Songs of Triumph

In chapter 19 John presents the inauguration of the victory of Christ and gives an insight into the final judgment over the counter-Christ, and at the same time shows that the false prophet who incited the dissidents in the congregations was also delivered to the pit. John hears the heavenly choirs singing songs of salvation. The liturgical drama which is being acted out in the church shows a scene in which worship leaders, choirs and members of the church alternately exclaim songs of rejoicing for now the marriage feast of the Bride and the Lamb has been completed, i.e., Christ has triumphed, the Church of Christ has triumphed, and this is celebrated. “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” The celebration of the Body and the Blood of the Lamb, the Church’s Eucharist, is contrasted with the feasting on dead flesh of mighty men and horses by the birds of prey, that is, by those who have preyed on the faithful. John is demonstrating that alongside the defeat of Rome there is also the defeat of those who challenged the orthodox faith of the church. They will follow the counter-Christ and his false prophet and the beast-dragon into the lake of fire. The counter-Christ and those with the mark of the beast could not triumph over Christ and those who bear his mark of baptism. Throughout this chapter John gives insights into the identity of the conquering Christ whose name is “The Word of God.” It is this word that issues forth from his mouth as a sharp sword that wins the battle. Christ and his cavalry have come against the dragon and his forces. The liturgical drama ends for the moment with the expulsion of the dissenters from the congregation.

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