Question: Please explain Revelation 19:19 and Revelation 20:9.
Answer (part 1): Revelation 19:19 reads thus: “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.”
The first point to consider in this text is the “beast” and what it represented. There are two beasts presented in the Revelation but the second beast is more generally referred to as the “False Prophet” and when the reference is to “The Beast” it always refers to the first beast. The first identifying mark of the beast is “seven heads and ten horns.” In the 17th chapter of Revelation this same beast appears again as “a scarlet colored beast full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.” In this case this beast is referred to as “A Beast” instead of “The Beast” as is common in referring to him but the identifying marks are the same seven heads, ten horns, and names of blasphemy (Revelation 17:3 and Revelation 13:1) so there can be no doubt of them being the same beast.
In this 17th chapter of Revelation the beast has a gorgeous, glamorous woman riding upon it. However, this woman is just as corrupt and vile as she is gorgeous and glamorous. (Revelation 17:4-5.) Please read these verses. This beast with a woman riding upon it would symbolize a vast political religious combine. The kings of the earth have committed fornication with this woman which would signify that the political rulers and governments of the world exposed her cause, and supported her, and accepted her corrupt and apostate system of worship and worshiped at her shrine.
God chose a pure, chaste woman, exalted high above the world and adorned with the rich, glorious virtues and graces of His Son, Jesus Christ, to symbolize His true, pure Church. (Revelation 12:1.) Here He chooses a vile, corrupt, abominable woman decked out in all the gorgeous attire and ornaments of the world, living a corrupt, abominable, dissolute life to symbolize the corrupt, apostate church after which all the world wondered. (Revelation 13:3.) This 17th chapter identifies this false church or religious system more clearly than the 13th chapter in which she was first introduced.
In Revelation 17:9-10 the seven heads are identified as seven mountains on which the woman sitteth; and also seven kings of which five are fallen, one is and one is yet to come. Verse 11 identifies “The Beast” as the 8th head but is actually of the seventh and his end is that he goeth into perdition. Here is described the city of Rome which actually is situated on seven mountains and also the kingdom or empire of Rome which actually had seven kings or forms of government during its existence. Five of them had already fallen at the time the Revelation was given and one was in existence then and one was yet to come. Then verse 12 identifies the ten horns as ten kings which had not yet received their kingdoms. This represents the 10 minor kingdoms which grew out of the Roman Empire during its decline and fall. Gibbon, in his history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, gives the details of all of this and the names of all the forms of government and of the minor kingdoms which I will not insert here for the sake of space. Then verse 13 says these all have one mind and give their strength unto “The Beast.”