Osborne, Grant R. Revelation. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2002. Location: Ellis BS 2825.53.O73 2002
“IV. Final Judgment at the Arrival of the Eschaton (17:1-20:15)” pp. 603-725.
“B. Final Victory: The End of the Evil Empire at the Parousia (19:6-21)” pp. 669-695.
Osborne notes that the two main events of the end spoken of in the New Testament are a rapture of the saints and a judgment of sinners. The element of judgment is prominent in Revelation but the timing of a gathering of Christians is not at all clear (Osborne 2002, 669).
The hymns to God continue in Revelation 19:6-10. Osborne separates 19:1-5 from 6-10 because the first half includes the idea of judgment but this portion has no hint of judgment. It is entirely focused on the praise of the Lamb (Osborne 2002, 671). The rejoicing brings God the glory which is due to him as not only the one who reigns but also the groom who is taking the Church as bride. Osborne again emphasizes the difference of the brides in Revelation, the Church as contraasted with the “great prostitute” (Osborne 2002,672). Osborne also describes briefly the seriousness of a betrothed which was a sufficient commitment that to break it required a divorce. The commitment of the Church to the Lamb was complete, but the actual marriage was not completed until this point (Osborne 2002, 673). The bride both prepares herself and is given perfect garments by the Lord. Osborne briefly describes the church’s self-preparations to the works of James rather than the imputed righteousness of Paul, but he goes on to see that the garments with which the church prepares herself are provided by God (Osborne 2002, 674). John is again reminded to write what he sees, particularly that God has brought to the wedding those he wishes to have, so they will be able to rejoice in the wedding supper (Osborne 2002, 675). Seeing this, John falls down in worship and is corrected in what he does by the angel, having inadvertently worshipped the angel (Osborne 2002, 677).
In Revelation 19:11-16 the Christ as the conquering king is on the scene, arriving as a very imposing figure on a white horse, and waging a battle which is so certain in its outcome that his mere presence seems to win the victory (Osborne 2002, 679). Osborne walks briefly through the descriptors of Christ. The striking element at first is that he wages war using the power of his righteousness and truth, which are weapons none other actually possesses (Osborne 2002, 680). His flaming eyes, his crown, and the name written add to his striking appearance as the unique ruler among rulers (Osborne 2002, 681). Osborne discusses the idea of Jesus’ special name, concluding that his true identity and power are bound up in a name which he allows nobody else to use (Osborne 2002, 682). The bloody garment worn by Christ, says Osborne, is stained with his enemies’ blood, not his own. Osborne considers this to be so because the context is that of judgment, not redemption (Osborne 2002, 683). Christ proceeds to judge and to make war. He is accompanied by a heavenly army, possibly angels, saints, or a combination of the two (Osborne 2002, 684). There is some unresolved debate over whether the army will actually fight or if all the fighting is done by Christ. Osborne concludes that any combat is under Christ’s authority and that he is the victor in the conflict (Osborne 2002, 685). Significantly to Osborne, Christ is called the king of kings, while the Antichrist had more limited authority. “Thus, this is another place where the divinity of Christ is stressed - the Warrior Messiah is God himself” (Osborne 2002, 686).
In Revelation 19:17-18 a radiant angel commands birds of prey to gather so as to feast on the dead. Osborne sees this as “an obvious parody of the invitation to the saints to attend ‘the wedding supper of the Lamb’ in 19:9” (Osborne 2002, 687). We notice the invitation is issued before the battle, again emphasizing the certainty of the outcome.
Revelation 19:19-20 brings us to the battle itself. Osborne, after listing a number of Old Testament passages about a final war, concludes, “This passage is the culmination of all the previous imagery. This is truly ‘the day of the Lord’ prophesied throughout the OT. Yet there is no battle” (Osborne 2002, 689). The battle ends as soon as the Lord shows his sword. Osborne considers that there is probably a battle but that it is downplayed to show Christ’s superiority. In the battle, the beasts are captured and their forces defeated. They are condemned and thrown into a lake of fire. Osborne concludes this is a description of eternal and conscious punishment (Osborne 2002, 690). He goes on to describe several different images in which cultures take eternal punishment to involve fire. The armies are destroyed, in fulfillment of the promise made to martyrs in Revelation 6:11. The birds have their feast, a humiliation to the dead enemies (Osborne 2002, 691).