Revelation 19 completes and expands the narrative about the end of time and the final destination for the forces of evil and for the followers of the Lamb. Chapter 18 ends with a lament for the fall of Babylon the Great and for the whore who rode the dragon; she celebrated evil and appeared to be in complete control of the destructive forces. But finally, she is consumed by the evil she thought she had under control; “they make her desolate and naked, they will consume her flesh and burn her up with fire”. What an accurate description of our chosen idols today, we choose pride, fashion, education, intoxicants or self-esteem, we think we control our chosen “beast” but the “beast” really controls us, it devours and destroys our soul. At her death there is silence and mourning on earth; while in heaven there is joy, music, worship and celebration. Revelation 19 begins with the sound of a great multitude singing the praises of God; “For the Lord our God, the All-Powerful reigns! Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory”. The wedding celebration of the Lamb has begun; the Bride of Christ has made herself ready, dressed in bright, clean, fine linen which are the righteous acts of the saints.
The wedding of the Lamb is a stark contrast to the destruction of the whore, on earth they will never again hear the voice of the bridegroom and bride while in heaven all happiness and joy break out in full force. Hebrew marriage customs occurred in three parts, the betrothal period, which was as legally binding as marriage; the terms of the marriage contract are accepted in the presence of witnesses and before God. During the engagement period the bride makes herself ready, when the dowry and bride price are finalized, the groom arrives with great celebration to bring the bride to her new home. What we see in Revelation 19 is the Bride (the church) has made herself ready, the Bridegroom (Jesus) has paid the bride price with his own blood, now the time of waiting has ended and the Bridegroom arrives to escort his Bride to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.
Then John sees the Bridegroom arrive on a white horse, his eyes are like a fiery flame, his crown is shining on his head, his clothing appears to be dipped in blood and he is called the Word of God. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword to strike down the nations, and his name is written on his clothing and on his thigh, “King of kings and Lord of lords”. With him are the armies of heaven; the invitations to the wedding of the Lamb have been issued and the followers of the Lamb enter into the banquet. The Bridegroom and his vast army usher those who rejected the Lamb to the great banquet of God. In grim contrast to the wedding supper of the Lamb the birds of the air will feast on the flesh of the kings, generals, powerful people and flesh of all those who reject the invitation of the Lamb. Finally, all those who reject God are thrown alive into the lake of fire burning with sulfur, “because they found no place in their hearts for the truth so as to be saved”.