[Rev. 19:10] So I threw myself down at his feet to worship him, but he said, “Do not do this! I am only a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony about Jesus. Worship God, for the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
[Rev. 19:11] ¶ Then I saw heaven opened and here came a white horse! The one riding it was called “Faithful” and “True,” and with justice he judges and goes to war. [Rev. 19:12] His eyes are like a fiery flame and there are many diadem crowns on his head. He has a name written that no one knows except himself. [Rev. 19:13] He is dressed in clothing dipped in blood, and he is called the Word of God. [Rev. 19:14] The armies that are in heaven, dressed in white, clean, fine linen, were following him on white horses. [Rev. 19:15] From his mouth extends a sharp sword, so that with it he can strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod, and he stomps the winepress of the furious wrath of God, the All-powerful. [Rev. 19:16] He has a name written on his clothing and on his thigh: “King of kings and Lord of lords.”
[Rev. 19:17] ¶ Then I saw one angel standing in the sun, and he shouted in a loud voice to all the birds flying high in the sky:
“Come, gather around for the great banquet of God,
[Rev. 19:18] to eat your fill of the flesh of kings,
the flesh of generals,
the flesh of powerful people,
the flesh of horses and those who ride them,
and the flesh of all people, both free and slave,
and small and great!”
[Rev. 19:19] ¶ Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to do battle with the one who rode the horse and with his army. [Rev. 19:20] Now the beast was seized, and along with him the false prophet who had performed the signs on his behalf–signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire burning with sulfur. [Rev. 19:21] The others were killed by the sword that extended from the mouth of the one who rode the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves with their flesh.
By now you should be aware that the message to worship Christ exclusively is one of the predominant themes of this majestic revelation. Revelation 19:10 demolishes the idea that any worship shown to Jesus was merely reverential respect. Here we see that even the act of worship, that is, bowing in surrender, to anyone other than Christ is forbidden. The angel who is transmitting Christ’s revelation to John expressing and immediately forbids John from showing any form of worship to him. “Worship God.”
In the famous painting depicting Christ from Revelation 3:20 (“Behold I stand at the door and knock…”), called “The Light of the World”, William Holman Hunt shows Jesus knocking at a door in an overgrown orchard at night. Christ is holding a lit lantern. But this glowing lantern seems unnecessary because of the brilliant moonlight which enables the viewer to clearly make out the scene. F.W. Boreham was in London in 1924 and visited Mr Hunt’s famous painting at St. Paul’s Cathedral. He understood that the artist meant to show that there was no door-handle on the outside of the door. He understood that the overgrown vegetation over the door meant to show that the inhabitants rarely ventured outside. But the lantern? There was no need for it.
Yet Boreham knew that Mr Hunt wasted nothing in his allegorical art. He remarked to his wife that this was a mystery to him. A kindly older gentlemen standing just behind Dr. Boreham interrupted with an apology for eaves-dropping. He excused himself by pointing out that he was no further away than Mr Boreham’s elbow when he expressed this mystery. “I knew Mr Hunt well” he said. “If you would permit me, I can enlighten you with what Mr Hunt himself told me about the lantern.” F.W. Boreham welcomed the offer. The artist’s friend explained that Mr Hunt wanted to convey that Christ was knocking on the door of a lukewarm church. Because there is no handle on the outside, the occupants must open up to Christ and invite Him in. But this church is located on the edge of the orchard adjacent to the wild woods. While Christ wanted entry to the church, it wasn’t to be for too long because He really wanted to lead the occupants out of their dwelling and to journey with Him into the darkness of the wild woods – hence His lantern was lit and trimmed. The church becomes lukewarm when it ceases to venture out into the darkness with the light of Christ.
Christ is still knocking and He still bears a lit lantern to guide His Church into the darkness to rescue a lost world. Let us open up to Christ and enjoy our times with Him but recognise that He bids us to not just “go” but to “go with Him”.