Red Village Church

Jesus the Victor – Revelation 19: 11-21

If I’ve not met you, I’m Aaron. And I’m the preaching pastor here. And I really am glad that you’re with us today.

I’ll be up front. We have a heavy passage to work through. But it’s a great and glorious passage. So let me read the sacred text. I’m going to read all of what we’re going to be working through. This is Revelation 19, 11 through 21. And I’ll be reading out of the English Standard Version. So please hear the word of the Lord.

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, 18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” 19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. 20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21 And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.

(Rev. 19:11-21, ESV)

That’s God’s word for us this morning. Let’s pray. Lord, we pray for the help of the Holy Spirit to rightly understand this passage. Lord, please help me to be a good communicator. Lord, I pray that you would use this time here to bring glory to Jesus. Lord, we are here, and we humble and tremble before your word. We pray this all in Jesus’ name. Amen.

So John, who’s the author of Revelation, as mentioned in previous sermons, was the same John who wrote the Gospel of John, which he did a few years before writing Revelation. In the opening chapter of the Gospel of John, he famously penned these words concerning the Lord Jesus Christ: “He said…”

Now, for John, he was an eyewitness to the incarnation of Jesus Christ. He was in the innermost circle of Jesus during his incarnation, which would allow John to have unique opportunities to see the glory of Jesus that he wrote about in chapter 1 of John: “Glory as the only son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Even before he got to Revelation, he saw a lot of glory. John would have been physically there to witness the various miracles of Jesus.

The lame walking, the blind seeing, Lazarus coming out of the grave—which among many miracles that the Lord performed. In fact, there were so many different miracles that John even wrote this at the end of his Gospel of John: “So now there are so many other things that Jesus did, where every one of them to be written, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”

So, John got to uniquely see the glory of Jesus as an eyewitness to his miracles. In addition, John was physically there at the crucifixion, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Can you imagine being an eyewitness to that glory? John was also there to see the glory of Jesus when our Lord was taken up to heaven through the ascension. The book of Acts details that incredible glory.

Not only those things, John was also one of three disciples who were present at the Mount of Transfiguration, where, before Jesus’ death and resurrection, Jesus most uniquely revealed his glory at that scene, Mount of Transfiguration. So, for John to write that “we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of God, full of grace and truth,” there’s real weight in him writing those words.

John saw the glory of Christ in unique ways, which might make us a little envious, you know, John? Like, he was physically there to physically see all of that. But then we read these words written by Peter, who was also a disciple of Christ, who also was an eyewitness to all these accounts I just mentioned to you.

Also, he was even there at Mount Transfiguration. And Peter actually wrote these words concerning that experience of seeing the glory of Christ at Mount Transfiguration. Peter says, “More fully confirmed, to which you do well to pay attention as a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” Knowing this, first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy is ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God, as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Meaning, meaning, that as we read God’s Word, the prophetic Word, this is where God most uniquely communicates the glory of Christ to us. So that through God’s Word, through the eyes of faith, the Holy Spirit now enables God’s people to see, to witness the glory of Christ in real, powerful ways.

Now, I share all that with you to start this sermon today. Because we’re coming to actually one of the more awe-filled passages of Scriptures. An awe-filled passage filled with the glory of Jesus Christ for us to see. Which is a glory that John got to see in Revelation, which is a glory that today, through the eyes of faith, we get to see. So that God breathed words of God. So that through the sacred text, we can see the glory of Christ as we’ll see it on an eternal day of judgment.

So before we get there, let me just remind you where we were in our study of the end of Revelation.

As mentioned earlier, we started actually a couple weeks back. So the last two weeks, we looked at two different women who were headed to two different eternal realities. So in the opening sermon of this little sermon series, opening verses of chapter 9, we looked at the woman Babylon. Which in the book of Revelation, she’s symbolic for everything that wars against God and his people, including things like sexual morality, greed, worldly power, worldly wealth, hedonism.

Even though Babylon warred against God in chapter 19, we see that she will not be victorious. Rather, we read how God will eternally defeat Babylon, which will cause God’s people, the heavenly host, to all rejoice, to give their collective hallelujah to the Lord for his just and true judgments. So that’s the opening passage, chapter 19.

And as you remember, that’s in contrast to this eternal reality concerning Babylon. It’s in contrast to what we looked at last week, which is a different woman in Revelation 19. The woman referred to as the Bride of Christ, who is the church made up of God’s people for all time. We’re in contrast to the judgment of Babylon. The Bride of Christ will be welcomed into an eternal feast, an eternal celebration, referred to as the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

As this great Marriage Supper of the Lamb begins, we read this will also cause God’s people, the heavenly host, to give their collective hallelujah. As God’s people bring about the praise and the worship to Jesus Christ, who is the generous, gracious host of this meal, who is also the great Lamb of God, the great Bridegroom. So that’s where we left off last week, with an eternal, joyful celebration for God’s people. Where they’ll be eternally blessed, filled with joy and peace.

Now today, as we pick up where we left off, we come to a passage, as mentioned, where we see the eternal glory of Jesus Christ on display. But if we see it today, it’s not just because he’s the great Lamb of God, not just because he’s the great Bridegroom, or just the great host. We also see in our passage today that Jesus is glorious because he’s the great and conquering warrior.

So if that is your intro, please look back with me, starting in verse 11. As you look back there, I do want to mention that this week, and actually the next few weeks, our passages today are actually pretty difficult to interpret and to, at times, understand. This week, and the next couple of weeks, some of the more hotly debated passages throughout church history are going to be in front of us, and how we are to readily understand them, interpret them. So this week, and weeks to come, I want us to work through them with a lot of humility, with a lot of charity.

As I mentioned, details are hard to know. However, as I say that, I also do want us to work through them with a lot of conviction. Conviction that the most important details of those passages, in terms of who Christ is, his glory, the eternal victory that is to come, those things are abundantly clear. And those are the things, really are the main things, I think we are to take away from these passages.

So this morning, and the next few Sundays, to work through the different texts, the details within them. Let’s not miss the forest for the trees. Okay, let’s go back to verse 11. We read this: John recorded that he saw heaven open. It was actually a phrase that we see in other places of scripture, including the book of Revelation.

So John recorded that in Revelation 4.1. And that phrase, you know, seeing heaven open, there, and now seeing it again here in chapter 19, scholars conclude that this is like a bit of an indication of like a change of the narrative of Revelation. Now, for us, in our day and age, if there’s a change in narrative, we might use like a chapter to help communicate to our readers there’s just a bit of a change coming, you know, chapter 1, now there’s chapter 2. But in ancient literature, they didn’t have chapters, like we have chapters.

So at times, what they would use, they would use maybe like a similar phrase, like what John is doing in Revelation 4, now in 19, to give the readers an indication a bit of a change in narrative is coming, which does seem to be the case here. And by the way, maybe on this note, if they’re interested, the chapters that we see in modern translations of the Bibles, those came many, many years afterwards, just to try to help us find things a little more easily in Scripture. And so chapters, verses, they’re actually not in the original text. If you’re familiar with the famous like Wycliffe Bible, that was really like the first major Bible translation that used chapters and verses.

Okay, keep going. As heaven opened for John, we read that he said this, “Behold, he saw a rider on a white horse, with the rider on the horse being called faithful and true. And in his righteousness, this rider on this white horse, he judges and he makes war.”

Okay, now a few things here. First, just a historical understanding. So in the ancient Roman world, to which this was written, like generals, emperors, they would desire to ride into battle on a white horse, which would be symbolic for like triumph, victory. So clearly that’s being symbolized here by this rider on the white horse. This is a victory horse. Second, there are horses actually all throughout the book of Revelation with different colors. So there’s a white horse, or actually maybe white horses.

There’s a fiery red horse, a black horse, a pale horse, which each of these horsemen, the four horsemen, symbolic of war, judgment, authority. We don’t have time to walk through these this morning, but just take note of that next time you read through the book of Revelation.

Third, this section, at the first time in Revelation, we met a rider on a white horse. So in our text today, the identity of the rider on the white horse is obvious. This identity of this rider, this is the glorious Jesus Christ. And I’ll explain why in just a second here. Revelation 6, it also records a rider on a white horse. The identity of that rider is not so obvious. So some think the rider on the white horse in Revelation 6 is actually the same, is Jesus, which could be true. But I think these are actually two different riders on two different horses, which is why I said earlier why there’s a white horse or horses.

Now, there are very good serious Bible scholars on both sides of interpretation on whether these riders are one and the same. For me, personally, I tend to think the rider in Revelation 6 is actually different than our rider today. I personally think the rider in chapter 6, who is present when the Lamb opens the seal of judgment, is actually, everything represents like the Antichrist, who is on a mission to spread calamity throughout the earth, that he thinks he will successfully do. However, as mentioned, very much up to debate on the rider of the horse in Revelation 6.

Fourth, one last thing. So, this is going to be started to divide interpretation on the timing of when things take place in Revelation, particularly when it comes to the nature of the millennium, which we’re going to get more to in chapter 20. Now, for myself included, the text today is being read as one final great battle that is going to take place. And at the conclusion of the great battle, then a millennial reign for Christ will come on the earth will begin, before the new heavens and the earth kick off, which will be coming next week.

And I read it this way, just to cut out the big, is as of right now, I hold most closely to the historic pre-millennial camp, which, by the way, I have the right to change. And if I can be forthright with you, I’ve changed a few times already in my Christian walk. But for others, if you’re in the all-millennial or post-millennial camp, you see this like different. And while those camps see the kingdom actually starting already, they do have a little bit different realities on how they think that’s going to happen.

And this battle of Revelation 19 is like a final judgment day before eternal life becomes. So this is the millennium, and then this happens, and then the heavens and earth happens after that. And if you’re uncertain with the terms I just gave you, a couple of things. First, let this be a teaser. Come back next week.

I’m going to try to explain the understanding in a little more detail when we get to the passage next week. Also, let me mention that starting soon, everyone’s favorite Uncle Wes is going to be starting a Sunday school class or a video series. I just want to walk through the details of the different viewpoints. All the information is in the weekly email if that interests you. But for us, let’s keep going. Verse 12.

As a rider on a horse comes to make war, we see that he is not like some type of weak, bumbling soldier or some type of weak, bumbling fool. Rather, see, he is glorious. He is a glorious and strong and mighty warrior. In the text, we see that his eyes are like the flame of fire, which I think communicates the intensity of his focus. I think it also communicates the ability to see things clearly and correctly, which is something in chapter 1 of Revelation also communicates.

For us, we might be able to hide behind some type of facade towards others, where we might be able to fool or manipulate others into thinking things about us that are not true. We can lie to one another, but we can’t lie to the Lord. Glorious Jesus, with his flaming eyes, sees clearly all that is there. He will not be deceived.

In our text, we see that on the head of glorious Jesus, there are many diadems or many crowns, which is symbolic to show that he is absolutely sovereign in his rule and his reign over all things.

In the text, we read that he has a name written, a name that no one knows but himself, meaning that there are certain things that we can see about glorious Jesus in the sacred text, as well as in eternal life to come. But even in eternal life, there are going to be things that will be kept just for the Lord that we won’t know. And by the way, on this end, in eternal life, yes, we will be removed from sin. No doubt we will have much greater wisdom and understanding than we do today.

In fact, I think one of the reasons why heaven is not going to be boring is that we actually continue to grow in wisdom and understanding. However, at no point, even in eternal life, will we be able to achieve infinite wisdom, infinite understanding. In heaven, starting with this here, this name, it shows me many things that will be hidden from us that we actually won’t fully know. So in eternal life, yes, we will be with God, but we won’t be God. We still have limits, as mentioned, even being limited, kept from this name in the text.

Keep watching. Keep going. Now, church history, this is a point of discussion concerning whose blood is this on the robe. For me, this blood is actually the blood of the enemies who have fought against Christ throughout the history of the church as the gospels advance. However, see, the blood is not the blood of the enemies of Christ. Rather, it’s his own blood which Jesus shed on the cross, which is certainly possible.

For me, I think this scene is a scene of judgment and war. This is not a scene of salvation. This is why I think the blood here is actually the enemies’, the enemies who fought against glorious Jesus, who really have warred against the Lord since sin entered into the world. Whatever it is, this is the blood of shed blood of war, whoever’s blood it is. And I do think that’s the main point of this bloody robe here, that we live in this reality of a cosmic war taking place where there’s cosmic blood being shed, a war that glorious Christ has actually entered in himself to fight in ways to bring about victory, meaning as the enemies of Christ have warred against him, they’ve warred against his people, the enemies, they’ve been on attack with all their evil and deadly intentions.

It’s not like Christ sat back passively and let his enemies win. Right in the text, Jesus, this great warrior, he comes. He comes in judgment to fight, to finish this cosmic battle. Keep going. While there’s a name kept from us concerning Christ, we see in the text there is a name revealed to us. In fact, in scriptures, there’s many names given to us concerning Christ just to help us see who he is.

In verse 11 of our text, he’s the one who is faithful and true. In verse 13, if you take your eyes there, one of the names of the glorious Christ is he is the Word of God.

By the way, this is why we know the identity of the rider and the horse in our text today, that this is clearly Jesus, the Word of God. John, who wrote John 1, he wrote this, he said, “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God; and the Word became flesh to dwell among us.” This is Jesus Christ, the great Word of God, the great warrior engaged in this cosmic battle.

As he engages in this battle, we see he does so with the armies of heaven following after him. An army is arrayed in fine linen that is white and pure, which is what was referred to last week about the bride of Christ. Because I think the army here in white, pure linen, this is referring to God’s people, those who have faith, who have turned and trusted in Jesus, who have bowed the knee to him.

In our text, as this army follows after Jesus, we see they’re also riding on white horses to further symbolize victory, conquering. Revelation 19 speaks to victory by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony. I think that’s what’s happening here with the army, God’s people on these white horses: that the word of their testimony is there to help, is present in this battle.

Verse 15, further details on the glorious Christ. We see that from his mouth comes a sharp sword which strikes down the nations, which is symbolic of just how powerful his word is.

And as glorious Jesus strikes down the nations with his word, we see he’s also going to rule over the nations with a rod of iron. This is both an allusion to Isaiah 11, which speaks about the Messiah or the Christ having a rod that he breaks the nations with, as well as Psalm 2, which speaks of the nations raging, plotting in vain in their attempts to overthrow the Lord. And in the end, through his glorious Christ, God will rule over them with an iron rod. This here, this all just further symbolizes full, complete victory where the Lord Jesus Christ, this great, glorious ruler, will fully, completely reign over his enemies.

Keep going. As glorious Jesus strikes down the rulers over the nations by his powerful word, we see he also will tread on the winepress, doing so with the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. So now, the winepress is also something Revelation 14 speaks about, if you want to read that later. Let me mention a simple understanding of what’s taking place with this winepress.

So the winepress in this culture is a symbol of blessing, goodness, prosperity, favor. Often, local celebrations would take place near the winepress. In the Gospel accounts, Jesus talked about the new covenant found in his blood, where we’ll drink of the wine coming from this heavenly winepress, where with Jesus we’ll eternally celebrate with his people. That was the marriage supper last week, where God’s blessings are full.

The covenant text today, for the enemies of Christ, as the great and glorious Christ comes as this great and glorious warrior, he destroys the winepress. From his enemy, he takes away all forms of blessing, celebration, prosperity, goodness. In chapter 18, those things, there will be no more. The winepress being removed symbolizes where Christ, he removes it in ways that there will be no more. He does so filled with our textiles, filled with the wrath of God Almighty.

Meaning, as Christ comes to remove the winepress, he doesn’t do so maybe by pushing cautionary tape around the winepress of his enemies with a sign like “do not enter.” Or he doesn’t go around and disconnect a few things here and there so the winepress wasn’t able to be in service and function properly. Rather, the winepress is destroyed. Where glorious Jesus destroys it with all of God’s wrath. Where it’s destroyed to the point that I’m sure they probably couldn’t even recognize or tell what it once was. All forms of goodness, all forms of blessings, fully, completely taken away.

Keep going. As glorious Jesus destroys the winepress, we see that not only was there blood on his robe, we see that on the thigh of his robe there was a name, or maybe you said, better said, a title. It’s on the robe of Jesus. He wrote the name “King of Kings, Lord of Lords,” which is declaring his supremacy over all things. Like Jesus is not like one of many kings or many lords.

He’s supreme. He’s above all things, all heaven, all earth; all bow down before him. He’s the King. He’s the Lord of all. Verse 17.

So John witnessed all of that. Then he looked over and saw an angel standing in the sun, which I’m sure is communicating like the brilliance of how the angel looked. And as John looked over at the brilliant angel, he heard the angel cry out with a loud voice.

Let’s go back to our first sermon that we had a few weeks back, Revelation. The volume of heaven. The volume filled with great noise. The volume of Revelation. This is not a subtle theme running through the book. This is very upfront: a loud noise, loud volume all throughout the book, meant to grab our attention, to hear the weight of all that’s being said.

In our text, as the angel cried out with this loud voice, we said his message went to all the birds that fly directly overhead. And the message that this brilliant angel had for the birds was to come, gather, for the great supper of God. Which is a very different supper than the marriage supper of the Lamb that we looked at last week. I have to say it again. That was a feast, a celebration. It was dining and great friendship.

This great supper here in the text, exact opposite. As the angel calls the birds over, he says, “Come, gather and eat. Eat the flesh of kings. Eat the flesh of captains. The flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders. Come, birds.”

Eat the flesh of man, both free and slave, small and great. Friends, this feast, this is one of further judgment. Further judgment for the enemies of Christ. That the birds of the air were called over so they could play the role of vultures to come to the great battlefield to feast on dead carcasses of the enemies of God.

This here, we’ll also get to next week in chapter 20. This is picking up in the great battle scene in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel, Chapter 38, 39. The battle of Gog and Magog. Which in Ezekiel speaks of a great battle where dead bodies are scattered all over for birds and animals to come feast upon.

Now for us today in this text, this is a clearly gruesome scene. This is clearly gruesome of this battle that is about to take place. This is not just like the wine press being destroyed. This is all things that war against God being destroyed. Keep going.

As John heard the angel start to gather the birds to prepare themselves for the gruesome meal, verse 19, John recorded that he saw the beast and the kings of the earth preparing their army for this great battle that was to come. For the kings gathered their armies to make war against the glorious Christ who is on the white horse leading his heavenly army.

Now the beast here, this is a character we read about in chapter 13 of Revelation as well. Throughout church history, a lot of discussion on the identity of the beast, which we’ll talk about more in just a bit. But let me talk about Revelation 13.

There’s a few things that we know concerning this beast. Chapter 13, verse 4, this beast worships the dragon, which is a reference to Satan. So, I don’t think the beast is actually Satan; he worships Satan. Verse 6, the beast blasphemes the name of God.

Chapter 13, verse 7, the beast makes war against God’s saints. He’s actually successful enough to overcome them in this life, which is referring to martyrs. Chapter 13, verse 7, the beast is so powerful, he has authority over the entire earth, over every tribe, people, language, nation. Which throughout Revelation is authority that Christ will indeed take back.

Lastly, in Revelation 13, verse 8, the beast is one who captures hearts where people from all over begin to worship the beast. So, we do know those things about the beast.

Then the question, who is the beast? Some have felt the beast is a symbolic term, speaking of like a specific individual, who would be like an antichrist figure, who is leading the forefront of the war against the glorious Christ. In early church history, many thought this actually was like Nero or Rome, who in the context of when Revelation was written, was starting to greatly persecute Christians.

Others have felt that the beast is symbolic for more of like a worldview or mindset that wars against the truth of Jesus Christ. So, a worldview, mindset, maybe even like a religion, that has captured the hearts and minds of many.

Depending on your end-time view and understanding, this figure might be a figure from the past. As I mentioned, maybe like past Rome, Nero. Or, this beast is a figure of a worldview that has yet to come, which is actually what I tend to hold to. Though, I do think Rome, Nero, in a sense, are like antichrist-type figures.

So John, who wrote this in John 1, said that there’s many antichrists who have come. And I think all throughout church history have continued to come. And they all are pointing to this great antichrist, who is the beast in the text. For me, I don’t think the beast is necessarily individual. But I do think it’s some type of worldview or mindset, worldly religion, that has come and captured the hearts of many.

I think that because, back to John, 1 John 2, John wrote that the antichrist is one who denies God as a father, and that God the Son, which is a rejection of God the Holy Spirit, which is 1 John 5. But for us, the main point, whoever the beast is, he is leading the charge. He’s leading this war against Christ. He’s actively making war against the rule of Jesus.

So, this is not like a passive war for the beast, where the beast really doesn’t want to fight it, but he’s like forced to fight in this. No, in this text, the beast, he wants this battle. He’s actively seeking war against Christ. I remember verse 20 of your text, turn to your eyes there. Even though this beast is strong and he’s powerful, who is able to capture the hearts of many.

He’s not strong enough. Not powerful enough to capture the glorious Christ. Rather, this beast, he is no match for Jesus. Why? Because you read that the Christ is the one who captured the beast. And not only did Christ capture the beast, read in the text, Christ also captured the beast’s top lieutenant, his false prophet.

Who is a false prophet who is able to produce signs by which he deceived those who received the marks of the beast and all who worship its image? I mentioned here, the prophet of the beast, this character. This also comes up at other points in Revelation. As you guessed, there’s many discussions throughout church history concerning the identity of the false prophet. Some say it’s a specific individual. Others say it’s a set of ideals within the worldview or religion that the beast represents.

While we don’t exactly know who this prophet might be, we do see that he’s an effective prophet in the passage. In terms of being effective in spreading the message of the beast. The signs the false prophets performed were deceptive enough that many had the marks of the beast. They were captured by the false signs, captured in a way that they gave their worship towards the beast.

Now, let’s keep the theme going here for us. Lots of discussion in church history on the nature of the signs the false prophet performs, as well as the mark of the beast. So let me start with the signs.

Perhaps the false signs here of the false prophet is referring to some type of counterfeit miracles or wonders that this prophet was able to perform. Maybe think of Pharaoh’s magicians. Remember that story in the book of Exodus? Who for a time were able to match some of the plagues that God did through Moses. Perhaps that’s what’s happening here.

However, for me, the signs are more along the lines of some type of manipulation of human hearts. So my mind this week went to Colossians 2, which speaks about elementary spirits who deceive and capture hearts through false signs of things like philosophy, empty deceit, human tradition, legalism, so-called visions, appearance of wisdom, asceticism, among many other things that capture us by filling up our pride. Where people maybe have some type of emotional experience or some type of self-righteous attitude. Where they’re so captured by it, they feel compelled to give their worship to the beast.

Hard to know what the signs are. The main thing for us to see, I think, this morning is that this false prophet is effective. He was convincing. Many were deceived. Scripture even tells us that the devil himself comes as an angel of light. In the text, many worship the image of the beast.

Now let’s move on to the mark of the beast. Also very debated throughout church history. For some throughout church history, this is like some type of almost like a tattoo. Maybe some type of physical marker on one’s body.

Where we can physically see with our eyes the mark of the beast. However, for myself, others, myself included, tend to see the mark of the beast more like a mark of approval. Where they’re so captured by the false signs, they actually give like their amen. They give their allegiance to the beast with their tongues, probably even more so by their actions. Where they’re giving their allegiance, confessing the beast to be their Lord.

So whatever the mark of the beast is, the main point is going to be obvious. It will be known. Those who have the mark of the beast, they’re not following after Jesus. They’re not confessing Jesus to be the Lord. Keep going.

After the beast and the false prophets are captured by the glorious Christ, we see the heavenly judgment will fall on them. A heavy judgment will fall on them, which is a heavy judgment of them being thrown alive into a lake of fire that burns with sulfur.

For us, I think we need to see this here. That the glorious Christ, in the end, He will show no mercy on those who war against Him. So yes, the mercy of Christ is bottomless for all those who come to Him by faith, including all here this morning. We’ll get to more in just a second. But Scripture’s clear: in the end, there’s no mercy for those who reject Christ eternally. There’s no mercy for those who war against His rule and His reign.

Finally, our text today ends, verse 21.

Which I think only further captures the reality that Christ will show no mercy towards those who war against Him. As we read of the rest, which is a reference to the kings of the earth and their armies. All of them, all were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of Jesus as He sat on His horse. As the kings and armies were laid slain, all the birds gorged with their flesh. Which only adds to the horror, just the absolute horror of this scene. This gruesome reality for those who dare to wage war against glorious Christ.

For us this morning, that’s actually where we’re going to end our text of study. But as I close, I do want to close by specifying the two types of people that are here with us this morning. And some main things I want each type of person to see and take away from this very heavy passage. And to apply the forest of this text, specifically as it relates to the glorious Christ. As mentioned, the great warrior on this white horse.

I do want to address those here who have not yet trusted in Jesus Christ. And I want to plead with you on how you are to see this passage. And second, I want to address those here who are Christians. And as Christians, we really should try to figure out the details the best that we can of this passage. With that being said, while these details are important, the temptation is to get so focused on the details, that we miss the bigger picture.

We miss out on certain ways; actually, we miss out on seeing the glory of Jesus Christ, which I don’t want to happen for us this morning. But first, let me speak for a few moments here to those who are not yet Christians.

Now listen, we are so grateful, so grateful to have you with us this morning. And I understand this is a very heavy text for you to walk into our doors this morning to work through. And for you, as you think about this passage, this passage centering on the glory of Christ, this great warrior on the white horse, the one who is the victor over all his enemies, as you read this passage, friend, listen, it ought to terrify you.

And just as a personal testimony for you, so I became a Christian in my early 20s. And before I became a Christian, I read through Revelation, including this passage I read this morning. And it absolutely terrified me. And I’ll say it again, it should terrify you as well. In fact, I think this is the main thing that you should read and take away from this passage: just how personally terrifying it is. It should terrify you in ways that you stop whatever you are doing. Stop fighting against the Lord, however you may be fighting against Him. And run to glorious Jesus. Run to Him in a way that you’re confessing sin and beg Him for mercy. Bow the knee of your heart to Him as your Lord.

And as mentioned, when Christ returns in this text, there’s no more chances. There will be no more mercy.

But the promise of Scripture is, for those who run to Jesus before that day, the promise is you will find mercy. So don’t wait to do that. Don’t read the details of this passage the way that you’re trying to say, how much time you might have in this life before you’ve got to get right with God. Run to him today. Do it now.

Let me give you some good news. In this life, when we run to Jesus Christ, we find forgiveness of our sin. And we are no longer his enemy. Rather, we become his dear, precious child.

Back to the text. No, I’m not for certain whose blood is on the robe. But Scripture is clear: There is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood. And the very good news is that on the cross, faithful and true Jesus, who in his incarnation put on the robe of human flesh, shed his blood so that we might be forgiven. So that through him, through faith in him, we might be counted righteous before God. His righteousness counted as our righteousness.

So friend, say it again. I’m so happy you’re with us this morning. But this morning, please let this passage terrify you. It really should. But don’t let it terrify you in ways that you’re running further from Christ. Rather, let it drive you to run to Christ so you might find salvation from judgment. Call upon the name of Jesus. Believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sin, only to rise again on the third day to prove that indeed he is the conqueror over all things, including death.

Second, let me address those who are Christians. So as we read this passage, as we see the glory of Christ, there’s a few things I think we ought to do by way of application.

So first, this morning, as we see the glory of Christ in this passage, it really should humble us. And not just humble us in terms of trying to understand the challenging details, but it should humble us in ways that we remember if not for the grace of God in our life, we would still be an enemy of Christ. Listen, the New Testament tells us, by nature, by choice, we all are at enmity with God, children of wrath. That is, until God pours his grace, his mercy on us.

Friends, let’s be humble here. If not for the grace of God, our blood would be on the robe of the great warrior Christ, justly so. Let’s be humble about that. In addition, kind of along with that, as we see this glory of Christ, let’s be humble with whatever sin or struggle we might have and see that sin or struggle as an offense against the glorious Christ. Humbly put off sin. Continue to put off sin. Whatever the sin may be that holds so close to your heart, do so in ways that are actually putting on more and more of Jesus Christ.

Friends, read this passage. See the glory of Christ as it is revealed to us in this text. And let it humble you. Feel the weight of this.

Second, as we see this passage, we see the glory of Christ as it is revealed to us in this passage, let it encourage and comfort you.

Which I think is actually the primary purpose of the entire book of Revelation, to encourage, comfort God’s people. Now in the original context mentioned earlier, Nero, Rome, they’re really starting to pick up attacks on Christians. Martyrdom was becoming an increasing reality. So for God’s people, when this was written, they had to be discouraged. They had to start to maybe wonder or be concerned that maybe the enemies of Christ would actually win out.

But then they read this in Revelation 19. And they see that in the end, none of the enemies will win. Christ is the one who wins. He’s the victor over all things that fight against his people. What an encouragement. What a comfort. Friends, let this reality encourage you. Comfort you. Jesus, he’s the victor over all things that stand in opposition to him. Including all spiritual forces of evil.

Christ is the victor. Christ is the victor over all sin. Including that sin maybe you’re mightily struggling to fight against. In the end, when Christ returns, he will conquer fully your sin. He will completely free you from the grip it has on your heart.

Jesus, he’s the victor over all things, including things like fear, anxiety, worry. These things that have a way of just crippling us and beating us down in this life. Christ wins over those things. Jesus is the victor over all things like physical pain and ailments that we just struggle with. In the end, friend, they won’t win. Christ wins.

Christ is the victor, even over death itself. Friends, all those things I just mentioned, they will be destroyed. And the birds of the air will come and eat their flesh.

Friends, read this passage. Whatever enemy you feel like you’re facing, whether it’s an enemy within or an enemy without, be encouraged. Be comforted. In the end, the glorious Christ, he’s the victor over all things.

Third, to read through this passage, as you see the glory of Jesus Christ in this passage, let it motivate you. Motivate you in ways that you are living for him, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. Particularly, let it motivate you in ways that you’re being a witness to the world around you. Who, apart from grace, are headed to a terrifying reality.

So let me read this. This is from John 3. Famous words. So yes, when Christ comes back, he comes back as a warrior to judge. But in his first coming, in the Incarnation, he came not to judge, but to save. And because we live between the first and second coming of Christ, we are to live in ways that we have great passion, zeal, urgency, compassion, to declare the glorious, crucified, and risen Jesus to the world around us.

To tell our family, our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers, whoever the Lord puts in front of you, the hope of Jesus Christ. Doing so with the prayer, the longing, that God’s grace would fall on them in ways that they too would believe. That they too would join John. They would join us.

Join many others throughout church history. People from every nation, tribe, tongue, and language. As we declare through the eyes of faith, we have seen his glory. The glory of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Yes, church, many details in this text are hard to understand. But the main detail you can’t miss is just how glorious Jesus Christ is. See that this morning. Let’s pray.

Lord, thank you for Jesus. Lord, thank you that Jesus is the great Savior to all who by faith come to him. Lord, I do pray that the glory of Christ would always be in front of us. That we would not be so distracted by the many cares of this world that we lose sight of Jesus. Lord, the many things that we can find our passions running to, that they all bow their knee to running to Jesus.

And Lord, I do pray for those here who may not yet have received your grace. This morning, I pray that you would open up their eyes, that you give them a new heart. That today they might taste and see that indeed you’re good. I pray this all in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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