Bible Revelation

Jesus Christ’s Return (Rev 19:11-21)


A. Past Lessons

B. Text of Rev 19:11-21

“11Then I looked and I saw heaven being opened. And behold, a white horse and the one riding it was titled, ‘Faithful and True.’ In righteousness he was judging and waging war. 12His eyes were like flames of fire, and many crowns were on his head. He had a name written which no one could understand except himself. 13He was wearing clothing dipped in blood, and the name he is called is, ‘The Word of God. 14The armies in heaven were dressed in fine linen that was white and clean. They followed the rider on the white horse. 15He had a sharp sword coming out of his mouth so that he could use it to strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod, he will walk on the wine of the winepress of the God Almighty’s angry wrath. 16He had a name written on his clothing and on his thigh: ‘King of kings and Lord of lords.’ 17Then I looked and I saw an angel standing in the sun and he cried out in a loud voice saying to all the birds flying in the mid-heaven, ‘Come! Gather for the great feast of God. 18Gather so we can eat the flesh of the kings, captains, powerful, horses, those who live with them, both free and slaves, small and great.’ 19Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth gathered to war against the one who sits on the horse and against his army. 20The beast was seized along with his false prophet who had done signs on behalf of the beast. He led those astray who had the mark of the beast and who worshipped his statue. The two of them were thrown into the lake of fire of burning sulfur. 21The rest were killed by the sword that came out from the mouth from the one riding the horse. Every bird was full on their flesh.” (Rev 19:11-21)[ref]Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own based on the NA28 Greek text[/ref]

Jesus Christ Returns (Rev 19:11-21)

Photo Credit: Waiting for the Word

C. General Remarks

“The Word of God marks plain that God so loved the world that He gave His Son, and that all who avail themselves of the grace of God are immeasurably blessed in time and eternity. On the other hand, the same Word of God states plainly that those who spurn God’s mercy must experience His judgment without mercy.” (Walvoord, Revelation, 294)

“There is nothing more dear to God’s people and more clearly stated in the Bible than the fact that Jesus Christ is coming again.” (Hitchcock, The End, 384).

“It is as though the wholeness of God is a sharp scalpel in the hand of a skilled and loving surgeon. As the surgeon seeks to cut through our flesh to the cancerous growth that is destroying us, we could easily perceive the surgeon as a spiteful, sadistic, ogre who is seeking to inflict pain and suffering upon us when, in reality, the surgeon, the scalpel, and the suffering they cause are all directed toward our healing and wholeness.” Mulholland, “Revelation” in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, 574.

“This passage contains one of the most graphic pictures of the second coming of Christ to be found anywhere in Scripture.” (Walvoord, Revelation, 287)

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1A. Passages Predicting Christ’s Return

“Who is this who comes from Edom, from the city of Bozrah, with his clothing stained red? Who is this in royal robes, marching in his great strength? “It is I, the LORD, announcing your salvation! It is I, the LORD, who has the power to save!” Why are your clothes so red, as if you have been treading out grapes? “I have been treading the winepress alone; no one was there to help me. In my anger I have trampled my enemies as if they were grapes. In my fury I have trampled my foes. Their blood has stained my clothes.” (Isaiah 63:1–3, NLT)

“The LORD will appear above his people; his arrows will fly like lightning! The Sovereign LORD will sound the ram’s horn and attack like a whirlwind from the southern desert.” (Zechariah 9:14, NLT)

“Then the LORD will go out to fight against those nations, as he has fought in times past. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. And the Mount of Olives will split apart, making a wide valley running from east to west. Half the mountain will move toward the north and half toward the south.” (Zechariah 14:3–4, NLT)

“For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes. Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near. “Immediately after the anguish of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.” (Matthew 24:27–31, NLT)

“Jesus replied, ‘You have said it. And in the future you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.’” (Matthew 26:64, NLT)

There were many people thinking about and writing about the coming of the Messiah during Jesus’ time and before his time. One of the views from the Dead Sea Scrolls seems to indicate that there would be two Messiahs: a royal Messiah and a priestly Messiah (Wright, Revelation for Everyone, 172). Meanwhile, other writings around Jesus’ time indicate that they were expecting a royal and wise king like Solomon, others suggest the king would be a military leader.

I am often asked—especially in my new believers class that I teach at church—why do the Jesus reject Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Well, it is because the passages I’ve listed above seem to indicate a Messiah that would be a military leader.

While Jesus did come to fight a battle, it was not the battle that many thought he was going to fight. He came to conquer death.

A. Faithful and True (v. 11)

Καὶ εἶδον τὸν οὐρανὸν ἠνεῳγμένον, καὶ ἰδοὺ ἵππος λευκὸς καὶ ὁ καθήμενος ἐπʼ αὐτὸν [καλούμενος] πιστὸς καὶ ἀληθινός, καὶ ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ κρίνει καὶ πολεμεῖ.

“Then I looked and I saw heaven being opened. And behold, a white horse and the one riding it was titled, ‘Faithful and True.’ In righteousness he was judging and waging war.” (Rev 19:11)[ref]Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own based on the NA28 Greek text[/ref]

1. Similar to the First Seal