The Supper of the Great God (Rev. 19:1-18)
The Author wrote: [Regardless of how it might be challenging to understand the following verse (Rev. 19:18), the supper of the great God is no other than the Lamb’s wedding supper. God invited all the saints to this great supper (Mark 13:27; Rev. 19: 7 -9)].
The answer to this question is no. According to the Reviewer’s language, it is not the
menu but the purpose of the menu. The Greek word, “ἵνα, NT:2443,” which connects verses 17 and 18, denotes “the
purpose or the result.”
It is translated into “so that” (NIV, NASB), “in order that” (NASB1995), “para
que” (Spanish: most translations), and “
First: God’s great supper is a symbolic picture of calling the birds into the middle of heaven. It is “the marriage supper of the Lamb” or “the Eucharist,” as it will be depicted in (Rev. 19:17).
Second: The purpose or the result of the great supper, (i.e. salvation) is deliverance from sins and our spiritual enemies. In a symbolic picture, the imagery describes the eternal salvation from the powers of the kingdom of darkness, sin, and sinful human nature and the celebration of this salvation. This salvation is depicted symbolically as a massacre of many people (as symbolized in Rev. 19:18). It is as in the imagery derived from the Book of Ezekiel (Ezek. 39).
The Eucharist is the bread of eternal life (as symbolized in Revelation 19:17). It is also for salvation and forgiveness of sins in all their meanings, including deliverance from the forces of darkness, sin, and sinful human nature (as symbolized in Rev. 19:18).
In the concluding confession of the liturgy of St. Basil, the priest says: “I believe and confess to the last breath that this is the life-giving body... given for us, for our salvation, remission of sins, and eternal life for those who partake of Him.”
What is the Great Supper?
The Author wrote: “The supper of the great God is no other than the Lamb’s wedding supper. God invited all the saints to this great supper (Mark 13:27; Rev. 19: 7-9).”
It is the union of believers, as the bride, with Christ, as the bridegroom, through the Eucharist, according to Christ’s saying: “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him” (Jn. 6:56).
The Author cited Mark 13:27; it depicts gathering all saints into the eternal kingdom at the second coming of Christ, “He [Christ] will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.”
In this introductory passage, quoting (Mark 13:27) shows that Eucharist is an eschatological act that we do through faith until its ultimate fulfillment in the kingdom of God. The Lord Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God” (Mark 14:25).
The Birds’ Symbolism
The Bible used the birds as symbols in different ways. The birds symbolize Satan, who descends like the birds of the sky to take away the word (Mark 4:4, 15). The birds, flying in heaven, symbolize the chosen saints, to whom the call to the great supper of God came (Rev. 19:9, 17).
This symbol is derived from Christ's description of Himself as “the corpse,” and “the eagles” are the chosen saints waiting for His second coming. The Lord Jesus said, “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together... And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matt. 24:27-31), “Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together” (Luke 17:37).
The description of Christ of Himself as “the corpse” provides a powerful sign of His life-giving death on the Holy Cross. It also shows that the Eucharist's sacrifice is the same as the sacrifice on the Cross. The Lord Christ said: “This is My body which is given for you... This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:19-20). And the apostle Paul said: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes” (1 Cor. 11:26).
In the liturgy of St. Basil, the priest recites the exact words of Christ: “This is my body, which is broken for you and for many... this is my blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for you, and for many... For every time you eat of this bread and drink of this cup, you proclaim my death, confess my resurrection, and remember Me until I come.”
These chosen saints, who are invited to the supper of the great God (Mark 13:27; Rev. 19:7-9), are the fruit of the death of the Lord Christ. The Lord Jesus referred to His death in the likeness of a grain of wheat that dies until it bears much fruit, saying, “unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (Jn. 12:24).
In the Book of Revelation, the woman clothed with the Sun, whose one of its meanings symbolizes the church, appeared to have “two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly” (Revelation 12:14).
Christ is the living bread that came from heaven for the chosen saints who are invited to the supper of the great God. He said, “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him” (Jn. 6:53-55).
The Purpose of the Great Supper
Not everyone accepts the truth about the Holy Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus. After the Lord spoke in John 6, the Jews quarreled with one another and said, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” (Jn. 6:52), and many of His disciples said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” (Jn. 6:60).
In the same way, it may not be easy to understand the imagery that symbolizes the purpose of the great supper: “that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses, and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great” (Rev. 19:18).
The Author wrote, “In (Rev. 19:17), the imagery has its roots in Ezekiel’s prophecy against Gog in the land of Magog (Ezek. 39:4,17-20). However, we should not take this imagery literally.”
We should not understand this picture in a literal sense, for it is inappropriate to see such a bloody massacre while speaking of the great supper of God. Also, we should not take the act of eating people’s flesh. This image (Rev. 19:18) has its roots in the prophecy of Ezekiel against Gog in the land of Magog (Ezekiel 39). It symbolizes victory over the enemies of God.
As mentioned earlier, the Eucharist is the bread of eternal life (as symbolized in Revelation 19:17), given for salvation and forgiveness of sins in all their meanings, including deliverance from the powers of darkness, sin, and sinful human nature (as symbolized in Rev. 19:18).
In the last confession in the liturgy of St. Basil, the priest says: "I believe and confess to the last breath that this is the life-giving body... given for us, for salvation, remission of sins, and eternal life for those who partake of Him.”
Again, to avoid confusion, in (Rev. 19:18), the imagery is NOT about what the supper of the great God, Eucharist, is. This aspect of the Eucharist has been emphatically explained earlier with the commentary on (Rev. 19:17).
Verse 18 in chapter 19 relates to the purpose of the Great supper of God. It is symbolic imagery that symbolizes eternal salvation from the powers of darkness, sin, and sinful human nature and the celebration of this salvation (Rev. 19:18).
In (Rev. 19:18), the imagery used different categories of people “embracing the concept of discrimination and the law of segregation: kings, captains, mighty men, horses, and those who sit on them, and all people, free and enslaved person, both small and significant. Such law segregation is of the old sinful nature; it is not the act of the saints. In Christ, all are one (Gal. 3:28).”
Thus, as in (Rev. 6:16), we should understand that the massive slain crowd, in (Rev. 19:18), are not literal people but symbolize the works of darkness, Satan, and sin in us and our old sinful nature. Such works of evil and fallen nature were living in people before the death and the resurrection of Christ, believing in Him and united with Him sacramentally and spiritually.
God’s ultimate battle is against all unrighteousness and deceit perpetrated by the evil one on all levels of our life. “In brief, the number of the slain includes everything evil. Thus, all power of the old earthly human nature has ended.”
The imagery (Rev. 19:18) is followed by extensive visions of the final deliverance from the beast, the false prophet, and Satan. These topics are in the remaining part of this chapter, chapter 20.
To order the book, “Revealing the Father through the Book of Revelation”:
 ibid, p. 458