankind to the Father through His blood, providing the way of salvation:
Colossians 1:19-20 - For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
So, the heavenly multitude is glad and rejoices because the Lord comes to reign in righteousness, as discussed in Revelation 19:6, and because of His salvation:
1 Chronicles 16:31 - Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; and let them say among the nations, "The LORD reigns."
Psalms 32:11 - Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Psalms 40:16 - Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; let such as love Your salvation say continually, "The LORD be magnified!"
Psalms 70:4 - Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; and let those who love Your salvation say continually, "Let God be magnified!"
Isaiah 25:9 - And it will be said in that day: "Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation."
As our kinsman redeemer, Jesus will take the Church as His bride, like Boaz did who was Ruth's kinsman redeemer (Ruth 4):
2 Corinthians 11:2 - For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Ephesians 5:25-32 - Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
It might seem odd to think about Jesus being "married" to the Church. However, God created marriage on the earth as a pattern after the relationship He intended for us to have with Him. The following diagrams illustrate this biblical relationship:
As discussed in "The Traditional Jewish Wedding" study, Jesus will follow the ancient Jewish tradition of marriage to the Church as shown below:
John 15:16 - You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
Romans 8:29 - For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
1 Corinthians 6:20 - For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Peter 1:18-19 - ...knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
Matthew 26:28 - For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Romans 10:9 - ...if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Luke 22:20 - Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you."
Ephesians 1:13-14 - In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
1 Corinthians 12:7-10 - But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
Acts 2:38 - Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
Ephesians 5:25-27 - Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
John 14:2-3 - In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
Hebrews 10:19-25 - Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 - For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Matthew 25:6-10 - "And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!' Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.' And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut."
Ephesians 5:31-32 - "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
John 14:2-3 - In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
In the ancient Jewish wedding, the couple emerged from the marriage chamber at the father's house after 7 days to celebrate with guests at a feast. Similarly, in a parallel to the procession and consummation period of the ancient marriage custom, Christ will take the Church to Heaven to the chambers He built for His bride in the Father's house (John 14:2-3) during the 7-year Tribulation, or the "indignation," the period of God's wrath on all the earth dwellers:
Isaiah 26:20-21 - Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. For behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain.
Jesus is the Lamb who redeemed his wife with His blood and He will return to the earth with her for the marriage supper. The multitude in Heaven is elated to celebrate this union between Christ and His wife the Church in a reception that will take place on the earth with invited guests, as we will discuss in a few sections:
Revelation 19:9 - Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God.""
Just like a bride who prepares herself for her wedding, the Church will also prepare herself by dressing in fine linen that is granted, or given to her. As we will discuss in the next section, the fine linen represents salvation (Revelation 19:8). There are three steps in the process of salvation of a believer as explained below:
The decision to submit to Christ during the sanctification process, after accepting the free gift of salvation, is the only part a believer does on their own accord - and that is how the Church makes herself ready. Christ does the rest to prepare His bride to sanctify her to make her holy:
Ephesians 5:24-27 - Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
The Lord is able to sanctify the Church through the convicting power of His word which helps molds believers to become more like Him:
1 John 3:2-3 - Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
God's word teaches believers to submit to walk in the Spirit so they will not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-25). When believers submit to Christ they will naturally work to separate themselves from the world and the filthiness of the flesh, walking more in the Spirt because they fear God:
2 Corinthians 6:14-16, 7:1 - Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people...." Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
The more believers separate themselves from the works of the flesh, the more useful they are to do the good works Christ has prepared for them to do as vessels of honor:
Ephesians 2:10 - For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
2 Timothy 2:19-20 - Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity." But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.
Later, an angel shows John the New Jerusalem, the home of the Lamb's wife. Note that the city is also made ready, or prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, like the Church, the Lamb's wife:
Revelation 21:2, 9 - Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.... Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb's wife."
The city isn't clothed in fine linen like the Lamb's wife, but adorned in precious stones and metals:
Revelation 21:10-11 - And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.
Revelation 21:18-21 - The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
In the next section we will see that the Church is also adorned with crowns made with precious stones and metals, in addition to the fine linen she is granted to wear.
Revelation 19:8 - And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
The wife of the Lamb is granted to wear fine linen that represents the "righteous acts of the saints." The phrase translated "righteous acts" means justification, or acquittal from condemnation (source). In other words, it is not the righteous acts that the saints do, but the righteousness of Christ imputed to the saints that justifies them before God:
Romans 3:21-26 - But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Justification before God is only granted through Christ's righteousness, because no one but Him is righteous:
Isaiah 64:6 - But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Romans 3:10 - As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one...."
The atoning power of Christ's blood is able to reconcile believers to God and to redeem them through salvation, making them righteous before God:
Romans 5:8-14 - But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned - (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
Romans 5:15-19 - But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21 - Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
The fine linen granted to the bride is "bright." The Greek word translated "bright" can also mean shining, or glistening white, and is the same word used to describe the clothing of the angel who appeared to Cornelius and the seven angels who bear the seven Bowl judgments:
Acts 10:30-31 - So Cornelius said, "Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God.'"
Revelation 15:6 - And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands.
So, the saints will wear glistening bright white linen like the angels, which is consistent with earlier passages that reveal all the saints from all dispensations wear white robes:
Revelation 4:4 - Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.
Revelation 6:11 - And there was given them to each one a white robe; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little time, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, who should be killed even as they were, should have fulfilled their course.
Revelation 7:9 - After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands.
Recall from Revelation 1:14, white represents cleansing from sin:
Isaiah 1:18 - "Come now, and let us reason together," says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool."
Psalms 51:5-7 - Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Revelation 7:13-14 - Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?" And I said to him, "Sir, you know." So he said to me, "These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
Cleansing from sin is possible only by the atoning power of the blood of the Lamb:
Hebrews 9:11-14 - But Christ having come a high priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling them that have been defiled, sanctify unto the cleanness of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
1 John 1:7 - But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Therefore, being granted to wear a clean garment symbolizes salvation because our sin in cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. Recall from Revelation 3:5, all overcomers, those who believe Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 5:4-5) lose their defiled garments upon salvation, as illustrated by Joshua the high priest in the passage below. A change of garments, from defiled to clean, is a picture of the removal of iniquity though the salvation process:
Zechariah 3:1-4 - Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?" Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, "Take away the filthy garments from him." And to him He said, "See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes."
Holy angels do not need salvation because they have not sinned, but since holy angels are pure and undefiled, they also wear white and clean garments like the saints. Later, we see that the armies in Heaven, which include both holy angels and saints wear clean and white linen garments:
Revelation 19:14 - And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
After being clothed in new eternal bodies and garments of salvation, the Church saints will appear before the judgment seat of Christ:
2 Corinthians 5:1-10 - For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
At the judgment seat of Christ, the Church saints will stand before Jesus at the "bema," the Greek word for "judgment seat." In the ancient Olympics, judges awarded ivy crowns, called stephanos to the winners of the various events at the "bema." They still do this at the Olympics and other athletic events today, using medals instead of crowns. The reward to each saint is based on the motive of the heart:
1 Corinthians 4:5 - Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God.
1 Peter 1:6-9 - In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith - the salvation of your souls.
The Lord tests each person's work in a refining fire like that used to purify precious metals and stones:
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 - According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Christ has laid the foundation crown that represents Christ and His salvation. Church saints can build on Christ's foundation crown with good works. The gold, silver, and precious stones that survive the refining fire are rewards for good works that will adorn each believer's foundation crown. Isaiah described how the Lord covers His bride with a robe of righteousness and that she adorns herself with jewels. The jewels are the rewards of the bride's works that show evidence of her faith (James 2:14-26):
Isaiah 61:10-11 - I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
Believers can also add other crowns to the foundation crown as rewards for specific good works, as described below:
James 1:12 - Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
Revelation 2:10 - Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 - Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
1 Thessalonians 2:17-20 - But we, brethren, having been taken away from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavored more eagerly to see your face with great desire. Therefore we wanted to come to you - even I, Paul, time and again-but Satan hindered us. For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy.
Philippians 4:1 - Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.
1 Peter 5:2-4 - Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
2 Timothy 4:8 - Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Incidentally, deities and leaders of many of the false religions wear layered crowns, which might be Satan's counterfeit of the reward the Lord has for His bride (Sources: 1 2). As discussed in Revelation 17:4, Satan always counterfeits God's design and tries to pervert it.
Recall from Revelation 19:7 that the New Jerusalem is adorned with precious metals and stones just like the Lamb's wife (Revelation 21:10-11, 18-21). In another satanic counterfeit, Babylon the "great harlot" and the city are clothed and adorned similar to the Lamb's wife and the New Jerusalem:
Revelation 17:4 - The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.
Revelation 18:16 - ...and saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls!'
Also similar to the New Jerusalem, the temple was adorned with gold and precious stones and marble (1 Chronicles 29:2), and the tapestries of the temple and garments of the high priest were woven with fine linen (Exodus 26:31-36, 28:8-15, 39, Leviticus 16:4). Also, Israel was God's wife like the Church is the Lamb's wife, but Israel played the harlot and the Lord divorced her:
Jeremiah 3:8 - Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce....
Ezekiel 16:8-15 - "When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine," says the Lord GOD. "Then I washed you in water; yes, I thoroughly washed off your blood, and I anointed you with oil. I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk. I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate pastry of fine flour, honey, and oil. You were exceedingly beautiful, and succeeded to royalty. Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you," says the Lord GOD. "But you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot because of your fame, and poured out your harlotry on everyone passing by who would have it."
Hosea 2:1-2 - Say to your brethren, 'My people,' and to your sisters, 'Mercy is shown.' "Bring charges against your mother, bring charges; for she is not My wife, nor am I her Husband! Let her put away her harlotries from her sight...."
But God will restore Israel as His wife:
Hosea 2:16-20, 23 - "And it shall be, in that day," Says the LORD, "That you will call Me 'My Husband,' and no longer call Me 'My Master,' for I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, and they shall be remembered by their name no more. In that day I will make a covenant for them... "I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know the LORD.... Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, and I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; then I will say to those who were not My people, 'You are My people!' and they shall say, 'You are my God!'"
God will rejoice over His people as a bridegroom over his bride, and He will also restore the earthly temple (Ezekiel 40-44) and earthly city of Jerusalem in the Millennium:
Isaiah 62:1-7 - For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns. The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD will name. You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem In the hand of your God. You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you; and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
In contrast to God's redeeming of Israel and the Church through the righteousness of Christ, the Lord will destroy the "great harlot" and the city Babylon.
Revelation 19:9 - Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' " And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God."
As discussed in Revelation 19:7, the Jewish wedding tradition shows that the marriage supper is a wedding reception where guests are invited to come celebrate the union of the Lamb and His wife. The angel who had one of the seven Bowl judgments, speaking to John since Revelation 17:1, tells him to write that those called to the marriage supper of the Lamb are blessed. Christ is the one who calls people to come to His wedding supper:
Revelation 3:20 - Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.
The Lord sends His servants to deliver His invitation to the marriage supper, but many refuse to come. Jesus spoke about the invitation to His marriage supper in the parables below:
Luke 14:15-20 - Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!" Then He said to him, "A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, 'Come, for all things are now ready.' But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.' And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.' Still another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.'
Luke 14:21-24 - So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.' And the servant said, 'Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.' Then the master said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.'"
Matthew 22:1-7 - And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: "The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come. Again, he sent out other servants, saying, 'Tell those who are invited, "See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding." ' But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
Matthew 22:8-14 - Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.' So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. "But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' "For many are called, but few are chosen."
The Lord is the master and the king in the parables. The Holy Spirit is the servant in the parable in Luke. In the Matthew parable, the king sends out three rounds of servants. The first round of servants sent out was John the Baptist and his disciples (Matthew 3, Luke 7). Their kingdom message was widely rejected. The second round of servants sent out and killed was the Lord's disciples (Luke 10, John 20). The disciples were all martyred except John, and Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans about forty years after the Jewish leaders rejected and crucified Jesus. The last round of servants sent out are the 144,000 Jewish servants of God who are successful in gathering together a multitude (Revelation 7) to attend the wedding supper in the kingdom.
So, we see that those who accept the invitation to the marriage supper will include saints from all dispensations. The bride is obviously called to the marriage supper as the guest of honor, while saints from other dispensations are the guests who attend the celebration. The passages below show that the Old Testament saints, including John the Baptist who calls himself a friend of the bridegroom will attend the marriage celebration:
John 3:29 - He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled.
Matthew 8:10-12 - When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Isaiah 25:6-7 - And in this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all people a feast of choice pieces, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of well-refined wines on the lees. And He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations.
The Tribulation saints will also attend the marriage supper as guests:
Luke 12:35-37 - "Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them."
Note in the parable above that the wedding itself had already taken place, but the master invited his servants to come dine with him after the wedding. This reveals that the marriage between the Church and Christ is in Heaven, and then they will return to celebrate their marriage in a wedding reception on the earth with the saints from other dispensations. The gathering of all the saints from all dispensations at the marriage supper fulfills the following prophecy where Christ will gather together all things in Heaven and on Earth in Him:
Ephesians 1:7-10 - In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth - in Him.
As discussed in Revelation 7:9, when the Lord assembles the saints from all dispensations and establishes His kingdom on earth, He will fulfill the Feast of Tabernacles, where He comes to "tabernacle" or "dwell" with His people. At the marriage supper Christ will once again drink of the vine, in celebration of His union with His people and to mark the beginning of His kingdom on the earth:
Luke 22:15-18 - Then He said to them, "With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."
Matthew 26:29 - "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."
The angel tells John that what he wrote down about the marriage supper are the "true sayings of God." As discussed in Revelation 1:5, it is impossible for God to lie, so Jesus is the faithful witness in truth, not solely His own witness, but also that of the Godhead. Therefore, we can trust that what God says is true, not just about the blessing for those called to the marriage supper of the Lamb, but that all of God's word is true:
2 Samuel 7:28 - "And now, O Lord GOD, You are God, and Your words are true, and You have promised this goodness to Your servant."
Psalms 119:159-160 - Consider how I love Your precepts; revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness. The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.
John 17:17 - Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
Revelation 21:5 - Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."
Revelation 22:6 - Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true." And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.
Revelation 19:10 - And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
John suddenly falls at the feet of the angel speaking to him since Revelation 17:1, to worship him. The angel rebukes John, but later he falls down to worship the same angel a second time:
Revelation 22:6, 8-9 - Then he said to me, "These words are faithful and true." And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.... Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, "See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God."
John interacts with other angels throughout Revelation, so it begs the question what is different about this angel and why does he bow down and try to worship him twice? Perhaps John got caught up in the moment after the glorious things the angel showed him, but he does not explain why he tries to worship the angel. John's behavior though shows how easy the godliest of men, even a prophet can fall short in discernment in certain situations.
The angel is quick to rebuke John for trying to worship him because worship belongs solely to God. While John was clearly a fallible servant of God who made mistakes, much of humankind has outright rejected God, and all through history they have worshiped the creation even though they inherently knew God, therefore, they have no excuse:
Romans 1:20-25 - For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man - and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
But Paul had to warn believers not to worship angels, or they could lose their reward (Revelation 19:8):
Colossians 2:18 - Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.
God created angels along with the rest of the hosts of heaven - the sun, the moon, and the stars:
Deuteronomy 4:15-19 - "Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish that is in the water beneath the earth. And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the LORD your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage."
All of creation, including the sun, moon, stars and angels, were made to give glory and praise to God:
Psalms 19:1-5 - The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
Psalms 148:1-5 - Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise Him in the heights! Praise Him, all His angels; praise Him, all His hosts! Praise Him, sun and moon; praise Him, all you stars of light! Praise Him, you heavens of heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created.
However, Satan, or Lucifer was in the highest of angelic ranks, but he fell and pride made him think he could be like God:
Isaiah 14:12-14 - "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.'"
Satan even tried to get Jesus to worship him, but the Lord reminded the devil that only God is to be worshipped:
Matthew 4:8-10 - Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, "All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'"
After Paul miraculously healed a man, the people of Lystra tried to worship Paul and Barnabas as mythical gods, which illustrates how easy it is for men to worship other created beings when they see something supernatural that overwhelms them:
Acts 14:8-16 - And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother's womb, who had never walked. This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, "Stand up straight on your feet!" And he leaped and walked. Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!" And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out and saying, "Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them, who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways."
After a vision of an angel, the centurion Cornelius tried to bow down and worship Peter when he met him, but Peter rebuked him as the angel did to John:
Acts 10:22, 25-26 - And they said, "Cornelius the centurion, a just man, one who fears God and has a good reputation among all the nation of the Jews, was divinely instructed by a holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you...." As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, "Stand up; I myself am also a man."
Peter told Cornelius that he should not worship him because he was only a man. The angel similarly tells John that he should not worship him because he is a fellow servant and of the brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Holy angels are minsters of the Lord who commissioned them to minister to Him and to the saints:
Psalms 103:19-22 - The LORD has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all. Bless the LORD, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word. Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, you ministers of His, who do His pleasure. Bless the LORD, all His works, in all places of His dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!
Hebrews 1:6-7, 14 - But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: "Let all the angels of God worship Him." And of the angels He says: "Who makes His angels spirits and his minsters a flame of fire...." Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?
But angels are also brethren. They are also "sons of God" in the sense that they came directly from God like Adam and Jesus:
Job 1:6 - Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.
Luke 3:23, 38 - Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph.... the son of Adam, the son of God.
Luke 1:31, 34-35 - And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.... Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man" And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God."
But sons of Adam who are led by the Spirit and have faith in Christ become "sons of God":
Romans 8:14 - For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Galatians 3:26 - For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Those who become "sons of God" spiritually have the "testimony of Jesus." As discussed in Revelation 11:3, a person's testimony gives evidence or proof for something they did or witnessed. Therefore, a "son of God," or a believer testifies of the Son of God by giving evidence of their salvation through Him:
1 John 5:9-12 - If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
The spiritual "sons of God" will be made equal to angels in the resurrection:
Luke 20:34-36 - Jesus answered and said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection."
Angels are also fellow servants to the Lord. As discussed in Revelation 6:11, the difference between "brethren" and "servants," is that brethren refer to kin, and servants are typically slaves or hired help. Being a brother or servant is not necessarily mutually exclusive. As in the case of Jacob, Esau was both a brother and servant to Jacob (Genesis 27:37). Being a fellow servant to the Lord demonstrates our having a shared goal of being faithful ministers of Christ:
Colossians 1:3-8 - We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth; as you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, who also declared to us your love in the Spirit.
Colossians 4:7 - Tychicus, a beloved brother, faithful minister, and fellow servant in the Lord, will tell you all the news about me.
The angel tells John to: "Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." As noted earlier, the testimony of Jesus is that salvation comes only through Christ (1 John 5:9-12):
Revelation 1:9 - I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 6:9 - When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held.
Revelation 12:11, 17 - And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.... And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
The testimony of Jesus being the "spirit of prophecy" means that all prophecy points to Him:
"The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." This means that prophecy at its very heart is designed to unfold the beauty and loveliness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In the present age, therefore, the Spirit of God is not only to glorify Christ but to show believers things to come as they relate to His person and majesty. Christ is not only the major theme of the Scriptures but also the central theme of prophecy.
The true spirit of prophecy always shows itself in bearing witness to Jesus. "Any teaching of prophecy that takes our minds and hearts away from Him is not being properly communicated."
Source: Enduring Word Bible Commentary
Indeed, we find that the Old Testament prophets testified of Jesus and His plan of redemption:
Luke 24:44-47 - Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."
John 5:37-39 - And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.
Peter shows that all prophecy came through the testimony of the Holy Spirit:
2 Peter 1:19 - And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
John 15:26 - "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me."
It is fitting that after God takes his two witnesses and the 144,000 servants to Heaven right before His final judgment (Revelation 11:12-15, 14:1-5) that He would send an angel in his fellow servants' stead to testify of the Lord one last time, preaching to the earth dwellers to worship the Creator instead of the creation in the "everlasting gospel":
Revelation 14:6-7 - Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people - saying with a loud voice, "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water."
Revelation Flow Chart:
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