The Return of Christ with the Armies of Heaven

HEAVEN STANDING OPEN (19:11-16). Heaven is standing open for the visible return of Christ to earth on the Day of Vengeance.

Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? “It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.” Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? “I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so my own arm worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me. I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground” (Isaiah 63:1-6; cf. Psalm 145:1-6; Daniel 2:34-35).

Thus, we learn reason why Christ is dressed in a robe dipped in blood from Isaiah and reasons for the Day of Vengeance has been revealed by the Apostle Paul.

God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10).

RIDER ON A WHITE HORSE pictures a conqueror. This rider is called “Faithful and True.” For the second time, John sees a rider on a white horse (Revelation 6:2). The first was the Antichrist and the second is Jesus Christ. Both riders are bent on conquest. Ironically, the Antichrist will come in peace, but Christ comes with justice and makes war.

King Jesus rode into Jerusalem the first time, lowly, meek and gentle; the second time, His arrival is fierce, vehement and violent. Notice the changes Matthew made to Zechariah’s prediction, which reflect the rejection of the Messiah at His First Advent. The people rejoiced greatly and shouted, but it was short-lived.

Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey (Matthew 21:5).

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey (Zechariah 9:9).

His eyes are like blazing fire, signifying His fury and wrath as well as His torrid justice. On his head are many crowns (diadems), denoting His conquest and authority over the earth’s kingdoms.

FOUR NAMES are associated with Christ at His Second Coming: First, He is called Faithful and True, in contrast to the Antichrist who is a counterfeit. He makes good on His promises. Second, He has a name written on him that no one knows but He Himself. So don’t ask! Third, His name is the Word of God, which is His eternal name (John 1:1, 14). Fourth, He has the name KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, denoting His sovereignty over all the earth, whether evil kings He destroys, or saints who will reign with Him in the Millennial Kingdom. This name reiterates that initial identification of “Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1:5). Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations (Psalm 2:9). This sword contains all the power of the Word of God (cf. Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 12:4) and authority used by Christ to verbalize all things into existence (Genesis 1; Colossians 1:15-16). He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.

He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked (Isaiah 11:4).

IRON SCEPTER indicates how Christ will rule (poimainw shepherd) the nations. He, who would have shepherded them with a pastoral rod and with the golden scepter of His love, shall dash them in pieces, as obstinate rebels, with “a rod of iron.” During the Millennial Kingdom, most rebellion will be internalized; external rebellion will receive swift justice and punishment. The Father said to the Son:

You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery” (Psalm 2:9).

Isaiah’s prediction of the Messiah reflects not only His incarnation and vicarious death at His First Advent, but also His Second Advent, when He will reign on David’s throne.

[Christmas] For to us a child is born, [Good Friday] to us a son is given, and [Second Advent] the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this (Isaiah 9:6-7).

THE ARMIES OF HEAVEN were following Christ, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. These riders are legions of holy angels (Matthew 26:53) and thousands upon thousands of His holy ones (Jude 1:14-15), the raptured and resurrected saints are included in Christ’s army also.

The LORD thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command. The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it? (Joel 2:11).

You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him (Zechariah 14:5).

Since Christ says, “I have trodden the winepress alone” and “no one was with me” in Isaiah 63:1-4, and since the armies of heaven do not have blood on their clothing, they might only be spectators to the final judgment. On the other hand, “alone” might refer to the nations and peoples of the earth being excluded.

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