Revelation 19

Rev. 19:3 her smoke rose up for ever and ever

"The smoke of the destruction of Babylon (see 18:9, 18) will rise up to the heavens forever as a testimony of her wickedness. When Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, Abraham 'looked . . . toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace' (Gen. 19:28). When Isaiah made his prophecy against Idumea (which represents the world; see D&C 1:36), he saw that 'the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste' (Isa. 34:9-10; Rev. 14:11). As the smoke of incense rises up to God as a prayer (8:3-4), so will the smoke of the destroyed Babylon rise up as a reminder of the sin and just destruction of the wicked world." (Donald W. Parry and Jay A. Parry, Understanding the Book of Revelation [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1998], 250.)

Rev. 19:4 the four and twenty elders and the four beasts

The 24 elders spoken of are righteous servants of the seven churches (see Rev. 4-5, DC 77). The four beasts represent the glorious resurrected state of man, beasts, fowls, and creeping things (DC 77:2). The fact that John saw these indicates that they were things seen in heaven. The next thing he sees is Christ coming from heaven to meet his bride and destroy the wicked.

Rev. 19:7 the marriage of the Lamb is come

"The marriage of the Lamb, who is Christ (D&C 33:17-18) to his bride, who is the Church (D&C 109:73-74) as well as the New Jerusalem (21:2, 9-10), is a metaphor for the union between the Lord and his people, made possible through the atonement of Christ....There is no sweeter or more meaningful relationship on earth than that between a holy husband and a holy wife; that is the kind of relationship (in depth of feeling and completeness of union) that the Lord is inviting us to. That marriage is between Christ and the church-but the Church is not just an organization on the earth; it is also the individual souls who belong to that organization." (Donald W. Parry and Jay A. Parry, Understanding the Book of Revelation [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1998], 251 - 252.)
Joseph Fielding Smith
"This prophecy of the marriage of the Lamb is a figure of speech, having reference to the second coming of our Savior and the feast, or supper, that the righteous shall receive at his coming. When teaching the Jews, and more especially his disciples, the Savior spoke of the bridegroom when referring to himself. Such references are found in Matthew 9:15; Mark 2:19-20, and in the story of the ten virgins in Matthew 25.
"In Revelation, Chapter 21, the comparison is made to a marriage of the Lamb with the city, New Jerusalem:
'And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God,
Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.' (Ibid., 21:2, 3, 9, 10, 11.)
"In the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 109, verses 73 and 74, we find the following:
'That thy church may come forth out of the wilderness of darkness, and shine forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners;
And be adorned as a bride for that day when thou shalt unveil the heavens, and cause the mountains to flow down at thy presence, and the valleys to be exalted, the rough places made smooth; that thy glory may fill the earth.'
"The vision of John and the revelation to Joseph Smith both have reference to the same event, the second coming of our Lord in his power and glory, to receive his Church or kingdom, the New Jerusalem being the capital city of the Church, and there is no difference in the meaning whether reference is to the Church or the New Jerusalem, for the righteous will have inheritance in the New Jerusalem. Therefore the bride of the Lamb is the organization of the righteous who have inheritance in the holy city." (Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957-1966], 1: 25.)

Rev. 19:7 his wife hath made herself ready

When the Lord comes again, New Jerusalem will already be well established. Its inhabitants will be righteous and will joyfully receive Christ as a bride receives her groom. The city will be as righteous as the city of Enoch. However, the parable of the ten virgins teaches us that not all members of the church will be ready. This is a solemn reminder that even though the Church will be ready for Christ, not all of its members will be.
Bruce R. McConkie
"...the gospel net catches fish of all kinds. Only those who make themselves worthy are saved. All who come into the Church must forsake the world, repent of their sins, and keep the commandments; otherwise they will be cast out with the wicked and rebellious and suffer the sorrows of the damned.
"Salvation is a personal matter; it comes to individuals, not congregations. Church membership alone does not save; obedience after baptism is required. Each person called to the marriage feast will be examined separately, and of the many called to partake of the bounties of the gospel, few only will wear the robes of righteousness which must clothe every citizen in the celestial heaven. True it is that the Lord 'hath bid his guests,' as Zephaniah said, but 'all such as are clothed with strange apparel' shall be cast out. (Zeph. 1:7-8.)" (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979-1981], 3: 368.)
Joseph Smith
"...those who keep the commandments of the Lord and walk in His statutes to the end...are the only individuals permitted to sit at this glorious feast....Reflect for a moment, brethren, and enquire, whether you would consider yourselves worthy a seat at the marriage feast with Paul and others like him, if you had been unfaithful? Had you not fought the good fight, and kept the faith, could you expect to receive?" (History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932-1951], 2: 19 - 20.)

Rev. 19:10 he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant

Joseph F. Smith
"The angel that visited John when an exile, and unfolded to his vision future events in the history of man upon the earth, was one who had been here, and who had toiled and suffered in common with the people of God; for you remember that John, after his eyes had beheld the glories of the great future, was about to fall down and worship him, but was peremptorily forbidden to do so. 'See thou do it not; for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the Prophets, and of them which kept the sayings of this book. Worship God.' . . . In like manner our fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters and friends who have passed away from this earth, having been faithful, and worthy to enjoy these rights and privileges, may have a mission given them to visit their relatives and friends upon the earth again, bringing from the divine presence messages of love, of warning, of reproof and instruction to those whom they have learned to love in the flesh." (Journal of Discourses, January 29, 1882, 22:351.)
Hugh B. Brown
"Some of our friends have said we are inclined to worship the General Authorities. We love them; we listen to their counsel; we thank God for them; but they would not permit us to worship them. If we should be so inclined, they would be the first to rebuke us. They would doubtless say to us what the angel said to John on the Isle of Patmos, when he was about to kneel before him, 'See thou do it not: I am thy fellow-servant . . . worship God.' (Rev. 19:10.)
"But it is our privilege to be guided by their inspired counsel. I pray that God will help us never to lose sight of and ever be grateful for the outstanding leadership in the Church today." (Conference Report, April 1955, Afternoon Meeting 80.)

Rev. 19:10 the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy

"The scriptures teach that one of the significant and essential roles of a prophet is to testify of the Lord Jesus Christ; in fact, John wrote that 'the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.' (Rev. 19:10.) In other words, testifying of Jesus is what prophecy is all about. There is no greater witness that the prophets could proclaim than that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world." (One of Prophet's Roles Is To Testify of Christ: Through the Holy, LDS Church News, 1993, 12/04/93 .)
"One of the most important ways we can follow the prophet is to emulate the prophet's example. 'The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy,' wrote John the Apostle. (Rev. 19:10.) This means that as members of Christ's Church obtain a testimony, they obtain the spirit of prophecy. Consequently, just as the President of the Church is entitled to revelation on behalf of the Church, so are worthy parents entitled to revelation for their family. In fact, each Latter-day Saint is to seek spiritual guidance for his or her own life. Paul's words invite us all: 'For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. ... Wherefore brethren, covet to prophesy.' (1 Cor. 14:31, 39.)" ("Teaching Children to Follow the Prophet," Ensign, Mar. 1989, 55)
Dallin H. Oaks
"When we hear the word prophet in our day, we are accustomed to thinking of the prophet. These words signify him who holds the prophetic office and is sustained as the prophet, seer, and revelator. The priesthood offices and powers exercised by the President of the Church are unique. As we learn in the Doctrine and Covenants, it is given to him to have 'all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church.' (D&C 107:92; see also D&C 46:29; D&C 50:26-28.)
"The spiritual gift of prophecy is quite different. As we read in the Book of Revelation, 'The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.' (Rev. 19:10.) The Prophet Joseph Smith relied on this scripture in teaching that 'every other man who has the testimony of Jesus' is a prophet. (Teachings, p. 119.) Similarly, the Apostle Paul states that 'he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.' (1 Cor. 14:3.) Thus, in the sense used in speaking of spiritual gifts, a prophet is one who testifies of Jesus Christ, teaches God's word, and exhorts God's people. In its scriptural sense, to prophesy means much more than to predict the future." ("Spiritual Gifts," Ensign, Sept. 1986, 71)
Bruce R. McConkie
"Who may prophesy? Who can receive revelation? To whom are visions and heavenly manifestations vouchsafed? Not to members of the Council of the Twelve only, not to bishops and stake presidents alone, not just to the leaders of the Church. Rather, that God who is no respecter of persons and who loves all his children, speaks to every person who will heed his voice. Prophecy is for all: men, women, and children, every member of the true Church; and those who have the testimony of Jesus have the spirit of prophecy, 'for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.' (Rev. 19:10.) 'Would God,' said Moses, 'that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!' (Num. 11:29.)" (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-1973], 2: 387.)
George Q. Cannon
"The spirit of the Church of God is that manifested by Moses. ... The genius of the kingdom with which we are associated is to disseminate knowledge through all the ranks of the people, and to make every man a prophet and every woman a prophetess, that they may understand the plans and purposes of God. For this purpose the gospel has been sent to us, and the humblest may obtain its spirit and testimony" (Journal of Discourses, 12:46).
Joseph Smith
"No man is a minister of Jesus Christ without being a prophet. No man can be the minister of Jesus Christ except he has the testimony of Jesus, and this is the spirit of prophecy. Whenever salvation has been administered it has been by testimony.
"[The] spirit of prophecy, which is the testimony of Jesus, is necessary to constitute a witness, or a preacher, or a prophet.
"God in his superior wisdom has always given his Saints, wherever he had any on the earth, the same spirit, and that spirit, as John says, is the true spirit of prophecy.
"Now if any man has the testimony of Jesus, has he not the spirit of prophecy? And if he has the spirit of prophecy, I ask, is he not a prophet? And if a prophet, he can receive revelation. And any man that does not receive revelation for himself must be damned, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. For Christ says, 'Ask and you shall receive' [Matt. 7:7]. And if he happens to receive anything, I ask, will it not be a revelation? And if any man has not the testimony of Jesus or the Spirit of God, 'he is none of his' [Rom. 8:9], namely Christ's. And if not his, he must be damned." (Kent P. Jackson, comp. and ed., Joseph Smith's Commentary on the Bible [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1994], 227
Gordon B. Hinckley
"'The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.' (Rev. 19:10.) As much so as any man in the world, each of you has the opportunity and the responsibility to develop a testimony of Jesus as the Savior of mankind. That testimony is the 'spirit of prophecy.' It is a gift that may be yours." ("Ten Gifts from the Lord," Ensign, Nov. 1985, 88)

Rev. 19:11-16 I saw...a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and true

During the final week of the Lord's mortal ministry, he entered Jerusalem in an event that has come to be known as The Triumphal Entry. This triumphal entry was not the celebration of a great military victory; it was not an elaborate political parade. It was not the welcome home of a conquering king and his triumphant army. Rather, it was the humble arrival of Jesus of Nazareth.
Those who heralded his coming were emancipated spiritually not politically. While they were thrilled to shout Hosanna at his arrival, they were not prepared to make much of a display. What preparations would you have made for the arrival of Jesus of Nazareth? The grand and royal reception he deserved never came. There were no welcoming committees, no trumpet blasts, no fanfare. Instead, the red carpet was substituted for a pathway of palm leaves and strewn clothing. He entered not with a powerful entourage but on a small white colt-probably barely strong enough to support his weight. Though thronged by a multitude, their voices were scarcely loud enough to silence the stones. All the while, the Pharisees still derided him (Lu. 19:39-40). This was the "triumphal entry" of the Savior of mankind? In retrospect, it was a pathetic attempt to adequately honor him who would save us all (see commentary for John 12:12).
Without an understanding of this most humble of triumphal entries, we cannot understand the significance of what John sees. This time, Jesus returns to Jerusalem with a truly triumphant entrance-an arrival of grand and glorious scale. The tiny colt is replaced with a heavenly white horse. The crowns he always deserved are finally in their proper place upon his holy head. His brilliant appearance makes an incredible sight-his blood red robe flowing behind the beautiful white horse. This time, instead of a relatively small band of devoted disciples, he arrives with a heavenly cavalry, all dressed in white and ready for battle. This time the KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS arrives with the deafening praise of an entire heavenly host declaring, 'Alleluia, Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God...Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth' (v. 1, 6). The glory and grandeur of this event almost eludes description. But isn't this the kind of triumphal entry that Jesus Christ deserved the first time? (consider also the message of Hymn 196, Jesus, Once of Humble Birth)
Milton R. Hunter
"The climax of this whole marvelous work and a wonder will be the coming of Jesus Christ through the clouds of heaven to his kingdom to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. (Rev. 19:16.) To him shall be given '. . . dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him.' (Dan. 7:14.)" (Conference Report, October 1958, Afternoon Meeting 30.)

Rev. 19:13 clothed with a vesture dipped in blood

Think of all the artists' renditions of the Second Coming. Isn't the Messiah usually depicted in a glorious white robe? John paints a significantly different picture. While surrounded by angels of glorious white, there will be One in the center with a blood-red robe. The crimson vesture represents not only the blood spilt by Christ in Gethsemane and Golgatha, but also the blood of the wicked which is to be spilt at the Second Coming.
'And the Lord shall be red in his apparel, and his garments like him that treadeth in the wine-vat...
And his voice shall be heard: I have trodden the wine-press alone, and have brought judgment upon all people; and none were with me;
And I have trampled them in my fury, and I did tread upon them in mine anger, and their blood have I sprinkled upon my garments, and stained all my raiment; for this was the day of vengeance which was in my heart.' (DC 133:48-51)
Neal A. Maxwell
Having bled at every pore, how red His raiment must have been in Gethsemane, how crimson that cloak! No wonder, when Christ comes in power and glory, that He will come in reminding red attire (see D&C 133:48), not only signifying the winepress of wrath but also to bring to our remembrance how He suffered for each of us in Gethsemane and on Calvary! (Cory H. Maxwell, ed., The Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], 22)

Rev. 19:15 he shall rule them with a rod of iron

Bruce R. McConkie
"When the Lord reigns, how will he do it? John says: 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron.' (Rev. 19:15.) What is the rod of iron? Nephi says: 'I beheld that the rod of iron . . . was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life.' (1 Ne. 11:25.) Thus, Christ reigneth in and through and by means of the gospel. There is no other way. Men will be subject to him because they believe the gospel. The gospel is his law. He has no other." (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 590.)

Rev. 19:15 he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God

"In eventual triumph the Messiah was to say, 'I have trodden the ... press' (in this case the winepress, not the olive press, but the two merge in allegory as in life) 'and none were with me.' 'The Lamb of God hath ... trodden the wine-press alone, even the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God.' It is one thing to take off one's sandals and trample the grapes in the stone vat. It is another to be trodden upon, trampled, crushed until the very tissues of the heart cry out for relief and release and until 'mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own' (D&C 88:40), 'that he may know, according to the flesh, how to succor his people.' (Alma 7:12.)" (Truman G. Madsen, "The Olive Press," Ensign, Dec. 1982, 60)


When you hear the phrase "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS," what do you think of? Do you think of Christ finally gaining authority over the great kings of history? Do you think of the famous kings of Europe, like Henry VIII or Louis XIV? And what of the term LORD OF LORDS? Do you think of the great lords of feudalism?
Well, it is safe to say that most the kings and lords of secular history will not be kings nor lords when the Savior comes again. The saints, however, will be crowned as kings, anointed as lords, ordained as priests, and exalted as gods (1 Cor. 8:5, Rev. 1:6, DC 132:20). Then, the true significance of Christ's title becomes apparent, for he will be their KING, their LORD, their GREAT HIGH PRIEST, and their GOD.
Bruce R. McConkie
"If righteous men come up in the resurrection to reign as kings, and if Christ our Lord is their King, then he, as the scriptures say, is a King of kings. In the same sense he becomes a Lord of lords, a Ruler of rulers, and a God of gods. (Rev. 19:16.)" (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 640.)

Rev. 19:17-18 Come and gather yourselves together...That ye may eat the flesh of kings

Both the battle of Armageddon and the battle of Gog and Magog will provide a great feast for the beasts and fowl-not just the scavengers and vultures, but every feathered fowl and every beast of the field. Parenthetically, the battle of Gog and Magog is different than the battle of Armageddon. Joseph Smith said, "The battle of Gog and Magog will be after the millennium" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 280) Because the events of these battles are similar, commentators often mistakenly equate the two. Regardless, both battles produce a great feast wherein the beasts eat the flesh of kings, captains and fallen horses.
Some of the most descriptive language about the battle of Gog and Magog comes from Ezekiel. The destruction will be so great that the stench of the dead will plague any who approach the 'valley of Hamon-gog' (Ezek. 39:11). It will take seven years to burn all their weapons of war and seven months to bury all the dead. In the meantime, the rotting flesh will make quite a feast for the fowls of the air.
'And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.
Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.
And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.
So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.' (Ezek. 39:17-22)
Bruce R. McConkie
"Our latter-day revelation, speaking of those who have fallen by the plagues and by the sword in Armageddon, says: 'And it shall come to pass that the beasts of the forest and the fowls of the air shall devour them up.' (D&C 29:20.)
"We have set forth, thus, what the inspired writers say about the blood-soaked scene of gore and corruption that is yet to be. It makes us wonder why it has been revealed in such detail in at least three dispensations. Certainly it will be a literal event in the coming day. But more than this, it surely bears witness of other truths that men should know. It testifies that wickedness shall cover the earth in the last days; that all nations shall take up the sword in the final war of the ages; that men in uncounted numbers will die of plagues and pestilence and by the edge of the sword; and that the dead bodies of all, kings and rulers included, heaped as dung upon the ground, shall, in death, have no more worth than the carcasses of the beasts of the field." (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 490.)
Bruce R. McConkie
"Those with refined senses find it difficult to conceive of the desolation, destruction, and death that will prevail during the final great battles ushering in Christ's reign of peace. So great shall be the slaughter and mass murder, the carnage and gore, the butchery and violent death of warring men, that their decaying bodies 'shall stop the noses of the passengers,' and it shall be a task of mammoth proportions merely to dispose of them. Then shall Ezekiel's prophecy be fulfilled that every feathered fowl and every beast of the field shall assemble to 'eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth.' (Ezek. 39.)...That all this is an actual, literal supper, an horrible but real event yet to be, has been specifically confirmed in latter-day revelation. (D. & C. 29:18-21.)" (Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed. [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966], 772.)

Rev. 19:19 I saw...the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war

Bruce R. McConkie
"At the very moment of the Second Coming of our Lord, 'all nations' shall be gathered 'against Jerusalem to battle' (Zech. 11 - 14), and the battle of Armageddon (obviously covering the entire area from Jerusalem to Megiddo, and perhaps more) will be in progress. As John expressed it, 'the kings of the earth and of the whole world' will be gathered 'to the battle of that great day of God Almighty,. . . into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.' Then Christ will 'come as a thief,' meaning unexpectedly, and the dramatic upheavals promised to accompany his return will take place. (Rev. 16:14-21.) It is incident to this battle of Armageddon that the Supper of the Great God shall take place (Rev. 19:11-18)." (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed., p. 74.)