Will Jesus’ Return Be Peaceful + Who is the Rider on the White Horse? #171 #Revelation #SecondComing #LastDays
Hello friends and happy Wednesday to you! Back to Revelation today, but we have covered Psalms, Isaiah and Deuteronomy in recent days, so I don’t feel too badly about that. I often invite you guys to join us on Sunday mornings for our church livestreams, and I’m going to invite you to join us tonight as well – 7pm Pacific, we will be kicking off a Wednesday night series on Race and the Bible – what the Bible says about who we are and how we are to act towards one another. Just go to Facebook and type VBC Salinas, and join us at 7pm, and be sure and say hello!
Today’s Bible readings include Deuteronomy 22, Psalms 110-111, Isaiah 49 and Revelation 19. Revelation 19 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, because we get this incredible picture of Jesus arrayed as a mighty and glorious warrior, riding on a white horse, and heading to earth to conquer. When Jesus came the first time, He was meek and mild and incredibly gentle! Consider this description of the first coming of Jesus by Isaiah the prophet:
“This is my servant; I strengthen him,
this is my chosen one; I delight in him.
I have put my Spirit on him;
he will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not cry out or shout
or make his voice heard in the streets.
3 He will not break a bruised reed,
and he will not put out a smoldering wick;
he will faithfully bring justice.
When Jesus came the first time, He came proclaiming good news and He came with great meekness. As a reminder, meekness does not equate to weakness; meekness is sort of like power clothed with humility. As Jesus said when He was being killed on the cross, He COULD have called down multiple legions of angels, but He did not. This is meekness, and Jesus came in meekness. One more example of Jesus’ meekness at His first advent/coming: He rode a donkey into the city of Jerusalem. Imagine that – the King of Kings on a DONKEY!?
When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, Jesus then sent two disciples, 2 telling them, “Go into the village ahead of you. At once you will find a donkey tied there with her colt. Untie them and bring them to me.3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled: 5 Tell Daughter Zion, “See, your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
This was His first coming. As we will see in Revelation, His return will be quite different. Let’s read the passage and find out!
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and with justice he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a fiery flame, and many crowns were on his head. He had a name written that no one knows except himself. 13 He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called the Word of God. 14 The armies that were in heaven followed him on white horses, wearing pure white linen. 15 A sharp sword came from his mouth, so that he might strike the nations with it. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty. 16 And he has a name written on his robe and on his thigh: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
This is quite a contrast from the first advent of Jesus. He is now on a war horse. He is now coming in kingly authority. Not just the authority of one king, but MULTIPLE kings. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is coming with fiery eyes and an army behind Him. He is coming with a giant sword, and we are told the purpose of that sword. It isn’t just for decoration, it is for striking the nations. The beast and his minions will gather an army to fight against the coming king of kings, and they will be utterly defeated. And the chapter ends with this glorious and violent verse:
21 The rest were killed with the sword that came from the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds ate their fill of their flesh.
It is here that we find out that Romans 12:19 is literal, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Hebrews 10:30-31 too, “For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” I do not believe these passages are symbolic, but frighteningly literal. When Jesus returns it won’t be to allow Himself to be re-crucified. It won’t be to lay down His life again. It won’t be to allow His enemies to whip Him, beat Him, mock Him, and slap Him. It will be very, very different. Isaiah 63 is a powerful passage that looks forward to this return. In Revelation 19:13, we learn that Jesus, upon His return, is wearing a robe dipped in blood. Most would assume, at first glance, that this is a reference to the crucifixion somehow, but in Isaiah 63, we see the surprising reality:
Who is this who comes from Edom,
in crimsoned garments from Bozrah,
he who is splendid in his apparel,
marching in the greatness of his strength?
“It is I, speaking in righteousness,
mighty to save.”
2 Why is your apparel red,
and your garments like his who treads in the winepress?
3 “I have trodden the winepress alone,
and from the peoples no one was with me;
I trod them in my anger
and trampled them in my wrath;
their lifeblood spattered on my garments,
and stained all my apparel.
4 For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
and my year of redemption had come.
5 I looked, but there was no one to help;
I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold;
so my own arm brought me salvation,
and my wrath upheld me.
6 I trampled down the peoples in my anger;
I made them drunk in my wrath,
and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.”
So, the obvious answer to our question is that the King of Kings is returning in might and power, and not peacefully. Every knee will bow down to Him, by faith or by His power. As I often do, allow me to close with a bit of lovely Spurgeon:
May that two-edged sword which cometh out of his mouth smite all my besetting sins; may the brightness of his countenance scorch and burn up in me the very roots of evil: may he mount his white horse and ride through my soul conquering and to conquer, casting out of me all that is of the old dragon and his inventions, and bringing every thought into subjection to himself. There would I lie at his dear conquering feet, slain by his mighty grace.
C. H. Spurgeon, Flashes of Thought (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1874), 45–46.