Advent with Revelation (Ch 19)
December 15, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Chapter 19 (Thursday of the Third Week of Advent)

After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying,
Salvation and glory and power to our God,
   for his judgements are true and just;
he has judged the great whore
   who corrupted the earth with her fornication,
and he has avenged on her the blood of his servants.’
Once more they said,
The smoke goes up from her for ever and ever.’
And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God who is seated on the throne, saying,
‘Amen. Hallelujah!’ 

And from the throne came a voice saying,
‘Praise our God,
   all you his servants,
and all who fear him,
   small and great.’
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunder-peals, crying out,
For the Lord our God
   the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
   and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
   and his bride has made herself ready;
to her it has been granted to be clothed
   with fine linen, bright and pure’—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. 

And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are true words of God.’ Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow-servant with you and your comrades who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’ 

Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse! Its rider is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, wearing fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron; he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, ‘King of kings and Lord of lords’. 

Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly in mid-heaven, ‘Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of the mighty, the flesh of horses and their riders—flesh of all, both free and slave, both small and great.’ Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against the rider on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed in its presence the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshipped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulphur. And the rest were killed by the sword of the rider on the horse, the sword that came from his mouth; and all the birds were gorged with their flesh. 


The last series of visions concerning historical events describes the eschatological battle of the Lamb against the beasts and the destruction of Satan. This allows us to reflect once more on the meaning of the cross-sections presented to us in the entire sequence. Each cross-section reveals the total theological situation of history with regard to the opposition of faith and unbelief, but it also portrays this situation as it moves toward the end, judgment. However, since each cross-section shows the whole situation in a qualitatively unique perspective, we cannot say that these visions “recapitulate” the same periods or events. Finally, the cross-sections (each of which embraces the whole) show opposition becoming more concrete as the end is approached. This is very clear from chapter 12 onward; the imminent final battle is now so close to the ultimate total meaning that after 20:11-15 there is no possibility of further vision in intrahistorical categories. Nonetheless, even this final sequence (19:11-20:15) embraces the whole of salvation history. Here, again, the center of salvation history is the incarnate and crucified Logos. (The blood that saturates his robe, 19:13, is surely his own.) But, given the close resemblance to the sequence in Ezekiel and to the other Old Testament images, the Old Covenant cannot be excluded. There are three parts: the Logos rides forth to battle as “King of kings and Lord of lords” to vanquish the beasts, which are thrown into the lake of fire. Then comes the reign of a thousand years while Satan is bound in the abyss. Finally, he is released, and Gog and Magog proceed to make war against the holy city, only to be consumed by fire from heaven; Satan is thrown into the lake of fire along with the beasts. The final picture is the general judgment of the dead, when Death and Hades are also consigned to the lake of fire. 

This is followed by the final judgment scenes, where the beasts, the dragon and all the dead are judged, after which we step over the threshold into the new world and the marriage of the Lamb.... And the more concrete the events become, the more everything is concentrated in the ultimately decisive “now”: first God “takes his great power” (11:17) and brings about the fulfillment (10:7); then “salvation has now come” (12:10), the “hour of judgment” (14:7) and the “harvest” (14:15); finally “it is done” (16:17) when, God’s wrath being at an end and Babylon having fallen, “the Almighty reigns” (19:6) and all his words are proved to be true and fulfilled (21:5).3 On the one hand, the “now” coincides with the “eternal present” of the “Lamb as though it had been slain”; on the other hand, it signifies the increasingly momentous irruption of the reality of time into that of eternity.

The Logos, who in many ways appears as he did at the beginning (1:9-16) and is accompanied by the “heavenly hosts” (who are by no means exclusively angels but also those who are “called, chosen and faithful”: 17:14), rides forth once and for all; for there is no time when he does not “judge and make war” with the sword of his mouth. And, since the beast blasphemes and fights against the saints (13:7), it also “makes war with him who sits upon the horse and against his army” (19:19). We are not shown an indecisive struggle between the Logos and the beast: in fighting, the Logos has already judged (19:11); nonetheless he does fight (cf. 1 Cor 15:25), and individual members of his company on earth are actually overwhelmed (11:7; 13:7). The same is not true of the forces coming from heaven. 

Musical Selection (Michael Card)

CHORUS 1: Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Salvation and honor and glory belong to our God. Amen!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
See now the one who corrupted the earth is condemned

VERSE 1: Death for the dark adulteress
Destroyed at last forever
By His judgments, just and true
He has avenged the blood of His saints

CHORUS 2: Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
The Lord God Almighty has come now forever to reign. Amen!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Let all those who love Him give glory, rejoice, and be glad.

VERSE 2: The wedding of the Lamb has come
The bride has made herself ready
And she shall wear linen bright and clean
Woven of the faithful acts of His saints

King of kings, and Lord of Lords
He is the King of kings, and Lord of Lords



King of kings, and Lord of Lords
King of kings, and Lord of Lords


Hallelujah! (8x)


Lord God,
our faults weigh us down
and our sins make us unworthy of you;
but gladden our hearts by the birth of your only Son,
for he comes to bring us salvation.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.  Amen.