A Study of Revelation

Chapter 19

The beginning of chapter 19 is a continuation of vision of God’s judgment upon the great harlot and Babylon.

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
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The events described in chapter 18 will take place on earth before the second coming of Christ. Chapter 19 foretells the final outcome of the beast and false prophet.

The false prophet is the symbol used to describe the same people as the great harlot. The “great harlot” symbolizes their spiritual fornication, “Babylon” symbolizes that they are the enemy of God’s people, and the “false prophet” symbolizes their desire to teach others to follow their ways of sin. Peter warns:

2 Pet. 2
2:1* ¶ But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
2* Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;
3* ¶ and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
4* For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;
5* and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6* and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter;
7* ¶ and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men
8* (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds),
9* then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,
10* ¶ and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties,
11* whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord.
12* But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed,
13* suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you,
14* having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children;
15* forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
16* but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet.
17* These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved.
18* For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error,
19* promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.
20* For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
21* For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.
22* It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”

The above, then, is the Biblical definition of a false prophet. Chapter 19 tells of his doom.

Rev. 19:1-4
19:1* ¶ 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!”

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
To order prints visit:
“Revelation Illustrated”

Verse one represents Christians giving glory to God because he refused to allow false religion, which had been persecuting the saints, to stand. All Christians must give God our praise and honor because of this judgment. Because we have obeyed him, he has given us salvation and will eventually destroy all those forces which have persecuted us.

God’s judgments are true and righteous. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind who believes in the Bible that God will do those things which he has foretold. Many people today believe that since God is a God of love he could not possibly punish man eternally in hell for deeds which were committed on earth. The God we serve is not only a God of love, but a God of justice. His judgments are righteous. We may not be able to understand all of God’s ways, but we must believe what the Word of God teaches, and it is clear here, and in numerous other passages in the New Testament that God will bring judgment upon those who teach and follow error.

The smoke of this great harlot rises up for ever and ever indicating the eternal nature of the judgment of God against false religion.

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
To order prints visit:
“Revelation Illustrated”

The twenty-four elders represent the spiritual part of man’s being (as in chapter four) extending our worship toward God as directed by the authority of His Word.

Art used by permission by Pat Marvenko Smith, copyright 1992.
To order prints visit:
“Revelation Illustrated”

God is worthy of all man’s worship, both physical and spiritual. We must praise God because he has judged the great harlot who has persecuted the saints.

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.

This vision is taking us through the Christian age and then into judgment. Here the vision changes from the destruction of the harlot to a description of the church, we are changing our viewpoint. In the vision of the destruction of the harlot, we were in the future looking back at events which are yet to be fulfilled upon the earth. As the vision changes, we are again taken back through the Christian age. Events are described which will take place during the Christian age, and later in this vision we are shown some of the events which will occur during the time of judgment.

We know this is a reference to the Christian age because of the use of the phrase “the Lord our God, the Almighty reigns.” Christ is reigning today on his throne in heaven. Christians need to have this concept clearly in mind, especially in view of the teaching of many religious organizations today. Many teach (falsely) that Christ is going to return to earth to reign on his throne in literal Jerusalem for a literal one thousand years. Jesus is King of Kings, sitting on his throne in heaven, ruling over his spiritual kingdom which is the church today. He is NOT returning to establish his kingdom.

The voice of the great multitude is described as many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder. Just as the “water of life” (Jn. 4:14) represent the words of God, the waters which flow from the mouths of Christians are their proclamations and teachings about Jesus and his gospel.

The voices are thundering to show their importance. God used thundering to announce events of great importance (Cf. Ex. 19:16). Nothing on earth is more important than the proclamation of the Word of God.

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