Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes


Revelation 19:11-20:3
Pastor Steve Schell
Revelation 19:11-16
Verses 11-16 (continued): 7) He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood because He has tread the “great winepress of the wrath of God” (Rev 14:19, 20; 16:16, 21; 17:16-18; 19:17-21) crushing the Antichrist’s forces. 8) His name is called the “Word of God” because He is the “only begotten” Son who was “in the beginning with God” (Jn 1:1) and who “has explained Him” (Jn 1:18). 9) His mouth will strike down nations because He needs only to speak a word to destroy His enemies. His power is so great this military victory is effortless for Him, just as He needed only to speak at the creation of the world (Ge 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26). 10) He will rule the nations with a “rod of iron” identifying Him as God’s “Anointed,” “King” and “Son” to whom He will give absolute authority over the nations (Ps 2:1-12). The Father has promised Him that He will subdue His opponents by force and His governing authority will be irresistible.

Revelation 19:11-16
Verses 11-16 (continued): 11) “He treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God the Almighty” (see #7 above) meaning He will violently destroy the Antichrist’s forces. 12) He has the name “King of kings and Lord of lords” on His robe and thigh because His authority extends over all forms of human and angelic government. Only the Father Himself is superior in authority to the Son (1Co 15:27, 28). In ancient times the thigh was a part of the body where one’s hand might be placed when swearing an oath to another (Ge 24:2, 3, 9; 47:29-31). In this case the Father has sworn an oath to His Son saying, “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet. The Lord will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion saying, ‘Rule in the midst of Your enemies’” (Ps 110:1, 2). In effect, He has placed His hand under His Son’s thigh and has promised to make Him “King of kings and Lord of lords.”

Revelation 19:17-21
We have just seen heaven opened and Jesus appear followed by the armies of heaven (vs 11-16). As He descended no actual battle ensued. He merely spoke a word and His enemies were destroyed. In verses 17-21 to which we now turn, we see what is basically a clean-up operation after the Antichrist’s armies have been destroyed. This passage may simply be a repeat of the vision of Armageddon (Rev 16:16-21) or it may describe a final cleansing of the remaining forces that survived it. If chapters 16-19 of Revelation intend to give us a chronology of events then it would appear that following Armageddon proper the Antichrist savagely attacked his own capital city (Rev 17:16-18; 18:1-24). To do this he would have needed troops so we may assume that some must have survived Armageddon, probably by being stationed elsewhere or by being recruited later. If such an army did survive or was recruited then these verses (17-21) describe a subsequent and decisive battle against the Antichrist (Rev 19:19). Whichever scenario is correct, the outcome is the same: Jesus will violently destroy these soldiers leaving the battlefield strewn with their dead bodies.

Revelation 19:17, 18
Verse 17: John hears an angel call for carnivorous birds to come and feed on the corpses. They are invited to the “great supper of God” meaning the Antichrist’s devastated army has provided a great deal of flesh on the ground for them to eat. These troops who carried out the Antichrist’s evil orders will lie unburied in the field. They don’t deserve to be honored by burial. Verse 18: The birds are told to, “Eat the flesh of kings commanders mighty men horses and of all men small and great.” No one will be spared. Soldiers of every rank will die. Jesus referred to this scene when teaching His disciples about the last days. After saying His return would be as sudden as a bolt of lightening (Mt 24:27), He said, “Wherever the corpse is there the vultures will gather” (Mt 24:28). The corpses He referred to are the dead bodies of the Antichrist’s troops and the vultures are one of the many types of birds which will be feasting on their remains.

Revelation 19:19
Verse 19: Next, John sees the Antichrist along with the “kings of the earth” arrayed for battle. They have assembled in order to “Make war against Him who sat on the horse (Jesus) and against His army” (all believers; v 14). Since the rapture has occurred prior to this and all believers are gone it’s hard to imagine who or what he hoped to attack. It would be astonishing if he actually tried to repulse the descent of Christ, and such an action would be so futile it makes this interpretation hard to accept. But regardless of the circumstances which have caused the Antichrist to amass his army, the ultimate cause is his hatred for God. Somehow he’s trying to use his military to rid the earth of Christ’s influence and His people.

Revelation 19:20-20:3
Verses 20, 21: Jesus does not kill the Antichrist and his false prophet along with the rest of their troops. Instead these two are seized and sent directly to the “lake of fire burning with sulfur.” There is no point in holding them until the final judgment (Rev 20:10-15). Their verdict is certain. They have personally drawn millions to worship the Antichrist and in so doing have brought eternal doom upon themselves. Unlike the devil (Rev 20:1-3) they have no further role to play in God’s plan. Their sentence was decreed long before this moment (Da 7:11, 26; 9:27). Verses 1-3: With the rapture and resurrection having taken place (1Co 15:51-53; 1Th 4:16, 17) and the earth rid of the Antichrist’s government and military, the Lord must still do one more thing before He can initiate a thousand year reign of peace. He must prevent the devil from continuing to spread sin, sickness and sorrow in the earth.

Revelation 20:1-3
Verses 1-3 (continued): To bind the devil’s influence an angel is sent to seize him and cast him into the “abyss” which is clearly a different place with a different purpose from the “lake of fire” into which the Antichrist and false prophet were just thrown (Rev 19:20). Unlike the “lake of fire” which is a permanent form of judgment, the “abyss” appears to be a temporary prison for spirits (Lk 8:31; Rev 9:1, 2, 11; 11:7; 17:8). We’ve already seen demons locked in this “bottomless pit” (literal: “shaft of the abyss”) (Rev 9:1, 2), and now for a season of a thousand years Satan is to be placed there, allowing the earth relief from his influence. The Latin word for this thousand year period is “millennium.” During this period of time all the prophecies concerning the Messianic age will be fulfilled (for example: Isa 11; 60-62; 66:10-24). Then when these years are complete, Satan will be released for a final testing of those humans who have never had an opportunity to rebel against Christ (Rev 20:7-9). And amazingly, many will.
 


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