The Revelation of Jesus Christ
“The Second Coming of Jesus” Pt 2
Last week we highlighted the similarities and differences between the 1st and 2nd coming.
This week I want to paint a portrait of this most glorious culmination of Biblical prophecy.
This is His-story.
This is the grand theme of the Scriptures.
This is the day when Jesus returns to reclaim the earth and rule forever.
The run up to this glorious day, the Day of the Lord is a seven year period of tribulation on the inhabitants of earth.
It is a time when God pours out His stored up wrath on the governments and people who have spurned Him and His rule for thousands of years.
It is a time when God will bring about the long awaited judgment for the rampant wickedness and moral decay that has been escalating to a breakneck pace.
Satan and his highest ranking evil angels will have executed their final plans for world domination over the kingdoms and people of the earth.
He will empower his final human ruler called the antichrist supported by a demonized false prophet.
They will eventually dominate the whole civilized world and demand absolute loyalty and even exclusive worship under threat of death.
He will require a special mark of loyalty in order to buy and sell in the world marketplace.
At the halfway point of the seven year tribulation, Antichrist will break a protection treaty with Israel and actually seek to completely eliminate Jews not only from Israel but from the earth.
Faithful Jews along with all Gentiles who refused to swear allegiance to the Beast or Antichrist will come under sever persecution.
Many will suffer martyrdom especially during the last half of the tribulation.
Others will go into hiding.
Others will be supernaturally protected by God from the pursuit of the Antichrist.
The antichrist will be linked with another political power with worldwide influence.
This political power is called mystery Babylon; a city/state with extensive influence over all aspects of culture and society.
Scripture speaks of its corrupting influence over all the kings of the earth.
Amidst all this political maneuvering, God will initiate a reign of terror on the earth through a series of three 7 part-judgments.
Each cycle of judgments becomes more intense and more frequent like labor pains before birth.
Millions will die.
Worldwide ecological devastation will take place.
Toward the end, Antichrist will turn on Babylon and bring about swift devastation.
The kings of the earth will morn over the complete collapse of worldwide commerce.
As we enter chapter 19, John hears heaven’s hallelujah chorus at the final elimination of Babylon’s corrupting influence on the earth.
John hears a call for joy at the marriage of the lamb and then a vision of the opening of the heavens for the final return of Jesus.
Staring in verse 11, we read what is considered the climax of the Bible.
Personally, I think the eternal state is the climax of the Bible but this is pretty close.
A significant percentage of the Bible is devoted to this grand future event.
Both the Old and New Testaments are filled with promises of the second coming of Christ. Someone has reported that there are 1,845 references in the Old Testament alone and a total of 17 books that give it prominence.
Of the 260 chapters in the entire New Testament, there are 318 references to Christ's second coming. That averages one out of every 30 verses. Furthermore, 23 of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event. That leaves only four books that do not refer directly to the Second Coming. Interestingly, three of these four books are single-chapter letters which were written to specific persons on a particular subject.
Bible Illustrations - Bible Illustrations – A Treasury of Bible Illustrations.
It almost feels like Christmas.
You anticipate Christmas all month and when it finally arrives, it isn’t what you hoped.
All this build up to the second coming of Jesus and “blamb”, it’s over in ten verses.
We will first unpack the truths in our current passage and then fill in some other details from some of the other passages to try to gain a fuller understanding of this grand climactic event.
There are two aspects to His future return.
One centers on the judgment and destruction of all His enemies.
The second centers on the establishment of His glorious kingdom in Jerusalem.
It will be traumatic for pagans but tremendous for the faithful.
The prophetic passages shift back and forth between these two themes.
First John saw heaven opened.
I believe this is a tangible look into the spiritual dimension.
He sees heaven “opened”, exposed, revealed, opened up.
He used a perfect tense verb indicating an action with continuing results.
The heavens were opened and remained open.
This first thing he sees is a “white horse”.
The white horse is symbolic of the conquering, victorious warrior.
On the horse was a noticeable rider.
John recorded the first of several names assigned to this victorious warrior rider.
“Faithful and true”
This is a name used to describe someone who has been loyal and faithfully carried out their assigned task.
Hebrews called Jesus a “Faithful Son”.
Jesus affirmed His integrity to the Father .
"I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. John 17:4
Next John describes His purpose or actions.
“He judges and wages war”
This trip to earth is remarkably different than His first coming.
Anyone can judge and wage war.
Jesus judges and wages war in righteousness.
That means that all He is about to do is right.
Man has tried to argue the definition of a “just” war.
Jesus will wage a just war.
His actions will all be in accordance with God’s standard and motives.
Not in vengeance for how He was treated.
Not to demonstrate His superiority.
Not to show how tough He is.
He will judge and wage war righteously.
John described His face and clothing.
We saw the fiery eyes of Jesus in John’s vision recorded in chapter 1.
Fiery eyes symbolize piercing and illuminating judgment.
Nothing escapes those eyes.
And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Heb 4:13
This is not just a soldier but the king Himself.
He was not just the ruler of one nation but wore the symbol of authority from many.
This was visual illustration of His universal rule over the earth.
He also saw another name known only to Jesus.
If no one knew the name how did John know it was a name?
I think this means that no one really understood the significance of the name.
This was a special name whose significance was known only to Jesus.
Perhaps this was an intimate name between Jesus and the rest of the Trinity like a name between spouses who alone know the meaning behind it.
The bloodstained robe could symbolize a number of things.
It could symbolize the fact that He shed His own blood.
It could symbolize the blood of the martyrs from the war between Jesus and Satan.
It could symbolize the blood about to be shed to end this thing.
Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press? 3 "I have trodden the wine trough alone, And from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My anger And trampled them in My wrath; And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, And I stained all My raiment. 4 "For the day of vengeance was in My heart, And My year of redemption has come. 5 "I looked, and there was no one to help, And I was astonished and there was no one to uphold; So My own arm brought salvation to Me, And My wrath upheld Me. 6 "I trod down the peoples in My anger And made them drunk in My wrath, And I poured out their lifeblood on the earth." Isaiah 63:2-6
“Name is called the Word of God.”
This was a name introduced at His first coming.
It indicates the highest level of communication.
No other creature has the capacity for verbal interaction and thought.
It was a name only attached to Jesus.
It distinguished Him from all others.
He was God’s means of self revelation.
He is accompanied by His mighty army of angelic warriors also riding white horses.
He will carry a sharp sword (word of His mouth) capable of slicing up all the nations.
His very word is able to sustain the universe much less smite a few puny nations.
And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. Hebrews 1:3
All the nations are nothing compared to God.
John describes more of His actions on this trip to earth.
“Strike down the nations”
“Shepherd with a rod of iron”
It is interesting that the word “shepherd” is used here indicating a compassion side of ruling.
“Execute God’s wrath”
On those who refuse to yield to God’s rule there will not be mercy but wrath.
Facing God’s discipline, Habakkuk prayed for Israel.
LORD, I have heard the report about You and I fear. O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy. Habakkuk 3:2
At the end of days, the time for mercy will be past.
God is “long-suffering” but He will not wait forever.
John observes another name attached to Jesus.
“King of kings and Lord of lords”
It is an unmistakable fulfillment of all of the promises and predictions of a coming Messiah who would perpetually rule over all the kingdoms of the world.
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7
Next, John heard a new dinner call.
There are two future divine suppers.
One is the marriage supper where the guests are invited to enjoy a marvelous meal prepared by God.
The other one is the great supper of God where the guests ARE a marvelous meal enjoyed by the birds of the air.
Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, "Come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great." Revelation 19:17-18
John then described the battle lines.
And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Revelation 19:19
What a battle is about to ensue!
On the one side you have all the kingdoms of the earth empowered and driven by demonic powers and led by the antichrist assembled to make war against Jesus and His army.
This has been a battle raging since Satan torpedoed Adam and Eve.
You expect a massive battle with significant casualties on both sides.
This is King Jesus we are talking about here.
Here is the entire battle in two verses.
And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. Revelation 19:20-21
Whap! It’s over before you can say, “Holy BBQ!”
Antichrist and the false prophet will be seized and tossed into a place of excruciating torment described as a lake of burning fire and sulfur.
These rulers over the whole inhabited world will both be eliminated without a fight.
All those who followed Him will be destroyed with a single word from Jesus.
Psalm 2 prophetically portrayed the scene thousands of years prior.
Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 "Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us! 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, 6 But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain. 7 I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8 'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. 9 'You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.' 10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. 11 Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling. 12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! Psalms 2:1-12
The death of the enemy is not the end of the battle.
There is more in store for them than defeat in battle.
There is immediate judgment and final judgment at the Great White Throne Judgment.
For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed. 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10
But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. Matthew 25:29-46
Along with the ruin of the wicked, there will be the promised restoration of Israel.
Behold, a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. For it will be a unique day which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light. And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter. And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one. All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin's Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king's wine presses. People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security. Zechariah 14:1-11
Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:3-13
The reoccurring elements in the passages related to His 2nd coming can be summarized simply.
He will return unexpectedly in absolute power and unimaginable glory.
His will return with His bride, the saints, also dressed in glory.
Since you have been raised up with Christ -- keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Since you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God -- Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Colossians 3:1-4
He will return with His entire victorious angelic army.
He will completely defeat the beast and all his followers.
He will execute perfect justice.
He will establish a one world government of absolute righteousness for 1,000 years
He will restore the ravaged earth to unbelievable fruitfulness.
How are we to respond in light of these coming events?
Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
2 Peter 3:14-18
• Repent and embrace Jesus now
• Live your faith
• Look for His return with great expectation
• Be on guard against doctrinal error
• Grow in the grace and knowledge of Our Lord and Savior.