Summary: The Return of Christ to earth
THE SCENE IN HEAVEN CHANGES
1. The bride of Christ now becomes soldiers of Christ. “Now I saw heaven opened . . . He judges and makes war” (19:11). “And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses” (19:14).
2. Who were these following Christ?
a. Some teach these are angels.
b. Others teach these are believers
c. B. R. Lakin said, “He and Dr. Towns would ride mules!”
A. THE RETURN OF CHRIST TO EARTH
1. Christ comes triumphantly from heaven. “Every eye shall see Him” (1:7). But, the rapture is secret, “As a thief in the night” (1 Thess. 5:2).
2. John sees the future return in prophetic visions. “I saw heaven open” (19:11).
a. “White horse” (v. 11) – war leader.
b. Called “Faithful and True” (v. 11).
c. “His eyes were as a flame of fire” (v. 12) – omniscience, knows all.
d. “Many crowns” (v. 12) – authority.
e. “Name . . . no one knew” (v. 12) – unknowable.
f. “Blood” (v. 13) – basis for saving people.
g. “Called the Word of God” (v. 13) – He communicates.
h. “Armies follow Him” (v. 14) – angels or saints.
i. “Out of His mouth . . . two edged sword” (v. 15) – wrath.
j. “Treads the winepress” (v. 15) – judgment.
k. “KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS” (v. 16) – ultimate dominion.
3. The world gathers in corporate rebellion against God and the believing Jews. “Went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God” (Rev. 12:17).
4. The enemy is drawn to Palestine by demons. “For they are spirits of demons . . . gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (16:14).
5. God is providentially drawing them to battle. “I will gather all nations (inhabited people groups) against Jerusalem to battle” (Zech. 14:2).
6. The battle is on the plain of Jezreel, i.e. Armageddon. “Gather them together . . . Armageddon” (16:16).
7. Tremendous slaughter. “Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes” (Zech. 14:12).
8. Armageddon is flat and known for great floods in the past (Judges 5:21), so the blood of horses flows, “Even unto the horses’ bridles” (Rev. 14:20).
9. The Jerry Falwell National Forest on Mount Tabor overlooks Armageddon. Why am I not surprised Jerry has a stake in Jesus’ return!
10. Happens at sundown. “Neither day nor night. But at evening time it shall happen that it will be light” (Zech. 14:7).
11. Jesus touches the ground on the Mount of Olives. “His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives . . . shall be split in two, from east to west” (Zech. 14:4). This is the location Jesus left for heaven. “Then retuned . . . from the Mount of Olives” (Acts 1:12).