Verse 8: God has a special gift for His Sons bride. Were told, 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. This does not mean a person earns their way into this banquet by doing righteous acts. Men and women become the Bride of Christ only through repentance and faith. Yet a person who is truly born-again will seek to obey God by taking costly steps of faith and these will inevitably produce acts of righteousness. It is these deeds that God intends to celebrate. Thankfully, a believers sins have been forgiven and forgotten. But righteous deeds will be remembered and acknowledged before all of heaven (1Co 3:13, 14). Like a beautiful linen garment they will adorn His bride.
Verse 9: The angel who has been standing beside John to help him understand the visions of the fall of Babylon (Rev 17:1, 3, 7, 15) commands him to write the words, Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. The statement reminds us of two of Jesus parables. The first pictures the marriage of a kings son (Mt 22:1-14). The distinguished guests who were initially invited ignored the kings request and in some cases even assaulted his messengers. In another parable those initially invited to a big dinner again turned down the hosts invitation each offering only a lame excuse for their absence. In anger the host sent his servants into the streets and later even the highways outside of town to recruit guests from among the poor and crippled and blind and lame. This second parable began in response to a statement, Blessed is everyone who will eat bread in the Kingdom of God (Lk 14:15) and ends with the warning, For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner (Lk 14:24). Considered together the two parables provide a perspective that helps us understand the angels statement to John. All humans have been invited by God to this supper (Jn 3:16), but at the end of the age only those who have responded to His invitation and come clothed in the proper wedding garment (the righteousness of Christ) will be invited to this marriage supper.
Verse 10: Overwhelmed, John becomes confused and tries to worship the angel. That someone of Johns stature could make such a mistake is a warning to us all. But the angel is a humble servant of God and instantly corrects him with the words, Do not do that, I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren...; worship God. John is deeply moved by all he has seen and this angel is the vessel through whom God has ministered to him, so at some point he ceases to distinguish between the vessel and the glory which the vessel brings. His gratitude and wonder unintentionally slips across a line to become worship. John is too grateful to the angel and too delighted by the Christ-like glory and holiness he sees in him. But the angel, who has seen firsthand the danger of angels who want to be worshipped (Rev 12:4; Da 8:10; Isa 14:12-14; Eze 28:2, 12-19) instantly corrects John.
Verse 10 (continued): In redirecting Johns worship back to God, the angel taught him an important principle. He said, Йthe testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, meaning the Holy Spirit who inspires all true prophecy (the spirit of prophecy) will inevitable point people to Jesus (Jn 14:26; 16:14,15). By saying this the angel reminds John (and us) that a prophet, whether an angel or a human, will always draw peoples gaze to Jesus, never to themselves. And he is implying that these magnificent revelations which John is seeing should do that as well. Each testifies of Jesus and in so doing should inspire us to worship Him. Verses 11-16: Again, John receives a new vision. He now beholds the moment when Jesus returns to earth to initiate the Kingdom of God. This is the event at which human history as we have known it ends. The age-old promises of eternal life for the righteous and judgment for the wicked are at last being fulfilled. After millennia of waiting Jesus descends to earth in glory.
Verses 11-16 (continued): At His incarnation Jesus arrived humbly as a newborn baby in a stable in Bethlehem, but no such circumstances attend His return. This time He arrives as a military commander leading His army into battle. He rides a white horse and is followed by an enormous host of redeemed believers each wearing a white linen garment signifying both the forgiveness of their past sins and the purity of their new nature. This heavenly army descends to do battle but no one needs to strike a blow. From Jesus mouth comes a sharp sword, meaning He needs only to speak a word in order to destroy His enemies.
Verses 11-16 (continued): Over the course of this vision concerning the return of Christ, John records numerous statements which describe the role He will play in this new age: 1) He rides a white horse symbolizing power and victory. This is in stark contrast to His entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. He arrived then humble and mounted on a donkey, even a colt, the foal of a donkey (Zec 9:9; Lk 19:30-36). 2) He is called faithful and true meaning He is reliably fulfilling His promises to return (Jn 14:1-3, 18, 28). 3) He judges and wages war in righteousness, meaning He will carry out these painful but necessary ministries in a manner that perfectly expresses the character of God. He will be as just as necessary and as merciful as possible. 4) His eyes shine like a flame of fire, meaning nothing can be hidden from Him. Those things hidden or forgotten will be exposed and judged. 5) He will wear many diadems on His head. Diadems were originally the ornamental headbands used to bind on the turban or tiara of Persian kings (W.E. Vine, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, diadem). He wears many diadems because, Йto Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him (Da 7:14).
Verses 11-16 (continued): 6) He has a name written which no one knows, meaning He will fulfill a new role which until now He had not yet done. Up until this moment He has been known by such names as the Lamb because He served as a sacrifice to take away the sins of the world (Jn 1:29), but at His return He will be unmistakably revealed to all as the Word of God (v 13) because He is the eternal Son through whom the Father has spoken to us (Heb 1:2), and King of kings and Lord of lords (v 16) because at the name of Jesus every knee will bowЙ and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father (Php 2:10, 11). The truth is, until we step into the new age well have only a partial understanding of any of His names (1Co 13:12), and surely there are wonders awaiting us which no one has every even imagined (1Co 2:9).