Summary: Eventually life as we know it will end, and life as Jesus wanted it will come to earth in the person of Jesus Himself and His saints.
The return of Jesus and defeat of the Beast
John relates three pictures of the coming of Jesus. We saw two in chapter 14. The picture here is of an invading army, with Jesus at the head of it. He has gathered His troops together, and on the day of battle He is the hands-down favorite. It’s all over in a short time. No other passages in Revelation even come near to describing an actual return of Jesus Christ. There is no hint of a secret coming, and no need of one! The Marriage Supper is announced, Jesus leaves Heaven accompanied by the saints and comes to earth conquering all who stand in His path. Zechariah sees the same thing. Jesus talks about it. Paul and Peter see it. And, from the beginning of this final book, there have been constant hints about the return of Christ:
1:7, “Behold He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, and they also who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him…”
1:8, “...the Lord...Who is to come”
2:25, “Hold fast what you have till I come.”
3:11, “Behold I come quickly.”
11:17, “The One Who is to come...You have taken your great power and reigned…”
14:14-20, The earth is “harvested” and “reaped” by “One like the Son of Man.”
16:15, “Behold I am coming as a thief.”
And now it happens. Yes, this is the only time Jesus comes to earth. This is the only time Heaven is opened to release the Living Word. This is the only time the full army of Heaven is seen with Jesus.
And is there any question as to the identity of this coming King? The Spirit has framed the entire event in language from other parts of Revelation, the prophets, the apostles. This is Jesus. He is:
• Faithful and True (19:11), as in 3:14, introducing Himself to the Laodiceans.
• Righteous Judge and Warrior (19:11), as in Isaiah 11:4.
• possessed of eyes as a flame of fire (19:12), as in 1:14.
• crowned with many crowns (19:12). When the seventh angel sounded (11:15) it was announced that this world’s Kingdoms became the Christ’s. All of them. Here He is seen wearing the crowns He so richly deserves.
• said to have His own special Name (19:12), unknown to anyone but Himself. Well, in verse 13 His Name is “Word of God” but we know that Name. In verse 16, the Name written on Him is “King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” But we know that Name too. What is that secret Name? That is for Him to know. His own people have been promised a unique name also, in 2:17.
• clothed with the blood-dipped Robe (19:13). No, that is not His own blood from Calvary. Isaiah 63:2-3 lines up with Revelation 14 and this passage to let us know that Jesus will personally judge sin at His coming and create an unprecedented blood-bath among the nations. He is seen in this robe in anticipation of what He is about to do but also because of what He has been allowing to happen for all time. He is the One who judges sin. His is the control of the universe after all.
• the Word of God (19:13), as from John’s own Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word...and the Word was God...and the Word became flesh” (John 1:1, 14).
• united to His church (19:14). In Matthew 24:31, the elect are “gathered from the four winds.” I Thessalonians 4:14-17 says God will bring with Him “those who sleep in Jesus.” And, “The dead in Christ shall rise first, then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” And in I Corinthians 15:51-52, “We shall all be changed in a moment...at the last trumpet” (aka the seventh trumpet). I submit to the church members who read this document that there is absolutely no conflict between the verses I have just quoted and the scene John paints of the second coming of the Lord. I submit further that there is not one reason to take those former verses out of their normal context and make them apply to anything but that second coming.
• wielding the Sword that strikes the nations (19:15). Isaiah 11:4b, "He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked." The Sword is the Word that comes out of His mouth : The Word of God is even sharper than a natural sword (Hebrews 4:12).
• ruling with a rod of iron (19:15). In Psalm 2:8, Messiah is told, “Ask of Me [the Father] and I will give You the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession. You shall break them [the nations] with a rod of iron.” The male child of Revelation 12:5, supervising the overcomers of 2:27, is scheduled to control, absolutely, the planet.