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THE LORD AT HIS COMING – Revelation 19:11-16

Posted by Pastor Greg Allen on September 28, 2016 under AM Bible Study |

AM Bible Study Group; September 28, 2016 from Revelation 19:11-16

Theme: This passage describes the characteristics of our Savior at the time of His glorious return.

(All Scripture is taken from The New King James Version, unless otherwise indicated).

This passage describes for us the great event of our Lord’s second coming. This coming should be distinguished from His coming to earth to receive His church to Himself—that is, after the tribulation, and prior to the outpouring of God’s wrath (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Paul spoke of “the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). It may be best to see “the blessed hope” as a reference to our Lord’s coming for His saints, and “the glorious appearing” as a reference to the event described in the passage before us. Both events go together; but they should be kept distinct in our thinking.

How different Jesus’ second advent as mighty Conqueror will be from His first advent as humble Savior! The Bible teaches us that the location of His departure after His first advent (that is, the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem; see Acts 1:9-12) will be the same as His glorious return (Zechariah 14:3-4). The scene of His coming, as it is described to us by John, begins with heaven appearing to be opened (in the perfect passive participial form; literally, “to have been opened and now standing opened”). It was opened once before in this vision—but only so that John could come and see “things which must take place” with respect to the vision (Revelation 4:1). It must be that there was a closure of heaven from earth until the time of Jesus’ return—and perhaps this was because of the purity of heaven in contrast to the sinfulness of this world. But now, because Jesus begins to take possession of the kingdoms of this world, the heavens are opened and ready for Him to make His way to earth. Earlier, we’re told that it will be announced, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Revelation 11:15).

What is then revealed to John is the glory of Jesus’ coming in terms of three aspects: (1) His features, (2) His army, and (3) His rule.

I. HIS FEATURES (vv. 11-13).

A. He comes on a white horse. This speaks of His conquering majesty. A white horse symbolizes His purity. This is a pure and holy majesty of which the coming of the Antichrist was only a faint and cheep imitation (see 6:1-2).

B. He is called “faithful and true”. The attributing of these names to Him seems to be associated with His high position of authority as ‘firstborn’ over all creation (see Revelation 1:5; 3:7, 14). But they also clearly speak of His nature as a ruler. He is “faithful” in that He acts in complete good faith to His promise and to the declared will of the Father; and He is “true” in that He acts in complete consistency with truth, and can be trusted as being without any trace of falsehood. What a contrast He is to the sinfulness and deceit of the Antichrist!

C. He judges and makes war in righteousness. Before Him, there will never have been another king or emperor of ruler like Him. Of none of them could it ever be said that they judged their people or made war against their enemies with complete righteousness. All of them will prove to have been fallen men—sadly prone to sinful motives or actions. But there is not and never will be any unrighteousness in the actions of King Jesus. He takes possession of this earth justly; and He judges it righteously.

D. His eyes are like a flame of fire. This speaks of His character as the all-seeing One; who sees—and who thus judges—in complete purity and righteousness; and with the full knowledge of complete wisdom and insight (Revelation 1:14; see also Hebrews 4:13). He will never have need of counselors or informers. He will never be deceived or mistaken in any of His judgments or actions.

E. He wears many crowns. He wears not just one crown, but many (see Zechariah 6:11; “an elaborate crown”, or literally “crowns”). King Jesus will take possession, not just of a kingdom, but of all of the kingdoms of this earth.

F. He has a mysterious name. In His preincarnate appearances, He sometimes presented His name as a mystery (Revelation 2:17; see also Genesis 32:29; Judges 13:17-18). So also here, His glory remains unfathomable. As much as we will behold His glory, we will never be able to plumb the depths of the mystery of His glory completely.

G. His garment is dipped in blood. This is a fulfillment of what we read in Isaiah 63:1-6. What a dreadful sight He will be to the wicked of this world! The blood He bears is not His own, but the blood of the wicked in judgment! (See also v. 15.)

H. His name is called “the Word of God”. This is His name which will not be a mystery to us. It describes to us His glorious role as the One who reveals the Father (John 1:1; 1 John 1:1).

II. HIS ARMIES (v. 14).

A. They are from heaven. This army is constituted of those who were redeemed during the Old Testament era (Daniel 12:1-2), the church (Revelation 19:7-8), and the tribulation saints (Revelation 6:9-11; 7:9-14).

B. They are clothed in white robes like His. They are robbed with His righteousness; but also with the garments of their own faithful deeds in His name (see Revelation 6:9-11; 19:8).

C. They follow Him on white horses. They ride in majesty as He does; but note that they don’t simply ride wherever they will; but rather, they ride following Him. Note also that they have no need for weapons. They come, not to fight, but to reign with Him (Revelation 20:4).

III. HIS RULE (vv. 15-16).

A. A sharp sword proceeds from out of His mouth. This is meant to call to mind a sharp, two-edged broadsword—a formidable weapon of battle, meant to kill (see v. 21). But it is not a literal sword. Instead, it is symbolic of Jesus’ word—The only weapon He needs—going “out of His mouth”. And what a weapon it is! (See John 18:4-6). Jesus was presented at the beginning of John’s vision in this very way (see 1:16). It is with this great sword of His own word that He strikes the nations (see 19:21). Imagine! No weapon crafted by man will be able to withstand His word!

B. He rules the nations with a rod of iron. The word for “rule” can also be translated “to feed” or “pastor”. Note that it is He Himself who so rules! The rod of iron brings to mind the rod that a potter would use to smash up imperfect pieces of pottery in order to be ground, made wet, and remolded again after the potters will. Jesus will not simply adopt the governments and the constitutions of this world, but will remake the nations thoroughly after His perfect will. It is with this same rod that He was promised to rule back in Psalm 2:8-9.

C. He treads the wine press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God. Again, this points us to the shocking prophecy of Isaiah 63:1-6. And note, once more, that He Himself treads the wine press! The blood that will stain His robe suggests the terrible thoroughness of this treading!

D. He bears the name, “King of kings and Lord of lords”. He bears this name not only on His garments, but also on His person. The thigh seems to be a symbol for the place of identity through which a person takes-up and keeps a pledge (See Genesis 24:2-3; 32:31; 47:29-31). Note His glorious title (see Deuteronomy10:17; Daniel 2:47; 1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14); a name that exalts Him as truly having “the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).

* * * * * * * * * *

What can we say to all this but what Paul himself wrote in 1 Corinthians 16:22—”If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. O Lord, come!” (or “Maranatha!”).

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