Bird Banquet and Lake of Fire
Revelation 19:17 to end
r19d

19:17
An angel calls the birds

     "And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all t fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great." (Rev. 19:17:18)

   We have seen Christ on the white horse ready to slay the wicked with the sword of His mouth 1915. Now an angel appears calling the birds to feast on the flesh of kings and even horses. The kings then join the beast to fight the one on the horse. Then beast and false prophet are cast into the fire and the birds filled themselves with flesh.

Birds image from Heralds of the Morning, 1909.
 
But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments . . . that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. . . . And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away. (Deut. 28:15, 16, 26)
Standing in the sun
   Why would the angel be in the sun? This is not good news for the masses of humanity who have chosen the way of evil.
   "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." (2 Thess. 2:8-10). Also compare 1608 where the angel poured out his bowl on the sun.
   The "Wicked" one Paul describes is the antichrist, the one who opposes and exalts himself above God (v.4). In our current chapter, he is the beast that gets thrown into the fire while his followers are killed and eaten. The one standing in the sun is then calling for the punishment of the beast and of the kings and everyone else who joins him.
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"Folk have chosen the sun (either as an object of worship, or the day of the sun for the same purpose.   Now,  here is an angel - obviously much larger and more powerful than the sun even."  From my friend, Stanley.
Brightness
   The angel stands in the brightness of the coming of Christ (Matt. 16:27). The wicked one, along with those who have chosen to follow him, are destroyed by the brightness of the Lord's coming. They cannot endure the purity of His character.

We have seen this angel before (or one like him)
   "And . . . I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, not on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads." (7:1-3).
   The other angel ascends from the east. The Hebrew for "East," is literally, "rising of the sun." Here in chapter 19, the angel stands in the full, bright sun. The breeze of the early four winds is to become a hurricane. The four angels and the angel in the sun are standing an indication that they are ready for action (See Dan. 11:2-4). Let's compare the scene when the sixth trumpet sounds.
   "And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: . . ." (9;14-16).
   We may take these horsemen to be the same ones who ride their white horses with Christ. They are the angels of heaven 1915.

Where else do we see the birds?
   Here is the passage: "And he [a mighty angel from heaven] cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. . . ." (18:2, 3)

     The major source for the imagery comes from Ezekiel. See ez3917.
    We saw the caged birds as deceptive religious doctrines of the massive end-time religious power 1802bi. After Christ on the white horse slays the wicked by the sword of truth of His mouth, the deceptive teachings will devour those who taught these things, removing the end-time wicked from further sympathy. These leaders and the horses (or people who supported them 1601ch) do not receive an honorable burial. (Compare to the death of the two witnesses 1109.)
    The birds flying in mid-heaven (the atmosphere) is in contrast to the three angels who flew there 1406d. In fact, this comparison is included in the table matching concepts between chapters 14 and 19 r19t. The birds could also represent the evil angels.
    Eagles are pictured in the fate of those left behind in Luke's account of the coming of Christ lu1737.

19:18
Come eat kings, mighty men, horses and all

   "Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great." (Rev. 19:18)

   A picture of the universal nature of the wicked. Compare the group that calls for the rocks and mountains to fall on them 0615.

Horse meat
   The horses were seen in chapter 6 as the people who follow their leader as a horse follows the direction of its rider. Perhaps the same pertains here 0601ch.

19:19
War declared against the rider and his army

     "And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. (Rev. 19:19-21)

   This critical time of the final battle against the Lamb is seen several times in the book of Revelation.
 

12:17
1217
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 
16:16-18
1616su
And he [God] gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
17:14
1714
These [ten kings, supporting the beast] shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

19:20
Beast and prophet tossed into the fire

     "And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh." (Rev. 19:19-21)

   I included verse 19 in the text above to show the "battle." They gather and then are taken. Of course their "capture" has some action, but the text doesn't describe it. This is also the picture seen in the description of the battle of Armageddon of chapter 16 and with the ten kings of chapter 17. See texts above.
   The slaying of the false prophet is drawn from the experience of Elijah after Mt. Carmel re1616fp. We see this also in the book of Daniel da0711. Casting the beast into the fire may have been drawn from the experience of the golden calf de0921.

Why now?
   Why would beast and false prophet be sent to the flames now to wait through the thousand years? They apparently don't. We look at this question and more, in connection with the lake of fire in chapter 20. r20o. These two are false religious systems. God acts in total fairness. I believe that he brings these two systems down at a time when the people involved will understand His justice. Leaders and followers of the systems are punished at this time. Let's look back at the plagues. The three-part alliance breaks up at the time of the seventh plague apparently when the people involved see that they have been deceived re1508al.

The remnant slain by the sword
  "And the remnant [of the wicked] were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh." (Rev. 19:21)
    The kings and armies are left to be slain apart from those systems that had been their shelter their chosen structure of deception. Many will have given all their energies and resources to make the systems work for their salvation. Now they stand with their sand-based house washed away alone to experience the fury of the storm. The Scriptures, as a sword, condemns them. They are without excuse and are slain to lie dead over the surface of the earth.
   We discussed the punishment of burning when studying about the smoke of torment of the beast worshippersre1411d.

Surprise
   "They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." (Luke 17:27-30)
   How can we avoid being swept into the end-time false religious movement? Only by staying close to the Lord and by depending on His word. Listen to the prayer of Jesus: "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." (John 17:17) Grapes image © Correl.

Today is the time to make our calling and election sure. Today is the time to renew our covenant with our Redeemer and to cling to Him.

I suggest you take a few minutes to study the table showing the interesting parallels between chapters 14 and 19. Link, below.
Comparing chapters 14 and 19
Next, ch. 20
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