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Revelation 19:11-21 “The Great Battle Of The Lord”

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SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

Revelation 19:11-21

(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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 INTRODUCTION:

In chapters 17: and 18: we took a step back and reviewed the identity and characteristics of Satan’s kingdom, the Great Whore, along with warnings given by God to separate ourselves from her by opposing her deceptive enticements.   This two chapter look at the Whore ended with a Mighty Angel picturing her absolute defeat and abolishment from the earth, by casting a huge millstone into the sea and watching it sink into oblivion.  This brings an end to seal #7.

Immediately following seal #7 being revealed (which we have seen in great detail in previous chapters of Revelation 16-18, we are now shown the contents of this sealed book.  The contents of the sealed book will reveal what the saints have awaiting them in eternity with Christ.  The contents of the sealed book will be revealed to us in chapters 19-22.  This will bring to completion our study of the Revelation.

A very basic outline of the remaining chapters of Revelation includes:

  1. Rev 19 – What immediately precedes eternity with the Lord?
  2. Rev 20 – The opening stage of eternity with the Lord (1000 year reign – a time of judgment)
  3. Rev 21 – The subsequent stage of eternity with the Lord pictured as a great city
  4. Rev 22 – The subsequent stage of eternity with the Lord pictured as Eden restored

 

In the chapter before us, we use a very simple outline:

  1. Rev 19:1-6 – The Lord praised for His great victory over the powers of darkness
  2. Rev 19:7-10 – The Lord’s relationship to His people – (The Marriage of the Lamb)
  3. Rev 19:11-21 – The Lord’s relationship to the lost – (Battle of Armegeddon)

 

In Revelation 19: – we can see the appearance of Christ in heaven as He returns with His saints.  Throughout several chapters of Revelation 7:-18: we have seen what will take place during his second coming:

  1. He will take up His people who are living on the earth and take up the bodies of the saints who have previously died. He will give them prepare them to spend any eternity with Him, including giving them glorified bodies.
  2. He will send His wrath against lost mankind, the political and religious kingdom of Satan, the fallen angels and Satan Himself. The wrath that falls will result in their utter, permanent defeat and consignment to eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire.
  3. He will renovate the existing heavens and earth, making them sin-free and equip them to exist eternally as the home of Him and His people.

 

All of these events were previously revealed in detail in Revelation.  In this chapter we can see these same events symbolized in summary fashion…

The Lord Praised for His Defeat of the Powers of Darkness Rev 19:1-6:

The Marriage Of The Lamb (Preparation of God’s People For Eternity) Rev 19:7-10:

The Symbolism Of Rev 19:7-10: – We saw preparation of God’s people initiating eternity with the Lord.   This was pictured as a marriage, the inaugural ceremony for living a life of closeness and intimacy with our spouse.

The Symbolism Of Rev 19:7-10 Interpreted – This marital symbolism taught us about the saint’s separation from the lost, their unification as one assembly and the glorification of their sinful bodies.  It is these events which then prepare the saints to spend eternity with Christ.

The Eternal Relation Of Christ With His People As Symbolized In Rev 19:7-10 – This marriage symbolism emphasizes the purity and intimacy of the eternal relationship that is had between Christ and His people.

 

The War Against The Powers Of Darkness (Preparing the Satan, Demons, and the Lost For Eternity) Rev 19:11-21:

The Symbolism Of Rev 19:11-21: – This preparation is made up of a symbolic war between Christ and the powers of darkness leading to their final absolute defeat.

The Symbolism Of Rev 19:11-21 Interpreted: – This was accomplished with the completion of the God’s wrath which fell upon mankind at His second coming… symbolized by seal #7, trumpets 1-7 and vials 1-7.

The Eternal Relation Of Christ With Lost Mankind As Symbolized In Rev 19:11-21: – This war symbolizes for us that Christ’s relation to the powers of darkness will be that of a King who has gained an absolute victory over the lost permanently reigning over them.  The lost will abide in eternal torment, never to rise again, being the vanquished foe.

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Revelation 19:11-21

 

(11)  And I saw heaven opened,

Following viewing the Marriage of the Lamb, John’s attention is now turned to Christ returning from heaven at His second coming.   This will help us to understand what has happened in preparation of the Lord ruling over the lost in the Lake of Fire for an eternity.

 

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. 

(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.

In this text, Christ is given six titles which teach us about His character:

  1. vs 11 – “Faithful” at His second coming and the defeat of the powers of darkness, He is fulfilling many promises.
  2. vs 11 – “True” reveals He is not deceitful, nor secretive, He is very open and transparent. He has nothing to hide.
  3. vs 13 – “The Word Of God” – He reveals the mind of God to man.
  4. vs 16 – “King Of Kings” – He is the One with the ultimate authority over those who hold authority.
  5. vs 16 – “Lord Of Lord” – He possesses the absolute control over those that control others.
  6. vs 12 – “A Name No One Knew” – His greatness cannot be totally understood

 

Now, we see truths about Christ revealed in six actions…

  1. vs 11 – appears on a “white horse”. The color white shows us His wisdom and purity.  Riding upon a horse reveals His His power, speed and authority.
  2. vs 11 – “in righteousness he doth judge” – He judges others in a lawful, just, way that pleases God
  3. vs 11 – “in righteousness he doth… make war” – He makes war in a lawful, just, way that pleases God
  4. vs 15 – “smite the nations” – He strikes out in punishment against the nations of the world
  5. vs 15 – “rule them with a rod of iron” – He exercises unbreakable authority over the nations of the world
  6. vs 16 – “treadeth winepress of His fierceness and wrath” – He exercises His passionate vengeance by trampling down those that oppose Him.

Christ’s physical appearance is described by John:

  1. vs 12 – “His eyes were as a flame of fire” – Everything is revealed in Christ’s sight and will be brought to judgement
  2. vs 12 – “on His head were many crowns” – He holds rulership in every area of the world, praised by all mankind.
  3. vs 13 – “clothed … in blood” – His shed blood on cross and/or the blood of His enemies as He brings them to defeat.
  4. vs 15 – “out of his mouth…sword” – the Lord’s Word defeats lost and cuts into men convicting them of sin.
  5. vs 16 – “And he hath … LORD OF LORDS.” – Lord’s robe and thigh with His name, publically (robe) and secretly (thigh) the Lord’s title of King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Now, some recognize Him as King and Lord while others do not.  But at His second coming it will clearly be revealed to all.

 

At Christ’s second coming, He will be accompanied with His saints.  They are described as:

  1. “following Him” – The Lord is their leader and the captain of their lives. They simply follow Christ as their Lord.
  2. “upon white horses” –Their power, purity and authority granted to them by Christ.
  3. “clothed in fine linen, white and clean” – The saints have received the righteousness of Christ leading to their purity Their glorified bodies could be in view here. Compare this to clothing of bride in Rev 19:8.

 

Other verses that teach at Christ’s second coming He will be accompanied by believers include – Psa 149:5-9, Jude 14-15, 1 Thess 3:13,

 

In verses 11c-16 we have seen Christ descending from heaven at His second coming.  He is described in great symbolic detail which helps us to understand the greatness of His person and His works.  Then we see following Him, His people returning with Him on that great day, prepared to spend eternity with Him.

Our attention is now turned to the Battle that is fought by Christ as He returns to the earth.  Again, this symbolizes, in summary fashion, what we have seen in seal #7… Christ’s wrath being poured out against lost mankind which was detailed in Rev 7-18…

 

(17)  And I saw an angel standing in the sun;

Here we see one of God’s angel, delivering a message from God.  The “sun” can easily symbolize God who “in Him is light… no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5, Psa 84:11, Isa 60:19, Rev 21:23).

The angel is standing in the sun which reminds us of the angel standing in front of God, standing between God and the fallen world, acting as God’s representative to them.

 

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;

The angel then cries out to the flying fowls of the sinful earth.  He will be inviting them to eat of the remains of the defeated lost.

This symbolism is taken from Ezekiel 39:17-20, Isa 66:24, Zeph 1:7

 

(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.

The Lord’s victory would affect all types of lost men and animals:

    1. the flesh of kings – ultimate authority holders
    2. the flesh of captains – commanders of 1000s,

the flesh of mighty men – those physically strong

      1. and the flesh of horses – animals used in war
      2. them that sit on them – soldiers
      3. the flesh of all men – all lost mankind
      4. free and bond – masters, slaves
      5. small and great – despised and respected men

 

(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.

Those fighting against the Lord include:

      1. the beast – the kingdoms of the world
      2. the kings of the earth – the leaders of those kingdoms
      3. their armies – the armies representing those kingdoms

All of these are united in goal and assembled to go to war against the Lord and His saints.  This is a very clear symbolic representation of the Lord’s enemies that are united against Him, His work and His people.  Please notice the past tense of “gathered”.  These were gathered together prior to His coming.  At the time of His coming, John sees this gathered group ripe for defeat at His hands.

Throughout history a spiritual war has been taking place and at his second coming, He will defeat them and bring an end to their opposition…

 

(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 results of Christ’s wrath falling at His coming is complete and utter destruction of His enemies, along with permanent consignment to the Lake of Fire; which sets the stage for eternity to begin.

Both the political powers of Satan (the beast) and the religious powers of Satan (the false prophet who worked deceitful miracles that misled lost mankind) are brought to absolute defeat.  What is their end?  It is “The Lake of Fire burning with brimstone”, the place of eternal torment and separation from the presence of Almighty God.

See Daniel 7:21-28, Joel 3:2,9-17

 

(21)  And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth:

Not only do Satan’s kingdoms suffer eternal defeat and punishment at the hands of Almighty God, Christ, but also those who remain (the remaining lost men on earth).

How is this defeat brought about?  Simply by the use of the words of the Lord.  The words of the Lord are very powerful.   He simply spoke the world into existence (Gen 1:3,6,9 etc) and He spoke life into the dead (John 11:43)… how easy it would be to simply speak His enemies out of existence as He calls fire from heaven to devour His enemies…

2 Peter 3:7-13 – “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men…   But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.  Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

 

(see also 2 Thess 1:8-9, Psa 50:3 , Hebs 12:29)

 

and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

Keep in mind, those who die, remain unburied, and are eaten by birds is a symbol of outstanding shame and dishonor in Bible days.  (Isa 56:9-12, Jer 12:9, Isa 34:2-3).  It is a picture of those who are not loved, respected, and friendless.  In many cases, the corpse of a criminal was not buried but left for the animals to eat. ( Deut 28:26, Psa 79:2, Eccl 6:3, Isa 14:19, Jer 7:33, 9:22, 16:4, 16:6, 25:33, 34:20 etc)

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this text, Christ is revealed as the victorious, returning, King and Lord.  His great authority and strength is emphasized as He leads His people and gains victory over all the powers of darkness.

Romans 14:11-12 – “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.“

Philippians 2:10-11 – “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

No matter how things may appear, we need to always remember our Lord is the Ultimate Authority Holder and Almighty One.  Based upon His faithful, successful, completed work on the cross, He now sits as Lord over all.  He is, and always will be in control.  May we all be like Nebuchadnezzar, who came to understand this very important and comforting truth…

Daniel 4:34-35 – “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:  And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”


6 Comments

  1. I’m really enjoying this study Rob, thanks! God bless you and yours my friend!

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