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Lowell Brueckner

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Revelation 19:10-21


Dear Friends, please note that I am adding the following two paragraphs to the last article of Rev. 19:1-9. I just put them here for your convenience. Thank you. Everything I do is in flux, and always open for improvement and correction 😃 . The new article starts below with verse 10

“Write this!” (9). This command is common in the book of Revelation, as the canon of Scripture comes to an end. The first human writer, who recorded the words of God, was Moses and God on various occasions, commanded him to write. Israel’s history and literature was written for future generations. God commanded the prophets to write. Luke told Theophilus concerning the Gospels, “Just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you” (Lk.1:2,3). Even Pontius Pilate wrote on the cross, “Jesus of Nazareth, king of the Jews” in the three most important languages of the day. Paul told the Colossians, “When this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and also read the letter from Laodicea” (Col.4:16). So the Gospels and the epistles prospered in the early church and hundreds of copies were written to pass along.

That, which is written, is preserved beyond the spoken word and is validated over the spoken word. The Holy Spirit is the Author of all Scripture and He has shown His concern for future generations, seeing to it that His Word has been preserved through writing. It alone holds absolute authority over everything that concerns the people of God. Jesus spoke the written word, in replying to the temptations of the devil. In history, the devil always mounted persecution against the translators of the word, as well as those who have had the word in their possession. To this day, he is attacking those who possess, read and practice the written word. Beware of those, who deny or belittle the whole, or any part, of the written Word. Liberals, who still like to call themselves Christians, question the veracity and authenticity of the Bible. Society largely considers it an antiquated book. Let us give it its rightful place in our hearts, minds and lives and give thanks continually to God, because today we have the full revelation of God’s word. He has faithfully preserved it to this present generation. “These are the true words of God.”

Revelation 19:10-21

10. Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

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.

Crown Him with many crowns

The ark of the Old Testament, in its day, was a testimony to the whole world of the presence of God with His people, typified by the Shekinah glory. Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of that, which the tabernacle typified: “The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn.1:14, literal Greek).  In the four Gospels, He is revealed in glory among His people for the world to see.

The testimony of Jesus seems to me to be wrapped up in one verse, John 1:18: “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” The apostle Paul, in his powerful, Christ-exalting letter to the Colossians taught his doctrine, “In him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily and you have been filled in him” (Col.2:9,10). The apostle John states the same: “From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace (Jn.1:18).

This is the testimony of Jesus, testifying of the godhead in bodily form, and this is the essence, the heart, the fulfillment and the spirit of all prophecy. The Old Testament, the Gospels, the epistles and the many prophecies in Revelation have all pointed to one central theme: Jesus Christ, who is the image of the invisible God. This blessed revelation is recorded in a holy book, available for all the world to see, that He might receive glory for all eternity by those who believe.

“Worship God!” the angel commanded (10). It is a great thing to be caught up in the magnitude of the revelation, but therein also is a danger. There is a temptation to give undue honor to the messenger, whether angelic or human. The angel will not allow it for one moment; he is flawlessly committed to the glory of God. Human beings may not be as quick to discourage such devotion, but we do have some worthy examples to follow. Peter addressed the people, concerning the healing of a lame man: “Why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk?”  (Ac.3:12). At Lystra another lame man was healed through the ministry of Paul and the natives thought that Roman gods had come down to them. Paul and Barnabas reacted, “When the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out, ‘Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men…” (Ac.14:14,15). A true testimony of Jesus teaches mankind to worship God alone.

A door has previously been opened (4:1), the temple was opened (11:19), the tabernacle of the testimony was opened (15:5) but at the words of the angel, all heaven opens and John shows to us the most powerful revelation of Christ yet. He sees Him mounted upon a white horse with the titles, Faithful and True (11). Even Pontius Pilate caught an inkling of godly fear, when He stood before him to be judged: “For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice” (Jn.18:37). Pilate will one day be resurrected to stand before Him in judgment at the Great White Throne. Far from the mob rule that influenced the Roman governor, he will be judged in perfect righteousness. At this point, Jesus is appearing as the Lord of Hosts, the Commander of the Lord’s army (Jos.5:14).

He was revealed to John in the first chapter with eyes as flames of fire and now, He is crowned with many crowns, because He is coming to rule. There are many proofs of His divinity in this book and we have one in verse 12. He has a name that only He knows. There is no being in all eternity, who can perfectly uncover all the mysteries of His person and He is only perfectly known by His own self-knowledge (12).   

His clothing is dipped in blood (13). He who shed His blood in submission, now returns to earth to spill the blood of His enemies. Because He shed his blood, the armies coming out of heaven are forever “clothed in fine linen, white and clean” (14). He is their substitute and they follow him, mounted and enabled by heavenly steeds. The white horses are the heavenly versions of the equine species, with characteristics beyond those, of which the Lord described to Job: “His majestic snorting is terrifying. He paws in the valley and exults in his strength. He goes out to meet the weapons. He laughs at fear and is not dismayed; he does not turn back from the sword… With fierceness and rage he swallows the ground; he cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet… He smells the battle from afar, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting” (Job 39:20-25).  

John had come to know His third title, by the time he wrote his gospel. He is The Word of God, the Angel, the Messenger of His presence, who appeared often in the Old Testament. He was made flesh, so that “in these last days (God) has spoken to us by his Son” (Heb.1:2). The Word of God is a sharp sword, coming from His mouth, and it will wield terrifying destruction in the upcoming battle. John describes the victory in verse 15; it will strike down the nations and a bloodbath will occur, as “He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty” (see Is.63:2,3) Then, Christ will rule with a rod of iron.

This portion alone, from verse 11-16, is worthy of a complete volume, and we are limited to just a few comments, as we move quickly through the book. Hopefully, a few divine sparks will burst into flames in our hearts. On His robe and on His thigh (John Wesley: “That is, on the part of his vesture which is upon his thigh) are fourth and fifth titles… royal titles of supreme authority: “King of kings and Lord of lords.” No one diadem is enough for the King of kings; there are many diadems on His head. Babylon has fallen and now the beast and the false prophet will fall, and with them, the entire image seen by Nebuchadnezzar, and even before his time, two earlier kings will topple. The beast and his kingdom are the final manifestation of man’s rule upon the earth. Christ removes their crowns and claims them as His own.

You see, friends, there is no entrance into His kingdom without a confession that Jesus Christ is Lord. He must be completely Lord of every one, who He redeems… He is Lord of lords (16, see Ro.10:10). After this battle, because “God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name”, therefore, “every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Php.2:9-11).  

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.

The call to Armageddon

Site of Armageddon
An angel is standing in the sun, impossible to be ignored as he summons with a loud voice all the carnivorous birds to a supper prepared for them by the Lord. We saw a prelude to this event in chapter 16:12-16, when the sixth bowl of wrath was poured out. It dried up the Euphrates to make way for the kings of the east to join those of the west in the land of Israel. Demon spirits are at work to prepare a worldwide army to assemble there.

You will need to read Zechariah, chapter 12, and 14:1-5, along with this portion, to get a better understanding of what occurs in this battle. The battle will extend from the Valley of Megiddo, 60 miles northeast of Jerusalem, and will end around the city itself. Blood will flow like a river (Ap.14:20). There will be worldwide opposition to Jerusalem and “I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples… And all the nations of the earth will gather against it” (Zech.12:3).  

Joel also prophesied of this battle, calling the site, where the battle begins, “the valley of Jehoshaphat” (Joel 3:2). Jehoshaphat means the judgment of Jehovah, because that king of Judah won a great battle there, against a coalition of nations (2 Cr.20:26). This will be a far more important battle and all the nations of the world will be present (Zech 14:1-3). Christ Himself will descend from heaven to destroy the armies led by the beast (19-21). Jesus spoke of His Second Coming in Luke 17:22-37. It is the same as we see here in Revelation. He said that it would be like the days of Noah and of Lot, when some were taken and others left. They asked Him, where they would be taken and He answered, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather” (Lk.22:37). They will be taken to Armageddon for destruction, while those who are left will remain on earth into the Millennium.

Jesus will return to rescue the Jews, who are on the verge of annihilation, at the hands of the antichrist’s army. Two-thirds will be killed and one third, greatly tried and refined, will be saved. Now, read this tremendous prophecy: “I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him(Zech.12:10). The Holy Spirit will be poured out upon the remnant of Israel with grace and will produce repentance and pleas for mercy, as they call out to Jesus. Only the Spirit can testify of Jesus, and He will open their eyes so that the Jews will recognize Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah. However, He will also impart faith! Repentance will take place at the foot of the cross (where He was pierced). This will happen, as Jerusalem is falling into the hands of the armies of the nations. Jesus will come to their rescue (Zech.14:3-5).

So that they can escape from within the walls of Jerusalem, the Lord will place His feet on the mount of Olives, at the same place, where He ascended into heaven (Zech.14:4; Ac.1:12; Lc.24:50) on the east side of Jerusalem; at the place from which He entered the city, sitting on a donkey’s colt (Lc.19:29, 37, 41); where he prayed in Gethsemane (Lk.22:39); where he frequently retired with His disciples. The mount will divide in two. One part will be to the north, the other to the south, and a valley will open between them (as the Red Sea opened), from Jerusalem on the west and through the valley to the east. A remnant of Jews, now believers, will escape. Then Jesus will return from the east into the city, as Ezekiel saw in his day (Ezek.43:2-5).

Mt. of Olives across the Kidron Valley
The valley of Kidron, between Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives, will extend through the valley caused by the rift (Zech.14:5) Zechariah reminds them of the escape from the earthquake in the time of Uzziah (Am.1:1). It is interesting to note that these final events had historical precedents, as can be seen in the entire book of Zechariah. The Lord comes, as described in verse 14, with “the armies of heaven” and in Zechariah “with all his saints”, to bring the antichrist and the false prophet to defeat, take the temple of Jerusalem, and He will sit upon the throne.

The antichrist and the false prophet will be captured and will become the first human beings thrown into the Lake of Fire. (We will learn later that the Lake of Fire is not the same as Hell.) All the soldiers in the antichrist army will be destroyed and scavenger birds, who have been drawn by the angel, will feed on their flesh. As we learned above, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather” (Lk.22:37).

Before we draw this chapter to a close, I want to bring to our attention, a frightening, yet very important, teaching of the apostle Paul about last-day deception. Please turn with me to 2 Thessalonians 2, particularly verses 1-3, then 8-12. He speaks of a “gathering together to him” (v.1). This can be nothing else, but the rapture, of which Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. He writes now that “that day will not come, unless … the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction” (v.3). He does not point to the coming of the antichrist, but of his revelation, which takes place at the Abomination of Desolation (Dn.9:27).

In verse 8, Paul writes about the battle, which we are studying in Revelation 19, in which the lawless one will be killed. Notice how he will destroy him… “with the breath of his mouth” or as we learn in Revelation, “from his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations” (15). The lawless one will be a miracle worker by the power of Satan, with false signs and wonders. Who will he deceive?: “Because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (v.10-12).

Salvation is given upon certain conditions; there can be no doubt about that. If there were no conditions, then the whole world would be saved. One of the conditions clearly taught in Scripture is humility… the sinner must be humbled, in order to surrender to the lordship of Christ and brought to the end of his independence. He must repent, turn from his own way, which is sinful, and believe, that is, he must trust Christ. He must 1) trust in His person, meaning that He must believe in Christ as God in the flesh, and he must 2) trust His work, as totally sufficient to save him, with no works on his part. Also, according to Paul in this passage, he must love the truth to be saved (v.10). If he refuses to believe the truth, God Himself will send him delusion so that he will be condemned!  


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