Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.  (Revelation 19:11)

Since childhood, I have been a Tolkien fan.  I have read the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy many times.  Later, when the books were made into movies, I watched them repeatedly.  The third installment of the trilogy is called, “The Return of the King,” and features Aragorn—a man thought so unlikely to be royalty—leading the battle over the forces of evil and taking the crown.  That is a literary masterpiece, but still fiction.  The reality is recorded in the best book—the Good Book—and declares that One who came into this world and was rejected by man—in measure for He was not the kind of King they were looking for—will come again and triumph over wickedness and establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.  John records this in Revelation 19.

The old Apostle in exile sets the context, “After these things…” that is, following the time of tribulation and the outpouring of God’s judgments (v.1-6).  Babylon in its ecclesiastical form, as a world religion, and in its economic force, as a global financial system, has been destroyed.  The Antichrist will gather his armies for one last battle.  Despite the horror of judgment, the chapter is full of the hallelujahs of deliverance.  It is not a scene of mere doom, but of rejoicing. 

Having set the stage for the coronation of Christ as King of kings on earth, the scene first shifts to eternity (v.7-10).   John writes of the Bride of Christ, the church, in heaven.  “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” (v.7).  In a Jewish wedding, there are three movements.  The first is betrothal—akin to being engaged, but legally binding—a marriage in most every sense except for physical intimacy.  The second stage is when the groom comes suddenly, when everything is ready—arriving at the bride’s house and claiming her as his wife.  Then, a great wedding feast would occur—the family and friends invited to celebrate.  The marriage is consummated and they live happily ever after!  Just so, the church has been betrothed to Christ (2 Cor.11:2).  She waits with anticipation for that sudden appearance of her Beloved to take her home in the rapture.  Next, comes a wedding feast in glory.  When the King comes to claim dominion on earth, the Bride will return with Him, to reign at His side!

There will be a dramatic descent from the skies.  The first time He came in humility, riding on a donkey; the second time in authority, riding on a white horse.  The first time He came to justify sinners by dying for them as a sacrifice; the second time, He comes to judge sinners by destroying them as a sovereign.  The first time He was crowned with thorns and the second time with triumph.  The first time the Heavenly host sang of peace, but the second time He will lead them in war.  It won’t be much of a fight—Jesus will open His mouth, say the word, and His enemies are overthrown.  The Beast and the False Prophet will be cast into the Lake of Fire as its first occupants.  The results of the carnage bring the vultures home to feast.  The King has returned!

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