That awful period, called the tribulation, is over and all heaven is ready for the coming King. The rapture has occurred. And the groom has taken his bride at the altar in heaven. Now He comes to earth and His bride is with him.
Now let's recap so far. From chapter 4 through chapter 8 we were in the great tribulation. It ends by the coming of Christ to the earth to establish his Kingdom. Look at Acts 1: 8 -10; this reference indicates that Jesus will come back three ways, bodily, physically, and visibly. Because this is the way He went, and the angel said He would return the same way. He left in the body; all eyes saw him. He was physical. He was alive. He will return the same way. Now, where were they when they saw Him leave? On the Mount of Olives.
Now look at Zachariah 14: 4. Here is what verse 4 says. And in that day His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the East; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from East to West by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will be moved toward the North and the other half towards the South.
This prophecy was written hundreds of years before Jesus was even born. Yet it predicted that He would return there at the Mount of Olives. In revelation 4:1, heaven opened to let John enter in. He sees the church already there. Here heaven opens to let Christ exit. The white stallion is an animal of war. It represented conquest. On earth, He first rode into Jerusalem upon a little donkey, an animal of peace. Do you see the difference? His first coming was to bring peace. His second coming is to make war, an event that all the world sees. This is the moment we have longed for. How exciting to know that we will be a part of that great army that returns with Him.
V. 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 does judge and make war.
12. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself.
He is called “faithful” because He has come to execute the long- time program of God. He's the only one you and I can trust and rest upon. He is “true” because He doesn't just tell the truth, He IS the truth. He is the standard for truth, the yardstick of truth.
“comes to judge and make war.” - never again to die on a cross. Back in chapter 1:14, His eyes were as a flame, He was judging the church, walking among them. Here His eyes ARE a flame of fire because He has come to judge the earth. His blazing eyes will pierce the hearts of those
“many diadems” (some editions say “crowns”) – indicates that He is the soul ruler of this earth. His is a dictatorship. We won't get a vote. Nobody will get to vote. It doesn't matter what WE want. He is the dictator.
J. Vernon McGee (my favorite commentator) says “a chicken won't peep, a rooster won't crow, and a man won't move without His permission.” I like that, don’t you?
“His name written that no man knew”-what is it? We'll find out when HE comes. Then we will really get to know Him. If we knew now, we wouldn't understand with our finite minds, our limited abilities to understand and comprehend.
V13. And He was clothed with vesture dipped in blood, and His name is called “The Word 0f God”
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 goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He tread 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.
Why is his robe stained with blood? Look at Isaiah 63:1-6. Let's read together verses 4 through 6.
4 for the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed has come.
5. I looked, but there was no one to help, and I wondered that there was no to uph therefore, my own arm brought salvation for me; and my own fury, it sustained to me.
6. I have trodden down the people in my anger, made them drunk in my fury, and brought down their strength to the earth.
Notice the contrast between his first coming and his second coming. First, He had the gentleness of a lamb. Second the fury of His wrath. That is why they call it the “wrath of the lamb”.
In the book of John, he calls Jesus the Word. He meant that Jesus was the highest form of communication of God to man. We usually communicate by words. He was the bodily form of the communication of God. No matter what God could say to us, He couldn't say it any better than to show us Jesus.
The “Armies of Heaven” are probably made up of a combination of the legions of angels that do His bidding, riding on white horses. His bride, robed in white, will be with him as well. No wonder it will appear that he is coming back with clouds. WHAT A SIGHT! MAGNIFICANT!!!
The sharp sword in his mouth indicates that with his spoken word, the war will be won, and the nations will be conquered. Is the sword literal? See Hebrews 4: 12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Also see Ephesians 6: 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. (Also look at) Isaiah 11: 4 but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity For the make of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
Do you see how clearly the symbol is explained By scripture. It is the same with all the symbols, when they are not literal. The sword that comes from the mouth of Jesus is his word. It was His word that created the universe. (I love what someone has said about creation. They say they believed in The Big Bang theory this way --God spoke and, BANG, it happened) It is the Word of God which will save us, has saved us, and it will be the Word of God that will destroy the wicked at the end of the age.
Starting with verse 17 we see an entirely different scene.
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.
This is an invitation at the end of the battle of Armageddon, issued to the birds of prey, The flesh-eating fowl. This indicates that men who live in the flesh will have their flesh destroyed’ Notice those who will be food for the fowl, kings, captains, mighty men, horses, soldiers, great and small. He is going to judge someday. This scene reveals the heart of men and how dreadful that heart really is. These are the millions of unrepentant, hardened followers of Antichrist and false prophet who will be present for a short time at what is called “the great supper of God.”
Remember that this judgment is for those who have lived through the tribulation and are alive on the earth when Christ returns. If you wish to read about this in the scriptures read Matthew 25: 31—46.
The rest of the dead unbelievers will be resurrected and judged at what is known as the great white throne judgment which will follow the Millennium. Aren't you glad that you have a confirmed reservation at the wedding supper of the Lamb? That's the other supper.
Read the story of the maidens in Matthew 25: 1- 13. This is a description of the coming of Christ told in a parable. What does this scene in revelation mean to you, today, as you prepare for His coming? In what sense are we keeping “our wicks trimmed” and “oil in our lamps?”
Read Revelation 19:19-21
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.
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 worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone
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.
For the first time Hell is opened up. The first thing we notice is that the Antichrist and the false prophet are so obviously guilty that it is indisputable. There is no question but that they are guilty. They don't even require a trial. God doesn't even take the time to give them a chance to defend themselves. He casts them directly alive into the lake of fire. Everyone else is slain but those two or cast alive into the fire. This is the ultimate punishment. They aren't even given the mercy of being slain first; they have the distinction of being the first to be cast into Hell. They will not be present at the great white throne judgment because it is held at the end of the thousand years reign of the Kingdom of God on earth.
Notice something strange here, that the Antichrist is no longer associated with Satan. Satan has withdrawn from him. Satan will be bound in the abyss for 1000 years (See chapter 20:1). We'll talk about that next time.) The beast and false prophet defy God right up to the last moment.
Question? Is the lake of fire literal? If hell is not literal, it stands for something that is even worse than a literal fire of brimstone. Hell is not a popular subject to believe in today. But it is real, and it is true, Jesus spoke of it, warned of it, and described it.
This stuff is getting heavy, Friends. If you are saved by the blood of Jesus, the Savior, you don’t have to be afraid of all this. However, if you don’t know Him and have not asked Him to live within you, then now is the time. You may not get another chance. The trumpet could blow at any moment. When it does, I’m outta here!! Don’t you want to go with me? Ask Him now, and if you truly mean it, it’s as simple as that.
NEXT TIME, BROTHERS AND SISTERS. HOW EXCITING IS THIS!!!