Revelation #32 Revelation 19:11-21 End Times: Enter The Lion


Revelation #32 Revelation 19:11-21 End Times: Enter The Lion

Babylon enemy of God’s people, of humanity, that led billions to a Christless eternity with its seductions of living life the way you see fit has been destroyed, devoured by the government she gave birth to. The culture that would have you turn its back on God has been seen for what it is, a sham, a lie, a deception, nothing but vile propaganda, it has caved in upon itself, devoured by the same powers that promoted it.  Did you catch that from last time, it was the Beast and the False Prophet that brought the devastation to the culture of Babylon? God used evil to destroy evil. Now John turns our attention to the demise of the Beast, its False Prophet, the Kings of the Earth who allied with the Beast, and all the people who have fallen prey to spiritual blindness.


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and all those not sure buckle up! The time has come, the moment you've all been waiting for, the greatest spectacle ever witnessed in the annals of history: The Battle of Armageddon!

In one corner, bathed in celestial light, wielding the flaming sword of righteousness, the undisputed King of Kings, the reigning champion for all eternity: JESUS CHRIST!

And in the opposing corner, shrouded in the darkest shadows, reeking of sulfur and brimstone, the challenger, the conniving trickster, the Champion of the Lord of Lies: The Beast

For millennia, the forces of good and evil have clashed across the ages. But tonight, in the valley of Megiddo, it all comes down to this! This is a grudge match unlike any other, a fight for the very fate of humanity!

Will the light of redemption overcome the darkness of despair? Will angels sing or demons roar? Find out right here, right now, at the main event of the ages: Armageddon!

I suspect that John is going to reveal a mighty smackdown.  We’ve been told the blood will flow deep as a horse’s bridle (Revelation 14:20).  John introduces team good.

Revelation 19:11-21 (MSG)

11 Then I saw Heaven open wide—and oh! a white horse and its Rider. The Rider, named Faithful and True, judges and makes war in pure righteousness. His eyes are a blaze of fire, on his head many crowns. He has a Name inscribed that's known only to himself. He is dressed in a robe soaked with blood, and he is addressed as the "Word of God." The armies of Heaven, mounted on white horses and dressed in dazzling white linen, follow him. A sharp sword comes out of his mouth so he can subdue the nations, and then rule them with a rod of iron. He treads the winepress of the raging wrath of God, the Sovereign-Strong. On his robe and thigh is written, King of kings, Lord of lords.

The rider of this white horse is none other than Jesus. Jesus is named faithful and true which means He is completely trustworthy. He is awesomely reliable. In the most catastrophic of times, Jesus will bring you to victory. That Jesus is going to wage this war in pure righteousness means that He will follow the rules of engagement, he will fight justly. Those blazing eyes represent Jesus’ ability to discern the motives of the heart and the intent of one’s actions, His judgments are 100% accurate.  Upon His head are not 7 crowns like the Dragon (Revelation 12:3) or the 10 Crowns like the Beast (Revelation 13:1) but rather many crowns. The crowns are the symbol of Jesus' authority. John is telling his readers that Jesus’ authority makes the Dragon’s authority pitiful. No wonder when you as a believer submit to the Lordship of Christ and resist the Devil it flees (James 4:7). I suspect that Jesus' unknown name is ascribed upon His forehead, a name that only He knows.  That there is no explanation for the mysterious name may mean that there are unknowable spiritual realities, but Jesus is the understandable truth of those realities (Lotz, p. 279).

Then what John writes gives us a double take.  Before the battle, Jesus’ robes are splattered with blood. Now the scholars have their debates, but in my thinking before the battle Jesus’ is already splattered with blood sounds a whole lot like Revelation 5:6 when Jesus enters the throne room of God appearing as a slaughtered lamb but still standing.  The reason that Jesus has the authority John ascribes, the name Faithful and True, the eyes that see the truth, and the many crowns is because of His obedience to the Father's plan of salvation. 


Philippians 2:9-11 (MSG)

Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.


The splattered blood is His blood, the blood shed upon the cross, given to seal the new covenant (Eller, p.177).  It is the blood of the atonement that makes it possible for you and me and all kinds of people to become participants in life eternal.  It’s the blood that makes it possible for the forgiveness of sins, for the reconciliation of relationships to God, Others, the Earth, and Self, and the sealing with the Holy Spirit.  In our delve deeper this week we will explore the opposing view that the blood is not Jesus’ but that of his enemies. For now, I am most comfortable with the idea that this blood-splattered garment is a symbol of the crucifixion.


John tells us that we can call the rider “The Word of God.” The name reminds us of the Gospel according to John.

John 1:1-5 (MSG)

The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one. Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!—came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn't put it out. 


The Word of God is leading the host of heaven.  Those dazzling white garments are made from the same linen of righteousness worn by the Bride. This army is composed of the saints, the martyrs, and the disciples of Jesus (Jude 14-15). My friends now is the time to learn to ride a white horse.  I urge you to become skilled in deeds of righteousness.


Jesus subdues his enemies with the sword that comes out of his mouth.  We’ve considered this before.  The sword is the spoken word of truth (Hebrews 4:12). God’s Truth is the ultimate reality whether you choose to believe it or not. God’s truth is fully revealed in Jesus. Truth is, and if you are on the wrong side of truth, you are going to end your life as bird food.


Any doubt concerning who this rider leading the armies of heaven is dissolved with John revealing that embroidered on His clothing is the title King of Kings, Lord of Lords. This is God’s anointed who comes again to set His people free.


Now with a glance across the battlefield, John sees that those demonic frogs have gathered people far and wide that aligned with the Beast, and an angel invites spectators to the battle.


Revelation 19:17-18 (MSG)

I saw an Angel standing in the sun, shouting to all flying birds in Middle-Heaven, "Come to the Great Supper of God! Feast on the flesh of kings and captains and champions, horses and their riders. Eat your fill of them all—free and slave, small and great!"

Which dinner do you want to be a part of, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb or the Great Supper of God? What a grim contrast, enjoy the celebratory menu or be the menu (Mounce, p 348-349). John is drawing from Ezekiel 39:17-20 with this imagery of birds being part of divine judgment. We bury our dead, or according to the culture have some ritual in which the body of the deceased isn’t left to rot under the sun.  In addition to being slain by the Truth, the dead are also dishonored and left unburied, it is a grave insult. All dinner invitations have been given, which will you accept?

Having introduced Team Good, the rider named Faithful and True, the Word of God, King of Kings, Lord of Lords and his armies, John introduces Team Evil

Revelation 19: 19

19 I saw the Beast and, assembled with him, earth's kings and their armies, ready to make war against the One on the horse and his army.


Ready for the fight, the battle for the supremacy of mankind? There is going to be sweat and blood, war cries, warriors going head to head in the vicious and violent clash of hand-to-hand combat. Are you ready for the arrows flying, the spears throwing, swords swinging, horses trampling? Here’s what John sees.

Revelation 19:20-21 (MSG)

The Beast was taken, and with him, his puppet, the False Prophet, who used signs to dazzle and deceive those who had taken the mark of the Beast and worshiped his image. They were thrown alive, those two, into Lake Fire and Brimstone. The rest were killed by the sword of the One on the horse, the sword that comes from his mouth. All the birds held a feast on their flesh.


Wait, what? there’s no battle. John’s vision hasn’t suddenly gotten a G rating, safe to take your kids to.  No, there is no battle of Armageddon because the battle has already been won.  It was fought on Calvary and won with an empty tomb (Eller, p.178).  John is revealing the results of Jesus' ministry. The Beast and allies had already lost, they just didn’t know it. They were doomed from the get-go.  No surprise, the Dragon is the ultimate liar.


The Beast, a civil government that resists and rebels against the rule of God, and the False Prophet, a religious teaching that enslaves instead of liberates are summarily executed. Their influence upon humanity is gone. Those who were duped, those who refused to repent during those rough, intense, and catastrophic times spiritually dead already, now become physically dead. Truth “slays all who have in the final alignment of loyalties arrayed themselves against God…” (Mounce, p.350). This is the divine heart-breaking judgment of God. 


John has revealed to us that this is how things end up at the second coming of Jesus.  Revelation 19:11 gives us a glimpse of the second coming of Christ. We believe that Jesus will return. 


When we partake of the Lord’s supper, we acknowledge the second coming.

1 Corinthians 11:26

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.


Jesus told us that he will come again.

Matthew 24:44

Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.


Those white robbed men tell the disciples that Jesus will return

Acts 1:10–11

And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’


The Apostle Paul taught that Jesus is coming again.

1 Thessalonians 4:16–17

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God…and so we will always be with the Lord.


When Jesus returns all that has hindered your growth in faith, all that has opposed your work in the Kingdom, all that sought to overrule God, is dealt with.


For now, Jesus tells us

Luke 21:34–36

But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.


In these 10 verses, John has revealed that Jesus is victorious.  That it was on Golgatha’s hill where Armaggedon was waged.  The empty tomb is the proclamation of that victory.  In the End, there is no battle for supremacy,  the agents of evil are confronted with Truth and are removed from waging war against the people of God.


One simple question: Are you riding a white horse?


Popular posts from this blog