Revelation 19 and 20 describes the final acts of this age. It begins with the separation of the true Church from the false church (the Whore of Babylon) and the judgement of the false church and proceeds quickly to the marriage of the Lamb.
“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” – Rev. 19:7-9
Jesus alluded to this marriage in many parables but here John is given specific information about it.
In Revelation 17 and 18 the judgement of the Great Whore is shown but before she is judged a call from heaven goes forth –
“And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.“ – Rev. 18:4
Then as Revelation 19 begins, we see the results of this judgement on the Great Whore –
“For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” – Rev. 19:2
The narrative proceeds next to the marriage of the Lamb because His Bride has made herself ready. She is given ‘fine linen’ which is the ‘righteous acts of the saints’. Notice, the Bride is associated with righteous acts. She has separated herself from the world and is following the Lord, in her acts as well as in her words. She is like the five wise virgins who have oil in their lamps representing being full of the Holy Spirit. Blessed are all those who are called to this marriage supper.
Then heaven is opened and the Lord rides forth on a white horse with the armies of heaven to judge the Antichrist and the False Prophet and their armies which are gathered at Armageddon.
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. … And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.” – Rev. 19:11-14
The armies of heaven are clothed in fine linen, which represents the righteous acts of the saints. I think these saints represent those who have been resurrected and raptured as Paul writes about to the Thessalonians –
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” – 1 Thes. 4:16,17
It is the scene Enoch of old foresaw as told by Jude –
Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” – Jude 1:14,15
These proceed to Armageddon where the beast, the false prophet, and their armies are destroyed and cast into the lake of fire –
“Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.” – Rev. 19:20,21
As chapter 20 opens, we see the great Dragon, who is Satan, bound with chains and cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years.
“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.” – Rev. 20:1-3
Then begins the millennial (1000 year) reign of Christ on the earth.
“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” – Rev. 20:4
While the 3½ years of tribulation will be horrific to go through, those who remain faithful through it will be rewarded.
“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” – Rev. 20:6
Now will be fulfilled the scene John first saw as he witnessed the Lamb taking the scroll with the seven seals on it.
“Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” – Rev. 5:8-10
Thus will begin the 1000 year reign of Messiah on the earth. I will cover what happens after the 1000 years in another article.