Revelation 19:11-21

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST

INTRODUCTION:

I remind you that Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:19 provides us with an outline of Revelation.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:19 - Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

The things which thou hast seen refers to Revelation of Jesus Christ 1

The things which are refers to Revelation of Jesus Christ 2-3

The things which shall be hereafter, i.e. following the church age, refers to Revelation of Jesus Christ 4-22

The tribulation is found in Revelation of Jesus Christ 4-19

The millennium is found in Revelation of Jesus Christ 20

The eternal state is found in Revelation of Jesus Christ 21-22

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19 provides the link between the great tribulation and the millennium. The link is the second coming of Christ.

We have already seen -

I. THE ALLELUIA OF THE SAINTS IN HEAVEN - 19:1-3

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:1-3 - (1) And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: (2) For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. (3) And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.

We have also already seen -

II. THE ALLELUIA OF THE TWENTY-FOUR ELDERS - 19:4

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.

In addition, we have already seen -

III. THE FINAL ALLELUIA OF THE GREAT MULTITUDE - 19:5-6

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:5-6 - (5) And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. (6) And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

Next, we have also seen -

IV. THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB ANNOUNCED - 19:7-8

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:7-8 - (7) Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for [i.e. because] the marriage [i.e. the marriage supper] of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. (8) And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for [i.e. because] the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Finally, we have seen -

V. THE BLESSEDNESS OF THOSE CALLED TO THE MARRIAGE SUPPER - 19:9-10

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:9-10 - (9) And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called [i.e. invited] unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. (10) And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

We move on to -

VI. THE REVELATION OF THE KING OF KINGS - 19:11-13

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:11-13 - (11) And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. (12) His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. (13) And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

At this point in the book of Revelation, the climax of the revelation is reached with the presentation of Jesus Christ as the glorified King of kings and Lord of lords. In keeping with the subject of the book itself, the revelation of Jesus Christ, everything in Revelation that comes before Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:11 is in some sense introductory, and everything that follows is an epilogue.

In the Gospels Christ is revealed in rejection, humiliation, suffering, and death. By contrast His return is one of triumph, glory, sovereignty, and majesty.

Many Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments, such as Zechariah 14:3-4 and Matthew 24:27-31 , anticipate this scene.

Zechariah 14:3-4 - 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof [i.e. will be split in two] toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

Matthew 24:27-31 - 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase [i.e. corpse] is, there will the eagles [i.e. vultures] be gathered together. 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The opening of the heavens is dramatic in itself and to this is added the symbolism of a rider on a white horse drawn from the custom of conquerors riding on a white horse as a sign of victory or triumph.

The titles given to Christ here are in keeping with the divine judgment which follows. He is declared to be faithful and true, and to judge and make war in righteousness.

I [i.e. John] saw is I beheld (or I looked).

What John saw was heaven opened. It does not mean that John saw heaven being opened. It was already open before John saw it. It means heaven having been opened. John is speaking of the heaven where God dwells.

And behold is sometimes translated and lo. Its usage implies that something important is about to be said or to occur, and it is used to heighten or gain the reader's attention.

What John saw is a white horse.

He that sat upon him is the One who was sitting upon it, i.e. upon the horse.

Was called means was named.

What the rider was named indicates Who He is and what He is: He is Faithful and True, which speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.

Faithful is used in the sense of trustworthy, reliable, or dependable; and true is used in the sense of dependable. Christ is genuine and can always be counted on.

In Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:5 Christ was referred to as the faithful witness. In 3:7 referring to Himself, Christ said, These things saith . . . he that is true. . . . In 3:14, again referring to Himself, Christ said, These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness. . . .

Furthermore, in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

In righteousness is with (or by means of) righteousness (or uprightness). Christ is always right, righteous, or upright; and all that He does is always done in, with, or by means of righteousness or uprightness.

He doth judge and make war means Christ judges and makes war or judges and fights.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

His eyes were as a flame of fire suggests His eyes were as a fiery flame. This implies that they are searching and penetrating, thus enabling Him to judge all humanity, including believers, perfectly and without any errors in judgment. This speaks of His righteous judgment upon sin. No one will ever be able to deceive Him, and nothing will ever escape His notice. This reference to His eyes is a clear correlation of the rider on the white horse in this chapter with the exalted Christ Whom John saw in Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:14 . John uses the same description in Revelation of Jesus Christ 2:18 where he states that this description refers to the Son of God.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:13-14 - 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps [i.e. girded about the chest] with a golden girdle [i.e. with a golden band]. 14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 2:18 - And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass [or bronze].

Furthermore, in Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:17-18 the One described as being like unto the Son of man indicates by what He says to John that He is God the Son,

Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:17-18 - (17) And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: (18) I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell [i.e. of Hades] and of death.

There is no question but that the rider on the white horse in Revelation of Jesus Christ 19 is the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Son.

Also, on his head were many crowns. The crowns here are crowns a ruler would wear.

Although the reader is not told how many crowns are represented by the word many, it is apparently a significant number and more than would be represented by the word few. It is a reminder that Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. He rules the entire world whether the world realizes it or not.

In addition, he [i.e. Christ] had a name written, that no man [i.e. no one or nobody] knew, but [i.e. except] he himself, and this may include angels. Speculation regarding this name is useless. It will be known by all at the proper time.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

He was clothed with [i.e. wearing] a vesture [i.e. an outer garment, a cloak, or a robe] dipped in blood. The blood is not likely Christ's own; rather, it is the blood of His enemies which comes as a result of His treading the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Furthermore, his [i.e. Christ's] name is called The Word of God. John also referred to Jesus as the Word of God in a number of passages including John 1:1 and 1:14.

John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 - And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Next, we see -

VII. THE COMING OF THE KING OF KINGS - 19:14-16

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:14-16 - (14) And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. (15) And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. (16) And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

The armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses. These are heavenly troops who were following Christ, the Word of God, upon white horses.

Clothed in fine linen, white and clean indicates that the garments the troops are wearing are made of fine linen, and they are white. They are also clean. The same phrase was used in verse 8 where the fine linen is stated to be the righteousness of saints, which means the righteous deeds of the saints. It pictures the riders on white horses who are following Christ as being saints who are now in heaven, saved people who are clothed in their righteous deeds. A modern-day soldier can only imagine going into battle dressed like this, and there is no indication that they were even armed. There is also no indication that they had to fight in the battle to which they were headed. They needed no protective armor because they were immortal.

The spectacle of Christ on a white horse with a vesture dipped in blood accompanied by innumerable heavenly beings clothed in fine linen is a demonstration that now, at long last, the filthy, blasphemous situation in earth is going to be wiped clean with a divine judgment of tremendous magnitude.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword refers to the rider on the white horse, i.e. to Christ.

The figure of a sharp sword going out of Christ's mouth has also been seen in Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:16 and 2:16 and will be seen again in 19:21.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 1:16 - And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 2:16 - Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:21 - 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.

The picture of a sharp sword coming out of Christ's mouth conjures up a most interesting picture of Christ which suggests that He has the power to put people to death by speaking just as if He were wielding an actual sword, and it is the only weapon mentioned.

That [i.e. in order that or for the purpose that] with it [i.e. with the sharp sword or by means of the sharp sword] he should smite the nations provides the reason Christ has a sharp sword coming out of His mouth.

He should smite the nations is He (i.e. Christ) might strike the nations, i.e. the sum total of all the nations that had gathered to fight in the battle of Armageddon which were comprised of unsaved people who had received the mark of the beast and had worshiped his image. There are no saved people among them.

Also, he [i.e. Christ] shall rule [i.e. will shepherd] them with a rod of iron.

Shall rule is used figuratively of activity that protects, rules, or governs in the sense of leads, guides, or rules.

With a rod of iron is with an iron rod or by means of an iron rod. The use of an iron rod to enforce His rule suggests that Christ's rule will be strict as well as harsh and that Christ will destroy those who are His enemies. That Christ will rule with a rod of iron has already been referred to in Revelation of Jesus Christ 2:27 and 12:5. It is reminiscent also of Psalms 2:9 , which speaks of Christ's rule during the millennium.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 2:27 - And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 12:5 - And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

Psalms 2:9 - Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

Christ's ruling with a rod of iron is an indication that John is speaking here His millennial reign as the Messiah.

In addition, he [i.e. Christ] treadeth [i.e. treads or is treading] the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

The winepress is no ordinary winepress which would be used to squeeze grape juice out of grapes.

It is a winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. Rather than grapes being placed in this winepress, the unsaved are pictured as being placed in it. Rather than grape juice being squeezed out of grapes, blood is pictured as being squeezed out of the people who have been thrown into this winepress.

Of the fierceness suggests of the passion or of the anger, wrath, or rage.

And wrath, which means anger or indignation, suggests a disposition set against sin or evil; whereas, the word translated fierceness speaks of His passionate rage or fury.

Of Almighty God refers to God the Father. When the wrath of God is poured out in all its fury on unsaved humanity in the battle of Armageddon, every last drop of blood will be squeezed out of this winepress.

The winepress of the wrath of God which Christ treads is also spoken of in Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:19-20 .

Revelation of Jesus Christ 14:19-20 - (19) And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. (20) And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:16 And he [i.e. Christ] hath [i.e. has] on his vesture [i.e. on His outer cloak, on His cloak, or on His robe - the same garment mentioned in verse 13 which has been dipped in blood] - He hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

And on his thigh may be understood in the sense of even on His thigh. If so, on his thigh would indicate that Christ's name is written on the vesture on the place where the vesture covers the thigh and not on the thigh itself.

A name written is a name having been written. This name is KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. It means that Jesus is the King over all kings in existence. It also means that He is the Lord over all lords in existence. He always has been, and He always will be. He rules over all the world's rulers as well as all their subjects whether they realize it or not. He is the absolute sovereign.

In addition, we see -

VIII. THE BATTLE OF THE GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY - 19:17-19

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:17-19 - (17) And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; (18) 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. (19) 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.

I saw, where I is John, is I beheld. What John saw was an angel standing in the sun. Why this angel was standing in the sun is not clear. It is best understood as implying that the angel stood between John and the sun so that he appeared to John to stand in the sun. The angel's appearance would have to be very bright in order to be able to see him when he was standing in the sun or standing with the sun as a backdrop.

He [i.e. the angel standing in the sun] cried with a loud voice is he called out with a great voice.

Saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven is to all the birds, the ones flying in midheaven.

What he was saying to all the birds is, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God.

These widely-scattered birds were all to come together into the same general place.

Unto the supper implies unto the dinner or unto the banquet.

Of the great God suggests that it is a banquet which God has prepared or will prepare. These birds are going to enjoy a great feast.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:18 That [i.e. in order that or for the purpose that] ye [i.e. you birds] 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.

The birds are invited to the supper of the great God, which is in contrast to the marriage supper of the Lamb. They are invited to eat the flesh of those killed in the battle of Armageddon.

What the birds may eat is the flesh of a number of things. The various kinds of flesh listed are kings [i.e. rulers], captains [i.e. rulers of 600 soldiers], mighty men [i.e. strong ones or powerful ones], horses, them that sit on them [i.e. those who ride on horses], and all, free and bond [i.e. free ones as well as slaves], small and great [i.e. unimportant and important. All these bodies that the birds will eat will be dead bodies, and the birds won't care a whole lot about what their social status had been while they were still alive.

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:19 And I [i.e. I John] saw [i.e. beheld] the beast [i.e. the antichrist], and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war [i.e. to do battle] against him that sat on the horse [i.e. against Christ], and against his army [i.e. against Christ's army].

John also saw the kings of the earth, some of whom may have been previously fighting on the side of the antichrist and some of whom, such as the kings of the east, may have been previously fighting against the antichrist. All of a sudden they unite to fight against the Lord Jesus Christ as He makes His return at the second coming.

John also sees their armies or their troops; and by the time John sees them, they have already been gathered together to make war against Christ and against his army.

The focus of the battle is Christ, the One sitting on the white horse, rather than on His army, the ones following him wearing fine linen, clean and white.

We also see -

IX. THE DOOM OF THE BEAST AND THE FALSE PROPHET - 19:20

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:20 (20) 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.

The beast was taken [i.e. the beast out of the sea, the antichrist, was seized, grasped, or taken hold of.

And with him the false prophet indicates that the false prophet was also taken. The false prophet is the beast out of the earth introduced in Revelation of Jesus Christ 13 and is the one who caused all people to worship the antichrist.

That wrought miracles before him with which he deceived [i.e. with which he misled] them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. This refers to the false prophet.

Them that had received the mark of the beast reminds us that the false prophet caused everyone to receive a mark in his right hand or in his forehead without which he could not buy or sell anything. This mark signified that someone was a worshiper of the antichrist.

Them that worshipped his image is the ones who worshiped before the antichrist's image, which refers to the likeness or image of the antichrist which had been set up in the temple. It is the image of the antichrist which the false prophet encouraged the people to make, which he then caused to speak. Ultimately, this image caused anyone who would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.

One of the more satisfying verses in the Bible for those persecuted for their faith during the tribulation will undoubtedly be this one because of the words, These both [i.e. the antichrist and the false prophet] were cast [i.e. were thrown] alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Alive indicates that they did not die physically and describes the condition of the beast and false prophet when they were cast into a lake of fire burning with brimstone [i.e. burning with the sulphur].

The lake of fire was specially prepared by God for such a time as this as well as for the devil and his angels who will ultimately join the antichrist and false prophet there. Fire characterizes this lake, and sulphur is involved in the process.

The tense of burning implies that it is burning continuously. Although in this passage they were cast into this lake of fire in the past, it is burning continuously in the present; and it will continue to burn forever. Even though these things have not yet occurred, they are so certain of fulfillment that they can be spoken of as having already occurred.

Finally, We see -

X. THE DOOM OF THE ARMY OF THE BEAST - 19:21

Revelation of Jesus Christ 19:21 (21) 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.

Those not killed in the first stage of the conflict or in the capture of the beast and the false prophet are now put to death. It appears that the entire army of the wicked are put to death, and this act of judgment appears to be by the immediate power of Christ rather than by the armies which accompany Him.

There is no evidence that the armies of earth prevail in any sense against the armies of heaven but that there is total defeat of man at the height of his satanic power when brought into conflict with the omnipotence of God.

The only weapon Christ had or used was the sword proceeding out of His mouth; yet, the battle turns out to be no contest at all.

The remnant is the remaining ones or the rest and means all the others still alive at the battle of Armageddon.

Were slain is were killed.

With the sword of him that sat upon the horse is with (or by means of) the sword of the One sitting upon the horse, i.e. with Christ's sword.

Which sword proceeded out of his mouth suggests that He merely speaks the word and they all die.

One final thought in the chapter is that all the fowls [i.e. birds] were filled [i.e. ate their fill, were satisfied, or gorged themselves] with their flesh.