In righteousness He judges and wages war.
Revelation 19 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; 2 because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.” 3 And a second time they said, “Hallelujah! Her smoke rises up forever and ever.” 4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sits on the throne saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 5 And a voice came from the throne, saying,
“Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great.” 6 Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying,
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” 8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
9 Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.” 10 Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in mid heaven, “Come, assemble for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.”
19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.
20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.
I often say and will say again, I am not a Biblical scholar. In reading today’s text though, I think I can safely say, even without being a scholar; that it will not go well for the enemies of Christ at the end of the age. The text says: I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army… And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse.
For those who would discount or disregard today’s text as merely symbolism or simply a vision or dream of John and not the actual words of God and Christ, In Matthew 13:40-43 Jesus Himself says: “Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” Again in Matthew 22:2-13 He says: “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. 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.’”
It seems unfair, almost unthinkable that one who gained access to the feast would be removed because he was not properly dressed. How could a loving and compassionate God exclude or remove anyone? That too is addressed in today’s text. It says: The marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. The most important act of righteousness, in fact the only one that is necessary in order to be admitted to the feast is to believe in Christ; to accept Him as Lord and Savior and to put on His righteousness. We cannot attend based on our own works, but only in His righteousness, through the work of the cross. In John 14:6 Jesus says: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
Although it is obvious that it will not go well for the enemies of Christ, no one needs to fear. The text says: Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; because His judgments are true and righteous… Behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. God is faithful and true. His judgments are true and righteous. The simple answer to avoiding the wrath of God’s judgment against sin is to be for Him and not against Him, the answer is to believe in Christ and put on His righteousness. Romans 8:31 says: If God is for us, who is against us? If we are against God, it will not go well for us. He judges and wages war in righteousness.
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” and precious Holy Spirit; You are faithful and true and Your judgments are true and righteous. What I could not do on my own, be righteous enough to deserve to be with You, You did for me. Jesus You are the way the truth and the life. I believe and I receive Your righteousness; and so I will not fear, but rather I will say: Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; because His judgments are true and righteous; Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great. Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Amen.