Revelation 19:9-10 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Revelation 19:9
  • Revelation 19:10

The speaker who is revealing these things to John tells him to write a statement of blessing to guests invited to the victory feast of Jesus. John falls to the ground and worships the speaker, but the speaker tells him he is only a fellow servant and that John ought to worship God. There is so much glory in Heaven that John is overwhelmed simply by the presence of a fellow believer.

In the prior section of Revelation 19:1-8, we were introduced to the believers who were the bride of Christ. They were adorned in “fine linen” garments that represented the “righteous acts of the saints.” Now the speaker makes clear that not all will be invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. The Lamb refers to Jesus (Revelation 5:6,12-13). As we learn in the prior section, the Lamb will marry the church, the bride of Christ. The marriage supper of the Lamb refers to a celebration of honor.

Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”

This entire book is written to believers, the servants of Jesus, to exhort them to remain faithful and true to the obedience of faith, in spite of difficulty and persecution. By doing so, it allows the believer to receive the great rewards God has for those who endure in faithfulness. One of the realities of the world that is to come is that some, but not all, will be honored. The true words of God are that anyone invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb is blessed. That indicates that some believers will receive this blessing, and some will not.

It could be that all believers will be included as being part of the bride of Christ, and will live in the new earth with Jesus forever, but not all believers will be honored at the marriage supper of the Lamb. This seems to have the same imagery as the parable Jesus told in Matthew 8. In that parable, the “sons of the kingdom” are excluded from the honor banquet, while Gentiles are seated at the head table along with the patriarchs of Jewish faith, including Abraham (Matthew 8:11-13). The “sons of the kingdom” are believing Jews, as is made clear in the parable of the tares (Mathew 13:38). This season of refining will pass, as there is no sorrow in the new earth (Revelation 21:4).

Next we discover that the person revealing these things to John is a fellow servant. John notes: Then I fell at his feet to worship him. It appears that at this point, John is overwhelmed by what he has heard, and just falls down to worship him. The messenger says Do not do that. It is not appropriate for John to worship this person. He explains I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus. That this person had so much majesty that John would have the urge to worship him shows the amazing transformation God will perform on His faithful servants. The messenger redirects John’s worship, and says to instead worship God.

The word translated testimony in the phrase fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus has the Greek root “martyria.” We get the English word “martyr” from this word. It means testimony or witness. The overarching theme of Revelation includes an admonition for each believer to be a good steward of their choices, and choose to be a faithful witness (“martyria”) and not fear rejection, loss or death from the world system. Those who are faithful in this manner are the ones who will gain the great rewards Jesus promises.

The fellow servant now offers an explanation for his prior admonition. He says For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. The word testimony here again has the root “martyria.” We saw the same word translated prophecy in the introduction to Revelation:

“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.”
(Revelation 1:3)

The phrase in the introduction (Revelation 1:3) “words of the prophecy” compares to spirit of prophecy in the phrase quoted in Revelation 19:10. Prophecy is the speaking of truth. It includes words as well as the spirit. It can be truth about the past, present, or future. The same word translated prophecy is used to describe the Bible:

“But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
(1 Peter 1:20-21)

The prophetic word of God is spoken in word, and has the spirit of worship. The essence of worship is to hear and choose to follow what is true.

Revelation speaks the truth about the great benefit of living as a faithful witness, and not fearing death, loss, or rejection. To live this way is to worship God. If we read, hear, and heed the words of the prophecy of Revelation, we are promised a great reward. To do so requires a spirit of prophecy that leads us to worship God.

The spirit of worship believes who God is, and treats Him accordingly. This is shown in this passage:

“And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’”
(Matthew 8:2)

In this passage, the leper is said to have worshipped Jesus when he acknowledged that Jesus had the capacity to heal Him, and had no obligation whatsoever to do so. In doing this, the leper sought blessing, but fully recognized it was a matter of mercy for God to do so for him.

The truth of the prophetic word of Revelation is that true and lasting blessing comes to those who live in the spirit of worship, and live as faithful witnesses, in full obedience to Christ.

Biblical Text

9 Then he *said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’” And he *said to me, “These are true words of God.” 10 Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he *said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

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